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Edmon

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Edmon last won the day on January 13

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  1. This thread just reminded me of this so much:
  2. What about little animated mini events like this? (Shamelessly photoshopped by me using Advance wars assets :P)
  3. Yeah that is fair enough, this is a bit of a tangent to the original topic though, which is the one of having an NPC presence to balance out the early game and mid-game. This discussion of base placement came about largely because of theorycrafting about how to give you control over the NPC positioning and then working from there. Trying to create that "part of a war" feeling which then shifts into "you are leading the war". You could also do things like have countries that hate you, intercept your interceptors and/or otherwise move against you. Which could be an interesting dymanic to the early game. What I want to avoid at all costs is the one thing I hated about XCOM1 and Xenonauts1. UFO spawns are totally random and their movement is totally random. They could in theory, all appear where you are not and/or move away from your slower interceptors. Effectively putting you in a death spirial at the beginning of the game which is unavoidable. This issue continues to be a pest until you get a 2nd and 3rd base established, every UFO could appear in America say, while you are in Europe and IndoChina. You just have to suck it up, which sucks, because it's pure RNG. The NPC bases at least partially solve this issue in the early game, since they can do work in the regions you are not early on, giving you time to get established (unless you take the more gamey route of ensuring the UFO's or at least some of them, spawn in reach). It is absolutely possible to lose XCOM1 and Xenonauts1 with the player having no agency in preventing it, if you are unlucky enough.
  4. If this is the case, just allow the player to decide the exact locations of the pre-existing bases. I.E., have them place 5 bases, one for each major region and then finally decide on which one to control.
  5. I sat down and really thought about it and here is what I came up with: "Tension" phase: At the start of the game, a player doesn't have to build a base out of the ether, but acquires a pre-existing one. This is basically what happens in the first XCOM, but instead of you picking the exact location, you choose from various bases on the map that are owned by your various benefactors. Each base can be different and can affect the opening of the game (note these are just ideas and may not be balanced): 1) American Base(s): Great in general with a lot of equipment, facilities, etc, but setting up shop in America increases tensions with everyone else, due to their pre-existing power level and the idea this is another ploy for American control. Start with additional tension in Russia, China and South America. 2) European base(s): More workshop, research focused with acceptable military capability. Diplomatic, starting less tension with most regions, except Russia. Easy mode. 3) Russian bases(s): Extra soldiers, aircraft and military equipment, increased tension with America. Cheaper second base as long as it's also in Russia. 4) Africa/South Americas base(s): Bases are sparse, with only the basics but the base is inexpensive to run if nothing else. Radar quality is poor with only 50% of normal coverage. This radar will have to be demolished and replaced with advanced (normal) radar if you choose to start with one of these bases. Hard Mode. 5) Indonesia/China base(s): The standard XCOM base, with nothing changed. This allows tweaking of starting positions and equipment, for a more diverse beginning. After a base is picked: NPC bases, do what they can to defend themselves, attack aliens, etc. However, expect them to be wiped out if left unsupported which will increase tensions. Player has the choice to buy existing bases from NPC's or build their own, as they desire. Buying a base will mean buying EVERYTHING in it, whatever that may be, so could be an expensive decision rather than making your own base and customising it yourself. Or you could just make it that these bases are NPC forever and the xenonauts will have to make extra ones as "normal". The level of interactiveness with the NPC's is really something that needs to be thought about, but I imagine them being targets for aliens after a time. Maybe a player can transfer things to NPC bases, like aircraft and tanks, so they can better defend themselves. Maybe just aircraft, making NPC bases automatic alien hunting airfields. Much like what is done in Xenonauts1 but more automated. NPC's you are friendly with may ask you if you want to attack crashed UFOs or not. Ones that don't might just airstrike them into paste. Friendly ones could share money, unfriendly or tense ones might not. Giving them aircraft maybe reduces tension... as an additional incentive... Just some thoughts. Once the tension phase is over, the NPC role could largely just be in the "automated airfield" varity and/or as targets for aliens.
  6. I wonder if you could also make rotational play more interesting. Maybe you get X% EXP in combat and then you get a similar X% bonus when training back at base. I guess the idea here being that you learn lessons in battle and then when you return to training, you train the things which you think will best improve your ability to win fights against aliens. This would make battle - rest - battle more powerful / optimal without the stick that is the stress system... Just some more thoughts :).
  7. I think that what you have written is extremely hostile but I don't think you understand just how hostile it sounds or how badly and confrontationally it is worded. You write as if what you believe is absolutely correct, using a very strong english word like "proper" in the title, but then later say you are not "prediatory to other play", then say that only Ironman can develop high quality and correct skills for playing at the highest levels. Statements that attack people who don't play in that style and basically imply that they are lesser. You attack what I say as too wrong even for your consideration and that only debate that, effectively, agrees with you is robust debate worth engaging in. I was gaming since the very beginning, got my honours degree in it, was a professional in both video gaming and card gaming. So I've seen how words which you think mean a particular thing have changed totally over time to mean something else entirely. Yet, you talk in absolute terms at all times, as if every word has had a strict meaning and definition since the beginning. When addressing the audience or myself, you use hostile absolutes, which would naturally generate conflict read by any native English speaker. Now you don't seem to accept any of my points at all, so I wanted to start with this one: Here is some concrete examples just about how the word Ironman has changed over time and has changed as a gameplay concept. Jagged Alliance 2 (1999) Ironman mode: Able to save and reload at all times, except when in combat. Almost all games of this era, have similar "Ironman" modes. Any gamer who has been gaming for a long time, would understand typical Ironman to be this. XCOM (2012) Ironman mode: One save game, which is only saved when you quit the game. This is the modern Ironman, which plays much like MMO's and multiplayer games do. So in the span of a decade, the exact same word has meant two totally different gameplay modes. Infact, it is the case that the Jagged Alliance 2 meaning, was true up until the start of around the 2000 period, maybe somewhat later. However, at some point this definition changed and now it tends to mean a multiplayer like experience, which saving only possible when quitting the game if at all. This is just an example of how the very concept has changed. I am not even going into the deep end of what skills Ironman tests, which in the case of games with high RNG, can simply be your tolerance for repeating the same actions over and over until the RNG goes in your favour and you succeed. Which is hardly a measure of skill, but more one of persistance. As I said, this is a design topic that is way deeper than it's ever given credit for, but Ironman does not by necessity make a game harder, deeper, more skillful, etc. Imagine a simple dice game, where you must roll 18 on 3 dice to win and you can roll each dice individually. In one game, we can save each time we get a 6 and the proceed to the next roll. In the Ironman version, we must roll those 3x6's in a row or restart. How is the Ironman version more skillful, how does it change my strategy in any way? How does it change my techique? It doesn't, it just takes longer to win, because I must restart when I don't roll a 6. So it will take more time to get the 3 win conditions in a row, than individually.
  8. There is tons wrong with both what you've said here and your interpretation of what I've said, which seems to more be what you thought I've said than what I've actually said. But the fact that you simply sum up that I am entirely wrong and then call for a moderator to close the thread, I guess suggests that it's not a dialogue or debate you wanted. Instead you simply wish for people to accept your narrow definitions of how a game should be played, what makes a game hard, what Ironman and Save Scumming is and you wish to simply ignore how those terms and their meaning have changed over time, etc. Which is a shame. Ironman is a test of consistency and often of time, not a test of skill. Player A may win 30 missions exceptionally and lose 1 horrendously, another player B may consistently just lose 1 guy in every mission but always no more than that. Ironman perfers that second type of player, the consistent one, but not necessarily the brillant one that is rarely inconsistent. Ironman cares only about that one loss, which can typically end your game. Yet that first player, in a multiplayer setting, is likely to win vastly more often. This subject has far more depth than it's ever given credit for. It can be just as difficult if not more so, to pull off a perfect game, even with old school Ironman (save and reload before and after missions only) than it can be to just win Ironman while taking losses. Different skills are tested and people have different strengths. Ironman is not the be all end all of difficulty and can often be used to hide balance issues in game (or that a particular instance of a game was impossible from the start, something which exploring all the possibilities via save/load would reveal). There is no such thing as a "proper" gameplay experience, there is the one you enjoy having, which is different for everyone. Your perferred way to play, does not necessarily make you a better player than someone who plays in a way that you do not approve of.
  9. It's funny that you mention Ultima, as it was the game that lead the gaming as a service mantra with ultima online coming out way back in 1997, before any of your examples other than Rogue. More on that, later. Origin were talking about gaming as as service long before that because they were losing a lot of money to piracy at the time (though, there is no real evidence that that was the issue, this was their stated issue). It was an means to end, that end being DRM but I'm sure the other benefits (in terms of revenue streams) did not escape them. You are confusing old Ironman with current generation Ironman as well. Old Ironman still allowed saving and reloading, just before and after missions (but not during). The way in which I played this game is the old Ironman style. Once again, except for Rogue. We'll get to that. In your given example, if you die to the reaper, then you still lost the game. The only difference is where you are restarting from. Not that you lost. Starting a game from the beginning over and over again is how a lot of modern games extend little content into a full game. You are still remembering how maps play out at various points in the game and at what times. So the "cheat" knowledge you've gained, you will gain it Ironman or not. The difference is when that knowledge will be useful (after getting back to the same or similar point, in the case of Ironman) and of course, if you remember it. Just look at a game like "they are billions", the map you start on basically determines if you win or not (I'm saying this as one of the few with the 800% brutal victory achievement) and Ironman just forces you to restart over and over so you don't realize that is the case. Once people realized the trick though (they always do) the game became about restarting the map over and over until you got a good one. Even the best players admitting that they could only win a random map 40% of the time (you need a certain amount of wood and farmland near your base for success). Which brings us to Rogue, which is a game lots of people mention but few have actually seemingly played, as it too was a game entirely about luck. Good equipment, monster scare scrolls, etc dropping for you? Life is easy, run to the end once you get past level 14. You could make the exact same moves 100 times and those moves would win the game 3 of those times. Not because your strategy changed, but because you got the right drops that made it happen. This is why Ironman is critical to the game, you could get an impossible generation of the game, with poor luck and a dangerous enemy in a place you can't get past it. The game needed to force players to start again, because otherwise they would reload over and over, realising there was actually no way to win without restarting (and players realizing that on their own makes them think a lot less of your game). Rogue is actually, the typecast for the procedural expansion of content, making good content takes time. I have never played the procedurally generated game that has maps and good or as interesting as handcrafted ones. Just look at the gold standard for TBS games, Jagged Alliance 2, it was widely considered the best game of its time (and even now) for this and many other reasons... that game also had Ironman, but only for fights. You could save and load at all other times. Saving "scumming" was a thing, but it was about reloading to get better rolls on dice-roll-type combat. However, I have always seen this as a problem of game design. If your game is so random, that a different roll or sequence of rolls dramtically and totally changes the outcome, irrespective of the players strategy... then it is simply too random. Something a number of TBS games can be guilty of at times.
  10. The fact that using the save and load features provided in a game has somehow become known as "Scumming" and that this terminology has become accepted says it all. Not exactly a nice word to use about someone's single player enjoyment is it? Honestly, I think the reason for this is invested interests and money. The games industry has been moving against saving and loading games for a long while now and will add and enforce Ironman as the "correct" way to play. Saving your game and loading it, having 20 copies at different points and doing whatever you like/want, is the ultimate freedom you as a gamer have. If you enjoy that freedom too much, to do whatever you like, to enjoy every branch of a story in an RPG, etc. Then how will you buy into the modern "Gaming as a service" mantra that is the mainstay of current generation monitization of gaming? Even RPG's where you'd previously save before a conversation, enjoy *all* of the dialogue and then eventually decide what options you wanted to settle on before moving on to the next part of the game/story? Ironman doesn't make a game harder, it makes a game take longer. It helps drag things out, if you have to replay 20 times to get at all or most of a games content. The fact is, you either have the skills to win the game, or you don't. Saving and reloading lets you repeat sections where you failed, but you still succeed in the end if you have to skillset to do so. If you finished the game once, saving and loading all the while, it means that you could in theory have done it without saving and loading, it would have simply taken many (or even hundreds, depending on your ability to memorize the right moves and techniques) attempts. What has been done once, could be memorized and repeated. In order words, it simply would have taken you a lot more time. Time not everyone has. It makes sense to drill the skills Ironman style if your going to be a competitive multiplayer gamer, naturally. In single player though, I don't see the appeal. I may run a youtube channel where I ironman TBS games on the hardest possible settings, but I am the first to defend anyone who doesn't want to do Ironman. I actually just completed Xenonauts on insane difficulty, I saved before each mission and then played it to the end. If my win was not perfect, I started from the beginning and played the whole mission again until it was. I actually won every mission except one on the first attempt, the vast majority with no losses and with that one loss being a withdraw on the first attempt (3 men killed). This is how I practise for doing Ironman runs, but if I wasn't doing videos on the games in question, I wouldn't do this at all, as I don't find Ironman nearly as fun as just playing a game normally. I respect anyone who games, I don't care if they Ironman or not, easy or hard, doesn't matter. People who play a certain way are not lesser nor "scum" for doing so. There is no proper way to play a single player game, except to play it how you most enjoy it.
  11. I do feel like these missions almost require cheese to win them. Teleport in with pistol user, toss grenade, teleport back down. Repeat until every grenade is used. Follow with potshots, rockets, etc. Get people to bring combat shields and drop them, so you have spares to use. Keeping their real loadout in the backpack... a bit of a pain.... Not tried C4, might give that a bash.
  12. Haha... I remember when I used to have an ultimate bulletin board... this was in the time before off-the-shelf anti-bot modules. Cleaning up after bots every day, sad times :(.
  13. If you look closely, you can spot them. They usually write something about being new, not having any friends and if you'll be their friend... XD. (Bots are such a pain in the arse, time for some sort of anti-bot system for the forum gents?)
  14. My understanding is that you can only train weapons accuracy skill at the home base, you can't actually get any experience outside of combat at all.
  15. I had some ideas for systems to "bring up" rookie soldiers, such that they would be useful as the game progresses and you can realisitically replace losses without throwing green meat into endgame combat... Idea #1 Organizational Experience Your men bring back their experience from the front line, they talk to others who have not yet been in combat, they provide training for the newer recruits. You could have a system where any experience that is earned in battle, is calculated and then a fraction of that (say 10%) is brought back and applied to new recruits. When fresh soldiers are recruited, this experience is damaged or reset, so you'd basically hire recruits in batches or waves. This makes sense, the next set of men are awaiting combat "around the corner" and are just waiting their final hiring into the main combat team. Once hired, the next set will need to learn and train. This gives you a reserve of decent soldiers (based on how much actual combat you've seen) awaiting recruitment. Idea #2 The Jagged Alliance Method As the game goes on, better soldiers are available for hire from more prestigous training schools for more money. Maybe your hiring "Militia" at first cheaply, but later gain the option to hire professional and even special forces soldiers. These will naturally cost more money, but come with better training and stats from the offset. This is much like how Jagged Alliance did it, as you could hire better soldiers for increased pay as the game progressed. The best soldiers would simply refuse to work for you until you've proven your worth. Idea #3 The Mentor System A buddy system where a recruit is paired with a more experienced soldier (must be 2 ranks lower) and gains experience at 75% of that of the soldier they are paired to. Effectively, your A-Team is bringing home their valuable experience for the B-Team to learn from, on a 1 to 1 basis. Fiddly to set up, but would be very strategic. Naturally, rank ups would occur only in combat, but stats could be gained which is the key thing. I know that at the moment there is a weapon training system, but I am not sure this would matter in the case of an A-Team wipe, since your stats will still be awful. So here are some ideas I had for methods to provide that experience without the super-training of XCOM:APOC.
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