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John Knee

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  1. John Knee

    Xenonauts-2 July Update!

    One of the things I would also have loved to have seen but never suggested as it would never have been included were the introduction of drones. On the basis that they are small, quick, nimble and delicate in real life, a) enemies would have a shot accuracy penalty (small target = harder to hit) b) would have long movement distance per TU (quick) c) Have a dodge ability (nimble) d) Have really low health and would be at risk to being one shot by any weapon with any half decent level of power. They would need to be controlled by a solder with a remote control and any movement and actions taken by the drone would be taken from the solder’s TU pool. On the basis of real life, the drone will as per standard be fitted with a small camera so that the controller can fly it when out of sight plus a small flashlight that can be turned on and off – so when used to scout forward, the light on will give better visibility at night but will also give its position away. As per real life drones, the drone will have a generous but limited range from the controller (when being controlled – if the drone is flown to a point then the controller wanders off, it’ll just hover there until the controller is in range). Of course, you’d be able to research the controller box so that it is has a better range. It’ll start with just the camera and flashlight so the drone will nothing better than a scout. But with research it could develop: 1) Weapon holder which you can place 3 weapon types: Small machine gun – not very powerful and fires in quick bursts so that the recoil does not send the drone flying backwards. Useful against lightly armoured / HP aliens or any injured aliens needing finishing off. Small sawn-off shotgun – limited 2-3 barrel variant with rounds pre-installed. Powerful but very short ranged. Cattle Prod – for those times when you simply want to stun something and knock them unconscious. Limited battery life and the player has to select the power of the zap – Level one for low level aliens, level two for higher level aliens and level three and four to zap any enemy robotics or to try and kill an alien rather than simply stun. May also require hand held cattle prod to be developed first. (the different zap levels are the equivalent of a solder shooting single shot or automatic) When running out of ammo / charge, it will need to either fly to the controller or a special spot in the ship where new ammo can be added. 2) Inventory Bay which can hold up to 4 items that a soldier can normally carry such as ammo, grenades, med kits etc. 3) Bomb Bay which can carry up to two grenades (any sort carried by solders) which can be dropped individually or together. Remember to have enough TUs left in which to fly out of the blast range! The Bomb Bay can only be researched once the Inventory Bay has been built. 4) Laser Designator which would be researchable once a hand held laser designator was researched for the solder as part of the Mortar MARS idea. 5) Night sight Camera – so for night missions your drone can scout without needing to turn on the flashlight and give itself away 6) IR Camera – its ability to detect heat means it can sense aliens who might be behind a wall or fence. It should be enough that it can sense only without being able to easily identify what sort of alien it is. Possibly only researchable after Night Sight Camera has been built. 7) MOAB Device – or Mother of all Bombs, this is strapped to the drone and turns the drone into a flying bomb with a big bang. Inspired by the old Blaster Bomb from the original X-Com, it’ll find it’s own waypoints and detonate once it hits its target. Downside is that the drown is destroyed so should only be considered on extreme missions. Only researchable once more powerful grenades / explosives have been researched. The above was part of an idea of a tinkerers workshop (or rather a separate tech tree once a workshop was built) where you could research things like radio controlled cars with cameras / flashflight as a scout device or maybe with a carry case where the controller could pull the pin on a grenade, put it in the case and then drive the car next to an alien – naturally the car would be destroyed. Unlike the drone which can fly over walls etc, the car would only be able to drive over solid ground.
  2. John Knee

    Xenonauts-2 July Update!

    To quote from the March update (https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/21010-xenonauts-2-march-update/): When I backed the kickstarter, I used to glance at the forums quite regularly but since I don't have extensive experience of playing X1 then I never really commented and left it to more experienced campaigners to speak. I'm exaggerating a bit but at the start the tone suggested as if Xenonauts 2 would be like Xenonaut 1 but with a huge DLC installed with extra shiny buttons that would offer greater strategy and features. I think a proportion of the player base feel as if the final game will end up being Xenonauts 1 but with a few mods installed that tweaks the game and installs a few "nice to have" features.
  3. John Knee

    Xenonauts-2 July Update!

    There is a difference between a human and robot fired mortar - with a robot version you tell the computer how far away you want to shoot and the direction and it will accurately calculate the angles and fire. In the case of infantry fired mortars, there is a bit of guesswork and at long range, the difference in distance between an angle of 45% and 45.1% can easily throw the range off by meters. The size of the mortar is limited for humans based upon carrying ability. A mortar on a chassis can be a lot larger and can carry heavier and more powerful shells. And mounted mortars generally shoot longer range. Summary: A MARS Mortar would be more powerful and accurate than an infantry carried variation "which is not good". Where the human has an advantage is once the limited number of shells have been fired, the solder can whip out an assault rifle and continue to fight. A mortar on an MARS becomes useless and thus the MARS becomes unable to fight. A human can enter grounded UFOs and buildings which a MARS may struggle to do - even if the side of the building is sufficiently blasted that it could drive in, the mortar would simply shoot the roof above it and damage itself. I do agree with you that we will never get a mortar for the MARS. It is a shame as it would be something that would give huge tactical advantages and would be inherently super powerful on certain semi-open maps where there are a number of spread out buildings that aliens could be hiding behind. And it would be majorly nerfed on other maps where it is either completely open (better off taking a sniper) or heavily dense in buildings (where aliens are hiding in rather than in the open where the shell would fall on their heads). Depending on the location, the player has to decide if it is better to take the MARS with a Mortar, the MARS with a different weapon, or to take a sniper or assault solder instead.
  4. John Knee

    Xenonauts-2 July Update!

    I need to confess I haven't booted up Xenonauts for a few months since Mount and Blade 2 came out so I am out of sync as to changes since then - please don't ban me Some parts of the update strongly remind me of the modular system employed in the X-Com wannabe UFO:Aftershock - especially the hover chassis part. Could I at this late stage suggest a 4th turret type? I am thinking of the Mortar. The main characteristics is that unlike the other turret types, it is a high arc indirect and has the following benefits over the other turret types: a) can theoretically hit targets have a map away so can offer genuine long range support without getting into danger. b) due to the high arc nature of the firing, it can hit things behind or on the roof of buildings and can therefore can theoretically hit enemies you know is there but can't shoot at without putting your soldiers at risk. c) you can target enemies without the enemy getting a lock on where your soldiers are if they are still in cover and haven't revealed themselves. Downside a) Delay between shots for the turret to put a new shell into position to fire. b) Has no back up weapon if attacked at close range. c) Accuracy depends on factors explained below If the target is within visual range of the Mortar MARS, then accuracy of one square either side of targetted square. If the target is not within visual range but has another soldier spotting the target, then accuracy is within 3 squares of targetted square If the target is not visually spotted, and the round is being fired purely on guesswork, then it is accurate with 7 squares of targetted square. The aim will be 100% accurate if your team has developed a hand held laser designator device that is pointing at the intended target. The mortar will be able to fire a range of warheads of which a limited number of any combination can be selected prior to the fight: a) HE round - basically a grenade b) Napalm bomb - less initial bang but does fire damage over several rounds c) Acid Bomb - as per Napalm bomb but burns off enemy armour d) Airburst Bomb - like the HE round but explodes while in the air so AOE is wider but less damage given. e) Smoke Grenades f) Flares - lights up a large area which slowly gets smaller over several turns as the flare on a parachute slowly falls. Once on the ground it has the residing glow of a normal glowstick. g) Flashbangs - aka stun grenades h) ECM round - stun grenades for anything using electronics. Obviously most of these can be upgraded into more powerful forms over time.
  5. John Knee

    Targeting Issues

    Is it a case that when you spin the view, the view zooms out a level which means although the targetter appears to be on the enemy (or soldier), it is actually pointing at a square several places over and one level up? I think there have been a number of times where I have spun the view and where the targetter has momentarily hovered over a building and caused the game to correct itself by changing the level. I fixed by zooming in (or out where applicable). On some maps the thing that indicates what level you are on isn't always clear. It might be worth testing this theory as there might not be a bug per se. Or at least a quick zoom in (and out) might fix it.
  6. Judging from the recent set of postings from people, I suspect quite a few people didn't know about this thread until the recent kickstarter e-mail (myself included). Looking at the date of the original post, I suspect Goldhawk are already a decent way into programming the changes outlined. Despite this, I will add my own comments albeit late. In context of my views, I haven't played the original and have only periodically played the new game so by no means an expert - hence maybe a little bit of a wishlist on my part but... Most of the following is on the assumption that it is still turn based although quite a bit would work in a non-turn based system. Interceptor Components "One of the main things I want to experiment with is to have fewer types of interceptor" - the common idea is to have three types of interceptors consisting of 1) a small, highly manoeuvrable craft that is hard to hit but is limited on the amount of weapons it can carry. 2) a heavy "bomber" that is slower, less manoeuvrable but can carry heavier hitting payloads 3) the "middle of the road" craft. From a tactical point of view, you may choose a heavy bomber with a couple of the smaller aircraft who do the closing down and acting as a decoy while the heavy aircraft gets into range. This may play out interestingly with "This will allow us to set some combats up as a chase where the UFO is trying to get far enough away from your planes to push them off the edge of the map". Depending on what UFOs you identify as intercepting, you might well choose a different combination of interceptors. One idea to put forth is the idea of having a two pilot interceptor where you have one pilot responsible for flying and the other for weapons. This would be an interesting variation if you go down the path of pilots with individual skills - you might get a better impact from a good pilot and gunner flying together but eggs in one basket etc. Clouds "The idea is that combatants can move through clouds freely but they would block the fire arcs of weapons (and missiles wouldn't make course adjustments while flying through them)." - this makes no narrative sense. Unless the missile is TV-Optic guided like a Maverick anti-tank missile, there is no reason why a heat seeking or radar guided missile would get confused by a cloud. What makes narrative sense would be to classify the clouds in the following way: Light clouds - has a relative small aiming penalty when firing cannons or any weapon where the pilot would presumably put the target in the cross hairs and pull a trigger. Missile act as normal Heavy Clouds - can be used to hide in with high aiming penalties when firing cannons to the point you 'd probably avoid using such weapons. Thunder Storm - RARE. As per heavy clouds but with the added penalty of playing havoc with the electronics and aiming systems of missiles. There could be visual clue that a bolt of lighting will happen in the next turn which may alter what you planned to do next. Special Equipment: "we'll also likely be experimenting with some other types of equipment that weren't in X1, such as turret weapons that are capable of rotating their fire arcs, or shields." - arrrrrrrgh. Turrets on a plane, god no. Logically these turrets are computer controlled so would either be 100% accurate and OPed or as bad as the turrets in Star Wars or the original Battlestar Gallatica which despite being radar and computer controlled never actually hit anything except for its own ship and only actually hit when the craft flew directly at the turret (and even then took several shots before it hit). Special equipment I'd like to see (and I'm not an expert so some of these might already exist) External fuel tanks to increase the range of crafts. JATO rockets - these are used in real lift to help heavy aircrafts take off on shortish runways. In X2 then this would mean the aircraft could go from the back of the screen to 2/3rd up and enable it to be in range for its cannons in one turn. Each rocket is usable once per mission. Parachute - kind of an anti-JATO rocket that means an aircraft close behind the UFO and in danger of being destroyed can rapidly lose speed and drop out of the battle. Usable once per mission and when used almost guarantees you won't be hit upon retreating. "Fake Damage" pod. In WW2, some submarines had compartments which when released would see a load of oil and metal float to the surface and to fake a sinking so that the destroyers above would stop dropping charges and leave. Maybe a device that fakes damage to the aircraft so that the enemy assumes is fatally damaged and will target a different aircraft instead? Cloud Projector - if you are going to have clouds then you could have a projector that shines a light of your ship in front of you and "project" an image of a ship in front of you. This might fool some types of enemy weapons. Pilots "With regards to pilots I'm just thinking that each aircraft gains experience in combat and can level up perhaps three or five times, and gains +Accuracy on its weapons and +Evade on the plane. " - this doesn't make narrative sense. Why would an aircraft get better because it survived a mission?? It would make sense to keep the aircraft itself remain the same (with the same default characteristics if you copied the 3 aircraft types I mentioned earlier) but the pilots improve. As per the soldiers you could have a skill for flying (modifier when avoiding attacks), shooting (modifier for shooting accuracy - different skill for missiles and cannons?) Stamina (less important in a fight, but pilots need to sleep and recover between flights and the better the stamina the quicker to be at 100% when next flying) Bravery which determines if a pilot will fire missiles at the maximum range or is prepared to get in closer when the odds of hitting is maximised. On top of this, some pilots might get random "specials" such as: Quick reactions - bonus to evasion 20/20 Vision - not impacted by aiming penalties in light clouds (see prior comments) Mechanic - is able to make minor repairs in flight and therefore recover a small amount of aircraft health (repairs capped so not OP) Short Sleeper - suffers from Short Sleeper Syndrome which means they need minimal sleep to function. Linking together all my air module comments, upon identifying a UFO in the sky, the first bit of strategy is to decide on the aircraft type (three small aircrafts to take on a drone or scout type ship or some heavy hitters against a bit battleship?), the type of pilots (so you might use one small aircraft as a decoy with a Quick Reaction pilot with a couple of big hitters) and then have a decision on weapon make up. "Obviously asking players to issue orders to all of their planes every few seconds wasn't an option as every combat would take hours" Here is an idea that would make it work - you only actively control a single fighter and at the beginning of the fight at turn zero you issue orders of how you'd want the rest to fight. So if you are fighter one (on the left hand side) you can select fighter 2 (on the right hand side) and give the order: FOLLOW ME + IMITATE with such an order, when you move your fighter forward and shoot a missile, fighter 2 will also move forward and shot a missile. If in the next turn you hold position and shoot your cannons, then fighter two will also hold position and shot their cannons. Other variations could be: FOLLOW ME + FIRE AT WILL - will copy your position but will shoot if a weapon is in range. FOLLOW ME + FIRE AT OPTIMUM RANGE - will copy your position but will shoot once once it has moved a block closer than the maximum range of the weapon. For fighter three (in the middle of your fighters) who might be a heavy hitting fighter, then the order might be: SHOOT AT MAXIMUM RANGE at which point it will advance until in missile range and will fire off missiles each turn until it has run out - at which point it'll advance until it gets into range of it's next weapon (say cannons). Other options could be ADVANCE AND SHOOT - fighter will keep moving forward and will use the most powerful weapon that is in range ADVANCE AS DECOY (PURE) - fighter will make itself the most advanced fighter and will adopt evasive manoeuvres (bonus to evasion - maybe the ship could do a wiggling motion to reflect this) ADVANCE AS DECOY (POT SHOT) - if the enemy shot at a different fighter in the previous turn, it'll fire a weapon to get the enemy ship's attention that round. KAMIKAZE - the fighter is a shot away from dying and is too close to run away then why not Thunderchild it heroically? And congratulations you get the "Ram Raid" achievement. There are other simple commands you can do - "ATTACK NEAREST" if there are multiple enemies etc. Once you have selected the order then the computer will carry it out while you focus on just your craft. Of course there is always the option to radio new orders (that'll come into effect the follow turn) The main complaint is the need to constantly give three sets of (probably identical) orders every turn *yawn*. There is nothing to stop you from creating a set of default battle plans in the hanger that you can select based at the start of the battle. "If an aircraft is shot down shouldn’t there be a chance that the pilot ejected? Perhaps new missions to rescue downed pilots"? (copied from someone else's post) If Chris isn't into the idea of you wanting to rescue your downed pilots in principle then it would be a great one off side mission where the reward is one kick ass elite pilot levelled to however far you are in the game at the time. Edit: an idea I forgot to add: Camouflage painting of your aircrafts. If have a choice of paint colour schemes for your aircraft: Sandy - makes the fighter harder to see and hit if over a desert Blue - makes fighter harder to see and hit if over the ocean Night Sky Black - make fighter harder to see and hit if fighting at night. Snow White - makes fighter harder to see and hit if fighting over the north or south pole. Green / Brown - makes fighter harder to see and hit if fighting over the Amazon rain forest etc. Depending on where your base is might see your fighters doing more combat over certain terrains more so there might be a minor advantage in your colour scheme, although you will probably be punished if painted in Snow White at night and vice versa.