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Cynical

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Cynical last won the day on January 21

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  1. Wizardry 1-3 are before UO by about fifteen years; Ultima V predates it by nine years. Temple of Elemental Evil is actually the only example I listed that's newer than UO. Rogue was far from the only popular roguelike; I just went with the earliest example. If it makes you feel better, replace with ADOM or Angband, both of which will almost never throw unwinnable games at you. JA2 was able to get away with "start of combat" ironman because its start of combat save was before the start locations of every soldier were finalized, because the maps were fixed and revealed at the start of the fight, and because enemy AI was a lot less predictable. Also, JA2 used pre-seeded rolls, so saving and loading wouldn't help you get around the RNG. Xenonauts puts its combat autosave after the locations of enemies are all decided. Also, unlike JA2, in Xenonauts, you're not supposed to know the map layout when you land; figuring out where the UFO is is a part of the challenge (and knowing where the UFO is means you know where the enemy force is concentrated...); and the AI in Xenonauts is very predictable compared to JA2. I'm not speaking in theoreticals here -- on my first game of Xenonauts, I wasn't going Ironman but was limiting myself to autosaves, and found that whenever I reloaded that auto-save after a mission went south, it was completely trivial because I already knew where every single enemy would be and thus could rampage across the map with total impunity; once I realized this, I just stopped that game because it wasn't fun to play like that, and started my second game, in Ironman. On top of all of this, JA2's strategic layer barely existed and was just enough to act as the glue to hold things together; Xenonauts's strategic layer is a real part of the game. Finally, JA2 is really, really tough about soldier death; you can't lose more than about 2 or 3 dudes over a campaign without it being winnable. Xenonauts lets you win with casualties in the hundreds. There's a major difference in how forgiving the two games are, which makes a full-game ironman in JA2 somewhat inappropriate compared to Xenonauts; compounded by JA2's RPG elements meaning it throws fewer novel situations at you than Xenonauts and plays more the same between campaigns. In other words, different games have different modes that are appropriate. As for the discussion of "consistency vs. skill", consistency is skill. The end. Read the "An Aside on Skill" subheading here: https://kayin.moe/?p=936
  2. Nope, time was, RPGs would automatically delete all of your old saves and create a new save whenever certain bad events happened. Blackthorn killing party members in the torture chamber in Ultima V; Wizardry 1-3 blasting your old saves when characters died; Rogue and its successors; etc. More recently, Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil had an Ironman mode, back in 2003, long before "gaming as a service" was a thing. "Convenience saving" was a mid-to-late '90s PC gaming thing that was dropped when the XBox forced western and Japanese developers (the latter had never really given in to "save anywhere" schemes) to interact, thus causing western developers to see how bad of an idea it was. As for whether Ironman makes a game harder... imagine if I save at the start of every turn. I walk around a corner carelessly, get owned by a Reaper, and load the save; now, I know where the Reaper is, and can position myself accordingly. Saves are cheating, and no different than using god mode in an FPS.
  3. I figured that the weapon familiarity skills were just used as examples, and there would be other skills available to train at the base. I mean, IRL, soldiers do all sorts of stuff to train to improve endurance, strength, agility, etc; I'd like to think that with all of their fancy alien tech, the Xenonauts are smart enough to build a running track and an obstacle course somewhere. (EDIT: Also, as someone who's running a squad full of mostly privates through a bunch of lategame missions [I had a couple of alien base missions go really bad, and I play Ironman], the problem currently isn't soldier experience; it makes less difference than you think, it's more of a minor edge. The real problem is weapons, and how much Alien Alloy they cost, and the fact that the only way to get Alien Alloy is to win ground missions... which takes weapons... the Jeep is a savior, a powerful plasma weapon that doesn't require Alien Alloy to build is a huge deal when you're trying to recover from a bad spot.) (DOUBLE EDIT: ...and that's exactly how I just lost attempt #5. Can't build anything because I don't have any alloy, can't get alloy because I can't build anything. Ugh, 25 hours down the drain...)
  4. In one of the dev threads, they've already covered this -- it's going to be a cross-breed of typical X-Com style and Silent Storm: Sentinels training system. Some skill can only be gained by seeing combat, but you can train significantly while chilling out at home base.
  5. Given that they've stated that one of the design goals for their new strategic layer is that you lose games where you're losing more quickly, I don't think balance is going to be a problem. Imagine if in X1 if you didn't follow the proper "put your first base in the middle east, immediately drop a second air-only base in central America, add a third to cover Indochina + Australasia ASAP" strategy, you just game over'd in November 1979, instead of limping to February 1980 to die there like you do now -- there wouldn't be a balance issue, you'd get it right or the game would quickly end instead of creating a really unfun 10 hours where you can't really do much.
  6. ...I thought that the entire concept of Xenonauts-2 is that it's a shadow war with the Aliens infiltrating governments rather than overtly attacking like they do in the first Xenonauts?
  7. I actually tried Rocket Launcher on attempt #4; that was part of how I lost six guys on one turn and ended up wiping (seriously, how do you miss your target by 30 degrees?!?!) I've gotten to March 1980 on attempt #5, and think I've found something that's working -- I've stopped using assault rifles entirely, and instead run this: 2x Shield + Pistol or Shield + cattle prod 2x Sniper rifle with Shotgun in the backpack 2x machine gun 2x Rocket Launcher Start the mission with a basic UFO approach with shield acting as scout, sniper + machine acting as fire support, Rockets acting as cover destroyer (and also destroying the front door of the UFO). Usually during the "approach" phase of things I'll break into two four-man fireteams that stay close enough to offer each other support when needed. When it comes time to push in, have snipers switch to shotguns, and abuse the combination of teleporters, the low AP costs of pistols and shotguns, and reaction modifiers to just potshot like crazy.
  8. Cynical

    Easier recovery from catastrophe

    Agreed with the original poster. One bad turn trying to breach the top-floor of a UFO, and you lose an entire 15+ hours of a campaign. Xenonauts is far less forgiving about this than X-Com, to a horrible fault; the economy is tighter so you can't replace gear, and soldier experience is more important so you can't replace people. You're just done instantly and unrecoverably from one or two tiny mistakes, or even possibly just one or two bad die rolls.
  9. So, I just lost my fourth campaign to a wipe on the exact same UFO layout, and I really need help before I'm willing to spend another 10 hours to wipe in the exact same spot a fifth time. How the heck are you supposed to breach the upper floor of a landing ship if it's got Sebelians or Androns? It seems 100% impossible; I've tried everything, and nothing works. Blowing the doors open to not get pot-shotted is easy, but they just stay out of LoS of open doors; you have to run in. Shields don't help, because you're running into an open room and taking fire from lots of different angles. Grenades don't work; Sebelians at that point are too tough for stun grenades, and Alenium grenades don't do enough damage to even scratch them. Rushing doesn't work; you simply don't have enough DPS to get through Andron's health/Sebelian's HP regeneration. Trying to pot-shot from around corners doesn't work, even if you can do it without getting interrupted, they'll just regenerate any damage you can do. Suppression doesn't work; it never procs on these guys, and it's not like you're going to try to do a mission with nothing but machine guns anyways, so you'd never be able to suppress all of them. I'm completely out of ideas; it seems like once you start downing landing ships the game effectively ends, there's no way into that upper-level cockpit without wiping and losing four months worth of Workshop time on Armor/Weapons, which is a completely unrecoverable situation.
  10. I just played the demo, and I don't understand the reaction fire mechanics. I've been religiously saving enough TUs to always have a snapshot (at least) available at end-of-turn, but enemies can dance around in my line of sight all day and I don't get a reaction shot. Meanwhile, the aliens get a snapshot literally every single time I move within their vision. What causes the reaction shot to activate? Unrelated, but also, is there any way to change what direction a soldier is facing without having to move? I *really* miss this feature from JA2 and Silent Storm right now.
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