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About Shaska

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  1. Shaska

    Font Size and Chinook Load

    Max, I found it boring because the small amount of units you have available really limits your options. With so few men available, I don't feel like I can afford to take any risks, so in most of the missions, I end up just dashing to cover, scouting with a car, then advancing to the next piece of cover once I know it's safe. The game also give you a lot of different tools to handle different situations, but I can't really afford to specialize my units very much if I don't want to hurt my overall mission performance, so I have to bring enough short-to-medium ranged weapons that can handle both the approach to the UFO, as well as breaching it. Since I have to assume that I'll be taking casualties, I need to bring more of those than I need. Currently I can justify bringing a rocket launcher and a sniper due to the utility they provide, but once the AI is better, I'll probably have to drop one or both of them in favour of rifles, so I'll still have enough short-range units to breach UFOs, after taking casualties during the approach. Basically, I feel forced into a certain playstyle, and I can only imagine this gets more pronounced at higher difficulty levels, which is something I think is rather boring. More units would alleviate this problem.
  2. Shaska

    Font Size and Chinook Load

    I vote for just increasing dropship capacity in general. These small engagements are just so boring, especially in the start.
  3. That prevention system only really slows down hiring efforts. Instead of firing them, you simply bring them along to the mission, then execute them along with the last alien to get fresh recruits. It'll be more tedious, but you'll get all your soldiers over the threshold eventually. I like Moxars idea. You won't have to search for the best soldiers, and there is room for improving your soldiers a little. I'd say balance it around what rookies can carry. 5 extra grenades/mags isn't too much to be heavily imbalanced, but would still feel like a nice reward for keeping your soldier alive.
  4. Can't say much about it till I can give it a whirl, but I can say this: If you decide to go with the second system, especially if you make strength invisible, you'll end up having soldiers being hired the same way they were in X-Com. Large amount of soldiers are hired, then tested to see how much they can carry. If it is below a certain threshold, they will be considered useless and take the next plane back home. X-Com had this with bravery. Below 50 bravery? Fired. All other stats were secondary for picking who to keep. Personally I didn't enjoy that system very much.
  5. It might work well for assault troops and the like, but it would severely limit the usefulness of untrained heavy weapons troops. They need that extra strength to properly fire their weapons, and they are often the ones most loaded down by equipment they actually need. Combined with the fact that their weapons take a really long time to fire, you pretty much have a unit that is either doomed to be useless until his stats improve, or using a different weapon till they can use heavy weapons properly. A better solution might be to have loads above 80% capacity negatively effect your accuracy as well, meaning that you wouldn't just load up units that should be light on their feet and accurate, like a sniper, with all the junk they can carry, but a heavy weapons unit who isn't as negatively affected by the accuracy penalty would still be able to function. Another solution of course would be to bring back the energy stat from X-Com.
  6. Shaska

    Balancing Jackal armour costs

    I disagree. Alien units needs to be a step ahead of you, or you will lose that feeling that you're the underdogs, prevailing against impossible odds. Choosing what parts of your equipment to upgrade is, and should be, a vital part of the game. Fully equipping your entire squad and all your vehicles should be a long-term goal, else you'll have large parts of the game where you are simply waiting for something new. If you are having problems with losing men, try playing more defensively. Use only half of your TUs when you can, sprint between cover, use leapfrog manoeuvres, etc. Good tactics will do more to keep your soldiers alive than any armour you can produce. If costs are your biggest concern, consider that the Jackal armour will at most block one shot. A soldier can take one shot before dying. Soldiers are 10k each, Jackal armour 30k. Spending your money on more meat for the grinder is cheaper than equipping your current squad with armour. Also, if you are trying to equip all 15 of your soldiers with armour, then you are doing something wrong. It would be better to unequip the armour from a soldier sitting a mission out, and using it for an active soldier, than making armour for soldiers that aren't even seeing combat.
  7. TU I agree, it should be based on how many percent of a soldiers TUs he spent, rather than a flat number. Increasing the amount of TUs spent needed to increase it based on individual soldiers TU capacity would also be a decent way to handle it. Strength Your first solution is probably the best of the 2, but you still end up with the same problem: Loading up a soldier with enough gear to level him up. It is a bit more interesting than the current system however, and I can't really come up with anything better at the moment. Accuracy I would say remove the range limitations. Assign more points for hitting the target than missing it. Only assign points if something was targeted, and there was a clear line of sight to the target (So you can't just aim at an alien behind a wall and farm XP, but don't count partial cover in the equation), assign more points for hitting the target from a longer range, and finally assign more points based on the amount of TU's that went into the shot, so aimed shots gives you more experience than a couple of quick snap shots. This would be a more interesting way to handle it, but it's also rather complicated unfortunately. Reflexes Aliens don't currently move much, so it's hard to get a good idea of how well this stat currently improves. Bravery Unit cap is not currently very high, so you won't feel the effect of morale much till either the unit count increased or bravery is nerfed. Resilience I like it the way it is. Might be a bit too good though, as highly trained soldiers can take quite a beating.
  8. Shaska

    Unlimited ammo a good thing?

    Do I send one interceptor out with improved missiles to take that UFO down, or do I send out two of them with standard missiles to keep down costs, at the expense of leaving me vulnerable to any UFOs that might appear while they're rearming/refuelling/repairing? Should I use my resources on giving my soldiers laser weapons, or will I be better off improving my AV capabilities? Are improved grenades important enough to my current strategy to warrant large-scale production, or should I just keep enough around for my best soldiers, to get the most bang for my buck? My stocks are running low. Should I divert resources to produce more, or is my current project more important? vs I only need to send one interceptor to handle this UFO. If another appears, I will not be caught with my pants down. While I am producing laser weapons, I can equip some more of my soldiers with rocket launchers and improved rockets, so I don't have to worry about being out-gunned. My current project is important. Luckily, there should be no reason to interrupt it. My workshop is empty, and my stock of alenium is growing steadily. I am wasting resources, but there is nothing I need to build. I will however be able to respond immediately to any demand. The problem with free, pure upgrades like the alenium explosives, is that they're boring. They don't introduce any new variables you have to consider, problems you have to overcome or decisions you have to weigh. Trade-offs adds depth to a game, and makes the experience more enjoyable and challenging overall. The downside is of course that the trade-off style of upgrades makes it less accessible to the more casual gamers, whom are often more interested in getting into the meat of the game, rather than micromanaging ammunition stocks, resources, etc. Personally though, I'd prefer having to manufacture all non-terrestrial weapons and equipment, because that's the kind of play style I enjoy the most.
  9. I've been playing the beta for a few days now, and I wanted to post some feedback on my experiences with it. I played the alpha for a bit as well, but I didn't get too far due to not wanting to get too much of the game spoiled. Starting with the most important thing first: The Tactical Layer: Squad Size Landing parties currently feel very small, especially in the early game. It doesn't allow for that much flexibility in tactics, and combined with the fact that bringing a vehicle instead of 2 more soldiers is a no-brainer, you really don't have many ways to approach any given problem. From reading the forum I've noticed that reducing it to 8-10-12 is under consideration. I'm hoping you'll consider increasing it as well, to something like 12-16-20, and making a vehicle take 4 soldier slots, so that bringing one is an actual decision, rather than being the best course of action. Maps Overall I think the maps are very well designed, allowing for multiple routes to an objective, and such. Despite this however, they manage to feel very linear. In the majority of the maps I've played, you have the landing craft on one side of the map, and the UFO on the other side. Most of them also don't seem to be very wide, making them feel more like corridors than anything, meaning that despite not knowing where the UFO is, I always know exactly where to look, even if it's the first time I play the map. Difficulty So far I've found ground combat to be incredibly easy and thus unrewarding. While I'm sure a lot of this stems from the AI being unfinished, I believe a lot of it is also a product of the corridor-like map design and low unit cap. I'm currently able to cover most of the map with a line of soldier, leaving very few dark corners for aliens to hide in and flank me from, and the low unit cap means that the alien presence needs to be proportionally low, which limits their options, just like mine are similarly limited. Another thing would be that since the first encounter, I've felt on even footing with the aliens. Assault rifles vs plasma pistols, lasers and armor versus plasma rifles, plasma vs plasma, I was never really playing catch-up, never really that one step behind. I did actually take a bit of a beating at first, but this was mostly because I was still learning how to best use the games features. In fact I still have 4 people on in my 6-man team that have been on every mission so far (meaning they have never even been heavily wounded in combat), which really illustrates how little danger the alien threat actually poses. The Cover System I really like the cover system overall, but it does feel a bit wonky and unintuitive at times. Take this situation for example: One unit is behind a cover that is 2 squares long, aiming at another unit that is not behind cover. The game ignores the first square of cover for the sake of aiming, but the cover in the next square is taken into consideration, even though you wouldn't logically hit it from that position unless you were aiming for it. Another thing would be shooting past several unconnected pieces of cover. From the way game presents it, it seems that each piece of cover is taken into consideration individually, instead of considering how much of the target is obscured by all the pieces of cover between you as a whole. I don't know exactly how the game calculates this however, so I might be wrong about this. Miscellaneous The sight range of your soldiers is pretty low. I'd love to see it increased a bit to allow for longer-range combat. The Reapers feel a bit underpowered in my experience. They'll wreck havoc on your team if they get close, but that doesn't seem to happen much unless they catch you by surprise. Could probably benefit from a small health boost. The Strategic Layer: Research & Development It's currently a bit strange. Research seems to be easily handled by a 15-man team through most of the game. Having autopsies done instantly seems strange as well, basically boiling down to being a damage bonus for meeting a race for the first time, rather than something you'd prioritize when you need it. Manufacturing scales up nicely at first, but suddenly jumps immensely, to the point where you suddenly need to build 3-4 extra workshops to get things done in time. A smoother increase to that point would be nice. Economy Feels a bit strange. Sometimes I'll be scraping by, until the council bails me out. Other times I'll be rolling around in cash, not even sure what to do with it all (though that is not a "problem" I have for very long). One thing is always constant though: I never really seem able to afford building, expanding and outfitting a second base. I'd make an argument for allowing manufacturing to be profitable, but that is already being discussed elsewhere it seems. Miscellaneous Air Combat: Feels pretty balanced, and it's quite fun. Kinda trivial once you get the hang of it, but that is to be expected really. Xenopedia: Love it, looking forward to it being complete. If possible I'd love to have individual pages about each weapon, displaying their stats, TU requirements, firing modes, etc. Especially for alien weapons, so I can better work out if they have any flaws I can exploit. Stats: I'm lacking a general overview of alien activity. It's hard to get an idea about what is going on in the world outside of my radar range. Bugs: Vanishing shots: A weapon will sometimes shoot, but not produce any projectiles. Seems to be related to the weapon running out of ammo while burst-firing. Equipment disappearing: All of a soldiers equipment will occasionally disappear forever. Seems to be related to an injured soldier being fully healed. Item duplication: At one point I was able to duplicate plasma rifles. I got the pop-up that my plasma rifles were done being manufactured. When I entered the manufacturing screen through the button in the pop-up, it still showed 1 still being in production, but 99% complete. I then went over to the soldier loadout screen, and removed a plasma rifle from a soldier that showed 0/10 (or whatever the ammo count is for it) left in the magazine. When I re-added it to the soldiers inventory, my stock of plasma rifles were not reduced, and I was able to remove and re-add it to duplicate as many as I wished. Buzzard armor: Throwing a grenade uses the unarmored sprite. When moving the soldier wearing it will often vanish, but a very large image of him moving will appear somewhere on the screen. The jumping mechanics is wonky, and often doesn't work at all. Fire and smoke will occasionally be visible in unexplored areas. Taking a wounded soldier with you into ground combat will allow you to fully heal his wounds with a medkit. Displayed chance-to-hit a target behind cover seems off. I am able to hit targets displaying 4% hit chance way more often than should be statistically possible. Soldiers that are KIA, and reported as such on the score screen, sometimes seem to show up injured in the medbay. Throughout the game magazines are incorrectly referred to as clips. These are not interchangeable terms (I know this seems like a small issue, but this is what it sounds like when you know the difference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRhGPVYRsOY ). Encountered a door I was unable to enter: With all that being said though, I'm having a blast with the game. It's a lot of fun, even in its current unfinished state. Good luck with the beta, and I hope this wall of text is at least somewhat useful.