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Solver

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Solver last won the day on November 29

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  1. The Vest slot sounds fun with the tradeoffs it brings into the game, as currently soldiers of sufficient strength can fill their backpack and carry way too much. Though I do enjoy the belt/backpack distinction where belt items are quicker to access. What about carrying out wounded soldiers (or captured aliens / items) though? A somewhat uncommon but very cool situation is if you carry a fallen comrade back to the dropship, I've used that in the Cleaner Intelligence Hub to successfully rescue a downed soldier. I hope that system doesn't go away.
  2. Yes, and that's exactly why X:CE ended up with (semi-)random maps eventually. For long-term replay value, you simply need too many maps for manual creation to be viable. Randomized maps are the only way to achieve that. Even limited randomisation, such as replacing buildings or rotating pre-defined square submaps adds massive value. This kind of game is at its best when you cannot predict what's going to happen and rotating a grocery store 180 degrees is a significant change because suddenly the lines of sight and fire are all different. So I firmly believe that X2, like any xcom-style game, needs 30-40 quality map templates that are then randomised at runtime, giving you thousands of possible maps. With purely static maps, you'd need a team with several map designers working on maps for 6+ months to provide a decent level of variety. And for several biomes, procedural maps have no in-game disadvantage I can think of. Forests, jungles, deserts and polar areas don't follow much logic, they can have any layout and the huts / cabins / vehicles, if any, can be more or less anywhere. Whatever mistakes could happen are certainly less counter-immersive than me recognising the specific jungle map right away so I remember where the impenetrable trees are.
  3. Legal issues would be dealing with Unity licenses and commercial plugins I assume? I loved your X1 maps @Skitso and I'd certainly be happy to help with technical issues for 3rd-party mapping after the Early Access builds, if there's something I can do to help that. I realise now I hadn't even mentioned map variety in my V24 feedback - this is because I had assumed (and still assume) that the lack of map variety is a known problem that will be addressed. I'm sure there will be more static maps but my assumption was also that procedural maps would be used to some extent.
  4. I played V24 to V24.6. Wasn't able to get to the time limit but after day 200 I was definitely playing on the same map, like the lumber yard, for the third time in the campaign. The maps are great. But I'm pretty sure I've seen all of them, at least on some biomes, there are a few maps I am very familiar with by now and I haven't even been able to get to the endgame yet.
  5. This is a personal design choice of course but I really disagree with this one. Map variety (the lack thereof) was one of the biggest issues in X1 as originally released. It's a major issue in X2 now, even though more maps will surely come. But even now in X2 (and I haven't played that much), I know what the entire map is like on turn 1. Oh, terror mission and I walk out in front of a gas station? Okay, that's the one with a restaurant on the next block and the roof of the grocery store that offers great firing lines. Woods map with one car in front and a workshop to the right of the dropship? That's the lumber yard map, trains up in the corner provide good cover and another workshop building on the opposite end is tricky to clear. X1 was the same initially, I knew the farm and industrial maps like the back of my hand. The problem with hand-crafted maps is that they take a lot of time to create and you need many to get the replay value up. Xcom-style games are very replayable but that replayability requires map variety. And it's not easily addressed by adding another two maps per biome, you need an extra dozen maps per biome to make any difference. To me, the possibility of "every building is an office" sounds great! Why couldn't I have one fight in a dense office tower district? I would consider the solution that X:CE adopted. In X:CE, there are the base game maps, the wonderful community-created static maps, but also random (actually procedural) maps. The key being, random maps are only picked when there are no other maps to choose from, there's also a repeat-tracking system (it's actually a bit probabilistic IIRC but that's details). With that, map repetition is not a thing in X:CE, you're very unlikely to encounter any repeats within a single campaign. Procedural forest/desert/arctic maps work wonderfully. Yes, the procedural maps can suffer from illogical placement in urban areas and it's visible with examples like a gas station with no entrance as you mention. But I find that to be a far, far lesser violation of my immersion than heading to the third terror mission in the same city block, where I blow up the same gas station again before turning to aliens in the same diner as last time. By the way, Firaxis learned this as well. Their first Xcom had static maps, which may have had a minimal degree of randomization with how cover was placed. That was consistently pointed out as one of the game's main weaknesses. Their Xcom 2 went for procedural generation, and that was very well received despite the occasional weird placement of stuff.
  6. After reading your responses Chris, I have a new point altogether. You talk about armour shredding and other armour-related features, which made me realise I didn't even consider armour to be a separate thing. I know it is, I see the number, but the way it works has been completely non-obvious to me so I mentally treated it just like additional HP for UFOs. If upcoming changes make armour more important, the game will also need to explain it much better.
  7. My experience in V24, and V23 before that, is that air combat is all about if you can fit enough torpedoes. The two-torpedo loadout is superior to any other. The reasons why that is the case seem fairly simple to me, not so sure about the solutions. The outcome of air combat is ultimately measured by two things - how much damage you did to he UFO and how much damage you took. Torpedoes provide optimal results on both counts. They do the most damage and their superior range allows them to be fired without entering UFO weapons range, so flying with torpedoes only provides the best outcome, almost every time. There is one small exception, which is wings with escorts. It's hard to hit escorts with torpedoes, although possible, but even with escorted wings the optimal tactic seems to be to ignore the escorts, hit the main UFO and retreat. It might be better to equip one plane with double cannons for anti-escort duty but I am not sure, so even this exception to torpedo superiority is partial at most. The basic problem then is IMO a simple one. The design intention is for various weapons to have different advantages but in reality nothing has an advantage over torpedoes in actual air combat, so the intention isn't fulfilled. I'm not quite sure how to address that but here are some ideas that should only require tweaks and not new mechanics: Differentiate UFOs more. Every UFO is the same in combat, at least against torpedoes. They have different firing areas and some other properties but it doesn't matter because torpedoes outrange everything so against your torpedo plane, all UFOs are the same. Maybe some UFO could have a "particle beam" type of weapon - very long range but in a narrow arc so you cannot outrange it with torpedoes and need evasive rolls. Another UFO could have "point defense" where it shoots down the first projectile aimed at it, so you benefit from using missiles instead of large torpedoes. Many ideas are possible but the point is to change some UFOs so that the "approach at max speed, fire torpedoes, hit retreat" tactic is no longer optimal for every case. Change how weapons affect the planes. Torpedoes currently prohibit evasive rolls but who needs rolls when you outrange everything anyway? A more relevant change would be to speed. Maybe torpedo planes are too slow to catch some UFOs. Especially if the speed is also affected on the geoscape. Or maybe a cannon-only loadout increases agility so your planes can make tighter turns. Or the cannon-only loadout improves the plane's stealth signature so it will not be fired upon before the plane itself fires and reveals itself. Let UFOs roll and make missiles guided? Or in general allow "main" UFOs to have some behavior that isn't flying in a straight line? Special mention for a potential new feature that doesn't have to be too complex - weather affecting air combat. No need to have a major mechanic here, I imagine weather as a random roll of modifiers when entering air combat. Say you have "low visibility", which reduces maximum weapon range and makes torpedoes weaker. Or you have "thunderstorm", affecting airplane speed, or "magnetic storm" that makes missiles possibly veer of course, etc. If it's just modifying some airplane/weapon properties for the duration of the combat, it's probably not a major implementation job, and could add an element of variety. There are a couple related issues that need addressing for various loadouts to be viable: Costs. The numbers are certainly off now, with laser cannons at 250k that's half a million for double laser cannons... too expensive, too much workshop time. If the goal is for the player to switch loadouts, they have to be affordable enough, otherwise the best strategy will in any way to focus on one loadout that works well. Rearm times. X2 airplanes rearm slowly (and refuel and repair as well). I think it's to prevent the 'wear them down' approach to air combat, not sure if that in itself is the right approach, but in any case a side effect is that it's too late to switch loadouts when UFOs show up. Ideally, I could use radar data to figure out what I'm likely looking at, switch loadouts and fly off, then possibly changing loadouts again for another target. With the slow rearm, this doesn't really work, which again means my only choice is to pre-select a general layout that is likely to work well for whatever shows up. As for X1 mods, I don't really have anything to recommend in the area of air combat. X-Division did lots of work there but the approach was to make air combat far more difficult so X-Div UFOs have powerful weapons, large firing areas, etc. It requires a lot more pausing and lots and lots of evasive rolls. While it's a well-implemented system, it's in my opinion a completely different direction from what X2 should have. My favourite modded addition there was a radar plane that has a good fuel reserve, a large onboard radar, but near-useless weaponry.
  8. On the dropship size, I like the idea of reducing it back to 8. I liked the early builds when it was 8 soldiers and I didn't like the change to 10. I've stopped complaining about that but with the early map sizes / alien counts, I suspect 8 will still feel better. Besides, the second dropship is available at a relatively early point in the game compared to X1. Might need to reevaluate my approach to the Cleaner intelligence hub though. I have developed a very nice tactic for completing it with 10 soldiers, missing two would make that mission harder.
  9. This is interesting! Even after your post I'm not convinced it's actually in (as in working). Aliens can fire at 50% TU, which I'm aware of because they can fire while suppressed, but I've seen aliens fire multiple shots on turn 1, which makes me doubt that this is working as intended. I don't know what the solution is here. 4 times out of 5, things work fine. There's smoke, there's multiple exits from the dropship, everything is fine. But occasionally, and this is especially once larger UFOs show up (and the map gets more crowded) you get an alien looking at the side of the dropship, another looking at the main ramp and then any attempt to shoot, throw smoke or do anything at all results in reaction fire right into the dropship, which feels more frustrating than honestly challenging.
  10. My ambition to play a campaign all the way through the end has probably been thwarted by the aliens deploying savegame-corrupting technology, but I do have a few more comments on gameplay. The late game needs an upgrade to medical centers that increases healing speed further. As your soldiers level up, they get more HP so there's a scaling effect to their wounds and, correspondingly, recovery times. Late-game soldiers routinely require over a month to recover after a hit, which is a bit too long. Air combat balance is essentially broken. The only right choice is to equip all planes with the best torpedoes you can build. They have a long range and hit hard, so the strategy is to hit UFOs with torpedoes and take them down in one go, while staying out of their weapons range. With the long rearm/refuel times, you may not have the time for a second sortie so that makes torpedoes even more important. A couple cannons are useful to keep around in case of Fighters but even that's optional. And they cost too much anyway, a Laser Cannon for a plane is 250k. The MARS laser cannon (or whatever it's called) was a letdown. I've come to really like the MARS after recent bug fixes, it's a nice mobile unit that I can use to scout ahead, draw reaction fire and do some damage. The rocket launcher is nice, I can blow an entire area up to remove cover and expose enemies while damaging them (the rocket is super-powerful in base defence missions, I fire a 3-rocket salvo at a cluster of 5-6 sebillians in a hangar and it was glorious). But the laser upgrade was, contrary to expectation, not explosive. It just fires a single high-damage bolt, much like a sniper rifle, leaving the MARS without its terrain-destroying ability. It felt like a downgrade. Speaking of destruction, is the building collapse mechanism not implemented yet? I've shot a couple buildings up very badly but they did not collapse. The morale system is currently irrelevant. I think I had one instance of a wounder soldier panicking and skipping the next turn. There's never any need to look at morale bars and I mostly forget the system exists. I'm not really sure what its goal is anyway, morale provides a good way for things to spiral out of control if you take too many casualties, but is that the only purpose of the system? Related to morale (probably) is Mind War. I have no idea what it does once again. On some later missions vs psionic aliens, the only effect I noticed was having endless messages every turn, "X is under mind war" or "X resisted mind war". In some ancient build a couple years ago Mind War had a tooltip, now it doesn't, and I failed to notice any effect whatsoever. Not sure if it's bugged, not implemented or not balanced. Very strangely, Mantids and Reapers were absent from my game except for a base attack at one point where a Reaper paid me a visit with a few Mantids. Other than that, I saw neither Reapers nor Mantids in any crash sites, landing sites or terror missions. Could be a coincidence but I played enough missions that it seems statistically unlikely. There's a silly exploit with base defences and power. You don't need enough generators to power your defence batteries, you can just power something else down and power the batteries once you see a UFO heading for the base.
  11. Not sure what gives you that thought? I imagine that the sequence was like this - I built the Gemini, used it in manual air combat, the bug triggered and broke the airplane, and that made the save structure fragile so it started bugging out in other places as well because of missing entities or whatever. If so, then everything should be just fine before the Gemini is built, or before it engages in the unfortunate combat.
  12. Turns out the game doesn't keep unlimited autosaves (might be a nice option for dev builds). So hard to know how useful this will be, but here's the latest save I have from this campaign where the Gemini is not present and everything is fine as far as I know. user_day190nogemini-22.json
  13. I'll have to do some digging, the Gemini had been broken for a long time before the saves here. I think I built it a while ago, did one interception with it and then it broke, but the Gemini issue seemed orthogonal to the other ones. I've done multiple ground missions (and air engagements) with the broken Gemini back at base, and things were fine. I also reloaded from my earliest save in this thread and tried to continue the game, it worked reasonably well - I've completed one crash site and am in the middle of another. It's gotten very annoying because of the advanced laser bugs (half my soldiers don't have ammo) but neither of the two crashes (after armour change or after a mission) has reoccurred.
  14. The 'weirdness' saves from https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/26429-v246-ctd-after-a-mission/ will do to see the bug, but starting a new thread because it's a different issue. In one of those saves, check the Aircraft listing of the African base. No Geminis in there. Click to the base view. There's a Hangar with a Gemini. I built that plane, my second Gemini, a while ago but it never became usable, it's just taking up space. If you click the hangar with it, you can access the Gemini's screen to equip it, and you can even relocate it to another base, which will correctly free up a Hangar spot at the African base, but the Gemini will never become available at its new base either.
  15. So per request for more info. Logs are overwritten, but trying to get a sequence of saves. This post-mission save was likely broken already when the mission started because it's a followup to the soldier equip CTD save: From the equipment crash save, I went for a mission right away, so the two saves are in sequence. Now, weirdness1 below is the earliest save I have where stuff got weird. Equipment is acting all weird in it and it can CTD. Accompanying log: weirdness1-output.zip user_weirdness1-17.jsonweirdness1-output.zip Unlikely to be useful, weirdness_ufo_in_air is just before weirdness1 (about to intercept the UFO in Africa) but is also broken, has the same crash. user_weirdness_ufo_in_air-18.json Then here we have weirdness1_earlier, the last working save. It's not long before weirdness_ufo_in_air. This save works, at least I can't make it CTD, and if you forward a few hours then the UFO which features in the other two saves will fly into Africa. user_weirdness1_earlier-19.json Possible hint: a short bit after loading weirdness1_earlier, self-recharge laser research will complete. That causes a lot of equipment stuff to happen automatically that could break something? On the other hand, when the research completes, I still cannot make the save CTD. Could be worth some extra testing though.
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