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Everything posted by Solver

  1. I like these ideas. Orbital bombardment would be raising the stakes, which is a good thing. X1 is a game about an alien invasion but the stakes somehow never feel high. It's also true that a loss takes forever. I've tested what happens in X1 if I stop doing anything (just fast-forward without launching any aircraft), and it takes 3-4 months to lose even in that case. If Orbital Bombardment does 60 relations damage per month, that means a high-relations region can survive an entire month of bombardment without any positive relations events, which sounds good to me for a first implementation. Technology proliferation sounds great. I expect that the gameplay effect of upgraded local forces would not be very significant, but this kind of feature is great for flavour. It might be a good tie-in to another request of mine, different local forces units on different maps. A military base map should feature friendly soldiers that are decent fighters, while armed farmers should be less Rambo. Not sure about the gameplay particulars of signal uplinks, but I'm glad to see an idea that expands the gameplay to some Geoscape locations, a bit like earlier X2 design ideas. There's currently nothing on the Geoscape except your bases, which I consider to be a flaw. Infiltrator assassination missions sound amazing. Variety in mission objectives is great to have, and having a mission where you're encouraged to minimize fatalities would be a great change of pace. I can imagine it would be very satisfying to capture the infiltrator with no casualties among the guards. Careful balancing is needed here (and for terror missions!) to make sure that the fate of the locals actually matters.
  2. Solver

    Xenonauts-2 December Update

    Merry Christmas and happy holiday season to everyone at Goldhawk - your effort in working on Xenonauts 2 is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to seeing how it develops in the next few months
  3. The issue there is mainly with the UI. It wouldn't be too difficult to increase the amount of soldiers that can technically be on a mission, but there wouldn't be any UI to support that. So as things are, 16 soldiers is a hard limit.
  4. Solver

    List of Variables and Formulas?

    Ah right, that recoil is a penalty that should get applied to heavy weapons like LMGs. If the soldier isn't wearing a strength-enhancing armour suit, then the soldier's effective accuracy stat will be further modified by Max(0, (recoil / 100) - strength). Since recoil / 100 < strength for all vanilla weapons anyway, that's yet another bugged formula and wouldn't actually modify anything. New X:CE variables are documented, as for the old stuff, it's of course known, or can be looked up in any case, but it's not documented. There are probably a few hundred variables just in gameconfig/weapons/weapons_gc/aiprops files, and documenting them all accurately would be a lot of work.
  5. Solver

    List of Variables and Formulas?

    Do you mean something else perhaps? There's no hpLimit (or hp_limit or anything similar) in that file. What do you mean by recoil? Accuracy? Scatter? There's no variable that the game calls recoil. Not even close, unfortunately. What you see on this subforum is all there is, as far as I'm aware. Frankly it's not always easy to figure out how something is calculated, many things in the game can have a ton of different modifiers. The best bet, if you want anything specific, is to just ask here.
  6. They gain a certain amount of points per event though, taking/giving reaction fire once may be insufficient.
  7. I'm happy to report that the source code lines for reflexes progress have never been touched in X:CE, therefore it's the same behavior as vanilla.
  8. But that's just how quickly they gain their reflexes stats, you cannot change the circumstances under which you gain reflexes. Then again, it's already as the OP wanted - troops do indeed improve their reactions also from taking reaction fire.
  9. Sorry to disappoint, the reaction fire mechanic isn't something you can tweak.
  10. I understand it's annoying to work with long strings in the UI, but this excludes too many soldiers with common, realistic names from certain countries. Which will probably be an issue once you start adding the Kickstarter ones. And would be an issue for mods that add more soldiers from other geographical regions.
  11. Since the discussion has turned to secondary weapons balance again, it bears repeating that melee weapons are broken balance-wise, primarily due to their low accuracy. I've encountered situations where I send a soldier up to an alien with a stun baton, miss 3 times, which then leaves the soldier dead. The combat knife is even worse of course.
  12. Smoke might need some thought, yes. While I am not a fan of artificial limits on items you carry, such as limiting smoke to 1 per soldier, smoke grenades are too powerful currently. They pretty much act like a wall, offering perfect cover for your exposed soldiers, protecting a flank, etc. I see a few possibilities for improving smoke balance. 1. Make it reduce accuracy significantly instead of just setting it to 0. Units in smoke should still be theoretically possible to hit, although rarely. In X1, accuracy would be reduced for each smoke tile in the firing path. Importantly, this change means units in smoke can get suppressed. 2. Let the smoke build up over one turn. Currently, the smoke grenade pops and you get the thick cloud, which then partially dissipates the next turn. Smoke buildup should perhaps be the same - the grenade pops and only covers some tiles in smoke. Say, the grenade tile itself, and then a 50% chance for each tile within 2. Then on the next turn let the smoke screen reach its full size. 3. Changes to alien AI. Let the aliens exploit your smoke by running into it and hiding. Make them throw grenades into smoke. I suspect that slowing down the buildup of smoke in particular would improve the game. It would make smoke much harder to use as an "oh shit" button to give perfect protection to a soldier caught in a bad position, while encouraging planned use of smoke such as crossing a dangerous open area after throwing a couple of smokes and waiting for them to build a thick cloud.
  13. On the subject of secondary weapons. My general view of them has been that they (should) have two roles. One is a cheap, TU-wise, backup weapon. Especially the pistol. The other role is for close-quarters combat, such as in the UFO, for soldiers whose main weapon isn't a good fit for that. For the pistol to work as such a backup weapon, the changes by Max seem very much the right path to take. But for the other case, I think the game needs to penalize certain weapons at close distances. The sniper rifle shouldn't be useful in UFOs or a building's corridors. A sniper soldier that has to fight in close quarters should rely on the secondary.
  14. Solver

    Modular Armour System

    From what I understand, Tactical and Wolf have the same modules planned, which then makes Wolf armour a plain upgrade over the starting tactical armour.
  15. Solver

    UFO Roofs Indestructable?

    In the original X-Com, with certain UFOs it was very cool to blow some holes in the roof and simultaneously assault from there and from the ground. If there are no technical hurdles, roofs should also be made destructible now.
  16. Solver

    Modular Armour System

    I like the system overall. While armour in X1 didn't seem to be a big problem to me, the modular system as proposed is a clear improvement. One minor point from a UI and modding perspective. Already in V9, the old armour dropdown is back. I think it's significantly worse UX, and also the icons for modules would potentially be difficult if (when) modders add many modules. How to display the icons then? Proposal: make armour its own equipment tab (again), where each of the three armour types is an item, and the modules are displayed next to each in a grid, similar to how ammo is displayed next to weapons.
  17. Yeah but you can build two hangars + radar, or three hangars right away in X2 as well. It makes your base look less pretty perhaps, but that's what you get when rushing construction. Otherwise you end up having scenarios where you can cancel the production of a building that connects your lift to another under-construction building. You have to either disallow that or handle it... what does the extra complexity get you really?
  18. I'd not allow it, but decrease the Access Lift construction time a bit. I think it's reasonable to have a "start-up time" for bases, and it also makes more sense that you need to finish something before expanding farthre out.
  19. Hmm, they definitely feel smaller in X1/X2 then in X-Com (which I do not mean as a bad thing). Perhaps it's because of the AI, which in the 90s was quite prone to moving towards the edges and corners, whereas the aliens in Xenonauts rarely end up stuck there. I'd like to comment more on maps with buildings, because that really ties into issues with secondary weapons, but I've seen too few terror missions in X2, I'll comment after a couple more.
  20. Thanks Chris, it's very useful to see the thinking behind some decisions. With that, I can make some more specific comments. Very interesting, because I never got the impression that the intention was to give you energy weapons. My feeling was that converted weapons exist as a cheaply manufactured suboptimal solution, as in, you'd rather have lasers, but can use converted weapons to save money and workshop hours, at the expense of having less suitable weapons. Hence the high TU costs. So it might work to make that the niche - cheap, limited by alien ammo, rather powerful, a bit unwieldy. If there's time, a solid pass on the economy would be on my wishlist. I often played X1 with a small personal mod that basically decreased Alloys and Alenium from missions, and increased the amounts required for production. It would be great to have a real resource economy. And a great opportunity to make landed UFOs more attractive by increasing Alloy rewards from them. I would say in general, a good starting point is to assume X1 provided twice as many alloys as it should have. Okay, I think that's a solid goal. I don't think it works well though. The early X-Com battles also took place on bigger maps, versus more aliens. The maps in Xenonauts are smaller, more concentrated, with more functional cover, and alien crews are smaller. With 10 soldiers, I don't find it to be more of a bloodbath, on the contrary, I am taking fewer losses because it's easier to fire a lot of bullets at each alien, or use other tactical options. This being another key difference versus the original X-Com, that game didn't have much weapon variety. Due to the weapon variety in Xenonauts, the two extra soldiers remove some tough planning choices (do I take a grenade launcher or another rifle? now I can have both!), which leads to less bloodbath. Instead, I would say you can recapture the same idea by making losses likely across more early battles. You shouldn't be in highly upgraded gear on your third mission. This ties somewhat into the previous point with alloys, but also it's about tech requirements in general. Give players more missions with just the basic equipment, ensure slower introduction of lasers and other gear, and you'll recreate that desperate X-Com feeling differently.
  21. Have spent minimal time with V9 so far, but I'm inclined to support the points Max makes. Sebillian Brutes were too strong a few versions ago, but are a bit too weak now. I think it's just their reluctance to fire. Brutes are still quite tough, but between general AI algorithms and suppression, they rarely shoot. Addressing that (higher bravery? higher accuracy to make them likelier to shoot?) would likely be sufficient. Lots of good discussion around converted weapons in the V8 thread, so I won't repeat that, but the key takeaway remains that their TU costs are punishingly high, putting both cmags and cplasmas into an awkward tier where their niche is not clear. Geoscape has obviously not been balanced at all, it's mostly a mess, but I would in particular point to the early research projects. You can start researching better armour right away and, with a bit of luck, have a couple of suits ready before you shoot down the first UFO. I think it should be like X1, where you have to use the basic equipment for at least a couple of missions. Also I still dislike the 10 soldiers change, it's the most unnecessary change the game has had.
  22. Hey, congrats on your rapidly developing technical skills
  23. This also happens to be why I'm highly skeptical of any X1-style approach. The Xcom genre is turn-based combat, with a smaller grand strategy part. Top-down arcade shooters are incompatible with the genre due to rewarding a very different set of skills and providing an experience that feels very different.
  24. Unusually, I have to agree with Charon on the subject. If there is any airgame except autoresolve, it should be playable with actual player interaction. Even if I would prefer a turn-based system, the current X2 system that's being removed isn't really like gameplay, it's more like watching a cutscene.
  25. Now that X1-style air combat is coming back, I'm going to give it a try with an open mind, but I'm in the minority (I guess?) that thinks the X1 minigame was bad, I'd even call it the weakest part of the game. The tactical part of the minigame was negligible. Several types of engagements only had one way to play them at all. For squadron engagements, the only ones with any tactics involved, there were also few different things you could do. Bait with a fast plane, use one plane to get behind the UFO - options, yes, but very few. The replay value was low because you'd figure the tactics out after only a few engagements. Instead, your success would be determined by mechanical, twitch-based skill. The pause button wasn't tactical, you didn't really use it to think - it was a twitch button, as you should pause at the right moment to correctly time your rolls or missiles. In a few scenarios, you wanted to make quick, tight turns, which meant many fast and reasonably precise clicks. At the same time, you could master engagements so you would always succeed in a particular scenario. My favourite example, albeit not the only one, is two Condors vs a Corvette. The four missiles from the Condors will kill the UFO, but the Corvette will have time to fire its cannon once. So the engagement has the following success formula - just let your Condors fly towards the Corvette, pause when it fires, roll the targeted Condor (or both), unpause. Corvette down, Condors unharmed 100% of the time. Simple, formulaic, gets boring the 3rd time you have this engagement. And none of this was really related to the game's strategy layer. Airplane ammo was free and unlimited, so if you could use superior tactics to spend one missile less, that had no effect on anything anyway (I hope in general X2 has the time to do something more interesting with the economy). Then there's the problem that making the X1 minigame more difficult would mainly be on the account of additional reflex/speed requirements more than tactical thinking. Like I said, I'll approach the X2 real-time combat with an open mind, but I would have preferred to see the turn-based approach evolve.