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About Hovis

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  1. Hovis

    Debating Xenonauts 2

    I'd probably buy a new one. Loved the first one. I think the thing to do would be to increase the scale. I think something that was missing from Xenonauts is the ability from the original games to go into fights massively mob-handed. I would tie this to an expansion of squad management. What I'd do, for example, is say that a Xenonaut squad is up to eight soldiers. I'd assign those soldiers from the soldier pool and then designate a leader from the group and a second in command. Then when it comes time to stick them in a dropship I wouldn't have a ship with troops assigned to it, I'd pick a dropship and then pick the squads that I want to put in that dropship. So if I send three squads, I'd have 24 troops in the mission, 3 squad leaders, 3 second in commands, and the leaders would confer morale bonuses upon the troops if they were nearby. If the squads get chewed up, I'd rotate fresh squads in for next time. This would allow for larger troop deployments with less hassle on the dropship setup screen, especially if you had a specific mission in mind- you could make capture squads or anti-mech squads or rescue teams or whatever. Maybe consider the possibility of multiple dropships. So maybe I send one from one base, it reaches the target and can wait, and then a second arrives and then the troops go in. I think the air combat thing would need a look. I think what you should do is have a big think about what the Alien doctrine would be for achieving air superiority, if that's even what they want, and what the whole world would do to counter it. The idea that the world's air forces defer completely to an organisation equipped with a handful of F-16s at the start of the game doesn't sit right. I suggest maybe adding the option to allow local air forces to engage any UFO that appears over a country equipped to deal with it. So if I've got a base in the USA and I detect an alien ship (much like the air strike option) I ought to be able to let the local boys handle it. And maybe, especially later in the game, they won't be able to and this wouldn't be possible, or it would be viewed negatively. As with ground forces I think the air combat should scale up. You might also want to consider ground based anti-air as something the player could invest in, and as something countries might already have in order to help. Ditto for radar systems. Again though, this help from countries ought to be something that loses significance as the campaign goes on. Maybe early UFOs can be brought down with heavy surface to air missiles, maybe later ones shoot them down. With the ground battles I'd also step up the local involvement, angry mobs, local soldiers and cops, these should be a heavy presence, but fairly early in the game they should become almost irrelevant. But they should still be there to add to the ambiance and the odd rare tale of a SWAT team killing an alien. Things like terror missions should be scaled up, maybe a terror mission should consist of multiple fights, require multiple dropships. Maybe three fights, one on the perimeter, one on the surface getting close to the enemy, and then one at the hub of whatever it is the aliens are doing. Maybe they're digging in a mini-base in the sewers or in a building. Maybe their ship is sort of nesting on the ground and needs to be captured. In the first game cities were destroyed if a terror mission got out of hand, but there was little sense that the fights were so severe as to warrant it. Maybe terror missions should be made a bigger deal. In general I think that the Xenonauts should have a greater sense of home field advantage, which means an abundance of people, money, conventional wargear. It's just that as the campaign progresses these things would be less useful.
  2. I'm not against the idea of the mod being hard, what I mean is that making it this hard on the very first mission is the wrong way to go about it. That is to say, it is very easy to make that first mission hard, the player has no idea what they are facing and a squad of rookies. If the only way to do that mission is to come at it with a really heavily specialised approach (that I would have no way of knowing about without reading up on the forum first), then that's not the best design. How are you going to challenge the player later in the game if you've already played the 'Your Guns Don't Hurt The Enemy' card on day one? I mean after this first mission, any mission where the enemy actually drop when I shoot them is going to feel like a cakewalk.
  3. So... Fired up the mod and am trying to do my first crash site. And I thought I'd give some feedback, just on that first mission. All the aliens are immune to weapons fire. Got a small ship of Sebillians and everything I throw at them is either resisted or almost immediately healed, even multiple grenade hits in the same turn. They're even shrugging off machinegun bursts. A few turns of that and I was like, "Nope." It seems to have fallen into the XCOM trap of putting the difficulty at the front of the game. I mean whatever happens from this point, the missions can't physically/mathematically get any harder than this, because it doesn't get more difficult than impossible. A good difficulty curve starts at its lowest point and goes up. I can see the temptation from a design point of view to set out the mod's hardcore credentials early in the game, but this is a temptation that ought to be resisted, I think, because it means that the first mission inevitably fails, thus has to be savescummed or the game restarted, and that's not a good start to playing a mod. Part of the fun of an X-Com type game is learning as you go and being able to overcome things as you go. I might be able to drop those Sebillians on my next time I do the mission, but only because I know what to expect and will plan ahead. It won't be as good as a result. A good fix might be to remove Sebillians from the first wave. The first mission in an X-Com game should be special. It should be nerve wracking, it should be painful, but it shouldn't be too hard. You should be able to do it with the stock group of soldiers and equipment on your first go.
  4. Hovis

    [Laser] Carbine vs Rifle ?

    This. I never go into an alien ship without a shotgun or carbine if I can help it. The reactions bonuses on their own are worth the price of admission. If you open a door or have to grab some cover or need to get a shot down first, the carbine is your friend. I've lost plenty of riflemen to reaction shots because the poor swine were just too slow on the draw. The close range damage is also extremely nice. Masses of damage, low AP cost, again it's the sort of thing that saves lives on an enemy spaceship.
  5. Yeah I can see how that might happen. If the calculations the AI is doing to work out where to go and what to do are based on what is going on around them (as they obviously must be) then having loads of units in play could mess that all up. So far just buffing squad size on stock alien numbers has been tolerably stable though, so what I think I'll do is stick to that and maybe buff some other aspect of the alien game plan to even it out.
  6. Thanks for the info, I didn't know that just increasing the numbers would cause crashes (thought my PC would handle it easily) but that might explain why I've been having the odd one or two crashes since messing with the game. The advantage of more Xenonauts is that, despite doing more missions, you can do them faster if you want to and are willing to eat the extra casualties and throw caution to the wind. This is something I like, as with a smaller but more experienced team of troops you have to be a lot more careful. So far it is balancing quite well against Veteran difficulty. If this was the normal game I'd be getting battered, mostly due to the lack of interceptors more than anything. On this difficulty individual aliens can be very deadly, especially when breaching ships, so that element of the balance seems to have sorted itself out. I haven't tested against anything bigger than a corvette yet on this build. Just about to crack open a landing ship. So that'll be a learning experience.
  7. In my experiments with the I suppose you'd call it beta version of what I'm planning, even with sixteen troops night missions (on veteran) are absolutely lethal, so adding the time pressure could be a good thing. I want the player to really get a sense that every team they send out is going to get chopped up if they are not on the ball. With regards to losing, I was thinking that perhaps the aliens might just try to wipe out the Xenonaut bases? In theory you could still lose by all the normal methods, it's just with a big wedge of cash backing you up it's harder to actually do that. I have yet to give much thought to how I'll balance the invasion itself to match the increased Xenonaut resources. Maybe more bombers and fighters and more escorted ships.
  8. Thanks for the info. I didn't know the Chinook used to be short ranged. Might leave that alone then, or just leave it to preference. The grenade launcher could be a pickle then. I was hoping it'd just be a case of scaling down something with the exactly same functionality of a rocket launcher and fiddling the stats to match. Can figure that out later though it's not really vital I suppose.
  9. Alas my timing has been off with it. Every time I start a campaign the game updates or, as in the case of my last campaign before this one, hits launch. This has meant I've not had a new game lined up on a stable build to experiment with til now. I'm in the middle of my first playthrough since live with a few tweaks here and there. That means I've not had the chance to test the mod out yet. I've watched a couple of videos of it though and it's a bit different from what I'm aiming for. I kind of want to preserve the low-tech tone of the game, but increase the scale of it while keeping to that. So I wouldn't be changing things like weapon TU costs or reload times and so on. More troops, more burning, more bases and more battles. Most stuff wouldn't change from the original game, there'd just be more of it.
  10. Hokay so I've been playing Xenonauts off and on for months, and now it's hit v1 I figured I'd try to put on my modding shoes and kick it into the shape I want it to be. And I figured I'd ask you guys for help, because other than a few config tweaks I don't know what the funge I'm doing. I've tested a basic version of this mod out, but I want to go to the next level with it. So here is the concept. I want to make Xenonauts less a small scale group and beef the whole thing up to being more like how I imagine it might be, a bloated, supremely well funded and heavily staffed operation. The caveat here of course, is that the best humanity has to offer might as well be Mayans against heavily armed alien conquistadors. The duration of the game and the number of missions involved would increase, because you'd be able to set up global coverage very quickly and intercept most if not everything that comes in. What I'm hoping to change is: 1. Funding. Loads of money. Absolutely tons of the stuff. The point here is that the Xenonaut program should want for nothing on Earth. This means more personnel, more bases in operation, and from the get-go a general sense that you are running a full blown military operation. I love Xenonauts as is, but this will be a change to a grander, more epic fight. The challenge would not so much be survival and victory, because you'd probably have no problem achieving those goals eventually, the challenge would be to do it with the minimum loss of human life. 2. More soldiers per transport, I'm thinking 16 per vehicle is a good number. This means you are just about rolling in with a platoon, or an overstrength squad, depending on how you look at it. This means more troops on the ground, larger scale fights, and yes, it means you will win more missions however the flip side of this is more casualties. Troops get in each others way, XP levels drop as the fighting is done by more troops. Enemy numbers will also be increased to balance this out a bit too. 3. Chinook range reduction. This would mean that rather than having a main base you would essentially play this game by managing a succession of regional branches. Somebody brings down an alien ship in Japan, you're going to need a response team based in Asia to handle it. This again reduces the experience level of your squads, because your regional teams will only get involved if there's something they can reach. Regions where the enemy are coming at you strongly will see teams grow and develop, but one squad doesn't see action for months, then finds they are the only thing stopped a terror mission, you've got a real fight on your hands. Newer transports have normal range. 4. New weapons. I will elaborate on the specifics later, but the jist is that I want to expand the utility of the Xenonauts weaponry, so rather than adding a few more rifles or whatever I want to add the weapons I've thought, "Hang on, why don't I have one of these?" 5. More armed locals on missions, I figure unless you get to the scene of an alien fracas immediately, you won't find many of the unarmed civilians, aliens would have killed them or they'd have legged it. However I would expect any populated area to be pretty well populated with cops, soldiers, militias and armed civilians trying to do their bit for the species. I want there to be a good give and take between aliens and locals that the Xenonauts pile into. 6. Longer vision ranges, maybe a shade less accuracy. Would have longer, less decisive long range firefights, which would necessitate suppressive fire and flanking attacks more of the time. So that's the outline. The specific weapons I want to add are: 1. Incendiary grenades and rockets. Because who hasn't wanted to just open the doors to an alien ship and purge it with fire like the Emperor intended am I right? Would add a flamethrower too but that's probably really hard to do and much less practical anyway. 2. A multipurpose grenade launcher. Smaller than a rocket launcher. Able to fire gas, frag, incendiary and smoke grenades. All the grenades would be smaller and weaker than normal, EMPs wouldn't be useable because they'd not be able to be shrunk down (and it'd make things too easy). What I'm wondering though guys, is does this sound like a very difficult thing to set up? Can it all be done with config changes or am I going to have to roll up my sleeves and learn to do stuff? I have close to zero graphics skills, so the plan is to basically do what I can with what I have, but I would like to eventually learn how to add stuff properly. Any help much appreciated.
  11. You can see them at it, at the start of the turn, the little green number over their head is how much they've healed. On veteran some of the little swine can get about 80 hit points back. I hit one of the officers in the face with a rocket, and all he got was miffed.
  12. Hovis

    Release Date & Work Tracker

    Just had a big update. Could it be...?
  13. Need more rocket launchers.
  14. Seen more types of fighters, but that's it. The UFOs that you damage stay damaged though, so it's no biggie to come at them in waves of three aircraft.
  15. I think the soldiers would just sleep whenever they could. It wouldn't be an issue really, I mean you've got some flights to missions that are many hours, they could snooze on the Chinook, other times you've got hours between UFO arrivals. There's scope for them to make do, even in the most intense parts of the game. Some sort of burn-out of operatives could be interesting, but I don't suppose it would really be that much of a priority to implement.