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kabill last won the day on November 27 2021

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  1. Gonna pick this quote specifically as representing most of your response. I absolutely understand that people have different tastes. I'd hope that's implied in all the times I write things like "from my perspective" or "I can't speak for others but" - I write those things very deliberately to signal the inherently perspectival nature of my arguments! So all I have been trying to do is articulate what my tastes are, and how it might (*might*) be possible to design systems and mechanics that cater for them. Yes, those suggestions may run against the preferences of others. But your own are no different in that regard - I could quite easily respond to all your comments by saying that there are plausibly plenty of people out there who would in fact like something which works as a compromise between the systems suggested and that, by failing to acknowledge or accept that, you're demonstrating the same lack of self-awareness that you're accusing me of. I'm not interested in a tit-for-tat discussion like that - it's not very productive! - but I hope that makes clear that there's nothing inherently "right" in your perspective any more than mine. Onto the specific point of degree of control: this has nothing to do with a dichotomy between "strategic" vs. whatever else mindsets. Regardless of your preferences, having control over something in a game when it doesn't make any difference is pointless; and if having that control makes the game more difficult or more cumbersome to play then it's a negative feature which should be removed. If you think continuing to have fine-grained control over aircraft speed is a good thing, then you should explain why it makes a meaningful positive difference to the game rather than simply asserting that more control is good or preferred by some players. To restate my point a bit more clearly, then: In my experience playing X1, the speed slider is annoying to deal with and I would find the game more comfortable to play if it was replaced with a smaller number of discrete speed settings and an option for aircraft to automatically match the speed of the UFO they are targeting. Notwithstanding the fact that it would make selecting speed settings easier, it would also facilitate keyboard shortcuts for speed controls (being able to control speed, dodges and weapon armaments from the QWEASD keys rather than having to click on everything would be a godsend so far as I am concerned). You might plausibly get the same result by having keyboard controls move speed in stages on a sliding scale (e.g. each key press is +/-20%) but the mouse-work would still be a faff under that solution (but now I think about it, good keyboard shortcuts would be sufficient for me, actually). A lot of this discussion demonstrates why Firaxis's solution to air combat was not in fact as bad as it comes across. Turns out it's really hard to make it good and a meaningful part of the game; in that context, simply not bothering has some sense to it! Ok, some thoughts on a couple of these: 1) I'd argue the most meaningful way to implement a locational damage system would be to tie it to power-sources. I.e. have power sources represented as hit-boxes on the hull which can be destroyed separate to the UFOs main hull. Good positioning would therefore allow you to take out a UFO more easily, but would also destroy the power source (less GC loot) and maybe have a (bigger) chance of destroying the UFO entirely without leaving a wreck. This would add something on both a tactical and strategic level: it needs to be considered at a tactical level (i.e. you may want to avoid this happening if you really want the wreck or you might decide to go for it if the UFO is otherwise too strong or you want to conserve weaponry) but also at a strategic level (i.e. it gives you options to take on stronger UFOs than you may be comfortable with, and can be used e.g. if being blitzed by a lot of UFOs at the same time to conserve ammo and therefore get planes out to more engagements in a shorter space of time). 2) I still like the idea I suggested ages ago, about UFOs which are meaningfully damaged escaping straight to orbit rather than just leaving the combat zone. This means you can't easily bushwack UFOs with repeated long-range strikes (i.e. across multiple combat missions) and expect to take them down, as they'll withdraw when too damaged. It also means the player can deliberately aim to just damage rather than destroy UFOs to drive them off (conserving ammo) and means they could at least get something from taking on a powerful UFO without managing to down it entirely.
  2. It's a lot of work if you want that auto-resolve function to meaningfully reflect the same inputs and outcomes of the game it is substituting for. The more moving parts you have in the "proper" game the harder it is to simulate in the auto-resolve. X1 demonstrates this: there are things you can and cannot achieve with auto-resolve which are perfectly possible/impossible when playing out the combat properly. Considering the proposal for X2 is to expand equipment options for the player and UFOs, it is only likely to get harder for an auto-resolve to produce reasonably good results. The other issue with an auto-resolve feature as an alternative to a "proper" game is that by necessity it needs to be conservative in its outcomes. If the player can generally produce better results by auto-calculating than by playing the game in full, then there's no point playing the game in full! It's why I tend to shy away from using auto-calculators in most games that offer them, because even if the game it's attached to isn't very interesting, I can generally get better results playing manually. So suggesting an auto-resolve function for people who don't like the specific version of the air game that is selected isn't really good for both sides: I do not personally want an inferior substitute to the air combat game; I want an air combat game I want to play! I think this highlights what I thought was the case, which is that you're advocating an X1 style system and an auto-resolver for everyone who doesn't like it. But, as I've outlined above, I don't see that as a solution that pleases everyone as you imply above, since there's only actually one real game there (this is why I was trying to clarify what your suggestion was exactly). As an analogy, it's equivalent to suggesting that X2 could have a real-time ground combat game with an auto-resolve for people who didn't want to play that; as opposed to having two version of the ground combat game, one which is real time and one which is turned based. I thought you might have meant something like the latter; but it looks like you mean the former. Which I think undermines the validity of your argument somewhat, since you're ultimately giving those who don't want an RT system an inferior alternative rather than an equivalent one (see what I've just said above). I do not see control as inherently good. It might be, if it is meaningful, but if it is redundant then not so much. And that was my point: being able to select the exact speed of your aircraft is far too much control in most instances and I wonder whether the UI cost of being able to so that is worthwhile (i.e. I feel buttons or a more discrete slider might be better, and having pursuit distance handled automatically would be a godsend since that's just meaningless busywork to do it manually). It might actually be I'm wrong and I'd miss it more than I think. But worth considering, I think. Ditto <3
  3. Double-post as this is more on topic in some ways: I suspect some UI/interface improvements would make a big difference to the air system if X1's is used as a base. The ability to place waypoints/draw flight paths for aircraft would make a lot of the fine manoeuvring a lot easier to manage, for example, as would things that (e.g.) automate dodges or which automatically set an aircraft to match the speed of its target (i.e. when you're behind it to avoid overshooting). Actually, on the subject of speed, do we really need fine control over aircraft speed or would a few modes (match target, full and afterburner) be sufficient? I'm trying to think of an occasion where less than full speed is useful except where you're trying not to overshoot the target (and hairpin turns, but they're a major source of micro-management that I would not be sad to see go, or which could be automated).
  4. I don't think I (or anyone else) was denying or questioning that? (I suspect my apparent objectionable post above made the mistake of using the world "compromise" without elaborating on the "weird sort-of" prefix I attached to it. The point wasn't a compromise between "twitch" and "strategy" so much as "speed of play" and "strategy". One of Chris's objections to the TB system was it being too slow; while one of my/others's object to RT is that it's too fiddly. Something that sits between those two points is what I would personally like to see; I'm not particularly interested in twitch-based gameplay for X2 and don't see "twitch" as synonymous with "control". The suggestion I made may not be a good way of doing that, but that's the main issue for me in any case.) (In that vein, a better idea would actually probably be just the original Xcom's air combat system, with some augmentations for a bit more player input and more emphasis on squad-based interceptions. Although I guess that's just a RT version of what the TB game was.) I'm assuming by "good autoresolve" in your proposal you mean something which is more than just pressing a button to generate an outcome (i.e. X1's autoresolve function). If so, I think you may be underestimating how difficult it would be to have two games which respect the same inputs and generates the same kinds of outputs, while also not being exploitable. If Chris is already making the decision to pull back to the familiar X1 system because he doesn't have the resource to risk developing the new system, I doubt there's scope for developing two parallel air game modes either. That's not to say that it's impossible or unobtainable. But I don't think the work involved is as trivial as you seem to imply and settling on one single good game (whatever that game ends up being) is far from unreasonable in that context. And if instead that's not what you meant, and you do just mean a button-press auto-resolve, then I think you're advocating the same thing as everyone else (as there's only one core air game then; and an option to skip it). (Honestly, I'm just sad that we're losing TB and am looking for any ideas that might help retain something of that! But it's probably a lost cause.)
  5. I can't speak for others but I don't "hate" the airgame. I just find X1's air game too static and micro-heavy to be enthusiastic about seeing it return; and I struggle to see how that system can be improved on in a manner which will significantly address these problems. In that context, what I'd be seeking in a compromise is one which affords the player some control - and therefore capacity to affect the outcome - but which doesn't rely on significant micro-management and split-second timing. My experience of X1 is that - where it needs to be done at all - the requirement to micro-control dodges, speed and targeting of aircraft all steals attention from strategic level thought. So it's not that I don't want an air game. It's that I've had enough of arcade-like RT action air combat from X1 and would like something less fiddly and more tactically interesting instead. I'm not in the beta so I've not played it and only seen a few short videos. But the impression I get is that it's not really been developed very much rather than being fundamentally flawed. I don't resent Chris from shifting to something more safe and familiar but if I'm right it's a shame it hasn't had more of a chance to show what it might have been.
  6. I in fact wrote a longer post to my previous one which was saying more or less this. I do think there is some tactical thinking, but only in the sense of there being a bit of a puzzle to figuring out some UFOs which, once you have it, then just becomes routine. On reflection, where I was suggesting it be more challenging than X1, I think what I actually meant is that the difficulty should be more dynamic, rather than it should just be blanket harder. I.e. it should stretch your resources more, such that you need to make strategic level decisions about how much and what to invest in the air game, and make strategic decisions about what to commit to particular engagements. The skill required to do the air game is therefore somewhat up to the player: players who are good at it might be able to get away with less investment or take on more risky challenges. But I guess this is envisaging the air game as a "push-your-luck" system, which is pretty much what I envisaged the turn based version might be as well. I.e. it's less about making tactical decisions which make the difference between winning and losing (because I don't think either system can make that work very well, since the cost of losing is too high and the range and variation of situations too low for it not to become routine quickly) but it can allow tactical-come-strategic decisions about what you're willing to risk and what you're priorities are (e.g. do you take chances in an air combat to bring down a big UFO with lots of resources on it, or do you play it safe and just take a chance with some low-probability attacks in the hope of getting some lucky hits; which fits into a wider strategic-level game of how much you're investing in air superiority at all). A weird sort-of compromise here would be to have a system like the fleet battles in Endless Space 2 - i.e. you select an attack mode for each of your aircraft before engagement and then the whole thing plays out automatically without direct input from the player. Offers some strategic/tactical choice, makes engagements pretty quick, and takes away the reflex/twitch requirements. Could be augmented by having some some binary mode or one-use command which can be activated during the engagement for some direct player involvement?
  7. I think this has helped highlight the problem I have with X1's system: there are none of these decisions. X1 has a fairly clear rock-paper-scissors style approach to air combat. Foxtrots are UFO killers. They are very effective in that role: with weapons of the appropriate tier, they outmatch UFOs they are facing in range and firepower and are never in danger except where there are escorts. Condors and Corsairs are escort killers. They are also very effective in that role and easily destroy escorts of the tier which match their weapons. There is therefore no "choice" about what kinds of aircraft or weapons to use as described in the quote: sure, you could use an aircraft outside of its designated role, but there's no reason to do that unless you don't have the right tool to hand. And the trouble is, you almost always do. It's pretty easy to keep pace with aircraft weapons, since there's no cost to upgrading them beyond the research. Aircraft themselves are a bit harder to keep pace with since there is an additional cost beyond basic aircraft but never in a way I've ever noticed as being problematic. At worse, then, you might have to fight with the wrong tools if aircraft are already committed/resupplying. This contrasts with games I've played which mod in manufacturing requirements for aircraft weapons. This delays air power development both in terms of resources (weapon upgrades now cost money and salvage) and in terms of time (you need manufacturing capacity to make them). As such, with no changes to the weapon stats, the player is usually behind the vanilla air power curve due to lack of time or resources or both. Behind the curve, aircraft are more evenly matched with UFOs and require more work to come out well: Foxtrots don't always out-range their targets; escorts die slower and are more likely to score hits; total damage capacity is lower so you need to deploy weapons more selectively against escorted UFOs; etc. In turn, all this leads to taking more damage, meaning you're more likely to have aircraft out of action, and therefore not have optimal squads for dealing with threats and requiring you to "make do". To put all this another way, vanilla X1 air combat might just be a bit too easy to offer much tactical engagement, at least once you know what you're doing with it. This is what makes it routine: it's easy to always have what you need; so if you didn't, the air game would become more varied because you need to make do with what you have rather than what you want or need. So notwithstanding anything else, if X2 is going to use the same RT system, I'd argue that some consideration needs to be given to how it can be made more challenging or at least how the player can be forced out of using the same approach every time for routine success. (I think costs for equipment are a good solution to this, since the player can compensate by investing resources in air technology, but I doubt it's the only or best solution).
  8. Sad you weren't able to get the turn-based system working well. I was looking forward to that and still feel it could be stronger than X1's. Even with the suggested changes/additions, I'm not sure it will resolve the problem with X1's system, which is that once you figure out how to approach a UFO it will just become routine with no meaningful decisions to be made. If that's where you're going, though: I'm torn on removing manual dodging and replacing with evasion %. On the one hand, this will remove a lot of the micromanagement from air combat and free players up to think on a more strategic level, since they won't need to focus on precise timings so much. On the other hand, manual rolling is one of the key control mechanisms in X1 with significant utility beyond simply avoiding attacks. Taking that away without something to replace it may result in air combat feeling/being largely a matter of RNG,
  9. That's legit. I can't say I've played without it since it was made and I probably couldn't tell you what it does specifically any more anyway!
  10. If you download the community edition mod, this mod is included as part of the download. If you really don't want to use XCE itself, you can choose not to and just activate the More Portraits mod (but really there's no reason not to use XCE since in its base form it doesn't make any gameplay changes, just fixes and quality of life stuff).
  11. Where are you looking for these changes? There are separate files for the strategy (weapons.xml) and ground combat (weapons_gc) layers which are largely independent from each other and you will need to edit both. Also, IIRC, none of the tooltip information is generated from actual game data and instead is specified as a string (in, er, strings.xml?). So if you changed the values in weapons_gc.xml but not in the other files, for example, you'll see the change in a ground combat mission when you shoot etc. but not in tooltip information or in the soldier equipment screen. It might also be that you've botched the mod somehow but if its not that, I suspect the issue will be something in what I've outlined here.
  12. I think the abilities are hard coded in vanilla. But if you're using XCE (and you should be!) then you can modify the regeneration ability specifically in config.xml as the RegenerateHPPercent variable. I'm not sure about other abilities but I think most if not all of them are binary (i.e. on or off) anyway.
  13. Have you set up unite sprites/animations for the dart gun + shield combo? That seems the most likely cause.
  14. All alien stats are in the aiprops.xml file.
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