This mod is culmination of minor modifications I made to Xenonauts to make it more enjoyable for me, with changes deliberately kept minimal in order to maintain major features of original game, as is the case with CE Balance. After some testing, I share this for anyone else who may have similar tastes.
My mod should be placed in the highest priority; it was found to be compatible with all mods included in the Community Edition mod-pack, but have not been tested with any others.
Major changes include
Removal of Aerial terror + Full map reveal (terror and base defense) mechanic: This event causes massive swing in funding situation either way in heavily luck-dependent manner, as location of the bombing rather than skill decides whether aerial terror sites will succeed or not; in fact, there is no difference between aerial terror mission and normal bomber interception. The possibility of aerial terror site also forces the player to maintain large squadron to account for it - basically forcing the player to follow what is already popular Geoscape strategy. Occurrence of bombing mission has been instead increased slightly to compensate for removal of aerial terror missions and still make Bombers high-priority targets. Full map reveal had been implemented as convenience measure. I removed this mechanic for two reasons. One, I personally do not mind hunting down the last alien like I did in old X-COM. This problem is also less pronounced in base defense missions as maps are smaller and location of aliens are more obvious. Second, it opened up significant exploit where one would deliberately camp until this significant advantage was granted to them. Base defense missions especially could be made trivial due to how Alien AI works there.
Hard-handed nerfs to door camping strategy (and command center camping in base defense): Some people have stated their dislike on how doors can easily be abused, and I am one of them. Since this is personal mod I had freedom to implement one of drastic fixes suggested without worrying about controversy. Large doors can no longer be closed by the player. Alien doors still close automatically at end of alien turn. I don't recall any large doors other than those on UFO and alien base that can be closed anyway. To compensate, I exported see-through UFO doors from XNT mod which I really liked to allow for better tactical choices <credits given in changelog>. Every prop on Xenonauts command center have been changed to have 1 HP while having 1000 explosive damage. Their explosion radius is just that if any stray bullet happens to hit any of the props, everything in the room dies. This change was implemented to prevent player from camping the command center in base defense missions, and can be considered as secondary difficulty buff along with map reveal removal. Lore-wise aliens are sending out disruptive signal that destabilized base reactor and make firefight in command center, associated to aforementioned reactor, absolutely lethal (like in movie Aliens!)
Geoscape funding rebalanced to allow for varied starting base location: Specific details can be seen on the changelog below. The maximum amount of funding and monthly funding you receive is still kept identical to the original game. However, having your starting base on Egypt is no longer the one right strategy, and world map can be divided into three portions with distinct characteristics. Northern America is the highest paying region accounting for ~36% of total funding but is extremely stable and unlikely to defect without failed terror mission, as North America and South America start out with ~700 relations value. Although American base would protect highest source of funding, placing your starting base here may be unwise if your aim is to prevent defection of all regions. Usual starting location - covering Europe, USSR, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, and Middle East - was considered as a single portion. Although Europe and USSR have been unaffected and is still major source of income, funding from other three regions have been cut drastically. Northern Africa and Middle East especially offer negligible income and should be protected just for defection prevention reasons. These five regions together still make up ~35% of the funding, but since initial radar is likely to cover Africa or Middle East more rather than Europe or USSR, you should expect to gain least amount of funding here. The benefit of placing starting base here is protection of overwhelming number of regions. Indochina and Australasia account for ~29% of funding, and have slight reduction in initial value to account for boost in Americas. Both regions have been boosted to make starting base here viable, but most of the boost has gone to Australasia which has now become third highest paying region. More importantly, these two regions have highest funding modifier meaning they are extremely sensitive to Xenonaut feedback, resulting in faster increase or decrease in funding given. Regardless it is also viable to place a base that protects Indochina, USSR, Middle East and sacrifice Australasia entirely. Due to the fact that funding balance requires long playthrough to test, current change does not yet feel final to me. Any feedback would be welcome.
DOWNLOAD (credits below)
Regional funding in Geoscape rebalanced to introduce varied strategic decision in choice of base locations.
Fixed the bug that resulted in some objects in the command center not being explosive.
Aerial Terror missions removed; Bomber carry out bombing missions in higher frequency to compensate and still make them high-priority targets.
Full map reveal in terror + base defense missions removed.
Aliens more likely to breach Xenonaut base in multiple directions.
All objects in the command center are highly explosive to prevent command center camping.
Large doors cannot be closed by the player. Alien doors still close automatically at end of alien turn.
[EXPORT] Introduced windowed UFO doors from XNT mod, which can be seen through and act as 75% cover.
CREDIT: XNT mod was developed by Kabill, Sentelin, Selgald, Tactical Dragon, and Theon Greyjoy.