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  1. I know and I apologize for the off-topic. The same is true for psionics, though. I agree they're not successfully balanced at the moment. Regarding grenades, I could reliably win door-breaching battles with my aforementioned strategy, only losing up to two expendable meat-shield soldiers. I did carry two rocket launchers and a shitload of grenades and C4 with me, though. And yes, I exploded whole alien structures (bases and UFOS) into oblivion. Still better than boring linear pew pew that we'd have without grenade attacks.
  2. 1. I meant a completely new tactics adaptation every month. Grenades are one and only one instance. 2. Yes, you can adapt to grenade attacks: spread formation, expendable baits, aggressive and abundant use of explosives to destroy interior and obstacles. 3. Can they throw it as far as sniper rifle can reach? Because that's what I want to see. Grenade Launchers alone are not enough, because with them, the whole "combat ecosystem" changes profoundly. Suddenly you have death raining on you from beyond the line of sight, with little cover. That's why GH didn't include them - because in the current system, they'd be grossly imbalanced. You need equipment and game mechanics to counter them. Such as energy shields and a better developed recon and camouflage system. I might elaborate on that when I'll have more time, if you're interested.
  3. Xenos nading all your soldiers into oblivion is the best thing that happens in the whole game. I know I sound like a broken record now, but it's the only instance (save mind control) that actually forces you to adapt your strategy. Something like this should happen every game month, not once or twice in the whole campaign. Now all we need are grenade launchers ...
  4. Oh as I've mentioned in both my previous posts, I'm completely in love with them! They actually change gameplay compared to OG and other similar titles. I wish developers implemented more ideas of this kind. And if shields could make it into the game, why couldn't other fresh equipment?? I think the answer is "because they weren't conceptualized early enough." Lets put this into some perspective: I'm perfectly aware of that. I have experience with modding and game development and I never demanded GH to make an AAA title or a game twice the size of current one. I didn't ask for 'more' but for 'different'! More variation would have been perfectly possible, had it been conceptualized early enough in development. That's why I stated above that Chris&Co. shot themselves in the foot right at the start by purposely confining themselves to building a remake. If they had more of an open mind, it could have been different. Instead of starting with the prehistoric tiered weapons template, they could plan a more advanced and varied tech tree. I know that development doesn't end with the first build and you need to carefully balance the pieces - and yes, this more expanded and varied environment would most probably be more demanding to balance. But that's the price of innovation and progress. If they were bold and made it, there would be bigger success as a result as well. I understand where you're coming from and I can agree in a general case - but not in this particular case of stale weapon progression I'm criticizing. As I have explained in my previous post, the games need to continuously force players to adapt. This is one of the axioms of game development! It's a fact, not my subjective opinion! And Xenonauts just doesn't achieve that, I'm sorry. It just doesn't. Every battle develops by more or less the same token. You can win the whole game by repeating a couple of moves you learn at the start of the game. This is analogous to winning Street Fighter just by spamming hadouken all the time! And when aliens start throwing grenades at you, you do a shoryuken. Stronk tektik. Seriously, think about this again: ground combat in Xenonauts is analogous to a fighter game where you can win by spamming one or two combos the whole time, because the opponent never changes his combat tactic, nor does your repertoire of moves expand! This isn't just my subjective opinion. It's empirically verifiable. And this is bad game design. Of course, many players are completely content with the current system: I'm gonna go on a limb and say that those that like the current system probably aren't series veterans, but newbies. When I first played Enemy Unknown and Terror From the Deep 20 years ago, I went batshit krazy over them. Not only did the linear tech tree not bother me then; I wasn't much disturbed that Terror From the Deep was almost a direct re-skinning of the original! I was in love. Only when I played Apocalypse and further similar titles did I grasp the need for variation. I admit, I couldn't play Extraterrestrials to the end, it was just too boring (iirc there are not 3, not 4, but 5 tiers of completely similar rifles, goddamit). Right now, after having played every UFO clone in existence, I can safely say that Apoc, Aftershock and Afterlight are far superior than anything else in this genre ground combat-wise. Other games don't even compare. What I'm saying is: people are content with current tiered tech progression, because they haven't experienced anything better. If they had, like I had, they would have started yawning mid-game in Xenonauts.
  5. Very much this. Gazz understands. I'm not saying Xenonauts is a bad game. Far from it! It's a good game. It's polished, pretty, rather deep and atmospheric. But my point is, it could easily have been a great game if Chris&Co. had more courage and farsight! Right now it's a ~80% game, if I dare use the horrid Metacritic scale. It could have been 90+. The foundations are there. But then this happened: Yes, that wasn't the goal. And by that, Chris&Co. shot themselves in the foot right at the start of development. You don't make "great" or "excellent" games by only rehashing twenty years old concepts. You just don't. It's enough to make a solid game, but not a great one. Great products demand innovation and originality! This is easily seen in Xenonauts itself: the highlights of the game are the first time blips come up in geoscape and when you shield-maiden (hehe) rapes her first alien with a bare pistol. It's these kinds of moments that stay with you and make a great game. Moments that, ohwhaddayaknow, come from inovations in the game! Sadly, after this remarkable start, Xenonauts quickly becomes stale. Because, you know, "we had to stay in confines of a remake." GODDAMIT, WHY?? Was there an alien holding a gun to your head demanding that you keep the ballistic-laser-plasma progression? Let me elaborate why this is bad game design. Computer games by their nature should challenge the player to find ways to overcome obstacles. To keep the gameplay fresh, they need to present new kinds of challeges to force player to adapt. If the player keeps overcoming obstacles by the same approach every time, he gets bored very quickly. This is what Xenonauts fails to do: force you to continuously adapt throughout the game. There was more or less only one such moment in my two games: when aliens started lobbing grenades my way about mid-game. I had to spread my tight door-breaching formations and start using different kinds of meatshields. I wish there were many such moments, not only one. There should have been many more. One such gamechanger in the original game were psionic attacks, and that goes both ways. Before you start crying: yes, I know the mechanic was imbalanced, but it's the kind of switch that games need to make to keep the gameplay fresh. Let me give some more images of what Xenonauts could have been. Let's say aliens started using burst-type grenade launchers shooting smart munitions at your soldiers. Since you have stuff like that in labs of a 21st century human civilization, I'd dare think that galaxy-spanning aliens would have some too. Sure, one such salvo of homing explosive death could decimate your people. But. This is why your scientists devise a portable energy shield that you can switch on for a very limited time, say, one turn, before it needs to recharge for five turns or something. Thus, you get a whole new layer of gameplay. OR Your scientists devise a special sensor that enables you to see aliens sooner than they can see you. Of course, this active radar sensor emits signals and when those are later caught by special anti-electronic-combat flying reptile-men (because aliens), you're in deep trouple, because those anti-electronic-combat flying reptile-men commandos can use those signals to locate your precious electronics, hack into your system and drop a bomb into your internet. I mean, make you lose sight of your men, fry electronics or some similarly fun stuff. OR When aliens see you, they open wormholes around the battlefield and suddenly you're surrounded by wormhole-dwelling transdimensional organisms that prey on fearful thoughts, attacking your soldiers with the lowest bravery first. Now THAT would force you to change some approaches! OR When you've just cleared the area around the alien ship and you're preparing for door breach, those civilians that were huddled nearby suddenly burst in a torrent of blood and transform into monstrosities, hacking into your soldiers from behind. You'd need to research a special blood-test that you'd have to administer to each civilian to prove he's not a goddamn xeno. Of course, the latent xeno-civvies wouldn't happily let you test them ... The possibilities are endless!! But GH instead chose to have the same boring tech progression we've seen twenty years ago. Because remake. You don't get excellence by doing that. You get excellence by being bold and making anti-electronic-combat flying reptile-men commandos dropping bombs into player's internet. Hope I cleared some stuff for you.
  6. "What a pity." - This is the overwhelming feeling I have after completing the game on normal and half of the game on veteran difficulty settings. Let's get to the good points first - and there are many. 1. The atmosphere. From the creepy noises to the plasma bolts coming at you from the darkness - this is a true X-COM, down to the core. Splendid. 2. Geoscape and aerial combat in general. When I first saw those blips all over the map signaling potential alien activity, it was one of those rare moments of gaming revelation, when you're grinning like a Chesire cat, because you've just seen a gaming Jesus. Or something. The new geoscape is a work of genius. 3. The looks. I like the clean, sharp tilesets. There's enough of them so it doesn't get boring fast and the generated maps seem to have enough variation. Soldiers look badass in different kinds of armor, aliens aren't too shabby either. 4. Interface. A really clean and optimized UI. Not much to say here, it never got in my way and provided for all my needs. Kudos on that. 5. Basic combat principles. Cover, suppression, morale etc. mechanics are really well done and make fighting enjoyable while at the same time deep enough at the beginning. 6. Enemy AI on veteran. I was a bit underwhelmed with aliens on normal, but veteran is where the game gets going. Nice. 7. Combat shields. Seriously, shields. SHIELDS SHIELDS SHIELDS! Shields. So, where's the problem?? Oh, here's one: the tech tree and consequently the (nonexistent) progression of combat and tactics are so goddamn unimaginative and boring it's painful! Soo, lemme see; you research this new kind of rifles, but oh looksy, they're behaving just like the ones I already have, only the damage gets a plus. And same stupid shit with the next tier. And the next. And then I'm ready to die of boredom. Who the hell thought this was a clever idea?? Oh, and laser guns that shoot 'blobs'? SERI-FUCKING-OUSLY?? Yes, I know why this is: Xenonauts is supposed to be a direct remake of the original game. With all due respect to the authors, but this is a retarded statement. Why is aerial combat improved then?! Why do we have combat shields, the only real and cool ground combat innovation in this game?! If I wanted a completely samey gameplay as in the original, I'd play, you know, the original game. Mind-boggling, I suppose. You had the opportunity to make something fresh, but you've just blown it. Gollop realized seventeen years ago that tiers of the same kind of weapons were adequate for the first game, but won't cut it anymore in sequels, when he made X-COM: Apocalypse. Why you guys chose to follow an older and obsolete design, is really beyond me. A colossal mistake that makes you look really short-sighted and lazy (eventhough I totally know you worked your ass off on this game). Right now, I have bigger desire to play UFO: Afterlight again than Xenonauts. Seriously: the new UFO series has a couple ranks more variations than this game. What a pity. "It's easy being a general after the fight." Bullshit. I've been following the project almost from the start. There were numerous requests to provide for more diverse weapon selection, but developers just flatly chose to ignore them. "It's easy to criticize. Provide suggestions instead." Oh, there were many. The most abundant probably being inclusion of grenade launchers, that was met with objections on the ground that "them 'nades could get imbalanced." Oh please, what a load of bollocks. Of course everyone would be shooting grenades in spades - that's what modern combat is also all about. Smart munition, artillery bombardments and the like. But instead of adapting to this extended combat environment, developers chose to cut it and stay at pure "shoot teh big rifle at teh mark and pray to RNG gods." YAAAWN. The most fun weapon in UFO: Afterlight is the grenade launcher. Yeah, it's slightly imba, because a pair of them can stunlock aliens into oblivion. But it's pure fun. And most importantly: when it's introduced, it profoundly changes the gameplay. Nothing like that in Xenonauts, only same old pew pew through the whooole game. People suggested the inclusion of M79 numerous times. One would think developers would get the hint. Apparently not. Just to give you more suggestions: sensors. There are almost none in this game, while the game in UFO: Aftershock ridiculously changes when you get infra-red cyborg implants. Let's play a game of spot the pattern, shall we? Combat in Apocalypse get absurdly fun when the first tiny cute blue explosive dog comes running your way. Or when you start using cloaking devices. And toxiguns. And so on. Gameplay in Apoc and UFOs is leaps and bounds more diverse and fun than in Xenonauts. Wanna know why I only completed the game up to midpoint on veteran? Because I got so bored I wanted to rip my brains out. It's UFO: Extraterrestrials all over again. A goddamn snoozefest. I hoped this would be the game I'd play as much as the original, but nooo, completed it once (and a half), now it's gone to the most distant part of my hard drive, never to be touched again. So sad. I may have come up a bit pissed in the text above: that's because I am. It's genuinely painful to see such a lovely crafted game with so much potential, that developers have poured so much sweat into, fall short because of one crucial missing ingredient. Really, what a goddamn waste of potential. And no, don't give me the 'mods argument', because it's not the player's task to fix a broken game. It's developers' task. Over and out.
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