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  1. Firstly, if you do not know how to access the experimental branch on Steam, please read the instructions (and warnings!) in this thread. All saved games from earlier versions (including experimental versions) are incompatible, attempting to load them will cause problems. The main new feature of this build is the first implementation of the air combat auto-resolve; now this is very much work in progress so expect to see bugs and imbalance in it - you shouldn't get stuck, because if worst comes to worst you can play the air combat manually. Additionally I have made some quite significant balance improvements to the kinds of UFOs that show up throughout the invasion, and the types and number of aliens appearing in ground combat missions. Finally there's been some pretty important balance changes to Xenonaut equipment - armour has been buffed in general, grenades are now shorter range and cause overdamage and close range weapons should be more effective. Also, we may make another updated experimental build after this one as there were some cool features we couldn't quite get in, but after that we want to release a new stable version to Steam - to help us make sure it is a bug free as possible, please remind us gently of any really annoying long standing bugs in this thread. Here is the changelog: Fixes - NOTE: there was a bug with hypervelocity weapons in this build, but to avoid delaying it I have just disabled the hypervelocity property on any weapons that had it (not a permanent change, it will be back when fixed) - Fixed (fingers crossed) the "Hidden Movement screen always on bug". If this still happens, please report it. - Fixed being able to see inside/outside of UFOs through their hulls (this does not fix aliens trying to shoot through walls, however) - Fixed a few city and country names not displaying correctly and causing crashes - Fixed the Wraith analysis description being displayed as the project title - Fixed crash at the end of ground combat related to inventory problem - Fixed Harridan support units missing sprites - Fixed Harridan officers having no weapon - Fixed aliens leaving invisible, un-pathable "trail" during Xenonaut base attack missions - Fixed various UFOs spawning GC missions with no aliens - Vehicle projectile speeds should now match infantry weapon counterparts (visual only) - Fixed crash after aborting Xenonaut base defence mission Additions - Alien breaches in Xenonaut bases now have alien style tiles - You will now lose the game if a certain number of territories fall to the aliens, based on difficulty level: Easy = 7, Normal = 6, Veteran = 5 and Insane = 4 - Air combat auto-resolve function enabled; the aircraft and weapon scores that determine win/loss are still preliminary, so bear with us while we balance them. There are also some bugs such as auto-resolving vs groups of UFOs and air superiority fights skipping the auto-resolve dialogue - New Geoscape message box style - Alien sniper rifles use pistol projectile to make their fire appear more distinct from the other plasma weapons - Final Reaper and Praetor autopsy images - Added several new props for the new species specific alien base rooms Balance - Extensive rebalance of Geoscape UFO forces throughout the alien invasion -- Scouts and Landing Ship UFOs will now appear throughout the entire game to help train rookies -- Much more variety of UFOs, there will always be at least 2 main types available -- Reduced the rate at which non-crashsite UFOs (fighters, bombers) spawn - Reduced the frequency of alien attacks on Xenonaut bases by about 50% - Refuelling rate for interceptors increased from 0.12 to 0.2 - Implemented monthly maintenance costs for all aircraft at 20% of initial cost - Implemented monthly maintenance costs for base buildings at 10% of construction cost - Reduced cost of new Xenonaut base down to 250000 - Extensive rebalance of the composition and number of aliens spawning in every UFO and Alien base -- Alien numbers now randomised to make missions a little more individual -- Generally, you can expect up to 50% more aliens than previously in a UFO -- Better use of Passive (lurking), Defensive (UFO bound) and Command (UFO command room bound) aliens -- Larger UFOs now have proportionally more aliens on the defensive inside them -- Alien bases should now be much more busy, though they are sometimes affected by the note below -- Unfixed bug: it seems later UFOs/bases do not always load the correct set of aliens; please report this if you see it - Close range accuracy bonus increased from +8 per tile to +15 to encourage closer engagements - Grenades now cause overdamage, meaning they will destroy the equipment an alien was carrying - The various types of Xenonauts armour all now provide an extra 10 points of damage protection (e.g. Jackal now 30 up from 20) - Heavier armours (Jackal, Wolf and Predator) now no longer have a signt range reduction - Alien battle rifle damage increased from 70 to 100 (but 20 armour mitigation removed) - Base grenade throw range reduced by 3 tiles - The extra TU required to vault low walls has been reduced to 6 from 12 - Stun grenades made slightly more effective (both initial blast and gas) - Flashbang stun damage halved - Reduced range of sniper rifles down to 25 (both human and alien) - Sniper rifles now cost an extra 10 TU per tier to fire - Reduced range of some drone weapons down to 20 - Xenonaut stats progress has been capped at a single point for each stat per mission - Final mission has been tuned a bit in terms of layout and alien numbers; still very rough but should be more playable (remember most of the art in that mission is placeholder) Please post your comments on the build here. If you encounter any bugs please post them in the experimental build sub-forum of the bugs forum. I will post new threads in the beta forum shortly for in-depth discussion of the current Geoscape and Ground Combat balance, but feel free to post brief opinions here too.
  2. At the end of October 1979:- Overall tactic: I went with base building over equipping soldiers again in this build. With the lower base build cost, I went straight for a second base on day 1. A lull meant that I couldn't get a third base quite as quickly, but by the start of November the facilities are being built. By the end of November I should have 3 strike bases set up. Again, this offsets the nations with plummeting funding, such as the USA (if first base is in Europe (Sicily and not Greece. Bah)) An example of: In October I lost $40k of US funding. In November it was +$10k Ground Combat: The first four or five missions are tougher in this build. This isn't because of grenade use in previous builds. I usually only resort to grenades, when the weapons start causing too little damage. The aliens seemed to have a better grasp of cover. Also, they aren't as predictable. They now come out of the UFO (thank you) to mix things up a little. Alien plasma pistols seem to be pretty nasty this build. I'm glad that's pretty much all I've been up against. I may have to think about skimping on the armour. 2 20 day wounded troops very early on. Weapon types: Pistol/Shield - Invaluable in breaching UFOs and I've been using it a little more in getting close to defensive positions, due to grenade range limitations. Sniper - Hypervelocity has been removed for the moment, so that was felt. There's also a TU increase. Considering the time it should take to set up a sniper shot, I'm actually fine with that. It does mean that it takes a few missions for the Sniper to find his/her feet. Several actually. But still very useful considering grenade tweaks. LMG - The winner this build. I bring one in when the rocket launchers have enough strength and TUs to make it more viable. They have benefited most form the grenade tweaks. I now have 2 on the squad. Rifle - Relied on more with grenade tweaking. More useful in early missions waiting for LMG and sniper rifle to become more useful. Rocket Launcher- With everything it touches becoming a purple stain (unless it's friendly fire) this is used much more carefully. I'm switching ammo a lot more depending on the situation. Stun being a little more effective works well for this. Shotgun - Still not being used. Current maps don't provide close combat situations where it would be useful (early industrial maps were much better for this). Inside UFOs is probably the best bet, but there are still accuracy issues with that for nearly all weapons. Shield/pistol and grenades works better. There are no line of sight interiors in the early UFOs that would favour the use of the shotgun. For example, corners that would block use of grenades. Overall, a thumbs up for the changes. Some confined maps should bring Shotguns into their own. Still not using -High Explosive, Stun Batons, Flash Bangs for the reasons given here Air Combat - I enjoyed watching my Foxtrot fail to take down the light scout by itself, and I managed to take down 2 Corvettes without going back to reload. Reload changes are making a positive difference already. Also enjoying the variety of UFOs. I can't think when I've had a scout with 2 escorts. Straight into 3 fighters in this game, rather than a build up of single ones first. Nice to see things shift around. I've used the cannons a little more in this build. Not much more, but then there are others here, who use them in traditional dog fighting style., so it's possibly just me there. I was going to link back to 19.4 for not using Vehicles. But considering the increased difficulty of the first few missions, I'm wondering if a tank would have been a solution. Very possibly. Other issues (I've posted these elsewhere, but they fit nicely here too.) Stores is now ignored and manufacturing is pretty hollow. I'm realigning the soldiers in the dropship tab once and never going back to it. Greece being in the Middle East really jars as the first thing I go to do in the game is put a base there, only to find that it's in the "wrong" funding bloc. Instant Promotions - I had 7 Sgts after the first mission (Update: I'm getting commanders at the end of October) Manufacturing delay - there's no manufacturing to start with and I have a 6 day delay waiting for the third hanger to be built before I can begin the manufacture. I imagine that there would also be a delay if I built a garage, but haven't built that one. So, no manufacturing to start with, and then a delay in the first topic that's available to manufacture. Local forces down UFO early mission - If you want to equip your squad before the go, you want to press cancel. However, the timer stays at the same speed as when the "local forces down UFO" message appears. Hours race by before you can get to the top to stop it. Even if there's a time freeze hotkey, it would be nice if it just reverted back to the slowest speed. Firing into the UFO from just outside the doorway, continues to be odd looking. Accuracy plummets (and it's poor to begin with). Breach soldier doesn't always have the TUs to go much further than the door safely. So, it's back to grenades, as the least risky option. I can understand why you don't want everyone to be able to fire right into the back of the UFO, but it looks strange when you can't Research dries up around 18th with 15 scientists. That's for a few days and then it dries up again around the 27th. The tail end of both research periods is only 1 topic leading on to the only other available option. So there's no real research choice for the player. It's very linear. Considering the world is supposed to be running around trying to figure out how best to deal with the threat, there's little research going on. Edges of Light Scouts. - I still find some of the targeting around the corners of the ship to be odd. I've had a Caesian in plain sight just at one of the pincers, but I couldn't hit it directly and had to work my way around. Some oddities at the door as well. These have pretty much always been there. Savegame: End of October
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