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  1. The AI is not very aggressive. In my last gameplay (commander) during the cleaner cell missions, after the vip was killed, I thought I'll give a try to fortify myself in the compound around the chopper to see what happens and perhaps get at least 3 cleaner data sticks (as I wasn't planning to get any originally). So I stayed until turn 45... got 10 datasticks, 7 cleaner rifles and had to leave in the end, as the squad was low on ammo (basic lasers) even on the captured cleaner guns. My squad was pretty beaten up, but no casualties (6 injured 1 wounded, MARS with 11 health), but my expectation was, that the reinforcement will be swarming the battlefield, flanking my positions, throwing grenades or stack up and attack my position in mass, but no. In reality they did use some cover, but very often provided my guys with firing solutions in the open instead. At the end, 17 cleaners were dead (idk if the reinforcement count in as well, I thought I definitely killed more than that) I am sure, that many of you also tried and got lot more out of the mission, just wanted to point out, how the AI behaved in prolonged combat. I did the same with all 3 cleaner missions, with similar outcomes. Suggestions: 1. The cleaner reinforcements seem to be spawning in the same spots (left and right top corners of the map). Adding spawn points and cycle between them when reinforcements arrive would be better and would make the player adjust their tactics more, as a larger area would become potentialy dangerous. 2. Cleaner soldiers (not agents) should also use heavier weapons to be more formidable. I would suggest a Rocket Launcher and machine gun to add variety. Such weapons would make them absolutely lethal and fearsome. 3. I also noticed in the US cleaner cell mission, that the agents had accelerated weapons, but the reinforcement had basic ballistic rifles only. 4. Cleaner soldiers (and possibly also agents) should also use grenades (at least flashbangs) 5. While the defence by the agents in all 3 missions seemed reasonable, supporting each other in defense, the reinforcements pop in and run around as if nothing happened, having more or less defensive approach around middle of the map - shooting on everyrhing they could see. It was described before by @doubleskulls as well I believe, that the AI does not use much cover and only react on what they currently see. It would be my suggestion therefore, that the primary target of the cleaner reinforcement should be the dropship location, to add pressure on the player to get out as soon as they can (and potenrially leaving under fire)
  2. This is a very basic mod. All it does it lower values so that's it's easier to get the skillups, essentially meaning that soldiers get xp by participating in the missions. No more backpacks full of lead weights, no more firing squads who you sabotage so that they miss the enemy. I can't change the nature of how the skillups are acquired, so you will need to have your soldiers fire at an enemy once to get an accuracy point, and trigger reaction fire to get the reaction point. To get the TU and STR levelups, you need to move a soldier all of one square. To try and compensate for easier skillups, you can only get +1 accuracy, reflexes and strength per mission (down from +2). It's meant (and tested for) v19 HF3. Download. (Sorry for the typo in the title. I can't edit it out.)
  3. For the most part I auto-resolve air combat. Do interceptors gain experience and skill with each successful mission they survive?
  4. In the current game, experience/stat growth is fairly gamey in nature. You load up weight to train strength. I keep a list of characters to check off, making sure everyone gets their turn to have a reaction shot before I go for the kill. It's especially bad with the Light Scouts, which are farmable practically only for their experience. To a degree, this is what the "donating"/"airstrike" idea was for, but I want to propose a different scheme for expeience overall, so that players aren't so tempted to just go into missions for character leveling sake, alone. Potential is a scheme for growth-through-use experience that aims to control player's instinct to just spam a skill to train it that I first came across in the roguelike game Elona. Potential is fairly simple in concept - it's just an experience point multiplier that goes down every time whatever the potential is tied to ranks up. At 100% potential, you gain experience normally. At 150% or 50% potential, you gain experience at 1.5 or 0.5 times normal. Each time you rank up a skill, your potential goes down. For brevity's sake, I am spoiling the details. Those interested in its technical workings click: The short of it is, you gain stats over time as you sit in base, but your potential to gain more stats goes down - making it take longer, and giving you less and less actual stat growth as you sit in base, doing nothing but drills. You get a sudden boost to your potential when you actually use your character in battle, giving them expanded potential, and letting them train faster. But that practical experience isn't going to give you actual stats, it's just making stats gained from training come faster. Hence, the way to keep soldiers going at peak efficiency isn't so much to keep them constantly in battle, but to find the proper balance between being in downtime and being in battle. This, in turn, can help with the problem of players hunting down every UFO - since taking on a UFO means taking time away from character training, then the player will eventually have enough potential that they gain no real benefit from putting characters in battle over and over, while they are actively losing their training time. Another way to keep overpowered player characters from being a problem is to make the amount of experience (since we aren't tied to a strict "one reaction shot = one point of reflexes" model, but an experience bar that fills progressively with downtime) that it takes to gain a stat increase as the stats themselves are higher values. (A rookie with 50 in Strength might take half as long to train in strength as a veteran with 100 strength... or four times as long, if you want a harsher quadratic curve.) If you make soldiers passively train, (rather than spend money on training, unless you want to make spending money be an "intensive training" option) you can also include some research options involving training - for example, after battles with specific types of aliens, you can have "sebilian noncombatant tactics" research or the like, which would also provide bonuses to the rate of experience gain, making late-game recruits train up faster than early-game recruits. So could a training yard base extension. --- Affinity is a different animal, but it relates to the problem I have with all the soldiers in my squad being basically the same for any given amount of training, with only their initial randomization of between 50 and 60 in their scores making them slightly different. Affinity is a natural predisposition towards certain stats - it means that a character with a high affinity for strength, for example, would gain strength points faster than a character with a low affinity, with or without potential. Either way, this would mean that, while starting character strength is still largely ignorable, affinity would be a major difference in what characters you recruited.
  5. I think there is a way to avoid "calisthenics". And they should be avoided. Shooting at walls or doing ridiculous things like "spend 600 AP when loaded to 80%+ weight" should not generate XP/training. No more Bethesda-style Master of Running! I had posted something like that before but it was only a tweak to another system. This here is a complete concept so I put it in a new thread. Any and all XP gains are tied to "hurting an alien". You can't cheese the system and train indefinitely because you run out of aliens. The XP that an alien "contains" is limited and independent from the alien's hit points! This XP pool can be used up before the alien is dead. You can suppress an alien all day long but that's not going to result in training all day long. XP is absolutely limited to the amount of aliens in the area. No alien? Go home. You're done here. More dangerous aliens have a larger XP pool. = another useful balancing tool because you have a way to balance total XP gain! The total amount of "training" that a soldier receives from an action is directly proportional to the percentage of the target's max hit points that the attack subtracts. Hitting an alien tank for 20% of it's damage would be worth 20% of the alien's XP pool. With a very dangerous alien you get more XP for the same action because it has a bigger XP pool. Suppression or stun damage could also generate XP. This XP is all taken from the same pool. If a "heavy" does nothing but suppress lots of aliens without ever damaging one, he has still contributed. He gets XP for that. If you shoot a rocket at a wall, that's the same thing as doing it on a shooting range. No alien hurt. No mission XP. You can also de-couple the XP reward from success at an action. This way a raw recruit shooting at an alien 3 times can get the same result as the veteran hitting the alien 3 times. Instead of the above "XP generation" method, the base chance to hit is calculated. (not dependent on soldier skill!) A low probability shot is worth low XP percentage. The weapon's average damage (minus target's mitigation) multiplies that. The soldier gets rewarded with XP equivalent to the damage that he will probably do. Since these "average XP" can mean that the alien is killed before all it's XP have been "used up", the killing / stunning shot always awards any remaining XP that the alien may have. As described above, lower ranks get an XP bonus so they advance faster. On average you get the exact same result as with 4. The difference is that it is only required to perform the action - not to actually be successful at it. Weapons have an XP modifier. A weapon with a higher modifier "generates" more XP per damage done. With a sniper rifle you are going to cause damage directly. Modifier = 1. With a machine gun you are more likely to lay down suppressive fire, hitting less often. Modifier = 2 If a lucky 21% hit from a MG eats up 42% of the alien's XP pool, the sniper can only "gain" XP equivalent to the remaining 58% XP, even if the alien has 79% of it's hit points left. This models the fact that a 100% suppressed alien is not very dangerous. Your sniper has an easy and safe job - more like on the firing range. This (5.) is just an option. It could be dropped completely if suppression/stun damage also count as XP-worthy events. [*] What kind of stats are being trained depends on the weapon used. Some examples... Grenade XP Modifier = 1 (but can hurt multiple targets...) 35% Strength 20% hidden stat for extra throwing range / accuracy 20% HP 25% AP [*] Sniper Rifle XP Modifier = 1 50% Accuracy 20% Reflexes 30% AP [*] Shotgun XP Modifier = 1.5 30% AP 25% Reflexes 25% Accuracy 20% HP [*] Machine Gun XP Modifier = 1.8 40% Strength 20% Accuracy 20% AP 20% Reflexes Every weapon would train all stats to differing degrees. I only listed some key points to illustrate the concept. Stat training is job specific and scales with how much a soldier contributes. Getting shot in the head does not make you tougher! One spin-off of this would be to assign a different training distribution to different fire modes of a weapon. An assault rifle using aimed shots would shift the points a bit from strength towards accuracy. [*] New recruits. The FNG could not contribute a lot - especially in an advanced game with much more dangerous aliens. Since he can't hurt them a lot, he would not gain a lot of XP. Ranks would have XP modifiers. A recruit gains a "training effect bonus" after the XP has been deducted from the alien's XP pool. In the early game this is balanced by "easy aliens" having a small XP pool. Progression is normal. In the later game, a recruit doing some damage to a high-XP target will get a disproportionally large training effect and so be able to somewhat catch up to the rest of the team. [*] Calculation of post-mission stat increases. Every soldier has now received 6 (more in case of hidden stats?) different kinds of "training points", relating to the different character stats. For each stat there are two successive random rolls against this stat's training points to determine how many actual stat points you get out of this. After the first roll, 100 are deducted from this stat's training points. A weapon's "minor stats" have basically no chance to gain 2 points - no matter how much you reload. You can still weigh these rolls with the stat number if you want. That's just math. The rank-based XP bonus / reduction (7.) would already take care of most of that. [*] Promotions Promotions are based entirely on the total stat points of a soldier. Stat increases are contribution-based so promotions are in turn contribution-based. The distribution of initial stat points is random. If you can hire "experienced" recruits later in the game, these will have the rank that corresponds to their stat point total. (basically like it works now) Promotions have a negative effect on "skill training" (no bonus, see 7.)... but a positive effect on morale. The aliens will make sure you're going to fight more dangerous aliens so the malus to skill training will be taken care of. You want promotions for the morale increase. [*] The actual calculations are all simple and occur at exactly one point in the code - when damage of any kind is done. Well, and obviously with the mission debriefing.
  6. There, I typed it. Now I realize the point of this excercise is to haul the spirit of UFO into the new millenium, but if there's one particular piece of the old game that could use redoing it's that. As is, it's rewarding the player for engaging in illogical, monotonous tasks. Examples would having the team members run circles out of sight of the enemy in order to gain AP, or adding additional never-to-be-used grenades to their backpacks in between every other mission to build strength. It's not to the point of gifting handguns to the Aliens and having them train reflexes for you, but only because knocking Aliens unconscious hasn't been implemented yet. This is not good game design, nor does it make sense from a flavor point of view. Worse, it's tedious. It replaces time spent not actually playing the game in any meaningful sense of the word with in-game stat increases. It takes time and focus away from what should be the core of gameplay - tactical combat - and replaces it with what, +2 strength? Please reimagine. Even something simple like random skill advancement would be a gigantic leap upwards from this. Hell, scrap skill advancement outside of Morale/Nerve altogether and it would be a step up. Kinda like they did with the olde Rainbow Six games -you had a rooster of guys/gals with different skillsets, some obviously superior to others and thus had an incentive to keep the better dudes alive (and having to make do with inferior replacements should they become wounded/KIA). EDIT: Basically, talking about this and why it detracts from the game.
  7. As I play through, I'm finding that the skill gap between new and old soldiers is far too great. Losing a couple of my elite troops is DEVASTATING. I've managed to recover, but I am admittedly using various exploits and doing my best to powertrain my lower-level troops to mitigate this. (Seriously. While my elites do the actual clearing of a UFO, I'll just have everyone else run calisthenics. It's really boring.) In addition, the later dropships have much larger troop complements, and adding new troops to your combat roster means you will be have some rookies. (Also it dilutes accuracy and reflex skill points.) Now then, in fear of Chris deciding to make troops indestructible, I decided to start coming up with some ideas to help mitigate this gap WITHOUT putting in any crutches. If you guys have ideas also, feel free to suggest them. Here's what I've got: 1.) Increase soldiers' starting stats while reducing the rate at which they gain stats. The most obvious way to reduce the skill gap is to literally reduce the skill gap. Go figure This would also add to the idea that our soldiers are the best in the world when they join us, not random village folk. 2.) Some form of skill and progress-based ways of increasing odds of survival. XCOM2012 had the bleeding out/stabilize mechanic, which is a reasonable way of approaching this. (Although they did make the stupid decision to have it come with a permanent hit to an important attribute, but that's beside the point.) Some other ways to go about it is to have researches and base buildings that increase the chances of a soldier's survival. In the buildings.xml file, I noticed a "Biosurgical Center," and I wonder if this was something that is/was intended to do just that. 3.) A "mentor bonus," where if a soldier is on a mission with / working closely with a better soldier, the rookie will gain stats at an increased rate. So it wouldn't help you get good soldiers at the beginning, but training replacements is more possible. 4.) Off-duty management, where you order the soldiers to actually DO something in between missions, rather than just chilling in the barracks. Things like "Obstacle course" to increase TUs and bravery, "Firing range" to increase accuracy and reflexes. "Weight training" to increase strength and resilience. It's more realistic than gaining skill ups in missions, because spending two days lifting weights does a lot more in the long run than five minutes schlepping gear about a battlefield. Of course, this option doesn't allow for battlefield experience, which is why I'd also recommend giving a flat +2 bonus to all skills per rank up. (Many of the things listed here would require a rebalance of how skills and promotions are gained.) 5.) A ticker- or research-based increase over time to rookie starting stats. Similar to 1.) but with this the starting troops would still have 50-60 in each stat but by lategame rookies would have perhaps 70-80 in each stat. Not enough to overcome the benefits of keeping troops alive, but allowing for easier replacement of elites by lategame.
  8. So I see that the topic of theoretical experience gain stat increase systems has been discussed to dea... er, extensively. What I'm wondering about is the current implementation of experience and stat gain. It seems clear to me that the old UFO system is not being used, just from correlating my soldiers actions in-battle and the results in the Debriefing. Anyone have any insights to share?
  9. I don't know what the algorithm for experience gain is, but I just started my second game with v9.5, and I don't seem to be gaining any. After each of 3 battles, the soldier summary screen shows, but no soldier shows any stat gain. Each mission was a definite success: -6 Kills -Only 1 Civilian death -0 Soldier injuries Is this normal? In my first game I didn't get stat gains from every mission, but whenever there was a summary screen I did (No soldier ever received a wound in that aborted game, though I expect wounds would have brought up the summary screen, too). And after 3 missions I had definitely gained stats. EDIT: on my fifth battle I did gain some stats. Must have just been bad luck. Though now I'm wondering what the experience algorithm is. If I can't find another thread on the topic, I'll start one.
  10. Where do i post or who should i PM about forum experience not updating? not really a big deal but its kinda bugging me.
  11. There have been many (and extensive =) threads on the old forum about how training in general could work. Pretty much everyone agrees that while some in-base training is reasonable, experience through missions should be paramount. So I've been thinking about how exactly the game should decide how much experience / stats a soldier gains from which actions during a mission. The stats we have are action points resilience strength accuracy reflexes bravery missions kills rank 'rank' experience points as a hidden stat (assumed) For some stats it's obvious which actions to assign. Firing guns increases accuracy. Duh. For other stats it's not so clear cut. While it is the obvious thing to attach reflexes to reaction fire during the alien turn, it leaves the issue of overall progression. Firing guns happens a lot in the player turn but also in combination with reaction fire. That leads to a lot more accuracy skillups than there are for reflexes. If important stats just won't go up, that is frustrating and often leads to... Gaming the system / exploits. A soldier should not gain accuracy by silly actions like firing 20 magazines worth of aimed shots at a ground tile in front of him. In JA2, the easiest way to gain strength is to overload your soldiers to several hundred percent of their carrying capacity, ordering them to travel to an adjacent tile (ideally of "difficult" terrain), and immediately canceling the order while the game is still paused. Repeat. Some considerations will certainly apply to all stats, others to particular stats or situations. I don't know what everyone will come up with or in which order so... just gunna have to play it by ear. =P
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