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There has been quite the argument on building the perfect flamethrower... or at least any believeable one.

Hi all,

We're currently implementing the flamethrower and we're going over the mechanics, as we're unsure if the current plans are the best ones for how it'll work. Thought I may as well open the floor up to suggestions while we're working out the plan.

At present, the flamethrower fires a 30degree angle stream of explosions in front of the soldier, with the damage ignoring cover. We want to implement a good system to model it damaging scenery (given that it would utterly destroy 'soft' scenery but leave the 'hard' scenery undamaged structurally), perhaps add some persistent fire model, but most of all we want to come up with a good model that means the flamethrower is especially useful for killing everything in an enclosed space.

A bit like in WW2 where flamers were used to clear out German bunkers in Normandy without really having to go inside, basically. We were having a system where the flames 'rebound' off walls, but the programmer suggested this would be very CPU-intensive to calculate and would allow people to shoot around corners if done at an angle, which isn't really the intention.

So yeah, suggestions welcomed from anyone. I'm sure Gazz will have something to say :)

I'm thinking two modes should be enough. An aimed mode, and a burst mode, where a burst mode would essentially be a wide AOE attack. If an obstacle obstructs the flames, take the number of obstructed tiles that'd normally be in AOE and apply half of them to the opposite direction, increasing AOE range in that direction. I tried to illustrate it as well as possible, but ended up fighting with the damn table ;) Oh, and was thinking maybe flamers should have minimum range. Anyway, that's of minor detail.

@ = soldier, # = flames, .. = ground, a = alien, !!=wall


[th]Normal fire[/th]

[th]Burst Fire[/th]

[th]Burst obstacle[/th]































If an obstacle obstructs the flames, take the number of obstructed tiles that'd normally be in AOE and apply half of them to the opposite direction, increasing AOE range in that direction.

This. very this. you could also increase the damage in the center of the stream slightly to replicate the extra fuel burning there.

Oh, and I was thinking maybe flamers should have minimum range. Anyway, that's of minor detail.

Yeah, that would be the difference between real life and the gaming niche. honestly, I think that 6-8 squares is probably enough range for it to be useful, but that will have to wait until we get to playtest to see if it feels right or not. after all, if the enemies see you at 13 squares (like in XCOM) then you would be hard pressed to use the weapon effectively. it would own the hallways on anything larger than a medium scout though.

unrelated, but I have no issues with fire being able to curve around a corner; since we're not going to model the sheer amount of heat as a chance to harm the enemies, it's a useful trick to get enemies that we couldn't otherwise hit. after all, we would have to know that the enemies are there first, right? using it to burn around a corner is still the same niche: nailing an enemy that is behind cover. it's just a little harder cover than usual is all.

I agree that curving corners isn't necessarily a bad thing. It only brings in another tactical option improving the usability of the flamer. The way to limit this though is to reduce the amount of tiles that "bounce back" etc.

Another idea: If you really want to make the Flamethrower mechanics awesome, make the attack mechanics so that you can "paint" a line of fire by dragging mouse cursor on map:

-When attacking with flamer, there are no modes except one mode

-On attack mode, upon single left click on target, initiate normal attack mode, with accuracy increase at right click etc.

-Alternatively, you can click and hold lmb then drag across the map. A (invisible) line will be drawn across tiles, and each tile the line passes will be "tagged". AP cost and ammo use is based on number of "tagged" tiles and thus varies according to how much area you want to cover

-"illegal" tiles won't be activated - no line-of-fire - ensuring some measure of safety

-Each "tagged" tile would then be attacked separately, mechanics-wise

-with the cross-shaped AOE for each individual attack, adjacent tile is affected naturally several times, increasing damage and effect, making the flamer most effective only where it hits.

I'm not sure about the accuracy mechanics though in this case, as in how to take them into consideration. I magine if normal variation is used, the effects might become... somewhat odd, instead of an even wall of flame, which is the intention.


One another thought that pops into my mind is that you'd DIRECTLY tie the number of tiles affected on flamer to ammo use as well as range. I.e. if 10 ammo is spent, 10 fire tiles are affected, and thus maximum range would be 10 tiles for that particular attack. Then apply the painting-mechanics (or whatever) and make sure the total amount of fire tiles is equal to ammo spent. You might be able to produce a slightly artificial, yet satisfying solution.

Wah, I hope any of this gives you some ideas.

Instead of the fire bouncing, what would the effect be of it "pooling" in the zone where the shot is fired at and at all walls?

In this example ill avoid 30% Cone of fire as that can easily be included without modifying the method.

Say your firing straight into a wall at close range fx Range 3[The wall is 3 tiles away]. The flame impacting the wall would have a very high "Burn" or damage potential at this range.

The flame would hit the wall doing variable damage C according to range to the close tile at the wall. So X - - C W, X being the flame thrower, W = Wall, - = Empty tile.

The damage should propagate from this point not by bouncing but by pooling according to the direction of fire, distance from centre and damage absorbed by other fields, so more damage at the points near the wall. As seen from the side:

- - -



F being higher than the damage on - fields due to angle of fire and the wall not absorbing but instead dispersing damage out to the sides and up according to distance from centre.

I Hope you get the idea, can't spend more time on this for now :)

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A bit like in WW2 where flamers were used to clear out German bunkers in Normandy without really having to go inside, basically. We were having a system where the flames 'rebound' off walls, but the programmer suggested this would be very CPU-intensive to calculate and would allow people to shoot around corners if done at an angle, which isn't really the intention.

To clean out those bunkers the flamethrowers were not used as direct fire weapons. FT were used because the fuel and heat would propagate into the available space. So yes, shooting around corners is the entire point of the weapon.

However, a useful ability like that can not come without negatives. And there is a big (and hot) one...

When I read "Flamethrower Mechanics" - without reading any of the post - the immediate thought was fluid mechanics / hydraulic jet.

Flamethrowers work like that. It cannot be a projectile with an AOE effect but the heat and burning fluid... propagate.

The suggested "pooling", while somewhat vague, goes in that general direction.

The flamethrower throws a hydraulic jet of combustible fluid.

In theory (and for a simulated FT we can go with that) the jet reaches it's end when all fuel has burned.

So the farther the jet travels, the weaker it gets.

Jet / Splash propagation

When the flamethrower jet is fired, it has a "power" that is = it's weapon range.

For every tile that the jet travels through open space, it loses 1 power.

When it reaches max range, it has burned out and fades into nothing.

If it hits an obstacle, it splashes. The more "power left" in the jet, the more splash.

The impact tile is added to an array as the first "splash tile".

A loop is run (remaining power x 2) times.

- A random splashed tile that has adjacent "unsplashed" tiles is selected from the array.

- A random unsplashed tile adjacent to the selected tile is splashed and added to the array.

+ If this tile has already been burning (from a previous FT shot), it is handled normally but

0.5 loop cycles are added back into the power / loop counter.

end loop

The flamethrower target zone propagates in a random fashion. That is both easy to calculate... and quite realistic. Flamethrowers are hard to control. One of the most "unsurgical" infantry weapons.

Best of all... if you shoot a flamethrower at a wall directly in front of you, you burn because it splashes right back on you.

(Don't do that at home, kids)

Unlike with a fixed area effect (like a rocket / grenade AOE), the player cannot reliably shoot around corners because the direction of propagation is random. Just like a fluid it could splash into any damn direction... but not though walls because a tile behind a wall would not be adjacent to a tile before the wall. Cannot propagate.

Shooting at a tree with an alien hiding behind it, the flame may envelop the tree and hit the alien... or may splash right the other way.

Consecutive flamethrower shots would increase the area - but not geometrically like 2x shot being 2x the area.

The areas overlap but even "skipping" an already burning tile costs 0.5 tiles.

The total flame area is usually getting denser through repeated shots (lighting up tiles that were previously "missed") but should not grow more than 20-30% tops. I'd have to run a few simulations on this but it's definitely no infinite growth.

That would be the most fun flamethrower model I've seen in a game so far and the calculations are rather simple.

The loop that sets tile after tile on fire wouldn't have to run instantly.

It's actually the opposite. It should be slow enough so the player can watch where the fire flows. That's no extra coding cost beyond a wait statement but it's infinitely cooler than an instant AOE boom.

Since range directly affects the area that is hit, a short ranged Flame Pistol is also a possibility.

It would be less hazardous in close quarters because of the far smaller back-splash.

(The potential splash area is directly proportional to weapon range)

I think Gazz's idea is pretty neat. I like the idea of the flamethrower as a "random" weapon where the exact effect is hard to calculate beforehand. Also, this would produce the awesome effect of filling up small compartments and take out targets behind cover.
. Edited by Gazz
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That's the idea. The flamethrower is not a very popular weapon IRL - with the people who use it. =P

If you twitch and put a rifle round into a wall in front of you, you get a few harmless stone shrapnels. Do the same with a flamethrower and... just don't.

And if there are hidden civilians around, a flamethrower is not an ideal weapon. (otherwise SWAT teams would have them. They are great for room clearing! =)

The range vs AOE size balance is not only realistic (a finite amount of fuel), it's a matter of game balance. If you shoot at close targets you get a larger AOE but the closer to you, the higher the chance to get hit with the backlash.

At longer range it's safer to you but you get less of a chance for a very dense or encompassing effect.

In fact, I would model this as fire modes. The soldier can decide to pull the trigger longer and get a longer reaching jet, more fire, more fuel consumption.

For short range engagements it's quite suicidal to just keep spraying. Short controlled bursts... if you don't want to end up real crispy yourself.

In principle the same as single / burst / auto, except that the range is affected, too, ... and through it the potential AOE.

This would make the flamethrower a very tactical weapon. And a very dangerous one to use. =P

The damage would stay the same with these fire modes. Only how many aliens you can hit at once (and if you survive it) would change.


While I think that shooting around corners is not a thing that must be avoided at all cost, I agree that there should be an advantage to LOS shooting.

And in the case of flamethrowers, it's obvious.

Anything that is lit up by a FT burns for... the duration.

Splash tiles (and anything that was standing in them) burn for 0 - 1 turns in addition to the firing turn or 1 - 2 turns total.

(but always keep burning during the aliens' next turn)

The initial impact tile burns for 1 turn longer or a total of 2 - 3 turns.

That is because whatever was standing directly in the fuel jet got totally drenched. More fuel, more burn.

So with LOS shooting ( = more risk) you can do more damage.

This also prevents "stacking" flamethrowers, making them more of a tactical weapon than something you give to every single soldier.

Yes, the initial damage in the firing turn stacks but the burn duration does not.

If an alien gets hit with 3 FT jets, it takes 3x the initial damage. Then it keeps burning for 1 - 2 turns afterwards.

A simpler variation would be that a direct hit does nominal damage (for the same "totally drenched" reason), splash damage only whatever fraction is decided on.

Something like 2/3. Can't be too low because that is the purpose of a flamethrower and the fuel burns the same. Just more briefly if there is less of it. Therefore damage should also not get lower (like with a grenade AOE), the farther you are from the blast.

If you get hit by the burning fuel, you get hit.

However, a huge jet of fire that just goes out like a little match at the end of the turn... that's neither very realistic nor cool.

I suggested a random burn duration because there will always be puddles that burn longer than the rest.


There are built-in ways to balance this system.

- How the remaining range / power of the jet is translated into AOE

(I used (remaining power x 2) times for the loop)

- How much "remaining power" it costs to splash into an already burning tile.

(I used 0.5)

That controls the likelyhood of consecutive shots "filling" the remaining blanks in the

original shot's AOE or building a bigger fireball.

If the cost is high, you cannot "flood" the area with multiple flamer shots.... which would

be a pretty cool thing to do. (pouring oil into the fire... literally)


New fuel can be researched later that burns hotter (not much) or longer (very likely!).

Fuel that burns longer would increase the tactical value of the FT because the splash damage would do a greater percentage of the direct hit damage.

And even a substantial upgrade would not turn the FT into an instakill weapon. It takes a few turns to do it's dirty work.

That would also increase the weapon's value as an area denial weapon. Aliens should be... reluctant to step into a wall of fire.

Fuel containing Fulminating Pop Bits (insert technobabble) that splashes further.

Adjusts the factor for how many times the splash loop runs so with the same jet of fuel, more tiles are lit up.

Fire Extinguisher

Don't leave home without it if the boss told you to use a flamer. *gulp*

Seriously. A one-time use item that the flamer soldier can use to extinguish himself... or something that got in the way but isn't supposed to get crispified.

How about a combination of Gazz's random spread and a bouncing system on angles plus my half bounce-back? Let me (try to) explain:

I'm using Gazz's Power = Range idea here.

The first thing to do if the flamer hits a wall is to determine any bounceback effect. It should be some basic math to calculate the angle at which it bounces back. However, the bounce back isn't perfect since upon hit most of the fuel spreads around, hence the amount of randomly spread fuel and bounced fuel is determined separately from the remaining Power upon impact. Essentially, half of the remaining power is spread randomly and half is bounced in the appropriate direction.

You could also have a bounce-threshold, which would essentially be a certain angle at which bounce occurs. Any less than that, and all the flames are just spread around randomly, like in Gazz's original idea.


Let's say a normal "burst" from flamer has Power of 10. The distance to a wall is 5 tiles, hence 5 Power remains upon impact. This means that 2.5 random tiles upon point of impact are lit on fire and the fuel burst bounces 2.5 tiles from the wall. Round the values as needed.

. Edited by Gazz
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While I would like to see proper bouncing, I can't see how it would work.

Tiles are a bunch of pixels. They have no surface.

The flamethrower could not know if that was a shadow or a blade of glass so which way does the jet bounce when hitting that obstacle at a particular angle?

My aim was a somewhat believeable system that would work without any "high" math and simulates the random splashing from a high pressure beam waving about.

No more, no less. In fact it's simple enough to be done in all integer math.

Tile interaction for a flamer jet would probably be linked with how the game deals with cover. Its directional, so so a piece of cover has to have planar face/s as a result.

Also, need to clear up terminology here. Does tile mean a base floor tile (grass, road, pavement, etc) or everything on a battlescape map square (movement space). I prefer the former. An object would be a doodad of some kind (wall, bush, pole, etc) that is on the tile (floor tile), with a wall being a subtype specifically referring to a hard cover object (concrete barrier etc) that the flamers aren't meant to destroy/penetrate. And a square is a combination of tile, object and whatever else is on it.

From reading all of these, the system I'd like is something that has a jet with a power rating = range. If it hits an object it immediately splashes an number of tiles equal to power remaining (with various options for how tiles splashed are calculated)

An object would be destroyed (exception for metal poles and the like? Due to armour or a material check etc?) and splash spreading around 360 degrees using object as starting point. Hitting an actor counts as an object, but they take damage instead of being destroyed.

A wall blocks splash from getting past it, so all splash spreads in front of and along the wall with impact square as centre. Could have a possible option for low walls/window sections to do a rounded cover check (d10 roll based on percentage rounded) for splash through. Should only check once for each wall section affected, and splash shouldn't spread more than one tile behind a wall. High walls would block it completely of course. Most vehicles come under this, possible exceptions for very small or flat things (like a Cyberdisk for example, the jet would probably land on top of/split on it since it doesn't have a side as such)

Hitting a tile works the same as hitting an object (Tile wouldn't get destroyed though. Could be some exceptions but would be rare. Better for stuff like upper level wooden floor tiles to burn due to flame afterwards).

Could be a reserved power so if a jet reaches it power limit it still splashes at least a little from hitting the tile/object/wall.

No real bouncing but can still get around corners but shooting at the ground past or at the corner. Simple to use/plan, and dangerous since if it hits a close wall/object it'll probably splash against you. Windows might be an odd case since they come under low wall (only splash one tile past at most), but since you can take cover under/next to them and fire without them being an obstacle its simple enough, just not quite realistic. You're quite safe doing that too, since there's only a limited chance it'd splash back out. No idea how hard all of this would be to code though. Sounds pretty simple for a set of basic mechanics.

Yeah I was using tile to mean both, but will refer to them as tile and obstacle/wall now. The only problem I have with that method Sathra is how do you choose how strong you want the stream to be (ie its power)? If I was a flamer guy then I would be able to determine how long I should pull the trigger to get some fuel to bounce off the wall, and once done I would stop the flow to minimise splash back. Would different power ratings be under different shot types perhaps?

Shot selection:

Wide arc shot: covers multiple tiles in front of you (ideal for standing in a door and clearing out a room)

Low powered shot: shot burst of fuel for short distance, small chance to spread past corners, low splash back

High powered shot: long stream of fuel for longer distance shots able to saturate areas past corners, high splash back if used at incorrect angle

All should damage units the same if they are caught in the flames, the differences lie in how much AP and fuel are used, and how the shot is used to affect more or less amounts of tiles

Yeah, power selection would be through shot types. With mine it'd just be something like short/medium/long spray. Or short and long.

Filling a room would involve firing at at the middle of the room with an appropriate power shot. Small room - short, large room - long.

Alternatively, could have power due to how much AP put into the shot, instead of using AP to pump accuracy. Means you can't focus aim, but flamer is a short range, pretty indiscriminate weapon. Would only need one shot level then, with any extras types being different firing modes like point-to-point for flame walls.

Don't really like that idea myself. Could limit how much you can use it (draining AP for high power shots). While it results in being able to precisely adjust for situations, you could also adjust how you use it with fixed fire modes for the same result.

I think I'd prefer the second option, where you actually choose where you want your shots to go, and the game tells you how much it'll cost. That seems more intuitive for me, and seems more the norm with the other guns as you chose who you're targeting with them too...

Only problem I see though is how to implement wall bounces with that system.

the other system works well too, but for that fill the room shot I was refering to more of a wall of fire type shot. Don't forget that anything between the shooter and the end point of these shots should also get burnt, so it's not so much a wall of fire (unless shot in a straight line) but a cone of fire.

Heh, your version of the AP pump shooting is much better concepted. I had it backwards, with increasing AP for extra distance, rather that choose a distance and get a cost. That way you can also pump it for accuracy.

Yeah...with mine anything on a tile that crossed the shot path will stop a shot and make the jet splash. Tree, bush, pole, alien, civilian, etc. Needs a clear path to hit the targeted point. It'll fill a roughly circular area around whatever it hits though (unless splash is blocked by a wall). Its very much not realistic :S.

There's also no bouncing at all, of the trick-shot kind. While you can get flames around a corner, its mostly by getting the around the corner area within the splash radius.

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After getting the flamethrower to work in the current build I am not keen on the mechanic that is in place at the moment.

I do realise it hasn't been finalised but the 'cone of fire' just doesn't seem to be right.

To me it looks like it should almost be treated as a burst fire incendiary launcher.

Aiming is the same as any other direct fire weapon (e.g. assault rifle).

Launch your jet of fire along the path to where you aim and it fires five (or some other number depending on balance) bursts of flame (can be animated to look like individual jets or a single long jet).

Each of these burst shots is treated like a small incendiary rocket.

If it hits anything along the way it will splash fire from the hit while the rest of the burst will continue along the path until they also hit something.

Each hit to a specific target should increase the area that is covered by the fire pool.

Five hits would give a nice bit of coverage and damage while a single hit would give less coverage and a little less damage.

The main difference would be making sure the jets fade out after a set distance rather than continuing indefinitely.

That allows you to potentially damage anything that gets in the way of your flamethrower jet but still spray past them to hit your target.

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OK, here's what's currently planned for the flamethrower in the master work list. Feel free to tear it apart - it's not very mathematical, but it's better than the current design.


  • This will display a template on the ground when in fire mode. It has two fire modes – long and short burst. These are toggled between using right-click as normal.
  • The template changes based on how far you are trying to fire the weapon. The templates for long / short burst are shown in the Excel document flamethrower.xls also provided. The templates will update as you move the target point on the ground nearer or further to the firing soldier. If you move the cursor beyond the range of the flamethrower, it will just show its longest fire mode and not extend beyond that.
  • If the flames hit a structural wall, the fire needs to ‘splash’ and the fire that would otherwise spawn but cannot due to the wall needs to be replaced at random around the edges of the cloud of fire. However, the tiles with fire intensity will need to be shifted to the outside of the flame cloud – see the spreadsheet for an example.




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I thought you were against templates as a rule?

Does this mean we may get templates for grenade and rocket blast radius as well?

Will the flames pass through occupied squares and objects or do they have the same sort of chance as projectiles?

If they will not pass over some things (for example troopers with 100% obstruction levels) will the template reflect this?

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Looks pretty good to me. So its something halfway between a hose and grenade launcher if I'm reading it right.

Some of the blast shapes for close range fire (mostly the short-range ones) look a bit strange, but not excessively so.

Maybe have the long 'line shots' have low damage tiles around the end point? Or at least fire spawned around the impact point. It might look a bit strange otherwise.

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I like!

The wording is different but the principle is basically what I suggested.

A flamer "shot" has maybe "10 tiles of fire".

These are either expended traveling x squares towards the target or by building the flame cloud when the stream hits the ground or an obstacle.

The longer burst could simply "have more tiles".

We'll have to see how the propagation is going to work with open windows / doors but other than that this flamer model is full of win.

BTW: a very important part of this would be the visuals. The player needs to see how the fire spreads outwards. If it's instant it looks like just another boring rocket launcher.

Visuals are the difference between a hack and a feature. They make the feature "real".

Hmm, how long does such a fire burn without additional fuel?

For use as an area-denial weapon each tile would have to burn (randomly) 1-2 turns.

Edited by Gazz
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That would be a pretty good start.

A "fuel" rating for each tile because even painted concrete can burn... briefly.

It's probably not in the design specs of the tile editor so adding this value would take some effort...

In addition to that, each "application" of flamethrower adds 1-2 turns to that number.

Given that Chris' design includes a density, too, the center of the effect might burn a turn longer, having the cinematic effect of the fire shrinking, then going out.

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I think may being near an enemy flamethrower burst (either the short or long variant) should cause some kind of morale penalty or check. Being burned to death is a reasonably bad way to die and we have an ingrained fear to flame weapons. If I remember right flamers were just as useful for their bunker busting and morale dampening factors. I don't know about the Alien's psychology but they may have this fear as well.

Essentially using a flamer or suffering an attack from one should have a chance to panic a unit( in the case of using it on an alien, that alien may panic, not the wielder or his squad-mates) , in which they make their way away from the attacker or just are frozen in fear. This could make up for having relatively short range to other weapons, and giving them some added oomph... if shooting a searing stream of fire and fuel already wasn't enough.

A possible scenario could see a group of greenies(rookie squad-mates) be ambushed by a flamer wielding alien that could see the whole group (or at least the survivors) panic and either freeze or run. Either way you would have to move to support them fast if you want at least some survivors. Any thoughts?

Edited by Black_Legion
grammer and context
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Hmm, I did bring up earlier that being on fire causing a major morale penalty (above that from being injured). Could have them cause morale damage as well as normal damage.

Having them cause panic from near misses might be too much though. They're already pretty good weapons for close quarters (not too close though).

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hmmm, this is a tough one, yes throwers are a weapon made to inspire fear as well as damage, so for realism there should be a certain morale hit for people close to a flame burst and definitely to anyone hit by flame, but as far as game mechanics go it may be a bit much to try and add a zone of negative morale. If it could be done then something else to consider would be adding a secondary zone whereby allied troops would get a bonus to morale should they be in the area when an enemy gets torched ...

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Shouldn't be needed if Xenonauts keeps X-com's morale stuff (I think it does). If you kill enemies, you gain morale for everyone. If troops on your own side die, you lose morale. Death morale loss is global, "nearby trooper" boost is local (rookies give a penalty, but every other rank gives a bonus. The higher ranks give more).

Might need to balance it a bit better for the aliens though. One of the oddities of the larger ships was that if you manage to kill about half or more without losing any yourself, they'd panic en masse. Gets amusing when you consider the minimum alien bravery was 80.

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The global morale loss could be much smaller while making each death generate a negative morale aura, in the same way an officer has a positive effect.

Small effect to everyone with the full effect only to those nearby.

That way you could make death by flamethrower give a one time bonus to the "death aura" without overly affecting enemies outside of a small distance.

Adding similar effects to certain things (like death by Chryssalid in X-Com) would be possible.

The death aura could also be bigger for higher ranks.

Hmm I suppose you could do the same with positive bonuses, centred on the trooper who got the kill or the nearest officer for example.

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Another concern is how the flamethrower tier will progress. I understand that we need to figure out how it works in the fisrt place, but that seems to be well in hand and I agree with the thoughts, so I'm going to put problem two out there. How will research and successive weapon tiers improve or provide a replacement for the flamethrower?

There isn't much point to working out a system of viable fluid mechanics for a realistic interpretation of how a flamethrower works, then move up a tier and develop a weapon that doesn't use those mechanics. At the same time, only having it exist in the first tier of starting weapons, then have no improvements makes it either a niche weapon to be discarded after the start, or overpowered AT the start.

Of course, this could have been resolved already, I've been away a while, so I'll wait to voice my own ideas to see if it has. I can see in the OP a section on such matters, but no discussion, thus...

Edited by Elydo
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But surely how they're implemented depends on the original mechanics. Or, if they don't, and are just subsequent niche weapons that fill a specialist battlefield role, is there much point to coding a specific mechanics system for only one weapon that won't be used very much?

All of the other weapons have specific assigned functions; shotgun for close range, precision rifle for long range anti-armour etc. Even the rocket launcher; high damage AoE. And they can all upscale in line with their function; laser rifles, photon burst shotgun, hell you could even have a bomb-pumped laser warhead for the launcher (part of me is laughing hysterically). But the flamethrower doesn't fit into an assigned role, what function it'll fill on the battlefield is in part dependent on the mechanics under discussion here. But that role needs to be known before upscaling it to subsequent tiers can be conceptualised.

Or alternatively, the flamethrower upgrades can be tied to a different research path from the rest of the weapon tiers. My point is that requiring the breakthrough into laser weaponry is only relevant to the flamethrower if the improvement to the flamethrower requires laser technology to enact. If it's, say, a fuel mix alteration or materials improvement to make it lighter or smaller, it'd be more in line with research into ufo propulsion or armour.

Or, and I suggest this hesitantly, we could just go to the fuel-air cloud-that-is-then-ignited model. That would scale to the higher weapon tiers better: plasma venting for instance. Or (wince) some sort of emitted prismatic cloud that then refracts a high-powered laser.

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Actually ignore the shotgun.

The flamethrower research can't be worked out until later as you say.

Throwing it in with laser research would be counter intuitive but what's the problem with tying an improved flamethrower in with other incendiaries?

Want better direct fire weapons then research lasers, want bigger bombs research the next tier of explosives, more burny would be in the next incendiary tier.

Flamethrowers, grenades, rockets etc all in one easy to research package.

If you don't use any specific item from those then don't bother to research it.

Oh and add a flamer pistol to a later tier, fantastic breaching weapon.

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Send your men into a crash site with a water pistol full of fuel and a matchbox and I don't think they will thank you.

I can't wait to mess around with incindiary weapons though. Different techs of throwers would be welcome along with the usual types of grenades and rockets.

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It was my, perhaps mistaken, interpretation of what Chris has said of the research system that the weapons tiers would act effectively as chokepoints; you need to research laser technology to gain access to the second tier of weapons, from then the tree unfurls again allowing access to research the second tier variant of the different weapon types.

I hope I'm mistaken about that, I'd prefer a more intricate linking system rather than a small number of key techs that all subsequent research must go through. It's annoyingly limiting. Something a little more organic would be preferable.

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I think if you wanted to research the plasma pistol you would need to research the laser pistol.

That is not so much a choke point, more of a prerequisite.

This thread is more to do with the actual mechanics of the weapon though rather then the research structure of the game.

Might be an idea to start another thread if you have questions for Chris, he may not choose to answer them though as he doesn't want to give too much away at this stage.

Being able to fill a small room with flame while keeping yourself protected behind a shield is a good enough reason for a small flamer to me.

OK the range and damage would be reduced but at least its an alternative to the pistol or stun baton.

Shorter range than the pistol, longer than the baton.

Wouldn't want it in every situation though and of course fuel would be limited.

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Aye. The limitations imposed by the design are probably far more important than the opportunities.

That there will be situations where a soldier cannot use the flamer without killing himself in the process due to the fire cloud backfiring makes the weapon as uniqe as flamers are IRL.

Over the years (and games) I have seen flamers implemented as shooting a cone of fire, a single shot rifle doing fire damage, or what amounts to a rocket launcher with a radial area of fire damage.

All of those were crappy concessions to what was easiest to implement.

Syndicate 1 at least got the visuals right by firing a stream of "bullets" with which you could hose an area.

The "Xenonauts Flamer" would be the first ever to model it's tactical role of attacking bunkers/fortifications/cover by attacking and filling a volume of space.

That is simply unprecedented.

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