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Airstrike rewards


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What? How?! I'm doing dozens of them!
I'm not. I run maybe three recoveries per ship type. What do concentrate on is doing the landed ship assaults (green UFOs on the ground) as the rewards are 3x a shot down ship that includes material I believe. Those are the "treasure" missions, specially on the large ships. I'm very careful not to shoot up the inside of ship on those too. Lots of gas and electroshock and direct fire, but no HE unless there is no alternative. Nearly everything else is airstrike unless I'm running short on materials for new goodies. Edited by StellarRat
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Jumping into the thread.. I believe that the Geoscape part of the game needs some more balancing. AirStrike rewards is one of the things to do. I have two teams, and I am raiding UFOs like crazy. This is given that Nation funding is too low for sustaining 3 bases, with their foxtrots, etc.

Doing a landship gives me around 80K, whereas airstrike is only 35K. AirStrike value should be doubled more-or-less (or doing the mission should be much hirer). Having to do as many crash-sites as possible, makes the game extremely slow paced. That is, other than the tedious mission repetition. In any case, I believe having to do almost every mission should be avoided, otherwise it will deter people away.

Anyway, I am playing on normal difficulty and I consider myself an experienced player (have played all XCOMs, etc.). Less funding could be applied to higher levels so that people more experienced than myself can enjoy it.

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Throwing my two cents into the mix, I was around about the time that the whole Airstrike concept was hashed out and implemented 10~ish months ago, and the entire point behind it back then was to prevent players from feeling as if they need to do every single ground mission.

Looking at the state of the game now, particularly after the Airstrike values were halved a few patches ago, the entire original intent seems to have gone out the window. The implicit loss of experience gained, alenium, alloys, and 4/5 or more of the monetary value of the crash site no longer renders the option even remotely palatable. The sheer gulf of value between doing the ground mission or not is staggering nowadays. In earlier versions of V22, I was content to hit 10 ships a month at a leisurely pace, now I'm right back to V19 standards of raiding every godforsaken wreck I can get my grubby Xenonaut hands on.

Any significant rebalancing is off the table at this point as far as the devs have stated, so I think this is going to largely end up a community-solved problem if anything.

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Any significant rebalancing is off the table at this point as far as the devs have stated, so I think this is going to largely end up a community-solved problem if anything.

That would be a pity given that these modifications require very few developing effort. I am hesitating suggesting Xenonauts to friends for this reason.

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I'm not. I run maybe three recoveries per ship type. What do concentrate on is doing the landed ship assaults (green UFOs on the ground) as the rewards are 3x a shot down ship that includes material I believe. Those are the "treasure" missions, specially on the large ships. I'm very careful not to shoot up the inside of ship on those too. Lots of gas and electroshock and direct fire, but no HE unless there is no alternative. Nearly everything else is airstrike unless I'm running short on materials for new goodies.

These are included in the mix. Although more combats allow you to improve more soldiers quite a bit. Seriously, ground combat is the essence of the game, it should be enjoyed rather than felt as a tedious obstacle to the "you win" screen.

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These are included in the mix. Although more combats allow you to improve more soldiers quite a bit. Seriously, ground combat is the essence of the game, it should be enjoyed rather than felt as a tedious obstacle to the "you win" screen.
Chris stated that he wanted the game to be completed in 40 or so ground missions. If I ran every single one I'd be at it for months. Even airstriking well over half the UFOs (specially the small ones) I'm going to be way over that by game end. Also, I really like the air combat mini-game. It's quite satisfying to dominate them in the air, IMO.
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Interesting, stellarrat. I myself am quite over the air combat minigame. It is OK, but every fight is pretty much the same. And I don't use the auto-resolve, because while I can get a zero damage win every time in manual (given that I have sent the right interceptors) sometimes those 100% auto-resolves puts an interceptor out of action for the rest of a wave.

Anyway, back to the airstriking thing. I agree with you that doing every mission will make the game take months. But I quite like a long game.

With the varied maps there are now, they just need to make more aliens venture out of the ship, and work together. Then it is not just the same interior assault every time.

Doing every mission gives you great soldiers. I myself keep the same guys on board until they have the ten mission medal, then start cycling rookies through my two teams a few at a time.

I only do airstrikes when I cannot get a team to it.

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I also skip a lot of ground combat, party because I don't even want to try to figure out how ungodly many scout missions I've ground over the last year, and partly because the rewards for early UFOs are so low they aren't worth the time to clear. Once I reach landing ships, then I grind until I can build my Marauder fleet. I still normally only run one ground team.

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Chris stated that he wanted the game to be completed in 40 or so ground missions.

I've done twice that and am nowhere near finished. I'd be bankrupt and have lost the game if I did them at that pace. Funding is BRUTAL, and the only way to stay above water is grind (and I'm playing on normal right now).

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I've done twice that and am nowhere near finished. I'd be bankrupt and have lost the game if I did them at that pace. Funding is BRUTAL, and the only way to stay above water is grind (and I'm playing on normal right now).
That's interesting because I'm playing on Veteran, have three bases up and am running a 600K per month surplus.
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The problem with airstrikes as they stand is that there is no in-game reason to airstrike a UFO if you can get a ground team to it. You do the GC and you get soldier experience (which is hugely important), materials and 4/5 times as much cash. The only reason to airstrike a UFO if you can get a team to it is if you don't want to grind through every UFO in the game, which is not ideal IMO. I was under the impression that Airstrikes were supposed to improve country relations in the release version, though they don't currently. If they did then this would rebalance the equation - GC for extra short-term cash, soldiers and materials or airstrike for a longer term boost. A relation boost would be especially valuable in the current version where it is a battle for the first few months to maintain positive relations with countries.

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The problem with airstrikes as they stand is that there is no in-game reason to airstrike a UFO if you can get a ground team to it.
Actually, there are two ways to look at this. Yes, grinding every mission could build up your troops, but if one of them gets killed doing an essentially worthless mission then you've defeated the whole purpose. If he gets blow up and gibbed then you lose the equipment too, twice as bad. Unless you play perfectly every time and are lucky you might be shooting yourself in the foot by doing every GC. Casualties are inevitable IMO no matter how good you are. I'd much prefer my veterans survive to get the awesome weapons and armor even if they're not "perfect".
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Actually, there are two ways to look at this. Yes, grinding every mission could build up your troops, but if one of them gets killed doing an essentially worthless mission then you've defeated the whole purpose. If he gets blow up and gibbed then you lose the equipment too, twice as bad. Unless you play perfectly every time and are lucky you might be shooting yourself in the foot by doing every GC. Casualties are inevitable IMO no matter how good you are. I'd much prefer my veterans survive to get the awesome weapons and armor even if they're not "perfect".

That is a fair point. I would argue though, that doing a mission on the average increases the power of your team. Yes, you can expect an average loss of X Xenonauts, but the Y surviving Xenonauts become that much more powerful. By grinding from the start you get a much more powerful team earlier than if you pick and choose your battles. In fact, by grinding you get a team that is better able to survive each mission, so your average losses go down and grinding becomes a more attractive proposition. All you are doing by not grinding is slowing down the progression of your team and facing harder UFOs with less experienced troops, leading to increased casualties and decreased troop progression.

There is one caveat to this though: if you grind missions you are more likely to get bored or simply fatigued and you start making dumb moves. That's when you really start making mistakes and that's when the casualty to experience ratio stops being worth it. The problem is, this isn't an in-game reason to not grind and with the rewards skewed the way they are it feels like you have to grind every mission otherwise you are losing out massively.

EDIT: I notice that in the latest build (1.04) airstrike values have been increased. Hopefully this will reduce the comparitive loss of not doing a UFO GC. However, due to the non-monetary bonuses of grinding UFOs I would still prefer to see airstrikes increase relations as well as give cash to make them a genuinely equal alternative option to GC.

Edited by freeaxle
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I suppose I'm rather averse to the term "grinding" being used to refer to ground combat. Tactical battles are supposed to be the meat of the game, and they should not be trivialized. There's a major problem somewhere if people consider said combat to be a grind...

In the original game, every victory counted towards the funding council's opinion of your organization. Yet for some reason, only shooting down UFOs seems to count (and not particularly much) in Xenonauts. I wouldn't further reduce the importance of ground combat by giving air strikes an additional relations bonus. Aren't they meant to be a last resort for when you can't get boots on the ground to seize the crashed UFO?

The largest rewards should come from seeing through the whole thing. Simple risk and reward. If soldiers have become so precious and ground missions so pointless, there's a major problem indeed.

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I suppose I'm rather averse to the term "grinding" being used to refer to ground combat. Tactical battles are supposed to be the meat of the game, and they should not be trivialized. There's a major problem somewhere if people consider said combat to be a grind...

In the original game, every victory counted towards the funding council's opinion of your organization. Yet for some reason, only shooting down UFOs seems to count (and not particularly much) in Xenonauts. I wouldn't further reduce the importance of ground combat by giving air strikes an additional relations bonus. Aren't they meant to be a last resort for when you can't get boots on the ground to seize the crashed UFO?

The largest rewards should come from seeing through the whole thing. Simple risk and reward. If soldiers have become so precious and ground missions so pointless, there's a major problem indeed.

My thoughts exactly but it seems the majority disagrees and the game simply had to become more casual player friendly. Perhaps further differentiating difficulty levels with this particular aspect of the game in mind would have been useful - airstrike rewards decreasing on each difficulty level for example. It also makes sense - the money you earn you earn from selling alien technology. It's so fragile that you've got to be careful not to rely on explosives too much or you will break it. So why should airstrikes deliver close to the income of a diligently done GC mission? :)

I'd also go as far as suggesting alenium and alien alloys could also be decreased with difficulty. I'm still having absolutely no problems acquiring excessive amounts of both in my Insane playthrough - to the point they are trivial and it never feels you need to spend them strategically. I'm currently sitting on over 100 alenium in my storage room, and that's after constructing several Corsairs already. How can alloys feel important at all when you need so little of them yet you are drowning in hundreds if you do not opt for airstrike lightly. And I am relying on airstrike much more often this time.

Edited by KevinHann
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My thoughts exactly but it seems the majority disagrees and the game simply had to become more casual player friendly. Perhaps further differentiating difficulty levels with this particular aspect of the game in mind would have been useful - airstrike rewards decreasing on each difficulty level for example. It also makes sense - the money you earn you earn from selling alien technology. It's so fragile that you've got to be careful not to rely on explosives too much or you will break it. So why should airstrikes deliver close to the income of a diligently done GC mission? :)

I'd also go as far as suggesting alenium and alien alloys could also be decreased with difficulty. I'm still having absolutely no problems acquiring excessive amounts of both in my Insane playthrough - to the point they are trivial and it never feels you need to spend them strategically. I'm currently sitting on over 100 alenium in my storage room, and that's after constructing several Corsairs already. How can alloys feel important at all when you need so little of them yet you are drowning in hundreds if you do not opt for airstrike lightly. And I am relying on airstrike much more often this time.

First of all, I am not a 'casual player' or a casual gamer in any sense. I am very much into complex strategy games. The purpose of airstrikes is so that you don't feel like you have to do a GC on every single shot-down UFO. I love GC, but it feels like a chore if it's the 20th time I've assaulted a UFO type with the same aliens with the same weapons and tactics. The only way, as a strategy gamer, I am going to not do this is if the reward of the airstrike compensates for enough of the benefits (experience, materials and cash) I lose by not doing the GC. At this stage, it seems like GH has moved the balance so that the loss of not doing the GC is small enough that I'm happy to wear it for a much more enjoyable game.

Edited by freeaxle
Grammer and pride...
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And I don't mind it being that way as long as it gets more punishing the higher you go on the difficulty ladder.

Also there is a huge gulf between doing about half the shot-down UFOs and 2-3 of each type. I'm sorry, but I can't accept as normal or challenging the balance shifting to the latter on every difficulty.

For example how many GC missions do you need to complete to fully equip your team with laser/plasma weapons and wolf armor? In terms of alien alloys.

Edited by KevinHann
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Actually, there are two ways to look at this. Yes, grinding every mission could build up your troops, but if one of them gets killed doing an essentially worthless mission then you've defeated the whole purpose. If he gets blow up and gibbed then you lose the equipment too, twice as bad. Unless you play perfectly every time and are lucky you might be shooting yourself in the foot by doing every GC. Casualties are inevitable IMO no matter how good you are. I'd much prefer my veterans survive to get the awesome weapons and armor even if they're not "perfect".

Well, use B teams for the recoveries then and weed out the weak and unworthy ;)

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And I don't mind it being that way as long as it gets more punishing the higher you go on the difficulty ladder.

Also there is a huge gulf between doing about half the shot-down UFOs and 2-3 of each type. I'm sorry, but I can't accept as normal or challenging the balance shifting to the latter on every difficulty.

For example how many GC missions do you need to complete to fully equip your team with laser/plasma weapons and wolf armor? In terms of alien alloys.

The point isn't to make it so that the player only does 2-3 of each UFO type, but to fix the fact that every air-strike (assuming you can GC it) is a huge waste of useful resources. This means that without the boost, your strategy of air-striking half the crash-sites is a highly inefficient strategy. The 'clever' strategy is to GC all of them in this situation. With the extra resources, including alloys, you can then afford the best aircraft and multiple teams of fully equipped Xenonauts. So yes, you can use all the alloys you can get. And if you are getting too many alloys you can sell them to make GC even more lucrative - and please don't tell me you can have too much money ;)

I am not arguing that the player should only do 2-3 UFOs of each type, that's a straw-man argument. I'm saying that the player shouldn't feel forced to do every UFO in order to avoid the massive opportunity cost of air-striking one. As I have said though, the value of airstrikes has been upped which should go some distance towards fixing this.

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