kabill Posted June 23, 2014 Share Posted June 23, 2014 Dynamic UFO Spawns (v3.0) Dynamic UFOs makes the geoscape part of Xenonauts more diverse and dynamic by varying UFO spawns and other small changes designed to make play more diverse. Features: - Dynamic UFO spawns! UFOs for each alien mission type are drawn from an array of UFO classes at any given point during the game, rather than only a single type like in vanilla. - Dynamic Crew Loadouts: UFO missions now have crew suitable for their mission type. UFOs expecting to land (research, supply, construction, terror, base attack) have stronger and more aggressive crews while others have weaker crews. Crew numbers are also randomised to a small extent. - Unlocked alien missions: Most of the limiters and cool-downs on UFO mission types have been mostly removed, leaving UFO missions more or less entirely down to RNG. - Dynamic alien bases: Alien bases are mostly unlocked from the alien ticker, starting out as small when built and growing over time. Successful supply missions boost their growth, so larger bases can appear quickly if not stopped. Bugs/Balance: - This mod has undergone some testing and the balance seems to be pretty good. The late game is still a bit experimental however. Any comments or feedback about any element of the mod are welcome. - There are no known bugs. --- Download: Dynamic UFOs v3.0 Install Instructions: To install, either: 1) Unpack the zip file into assets/mods; or 2) Install using the mod manager in the Xenonauts game launcher Alternatively, for Steam users, you can install the mod via Steam Workshop. However you install the mod, make sure you set it to 'active' in the mod manager. Uninstall Instructions: To uninstall, either: 1) Delete the mod's folder from assets/mods; or 2) Uninstall using the mod manager in the Xenonauts game launcher If you installed using Steam Workshop, you should also unsubscribe from the mod (otherwise it will keep re-downloading). Note that simply unsubscribing from the mod will not delete it; you must also delete the mod using one of the above methods. --- Appendix: Background: Here's an archive of my original pitch about the mod, for those who are interested. In addition, previous discussion about the mod can be found here. Apparently not content with having completed one modding project, my brain apparently has decided to move onto the next. So, er, here it is: dynamic UFO spawns. EDIT: Warning, this post is fairly long. The Premise: The vanilla game is set up so that UFOs and aliens progress at a steady rate. The balance is such that a player of a sufficient skill level will be able to keep pace with the aliens in terms of technology and resources. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but it makes the game predictable and - across many playthroughs - not especially varied. What I'm interested in doing, then, is creating a dynamic UFO spawn system which draws from a larger pool of UFOs for any given mission. Hence, if the game calls a Ground Attack mission, for example, you might get a Corvette assigned to that mission, or maybe a Cruiser. For a Research mission, you might get a Scout ship, or you might get a Landing Ship. And so on. Why Dynamic UFO Spawns? Randomness for its own sake isn't necessarily a good thing, so here are the reasons why I'm interested in this concept: 1) Dynamic Air Combat Difficulty: Currently, the air combat game is fairly simple for any given level of tech you possess. Foxtrots kill anything of an equivalent tech level that's unescorted; Condors (or Corsairs, if you're that way inclined) deal with the rest. With random UFO spawns, sometimes you'll face UFOs that are more challenging than usual, requiring you to risk losses in order to bring the UFO down. One significant consequence of this is that it provides a mechanism for breaking the total air supremacy that the player can achieve by the mid-game. In my own experience, and from what others have said on these forums, it's possible to end up in a situation where there are no terror missions, alien bases or base attacks simply because the player is to apt at shooting down UFOs. But with the possibility of 'out of depth' UFOs which are tougher than what you should be able to deal with, these missions would be more likely to occur. (One objection to this might be that no alien bases, terror missions or base assaults is the player's reward for playing well. That's true, *in game*, but in terms of the player's experience this is basically limiting them to a single type of ground mission for the rest of the game. Ironically, by playing well, the player deprives themselves of ground combat diversity!) 2) Variable Ground Combat Difficulty: As with air combat, ground combat is more or less balanced against the player's expected tech level. The game is designed so that, in principle, the player should be able to win any given ground mission they face at any given point in time. By having dynamic UFO spawns, however, the difficulty is mixed up. Sometimes you'll get an easy UFO which you can use for beta team for (or whatever); other times you'll get a tough UFO that - even if you can bring it down - will be a mission you might prefer to skip on rather than fighting it out. In other words, it adds some risk-reward thinking into the decision of whether to do a ground mission. 3) Variable UFO Contents: The aliens encountered on a ground mission can be varied both by UFO type *and* mission type. As such, you could vary UFO contents by mission type for a greater range of aliens and difficulty. For example, a Corvette flying a Ground Attack mission could have a tougher crew loadout than a a Corvette on a Scouting mission. Similarly, on a Ground Attack mission there could be more aggressive alien types, while on a Scouting or Research mission there could be more passive or defensive aliens. All of this should lead to a much more varied ground combat game where you can't rely on the UFO type for a fairly accurate idea of what the mission is going to be like. 4) A Helping Hand: I've focused mostly on how difficulty can spike upwards using a dynamic system, but it can also spike downward as well. This could be of use for players who are doing less well or have suffered a disaster that they'd struggle to deal with ordinarily because the game is no longer programmed to throw anything simple at the player. Problems: There are, of course, some problems with the idea as well: 1) Difficulty Spikes: Variable difficulty has its downside - sometimes you'll be outmatched and with dynamic UFO spawns I imagine there'd be more risk of catastrophe as the difficulty level is less predictable. However, I'd argue that a skilled player would be able to mitigate this by choosing their battles carefully and knowing when to call it quits and abort. 2) Tech Slowdown: with dynamic UFO spawns, it's not unreasonable that you might fall behind on tech because the game doesn't throw any UFOs at you of the appropriate level for a given stage in the game. This could be seen as a feature, as it will force the player out of their comfort zone on some play-throughs. But it can also be seen as a problem by making the game more difficulty sometimes without any capacity for the player to intervene. (Although greater air coverage is a partial counter, since the more UFOs you detect the more likely you are to detect one of the necessary tech level). 3) Tech Rush: the opposite of the above, getting a more advanced UFO early would potentially give you access to tech beyond what you would normally have at that point in the game and possibly allow you to skip some techs entirely. I think this can be mitigated through various means, however. First, any tech skipping opportunities could be closed off (no MAGs before Plasma research is done; no Marauders until Corsairs are done; and so on). Second, when introducing a new UFO type into the pool, it could be assigned at first only to missions which give it the strongest crew loadout. That way, while it might be possible to access better tech earlier, you have to complete a grueling ground mission to do so. In that way, the problem is turned into a feature: a high risk ground mission nets the reward of more advanced tech. In any case, it's also possible to see this as a feature, since it will allow the possibility of rushing for particular techs at the expense of others. In principle, I don't see why it would be a problem for a player to rush - say - aircraft if it's costing them in terms of their ground combat capability as a result. Or costing them much more money because they've hired more scientists to exploit the better tech sooner. Conclusion: So, that's my idea. The technical aspects of it (which I'm putting in a spoiler below) are really simple, so the trick will be balancing it. With that in mind, if anyone has any thoughts or ideas, or possibilities/problems I've not thought about, I'd love to hear them. Acknowledgements: - Special thanks to Solver for work done on X:CE to make this mod work better, as well as for comments and playtesting previous versions. - More generally, thanks to those who have taken an interest in this mod and given ideas/feedback. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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