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Xenonauts General Ideas (improving the experience)

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Yeah, the Predator gives a completely new ability and, to an extent, it unbalances the ground combat (which is sort of the point of it). You're complaining that it removes choice - you have to use the Predator / MAGSTORM, right? It's boring that there's no choice but use it.

What you're proposing would create exactly the same thing for every tier of weapon. Oh, you've got to use the rifle (or whatever) in the laser tier because whatever changes have been made to that tier make it the most powerful. Boring, because there's no choice.

Does that not strike you as ironic?

actually what does strike as ironic is how much a developer can be blinded to reading what has been said.

If a burst from a mag-rifle at point blank would ALSO be able to kill an alien guaranteedly, would that make the MAGSTORM useless? no. it would mean you have 2 options. if the shotgun had the same guaranteed ability at point blank, would it remove the magstorm? no. again, it would mean that we had 3 options to use, rather than 1.

but again, since you are adamant on seeing no other possibilities but the two options of copypasting starting equipment versus INSTANT SUPERGUNS it is really a conversation that has no value on itself. Because yes, if you made weapons differ from starting setups, you would have to test the balance not once but multiple times, and that all costs dev hours. shame, isnt it.

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Let's quote you again:

Your claim was that at the beginning of the game, the shotgun is "pretty guaranteed" to kill an alien in one hit. But, as I've shown, this isn't true. Most early game aliens have between 60-75HP, while the shotgun does on average 75 damage if all pellets hit. That's not very certain at all. Similarly, most late game aliens have 200-250ish HP and the MAG carbine does 255 damage on average. That's almost exactly the same chance of getting a one-hit-kill.

As such, you're assertion that shotguns get less powerful as a result of alien levelling is wrong. The probability they will get a one-hit-kill against enemies of an equivalent tier is more or less exactly the same at the beginning of the game as it is at the end.

I therefore return to my original point: the heavy weapons become better because they gain several advantages with Predator armour that they don't have beforehand. Yes, a MAGSTORM is a much more reliable killer when given to a Predator armoured soldier than a Sentinel armoured soldier with a MAG Carbine. I was never disputing that. But that's not because the MAG Carbine got worse relative to the enemies you're facing, it's because the MAGSTORM is stronger as a result of the mobility and accuracy afforded it by wearing Predator armour.

may i present a shocking alternative: MAGSTORM and PREDATOR are not the problem, the problem is that the otehr weapons cannot do it, thus the problem can be prevented by buffing MAG carbine and MAG rifle into such level that guaranteed kill with one action (point blank salvo) is as easy to accomplish?

smashing.

now, as stated, i will cease this. having completed the game and seeing the developer opinions is enough and make a lot of things that troubled my mind clear enough. although i am still weirded out that vehicles have no coaxial guns and that HYPERION model has rocket pods on it yet it has no use for them such as possible smoke launchers.

P.S addendum:

"People don't have a choice about what weapons to use, instead they just have to use whatever weapon is overpowered in that particular tier." they already do, chris, they already do.

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I've already said Predators are meant to be overpowered in terms of killing power. If a soldier with a Sentinel and a shotgun could kill things as easily as a Predator with a MAGSTORM, why would you ever use the Predator? Buffing the carbine and rifle is obviously a relative nerf to the MAGSTORM.

The Sentinel has 360 vision and can fly and use the full complement of equipment too. It's much more versatile. Killing power is pretty much all the Predator has going for it. So you want to make that killing power available to the Sentinel too? Once again, you seem completely unable to see the side-effects of the changes you're proposing.

Anyway, your complaint has morphed completely from "there's not enough variation between weapon tiers" to "the Predator is overpowered" which suggests you don't actually know what you're talking about. I think we should just end this argument here as it's not accomplishing anything.

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may i present a shocking alternative: MAGSTORM and PREDATOR are not the problem, the problem is that the otehr weapons cannot do it, thus the problem can be prevented by buffing MAG carbine and MAG rifle into such level that guaranteed kill with one action (point blank salvo) is as easy to accomplish?

My point is that the entire situation is created by Predator armour. If you remove Predator armour from the game, the balance between the weapon types in each tier remains constant all the way through the game.

Now, yes, there's multiple ways to solve this problem. One of these, as you suggest, is to make other weapons stronger. Personally, though, I don't think that's the right way to go. Partly, that's because I don't like the power-creep it implies (it's making the game easier as you go on, rather than harder). But it's also because it ends up with a situation of equally poor diversity. Your suggestion - making it so rifles and carbines can reliably 1hk at close range too - creates a situation where all these weapons basically do the same thing (reliably kill things at close range). In other words, you've got three weapons which actually do pretty much the same thing.

This is why I point towards Predator armour as the problem. It's not just that heavy weapons become better than anything else with it; it's that they become better by intruding on other weapons' roles. The heavy weapons are meant to be immobile and inaccurate, while Predator armour removes both of these defining features. Buffing other weapons to be comparable to the Predator/Heavy Weapon combo ends up in a situation where you have multiple weapons with comparable mobility and power. That is, they become more or less the same.

EDIT: Saw Chris's post after writing this. I'll leave it here, but shall decline from posting further.

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and saying that heavy weapons are "balanced" outside predator armor is plain wrong: the ballistic MG at the early-game is ridiculously useless and of every player i so far have asked i have not seen a single player who has found any use for it.

You clearly never asked me then! Here is but 1 example of many where I found the basistic machinegun to be a life saver.

The very first time I encountered androns. My riflemen were almost useless against their dtrong armour, the only weapons i had that reliably took down an andron in a single action? The balistic MG.

My snipers enjoyed success too, but they needed more than one action to do it.

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So, lets summarize what we have here:

A guy who never actually played on Insane, hence his inability to understand Condors chasing Carriers problem.

People who actually see the problem, shooed away by devs.

And devs themselves, which have absolutely zero understanding of the game design.

Because going for straight +20 dmg buff is better than a couple of +5 dmg -5 range or +10 clip +5 dmg -10 accuracy, etcetera.

Because one medium-range shotgun appearing in mid-game and quickly becoming absolete is such anti-balance mechanic.

Taking JA as an example is a bad idea. First - to get particular weapon in JA you need to have an opportunity to do so. Second - JA is not the pinnacle of game balance (it is actually a powergamerfest).

So, yeah. Lets, like, ignore around 10 hours of non-profit work of one of the fans and put it to the trash bin. With such approach, there is nothing to do here. I will personally discourage any friend of mine from making my mistake and spending a cent on this unfinished game, and everybody should do the same.

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I will personally discourage any friend of mine from making my mistake and spending a cent on this unfinished game, and everybody should do the same.

Yes - I'll get right on it.

And devs themselves, which have absolutely zero understanding of the game design.

It's true. They know nothing.

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and saying that heavy weapons are "balanced" outside predator armor is plain wrong: the ballistic MG at the early-game is ridiculously useless and of every player i so far have asked i have not seen a single player who has found any use for it.

I like the ballistic MG, a lot. It's great for suppressing targets to prevent reaction fire at the beginning of the game when you have no armor. It's also pretty darned handy for clearing smaller UFOs.

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So, yeah. Lets, like, ignore around 10 hours of non-profit work of one of the fans and put it to the trash bin.
You should have checked the release date then found what a release date implies in the development world then researched whether or not the devs were planning any major updates or enhancements post release. Chris clearly stated on numerous occasions that there would no expansions or major upgrades to the game after release, only bug patches. You posted your epistle on 7/30/2014 nearly one and half months after the release. You say the devs have no understanding of game design, but you appear to have no understanding of software development. Edited by StellarRat

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I have a long list of things that I feel need to be done to this game, but after reading the forums a bit (including this thread) I am really disappointed that development on this game has just completely and totally stopped.

Don't get me wrong; I love the hell out of this game. I've been playing it non-stop for two days now (well, sleep in between obviously). But I have some nit-picks, some things that need to be ironed out, and a whole lot of balancing that needs to be done. I guess I just need to get cracking on modding...

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Development has continued with the Community Edition of Xenonauts. While to purists this would not be considered canon as it's not being worked on by Goldhawk themselves, it features a wide range of improvements to the experience, and does not lessen the Xenonauts experience in any way.

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I think there needs to be a sticky topic or some bill board that highlights the Community Edition. Literally, link that thread on the main Xenonauts website page, imo. Many people don't realize that could have everything they feel the game is lacking.

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The Community Edition sub forum is visible from from the forum root, with adequate explanation of what it is. I'm not sure how much more visible on these forums it could be made.

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I've seen the community edition. I've made several posts over there trying to get it to work. And while it does work for me now, it just disheartens me to hear the 'official' dev basically say "We're done with this, I don't care about it anymore". More of my issues have to do with the huge potential this game has, and how none of it is being handled. I also understand that some of the issues I have are with the engine this game is built on. Really bad choice >.>

I am enjoying a lot of the changes in X:CE though. Will be cool to see where it goes in the future, and I'll certainly be watching it.

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The Community Edition sub forum is visible from from the forum root, with adequate explanation of what it is. I'm not sure how much more visible on these forums it could be made.

Update News section of http://www.xenonauts.com/ with the information? I guess that's outside of your power,but just a suggestion.

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More of my issues have to do with the huge potential this game has, and how none of it is being handled. I also understand that some of the issues I have are with the engine this game is built on. Really bad choice >.>

The engine issue isn't one you can wish away, though, and is one of the key reasons why future development of Xenonauts is more or less pointless. Why spend countless hours tinkering with a game built on the shakiest of foundations when you could be making a new, far better game which isn't held together by a miracle?

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I find it funny that this game is "broken"...some say it's too hard, some say it's too easy, some say it's too long, other's say you can only win one way, others say it can only be won a different way.... why can't the developers keep working on this for the rest of their lives..... I've gotten 50+ hours so far (40+ with the final version) and have had a great time with it. I will likely play again with the CE at some point... No game is perfect, but this game sure is fun to me! :) (Ok, I did find the ending to be a bit of a let down... :) )

Edit - I really appreciate the talents of the modding community on this game as well...

Edited by Russonc

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You know, we had worse games that are fixed up like a stack of cards held together by blu-tack. AAA games that are buggy as hell or have fustratingly bad mechanics, or are just plain boring. Indie games that are unfinished and lack any proper game mechanic to make it worthwhile....

I think the Vanilla version is well-rounded with a few gaping holes here and there. It works rather well, but have abit of imbalance here and there, but other than that it felt like a proper token nod to the X-COM series there isn't any game-breaking stuff that would interrupt your Xenocide.

It's the "me" generation that's what I bothered about that people won't just shut up and do something about it(like make a damn mod). Damn hippies.

@Kabill

I can't tell whether that's the case (because for me coding is walking blind and naked in a minefield, for me that is) but I'd thought Chris made it rather accessible for us modders. Considering how other games are rather unmoddable I'd thought this one was quite imaginative for us to play with.

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@Kabill

I can't tell whether that's the case (because for me coding is walking blind and naked in a minefield, for me that is) but I'd thought Chris made it rather accessible for us modders. Considering how other games are rather unmoddable I'd thought this one was quite imaginative for us to play with.

Yeah, its moddable enough and there was a reasonable effort to make it so. But all reports suggest that the codebase itself is very messy and hard to work with. It wouldn't be impossible to do stuff with - the community edition project has demonstrated that - but I think it would sap up far more effort than is worthwhile, especially when the alternative is making a brand new shiny game.

In other words, it's about opportunity cost. When people complain about Xenonauts having been 'abandoned' by GH (which isn't entirely true anyway) they're overlooking the opportunity cost of spending more time working on Xenonauts vs. doing something else. And as much as I like Xenoanuts, what I actually want is GH's next game because I suspect it's going to be vastly better.

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as much as I like Xenoanuts, what I actually want is GH's next game because I suspect it's going to be vastly better.

That sums up my thoughts quite nicely.

If the options are keep adding and tweaking a game I already like, with the potential to spoil it for me if they make changes I dislike, or leave it basically unchanged and work on a new and improved game the choice is a no brainer for me. I don't really subscribe to the view that games should be in continual development beyond bug fixing patches. Once they are done then just move on to the next project rather than dwelling in the past trying to twist your previous work into your new vision.

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From a purely fan perspective, I am happy that Goldhawk is moving on to other games. Especially after having read the Xenonauts development diary. When development started, Chris had zilch experience. The game as a whole suffers from a number of remarkably bad technical decisions, number one among them being the choice of engine. Then there were mistakes in art and design that came from a total lack of experience. And the game was programmed by a lot of different freelancers, several of whom were not really qualified.

At this point, Goldhawk is a studio led by a much more experienced Chris, with an experienced game industry programmer working for them, and with much more money than before to pay programmers. I am quite sure the next game they make is going to be much better in technical terms and in general accessibility.

Just to highlight how inexperienced the studio was when Xenonauts began - 5 years ago, a programmer told Chris that he could basically make X-COM from scratch in 6 months. And Chris believed that.

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