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kabill

Looking for Weapon Ideas

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THIS THREAD HAS NOW PRODUCED A FUNCTIONAL MOD. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT THIS IS A BETA VERSION AND IS IN NEED OF A LITTLE POLISH IN PLACES AND SOME BALANCING. BUT IT IS NEVERTHELESS FEATURE COMPLETE

So, I'm planning on doing a little work on a large scale mod over the weekend that I've been thinking over in my head for a while. Background details can be found here:

http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/11125-(Mod-Concept-Outline)-Xenonauts-Our-Last-Hope?highlight=hope

I'm currently stuck on the topic of weapons. What I want to do is create a weapon 'web' rather than a weapon 'tree', with new weapons technologies opening up new specialist weapons groups rather than outright replacements. Thus, while higher tech weapons will be 'better', they will be better with regards to specific purposes rather than being generally superior.

The trouble is, however, that I don't actually have a lot of ideas for what these could be constituted by.

The key thing I'm trying to keep in mind is that each weapon/weapon group needs to have a niche or unique element which makes it qualitatively distinct. In other words, I don't want the groups to end up being "bonus to hit", "bonus damage", "bonus range" and so on but instead be constituted by a variety of characteristics which marks them out as different.

By way of illustration, here's what I have so far:

Laser Weapons: Causes significantly more damage than regular ballistic weapons, possesses a longer effective range and is more accurate due to lack of recoil. However, lacks any burst fire capability due to overheating and has a very small suppression radius due to lack of physical projectile. As such, excels at long range open combat but poor at close range due to low rate of fire.

Plasma Weapons: Causes significantly more damage than other weapons and possesses armour penetration. However, their effective range is slightly smaller than other weapons and as a result of overheating lack burst fire and have a slightly higher TU cost to use. Their high power also results in over-damage. As such, plasma weapons are intended as very powerful close-assault weapons especially effective against heavily armoured targets (e.g. Androns/Drones).

Needle Weapons: Cause a mixture of chemical and stun damage, providing a means of direct-fire capturing, along with some armour penetration making the weapon effective against targets which are resistant to gas weapons. Also cause TU damage which debilitates targets. However, again lacks burst fire and - obviously - is useless against certain types of enemy (i.e. robots).

(Note: None of these weapon groups contain all of the basic weapon classes. For example, Plasma weapons only come in Pistol, Rifle and Cannon form, while Needle weapons only come in Pistol/Carbine and Sniper-Rifle form.)

So that's what I've got so far. But I need more ideas! So, if you have any, it'd be more than grateful if you'd share them here. Any thoughts are welcome - even if it's only a loose idea it might help me formulate something or tie in nicely with something else someone suggests.

(In case anyone has any comments on there, there's two other groups I'm mulling over as well. The first is EMP/shock weapons which are short range stun weapons also effective against robot units (assuming the EMP damage actually works properly). The second - inspired by the OG auto-cannon - is a set of automatic weapons with micro-explosive rounds, giving them a very small area-effect and high suppression damage. I'm undecided on both of these at the moment though.)

Edited by kabill

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How about thermal weapons, which deal large amounts of incendiary damage and would be meant to be area-denial weapons as they light the nearby terrain on fire. These would have around the same accuracy as lasers (it's a beam). However, they are very heavy and TU-intensive (it takes a while for the beam to light things on fire). There would be two versions, a "portable" rifle version and a heavier cannon version. They only have normal and aimed shots.

Gauss weapons would subscribe to the theory of MOAR DAKKA. Their shots take up less TU on average and they lack an aimed shot. Their burst-fire would have more shots than comparable weapons and they can allow for two burst-fires if the soldier holds still. To make up for this they'd have abysmal aim. Their purpose is to suppress the enemy so other weapons can kill them. If it's possible, maybe we could forgo single shots and have various levels of burst-fire.

Edited by skaianDestiny

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What about sonic weapons?

The Cold War has a history of experimental research involving the research of Ray guns . You can utilize them to be used like a series of light AOE weapons, causing alot of widespread damage but not enough to kill even a non-guard alien. Best used to 'cook' a group of aliens grouped together for hilarity and crowd control.

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Microbot weapons

(inspired by Michael Crichton's Prey, and my job actually, no I am not in military industry)

Can be thrown like a grenade, deposited like a proximity mine, shot like an RPG (maybe as as an plug-on to the muzzle of a rifle or as an EGLM) or even placed on the ground and let loose like a "homing-vehicle" that runs/drives to the targetted enemy.

Effects:

- explosion (frag, incendiary, stun gas, toxic gas, acid, e-shock/EMP, sticky cobweb....)

- mark the enemy with a tracer (heat, GPS (or the predecessors), UV visible color so you can see there footsteps via special googles, radio...)

- hidden camera to follow the enemies (mobile version only) or deploy cameras for you

- visual trickery: a lingering cloud of microrobotic mirrors or light projectors in the air can create visual effects for distraction or hiding

and many many more

However, I think this will be more a secondary weapon branch for assistance.

Stasis field weapons

(inspired by Joe Haldeman's The Forever War)

A (small) power cell drives a generator that alters the physical reality so that inside this field the physical laws are different:

- no strong electric fields

- nothings faster than 10 m/s, hence no weapons that fire bullets or similar...swords and shield come back. Exploding bombs outside the shield will not penetrate it = protection

- no light (pick your wavelength)

- time constant, faster or slower inside

- temperature

and whatever you like.

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... I'm currently stuck on the topic of weapons...

Hello Kabill!

Have you looked at the other UFO/XCOM games for inspiration?!

Or how about the mods for OpenXcom, XCOM:AI etc. Plenty there too..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-COM

http://ufopedia.csignal.org/

Also how about Warhammer 40k, i know its somewhat off-topic, but it got a few gems for both melee and ranged stuff.

http://www.games-workshop.com

http://www.forgeworld.co.uk

Happy modding!

~Ricecooker

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Bayoneted weapons. They have a slight TU disadvantage but they allow melee attacks with all weapons. This would make a machinegunner that has made two steps not completely defenseless. Research would allow taser-bayonets, then chainsaw-bayonets using alien materials and finally what is essentially a short-ranged plasma-thruster/flamethrower that can burn through walls. Bayoneted weapons are heavier (especially the researched versions) and can make the weapons require more TU to use. The more high-tech ones also have a chance of not working or missing or even injuring their own soldier.

The problem is that there is only so many things that you can machine-throw at people before it stops being effective. That said, here are some exotic weapon ideas:

- Graviton-guns: there is already a xenopedia thing about gravitons. Why stick to using them only with plasma? Instead of using them with what is hot gas, use them with hardened crystals or just by themselves? A heavy weapon that when hit will make the target implode and ignores armor. Having heavy armor doesn't stand a chance when the very atoms are attracted together. Leaves no stuff behind though.

- Super-paintballs. I'm serious: throws a mix of balls that penetrate the skin and target the super-effective-blue-blood thingies that most biological aliens have in common (according to the lore). Other chemicals contain universal inflammators (various highly-coerse dust with large-enough glass crystals or something) that will cause minor wounds through chafing for the poison to seep through as well as acids to eat through armor. Attack is chemical and can go for several turns. It's low-tech but at least makes sense.

-Laser-tasers: lasers that instead of divering maximum thermal energy instead focus on ionizing the air and delivering as much high-voltage electrons as the air allows. Does thermal (maybe half of existing lasers) as well as stun damage. Should be fairly effective against electronic units.

-Cold-guns: shooting a stream of super-cooled liquid nitrogen (or other cool-at-near-absolute-zero element of your choice) will just disperse in the air. Not with gravitons! These will collect the liquid nitrogen long enough to create an increased range. Who said that thermal damage has to be high temperature? Armor and clothing would be unexpected form of attacks and thus have a reduced effectiveness.

-Micro-missiles: essentially gryojets with alien tech. High-range and act as mini-rockets. Unlike gryojets these have payloads that are delviered with contact-fuse. These payloads are shaped charged facing forwards and thus do not have splash damage. Less explosives delivers but can be fired in large bursts.

Edited by Zixinus

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How about thermal weapons.

That's a winner. Was already looking at having some incendiary weapons, but having a beam version like that's a really good idea.

Gauss weapons.

Yeah, Gauss is something I've been looking at but having trouble fitting it in. Part of the problem is that I'm already looking at allowing automatic weapons to fire two busts/round, so that 'niche' is already taken. Increased bullet count is a possibility, or maybe increasing to a third burst (actually, that might work, especially if single shot mode is removed).

What about sonic weapons?

Could work as a powerful suppression weapon - high suppression and suppression radius, but low damage. Potential for a grenade version too (hmm - could even be a temporary area-denial weapon by adding in a damaging effect on the effected tiles for a turn.)

Microbot weapons

While it would be cool, sadly it would require some serious source-code support. I can see a lot of potential in those ideas as a combat support drone or something, actually.

Stasis field weapons

I really like the idea of a portable force-field device, but again outside of capabilities (at the moment?)

Bayoneted weapons.

Sadly, you can't add a melee attack to a ranged weapon so this wouldn't work. A few melee weapons might happen, though.

- Graviton-guns:

There's plans I have for alien weapons which bear some similarity to this; having a name to give to them is useful though.

- Super-paintballs.

Ties into existing ideas for chemical weapons. I'm not sure what advantage it would have over a needle delivery mechanism though. (Hmm - rate of fire?).

-Laser-tasers:

Could work as an alternative to shock weapons. Will think about this one.

-Cold-guns:

Might work, although it might need something else to give it an edge as there's already high-AP weapons (i.e. plasma).

Micro-missiles

Had a similar idea. It's a shame there's not support for variable ammunition as this kind of weapon would be perfect for using different rounds.

The US army has a microwave gun that it can be used for crowd control.

Alternative to sonic weapons, perhaps.

@Ricecooker: Already raided Warhammer 40K stuff for all that I could (avoiding the more setting-specific ideas). I did have a little look at other X-Co stuff, didn't think to check OpenXcom though which might be a good idea yes.

Thanks all for suggestions so far. Has been very helpful.

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I would point out that there is already a powerful sonic grenade weapon in the game. That's what the "bang" part of the flashbang is. :)

That said, an LRAD mounted a Hunter would be interesting, if possibly anachronistic. Then again, reverse-engineering alien tech is an excuse which forgives a multitude of sins. :)

How about grenade launchers? Fires miniaturized (lower splash and less-damaging; but no less suppressive) versions of the standard grenades, at far greater range. The M79 grenade launcher (single-shot, break action,) was introduced in 1961, so that's been around a while. The China Lake (pump-action, 3-round tube magazine,) grenade launcher was introduced in 1968 for the Navy SEALs, and the Milkor MGL (the ubiquitous six-round cylinder grenade launcher seen in every game with grenade launchers ever) will be prototyped in 1981 - slightly anachronistic, but there's nothing saying your lab boys can't engineer something akin to it.

Grenade launchers would, I think, be quite nice weapons - after all, the aliens do get their exploding plasma rifle, it's only fair we should have something to return the favor with. With the lesser damage and splash range, they wouldn't be quite as useful as having a grenadier throw a full-sized grenade in, but they'd be faster to fire and with a longer range, so they'd be more practical for room-clearance and for long-range suppression.

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This is all interesting reading, but kabill, I would urge you to plug the stats of weapon classes into a spreadsheet. The UFO:AfterX series tried to do what you're doing, but it was easy to work out which class of weapon (ballistics) was the superior class to bring into battle. You may also be better served to consider reducing the number of weapons types in a class as another way of differentiating weapon classes.

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This is all interesting reading, but kabill, I would urge you to plug the stats of weapon classes into a spreadsheet. The UFO:AfterX series tried to do what you're doing, but it was easy to work out which class of weapon (ballistics) was the superior class to bring into battle. You may also be better served to consider reducing the number of weapons types in a class as another way of differentiating weapon classes.

Yes, indeed. I've in fact already started such a spreadsheet, although this has been used mostly for balancing shot numbers/accuracy values at the moment. And as for not having a full selection of weapons per class, I couldn't agree more.

That said, an LRAD mounted a Hunter would be interesting, if possibly anachronistic. Then again, reverse-engineering alien tech is an excuse which forgives a multitude of sins.

Sonic weapons are looking increasingly appealing. And as you suggest, anachronisms aren't an issue. I'm mostly looking for sci-fi future weapons anyway.

How about grenade launchers?

If there were game mechanisms to support it, I'd think about it. But I'm not sure whether it can be done well enough with current capabilities (did anyone actually make a good grenade launcher in the end?).

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You can make a good grenade launcher... on a vehicle. I made a custom grenade type for vehicles which was perfect, as the strength of the user didn't affect it (vehicles have no strength) and didn't cause the weapon to vanish (because of the way weapons are handled by vehicles). Both Mikhail and carmorbid have tried... tried and died.

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You can make a good grenade launcher... on a vehicle. I made a custom grenade type for vehicles which was perfect, as the strength of the user didn't affect it (vehicles have no strength) and didn't cause the weapon to vanish (because of the way weapons are handled by vehicles). Both Mikhail and carmorbid have tried... tried and died.

That explains why I had some vague recollection of someone getting somewhere with the idea. Could be tempted by that, actually. Did you ever publish that (your Grease Pit mod?)? I'd like to take a look if that's ok?

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Yeah, Gauss is something I've been looking at but having trouble fitting it in.

Gauss weapons are already in the game, they just don't really act like it (look up the relevant xenopedia entry). They are just a straight upgrade to the existing arsenal rather than feel as new weapons.

Ties into existing ideas for chemical weapons. I'm not sure what advantage it would have over a needle delivery mechanism though. (Hmm - rate of fire?).

You can also say to add a cocktail of universal irritants (asbestos, cinnamon, etc) to the paintballs, thus suppressing units that are not sufficiently armored (everyone that doesn't have a helmet basically). You'd get a poison+suppression weapon in one go, with a realistic weapon that already exists (made in the 2000s but there is no reason why they wouldn't make them in the 70s if there was enough reason).

It would make sense between the blood-poison and the acid. Most organic aliens should feel pain after all.

You are right that it would do the same thing as needle-guns but I am unaware of any weapon using swarms of needles. The needles you see in wildlife documentaries are actually carefully-prepared and measured in dose before use, requiring an expert marksmen to hit in just the right body-part.

Whereas with pepper-ball delivery mechanism you can say you include acid which can seep through the armor. You can't say much for that for needles, because if you are shooting needles you might as well be shooting bullets.

The reason they don't add stuff like that to today's pepper-ball weapons is that they usually use such a weapon as a less-lethal weapon and adding stuff like sulfuric acid and asbestos would look bad on the police (or the police would just use guns instead). Nobody feels the same way about aliens though.

Edited by Zixinus

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kabill, of course you can take a look. It was all released circa glorious v19 but the underlying structure hasn't changed that much in the v's 20-22.

May I say something? The impression I get is that you're looking for narrative reasons first then fitting the class specialisation around the narrative. The problem with doing that is narrative often gets in the way of desired effect "because that's not how it works in RL". I would suggest looking at making class specialisations first then going back to the narrative seeing which one best fits then massaging both narrative and class effect together.

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May I say something? The impression I get is that you're looking for narrative reasons first then fitting the class specialisation around the narrative. The problem with doing that is narrative often gets in the way of desired effect "because that's not how it works in RL". I would suggest looking at making class specialisations first then going back to the narrative seeing which one best fits then massaging both narrative and class effect together.

Yes, you're right. On both counts (the impression and the suggestion). That said, where I've started from has been good for coming up with ideas for weapon mechanics/roles too and there's been some stuff suggested above that I might well not have come up with by myself. But I'm persuaded by the argument that mechanics should come first when it comes to actually turning the weapons into reality.

Also, talk of vehicle mounted grenade launchers has made me pine for vehicle secondary weapons. I'm close to writing up a formal suggestion for X:CE.

Gauss weapons are already in the game, they just don't really act like it (look up the relevant xenopedia entry). They are just a straight upgrade to the existing arsenal rather than feel as new weapons.

Yeah, you're right. Although in my head they don't count as Gauss weapons, since they're really just +3 guns.

The stuff on paint/chem guns is all fair, as well. Given what I've done so far, however, I don't think they're going to fit as their two main roles - stunning and suppression - are looking like they're going to be filled by needle and sonic weapons instead.

(Minor aside, but for clarity the needle guns are intended as precision dart guns, not "swarm of needles" guns. I might possibly change the name to avoid confusion, although I do prefer needle over dart).

---

General question: would anyone be interested in the results of this being turned into a stand-alone mod? I wasn't originally going to do this, but I think it would be possible to fit this in to an otherwise vanilla game without too much effort.

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Also, talk of vehicle mounted grenade launchers has made me pine for vehicle secondary weapons. I'm close to writing up a formal suggestion for X:CE.

Secondary weapons for vehicles were never disabled as far as I know, the selection menu was just removed in the new UI.

The only thing I think that was missing to make it a full feature apart from that would be a button on the ground combat UI to easily switch weapons or a way to display both weapons (as with pistol and grenade for example) so you can easily pick the one you want to use. I prefer the latter.

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Just chiming in, they're still there. I think it's possible to slice in code from my 18.3 copy to restore the secondary weapon window - just got to find the right script.

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I was thinking of the quick grenade slot as a way of using secondary weapons in gc, but dividing the main weapon UI like with pistols would work equally well (and possibly better, depending on the weapon image).

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The stuff on paint/chem guns is all fair, as well. Given what I've done so far, however, I don't think they're going to fit as their two main roles - stunning and suppression - are looking like they're going to be filled by needle and sonic weapons instead.

Just a note and I don't really want to get too much into this argument, as I would be defending my idea disappropriately.

The thing is even with precision-fired needles/darts (at least those used in real life) is that they only work when the target is mostly still.

, he shoots bears while they are hiding or still. Then you can aim for the right part of the body to be hit.

You cannot do that in the middle of a firefight*, even if you have enough time to carefully aim: the enemy will be either moving or behind cover. Snipers will be glad to hint center of mass* while adjusting to the target's speed and other factors, never mind stuff like head-shots.

Of course paintballs/peppeballs aren't full-proof either or necessarily better at getting through armor. But with them you just need to shower the target as much possible rather than hope that you managed to do hit the neck rather than hard skull.

But of course since you are the guy actually making stuff, you go with what you want to go. I'd just like to defend my idea, as people tend to do with their own ideas.

*If someone who knows more about how sniping works and can point to real examples, I'll be happy to be corrected.

Edited by Zixinus

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How about a tranquillizer rifle?

80 TU to shoot, only mode is Aimed Shot.

X turn 1: Shoot alien.

A turn 1: No effect.

X turn 2: Try not to kill alien.

A turn 2: "Suppressed".

X turn 3: Try not to kill alien.

A turn 3: knocked out.

Bigger aliens take longer to be knocked out Each additional dart reduces knock-out time. Good luck bringing down a reaper.

An anti-material rifle would be useful, too.

High damage, Aimed-shot only, 85TU to shoot.

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I made some weapon designs you *might* find of use.

Thanks for that. Wasn't aware there were resources like that available. However, I've been wanting to keep the art style the same as the existing art style as much as possible. As such. I've settled for extensive hack-jobs on the existing weapons assets instead.

Here's what I've got. If anyone has any thoughts about the graphics (or wants to make them better for me!), I'd be grateful for comments.

Needle:

needleweapons.jpg

Gauss:

gaussweapons.jpg

Pulse Laser:

pulselaserweapons.jpg

Thermal Lance:

thermalweapons.jpg

Electroshock:

electroshockweapons.jpg

Pulse Plasma:

pulseweapons.jpg

Graviton:

gravitonweapons.jpg

Sonic:

soniccannon.jpg

Not convinced by the sonic cannon, but I'm lacking inspiration and competence for that one.

pulseweapons.jpg

electroshockweapons.jpg

gaussweapons.jpg

gravitonweapons.jpg

needleweapons.jpg

pulselaserweapons.jpg

thermalweapons.jpg

soniccannon.jpg

pulseweapons.thumb.jpg.0ddc712aaa9457333

electroshockweapons.thumb.jpg.5d29efb919

gaussweapons.thumb.jpg.089f047fdb95d116a

gravitonweapons.thumb.jpg.3695a9a106face

needleweapons.thumb.jpg.156133bd6966d2a8

pulselaserweapons.thumb.jpg.74ee67f5e264

thermalweapons.thumb.jpg.ae585f96e0ce987

soniccannon.jpg.9cc3a70237fb1b1e815c0923

Edited by kabill

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Wow, that's some nice reverse engineering right there.

However, should you be in need of some new weapons artwork, just give me a PM and I'll see what I can do.

You can check out my sig for pictures.

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