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Gazz

Configurable equipment loadouts and role badges

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Equipping soldiers for their various roles in my army used to be quite the chore in XCOM-Apocalypse.

That was the most boring and time-consuming single task.

Like in Xeno, soldiers would (kind of) remember the equipment between missions but they did not automatically replace the consumeables like grenades.

Luckily this is done automatically in Xeno because the FAQ says that we

"won't have to re-equip them every mission".

That implies that there is already a system to save the soldier's equipment as a template. Otherwise the game wouldn't know with which items the soldier went into the last mission. There oviously is also a system to equip a soldier based on that template.

So... this could be improved with a tiny bit of interface.

On the soldier inventory screen there would be a button for "Save Equipment Profile".

When pressed, it prompts for an icon to attach to this loadout and possibly a name.

It stores all currently equipped items into this profile.

All assigned loadouts would be displayed as icons on the equipment screen.

Pressing one icon instantly equips the soldier to match the new assignment.

If this cannot be completed (items missing) some error beep is played.

Right-Clicking the icon pops up a menu to delete / update this profile.

Equipping 5 soldiers for a mission would go like...

cursor left / right to switch through the soldiers, one click each to equip for the desired role.

No clicking / scrolling through equipment lists. Just you... grenadier, you... sniper.

As a useful feature for tac battles, the loadout icon could be displayed in a corner of the unit portrait, designating the currently assigned role of that soldier.

If that icon were also visible on the sortable soldier list I saw in the video, the player would have an overview over every soldier's role / equipment without having to check them all personally.

And if the icon is listed there, a right click on it would pop up a list of available loadouts so one could equip soldiers directly from the soldier list without even having to enter the inventory screen.

A similiar system could be used for interceptors but since I don't know what flyer equipment there will be, I can hardly guess how useful it would be to re-equip them for specific missions.

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in X-Com, I go through my troops and classify them by their stats with a code on the end. For example, a guy with 35+ strength and 76 accuracy would get <HM/2> on the end - H marks him as a candidate for Heavy Weapons due to strength

With icons, I wouldn't need to do this anymore

I guess most of us used something like this. I know I did.

While role badges are not a bad idea on their own, they would seem a bit... detached.

The role is defined more by the eqipment of the soldier so integrating it all into a unified system would make the most sense.

I mean, once I have "clicked" a role for a soldier, I can still change equipment around and the soldier will remember it so the system isn't in any way constricting. That part is already planned...

I don't like the idea of having to use preset roles or a total of 6 static icons.

What if I have laser and plasma riflemen for whatever reason? A designated medic? A loader for the machine gunner?

A "tray" of 8 - 12 buttons should be sufficient for nearly all purposes but there should be "quite a few" icons to choose from.

Maybe some in different colours as well.

I imagine this as a left click to load this botton's profile,

right click for the context menu.

On the menu I could assign a different icon to the button and rename it. It could still be very useful to get a tooltip pop-up with this description on mouseover, like in the sortable soldier list.

I also mentioned it for interceptors because

- it would be consistent for all parts of the game

- it would still be convenient to just assign "default" to your shiny new Mig-29 interceptor without having to click through any weapon / shield / whatever lists.

Of course, there would have to be different loadouts for different interceptors. One size does not fit all.

It's less important than for infantry, though, for obvious reasons.

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Agreed, preset templates would not be anywhere near as useful as being able to make your own. Another great idea in suggesting multiple colours of the same icon; thats useful in so many ways. A green sniper icon could be a ballistic sniper and a red sniper icon could be a plasma marksman, or green could mean a very accurate guy who could also pass for a heavy and red could mean a marksman with low strength.

All in all a nice solution to needing more classification, I hope that's implemented, either with a set array of different colours or, ideally, you just choose which colour you like out of a list and the hue is adjusted.

This kind of stuff gets me even more pumped for Xenonauts, very nice feature updates to an already great formula.

I'd forgotten entirely about role badges, but thinking about them, they could work quite well with the system we're working out for the combat GUI.

I'm not keen to combine the 'role badges' and 'loadout template icons' because then you're in a position where you'd have to strip the badge away the moment you deviated from the loadout template, or the system would fall down. That doesn't really encourage flexibility.

A better use for 'role badges' in my view would involve the combat GUI. At the moment, each soldier has a little round icon that is numbered with his number, and you can select the soldier by clicking on it. If we had half a dozen variants of that button, it'd let you guys code your squad whatever way you liked, so you could access your snipers (or whatever) at the drop of a hat.

.

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I'm not keen to combine the 'role badges' and 'loadout template icons' because then you're in a position where you'd have to strip the badge away the moment you deviated from the loadout template, or the system would fall down. That doesn't really encourage flexibility.

Nah.

The Loadout + Icon is assigned and the soldier gets the proper equipment.

After that, the current system continues to work and the icon only has an informational purpose.

If I give the solder a grenade when it's not saved in the "sniper" loadout, he will still remember having a grenade... as per the current system.

If I want the grenade in the default loadout, I just save it to this button again.

That fixes the annoying clickerydoo in the equipment screens but allows for complete flexibility if it is desired.

It's only problematic if you want to throw away the current system so you cannot give a soldier an individual loadout that is not "saved to a button".

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I think Chris was thinking more about clicking your sniper load then deciding to swap out his sniper rifle for a pistol.

That would leave the sniper icon in place for someone who was no longer equipped for that role.

It is an extreme example I know. Maybe swapping your machine gun for an assault rifle shows it better?

Either way if you forget to change or cancel the assigned icon when tweaking the loadout you could well end up with a misleading visual cue.

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While we are on the topic:

How are expended objects threated (by the game)? If a solider uses up a clip or grenade in battle, will he refill his load after returning to base?

Like the idea of having either roles or saved loadout. Having one of those would be great.

With a role, I would expect a solider to pick up equipment until he has all the equipment on his role set. And I would expect to have a modify role option, where I can make all my line-troopers switch their laser rifles to heavy lasers in one setup step.

With a saved loadout, I would expect a pulldown from where I can take ( and save to) a loadout ( for example baseline containing grenades and medkit). After picking up equipment, the solider will not remember, if I added those by hand or by shortcut.

Which one is better depends mostly on playstyle and gamebalance stuff. If solider throughput is high or low. Or if you have 10 trooper and 2 specialists, or if you got into a mission with 10 differently equipped soldiers.

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The plan is for troopers to refill all their equipment including consumables after a mission.

What about quick-load templates. Save a bunch of items and their positions to a template, and when selected it all gets loaded onto a trooper in the saved positions (replacing if something is in the way). They're not held by the game, its more just a fast way to dump a bunch of items onto a soldier.

Role badges could just be based on whatever weapon they're equipped with, as a symbol on their quick-select portrait (sniper, rifleman, heavy, etc).

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Yeah, having role badges assigned by the game rather than the player eliminates the chance that they'll get confused because they forgot to update something or another, which really just translates to 'more work'

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I'm very much in favor of the idea of having pre-saved loadouts that you can use to assign an equipment load-out to a soldier with just a click (or a few).

The addition of visible icons for each role would be nice, but I'd argue that this should be considered additional to the prior mentioned ability. Also, to address the issue of you taking a sniper's rifle away and giving him a pistol instead, you can set it up so that if a soldier's loadout is modified, he gets the same icon, but with a tweak (for example, a small exclamation point or a red dot). Alternatively, and more drastically, if it's modified, the icon goes away...

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The badges could have a different colour depending on tech level of the primary consideration. As Gazz asked, what if you have a laser rifleman and a plasma rifleman, same icon, different specific colour depending on what the tech level is. If you want to load out a pure grenadier, go for the tech level of the majority of his grenades, or if they're all equal then default to the highest tech level.

I'd prefer being able to assign my own badges though, if I develop a specific medic I'd like a badge for same, rather than him being given a pistoleer badge because that's the weapon he has, for instance.

What overrides what would also have to be considered, would a combat shield override a pistol, for example, or a stun baton override a shield? Being able to assign your own loadouts and save them to a specific badge would eliminate all such concerns. Those same badges could then also be displayed in the corner of the soldiers portrait on missions for ident purposes (just in case it hasn't already been said)

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Equipping soldiers for their various roles in my army used to be quite the chore in XCOM-Apocalypse.

That was the most boring and time-consuming single task.

Like in Xeno, soldiers would (kind of) remember the equipment between missions but they did not automatically replace the consumeables like grenades.

Luckily this is done automatically in Xeno because the FAQ says that we

"won't have to re-equip them every mission".

That implies that there is already a system to save the soldier's equipment as a template. Otherwise the game wouldn't know with which items the soldier went into the last mission. There oviously is also a system to equip a soldier based on that template.

So... this could be improved with a tiny bit of interface.

On the soldier inventory screen there would be a button for "Save Equipment Profile".

When pressed, it prompts for an icon to attach to this loadout and possibly a name.

It stores all currently equipped items into this profile.

All assigned loadouts would be displayed as icons on the equipment screen.

Pressing one icon instantly equips the soldier to match the new assignment.

If this cannot be completed (items missing) some error beep is played.

Right-Clicking the icon pops up a menu to delete / update this profile.

Equipping 5 soldiers for a mission would go like...

cursor left / right to switch through the soldiers, one click each to equip for the desired role.

No clicking / scrolling through equipment lists. Just you... grenadier, you... sniper.

As a useful feature for tac battles, the loadout icon could be displayed in a corner of the unit portrait, designating the currently assigned role of that soldier.

If that icon were also visible on the sortable soldier list I saw in the video, the player would have an overview over every soldier's role / equipment without having to check them all personally.

And if the icon is listed there, a right click on it would pop up a list of available loadouts so one could equip soldiers directly from the soldier list without even having to enter the inventory screen.

A similiar system could be used for interceptors but since I don't know what flyer equipment there will be, I can hardly guess how useful it would be to re-equip them for specific missions.

it's the best idea i ever heard about the equip system!

instead of saving that profile for that soldier, you save a specific-labeled profile for a quick switch!

ahhh... too much nights at changing equipments in base defense missions, on apocalypse, when the corporations turns over you... that would come handy!

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