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Sheepy

More flexible recruit system?

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Compare with other strategic changes, this should be pretty minor.  Thanks XCOM 2 for inspiration.

Problems:

1. The candidates do not improve with time. New recruits take forever, if ever, to catch up to veterans.
2. Do the candidates all die at end of month?  Why do they all disappear so fast?
3. The recruit list is full of candidates we don't want, that we cannot remove, but we get free candidates whenever we hire.

Proposal for problem 1:

1. Make new candidates' stats improves with time. A training system may be needed to keep idle soldiers competitive,
    but they did stay in a safe base as the world went on fire.
2. Make veterans available at higher cost, as the game progress.

Proposal for problem 2 & 3:

1. Let the player get a new candidate by rejecting someone, perhaps at a moderate interview cost but with some free monthly quota.
2. To keep the pressure up, may be each candidate has a 10% chance to disappear at end of month.

Edited by Sheepy
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The Disgaea game has a system that might help with the first point. If X-2 has some sort of soldier perk system, along with stats, then the soldiers you hire could have stat increases over time, but still lack perks. They won't be entirely useless, but they will still lack notability.

Regarding point 2, I think X-1's system is already an improvement over the Xcom games. In the original game, you would hire a bunch, then fire most until you got the guys you want. It all comes down to the fact that there are soldiers you want, but are relying on the throw of a dice to generate soldiers. Maybe you could "request" or "head hunt" for soldiers proficient in certain stats, at a premium.

Point 3 is interesting. Being able to refresh the list at will would allow players to min-max their soldiers, at the cost of time and frustration. But if the list if full of nobodies, your options are limited. A whole minigame could be planned around this mechanic, where you have to leverage your political weight in order to draw more recruits from countries or something, but I think in the big picture, the X-1 system is a good compromise. Maybe you could build a building that serves as a recruitment facility of some sort (think of Men in Black), that doubles or triples the length of the list. Or maybe each additional base lengthens the list.

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I would say:

Point 1:  Maybe researches that permit increased stats, or only if nations really like you do they offer their prime soldiery?  Or different pools, with different costs.  Maybe mercenaries who are effective, but cost you political hatred of nations they've committed war crimes against?  

Maybe the soldiers can be "sent to training camp" for a fee and come back next month with slightly improved stats?  This also largely (2) keeps them alive and (3) clears the slot for a new soldier.  It also (partially) provides a mechanic for training soldiers out of combat addressed in other threads.

Point 2:  You think those men and women have nothing better to do than sit and wait for you?  The nations of the WORLD are competing to hire competent soldiery, who, incidentally, are dying by the scores if not hundreds.  You want them there for more than a month?  Pay them a retainer fee, and hope they don't die doing side jobs with the world's military.

Point 3:  I heartily second an expanding list with technology/national support.  Maybe an increased cost to hire to a base from other than local soldiery?  Maybe each soldier "rejected" decreases that nation's enthusiasm for XNO (Xenonaut Organization) by a small amount?

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I like this, training soldiers sounds like a good idea.. in the original xcom for example, PSI training was always annoying because it took your primary squad out of the fight, but being able to stat train normal rookies would be great.

What would be even better is being able to choose what stat you want to focus on and for it to cost extra money.

Training should be relatively expensive though and take some time and maybe be capped / balanced based on combat experience / rank?

Or additionally you could have a training facility that takes up 4 squares and is able to only train 8 soldiers at a time or something to avoid having too many overskilled newbies.

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On 06/02/2017 at 7:55 AM, Sheepy said:

Make veterans available at higher cost, as the game progress

Why not allow this from the beginning? Make the soldier purchase options relative to experience. If you want to invest in soldiers early on then you have that freedom but you wont as easily be able to afford R&D, base expansion etc. A top tier soldier represents many missions worth of experience so should cost a fortune, the kind of price you can't fork out early on in the game. But as you have more resources later on, a high rank soldier can be replaced. Making the soldier cost relative is better than leaving it all up to the random numbers. Also, depending how affordable soldiers are, it might encourage the player to allow a little turnover in the roster rather than keeping the original set of troopers alive throughout.

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3 hours ago, Ninothree said:

Why not allow this from the beginning? Make the soldier purchase options relative to experience.

The same reason that the rank of XCOM (2) rewarded/offered soldiers is associated with game time: to preserve the power balance of the game.  Story-wise, you can imagine recruit rank as experience against aliens; in the beginning everyone has zero experience fighting aliens, so all recruits start at zero rank when the game starts.

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I think what I'm trying to get at is that the balance can still be achieved if the cost of soldiers is set correctly. So, if you buy a major at the beginning of your playthrough, then you'll be set back so much that you wont be able to afford radars or new aircraft etc - though you still have that choice if it is what you want (it'll just mean easier ground combat and hard geoscape progression). The pricing shouldn't be static either: as countries' relations with you change over time, the costs of the soldiers they could go up or down. So, making replacements wouldn't be devastatingly expensive but you wouldn't rage quit if you lost some of your A-Team.

Were it possible, I think that I'd choose to recruit at least a mid-level soldier or two early on so that in that first mission, at least one of your squad can hit something other than a tree.

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Borrowing from “The Bureau: XCOM Declassified”, agents from each class (Commando, Engineer, Support or Recon) were recruited from different world agencies which shaped their base skills before they started to train in XCOM skills. If you were looking for a soldier with high accuracy, then you could request a hitman from the black market, a marksman from the army, or a wet work specialist from the CIA – which might require improving relations with one or more of these organisations in order to recruit from their pool.

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Just want to say that if vet soldiers are so much better that you overpower enemies at the start then they are getting too good and should be nerfed. Vet soldiers should give you an advantage, but it shouldn't be night and day. At any point you should be able to load up a craft with rookies and still be okay. And by rookies I mean the elite soldiers you hire normally.

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I think the point of a cold / secret war environment is, you won't always hire a well trained soldier as a beginner agent.  They could have been ear-marked from various intelligence / enforcement agencies and called upon as needed, since the info they learn on recruitment is on such a need-to-know basis.  They can't exactly advertise publicly for applicants!

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On the other hand, we don't recruit a full regiment of special forces. A handful of them would always be available if their nation is still founding the Xeno organization.

So far, something that is implied in the game is that recruited veterans (that is, veterans allowed to join in by their hierarchy, the same that happens nowadays with UNO personnel) will be loyal towards the Organization. If Xenonauts-2 develops the diplomatic and (counter-)intelligence aspect, perhaps this could change a little. Or do we have them pass a psychological test to verify that their are not double agents? Likewise, if the Xenonauts are forced to recruit veterans to respond to the initial rush, perhaps they would prefer to recruit more flexible and loyal rookies, a few month before their real employment (hence an initial formation)? This would be quite cosmetic, though.

@odizzido: A craft full of rookies... plus 2 NCOs, except for anti-terror missions and the like.

Edited by Rodmar18

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I like the training idea. You could have a list of trained soldiers that are more expensive to hire or switch to the fresh recruit list to hire cheaply. However, the list of trained soldiers would have to be soldiers who have been available for hire for a long time. Which means, if you empty the entire "recruit" list, you won't have any soldiers being trained for the future.

The only problem is balance, as always. I think it could be solved though.

I really liked that soldiers in Xenonauts 1 could have experience in past wars, that should definitely give them a boost to morale and perhaps some other stat, but should increase their price somewhat.

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1. possibly the best solution: just have them gradually get better over time as the game progresses. Explain it however you want -- the world's militaries taking the war on the aliens more seriously and sending the Xenonauts better troops instead of just recruits, for example. I'm also toying with the idea of dismissing skilled soldiers to train recruits. You would have to make do without one or two good troopers, but your recruits would get a welcome bonus to their stats.

2&3. good point. You should be able to dismiss recruits, but also hold on to the ones you want for when you need them.

 

Perhaps there could be a finite and (very) slowly replenishing pool of officers/veterans you could hire as well as recruits, though. You would only be able to hire a few of them, and I suppose they could also cost more. I'm personally not really in favour of making recruitment more complicated than it has to be, though.

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On 5/21/2018 at 10:58 AM, Safe-Keeper said:

Perhaps there could be a finite and (very) slowly replenishing pool of officers/veterans you could hire

Instead of offering a few über-rookies eligible for recruitment, as in some games, this could be a realistic mean to achieve the same goal. You could recruit (depromoted) corporals or even sergeants (very rare, and only if in high terms with their nation). They would simply have an initial experience, "slightly" better stats, and possibly skill points (if this is implemented). By "depromoted", I mean that recruited sergeants could well have had a higher rank before joining in.

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These changes to the recruitment screen could be explained with the idea of Xenonauts flagging potential recruits from various intelligence / science / military organisations across the funding nations - and outside those national borders as well.  Those potential recruits the player is not interested in at all could be "de-flagged" and drop off the list entirely, allowing the recruiters in your administration to search further to add new potential recruits to the pool.  Maybe fresh recruits have greater potential for more flexible or specialised skill development within the Xenonauts and/or can reach higher levels (or are cheaper to maintain once they reach higher level), whereas the more experienced mercenaries recruited externally are only good at combat and plateau earlier, or are just too expensive to maintain on staff in the long term.  In X-COM: Apocalypse they enabled the use of androids, which were good at supplementing rookie squads or defending bases but couldn't advance their skills (vehicles in the original X:UD and Xe1 were similar, with upgradeable SHIVs in X:EU).

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