gnagust

Please give option to disable psionics

6 posts in this topic

This may be a popular or unpopular opinion, I'd like to hear you guys opinion.

 

So psi has been quite an important part of the Xenonauts, X-COM and XCOM games and have added mystery and unpredictability and overall improved the story. My problem is it featuring in combat.

 

Start mission with well equipped squad. Let's do this! MG in the back spontaneously gun down the two in front of him. Move across the map making no tactical errors. Enemies are taken by surprise and barely have time to fire back. Two experienced soldiers run around cowering in corners. Make good use of my best shield guy in open area. Confidently holding his ground defending comrade behind him. Drop shield, stand up and both get shot. Finally at the UFO, all stacked up and almost ready, just have to reload. Rifleman fires at a wall pinning two of his mates. Allright that's solved and everyone is doing good. Shotgun wielding god who basically carried the mission so far get scared by a lizard or cloud or something and drops his weapon, runs into the ufo and is evenly distributed over the walls by reaction fire.

I save the game and consider savescumming. End up just playing some other game instead.

This is why I've stopped playing Xenonauts and most Xcoms. Psi for me just makes the combat arbitrary and unfair. When I get my own magic spells it doesn't get much more fun because both sides just kill themselves. It is in my opinion a game mechanic that punish you without a previous error or foolish move on your part. In chess it's not allowed to flick elastic bands at the oposite player's pieces, just like I don't like bs magic spells interfering in a TACTICAL combat SIMULATOR.

Let me know what you think. Do I have a point or should I just git gud?

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Posted (edited)

While I consider this a special X-COM spice, I agree that an option to disable morale and psi should align it better with modern expectations that you don't suddently lost control of your units, at least not without a reasonable / reliable way to bring them back.

I think XCOM 2 (and XCOM) handled it very well not by removing morale and psi but make them more forgiving.  Panic soldiers will find cover and shot some aliens, instead of harming the team or wasting action on doing nothing, and is the status relatively easy to cure.  Your soldiers may get controlled, but the range is limited and not only is there an obvious psi link that point you to the controller, but the controller is relatively weak and there are multiple ways to break the link.

Option to enable/disable morale and psi will make it more difficult to design/develope the game.  Using X1 as example, medel would lost their usefulness, a whole attribute become meaningless, enemy squads need to be adjusted, and some research reports may need to be edited.  Personally, I'd be happy if we can make them less annoying.  Or simply remove them.  I won't miss them.

Edited by Sheepy

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I absolutely agree and it sounds like we have an identical way of of looking at a tactical challenge.

I really do wonder how many people think psi, nukes, magic spells, free moves (ones with silly explanations that don't fit a games core mechanics.. xcom2 ahem) and various fant-ass-tical gamey things..., actually lessen these basically great tactical games. I do.

I also prefer an M14 and an M1911 over a ray gun any day. Not because they're better but because they are far cooler to look at and listen to.

Now I don't have anything against people wanting more than a solid tactical challenge and want a turbo button, win spell, get out of jail free, go directly to jail ..., get one blah blah free, etc...

I just hope there's not a lot of development time used up on human psi stuff is all...

I guess Psi use by Aliens is expected, interesting and.. well.. alien.. as long as it's not an auto kill your soldier(s) in disguise of being a challenging AI move or the "Go kill your squadmate(s) annoying.

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Since this wasn't pointed yet, here my input on this topic (again):

In the current game ( Xenonauts 1 ) and most likely in the future game ( Xenonauts 2 ) you already have the option to modify or outright "disable" psionics.

Well, maybe not the most obvious way like having a menu-item.

 

But the game was aimed to be quite easily mod-able, you don't need to know "rocket-science" in order to "disable" the psionics.

 

In "Xenonauts 1", all you need to do is to open file called "psionicpower.xml", look for the lines you want to modify and increase the "action-point / AP"-requirements to "impossible"-amount (E.G. to 999).
(( I personally only "disabled" the "hallucination"-attack since the "berserk"-effect is a little overpowered in comparison to "mind control", at least in the "Community Edition" of this game. ))

 

There are also some nice mods to customize the psionic-efffect further (E.G. changing the "weight"-values of which power is being more often used).

 

(( I am aware that this was more of request done before hand for the "Xenonauts 2", but I wanted to point out this possibility just in case, as I said. ))

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I kinda like PSI as it does prevent the issue of juggernauting. Your soldiers become so powerful that nothing can stop them. Now, in the original X-COM games, you could get PSI which instead completely skyrocketed the juggernauting. You could defeat any mission without even leaving the ship. That was all kinds of broken.

Xenonauts took the route of only giving the aliens PSI and this was better. In addition, only I think about a handful of alien types got PSI at all (Ceasan Psion, Ceasan Officer, Ceasan Leader, Preator), which meant that it was a relatively rare occurance and a rare challenge. 

Something I think could be added is to give PSI a range limit. Perhaps not for something like a Preator (it's Aura of Dread should accurately hit the entire map) but for any other PSI user. Just let this be slightly longer than sight range, or perhaps even shorter, forcing aliens to close distance before using PSI (mind you (sorry), you can still use PSI through walls).

All in all, I never thought PSI was *that* much of a problem in Xenonauts. It was an added challenge, and it was relatively rare.

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Things I would propose to counter the "humans aren't psychic" imbalance.

1)  Mental discipline center, a place to train your soldiers to better resist psychic attacks.

2)  Psi scrambler:  Requires the power source of the dropship, but interferes with psi effects within a certain radius.

3)  Anti-psi helmets, for some measure of protection.

 

And I'm going to disagree with the "it's a counter to juggernauting" argument.  By the time you have both the research and the materials to Juggernaut, you've earned a mission or two before the aliens deploy counter-armor weapons.

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