Chris

Xenonauts-2 October Update

104 posts in this topic

Hey, all, super late to the party but I'm very excited to hear that Xenonauts 2 is in the works!

Re: making air combat more "tactical", have you considered a turn-based maneuver system a la Steambirds or X-wing?  Each fighter could have a different set of maneuvers available to it, depending on how its loadout or role.  I feel like this would be a nice compromise between the frantic action and high granularity of the X1 air combat interface, and just axing the interception game completely.

Looking forward to X2!

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Interesting take - I think it'll be more interesting than just "Xenonauts with better graphics and some QoL fixes".  I'm personally a huge fan of JA2, so having things go in that direction sound good to me. Since we're going with 3d models this time and don't have the same issues pre-rendering animation frames, why not have a prone mode eh? You could have it that certain heavy weapons can only be effectively used crouching or prone, which would increase the balancing options. But minor issue.

I think having a rating in different fields makes sense (combat, technical, science, etc) - to riff off of previous posters I think still keeping sub-stats under those is a good idea though.  I'm not against streamlining / simplifying where it makes sense, but I don't think we need to go simpler than new XCOM - it's proven that their level of complexity can get mass market adoption. One issue would be balancing out each field rating vs specific stats under it - what if someone has a science rating of 3, but is maxed on medical but little research, should they be able to use a prototype laser weapon?

To borrow from Fallout or JA2, what if each (rank) of a field lets you assign a "perk" that acts as a bonus.  These would stack with modifiers from armor and weapons while still allowing for a personal "feeling" for each soldier.  So say each soldier has an option for fixed or semi-randomized stats (you'll need some display of movement and TUs etc if for nothing else they show up in combat and when you have some armor that modifies them), but they get a slight boost in relevant stats when you level up a "field", plus get to choose a "perk" to go along with it.  So we're going more like nu-xcom in that you get a boost in stats when you level up vs using a skill, but they're tied to profeciencies in a field vs an overall rank.  Perks also feel a bit more personal than numbers IMO, seeing someone has a profeciency or skill rather than just a higher number.

Having a lot of pre-made characters also allows for some interesting/quirky combinations of perks, and less power-gaming of "optimal" perks (though it'd be fun to have some all low level ranking characters that you can then define better as well). Someone with science perks for medicine, but a combat perk for melee due to them being a knife fanatic or whatever. One of the best things about JA2 was how characters had "personality" - without voice acting that'd be harder, but some actual sense of personality / backstory, hopefully some interaction between them goes a ways towards that.

Overview / overall stats (could be more or less). Could be static and only effected by starting stats (semi-random or not, config option), or could have small bonuses when leveling up relative ratings.

Health (armor, perk)
Efficiency (time units - combat rating, perk, armor)
Fitness (exhaustion mechanic - overall ratings, perk?)
Accuracy (combat rating + perks, weapon mods?)
Morale (combat rating + operative rating, perks)
Research (science rating, perks)
Medical (science rating, perks)
Development (technical rating, perks)
Explosives  (technical rating, perks)
Infiltration  (operative rating, perks)
Persuasion (operative rating, perks)

Overall fields and perks (10 in each rank, each rank boosts relevant stats and every other grants use of a perk. 5 in each rank, only perk each time?). You can also have some perks that apply negative and positive effects, have certain ones unlocked at certain ranks. Sort of a skilltree but less forced imo.

COMBAT RATING (each time someone levels up they get more accuracy, time units, etc)

marksmanship (tactical bonus to hit with projectile weapons)
sniper (tactical bonus to hit targets x+ tiles away)
cqb (tactical bonus to hit targets x- tiles away)
martial (tactical bonus to melee attacks)
resilient (tactical health bonus, faster wound recovery)
weightlifting (bonus to carrying capacity, melee, less time units)
distance runner (bonus to time units, less carrying capacity)

SCIENCE RATING  (each time someone levels up they get more medical, research, etc)

physics (strategic bonus to research, bonus to... thrown item accuracy? idk lol)
chemistry (strategic bonus to research, bonus to chem weapon use)
medical (strategic/tactical use)
adaptive (gets to use new weapons with a -1 to science rating)
self-medicating (bonus to exhaustion, more susceptible to toxins in field)
drug-resistant (less likely to be harmed by gas/poison, self-buff items less effective)

TECHNICAL RATING

prototyping/manufacturing (strategic use)
explosives (tactical use, manufacturing bonus?)
mechanic/repair (strategic and tactical use)
adaptive (tactical bonus to using enemies equipment in field)

OPERATIVE RATING

stealthy (tactical bonus to not be spotted)
recruiter/mentor (strategic bonus for recruitment, funds, etc)
charismatic (tactical morale to nearby soldiers)
cryptography (bonuses to finding new targets, gathering resources from raids?)
assassin (tactical bonus to hit with silenced weapons / throwing knives / etc, minus to persuasion)
pacifist (bonus to persuasion, non-lethal weapons, etc minus to lethal weapon accuracy and morale loss after a kill)

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On 13.11.2017 at 2:32 PM, Drakon said:

I will concur that making units bullet-spongy isn't necessarily the most beautiful approach to solve this issue, but it is a simple one.

On 14.11.2017 at 0:39 AM, Conductiv said:

about bosses, well there are many ways to do bosses or big baddies, not all encompass some dude with the supernatural ability to take enough bullets to the face to sink a battleship.

I fail to see what point you are trying to make. Enlighten me.

 

On 14.11.2017 at 0:39 AM, Conductiv said:

this doesn't mean that supersonic flight at extreme altitude with stealth technology would be extremely unlikely to get spotted during daytime as well as night-time.

Just to sate my personal curiosity: assuming that transport is for practical purposes invisible to radar, doesn't have a scramjet style fiery exhaust trail, and is flying at night, at an altitude of 26000 m ( ~ 85000 feet) or higher, what exactly would be the likely scenario and methods how this craft would be spotted with 1980s technology and standard behaviour?

 

On 14.11.2017 at 0:39 AM, Conductiv said:

funny thing about turn based tactical games where you build a team, your team is usually better then the random dudes you recruit from the roster. (...)

If you actually read what i wrote, i pointed out it compounds a balance issue. Essentially you get rewarded not for handling your units well, but just for having them in your employment for longer. Not a big deal, but you need to take it into account balance wise, because it will lead to exactly the scenario you mentioned: newly hired troops being just left at home training for a while, because they are of barely any use in the field and mostly just likely to die. The gap in efficiency between a newly hired unit and a veteran will continue to widen as the game progresses and the toughness of the opponents increases. Ultimately this tends to drive the game in a direction where the end game is either trivial or impossible. I've written a longer post in the Xenonauts-2 General Discussion subforum on one possible solution to the balancing issue, but suffice to say, the problem is actually not trivial, and adding mechanics that aggravate it doesn't really help. Can still be a good choice if the mechanic adds so much to the gameplay to be worth the drawback, but it is worth a lot more thought than you seem to be willing to give it.

 

On 14.11.2017 at 0:39 AM, Conductiv said:

I haven't really read anything that hinted towards the total game length,

Well, read my previous post then.

Edited by Drakon
Typo.

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2 hours ago, Drakon said:

I fail to see what point you are trying to make. Enlighten me.

I don't like bullet sponges as bosses, and even though it is simple I would prefer some other method of not getting the boss instantly capped.

Quote

 

Just to sate my personal curiosity: assuming that transport is for practical purposes invisible to radar, doesn't have a scramjet style fiery exhaust trail, and is flying at night, at an altitude of 26000 m ( ~ 85000 feet) or higher, what exactly would be the likely scenario and methods how this craft would be spotted with 1980s technology and standard behaviour?

 

about as well as it would be spotted during daytime...not. hence the reason for only flying by night is from my point of view purely mechanical.

Quote

If you actually read what i wrote, i pointed out it compounds a balance issue. Essentially you get rewarded not for handling your units well, but just for having them in your employment for longer. Not a big deal, but you need to take it into account balance wise, because it will lead to exactly the scenario you mentioned: newly hired troops being just left at home training for a while, because they are of barely any use in the field and mostly just likely to die. The gap in efficiency between a newly hired unit and a veteran will continue to widen as the game progresses and the toughness of the opponents increases. Ultimately this tends to drive the game in a direction where the end game is either trivial or impossible. I've written a longer post in the Xenonauts-2 General Discussion subforum on one possible solution to the balancing issue, but suffice to say, the problem is actually not trivial, and adding mechanics that aggravate it doesn't really help. Can still be a good choice if the mechanic adds so much to the gameplay to be worth the drawback, but it is worth a lot more thought than you seem to be willing to give it.

I know what you mean, I also know that if you make them easily replaceable the veteran soldiers will have practically no value, and this is probably the main reason the described problem is not trivial.

now why I'm not spending a wall of text on it (and was really just kidding around with it) is because it has all been done before, there is no reason to re-invent the wheel

Quote

  Well, read my previous post then.

you got me there you joker, I was thinking about a dev making any hints towards the total game length and since Chris didn't make any comments regarding that in this thread.. 

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