Jump to content
MGAH786

What Xenonauts 2 needs

Recommended Posts

Hi there . I see that X2 is going well but I want to give my 50 cents about that game . While I respect Xenonauts there is still much to work to make it better . Here are things that in my eyes could make Xenonauts even better

Weapon and armor accesories - XCOM 1994 was a game full of nonsence . We had heavy plasma , blaster launcher or fusion weaponry but NOT fucking nightvision which was invented EVEN before WW2 . We need all kind of grenade launchers , scopes , bayonetts , night and thermovision and some sci fi stuff like in UFO aftershock and Afterlight

Soldier training - In all of Altair UFO series we could train soldiers and upgrade them BEFORE battle . Why can't we spare all those money we use for condolence for rookies families when we can use it to train our troops (and scientist and engineers and other people ) to increase our meager chance of survival ?

Increase base size - Why we can't create three kind of bases for our needs ? We should have a bigger choice to build a base we need from outpost for soldiers and planes to fortress .

Augmentation - In UFO AS we had access to augmented soldier and special equipment for them all kind of cyber augmentation and psi support . We could also use gene upgrades like in XCOM EW .

Foundry - Foundry was one of the few good things in XCOM EU/EW so Xenonauts could use this as well to make upgrades to equipment .

Mechs and robots - Aside of tanks you could add more vehicles  ( like T-72 or Abrams ) with more armament as well as robots like in UFO AS and AL or badass mechs to mow down aliens.

More russian planes and upgrades - Please , add Mi-24 and few more awesome things from soviet air forces instead of defenceless cow Chinook . Mi-24 is 10000% better . Also , please add more cutomization for planes and choppers ( engines , avionics , armament , fuel capasity and kinds  and more )

More ammo kinds - We should use more kind of meaner ammo ( fire , acid , dum dum and more ) to make life of the aliens harder .

Add all purpose planes - 1970s was a time when all purpose fighters saw it's age so one use fighters were removed . We should use all purpose plane as building the new hull is expensive .

More varied arsenal - UFO 1994 wasn't known for outstanding or original arsenal that why you need to look into UFO series which removed that problem . We had all kind of mean weaponry - warp weapons , collapsible machineguns and rocket launchers , flamethrowers , gattlings , plasma shotguns submachineguns , revolvers . Don't make the same mistake that UFO 1994 creators did .

Better buldings - You could make some buildings that could increase research or production , bigger hangar , hospital and more . Buildings also should be upgreadable .

Human enemy - In XCOM EW and UFO Aftershock we had an enemy faction to destroy us . It would be very interesting to fight on both fronts .

Those are things that in my eyes would make X2 great . If you have time , please consider adding those things

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You certainly like military variety. You must feel right at home with games like Wargame and such. 

Do consider that every addition must have a purpose and a place; failing this, you create redundancy. 

I agree with the Russian thing. It's pitiful the little influence the Soviets had on the designs of Xenonauts. 

This made me think of something: it would be great to have actual characters at the base. The base scientist (did he have a name?) was funny, but his personality was more of a funny flavor to the research entries. XCOM did it nicely: you had the american captain, the chinese engineer, the german doctor, each with personal traits; even the shadowy figure of the Council was interesting. It's a shame the other "characters" in Xenonauts - the soviet monkeywrench, the barracks officer, and the storage keeper - were only decorative.

Inshallah the devs will look into this.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hearts of Iron 4 has a neat system where you can train divisions up to a certain skill level by holding exercises, but this comes at the cost of equipment and vehicles because ammunition is fired, vehicles break down, accidents happen, and so on. In Xenonauts 2, perhaps we could train troops at the cost of money and perhaps even some "attrition" from wear and tear to whatever advanced weapons, ammo, and equipment that you have in limited supply that you choose to use in training, and even the chance that a soldier could get injured during training.

I don't mind the ability to train troops, but I do feel there should be a cost involved, and a max skill level. Would help lead to that "desperate defense of Earth" feeling when you lose soldiers and have to throw those poor recruits into the fray without proper training.

As for the rest of the OP, as another poster said, I don't need variety for variety's sake. One of the things I liked the most about the original X-Com game was its unsentimental approach to weaponry -- it's one of the only games I've seen where a rifle is just a "rifle", not an "1337WTF-A2 Origami Syndicate Special Full-Auto Assault Rifle with pickles and scope", and they also unceremoniously threw in some strange weapons like the heavy cannon and auto-cannon because they just didn't care, it was a game about tactical combat with aliens.

Edit: I sort of liked that the USSR was more in the background in Xenonauts. They seemed to cooperate, but still didn't trust each other. I know it'd be a lot of work for the devs, but it would be neat if you were playing as a Soviet or Western organisation based on where you put your first base, at least in the early-game. Gradually the east and west would cooperate and coordinate more, so that mid- and late-game content was more identical except from maybe some flavour names.

Heck, maybe in the early-game the "opposing faction" would be reluctant to even allow you to fly inside their territory. Some diplomatic/political stuff like that would be cool. none of the countries really do anything in traditional X-Com.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Safe-Keeper said:

I sort of liked that the USSR was more in the background in Xenonauts. They seemed to cooperate, but still didn't trust each other.

If the engineering bay screen is representative, the engineer corps of the Xenonauts Initiative was Soviet. Literally every nut of every new weapon and vehicle built was tightned by Soviet hands. If this isn't trust and cooperation, I don't know what is.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, apostrophefz said:

If the engineering bay screen is representative, the engineer corps of the Xenonauts Initiative was Soviet. Literally every nut of every new weapon and vehicle built was tightned by Soviet hands. If this isn't trust and cooperation, I don't know what is.

I totally forgot about that. Haven't played Xeno in ages, so had to fire up the game to have a look. He does indeed say "we'll build anything you want, comrade".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Safe-Keeper said:

He does indeed say "we'll build anything you want, comrade".

This I found criminal. The unique setting, where the whole world is fighting for the common good, putting government (and religious) ideologies aside, and the only active interaction on the part of Russia is this. The rest is passive: the Scientist calls them stupid.

I may be sound exhausting by now, calling for due representation and characterization of everyone, but if the game doesn't want to show diversity, don't even hint at it. Treat it like the first X-COM. Give nationalities only to the soldiers; the rest is generic and standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, apostrophefz said:

This I found criminal. The unique setting, where the whole world is fighting for the common good, putting government (and religious) ideologies aside, and the only active interaction on the part of Russia is this. The rest is passive: the Scientist calls them stupid.

I may be sound exhausting by now, calling for due representation and characterization of everyone, but if the game doesn't want to show diversity, don't even hint at it. Treat it like the first X-COM. Give nationalities only to the soldiers; the rest is generic and standard.

Meh, really the only thing that the US gets over the Soviets is the starting weapons being American. There's an American jet, a Soviet jet and a British armoured car, whilst the Scientist doesn't have a visible nationality. The people that do have visible nationalities (soldiers) are spread fairly evenly across NATO and Soviet nations, which logically should imply there's a similar split across the science and engineering divisions too.

I think the fundamental issue is actually that many people assume the default origin of anyone / anything to be American unless specifically marked otherwise. I suppose it could be suggested that the engineer saying "comrade" implies by omission that the scientist is not of Soviet origin (because otherwise he too would be calling everyone "comrade"), but if he didn't say that then it's equally easy for people to assume there are no literally Soviets in the organisation at all.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. Weapon and armor accesories - XCOM 1994 was a game full of nonsence . We had heavy plasma , blaster launcher or fusion weaponry but NOT fucking nightvision which was invented EVEN before WW2 . We need all kind of grenade launchers , scopes , bayonetts , night and thermovision and some sci fi stuff like in UFO aftershock and Afterlight
  2. Soldier training - In all of Altair UFO series we could train soldiers and upgrade them BEFORE battle . Why can't we spare all those money we use for condolence for rookies families when we can use it to train our troops (and scientist and engineers and other people ) to increase our meager chance of survival ?
  3. Increase base size - Why we can't create three kind of bases for our needs ? We should have a bigger choice to build a base we need from outpost for soldiers and planes to fortress .
  4. Augmentation - In UFO AS we had access to augmented soldier and special equipment for them all kind of cyber augmentation and psi support . We could also use gene upgrades like in XCOM EW .
  5. Foundry - Foundry was one of the few good things in XCOM EU/EW so Xenonauts could use this as well to make upgrades to equipment .
  6. Mechs and robots - Aside of tanks you could add more vehicles  ( like T-72 or Abrams ) with more armament as well as robots like in UFO AS and AL or badass mechs to mow down aliens.
  7. More russian planes and upgrades - Please , add Mi-24 and few more awesome things from soviet air forces instead of defenceless cow Chinook . Mi-24 is 10000% better . Also , please add more cutomization for planes and choppers ( engines , avionics , armament , fuel capasity and kinds  and more )
  8. More ammo kinds - We should use more kind of meaner ammo ( fire , acid , dum dum and more ) to make life of the aliens harder .
  9. Add all purpose planes - 1970s was a time when all purpose fighters saw it's age so one use fighters were removed . We should use all purpose plane as building the new hull is expensive .
  10. More varied arsenal - UFO 1994 wasn't known for outstanding or original arsenal that why you need to look into UFO series which removed that problem . We had all kind of mean weaponry - warp weapons , collapsible machineguns and rocket launchers , flamethrowers , gattlings , plasma shotguns submachineguns , revolvers . Don't make the same mistake that UFO 1994 creators did .
  11. Better buldings - You could make some buildings that could increase research or production , bigger hangar , hospital and more . Buildings also should be upgreadable .
  12. Human enemy - In XCOM EW and UFO Aftershock we had an enemy faction to destroy us . It would be very interesting to fight on both fronts .

 

  1. I agree, as long as balance is not broken, that is the Alien are still a fearsome military force.
  2. I don't see this useful, as long as we accept that our rookies, who are special force veterans (or regular, able specialists), are just performing at the best of their capabilities when fighting the Aliens for the first time. Granted, accuracy could be better, except if we consider that they shoot very quickly. An accuracy bonus could be granted when they are not under fire (I figure that plasma projectiles over head are a very stressful experience) and have time to prepare (up to the point where a machine gunner cannot fire on the same turn he has moved, or even not before a full idle turn). On the other hand, scientists and engineers could perform better the more they work for the Organization, or rather (and more simply), their labs and workshop could upgrade one or twice during the campaign (not only cosmetically).
  3. Firstly, some player would be reluctant in defending huge bases for hours. Secondly, greater bases would mean better defences (provided money is plenty), and this would imply less or none base defence missions. However, I see a point here. Initial cost for new bases could be far less, which would make possible for the player to build outposts, radar bases, air bases, projection bases all over the world, for a more realistic coverage and strategy. When the player want to increase a given base, he would have to pay to enlarge the base grid and upgrade its Command Center. For example, we could have a 2x2 CC + 3 squares, a CC plus 6 squares, a 4x4 grid, and current 6x6 base grid.
  4. I'd say that the more customization and gimmick we need, we less attractive the game should be, or the more customization and gimmick we are offered, the more the designers have excuses to design poorly stand-alone exciting campaign and tactical modes. This shouldn't be a priority.
  5.  See 4. Let modders have tools to complement the game.
  6. I'm not sure that heavy vehicles would fit to troop transports. Anyways, if the Terran put in the fight their heavy ordinance (and why not howitzers?), what would prevent the Alien to do the same? I'm not sure heavy tanks would not be sitting ducks, faced to cloaked armoured hovering beasts, for instance. Besides, isn't our Scimitar tank a smaller cousin to the M1?
  7. See 4. The initial equipment is not deemed to last for long anyways. Why not the Mi-24? Because it's a light assault chopper that would be torn apart by alien infantry weapons. It can take only 8 soldiers whereas our Charlie take... only 8 soldiers (say 12 with mods). What's the difference then? First read the data: CH-47 Chinook can take 22 soldiers or 9500 kg (as compared to 2500 kg for Mi-24) and has a one-way range of 2000 km (as compared to 750 km). Then read the Xenopedia: CH-47 was changed to CH-48 with added fuel tanks and heavy armour all over, in order to multiply by ten its autonomy, and to make it unto the immediate UFO vicinity and sustain a few infantry weapon hits. A modified version of MI-24 would only be useful if transports would be allowed to have a support fire feature in tactical mode, but the deployed team would be tiny (3 soldiers?) because of the added autonomy and armour.
  8. We could start by having more grenades and rockets (more simple to implement?).
  9. The point should be more clear if Xenonauts-2 is set in the 2000s.
  10. All those kinds of weapons exist in Xenonauts-1 (I can call "warper" the disruptor, aka Singularity Cannon, even if flamethrowers where not implemented in vanilla). So be patient!
  11. Again, play Xenonauts-1: some buildings upgrade automatically when technological advances are done: Defence Battery; some others upgrade automatically or are available when proper researches are done: Labs, Workshop, Communication decryption. Limited place buildings can be added: Medical Centre (8 beds each), Garage (3 places each), Hangar (1 place each).
  12. I agree. Should they be true, misguided humans, or alien puppets? Or both kind?

 

Edited by Rodmar18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest requests are:

1. More mission variety both in terms of terrain and objectives.

2. More variety in equipment and weapon tech that change play-styles using existing mechanics - For example predator armor totally changes the tactical game by maxing out str.  Let’s get tech that increases tus, acc, ref, vision, brv etc. More weapons that only cause panic, suppression, fire, smoke and stun. Area effects that are linear or cone shaped.

3. Tech tree branches that are randomized/close during a play through. Not being able to follow the same research path or research everything each game - forcing players to adapt at least a little to the circumstances each play through.

4. More story elements - tactical, strategic or text based events.

5. If you keep a way to autoresolve crash sites (which I like) you should have a way to get better trained recruits late game... I’ve lost some squaddies late game in veteran Ironman, it is a total pain to grind rookies through the ranks for the endgame and at some point completing ground missions is otherwise pointless.

6. More explosions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Rodmar18 said:

Why not the Mi-24? Because it's a light assault chopper that would be torn apart by alien infantry weapons. It can take only 8 soldiers whereas our Charlie take... only 8 soldiers (say 12 with mods). What's the difference then? First read the data: CH-47 Chinook can take 22 soldiers or 9500 kg (as compared to 2500 kg for Mi-24) and has a one-way range of 2000 km (as compared to 750 km). Then read the Xenopedia: CH-47 was changed to CH-48 with added fuel tanks and heavy armour all over, in order to multiply by ten its autonomy, and to make it unto the immediate UFO vicinity and sustain a few infantry weapon hits. A modified version of MI-24 would only be useful if transports would be allowed to have a support fire feature in tactical mode, but the deployed team would be tiny (3 soldiers?) because of the added autonomy and armour.

 

Mi-24 is a gunship that also has transport capabilities. A groundbreaking machine at its time. However, I agree that pure transport chopper is a better choice. The vehicle's fighting capacity doesn't manifest in the game, especially not in the air to ground way which would be the gunship's mission. It's better to use a pure transport helo both from believability and thematic standpoints. A russian helicopter to use would then be Mi-17, but I think the Chinook is better here.

Some scattered other points on the OP, using that convenient numbering:

1. Yeah, lack of nightvision always annoyed me too, but I guess the point is to have darkness have some meaning. It'd be just mood lighting otherwise. I'd be fine with that, though.

2. Those Altair games have a theme of last remnants of the humanity forming ragged bands to fight back. It makes sense that they would need training. In the traditional XCOM scenario, the recruits are already conventionally trained soldiers. The experience they gain in battle goes for learning to fight the aliens. Hard to believe you could have extensive training programs for that.

6. One of my ideas was stationary vehicles as on-site gun turrets. Maybe more feasible, but I bet people would be dissapointed that they couldn't move.

10. My personal pet peeve with both Firaxis XCOM and Xenonauts is that the weapon selection is same types of weapons repeated in tiers. First you have bullets, then you have lasers, then plasma and finally MAG. Easy to balance maybe, but banal. Mix it up a little. The original XCOM had this too, but it also had enough special weapons outside the matrix so that it wasn't so noticeable.

FloridaBoy's point 3: It's hard to balance, but I love this feature when it's used in 4X games. It prevents the one true tech strategy you'll always use. Of course in the UFO genre there is some randomness generated by what you manage to salvage. Maybe playing that up would give you similar results.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Kissamies said:

Mi-24 is a gunship that also has transport capabilities...

The route you could go with this depends on what the geoscape does to spawn ground combat. There are a few issues to work through - why bother putting your soldiers in the aerial dog fight? Currently, there is no rush, almost never does the situation occur where the ground combat mission will expire before the final UFO of the wave gets splashed. You'd be a premature fool if you managed to get your transport full of veteran soldiers shot down ;) But then you could also ask, why put much design effort into the transport craft at all? If all it does is move your peeps from A to B in safety, they may as well be on the bus for anything other than aesthetics and immersion.

I do think it is worth playing around with the idea, if the geoscape can be altered to suit. For example, if GC missions expired quickly, then you would need to put a troop transport in with the wing of fighters that down the UFO. The transport would only have some token defence (in comparison to the actual fighters) but it could land as soon as the UFO is downed, before the aliens can dig in or repair. Alternatively, drop zones themselves could come into the foreground of the game, with the option to strafe some areas of the map (or something that fighters can't do) or else have a limitation like only putting down half a squad if your Mi-24 can't defeat whatever anti-air batteries the enemies have in play.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ninothree said:

Alternatively, drop zones themselves could come into the foreground of the game, with the option to strafe some areas of the map (or something that fighters can't do) 

All this talk of gunships is calling for a new Close Air Support mechanic. Call upon a chopper to overwatch or fire upon an area. Limitations could be: small one way range - may only be sent on missions close to its hangar; big target for plasma weapons - could be fired upon anywhere on the map; vulnerable to functioning UFO cannons - rushing and securing the UFO would reward the player with a safer AO for the gunship.

Did anyone play that Sierra game, SWAT 2? It had a chopper you could call on the mission, but I can't remember anything about it. I think it had one sniper on it, or it served only for reconnaissance, I can't remember.

Edited by apostrophefz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Close air support would be very hard to balance, gameplay-wise.

That's because close air support is designed to be completely unfair and unbalanced.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I wouldn't advocate using air support in-mission, that would feel like cheating. But I think that there could be some potential for the level of armament your dropship has to affect the drop you can actually make. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ninothree said:

Yeah I wouldn't advocate using air support in-mission, that would feel like cheating.

I suppose so. Plus it adds another layer to the battlescape, that will clutter the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although, thinking of helicopters strikes, reminded me of Battle Academy 2 (and also Command and Conquer Generals as well as Company of Heroes), which had "special abilities", that the commander could call upon the AO, like airstrikes, artillery shelling, supplies. Anyone knows if they're planning on doing something similar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Decius said:

Close air support would be very hard to balance, gameplay-wise.

That's because close air support is designed to be completely unfair and unbalanced.

Heh, I've been explaining this concept for almost a decade now and I don't think I've ever managed to express it as succinctly or as effectively as you did there :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting that training has been brought up in this thread, because training was something that was hashed over again and again during the development of X1, and it's something that has been tried in a variety of ways in other X-Com-a-likes.

The fundamental assumption behind training appears to be: "I put X solider(s) into training. They are unavailable for Y period of time. Once Y period of time has expired,, they acquire Z bonuses". There are often things built upon that. Soldiers may need to acquire some form of resource before they may take training (experience points, training points, yogi master points, etc.). There are often rules about when they can take training (not wounded, not dead, not host to a bioweapon, etc.). There may be conditions to meet for certain kinds of bonuses, and requirements to meet to get training in the first place, but strip away all the surface layer stuff and each time training has been tried in an X-Com-a-like you have the same three postulates - take solider X, remove them from the game for time Y, acquire Z bonus at the end of time Y.   

X-Com Apocalypse's training only required the player to build a training room. When a solider was sent away from training, they improved their stats. As the bar to entry was so low, a decent strategy was to make a training base. Recruit soldiers directly to the training base and have them train all the time. They would improve their stats without the risk of losing them in battle. What training did in effect was to speed up the time needed to have soldiers with good stats and provide a pool of soldiers which had good stats without having to grind missions to do so. Depending on your perspective as a player, that could be good or bad. If you didn't do well, or experienced a party wipe (and party wipes in a game like Apocalypse are serious, when you can control 30+ soldiers in a fight!), then having a ready pool of soldiers with good stats and having the capacity to take more soldiers and prepare them without grinding missions is a good thing. On the other hand, if you're doing well, then having a pool of soldiers which can have comparable stats to the soldiers who you do missions with is a slap in the face of the player - what's the point of playing well and preserving your soldiers when you can just train a bunch of guys up for no risk? 

The AfterX series took training in the opposite direction. Training required three resources. Experience points, which were traded in for levels, which granted two other resources - stat increases and training points. Both stats and training points were necessary to acquire skills. In Aftershock, you selected a profession for your solider, based upon the stat requirements and the training points available. In Afterlight, you picked skills based upon the research you had carried out. Skills were mostly based around unlocking. Combat training did not usually provide stat increases. Instead they permitted to soldier access to something they couldn't do before, whether it was a special ability, a physical action, or something else. In Afterlight, for example, you could not crouch in a spacesuit without the appropriate spacesuit training. In Aftershock, you could not get access to entire weapon categories without training in the appropriate profession. Some skills in the AfterX games were considered mandatory. In Aftershock, if you wanted to heal someone in battle you almost always needed a solider who had the medic profession. In Afterlight, in order to perform certain basic movement actions, such as crouching or running, you had to have spacesuit training.  Aftershock's system of training was closer to XCOM's system of class-based leveling up, in that without the appropriate profession, you did not have access to certain weapons, nor did you have access to certain special skills unique to the profession. Unlike XCOM, professions were not locked in from the word go, and a character could be trained in three different professions at once. This was a complicated system, First you took your soldiers into battle. Then if they earnt enough experience points, they levelled up. Then, if they had enough training points AND the appropriate stats AND the correct research you could select a skill for them to train in. Compare this to XCOM - earn enough experience points, get a level, get a skill. XCOM's system of getting skills is much more accessible than the After series, but the AfterX series created greater investment in the character. You had to work to get skills for a soldier, so every skill gained was that much more appreciated for it. 

In the Apocalypse model, training exists to get recruits up to speed quickly. Soldiers in Apocalypse are considered very replaceable. While it's good to keep soldiers between missions, it's not necessary as each solider is defined only by their stats and if you have a mechanism outside of running missions to improve stats, then loosing a solider is not that big of a deal in the cosmic scheme of things. In the AfterX model, training exists to act as a speed bump and a means of personalizing and investing a player in their soldiers. Each time a solider is able to train, they can then do something that they cannot before - run faster, jump quicker, use weapons they didn't have access to.....and crouch. At the same time, XCOM showed that it wasn't necessary to jump through the hoops that AfterX set up, by disposing of training and just allowing soliders to get something each time they levelled up. The feedback loop in XCOM is shorter because the intermediate stage of training is removed. 

What would the Xenonauts model be? Well, one must ask all sorts of questions. For example, where will the bulk of effort in improving soldiers come from? Does it come from completing missions? Ground combat is the meat of Xenonauts. The strategy section exists to serve ground combat, so it would make sense to put the most rewards into ground combat. However, if ground combat is where soldiers will progress, then the most effective strategy to improve soldiers is to delay the progression of the game while grinding out as many missions as possible and to behave in ground combat as conservatively as possible to preserve soldiers. That was seen during the development of X1 even though the grinding was boring, because people tend to prioritise the most optimal strategy to win over the most fun. Training then might be a tool to lessen the desire to grind out as much as possible by making alternate routes to progression available as in the Apocalypse model, rather than acting as a gatekeeper to progression as in the AfterX model. What kind of progression is there going to be? I can't find the post, but Chris has previously said that progression is going to be small increments to specific stats and equipment. E.g. getting a +bonus to shooting with rifle-class weapons, for example. If that's as far as progression is going to go, is it necessary to have a training mechanism at all? And another question to ask might be, is the accepted model of training (solider X goes away for Y days to get Z bonus) an appropriate model for Xenonauts? Would a different model better suit the game? Perhaps a more interactive model, such as a minigame? But would a minigame become tiresome? Would it be better to turn the training trope on it's head? Instead of sending a solider away, you bring a training officer to the solider. Perhaps you have to hire and schedule a training officer to turn up at home base. When the training officer turns up, any solider who stays as home base gets some training. Anyone who has to go out on a mission doesn't. That would work pretty well in a turn based strategy environment. 

What do you think? What would a good model for training in Xenonauts be? Should there even be one?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m kind of on the fence on training ... but if the autoresolve feature for ground combat is included, there should also be a way for troops to gain experience outside of the tactical missions. I went through a X1 game on insane difficulty only doing ground missions to collect tech and alenium, completing battleships and an alien fortress no problem, only to get totally smoked in the endgame mission, because my squaddies stats weren’t nearly good enough.  They need to be fast and accurate in that mission, you can’t afford extended fire fights.  I was dominating the strategic layer, and a full aresenal of top tier weapons and armor, but realized that I would need to load my save and get my troops additional ranks before I’d have a decent chance. After doing a couple of ground missions just to grind out experience, I lost interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that examples of stat/skill training are inseparable from the style of character development. XCom Apoc had soldiers defined purely by stats (even being a human/hybrid/android was effectively just a matter of stats), they weren't characters, just numbers. Firaxis XCOM has character classes with different stat progressions and skill trees - you could customise your style of sniper but they were entirely replicable. AfterX (from what I remember) had characters with unique bios and even family relationships, there were still classes but training was quite open ended. Put together, it seems like a scale. On the one end, it is a numbers game - on the other it is more like an RPG. 

X1, being a faithful reboot, was obviously on the pure-stats end of the scale. If a system were to be implemented whereby soldiers could be selected for training packages or given certain upgrades based on experience, then it would swing the game more towards that RPG style. This is quite a delicate issue, both in terms of what players want but also how Goldhawk would position their game in relation to their contemporaries (and I'd guess Phoenix Point is going to be close to Firaxis XCOM). Personally, I'd say that the versatility of Xenonauts is one of its advantages. Why shouldn't the shotgunner get expertise with smoke grenades or a medkit? But then, I'd also vote for a stat system as complex as pokemon where progression is based on the enemies you fight, the character's nature and even the genetic lines they are part of - though I feel that breeding soldiers in xenonauts would upset much of the core fan base. Whilst I concede that the realistic approach for X2 would not be that far along the scale, it is undeniable that a lot of the fun and investment the player has in the game (and the attachment they have to each play-through) is grounded in the development of the soldiers beyond just their weapon upgrades.

This also highlights the flip side of the discussion, in how much punishment the player should take for losing a soldier. In AfterLight, it could even mean losing your R&D resource. Pretty painful really. But then, that game was based around the premise that players would tend not to permit with loses. Losing a stat-based Apoc soldier wasn't much grief at all though, their 'clone' would be waiting at base camp. Unfortunately I'd say that X1 kinda suffered from the disadvantages of both ends of the scale - highly trained soldiers were a chore to replace (esp if you wanted them to have a good reaction stat) but the ground combat mechanics weren't lenient to keeping every soldier alive throughout the game (e.g. one shot reaper kill). Training should be a a fun part of the game, not a grind. I'd say that a good compromise would be to have training packages that are unlocked via research, and that these could be given to any soldier. So your rookie with the top-tier-Acc-training-package could stand in for a veteran on the rifle range but wouldn't be an all-round soldier until they gained in mission experience.

So what I'm saying is - should Xenonauts 2 lean towards the RPG style of character training and how can that remain interesting in a play through that can incur substantial loses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't original X-COM soldiers train for psionics?

If training was to be implemented, I'd see it as a limited mean to improve rookies.

  • Only useful when stats are low.
  • A single training session per soldier.
  • Cost in time and money.
  • Chose one stat or a set of stat to improve (or randomize this?).

If all stats were to be improved through a training session, then it would be equivalent to pay more to recruit more able rookies. Hence, only a few stats should be trained. This system could help in specializing rookies, or else, in equalizing their stats by improving their poor one(s).

In the precedent posts, I read reasons for training sessions, besides improving stats: improving psychic resistance (instead of manufacturing a psi-resistant armour), learning to use a weapon type better (one time precision/UT bonus), perhaps learning to use new armour or weapon techs. But at such a point, it could be regarded as a money sink and a way to regulate the campaign advancement. For the best or the worst?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Rodmar18 said:

If training was to be implemented, I'd see it as a limited mean to improve rookies.

Yup. I think that there is a definite need for this. The game is not about grinding your soldiers' stats up. There is very little strategy in that. Obviously there needs to be a barrier to stop you deploying super-soldiers from the outset, and yes it is fun to see you squad gradually develop into a meaner fighting machine. But some kind of compromise would be welcome, one that would let you patch up a hole in your team if, say, your sniper bought it.

In terms of the cost - that really depends on the economy of the game. What would be the trade off for a soldier being trained for +10 accuracy? Would it be worth 1/10th of the $ cost of a fighter jet or would it require resource x to be recovered from the mission site? Better barriers might be less in terms of economy and more in terms of built in limitations.

To make a suggestion, I'd say that the base should contain a training room and that, like the lab/workshop of the first game, it would be given a multiplier which increases in the late game. If the training room were designed such that it couldn't improve something like bravery, then it wouldn't function to entirely replace a soldier (i.e. removing the punishment of death). However, it would provide another option for improving your soldiers that didn't require you to carry out a whole ground combat mission. This way, by the final mission you might have a bunch of artificially trained grunts standing in the shoes of your less fortunate squad members but there would also be a few hardened veterans (officers) holding the whole team together with their higher bravery stat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that's not yet in the game but I've (somewhat vague) plans for is to differentiate between veterancy / combat experience and the soldier skills. The former you only gain in combat or through running field agent operations that involve the risk of injury or death, whereas the other skills can be trained up and are things like "rifle competency" (you can slowly gain experience in these on the battlefield too). I haven't figured out exactly how training works but the idea is your soldiers are continually gaining skill points towards your chosen skill provided you have available training space for them in the base, and this does not make them unavailable in any way - you've just got to ensure you have enough Training Rooms to go round.

Something like accuracy when using a gun would be split between veterancy and familiarity with the weapon - say the base accuracy for a rookie soldier is 40, and a maxed out Colonel has 60 base accuracy. But if they have Rifle Competency 1 they get +10 Accuracy and if they have Rifle Competency 3 they get +20 Accuracy.

So a rookie with Competency 1 has 50 Acc with a rifle and a Colonel with Competency 3 has 80 Accuracy. But a Colonel using an unfamiliar weapon and a rookie that has been extensively trained with a rifle (which is much faster process) both have 60 Accuracy. So hiring a rookie at the start of the game and keeping him on the reserves bench while he trains up can pay dividends if your main team starts taking casualties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would be useful for garrisons in auxiliary bases. At least, you wouldn't have to train veterans on the battlefield, only to disperse them to guard your installations (save for one or two high ranking officers for morale boost). As referred to Xenonauts-1, I'd say that trained rookies should be able to wear Jackal armors, fire laser weapons, and bring a few grenades without being prevented to move or aim.

I recently saved a production base with 5 rookies and 2 vehicles, thanks for the undamaged Caesan crew not lining up more elites than warriors (and thanks to not defending against Androns or Sebillians). In the Command Center, 1 rookie out of 4 was left after two Wraiths, an elite Caesan and a leader managed to enter in there (in several turns, thankfully). The fifth soldier with laser MG, the plasma rocket Hunter and the plasma MG Scimitar did an awful carnage from their corner, using hit and hide and battering the two entry doors: no Caesan may resist such firepower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×