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Chris

Xenonauts-2: Research Tree

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About the technologys i have a question.

Can you only research 1 of them or can you research all of them? I ask, because I like to equip my soldiers in a mix of all and the upgraded Variants of the Standardweapons will come to a point of useles in the Game, like in other Games.

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You can research all of them, but if you're going to do that then you might not have the research time available to research all the upgrades for all your weapons. To be honest I'm not completely sure yet how the research tree will be balanced but I imagine there will be some mix of breadth and depth; some weapon tiers will be stronger than others but not to the level they were in X1.

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Something I've always dreamed of for an X-COM style game, is something Sword of the Stars does.  Your research tree is never the same between games.  Granted, this would require you to come up with a buttload of art assets, so I can perfectly understand not doing it, but have, overall, something like 15 weapon tiers, 10 armor, but each playthrough you only ever get like 3-4 of them.  Maybe one playthrough you only get like 3 weapon upgrades, but you get 5 armor ones.  It's something that's generated at the start of the game, a seed if you will.  Aliens in this particular playthrough will use Plasma and Ion weapons, in another they use Magnetic and particle beam.  One playthrough you get energy shields, another you get plated armor or something.  And you won't know what you get without actually playing through the game.

As well, and I think someone has mentioned this before, a sort of breakthrough system while researching.  There's a chance that, during one playthrough, your laser weapon research had a breakthrough happen that increases it's damage/range/accuracy/etc, while in another, you get nothing extra.

It's these randomized things that keep the game fresh.  With the old style tiered system, you eventually know the hard and fast way of getting to the best weapons and best armor in the game as quickly as possible.  For instance, in X1 I rarely used laser weapons because by the time I could manufacture enough for a full squad, I had already researched Plasma and just set to work on that.  I did the same thing in XCOM, I hardly ever used Laser weapons.  I'd just wait and upgrade to Plasma, because I knew the fastest way to punch through the research to get to them.  If it randomizes every time, it's never the same game twice.  You'll have some games where things are easier than normal because you got good breakthroughs, and some games that are harder because you ended up getting more weapon tiers but not many armor tiers, and end-game aliens are shredding your soldiers.

And it's all tied to what aliens and equipment shows up on that playthrough.  Meaning you can have more alien races and more alien 'classes' based on which equipment they're carrying.

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12 hours ago, endersblade said:

As well, and I think someone has mentioned this before, a sort of breakthrough system while researching.  There's a chance that, during one playthrough, your laser weapon research had a breakthrough happen that increases it's damage/range/accuracy/etc, while in another, you get nothing extra.

Randomization has its place in these games and I'm not certain it should exist on the player's side of geoscape mechanics. While it's an easy way to add replayability, that's all it is, an easy way to add replayability. You could do this to literally any game with a progression system and those that do add it.. It ends up being something that you either ignore entirely or have people restarting until they get the One True Build. If you make it too weak, all it is is extra flavour that doesn't make much sense (why did my scientist have this idea this time? Is it random or did I actually do something?) or it's too strong and people feel like they've lost out because the RNGod didn't favor them.

A better system would be to have certain 'rare' aliens with their own modified weapon and armor. Maybe each captain has their own modification to their armor or something that explodes into fragments if you don't knock them out; that way the player can feel like they've actually had an effect on the game rather than being at the mercy of the RNG.

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I quite like the idea of research not being so obviously preordained. There is the aspect or replayability, that you could turn your research tree into somewhat of a skill tree, with a different build in each campaign. But also, it would make the in-game research a bit more similar to actual research.

Progression in science is finding a bunch of frustrating dead ends then eventually, landing upon something that works. For two different groups of scientists, both pursuing the same technology, they will each make their way along different routes. Even just in the spec of 'laser gun' those two groups could end up with prototypes that look very different and lead down very different routes for further research.

Using the laser gun research topic as an example, the player could be given a random weapon from that tier. They can then choose to fill out that tier and discover other weapons of the same tech type, or, they can pursue the randomly assigned laser weapon and turn it into something else.

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Randomization is always good for excitement and replayablity. I don't like to have x for sure after research of Y.. at least there should be some unique things. At X-CE, there is special research code which makes things randomize with chances. Like:

When you research X then;

You can have A for %50 chance, B for %35 and C for %15.

When you research Y then;

You can have A for %30, B for %20 and C for %50.

If you got A from X and go for Y, then the chance scale with B and C percentages. So what do you do with this?

There is 3 rank of enemies out there, a soldier, elite and officer. You interrogate them.. If you interrogate a soldier, you got a big chance to get a simple research (X= soldier, A=simple research). But you go for an officer, there is much bigger chance to get a much better research.. but still there is RNG here, but if you capture every rank, you get all the tech in the end.. even you can put a very unique researches for special, hard to find things in the game..

You can create very interesting and rich research tree elements with this way..

Addition to that, you can use "repeatable" researches like original X-coms interrogations.. you can assign chances for results or make them as a row.. so you can interrogate 10 soldiers to try to get something unique..

So even you got plasma, maybe a very unique laser research which got very low chance suddenly can change your priorities. Researches should able to create "items" too. Like a very unique weapon prototype which you can't produce more because of some reasons (a random item from an alien commander, a drop from a special mission..).  

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On 7/11/2018 at 10:08 PM, ApolloZani said:

Randomization has its place in these games and I'm not certain it should exist on the player's side of geoscape mechanics. While it's an easy way to add replayability, that's all it is, an easy way to add replayability. You could do this to literally any game with a progression system and those that do add it.. It ends up being something that you either ignore entirely or have people restarting until they get the One True Build. If you make it too weak, all it is is extra flavour that doesn't make much sense (why did my scientist have this idea this time? Is it random or did I actually do something?) or it's too strong and people feel like they've lost out because the RNGod didn't favor them.

A better system would be to have certain 'rare' aliens with their own modified weapon and armor. Maybe each captain has their own modification to their armor or something that explodes into fragments if you don't knock them out; that way the player can feel like they've actually had an effect on the game rather than being at the mercy of the RNG.

XCOM 2 WotC does that with the Chosen.  And by the time you can take them down and claim their weapons, they aren't worth it.  The only one that IS is the sword, because it has a 100% chance to crit, and crit rangers can ruin aliens with it.  The rest of them are just inferior to T3 weapons with Superior mods on them, and as far as I remember in the base game (mine is heavily modded) you can't even add weapon mods to the Chosen weapons.  And since this isn't a loot pinata like Diablo or something, it wouldn't really serve a lot of purpose.

I don't understand the concept behind the first part of your post.  All I can really say to that is, 'duh?'.  I'm not trying to be rude, but the whole POINT is to add replayability.  If the game is the same every time, eventually you get bored of it.  As I said in my post, people eventually figure out the best route to take through a game, and then that's all there is to it.  You go from point A to point B, all the way to Z and you're done.  There's no fun in that.  And if you're trying to make everything FAIR, not too strong or too weak, you are playing the wrong game.  As I also mentioned, the "one true build" isn't really a thing, since you won't know what you get to research on that run without having actually played through it.  You won't know what end-game weapons you're using at the start.

Have you ever seen the challenge runs, there's even an achievement in either XCOM or XCOM 2 for it, of running through the whole game (or at least the ending) with conventional weapons?  It's entirely possible to play through every single X-COM style game, at least to my knowledge, without having ever upgraded your weapons.  Yeah, it's hard.  That's the point.  You have to really plan around it.  I've done runs like that in X-COM, TFTD, Apoc (that was a BITCH!), all three of the UFO: AfterX games, UFO: AI, XCOM EU and EW, and XCOM 2 and WotC.  I haven't attempted it in X1 yet, but I also haven't actually completed a run in X1 at all, either.  So with my idea, you may have one run where you end up not really getting very powerful weapon upgrades, so it'll be harder.  The next run you get both top tier weapons AND armor and just blaze through everything.  The next run might fall somewhere in between.  That's the nature of RNG, and that's why RNG-based games are so popular.

Have you never played Sword of the Stars?  It's an amazing 4x game.  If you're into that style, try it and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Or watch a LP on it or something.  Just check out the research tree.

It isn't about "oh, this scientist had this idea, why didn't he during my last game?" It's more about "this alien is carrying X equipment in this game, so we research it, but carried Y in my last."  For one, there is no continuity between your games...it's not like the scientists are gonna realize they researched something different in a last game.  You might as well say something like "Well why haven't my scientists come up with some sort of one-shot weapon that instantly annihilates all aliens?"  You are getting too existential on this.

I'm not saying my idea is flawless and perfect, it's obviously not something they're going to add to the game, especially at this point.  They'd have to completely redo so much of what they've already done.  It would just be nice to see the SotS random research tree added into an X-COM style game, I think it could function really well.

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Sword of the Stars is the best 4x space strategy for me.. I played it so much with great mods. But to have a research tree like that, you need to have a long and complex game, like you should have about 6-7 weapon types which you can research as soon as the game starts.. so you fail some and goes on with others.. and those weapon tiers needs to have many options too.. so it would have problems to make it fit to a Xcom game. But you can use it per weapon tier.. You got lasers for example, then you go further researches, as branches rather then direct items.. like "Automated Laser Weapons" for rifle style lasers with auto fire.. then you try to go "Advanced Automated Lasers" and try your luck.. you can get a gattling laser or just a silly update to your rifles.. even a SMG laser.. if you get gattling laser then "Ultimate Automated Lasers" research pop up and it can give you a laser sentry gun or laser cannon for airplanes.. so it goes on.. yeah it would be freshing.. i can use it at X-Division 2... but as i said, as you got only "laser" tree at that point, if you fail to get something good, you would pass that game phase with lame standart lasers... for this reason, i would like to use this for unique things above standart weapons rather then for whole tree..

X-2 will have some nice aspects to make research tree more richer.. but if the game becomes short as Chris said (about 25 mission to finish), there is no place to fit all those mechanics.. All this ideas needs a large and longer game play..

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14 hours ago, endersblade said:

XCOM 2 WotC does that with the Chosen.

Man~ That is an expensive expansion. I'll probably get it if it ever gets below 25$ but I simply don't think it could fix all the issues I had with XCOM2, namely, the pacing. In this case, though, I was more thinking that they'd be what might be considered end-game equipment addons. Stuff like static-defying soles for extra mobility, adaptive em-shielding for higher plasma resist, or underslung blaster launchers for that extra oomph. Something kinda unique that you'd want at least someone to wield from the moment you got it to the end of the game.

14 hours ago, endersblade said:

Have you ever seen the challenge runs, there's even an achievement in either XCOM or XCOM 2 for it, of running through the whole game (or at least the ending) with conventional weapons?

If it's in XCOM, I got it. XCOM2? I only played that one enough to get Commander Ironman and have done with it since then. I did once do the one-missions challenge in X-Com:UFO, which was pretty silly. I've tried conventional equipment only in X1 but it mostly ended up being shotguns and LMGs, didn't actually finish those games even though droppodding in soldiers who might as well be naked with big guns was pretty fun the first time. This is actually kinda the joy of playstyle achievements. They make you want to push the game in ways you haven't considered before.

15 hours ago, endersblade said:

Have you never played Sword of the Stars?

Nah, but the way you put the techtree makes it sound a bit out-of-scope for X2. I rather liked how in X1 it depended on the number of stuff you had researched rather than unique keys with unique locks. Learing how to make laser weapons because you encountered two or three kinds of plasma, then learning plasma because you researched six kinds of alien guns, then finally MAGs by getting all but one of the alien guns researched was a fantastic way of doing the tech tree. It had random without locking people out and made you want to take on a variety of missions rather than ones you're comfortable with. The main issue there was communicating to the player that that's what X1 was doing.

Perhaps a compromise where you unlock research projects by the variety you've encountered but developmental projects by the specific thing you've encountered is the way to go here. You'd get very random journeys to the top each time and you'd miss out on very little.

15 hours ago, endersblade said:

You might as well say something like "Well why haven't my scientists come up with some sort of one-shot weapon that instantly annihilates all aliens?"

Because there's never been an idea in the game that instantly one shots aliens before. Unless you count mag weapons against non-combatant cesareans. That just feels like executions rather than firefights, though. :P

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8 hours ago, ApolloZani said:

Because there's never been an idea in the game that instantly one shots aliens before. Unless you count mag weapons against non-combatant cesareans. That just feels like executions rather than firefights, though. :P

Yes, but they're GLORIOUS alien-scum killing executions :-)

I wasn't a fan of the X1 way of research.  It was an improvement on X-COM, for sure, but it just felt...gated.  I also never understood how researching plasma weapons leads to laser and MAG.  Granted, X-COM did that too, so I guess it's a moot point.  Regardless, the whole system just felt like I was going on missions just waiting for that next trigger to happen so I could get the next item to research.  It didn't feel random, it just felt like waiting.

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Posted (edited)

I'm too not a fan of "You can research A or B, but only one them."

"We can develop an improved version of the Wolf armor OR upgrade our Laser weaponry, not both"
"What? Why? Our soldiers could always do with better protection and our weapons are quickly becoming ineffective against the recently-deployed enemy forces."
"You can't because you upgraded the Jackal armor."
"Wait, so you're punishing me/locking me out for taking a sensible decision at the time when i needed it and it was available? 
"We simply don't have the resources or time to research everything!"
"We are an international defense organization with huge funding, we have airbases all over the world with next-gen aircraft that were developed in under a month, we were the first to reverse-engineer technology previously thought to be nothing but fantasy nonsense...  we have the power to stalemate the Alien forces for an undetermined amount of time and you're telling me we can't put better optics or ceramic plates into our already existing equipment?"
"I said no!"

As stated before by other people, it is a very artificial way to make the player take "decisions" (such as XCOM:EU... you're also a huge unprecedented organization, but you can only take one mission because you only have one Skyranger... despite having resources to make an entire fleet of them, thus panic levels are inevitably forced to raise regardless of the player's "choice"), it also doesn't add that much replayability as it's impact and role on gameplay isn't remarkable enough to be really noticed between "different" playthroughs... sure, it is nice to have such details in a new game but no one plays an entire game again (specially one as long as Xenonauts) to get a +10% modifier onto something.

Personally i prefer a system like Stellaris' base/vainilla tech research, where the player can develop everything, even things that shouldn't be available because of race traits, such as a Materialistic civilization developing Psionics... however the chances of eventually getting or forcing a Scientist to acquire a Psionics Expertise are so low that you shouldn't even consider it... it doesn't lock players out of different tech options, but the time it takes to develop everything is TOO MUCH to reliably do it, plus the randomized nature of the research options and tech "rarity" tiers means it gets harder to develop what you want/need if you unlocked too many tech trees, so most players specialize on specific technologies... at least at the early/mid game.

I hope you consider adding an option to allow all Research Projects (again, the time required to develop everything could balance removing the "choices" well enough)... or that the feature is easy enough to mod, being locked out of content for no good reason triggers my completionist OCD and feels like unnecessary punishment. :P


PS: I also realized locking players out of different weaponry could end up in a situation not unlike Xenonauts 1 Rocket Spam.

If you limit research, it wouldn't be surprising how it would frustrate players because they ended up with a mediocre generalist loadout that is bad at everything... a mistake they wouldn't repeat in their next playthrough, when they decide it's dumb to spend valuable research on "Laser Rifles" when they can upgrade Plasma Cannons to the max.
...Then you have entire squads of Plasma Cannons with +15% damage, 20% Tu Reduction, 30% Weight Reduction, +5 Ammo, etc, shooting all over the place.

Instead, if you let players research everything and end up with a powerful but viable/flexible arsenal they can experiment with, players would have little need of breaking the game by exclusively using the best maximum upgraded weapons/armor.... and by evident reasons, it also simplifies your job when it comes to balancing the game.
You could expect all players to research and upgrade most weaponry at some point and balance enemies accordingly, rather than having end-game Androns that are basically inmune to Coilguns because the player didn't bother to upgrade them, but get instakilled by a single shot from a Laser Shotgun. 

Edited by Kyo21943
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On 7/14/2018 at 8:12 PM, Kyo21943 said:


PS: I also realized locking players out of different weaponry could end up in a situation not unlike Xenonauts 1 Rocket Spam.
If you limit research, it wouldn't be surprising how it would frustrate players because they ended up with a mediocre generalist loadout that is bad at everything... a mistake they wouldn't repeat in their next playthrough, when they decide it's dumb to spend valuable research on "Laser Rifles" when they can upgrade Plasma Cannons to the max.
...Then you have entire squads of Plasma Cannons with +15% damage, 20% Tu Reduction, 30% Weight Reduction, +5 Ammo, etc, shooting all over the place.

Instead, if you let players research everything and end up with a powerful but viable/flexible arsenal they can experiment with, players would have little need of breaking the game by exclusively using the best maximum upgraded weapons/armor.... and by evident reasons, it also simplifies your job when it comes to balancing the game.
You could expect all players to research and upgrade most weaponry at some point and balance enemies accordingly, rather than having end-game Androns that are basically inmune to Coilguns because the player didn't bother to upgrade them, but get instakilled by a single shot from a Laser Shotgun. 

APOC had an answer to that.  You start doing too well, the game throws harder scenarios your way.  You suck, it sends less.  I can't even imagine what sort of behind-the-scenes coding and such would need to take place for X2 to do such a thing, but theoretically it's possible to do something to combat the "OP"ness of certain situations.  In X1, it was Mag LMGs in Predator armor, or as you mentioned, Rocket spam that people cheesed the game with.  So, in X2, if people do that then just beef up the aliens, or make different aliens spawn, or increase the number, or send a base attack, etc.  That saves the trouble of having to balance the whole game around people that cheese it, which in turn ruins it for those that don't.

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After a research project begins, have a prototype come out halfway through, and the prototype has a random chance to fail while being tested in the field. Then perhaps it would be "back to the drawing board" for the project, and either they can't finish it, or they need something new (capture alien tech, synergistic research project completed, etc) to inspire a breakthrough that will allow the project to be finally completed.

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Posted (edited)

If one day in the future akin to Futurama, he ability to store human heads in jars arises after their passing, should I ever mistakenly drink from the jar of a programmer and obtain their ability to develop software I had this idea.

 

You are the scientist, obviously within some bounds but for example a laser, you choose the length and width of the of the barrel, you choose the quantity of the power source mineral and choose the quantity of advanced metals for your laser. You click test, you may lose your scientist and laboratory, Next is the battlefield test, you now believe your laser may be perfectly efficient and vapourise a hole in the alien vessel on the far side of the map, you click 'fire' and you vapourise your Xenonauts and Skyranger.  

 

Edit:- This one is named the vapouriser, for further production.

Edited by Basil Dazz
further point
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7 hours ago, Basil Dazz said:

you choose the length and width of the of the barrel, you choose the quantity of the power source mineral and choose the quantity of advanced metals for your laser

That actually sounds a lot like the request @drages is making in the weapon/armor/damage thread. Give the player some control over the specifications of the items created, with obvious costs or trade-offs associated with them. So, instead of simply researching and building a laser shotgun, you first research the laser technology and then design a weapon that is effective at close range. Essentially, this would move some of the function of a mod into the game itself.

It'd give you a lot more reason to use engineers so you could continue tinkering with weapons. And it would be like Boarderlands, giving you access to bazillions of potential weapon-stat-combinations.

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For a good research tree, you need to have a game to able to use those researches. Every research should have a value and you need to able to use it before just getting the better one. XCOM was a game with good length and the researches was enough for it. BUT as you can go for plasma directly, there is not much point to use lasers.. Stellaris is a long sandbox game so got tons of researches, but if you are not a war crazy person, you mostly don't ever use the early researches and use just as steps for more powerful ones. Xenonauts got plenty of researches, but you could finish the game with lasers.. X-Division got about 1k researches, but the mod is ultra looong..

Another point is, we need to have very open minded research code to create a tree.

A research needs; another research and an item now. We need to have events or missions. So this part is simple. The important one is the result of a research. We need to have;

1. Repeating researches: Like original xcom investigations, same item/mission/event should able to trigger another researches every time. This could be as an order or randomize. So stunned aliens can be useful as much as you capture. Having it by an order would make you plan to get better researches when you research more and more the same one. Like you got an caesan officer alive and u get a simple info but at 5. one you finally get something important. You can make research branches like "Further Laser Research" so everytime you research it you get something new when you use randomize.

2. Possibilities : A result of a research should able to give another research by percentages. "Advanced Laser" research should able to give you %50 laser rifle, %30 heavy laser and %20 laser sniper.

3. Item creating/mission triggering: A research should able to spawn an item. It could be a very rare item or a prototype.

4. Lock/Unlock:A research should able to lock a research or unlock a locked one..  So you got laser and plasma weapon research options but one locks the other. Yes it's mostly bad to lock things in a game, so after you go enough advanced at laser (as you choose it at first place), there will be another research to unlock plasma branch with much more longer one. It's an example here, don't judge it.

5. Special Building Requirement.: As it says..

For manufacture, i would like to see more then one options for same manufacture. As UI, we need something able to erase manufactures with researches. It helps when you got many things and old manufactures takes unnecessary place at manufacture UI.. 

 

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So here's a question: Are we going to have weapons fragments or will we be doing a system closer to what happened in X1? Honestly, a combination seems fairly cool provided it isn't arbitrary weapons fragments and more.. "Alien grenade remains," "Alien pistol remains," "Alien electronics remains." It gives a bigger design space for tech progression and encourages stunning each enemy type once you get the ability (previously, it only helped for progressing the plot and an unthematic 10% damage buff.)

This could easily lead to a situation where research into laser weapons only gives you a default rifle but you need to actually capture a pistol to figure out how to balance the energy requirements into a lightweight weapon. Or you could figure out a cool new method to increase explosive capabilities with raw alienium because the inner lining of the grenades gave a hint for how to boost the capabilities of your fragmentation weapons. Only later on when you get a fully functional grenade to deconstruct do you learn how to channel the plasma into the devastating whips that explode out of the sebillians 'nades.

And I'm going to mention this idea again because I seriously love biological world building, but shoulders that can accurately throw objects are extremely rare in nature! Gotta push this agenda so someone writes it into the report as an oddity or explains it away differently or aliens use underslung launcher for their animations or something. :P

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I like "part" systems. Weapon parts, armor parts.. more parts.. but when you force to stun every enemy, then you go mostly stun weapons and use normal weapons at only emergencies. Without part system, you get tons of alien weapons.. This could be discussed. 

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I can't help but feel that this thread reads more like mod discussions than game feature discussions.

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39 minutes ago, Sheepy said:

I can't help but feel that this thread reads more like mod discussions than game feature discussions.

What is the difference for a new game? We talk about every possibility here with possible examples. You can't discuss a mod so detailed because a mod is limited by the game itself. Now we don't have any limit so we are free to say anything. 

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Research results and choice

A middle ground between fully mutually-exclusive research paths (or choices of branching), and the system in Xenonauts-1, could be that at some point during a research project, the player could be faced to a choice to answer a sudden and unexpected breakthrough or finding: do we exploit this new (secondary) direction at once because it saves us time and funding, leading to a potential added discovery, but certainly straying us from the scheduled researched topic, or do we follow the scheduled research project, do meet the  cost and delay, keeping in mind this potential new research direction for latter (not benefiting from the actual research "momentum")? Practically, the player would have sometimes the possibility to postpone the current research because a new one would have suddenly been made available. The consequence of the choice would simply be the order in which both researches are completed, their cost, etc, and not that one of them becomes artificially unavailable.

Continuous research = thoroughful research

What I found quite simple in Xenonauts-1 was that almost all researchable items were researched but once. Study but a single new weapon for some days/weeks, and voila, all the other items can be destroyed or sold. Of course the research tree was self-consistent for that purpose, but I think that it deprives the research aspect from some depthness.

  • Research projects could consume more than 1 item. Sometimes, a research would stall because we lack further material to complete the testings and studies.
  • Researching a given item would randomly give access to fractionnal knowledge only (at a cost of 1 or more item each time, see previous point). To unlock all potential knowledge, you'd have to study the same item several times (while consuming even more items). Sometimes, you could unlock a random associated knowledge, i.e. not all potential knowledge would be unlocked for sure even if this item is scripted as being a 5-times researchable item, and you already completed 5 researche projects on it. Perhaps the hidden knowledge will be unlocked later, through another item's research, or in another game.
  • Likewise, dissection would require several corpses, and vivisection would consume several prisonners.
  • Interrogatories (not vivisection) could require several living and cooperative specimens. Making a specimen cooperative could have a chance to kill or consume faster said specimen.
  • Feedback could be systematized. It was implemented for some projects in Xenonauts-1, when researching a new topic would open a new direction on another already researched topic. But this unlocking new topic was merely seen as a prerequisite for a new (yet related) topic, rather as a way to reopen and append an already completed topic. Now, interrogating an Officier could lead to additionnal results when faced to a captive Leader, because of a change in behaviour or consciousness, an upgraded alien armor could induce a feedback on our own weaponry design (rather than unlocking a new tech).

As a result, the research tree could be well more fragmented and interwoven, like some crazy(?), complex puzzle, although the player would still be presented with but a few generic research projects, because some of the research topics would not be researched directly, and would only be unlocked and completed as by-products and side-effects of the many research iterations conducted on the few available research projects. This should keep the total number of available researches to that of Xenonauts-1. For instance, while studying the varied alien weaponry, Alenium Cell would certainly arise as being an available research, due to its prominency, but researching alien magnets, alien plasma generator, alien scope system, etc, wouldn't be directly possible, and their result would only appear when completed through researching items, and as prerequisites for newly unlocked prototype research.

Alenium cells and MAG weapon

If I understand the problematic of current irl MAG weapons well, a compact, powerful energy source is definitively what we lack the most. I don't see how all of a sudden we could design battle-ready MAG weapons out of 2010-ish capacitors or batteries. We still need some magical alien tech here.

Using alien weaponry

If the Alien ever happen to think that humanity can size and return their weapons against themselves, then their answer would be swift: to add a biological or mind-controlled lock mechanism as an additional security. But perhaps, they might be slow to correctly assess the menace, and only their most deadly weapons would feature this added security.

Alternate weapon fire modes/effects

  • Cone-shaped area-of-effect weapons should be implemented better (with full modding support). I remember that visual effects were lacking in Xenonauts-1.
  • We can also have alternate "grenades" that would generate damage for a few turns (like neutron/gamma ray/sonic wave/graviton emitters).
  • A likewise mechanics would allow ammunitions to have evolving effects upon activation (effect associated to each combat round). For instance, delayed-blast grenades or bullets (small ballistic damage on turn 1 when hit, explosive damage on turn 2 or 3).
  • Some weapon/ammunitions could use two (three?) damage types, like explosive (burst/blow) and incendiary/thermal, or incendiary and ballistic/shrapnel.
  • Some damage types generated in an area of effect could depend on the distance to the central point. That would allow for more realistic hand grenades (irl grenades have a fairly large lethal radius, as compared to those in Xenonauts-1, but they don't vaporize their target at max lethal range either).
  • In Xenonauts-1, I think that ammunitions generate suppression on their way to their target (generating suppression damage in a narrow corridor on each side of the trajectory). Some damage type could also (marginally) be applied all along the trajectory, such as EMP and incendiary for raw energy missiles (non encased plasma balls).
  • An old request: allow suppression to be generated by both the weapon's fire mode and the ammunition. It's difficult to figure that a smoke RPG grenade/rocket generates the same threat as an incendiary or a shrapnel one. Perhaps on its way, when it passes close (see previous point, that would account to the fire mode's suppressive part), but not upon impact and explosion (ammunition's suppressive part).

 

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I like the idea of developing components for various weapons, to increase accuracy, weapon weight, magazine capacity, other add-ons, like grenade launcher for HE, Smoke,and Gas.

Stealth equipment could be Researched, and personal combat scanners, to help monitor your troops, and the enemy!!      

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Judy you will research much more than you will expect yet. And some of the researchparts can have turn-offs (like in Hoi 4 for the doctrines). But Game is in Developement and the first playable stage (Beta) will come in November this year. Then it´s clearer which way the research is going.

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