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Chris

Xenonauts-2: Vehicles

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Losing out on the multi tile vehicles would be a major loss to what made xenonauts fun. Not only is it just cool to bring mini tanks to a fight, it helps distinguish xenonauts from current similar games like the xcom remakes. 

Balance wise I feel the trade offs were pretty fair. In theory you got a unit that brings superior durability, damage, unique weapons, vision (during the night), was immune to psionics, healed instantly after battle, and also allowed tactics like stacking up behind an armoured vehicle to advance when there was little cover, all at the higher cost of space on the transport, only having one in the field at once, lack of utility items, the inability to get through difficult terrain, inability to heal mid battle, additional research that had to be done, high costs of special storage/construction/maintenance, and didn't gain experience. I personally don't see a problem with large vehicles being "stronger" than the soldiers it replaces on the transport, because otherwise there would be no reason to choose between the vehicles or the soldiers in the first place. In other words large vehicles were (in theory), unique and exceptional combat units that came at the cost of being limited in number, flexibility, and steep resources. They also weren't a unit you would want to bring to every fight, as industrial areas/alien bases could present too many inaccessible areas, and a difficult alien ship assault was made harder by vehicles being unable to access most of the ship. That being said, the large vehicles were amazing in large open combat zones, night missions, and terror missions. 

These proposed smaller vehicles for xenonauts 2 sound very similar to what fielding the shivs in xcom enemy unknown was like, in that they offer some slight variations in abilities, but ultimately just feel like another soldier but with limited usage, all the while eating up potential experience that could have been gained. I feel like having identical weapons to the infantry would only solidify the feeling of just a slightly different soldier, and their unique abilities are just down scaled versions of what the large vehicles could do. In the end, I'm worried that the mars support platform will be too identical to a human in power armour similar to the predator suit, especially if the option to add upgrades like a cover ability were added to it, and will only ever have a distinct use in the early game. or just get phased out of the game entirely.

If large vehicles were to make it into xenonauts 2, I'd like to see them return in the role of being very powerful singular combatants, but with heavy costs in both the strategic and tactical maps to field, and limitations that meant that you wouldn't want to use them for every mission type (like their size and lack of utility/support weapons), but were life savers on other mission types (like terror or wide open spaces). I also noticed that there are potential plans to add resource costs to fielding advanced equipment, another limitation could be that a lightly armed and armoured scout vehicle could be used without special resources, but if you want your fully autonomous flying mini tank on the field its gonna cost more power than the tech on the soldiers it replaces. A feature to really make them special would be their own weight limits or load out slots, with trade offs like the ability to hover/install sub weapons, for more durability/ammunition. Even if it was just as straight forward as changing one main gun out for another was in xenonauts 1, I feel it would help build tactical gameplay around the vehicle in your team. This could also be worked into the proposed idea of development projects to improve equipment already available, and could help with creating a not so linear tech tree, as now the player could decide to prioritize projects and research to improve their troops, or instead focus on singular powerful vehicles. If even with these costs to use them the idea of large vehicles still seemed overpowered, the option to do development projects to improve them could permanently lock out the option to do the same for your infantry at the same tech level.

As for realism I don't see why people are willing to give a pass to the aliens having large machines that human infantry can go toe to toe with, but its unreasonable that the alien's infantry can go to toe to toe with human made large machines, especially once everyone has science fiction weapons, power armour that can supposedly take a small nuclear explosion no problem, and super human abilities. If the realism is a problem, then just have vehicles like the hunter scout car at first, then once stronger tech is on the way, just make it clear that these are scaled down tanks that might not have the big guns and plating you'd expect on something larger. Lastly, armoured vehicles are used in real life squad based tactics all the time, be it an armoured truck for a SWAT team or a single military vehicle working in conjunction with infantry, so I feel that the idea itself is not a shoehorned in concept for the game.

Edited by BDSMOverdrive

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An interesting idea would be to allow vehicles to carry aircraft weapons or be dual armed with 2 primary weapons.  Such as a vehicle with both an assault rifle and a rocket launcher but each weapon cannot be reloaded but they would start with more ammo then normal.  When I play I sometimes use vehicles to carry heavy weapons like rocket launchers to clear out terrain, provide cover, or to allow my troops to carry lighter weapons. 

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