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Xenonauts-2: Ground Combat

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For Xenonauts-2 we are retaining all the core elements of the ground combat in Xenonauts 1, but making the experience more freeform and less repetitive. The classic "Time Unit" system is not seeing any fundamental changes but more varied missions and environments, improved destructibility and more exotic equipment should keep it feeling fresher for longer.

These are the topics that are discussed in this thread:

 

Planned Mission Types:

All of the mission types from the original Xenonauts are returning and two new ones are being added, giving the following list:

  • UFO Crash Site
  • Abduction Mission
  • Terror Site
  • Alien Base Attack
  • Xenonaut Base Defence
  • DEFCON / VIP Elimination

The UFO Crash Site and Abudction missions are both resource gathering missions. Crash Sites involve attacking a downed UFO to capture new technology and recover Alien Alloys, and these generally take place in wilderness environments with lots of cliffs / trees and maybe one or two small buildings. Abduction sites allow you to gather Alenium and are set in a rural area with a lot more buildings around - e.g. a polar research outpost, a farm, a logging camp, etc. We may put a timer on the Alenium in these missions, tempting the player to play aggressively in order to secure all the Alenium ... even though carefully and cautiously will still allow you to recover a decent amount of it.

Alien Base Attack and Xenonaut Base Defence missions operate much like in the first Xenonauts in terms of objectives. Both are set underground and the former involves clearing an alien facility of the resident aliens, whilst the latter involves defending your own base against attacking aliens (with the ability to set up your troops and defences anywhere on the map before the battle starts). Terror sites also work much as they did in the first Xenonauts, being an attack on either a Western or Soviet town full of civilians that need to be saved.

The DEFCON missions are a new addition where you attack either a Soviet or Western military base in order to capture or kill a VIP who is pushing the world towards war. Doing so lowers global tensions, but killing the VIP or his guards causes relations damage with the local region (stunning them is fine). I suspect this will be an interesting change of pace for many people and I'm keen to see what tactics people come up with to achieve their objectives whilst causing minimal relations damage to the local region!

 

Planned Environments:

We have planned a total of 10 environments in the game. The first six of these will be used for the Crash Site and Abduction missions and should give us a good variety of maps to suit a crash site in any region. They are:

  • Polar - Research Outpost
  • Boreal - Logging Camp
  • Temperate - Farm
  • Tropical - Dockyard
  • Arid - Village
  • Desert - Junkyard

All of these biomes share a core set of props that have been reskinned or replaced according to the biome (e.g. cliffs, rocks, trees, etc) but a successful Kickstarter and Early Access period will allow us to add unique features to each of them that make them behave differently from one another. 

There are also two unique tilesets that are used for the Alien Base Attack and Xenonaut Base Defence missions. These missions are fought in cramped underground tunnels and rooms so pose a very different tactical experience to the other types of environment!

  • Alien Base
  • Xenonaut Base

The final two biomes are used for the Terror Sites and the DEFCON missions, representing either a Western or Soviet town or urban military base.

  • Western Town
  • Soviet Town

The mapping of our biomes to the tilesets used in Xenonauts 1 is not an exact science, but the environments will be more varied overall - we've added a couple of extra biomes and we can use each one as multiple things (e.g. the Temperate biome can be used to make a farm for the Abduction missions, but it also works as a forest for a UFO Crash Site). Having much better support for verticality and waist-high raised areas of terrain also makes things look and feel more interesting than before.

 

Map & Mission Variety:

One of the biggest complaints with the first Xenonauts was that the missions and maps repeated far too frequently - and this was entirely warranted (even though Xenonauts had over 100 maps in it). This problem has several facets, and we think we can improve on all of them.

The first way to do this is just to add more mission variety. The average campaign of Xenonauts probably involved 80-90% UFO Crash Site missions, the only variation being the size of the UFO. Ironically, a player that was doing well could actually shoot down all the UFOs before they could spawn anything else ... so ALL they got was Crash Sites. It's not difficult to see why this made the game a bit repetitive!

In Xenonauts-2 we think the average campaign should have roughly 25 missions, roughly split out as follows: 1 final mission, 3 terror attacks, 2 alien base attacks, 2 base defence missions, 2 DEFCON missions and the remaining 15 missions split between UFO Crash Site and Abduction missions as the player sees fit. This is all subject to playtesting and we might find it is possible to add some additional types of mission that can further reduce the number of Crash Sites and Adduction missions ... but an average of just under 30% of your missions being Crash Sites would still be heck of lot better than it was in the first game!

The second aspect of the solution is to stop the maps repeating so often. This tended to happen in Xenonauts 1 because the earliest UFOs shared the same pool of "small UFO" maps, of which there were only three per biome. That would have been fine if the player shot down UFOs across a variety of different biomes, but naturally this was limited to where your first base was placed - e.g. if you put your first base in Africa, there was basically no way you could shoot down a UFO in a region that would give you a Polar map ... but you'd get plenty of Desert and Middle East maps! The net result was that your first two or three missions picked from a pool of perhaps nine different maps, with no code in place to prevent the same map being played repeatedly. 

There's some easy solutions here:

  • There's naturally going to be extra map variation as a result of the extra mission variation; your first two missions won't always be UFO Crash Sites so you'll have a bigger pool of maps to pick from!
  • We'll weight the number of maps in the game so the early-game missions have more maps than the late-game ones (you generally only see the end of the game once, but you often see the beginning multiple times)
  • We'll set up some code to ensure the game will always pick maps that it has not used before (wherever possible)
  • Given the more abstracted interception mechanics in X2, we can deliberately spawn UFOs over specific biomes to ensure the player sees a good variety of environments (in X1 we just had to hope the UFO was flying over something interesting when it got shot down)

Full map randomisation is likely to be difficult simply because fully random maps tend to look pretty bad, but our map editor does support the same level of randomisation as XCOM2 and we just need to experiment to see how effective it is for making maps that aren't set in futuristic scifi cities where the architecture is deliberately designed around supporting randomisation (my bet is "not very effective", as we already tried a similar system in X1).

In any case, we should be able to get far better value out of our maps in X2 than we could in X1 ... and if it turns out that there's still not enough map variation, we'll just make some more maps! We're planning to introduce Skitso to the map editor later in development, which should also help :D

 

alien_turntable.gif

Alien Racial Abilities:

The aliens in Xenonauts-2 are also going to be revisited so they have more interesting visual designs and combat abilities, as they did lack a certain amount of character in the first game. The gameplay in X2 is not yet advanced enough that the composition of the alien forces can be evaluated in the context of a campaign, so we've still got some experimentation to do - but our current thinking is we'll be creating several different variants of the same alien with different equipment, so fighting a mission against Sebillians might see you encountering a mix of fast melee berserkers, tough short-range shotgunners and artillery lizards with long-range grenade launchers that create poisonous smoke clouds.

This is all still conceptual and my ideas may well change as development continues and we start testing stuff out, but the idea is that you get a bit more tactical variety when you face an alien race than you did in X1 as every race would have (different) short, medium and long range capabilities. The racial abilities of the different aliens have not yet been implemented, but this is what I'm currently thinking:

  • Reapers - their attack is no longer always an insta-kill, and the zombification only occurs if the melee attack damage does enough to kill the target
  • Sebillians - they regenerate to full HP at the start of their turn if not killed, although their max HP is slowly reduced as they take damage (possibly they will be unable to regenerate damage from Laser weapons).
  • Androns - robotic, plus explode like Cyberdiscs when destroyed unless you kill them with EMP damage (in which case you can recover some Alenium from them)
  • Wraiths - a few possibilities for these guys:
    • "Fade" when they take damage, reducing your chance to hit against them for the rest of the turn
    • "Defensive Teleport" that teleports them to a new location after taking damage
    • Heals off electrical / EMP damage 
  • Psyons - I'm still not sure about these guys, but there'll probably be some interplay between the small weak Psyons and the larger Officers!

The other mechanic I like but haven't thought up an alien to put it on yet is the "swarm" mechanic, where an alien with 50 HP is actually made up of 5 aliens with 10 HP each. This makes them naturally weak against burst weapons and explosives, but very strong against high-damage single shot weapons like sniper rifles that end up "wasting" a lot of damage with each shot. Just need to figure out something to put it on!

This area is likely going to be in flux right until the end of development, as the abilities, stats and equipment of the various different aliens plays a huge part of game balance and we'll be iterating and changing it based on our testing and feedback from the community at every step of the journey!

 

Breachable UFOs:

The last thing to mention is that the UFOs in the game will no longer be invulnerable - you will be able to breach the hull in specific places (although it may only be the C4 Breaching Charge that allows you to punch a hole in a UFO hull). You may also find some of these breaching spots have already been cracked open during the crash if you're attacking a crashed UFO rather than a landed one.

Mechanically this is pretty straightforward stuff, but I think the ability to make new entrances in the UFO hull is definitely going to be a good addition to the game! 

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Not sure if this is already in the works but I’d prefer to see crash sites and abductions have a chance of providing alenium and alloys, instead of each providing exclusively one or the other, even if the quantities recovered are heavily skewed toward one or the other in each type. 

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Some thoughts I had while reading this, is it possible to rotate the map in ground missions now?

I don't think you need to put a timer on alenium cells if the player has already made a decision to sacrifice gains from attending to one mission type in order to go on the abduction / raid mission. You did well in Xenonauts playing it safe and simulating things from other games, why not do something new and unique in X2?

Imagine a single game that actually encompasses the first scouts, initial invasion, drawn out war, key victories by the aliens and establishment of a stronghold, loss of a key Xenonaut base, and continued skirmishes by those remaining on the run until they secure themselves another facility, and then the final defeat of alien command – all in one game, what a roller-coaster ride and without need of a sequel along the way!

Regarding your code to ensure the game will pick different maps that have not been used before, having UFOs spawn over certain biomes is one way to vary what the end result might be, but if abduction / raid missions are immobile sites that the team travels to, then these types of missions could be coded to be in biomes that have not been used in the game yet.

Your swarm mechanic could be applied to an voltron / nanobot style Andron unit, or maybe some sort of biological equivalent (a la XCOM:Apocalypse)?

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Nice to hear Skitso is going to work in maps section.

Maps variety means more hours of fun.

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The selection of missions all seem okay. Not really much to change there. only thing I could maybe see is some kind of mission where an operative must be rescued, but that might not work so well in this system. Also, it might be nice to have some overlap with alloys and alenium with the crash sites and abductions but if Alenium is a really limited resource, I could see only limiting it to one mission. Although, maybe add in some way to capture really bulky power sources from the ufos that take up a lot of storage and that requires a bunch of to turn into one Alenium.

 

Map variety looks solid. There are possibly one or two other locations I'd be interested in seeing, but these look solid.It would be cool to finally get that Reaper hive that was talked about for X1 though. Looking forward to using the map editor if that all works out.

 

My only real complaint would be the same number of missions it looks like you are planning on people doing. Seems just a little short. I get some 80 missions in X1 would be repetitive to some degree, but the missions feel much more varied here. If you stick with 30, would there be a way to possibly do a long war / beta strike / something to extend the length of the game to make the campaign last longer? I don't see this being a top priority, but it would be nice. Maybe a mod would at least do it. Also, with having so few missions, how are the aliens progressing? Do you start out with some small ufos and weaker aliens and then work your way up to the big boys with big toys? I ask because with the changes being made, and the added focus on making maps repeat less, I think that could change up stuff significantly. It is always cool exploring new ufos and I really liked what you did with changing their interior. Maybe have something like that again this time so you don't always know what to expect.

 

Having the maps have a little bit more code to them to get it to not show the same map too many times would be a good idea. It is sad to see some of the random gen go for the missions. I really like plot and parcel stuff. Worst case, map editor maybe.

 

The aliens are cool. I'm glad to see a bit more being done with them. I am sad to see some go. I really liked the Harridans. Thought they looked the coolest, but I remember reading something a while back that there were problems with having flying stuff. Could they at least make an appearance as armor for somebody else though? I think your idea for the racial abilities seem pretty okay though.

Reapers - As long as they reap they will be fine. I'm glad they won't on hit kill anymore. I actually think that makes them scarier. One question though is if they are still a support / terror unit? They way this is written it makes them seem like a main race.

Seballians - Glad to see them getting more love. Them regenerating their health each turn seems a bit much, but if you can handle doing the decreasing of the max health right, it could be an interesting racial ability. Will certainly prompt the focusing of fire on individual targets. Them using chemical / acid weapons are nice but I'd also suggest maybe fire. I think fire suits lizards well. Either way, the choice in weapons are super cool. That will be a nice compliment for them.

Androns - These sound fun. Hoping we get some too that are built a little differently from one another. Maybe one has some built in weapons or something. I wouldn't be against the scrapped plans for the special robot units in X1. Could just be nice for the lore to have some differently made robots. That would also be good as the basis of the vehicle upgrade stretch goal so maybe this could be added in with that? the idea of making them weak to EMP is cool though.

Wraith - I'm glad they are still around. I'm not sure what would be best though. Teleporting is cool, but I can see how that would eb tough to balance. I like the idea of EMP weapons doing things to them like healing or buffing. that could be really nice if they accompany Androns on missions. My only problem to things benefiting them though is that besides the initial oops of the first encounter, you just won't ever do it to them. I feel like they need more than just that. The phasing out of reality is an interesting idea. My only complaint is that is somewhat similar to the swarm enemy that is mentioned later. Mechanically, it is not too similar, but I feel like it would just encourage me to us explosives on it. Maybe to build off the electricity thing it now makes a little shield when damaged. This could stop some incoming damage from most weapons but could really hinder energy weapons. Maybe any EMP damage it gets hit with makes the shield stronger. That would give it a buff against EMP weapons without maybe making it too noticeable that attacking it with EMP is bad.

psions - I assume these are the revamped Ceasans? If so they look really cool. I like the idea of having them in multiple sizes. I hope they don't lose their psionic abilities. Psionics are a staple of the XCOM genre. It just wouldn't be the same without them. One interesting idea though is make only a few of them psionic but make the little, weaker guys act as beacons or sighters for the psionic guys. Have the little chimp ones give the bigger ones los as long as they are alive and can see them. There would also be other Ceasan units to protect the little chimp ones and they would be better armed to protect them. this could give the palyer a good bit of choice in which unit to kill. A unit that can psi a unit or one that might just kill one. 

Swarmer - That sounds cool. I'm not sure what way would eb best to make it though. Maybe a bunch of the small drones from X1 in a cloud. You could even make that into its own race. Maybe design it similar to Monsoon from Metal Gear Rising Revengence. (I thought I remember his whole body splitting up but it appears now it was just his arms.) Maybe have it be an organism that forms together to make a bigger organism. Could even go the super jellyfish route. Maybe give it a burst fire that decreases in how many parts are left. Anyway, it is a cool idea to encourage the use of different weapons.

I would like to know how you plan on deploying these races. Are they still split like in the last game or are there going to be mainly mixed crew missions?

 

Breachable ufos sound cool, but they weren't a thing I really cared about. I do hope this doesn't mean the cool ufo designs are gone fully. I really liked them.

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Definitely keep psychic abilities, but aliens / soldiers have to have line of sight otherwise it's just too OP.  I remember in the original X:UD I would mind control the first alien I saw, make him scout around until he saw another one, then I'd mind control that one and so on until most of them were controlled, then make them kill each other if they had enough TUs left, or at least drop their guns and run towards the sollies to finish the job.  There also needs to be the ability to increase the soldiers' defence with mind shields, psychic inhibitors or something.

Someone mentioned a minimap, can you also introduce the ability to rotate the map in ground battles?

Also, rather sollies be instantly killed when their HP goes to 0, how about a chance for critical wounds that incapacitate them (as well as enemies with stun attacks) and their teammates can evac them?  If enemies have the ability to knock out sollies then it increases the chance of them capturing someone and getting intel from them, and a special mission to rescue them being required.

I think breachable UFOs are essential because sollies shouldn't know how to use the doors until they have researched alien computers.  This also limits the ability Xenonauts have on early missions to fully capture the UFO and so they gain access into an outer room but can't get past the security on inner hardpoints, so they smash and grab what they can, and get out before the ship takes off and those inside go MIA, tough automated defences activate inside the ship, alien reinforcements arrive, or they seal the breach and suck out the oxygen in those rooms with sollies in it!

I like combat ability not being directly linked to rank, such that something like an Officer Training School would enable the development of certain choices down alternate ability trees. Also, you're introducing the idea of developing lower tech options to bring them up to level with newly researched ones, perhaps a Training Centre could both be used for developing individual's skills (or choosing new skills once the character has enough XP), but also broad development across the whole team which can enhance all your soldiers of a particular type? I liked the idea of the base upgrade in X1, perhaps scientists and engineers abilities could be Developed as well in this one.

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On breaching landed UFOs: Once you have captured one intact and studied it, having the ability to put a demo charge on the main power source and make the firefight trivial at the cost of having to pressure-wash the loot off of the walls.

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Which mission does Field Agent Defense (Alien Kill Team Intercept) fit in?

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Posted (edited)

Can we please have the ability to press ESC in the middle of the enemy's turn (so we can pause, load or quit the game and not have to wait until all the enemies / neutrals have acted)?

Also, to be able to press + or - during ground combat to speed up or slow down the actions would also be great.

Finally, can we please give the soldiers the ability to climb without stairs, and even drop from 1 floor down to the next?

Can we also have a few options to be decided between before starting the game, like keeping the 50-200% damage range, or opting more for 75-125% or something?  Sometimes the massive random variance can be a bit annoying.  To be able to manipulate chance to hit, crit chance, etc by where you position your soldier when fighting is more fun than setting up the perfect shot and doing half damage

Can we also have a few game options to be decided between before starting the game, like keeping the 50-200% damage range, or opting more for 75-125% or something?  Sometimes the massive random variance can be a bit annoying.  To be able to manipulate chance to hit, crit chance, etc by where you position your soldier when fighting is more fun than setting up the perfect shot and doing half damage

I would like to see a more detailed wound and stun system.  Rather than remaining at full capacity until HP suddenly reach 0 (or cumulative stun damage equals current HP), I would like to see wounds reducing strength, morale and mobility (TUs), and stun damage causing reduction of TUs and accuracy - or something like that.  This way you can wear a target down from a distance before finally moving in and finishing the job.

I'd love to see some consultation done with real medics that also play games to see what their input would be.  Rather than basic medpack, and then advanced battlefield medicine, I would love to see more complexity.  Painkiller stims (allow you to keep fighting while wounded) are small and every solly can carry them with ease.  What if bleeding occurs more often, and moving too much makes it worse, with basic medpacks applying compression bandages / splints that affect mobility (unless another solly helps carry them).  Advanced medpacks might include coagulant accelerant and exoskeletal bionic splints which help seal the wound / set the bone while retaining mobility.

Edited by RustyNayle
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@RustyNayle Traditional forum etiquette suggests you don't make new posts if yours is the latest one. Instead, edit the post you've already made to add the new stuff you want to say.

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On 4/27/2018 at 11:48 PM, FloridaBoy said:

Not sure if this is already in the works but I’d prefer to see crash sites and abductions have a chance of providing alenium and alloys, instead of each providing exclusively one or the other, even if the quantities recovered are heavily skewed toward one or the other in each type. 

That's a pretty minor balance issue that just involves updating a few numbers, it would only take 5 minutes or so. It's likely to be the sort of thing we experiment with during the Early Access / playtesting phase.

 

On 4/29/2018 at 11:30 PM, Betuor said:

My only real complaint would be the same number of missions it looks like you are planning on people doing. Seems just a little short. I get some 80 missions in X1 would be repetitive to some degree, but the missions feel much more varied here. If you stick with 30, would there be a way to possibly do a long war / beta strike / something to extend the length of the game to make the campaign last longer? I don't see this being a top priority, but it would be nice. Maybe a mod would at least do it. Also, with having so few missions, how are the aliens progressing? Do you start out with some small ufos and weaker aliens and then work your way up to the big boys with big toys? I ask because with the changes being made, and the added focus on making maps repeat less, I think that could change up stuff significantly. It is always cool exploring new ufos and I really liked what you did with changing their interior. Maybe have something like that again this time so you don't always know what to expect.

 

Having the maps have a little bit more code to them to get it to not show the same map too many times would be a good idea. It is sad to see some of the random gen go for the missions. I really like plot and parcel stuff. Worst case, map editor maybe.

The map editor works in pretty much exactly the same way as the one from X1, but the ground textures are 3D so it's a bit more powerful in some respects. Anyway, the pack / parcel stuff still exists.

Regarding the number of missions - it's not a hard limit and it's subject to change based on player feedback, but 25-30 missions is about the length of a normal Xenonauts 1 campaign. I guess its down to how much stomach for repition that you have, but it's fairly easy for us (or modders) to change if we want to.

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On 4/30/2018 at 12:43 AM, RustyNayle said:

Definitely keep psychic abilities, but aliens / soldiers have to have line of sight otherwise it's just too OP.  I remember in the original X:UD I would mind control the first alien I saw, make him scout around until he saw another one, then I'd mind control that one and so on until most of them were controlled, then make them kill each other if they had enough TUs left, or at least drop their guns and run towards the sollies to finish the job.  There also needs to be the ability to increase the soldiers' defence with mind shields, psychic inhibitors or something.

Someone mentioned a minimap, can you also introduce the ability to rotate the map in ground battles?

Also, rather sollies be instantly killed when their HP goes to 0, how about a chance for critical wounds that incapacitate them (as well as enemies with stun attacks) and their teammates can evac them?  If enemies have the ability to knock out sollies then it increases the chance of them capturing someone and getting intel from them, and a special mission to rescue them being required.

I've merged your various posts together into two posts now, and I'll do so in the other threads too. However in future please do as Shoes suggests and edit your last post rather than making four or five new posts in quick succession - it buries everyone else's posts if you do that.

The camera in X2 is already rotateable in the demo, you just press Q and E to rotate it. Similarly X1 already has the system where soldiers have the chance of surviving hitting 0 HP; the survival chance in X2 will be tied to the medical facilities at your base.

Yeah, we'll likely at least test mind control in the game but it does require some balancing to ensure it feels "fair".

 

On 5/4/2018 at 2:30 AM, RustyNayle said:

Can we please have the ability to press ESC in the middle of the enemy's turn (so we can pause, load or quit the game and not have to wait until all the enemies / neutrals have acted)?

Also, to be able to press + or - during ground combat to speed up or slow down the actions would also be great.

Finally, can we please give the soldiers the ability to climb without stairs, and even drop from 1 floor down to the next?

Can we also have a few options to be decided between before starting the game, like keeping the 50-200% damage range, or opting more for 75-125% or something?  Sometimes the massive random variance can be a bit annoying.  To be able to manipulate chance to hit, crit chance, etc by where you position your soldier when fighting is more fun than setting up the perfect shot and doing half damage

Can we also have a few game options to be decided between before starting the game, like keeping the 50-200% damage range, or opting more for 75-125% or something?  Sometimes the massive random variance can be a bit annoying.  To be able to manipulate chance to hit, crit chance, etc by where you position your soldier when fighting is more fun than setting up the perfect shot and doing half damage

I would like to see a more detailed wound and stun system.  Rather than remaining at full capacity until HP suddenly reach 0 (or cumulative stun damage equals current HP), I would like to see wounds reducing strength, morale and mobility (TUs), and stun damage causing reduction of TUs and accuracy - or something like that.  This way you can wear a target down from a distance before finally moving in and finishing the job.

I'd love to see some consultation done with real medics that also play games to see what their input would be.  Rather than basic medpack, and then advanced battlefield medicine, I would love to see more complexity.  Painkiller stims (allow you to keep fighting while wounded) are small and every solly can carry them with ease.  What if bleeding occurs more often, and moving too much makes it worse, with basic medpacks applying compression bandages / splints that affect mobility (unless another solly helps carry them).  Advanced medpacks might include coagulant accelerant and exoskeletal bionic splints which help seal the wound / set the bone while retaining mobility.

Again, in the demo soldiers are already able to drop down a level, but climbing without stairs / ladders isn't as easy (and makes jetpacks much less useful). I'm not sure about the granularity of the options we'll offer players but the damage variance is likely to be something that is extremely easy to mod to your liking anyway.

We may add a more complicated battlefield wound system to the game, but it's more likely to be related to long-term effects that somewhat reduce the effectiveness of a soldier for a prolonged period rather than something that totally cripples them in the short-term. I'm not sure modelling injuries and medical attention in greater detail is going to make the game more fun - except perhaps the addition of painkillers that could allow the soldier to ignore the effects of an injury for a few turns like you suggest. But different types of splints and all that is way beyond our scope I think.

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I'm not sure if there's a list somewhere, but are you "only" going with five alien races? That seems just a tad slim, considering the original had, what, 11?

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1 hour ago, Moonshine Fox said:

I'm not sure if there's a list somewhere, but are you "only" going with five alien races? That seems just a tad slim, considering the original had, what, 11?

It depends on your classification of "race" really - are the little gun drones from the first game a race? There's probably only going to be a handful of "main" races, but there will still be a number of other support units to back them up (kinda similar to X1 in that respect).

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Posted (edited)

there is only one problem with the x1 psyionics. there was no way to identify the psionic alien from the rest and their attacks had infinite range. making them unfun and uninteractive.

i am fine with my soldiers getting fully mind controlled as long as i 1: have a way to deal with the controler. which i did not as he was always camping in the ufo and even if i found the last aliens i couldn't identify the controler from the crowd.

2: the mind controled person has no tu on his first mind controled action giving me time to prepare and get my guys behind cover.

 

at the end of the day xcom psionics are succesfull and work because you clearly see which ones are screwing over your guys and are (relatively) easy kills. only when you let them live long enough do they become real threats

 

my opinion is keeping reaper hits insta kills at the top difficulties as by now the player should have learned how to deal with this.

i agree though it is a real hit in the nuts to more casual players (actually including me XD) when a reaper comes from outside your units los behind a corner and 1 shots one of your guys without any chance to respond to this because you left noone with enough TU for response fire because there werent any emmediate threats or, as a new player you dont consider spare TU is of any use.

Edited by jevry

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The idea I'm playing with is that if there's a mind-control capable alien on the map, they can either cast mind control on any Xenonaut that they can see themselves - or "possess" a different alien that can see a Xenonaut instead. The posessed alien acts and fights as normal, but if it survives a whole turn (i.e. if the player doesn't kill it on his turn) then the psionic alien can cast mind control using squad sight from the posessed alien.

That would give a nice mix of a single psionic alien harassing you for the entire mission from the bridge of his UFO / whatever, but also allow the player to prevent his soldiers being mind controlled by immediately killing / running away from any aliens that are posessed.

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Posted (edited)

I know there being too many humanoid Aliens was one of your concerns; indeed, enemies in Xenonauts and even Firaxis XCOM are mostly humanoid unlike some interesting variations present in original X-COM. Throughout the series there have been plenty of non-humanoid species such as Celatid, Silacoid, Hallucinoid, Triscene, Xarquid, Micronoid Aggregate, Queenspawn... and of course Tentaculat, "Headcrabs" (brainsucker) and Popper are iconic enemies.

 

So my question was if there was any plans to alter pre-exsiting aliens to look less human, or at least have new support aliens to not be humanoid?

Edited by ventuswings
format problem

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Posted (edited)

I love the idea of the swarm baddy.

Also, it would be nice to be able to have (some) extra gear in the transport, and then get (some) info either before leaving or on arriving but before deploying as to enemy force composition. Obviously, this would be something it'd be easy to tech/perk up.

Edited by qkslvrwolf
Thought of more stuff.

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Idea: Air-support / Pre-Landing options

One way you could make Xenonauts 2 stand out from the competitors, and do something nobody else has ever done before in this franchise, is:
Give the player extended pre-landing options:

Option 1: Do a fly-by and bomb the area before landing. - Depending on the technologies available to the Xenonauts and their landing ships, the pilot could either fire a few missiles on the downed UFO before deploying the land forces, OR, if researched, carpet bomb the entire stage with mustard gas, or napalm, or even mines! Obviously this can be extremely costly (Having R&D produce a single landmine takes time and money. Making enough mines to carpet bomb the deployment area will not be cheap). Carpet bombing a city may be an excellent option if you are stuck with only 5 wounded rookies and expect heavy resistance on the ground. Another expense is "lost tech". Firing an extra missile into a downed UFO will increase the death-toll, but good luck salvaging an intact engine afterwards! The collateral damage can also be catastrophic in populated areas, but if zombies or reavers are involved, perhaps napalm IS the best choice. "Nuke it from orbit! It is the only way to be sure!"
Option 2: Ask the landing vehicle to do spotting after dropping off the team. This will put the vehicle at great risk. It will try to fly around the maps edges, but you risk the aliens firing at the vehicle if any aliens are stand near the maps edges. If your lander survives, you will get an almost complete recon of the ground-map. But if an alien nails your chopper with a plasma cannon, it will be damaged, and you risk having to walk home. "Guys! Time to 'borrow' a bus somewhere". OR your team will have to wait until the repaired helicopter returns for them. This could cost a day and injured soldier might not survive unless they brought a portable medic kit with them.
Option 3: Call in fire-support. Once the team is grounded, they might discover some crazy strong alien megamonsters. Usually I just fire all my guns at such beasts, but if the going gets touch, or the alien base turns out to be a little too impregnable, then I'd like to call in an airstrike. Granted, it may take a few turns for the Air-Support to reach the Op-zone, but the beauty of having a bunker-buster bomb open up a hole in that alien base... or hearing the engines of the A10 "Groundhog" as it prepares to fire 50 rounds of High Explosive 30mm Anti-Tank vulcan rounds at that annoying Godzilla-type monstrosity...

No other UFO game gives you the option to scan/bomb/mine an area before touch-down. But adding it will not be too hard, and the fans will love all the new research options! Like "Reseach scout UAV" and "Construct 3 Predator scout drones" and finally "launch a UAV to scan the landing area before touch-down".

Important: All these options should play out on the ground map. We want to SEE those cluster-bombs tearing a swathe of destruction straight through the jungle. We want to SEE that precision missile creating a neat new entry-point into that landed UFO. Reading about it just isn't enough.

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Remember: Destructible Environments ROCK!

Firing an Anti-Tank missile on the ground should seriously create a crater (destructible ground is important!).

The physics must be as good or better than X-Com Apocalypse. If I detonate a pack of C4 in the basement of a skyscraper, I want the pleasure of watching all that rubble crush every single alien in that tower!

Special tools must be made available through research, that lets the Xenonauts destroy resilient walls. In "Terror from the Deep" you could research a "Heavy Theramic Drill" - this melee-range bad-boy was one of the few melee weapons that could drill through UFO armor and allow soldiers to create emergency openings through anything. Now I don't care if you call it "breaching charges" or "Portal Gun" - I just want the freedom to blast my way through any obstacle.

With a destructible environment, it is important to give the player something to 'discover'. For example. If you add manhole covers to streets and some basements, then the player will be thrilled to someday realize that he can blow up the manhole cover and send agents down a ladder into old sewer pipes! And no doubt the player will use this discovery to breach through sewer walls into basements of banks, bunkers and... swimming pools? Certain buildings should also have 'hidden rooms'. Like a room behind the elevator shaft where two generators provide emergency power for the building. (Blow them up and turn on your flashlights!).

In honor of the first "The Predator" movie, you should adjust the health of all trees such that a single Xenonaut with a minigun can 'clear the forest' - like they do in the movie. Hm... Maybe consider having a "density" variable for jungle maps? "Low density" = sparse and tall trees with no underbrush. "High density jungle" = various pass-through plants block vision - you can either push through the underbrush and flatten the plants, or you can use a minigun or a flamethrower to clear the ground so no aliens can hide in the bushes.

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Posted (edited)

Purely turn based, a J/A style hybrid, an Apoc style real time, or, I'm not sure how to describe aftermaths system?
After spending a good 5 minutes blundering around a map waiting to be shot at to find a hiding technician, I'd be a big fan of it not being entirely turn based all the time

*****
Whilst you are taking suggestions, for X3.
Why not make the aliens monstrously difficult, not the game necessarily, but imagine a modern infantry man in Kevlar, with plate, and carrying a M16, against a line company of Napoleonic Era musket men.

Why shouldn't a single alien be an even match for 4 or 8 humans, why shouldn't even a light scout require 8 fighters to bring down, ect.
Obviously depends how many other people would want a "Close Combat" style tactical battle

Edited by DominicJ
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Posted (edited)

 

On 6/25/2018 at 5:14 AM, DominicJ said:

Why not make the aliens monstrously difficult...single alien be an even match for 4 or 8 humans, why shouldn't even a light scout require 8 fighters to bring down, ect.

Yes please!  I always wondered why the aliens don't use better combat armor.  On other threads (actually, it might have been earlier on in this one?) I mentioned that UFOs shouldn't be shot down or captured early in the game, since they represent a smorgasborg of technology.  It never made sense to me that scientists couldn't figure out the controls of intact UFOs and the team learn to fly them as is, rather than break them down to components and materials and eventually build their own once they understand the tech?  The progression of tech could instead be represented with timed missions and impenetrable security within UFOs / bases, with smash and grab and increased risk to get better stuff.  I think for a nation's airforce to get lucky and shoot down a UFO and the Xenonauts are racing that nation (and possibly others) to salvage the site would fit the cold war theme well.

As this is the ground combat thread, I'll focus more on that.  What about, rather than only reserving TUs for snap, burst, normal, aimed shot, scoped, etc, you revamp the system somewhat?  I hardly think an aimed shot can be done on overwatch.  I suppose a skilled sniper might be able to track a moving target and take them out, but in a turn-based system everyone kind of is moving all the time even if it doesn't seem like it since you take turns, so overwatch actually represents more of reacting to unexpected circumstances rather than tracking moving targets.  If the aliens are going to be much more powerful compared to the Xenonauts early on, how about the ability to reserve TUs specifically for a dive roll - the soldier (or alien) jumps for the nearest cover using their last remaining TUs? Maybe if the soldier is in defensive mode a dive roll might work a bit like suppression, where if they didn't actively reserve TUs for it or didn't have enough passively left over for it, then they just lose TUs on their next round?  An aggressive mode would prevent dive rolls at all and always do reaction fire.  Standard mode might have a chance to do one or the other depending on the soldier's assessment of the threat, morale, etc

Edited by RustyNayle

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Why does X1 and it seems also X2 just have two positions (standing and crouching) for the soldiers?

When I read it correctly also crouching will give only 20% defense bonus no aiming bonus in X2.

 

Any chance we can get "prone" as 3rd position? With a defense bonus + aiming bonus. I think every sniper and rifle with a decent zoom is only working when the soldier is proned and should get a malus when standing.

 

 

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A second request from me side.

Is it possible to show the hit chance before we actually move to a new position? 

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3 hours ago, XTC0r said:

Is it possible to show the hit chance before we actually move to a new position? 

Try pressing Shift after you select a move destination and mouseovering a target, before you confirm the move.

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