Jump to content
Chris

Xenonauts-2 Soldier Inventory System Discussion

Recommended Posts

You can read the basic description of the new soldier inventory system in this thread: https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/19462-xenonauts-2-soldiers/

 

I think this is a topic that needs to be discussed in more detail. The purpose of this thread is to explain the reasons why we have made these changes, so players who are concerned about the changes can make suggestions for how the new inventory system could be changed or improved to bring back missing functionality from Xenonauts 1.

Honestly, I'm happy to update the inventory design if we can bring back some of the freedom from the X1 system into the current system - but I'd also be happy to bring back the X1 system if people were able to suggest appropriate improvements to that. Ultimately, we all want to produce the best possible game here!

So let's start by talking about the inventory system from Xenonauts 1, and what was good and bad about it:

  • GOOD - it gives you the freedom to load your soldiers with all sorts of weird and wonderful combinations of equipment. This opens up various tactical possibilities that don't exist in more streamlined games like XCOM (soldiers carrying gear for other soldiers, etc.)
  • NEUTRAL - soldiers could carry more than one "primary" weapon into combat, allowing a sniper to instantly become a close-combat specialist just by switching to a shotgun. This is listed as neutral because I'm actually OK with this ability provided it is balanced better than it was in X1 (more on this below).
  • BAD - we balanced the number of items a soldier could carry using weight (KG) vs. the soldier strength, which led to a lot of "realistic weight" issues and some fiddly micromanaging of the soldier equipment every time their Strength went up.
  • BAD - any item can go anywhere, so you need a huge Armory panel on the Soldier Equip screen that shows every possible item you might want. The new system has contextual filtering, so clicking on a Belt slot shows only ammo and grenades etc. This makes it much easier to find the items you need.
  • TERRIBLE - you couldn't see the secondary items a soldier was equipped with in a combat mission unless you had the inventory panel open, so on the battlefield it was hard to easily find the soldier with the medikit / stun baton / etc when you needed them. 
  • TERRIBLE - using a secondary item was a fiddly process that involved opening the inventory, dragging the item into your primary, checking the TU cost of doing so, then closing the inventory and using it. After you've used it, you have to go through the entire process again to re-equip your primary weapon. 

The proposed X2 system deals with the negative parts of the X1 system, but I do understand that it also takes away the one big advantage of the Xenonauts 1 system - the freedom to equip your soldier the way you choose. I understand people don't want to lose that freedom, so I'd be very happy if we can find a hybrid system that deals with the usability and balance issues of the X1 system but retains some of all of that extra freedom.

Here's some specific talking points that I want to highlight in this discussion.

 

Secondary Slot:

I think even the biggest supporter of the old X1 inventory system would agree that it's clunky to use. To address that in Xenonauts-2 we've added the Secondary slot, which will be displayed in the ground combat UI (placeholder concept seen below).

extended_UI.png

This secondary slot isn't necessarily tied to the rest of the changes in the X2 inventory system; it could be integrated into the Xenonauts 1 inventory system too. It's basically a "holster" slot that is too small to fit a full-size weapon in it. If a backpack exists you could drag stuff from the backpack into this slot in the same way as you can for the Primary slot.

The purpose of this secondary slot is to remove the time wasted cyling through soldiers to find the one that has the specific secondary item you're looking for, and also to make it much quicker to access that item when you do find it. I think we'll probably allow the soldier to use the item in their secondary slot without a TU penalty because that's the easiest and cleanest way to do it.

To me, this is a straightforward upgrade over what we had in Xenonauts 1. It doesn't remove any complexity, it just makes secondary items much easier to view and use. Does anyone feel differently?

 

Squad View:

The "Soldier Equip" screen now has two levels. It has a top-level screen that allows you re-arrange soldiers in the dropship and swap out soldiers into a slot (new soldiers inherit the loadout of the soldier they replaced), and a lower-level screen that allows you to customise the equipment of an individual soldier. The UI is placeholder but you can see it below:

armory1.png

Again, I don't expect this change to be particularly divisive. The screen gives you an easy way to see the loadout of your team and rearrange them in the dropship before you send them off to battle. There's obviously limits here to what we can show; there's no belt slots (or backpack) and we'd probably be limited to 12 soldiers unless we shrunk the bars down.

 

Armory vs. Contextual Slots:

armory.gif

The planned mechanics for Xenonauts replaces the (Tetris-style) inventory tiles from Xenonauts 1 with a series of slots - the Armour slot, Primary slot, Secondary slot and the 6 Belt slots. Three things to discuss here - limiting items to certain slots, the contextual selection UI, and the lack of the backpack.

You can see in the above gif that items are limited to certain slots. For example, the majority of the weapons from X1 can only go in the Primary slot. Sidearms, melee weapons and items like medikits can only go in the Secondary slot. Note that this change does not have to be tied to the lack of a backpack; for instance we could add a backpack that could contain either a single Primary item or two Secondary items.

Instead, the main advantage of this system is that you don't have to have the huge Armory panel on the Soldier Equip screen that contains every piece of battlefield equipment in your base stores. You just click on a slot and a contextual menu pops up that contains all the valid items. This much easier to use and is visually more attractive. 

The final thing to talk about is the backpack. This has been removed in the current design for X2 for the following reasons:

  • It's not ideal if the player is able to equip soldiers with multiple primary weapons, as battles are much less tactical if all the soldiers can do everything. If your sniper can pick enemies off at long range, but instantly switch to a shotgun and destroy enemies at short range too ... what's his weakness? 
  • Limiting the player to a single Primary weapon and single Secondary item means we can give those items certain properties that don't work if the player can carry several of them. For example:
    • The SMG is a Primary weapon that does less damage than a Rifle but gives the user a TU bonus. This isn't really viable if the soldier can carry a Rifle in his backpack and run around with the SMG then switch to the Rifle as soon as he encounters an enemy.
    • Secondary items with passive effects (e.g. a psionic mind shield or a motion detector) are a bit overpowered if you can leave them equipped most of the time, but then temporarily switch to an "active" secondary like a Medikit when you need to heal someone. It effectively gives you the benefit of both.
    • Certain items don't really make sense unless there are limits on other slots; for instance a pistol sidearm for the secondary slot is kinda pointless if the soldier can just carry a second primary weapon instead.
  • The tetris-style backpack won't work the contextual slot UI seen in the gif above, so we'd need to move back to the clunky Armory UI. Which is going to get even more cluttered when we add extra items and the modular weapon / armour customisation options.

Having said that, removing the backpack isn't the only way we can fix many of these problems. We could give soldiers a backpack and allow them to carry multiple weapons, but give the soldier a TU penalty appropriate to the weight of the weapon (which means sidearms would still have a use). The passive secondary items could instead be integrated into particular suits of armour, and the extra active secondary items could be carried in this backpack the same way that extra primary weapons are.

As I don't particularly want to lose the contextual UI, you could potentially structure a backpack like a list instead of it being 6x6 tile grid or whatever. Adding an item to this list could give the soldier a certain TU penalty: e.g. a Primary item -10 TU, a Secondary item -5 TU, and a Belt item 2 -TU. This would give you access to extra equipment if you want it, but make the soldier less mobile if you do weigh them down with extra gear).

Strength System:

I also don't like the Strength system for governing how much a unit can carry. I think it's another very fiddly system, for these reasons:

  • Equipping pre-set loadouts for soldiers is kinda annoying because you have to individually tweak each one every time depending on the soldier's strength
  • Experienced soldiers can carry loads of gear relative to newbies. They aquire this skill by adding slightly more to their loadout each battle, training a stat that is only really used to control how much weight you can carry. It all just seems a bit weird and circular to me.
  • You run into "realistic weight" problems for items, where their real-world weight and size isn't always proportional to their in-game usefulness - e.g. if we decided grenades were overpowered, we couldn't increase their weight much because everyone knows roughly how much a grenade weighs.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the Strength system has to be removed entirely (although in the current design it is), but I think in its current form it's a pretty complicated system that needs to be improved somehow.

Conclusion: There's plenty to discuss, but hopefully now people know what my concerns are with the inventory system and what I'm trying to achieve with the new mechanics they will be able to make suggestions to improve my idea. I think it's important that people try to communicate what it is they enjoyed about the Xenonauts 1 inventory system because it may be possible to recreate the good parts without having to revert back to the Xenonauts 1 system entirely.

So, what do people think? Any thoughts or suggestions?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

"Soldiers could carry more than one "primary" weapon into combat, allowing a sniper to instantly become a close-combat specialist just by switching to a shotgun. This is listed as neutral because I'm actually OK with this ability provided it is balanced better than it was in X1." Without mods it is almost impossible to carry more than one weapon and carry all the other gear your soldiers need, like medkits, armor, ammo and, loadout specific equipment like extra grenades, extra medkits, rocket launchers and associated rockets, stun sticks and shields, without becoming slow as a turtle.

Edited by Doc Austin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Well Presented. And deja vu. I remember several of the questions discussed before.
And thanks for taking the time to manage the community by soloing the discussion.

(The gif seems to not play on desktop, but works on mobile.)

Yes I really like the new system.  Implementing a very detailed inventory may solve some problems, but I'd rather take the simplified system in its current form. And mod our way to get what we want, perhaps.

----

Shotgun Snipers

The shotgun sniper is perhaps unintended in X1, but to me it shows how well balanced X1 equipments are, because players actually mix them with riflemen instead of using them exclusively.

Because shotgun snipers do have weaknesses. They carry less secondary items, from medkit/baton to C4, grenade, and ammo. They have stat requirements, and they lack in abilities to support the team or carry equipment for others. They do not do well at medium range. They are the "strikers" in an MMO.

And it is not a bad meta.  Tank - Attack - Support is called the Holy Trinity for a reason.  Classifying soldiers into striker / support is I think more preferable than stereotyping them into close / long, and make the long useless in close and close useless in long.  The shotgun sniper is a strategy to solve a tactical inefficiency.  They work better than riflemen in some aspects, but they cannot replace riflemen.  That is good balance.

I don't understand why you keep thinking their existance removes tactic.  Tactic is not done by forcing soldiers into one approach.  Switching is not free, and shotgun snipers still need to rush or pullback depending on what they are holding.  Stand still and switch is an option, if you want to fire, so there is more tactical choice, not less, and it depends on good positioning last turn.  Their lack of non-attack options is traded for more attack options.  They still need positioning, line of fire, action order, and depends on other soldiers to smoke, bomb, stun, medkit, and sometimes ammo supply.  Having two weapons does not make them super hero, master of all, or double their firepower in a turn.

-----

Refining Slots

Adding another primary weapon to existing slot would cause the problem of LMG + Rocket Launcher, I admit I didn't think of that.  Is there a better balance?  I actually frown when I watch the video and see that I must choice between stun baton or pistol.  So it's either shield and stun or shield and pistol?

Perhaps we can refine the equipment classes a little bit.  Make item sizes more varied, split the secondary slot, and add a small weapon-only slot:

slots.gif.45bfbfa06a2de9d6a45534c8e6950d63.gif

Tiny items restricted to niche and/or personal, small items = secondary, medium = main, and heavy weapon invades your gadget space.
No LMG Rocketeer, yes rifle medic / rifle C4 / shotgun sniper, and gives the poor shieldmen both a gun and baton.

The secondary weapon tab is artificially limited to keep it simple (operation guideline or something), so that it is still feasible to have no tabs. 

Alternatively, its restriction can be lifted while still limiting small gadgets to one, but tabs would become preferable.  Example: relex secondary weapon slot to allow LMG+medkit, or create medium gadget such as a medium-sized mind shield that covers the squad (trade off secondary weapon and competes with a tiny solo mind shield).

Thoughts?

Edited by Sheepy
revised proposal
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I can see the benefits of the new system: clean, simple, fast to use and easy to understand. I didn't even use tetris management that much in X1 so this isn't a life or death question to me.

That said, I hate Firaxis' over simplified and abstract way of doing things in their games, so I hope you steer your design away from that. If this was my game, I would probably retain the original system with few improvements:

  1. Smaller backpack (maybe 3x5) with high TU cost to open (something like 75% so you can't take a weapon from it and shoot)
  2. Belt could be same as X1 (2x3+2) with no TU cost to manipulate.
  3. Balance the system with item weights and slot sizes. (e.g. pistol is 1x2, SMG 2x3 so you can fit pistol and first aid kit or SMG and 2 grenades/clips in your belt)

With this system, you would be limited and forced to make choises what to bring with you, but also give you a bit of freedom with the loadout without the artificial feeling of Firaxis-restrictions.

For example, If you have a shield and a pistol in your hands, you can have a stun baton OR a first aid kit OR an SMG with two grenades/clips on your belt. In the backpack you COULD carry a grenade launcher, a shotgun or any other main weapon, but taking it out costs you a turn and can you even carry the weight without transforming into a turtle? Yeah, if your character is strong enough. Fair enough, as strong characters have other weaknesses like low TU or bad aim.

You could bring up to five C4's (2x3): two in backpack, one in belt and one in each hand OR four with one handed weapon OR three with two handed weapon OR two if you want to have a first aid kit with you. Should it be in the quick access belt or in slow backpack... hmmm, the choises! :D  And you could dump everything to pick up a dead or injured soldier and bring him/her back to the chopper.

UI wise, the belt slots should be always visible in the main UI like the secondary item slot in Chris' image so they are fast and easy to use. You'd only need a separate inventory screen when opening the backpack, which fits thematically fine IMO as it costs TU to do so and is meant to feel cumbersome.

While it isn't as simple as what Chris has proposed, it's flexible and easy to understand as it doesn't have any artificial rules. The only downside is how to manage picking up items from the ground. Either clicking the item on the ground and it goes straight into your main hand, or opening the backpack and doing it the old way?

Edited by Skitso
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Sheepy said:

Well Presented. And deja vu. I remember several of the questions discussed before.
And thanks for taking the time to manage the community by soloing the discussion.

(The gif seems to not play on desktop, but works on mobile.)

Yes I really like the new system.  Implementing a very detailed inventory may solve some problems, but I'd rather take the simplified system in its current form. And mod our way to get what we want, perhaps.

----

Shotgun Snipers

The shotgun sniper is perhaps unintended in X1, but to me it shows how well balanced X1 equipments are, because players actually do that moderately with riflemen instead of exclusively.

Because shotgun snipers do have weaknesses. They carry less secondary items, from medkit/baton to C4, grenade, and ammo. They have stat requirements, and they lack in abilities to support the team or carry equipment for others. They do not do well at medium range. They are the "strikers" in an MMO.

And it is not a bad meta.  Tank - Attack - Support is called the Holy Trinity for a reason.  Classifying soldiers into striker / support is I think more preferable than stereotyping them into close / long, and make the long useless in close and close useless in long.  The shotgun sniper is a strategy to solve a tactical inefficiency.  They work better than riflemen in some aspects, but they cannot replace riflemen.  That is good balance.

 I don't understand why you keep thinking their existance removes tactic.  Tactic is not done by forcing soldiers into one approach.  Switching is not free, and shotgun snipers still need to rush or pullback depending on what they are holding.  Stand still and switch is an option, if you want to fire, so there is more tactical choice, not less, and it depends on good positioning last turn.  Their lack of non-attack options is traded for more attack options.  They still need positioning, line of fire, action order, and depends on other soldiers to smoke, bomb, stun, medkit, and sometimes ammo supply.  Having two weapons does not make them super hero, master of all, or double their firepower.

-----

Refining Slots

Giving them two primary weapons may cause the problem of LMG + Rocket Launcher, I admit I didn't think of that.  Is there a better balance?  I actually frown when I see I must choice between stun baton or pistol.  So it's either shield and stun or shield and pistol?

Perhaps we can refine the equipment classes a little bit.

Heavy Gear - Shield, RPG, LMG, strictly one per soldier
Medium Gear - Rifle, Sniper, Shotgun, C4, Medkit, roughly fit both hands
Small Gear - Pistol, Auto pistol, Baton, Smoke Mask, roughly fit in one hand
Belt Gear - Ammo, Grenade, Stim, Charm

Primary Slot can be heavy or medium.
Secondary Slot can be one medium or two smalls.

This would prevents LMG Rocketeer, allowing rifle medic / rifle C4 / shotgun sniper, and give the poor shieldmen both a gun and baton.

The UI will be complicated a little bit.  It is still possible to have no tabs if we put two click zone in the primary slot, one for medium and one for heavy, and three zones for secondary slot (left, right, and medium).

Worth considering?

I actually concur, and would very much like to stress the point that snipers carrying shotguns in their backpacks DOES NOT reduce tactics. Because as @Sheepy said, it also means they're unable to carry other items such as ammo, medkits, grenades, C4, motion detector, etc.

If carrying two primary weapons removes tactics because the same soldier is playing both the sniper and assault roles, then is carrying a primary weapon with a few grenades and a medkit the same too, because the same guy is playing the roles of a rifleman, a grenadier, and a combat medic too, as unlikely as those made-up roles may be?

I think what you could do is just increase the weight penalty of everything. That or increase the weight penalty of primary weapons when they're put into the inventory instead of the hands to make it a little bit more disadvantageous to do so.

Edited by EvilEagles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer the the backpack+belt+body inventory system, over the what you suggest body+utility+secondary system.

1.it allows the carrying of 2 primaries, (notably niche primaries like shotguns and rocket/grenade launchers)...big secondary weapons balance themselves out by being bulky or just plain big. switching between them is also not an instant affair. this does require that primaries do not get bonus stats that affect non-weapon related stats like TU count, movement speed or carry weight. any interaction with the backpack should require half the TU's of a turn. (meaning that pulling a primary out and storing your current primary is a full turn)

2. I really liked the idea of the belt slot, not that much its actual implementation in X1. As the belt had a slot big enough to fit the pistol, if the belt gave you the option to draw this weapon quickly it would give the pistol a unique capability no other primary would have. without having to sacrifice the medkit (with a pistol in the belt, you would naturally have less space for mags or grenades on the belt...limiting access to quicker reloads and nade tosses) belt slot interaction would require significantly less TU's. (other small weapons like the stun baton could be used in a similar fashion to the pistol, as can utility items like motion detectors or medkits)

*I would advocate the addition of the ability to mount slings on weapons, allowing them to be carried but not used in 1 hand for the duration belt slot/1-handed backpack items are used, improving the usability of belt slot interaction.

3. the body is what you carry on you at this time, armor, weapon, tool or nade per hand. basically the equip screen minus utility slot.

to counteract some of the negative aspects of having a backpack and usable belt slot.

-backpack options are extremely limited, allowing only 1 primary or sizable utility or up to 4 belt sized items (nades, C4, mags)...this be easily show-able where in your idea the utility item would be. shields are exception is the fact that they are extremely big and basically unable to be fit on or in a backpack in any reasonable fashion.

-heavy weapon ammo is bigger in the belt then rifle/pistol ammo and handgrenades. 3 boxes of LMG ammo is notably clunkier to carry around then 3 mags of AR/pistol rounds

-a small bar under the UI could show the content of the belt, allowing full visibility of the loadout. this would require a small shrinking of the portrait

-backpack content is unrelated to strength, if a explanation is needed one could state that the number of items is limited because they have to be accessed quickly in the heat of battle...meaning a limited amount of items can be pocketed or strapped in. in the equip UI, this can be shown as a backpack with 4 small pockets and 1 big center pocket, putting anything in the center crosses out all other slots, using the 2 size side slots crosses out the center. if a cross is not an option a mass of various non-intractable stuffs like food, boots and waterskins could be moved to the non accessible slot.

-high TU cost of large weapon switching prevents the instant covering up of a weakness, this action has to be premeditated, belt switching by using notably smaller weapons at the cost of readily available grenade and ammo capacity allows slight covering of a weakness at a cost.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I guess I didn't adequately explain in the original post is how much I don't like the Strength system for governing how much a unit can carry. I think it's another very fiddly system, for these reasons:

  • Equipping pre-set loadouts for soldiers is kinda annoying because you have to individually tweak each one every time depending on the soldier's strength
  • Experienced soldiers can carry loads of gear relative to newbies. They aquire this skill by adding slightly more to their loadout each battle, training a stat that is only really used to control how much weight you can carry. It all just seems a bit weird and pointless to me.
  • You run into "realistic weight" problems for items, where their real-world weight and size isn't always proportional to their in-game usefulness - e.g. if we decided grenades were overpowered, we couldn't increase their weight much because everyone knows roughly how much a grenade weighs.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the Strength system has to be removed entirely (although in the current design it is), but I think in its current form it's a pretty complicated system.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, EvilEagles said:

I think what you could do is just increase the weight penalty of everything. That or increase the weight penalty of primary weapons when they're put into the inventory instead of the hands to make it a little bit more disadvantageous to do so.

I am not sure about using weight as a limiter, actually.  I remember reading more X1 weight discussions than I'd like to.  The purpose of weight is not to make the game realistic, but a soft restriction of the backpack system. (size is the hard restriction.)

On one hand, I think the slot size itself should be a big enough constrain in current form and other proposals.  Removing weight will keep things simple.

On the other hand, my proposal won't discourages an LMG or Shielder to use a rifle, which is clearly not as balanced as sniper plus rifle.  There are ways around that, and weight is one of them.  Yeah that is bad.  I'm still thinking and will revise my proposal.

Edit: Proposal revised. Yes let's just remove equipment weight. :D

Edited by Sheepy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that the imposition of one primary (weapon) slot and one secondary (weapon/non weapon) slot is intended to provoke a crisis of choice. The player is offered many different choices but with only one slot free, the player must agonise over which choice to make. The issue I see with doing it like this is that XCOM already did this, and instead of provoking a crisis of choice, it  provoked a conformity of choice. When there are many options but few slots to put those options in, the player will optimise then mass-replicate the most optimal choices available from the list. It didn't take players in XCOM and XCOM 2 very long to thresh the chaff from the wheat and shortlist what gear was objectively the best to carry into battle, meaning that gear that was deemed sub-optimal was never (or very rarely) carried into battle, and may as well as never had the time and development resources poured into it in the first place. This is why in Long War and Long War 2 the number of starting slots are doubled and sometimes trebled. Long War has a larger equipment list, and without the slots freed for players to take "must haves", they will never experiment with the "might haves".

 

Furthermore, given the proposed skill system in the solider thread, the question of whether a solider would take game-breaking combos of weapons/gear becomes moot once a player starts putting points into a specific skill area. Once a solider starts to have skills put into... take the example from the OP - sniper rifles, the player will naturally optimise that solider towards sniper rifles and very little else, especially if the skill system encourages specialisation against generalisation. If it's notably more expensive to have a solider skill up in both sniper rifles and shotguns than to specialise only sniper rifles, you guide the player towards using specific "builds" without brute-forcing the situation in the inventory screen. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, the freedom of inventory is one of the most important aspects of the game. I like the Firaxis X-Com series. They're fun games, though less replayable than the 90s games or Xenonauts, and my least favorite change in the Firaxis games is how the inventory is limited.

My ideal inventory system would pretty much be the one from X1, with a better UI and slightly better balance. I also understand why the slot system is attractive and easier to work with.

Chris, you use the example of multiple primary weapons, and I think it's a great one - to me, it represents the kind of thing that should be allowed but should also be balanced. So I would favor a backpack + belt system, where the belt is for a sidearm and grenades, and backpack is for everything else that fits, including possibly another primary weapon. To balance it well, I think it would be sufficient to introduce a "this action consumes all TU" mechanic. So a soldier can switch their primary weapon to the one in the backpack, but that will set their TU to 0 (and they need at least 50% of their TU remaining to do it in the first place). You can similarly balance switching of utility items like Medkits / psi shields if you need to.

While the Strength mechanic in X1 to control carry weight was indeed fiddly, let's not forget that the strength statistic was in fact used quite well for some other mechanics in the game, affecting heavy weapon use and grenade throwing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Max_Caine said:

The issue I see with doing it like this is that XCOM already did this, and instead of provoking a crisis of choice, it  provoked a conformity of choice. When there are many options but few slots to put those options in, the player will optimise then mass-replicate the most optimal choices available from the list.

The problem is, that in XCOM there is not any crisis of choise, because there is no any choise at all, there are streamlined classes, with streamlined loadouts of gear, and only action, that player can do with it is upgrade the gear when he get access to new tier of weapon\armor. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am reminded that a lot of equipment today is multi-purpose.  Like a grenade launcher/rifle combination weapon our seals sometimes carry.  Having many different single purpose weapons is old and outdated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An earlier poster emphasized a very important point- Sniper/Shotgunners sacrifice very important utility- my standard riflemen would carry six-plus grenades into battle, plus a medkit, plus maybe a brick of C4 or a spare rocket, plus usually a bit more ammo than I think is necessary. Sniper/Shotgunners are often restricted to the bare minimum- their two weapons, maybe a smoke grenade if I can make it work. Specialists make another example- their heavy rocket launcher, grenades, explosives, etc. all come at the cost of reducing ammunition (and sometimes armor), and they never carry medkits.

Part of what I loved about Xenonauts was the ability for me to work out more freeform solutions to tactical problems by trying to bring more crap with me- a shield soldier would typically carry a shotgun, riflemen sometimes carried rocket launchers, snipers often carried pistols and grenades or a shotgun, etc., which allowed me to adapt to the absurd difference when, say, an alien ship crashed in the Arctic- breaching snipers are useless, shotgunners in the Arctic open fields are worthless. Letting me merge the two just means I don't have to drag along dead weight for half the mission.

 

I like most of the changes in Xenonauts 2 that I'm seeing, but the inventory system changes I loathe. I also feel like the way your original post is made (one positive, a neutral, and four negatives) belies just how significant your positive aspect is.

As for strength- if you want to dump that it's fine. I've seen a number of other excellent suggestions in the thread for balancing this mechanic that don't require that, just don't take away player choice in the process.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can soldiers still pick up fallen comrades to rescue them or their equipment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Severvus said:

The problem is, that in XCOM there is not any crisis of choice, because there is no any choice at all, there are streamlined classes, with streamlined loadouts of gear, and only action, that player can do with it is upgrade the gear when he get access to new tier of weapon\armor. 

I think Max is mainly referring to the gadgets - medkits, scope, stun gun, vest, plating, combat stim, and mind shield.  EW adds beacon and reaper rounds.  XCOM 2 expands and updates the later into various ammos.

And the dramatically reduced option really doesn't leave much real choices, I agree.  A solo mind shield or a medkit that can cure and detox anyone?  Ammo that increases accuracy or ammo that hurts more and blocks enemies' special abilities?  The choices are obvious for me, and if X2 mind shield does not affects beyond the equipping soldier, I don't see why I'd want to spend a slot on it.

But I'm willing to give the system the benefit of doubt, because we have a lot more soldiers and thus a lot more slots.  Starts with 8 and goes way up.  Any item that is useful to the squad, such as medkit, motion scanner, and C4, should have a easier time finding a place.  They do compete with secondary weapons directly though.  My intuition is those weapons may be hard to balance against squad utilities.  Not sure.

 

9 hours ago, Larry Burstyn said:

I am reminded that a lot of equipment today is multi-purpose.  Like a grenade launcher/rifle combination weapon our seals sometimes carry.  Having many different single purpose weapons is old and outdated.

I hope that would be made easier in term of game balance by the increased opportunity cost of the slot system.  But I think they are not as practical as people tends to believe (see the replacement of M203 which is obviously designed to be standalone, the way US commandos field test them from what I've read).

I really wish goldhawk will make it possible - it's a pretty popular demand, and it can be used for many other purposes such as multi-firing modes of laser and plasma or as simple as knife melee/throw - but I kind of prefer if the grenade launcher remains a modding probability rather than base game.

 

1 hour ago, wanderer said:

Can soldiers still pick up fallen comrades to rescue them or their equipment?

This has been asked a long time ago and as I remember the answer was non-conclusive.  If we keep the slots (which is the question here) and do body pickup, I expect it to be done like XCOM 2 - you won't lost your stuffs but you can't use them either.  A good system.

Edited by Sheepy
typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Sheepy said:

And the dramatically reduced option really doesn't leave much real choices, I agree.  A solo mind shield or a medkit that can cure and detox anyone?  Ammo that increases accuracy or ammo that hurts more and blocks enemies' special abilities?  The choices are obvious for me, and if X2 mind shield does not affects beyond the equipping soldier, I don't see why I'd want to spend a slot on it.

I`ve said about that in my post...in XCOM we have choice in details (and it is very obvious), but have not any choice in general (I really don`t like that gameitself points who of my soldiers will be sniper, and who will be rifleman, maybe i want to give that one with hight prescision the LMG, to allow him to shot out even very tough enemies)...

23 minutes ago, Sheepy said:

But I'm willing to give the system the benefit of doubt, because we have a lot more soldiers and thus a lot more slots.  Starts with 8 and goes way up.  Any item that is useful to the squad, such as medkit, motion scanner, and C4, should have a easier time finding a place.  They do compete with secondary weapons directly though.  My intuition is those weapons may be hard to balance against squad utilities.  Not sure.

In the morning I`ll post some of my thoughts about this, but right now... well... In main post Chris every time points on "useless" pistol, because anyone could equip soldier with a shotgun. It makes mefeel, that he can`t see a whole picture and whole potential of his oun ideas. Actually, no commander in strong mind will equip sniper with a shotgun, secondary sniper weapon would rather be something pistol size (pistol or SMG). But... everything later =) Here is deep night already.

Edited by Severvus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you did great work with X1, so i am sure you'll do great with X2.

based on my own experience i can say that carrying a backpack into battle is unrealistic. that being said only having a belt is also unrealistic. we mount holsters for battle equipment onto our armor, and use slings for our main weapons. US snipers today carry both a sniper rifle and a normal M4 (assault rifle), though when the bullets start flying they use the M4. when they go off to do sniper activities, they carry everything with them, then they set up with their sniper rifle in a place and hand their gear (M4 and backpack) off to their spotter. given how the soldiers deploy in Xenonauts they are closer to SWAT than soldiers, so backpacks would not make sense.

all of that being said being able to mount the equipment onto your body for quick and easy access would be realistic. the amount one can strap to your body is more than most people think. when i deployed last i had a radio, 3 extra M4 - assualt rifle mags (30rnds each), 2 extra M9 - pistol mags (10rnds each), 1 IFAK - single person first aid kit, 1 PFD - life vest, 1 multitool, and a flashlight strapped to my body armor. i carried an M4, and an M9, the M9 was in a holster attached to my belt, the M4 on a sling. in my pockets i carried a lot of extra stuff, most non-battle related such as keys and wallet, but also job specific stuff as well. if i was in the army and a grunt i would have grenades on me as well, and odds are i'd have some sort of job specific thing like breaching compound or a larger manpack radio. comparing what i took with me that i could access in battle (not in my 3 day pack) was about the same equipment accessible via the backpack in X1.

SWAT carries far less gear than soldiers, even after the soldiers drop their patrol packs (backpacks). they load out for that specific mission, with advanced knowledge of the terrain. basically the loadout screen would fit perfectly for having advanced access to the map. for tactical flexibility maybe have a slot for hands? so the sniper can carry a shotgun or something like that, then drop it and pull out their sniper rifle and set up. when the exfill they can holster their rifle and pick up their shotgun. this would also allow oversized equipment like shields or your fallen brothers (for taking them back to evac).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, jamoecw said:

 i can say that carrying a backpack into battle is unrealistic. that being said only having a belt is also unrealistic.

Hah =) hou about carry of both LMG and fullscale RPG-7? (it`s real here in Russia)... modern soldier carry in combat actually tons of different gear (just like roman legionarie), and in the game, for me backpack was a symbol of all that additional pockets, that is used in modern equipment, and that why i`ve recommended to Chris to look at "Brigade E5" inventory system, that is at one side much more complex, and maybe hard to realize, but atother side several times more flexible and realistic, than everything, that was in XCom-style games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a useful thread with some good points, so keep the discussion coming. To be clear - the example of the shotgun / sniper soldier was just to illustrate my point that a soldier able to take both the weapons and switch freely between them without penalties would be overpowered. I am aware there are already limitations on loading up with additional weapons and TU costs for swapping between them; my point is just that whetever system we settle on must inflict some cost on the soldier when they gain the extra flexibility that comes with carrying an additional weapon (with a bigger cost for a larger weapon).

The backpack seems like it's the only major area of disagreement between what I was originally planning and what most people want. Taking the time to write out my original post and skimming through this discussion, it strikes me that I'm not really opposed to the idea of a backpack but I think we need to ensure appropriate costs are applied for taking extra gear. The Strength system seems the obvious way of doing it, but I really don't think it worked well in X1 - it made the inventory very fiddly and micromanagey. Perhaps it would be more fruitful to consider reworking that instead.

I also think the Secondary slot is going to fix a lot of the biggest problems with the inventory. Part of the reason I wanted to change the design was because the inventory was just so clunky to use in combat, but with a load of that being fixed by the new Secondary slot I may have gone overboard removing the backpack too. You'd only have to interact with the fiddly stuff in GC when you were swapping to a new Primary or Secondary you had in your backpack, and if there were a penalty for carrying stuff in your backpack (e.g. a TU penalty) then not every player would want to do that with their soldiers.

So, yeah - I'm thinking we could add in a X1 style backpack but then just impose a -TU cost on the soldier for each item you put in the backpack depending on its size. That way you don't have to tweak your loadout for every soldier depending on how much Strength they have, so equipping teams is much faster ... and the ones carrying more gear are less mobile that the ones with a lighter load.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Severvus said:

Hah =) hou about carry of both LMG and fullscale RPG-7? (it`s real here in Russia)... modern soldier carry in combat actually tons of different gear (just like roman legionarie), and in the game, for me backpack was a symbol of all that additional pockets, that is used in modern equipment, and that why i`ve recommended to Chris to look at "Brigade E5" inventory system, that is at one side much more complex, and maybe hard to realize, but atother side several times more flexible and realistic, than everything, that was in XCom-style games.

Do you have a source for that? I find it very difficult to believe that any soldiers regularly deploy into combat with an LMG and all the ammunition required to use it effectively, plus a RPG or rocket launcher of any variety and enough ammo to use it effectively. Everything I've read suggests that a single soldier generally carries only one of those weapons and even then usually needs assistance from carrying all the required ammunition for it.

EDIT - Also, this is one of the major reasons why I want to move away from a Strength-based system for carrying items. When people start talking about how much items actually weigh and talking about how much a soldier can actually carry, the debate stops being about what makes the game fun and enjoyable to play (e.g. soldiers have hilariously short vision ranges and are terrible shots because it makes the game more interesting). Using a TU penalty system rather than a weight system at least provides a level of abstraction; it means nobody will pop up telling me that an M16 actually weighs 4kg instead of 7kg and its ruining the game for them.

  • Like 2

Share this post


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

This has been asked a long time ago and as I remember the answer was non-conclusive.  If we keep the slots (which is the question here) and do body pickup, I expect it to be done like XCOM 2 - you won't lost your stuffs but you can't use them either.  A good system.

Yes, I was hoping for a more conclusive answer! I am less interested in the weapon slots (as they relate to carrying soldiers) and more interested in whether we can carry soldiers at all. If a mission goes badly wrong you will try to get as much stuff back onto the transport as possible, another reason backpacks were useful. I cannot be the only person who realised they were not going to win the mission and had my remaining soldiers run back to the transport grabbing as much stuff/soldiers as they can on the way.

It is often the case that losing armour and weapons is disasterous as they are so expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This is an idea from XCOM Long War, and might not be a good one because I'm on the train at the moment, but basically a unit's strength to carry items IS its movement range (or in our case, TU) as well. So I'd imagine every soldier in Xenonauts 2 has a certain amount of TU, and that amount decreases for every piece of equipment you put on that soldier. This would solve the problem of micromanaging equipment weight to match each soldier's strength, because every additional piece of equipment would immediately add a direct cost on his/her combat efficiency.

EDIT: Oops, didn't read Chris' Edited comment. I think Chris came to quite a good solution.

Edited by EvilEagles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Larry Burstyn said:

I am reminded that a lot of equipment today is multi-purpose.  Like a grenade launcher/rifle combination weapon our seals sometimes carry.  Having many different single purpose weapons is old and outdated.

this is very attractive on paper, but in real world terms it isn't that great. the M4/M203 is a good example (which you brought up). on paper you have a rifleman, that can flip a switch and have his weapon become a SMG, or switch his hands and it becomes a grenade launcher. if he needs to breach a door he simply has to do an ammo swap. same with launching a flare for night ops, or laying down a smoke screen. he can flip up a magnifier and get the use of a scoped weapon for long range shooting.

sounds great right?

well let us take the extra duties that are needed for each of those roles and stack them all on a single person, now that person is way overburdened. take all the little compromises you get from using a multitool instead of a dedicated tool and now every situation your guy is in he under performs. now add on all the extra training to get your guy able to do all of that as well, and now the 9 month long training course for basic competency for your rifleman is 19 months (6 months boot camp + 3 months basic infantry + 2 months grenade school + 4 months advanced marksmanship + 2 months SRF school + 2 months CQB school). the training cycle to keep his skills sharp goes from 1 week every year to 7 weeks (1 week basic weapons qualifications + 2 weeks ordinance maintenance refresher + 3 weeks abbreviated marksmanship course + 1 week CQB drills). logistically it looks better, however once you get into the details you still have issues in that the extra cost of the tool (M4 w/ M203 and advanced ACOG) is down with any problem on any part of it, which means that you add all the problems you would have together to get the casualty rate for the equipment.

it doesn't sound very good now. given how the military (US) has added extra 'all hands' training in the form of sexual assault prevention training, equal opportunity training, etc. as well as the scaling back of personnel and the scaling up of peace time duties, that means that the extra time needed to keep things running smoothly with such a set up just isn't there. the army has figured that out and has been looking for a way to shift things to keep the army functional (if your guy makes a mistake casualties skyrocket), and the navy has been having a pretty strong wake up call to similar SOPs. i don't know how they will solve the problem, but one answer is to go back to dedicated tools instead of multitools (at least for the army, for the navy it isn't nearly as simple, not that it is a good option to begin with).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There was always a problem with use-to-improve systems. On the one hand, this strength system has logical basis (going with load trains strength), on the other hand it created alot  of useful, but dull micromanagement and non-intuitive reason to load your soldiers just for load, not for utility. From this position I should agree that this strength system is a bit bad from gameplay perspective. At the same time, the difference between rookies and veterans are somehow too big tho. And that's hard from reality.

So, there are some other options except of ridding off strength at all. 

For instance, if we increase weight impact multiplying non-penalized load by two (moving the range of non-penalized load to the half of it) and add exponential grow for weight penalty (very small at start and really big in the end) we get the situation where you're not really happy to have two weapons and a lot of weapons and flex items without enough strength(actually, endurance), because you're paying for it by your TUs.

Second thing that can be done is spot factor, which I mentioned in other topic. Obviously, highly-loaded soldier has bigger profile(full backpack) and he is far more loud(hard to be silent moving with 25 kg load at your backpack).

Numbers are rough, but idea should be obvious. It's not a problem of this strength(endurance) stat, it's the problem that there're no reasons to not upgrade it and use it at full ASAP. But if we pay for it by TU and visibility - we already need to think twice what to choose.

It doesn't fit this topic, but no reason to go somewhere else for one idea. In fight strength should impact two factors - recoil control and melee damage. And I dont remember any impact on melee. Maybe you should add something close to "(strength-50)/2"*Base_dmg.

Edited by GedxBlood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×