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Charon

@Chris, Shooting range

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Posted (edited)

I think i came across one of the best ideas i have ever met:

3.) This game needs a shooting range where you can test your weapons against known and unarmed enemies

Here is the orginal comment: https://steamcommunity.com/app/223830/discussions/0/1729837292629920778/

 

The idea would be testing range where you can load dummies, armoured dummies and later advanced robots into, including basic placeable cover. You can also load your real soldiers into the battle, equipted with everything you can currently produce. For you can either make them infinitely available, or, for the micromanagement enthusiast, produceable. Every dummy will have parameters you can set, with the dummies stat being the maximum. For instance you can produce a 2k hp dummy to test equipment on, but you only want to set it to 500 hp, you would be able to do that, but not to 2.5k hp. The dummy would have some equipment slots, mainly for armour, but not necessarily limited to that. Robot dummies would have advanced stats you can set like strenght, accuracy and reflexes. As an ultimate dark dummy you could even put a "living" being into the testing evironment, for testing suppression or psionic abilties.

In X-Division terms you could now use your live captured aliens for live action trailers, you can strip of the armour of live aliens to test them on dummies, with the laboratory sensor giving you more feedback about every statistical traceable data you can get your hands on: Number of bullets missed, number of bullets hit, total damage, armour degradation, current armour (approximitelly or hidden), damage split up into damage types, suppression (on living species), and and and. You would be able to throw a Xenomorph Queen against a target equipted with Praetor/Sentinel/Wolf and see how well she does against it. You could equipt robot dummies with your weapons and perform live tests on living species. Tests could be shut down at any moment, but they would be succeptible to the same rules as real ground combat. If you accidently kill your own soldier in the training chamber he is subject the same mechanics as in a normal Ground Combat mission. No experience can be gained that way though.
Eqipment used in the test chamber will be subject to the same rules as in Ground Combat, eg. if your throw an incendiary grenade you have 1 less in your base. Explosives could be tested this way, rockets can be tested this way. You could even use remnants of androns for testing purposes to discover new battlefield tactics and such.
The whole testing chamber could be your own formable Ground Combat testing field, a mini Ground Combat mission so to speak.

Research would be tightly tied into the testing chamber, with research unlocking new and better abilities to test equipment on. Better technology could slowly introduce mechanics to the player if they discover it during the training. This idea can be heavily expanded on and seems highly integrateable.

 

(Clears throat)

If the target goal for X2 is 20 to 25 mission per game than this feature seems to be big to be worth the realisation, eg. if youfinish the game in 20 to 25 mission ground combat needs to be more or less self explanatory. But a testing range would be perfect if you want to have a more sandbox like game and dont want to compromise on complexity. This and a well made tutorial would open up the game to new people, while advancing what the XCOM genre is standing for in a meaningful way. Not only for X2, but i also think Pheonix Point and other XCOM games could profit from such an idea.

 

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@Chris@Dagar@Svinedrengen@Phoenix1x+52

 

Edited by Charon
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I think a neater solution to this problem is just to do what the original X-Com did, and show the actual alien stats when you capture and research a live one (and also show the weapon stats more clearly). The maths is actually relatively simple, it's just that in X1 the full numbers are never given to the player which was probably a mistake in hindsight.

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

I think a neater solution to this problem is just to do what the original X-Com did, and show the actual alien stats when you capture and research a live one (and also show the weapon stats more clearly). The maths is actually relatively simple, it's just that in X1 the full numbers are never given to the player which was probably a mistake in hindsight.

Thats actually something that we did in X-Division, or rather @PALU. Every alien captured alive gives a small report about their relative armour strenghts and weaknesses.

Quote

 

Vivisection of a Sebillian Guard has provided us with some minor improvements in the understanding of the weaknesses of this species.

The Sebillian Guard's armour, together with its hide, provides a good protection against Kinetic damage. While it protects against other kinds of damage (i.e. Energy, Chemical, and Incendiary), it should be possible to punch through it. These troops have been seen wielding Ballistic and Flamer rifles, as well as Ballistic sniper rifles (which doesn't seem to be a good fit for their close range preference and comparatively poor eye sight, but I still wouldn't try to convince the bullets they're wrong).

 

 

On the subject of giving out concrete armour/hp/other values i strongly have to disagree. 1600 of pure testing hours on X-Division have revealed that you should make the foe as mysterious as possible. What is important in a video game is to capture feelings and emotions, not to make it a numbers game, at least not on the surface.

This idea is not about solving a problem. This idea is about expanding the gameplay experience of the player to encourage experimentation and different approaches towards the game and life. Apart from the fact that its cool as hell to make the comparatively hard capture of a queen and then let it run amok in your testing range. Its about gradual teaching of gameplay mechanics, and a safe environment to test them. It touches upon the subject which most more complex games have been lacking: a tutorial and playful discovery and explanations of mechanics and tactics.

Writing numbers into the Xpedia doesnt encourage players to experiment, rather the opposite. It encourages them to find the "correct" solution with numbers.

But thats just my oppinion :).

Cheers

 

@drages

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Posted (edited)

My opinion: Yes for training dummies and an according map, maybe even life specimen, just to get to know your equipment and their resistances. Also yes to the shooting range giving you a safe test environment for game mechanisms. For example, signs with writing on it could pop up from the dummy whenever something happens; "suppressed", "shooting back", stuff like that. Also yes to being able to test other equipment like shock batons, grenades and medpaks (on human dummies).

No to your soldier being able to kill herself there; this should be a safe, testable environment. No to producing dummies; they should come with the first Alien analysis or some early research. No to other links between shooting range and research. KISS.

@Chris I think @Charon is right in the sense in that a simulation environment like this is far superior than to provide the numbers. Hardly two weeks go by without someone asking basic mechanical stuff about the game, and even Charon as one of the main modders from X-Division is not too confident in his answers sometimes. I for example intend to test the reaction behaviour of non-weapon equipment and empty hands somewhere in the next weeks, just because there is no other way to find out. An extra map where you could do that would be great. This gives a far more intuitive understanding of a certain game mechanism than presenting numbers in the Xenopedia in my opinion.

 

Quote

On the subject of giving out concrete armour/hp/other values i strongly have to disagree. 1600 of pure testing hours on X-Division have revealed that you should make the foe as mysterious as possible. What is important in a video game is to capture feelings and emotions, not to make it a numbers game, at least not on the surface.

No to that and the usage of the shooting range then. For me, decisions are the compelling thing about tactical/strategic games, not mystery. I can play a point-and-click adventure for that. I encourage you to play some Invisible, Inc. so you can see how compelling tactical gameplay with perfect information can be.

Edited by Dagar
Moar opinionated text

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Posted (edited)

Information regarding aliens needs to be readily available and handy to access, but certain hard numbers(not all) should not be shown. Knowing your foe is the best direction in understanding how to kill them without needing to test fire your weapons first in the field. It was always great to try out that new researched weapon without exactly knowing how it was going to play out and it could easily back fire which would take you back to the drawing board. Perhaps a small combatant to this would be hit point numbers that would show when hitting a target so you could learn how much damage is being dealt and with experience you could make better judgments. I dont mind a bit of a numbers game, but somewhat controlled.

In regards to the alien info, in X1 it was revealed through alien lore from the geoscape usually in a wall of text(in a separate menu) that usually would only be viewed once or twice on initial uncovering. It possibly needs to be broken down so that lore is separated from actual alien stats or info like their strengths and weaknesses(similar to what Charon quoted but not in paragraph form). The big kicker here is that it could be additionally added to the ground combat so when new/existing aliens are revealed you can study them for initial info on how to kill them.

For example, starting a new mission and revealing a Caesan you would click on them to reveal an expandable information icon or portrait that appears at the top of the screen. It could show a simple head portrait and a small list of known things about the alien. The more you play through and research certain things the more the stats are filled with known information and on initial first contact most of the stats would be classed as "unknown". It would give a real feel to actually wanting to know more about what your fighting rather than seeing them as a "new" alien threat that has increased health and a different skin(similar to an RPG but without the leveling elements).

If you get into trouble, sitting back and putting a plan together before rushing your turn could better predict the outcome of the next turn. You might just find out that one particular alien is more aggressive than another, or one has different resistances/health and rank standings. This would make you try for the weaker alien first, raid his gun and then secondly take on the difficult more resisted one with your new alien tech. You would probably really need to add a more randomized stat system though for it to work so no two Caesans are alike. It would keep you on your feet.

There could be many strategic possibilities and layers with this that i haven't even thought off.

Edited by roxxed
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A simulator sounds fun, but I'm not sure it would play out well. I like the idea that the science reports give you technical data (projectile velocity etc) but a round in the training room gives you a different, more practical, set of info - or just some hands on experience without much risk. Although, I'm struggling to think what the simulator would feel like. If it is just target practice that is hardly any fun. In the Firaxis xcom, animations make it quite fun to blow up an alien, but xenonauts is less silly than that. The joy is in the strategy, so unless the shooting range could involve some kind of problem you'd need to solve with strategy, it would be like fish in a barrel. Not really that challenging, so not really that interesting.

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