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Ruggerman

[V5 General] Rank Structure

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In most military structures, within small units, there must be a leader to give orders to their subordinates. So having 5 captains in one small unit would lead to command problems.

So we would need to find a mechanism to advance the system of promotion, within the game!

If the increase of stats could lead to a soldier being able for promotion, that person would need to attend training, to reach that next level of command.

I hope that this discussion, would lead to ideas, on finding a more realistic way of advancing our virtual troops to higher rank level in the game.

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Why do stats need to relate to levels of promotion? A colonel is not necessarily the one with the most speed / accuracy / strength. A colonel is the one who serves well over time and gets promoted the most by their superiors. 

Ranks are there in Xenonauts just as characters have levels in any RPG. It is to give a sense of progression. Getting promoted is superficial. Instead of calling your soldiers lvl 1, lvl 2 ... they are given military titles. In effect, all the soldiers are grunts as it is the player who gives the commands.

The same is true with the alien side - there is no evidence of a properly proportioned hierarchy of ranks and taking out the leader doesn't achieve much. There is no chain of command. The aliens' ranks are determined by the difficulty setting. A harder level means you have more high-stat aliens, and high-stat aliens are signified by a higher rank.

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I've also personally found if iffy when we have a military team where the entire frontline troops rank from Captain to Major or beyond, I never knew we were making entire fire teams out of Officers only.

I appreciated the original XCOM's rank system where the highest ranks are limited to the amount of troops you have and you can't have too many officers. You can have plenty of Squaddies and Sergeants but only a limited amount of Captains and only one Commander. Even if its more so superficial.

I know this is more fluff and aesthetics. Perhaps if there was a system where you can designate a certain amount of sufficiently higher troops into 'officer' roles that grant them a minor bravery/morale boost and confer that to other soldiers on a mission, but that's getting a bit extensive for a simple system.

 

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2 hours ago, Steelpoint said:

I've also personally found if iffy when we have a military team where the entire frontline troops rank from Captain to Major or beyond, I never knew we were making entire fire teams out of Officers only.

I appreciated the original XCOM's rank system where the highest ranks are limited to the amount of troops you have and you can't have too many officers. You can have plenty of Squaddies and Sergeants but only a limited amount of Captains and only one Commander. Even if its more so superficial.

I know this is more fluff and aesthetics. Perhaps if there was a system where you can designate a certain amount of sufficiently higher troops into 'officer' roles that grant them a minor bravery/morale boost and confer that to other soldiers on a mission, but that's getting a bit extensive for a simple system.

 

This.

Perhaps there can only ever be one top ranking official that has a major benefit if deployed in combat so you must take care of him. If he dies, its a strategic value to get your next best guy promoted through training to gain an edge for your team. Could work for the top 2 or 3 ranks so they have more team merit/special ability other than the general number of missions and stats gained. 

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Realism means nothing.

XCOM:UFO gives you 2 Captains for every 10 soldiers (or something), and they're always selected from your highest-stat troops. Mechanically, this means your men's morale doesn't improve so much when you rank up, but rather when you get more men. This is not my preferred method because rank doesn't directly correlate to power level. I like to see at a glance that my troops are strong because I have 5 colonels. In UFO rank is relative, in the new system it's absolute.

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Have ranking be separate. Have the player be the one to pick and promote.

You don't need a rank to indicate the power of indivudual solider. You can just show level. OR maybe a different badge for each level (NOT a rank badge, a completely separate badge)

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The "trained officers" approach definitely works, so long as you only have like 5 officers and officers make a big difference as in Long War. But that's not quite how it works in classic XCOM style.

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The only way I see to reconcile the 'realism' and 'gameplay' preferences here is to make officers different from enlisted- a Lieutenant would be about good solo as a corporal, and much worse than a Master Sergeant. But the Lieutenant would have some kind of command bonus applied to the entire battlefield.

At the upper end, a Colonel could provide a better version of the tactical bonus, or a base-wide leadership bonus.

 

It seems like bad design to make those bonuses just +numbers, and I don't see a good way to give them abilities like Long War did without changing the entire paradigm of X2. But there is plenty of precedent in fiction for officers to be overall better than ordinary soldiers; Col. Hannibal Smith is a force to be reckoned with by himself, much less as the leader of the A-Team.

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Maybe you could have a system where there are set numbers of ranks, and as a soldier improves over time, they can become eligible for a promotion BUT you can only promote so many people and at, maybe, set times.  Perhaps the conference of a senior rank gets a bonus of some sort, or a special ability?

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We went through all of this with X1. With X1, we asked "why are real world ranks being used?". The answer was that using ranks was a very quick way for someone to see how potent a solider was. We asked about offficer/solider structure. We were told no. I see quite a few people who followed X1's development. I'm surprised those people don't remember how often the topic came up, and how often it was shot down. Anyone remember the thread where a load of us suggested different rank titles because none of us liked the aesthetic of using real-world rank titles? None of it mattered. If you think you can get a rank structure into X2, good luck to you but you'll need a REALLY COMPELLING reason.

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because I really, really, really want it! ;)

I don't think that implementing a more realistic rank system would add to the game. Rank systems only make sense when a force is large enough to require segmenting and the imposition of a chain of command. The only commandable 'units' in xenonauts are a single soldier and a whole dropship load of soldiers. Both of which are under the player's direct command anyway. (although I do think that giving the player control over who gets promoted / earns a medal would be fun.) 

It does seem that the currently used system of rank names is a poor choice though. They are the wrong names. It is adopting a nomenclature which has inappropriate connotations. Surely the fact that the argument resurfaces attests to that. But then, 'engineers' could be considered the wrong name. Most of the engineers I know are involved in research and design - not assembly or manufacture. A technician or mechanic would be more apt titles. Yet 'engineer' is fit for purpose because it gives the right impression of what they do. Anyway, I think the argument that a real-world rank structure is a good way to signal the experience of the soldier is quite weak. It is undercut by the fact that it gives the wrong signal. There is surely a better system (that would hardly require effort in implementation) that has the right aesthetic. Even just keeping the currently used insignia, but stripping the title, would be a step up.  

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I now have a unit with no rank structure, as all are colonels, but they all still have their attributes increase after each ground combat, except strength.

If we are going to use a world military naming convention, to denote advancement within this game, then allowing the player to choose, and if I may say change the name of that character, it would add another level to this grand endeavour!!

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On ‎5‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 10:32 PM, Max_Caine said:

We went through all of this with X1. With X1, we asked "why are real world ranks being used?". The answer was that using ranks was a very quick way for someone to see how potent a solider was. We asked about offficer/solider structure. We were told no. I see quite a few people who followed X1's development. I'm surprised those people don't remember how often the topic came up, and how often it was shot down. Anyone remember the thread where a load of us suggested different rank titles because none of us liked the aesthetic of using real-world rank titles? None of it mattered. If you think you can get a rank structure into X2, good luck to you but you'll need a REALLY COMPELLING reason.

Rank is not a proper representation of potency, so if THAT was the reason back in X1, it was a really stupid one. No offense to the devs, but what's wrong with simple levels? A number is even MORE informative than rank, because your average player won't know the military rank structure.

Level is a soliders level (actual power), Rank is their Rank (and in small squads there would be only a few anyway).

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Yeah a number is the simplest way, but that does lack a little something. It is too similar to your average RPG where you get a lvl 12 Rogue etc. The soldiers are called Xenonauts - I think we're missing a trick not capitalising upon names that could link up with that.

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Trashman, with all due respect, you were around for X1 and you particpated a thread that specificaly discussed promotion and ranking where on the first page Chris was already expressing doubts about changing the rank system and what what he saw the system as. You were alright with the current ranks. I find it difficult to believe that you could have been ignorant of the reasons for the rank system in X1 given your active participation in a thread where Chris gives his final word on the subject. I'm not saying that you can't have changed your mind, but to to write a post above where there's an expressed level of surprise feels disengenous given your previous participation. 

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Sorry, I don't have photographic memory of every conversation I had on every forum (have you any idea how many game/modding forums I'm on and how many discussions on mechanics I had?). Right now, I don't recall that discussion at all.

That you went trough all the trouble to search and dig up all those threads is very....autistic?

 

Either way, if a simple level number is too bland, how about special badges? Does not have to be real-work rank badge, but something made-up.

Would be nice if one can track stats for soldiers - total aliens killed, kills by types, times wounded, average accuracy, etc..

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On 5/27/2019 at 3:48 AM, TrashMan said:

Rank is not a proper representation of potency, so if THAT was the reason back in X1, it was a really stupid one. No offense to the devs, but what's wrong with simple levels? A number is even MORE informative than rank, because your average player won't know the military rank structure.

Level is a soliders level (actual power), Rank is their Rank (and in small squads there would be only a few anyway).

I kind of agree with this. Experience improves your skills. Leadership is a whole different mechanic altogether.

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6 hours ago, TrashMan said:

That you went trough all the trouble to search and dig up all those threads is very....autistic?

I'd appreciate it if you don't use the word autistic like that. 

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On 5/28/2019 at 11:06 AM, TrashMan said:

Sorry, I don't have photographic memory of every conversation I had on every forum (have you any idea how many game/modding forums I'm on and how many discussions on mechanics I had?). Right now, I don't recall that discussion at all.

That you went trough all the trouble to search and dig up all those threads is very....autistic?

You forgot. Fair enough. But, autstic? 

i-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means.gif

I didn't go to any trouble at all. If you mouseover on any of those links, they all link to the same thread. This thread I initally pulled up when I was making a statement about the intentions of the devs, because I had forgotten what was actually said, and I prefer to do my due dilgence so I'm not talking out of my arse (not that it doesn't happen, but I prefer to check first). I happened to notice you had responded several times on that thread so it was easy to pull those comments and reference the same thread I had orginally pulled up for a different purpose. If you implying that's autistic, then you need an actual definitionHere you go.

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I have just got to the 100% of the Endgame, and have a team of soldier who are all Colonels, which one is the top guy, who knows, but if this is a simulation of para military organisation then men of this rank would not be in the front lines.

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5 hours ago, Ruggerman said:

I have just got to the 100% of the Endgame, and have a team of soldier who are all Colonels, which one is the top guy, who knows, but if this is a simulation of para military organisation then men of this rank would not be in the front lines.

Hannibal Smith had no problem being on the front lines in 1972...

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The aesthetic has never felt good. It didn't feel good in X1, it doesn't feel good now. But "the aesthetic doesn't feel good" hasn't been enough of a reason to change things. Ruggerman, you're going to need a more compelling reason than "it doesn't feel good to me". Take a poll, maybe? 

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13 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

 If you implying that's autistic, then you need an actual definitionHere you go.

I'm aware of the definition. But I'm also aware of a colloquial/free/common use.

 

Also, I don't think Ruggerman mentioned aesthetics. He simply said the rank feel odd and make no sense, and I agree. That's good enough of a reason for the simple reason there there IS no reason for them to be like they are in the first place. It certainly isn't for clarity, because while most people have heard of miltiary ranks, most also don't really understand those ranks.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, TrashMan said:

That's good enough of a reason for the simple reason there there IS no reason for them to be like they are in the first place.

There is also no good reason to mess with them since they are essentially meaningless, it's an aesthetics point only. You could just change it to something like Operative and Specialist etc, it still wouldn't make any real difference.

 

Edit2: To Clarify, changing the ranks serves no purpose unless you change a hell of a lot more to make it do something other than be a basic visual aid to a units experience/progression.

Edited by Kaiphus_Kain
Missed an n

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