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Wyldefyre_CP

So what's the deal with the Strength Attribute?

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This is the one attribute that NEVER seems to go up with any of my soldiers - it doesn't matter if I load them down with enough gear to incur a slight -1 or -2 TU penalty or not, no one EVER gets a Strength adjustment.  I had one character actually manage to pull off a reward of every other attribute EXCEPT Strength in one mission, lol ... 

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There also isn't a Training option for the Strength attribute, either, although whether Training actually does anything or not at this point in the game I'm kind of questioning, even when I did shell out the big bucks for the little Training Room ... but that's another topic.

So what's up with Strength - some of the characters would like to improve in this department so they can get on with wearing better armor and not having to be so limited on what else they can carry as they improve.

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Strength was only recently added again. AFAIK the original plan for X2 was to get rid of strength attribute completely, so if you set up a loadout, every soldier could carry it. The idea was to limit the fiddeling around with inventory each time there needs a soldier to be swapped because he was wounded or died or other reasons.

Obviously, the players did not like it, so we are now stuck in a situation where strength is added back in but cannot be improved, yet. If I remeber correctly, Chris commented somewhere that they are looking into ways how strength can be improved - which I understand as a hint that they do not want this attribute to be trained the same way as the others, so the strength differences between soldiers would not become as big as they were in X1.

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41 minutes ago, wulf 21 said:

If I remeber correctly, Chris commented somewhere that they are looking into ways how strength can be improved - which I understand as a hint that they do not want this attribute to be trained the same way as the others, so the strength differences between soldiers would not become as big as they were in X1.

That would be highly disappointing, imo.  For me, Strength has always been a key attribute in deciding which soldiers would be assigned heavier weapons / heavier armor.  If their accuracy was okay but their TUs were crappy, they'd get MG or RL duty (I guess it's GL duty in this version, lol).  If their accuracy was horrid but their TUs were good, they'd get assault duty, along with some of the heaviest armor / shielding I could provide them - some of my earlier assault units had to find new jobs as riflemen because they didn't have the Strength to keep up with the new, heavier armor requirements I was assigning in hopes of keeping those squad members alive more often.  So Strength actually played a major role in my decision process - also keeping in mind that in X1 your accuracy with weapons classed as 'Heavy' depended at least somewhat on how well you could keep the weapon 'up' in terms of having a decent Strength score, too ... aside from the fact that Predator Armor basically wiped out the need for a good Strength score eventually, I felt Strength was good where it was.  I never minded that I might have to make some allowances for soldiers getting by with a little less gear if they were replacing a previous, injured or dead soldier who had been somewhat stronger than the new person was.  I DO like how you can now sub-out replacement people and keep the gear settings exactly the same, if you wish, but I don't see the need to nix the Strength stat b/c of what I feel is the very minor 'inconvenience' of checking that your new soldier isn't overloaded ridiculously before setting out on a new mission.  I hope the road to improving Strength isn't butchered needlessly going forward.  Just my 2 cents.

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Strength gain hasn't been implemented because I don't know exactly how it should work quite yet. The fundamental problem is actually exactly what you outlined in your post Wyldfyre - strength is very important for which soldiers get heavy weapons and heavy armour, but after a four or five missions in X1 any soldier will gain +10 strength and even a weak soldier ends up being fairly strong and can carry whatever they want (because obviously I can't make weapons and armour too heavy, otherwise rookie soldiers won't be able to use most of their equipment).

Whereas a soldier that starts with high strength and can carry heavy things right from the start doesn't gain much advantage from further strength gain ... which makes strong soldiers kinda pointless. After a few missions, everyone becomes an Olympic weightlifter and it's irrelevant. More variance in the starting stats might mitigate this to some extent, but I'm not really sure. Or maybe a system where armour can become somewhat more protective at the cost of more weight. Something that makes Strength more interesting than in X1.

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Imo not every soldier should have the same caps (many original XCOM mods do this). Or there should be diminishing returns (original XCOM does this for "secondary" stats). Super-soldiers with no specialities aren't as fun.

But yeah basic solutions help too. Like making the base higher and lowering the gain (possibly implementing gains < 0 or making strength less inflated so you can show the gains as integers), or making it more random, or adding heavy armor, or the exo armor from X-Division that I'm told caps out your strength, or really heavy weapons that can take up your whole inventory as in the original XCOM.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Chris said:

Strength gain hasn't been implemented because I don't know exactly how it should work quite yet. The fundamental problem is actually exactly what you outlined in your post Wyldfyre - strength is very important for which soldiers get heavy weapons and heavy armour, but after a four or five missions in X1 any soldier will gain +10 strength and even a weak soldier ends up being fairly strong and can carry whatever they want (because obviously I can't make weapons and armour too heavy, otherwise rookie soldiers won't be able to use most of their equipment).

Whereas a soldier that starts with high strength and can carry heavy things right from the start doesn't gain much advantage from further strength gain ... which makes strong soldiers kinda pointless. After a few missions, everyone becomes an Olympic weightlifter and it's irrelevant. More variance in the starting stats might mitigate this to some extent, but I'm not really sure. Or maybe a system where armour can become somewhat more protective at the cost of more weight. Something that makes Strength more interesting than in X1.

Thanks for clarifying - I think in X1, as long as you were topping out each of your characters with right around their max carry weight, nearly each mission they would all get a +1 as far as Strength went (yes, I was guilty as charged of demanding everyone haul as much gear as they could to start getting those bonuses ...)  I have a few ideas which, used individually or in some combination, might help prevent just what you mentioned above, yet still make increasing soldier's strength a reasonable thing.

1) Change the TU penalty for gear.  Rather than wait for your gear to go 'over' the prescribed limit to incur any penalties, once your character is past the 50% carry capacity, fatigue starts to set in and they start to lose TUs - not as drastically as the 'after max weight' penalty seems to be now, but something like ...... 1) at 51%-65% of max carry, -1 TU  2) at 66%-75% of max carry, -2 TU, 3) at 76%-100%, -3 TU.  This means you could still subject all your soldiers to the brutal demands of carrying a full pack to improve Strength, but it would come at a cost some might not see worth subjecting each of their characters to ... for instance, snipers in X1, after a few extra TU pts were picked up, enjoyed the ability, if they were already pointing in the right direction, of being able to fire 2 fairly decently aimed shots at a long distance enemy on their turn ... forcing them to carry a max load would really hamper that ability.  I don't think this is a stand-alone solution, but employed with one or the other of further suggestions, I think it might get the job you're looking for done.

2) Have the chance for acquiring a Strength bonus after combat be a low % random chance, perhaps as follows.  1) 5% chance for a soldier under the 51% carry weight and suffering no penalties to still eventually pick up a point or two of Strength along the way. 2) 10% chance for a soldier with TU penalty -1 due to carry weight penalty to receive a a Strength bonus.  3) 20% chance for soldier with a TU -2 penalty, and 4)35% chance for soldier at max carry or + after each combat.

3) Rather than assigning any actual bonuses for training at the training centers for X days, make the X days trained part of the bonus chance applied each time the soldier comes home from a mission.  These bonuses would continue to accrue until the soldier actually did get a bonus, then the Days Trained bonus would reset.

Edited by Wyldefyre_CP

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My suggestion: have the strength stat go up only in soldiers who are carrying around gear of a heavy type: rocket launchers, LMGs, padded armour etc. Those peeps have a chance to gain a +1 to strength. By the late game, those dudes are the ones bringing the super heavy plasma death cannons. Conversely, have TU progress for soldiers carrying lighter types of gear. Those soldiers get faster throughout your campaign, becoming better scouts, but less suited to packing a BFG. 

Pros:

  • You don't end up making a mule of each soldier
  • It encourages a kind of class development (by stat) but doesn't restrict it too much
  • Drives a rationale for hiring strong soldiers
  • Also fixes the TU development process (is it still based on how much TU the soldier uses in the mission?)

Cons:

  • More work to code and display the relevant info in the game
  • Added complexity for the player
  • You could end up forcing the scenario of 'heavy' soldiers who are fat and slow and can't run from cover to cover

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Making strength gain a tradeoff that prevents TU gain is an interesting dynamic. If can either get a -1.5 reduction to the TU penalty for being overloaded or +1 TU, but not both, a soldier who wouldn't get much benefit from a higher strength has no reason to carry extra stuff solely to build strength, but someone who wants to have heavy armor and weapons benefits somewhat more from the strength than the straight TUs... until they don't anymore, and then they just get more TUs.

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21 hours ago, Chris said:

Strength gain hasn't been implemented because I don't know exactly how it should work quite yet. The fundamental problem is actually exactly what you outlined in your post Wyldfyre - strength is very important for which soldiers get heavy weapons and heavy armour, but after a four or five missions in X1 any soldier will gain +10 strength and even a weak soldier ends up being fairly strong and can carry whatever they want (because obviously I can't make weapons and armour too heavy, otherwise rookie soldiers won't be able to use most of their equipment).

Whereas a soldier that starts with high strength and can carry heavy things right from the start doesn't gain much advantage from further strength gain ... which makes strong soldiers kinda pointless. After a few missions, everyone becomes an Olympic weightlifter and it's irrelevant. More variance in the starting stats might mitigate this to some extent, but I'm not really sure. Or maybe a system where armour can become somewhat more protective at the cost of more weight. Something that makes Strength more interesting than in X1.

Something like extra protective plates that a soldier can carry?

You can go that route...or you can have encumbrance affect AP's. That way a stronger soldier does get a benefit.

Something like AP = Max AP - MaxAP*(carried weight/optimal weight*10)

If a soldier has a standard max carry/optimal weight of 100 (before becoming encumbered), but is carrying 150, then his AP are reduced by150/100 = 1,25*10 = 12,5%

Conversely if he carried 50, then his AP penalty would be 50/100 = 0,5*10 = 5%

 

Or both??

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I believe that the Stress stat, which was explicitly intended for the fatigue mechanic when X2 was still going to be turn-based is still around. Why not link that to carrying stuff? Everyone can be Olympic weightlifters if they want, but there'd be a penalty for it in increased stress from carrying all that junk around. 

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23 minutes ago, Bobit said:

X2 not turn-based? O_o

I think he is referring to the fact that in early X2 development, the Geoscape was supposed to be turn-based, too. But they scratched that and moved back to the real-time Geoscape. There was some old blog-post about this in the features forum that is now hidden.

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Yes, I should have been far more obvious about that. I imagine that a fair bit of pre realtime stuff this is still buiried in the code (e.g. the Chief Scienctist amd Ops Manager being able to level up) so I'm guessing it's easier to bring code that still there back to the surface, re-purposed for another use rather than make new things from scratch. 

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