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FriarBob

[v5.1] Solder Role vs. Chopper Slot Role

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At least at present it seems that there is no such thing as a soldier role and instead there is a "chopper slot role" that is taken by any soldier assigned to it.  If so, I don't like this.  It's actually somewhat useful if the intent is that the soldier moved off the chopper de-equips all 'special' items, especially early on while you have an extremely limited quantity of them.  Of course that's only true until/unless equipment starts to make a difference in speed/success/etc. for the Strategic Operations.  But even if that never is a problem I still prefer the way the newest xcom2s allowed you to CHOOSE to de-equip that stuff from soldiers not going on the current mission.  (You may well want to most of the time, but then again you also might not.  Especially if in late game you actually have excess and find it hard to manage the clutter.)

I'm guessing/hoping this is just a temporary kludge to get people equipped and off to the ground combat without any real soldier management required.  I hope so at least.  Because the current system is not very intuitive to use for anyone used to x1 or xcom, and even if they are always/intentionally de-equipped I would really prefer the soldier's role to stick to them even when off-duty.

X1 didn't have a 'perfect' soldier management screen of course, but it was trivially easy to see (and even assign!) the role to the soldier there.  I really think being able to set the role to the soldier is important for managing your roster.  Especially so if the way Stress seems to climb means we're going to have to use more than one "super team" (at least for those which survive long enough to GET super).  The role you intend to use for solider X isn't going to change just because they aren't going on the next mission.  Well they won't for me, at least, and I suspect they won't for most others either.  After all if they can't hit the broadside of a barn I'm not going to make them a sniper.  Or if they have pathetic reaction speed they won't be on assault role.  Etc.  Yes you can figure that out again from the soldier screen easily enough.  You can not currently figure that out from the chopper assign screen or the strategic assign screen.  Having the role tied to the soldier (and preferably displayed with their name when assigning to the chopper or strategic mission) would really help a LOT.

Even if the intent both is and will always be for only the soldiers going out on a mission to carry gear, even then the role still should be on the soldier.  This will really help when assigning crew to a mission as well, because there are going to be some missions (like sebilians) where you want different weapon mixes (in this case for getting through their annoyingly tough skin) than for the wraith (where you HAVE to get in reaction fire to avoid getting blown to smithereens).  Being able to see both the weapons you are sending AND whether or not the crewman you selected is appropriately able to effectively carry it would REALLY be helpful.  And unfortunately right now all you can see is what weapon you are sending.

 

Edited by FriarBob

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I remebered that we already had a discussion like this. I am linking it here. I think one thing Chris mentioned they could do in one post in this thread (ie. Optionally assign a specific role to soldier in addition to the slot and when assigning a soldier to a slot that does not fit his role the game asking what role the slot should have) come pretty close to what you suggested in your last paragraph

 

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Ah.  Well unfortunately I wasn't around for that one.  I just read through it and I agree with those who say this is going to be a major learning curve issue for folks.  I'm all for trying new things.  I do too in my (business) code.  But when it doesn't work, I change it.  As is this doesn't work.  It's horribly counterintuitive in the first place, and not enough info to work around it.

I do like the idea of being able to "autotransfer" the equipment.  That's actually quite good.  But you need a way to see that the replacement soldier is a good replacement choice.  Again, my example on being able to hit the broadside of a barn.  Some base soldiers probably have a 35 or 40 aim or something similarly pathetic like that.  I personally don't think anyone under 50 can hit the broadside of a barn, but maybe I'm just trying to make too hard of shots.  Or something.  No matter what, if they have a 40 I'm not going to pick them for a sniper.  I'd switch plans to go with a more assault folks or something.  Or even abandon the mission entirely and wait for the recovery mission.

Similarly, I would never waste a 60 accuracy (or 60 reflexes for that matter) guy/gal on a geoscape mission.  Just ain't happening.  They're too valuable in real combat.  Even if they need a break (assuming stress becomes something to manage later on) they'll just take a break but remain available for the next time they are needed.

But if you don't have a defined role, then you need the stats.  You need something beyond just the name.

 

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Amusingly enough, and possibly counterintuitively, the sniper equipment loadout (as opposed to role) is precicely what you may want to give to a solider with a low accuracy as the aimed mode of the sniper rifle compensates significantly for low native accuracy. What you want to give to soldiers with a high native accuracy are equipment loadouts of weapons with a low accuracy modifer but high burst capacity, such as the heavy weapons equpment loadout as the value of these weapons is only realised when a soldier has a high enough native accuracy to compensate for the low accuracy modifier (and possibly even malus) of a heavy weapon. I think Chris should as of the next update make it clear that you are conferring equipment loadouts, not roles on soldiers as this would help clear up a lot of misunderstandings and lead to a clearer view of how to equip soldiers appropriately. 

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1 hour ago, Max_Caine said:

Amusingly enough, and possibly counterintuitively, the sniper equipment loadout (as opposed to role) is precicely what you may want to give to a solider with a low accuracy as the aimed mode of the sniper rifle compensates significantly for low native accuracy. What you want to give to soldiers with a high native accuracy are equipment loadouts of weapons with a low accuracy modifer but high burst capacity, such as the heavy weapons equpment loadout as the value of these weapons is only realised when a soldier has a high enough native accuracy to compensate for the low accuracy modifier (and possibly even malus) of a heavy weapon.

And that counterintutive dynamic is an additional problem. A soldier who can't hit a target across the 50m wide warehouse by aiming with the sights on a rifle won't be able to hit that target aiming through a scope on a rifle.

The only roles for people with low accuracy is 'civilian' or 'ablative armor'. And the chopper doesn't have enough room for ablative armor.

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While I get the idea to assign a low accuracy soldier a sniper loadout so the bonus compensates, I am not entirely sure if this really is the best option in X2 currently. Because I found a high accuracy sniper can do things no other soldier can do, what is:

  • get off 2 100% hit chance shots with the lower accuracy/low TU aim mode in one turn
  • with the scoped mode, have 100% hit chance on an enemy behind an obstacle - which is especially useful if the obstacle happens to be another xenonaut that unexpectedly did not manage to kill the enemy and is now out of TU

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That's certainly true. There's no problem with equipping everyone with a sniper rifle if one wanted to as there's unlimited quantities, so it's possible to grasp benefits for both ends of the spectrum. I think it would be worthwhile to try kitting everyone out with a sniper loadout and see how well that plays. 

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It might be worthwhile to try a few missions where everyone uses the same primary weapon, just to find the edge cases.

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12 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

That's certainly true. There's no problem with equipping everyone with a sniper rifle if one wanted to as there's unlimited quantities, so it's possible to grasp benefits for both ends of the spectrum. I think it would be worthwhile to try kitting everyone out with a sniper loadout and see how well that plays. 

Hmm.  That's tempting.  I didn't try that yet because 35 TUs meant I could only get one scoped shot per round and the stinkin lizards sometimes needed four to put them down.  Which makes sense, BTW, not complaining about that.  I just didn't have enough TUs to do it when two (much less four!, though that has only happened once) of them showed up in visual range of the chopper.

I do question how ridiculously accurate their return fire was though.  I could hit a lizard with a scoped shot and he'd BURST fire four shots right back into me from the same range.  That seems a bit... off.  Granted probably only two would hit, but when they did 50+ damage a pop my poor soldier was now a smear on the pavement.  And it seemed like it was always *at least* 30+ damage on the return shots.

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16 hours ago, wulf 21 said:

While I get the idea to assign a low accuracy soldier a sniper loadout so the bonus compensates, I am not entirely sure if this really is the best option in X2 currently. Because I found a high accuracy sniper can do things no other soldier can do, what is:

  • get off 2 100% hit chance shots with the lower accuracy/low TU aim mode in one turn
  • with the scoped mode, have 100% hit chance on an enemy behind an obstacle - which is especially useful if the obstacle happens to be another xenonaut that unexpectedly did not manage to kill the enemy and is now out of TU

Agreed.  I have had to use them that way quite a bit unfortunately.  Although it hasn't really been a problem since I upgraded to lasers, but with basic guns it seemed like part B happened all.the.time. ...

And part A is VERY useful against the sebilians when even 2 laser shots isn't always enough to put them down.

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Thanks for your thoughts - it's not so much a temporary kuldge as a system designed to operate in a somewhat different design to the one it's found itself in. The intention is that soldiers only grab their equipment from the Armory when they get on the dropship and fly off on a mission rather than retaining it at all times like the do in the first Xenonauts, but yeah there's potentially some unintuitive design happening with the role being on the slot rather than the soldier.

However right now the system is at least passably functional so it's a lower priority than some of the other work we're doing!

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