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Chris

Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta Build V6 Released! (Experimental Branch)

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Closed Beta Build V6 has now been released on Steam, GOG and Xsolla. Note that this build is only available on our new Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here).

As usual, please note this closed beta is only open to Kickstarter backers and people who have pre-ordered the game via Xsolla on our website.

This is a major update for the game that contains a number of significant new features. We're currently working on getting the remaining "core" systems into the game as fast as possible, so many of these new features are still largely untested. This is why we've set up the Experimental branches - this new build may well be full of game-breaking bugs, but we're extremely busy with feature implementation and so we won't be able to put out a hotfix as quickly as normal. Having V6 on an experimental branch means people can switch back to V5 if they want a more stable experience, so we're not forced to drop what we're doing to patch the game immediately if there are problems.

Be aware that you're probably still not going to have any idea what's going on with the new air combat because we've not yet had time to add tooltips into the game (they're coming soon) so there's no way to view the stats of any of the combatants or the weapons. Given the air combat is now based more heavily on percentages like Hit Chance, Evade Chance, Range etc this means it's still largely unplayable unless someone has explained what is happening in advance (although reading the changelog below will help a little).

Key Features:

  • Air Combat Update: there's been a substantial update to the air combat. The new mechanics are explained below in more detail.
  • Alien Psionics: certain ranks of Psyon now have access to the Mind War psionic ability, which they automatically use every turn. The mechanics are a bit different from the X1 psionics and are explained in full below.
  • Soldier Assignment System: there's now a central soldier management system that ensures soldiers can only be assigned one task at a time (e.g. if they're on a Strategic Operation, you can't then deploy them in combat).
  • Strategy Upkeep / Funding Screen: your personnel, aircraft and base structures now have upkeep costs. You can now access a preview of the Funding Screen from the Geoscape at any point, which also gives a breakdown of all of your predicted income and upkeep costs.
  • Crash Site Airstrike: the "airstrike" functionality from X1 that allows you to receive a cash bonus in exchange for removing a crash site from the Geoscape has now returned.
  • New Artwork: we've added new art to various screens. This includes everything from strategy screen backgrounds and new UFO artwork to additional alien combatant models and new energy weapon projectiles.
  • More Alien Variants: the crews of alien ships are now more varied, with each alien race now have multiple unit variants like in X1 (i.e. not every alien is a generic soldier, so some of a UFO crew will be lightly-armed non-combatants that fly the UFO etc). There's also Elite aliens with better equipment that start appearing later in the game.

Air Combat Update:

  • Air combat now auto-resolves rather than requiring you to issue all commands manually, which makes interceptions much faster and less fiddly
  • Your interceptors have AI that will automatically attempt to close to the appropriate range with the UFOs and fire weapons, but the player can also manually issue orders if they choose
  • Weapons will auto-fire if the interceptor is range, but fire permission can be toggled off by clicking the weapon icon on the new interceptor status panels on the right of the screen.
  • Weapons now have % hit chances, and combatants have a % evade chance. The weapon first rolls to hit, and then if a hit is scored the defender rolls to see if they can evade.
  • Weapons also have an Evade Modifier which controls how easy they are to evade. Torpedoes are powerful but have a 2x Evade modifier, making them ineffective against Fighter UFOs that have 50% base Evade score (giving them a modified 100% Evade vs torpedoes). However, they are much more effective against cumbersome UFOs like Destroyers which have a base 0% Evade score and are unable to dodge even the slowest weapons.

Alien Psionics:

  • Alien psionics are now in the game in the form of the Mind War ability, which several types of Psyon and the Praetor-equivalent possess.
  • Each alien with the Mind War ability will cast it against a random Xenonaut each turn. Line of sight is not required but each Xenonaut can only be hit once per turn.
  • All Xenonauts affected by Mind War are flagged at the start of the player's turn.
  • At the end of the player's turn, Mind War is resolved. This is done by comparing the Psionic Strength of the attacker to the Bravery of the defender, along with a random element that is added to each.
  • If the attacker is successful, the Xenonaut is panicked and will drop their weapon and flee. If the attacker beats the defender by more than 30, the attacker scores a critical success and the Xenonaut is instead Mind Controlled.
  • The defender will receive a bonus to their Bravery equal to their Bravery multiplied by their remaining % of TU - so if you don't spend any TU on a soldier, they will receive twice their normal Bravery in the defence roll.

Strategy:

  • General - we've added a central soldier management system that ensures soldiers can only be assigned one task at a time (e.g. if they're on a Strategic Operation, you can't then deploy them in combat).
  • General - there are now monthly upkeep costs for your staff, aircraft and base structures. These are deducted from your monthly funding each time it is received.
  • General - there's new strategy / air combat art for four of the early-game UFOs
  • General - UFOs now contain a wider range of possible races, and each race has a larger number of possible variants with different weapons and armour
  • General - we've added support for sorting items in the Research Projects / Engineering Projects / Base Stores list
  • General - added a little more writing for some of the early-game research reports
  • General - prevented saves occurring while the game performing tasks that would break saves (this fixes a bug where users would end up with corrupted saves)
  • Geoscape - a preview of the funding screen can now be accessed at any time, showing your predicted funding per region and also giving you a breakdown of the upkeep costs of your organisation
  • Geoscape - the X1 "Airstrike" functionality has been added to the game, allowing you to pass on doing a crash site mission and receive cash instead (if a Crash Site times out without you completing it, you're automatically granted the airstrike cash)
  • Geoscape - Strategic Operations now take less time to complete if you assign more personnel to them
  • Geoscape - clicking near multiple interactive objects will now give you a pop-up allowing you to specify which object you'd like to select, as it did in X1
  • Geoscape - landed UFOs now function correctly, although right now there's no difference between a crashed and landed UFO in gameplay terms (there will be in future)
  • Geoscape - there's been some visual changes, with an updated layout more akin to X1 and some new art.
  • Geoscape - Alien Bases now start undetected and can either be detected passively (you have an increasing % chance each day to detect the base), or can be detected by flying an interceptor over the base
  • Geoscape - Infiltrator markers spawned onto the Geoscape by Alien Bases now spawn in same region as the base
  • Geoscape - hovering over a region now displays the region name and the Relations score rather than the "health bar" that we had in previous versions
  • Geoscape - lines in the log are now linked to the events on the Geoscape like it was in X1 (i.e. hovering over a log message should highlight the appropriate object on the Geoscape, etc)
  • Geoscape - improved the performance when there are multiple UFOs flying around at high speed
  • Geoscape - the notification you receive when completing a base structure now correctly displays the building name, not simply "."
  • Geoscape - fixed the Bomber UFO icon being inverted
  • Personnel - Soldiers still appear in your personnel list immediately after being hired, but their status is now set to be In Transit for 3 days.
  • Personnel - Soldiers now have starting stats ranging from 35-65 in each attribute, rather than 45-55
  • Soldier Equip - soldier medals are now visible. This system needs some additional work before it is finished, but the (placeholder) medals that currently exist are working.
  • Soldier Equip - clicking the soldier portrait now allows you to change the soldier in that slot
  • Dropship Equip - this screen is now capable of supporting additional types of dropship with different troop capacities and so works slightly differently now: 
    • The soldier portraits are now shown in a horizontal row beneath the dropship and are numbered by hotkey, and they no longer re-order themselves when you move units around in the dropship.
    • Holding down shift when you move a soldier icon over another soldier icon around will swap the hotkeys of those two soldiers.
    • Hovering the mouse over a soldier portrait will light up their soldier icon, making it a little easier to see which icon belongs to which soldier.
    • The soldier assignment menu now marks the soldiers that are already assigned to the dropship.

Ground Combat:

  • Specific ground combat items now recover items on the strategy layer (assuming they survive). The UFO power cores are now the only source of Alenium in the game, so be careful not to blow them up!
  • UFO crash site maps are now roughly 50x50 for all UFOs rather than expanding in size as the game goes on - clearing a bigger UFO is already much more time consuming than a smaller UFO, so also enlarging the map as well made for very long missions.
  • The Overwatch toggles on the new GC UI now work correctly for each weapon (so you can disable the Primary weapon if you want to reaction fire with the Secondary instead, etc)
  • Reloading weapons manually in the ground combat soldier inventory should now have the same effect as the quick reload button in all instances
  • We've redesigned several of the UFOs, updated their interior layouts and added a number of new props
  • Two new armoured elite Psyon variants have been added to the late game
  • Added new projectiles and impact effects for the Plasma and Fusion energy weapons
  • Fixed a number of animation issues for the humans and Psyons (made shooting snappier, fixed some flickering in the run cycle, etc)
  • Laser Weapons now have updated inventory artwork
  • Alien Magnetic Pistol and Alien Fusion Pistol now have 3D models
  • A number of visual updates on the Farm biome
  • Civilians now have more biome-appropriate clothing, although they are still placeholder
  • Some improvements to the roof-hiding system, although there is more to do here
  • Some improvements to the way the camera tracks alien activity during the alien turn, although there is also more to do here
  • Bugfix - Terror missions should no longer freeze at 99% loading
  • Bugfix - fixed a hang where you couldn't complete a mission if one of your soldiers was stunned
  • Bugfix - fixed several mis-set assets, including train cars that units could walk into and some windows that could not be seen through
  • Bugfix - fixed some missing move tiles
  • Bugfix - fixed an issue with C4 giving the player multiple detonation crosshairs with incorrect detonation costs
  • Bugfix - fixed a bug where crouched units would appear to be standing if you loaded a save game
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

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Thanks Chris.

Is there any chance for future updates to include some images, or some sort of dev blog as I love to follow these updates and see how things are progressing(I dont have access to the closed beta). I'm currently finding that I have to wait for bugs to be uploaded with associated screenshot to get any snips of how things have changed. Im sure though there are certain things that only closed testers are allowed to view.

Also is there an update on any threads that will be created to showcase X2's features in the "Xenonauts-2 Features" sub thread as the original threads were hidden for viewing?

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Nope, there's nothing hidden that only closed beta testers can view (except the game itself). What you see here is the same as what everyone else sees, although most people get their news from the Kickstarter Updates (but you can see those too).

Yeah, we'll probably add more in-depth updates with images once we reach Early Access, or at least write a regular update summary post with images.

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How do I get this on Steam? I did the order on Xsolla and on Steam it is still listed as coming and not released.

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2 hours ago, Challenge said:

How do I get this on Steam? I did the order on Xsolla and on Steam it is still listed as coming and not released.

Until we stop taking Xsolla pre-orders we can't give you a Steam key and you're stuck on Xsolla, but you'll probably be hearing from us and getting your Steam key in the next couple of months :)

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I was wondering if I have missed something, as with the alien threat gauge now in numerals, just what dose it mean, with 50/100 is this a glass half empty or half full?

With this new 6.1 pre-build, I don't get into it far enough to know, as it CTD before it moves!

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