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Juan

TUs are too limiting!

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Posted (edited)

I've only played a couple of hours to X2 because I don't want to spoil my self. While it seems promising, I cannot avoid to complain a bit about 'TUs'. TUs are the "action points" on this game of each soldier in each turn.

 

I feel they are too limiting at the moment of move a soldier. I know you try to mimic the original UFO: Enemy unknown (which I played countless hours!), but I think the times have changed a bit. Being able to move and shot with at least a 40% of chances to hit, would give another feeling to the game. Now you only can move 4-5 cells and then do a quick shot. The most of turns you have to think if moving or firing, or leave some TUs for reaction. This also do the game very (VERY) slow, and missions can become repetitive pretty soon.

In my opinion, the good thing about XCOM: Enemy unknown / Enemy within, is you can move enough distance, and you can shot with great accuracy. This does the missions very fun, and they are far from being tedious! I replayed that game several times and I don't find it boring, I do again and again the field missions because I feel they're pretty dynamic, and the music is pretty good too!. While with Xenonauts 1, I only played it twice, because it gave me that 'lazy' feeling about the missions (fortunately we had airstrike!). That's mainly because Xenonauts 1 move system.

I'm not asking you change your system about TUs, but you could do it a bit more dynamic, doing the movement would be more easy. Take a look to the picture. I just spotted an alien, moving 6 squares to take advantage from a cover eats all my turn! (almost, I would have 12 from 47 TUs, which are pretty limiting and boring). This forces me to do weird things, like firing without cover with my 8 soldiers to try to kill the alien - bad thing because aliens have better aiming and damage!

btw: In early stage of the game, I find rifles have pretty poor performance when you compare them with shotguns, which allow you can move more and have more chances to hit! and harder!

 

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Edited by Juan

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Original Xeno was the same way. If I were to guess a logic, it's due to the ability to suppress enemy units, which then creates a situation of splitting your team into covering fire and advancing roles. 

X-Division, the massive mod for Xeno, increased TU, in order to have the ability to scout more, apparently. 

Personally, I love the higher TUs, BUT, bear in mind scaling isn't working right yet. The original had a scaling where a rifle or shotgun could move and shoot, while snipers and heavies had to set up first. Right now it's just a flat score across the board. 

Lower TUs work nicely with the amount of firepower vs limited units you have compared to the original XCOM, while the higher TU version functions better in something like XDiv, where you might need to scout a dozen or more enemies per turn. 

Plus, each battle can give up to 2 TUs extra at the moment, that can be a lot. Just leave the low TU guys as snipers. 

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Posted (edited)

1. You are highlighting the hp, not the TU.
2. 47 TU is VERY low TU.
3. You are running through gras. Now the visual of the grass isnt THAT impressive, but they are the equivalent of Vietnam Soldiers wading through gras. That slows down.
4. A maxed soldier can have 100 TU. Whether or not you find it believeable that a trained soldier can run more than twice as fast as a rookie is a different topic.

That is how the terrain looks for the soldiers:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-k4rDfcKJyH0xTEYhBQ_

 

 

3 hours ago, Juan said:

In my opinion, the good thing about XCOM: Enemy unknown / Enemy within, is you can move enough distance, and you can shot with great accuracy. This does the missions very fun, and they are far from being tedious!

This implies that the aliens get faster and shot more accurate too ... hm ...

As a result you want an action paced game with effectively smaller maps, where the first to shoot wins, and missions are over faster ... hm ...

I think this would move away from the simulation aspect, and more into the action genre.

 

Edit: but 30/47= 63% for one burst seems a bit exorbitant. And that is a Rifle, not an HMG. Burst shots should be inbetween snap and steady shoots, so inbetween 14 to 20 TU. Maybe the problem lies in the Weapon modes ?

Edited by Charon

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I should point out that the grenade launcher kinda fires faster than any burst weapon right now, which is funny. Can lay some serious waste to a UFO entrance like never before (grenade auto cannon comes to mind)

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You have the distance scale wrong, too. That's 70m, roughly twice the effective range of a shotgun.

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8 hours ago, Charon said:

This implies that the aliens get faster and shot more accurate too ... hm ...

As a result you want an action paced game with effectively smaller maps, where the first to shoot wins, and missions are over faster ... hm ...

I think this would move away from the simulation aspect, and more into the action genre.

 

Edit: but 30/47= 63% for one burst seems a bit exorbitant. And that is a Rifle, not an HMG. Burst shots should be inbetween snap and steady shoots, so inbetween 14 to 20 TU. Maybe the problem lies in the Weapon modes ?

 

Yes, maybe that's the problem, that there isn't any scaling. If you want to burst, you only can move few 2/3 tiles, in the fortunate case your soldier isn't crouched. I do not pretend change it to an action game, but come on, you should be able to shot twice and move few tiles, or move 7-8 tiles w/crouch and do a medium accuracy shot with any low level soldier. After all, usually, my high level soldiers do not last too much...

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Posted (edited)

Early game is always a pain until you level up your soldier stats, then they become killing machines that can do multiple things in one turn. The newer xcom's negate this so you start with the same "action" points at the start of the game vs the end which is streamlined and a little boring although it does have its merit. 

Edited by roxxed

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Posted (edited)

No, i think the whole problem boils down to the fact that reasonable TU% havent been implemented yet.

I dont think anybody would discuss a 63 TU% burst for rifles as reasonable, nor 30 TU% for a snap.

 

6 hours ago, Juan said:

Yes, maybe that's the problem, that there isn't any scaling. If you want to burst, you only can move few 2/3 tiles, in the fortunate case your soldier isn't crouched. I do not pretend change it to an action game, but come on, you should be able to shot twice and move few tiles, or move 7-8 tiles w/crouch and do a medium accuracy shot with any low level soldier. After all, usually, my high level soldiers do not last too much...

I utterly agree.

Edited by Charon

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So currently the TU cost of using any item is expressed as an absolute figure, i.e. firing a shot from a pistol costs 15 TU, with no adjustment or modificaton. This was how X1 was for the longest time, before item use was switched over to a percentage cost of TU. Personally, I'd like to see percentage costs back in X2. I currently work as hard as possible to boost the TU of my troops, and that pays off in spades when you can fire two aimed and one normal shots from a rifleman. 

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12 minutes ago, Max_Caine said:

So currently the TU cost of using any item is expressed as an absolute figure, i.e. firing a shot from a pistol costs 15 TU, with no adjustment or modificaton. This was how X1 was for the longest time, before item use was switched over to a percentage cost of TU. Personally, I'd like to see percentage costs back in X2. I currently work as hard as possible to boost the TU of my troops, and that pays off in spades when you can fire two aimed and one normal shots from a rifleman. 

This kinda contradicts why TU% were introduced in X1 in the first place.

If Chris has doubts about TU% he could ask the community, but i think this should get fixed as soon as possible, since the feedback of the people build upon such basic things.

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Yeah...I really miss scaling TUs. Gaining some cheat points for medals might be a way to add that in (kind of like the badges from Knight of Lodis, if anyone here's played that gem), but I'd really like to see something along the lines of older models. 

I thought all of this was saying HMGs would follow the XDiv model. 

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If TUs were normalized (to, say, 100) and firing costs were adjusted accordingly, but movement costs were very aggressively scaled based on equipment/strength, how would that play?

 

(by 'very aggressively', I mean that nobody can carry a full kit without experiencing some penalty, and heavy weapons are typically about half to a third the move speed of unarmored riflemen without accessories.

 

Or maybe spilt accuracy into "aiming quality", a 0-1.00 stat that multiplies weapon accuracy, and "aiming speed", a 0.01-2 stat that divides TU cost.

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5 minutes ago, Decius said:

If TUs were normalized (to, say, 100) and firing costs were adjusted accordingly, but movement costs were very aggressively scaled based on equipment/strength, how would that play?

 

(by 'very aggressively', I mean that nobody can carry a full kit without experiencing some penalty, and heavy weapons are typically about half to a third the move speed of unarmored riflemen without accessories.

 

Or maybe spilt accuracy into "aiming quality", a 0-1.00 stat that multiplies weapon accuracy, and "aiming speed", a 0.01-2 stat that divides TU cost.

Kinda wonder if morale based aim could play in that scenario..

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My gut feeling is that having morale affect other stats directly, along with being checked for panic, would be overloading one statistic. Splitting Fear states up a bit more would be better than using morale as a multiplier, and I think that (normal, suppressed, freeze, flee, berserk) is already as many fear states as is useful.

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Fair enough.  Having an aim debuff instead of panic might be a neat one, but this ain't the thread for that. Wouldn't that be harder to program than just scaling though?

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If what Max_Caine is saying is true (I don't play the closed beta) this game definitely needs to maintain the % TU based costs for shots/throws. (I'm also slightly worried about his claim in another thread regarding AR's being relatively useless, personally I felt X1 AR's where quite good, just overshadowed by the SAW when TU's, strength and accuracy went through the roof.) %TU costs have the benefit of not making the soldiers more powerful by boosting TU, just more mobile (effectively turning TU into a speed like stat).

 

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2 hours ago, Conductiv said:

If what Max_Caine is saying is true (I don't play the closed beta) this game definitely needs to maintain the % TU based costs for shots/throws. (I'm also slightly worried about his claim in another thread regarding AR's being relatively useless, personally I felt X1 AR's where quite good, just overshadowed by the SAW when TU's, strength and accuracy went through the roof.) %TU costs have the benefit of not making the soldiers more powerful by boosting TU, just more mobile (effectively turning TU into a speed like stat).

 

The way it works right now is a flat score for everything. 

Grenades-15 (ultra spammable)

Grenade launcher/special- 28

Burst- 30, for all weapons, but HMGs fire 5 now. (XDiv system was 6 shots at 40%, so 2 extra shots, but can fire in 2 directions)

Aimed- 35 iirc

Single shot small- 10

Single shot other 12-15

Melee- 10

Rifles and HMGs are fairly unreliable compared to before, though rifles fare better with aimed shots. I've seen an HMG miss 4 times in a row at point blank, so guaranteed damage isn't quite in yet, I assume. 

Shotguns and Snipers are really reliable, SMGs are a second slot AR, and pistols are pistols. Grenades are situational, but weirdly generous. Also knives can do 60+ damage, so pretty reliable. 

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4 hours ago, Coffee Potato said:

The way it works right now is a flat score for everything. 

Grenades-15 (ultra spammable)

Grenade launcher/special- 28

Burst- 30, for all weapons, but HMGs fire 5 now. (XDiv system was 6 shots at 40%, so 2 extra shots, but can fire in 2 directions)

Aimed- 35 iirc

Single shot small- 10

Single shot other 12-15

Melee- 10

Rifles and HMGs are fairly unreliable compared to before, though rifles fare better with aimed shots. I've seen an HMG miss 4 times in a row at point blank, so guaranteed damage isn't quite in yet, I assume. 

Shotguns and Snipers are really reliable, SMGs are a second slot AR, and pistols are pistols. Grenades are situational, but weirdly generous. Also knives can do 60+ damage, so pretty reliable. 

I'm just going to assume this is going to get balanced out better, and I really hope it will go to %TU for such actions. about point blank misses does this game lack the close range shot bonus that X1 had?

I am a bit biased towards AR's as they are jack of all trades master of none weapons, they should be beaten by snipers at long range and shotguns at close range, and have less supressive capability then a MG but function with good reliability on all distances without needing to carry the weight of a second (primairy) weapon like a SMG or (marksmen)rifle. they did so rather well in X1 up to the moment your squad turned into rambo-incarnations.

I'm surprised grenades are so cheap...throwing a grenade in combat is a rather time consuming action compared to placing a shot, and my biggest gripe with X1 frags was their terrible blast radius. the other grenades (gas, smoke and flash) where fine in my book...both in cost to use and general effect. now with launchers I can understand they are cheaper to employ compared to throwing a grenade in X1...but still firing a grenade being cheaper then actually aiming a standard rifle is a tad odd to me from a damage potential perspective 

melee wise, well running around with a stun baton and a ballistic shield had its charms, but it was a high risk strategy as most enemies reserved enough TU to react, and one was unlikely to survive if the enemy was given a turn. I take it the same problems occur if you run around with a knife trying to add supplementary breathing holes to space lizards 

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Yeah, the biggest change between X1 and X2 mechanically is that the TU costs for firing weapons are now flat values rather than % costs. I've switched between them several times in X2 already and I may do so again in future (to the point I'm temped to ask the coders just to leave fields for both in the code so I can mix and match or combine as appropriate).

One of the things that was confusing in X1 was that the same weapon could have radically different fire costs depending on which soldiers is carrying it, which makes the maths kinda hard to do. One of the things I was experimenting with for a bit is to standardise fire costs across all weapons for the same fire mode, but vary the accuracy - so an aimed shot is always 40TU, a snap shot is always 20TU, etc. But different weapons have access to different fire modes.

This would just make it far easier to control large numbers of soldiers. If your soldier has a rifle you know you need 30TU to fire a shot, no matter who they are. Having to check the cost of the fire modes for every soldier is something I'd like to streamline out if at all possible ... although this fixed TU system might not be the best way to do that.

The idea was originally to give all soldiers 100 TU to make it even easier to understand and vary move costs based on strength / equipment load, but I'm unsure if that'll be superior or not.

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Yes, yes, yes, all very interesting, but ... do you see the HEDGES in the picture there?!?!  You can now totally DESTROY the hedges !  Not just reduce them to halfway-burnt-brown pitcher's mounds that you still can't traverse over after hitting them with a rocket, a grenade, and applied C4; No, they REALLY ARE DESTRUCTIBLE NOW !!! 

 

  

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

One of the things that was confusing in X1 was that the same weapon could have radically different fire costs depending on which soldiers is carrying it, which makes the maths kinda hard to do.

I can see that, but I'd argue that the best solution for that problem would be better presentation rather than altering the underlying system, which, while not perfect, to me has proven itself in X1.

To achieve this, I'd propose two things: first of all, EVERY action is plannable like movement and shooting is right now. That means that you have an in-between step where the game tells you, among all other vital information like chance to hit, what that action will cost before you have to do it. One example here would be crouching (hover mouse over the crouch button) or opening doors, but also melee. If you have that, you can easily expand such a system to a more advanced planning stage where you can combine multiple actions based on what you know about the game world at that time, e.g. running to point x and shooting with a snap shot will cost Y TU and have a Z % chance to hit. That way, players would not have to remember TU costs, and also see available LOS/LOF before they even commit to the movement action, an aspect that also causes frustration in X1.

Second would be a good graphical representation of what fraction of TU you are going to spend of the available pool, possibly with a "reserve TU" mechanic where it tells you if you are about to spend too many TU for what you want to do at the end of the turn (e.g. keeping TU for reaction fire as in X1, crouching, closing a door...).  The important thing here is the visual presentation in contrast to numbers. While I am a sucker for numbers, colour coding (green to yellow maybe) or a "progress" bar representation on your TU can go a long way intuitively telling players what they are going to spend without number crunching. The important thing with all these visualization systems is that you bring consistency to a maximum, which the X1 sadly did not really have.

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2 hours ago, Dagar said:

I can see that, but I'd argue that the best solution for that problem would be better presentation rather than altering the underlying system, which, while not perfect, to me has proven itself in X1.

To achieve this, I'd propose two things: first of all, EVERY action is plannable like movement and shooting is right now. That means that you have an in-between step where the game tells you, among all other vital information like chance to hit, what that action will cost before you have to do it. One example here would be crouching (hover mouse over the crouch button) or opening doors, but also melee. If you have that, you can easily expand such a system to a more advanced planning stage where you can combine multiple actions based on what you know about the game world at that time, e.g. running to point x and shooting with a snap shot will cost Y TU and have a Z % chance to hit. That way, players would not have to remember TU costs, and also see available LOS/LOF before they even commit to the movement action, an aspect that also causes frustration in X1.

Second would be a good graphical representation of what fraction of TU you are going to spend of the available pool, possibly with a "reserve TU" mechanic where it tells you if you are about to spend too many TU for what you want to do at the end of the turn (e.g. keeping TU for reaction fire as in X1, crouching, closing a door...).  The important thing here is the visual presentation in contrast to numbers. While I am a sucker for numbers, colour coding (green to yellow maybe) or a "progress" bar representation on your TU can go a long way intuitively telling players what they are going to spend without number crunching. The important thing with all these visualization systems is that you bring consistency to a maximum, which the X1 sadly did not really have.

I'm not averse to exploring that sort of method to make things easier for the player to understand, but my concern is that there's just too many options. Knowing that your fire modes cost 30 / 40 / 50 TU and crouching costs 10 TU (and maybe reloading is 30 TU) across all your soldiers is easily memorable and doesn't require any new UI beyond the move path number.

However, trying to represent all those actions directly on the move path would get very chaotic very quickly. How could you display all the possible combinations, or know which ones the player is interested in? I doubt there'd be enough colours available even if you painted your move path in all the colours of the rainbow.

As I said earlier, though, I'm not sure trying to force all the fire and action costs into neat round numbers is going to work particularly well either. It might just end up being too restrictive, and you also lose the %TU advantages we had in X1. But anyway, that's why things are the way they are right now. I'll almost certainly do another pass on this stuff before Early Access and probably several more before release.

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53 minutes ago, Chris said:

I'm not averse to exploring that sort of method to make things easier for the player to understand, but my concern is that there's just too many options. Knowing that your fire modes cost 30 / 40 / 50 TU and crouching costs 10 TU (and maybe reloading is 30 TU) across all your soldiers is easily memorable and doesn't require any new UI beyond the move path number.

However, trying to represent all those actions directly on the move path would get very chaotic very quickly. How could you display all the possible combinations, or know which ones the player is interested in? I doubt there'd be enough colours available even if you painted your move path in all the colours of the rainbow.

As I said earlier, though, I'm not sure trying to force all the fire and action costs into neat round numbers is going to work particularly well either. It might just end up being too restrictive, and you also lose the %TU advantages we had in X1. But anyway, that's why things are the way they are right now. I'll almost certainly do another pass on this stuff before Early Access and probably several more before release.

Instead of remembering number costs, why not just display %s of TU instead of the TUs themselves. Kind of like the 100 system, but using %s of the original stats instead. You always know how much you need to fire, and still keep the advantages of having a variable TU system. 

I still think that the medals could be used as a sort of mold breaker. Like instead of bravery bonuses, they get something others don't...maybe extra in a relevant stat for surviving something ridiculous. The first time I saw that, my first thought was "These are going to be like the emblems from Knight of Lodis, oh please be that. (For reference, these were things like getting an accuracy bonus for several consecutive ranged attacks, or a dodge bonus for several successful blocks. It wasn't insane, but felt awesome seeing the effects of their awards)". If someone survived getting their head blown off, I'd believe they could survive an extra 10 HP worth of punishment. 

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Unfortunately you've got to display things in flat numbers because all movement and rotation-related costs have flat TU costs even if the weapon fire costs are % based.

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