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V6.3 Balance Thread

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Not a dig at anyone! But while this is going to be an extremely enjoyable game is there going to be a slant towards “realism” or “game world” restrictions in it? What I’m really looking at is the effect and use of weaponry and the tactics as used in the real world. For instances the limit of just a pistol with a shield and not an smg or rifle with it? (First pic I just couldn’t resist!). What is the level of the starting troops in the game, where are they recruited from? Elite military units? Police units? Close range/point blank fire effects?

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That last one kinda reminds me of the deployable shields in 5th gen Armored Core. You couls have shields on both arms, a foldout barricade on your knees, and a chest plate if you wanted Image result for armored core 5

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The “last one” is an actual sprung arm that allows troops to carry heavier tools and weapons inc LMGs. Harness with an arm mounted on the back.

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the first threaded shield vehicle would be terrible for war...it makes for a bigger target you can't hide and it would be defeated by any terrain with obstacles that don't have a lot of space between it (doors, a couple of trees) it doesn't have the power or mass to overpower these obstacles...nor does it have protection against anything but small arms fire (and light ones at that)

the shieldarm soldier would have significant vision problems, and issues taking cover...on top of that that extra arm is begging to hook onto something and getting the trooper stuck.

OK for urban settings when facing billy with his dads shotgun...as the options do provide good protection if the trooper only has to worry about being assailed from 1 direction by low power firearms across flat terrain. granted...it seems the lizards from space like their variant of shotguns...

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On 8/8/2019 at 9:48 PM, Conductiv said:

the first threaded shield vehicle would be terrible for war...it makes for a bigger target you can't hide and it would be defeated by any terrain with obstacles that don't have a lot of space between it (doors, a couple of trees) it doesn't have the power or mass to overpower these obstacles...nor does it have protection against anything but small arms fire (and light ones at that)

the shieldarm soldier would have significant vision problems, and issues taking cover...on top of that that extra arm is begging to hook onto something and getting the trooper stuck.

OK for urban settings when facing billy with his dads shotgun...as the options do provide good protection if the trooper only has to worry about being assailed from 1 direction by low power firearms across flat terrain. granted...it seems the lizards from space like their variant of shotguns...

I see no complaints about a building sized mech covered in guns and barricades :D

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The clipping for a UGV with wings that extend into other tiles would be horrible. Implementing a UGV with wings like that is something a lead threatens as punishment duty for miscreant animators.

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8 hours ago, Coffee Potato said:

I see no complaints about a building sized mech covered in guns and barricades :D

I can solve that ;)

in war size is usually a bad thing, it makes things expensive (to build, operate and maintain), hard to hide and easy to hit. especially land based vehicles as bridges, railways etc can only handle so much weight before they are either damaged or outright broken. and the terrain doesn't allow for a monotonous way of movement (like ships, submarines and aircraft benefit of...but aircraft have to deal with the tyranny of gravity)

tanks, self propelled guns and other armored vehicles are usually made as small as possible while still big enough to carry their ordinance or the personnel they are supposed to protect. big or many guns are still beneficial but its a balance, same with the level of armor protection versus the mobility, or amount of weapons relative to the size and weight of the vehicle. now bipedal robots with immensy good balance (so it doesn't get knocked over when it does catch a hit) might have some benefits when it comes to handling some terrain biomes, but generally...vehicles can pack the same level of heat in a more compact package.   

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8 hours ago, Conductiv said:

I can solve that ;)

in war size is usually a bad thing, it makes things expensive (to build, operate and maintain), hard to hide and easy to hit. especially land based vehicles as bridges, railways etc can only handle so much weight before they are either damaged or outright broken. and the terrain doesn't allow for a monotonous way of movement (like ships, submarines and aircraft benefit of...but aircraft have to deal with the tyranny of gravity)

tanks, self propelled guns and other armored vehicles are usually made as small as possible while still big enough to carry their ordinance or the personnel they are supposed to protect. big or many guns are still beneficial but its a balance, same with the level of armor protection versus the mobility, or amount of weapons relative to the size and weight of the vehicle. now bipedal robots with immensy good balance (so it doesn't get knocked over when it does catch a hit) might have some benefits when it comes to handling some terrain biomes, but generally...vehicles can pack the same level of heat in a more compact package.   

(Just for the hell of it, not trying to argue for mechs, the AC setting is bizarrely set up to allow for them.) True,  but that's why ACs are generally fast as hell, and come with different leg types and such. They're less about looking humanoid (usually just the mascots), and more about being a universally adaptable (the Core spreads out, usually the idea is to make a custom unit for any given situation, with basically their entire infrastructure being build around making that logistically possible). So alien invasions, robot takeovers, godzilla monsters, and even giant walking gun cities happen, but generally are treated as little more than a mop up job. At about 5 points now the entire world gets wiped,  and a few ACs are just like "well, guess it's Tuesday" before killing whatever it was and letting the corpies rebuild the world in a dang week. 

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We can argue about the pro's and con's of these devises, but are they possible, with in the constraints of this game??

Is there the will to make it happen!

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1 hour ago, Ruggerman said:

We can argue about the pro's and con's of these devises, but are they possible, with in the constraints of this game??

Is there the will to make it happen!

XDiv had mechs, and more TUs/reworked pack costs, so you could run shield/gun pretty well. I'm sure even if the base game doesn't have it, mods will. As long as it's as stable as it seems so far. 

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On 8/4/2019 at 4:27 PM, Chris said:
  • I think it's going to be difficult to judge weapon balance from the situation you recorded, mostly because you've got some soldiers with insanely high TU numbers there. When we switch back to % based TU fire costs in the next patch (the code has been implemented now but I've not updated the weapons yet) soldiers and those ballistic LMGs in particular aren't going to be able to put out anywhere near so much firepower. I wasn't even aware you could get your soldiers over 100 TU so the weapon balance is clearly a bit broken right now; expect a 30 TU fire mode cost to be about 55%-60% TU cost when converted over :)

I have a problem with %-based TU costs, based on the real-world -- look at what some pistol shooters can manage; they can pull off five or more shots in the time it would take an average shooter to pull off one.

It might work if there was a way to reduce the % cost of a specific weapon type (and possibly shot type, e.g. aimed, snap, burst, etc) as a soldier leveled up, allowing a soldier to pull off multiple times as many shots as they'd manage if they didn't have that ability. Although thinking about it, these are people who can shoot multiple silver dollars out of the air in a second or two....

Maybe in addition to being able to reduce the % cost of firing a weapon, the amount that any given soldier can increase a stat is randomized -- and hidden.

Especially if, after a certain amount (possibly also hidden) of increase, some sort of action (time in the gym, etc) which only has a percentage chance of increase is the only reasonable way to increase the stat -- say, time in combat only has a fraction of the chance that dedicated action has. Do you stick your soldier in the gym for a non-trivial amount of time, knowing it might not actually help, or do you give up on any real chance of their speed/strength/whatever increasing, and just hope you get lucky and they don't get shot?

 

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6 hours ago, dstar said:

I have a problem with %-based TU costs, based on the real-world -- look at what some pistol shooters can manage; they can pull off five or more shots in the time it would take an average shooter to pull off one.

It might work if there was a way to reduce the % cost of a specific weapon type (and possibly shot type, e.g. aimed, snap, burst, etc) as a soldier leveled up, allowing a soldier to pull off multiple times as many shots as they'd manage if they didn't have that ability. Although thinking about it, these are people who can shoot multiple silver dollars out of the air in a second or two....

Maybe in addition to being able to reduce the % cost of firing a weapon, the amount that any given soldier can increase a stat is randomized -- and hidden.

Especially if, after a certain amount (possibly also hidden) of increase, some sort of action (time in the gym, etc) which only has a percentage chance of increase is the only reasonable way to increase the stat -- say, time in combat only has a fraction of the chance that dedicated action has. Do you stick your soldier in the gym for a non-trivial amount of time, knowing it might not actually help, or do you give up on any real chance of their speed/strength/whatever increasing, and just hope you get lucky and they don't get shot?

 

I actually prefer the % based system, mainly because it reduces the gap between novice and veteran soldiers in a significant way. at least giving me the illusion that the soldiers had basic training before they where assigned to this command.

more firepower is always desired so asking about a leveling system that would allow you to squeeze more shots off in a turn of a veteran trooper isn't exactly unexpected. but do keep in mind that firepower is already increasing as the soldier gets more experience and because of that it will be harder and harder to replace the trooper if he gets wounded or killed. and being forced to keep a powerful squad alive all game OR having a team of supersoldiers by midgame means that it will move to the age old "A-team-saved-the-world" trope.

in general firepower consists out of rate of fire, range, accuracy and power...with both boosting the accuracy through the "aim or accuracy" stat that the soldiers level in as they complete missions and getting more shots through the "% discount or extra TU" stat, you will drastically increase the gap between troops at different skill levels, relative to only having one of these factors being significantly affected by leveling.

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Or maybe just have a rank% based system that can roll a series of potential free actions of used by the end of the turn. Like let's say they roll a free snap shot, and can take that, provided they have the TUs to see in that direction. 

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There is a great deal of difference between a well drilled professional soldier, who re-acts instinctively, and a novice who has to think through all their actions.

So I am not in favour of a % base TU system, because that difference would be so small, as to be neg-suable.

Experience Counts!!

Go and see "Danger Close" there is a fire fight!

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2 hours ago, Ruggerman said:

There is a great deal of difference between a well drilled professional soldier, who re-acts instinctively, and a novice who has to think through all their actions.

So I am not in favour of a % base TU system, because that difference would be so small, as to be neg-suable.

Experience Counts!!

Go and see "Danger Close" there is a fire fight!

fair enough, but I look at it this way

how big is the difference between 2 well drilled soldiers, 1 of them just had 5 more deployments...the recruit pool isn't drawing first time shooters from a nearby range, but is hiring trained often veteran soldiers. from a realistic perspective the difference between a complete newb and an expert is huge, but the difference between experts, even years of experience apart is relatively small. 

and from a gameplay perspective: with the stat spread going from 40-70 as a starting stat, and eventually going all the way up past 100 pionts. the difference in what a soldier can do with 70 acc is significantly less then what a veteran soldier with 150 acc can do (using the TU stat increases listed in other threads, and supplanting them in the accuracy stat) the veteran being able to sacrifice the accuracy bonus from semi automatic fire and fully focus on burst fire with almost no drop in accuracy. doubling his hit rate in semi, or almost tripling its effectiveness in burst (assuming 3 round burst) now I would call a effectiveness increase nearing 200% far from neglectable.

even if you would get an optimal recruit in the desired stat (acc, 70) versus a capped veteran (assuming cap 100 rather then the 150 stats that are apparently achievable) you would still have a 40+% increase in overall firepower, again I would not call this advantage insignificant 

extra shots also work multiplicatively with this effectiveness increase, being able to squeeze double the shots at significantly higher accuracy will make the soldier twice as effective as it was just factoring in accuracy boosts.

with flat costs and the ability for troopers to get a increase in the amount of shots they can fire on top of boosting their overall accuracy...what would happen if a midgame mission would go sideways and you lose 6 out of 8 of your best troops, and you now have to train greenhorns...if these rookies are only 15-50% as effective as your original squad, your next mission will basically have you go in at 63% of your previous power in the best case scenario (8/(6X0.5+2)), I'm going to assume that it would be relatively hard for a player to recover from something like that. (apart from the god power that the "load game" button provides)

in effect this can go 2 ways, (ignoring adaptive difficulty) either the game is balanced around you having god-like troops past a certain point and when you do take a loss you are well behind the curve. or the game is set up in a way where losses are expected and your super-soldiers simply cake walk their way through.

so in conclusion: it would both generate too big a performance gap from a realistic perspective, and it would cause a situation where losing troops should be rare from a gameplay perspective. 

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The difference between an experienced soldier who is new to a unit and one who has operated with that unit for 5 or so engagements is non-trivial, but measured on axes not modeled in X2. Things like knowing where everyone's field of fire will be and how they will move are entirely abstracted out by the hive mind controlling the soldiers.

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Just as a heads-up to everyone, V7 is scheduled to arrive in just over two weeks on 3rd September. We're largely finished with the base system overhaul now and we've implemented a lot of balance changes and shooting fixes already, but we're going to take a bit of time to try and add a few more features that have been requested recently too (for example allowing you to set Roles on soldiers directly). 

I know it's been a while since the last update, but it should be one worth waiting for ;)

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On 8/16/2019 at 1:52 PM, Chris said:

Just as a heads-up to everyone, V7 is scheduled to arrive in just over two weeks on 3rd September. We're largely finished with the base system overhaul now and we've implemented a lot of balance changes and shooting fixes already, but we're going to take a bit of time to try and add a few more features that have been requested recently too (for example allowing you to set Roles on soldiers directly). 

I know it's been a while since the last update, but it should be one worth waiting for ;)

I'm really looking forward to the new base.  I haven't played much, but it feels a bit like too much of what made Xenonauts unique was left behind to copy XCOM EU and XCOM2.

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On 8/16/2019 at 2:52 PM, Chris said:

Just as a heads-up to everyone, V7 is scheduled to arrive in just over two weeks on 3rd September. We're largely finished with the base system overhaul now and we've implemented a lot of balance changes and shooting fixes already, but we're going to take a bit of time to try and add a few more features that have been requested recently too (for example allowing you to set Roles on soldiers directly). 

I know it's been a while since the last update, but it should be one worth waiting for ;)

I know this is a long shot but any chance that can be pushed up a few days? Those of us in the states have long weekend coming up and it would be a great opportunity for us to dive in and tinker with the new changes.

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On 8/27/2019 at 8:54 AM, Twigg said:

I know this is a long shot but any chance that can be pushed up a few days? Those of us in the states have long weekend coming up and it would be a great opportunity for us to dive in and tinker with the new changes.

Just spitballing here, but seeing as they're releasing the day after the long weekend? I believe they're trying to take the extra time to iron out some bugs.

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