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Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis @Coffee Potato X2 implementation discussion

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This is about the Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis emblem system for possible integration into X2 with @Coffee Potato. This is an open discussion.

 

For the people who dont know what we are talking about:

http://www.tacticsogre.com/emblems.htm

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I think the TO: Knight of Lodis system is a very interesting system to be integrated into a turn based tactical system, yet i have my problems with it. I would really like to have a system which makes soldiers more individual based on Combat occurences, but the TO system doesnt seem up to the task.

(1) They are not random
Every emblem (perk) has precise requirements to be fullfilled. These are not random, nor are they special in any other way. You can grind for them like any other stat point. Its not like you can fail to get them either, if the char dies you simply reload.

(2) There is no choice
One emblem more is better than one less. There is (mostly) no trade-off in any of the emblems, making them pure grinding goals instead of conscious choice between two more or less equal choices. And again, no failing since if you are loosing your favourite char you are more likely to reload than anything else.

 

All in all the emblems are more accumulative, than making chars unique. Which is my goal.

My suggestion is this:

Occurence X in battlefield >
After the mission the soldier needs to get operated >
During the Operation the surgeons encounter complications and present you with 2 random choices >
Each random choice is a buff and a debuff combination. You can choose between the course of operation.

Occurences can be like [below 10% health], or [more than 40 points healed in combat] or any non-specific or specific conditions.
De-/Buffs can be like +/-10 TU, +/-15 Accuracy, +/-5 health, +/-50% more resistant to psionics ( because surgeons had to cut out a part of the brain ), higher/lower proficiency with heavy weapons, mechanical hand for further throwing, etc ... .

This avoids the grindiness of the TO system, because every occurence is random and risky, and you cant determine what kind of operation is going to follow it. It adds the choice of the player, and every soldier can have an never ending stack of buff and debuff combinations, and since they are relatively small, its unlikely that you will reload. And you will definitely grow attached more to that soldier that survived a muton shot and is now limping forever, but has been taught the importance of a pistol back-up.

Seems to be the perfect crossover between JA2 and X1, where you dont have to simulate complex body parts, but can be easily added in as
IF[soldier below 10%health(AND)alive;generate surgical event;nothing]
and then just stack up all the buffs and debuffs in the equipment screen.

 

Suggestions ?

Edited by Charon

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I'll try to find my old response, had a long list of potential emblem/badge ideas. I'd LOVE to see this implemented as an extension of the current awards. 

Edit: Found it

Examples:

Consecutive snipe damage(acc)

Surviving a hit at low health (tus)

Melee kill (str)

Capture an alien (brv and hp)

Kill an enemy that failed to kill them (brv)

Survive an explosion (hp)

Kill while suppressed (TUs and acc)

Multiple units with one grenade (acc and tu)

40 tile snipe (acc++, lowers tu)

Sebillian/Psyon etc Slayer, 5 of whichever unit type (minor bonus damage)

Survive a cannon round to a shield (Brv, Str)

Kill 3 enemies with 1 shot (Brv ++, Acc+)

Kill enemy on other side of a wall (increased terrain damage slightly)

Survive fatal damage 5 times (Come back as an Angel Knight), also not serious about this last one. 

 

Also, some to match the funny ones, like Don Quixote, Bogus Hero, and Broken Heart, though given some positives to avoid rage:

Hit for 90%+ health on 90% or more TUs (Brv down, Ref up)

Max out stats only by training (Higher target priority)

Earn Sole Survivor award twice ( Lower target priority)

Miss 95% shot twice in a row (Acc--, TUs+ Str+)

Fail 3 panic saves in a row (Brv-, Ref++)

Edited by Coffee Potato

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the way Charon put it, I would be indifferent to the system as its basically a slot machine for possible combat buffs or gimping a soldier if they almost get killed. its not likely to buff soldiers to extreme levels and it is likely to individualize soldiers if they get shot.

The way coffee potato put it makes it look like a achievement hunt for stat boosts, this obviously has balance impact and I would generally oppose an implementation of that kind. 

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Remind me of special honors from the old Chaos Gate gate.

Your marines could get special honors/medals for specific feats.

 

Sequential acts of extreme accuracy would give the Marksman Honor.

Extreme killing efficiency (a single soldier kills 10 enemies in battle) would grant the Crux Terminatus badge.

I can't recall what you had to do to get the Imperial Laurel.

 

I'm not sure if they all had any stat-boosting effect or if they were ssut cosmetic, but the Crux Terminatus DID have one effect - only marines that had earned that honor could equip Terminator Armor.

 

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I would be okay with making the soldiers fall down and be unrecoverable during the mission (the current 'dead' state) a 'badly wounded' state with a 75% chance of survival with a permanent scar of some kind.

Some of those scars could be mixed: Faster reactions but lower accuracy for the jittery soldier, or immunity to mind war but vulnerability to other forms of morale loss, in addition to the strictly worse ones. Since those scars would replace death, the balance issue would be in avoiding having the penalties be too weak, and soldiers being used as ablative armor being too possible.

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15 hours ago, Conductiv said:

the way Charon put it, I would be indifferent to the system as its basically a slot machine for possible combat buffs or gimping a soldier if they almost get killed. its not likely to buff soldiers to extreme levels and it is likely to individualize soldiers if they get shot.

The way coffee potato put it makes it look like a achievement hunt for stat boosts, this obviously has balance impact and I would generally oppose an implementation of that kind. 

For my list, I'm just sharing some that might match the original emblems in question a bit. 

The way TO did it, they were used to unlock classes, give small stat perks, or give some small perks under very specific situations. Some of the more extreme ones had a downside, like killing an enemy in one hit would boost strength, but lower intelligence. 

One time buffs were things like Centurion, where you got a free level from being the unit that got all kills that fight, or Mark of the Elite for doing so with 2 or less units.

Most were things like 3 Snipes in a row giving a small accuracy boost, and unlocking the Archer, or Book of Initiation, from dodging 3 times in a row, or Knight's certificate for attacking from the front. Killing 5 dragons or beasts would unlock damage bonuses against them, but make them not trust that unit, resulting in a morale decrease for enemies and friendly monsters. Meanwhile units that didn't have it could become supports.

Others were meant to be a teaching achievement, and tended to come in sets. Like Don Quixote, where a unit took 90% or higher damage from a counter attack, Broken Heart (Male unit failed to recruit a female one 4 times), or Bogus Hero, which removed the ability to hit crits. This would be over-written by Miracle (block an attack that would have killed), or Embodiment of Desires (find 5 hidden items on the ground, these were in specific places). 

Ultimately they weren't massive game changers in the long run, but felt really good to grab, and usually gave a helpful bonus early on. Like the 10 Agility from Sniper was almost nothing by the end, but would be enough to unlock many advanced classes a little bit early. 

Others still gave morale or luck pattern changes, since it used this whole complicated luck system. Still, you could build units just for morale bonuses, which can become massive if done right. 

Given the recent changes, the best way for this to be implemented might be something like a 1-2 point skill bonus, but allow this to go above their normal cap. They served like a much more expanded version of the X 1 award system. Morale bonuses would be very welcome to building officer units.

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I thought about something like this for Xenonauts for the past months as well (I am not sure if I even made a post about that somewhere). I come more from a Darkest Dungeon standpoint, a game where you essentially are a monster of a human being, taking in fresh adventurers, getting most of them killed or firing them after they have so many traumas that they are useless to your mission, only investing in those really worth it in terms of equipment and therapy. I would really like this in the context of Xenonauts as a resistance force against an overwhelming enemy (not in the sense of FiraXCOM 2's popcorn action cinema resistance). If you have the possibilities, you want to put your seasoned soldiers who are not really up for the front lines any more into some white collar position. If not, you'd let them go get killed in some other organization. Or, you know, see to that yourself in some way.

So I am talking about the psychologic side of the effect of violence on humans. Your arm got rendered useless by a Xenomorph's acid blood, which is bad for your combat performance, yeah, but also the trauma of the situation got you into a drinking habit mixed with morphine abuse just so you can get some sleep at night. You got violent when your CO demanded you get your head straight, thus demoted. Now you are not the cool, collected rifleman any more, but you are sent in as a high risk scout with only a pistol (can't use that second arm) nobody really cares losing. Now that's the bad side, but you might (perhaps with help from your comrades and superiors) see through that over time, get your rank and merit back, get really proficient at spotting and slaying Xenomorphs before they can come close, and get your fancy robotic arm for two handed use. All could be fine, but then again the operation on your arm got you back on morphine and weird looks from some "purist" comrades...

That's more a narrative arc obviously, but your soldiers could develop good and bad habits according to what happened to them, phobias according to traumatic situations (with variety; if you encountered a Caesan in the dark while passing through a door into a building you might develop fear of Ceasans, or the dark, or doors, or being the first to storm a building...) or good perks accordingly. This would also be a more or less random thing you cannot really farm for, especially since you cannot rely on the soldier ever recovering. Some broken things stay broken. It would also be aggravated by lack of rest, strings of hard, bad missions, losing many of your fellows and so on. Going with Darkest Dungeon, you could also have a chance of some heroic perk from a stressful situation instead of the soldier freaking out.

I am going to stop here, but I think the psychologic side is a really interesting one to explore, and Xeno1 already laid some foundation with the bravery system.

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I think this could be a really interesting mechanic if it was properly balanced.

Let's take a basic scenario, your soldier got a serious injury during the mission and will be out for 20 days. Your head scientist tells you that since you've captured and studied a live Sebillian he and his team has created an experimental drug that SHOULD rapidly increase healing rates but they haven't tested it on humans yet and offer to use this gravely wounded soldier as a guinea pig. If you order the soldier to take the drug one of three things can happen:

1) The healing time is reduced (this is the most likely outcome)

2) The drug has interacted unexpectedly and your soldier has become some kind of hybrid (better strength but poorer aim, along with some passive healing)

3) The soldier's body reacted strongly against the drug (longer healing duration but the experience has hardened the soldier leading to higher bravery and a big aim boost against Sebillians)

Things like this could help distinguish soldiers and force players to adapt their tactics instead of viewing the individual soldiers as living breathing weapons that occasionally need replacing.

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