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Has the community dragged this back to being X1 with a new coat of paint?

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To get back to the main topic, if that's the case, that's a good thing. I've said before in other posts, but X1 was an excellent game and it took the XCOM formula in all the right directions. Making a better version of that game (Xenonauts) should absolutely have been the goal from the beginning, and I think that it was, but unfortunately somewhere along the way some ideas were implemented to appease certain vocal minorities who really just wanted the game to be remade as the original XCOM, which it had already surpassed in every way.

So more accurately, it was dragged backwards to the game that inspired it by members of the community and then over time, the developers realized they actually were taking steps backwards in doing so and returned to their original formula which was nearly already perfect. Unfortunately, in the state that it's in, there are still some issues that will probably never been resolved because of how it was designed. (Tetris UFOs are the most egregious example.) But having played the most recent version after coming back for a while, it's nice to see that bases and air combat have been restored to their former glory. I think the idea of changing those elements was a good idea, but they needed to be expanded rather than dumbed down.

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Posted (edited)

I also believe that Xenonauts improved in the original UFO:EU in many ways. Improvement along the same lines is not a bad thing at all. It's all looking good for xen2 so far. Those are the games we came to love; it's not good to veer too far from the original formula because it might burn you - which has happened with other games. 

I guess the biggest improvements I'm expecting are in the air combat and AI of the aliens. More map variety would be nice too. More of the same, basically (in the same vein as Xen1). One thing that UFO has over xen is that it has a bit of alien 'wierdness' where xen doesn't. It would be nice to see floating eyes etc.

Edited by ooey
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Yeah I think the first game improved on the formula of the original XCOM tremendously. Making it as much fun to play as OpenXCOM.

What I really want from the new sequel is to expand on every aspect like the expanded air combat, more things to do on the geoscape, the research tree being more open rather than just a straight line of progression, actual factionalism between our Earth benefactors to make the story more than just a fight against an alien invasion but a turning point to the Cold War as well,... On the ground combat I just want more variety of aliens to really show that the invaders are a truly big threat in the line of other alien conglomerates like the Combine or the Covenant and a more fleshed out psychic protection, ground vehicles for both our troops and the aliens, and first aid. Just the first game but better.

On 4/18/2020 at 6:11 AM, indaris said:

Tetris UFOs are the most egregious example.

Yeah, this is a contentious issue for me as well. But hopefully with @Chris announcing that the recruitment of the first game’s artist, this will get fixed. The best case scenario is that we’ll get the cool ship designs of the first game, the worst is that it should look like OpenXCOM 40k mod which is still boxy but made an effort to look like something that flies and not a rectangular box.

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42 minutes ago, ooey said:

One thing that UFO has over xen is that it has a bit of alien 'wierdness' where xen doesn't. It would be nice to see floating eyes etc.

It would be really cool to see more unique aliens that don’t look humanoids. Really making it clear why we can’t just pick up and use their weapons.

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Weird aliens are a great idea, but not 90s videogame aliens, which is what XCOM had. There were strange things which were basically monsters that belonged on the cover of heavy metal albums. Which is cool but... why do they exist? A giant flying eyeball? Why would such a creature evolve and what value would it have over a drone with a camera? How could it even manipulate environments on it's homeworld? The aliens in Xenonauts 1 are perhaps not super creative in design, but they are very plausible. Ixhcel as you present, is basically just a bipedial humanoid alien with extra arms. Something like the Elder Things from Lovecraft would avoid the bipedial symmetrical design. 

There were some designs in the XCOM reboot that I liked. Mainly the Thin Men and the Seekers. The Thin Men are a fantastic idea. It plays into UFO/Alien mythology with a decent reason, they're creepy. It's just great. Whenever possibly, play to the source material if it works. The Seekers were cool because they were obvious alien tech designed as a weapon. They had no other purpose than hunting down and killing humans who were alone. Great stuff.

XCOM 2 had even more better ideas. I really liked ALL the Advent troops, but that's a specific "Aliens have won" scenario so I won't touch on that here. There are three really good designs that I love. Archons, Faceless and Codexes.

Archons are on the surface, clearly some sort of vanity project or PR weapon. They're made to look like angels, but they're obviously stitched together. It's a fantastic idea with the Advent Churches popping up.  Faceless are cool because, shapeshifters. It's a good idea from a gameplay and a narrative standpoint. And then the Codexes. They're so different from everything else. Basically you have these AI avatars running around for some reason, and they're repositories of data and information for the Advent. They're some sort of coordination/data gathering device that is intelligent and independent enough to act individually. That's very interesting and it's not some sort of bloated mutant blob monster.

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1 hour ago, indaris said:

XCOM 2 had even more better ideas. I really liked ALL the Advent troops, but that's a specific "Aliens have won" scenario so I won't touch on that here. There are three really good designs that I love. Archons, Faceless and Codexes.
 

I love some of the XCOM aliens too, they makes you feel like you are really fighting a plausible Alien alliance rather than some thing came from a 1970s era conspiracy magazines, you know, the ones would have the cover of women kidnapping by cthulhu monsters. 

I my opinion the most interesting designs are Andromedons and Gatekeepers, which having both organic state and mechanical states that not only adds gameplay challenges (as there are different damage systems towards 2 types), but add more depth for settings. Especially the Andromedons, that the fragile alien pilots put themselves into acidic coolants because they have difficulties adapting environments on other planets, and their battlesuits reactivates after the death of the pilot and spreading coolants everywhere autonomously. It is a very interesting setting and add more possibilities about how different races are combined into the invader forces, kind of like how Wraith and Harridans in X1 have totally different hiearrchy and "culture" that distinguish them from the standard aliens.

I'm having the idea that the introduction of codexs is a way to replace the orginal "interrogation" research in XCOM:EW, that you no longer need to capture aliens alive but just stick a blade into their brain and fight a sexy AI avatars running and cloning around. But yes, the codex designs are very interesting and plausible, and it is fun fighting them, and their appreance make sence as well, they really made the "interrogation" feature into a more interesting approach by introducing these codexs.

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6 hours ago, indaris said:

Ixhcel as you present, is basically just a bipedial humanoid alien with extra arms. Something like the Elder Things from Lovecraft would avoid the bipedial symmetrical design. 

I actually intended to post the Old Ones as an example but then backed out on that ;). On the aspects of a possibility of an alien, I believe for a design to be plausible, they only need good sensory organs, powerful grasping limps and some intelligent the rest can be as free as any creator wants. In the case of just an alien with extra limps and without eyesight like the Ixchel can create some very interesting gameplay mechanics. For instance with multiple powerful arms they can fire and hold multiple weapons at the same time making them a level of flexibility unlike the Xenonaut soldiers but even better (3 pistols and a shield, one carbines and one sniper), while having only the sense of smell make them have a spherical vision rather than the normal cone of the other aliens making them difficult to just flank with a shotgun barrage. Or another example an alien like the Moties (from the book A Mote in God’s Eye), who have an asymmetrical body plan with two weak arms and a stronger single arm, can use a devastating melee weapon when closing in and shoot you with their rifles held by the weaker arms when they run away. The mutation of these species could be attributed to just genetic tampering by the Praetors.

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6 hours ago, indaris said:

There were some designs in the XCOM reboot that I liked. Mainly the Thin Men and the Seekers.

This I can really agree, the Thin men was a really inventive idea to incorporate the reptilian conspiracies into the game while being fitting for an infiltration style that the reboot was going for. But I can’t see that the enemy designs of the second game being any improvement upon the first. The Advent are just a justification of putting dudes with guns as the main goon type enemy for the XCOM to mop up, their gameplay variety was one dimensional at best while their armor was just generic sleek futuristic armor #32149 which can be easily outdone by even wolfenstein Nazis or half-life combine soldiers. The Faceless while being a very intelligent way of implementing shapeshifters back into the game (also good to scare the crap out of you once they suddenly transform) their design was really weak being just a shapeless blob with sharp claws something even the original three-eyed Thing from Who Goes There can out do.

5 hours ago, EurekaSeven said:

they makes you feel like you are really fighting a plausible Alien alliance rather than some thing came from a 1970s era conspiracy magazines, you know, the ones would have the cover of women kidnapping by cthulhu monsters. 

I mean an art style resembling old Cold War magazines was something the first game was going for and it really made it unique among its contemporaries. Some designs back then still really holds up even with their hammy-ness. Something the new reboot just can’t seem to do especially with XCOM 2 with their design being now even less inspired than 343 Halo in some cases.

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With having said all that, I actually think that the mechanics behind both the Andromedons and Gate Keepers are good and should be copied to X2 with some kind of enemies that change phases after certain levels of damage is dealt. Maybe some kind of alien cyborg that after loosing 2/3rds of its hp or your soldiers landing a headshot can separate into two forms: One is the brutish host which would go bezerk without the controller; and the parasite that will jump onto your troops or civilians to mind jack them (they can be killed with electric batons or emp grenades).

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BTW Xeroth, apparently the devs abandoned the Cold War era setting so I guess no more "turning point" battles there.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/20/2020 at 5:30 AM, Xeroxth said:

It would be really cool to see more unique aliens that don’t look humanoids. Really making it clear why we can’t just pick up and use their weapons.

This is a good point. I like what chris did in xen 1 - you can still fire the weapons, but they are unwieldy and thus not very accurate.

Edited by ooey

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Posted (edited)

I think everyone likes a bit of alien weirdness, and I see nothing wrong with a "floating eye"! Such a lifeform could have developed somewhere in the universe. They could, perhaps, be allied with the Psi aliens to be their means of a line-of-sight target lock for Psi attacks or spotting civilians and your soldiers on terror/ UFO missions (I've never liked the way powerful Psi-aliens can cower on the bridge, not see any of your men, yet still lock on to 'turn' them).

Perhaps they could be akin to fast reconnaissance units that don't actually carry a weapon, but just do the spotting for the above/the rest of the aliens and need to be killed quickly, otherwise you are at risk of a Psi attack). Perhaps they can compensate for not having a weapon by temporarily halving the morale of any soldier that sees one (terror)? Basically neusiance units that must be eliminated as quickly as possible. Not all types of aliens have to be super powerful and carry weapons you know. Some can be true support units. Can you imagine being surrounded by floating eyes?!

Variety is the spice of life, and would go a long way to making sure that x2 is NOT x1 with a new coat of paint. 

X-COM_-_UFO_Defense_Coverart.png

Edited by ooey

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On 4/21/2020 at 2:08 PM, ooey said:

This is a good point. I like what chris did in xen 1 - you can still fire the weapons, but they are unwieldy and thus not very accurate.

That was great as well. But I would love for the alien weapons to be kinda similar to how Prawn weapons work in District 9. Where some like pistols and rifles can be used but very unwieldy but the heavy weapons are straight up unusable unless Xenonauts have researched devices that allow the troops to use them. These can be expanded to operating turrets of the alien ships, alien mortars and weapon platforms.

On 4/21/2020 at 2:29 PM, ooey said:

Perhaps they could be akin to fast reconnaissance units that don't actually carry a weapon, but just do the spotting for the above/the rest of the aliens and need to be killed quickly, otherwise you are at risk of a Psi attack). Perhaps they can compensate for not having a weapon by temporarily halving the morale of any soldier that sees one (terror)? Basically neusiance units that must be eliminated as quickly as possible. Not all types of aliens have to be super powerful and carry weapons you know. Some can be true support units. Can you imagine being surrounded by floating eyes?!

Floating aliens are a really overused trope of the sci-fi game genre. I would love for the devs to make it as unique as possible without making it something as generic as a flying orb or eyeball. Maybe something like the Eosapien from Expedition where not only that they can float, they can “see” you through cover using sonars. Making them a specialist in using explosives like the deadly Plasma Cannons to just shoot our soldiers out of their hiding spots. Forcing the player to adapt and prioritize taking them down. Also thanks for reminding me how cool the physical cover of the original UFO game, that was so dope.latest?cb=20080908061221

On 4/21/2020 at 8:28 AM, Comrade said:

apparently the devs abandoned the Cold War era setting so I guess no more "turning point" battles there.

Ah, what a shame. Back during the kickstarter I was truly hopeful of Goldhawk expanding the setting and fully using the cool backdrop of the Cold War in the sequel like they promised.

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That alien right there looks like it will club you to death! Speaking of hand to hand combat, I can't remember if you could even do it in xen. Did anyone ever try it as a last resort?

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2 hours ago, ooey said:

That alien right there looks like it will club you to death! Speaking of hand to hand combat, I can't remember if you could even do it in xen. Did anyone ever try it as a last resort?

To be fair in the book that alien is from they’re only seen to reach an early stage of making stone tools. Although they’re seen hunting and shooting down living jet plane animals with just spears so they’re indeed very strong.

I did remember one time, a sebilian commander dropped his weapon for no reason and I had one of my troop beat him to submission with a stun baton but that was it.

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On 4/26/2020 at 4:11 AM, ooey said:

That alien right there looks like it will club you to death! Speaking of hand to hand combat, I can't remember if you could even do it in xen. Did anyone ever try it as a last resort?

It was a viable tactic to rush early UFOs with a squad of shieldbearing guys with stun batons and just beat the shit out of Caesarans for resisting arrest.

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It's easier to act like a police force in X1 and X2 than it is in the police themed Chmera Squad. But that's a discussion for another thread, methinks. 

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7 hours ago, indaris said:

It was a viable tactic to rush early UFOs with a squad of shieldbearing guys with stun batons and just beat the shit out of Caesarans for resisting arrest.

I never tried that!

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21 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

It's easier to act like a police force in X1 and X2 than it is in the police themed Chmera Squad. But that's a discussion for another thread, methinks. 

That's entirely down to loadout and character skill choices in Chimera Squad. You can absolutely do easy no-kill sweeps even at the end of game, but you have to choose to do that rather than just pick lethal skills and equipment.

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Honestly I'd rather see "more of the same with improvements" as opposed to an overhaul when it comes to sequels.

It's why I much prefer the Dragon Quest games over Final Fantasy.

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On 4/20/2020 at 10:30 AM, indaris said:

XCOM 2 had even more better ideas. I really liked ALL the Advent troops, but that's a specific "Aliens have won" scenario so I won't touch on that here. There are three really good designs that I love. Archons, Faceless and Codexes.

I find Codexes extremely stupid.

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Posted (edited)

Codexes are cool and fun to fight. Archons are stupid, so ornate with an artillery strike that can be dodged by everyone. Faceless are too, but they would be cool if they were actual shapeshifters and not just bad chyrssalids (melees which can burrow until enemy is in range or you use a scanner).

I can see why Trashman would dislike Codexes, since they are pure teleportation. But they are a digital enemy, a way to give a face to a power that doesn't actually have one, just like the Matrix. So it makes sense that they don't follow physical laws.

Edited by Bobit

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How about adding a "shapeshifter" enemy to xen 2, which mutates into one of the other types of enemy every few turns? That would be a nice twist. And it would be easy to do as the graphics etc. already exist. 

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On 5/3/2020 at 7:14 AM, ooey said:

How about adding a "shapeshifter" enemy to xen 2, which mutates into one of the other types of enemy every few turns? That would be a nice twist. And it would be easy to do as the graphics etc. already exist. 

Uh pls no. That would completely ruin the hard ish sci fi aspect of Xenonauts

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Nevertheless it's an easy way to get a bit more complexity into things with regards strategy, and fits in with the way things are going (i.e. dumping the Foxhound for a generic all-around aircraft).

Imagine holing up the last alien in a barn, your last sight of it being a Sebillian, only for a Reaper to burst out. It has its merits simply because it will keep you on your toes. 

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7 hours ago, ooey said:

Nevertheless it's an easy way to get a bit more complexity into things with regards strategy, and fits in with the way things are going (i.e. dumping the Foxhound for a generic all-around aircraft).

Imagine holing up the last alien in a barn, your last sight of it being a Sebillian, only for a Reaper to burst out. It has its merits simply because it will keep you on your toes. 

I think it would just be far better to just make a whole new enemy with tweaks to its AI, vision cone and weapon/skill load outs maybe different versions of already existing aliens. For instance an enemy that’s can fly like a Harridan but heavily armored and specialized on assault weapons like melee stun clubs, shotguns that can make fast attacks into the middle of your group of soldiers. Or an alien with a  beam weapon/heavy artillery that can kill you soldiers in groups but is extremely lightly armored and need a turn or two to lock on to target, basically our version of a Doom Archville. Hell just an enemy that have two stages with the first being ranged and the second being melee focused would change the game base considerably. Or even a healer/mechanic alien. Or a trapper alien. The variety of game mechanics for enemies are limitless.

On 5/5/2020 at 6:55 AM, Comrade said:

hard ish sci fi aspect of Xenonauts

Dude. The first game we already have our soldiers using singularity cannons, mind controlling psychics and aliens that can replicate themselves with eggs that grew in a pace that defied the common laws of thermodynamics like the Reapers. Xenonaus is NOT hard in any sense of the word. If we want the game to be actually hard sci-fi the aliens would just nuke the hell out of any big cities and ask for our surrender.

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2020 at 9:03 AM, Bobit said:

Codexes are cool and fun to fight. Archons are stupid, so ornate with an artillery strike that can be dodged by everyone. Faceless are too, but they would be cool if they were actual shapeshifters and not just bad chyrssalids (melees which can burrow until enemy is in range or you use a scanner).

I can see why Trashman would dislike Codexes, since they are pure teleportation. But they are a digital enemy, a way to give a face to a power that doesn't actually have one, just like the Matrix. So it makes sense that they don't follow physical laws.

Nah, the annoying gameplay gimmick aside, the concept itself is what I hate.

The idea of data having a physical form, ignoring the laws of physics and being defeated with bullets is so utterly retarded it offends me on a deep level.

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1 hour ago, Xeroxth said:

Dude. The first game we already have our soldiers using singularity cannons, mind controlling psychics and aliens that can replicate themselves with eggs that grew in a pace that defied the common laws of thermodynamics like the Reapers. Xenonaus is NOT hard in any sense of the word. If we want the game to be actually hard sci-fi the aliens would just nuke the hell out of any big cities and ask for our surrender.

That would be an interesting mechanic.

The game has the alien mothership moving around the map, nuking big cities, with smaller UFO's hitting smaller settlements and doing terror attacks.

You would be in a race against time to find a way to stop the mothership while there's still something left to save (and before humanity surrenders, although technically, you could still keep the game going after that, since you refused to surrender)

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