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Chris

Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta V9 Released! (Experimental Branch)

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Closed Beta Build V9 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). This build is also not being released on Xsolla - all Xsolla backers should now have a Steam or GOG key. If not, please let us know and we'll look into why.

This build includes the updated air combat model and a refresh of the (non-Geoscape) strategic UI, along with a number of other features. Although the build is still rough in gameplay terms I'm planning to do a balance / gameplay pass on it as part of the hotfixes, so there'll be extra polish and potentially a bit of extra content arriving alongside the bugfixes in the next week or two. The biggest change is that you no longer have access to an air combat autoresolve function that will just autowin the battle; you now must either win the battles through the X1-style air combat system or use our improved autoresolve functionality that should give a much better approximation of the combat than it did in X1.

Key Features:

  • Strategic UI Update: the first part of the strategic UI refresh is now in place, covering the non-Geoscape management screens - Main Base, Research, Engineering, Base Stores, Personnel, Soldier Equip and Aircraft Equip. We've updated the layout and functionality on a few screens and reverted to a neater visual style more like X1; the final visual style of the UI may change in future but hopefully this is the final layout (subject to tweaks made due to community feedback and suggestions). Note that the art is not final; there's still areas we're using X1 placeholder stuff!
  • Realtime Air Combat: the realtime air combat model from X1 has been implemented into X2. There's been a few tweaks to the setup that I will explain below but most will be familiar from X1 - please give it a test and let us know if anything is weird / broken. Once we've given it a proper test we'll start making changes to the balance, adding new aircraft / weapons and thinking about whether we can improve the visuals etc.
  • Air Combat Autoresolve: we've implemented an entirely new air combat autoresolve formula that should give more accurate results than the X1 equivalent. In effect it simulates what happens if all the combatants fly directly towards each other at maximum speed, attacking as soon as their weapons come into firing range. If they reach one another, they stop dead and keep firing at point-blank range until one side is destroyed. It's a simplistic representation of air combat but one that should still avoid the somewhat nonsensical results that you could sometimes get from the X1 autoresolve! 

Air Combat:

  • Weapons now have a hit %. This currently has no gameplay effect (all weapons are set to 100% Accuracy) but it's a variable we'll tweak in future updates.
  • The manual Evade Roll no longer exists and has been replaced by an Evade % chance on all combatants, modified by the Evade modifier on each weapon (i.e. how easy is it to dodge this weapon). A successful evade roll will completely negate the damage from the incoming shot - so if you see missiles pass straight through a target, it's because they have evaded them.
    • Your Falcon interceptors have a 25% Evade chance and your Foxtrots have a 0% Evade chance against alien fire.
    • Your cannons ignore Evasion, but Sidewinders apply it normally and Avalanche missiles double the Evade chance of each UFO.
    • We'll be discussing this mechanic with the community in the near future to see how well it works; we'll also be adding a visual indicator so you can see when it happens.
  • The retreat area for the combat is now relative to the UFO and is currently just shaded green. If you touch the edge of this green area your interceptor will retreat.

Gaemplay Updates:

  • Soldier armour is now controlled by a dropdown like in X1, rather than having an inventory slot (this will make it easier to support modular armour).
  • Aircraft now have pilot portraits. We'll be giving these guys pilot helmets and callsigns rather than names in an upcoming update.
  • The wall-hiding system is now in the game, although my playtesting suggests that it's not working particularly well right now - we'll finesse that some more in the hotfixes.
  • The arid (middle east) maps have had some updates to their ground textures to make them less visually noisy. 
  • Falcon interceptor and Skyhawk dropship are no longer purchased, but can be constructed in the workshop from the start of the game. They are also substantially cheaper than before, although not quite as cheap as they were in X1.
  • Combat missions on the Geoscape no longer despawn if there is a dropship en-route to them.
  • Anomalies (the little events spawned by UFOs on the Geoscape) no longer appear in the mutli-select popup list that occurs when you click on an area that contains multiple interactive objects, as they were just cluttering things up.
  • Medals earned by your soldiers are now displayed on the mission-end debrief screen.
  • Some basic art for the Skyhawk on the Aircraft screen.
  • Sebillian autopsy and corpse art has been added.
  • Semi-placeholder corpse art added for the Andron, Gundrone and Cyberdrone.
  • Unassigned soldier tab on the Soldier Equip screen now displays the numbers of soldiers in that category.
  • Units under mind control do not count for victory conditions; e.g. you won't lose if your last soldier is mind controlled and you can't win by mind-controlling the last alien.

Bugfixes:

  • Units should no longer be able to see up / down through solid floors and ceilings.
  • You can now decommission a dropship without the game crashing.
  • The equipment of the civilians and local forces is no longer being recovered after battle.
  • Fixed some issues with loadouts for Unassigned soldiers.
  • Fixed the Gun Drone and Cyberdrone not exploding and disappearing when killed.

Please give the air combat a thorough test and let us know in this thread if you find anything that works differently from X1 or just feels worse for some reason. Feel free to report anything you notice, even if it is such a big issue it seems obvious or so small an issue you're not sure it matters - a LOT of work has gone into the air combat update and we're bound to have missed without realising.

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