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V9 Balance / Gameplay Feedback Thread

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This is the official thread to discuss the balance of the V9 builds and the overall gameplay experience. Now the air combat is complete we've finally reached the point where I'm going to be doing an extended gameplay test and balance session so please post up particular weapons / aliens / UFOs / etc that feel badly balanced. 

I'd also be interested to know about areas of the game that seem really unpolished in a way that spoils your gameplay experience, too - I know there are a lot of them but hearing other people's opinions will help me prioritise what I should be fixing up or what content I should be adding. I won't be able to act on everything but really the more feedback I have to consider the better. This could be game systems, it could be particular UI panels looking bad, it could be certain parts of the game being unintuitive or hard to use, etc. Just post it up here.

I'm aware the game balance hasn't changed much since V8 so I'll be reading over the comments in the V8 balance thread too.

The plan is that we'll be releasing an update in about a week which will include a number of UI improvements, balance improvements and generally just should address some of the issues I find in my gameplay testing.

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Very much like the new graphics for the people on the base (lab guy, etc.). 

The new charts (soldiers, egineering, etc.) are much cleaner and more visible, but also more bland--I'm assuming that they will be re-drawn to add a military/futuristic feel.  

It seems like the troops at the outset can carry an awful lot of grenades..will see how the balance is.

 

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I generally like the new Global interface changes. There are some issues with buttons not working (delete in the engineering screen for example), no queue for the research tab at all; load out information seeming to get deleted after every mission, and a number of other things -- all mentioned in the bugs section. One thing hasn't been in bugs because I think I read in change notes that it was intentional -- the seemingly random invisible walls in the tactical interface.

Please make it stop. First it makes it hard to see at a glance what sections of the UFO walls are and are not blown out so I don't walk my troops across open spaces where they can get shot. It makes other buildings (and the UFO) look like there are places where I can shoot through, but not really. Before the shaded figures showed any living thing I can see on the other side; if I need to see other objects on the other side of the wall I can turn the map.

I don't think it really serves any tactical purpose except confusion.

Edited by Challenge
Grammer and clarity

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First ground combat seemed okay--being able to carry lots more grenades didn't seem to unbalance anything, since there were almost no situations to use anything but smoke. 

In general, I use the smoke grenades the most, especially to cover the disembarkation of the troops.  It sometimes feels like we have too much smoke--I depend on it to deprive the aliens of taking many shots from a distance.  Of course, it cuts off my distance shots too.

In this first ground combat, two aliens with an LOS to the drop ship killed two of my troops with one shot each as soon as they had stepped off the chopper, but that felt simply like a bit of bad luck.  Players might get frustrated if that happened too much, especially in their first battles.

Two interface changes in V9 that bothered me (see screen shot):

1. Since the Tactical Armor has been removed from the other loadout choices and put separately with a different mechanic (player has to click on a title, rather than a picture), I think it's much less obvious.  

2. The tabs on the side of the box with the list of soldiers don't suggest (to me) that they can be clicked on, or what they refer to.  The function (skyhawk v. base soldiers) is very useful, however.

 

Image3.jpg

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Thoughts so far:

Loving the new visual style changes, this is the kind of modern dread feeling I think of from Xeno. 

De-clunked inventory is nice. Good job.

Was there stuff changed in the music? I feel like it sounds darker. 

Single research queue?

Liking being able to assign build orders to a location, that was needed. 

No Dodge rolls?

Please, please, please let us use the first launch menu to reassign airborne jets to fight the thing they just rediscovered. This has been an issue since the original XCOM.

Also, holy crap, this air fight music is baller. 

Liking the pilot stuff, should be a solid change. 

Liking the extra missiles on the fox, would like to see options for stances on jets. 

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So, I could talk specific numbers but it's likely the dev team has access to more variables than I do, so I'll talk mostly in generailties:

 

1) Aliens should shoot more

Aliens currently spend more time moving from cover to cover than they do shooting back. This is true of Sebillians, and especially true of Brutes. If X2 aliens have a minimum -to-hit like thy did in X1, then it seems like the aliens in X2 spend too much time trying to get to the point where they can hit a target. I don't know quite how you'd address this, as aliens in x2 have the same problem as they did before the minimu to-hit was introduced in x1. When an alien in X2 can hit a target, they stay where they are and spend all their TU shooting. Sometimes this is a good thing, but most of the time it makes them a sitting duck. 

2) Brutes needs more dakka

Sebillian Brutes are not scary. They don't fire their LMGs, they are too easy to suppress. I would suggest either doubling or tripling their current bravery to make them much harder to suppress, because once you suppress a Brute they sit their sucking their two thumbs. Even warriors have more fight than Brutes! They're supposed to be RAWR, instead they're roar . Also, somehow, force them to fire their LMGs more. This may be not how you picture it, but the Brute has some parallells to the humble Ork. Big, resilient, dumb, always up for a fight. I picture a Brute just blazing away and when it gets up close using its LMG as a club. 

3) Human ballistics could stand to be nerfed a little re. damage

After some interesting revelations from Solver, I experimented with ballistics a lot. The curent damage output from human weapons is a touch too high to make aliens fearsome. I've experimented with rifles doing 20pts damage per bullet, shotguns do 18 per pellet, LMGs doing 20 (the extra bullets per burst tend to multiply quickly), snipers doing 30. 

4) Sub machinguns and pistols could stand some reworking

As things stand, I don't currently need either pistols or submachinuns. The basic primary armament does the job, and by the time I get to shields I've usually got access to either laser or converted pistols. istols ad sub machineguns need to up their gam to be more competitie. I would suggest making pistols really cheap with their shots. That's not how actual pistols are, but it's a field they could compete in. Sub machinguns, I'm not certain about. Cheap bursts? 

5) Give us a reason to manage ammo with human ballistics

Solver is right - you never run through a magazine or belt with the current game. I've tried a couple of things - nerfing ballsitic damage and making it hella cheaper to shoot boolet but I'm inclined to agree that if there's going to be 10 soldiers then the magazine sizes need to drop a little. Perhaps 15 shots for the rifle, and 40 shots for a LMG belt. The two weapons I've come closest or actually had to reload have been the sniper and the shotgun.

5) Give lasers infinite ammo. 

I talk about this every balance thread, but I sincerely believe that setting the regenerate value the same as the cell size is the most unique thing you could do with lasers. I'd suggest with the laser sniper you give it a unique magazine with 1 shot (I've tried making this myself, but I'm missing something  I make it both in the strategy and the ground combat folders, but I can't quite make it work - what am I missing?), making in effect a bolt-action weapon but seeing as it regenerates 1 shot each turn and each shot is very expensive that just makes it in-line with other lasers. I'd also suggest setting the laser LMG cell size to 5 shots. Not having to carry ammo and lightness could be the unique selling point of lasers, just like it was back in the Xcom days. 

6) Rework Converted weapons TU usage and introduce other drawbacks

The TU usage of converted weapons is currently too high. It makes them severely unattractive compared to ballistics, and you don't really need them until you run across Androns. Converted weapons could be an excellent bridge weapon type towards human equipment, and be the harbinger of gauss and plasma. I'd suggest introducing degeneration with the alien plasma weapon, so the 16-shot cell starts ticking down, and possibly as Solver suggests, make ammo limited and dependent on aliens. It might be an idea to make Cmag weapons heavier, to reflect that they are carried by the burly Sebillians and possibly make the Mag LMG so heavy that it can't be carried by a unassisted human into combat. 

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Why not male it simpler, and get rid of the Ballistic weapon and use rocks!!, and then all we have to do is run for the hills.

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@Ruggerman. This is your opportunity to discuss the current balance of the game and your gameplay experience. Seeing as Chris will look at this feedback and evaluate it as part of the changes he plans to make during his pass through the game, would you not think that your time would be spent better actually commenting on your experience of the game as I have done rather than making as usual, throwaway comments that have no context or relation to the thread you post them in. I mean, if you want to throw away the opportunity to tell Chris about your experiences of the game and its current balance and then only later, after Chris makes his changes whine and dribble when it's too damn late then be my guest. 

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Have spent minimal time with V9 so far, but I'm inclined to support the points Max makes.

Sebillian Brutes were too strong a few versions ago, but are a bit too weak now. I think it's just their reluctance to fire. Brutes are still quite tough, but between general AI algorithms and suppression, they rarely shoot. Addressing that (higher bravery? higher accuracy to make them likelier to shoot?) would likely be sufficient.

Lots of good discussion around converted weapons in the V8 thread, so I won't repeat that, but the key takeaway remains that their TU costs are punishingly high, putting both cmags and cplasmas into an awkward tier where their niche is not clear.

Geoscape has obviously not been balanced at all, it's mostly a mess, but I would in particular point to the early research projects. You can start researching better armour right away and, with a bit of luck, have a couple of suits ready before you shoot down the first UFO. I think it should be like X1, where you have to use the basic equipment for at least a couple of missions.

Also I still dislike the 10 soldiers change, it's the most unnecessary change the game has had.

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16 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

1) Aliens should shoot more Aliens currently spend more time moving from cover to cover than they do shooting back.

This is true of Sebillians, and especially true of Brutes. If X2 aliens have a minimum -to-hit like thy did in X1, then it seems like the aliens in X2 spend too much time trying to get to the point where they can hit a target. I don't know quite how you'd address this, as aliens in x2 have the same problem as they did before the minimu to-hit was introduced in x1. When an alien in X2 can hit a target, they stay where they are and spend all their TU shooting. Sometimes this is a good thing, but most of the time it makes them a sitting duck. 

2) Brutes needs more dakka

Sebillian Brutes are not scary. They don't fire their LMGs, they are too easy to suppress. I would suggest either doubling or tripling their current bravery to make them much harder to suppress, because once you suppress a Brute they sit their sucking their two thumbs. Even warriors have more fight than Brutes! They're supposed to be RAWR, instead they're roar . Also, somehow, force them to fire their LMGs more. This may be not how you picture it, but the Brute has some parallells to the humble Ork. Big, resilient, dumb, always up for a fight. I picture a Brute just blazing away and when it gets up close using its LMG as a club. 

I agree that some aliens definitely seem to move a lot more, and Brutes seem to do this more than most. Not that I necessarily want them shooting more as they seem to be a good sight more accurate than my soldiers are, but they aren't really doing what you'd expect them to do. Of course, if they were to be a lot more RAWR and shoot a lot more, I'd want a smaller number on a mission until I get the chance to handle one. As it is, even with some converted alien weapons I often have to devote half my squad to one Brute simply because I cannot get enough hits to put it down. 

Quote

3) Human ballistics could stand to be nerfed a little re. damage

After some interesting revelations from Solver, I experimented with ballistics a lot. The curent damage output from human weapons is a touch too high to make aliens fearsome. I've experimented with rifles doing 20pts damage per bullet, shotguns do 18 per pellet, LMGs doing 20 (the extra bullets per burst tend to multiply quickly), snipers doing 30. 

I'm not sure I agree. There is quite a bit of randomisation with damage which doesn't make it a sure kill. I've got hits with sniper rifles and done less than 20 damage, and then done 50 with a regular rifle. It's not until you get to laser weapons that you can generally one shot kill anything, and even then it's mostly just Psyons with the laser sniper. And given how much Sebillians can regenerate, I've seen Brutes come back over 100 hp in a turn, I don't want to become even more frustrated than I already am with taking one down with ballistic weapons. In my last alien raid mission in 9.0 I think it took me 4 turns to kill a Brute. Given the way they swarm your ship, which I really like as it's realistic, you'd get massacred every time if ballistic weapons were nerfed. 

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4) Sub machinguns and pistols could stand some reworking

As things stand, I don't currently need either pistols or submachinuns. The basic primary armament does the job, and by the time I get to shields I've usually got access to either laser or converted pistols. istols ad sub machineguns need to up their gam to be more competitie. I would suggest making pistols really cheap with their shots. That's not how actual pistols are, but it's a field they could compete in. Sub machinguns, I'm not certain about. Cheap bursts? 

I agree that I barely use them. The only advantage they have is as a backup weapon for the HEVY Launcher or LMG when you simply don't have enough TUs left to fire the other weapon - or you really don't want overwatch fire with the HEVY. I do also use them with the soldier carrying the shield, but by the time I get that I usually have the converted plasma pistol which I think makes a lot more sense. That said, at anything other than very short range they miss a lot, and do need something to make them more useful in the game. 

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Thanks for the comments guys, I skimmed them just now and will re-read later in a day or two - my first extended playthrough at the weekend ended up mostly flagging up bugs and missing features more than it did bad game balance. I'm hoping I can focus on the gameplay more when I do another session tomorrow or the day after. A few thoughts that spring to mind, though:

Dropship: Firstly, we're most likely changing the dropship design again, this time back to a Chinook. My gameplay session over the weekend convinced me that having a dropship with a 1m raised floor was too annoying when you were trying to maneuver troops because you can't click through the raised floor to hit the lower tile immediately behind it, which means moving soldiers around the far side of the dropship is a real pain unless you want to rotate the camera. With a flat floor movement isn't impeded in any way and the process is just much cleaner. Once you assume you want a ground-level floor then the shape of the Chinook works much better.

This change means the return of the large 3x6 cargo hold of the Chinook, giving room to maneuver your troops around and arrange them in different parts of the dropship. It also means we can change the dropship troop capacity very easily. I think there's an argument for 10 starting soldiers (more on that below) but if we want to revert to 8 it's not a problem.

Converted Alien Weapons: Secondly, I'm not quite sure what we're going to do with the converted alien weapons. The concept for them was that they gave you an easy path into energy weapons so you could tackle kinetic-resistant Androns more easily if you didn't go for early Laser Weapons ... but I don't really think they have an interesting niche. I'm also not sure it's viable to build much gameplay around needing to use certain weapons against certain alien races; I think it might just be better to dial back the alien resistances a bit (to maybe 30% rather than 50%) so fighting aliens with the "wrong" weapons is still possible, it's just a bit harder. In that situation there's not much point having converted alien weapons at all.

Alloys: I think instead the early game could be made more interesting by drip-feeding items in the early game, so when you research new weapons or upgrades you don't simply go to your workshop and build 12 of them over three days so your team is fully kitted with them for the next battle but instead you gain the resources needed to do so over the course of two or three battles. This means you'd have to choose which soldiers get the best gear and you feel like there's progression after every battle rather than every few battles like in X1. I guess early on this probably means only getting a few Alloys each mission and giving the player lots of things that require Alloys - I don't really feel X1 did that particularly well.

Lethality / 10 Soldiers: The logic behind having more soldiers and the higher damage on the ballistic weapons is that I wanted to recapture a bit more of the spirit of X-Com, where battles are often a total bloodbath in the early stages of the game, but the enemies often go down in just a few shots, but you get a LOT more soldiers on those missions. The increased lethality also makes overwatch more important; I remember someone pointing out that in X1 by the late game there wasn't much point using overwatch at all because there was effectively zero chance overwatch could kill an enemy in one shot, which means there's very little you can do to protect (for example) a doorway against an alien bursting through and shooting your guys ... the best you can realistically do is wound that alien before it shoots you. I think it's a fair point.

So the idea is more soldiers and more deadly weapons, but also more weapons with similarly deadly weapons. I'm open to discussion on those points but that was the thinking behind it.

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Thanks Chris, it's very useful to see the thinking behind some decisions. With that, I can make some more specific comments.

1 hour ago, Chris said:

Converted Alien Weapons: Secondly, I'm not quite sure what we're going to do with the converted alien weapons. The concept for them was that they gave you an easy path into energy weapons so you could tackle kinetic-resistant Androns more easily if you didn't go for early Laser Weapons ... but I don't really think they have an interesting niche.

Very interesting, because I never got the impression that the intention was to give you energy weapons. My feeling was that converted weapons exist as a cheaply manufactured suboptimal solution, as in, you'd rather have lasers, but can use converted weapons to save money and workshop hours, at the expense of having less suitable weapons. Hence the high TU costs. So it might work to make that the niche - cheap, limited by alien ammo, rather powerful, a bit unwieldy.

 

1 hour ago, Chris said:

Alloys: I think instead the early game could be made more interesting by drip-feeding items in the early game, so when you research new weapons or upgrades you don't simply go to your workshop and build 12 of them over three days so your team is fully kitted with them for the next battle but instead you gain the resources needed to do so over the course of two or three battles. This means you'd have to choose which soldiers get the best gear and you feel like there's progression after every battle rather than every few battles like in X1. I guess early on this probably means only getting a few Alloys each mission and giving the player lots of things that require Alloys - I don't really feel X1 did that particularly well.

If there's time, a solid pass on the economy would be on my wishlist. I often played X1 with a small personal mod that basically decreased Alloys and Alenium from missions, and increased the amounts required for production. It would be great to have a real resource economy. And a great opportunity to make landed UFOs more attractive by increasing

 

Alloy rewards from them. I would say in general, a good starting point is to assume X1 provided twice as many alloys as it should have.

 

1 hour ago, Chris said:

Lethality / 10 Soldiers: The logic behind having more soldiers and the higher damage on the ballistic weapons is that I wanted to recapture a bit more of the spirit of X-Com, where battles are often a total bloodbath in the early stages of the game, but the enemies often go down in just a few shots, but you get a LOT more soldiers on those missions.

Okay, I think that's a solid goal. I don't think it works well though. The early X-Com battles also took place on bigger maps, versus more aliens. The maps in Xenonauts are smaller, more concentrated, with more functional cover, and alien crews are smaller. With 10 soldiers, I don't find it to be more of a bloodbath, on the contrary, I am taking fewer losses because it's easier to fire a lot of bullets at each alien, or use other tactical options. This being another key difference versus the original X-Com, that game didn't have much weapon variety. Due to the weapon variety in Xenonauts, the two extra soldiers remove some tough planning choices (do I take a grenade launcher or another rifle? now I can have both!), which leads to less bloodbath.

Instead, I would say you can recapture the same idea by making losses likely across more early battles. You shouldn't be in highly upgraded gear on your third mission. This ties somewhat into the previous point with alloys, but also it's about tech requirements in general. Give players more missions with just the basic equipment, ensure slower introduction of lasers and other gear, and you'll recreate that desperate X-Com feeling differently.

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17 minutes ago, Solver said:

 The early X-Com battles also took place on bigger maps, versus more aliens. The maps in Xenonauts are smaller, more concentrated, with more functional cover, and alien crews are smaller.

This actually isn't true in many respects - our 50x50 maps are the same size as the ones in X-Com, and I think the numbers of aliens is similar to the earliest X-Com missions. There's definitely more cover in our maps but I seem to remember the X-Com terror maps were way denser than our maps are; lots of small buildings to explore etc.

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1 hour ago, Chris said:

This actually isn't true in many respects - our 50x50 maps are the same size as the ones in X-Com, and I think the numbers of aliens is similar to the earliest X-Com missions. There's definitely more cover in our maps but I seem to remember the X-Com terror maps were way denser than our maps are; lots of small buildings to explore etc.

I will say that XDiv's approach of just letting you bring a free vehicle seemed like a solid middle ground. You had the same inventory space, but also had a reliable "oh crap" button to mitigate rng screws. Plus it just felt good without getting into the insane unit bulk of og-com

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Chris said:

"I think instead the early game could be made more interesting by drip-feeding items in the early game, so when you research new weapons or upgrades you don't simply go to your workshop and build 12 of them over three days so your team is fully kitted with them for the next battle but instead you gain the resources needed to do so over the course of two or three battles. This means you'd have to choose which soldiers get the best gear and you feel like there's progression after every battle rather than every few battles like in X1."

I very much agree.  Also, it seems to me that I can armor up the whole crew too quickly.

Some other balance-type possible issues below.  Sorry if any of this has already been discussed to death.

WEAK ALIENS IN EARLY BATTLES
The aliens in the first couple of downed ufo battles are too easy to kill, at least for someone who has played X-Com or Xenonauts 1.  The player can throw a smoke grenade that blocks an alien's LOS, taking care to have some soldiers save TUs for opportunity fire.  The alien will then predictably walk through the smoke, if not on the first turn, then the second, and into deadly fire.
If, when aliens are confronted with smoke which eliminates LOS to enemies, could the aliens either wait until the smoke dissipates or attempt to go around the smoke?

OTHER ALIEN WEAKNESSES
Also in the early battles (it's hard to get to later ones with new builds coming out, not that I mind), the aliens don't seem to coordinate in any way, allowing them to be picked off one by one.  One way this happens is that the aliens will have LOS to armed soldiers on one side and some civilians on the other, and they then choose to shoot the civilians even though the greater threat is the troops.  I understand that the aliens like to kill civilians for some reason, and I assume dead civilians will eventually contribute to their "score," but it can be suicidal on the alien's part.  Could human enemy in an alien's LOS be prioritized over civilians?

Another advantage the humans seem to have in early battles is that the aliens don't seem to have any kind of ranged explosive weapons like grenades or rockets.  This allows humans to bunch up: that may casuse them to get in each other's way, but it also allows more concentrated fire by the humans.  If even one alien in every 4 or 5 used a ranged explosive once in a battle, it would force a careful player to keep some spacing between soldiers.

I realize that someone who is playing the game for the first time, or who has no experience with turn-based combat will welcome any advantages they can get, so the issues described above probably don't apply to neophytes.

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12 hours ago, Chris said:

This actually isn't true in many respects - our 50x50 maps are the same size as the ones in X-Com, and I think the numbers of aliens is similar to the earliest X-Com missions. There's definitely more cover in our maps but I seem to remember the X-Com terror maps were way denser than our maps are; lots of small buildings to explore etc.

Hmm, they definitely feel smaller in X1/X2  then in X-Com (which I do not mean as a bad thing). Perhaps it's because of the AI, which in the 90s was quite prone to moving towards the edges and corners, whereas the aliens in Xenonauts rarely end up stuck there.

I'd like to comment more on maps with buildings, because that really ties into issues with secondary weapons, but I've seen too few terror missions in X2, I'll comment after a couple more.

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Yeah, so this entire discussion needs to be carried out with it clear from the outset that the aliens currently in Xenonauts 2 hardly have any AI at the moment. They're capable of reacting to the situation in front of them in a basic manner but beyond that there's nothing; I suspect the game will feel quite different when we start giving them patrol behaviours.

We're likely to use an AI system modelled on classic X-Com, at least with regards to movement around the map (once an alien sights one of your units it goes into "combat mode" and abandons its previous goals). But essentially waypoints are painted into the various parts of the map that indicate good positions (in terms of cover / sight lines) and aliens will move between these waypoints. Each alien does a random roll at the start of each turn to see if it moves or stands still in "sniper" mode and saves its TU for overwatch, or if it'll move to a waypoint a certain number of TU away and then look around for hostile targets.

There's a little more to it than that, but the idea is pretty simple and you can see in X-Com that it works rather well. It means that aliens are almost always in a good position when they start a battle (in X-Com they're often stood looking out of windows and so forth, which almost never happens in X1), and that they tend to spread through a map in a sensible but unpredictable manner. Obviously defensive aliens will be limited to staying within the UFO, but particularly in the larger UFOs they'll still have waypoints to go to within the craft.

The advantage to doing it this way rather than X1's heat-map approach is that you get more sensible patrolling behaviour. In X1 we gave units desires for certain things, like wanting to be in cover or open areas with good sight lines, and then let them go their own way and find those things within the map. But once they found a place they liked, they often wouldn't move - so there was relatively little chance that an alien would walk outside the UFO and check if anyone was standing there, or an alien would patrol through a house and look out of the windows as it went. Theoretically in X2 we'll just need to paint in the appropriate waypoint and aliens will do that sort of thing automatically.

So yeah, I think in classic X-Com the AI was actually much better at not getting stuck in the edges and corners than our guys in X2 current are - it was just very good at picking good places to lurk in wait for your soldiers, because those places had been chosen in advance by the map designer.

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On 10/31/2019 at 11:53 PM, maxm222 said:

1. Since the Tactical Armor has been removed from the other loadout choices and put separately with a different mechanic (player has to click on a title, rather than a picture), I think it's much less obvious.  

2. The tabs on the side of the box with the list of soldiers don't suggest (to me) that they can be clicked on, or what they refer to.  The function (skyhawk v. base soldiers) is very useful, however.

Thanks for this. For point 1) I think the sensible thing to do would be to add a little image on the left of the element that shows the armour (like the Role box on the right has a little icon). I think that gives you the best of both worlds as it's clear then where the armour is changed, and it gives us the neater loadout with space below the dropdown for the modular armour buttons that we'll be needing once that system gets implemented.

We need to make the tabs in 2) more graphical too, at least for the dropship. It'll be tough fitting something in a space that small but that's always been the plan so hopefully it works out!

 

On 10/31/2019 at 8:27 PM, Challenge said:

One thing hasn't been in bugs because I think I read in change notes that it was intentional -- the seemingly random invisible walls in the tactical interface.

The wall hiding is intentional but the way it's behaving at the moment is not. It's meant to cut away the walls between your soldier / cursor and the camera, but right now it's hitting way more stuff than it should.

 

On 11/1/2019 at 1:12 PM, Coffee Potato said:

Please, please, please let us use the first launch menu to reassign airborne jets to fight the thing they just rediscovered. This has been an issue since the original XCOM.

I'll add this to my list of small polishing changes, hopefully we'll have time to give it a test before the game releases.

 

14 hours ago, Solver said:

Alloy rewards from them. I would say in general, a good starting point is to assume X1 provided twice as many alloys as it should have.

Alright, I'll use that as a starting point in my balancing. Can always tweak it later if you're wrong :)

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  On 10/31/2019 at 7:53 PM, maxm222 said:

1. Since the Tactical Armor has been removed from the other loadout choices ....
2. The tabs on the side of the box with the list of soldiers don't suggest (to me) that they can be clicked on...

Thanks for this. For point 1) I think the sensible thing to do would be to add a little image on the left of the element that shows the armour...
We need to make the tabs in 2) more graphical too...

Sounds perfect, thanks!

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Concerning Converted Weapons

I would disagree that there's no interestng niche for Converted weapons.  I would say that they fill several roles.

1) They satisfy the emotional need for players to be able to use alien weapons. I'm sure you remember during X1 where alien weapons were specifically only intended to be used for a short time on the battlefield, and this caused enless strife as new players would pick up the game and ask, sometime rudely, why they couldn't use alien weapons outside of the battlefield they were picked up on. You're able to say "here you go, you can use them.".

2) They act as gateway weapons to future branches of the tech tree, and define the role of those branches. An alien weapon, whether mag or plasma introduces the player to to what human-research gauss/plasma tech is going to look like and sets the precedents by which such future tech will work. In essence, they act as tier 1 gauss/plasma weapons. As a good example, if you say right at the beginning, that alien plasma weapons have ammo that degenerates over time then when it gets to human plasma weapons there's no comparator which works otherwise. The Chief Scientist might be able to refine plasma tech to mitigate degeneration but he can't make it go away because if the aliens with all their high tech couldn't do it what chance does he stand?

3) They are quick-and-dirty solution for greater firepower. In current builds, when you face Andron (please keep the Andron scary! Please!) is clear you need better gear than ballistics but it could be true of both Pysons and Sebillians, if ballistics were just enough to fight Psyons/Sebillians but alien weapons would help provide an edge. 

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I'm quite disappointed with how simplistic, empty and sterile the maps are looking AGAIN, with too few claustrophobic close quarters opportunities, height differences and larger buildings. Most maps that are in at the moment look like game maps, not lived spaces... and it's the same issue X1 had back in the days. Especially FARM maps don't look like real places at all, but more like shooting galleries with random props sprinkled here and there with no rhyme or reason. I'm still available for additional mapping if the new engine and editor makes it possible and@Chris still wants me. :)

The other thing that really bugs me are the new tile based UFO's. I love the gameplay benefits it grants, mind you, but at least at the moment they just look silly sheet metal rooms that are standing in the middle of a map. There are two main issues:

  • The most important is that they don't have any hull what so ever - only thin metal walls. Where are the engines, cannons and stuff? In X1 the black area between outer and inner walls created just enough hull space that they felt believable aircrafts. Now the UFO's seem like just flying rooms. 
  • Second is that the UFO's don't look like they've landed/crashed there only moments ago. I'd love to see a difference between crashed and landed UFO's: landed UFO's should not be flat on a ground level, but rest on their landing gears above ground on level 1. Crashed UFO's should be on level 0 without landing gears with tons of smoke, fire and debris around them. I really, REALLY hope Goldhawk can do something about the UFO's on tactical maps as ATM they just don't look that hot. On my opinion raiding the UFO's is the number one thing in XCOM- styled games and to make them feel alien, imposing, mysterious and threatening, you really need to put some effort in it.

 

EDIT: uhhh, after writing this rant, I realised this might not have been exactly the right thread to put this in, but... :p

Edited by Skitso

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Everyone plays Xenonauts in a different way, and that’s a good thing, but a nightmare for the developers who are trying to cater for everyone with different play styles and tactics. I do feel at the moment that I am being forced to play the game a certain way and have to follow a proscribed step of tactics to move forward. I realise that you have to learn to combat the aliens and change you tactics as the game progresses but, perhaps it’s me, I do feel there is only one way to do it. Now I’m comparing this to the newer Xcom games, and with those I could play the way I wanted without fear of being penalised by the game mechanics. My biggest bear about this is the background fluff that says the troops for Xenonauts are trained soldiers...................the mechanics of the game (to me) certainly don’t reflect this. I have given up playing now because I’m so frustrated by the number of times my troops are killed by grenades fired or thrown by their own comrades, and shot by troops behind them on a higher level (especially those at the foot of the ramp and those at the top of the ramp!). And if one person says use smoke........the rotors of the craft would disperse it!!! Please, please do something about the grenade algorithms and the to hit your own people data! 

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