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TrashMan

Your Xenonauts 2 wishlist?

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As the name implies. What would you like to see in Xenonauts 2 the most? Be detailed.

 

1. Multiple bases and base logistics. To quote myself:

Quote

Research should be globalized (all science labs can work on the same project, regardless of which base they are in. The magic of internet and data sharing.)

Production should be localized, so you would have production bases, with a practical limit as to how many people can work on something (simply throwing more people on something only works up to a point, especially when working on smaller things, like a rifle)

Resources should be shared between bases with the logistics abstracted. Could be as simple as a connection/line between bases that simulates supply lines. Aliens could attack those lines damaging your supply lines, which would impart temporary maluses to the base (increased production time, staff morale penalty). Would make SAM sites more valuable and give your interceptors more to do - like chasing off enemy craft. Could even generate convoy defense missions.

The way I'd implement it is that each base has it's own storage, but as long as supply lines are in tact, every base has access to materials from other bases - although there is a small fixed penalty when working on things were resources aren't local (like +5 hours to production time, to simulate shipping time).

Supply lines would work sorta like the internet routing - as long as one base can trace a connection to another, it can get resources from it. Players would place supply lines between bases manually and each supply line would have to be maintained. There would be a cost associated with it, and the distance would also factor into the cost (so a 4000km long supply line might cost 4000$ monthly to maintain). What this means that you CAN connect every base to every other base, but it would cost you a lot, so it might not be the most optimal solution.

 

The beauty of this system is that it's simple and intuitive without being clunky and requireing tons of micro-managment. With the added bonus of it tying into the goescape and battlescape, due to supply lines being interractable.

In terms of generated missions, alien could attack in 2 ways: air strike or ground ambush.

Ground ambush would generate open maps with roads or train tracks, where a train or military convoy would be on the defensive. AI controlled soliders, in the form of train/convoy defense, would be on the map. Possibly a crashed cargo plane map?

Air strike would be geoscape only, with your interceptors scrambled to defend, with convoy escorts and local defenses buying time.

 

2. Actual use of 3D for hit detection and accuracy

Basically, each weapon has a fire cone - deviation from the straight barrel line. The final maximum deviation is affected on top of that by equipment (scope, power armor stabilizers), solider accuracy and battlefield conditions (stance, smoke, etc..). A bullet is fired with a random deviation within that cone. Recoil basically increases the deviation of the next bullet in a burst, at a certain pace (depending on recoil strength), up to a maximum.

An example: a rifle with a 3° fire cone, with a soldier having power armor that reduces that by 10% (2.70°), shot by a high accuracy soldier that basically halves the cone (1.35°). Crouching might reduce it by another 0.1 degree.

The game just picks a random angle and applies deviation, then traces that projectile from the weapon barrel to the end point. Easy to check if the projectile hit cover or the enemy.

But how would hit percentage be calculated? Answer: you don't need it. Something Phoenix Point did is switching to weapon barrel view so you can see exactly from 1st person perspective how vulnerable the enemy is. This gives more than enough information to the player for a good guess. If you REALLY must have some magical hand-holding, you can use the approximate system - instead of giving a percentage, just give a rating depending on the visible (from the guns point of view) enemy surface area. And this entire system leads to:

 

3. Localized damage and targeting - arms, legs, chest, stomach, head. Front and back. Makes battles more interesting and armor more interesting. Since you could have a breaching armor that's extra strong from the front, but weak from the back. Different parts of the armor having different armor values (arms and legs being weakest). Leg wound? Xenonauts slowed depending on injury severity. Or he may collapse, requiring spending TU's to get back up. Arm hit? Accuracy penalty. Or weapon dropped. Have a one-handed backup might be handy. Chest hit? Breathing difficulty, loss of TU's, chance of being knocked out temporarily. Gut shot? Good old fashioned pain. Headshot? Assuming you survived - confusion, disorientation, blurry vision.

And since armor degrading would also be localized it again makes thing more interesting and dynamic. And body part targeting? It's a simple as pointing the gun at the center of the body part - the fire cone and natural size of body parts does the rest, without the need for special accuracy tables or bonuses/penalties for shooting at a specific body part.

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A change in the code so that your your highly trained troops don’t keep hitting their own comrades who are no where near the target! Especially where HEVY Launchers are involved.

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I'd like to see a community edition.  Which may be more difficult this time because of the commercial Unity plugins involved.

 

3 hours ago, stewpidbear said:

A change in the code so that your your highly trained troops don’t keep hitting their own comrades who are no where near the target! Especially where HEVY Launchers are involved.

That should be moddable, if the game supports modding (or at least not obfuscate its binaries).
Like giving rocket launchers a safety radius of 5 tiles - it goes dud if it fails to fly that far.

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22 minutes ago, Sheepy said:

I'd like to see a community edition.  Which may be more difficult this time because of the commercial Unity plugins involved.

 

That should be moddable, if the game supports modding (or at least not obfuscate its binaries).
Like giving rocket launchers a safety radius of 5 tiles - it goes dud if it fails to fly that far.

Exactly the above, minimum distance to arm in flight. Easily down I should think.

 

 

 

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I'd like to see a colorful air combat pretty much like it is in Astro Avenger 2 (an asteroid clone, but with lovely graphics)

and I'd like to see expansion slots in Aircraft to put in repair droid, energy shield, distortion field generator, new engines and other fancy stuff like I already posted

astro-avenger2.jpg

astro-avenger.jpg

droids.jpg

Edited by squeezechart

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That's a literal top-down shooter. I don't think that translates well to a more tactical game where you control MULTIPLE fighters that aren't insanely overpowered as such shooter fighters ship always are, taking on entire alien armadas by themselves and what not.

I get that you like the game, but it's mechanically a very, very bad fit for Xenonauts. Aside from the equipment slots thing, but that is confirmed to already be in X2.

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it doesn't has to be top-down; all the gameplay could be done in the current window we have - without scrolling. I just wanted to say that the graphics are lovely, and the layout is cool.

Balancing is another topic.

You still can control multiple fighters with your mouse and make them fire.

As for the equipment slot, we just have one for weapons and armor in v9, but not for fancy other stuff like the repair drones.

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If you're talking about UI layout, that might have some merit. But again, the game you're referring to is a TWITCH-based game with a single fighter, and the UI reflects that. It just doesn't work well for an entire squadron. And visually? Too cluttered, too colorful. A bad match for Xenonauts, which is more realistic

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Yeah.  Would be cool if the xenonauts fighter fires a drone swarm that tracks the UFO, with its own hit points and firing cone and attack.  Would not be so cool after a decade when it becomes the reality.

Giving fighter the option of an energy shield vs targeting pod vs other gear(s) is also nice.  XCOM apoc did that two decades ago and is still unmatched by clones.

But I won't put it on my wishlist.  I quite like the X1 air combat, the best since apoc, but I think it is not universally liked.

Edited by Sheepy

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I want to see:

More specialized armors

Weapons with different mechanics (getting there)

Dropships with more functions (X1 did this well, would like to see more options)

Unit morale handled like in XDiv

More dynamic air battles (Haven't tested the new system enough to judge yet)

More research. Fluff or chance discoveries, the XDiv thing. (Vanilla had this, XDiv took it up to 11, with an almost soft randomized tech tree using this mechanic)

Basically all stuff for more of a back and forth, where a couple failures don't end the run, bit force a different route. Something to make runs different in their routing. 

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13 hours ago, Coffee Potato said:

More research. Fluff or chance discoveries, the XDiv thing. (Vanilla had this, XDiv took it up to 11, with an almost soft randomized tech tree using this mechanic)

Making the research tree more complex and interesting seems like low hanging fruit. Easy implementation (compared to something like redoing air combat mini-game) but really powerful in terms of shaping up the campaign into something less linear and repetitive. 

For a wish list though? I'd be more ambitious than just adding new techs. I'd want to entirely overhaul the concept of 'research projects'. Currently they are checkpoints that require a certain amount of science points to pass. I'd want the research to be about pushing in certain theoretical directions, with testing rigs and equipment that you need to build in a lab. That theory, however well-formed you let it become, then gets passed to the engineers who try to build according to the specs you give them. Research trials and the capability of your engineers to churn out working prototypes wouldn't be a simple process of 'earn enough science points'. I think this would make the science/engineering dichotomy much more sensible (because at the moment it is a bit sucky).

And there would be many more branches of science to pursue. Currently, you have a conventional physics which is boosted by alien physics with a bit of xenobiology nudging at the side. But there are loads of channels you could split research into so it would be a real tree with branches for: materials, energy, nanotechnology, cosmology, electronics/computers, AI, encryption, aerospace, genetics, alien physiology/psychology/sociology. A lot of these are already there, but the research projects are oriented around understanding individual objects you find in the UFOs. Once you study an engine, you know everything about propulsion forever. There is more scope than that!

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2 hours ago, Ninothree said:

Making the research tree more complex and interesting seems like low hanging fruit. Easy implementation (compared to something like redoing air combat mini-game) but really powerful in terms of shaping up the campaign into something less linear and repetitive. 

For a wish list though? I'd be more ambitious than just adding new techs. I'd want to entirely overhaul the concept of 'research projects'. Currently they are checkpoints that require a certain amount of science points to pass. I'd want the research to be about pushing in certain theoretical directions, with testing rigs and equipment that you need to build in a lab. That theory, however well-formed you let it become, then gets passed to the engineers who try to build according to the specs you give them. Research trials and the capability of your engineers to churn out working prototypes wouldn't be a simple process of 'earn enough science points'. I think this would make the science/engineering dichotomy much more sensible (because at the moment it is a bit sucky).

And there would be many more branches of science to pursue. Currently, you have a conventional physics which is boosted by alien physics with a bit of xenobiology nudging at the side. But there are loads of channels you could split research into so it would be a real tree with branches for: materials, energy, nanotechnology, cosmology, electronics/computers, AI, encryption, aerospace, genetics, alien physiology/psychology/sociology. A lot of these are already there, but the research projects are oriented around understanding individual objects you find in the UFOs. Once you study an engine, you know everything about propulsion forever. There is more scope than that!

I like to keep my wishes realistic. The system's in place, I want it to be more varied. That's adjustable, overhauling the system is a whole other deal. 

The only non tweak thing I'd like is the ability to see training happening, and have a montage of rookies getting trained. 

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A good approach might be the Master of Orion  or BOTF one? You can research multiple things at once (which makes sense, because omnidisciplinary scientiests really aren't a thing. That astrophsycists is going to be useless if you put him on xenobilogy research).

you wouldn't have a singular lab, but SPECIFIC labs. Astrophysics lab. Biology lab. High-energy lab. Materials lab. Each lab would allow you to research a different branch:

 

300px-Moo2ResearchMenu472.png

 

1394903-3.jpg

 

For simplicity sake, each lab would be automatically filled with proper scientists (they would be abstracted?)

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the tactical layer is the meat of the game for me, I want options to play with that don't feel completely obsolete once I go up a tech tier and I want solid balance between weapon types, skills and tiers to avoid being forced to go for 1-trick pony tactics. keep it tactical rather then a damage race...

next up stability, minimize bugs and crashes...might seem obvious but nothing kills my enjoyment of a game faster then having to go online to find a way past a section that always locks up, crashes or otherwise fails to proceed.

music and sound is really the gravy...good sound can help out with the immersion during the tactical battles.

a solid xenopedia to explain game concepts..if I apply a status I want to be able to read what it actually does rather then having to guess. this was somewhat solid in X1, as it had mistakes and wrong info in it..but at least it was there..so I'd love a better redo of that

strategical layer is really a sideshow for me, I hardly care for the air combat atoll and I don't play this to end up with something similar to a civ game where I can bullshit my way to victory. for me at least its the "farm resources to get all the tactical goodies I want to use" and i have no problems managing income, personnel, resource and production timers...but I'm not doing it to charge entree fees and set up sales margins like a tycoon game.

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I would also want to see patent fee income.

Right after having researched Alenium, the Alenium Reactor can be built.

Why not getting patent fees from giving the Alenium Battery to the world (at least for one year and paid monthly)?

Maybe there are more objects that offer patent fee income after having done research for it?

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Trashman's #2 is nice if it's balanced right: cover is WYSIWYG, accuracy falloff makes sense. But let's all agree, in UFO defense it just meant cover was completely useless and kneeling sucked. Whereas in XCOM2, cover as a flat CTH reduction meant that hunkering in high cover was exceptionally effective, which was a nice touch. I don't think Goldhawk should bother with it, let PP spend their millions perfecting it.

One thing I'm hoping for that probably won't happen (because it doesn't in any vanilla XCOM game) is getting a very different tech progression every time. Some games I want to go mostly shotguns, others rush plasma, others rush explosives. Fmpov XCOM games have always favored a more balanced/boring campaign game where you get a normal amount of everything, maybe giving each mission more room for tactical decisionmaking, but not making games very diverse.

Edited by Bobit

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6 hours ago, squeezechart said:

I would also want to see patent fee income.

That may be a good way to work around associating strategic performance with income, which leads to a negative feedback cycle.

So, the worse you do, the more the world buys your tech, and you actually get more patent fee income, which allows you to recover from a bad month or two.
On the contrary, the better you do, the less the world needs your tech, keeping the resource tension up as player consider selling some loots to balance things out.

 

44 minutes ago, Bobit said:

One thing I'm hoping for that probably won't happen (because it doesn't in any vanilla XCOM game) is getting a very different tech progression every time.

I think XCOM 2's random production has the best balance, enough to spice things up but not enough to upset the overall balance.  Phoenix Point simply went another way and we'll soon know whether the paper rock scissor equipment game is a good design.

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1 hour ago, Sheepy said:

That may be a good way to work around associating strategic performance with income, which leads to a negative feedback cycle.

So, the worse you do, the more the world buys your tech, and you actually get more patent fee income, which allows you to recover from a bad month or two.
On the contrary, the better you do, the less the world needs your tech, keeping the resource tension up as player consider selling some loots to balance things out.

That fee can be small and can be limited in running time; I think its a nice idea.

Batteries would also be needed when there is peace on earth - and it would be the same with e.g. an alien inspired Operating system, nanotech medikits, new engines, new raw material etc..

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4 hours ago, Bobit said:

Trashman's #2 is nice if it's balanced right: cover is WYSIWYG, accuracy falloff makes sense. But let's all agree, in UFO defense it just meant cover was completely useless and kneeling sucked. Whereas in XCOM2, cover as a flat CTH reduction meant that hunkering in high cover was exceptionally effective, which was a nice touch. I don't think Goldhawk should bother with it, let PP spend their millions perfecting it.

One thing I'm hoping for that probably won't happen (because it doesn't in any vanilla XCOM game) is getting a very different tech progression every time. Some games I want to go mostly shotguns, others rush plasma, others rush explosives. Fmpov XCOM games have always favored a more balanced/boring campaign game where you get a normal amount of everything, maybe giving each mission more room for tactical decisionmaking, but not making games very diverse.

XCOM (NUCOM) has terrible shooting implementation. The bullets are not tracked, they do not exist as physical objects. The entire burst is treated as one "hit" (either all bullets hit or all miss) and accuracy calculations are all over the place. Cover is a simple flat reduction that is as soulless as it is nonsensical.

This often ends up a problem with these seemingly simple systems - they end up being not so simple requireing tons of patches and updates for special cases, and even then behave wonky. Remember Xenonuts1, all the issue with cover, corner shooting and elevation shooting? How many times it needed updating? 

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I'm a little surprised we haven't seen as much of the pixel style approach if just using improvements on old tech to make it work. Namely take Jagged Alliance 2, and use that to make an XCOM game :cool:

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22 hours ago, Coffee Potato said:

I'm a little surprised we haven't seen as much of the pixel style approach if just using improvements on old tech to make it work. Namely take Jagged Alliance 2, and use that to make an XCOM game :cool:

As good as JA2 was (and it was one of the best games ever made, period) , getting back to pixels is a lot of work and a lot of detail is lost. If you have a 3d engine, you can make full use of it to make things easier.

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