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[Suggestion] Sight Range and Radius


Mask
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I would like to recommend long and realistic sight ranges, for X2. I have seen this work very well in Xenonauts 1, and think it should be part of the sequel.

So far as I've seen, short sight ranges don't accomplish much, aside from making it necessary to research the technology of glasses. In a night mission, it makes sense to have limited visibility, and so you can have a terrible feeling of claustrophobia. But in the day time, it doesn't make sense for aliens to stand outside of your sight range and shoot at you. It's one thing for aliens to hide behind cover, but it feels silly for them to hide in plain sight (they kind of stick out).

Sight Radius

A lot of people seem to agree they want a reasonably wide vision cone. How wide is difficult to say, but I figure the maximum would be close to 180 degrees. Between 120 and 180, I'd guess.

I forgot to account for tunnel vision, a serious issue in battle conditions. 90 or 100 degree vision might be reasonable, in that case. However, short range peripheral vision, as Frutz suggested, might be nice.

Edited by Mask
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The multi-cone idea sounds like a good experiment.  Will need some special handling when the soldier turns, to make sure the long cone covers the whole arc.

 

As a side note, Phoenix Point has this perception - stealth system like UFO series, that does not have a fixed vision distance.  You can see big enemies right across a mid sized open map, and they can snipe your vehicles too.  It is also advised to assign each team a high perception scout.  While realistic, apparently it is not intuitive to some players.  Xenonaut's vision cone is certainly simple and clear.

Edited by Sheepy
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Stealth is generally the good use of cover. In a game focused on use of cover, it seems odd to have aliens get stealth scores based off distance, and not concealment. It seems strange to look at an open field, and not see it is full of aliens.

Edited by Mask
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Both PP and X2 sacrifice realism in the name of gameplay. The tightened vision cones in X2 mean that it's possible for enemies to ambush an inattentive player by working around those vision cones, just as it's possible for a player to pin down an enemy while a fireteam flanks them. It may not feel realistic, but as Sheepy points out it's clear and intuitive, which from a gameplay perspective is good. 

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I'd prefer to have no stat-based stealth system. Too many bad memories from being invisi-sniped or downright breaking Silent Storm Sentinels. 

WOTC was the best stealth I've seen in the genre from a practical perspective. Hard limits on what is it isn't stealth when, fully location based, and separatable by person if it makes sense. There's no reason for a stealth mechanic in Xeno, because having a unit round a corner and ambush you is surprising all on its own. 

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True, though I have to say the more varied vision cones in XDiv felt very nice. Scouting armor, or open helmets providing a noticeable difference to tunnel vision from a more protective suit were super nice. Same goes for the more distinct vision bonuses, like Sentinel getting a +6 night vision range bonus. Just would be nice to have more say over that kinda stuff. Plus with just about a 1 tile vision difference, there was a lot less "did I scan every tile, oh wait, that one tile I spun slightly to fast by had the Sebillian that just iced 3 guys..." Type of stuff, and a lot more "oh hell, I should have known to check that doorway, now my 3 armored guys are alive, because their armor can take a tank round, but suppressed and injured, better get their back up team on that."

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10 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

Both PP and X2 sacrifice realism in the name of gameplay. The tightened vision cones in X2 mean that it's possible for enemies to ambush an inattentive player by working around those vision cones, just as it's possible for a player to pin down an enemy while a fireteam flanks them. It may not feel realistic, but as Sheepy points out it's clear and intuitive, which from a gameplay perspective is good. 

Tunnel vision is common in combat, so it is actually realistic to have very limited or no peripheral vision. 90 or 100 degree vision seems reasonable. Edited the OP to reflect this.

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Vision, vision length and vision cones were brought up more than once during the development of X1. I believe the underlying reason it's brought up is all to do with what battlefield information the player has access to. The relatively short vision range with the relatively tight vision cone restricts what the player knows at any time. This is especially acute at the start of any fight as all the player's information points are clustered together in one place, whereas the AI adversary information points are dotted around the map, so the AI has a much more complete picture than the player has.

Does having incomplete and restricted information about the battlefield add or subtract from gameplay? One might argue that the more complete a picture a player has, the better that player can formulate strategies. There are certainly plenty of games that present all the information to the player. Incomplete and restricted information then frustrates a player because they don't know what's going on. Equally, one might argue that an incomplete picture can mean the player can be surprised by the AI's actions, and the player can in turn surprise the AI - ambushes are only effective if there are gaps in information that can be exploited, and it is entirely possible in X2 to run around an enemy group and flank them.  

If having incomplete information is a beneficial asset to gameplay, how much and to what degree should that information be restricted? E.G. how far and how wide should vision cones be? 

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@Max_Caine In the night missions, it makes sense you mightn't be able to see an enemy at 20 meters' distance, and so it is immersive and scary. But if your troops can't see a crashed spaceship 50 paces away in broad daylight, they don't need tactics, they need glasses.

Information limitation is not the key, but the method of limitation. Aliens hiding behind cover, around corners, past every door and window, that's the limitation that squad tactics are designed to combat in reality. Real problems beget real solutions (breaching, pieing, etc.), which typically are far more interesting than imaginary ones.

Example: It is interesting to hide around the corner, with the intention of surprising an alien. It is not so interesting to work out the aliens vision range, then hide one square outside of that vision range.

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