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Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta Build V11 Released! (Experimental Branch)

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Closed Beta Build V11 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 is a pretty large update for the game in terms of functionality as you can see from the changelog below. I'm expecting stability to be bit off because we haven't released a build for a while though!

Key Changes:

  • Relations / Signal Uplink / Orbital Bombardment: we've added a number of interlinked Geoscape systems that are still being tested and may be confusing if you don't know what's changed. Please take the time to read this quick overview!
    • The Geoscape is now covered in "signal uplink" icons, which can be completed by spending $250k. This grants a Relations bonus in the local region, a permanent +$50k funding increase in the local region, and adds one scientist / engineer to the hiring pool. This system is at a very early stage of testing so the UI is a bit of a mess (they're currently just a hacked together strategic operation).
    • Every 10 days, the aliens destroy a city from orbit and inflict 20 Relations damage on the region with the highest relations. Again, this system is at an early stage so there's no notification for this yet. The Relations just disappear!
    • When you research any of the advanced weapon families, any advanced armour family or any advanced interceptor you will recieve a 10 Relations bonus to all regions. In future this will upgrade their forces to use the appropriate equipment after a time lag.
    • Scientists and Engineers are now hired to your base like they were in X1. However there are only a limited number of scientists / engineers in the hiring pool, and if you want to hire more than are currently present you need to construct Signal Uplinks on the Geoscape.
  • Modular Armour: the first iteration of the modular armour system is now in place. You can see it in action immediately on the Soldier Equip screen, as the basic armour supports the Extra Armour module that offers greater protection at the cost of additional weight and a Rebreather that offers gas immunity at the cost of a small Accuracy penalty. There's a lot more coming for this system, but we only finished it a few hours ago so we'll need a little more time :)
  • MARS Vehicle: you can now research and build the MARS, which is a small vehicle that is assigned to dropships in the same way as a soldier is and can carry any soldier weapon, and in the ground combat it is capable of crushing many types of terrain. It's pretty cool, but I suspect there's a lot of issues that need to be ironed out - if you find any, then pop them up in the bug report forums!
  • Interceptor Components / Foxtrot Removal: the starting Falcon now has access to two types of armour, the heavier of which grants a large HP boost but also disables the Evasive Roll of the plane. The Foxtrot has been removed; the idea is that we fold the functionality into the Falcon so you can set it up to be a fast and agile or slow and heavy depending on your preference (the advantage here is that you don't have to build an entirely new interceptor to change its role). If all goes well we'll get some modular art drawn up so the interceptors look rather different when equipped with heavy armour.
  • Air Combat Updates: quite a bit of balancing has happened in the air combat, but we've also added a number of new systems.
    • The first is that the UFOs now support spawning with escort craft as they did in X1, allowing 3 vs 3 combat to occur.
    • There's also now an armour system, so it's possible to differentiate between UFOs that are tough because they have a lot of armour and UFOs that are tough because they have a lot of HP.
    • You can also see several new mechanics when fighting the early-game Observer UFO, which will flee from your interceptors rather than turning to fight them and has a rotating turret weapon that allows it to fire backwards while fleeing. It also has a shield generator, which creates a shield bubble around the craft that absorbs incoming damage - but if you fly inside the shield bubble, it becomes useless (i.e. it only stops projectiles passing over the edge of the bubble, not inside it).

There's actually a lot more changes than that, but for the sake of brevity I'll stop there. The full changelog can be read below:

Strategy:

  • The Geoscape topbar has been shifted around a bit so the date is always visible on every screen, and the base browser is part of the topbar on every screen where it is relevant (in the long term this will be active on every screen). The amount of money, Alloys and Alenium you have available is now visible on every screen.
  • The Geoscape speed buttons have been moved to the top left, and the action buttons (Launch Aircraft, Build New Base, etc) have been moved to the top right of the topbar.
  • There's a new piece of UI in the bottom right of the Geoscape screen that shows the Relations values for all of the regions at once.
  • The Modular Armour system is now active on the Soldier Equip screen.
  • The MARS vehicle can now be researched and constructed.
  • Scientists and Engineers now have to be hired, but are hired from a character pool with a limited number of scientists / engineers. Completing signal uplink missions adds more scientists / engineers to the pool.
  • The Geoscape is now covered in Signal Uplink strategic operations. Completing each one costs $250,000 but will grant +$50k funding in that region, +10 local Relations and add one scientist / engineer to the hiring pool.
  • Every 10 days an Orbital Bombardment occurs, removing -20 Relations from the region with the highest Relations. Currently there is no indication that this has happened!
  • You gain +10 Relations in all regions after researching any of these projects: Laser Weapons, Gauss Weapons, Laser Weapons, Composite Armour, Exosuit Armour, Phantom Interceptor, Fury Interceptor.
  • I've added the first daft of some new research text - e.g. Alien Alloys, Alenium, most of the plot research.
  • Steam / GOG achievements have now been set up, but have been deactivated until Early Access.
  • All Kickstarter soldiers should now be set up in the game. You can add them by going to the Settings screen and searching for the appropriate name in the custom soldier box, and every new campaign will then feature that soldier in the starting squad.
  • Any interceptor item upgrade projects (e.g. upgrading your missiles to be Alenium Missiles) now also affects newly constructed / purchased interceptors.
  • Region lost / region close to loss pop-ups now correctly interrupt time.

Air Combat:

  • The powerful "main cannon" attacks of the Destroyer and more advanced UFOs are now treated as missiles, which means the projectiles move more slowly and can be dodged by interceptors with Evasive Roll (in the last build those weapons would just instakill any interceptor that came into range, making the game almost impossible).
  • UFOs can now spawn with up to two escorts, as in the original Xenonauts.
  • UFOs can now be equipped with Shield Generators, which generate a circular shield around the UFO. This absorbs a fixed amount of damage before it is removed, but it only triggers on projectiles passing over the edge of the shield (e.g. if you fly inside the shield bubble it doesn't offer the UFO any protection).
  • UFOs can now be given the "flee" AI script, causing them to turn and attempt to escape from your interceptors rather than flying towards them.
  • Weapons can now be set to automatically rotate towards the closest target. The Observer UFO now has a "turret" weapon that will track the closest interceptor, allowing it to fire backwards as it flees.
  • There is now an Armour system in the air combat. Armour effectively acts as a second HP pool, with incoming damage being applied to Armour before it is applied to normal HP. The penetration value of the weapon is a % and represents how much damage ignores Armour and is applied directly to the HP pool.
  • The size of the air combat battlefield is now set on a per-UFO basis, so it's smaller when fighting small UFOs and bigger against the larger enemies.
  • There has been a number of balance changes made to the interceptors:
    • Foxhound interceptor has been removed from the tech tree.
    • Instead, the remaining interceptors can be equipped with light or heavy armour. Heavy armour makes the aircraft much tougher but removes the ability to perform an Evasive Roll.
  • Neutral local forces interceptors are now set up and functional in the air combat, but we need to implement Aerial Terror Sites on the Geoscape before you'll get to see them in action!
  • Missiles are now orientated towards the targets when fired rather than travelling directly forwards, as they would previously always miss targets on the edge of their fire arcs.
  • The Heavy Fighter UFOs have now made a reappearance in the game.
  • Buttons on the air combat "do you want to retreat" pop-up now say "Retreat" / "Continue Fighting" rather than "Yes" / "No". 

Ground Combat:

  • The "adjacent cover" system which allows units to shoot over cover immediately adjacent to them without suffering an accuracy penalty has been expanded. It should now also disregard any further cover adjacent to the first cover item, provided it has the same or lower % block chance. Basically you can now shoot over a line of identical crates as long as they are all adjacent to one another.
  • Melee weapons now hit more often, as the accuracy calculation now takes the weapon accuracy and deducts the Melee Defence of the target (which is usually zero).

Bugfixes:

  • The loading freeze bug should hopefully now occur far less frequently. If it does happen, just restart the game.
  • Fixed a bug where the Geoscape icons would sometimes draw over the Esc menu.
  • Soldier carrying capacity and TU penalties are now correctly recalculated in GC if you pick up or drop items.

As always, please let us know if you encounter any issues with the build by posting in our bug reporting sub-forums and we'll do our best to patch the issues out!

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The balance thread for V11 is here: https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/20919-closed-beta-v11-balance-thread/

 

I've not had a chance to play the game much recently because I've been busy adding stuff instead, so please let us know if there's anything in the build that feels way too easy or too tough. I expect we'll have a hotfix for V11 arriving early next week to fix the most important bugs that get reported, and I can always roll some simple balance tweaks into that patch if needed!

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1 hour ago, Acosta said:

Awesome work, but the custom soldiers have blank faces

Yeah, you're right - I forgot to mention that in my post above. This is just a little issue with our build server failing to import those images correctly (they work fine in the dev / editor version of the game) and it should be patched and fixed with the first hotfix early next week.

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Yep I aggree fully. Awsome work from the Devs, that I call a Beta you can Test and Play from Head to Foot. The Bugs I have allready found I will tell in the Bugthreat from V11.

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Just curious, what role does the orbital bombardment serve? Is it solely to rush you to try and finish a project endgame? It seems kinda weird that countries blame you for something you literally can't prevent. At the very least, it would be nice to research some tech later on like a shield generator or something that would prevent the bombardment over a certain area.

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2 hours ago, Comrade said:

Just curious, what role does the orbital bombardment serve? Is it solely to rush you to try and finish a project endgame? It seems kinda weird that countries blame you for something you literally can't prevent. At the very least, it would be nice to research some tech later on like a shield generator or something that would prevent the bombardment over a certain area.

 

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On 2/16/2020 at 7:47 PM, Comrade said:

Just curious, what role does the orbital bombardment serve? Is it solely to rush you to try and finish a project endgame? It seems kinda weird that countries blame you for something you literally can't prevent. At the very least, it would be nice to research some tech later on like a shield generator or something that would prevent the bombardment over a certain area.

I don't know if I think the bombing should be every ten days with identical and predictable results, but it is in a very real sense the proof that the aliens are still more dangerous and advanced than the Xenonauts, no matter how well they do with their air game.

Also, relations is perhaps the wrong word to use. If Greenland is bombed a lot from orbit, they are really going to want you to succeed, and they'll really appreciate it when you stick it to the aliens, but their infrastructure and ability to contribute to the project will still have been bombed a lot from orbit.

As far as defending against the bombardment goes, perhaps it should be possible up to a certain degree, but if I were one of the devs, I would add an annoyance meter or something to the aliens, smacking the ape down if he interferred too much with their business. You shouldn't be allowed to protect the Earth perfectly from the aliens no matter how on top of things you are. Firaxis made an artificial dilemma by only giving you a single troop transport and several missions at once, but Xenonauts has to do something else, and the aliens throwing rocks from on high seems reasonably fit for purpose.

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