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Proposed Suppression Model


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We're about to implement the suppression mechanics for the ground combat. The proposed suppression model is listed below for comments. There is likely to be changes to burst fire mechanics in the future so burst fire is less damaging in phyiscal terms, but that's not part of this discussion at the moment.

  • Each unit (not vehicles) has a ­Suppression score. This is based on their Bravery stat. At the start of each battle their Suppression score starts at their Bravery stat and is capped at this level.
  • They regenerate 25% of their maximum Suppression score at the start of each turn (rounded up), before any suppression checks are made. This 25% should be customisable value in config.xml.

Therefore a unit with a 60 Bravery stat will start a battle with a 60 Suppression score and will regenerate 15 points per turn up to a maximum of score of 60.

Properties:

  • Each weapon should have a Suppression Value and Suppression Radius for their fire modes, which need to be set separately for Single Shot and Burst Fire.
  • Suppression Value controls the amount of suppression a weapon causes.
  • Suppression Radius controls the distance from the initial target that suppression will be caused to other units.
  • When a weapon is fired at a target, it causes suppression damage to their suppression score. This damage is caused irrespective of whether the bullets fired actually hit their targets.
  • The suppression damage is applied to the target unit, and all other units within the suppression radius of the target.
  • The suppression damage done is the Suppression Value of the shot, less the appropriate unit armour value.
  • If a unit is in the outer half of the suppression radius, rounded up (eg. 3 tiles away with a suppression radius of 5) then the suppression damage is reduced by half, after the armour check is taken into account.

Therefore a machinegun with 80 Suppression Value and 5 Suppression Range firing at a Caesan with 60 Suppression score and 20 armour will reduce him to 0 Suppression score. A second Caesan standing 2 tiles away would also be reduced to 0 Suppression score. A third Caesan standing 4 tiles away would be reduced to 30 Suppression.

Effects:

  • Once a unit hits 0 Suppression score, it immediately loses any Aps reserved for reaction fire.
  • In the following turn, it will have its Aps reduced to 50% of the normal value.
  • If capable, the unit will immediately crouch (this does not cost Aps).
  • A “suppressed” icon will appear above the unit’s head.
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Would this mean that the amount of projectiles does not matter? If a weapon only fires burst, and a lot of shots, this will result in a higher suppression score than a weapon capable of firing single and burst?

This is close to what I've been advocating so of course I think it's a good basis. Seems very deadly, so that's interesting!

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The 50% reduction of APs. Is this a cumulative modifier? I.e. if I suppress the same unit again, is that 50% of 50%, or 50% the original AP score? And is "normal value" the maximum no. of APs the unit has, or the AP value of the unit when it is reduced to 0 supression?

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Nah, it's not cumulative. So if a unit is suppressed it gets 50% of its normal APs at the start of the turn. If it gets suppressed again, then it has 50% normal APs at the start of the next turn too, and so on.

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Will you be able to give weapons different suppression scores for burst and single shots? Might be in for a tough bit of balancing. However it's not too hard to justify a single shot, being more accurate, having more suppression than bursts.

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When a weapon is fired at a target, it causes suppression damage to their suppression score. This damage is caused irrespective of whether the bullets fired actually hit their targets.

This sounds exploitable. I could take a pistol and have a rookie squeeze shot after shot off to "lock" a unit in place. And if the rook dies? Eh. Too bad.

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The thing I like least about that is that suppression is a binary feature.

Either a unit is fully suppressed, losing all reaction fire AP, or it's only 99% suppressed, in which case there are no effects at all and you get reaction-fired plasma in yo face when you try to dig the alien out of that position.

I think that if a turn ends or if the suppression level changes, the reserved AP should be reduced by the suppression %.

So yes, if the player calculates everything down to the last reserved AP, then the soldier gets hit with some random suppression fire, the soldier might end up just a few AP short of firing.

Easy solution: Don't assume that everything will work perfectly in your favour. =P

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Wow, posting up a game mechanic seems to immediately summon you from the ether, Gazz! Yes, it's a binary system, but then it's obvious when it takes effect so I don't see that being an issue. Particularly as you don't know whether the alien has an APs for reaction fire left anyway.

Re: "abusing" it with weak weapons - that's not really going to work due to the low suppression scores of the weapons and the armour of the units. If they're well armoured, a weak weapon will hardly suppress them at all. Good luck suppressing something with a pistol.

Besides, even if you did manage to suppress an alien with a rookie with a pistol, it can still use its 50% APs to shoot you. It's not an "I win" button.

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How would this work with an sharpshooter shooting a single bullet at an enemy very far away? He does have a very serious damaging capability. So each shot is a serious threat even to the heavy armored. But he can't shoot more than once or twice a round. So after he took his shot, the mark should be aware, that there won't be another one coming, right?

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Does the suppression radius calculation take walls and cover into account?

There could be some kinds of weird behavior here, like shooting at the impervious outer walls of a small UFO from the side to suppress the aliens inside, then breaching it without having to fear reaction fire.

On the other hand, checking walls between the center of the suppression radius and the suppressed unit could end up suppressing an alien standing in the door of a shack, but not the alien standing in front of the shack.

It'd probably make most sense to me to suppress only targets in a clear line of fire from the suppressing unit. Meaning that units in cover could still be pinned down, but units behind a wall could not.

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I like the mechanic, not so sure about the effect though.. I'm hoping it will grow on me.

Does the suppression radius calculation take walls and cover into account?

There could be some kinds of weird behavior here, like shooting at the impervious outer walls of a small UFO from the side to suppress the aliens inside, then breaching it without having to fear reaction fire.

On the other hand, checking walls between the center of the suppression radius and the suppressed unit could end up suppressing an alien standing in the door of a shack, but not the alien standing in front of the shack.

It'd probably make most sense to me to suppress only targets in a clear line of fire from the suppressing unit. Meaning that units in cover could still be pinned down, but units behind a wall could not.

As far as I understand that would mean you needed to have an alien standing at that wall outside the ship to suppress the alien inside it. The suppression radius works from the target you are shooting at (and presumably it needs to be a unit that is targeted), not from where your shots land. The situation where you have time to deal with a threat outside the ship and still make it inside in one turn (without takeing a huge risk) should be very rare, almost non existant.

Edited by Gorlom
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I really don't like the idea of reducing AP as a mechanic, it just takes control away from the player which is generally a bad thing gameplay wise.

Please reconsider using that as it just leads to frustration when you can't actually play the game.

I agree with Gazz on the binary nature of the system.

If you are going with AP reduction then I would prefer the % AP reduction to be linked to the suppression amount.

50% would be the point where you start losing reserved AP.

25% of your total suppression would be where you start losing AP for the next turn.

If you hit 0 suppression then you have 50% AP next turn.

If you hit 25% of your suppression rating then you would auto kneel.

Each 1% your suppression score was reduced past this point would remove 2% of your AP from the next turn.

That gives you some benefit for keeping their heads down without the suppressed/fine cutoff.

I also don't like the suppression value for the weapon not being based on the actual number of shots fired.

How would that work with burst fire?

If the weapon has a set value of suppression to add on burst fire and fires 5 bullets would it add its full suppression amount when a single bullets lands nearby, only if all bullets land nearby or would each bullet add that amount?

If there is no connection between number of rounds fired and the weapons suppression value (as per Chris on post #4) then that just doesn't make sense to me and only the first one could apply.

It seems better to me to have suppression value and radius set on the ammunition rather than the weapons (as damage type is done now).

Then if you fire three rounds of assault ammo then you have the potential to do three times the damage and suppression, compared to a single shot.

The burst would probably be less accurate, as is currently the case, so balances the higher potential with more potential misses.

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I also don't like the suppression value for the weapon not being based on the actual number of shots fired.

How would that work with burst fire?

If the weapon has a set value of suppression to add on burst fire and fires 5 bullets would it add its full suppression amount when a single bullets lands nearby, only if all bullets land nearby or would each bullet add that amount?

If there is no connection between number of rounds fired and the weapons suppression value (as per Chris on post #4) then that just doesn't make sense to me and only the first one could apply.

Gauddlike did you miss this part?

Properties:[/b]

[*]Each weapon should have a Suppression Value and Suppression Radius for their fire modes, which need to be set separately for Single Shot and Burst Fire.

Or what are you talking about Gauddliek?

It should take solid walls into account, hopefully. I'll check when it's implemented. You shouldn't be able to suppress through walls, as you point out.

Chris will it take into account walls between the Xenonaut and the secondary alien? Or will it take into account walls between the target alien and the secondary alien? (I'm wondering how it will affect aliens around a corner.

Edited by Gorlom
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No I didn't miss that part.

It states that burst will have a set suppression value and radius but Chris also said that those numbers are not tied in to the number of shots fired in that mode.

If that is the case how would the game decide how much suppression to apply when a single shot from a burst lands near a target?

E.G. assault rifles are set to have a suppression value of 9 when firing in burst mode.

The game does not take into account number of shots fired.

So does it apply 9 suppression when any single shot goes near the target?

Does it apply 9 for each shot?

Would it only apply 9 if all shots go near the target.

Those would all give very different outcomes.

Attaching those suppression values to the ammunition, which is where damage is set currently, makes more sense.

A weapon that fires more rounds in a burst has a chance of suppressing more.

I am a little confused about whether the suppression effect centres on the target of the shots or where the actual shot lands, hopefully Chris will clear that up.

Edited by Gauddlike
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I am a little confused about whether the suppression effect centres on the target of the shots or where the actual shot lands, hopefully Chris will clear that up.

Based on the quotes below I took it to mean the radius centered on the target. And I've provided elaboration as to why I assumed that. Reading it over again it wasn't as crystal clear as I thought it was :P

When a weapon is fired at a target, it causes suppression damage to their suppression score. This damage is caused irrespective of whether the bullets fired actually hit their targets.
A bit ambigious but it doesn't mention and difference between a near miss or a standard X-com half a screen away miss.
The suppression damage is applied to the target unit, and all other units within the suppression radius of the target.
The suppression radius is described as going out from the target (whether the bullets actually hit their target or not?)

I guess to me the suppression taking affect on the target rather then impact zone just made more sense. Especially with X-com misses.

Edited by Gorlom
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I agree with Gauddlike's point. The suppression should be based off of ammo not weapon fire. The weapon firing multiple shots is were the effect of suppression fire comes from. Example: an M16 use 5.56 rounds the same rounds that a SAW(M249) uses the difference comes in where a M16's suppression fire is 3 shot burst (first round ok accuracy next 2 crap accuracy) and a SAW's full auto is usually around 750 rmp with a 200 round drum.

The suppression radius is described as going out from the target (whether the bullets actually hit their target or not?)

I guess to me the suppression taking affect on the target rather then impact zone just made more sense. Especially with X-com misses.

I think coding wise that is probably the easiest and best way to go about implementing it.

Edited by James
added quote
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Why are people drawing a distinction between ammo vs weapon fire? Weapons fire ammo, right? Obviously a M16 burst fire will have a lower suppression value than the machinegun burst fire. Just because that's not hard coded doesn't mean they won't be related.

EDIT - the suppresion values are set PER WEAPON, with separately customisable values for burst and single fire modes. Talking about ammunition is meaningless because weapons fire the same ammo for burst and single fire.

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Gauddlike sure, but what about when your shot passes within inches of the alien but continues for 2-3 screens behind the alien before it impacts a second story of a barn or whatever?

Both models has flaws, but the later would be easier to handle for developers AND modders. It simply makes more sense to me.

Why are people drawing a distinction between ammo vs weapon fire? Weapons fire ammo, right? Obviously a M16 burst fire will have a lower suppression value than the machinegun burst fire. Just because that's not hard coded doesn't mean they won't be related.

EDIT - the suppresion values are set PER WEAPON, with separately customisable values for burst and single fire modes. Talking about ammunition is meaningless because weapons fire the same ammo for burst and single fire.

I have no idea what you just said, mostly because I don't get what the ammo versus weapon fire means. (never understood what Guaddliek meant with that)

A more important question I think would be: Is the suppression effect centered around the impact or the target whether you hit or miss? I bet that would clear up a lot of confusion.

Edited by Gorlom
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I think the confusion is from the suppression of an enemy not actually being related to the bullets that are suppressing them.

Reading the OP again it sounds like the act of clicking fire on an enemy will make that enemy suppressed.

It doesn't have anything to do with shooting them you just have to hold a weapon and click the fire button.

That clears up why you would centre the effect on the targeted enemy.

You can't have the bullets landing points used because they are not even taken into the calculation.

Give all your rookies machine guns and fire on everything, it will make them suppressed even if you have no chance of hitting or hurting them.

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