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Charon

Idea: Conceal Mechanic

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Posted (edited)

One of the things which X1 had that it was almost always better to have LOS cover, eg. if the aliens cant see you, they cant shoot you. This gave snipers a hard time, since any good position to shoot from, was also a good position to get shoot at. So how about adding a concealment mechanic to the game ?

The proposed mechanic is pretty simple. some armor can have an active ability which makes them able to conceal themself in the surrounding environment. This means an enemy unit will have to get 25% closer in able to see the unit wearing camouflage armour. The unit with the active ability needs to have environmental props near it to activate said ability, and moving breaks the concelment ofcourse. This would give snipers and soldiers in stationary positions better protection. Maybe it fits into the guerrilla warfare style of things ? Units can only go camouflage when the environmental props allow it.

With this new gameplay mechanic you could also add countermeasures, like infrarot vision sensors, maybe some anti-camouflage equipment for the droid, sensory grenades etc ... . Different armour can camouflage differently well, always cutting a % of the sight of other units until they are discovered.

Edited by Charon

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You are aware that this already exists in OpenXCOM? Ctrl-F or scroll for camouflage. It also exists in Phoenix Point. As a mechanic it has a number of quirks:

  • It  messes with LoS so like the original smoke mechanic it tends to mess with AI.
  • It's seemingly very "inconsistent" to the player as one unit can cause LoS and you have no idea what enemy LoS is.
  • It's difficult to find the balance between totally broken and mostly irrelevant.
  • It works best with other complex stealth features, like only camouflaging at certain points, noise, hacking. So it works pretty well in XCOM2:Spectrum and Cogmind. Not so well in OpenXCOM imo.

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I think this would be a nice addition for a mod to bring. Does not sound too hard.

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Regarding camouflage: it's an interesting concept, but I can see it being horribly abused. As Charon so rightly notes, LOS is more important than cover so switching everyone to camo as soon as possible would be the obvious choice. If the counter to camouflage is to produce abilities that neutralise camouflage then the counter to that would be to kill any neutralising agents first then you have free reign of the map. I think if something like camouflage were to work, it would have to be unstable, in a similar way to the way that Reapers' camouflage in XCOM2 is unstable so you can't consistently be camouflaged. 

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Humans deploy camoflage, aliens switch to thermal vision, humans capture alien research thermal so can build thermal camo, aliens switch to pheromone tracking, humans research etc, etc. Much like how tech is researched already.

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If you proceed along that route, then in terms of game mechanics you see-saw between a mechanic being OP, and a mechanic being utterly useless, the periods of usefulness and uselessness being as long as the designers see fit. I'd prefer a mechanic that I can use consistently throughout the lifespan of the game. 

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Quote

This gave snipers a hard time, since any good position to shoot from, was also a good position to get shoot at.

I don't really understand this. The point of a sniper in Xenonauts is that they can shoot from farther away and more accurately. It doesn't matter if the alien can see you because the sniper is halfway across the map outside the alien's effective range. Personally, I actually found snipers to be very good by just sitting them on top of a roof and letting them pick off any alien that shows itself, avoiding return fire by simply being far away.

 

As others have stated, this camouflage could be very easily exploited and if the aliens have access to the same tech (why would they not), I could easily see it becoming one of the most annoying mechanics in the game. 

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So uh, does that mean we agree that a concealment mechanic is bad, because I REALLY don't want to deal with Pheonix Point Tritons in Xenonauts

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On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2020 at 10:25 AM, Max_Caine said:

If the counter to camouflage is to produce abilities that neutralise camouflage then the counter to that would be to kill any neutralising agents first then you have free reign of the map.  

I disagree. The enemy won't just stay still and let you take pot shots. While you are focusing on the enemy with best sensors/anti-cammo/detection range, others are moving in.

Cammo reduces detection range, it doesn't make you undetectable - even less when the shooting starts.

I see cammo more as something that lets you set up into good position.

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Posted (edited)

If you take the mechanic as a more abstract representation of many types of stealth - active camo, looking like a civilian, quite movement, psionic stealth, or the far more engaging electronic warfare you see in hardcore naval/air games, it suddenly has a lot of thematically-inspired mechanical potential.

Edited by Bobit

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Either way I don't think this feature would be a good use of time. Sounds like something that could be easily OP for either you are the enemy.

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