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maxm222

[v 12.2 Ground Combat] "Hidden Movement" graphic blocks alien actions within LOS

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I'm putting slightly differen versions of this in both general and bugs since I think it applies in both.  I hope all of you and your loved ones are healthy and hanging in there--and not totally broke yet.  It's great to have games to relieve cabin fever and forget about where the rent might come from.

I've brought the issue of the "Hidden Movement" graphic (HMG) up before and Chris said: "keep reminding us [about the issue] every few months and you'll probably eventually catch us at a good time. : )."  
But he also said: "It's not a bug.."
So I'm trying again, both because he suggested it, and because, after reviewing comments on this issue from the last 12 months I want to argue that this is definitely a bug, but that I don't seem to be doing a good job explaining why, and it may sound to others like I'm just annoyed by a game play feature or mechanic.

First, my definition of a bug: a game action or graphic or audio that does not develop/appear/sound as the developer intends because of the way the code is written.  This would include an on-target gunshot not registering as a hit or a character twirling in place when the "forward" button is pressed.  It would not include developer choices such as how the odds of hitting a target are figured or the precise speed of walking forward.  A bug is something that's broken, not working as intended (at least intermittently), and not simply some aspect of play that one finds frustrating. 

Chris has said: "The HM screen is only meant to be displayed if action is occuring that isn't in the LOS of your soldiers; it's literally meant to hide movement that is hidden."  Now, I've noted the "meant to" in the wording, but other commenters have said similar sorts of things along the lines of: "the HMG may annoy you, but it is just hiding stuff that your troops couldn't see anyway."

However, after a lot of tedious checking and screenshots I've shared here, I've confirmed to my satisfaction that--on my computer--many if not most times what the HMG does is to hide alien action which is clearly within the LOS of my troops--including even alien melee attacks on adjacent soldiers (how can that not be in LOS?).  
I've also confirmed that the HMG will pop up even over totally black (undiscovered and no LOS) areas where the player can't see anything anyway!  A couple of other members have confirmed these problems, but more seem to misunderstand what I'm saying, as mentioned above--that I'm irritated with the correctly functioning HMG because I don't like the way it's implemented, the way it hides actual hidden movement.

But that can't be the case if most of the time the HMG varies between being:
- A graphic that hides alien actions which are clearly within soldiers' LOS:
- An graphic that, in appearing in the wrong places and circumstances, deprives the player of information that is important to decision-making (how did my trooper get killed at close range if no alien appeared next to them?  How do I protect against that?). 

All that stuff means that the HMG is significantly BROKEN, not just annoying, right?  And yet, almost no else seems to be concerned about aliens getting to make sneak attacks in broad daylight with no cover--so to speak.  Maybe I missed some rule that aliens can make such attacks?

The only reason I can think of for the lack of upset about this by others is that most members just assume that the HMG is working correctly, or maybe think that there is no way I am able to check on this?  I dunno, but I would like to!
Thanks in advance for any other viewpoints.

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The hidden movement screen is unnecessary, and not needed, as if you can't see the enemy action, it is not displayed on the screen any way, so why have it??

It is just a left over from the original game, and I assume that it was originally there to create tension, with the audio.

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Thanks for the response, and I would actually go much further: it is more than just an unneeded leftover at this point, it actually, intermittently but fairly often, covers up alien actions (such as their movement and attacks) that are clearly within line of sight (LOS) of friendly troops.  My problem of proof was how to photograph moments when the "Hidden Screen" Graphic (HSG) was covering who was doing what out of sight under the HSG.  I found a way to do it.

1. To get a Screen Capture of the wiley aliens running around out of sight under the HSG--when they were actually in the LOS of friendly troops, I had to find a way to expose the aliens under the HSG.

2.  Moving the cursor to one side or another of the screen seems to be the only way to move around the map when combat is happening.  Yes, the program yanks you back to some other point of action on the map, but you can then immediately move the map again by pushing the cursor against an appropriate screen edge.

3. To get the shots I needed, I would keep track of my general areas of friendly LOS.  Then, during the alien turn, I would wait with one hand on the mouse and the other on the Print Screen button.

4. As soon as the dreaded HSG would appear over an area that I was sure was within friendly LOS, I would start moving the map around with the mouse as quickly as possible, trying to expose one of the aliens that was being obscured by the HSG--and if I exposed one, I would snap a screen shot.  

Here are two examples--but the second is a "re-enactment," only the first shows most clearly an actual alien in LOS which was only visible when I pushed the HSG out of the way to show what it was hiding.

The dotted lines at right show where the HSG started out--and then by pushing the map to the right I exposed what was happening under the HSG.

In this case (below), we see a cute little alien running in clear LOS of numerous troops (lower middle left in shadows)--he had been covered up by the HSG.  So is the code first deciding that it "sees" an alien running that is not in LOS so it slaps an HSG on the screen?  If so, has the regular LOS routine (that simply hides stuff out of friendly LOS) malfunctioned and identified a visible figure as invisible?  Who knows--but it happens repeatedly.

HMgraphicHidesAliens.jpg

 

In this next one, the HMG did the same thing--appeared and covered over an alien running in full view of my troops.  I missed the screen shot when the
HMG appeared and I shoved it over, so this is a reconstruction.  I have more screenshots with more detail; I'll get them up tomorrow.  It's a tad late (my time) to be squinting at the screen.  : / 

HiddenMovementIdiocy-1.jpg

Edited by maxm222
clarification

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