Chris Posted May 20, 2020 Share Posted May 20, 2020 Your soldiers and vehicles are the brave heroes that face plasma-death in battle against the aliens every time you run a mission. Our plans for these units have also changed over time, with the original idea being to give them simplified attributes and inventory system and then add a skill system on top of that. The simplifications we made to attributes and the inventory proved pretty unpopular with players and the skill system was difficult to visualise (there's already a ridiculous amount of information on-screen on Soldier Equip screen), so we decided to move back to the X1 setup with a few carefully chosen additions. The systems are: Inventory & Secondary Slot Stat Modifiers Vehicles Further Ideas Inventory & Secondary Slot: The soldier inventory system now works much like it did in the first Xenonauts, except units now have an additional "secondary weapon" inventory slot (they can carry an item in their secondary slot even if they have a 2-handed weapon equipped in their primary slot). This slot is limited to small items - pistols, melee weapons, medikits, etc. This is a usability change more than anything else. In X1 if you had an injured soldier it was pretty annoying to have to open their backpack to see if they had a Medikit, and if they did then you'd have to drag it into their primary slot and use it, then open the backpack again and move it back into the backpack and re-equip your primary weapon. Same if you wanted to get out a stun baton and stun an alien; it usually involved a lot of needless backpack interaction. With the new system it's very easy to see which units have which items and using a secondary item only involves a couple of clicks. The backpack and belt are still fully functional and if you want to load your soldiers up with lots of additional weapons and ammo like you could in the first Xenonauts 1, you can still do that. This change only expands the inventory system, it doesn't take anything away from it! Stat Modifiers: The new modular armour system (explained in the Research thread) has much more robust support for stat modifiers than we had in X1, so pretty much any item can be used to positively or negatively modify the stats of the soldier carrying that item. What this means in practice is that you can customise your soldiers for their role more than was possible in the original Xenonauts. For example, each suit of armour has a light and heavy variant available so you can opt for more protection at the cost of more weight, but the light variant of the end-game exosuit also provides a TU bonus. Once you reach the mid-game there are helmets that offer reduced protection, but grant an Accuracy bonus to the wearer. If a soldier is likely to be exposed to dangerous environmental effects, you can issue them a Rebreather which slightly reduces their Accuracy but makes them immune to gas damage. It's possible that this system could see other uses, too - for example, maybe using a shotgun could grant you extra Time Units. I'm not completely sure this is a good idea (it's a bit "gamey"), but those options are now available to us in a way that they weren't previously. I suspect modders will be very interested in taking advantage of them too! Vehicles: Vehicles in X2 are now smaller, filling only a single tile and replacing only a single soldier in the dropship - although the number of vehicles that can be carried is limited by the dropship type (with more advanced dropships allowing more vehicles). This allows vehicles to be more consistently useful by letting them enter small spaces, and although an individual single-tile vehicle is less powerful than the larger 3x3 equivalent from in X1 it is still be faster, tougher and better armed than a soldier (there's quite a bit of cost and research time involved in producing vehicles and keeping them upgraded). The other major change to vehicles is that they too are now somewhat modular and upgradeable. The starting vehicle has two possible configurations even when first built: a light variant that has less armour but has more TUs, and a heavy variant that is tougher but slower. Instead of having to build a whole new vehicle every few missions because new technology the old one becomes obselete, you can instead run upgrade projects to improve the armour on existing vehicles to keep them relevant. Vehicles now have a wider selection of weapons available and also have a secondary slot, which can mount a weaker secondary weapon or support items like defensive smoke grenades or a rangefinder that increases the accuracy of the primary weapon. There's a design choice to be made about how many vehicle types we add to the game. At the moment there's two vehicles: the early-game tracked vehicle and then a late-game hovertank. However, it almost seems more sensible to just have a single vehicle type and make everything an upgrade - I think it'd be cool to be able to keep the same vehicle throughout the whole game, slowly converting it from a small tracked drone to an armoured hovertank. We'll make that decision based on playtesting later on in development. Further Ideas: Stress / Fatigue: at one point we had a fatigue system in the game to encourage players to rotate their soldiers. It's been disabled for a while so would probably need a bit of work to get working again, but we're planning to give it a test once the game is fully playable to see if it adds anything to the gameplay experience. Stat Caps / Diminishing Returns: one of the issues with the X1 soldier stat system is that any stat can reach 100 no matter what level it begins at, so having high starting values doesn't give that much effect. In X2 we're currently using a system where a soldier can only gain 30 points in any attribute, which makes the starting values more meaningful. Having a hard cap is probably a bit too harsh, though, so we'll probably move to a system where soldiers get diminishing returns as they gain skill points - so gaining 10 skill points is easy, gaining the next 10 is harder, etc. This means units with low starting stats can still reach 100 but would require a lot of missions (or training) to do so. Casualty List: One of the new features in Xenonauts: Community Edition was the addition of a casualty list that displayed all the soldiers you had lost, their medals, what date and mission they were lost on, etc. It's a small thing but we're planning to add it into X2 before the game ships. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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