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Chris

Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta Build V13 Released! (Experimental Branch)

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Closed Beta Build V13 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 the first build we've released in roughly three months, and it should probably be seen as a test build to help us identify bugs and problems before the next major update. Although the build adds a fair amount of new content, it's not really designed to be played for more than two or three missions - the new content isn't really balanced yet. Much of my focus has been on getting the research writing started, and I've added the text for about 20 research reports to the game since the last build (although some are late game plot research you won't see at this stage).

The next update is likely to follow in only a few weeks, and will hopefully involve the remaining early-game / mid-game research text and my first proper attempts to play the game (which will naturally lead to a lot of balance and usability improvements). So if you guys could give the build a quick test and report any major bugs you encounter that would be great!

Key Changes:

  • New Research / Game Completion Chain: I've updated the visual style of the research pop-up and added some new research text for some of the early game research projects. Additionally, I've been reworking the research text for the plot-related research, and working on the two new set-piece missions that must be completed to win the game. These missions are not at all balanced or polished yet (they're missing various pieces of art, and will need the improved AI before they are a genuinely fun experience) but they are there in placeholder terms.
  • New art: we've added various new pieces of art to the game, from the main menu title screen to the research / engineering background artwork to the strategic art for some UFOs.
  • Aerial Terror Missions: the basic form of the "aerial terror site" mission is in place now. The aliens will periodically attack your Geoscape command centers, forcing you to defend them if they are not to be permanently destroyed - but in these missions you'll have a squadron of friendly AI interceptors (their level affected by proliferation) backing you up. Again this mission hasn't properly been balanced so it may be way too easy or way too hard right now, but the important thing right now is that it's there and working. For the next update I might make this mission more organic, too - i.e. maybe normal ground attack UFOs will have a detection radius and will move to attack any command centers that they encounter, which I think would be a powerful disincentive to expand beyond the area you can protect with your aircraft.
  • New damage / armour model: the new dynamic damage / armour model has been added to the game. Armour now offers soldiers extra HP that is destroyed when it prevents damage, but incoming damage is also affected by the "level" (i.e. hardness) of the armour relative to that of the weapon (i.e. penetration). If the weapon is higher, that weapon will ignore some of the armour HP. If the armour is higher, the incoming damage will be reduced by a % before damage is applied. Both effects get stronger the better the greater the difference between the armour and weapon.
  • Soldier equip / dropship usability fixes: we've added a few new features to these screens to make it easier to see the soldiers you have assigned to a dropship, and to move them around within the squad.

General:

  • The buildings and the stats of the various Geoscape regions have been externalised to editable JSON files rather than hardcoded, theoretically allowing them to be modded. We'll be externalising the remainder of the hardcoded data in the coming weeks too.

Strategy:

  • Geoscape - research complete pop-up has been restyled and some new research text has been added.
  • Geoscape - the Agent system has been set up, which is a very basic system that allows you to spend an Agent (using the button in the top right) to reduce the Panic in one Geoscape region.
  • Geoscape - tech proliferation is now in place, meaning the local regions will unlock certain items (e.g. laser weapons) 30 days after you have researched them.
  • Geoscape - anomalies (the little events spawned by UFOs) now support longer semi-randomised strings like in X1, and are now biome dependent too (i.e. you won't get "mall strafed" events happening in the middle of Greenland).
  • Geoscape - you now get a pop-up if a new building type is unlocked by completing research.
  • Geoscape - the "UFO Detected" pop-up now contains some additional information that includes whether any Escort craft are present.
  • Geoscape - the UFO Intercepted pop-up now shows an image of that UFO and any escorts (like it did in X1).
  • Geoscape - Intercepting a UFO / ground mission will now autoselect the first aircraft of the appropriate type from the closest base.
  • Art - added strategy and air combat artwork for the new Probe and Scout UFOs. The next update will have another 3 or 4 new UFOs in it.
  • Art - added new background and / or character art to the Main Menu, Research and Engineering screens.
  • Art - some minor updates the Main Base structures artwork.
  • Art - minor restyle to the Geoscape topbar.
  • Aircraft - dropship arrangement screen layout changed so it now shows a vertical list of the soldiers in the dropship, rather than having them dotted around the dropship (which fell apart when you got bigger dropships).
  • Soldier Equip - you can now drag and drop soldiers both in the Soldier Equip screen soldier list and on the dropship arrangement screen to re-order them within the squad, allowing you to change their hotkey number.
  • Soldier Equip - the height of tiles in the armory of the Soldier Equip screen now reflects their inventory height, so grenades and ammo are half the height of a weapon.
  • Soldier Equip - viewing the soldier equip screen with a vehicle selected now only displays items equippable to that vehicle, and conversely vehicle items no longer appear for soldiers.
  • Soldier Equip - you can edit the equipment of a soldier not assigned to the dropship. Note this does not actually assign them items until they get moved to a dropship - so you may find they "lose" items if there are none available when you move them into the dropship!
  • Soldier Equip - added the old capacity visualisation soldier icons to the dropship element on the Soldier Equip screen.

Air Combat:

  • The starting Falcon interceptor has been swapped out for the new X-25 Angel interceptor, which has a higher speed but is otherwise functionally identical. The X-25 is based on the Mig-25 so uses for the Foxtrot from the first game for now; updated art and a Xenopedia entry will follow in upcoming builds.
  • Removed the evasive roll from a number of UFOs, including the Scout. This means that an Angel with basic equipment can now solo a Scout.

Ground Combat:

  • The new armour and penetration system has been implemented. It now works as follows:
    • All units still have resistances, which reduce incoming damage of a particular type by a set %. However these aren't used to do much beyond passive resistances; e.g. a unit with a rebreather has a 100% resistance against Gas damage, and non-robotic units have 100% resistance against EMP damage, etc.
    • Armour now no longer provides a damage reduction against each shot, but provides an extra HP pool that is consumed before the soldier underneath takes damage.
      • e.g. if a unit with 10 armour is shot by 8 damage, the unit takes no damage but is only left with 2 armour afterwards. If they take another 8 damage, they sustain 6 damage and are left with no armour.
    • Weapons and armour now also have a "level", which represents the hardness of the armour and the penetration of the weapon. If one is higher than the other then additional effects come into play that grow stronger when the difference between the two is larger.
      • If the weapon is higher than the armour, the incoming damage penetrates and a certain % of it bypasses the armour.
      • If the armour is higher than the weapon, the incoming damage is reduced by a certain % before damage is applied.
    • This serves to model the different tech levels throughout the game. No matter how much kevlar you strap to your body, it's not going to offer protection against high-tier alien weapons. Similarly, advanced armour like the Predator exosuit will take much reduced damage from low-tier alien weapon fire.
  • The ground combat inventory panel has been reworked and now looks better and displays significantly more information than before, including the Armour HP of the soldier.
  • We've improved the way ammo is linked to weapons, fixing the bug where items in backpacks had no ammo and ensuring that weapons can now be unloaded with a right-click just like they could in X1. We can now choose to display the equipped ammo on specific weapons if we want - similar to what we did with the rocket launcher in X1, which always displayed an image of the rocket loaded into it.
  • The grenade "miss" logic has been updated, and units should be far less likely to flub a throw and drop a grenade at their feet. The range of a grenade is now based on the Strength of a soldier, and the hit chance is based on how far short of max range you are throwing. Strong soldiers can either therefore throw a grenade further than a normal soldier, or throw it a normal distance with increased accuracy.
  • One or more "alien bomb" props have been added to the Raid / Terror Sites. These provide Alenium and a tech unlock; the main purpose is just so you get a reward for doing terror missions in the same way as you get a reward for doing a Crash Site mission.
  • I've sped up the move, shoot and death animations of the Xenonaut soldiers to make them more similar to the speeds in the X1 combat. This makes combat a bit snappier, although there's still some code work still to be done to remove some extra pauses from the game before it feels as smooth as X1 in that regard.
  • Visual - added some of the old X1 explosion sprites into the game for rockets and grenades.
  • Visual - created an AK-47 model for the various soviet and middle eastern local forces.
  • Visual - made a slight visual change to the smoke tiles.
  • Visual - added some new art for the Alien Magnetic LMG.
  • Balance - the starting dropship now has a capacity of 8 soldiers instead of 10.
  • Balance - Androns no longer explode on death.
  • Balance - civilians should only have 25HP now.
  • Bugfix - killing a zombie should no longer spawn multiple Reapers.
  • Bugfix - Androns should now disappear when killed.

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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Posted (edited)

Cool thanks for the new Beta-Version and the new implementations.

Could test to the first Ground Mission, after that (already reportet in the Bugpart) no more testing is possible.

Postive Testing without Bugs:

1. The new Armor Concept Works correctly!

2. The new Equipment Screens works without Problems.

3. The Agent works correctly.

Edited by Alienkiller

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Balance - Androns no longer explode on death
Why? It was so cool and fun feature! If they come close its a death for you so shoot  at them with all guns you have but if you manage to shoot them down while they are inside ufo surounded by other aliens they become a death to all these aliens. I had so many fun situations with their explosions!

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Posted (edited)

Not the Civilians, your Soldiers and Helper from the Police, Army or whatever. If you see your Men / Women explode and their Brain on a Wall that´s not funny anymore. Rusknight I will remember you after one you loved get lost in such a Situation (like your own Char in Xenonauts 2 if you have one).

You may think it´s only a Game, and yes you can reload etc. But I play it like it were a real Situation. Try to save Civilian People, other Soldiers, your Guys etc. So it´s good that the Androns don´t explode anymore.

Edited by Alienkiller

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On 6/13/2020 at 11:26 PM, Rusknight said:

Balance - Androns no longer explode on death
Why? It was so cool and fun feature! If they come close its a death for you so shoot  at them with all guns you have but if you manage to shoot them down while they are inside ufo surounded by other aliens they become a death to all these aliens. I had so many fun situations with their explosions!

It's a cool ability but I'm not sure the best alien to put it on is Androns, because Androns are already so tough and dangerous so having them explode too is a bit mean. I'm thinking it might work better on Gun Drones or something because they're quite weak.

But I'm open to discussion about it, as it's cool to hear that you were using them as bombs inside the UFO. If the explosive enemies are opening up more interesting tactics then that's exactly the sort of thing we want in the game.

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But first The explained Beta 13 Bugs have to be Fixed to give the new Features / Implementations a Real Test.

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4 hours ago, Chris said:

It's a cool ability but I'm not sure the best alien to put it on is Androns, because Androns are already so tough and dangerous so having them explode too is a bit mean. I'm thinking it might work better on Gun Drones or something because they're quite weak.

But I'm open to discussion about it, as it's cool to hear that you were using them as bombs inside the UFO. If the explosive enemies are opening up more interesting tactics then that's exactly the sort of thing we want in the game.

I've also been doing just that in UFOs, trying to focus fire a single Andron to create a big boom. That said, it might be good to move the ability to another alien and decrease the explosion's power. You should prefer to kill exploding aliens from a distance, and you should be able to use that explosion against enemies, but it probably shouldn't be like setting a mininuke off.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/15/2020 at 5:00 AM, Alienkiller said:

Not the Civilians, your Soldiers and Helper from the Police, Army or whatever. If you see your Men / Women explode and their Brain on a Wall that´s not funny anymore. Rusknight I will remember you after one you loved get lost in such a Situation (like your own Char in Xenonauts 2 if you have one).

You may think it´s only a Game, and yes you can reload etc. But I play it like it were a real Situation. Try to save Civilian People, other Soldiers, your Guys etc. So it´s good that the Androns don´t explode anymore.

Mixing the game and reality this way - something is really wrong with you. Actually I keep my squad members and civilians alive but I like challenge and dangerous enemies

Edited by Rusknight

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Posted (edited)
On 6/15/2020 at 1:17 PM, Chris said:

It's a cool ability but I'm not sure the best alien to put it on is Androns, because Androns are already so tough and dangerous so having them explode too is a bit mean. I'm thinking it might work better on Gun Drones or something because they're quite weak.

But I'm open to discussion about it, as it's cool to hear that you were using them as bombs inside the UFO. If the explosive enemies are opening up more interesting tactics then that's exactly the sort of thing we want in the game.

Well, it looked natural that a big mechanical creature did a big boom being destroyed. I  can imagine it had some reactor on board. It wont look that cool with a small drone. Besides if it has less hp it can become to easy to abuse those explosions against aliens 

Edited by Rusknight

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With me everything is all right.
 

Only the Civilians and AI-Helpers are the one what I’m worried about in such Missions since the first X-Com game comes out. They react a little bit better since XCOM2 / XCOM2 WotC. But mostly the run to the wrong side to the Aliens like in the real Situations in Traps.

Couldn’t test the new Town-Terror-Things etc. in the Game like all other Testers about CTD’s.

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Posted (edited)

Yes Androns are automatic Robots like your Recon- / Combat-Vehicle. I remember the Cylons from BSG and such. They get destroyed like a Human internal with enough Bullet / Beam-Hits, esp. if you hit weak Points. 
 

But they never Explode, because the Energy-Explosion is more then normal Explosives. Minimum it were like a small Atomic Bomb.

for that reason we never get a Atomic-Battery Car or an Fusion-Battery-Car on the Streets. Yep extreme Examples only for Humans. And in the Game it would be a similar explode if an Andron is exploding.

Edited by Alienkiller

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