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Challenge

[16.1] Some Opening Observations.

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First, love the new loading screen. Nice piece of artwork.

I'm not sure if it's a feature or a bug, but since I noticed a message window I clicked through too fast to read (oops) I'll think of it as a feature for now: The first small UFO I shot down over the jungle vanished. It was small so I figured it was possible I just blew it up and scattered small enough pieces there was no point in looking for them. IMO it would actually be a pretty good touch to have a chance of losing the prize.

I think the stress levels are a bit high. These soldiers are supposed to be the best the supporting regions can provide -- I would think that would mean SpecOps troops, or at least combat experienced. All of the team walked away with more than 50% stress levels and the fight wasn't that tough. Only one member was hit (the only one I forgot to put a Combat suit on, of course). I'm going to need a whole lot more troops if they take that much in a small fight -- they'll never go the distance.

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The Stress Level is a new Feature, which will ballanced in the next Versions. That have Chris announced already in the last Version-Upgrade (V.16.1).

The first small UFO is erverytime a Drone / Scout which means that you will get an Mission after you shoot it down over Land. That´s strange you can´t recover and salvage it. Best thing you make a Bug report for X2 (Pictures, Savefile etc.) incl. your Description. In that Status you give the Information we can only speculate what it can be.

The only UFO´s which are not salvageable are the Alien-Fighters, which are very small.

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14 hours ago, Challenge said:

First, love the new loading screen. Nice piece of artwork.

I'm not sure if it's a feature or a bug, but since I noticed a message window I clicked through too fast to read (oops) I'll think of it as a feature for now: The first small UFO I shot down over the jungle vanished. It was small so I figured it was possible I just blew it up and scattered small enough pieces there was no point in looking for them. IMO it would actually be a pretty good touch to have a chance of losing the prize.

I think the stress levels are a bit high. These soldiers are supposed to be the best the supporting regions can provide -- I would think that would mean SpecOps troops, or at least combat experienced. All of the team walked away with more than 50% stress levels and the fight wasn't that tough. Only one member was hit (the only one I forgot to put a Combat suit on, of course). I'm going to need a whole lot more troops if they take that much in a small fight -- they'll never go the distance.

Thanks, always good to read these sort of posts.

I think the new popup you saw was the warning saying "are you sure you want to shoot this UFO down over water?", as it sounds like you shot it down over a small lake or something.

The Stress system is very much a work in progress at the moment and it's certainly possible I've set the numbers too high (or set regeneration too low), but we're probably going to make some changes to tie Stress gain to Bravery and what actually happens to that unit on a mission. Right now it's the same for everyone so it doesn't really generate any interesting gameplay.

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Thanks for the quick reply.

After my second Kill the Aliens picnic I now have 16 people, non of which will go another fight without the risk of maxing out their stress levels. The first group are only down to around 40, while the second group is up around 75 -- from a single fight. At this rate I may need 40 soldiers just to be able to cycle them out every battle. So you may have the numbers a bit... off? :confused:

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That´s the Idea of the Stress System not make every fight with your Soldiers. Your Soldiers have to rest too, because every Human have to rest with time. 

The new Stress System, which is in a WIP, has a many Advantages:

1. It makes the Game much more intersting, because to make every Ground Battle in X1 was borring with time. It was Routine after 1 or 2 Hour Gameplay. Waiting for an Armada of Alienships shoot them Down and then raid every Crashsite. :(

2. You generate Money, if you let make the Groundfights for lighter UFO´s from your Fincaners-Armys. In that Time your Soldiers can regnerate.

3. If neccessary your Soldiers can be used for an emergency Mission (Terror, Base-Defense, Base Attack), while they regenerate to reduce their Stress they have.

4. and many more, I have forgotten.

And yes, the Stress System ins´t perfect atm, therefore we are Beta-Testers to check new implementations and give Feedback how good or bad it works. And that every new Implementation have Childsickness are not new. But if it´s a good Dev Team with good Freelancers is on Start (like Goldhawk) then that Problems the Game still have will be done to Early Access Release.

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3 hours ago, Alienkiller said:

That´s the Idea of the Stress System not make every fight with your Soldiers. Your Soldiers have to rest too, because every Human have to rest with time. 

The new Stress System, which is in a WIP, has a many Advantages:

1. It makes the Game much more intersting, because to make every Ground Battle in X1 was borring with time. It was Routine after 1 or 2 Hour Gameplay. Waiting for an Armada of Alienships shoot them Down and then raid every Crashsite. :(

2. You generate Money, if you let make the Groundfights for lighter UFO´s from your Fincaners-Armys. In that Time your Soldiers can regnerate.

3. If neccessary your Soldiers can be used for an emergency Mission (Terror, Base-Defense, Base Attack), while they regenerate to reduce their Stress they have.

4. and many more, I have forgotten.

And yes, the Stress System ins´t perfect atm, therefore we are Beta-Testers to check new implementations and give Feedback how good or bad it works. And that every new Implementation have Childsickness are not new. But if it´s a good Dev Team with good Freelancers is on Start (like Goldhawk) then that Problems the Game still have will be done to Early Access Release.

Went out to my first fight and took more than 50% stress on each soldier. Sat out the next crash while my new recruits arrived, and because I like money. Took the eight battle virgins out for the third crash site and defeated aliens. It was a longer fight and all eight of them took more than 70%. The first set, which had been resting for two crash site battles only recovered between 10 or 15% (not sure exactly because I didn't write it down). If any of my soldiers go on even a small UFO crash site -- or I get hit with a Terror Mission -- all of them would have more than 90 - 100% stress level. so...

1. I find the Stress concept very interesting: I never said I didn't.

2. I don't go on every mission; never have. As I said, I like money.

3. I know they can be used in an emergency; but if they are all out of action or I don't do crash recovery missions, I don't get the bits I need to upgrade equipment.

I signed on to be a beta tester as well. The OP was my preliminary assessment of the current build. To simplify:

The Stress system is an excellent way to keep players cycling troops through the active response team. Everyone gains experience which improves capabilities and makes it so when you lose an advanced soldier or two it doesn't pit all green soldiers against heavy and advanced aliens. I like that they need time for R&R for stress recovery. It gives them more realistic feel. I just think the numbers are off a bit.

I am a veteran of the original of this game so I'm familiar with Goldhawk. But they improve things by us posting our comments about how things work and feel as part of the game play. It isn't the first time I've beta tested a game, but thanks for the explanation.

Edited by Challenge

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18 hours ago, Challenge said:

Thanks for the quick reply.

After my second Kill the Aliens picnic I now have 16 people, non of which will go another fight without the risk of maxing out their stress levels. The first group are only down to around 40, while the second group is up around 75 -- from a single fight. At this rate I may need 40 soldiers just to be able to cycle them out every battle. So you may have the numbers a bit... off? :confused:

It does sound like something a bit strange is happening with the Stress there. Maybe it's a bug, or perhaps we have very different playstyles and I've tuned the number more towards my own.

Your soldiers should gain 25 Stress plus 3 Stress per turn in combat, and regenerate 2 Stress per day on the strategy layer out of combat. Out of interest, how many crash site missions are you running vs how many do you Delegate / Airstrike, and how many turns does the average mission take you?

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I haven't tried it out yet, but I can go through quite a few turns. I could easily see me getting 75+ stress per mission. I could even see all of my characters suffering mental breaks every mission, even starting out at 0 stress. I think I will download the new version and try it out so I can give accurate numbers and proper feedback. My initial thoughts are that a system which has stress per turn simply punishes people who play in a more careful/cautious way. Which is me. I like to have my soldiers covered and as safe as possible before doing things instead of charging in without support.

 

Anyways I will give better feedback once I try it out.

 

edit---------

I just want to mention that I like the idea of stress. Maybe the system should be +25 stress per mission and then modify the end amount depending on how things went. Currently how it is set up a person who was the only survivor of a failed terror site on turn 2 would suffer 28 stress, which is less than a team which killed every alien without even getting shot at but took six turns.....that doesn't seem right.

 

edit2------

So it took me 14 turns to complete my first mission so I am at 67 stress right now. Going to see how long it takes before my next mission now...

 

edit3--------

Looks like 51 stress to start with on my second mission. They are all going to break. I wonder how long they will be out for.....yeah this is going to be a major issue for me. I am hiring more soldiers, but as someone mentioned before I am going to need like 40+ to manage this. I will see how it goes though.

 

edit4-------

Yup, 100 stress for everyone. I need more living quarters.

 

edit5-----

Got a brand new squad good to go. They all started at 0 stress. Went in to one mission with them and they are 100 stress now. On january 21st I have 16 soldiers all out for almost two months. That means I will need three squads per month, minimum, so that would be 48 soldiers to possibly be okay, but probably 56 or 64 to be safe. That was my third mission.

So yeah, stress per turn of combat is really no good for me. I think a better solution would be calculating stress at the end based off how well you did. I think having guaranteed stress and mitigable stress would be best. Here is my idea:

 

Any solider getting shot adds three mitigable stress to each party member, and two guaranteed stress to the person who was hit.

Killing an alien removes five stress from all party members

Any soldier that is killed adds five guaranteed stress and five mitigable stress to everyone

suppression adds stress, etc etc.

 

I just made those numbers up, it's how it works that is important. Now at the end of combat, let's say you killed five aliens, and someone was shot once. That's good. The total stress from that mission would be the default 25 for everyone, plus the stress from getting shot(3 for everyone minus the person who was hit, who gains 5 total)...however all the total minus stress from killing aliens removed that 3 stress from everyone so everyone on that mission would just get 25. The one person who was shot had their three mitigable stress taken away, but getting shot guarantees 2 extra stress so they end with 27.

 

Now if you do worse, let's say three people died, and you killed three aliens, the aliens killed would balance out with the deaths, but three people were also shot so everyone gets +25 default stress, +15 guaranteed stress from party deaths, and also +9 extra stress from being shot that could have been mitigated if you had killed more aliens for a total of +49 stress.

Edited by odizzido

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Yeah, the idea of getting Stress per turn is to encourage people to play a bit more aggressively but not force them to do so - a sort of soft time limit on the missions where good players can save a bit of Stress here and there by taking a few risks and finishing the mission faster but it's not going to have a massive effect on the game either way.

It sounds like the +3 value per turn is a bit high; I came to it by testing the early missions which are naturally shorter and I tend to have a fairly aggressive playstyle (i.e. I'm done in about 6 turns on the early misions). I think in the next patch I'll switch it to be +30 Stress per mission and +1 Stress per turn as that'll be less punishing on the more cautious players.

EDIT - and yes, in the medium term we'll tie it more to things that actually happen in combat and the unit's bravery, but that requires extra code work we don't have time for before the next hotfix. Although I think we need to be careful that Stress doesn't become another barrier to doing a mission quickly, and there's a risk of that if you punish the player with extra Stress every time they make a mistake while rewarding them for playing slowly.

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The Idea from Ozzido is very interessting. An similar System is integratet in Phoenix Point and the full XCOM 2-Series for the Bravery per Mission if I remember me correctly.

Why not integrate that for the Stress Level of our Soldiers, but not so heavy like Ozzido announce. I would reduce it to:

- an killed organic Alien removes 5 Stress for every Soldier

- an stunned organic Alien removes 3 Stress for every Soldier (more stunned get a Bonus at home)

- an killed Alien-Robot (like the Andron / Drone) removes 8 Stress for every Soldier

- an paralysed Alien-Robot (like the Andron / Drone) removes 5 Stress for Every Soldier (more Paralysed get a Bonus at home)

- the upgraded Stress level from the next Hotfix / Patch from Chris and Goldhawk should be testet with that I have announced in Beta 17.

- with that your Soldiers can be used 6 to 7 times a Month, esp. in the light / heavy Terror Missions and Special Missions.

 

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Ah okay. Well, I will start another game when the new hotfix hits and let you know how it goes then. Just so you know though there is no way I will play more aggressively than I currently do unless I have no other choice, at which point I will not enjoy the game as much(being forced to play in a way I don't like). I will always be hiring more soldiers as my way to mitigate the stress mechanic.

I do understand the idea behind stress though and I do like the idea behind it. I also think right now is exactly the time to try things out and play around with different ideas. Just to mention I think an alternative could be to lower soldier cost and increase living quarters/training capacity. That way my base won't need to be nothing but soldier buildings.

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Odizzido, the Stress Level System is a WIP, so we have to look for the fixed Standard-Stress-Level in Hotfix Beta 16.2 from Chris first.

Hmm... Soldier Costs are frozen yet, but it could be interessting to cost more with higher ranks like in XCOM, UFO ET etc. You can limit it to xx high ranked, xx medium ranked and the rest are low rank soldiers with not so much payment.

The Idea with the upgraded Training Center is a good Idea, because I thought about that too. There could be implemented an special training relaxation room where the Soldiers can push the Stress downgrading. It is useable 2 times for every soldier per Month if he / she hits an Stress-Level-Limit (say 80 %) with the other light announced Suggestions to reduce it, to make that Part more interessting and hopfully come in before Early Access.

Edited by Alienkiller

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1 hour ago, odizzido said:

Ah okay. Well, I will start another game when the new hotfix hits and let you know how it goes then. Just so you know though there is no way I will play more aggressively than I currently do unless I have no other choice, at which point I will not enjoy the game as much(being forced to play in a way I don't like). I will always be hiring more soldiers as my way to mitigate the stress mechanic.

I do understand the idea behind stress though and I do like the idea behind it. I also think right now is exactly the time to try things out and play around with different ideas. Just to mention I think an alternative could be to lower soldier cost and increase living quarters/training capacity. That way my base won't need to be nothing but soldier buildings.

That's fine, but at the same time you're benefitting by having an cautious playstyle because you'll lose less soldiers. At the moment there's no downsides to playing incredibly cautiously (in fact you can just camp in the dropship until the aliens come to you and get killed by reaction fire), whereas there are downsides to playing more aggressively and I don't think it's unreasonable to even that out a bit. But it shouldn't be something that makes a huge difference to the game either way.

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Yeah sounds good. I look forward to seeing how the stress feels with a few changes. I really do like the idea of balancing out the game around a limited number of ground missions. I am one of those people who doesn't want to do them all. I did the first three I could because I was trying to get enough materials to upgrade my weapons.

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Exactly, that´s the Difference to Xenonauts 1. And you get more Materials in the Base-Defense, Alien-Base-Attack, light and Heavy Terror Missions, not yet implemented Special Missions, etc.

Edited by Alienkiller

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My opinion (all 2 cents worth or less to most of you) on the stress mechanic is that you are now forcing me to play "your way". It's hard enough with wounded and killed soldiers to keep a viable force at the ready.

Have any who are implementing this Stress system ever actually fought in combat? The friends I had that did, would tell of how they relieved it with a few intense "days off" (various ways) but it was days not weeks/months of down time.

This game is supposed to be using the best of the world (based on stats of some of these soldiers I wonder about that), I envision these folks being Special Forces (SAS, Rangers, Seal Team, Commandos, etc.). Those individuals have very High tolerances to Stress, they have to. To make them have to stand down 3 out of every 4 missions doesn't seem like something that would happen especially when the missions are roughly a week or so apart. I would suggest to adjust the stress recover rates to be a rate based on stress level.

Example:

Full HP: 50 and below stress goes down 5/day, for stress from 51 - 75 it goes down at 3/day, 76-99, 2/day, they may partake in base defense if at 60 - 99 Stress (doctors won't pass you on your routine Physical for in field combat ops), if you hit 100+ its one per day and soldier is available for anything (and note Stress can now go over 100, so on a very bad mission you may be out a long while).

Wounded soldiers have their Stress reduce at the same rate as their wounds or 1 per day (whichever is lower) until they are at full health (full HP), then apply the above rates wherever their Stress level is when at full HP.

if you are 100+ stress you can't even defend the base (you are considered to unstable to give a weapon).

By adjusting the recovery rate you still have to decide when to go out, rotate soldiers to keep the best "fit" for the "big ones".

You shouldn't penalize the commander that wants to preserve his forces in a tactical situation with NO idea of the terrain, the enemy strength, and definitely NO support - in this game you only have what you carry into battle. The current idea of stress does that. You have to get it done "NOW" every time, which means more wounded and dead soldiers. I would think that the cautious commander would inflict less stress on the soldiers because they know he isn't out for "glory", but has their welfare vs accomplishing the mission, and won't "Waste you" for a quick victory.

The Lectures will now begin :)

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We will see what is going on. I would reduce that to a system like in XCOM 2 or like I have announced. Not more and not less.

- an killed organic Alien removes 5 Stress for every Soldier

- an stunned organic Alien removes 3 Stress for every Soldier (more stunned get a Bonus at home)

- an killed Alien-Robot (like the Andron / Drone) removes 8 Stress for every Soldier

- an paralysed Alien-Robot (like the Andron / Drone) removes 5 Stress for Every Soldier (more Paralysed get a Bonus at home)

- the upgraded Stress level from the next Hotfix / Patch from Chris and Goldhawk should be testet with that I have announced in Beta 17.

- with that your Soldiers can be used 6 to 7 times a Month, esp. in the light / heavy Terror Missions and Special Missions. 

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On 1/11/2021 at 12:42 AM, odizzido said:

Maybe the system should be +25 stress per mission and then modify the end amount depending on how things went. Currently how it is set up a person who was the only survivor of a failed terror site on turn 2 would suffer 28 stress, which is less than a team which killed every alien without even getting shot at but took six turns.....that doesn't seem right.

I agree with you. The number of turns should not affect stress at all. A neat and careful game always needs more moves than a senseless reckless rush. The team should not get more stress with a more accurate game of the player. Additional stress should be given when receiving injuries (personally to each soldier depending on the severity of the injury) plus additional stress to the entire team for each wounded or killed member.

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For example 10 stress per fight, plus 10 if a soldier was wounded. Plus 5 for each wounded soldier, 15 for each mortally wounded and 25 for the killed.

That is, the minimum stress per battle = 10

With 2 soldiers killed, each of the remaining will receive 60 stress.

If 4 soldiers or more are killed, the rest of the team will suffer a moral injury and will recover from it for a long time.

Edited by MrAlex

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And it is even better to increase the above figures a little and then divide by the indicator of courage. Make the mental attacks of the aliens reduce the courage in the current battle, so that the soldiers who mentally attacked will also receive more stress. This will not only bring the game closer to reality, but also give more importance to the parameter of courage.

Edited by MrAlex

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In similar Games the Stress level get high and reduced in the Missions.

And yes MrAlex you are right for killed Soldiers / Vehicles. But the Stress level lowers too after capturing enemys alive, killing enemys and similiar.

So you have to find a Mix of both. If we Betatesters and the Devs make a compromise then all Gamers will be happy.

 

Stress level rising on Missions End and on Geoscape:

- dead Civilians (very low), death Soldiers from Xenonauts (belongs on the Rank they have), AI Helpers [Soldiers, armed Civilians] (low) as well as destroyed MARS / ARES (medium)

- Minimum Stress / Battle automatically for all Soldiers in that Mission (low)

- lost Outpost / Base (low to medium?)

- killing friendly Soldiers in special Missions (medium / high?) = Special Missions not implemented atm, but will play a big role after the game get more content!

- no Stress level for Wounds, therefore other factors get influenced (like Bravery, TU´s) [belongs how easy / hard that can be programmed]

 

Stress level lowering on Missions End and on Geoscape:

- killed organic Alien (low) / all Soldiers on Mission

- an stunned organic Alien (medium) [more stunned get a short time Bonus at home] / all Soldiers on that Mission

- an killed Alien-Robot (medium) [like the Andron / Drone] / all Soldiers on Mission; not so much Robots from the Aliens are active, which means it ballances that!

- an paralysed Alien-Robot (medium) [more Paralysed Robots for Study get a Bonus at home] / all Soldiers in Base

- only stunning friendly soldiers in Special Missions (medium)   

 

If we handle that good and ballancing is ok there are 3 Scenarios then:

 

1. the 1 up to 2 Terror Missions as well as 4 to 5 UFO´s per Month

2. the 1 up to 2 Terror Missions as well as 3 UFO´s and if it´s necessary an Alien-Base per Month

3. the 1 up to 2 Terror Missions, the very important Special Missions [not implemented yet], therefore lesser UFO´s and if necessary an Alien-Base per Month.

Edited by Alienkiller

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I've put out a new update with the new Stress numbers in it now, and the Stress per turn gain is much less than it was before. I'll probably create a thread to discuss the balancing of the Stress system soon (maybe for the next build, I'm not sure) because it's quite an interesting and involved discussion so it'd be good to have it all in one place. Thanks for the opinions everyone!

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The problem you have with a stress system, is that that it is not the same for all, as some will not be as affected as others, some how you will need to temper it with another factor??

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On 1/16/2021 at 6:44 PM, Ruggerman said:

The problem you have with a stress system, is that that it is not the same for all, as some will not be as affected as others, some how you will need to temper it with another factor??

I feel like tempering it with the 25 base is a pretty good start, which is already implemented. It looks like Chris is already working very well on this issue and he is listening to feedback! Excellent ideas and design so far from what I can see with the stress factors

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    I have been following all the post on this subject and feel it is time for me to chip in. I am a 30 years Army veteran with 3 tours of combat as a Airborne Lite Infantryman. I can't tell you how many patrols I was on(over 50 I would guess) or later that I led. What I can tell you is that I felt the effects of each and every one. When the mission is over and you return to base camp yes there is a relief. But what you carry with you (especially if it was a bad ) stays for a while. You can see it in your buddies eyes and the way they act. Everyone is effected in different ways, but make no mistake we are human beings, we were all effected. As a Platoon Sgt. I would insure that the Platoon Ldr.(Lt) was not always dumping on the same squad. Its very easy to pick your best all the time but they wont be able to answer the call after long. With this being said in my opinion I believe that the stress level is pretty accurate as is. It takes time in base camp to let some of the stress pass. If due to mission requirements we were sent on back to back to back missions (yes its happened several times) we were non mission capable for at least two weeks afterwards. That's why higher HQs sees the big picture and plans ahead. The rule of thumb is never commit more than 2/3 of your force to any battle. You have to be able to respond to the next. I think that the stress factor added to X2 adds that element of planning ahead and taking care of your troops. If you tweak the stress balance in the game please don't change it much because I think its very realistic as is.

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