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Chris

Xenonauts-2 December 2021 Update

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Hello everyone, hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year!

Goldhawk are back to work tomorrow so just a quick update from me about what we got up to in December. This is just a brief one because I'm technically still on holiday but I want to get this out of the way now so I can focus on development tomorrow.

The main thing we worked on was the soldier Morale system - the system that causes your soldiers to panic when things go horribly wrong on a mission. We actually planned not to include this in Xenonauts 2 for quite a while, but ultimately I felt the game would be weaker without it and not having it gives me fewer tools when it comes to designing the alien abilities (particularly psionic ones). Anyway, this system is mostly implemented but there's still quite a few bugs and edge cases we're working through.

We've made a few improvements relative to the first Xenonauts. The first is that Morale always starts at 100 for every soldier, and the Bravery of a soldier (boosted by the squad commander bonus) reduces the amount of Morale damage taken when something bad happens (a soldier with 0 Bravery takes about 3x the morale damage that soldier with 100 Bravery does). There's now a button that allows you to spend TU in order to gain Morale, and the morale system is a bit more sensible in general. Units are generally only vulnerable to panic if Xenonaut soldiers are dying around them (particularly high-ranking ones) or the unit itself has been wounded, or if there are psionic aliens messing with their heads. Balancing is still required but overall it should be a little smoother and easier to understand than it was in Xenonauts 1.

Work on the updated UI designs and final art assets also continues. I've done an updated layout for the tactical combat UI because we've added several new features since our current design was done, including the morale system which now needs to be displayed somewhere. Our UI artist is working on styling that at the moment, and in the meantime we've finished styling several more of the strategy panels. Work on the 3d models for the human civilians and alien armour variants also continues, etc.

That's it. A number of the team had a lot of holiday left over from the year so it was a relatively short month. Hopefully we can put out another public build towards the end of this month and show off some of the new things!

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8 hours ago, Chris said:

We've made a few improvements relative to the first Xenonauts. The first is that Morale always starts at 100 for every soldier, and the Bravery of a soldier (boosted by the squad commander bonus) reduces the amount of Morale damage taken when something bad happens (a soldier with 0 Bravery takes about 3x the morale damage that soldier with 0 Bravery does). There's now a button that allows you to spend TU in order to gain Morale, and the morale system is a bit more sensible in general. Units are generally only vulnerable to panic if Xenonaut soldiers are dying around them (particularly high-ranking ones) or the unit itself has been wounded, or if there are psionic aliens messing with their heads. Balancing is still required but overall it should be a little smoother and easier to understand than it was in Xenonauts 1.

 

I like a lot of the changes that you made to this system. Allowing a soldier to spend tu to gain morale is nice and it another tactical option for the player to take advatage of, but I'm wondering how much the action costs to use and how tu efficient it is. The part that says "a soldier with 0 bravery takes about 3x the moral damage that a soldier with 0 bravery does" really confuses me. The number 0 appears twice there, so I am really confused. Is this a typo? 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Kamehamehayes said:

I like a lot of the changes that you made to this system. Allowing a soldier to spend tu to gain morale is nice and it another tactical option for the player to take advatage of, but I'm wondering how much the action costs to use and how tu efficient it is. The part that says "a soldier with 0 bravery takes about 3x the moral damage that a soldier with 0 bravery does" really confuses me. The number 0 appears twice there, so I am really confused. Is this a typo? 

Chris meant originaly: "a soldier with 0 bravery takes about 3x the moral damage that a soldier with 100 bravery does" It´s only a writing Failure.

All in all I like the December-Diray and the Announcements / Informations in there. And that Devs need Hollidays / a Pause time too is fully understandable like we others too.

Hope the Team can enjoy it as good as possible.

Edited by Alienkiller
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4 hours ago, Kamehamehayes said:

I like a lot of the changes that you made to this system. Allowing a soldier to spend tu to gain morale is nice and it another tactical option for the player to take advatage of, but I'm wondering how much the action costs to use and how tu efficient it is. The part that says "a soldier with 0 bravery takes about 3x the moral damage that a soldier with 0 bravery does" really confuses me. The number 0 appears twice there, so I am really confused. Is this a typo? 

Yeah, as Alienkiller correctly points out below that's just a typo. I've fixed the original post, the second number is meant to be 100.

At the moment the morale boost takes 60% of TU and grants 30 morale.

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This sensible for Xenonauts 1, but I would suggest allowing modders to disable it in 2. Reason being that it's possible for morale to be a timer that nerfs slow play. It can only be recovered through expensive meds with equally non-recoverable side effects. The cure is to get the job done, knock the panicking crewman out for their own safety, or evacuate. This is how classic XCOM and OpenXCOM mods sometimes work, though in practice morale is often not a big factor anyways.

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Bobit, I think Morale is a big Factor. It was in WW 1, WW 2 and all Wars Humankind had already. I suggest you play the new Sim U-Boat, then you see why Moral is so important.

The older Games (old X-Com, Xenonauts 1 and UFO 1 ET) couldn´t implement it like new XCOM, Phoenix Point and Xenonauts 2 do it in both Parts [the Fighting-Part and Geoscape-Part].

We will see how Xenonauts 2 will implement this Feature and can then look how it´s direct rival, the UFO-ET-Row implement this Feature with the DLCs for UFO 2 ET and the Refits from UFO 1 ET as well as later UFO 2 ET. And then much later on how the Morale System in an XCOM 3+ will work after we get an Information.

In the Games XCOM 1 / 2 incl. DLCs, Phoenix Point incl. DLCs the System is Hardcoded. And in the UFO-ET-Row too. Means if the Devs here bring it in, the Chance is more then 80% that this Feature is hardcoded that you can´t delete or change it. If we get there something to experiment it will be the Soldier-Features like in U-Boat / old X-Com / UFO 1 ET (Knocking out, give the other an Stimpack or Medkit-Thing like in old X-Com, an Stimulation Helmet or whatever in UFO 1 ET).

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On 1/5/2022 at 6:19 AM, Alienkiller said:

...

By "disable it" I meant disable the ability to spend an action to regenerate 30% morale. Because in classic XCOM tradition it functions as a timer, this remvoes that function.

Edited by Bobit

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2 hours ago, Bobit said:

By "disable it" I meant disable the ability to spend an action to regenerate 30% morale. Because in classic XCOM tradition it functions as a timer, this remvoes that function.

I don't think this action removes the timer aspect of panic attacks and psionics. As Chris said, it does require 60% of your tu in order to use it, which is quite a lot. Units like snipers and heavies will not be able to shoot their weapon at all, riflemen will be forced to take snap shots or normal shots with lower accuracy, and assaults and shields will not be able to close the distance and shot aliens at close range. This is a big tradeoff for what those soldiers could potentially do without it. 

This could also allow for significant changes to psionics in general. This allows psionics to be more varied and have new abilities assigned to psionic units because the player will also have an extra option of dealing with them. This also allows for psionics to be better balanced in general as the player and aliens have a new means of dealing with panic attacks. Perhaps this could lead to player psionics becoming a thing as well in the future as psionics would be better balanced than before. 

If this mechanic works well in v23, then I have high hopes to psionics in the future. They could become much more varied and interesting and human psionics could be a thing to.  

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That´s correct Kamehamehayes.

That was a good Feature in good old X-Com to use it on both Sides later on. New XCOM implemented it too with more cool Stuff (PSI-Soldier with more Psionic Abilitys). Therefore you have limitations in many other Parts (Transports / Airforce-Fighters, Soldier-Configurations etc. etc. etc.).

In UFO ET you have the Blocking Chance by a Anti-Psy-Helmet (2 Helmets in Sum; the first you get with the first PSI-Attack-Alien the second with the Main-Alien-Race with heavy PSI-Attacks) and in UFO 2 ET atm only an Helmet (or 2 Helmets) too to block PSI-Attacks.

It´s good to restrict that PSI-Things for Humans on Defense and Healing to get it stable first for the Aliens, like the Devs from the UFO ET-Row are doing it. Therefore you have more Abilitys in other Parts, which is in the new XCOM-Games very very hard limited.

If it works well in both Games (UFO ET-Row showed it already with UFO 1 ET Standard / Gold-Edition as well as the Basegame for UFO 2 ET "Fight for Mercury") and Xenonauts 2 get it stable too for the Aliens and the Defense for Humans, then first then we can think about the Attack-Abilitys for Humans in PSI. But that must have Limitations too, because not every Human have an high PSI-Level / Bravery-Level.

Therefore we are Humans and in Dune too it took very very long to build up the Bene Gesserit with that Abilitys. Even in old X-Com / new XCOM not every soldier can be an PSI-Soldier. There are Tests too and there were very few of your Troopers that have had that abilitys.

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Hello guys, is it still possible to join the beta testing? I tried couple of weeks ago on Steam and still waiting for approval :(.

I wish i had the $50k or what was missing and joined the kickstarter campaign with it so we could have the "weather consitions"!

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