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Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta V23 Released! (Experimental Branch)


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Closed Beta Build V23 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).

It has been roughly five months since we released our last public build, which is a really long time in development terms (even if that period did include Christmas etc). It's therefore not worth trying to write a comprehensive changelog for this update as there's far too much to cover. Instead, I've just written up a quick list of the key changes - although even then there's probably more stuff I've forgotten about.

We will be releasing another update for V23 next week as there are more things we wanted to add to the build, but I just couldn't justify holding up this release any longer. Most of this relates to displaying information on Geoscape relations / panic, as it's currently not always 100% clear what the effects of a particular action might be. We'll address this shortly, along with any critical bugs people encounter in the build.

Strategy:

  • Campaign Rebalance: a lot about the game balance has changed on the strategy layer - way too much to list out here!
  • Monthly Panic Generation: Panic is similar to Relations from the first Xenonauts. A Geoscape region grants more funding if it has low Panic, and it is lost entirely if it has over 100 Panic at the end of the month. The game now generates an increasing amount of Panic in all regions at the start of each month through Cleaner Operations or Orbital Bombardment, and this becomes the performance benchmark for the player to aim for - if the player shoots down enough UFOs and wins their tactical missions, they will be able to reduce Panic by more than the increase (resulting in extra funding).
    • The amount of Panic generated each month is something that will change based on difficulty setting in the final game.
  • Cleaner Missions: the Cleaner sub-plot is now a fixed sequence of four missions triggered by three research projects (completing the mission sequence grants extra funding and reduces the global Panic gain that occurs at the start of each month). Two of the missions have unique victory conditions - one is a "capture resources" missions where you have to capture as many resources as possible from an enemy-held building, and the other is an ambush / eliminate VIP mission.
  • Item Disassembly Projects: quite a lot of the Alloys and Alenium you recover is now contained either within alien weapons or sections of the UFO hull. These items can either be sold for additional cash, or can be disassembled in the workshop by your engineers to grant the alloys / alenium (assuming you have enough of them).
  • Alien Base Supply: alien bases now gain the "supplied" status for 10 days when built and after being visited by a Resupply mission. Bases that are resupplied contain more enemies, so if you spot an alien base it may be worth starving it of supplies before you attack it.
  • UI Visual / Usability Updates: we've updated various Geoscape pop-ups to use the new visual style, and made a number of small usability changes to various parts of the strategy UI. There's still plenty to do on this point but things are certainly better than they were in V22.

Tactical Combat:

  • Enemy HP / Armour display: because of the changes to Armour listed below, enemies now display their HP / Armour values above their heads - it's important to know how much Armour an enemy has in order to make decisions about armour shred. The downside of this is that it makes the game a bit easier, so we're likely to disable this feature on the higher difficulty settings in future when all the final alien models are in place and it is possible to see which enemies are wearing heavy armour or not.
  • New Armour System: the armour system in the tactical combat and air combat has now been unified. The system works as outlined below, and armoured aliens have been added into the game throughout the campaign. These aren't ridiculously durable, but it's generally more efficient to destroy their armour before attacking unless you are using armour penetrating weapons. 
    • Armour reduces weapon damage by a flat amount: 10 damage going into 3 Armour becomes 7 damage.
    • Armour is not automatically destroyed by absorbing damage, but each weapon has an Armour Destruction value which indicates how much damage is removed on hit (usually 1 or 2).
    • Certain Weapons have Penetration values that ignore the equivalent amount of Armour on the target, but certain Armour types also have Hardness values that will negate the equivalent amount of Penetration on a weapon.
  • A few other points relevant to the armour system:
    • A new grenade called the Demolition Grenade has been added. This is excellent at destroying terrain and shredding Armour, but doesn't actually do that much damage to enemies. The standard Frag Grenade is now much less effective at destroying terrain.
    • The HP stat of a soldier is a lot more relevant now, because alien weapons no longer scale quite so high in terms of damage.
    • Combat Shields now provide extra Armour rather than a pool of extra HP, which means they are much less all-or-nothing. Powerful alien weapons will punch straight through a shield but the shield will still reduce the incoming damage by an appreciable amount.
    • Resistances to certain damage types still exist, as these are independent from Armour - e.g. a unit being 100% Resistant to gas damage, or an Andron being 30% Resistant to kinetic damage, etc.
  • Morale System: units on the battlefield now have Morale, and are capable of panicking, berserking and fleeing if this falls low enough. All units start on 100 Morale and may suffer a morale break if they are below 50 Morale (with a 100% chance of doing so at 0 Morale), and they suffer morale loss when negative things affect them on the battlefield. The Bravery of a soldier is used to modify the incoming Morale damage, and there is a further bonus granted based on the rank of the highest ranking living Xenonaut on the mission. 
    • There is a new button called Focus Mind in the tactical UI. This refills a significant amount of Morale but costs a large amount of TU to use.
  • Xenonaut Base Defence Updates: visually these missions are still rather lacking, but we've fixed a lot of issues with them recently related to how and where the aliens would spawn. There's also been some further work on the Sentry Guns to ensure they are more functional and more useful than before.
  • Terrain Updates: some of the biomes have had quite a bit of polish added and are now approaching being finished. The Polar biome is a good example of this (the first Cleaner mission illustrates this) and in general I think some of the maps are now looking rather nice!

Air Combat:

  • Autoresolve Result Preview: in order to prevent situations where the air combat autoresolve spits out a result that seems unfair, the autoresolve now shows the predicted result and then gives the player the choice to accept the result or to fight the battle manually. Again, this does make the game easier so we'll likely be removing the ability to autoresolve combat at all on the highest difficulty setting.
  • Armour / Weapons Rebalance: to make things easier to understand, the same Armour system is now used for both aircraft and soldiers. We've therefore rebalanced the UFO stats a bit, and we've taken the opportunity to set up four categories of weapons: cannons, missiles, torpedoes, lances. Each of these have different ranges, ammo capacities and damage profiles vs. armour and vs. HP. The ability for an interceptor to Evasive Roll is now tied to the weapons it is carrying, which means certain weapons will inflict more damage but also leave your interceptors more vulnerable to certain types of UFOs.
  • UFO Bonus HP: for balance reasons, UFOs now gain additional HP / Armour for each extra interceptor the player brings into battle (although it's still almost always beneficial to bring the extra fighter along). I think this rule vastly improves the game balance and there will be somewhat of a lore justification for it, but I also know some players are going to hate it despite that so we will be adding an option to turn it off in a future build.
  • Deployment Phase / Formations: you can now choose where you wish to place your interceptors before an air combat battle begins, and there are a number of pre-set formations you can use to save time. When fighting battles that contain multiple UFOs you will now see their starting formation has a degree of randomisation too.
  • Hit Detection: this is a relatively small line of text for what was a big task, but the air combat has now been rewritten so the hit detection cannot fail. Previously it was sometimes possible for missiles or projectiles to pass straight through a unit without hitting them, which could ruin an air combat entirely if it was a powerful attack that failed to register, so we just had to bite the bullet and get this fixed.

As always, please let us know if you encounter any bugs by posting them up on the Bug Reporting subforums, as we'll be releasing hotfixes to correct any major issues you encounter.

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Thanks for the first Part of new Version. Have downloaded it some Minutes ago and beginn to look into it.

From what I read the second Part will come next week. That´s good, so that the full V.23-Version can be testet much better, esp. on the Easter-Days with public Holydays.

Edited by Alienkiller
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v23, there are 2 crouch button(maybe a bug), second one costs more Action point. If i havent AP the game says " no point for focus mind" what is that?

thanksCattura.JPG.c6c24c26ca6d32c69acefc1983c170e4.JPG

Edited by mitrida
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@ mitrida, I have announced that too. The best is, you post it in the Bug-Part for Xenonauts 2. There I can bring in more then about the Crunch what I have detected.

 

@ Devs: Thanks for the new Version. All in all the first Part of the new Version is very good so far and all Help- / Infos-Windows for Weapons, Armors etc. [dosen´t know the exactly name for it] work correctly.

Have only tested it yesterday evening and have played the first Month. The Groundfights with the new Armor- / Vest-System work very good and are much more interresting now.

The refited Airfight-System succeed very well as well as the new Recovery-System on the Geoscape.

 

Hope to see more of that and other reimplementet testet cool Features, Research-Parts and so on in the second Part of this Version.

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10 minutes ago, Alienkiller said:

@ mitrida, I have announced that too. The best is, you post it in the Bug-Part for Xenonauts 2. There I can bring in more then about the Crunch what I have detected.

 

@ Devs: Thanks for the new Version. All in all the first Part of the new Version is very good so far and all Help- / Infos-Windows for Weapons, Armors etc. [dosen´t know the exactly name for it] work correctly.

Have only tested it yesterday evening and have played the first Month. The Groundfights with the new Armor- / Vest-System work very good and are much more interresting now.

The refited Airfight-System succeed very well as well as the new Recovery-System on the Geoscape.

 

Hope to see more of that and other reimplementet testet cool Features, Research-Parts and so on in the second Part of this Version.

did it thanks

Edited by mitrida
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