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Ten Suggestions (started testing milestone 2)

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About me: First game ever purchased was xcom:tftd in 1995 so yah, I am an older player, been playing a lot of games, also a programmer now by trade.

First impressions of Xenonauts 2: I am really enjoying it and the direction, however I would caution to not get to hung up on restricting yourselves to what came before (Xenonauts 1, xcom etc.).  They were great games but I would challenge you to use this game to not just reskin those games but to expand on them.

Suggestion 1: Soldier Rescue Mission: I just did this for the first time and had a helicopter filled with 9/9 guys sent out.  Mission didn't warn me until I arrived to start it that I needed 3 slots open to rescue them.  I land, look at my helicopter and it visually appears to be half empty.  Okay, I should be good to go I think.  Nope, did the whole mission, post wrap up, shows my new guys etc it seems.  But they don't appear when I am back at base.  I think you need a pop up warning before launching the mission that three slots in the helicopter should be left open for rescue.  AND a pop up after returning that person x, y... couldn't be rescued because there was not enough room on the helicopter or something.  I like the idea of the mission though.  Just doesn't feel intuitive.  Also, what happens if you don't have room for the new guys in your base living quarters?

Praise 1: I am enjoying the missions with time limits, rescue captives etc.  I am glad there are not TOO many of them, but they feel exactly the right timing for turns etc.  I often find I need to push my troops a bit faster than I kinda want to try and reach all objectives on the map before the deadline shows up or the enemies start spawning more etc.  I wouldn't want it any shorter for turns, but don't feel the need for longer either.  (I am playing on normal / soldier difficulty)

Suggestion 2: Strategy layer changes: I realize the way the game is set up (and this harkens back to prior games of this nature) Building "wide" (multiple bases) was always an excellent strategy to maintain control over the spread out area's of the planet.  I'd like to see an alternative strategy supported as well however.  Building "tall" (one single larger base)  There have always been a few issues with the nature of the game design that prevents this.  Mostly, problem 1: UFO's are detected by radar which has a range, problem 2: fighters have a limited range for fuel, problem 3: base is limited in size.  Problem 1 might be addressed by allowing the building of a specialized radar plane that can fly out to a player designated spot and hold station for an extended period of time providing radar coverage in that area, before returning for fuel.  Problem 2 could be resolved by building some form of either in flight refueling or more slots as you've already added for extended fuel tanks perhaps.  Problem 3 is a bit more difficult, but perhaps there can be a base expansion addon that can be purchased or a special mission that gives the player the option to expand the size of a single base they have or start a second base location as a reward.  (perhaps that one off mission is the ONLY way to get the larger base in the game)  If you can find enough balance between the two strategies it would add more replayability depth to the game encouraging players to try different options on later play throughs.

Suggestion 3: Helicopter feels empty: I don't like the fact half my helicopter is always empty but I cannot add more troops to it (at least at the start of the game).  I like the variable upgrade slots to the jets, let's add something like that with the helicopter's as well.  Perhaps one upgrade could be extra jump seats to allow a few extra soldier slots or something.

Suggestion 4: zoom in/zoom out of camera: sometimes I feel like I cannot see enough detail and would like the option to zoom the camera in a bit, or maybe out a bit from the base zoom of the game.  To go along with this, I'd love to have the camera be able to change angle to more of a top down view at times as well.  Sometimes all four directions don't give a good sight on an area.

Suggestion 5: Fully customize soldiers:  I often enjoy creating one soldier as "me" in the game.  Giving them my name, etc.  off the start of the campaign and then see if I can advance them and keep them alive.  I also sometimes create other soldiers as well.  I am happy we can change their names, but I'd love to also be able to change their country of origin, age, and picture.  For picture you could give the option to pick from one of the other games portraits that matches a sprite.  Or have them pick a sprite, then upload their own portrait image to go along with it.

Suggestion 6: Multiplayer co-op: This I realize is pie in the sky big ask...  But I have to try.  When I first bought the xcom game, my friend and I would take turns at my house playing missions on the same computer.  We ended up each making our own squad.  I would love to have a coop option in the game.  One way to do this is to have the players each control a base in the game at the start.  Funds could be split, or ufo frequency could be scaled up with two players (or maybe a bit of both).  When missions happen, one player would control part of the soldier and the other would control the other part.  The players could choose who controls which (maybe player that controls that helicopter/squad could "gift" control of some units to the other player during the mission).  Both players take turns simultaneously, then when both end a turn, the aliens go, then back to players etc.  I really feel making it co-op would really up the interest in the game.

Suggestion 7: button to reserve set amount of time units. (like in the old xcom days)  maybe allow the player to set how many time units they want reserved.

Suggestion 8: Allow me to jump into a soldiers specific "armory screen" by clicking on their side portrait in the soldier screen.  I feel like I am constantly needing to navigate between these two screens when making decisions about my squad.  Who's healthy or not, which soldiers should be in which roles by comparing the squads stats, as a result what gear I want them to have, or maybe I just want to change their names, but I cannot from the soldier screen.

Suggestion 9: Soldier assignments (to helicopters from unassigned) feels clunky and slow for some reason.  I don't know if I want the option to just click drag their names and drop them onto the helicopter or what.  Removing from a helicopter feels fast and easy, but adding them to a helicopter doesn't feel as clean for some reason.  Also, finding the screen to change their location in the helicopter seems like it should have a quicker option from the armory screen or something to modify.

Suggestion 10: Magnetic weapons seem like a waste of time: Xcom had this problem I recall.  You start game, you get option of lasers, you barely get lasers built and you use them maybe two missions and then they are essentially outdated by plasma weapons.  In this game it feels like magnetic weapons are falling into the same trap.  It feels like a actual waste of resources and time to invest into them at all, as you almost should always just skip over them to the next weapon type.  Now, I haven't seen if milestone 2 stretches this time frame out more yet.  But, what if you added more tradeoff's between them.  Give magnetic weapons more of their own niche area where they are better than other weapons enough that you might want to still have at least one equipped in your squad, or have a backup pistol of it or something.  Maybe they are really good at taking down a certain type of enemy that's hard to beat as they have some sort of natural resistance to the better typical weapons the squad would use later in the game.  It's possible this is already the case and I just haven't reached that point to discover it yet.

Thanks for an enjoyable game!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/29/2023 at 8:24 AM, Cheostian said:

Suggestion 1: [...] I think you need a pop up warning

There is actually pop-up warning before mission. However, there is no pop-up warning about rescuing the VIP, which should be corrected.


On 11/29/2023 at 8:24 AM, Cheostian said:

Suggestion 2: [...] Building "tall"

Yes, would be great to have bigger bases. Especially with stairs and elevators.


On 11/29/2023 at 8:24 AM, Cheostian said:

Suggestion 3: Helicopter feels empty

Game states it is modified Chinook which sacrifice cargo/troops for fuel. Even so, even with filling up whole Chinook with fuel, it would be not able to reach such vast distances as is stated in game - above some, specific point for any air engine, there is weight that such engine will not take of from ground anymore, no matter how much fuel would be provided, so, in short, adding additional fuel, after some specific point, is only making things worse, rather than better. I am personally explaining this as Chinook being refueled mid fly be air tankers :). However, it would be nice to be able to specify fuel/cargo for each of aircrafts to manipulate theirs maximum speed, range, cargo, as it is done in a real world. This would be quite an advancement for a game, but I think devs could implement this quite easily.


On 11/29/2023 at 8:24 AM, Cheostian said:

Suggestion 4: zoom in/zoom out

Page up / Page down


On 11/29/2023 at 8:24 AM, Cheostian said:

Suggestion 7: button to reserve set amount of time units.

And as well would be useful, to have option for reaction, to choose what kind of fire mode should be used - snap/aimed/burst, if have melee weapon at hand, could charge if alien within (lets say) 3 tiles away, and stab an alien with many melee hits, or... option to run away if see a Reaper, and so on. Would be so much tactical option, and really a lot of fun to play with.


On 11/29/2023 at 8:24 AM, Cheostian said:

Suggestion 8: Allow me to jump into a soldiers specific "armory screen"
Suggestion 9: Soldier assignments (to helicopters from unassigned) feels clunky and slow

Yes, it is very, very clunky right now. I advise as well to set fixed teams, and reserve soldiers which are attached to each teamed soldier, as a temporary replacement if such soldier is in hospital ward, or lightly injuried. It would save huge amount of micromanagement which is actually completely pointless, as each time some soldier is wounded, player has to manually pick some. This could be streamlined.


On 11/29/2023 at 8:24 AM, Cheostian said:

Suggestion 10: Magnetic weapons seem like a waste of time:

There is little benefit, and most of weapons are just barely better for theirs price. I've made only pistols and shotguns as these are crucial because soldiers wielding them have to be close to enemy and takes the highest risk of alien retaliation. Currently with economy in place, most of my spendings go into expanding and improving fleet of interceptors. While I still have basic ballistic guns (mostly, with few exceptions I mentioned), I already have 2x Tier 2 interceptors plus 6x Tier 1. It pays off.

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Suggestion 1 - I was warned. I forgot how, but I was. Maybe there should be a pop-up window that appears when you try to embark on the mission with less than three empty slots.

Suggestion 2 - I agree, widely, with the idea that it would be nice if the game could support more multiple strategies in different playthroughs. The game kinda railroads you into most of your research choices. You make some small decisions like whether to make accelerated guns or skip them, or whether you want armor or guns first, but then it soon feels like those choices dry up and you're on a railroad for awhile in the early-midgame. You have your lasers and your armor, and then there's a stretch of the game when you kinda just research whatever the game throws at you, until a bit later. But that said, I don't like the idea that every strategy game should have a way to play wide and a way to play tall. I don't think playing tall is a strategy that fits in with the genre. Besides, you can already fit *a lot* of facilities into your main base. You can really just have a main base with everything, then two more bases that just have generators and radar dishes to cover the rest of the world. I don't think you actually need hangars in your alternate bases because even the starting dropship can go anywhere in the world and once you get Phantoms, they can basically also go around the world.

Suggestion 3 - It'd be nice to have more customization for your dropship, which would also make the battle-layer gameplay more varied up. I don't know what kinds of equipment besides extra seats a dropship would have, though.

Suggestion 4 - You can already do this.

Suggestion 5 - I also think this would be neat.

Suggestion 6 - This would also be neat, but I doubt it'd be a thing.

Suggestion 7 - I don't see this as necessary, because the game does tell you how much TU you'll have at the end of actions and how much actions cost.

Suggestion 8 - I dunno, maybe I'm being too radical, but I just feel like the Soldiers screen and the Armory screen should be merged together to begin with. 

Suggestion 9 - These screens can definitely be streamlined. I agree.

Suggestion 10 - I think the current meta is actually for people to get the accelerated guns, then skip lasers, and then upgrade directly into Gauss. I think it's actually not a problem that players end up picking between accelerated guns and lasers. It gives some difference between different playthroughs, and allow players to make a strategic decision. If anything, I think the actual problem is that Gauss weapons just sort of replace the weapons that came before and is too straightforward of an upgrade. It reduces complexity when you'd expect the game to increase complexity as your playthrough goes on.

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