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erutan

New Gameplay Mechanics for Heavy Weapons

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In the original XCOM it was a percentage based system, and it was really annoying most of the time. That's one reason why I love love love xenonauts, it's gotten rid of that logical inconsistency.
Yeah, I knew it was a bit funky. Although, you have to admit if you had some Colonel running around firing auto four times a turn he would have been pretty uber.

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I agree. But, I'm fairly certain that a high ranked soldier in the original XCom had to use more TU to fire. It was probably a hurried attempt to balance things before release. I always thought it was wrong. What makes more sense is to put the skill increases on a curve so they get harder as you move up. That's how it is in RL. It should be close to impossible to get to 100 in any attribute.
In the original XCOM it was a percentage based system, and it was really annoying most of the time. That's one reason why I love love love xenonauts, it's gotten rid of that logical inconsistency.

It's not an inconsistency. All soldiers pay the same percentage, rounding up or down fractions. Soldiers with more APs pay more because they have more APs, they still fire as much as rookies but more accurate. It's not heretical sorcery to make the game harder.

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In the original XCOM it was a percentage based system, and it was really annoying most of the time. That's one reason why I love love love xenonauts, it's gotten rid of that logical inconsistency.

Not to nitpick - altough I do nitpick - but aren't both logical inconsistencies?

Elite soldiers may have slightly better reflexes and aiming, but they hardly gain super-speed.

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I find it makes soldiers more memorable (although I can't actually remember their names, just their roles, so MG Gunner 2 can get two bursts a turn as well as moving).

Also makes losing them so much more painful that in the original. Even having them wounded is painful.

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The AP% system does have advantages on balance as it is easier than having to balance damage per round when everyone is firing different numbers of rounds per turn.

You know your max rounds per turn so can work from that.

Your veterans are still better than rookies using the AP% system as well.

They can only fire the same number of rounds per turn as the rookie could if both are firing flat out.

The improvement comes when you need to do something else in the same turn.

Quick example using made up numbers.

Assume the assault rifle has an AP cost of 20% per burst.

Both your rookie (60AP) and veteran (100AP) can fire the same five bursts if all they do is stand and fire (accuracy would be the important difference here).

If you wanted to move and shoot then the rookie would be able to go twelve tiles and still be able to fire off a burst.

The veteran would be able to move twenty tiles and be still able to fire the burst.

The veteran may be able to fire four bursts and reload in a single turn while the rookie may only be able to manage two or three plus reload.

AP is a measure of how quickly you can do things within the time frame of a turn (whatever abstract measure of time that is).

Some actions cannot be made quicker, for example a weapon may only fire as fast as the mechanism allows so pulling the trigger faster has no beneficial effect.

AP% is meant to reflect those actions I think, not the ones that can be made faster, like how many steps you can take or how quickly you can grab a grenade from your belt.

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With % system you are replacing mechanic that have very forward logic that better understandable by the player with more complex mechanic that better for balancing, but harder to use and predict.

You do not remember stats of all your soldiers, which are all different, but you can remember tu stat of weapons they using. When you move someone, you see number of remaining tu's and can predict will you be able to shoot or not without looking at numbers for every soldier. Everything is clear, predictable and visible.

If you have mechanic with %s, for every move for every soldier (and you usually have to mix them, rotate loadout sometimes, or replace with new ones) you will need to look for numbers, calculate, then move, calculate, then maybe fire.

Margin for player error is higher, usability lower.

If you mix systems (one for fire, one move and crouch), it is even worse for understanding and remembering, and if you try to fix this by putting more info in relevant places, produces more clutter.

% system is not better, i think.

Edited by Lt_Parsons
typos

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I was curious if it could be used in select situations, for example by the rocket launcher as a way to limit it to a single shot per turn rather than a global switch to a new system.

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I disagree with the % of TUs system, on the basis that it makes no sense.

What's the point of upping TUs, then, by leveling your guys? I mean, it makes sense that they get multiple attacks later on, because they're better at it.

It's like, an aimed shot takes more TUs by comparison earlier then later. This is because making a shot with an "aimed shot" level of accuracy has become easier and faster to do, due to the practice of doing it over and over again, then it was originally.

If it's a percentage, then the top level commander would be taking more time to fire his weapon then the greenhorn rookie. That doesn't make any sense at all.

Sure, balancing it would be easier, but are you willing to give up sense and practicality in the process?

Besides, there was nothing like finding out that my snipers could suddenly fire two max-level shots (without moving at all) in the same turn after a dozen or so missions. It gave a sense of accomplishment, like my guys are actually improving and not just getting fancy medals for doing stuff.

The mixture idea that Gauddlike suggested might work better, but I still disagree, because even if it's only the RL, a rookie would take less TUs to fire it then a high leveled veteran. It doesn't make any sense.

It actually does, if you consider the increased TUs to reflect faster movement speed in a given turn (a turn being, say, 6 seconds). Moving faster is great. It was certainly pretty awesome to hit 80 TUs in the OG. As for the logic, just consider that veteran soldiers do not necessarily shoot faster than rookies. Sometimes increased accuracy is a reflection of knowing when to take a couple breaths and make an accurate shot... but if you imagine a turn as a fixed unit of time it doesn't always make sense for veterans to be taking more shots than rookies. How are you going to make that LMG fire faster, exactly? The veteran fires more accurately in a given unit of time, but not necessarily more quickly.

I like both systems, though. I think fixed TUs makes the game easier on the player, for better or worse.

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The percentage system will work fine because there is an AP reserve slider. People don't have to remember how many APs they need to fire as long use the slider to make sure they don't move to far.

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I'm not worried about moving too far (granted you weren't responding to me in particular), it just becomes annoying, basically. I mean, I play(ed) D&D. As you level up, you eventually gain the ability to make additional attacks per round. This is what I loved about Xenonauts, and disliked about UFO:EU; as my troops become better, they gain the ability to make more attacks in the same round. A % based system would throw all that progress away.

As for Gauddlike's suggestion, having only the RL have a % system, that would add confusion to the game, imo. Players would be wondering why the TU cost for the RL went up when nothing else did. We should just balance it so that it can only fire once per turn initially, and then fire once, reload once when you get to higher levels. A sufficiently high TU cost for both firing and reloading is fine. I mean, your issue was that we don't want two (or more) rockets fired in the same round. Just make the firing something like 30 snap, 35 standard, and reload 30. Then, later when they have 60-70 TUs they can fire and reload in the same turn without moving, but earlier they can't, making it less OP. Also, I don't know how many TUs a soldier can get, but I think it's 100 (please correct me if I'm wrong). Since it costs 30 TUs to reload, 30 (or 35) and fire, only when they have 90 TUs would they be able to fire, reload and fire, and even then they'd only be snap shots. It'd need 100 TUs to fire, reload, and fire with standard shots. I think that's sufficiently difficult enough to achieve that it would basically be a single shot per turn weapon for most of the game, if not all. However, if the player has managed to max out a soldier's TUs, then haven't they sort of earned the ability to fire an extra rocket per round?

Maybe those numbers aren't good (I think they'd work just fine), but you see what I mean? No need for a % based system for one weapon alone.

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I don't think that LMGs should have to deploy; though it's much more realistic than X-COM, Xenonauts still gives me that "action movie" feeling, and it's pretty common for action heroes to spray and pray with LMGs while on the run.

Having the option to do so in order to get increased accuracy is good, but then, that's what we have Crouch for, right?

I dunno, seems like an unnecessary mechanic to me.

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Xenonauts isn't an RPG. Veterans should be good soldiers, not superheroes.

No, the soldiers coming in are good soldiers. They're the best that humanity has to offer. They're just green in comparison to the aliens.

Anyone who is able to fight freaking aliens as a profession, and survive long enough to get to 100 TUs, qualifies as being a superhero in my book. I dunno about you, but I'd expect that keeping a soldier alive that long is probably going to be very difficult, yes? All it would do is give your rocket the ability to fire twice in the same turn once you've maxed your stats. And think about it, that still wouldn't be over powered because you can only carry so many rockets in your inventory.

And you can't just say that Xenonauts isn't an RPG, and expect that to be your entire argument all on it's own.

I know it's not an RPG, of course it's not. But, your soldiers do gain XP and more strength, TUs, accuracy, etc, so the comparison was an appropriate one in my opinion.

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It was never said you couldn't fire standing up, just that you couldn't deploy/ready your weapon, as they are meant to be fired prone/crouched. You can certainly fire from the hip, but you'll be facing an accuracy penalty.

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It was never said you couldn't fire standing up, just that you couldn't deploy/ready your weapon, as they are meant to be fired prone/crouched. You can certainly fire from the hip, but you'll be facing an accuracy penalty.

Not to be a grammar nazi, but you say "precision and LMGs have to deploy" in the OP (emphasis mine). If you just meant that it was an additional option, might want to change that! :)

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Ah, fair enough. The missing part was "have to deploy to get their accuracy debuff removed". Later posts refer to firing from the hip etc. Sentence has been edited. :)

---

At this point I'd revise it to feel a bit more like JA2's ready cost, as brought up by Trashman - good point that animations are already in place.

Readying a weapon could happen by shift-right clicking a tile (and/or adding a button near crouch). Readying a weapon gives you a small bonus to reaction fire and means your next shot will no longer eat the ready TU penalty (e.g. setting up some suppression/fire support for the next turn, guarding a door/corner in CQB). If you plan to move again, no need to ready.

Small arms have small ready costs (and have individual shot TUs decreased slightly to compensate). For fake numbers, readying a shotgun would take 6 TUS, firing shots -2TU, readying a rifle 9TUs, firing shots -3TU, readying a pistol 4TUs, shots -1TUs, etc.

Rocket launcher has ~double the reload time, ready time isn't really significant as it is a single fire weapon before reloading (which unreadies the weapon realistically unless you can have someone else reload for you). Overdamage to weapons + making civilian deaths more meaningful would help overbalance dependence on the rocket launcher.

Precision + LMG can only be properly "readied" while crouching, and suffer a (larger than current unless the accuracy system is revamped) accuracy penalty otherwise. Readying these weapons takes significantly more time (implied setting up of a bipod, using a scope, settling in around your weapon, etc). So maybe ~30 TUs to ready, then a slight reduction of TUs for the LMG to fire, precision would be roughly what it is now. I'd like to see an increased rotate cost. If you want to fire standing you can, it's faster (perhaps a 10 TU ready time, no penalty to unready), but you have a massive accuracy penalty.

For the Precision + LMG I'd like to see an "unready" cost near to what the ready is for those crouched. This would make it feel like you are committing to that piece of cover / field of fire and give a much more "moving between entrenched positions" than the lighter more mobile weapons.

Obviously the current "wait until the next turn for accuracy debuff to go away" would go away.

Edited by erutan

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I feel that the extra fuxx with unready and LMG and sniper might not add much. A LMG is designed to provide fast support and it's already the least accurate weapon of all, and I've seen people fire 2 LMGs while standing..

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