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erutan

New Gameplay Mechanics for Heavy Weapons

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updated mechanic: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/4654-New-Gameplay-Mechanics-for-Heavy-Weapons?p=59475&viewfull=1#post59475

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Do away with the movement accuracy penalty.

Rockets have a similar accuracy to present (slightly less?), but cost ~twice as many TUs to fire and suffer no accuracy penalty (it makes no sense that standing still helps you fire a rocket when you can fire/reload/fire in the same turn - those things are bulky).

LMGs (ballistic) take ~35-38 TUs, Laser the same (I feel 45 is too much, 32 too little).

Sniper remains roughly the same.

Precision and LMGs have to "deploy" in order to not be hit with a massive accuracy penalty - I'm not sure where in the UI this will occur (downside #1), but some button - perhaps it could be a "reserve TU choice" and moving adds the undeployment to the first square cost? Anyways once deployed units CANNOT move until they "pack up" (another TU sink), but have their accuracy penalty removed (66%-75%?) while deployed. Let's say it takes ~30 TUs to deploy - this means that committing to a position now has more meaning. Changing stance is not allowed, but you can rotate at ~4x the normal TU cost.

Downside #2 - animations, though this isn't quite as bad as it sounds. When deployed both weapons will have a bipod out. There will need to be two different deployed stances, with and without cover. With cover is a standard crouch with a small bipod that will appear over the prop, without cover can either be a longer bipod or prone. While more animations are highly highly discouraged, at least these are two (2h) weapon types for each armor, and are very similar to existing ones. The act of deployment could even just be the current hand shuffling. Going prone would give an increased defensive bonus over a crouch, but would require more animations obviously. Weapons cannot be deployed standing (standing still doesn't really help you ready a LMG, firing from the hip should cost accuracy).

HW now feel very unique - you have to think where to deploy, how much it will cost, and the time it would take to move positions. The harsher accuracy penalty makes moving and firing less appealing as well. This should make rifles much more desireable, not in terms of DPS but in the core sense of mobility.

Edited by erutan

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Sounds unwieldy and maybe overcomplex, but something along these lines could be good. I agree though that the penalty for moving should be greater than it currently is.

Part of the issue is that firing costs are fixed so high rankers can fire more times. And HW skill the fastest due to the range of their weapons (and not getting shot all the time).

Another is that kneeling can both positively and negatively affect hit chance due to props and such. Going prone would in many cases actually stop you from hitting aliens if the trooper or the alien is behind a low wall.

Then there's Predator armour which increases STR to 100 as well as removing the moving penalty. It'd be the exception to your rule I imagine?

Scatter lasers are low on the TU cost yes. And damned accurate to boot. Not sure what else to add since as I've mentioned I don't really use the heavy weapons much and get most of my kills with rifles/carbines/shotguns anyways.

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Prone was just a thought, but if it was included it'd just cause howls why other weapons couldn't do the same. :) Regardless there'd need to be an extended bipod for open/some props, and a short for others. Agreed that crouching can be a bad thing, but if you want to fire a LMG standing you should eat the same accuracy penalty as afaik you can't really "setup" the weapon properly in that stance.

Even early when I ran 4x heavy and 4x rifle my HW were getting twice the kills. Fixing a) accuracy falloff b) alien accuracy + squadsight will make getting in closer more appealing in general.

It just feels now that there isn't enough of a "cost" to using HW and most of the time with experienced soldiers I can disregard the accuracy penalty. Deploying ala Starcraft's Siege Tank seems like a way to keep the LMG and Sniper rifles feeling OP compared to smaller arms, but also adding a very real disadvantage to them as well which is directly tied to their strength. If you take the time to make them stationary + stabilized they rock, if you don't they're pretty much useless. That is what the accuracy penalty tries to convey, but doesn't quite pull off.

Rockets I think just need to have TUs doubled and the limited ammunition would probably make them fine. They have diminishing returns later in mid-game (or at least I haven't found t3 rockets), I'm just keeping one around to mostly destroy cover + light up tiles + handle "oh shit" situations.

Edited by erutan

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Might be extreme but how about halving accuracy if they move?

Actually now I think about it that would be a pretty good downside. You could still suppress but not much more.

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I'd go for that. In my playstyle, I don't fire after movement anyway with snipers, LMGs and the like, so it wouldn't have that big an effect on me. However, it would make them less OP overall, which I support. I mean, if we can make them more balanced, and still not mess up my play style, then I'm all for it. :D

Also, I like the rocket how it is, in that I can fire and reload in the same turn. Now, me liking it because it's convenient, and me liking it because it's balanced, are two different things. This might need some tweaking. I mean, 28 TUs for a standard shot does seem pretty low tbh.

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Sounds like a "ready weapon" cost from JA2.

Basicly each weapon has a TU cost to "make ready/bring to bear". The smaller the weapon, the smaller the cost.

You only need to pay this TU cost when you start shooting at someone, and it's automatic. As long as you are facing the same direction (even if you are shooting at different targets), you don't have to pay the "ready " cost again, unless you move.

Making the weapon ready is basicly brining it up and aiming down it (there's already an animation for that when a soldier shoots).

You can ready a weapon without shooting and it's usefull for covering an entrance, as it basicly makes your first reaction shot cost less. It also narrows your cone of vision.

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I suppose if someone has an HW in hand then the cost for crouching could be increased dramatically. Same with the cost for standing up again. That should fit the "deploy/breakdown" scenario. And you could give a huge accuracy penalty for not being crouched when using an HW. I do think HW's are too easy to use right now, but I will also say, that it wouldn't affect my gameplaying at all because I always setup my HW's. As far as prone goes, I don't think that's going to happen due to the amount of animation/art changes required. Even if it did, some HW's and other weapons can't be fired from a prone position (at least not safely.)

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Right now, I always use the rockets over the machinegun-type weapons. I get less heavy weaponry ammo, true, but the rockets just seems plain more useful for the tu cost, since if I don't move I can fire/reload in one turn, even with jackal armor on after the soldier gets some strength increases.

Also rockets can explode, which has a bunch of uses over throwing more ballistics fire in the xenos direction.

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Right now, I always use the rockets over the machinegun-type weapons. I get less heavy weaponry ammo, true, but the rockets just seems plain more useful for the tu cost, since if I don't move I can fire/reload in one turn, even with jackal armor on after the soldier gets some strength increases.

Also rockets can explode, which has a bunch of uses over throwing more ballistics fire in the xenos direction.

Rockets aren't as useful for recovering live aliens.

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I suppose if someone has an HW in hand then the cost for crouching could be increased dramatically. Same with the cost for standing up again. That should fit the "deploy/breakdown" scenario. And you could give a huge accuracy penalty for not being crouched when using an HW. I do think HW's are too easy to use right now, but I will also say, that it wouldn't affect my gameplaying at all because I always setup my HW's. As far as prone goes, I don't think that's going to happen due to the amount of animation/art changes required. Even if it did, some HW's and other weapons can't be fired from a prone position (at least not safely.)

I think readying a weapon and croushing/standing have nothing to do with eachother.

This is one acpet I think the game should emulate form JA2. It's simple makes sense, and you already have all the animations in place to visualy show it.

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I really like post #7. Make the LMG and Sniper types always have the accuracy debuff unless the player is crouched (and have crouch/stand cost a significant amount of TUs) makes it play well with existing UI. The only potential drawback is when someone with a heavy weapon wants to crouch simply for defensive purposes (after a push to cover) and can't spare the TU cost.

JA2 readying could be a good thing, but I like having it time units to both ready and unready HW. The two systems could coexist.

Agreed prone won't happen, I was just tossing that out there heh. Someone has to every month right?

Raising the firing cost of rockets means early game you can't fire/reload from backpack in one turn, mid-late game you can fire/reload but can't chain things as simply as now. Rockets also have a higher chance to destroy weapons, which impacts funding.

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I find that I don't use LMGs too much in the early game due to the AP restrictions already in place. Some soldiers can barely move if they wish to fire that round. So that would seem to be a decent balance.

RL could do with a bit more balancing. They are much more useful than the LMGs early on. Possibly an increased reload cost, rather than firing though?

My sniper accuracy when they move seems to be pretty limited at present. I thought that was a "deploy" thing already in place?

So, not a huge fan of implementing other systems, if what's there can be tweaked really.

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The only potential drawback is when someone with a heavy weapon wants to crouch simply for defensive purposes (after a push to cover) and can't spare the TU cost.
I didn't think of that one. Good point. Of course, if they get suppressed they'll crouch at no cost.

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Rockets aren't as useful for recovering live aliens.

They can be occasionally. I'm not going to dispute that though, its true, and thats why I don't just give everyone a rocket launcher.

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@thotkins, I'm not sure there'd be a huge difference between changing reload and firing times for RLs, but either way works for me. I suppose reload makes more sense from a realism standpoint.

The "deploy" at present is kind of a strange abstraction - you can stand still with a LMG and have it deployed? This system makes it much more obvious (either you hit a deploy button or crouch). Technically a high TU soldier could move, deploy, and perhaps get a shot off. But having to "undeploy" adds a bit more risk/cost to picking a position.

@general Early game rockets are OP, mid I've mainly been using them to clear cover for snipers or act as awesome flares. :)

If we just have a separate ready/deploy button near crouch (but separate) we'd get the following.

For light arms "deploying" acts ala JA2, costs some TUs and makes you get a reaction bonus, small cost.

For heavy arms there is a significantly greater cost, that is also applied to the next time you move e.g. "undeploying/packing up". LMG + Sniper can only be deployed crouching, I suppose rockets could be done standing just because they're not all that accurate to begin with / require no additional stupport (e.g. inferred bipod etc). This could be also useful for a breacher that wants an extra edge on reaction fire, a rifleman covering an open space, etc, but isn't triggered by default at the end of a move if you just want to cover, spend TUs firing/reloading/nading/medicing, or move again next turn.

Edited by erutan
having deploy be a third state on the crouch button was stupid

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@thotkins, I'm not sure there'd be a huge difference between changing reload and firing times for RLs, but either way works for me. I suppose reload makes more sense from a realism standpoint.

totally forgot to add a big "Nit pick" tag around my post :)

I do agree that RLs are very handy in present builds. LMGs too cumbersome by comparison. Shotguns I keep in reserve, as I need longer range firepower for all of the maps, and there's not a huge amount of space in the UFOs that need shotguns. Pistols are out until the shield gets back in. Rifles seem a little underpowered against the Sebillians. Again, this is partly due to the comparative effectiveness of a couple of RLs in the squad.

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I still like the idea of increasing the accuracy penalty for moving and then firing. I mean, it makes sense. We can just assume that if you've not moved, you've braced yourself properly and can get a good amount of accuracy, but if you've moved, then you are off balance or something and need to take time (ie end the turn) to get your position correct for firing.

It'd eliminate all this deploying button business, which I think we all know is unlikely to be added. Would it be cool? Maybe, I don't know. But is it likely? Probably not. However, increasing the accuracy penalty is an easy fix that would do a similar thing, in terms of balancing, without needing to add a new function to the game.

Maybe we can just say that between ending your turn and the beginning of your next turn, the soldier braces him/herself for firing properly, and that he/she can only brace themselves if they're given enough time, ie, during the enemy's turn, finishing at the end of their turn and the beginning of ours.

That's exactly what happens now, just explained differently.

Also, I like the idea of increasing the reload times for rockets. If you think about it, reloading the rocket should take more TUs then firing it, considering all the motions one has to do to reload one of these things.

One thing that'd probably not get added, but would be realistic and cool (please Chris?), is the ability for the RL wielder to have a buddy reload for him. This buddy would have a rocket in hand, and "use" the rocket (like we use a medkit) on the RL guy to load his rocket. This would take much less TUs then if the one guy reloaded his own weapon. To keep it more balanced, the RL guy should lose a few TUs, but not as much as he would have. It's also be somewhat balanced in that you have to use two guys to fire the one weapon, so the increased firing rate (ie one per turn instead of reload one turn, fire another) is compensated for.

So, Good idea?

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JA2 readying could be a good thing, but I like having it time units to both ready and unready HW. The two systems could coexist.

At least in the contet I described it, "readying" is brining up the gun and aiming down the sights...somthing applicable for all weapons.

When you run and stop, you pretty much have to ready it to fire.

But if you want to move again - especially in an emergency - you can begin moving the very second you let go off the triger.

It's not a "deployment" really, as LMGs are deployed on a piece of cover or when prone; when you shoot them from the hip or crouching position you don't really do that.

Let's say it takes 1 TU to ready a gun, 3 TU to ready a rifle and 6 to ready a LMG?

If you didn't ready your weapon or have moved, your first shot is TU cost + ready cost.

Readying advantages:

- xenonaut is ready to fire, so is more likely to reaction fire first

- tiny accuracy bonus

Disadvatages:

- narrows the Xenonauts cone of vision, making him more easily flanked.

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What do people think of allowing a mix of AP costs so some things can be set as percentages of max AP while others have set values?

Would it make balancing easier if you could (just as an example) have rockets cost 75% of max AP to fire while assault rifles had a set cost so could fire more often as you got more APs?

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What do people think of allowing a mix of AP costs so some things can be set as percentages of max AP while others have set values?

Would it make balancing easier if you could (just as an example) have rockets cost 75% of max AP to fire while assault rifles had a set cost so could fire more often as you got more APs?

All weapons should use the percentage system because it will make balancing weapons easier. The MG should be able to fire twice per turn if you don't move, the RL should only be able to shoot and reload if you don't move in the same turn.

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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.

I agree, the RL needs to have a TU limitation put on it, probably by upping the reload so that initially one can't fire and reload in the same turn, but has that option later in the game as the operator gains more TUs to use.

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I agree with this. It makes the high-rankers soo much more valuable compared to the original. Does makes balancing a bit harder which is why I suggested to have the move penalty much more severe.

High rankers would still be able to shoot somewhat accurately by sheer dint of their awesomeness, which in my mind is as it should be.

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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.

You're recruits are supposed to be the best of the best... And makes balancing easier as you know how many shots it soldier will get with each weapon.

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.

I agree, the RL needs to have a TU limitation put on it, probably by upping the reload so that initially one can't fire and reload in the same turn, but has that option later in the game as the operator gains more TUs to use.

Higher ranked soldiers have better accuracy. They don't really need to shoot more.

The AP percentage system doesn't make APs crap, because soldiers with lots of APs can move a long way, making them good scouts. Right now, APs are overpowered because not only does having lots of APs mean you can move a lot, but also means you can shoot a lot.

Edited by Gorzahg

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

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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.

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