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erutan

Unlimited ammo a good thing?

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After some careful consideration, my preference would be for a two-tier system where ammo is both a strategic and tactical concern.

Tactically, it's obvious. There should be a real choice of how many ammo clips to bring, with the real danger of running out of ammo if you did not plan sufficiently. Most likely the way to accomplish it would be through smaller clip sizes, as indeed right now for laser weapons ammo matters much more than for ballistics. But even the current system seems insufficient as you're generally fine if you bring one extra laser clip.

Strategically though, ammo should also be a concern for some part of the game. It should be a factor, a cost, but not just a boring timesink. I really like the idea of charging some resupply money after missions, as then it'd suddenly matter how much ammo you expended. Now, if your heavy guy goes into a mission with 4 rockets, you want to shoot all 4, as there's no need to conserve ammo whatsoever. Ideally, it'd be a cost that's fairly significant early on, like the first month, and gradually becomes insignificant as rewards increase.

For higher tier weapons, I think the strategic concern is even more important. I'd love to see a situation when you've researched the guns, but for some time you have to worry about actually keeping them supplied with ammo. This is what I'd see as extra half-tiers. The optimal approach to me seems to manufacture advanced ammo types until some time later you get a technology that gives you infinite ammo for them. The in-game explanation is fairly simple, you discover how to re-use expended laser/plasma clips by charging them directly from your base's power supply, allowing you to have as much ammo as you want, compared to the previous state of manufacturing it.

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A mission that awards you $100,000 might look like a good win until you finish rebuilding clips and rockets a week later, do a couple of sums and realise that you actually made nothing due to ammo costs.

You may not realise why you are losing cash at all if you don't bother to do those sums.

With the ammo cost deduction taking place on the mission end screen you see straight away how much you made and how much you spent to make it on the same screen, at the same time.

That allows you to plan for the next mission as well.

Do you continue using your high damage but expensive Alenium rockets or should you consider a cheap High Ex alternative?

Can you afford to go all Laser or would replacing your scatter laser with an MG for the smaller UFO sites be a viable option?

It is possible to make a second, identical, ammo type researchable that would be infinite in quantity to replace a finite manufacturing job.

Rather than suggesting that you are reusing the old clips I would say that the research unlocks a way for mass production to be cost effective for the funding nations.

That is is interesting because it could be tied in to infinite ammunition for you as well as upgrading NPC soldiers to the newer weapon type as well, rather than leaving it to a ticker increase.

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Realistic costs are not the point here. Yes, realistically, the cost of RPG rounds, let alone bullets, is tiny compared to the cost of air superiority jets and their missiles. The Sidewinder missile, an old and cheap design, costs 85000$ per missile, you could have an infantry regiment armed with rocket launchers for the cost of a missile. But the point is that these things should be an in-game factor.

The idea of doing it on the mission screen cost is excellent because it saves you from the manufacturing / purchasing timesink, and it lets you immediately see how much money goes to rearming, letting you judge if your ammo use policy was sound or not.

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It is possible to make a second, identical, ammo type researchable that would be infinite in quantity to replace a finite manufacturing job.

Rather than suggesting that you are reusing the old clips I would say that the research unlocks a way for mass production to be cost effective for the funding nations.

That is is interesting because it could be tied in to infinite ammunition for you as well as upgrading NPC soldiers to the newer weapon type as well, rather than leaving it to a ticker increase.

This sounds like a brilliant idea, and I wholeheartedly support it.

So, you research laser weapons. You can now build lasers, and the ammo. A new research pops up, "Efficient Laser Manufacturing". You research it, and you now get unlimited laser cells.

While that'd work well, I'd even go farther than that.

Lets say that when you initially research them laser weapons cost somewhat more and/or take longer to build than they do now. This is to simulate them being really new and difficult to make due to inexperience. The Efficient Laser Manufacturing research makes them cheaper, faster to build, makes ammo unlimited, and "gives the funding nations the designs/plans" so that in, say, a month, all the local troops will have laser tech. Same process for all other tiers.

This will increase the number of researches available slightly (I've had spaces with absolutely nothing to research, and it was annoying), it will make it seem like your tech is evolving, and not just a straight upgrade-and-done kind of process (which I'd really appreciate. I thought it was odd that we never make any advances in efficiency after we've already researched the new tech), and it'd give the players control over how soon/late the funding nations get their shiny new guns. Also, it'd give us the choice to spend more money/time on weapons/ammo, or research time to reduce those money/time requirements. It wouldn't have to be a big decrease in time/money required, maybe 20% faster and cheaper or something along those lines. It'd add up in the long run, though.

So, thoughts?

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Ok, If F-17 which approximatelly costs 20mil USD is downgraded to 50k money units, do you really think that relative costs of a single rocket, ammo clip etc, would really matter? to keep the scale somewhat realistic, they would have to cost like 1-10 money units...

(a rocket costs around what, 500 USD? ammo clip around 50 USD?) even if you go advanced weaponry where a clip would cost lets say 10k USD look at the relative cost to this F-17... which would mean that it's 2k times less costly so in case of 50k for F-17 that would be 25 money units.... That's why that's irrelevant cost and I would just get infinite ammo supply, but make carrying limits and armor design more trade off based...

Manual manufacturing ammunition is just a chore and needless feature, because that's a no brainer. Keep the economy of the game somewhat realistic in scale. Get rid of needless ammo production and concentrate on matters that ARE strategically important on manufacturing level (for example engineers have to be also assigned to raising facilities or to manufacturing of weapons, armors, jets, but not freaking ammunition). Leave the ammo management a tactical decision only, which then requires a lot of work and armor capacities and weight limits.

Edited by Phoenix

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It is possible to make a second, identical, ammo type researchable that would be infinite in quantity to replace a finite manufacturing job. . .

That is is interesting because it could be tied in to infinite ammunition for you as well as upgrading NPC soldiers to the newer weapon type as well, rather than leaving it to a ticker increase.

Another way of doing it might be the other way around; to make the research topic available at a certain ticker level, or the ammo just becomes unlimited with a pop-up informing you that the funding nations are able to supply your needs.

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Ok, If F-17 which approximatelly costs 20mil USD is downgraded to 50k money units, do you really think that relative costs of a single rocket, ammo clip etc, would really matter? to keep the scale somewhat realistic, they would have to cost like 1-10 money units...

That assumes that the cost you pay is to buy a new F-17 which is not necessarily the case.

The craft could be free as long as you pay for it to be transported to your top secret base yourself.

It may just be the cost of making the Xenonauts standard upgrades to an existing craft.

You are comparing prices with a baseline that is likely to be incredibly inaccurate which would naturally make the prices seem off.

Another way of doing it might be the other way around; to make the research topic available at a certain ticker level, or the ammo just becomes unlimited with a pop-up informing you that the funding nations are able to supply your needs.

The downside to that is that the ticker is not related to your research so you would potentially gain unlimited laser ammunition without ever having researched laser weapons.

I don't believe that the ticker can be used to trigger availability of research projects at the moment either.

Using the ticker to trigger unlimited ammunition would not be a great idea from my point of view, even if you had laser research as a pre-requisite.

For example if in one game you researched lasers very early you would have to wait for ages for unlimited ammunition while researching lasers later in the next game might get you unlimited ammunition as soon as the research completed.

Edited by Gauddlike

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@Gauddlike

The message is rather clear - you purchase the aircraft as far as I recall.. not retro-fit, not "pay for transport", or some other stuff.

As a relative cost the "Foxtrot" which I would assume would be a next gen aircraft similar to F-35, which costs approx 110mln USD. that's over 5 times more than F-17 and in game production cost is somewhere near that difference. So relative money units are ok on these two items.

Ammo purchases etc., are ok in a conflict scale and management like it is in Jagged Alliance... But doing so on global level organization, where relative costs of ammunition compared to other more strategically important items are basically irrelevant, is just needless waste of time and needless chore to a player. If you really want them then make the cost and production time relatively accurate, which would be almost meaningless.

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I think it would work with the current research system.

The new research would replace all of your existing laser weapons (and I assume the manufacturing job) so that the new laser weapons, which could be identical in almost every way, could have a lower manufacturing price or time.

You might need to give the weapons different names though so the game doesn't get confused, maybe Prototype Laser Rifle and Laser Rifle for example?

Same graphics and you could keep the same stats if you wanted to.

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@Gauddlike

The message is rather clear - you purchase the aircraft as far as I recall.. not retro-fit, not "pay for transport", or some other stuff.

As a relative cost the "Foxtrot" which I would assume would be a next gen aircraft similar to F-35, which costs approx 110mln USD. that's over 5 times more than F-17 and in game production cost is somewhere near that difference. So relative money units are ok on these two items.

Ammo purchases etc., are ok in a conflict scale and management like it is in Jagged Alliance... But doing so on global level organization, where relative costs of ammunition compared to other more strategically important items are basically irrelevant, is just needless waste of time and needless chore to a player. If you really want them then make the cost and production time relatively accurate, which would be almost meaningless.

You are still making inaccurate comparisons with data that doesn't seem to fit.

The purchase price of a 1980s Mig should not really be identical to a next generation fighter craft not in active service until 2006 (assuming we are thinking of the same f-35).

The F-16 (basis for the in game f-17) for example supposedly had a unit cost of under 20 million dollars in 1998 while I have seen sources suggesting that the Mig-31 cost 40 million dollars in the 80's.

That does not fit with your theory.

The word buy is indeed used on the UI to get a new f-16, that does not however mean that it has to be set in stone or that no other method of acquiring this aircraft can be possible or considered.

It is mentioned that the f-17 is a modified craft:

Derived from the F-16 Fighting Falcon, it has broadly similar performance to its parent aircraft but uses a modified airframe that incorporates signifiantly larger fuel tanks and greater durability (paid for via a reduced payload).

So to my mind it is perfectly possible that the price paid is for modification to a craft provided free by your funding nations.

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So, research Prototype Laser Weapons. We can now manufacture Prototype Laser (insert weapon here)s, and Laser Cells. You research "Efficient Laser Manufacturing" and this replaces the Prototype Laser Weapons with Laser Weapons, which have a lower cost, manufacture time, and slightly better stats. This also replaces Laser Cells with an unlimited variety.

As for managing the more specialized lasers (scatter, etc), we'd just have that research unlock after the initial Prototype Laser Weapons is finished. The specialized laser weapons would upgrade normally.

The vehicle and aircraft weapons would stay the same to keep it simple.

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So, research Prototype Laser Weapons. We can now manufacture Prototype Laser (insert weapon here)s, and Laser Cells. You research "Efficient Laser Manufacturing" and this replaces the Prototype Laser Weapons with Laser Weapons, which have a lower cost, manufacture time, and slightly better stats. This also replaces Laser Cells with an unlimited variety.

As for managing the more specialized lasers (scatter, etc), we'd just have that research unlock after the initial Prototype Laser Weapons is finished. The specialized laser weapons would upgrade normally.

The vehicle and aircraft weapons would stay the same to keep it simple.

At that point though all you're really doing is adding a few extra days to the research time of laser weapons, as it would be kind of silly to not just immediately research the upgraded versions that are cheaper/better.

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Not if that upgrade was tied into research of the next weapon tier.

Once you have access to the next tier then you would be able to unlock the research that made ammunition for the previous tier unlimited.

For example researching plasma weapons would unlock the research that made laser ammunition unlimited and reduced their manufacture cost.

That way you only ever have to manage the ammunition for the current highest tier while your fallback weapons have unlimited ammo and are cheaper to manufacture, they could also start appearing on npcs at this point.

The slight laser weapon upgrade is optional, personally I would stick to making them easier to acquire and cheaper to run if I was going down this route.

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I like the idea that older tiers are cheaper to manufacture and simpler to manage. I also like the idea of an uncommon local anti alien force upgrading their gear too, albeit with very limited supply and lagging behind in term of tech.

I guess this also boil down to how many tier/sub-tier you want the game to have and how much game evolution you are willing to nutter in favor of being as close as possible to the original XCOM.

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Dunno if anyone mentioned this (thread too long already for me to read T_T) but about this problem can we solve it like this ?

+ Normal Mode - unlimited ammo, without needing too much micromanagement, resources management, problem solving, priority decision, etc.

+ Hardcore mode - all the hardcore things, limited ammo, etc.

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Yeah, that (unlimited ammo + cheaper in time/money to make) would work well, when you research the next tier it unlocks. The only one that wouldn't get that same treatment would be tier 4 stuff. Should we leave tier 4 as a pay-per-mag system, or should we make a research that unlocks after a month or so that gives them the same thing, that is, cheaper to manufacture, faster, and unlimited ammo? Also, do local forces ever get to tier 4? Or do they stop at 2 or 3?

So, I research laser weapons for the first time, they have ammo costs. Then, however much time in the future, when I research plasma weapons and gain the ability to make them, Efficient Laser Manufacturing research pops up. This research makes laser ammo unlimited, and makes the time/resources required for make laser tech somewhat less, making laser an effective, or even just somewhat decent, replacement for ballistics when you need cheap and easy guns.

Oh, and the Efficient [insert tier here] Manufacturing researches would give local forces those guns as well, since they're now able to be produced globally en masse.

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I would personally keep tier 4 with costs attached.

They would already be the best weapons available with tier 3 as a cheaper but weaker alternative and tier 2 as fallback weapons with tier 1 practically useless (still wear down armour) but free if you are desperate.

In fact you could have each tier drop the prices of all preceding tiers.

So when you research plasmas lasers get cheaper, when you research tier 4 both plasmas AND lasers get cheaper.

If the initial costs were roughly the same then this could also help with balancing.

For example (numbers made up) when you research prototype laser rifles they cost $5000 to build and clips are $50.

When you research plasma weapons they cost $5000, clips $50 and the efficient laser research drops laser weapons to $3000 and $30.

When you research tier 4 they cost $5000 and $50 per clip with plasmas dropping to $3000/$30 and lasers dropping to $1500 and $15 per clip (or possibly even free in unlimited quantities to replace ballistic as the basic choice).

You would always know roughly how much cash would be required to kit out a squad so manufacturing costs would be easier to balance.

The same could be done for armour as well I guess if you wanted to keep a consistent system for manufactured items.

Wolf armour research would make Jackal armour cheaper to make, Predator armour would drop the price of Wolf and Jackal etc.

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Yeah, thad'd work well.

Also, I agree, the tier 4 stuff should stay with a cost. I was just asking for opinions.

The reducing cost for stuff makes a lot of sense, though. I mean, we're constantly making progress on stuff, aren't we? At least, the funding nations are, I'd assume, if no one else, so eventually we'd get free laser tech, right?

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