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Soldier Carrying Capacity & Strength

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-Badgerdrool: Sounds interesting, though current system already does a similar effect with only lacking a fatigue bar (wich would be awsome) its probably a bit late at this point to implement all that.

We already have system, where overburdened soldiers have less tu, which work quite nicely - more you carry, less you can move AND shoot (dependency is linear, as far as i know). Do you really need more restriction than that?

Tiring over several turns, so soldier need to drop his weapons and rest a bit to regain possibility to even move is a bit over the top.

Not that it is inherently bad idea, but it is too much simulation for this game, imo.

P.S If only this system was in Skyrim, there it would add to fun while exploring =)

P.P.S After thinking a bit more, i feel that simulated tiredness between missions, so not to send only one single group on every mission is quite tempting really.

Thank you for the information. Was leaving before I typed that out. I'll be getting a build installed and played this weekend. Excited.

As for more restriction? Well...could just tie it into those existing restrictions and add a display for it? The basic idea that I was chewing through was "What if you went from carrying capacity to fatigue resistance" anyway. If there is already fatigue it'd just be seeing if making it more based around that instead of capacity would be better.

Also, I realized what term the stat would need to be changed to. Strength wouldn't fit my idea very well. Fitness would.

I think that generally "Fitness" might be a good replacement term for strength anyway. It represents a wider range of things then pure muscle mass. Getting much stronger in the course of 1 month doesn't make much sense. However, having a large general increase to your physical fitness does.

Assuming just a name change and a 100 point scale. Start soldiers at at least 80 to represent how fit they come. Then there's only really 20 more points to get. If it's tied to carrying capacity that isn't going to be a large range of difference. Throw in some research into vitamin supplements or advanced training regimes to allow researched access to like a 10 point bonus. Suddenly fitness is something that a player maxes with minimal effort without having to only get starting at high fitness soldiers but, still shows some difference between them.

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actualy, based on pure physiology data, strength is the physical ability that get fastest increased by the body, faaaaar ahead of agility, stamina, etc... It's also the one which discreases the fastest when out of effort.

I believe realism is not an issue. I don't care that my supposed tot SWAT soldiers (who actualy are rookies!) get stheir stats increased by 10%, 50% or 100% during the whole game. What I expect though, is everystat to be usefull in a way we are not tempted to choose systematicly (ie: whatever the role we need) a stat over every other. for now, UT accuracy resilience and bravery are interested. I believe UT increases too fast, but some proposal have been made on another topic, like diminishing returns, which could be applied on every stat. Reflex is a stat usefull only for some specific roles, but it makes it interesting too.

Strength, however, is usefull for everyone because it allows you to take more gear, but is a nonsense since after the tenth mission, every xenonaut has a big enough strength to take whatever he wants, needs, would needs, and does not need but wants to offer! Moreover, the way it increases now is broken, as soldiers always reach the 80% threshold, so the rule can get simplified by "whenever he moves", which is not in relation with strength.

Assuming Chris redesign the inventory system by drasticly reducing the carry capacity of our soldier (as he did with the budget and the base size), strength as it is now will have a true impact on game. Do I wear a Wolf Battlesuit ? If so, I can't have a laser weapon without penalty, I need to stick ballistics, and I wont have a lot of amos. I'm a rocket launcher ? So I'm a second-third line, not very exposed. Nice, I can get rid of the jackal, keep a basic armor and take two more rockets. etc. I've been thinking (yes I did!), and with such an approach, it could be interesting to let strength progression as it is now. You're a rookie ? Eh, it's gonna be tough to wear both laser and wolf. Ok, you gonna be a second line, with jackal armor.

I believe a flat increase of gear's weight (mostly clips and grenades) along with clip size reduction can be enough to make the inventory management more interesting.

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Basic system would be for the marginal gains of 0.1kg per point of strength on top of base or some variation there of with a hard cap on the maximum strength achievable without the aid of special armour.

An alternative would be to put increasingly diminishing return on the modifier that determines whether there should be a TU reduction (for example 2% modifier change per 10 str).

For example (the 15kg set point is just notional - it should be the same as a trooper wearing jackal, with a rifle and one clip):

30% of 50 strength = 15kg carry capacity before TU reduction.

28% of 60 strength = 16.8kg capacity before TU reduction

26% of 70 strength = 18.2kg capacity before TU reduction

24% of 80 strength = 19.2kg capacity before TU reduction

22% of 90 strength = 19.8kg capacity before TU reduction

20% of 100 strength = 20kg (hard cap).

The second aspect of this system would be to balance the TU reduction. I'm thinking 1 TU per 0.1kg over the limit for a 50 str soldier and 1 TU per 0.14kg for a 70 str (70 divided by 50).

So assuming that strength rises roughly in proportion to TU then a 50/50 base soldier might become 70/70 solider after 20 missions (1 str gain per mission hardcap).

So he's able to carry an extra 3.2kg. Assuming a high tier armour is in the region of +4kg. He can take that armour but he will suffer a 6TU penalty, giving him 64 after modifiers.

He can now load up on two clips at 0.2 kg each


2 grenades at 0.1kg each

i.e a total weight of 0.6kg or rounded to 4TU lost, so 60 total.

He still has 10 more TU's than the rookie, and he has got better armour and is carrying extra kit - but he hasn't got so much kit that he appears superhuman and at the same time isn't magically able to travel an extra 5 extra tiles with all that extra kit on him.

You can do the maths on the same system for the rookie with 50 strength, but you will notice that even adding that 0.6kg is going to 6 TU from his already meager 50.

I know this is very similar to current system but the difference lies in the fact that the TU reduction is tied to strength in the negative and limits troop capacity in that way.

Edited by Belmakor
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much like most here, I'd throw my pennies behind a more balanced, ie restricted strength increase. But a gradual strength increase, within limits, and not something that's frozen at the starting value.

I see the ability to carry more to not only be just about the strength of the soldier, but of her familiarisation on how to carry/move/use the gear to it's best. So I would expect a veteran to be stronger through using the xeno equipment, but also smarter in how it's used. Having a couple of extra grenades or that vital ammo clip, is what I'd expect my experienced Xenonauts to have available.

What I would like, is that by the end of the game that there are still differences in the stats. If all Xenonauts are cookie cutter maxed out soldiers, then the system has failed for me. It would be just the same as having everyone with the "best" weapon.

Restricted backpacks is interesting, but my suspension of disbelief (already holding up alien invasions remember) crumbles a bit, when I see that there are different sized back packs around. "Hey Cpl, something wrong with your backpack. Take this one instead, just like mine."

I was expecting fatigue, but I did read a post from Chris saying that it wouldn't be appearing in Xenonauts. Not that minds can't be changed of course.

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It recently struck me while hiring soldiers that if strength were fixed, I'd have a huge preference toward hiring strong soldiers. After all, everything else can be improved, right? You may as well completely nix it as a stat, since you don't want to hide it and leave the player guessing who is going to do best with that LMG.

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What I would like, is that by the end of the game that there are still differences in the stats. If all Xenonauts are cookie cutter maxed out soldiers, then the system has failed for me. It would be just the same as having everyone with the "best" weapon.

This. This is very important.

Restricted backpacks is interesting, but my suspension of disbelief (already holding up alien invasions remember) crumbles a bit, when I see that there are different sized back packs around. "Hey Cpl, something wrong with your backpack. Take this one instead, just like mine."

Thing is, there actually no backpack at all on any soldier sprites or game art, that i saw, so having load-bearing harness with set of pockets for various equipment instead can actually improve suspension of disbelief a bit, i think.

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Strength is just used for MG recoil aside from carrying capacity right? So how about we just make it really damn clear about what the stat means - just call it stamina or capacity or just keep it strength but have it be the same as what you can carry in kg.

Soldiers start with say, stamina ~30s and can get up to ~40s by the end of the game. There is some variation. Once you start getting armor you hit carrying capacity limits pretty fast - this makes un/lightly armored HW people much more desireable (no more full inventory of rocks and wolf armor).

Of course this means that soldiers should have other stats grow a little slower otherwise there is too much of a preference for STR on soldiers.

End game you can have the powered armor grant additional strength and that will actually mean something - armor plus HW isn't that big a deal now.

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I checked how it works right now:

1 str = 0.5kg = 1tu - for every strength point you can carry 0.5kg more and every 0.5kg over limit impose 1tu penalty.

Recoil, according to wiki, works this way - for every 1 str under weapon recoil number = -1% accuracy.

Also, even basic armor weight 5kg, so you cannot carry less than that.

I fear only 2 thing about this weight reform - that it compress soldier strength differences too much and that too much balancing would just evolve into simple class designations (armor/light weapon or no armor/heavy etc.), which also would limit possible soldier specialization options.

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Before the end game powerized +str armor, you'd have:

heavy weapon + light armor + a nice amount of ammo/pistol/etc

heavy weapon + heavy armor but less ammo (not a big deal for precision rifle, very big for rocket)

small arms + light armor + tons of grenades, spare rockets for a friend

small arms + light armor + second small arm + a few things

small arms + heavy armor + less things but more protection

So you'd feel the variety a lot more in small arms, which seems reasonable. When you get the power armor it'll be more of a holy shit OP feeling moment, because you can finally mix heavy weapons with heavy armor. :)

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@erutan You are right on everything here =)

And, it just dawned on me that strength actually has no meaning in itself - it is basically just limit on speed/equipment tradeoff for tu's and limit on precision/equipment tradeoff for recoil.

Where does this lead, actually then..?

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One way to minimize the number of stats would be to have "fitness" in the 50-80 range, but have it grow at a smaller pace and have it combine TU and Strength.

Fitness/1 is your TUs - this seems sort of reasonable as the more fit you are, the more ground you could cover in a certain amount of time. It might be a little odd to not see a real TU stat, but it'd also make the characters feel a little less "gamey".

Fitness/2 gives you carrying capacity in kg. Some quick googling says that US soldiers currently can carry ~50lbs of an assault pack + ~40lbs of armor/gear (40kg). Having people start ~25-30 then gradually move up to ~40 shouldn't be massively game breaking. If each tier gets a little heavier, it would negate your strength growth when you hit it, so you make that choice between protection/power vs versatility of grenades/backup weapon.

Fitness, Accuracy, Reflexes, Bravery would seem to cover it. I guess this would be kind of strange when you hit the "fitness" improving power armor though!

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It seems, that only thing that we lose this way is recoil on weapons, because linking it to new Fitness, so if you have tu's less than required by recoil it decrease accuracy, seems really redundant.

Better variant here will be the thing that Gauddlike suggested about having accuracy levels even on burst - by that we have intact link accuracy/fitness/weight (less weight = more tu's = more accuracy, more weight = less tu's = less accuracy) for regular shot and burst too. And recoil difference will go to weapon weight instead.

I guess this would be kind of strange when you hit the "fitness" improving power armor though!

This reminded me description of one sergeant from Discworld books by Terry Pratchett =)

Sergeant Colon cleared his throat. Then he straightened the hang of his breastplate. It was one of those with

astonishingly impressive pectoral muscles embossed upon it. His chest and stomach fitted into it in the same way

that jelly fits into a mould.

Edited by Lt_Parsons
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Fitness, Accuracy, Reflexes, Bravery would seem to cover it. I guess this would be kind of strange when you hit the "fitness" improving power armor though!

Can just have Power Armor directly enhance sub fields instead of Fitness. "Improves carrying capacity and recoil compensation with X weapons". Pretty clear at that point I think.

Might be able to have HW recoil adjustable in some other way then a soldier's stat?

Might be able to have Strength be a sub-stat of Fitness. Adjusts based on Fitness in game with a minor bonus to some soldiers? Though that suggests rethinking the way starting soldiers have stats and maybe adding a "perk" system to allow randomized mutually exclusive minor bonuses. Which is a separate and more involved discussion.

Edited by badgerdrool
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Good points - no reason you can't just (in the non flavour text) say that the power armor allows you to carry 20kg more and negates all recoil (to make up numbers).

Perks have been discussed and rejected before, but if we're going to simplify stats some then perhaps they could have a place. Nothing like the trees of EU12 or the complexity of Fallout, but something like JA2 might work perfectly. Two perks that affect stats in minor ways (numbers simple to illustrate, perks off the top of my head) to show affinity/personality/preference of a soldier:

* packhorse: 10% increased carry capacity, 5% decreased reaction fire chance

* demolitionist: 10% increased explosive damage, 5% decreased direct fire damage

* trigger happy: 10% increased burst damage, 5% less accurate

* scout: can see one extra tile, -10% carry capacity

* acrobat: 5% harder to hit (spectre stop chance?), takes 10% more damage

* twitchy: 10% better reaction fire chance, +5% TU use for actions

* night owl: 10% better morale at night, -5% during the day

* pitcher: 10% increased throw range/accuracy, -5% something

* near sighted: 10% accuracy within 10 tiles, -5% past (and vice versa)

I suppose most of them overlap stats, but the combination of them on a soldier could make them feel more genuinely "unique" than just the same stats that will always climb up. We could do weapon preferences or something - what they've trained with in the past etc, though that might be a little too limiting.

Definitely another can of worms though!

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@gizmo, I highly doubt that at this stage perks would be brought in (and acknowledged it), but if we're rethinking systems a bit...

It'd be fun to let custom portrait people choose perks even if stats were random too heh.

It would probably make that stat too OP, as even modest capacity changes on top of TUs is probably too attractive . As is I don't really care about resilience too much (forgot about that earlier), reflexes are only really useful when boarding (aliens see further), and bravery (though that may change late game?) so I currently really look for accuracy, TUs, and strength.

I don't think entirely static carry capacity is a good thing, if nothing else it'd make sense that later arms/armor are heavier and it'd suck to keep cutting down on what you can carry the entire game just to try and keep up with tech. If it's statless, maybe have it be on promotion? Like every rank is another kg or two? Not entirely logical, but rank implies experience. /shrug

@badger, I was just using simple math with no real balance to it. Though 2-5kg would be around a 10% increase. :)

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One advantage of static carrying capacity is that you can use weight as a way to make advanced tech not be a total upgrade. One of the many misses of EU2012 is that it's a flat upgrade to go up to plasma and there's never a reason to go back to laser if you can avoid in. Ye Olde Xcom laser weapons had an interesting place and could be used for a majority of the game.

With a minor increase in weight you can add a small downside to an advanced piece of equipment.

That's the trouble with a game like this. Everything's so interconnected. Even if each system has 3 different designs..together they'll make many more combinations!

@ Erutan. Oh and on the perk thing I suggested. What I'm really suggesting is a different approach to randomized stats. I imagine all stats are like 50 + 1d10 right now.

If you categorize certain increases together and make them a static value you get a different result. So say accuracy, strength, and TU where all "perks" with a value of +5 to that stat. That'd make the +5 to those stats mutually exclusive. Each soldier would get 1 of the three and it'll be at a +5 but that's it. Contrast to a "every stat is random on it's own" system and the difference is in the in-ability to get super stats. Nobody is getting more then a +5 and nobody is getting more then one of these 3 categories increased.

Mind, it doesn't actually have to be displayed as a "perk". It's just how the math and probability is set up. Making it a perk is merely a way of displaying what the code is doing. Technically it can be hidden factor of the system that people figure out over time.

So I suppose what I'm really saying is that I'd favor any bonuses to carrying capacity at charactergen to be a mutually exclusive value alongside a line of potential small bonuses.

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Bah, post erased. Shorter version. :P

Static carry weight seems like it'd lead to you having to gradually carry less ammo/nades as the game progresses post jackal+ballistic, which would feel lame. imo you should be able to kit out a 'naut in the latest armor+small arms + a reasonable amount of ammo/nades in their belt. If you want a HW, mule rockets or have a ton of grenades, etc then you make sacrifices. It's not like late game you're going to want anyone wearing basic armor aside from a rocketeer and possibly LMG.

Not sure your perk system makes enough of a difference during the full progression of a soldier to justify coding it in.

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Static carry weight seems like it'd lead to you having to gradually carry less ammo/nades as the game progresses post jackal+ballistic, which would feel lame. imo you should be able to kit out a 'naut in the latest armor+small arms + a reasonable amount of ammo/nades in their belt.

I don't agree completely. "Kitting out" should involve sacrifices. The real question is whether or not the heavier armor is worth giving up some other stuff. I'm still not convinced that some of the armors are worth the weight the and money. It's probably a balancing issue more than anything else.
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If having an assault soldier use the latest carbine + heavy armor means they can't carry flashbangs then I'd say the system is a little broken. There should definitely be choices between ammo, type/number of grenades, medkit, backup weapons - they shouldn't be able to take EVERYTHING they want, but having a few grenades on your small arms people really opens up tactical options and it'd be kind of sad to see that go away just chasing mitigation.

I imagine late game armors will be balanced as the beta goes along.

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I've mentioned this before somewhere but I'd personally like to see all stats except bravery frozen, and then make it so that low bravery had a higher impact in-game. For an instance, riled soldiers could be getting penalties to all their other stats that get progressively worse the more panicky they get, eventually making them physically unfit to continue the mission (even disregarding the amusingly erratic behaviour they currently display). Extra points for making low-bravery soldiers lose morale for relatively minor things compared to the hardened veterans, such as seeing civilian corpses, seeing aliens or getting minor wounds.

Again, as you have touched upon the soldiers should already be at or close enough to their physical peak (not to mention the cream of the crop according to the background) - the only thing they could conceivably attain is experience in fighting the unknown. The intended effect would be that players would hire soldiers with stats corresponding to their intended role, losing a good soldier would still hurt (since there's no guarantee a good replacement will be rolled), veteran soldiers still outclass rookies since the rookies won't last in protracted combat and the soldiers by the end of the game kick ass because they're all outta gum rather than having had the Charles Atlas's combat regimen training .

Also, still despise micromanaging my soldiers purely in order to gain stats. Eff that.

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I have to concur that nixing strength would have a serious negative impact on the game. It was a really fun thing about the OG, and RPG-style stat progression is just fun in general and increases your investment in the character. I think that frozen stats would rob a lot of fun out of that, and also force me to play the applicant-screening game, which I despise. Hey, if these guys are all cream of the crop, why am I rejecting 75% of them for not being strong enough to freaking carry their gear? Personally, I don't think this is that much of a problem, and changing it would really break some of the XCOM feel. It's not just about equipment-- your soldiers get more badass the longer they've served.

If you think Strength rises too fast, put a cap on its growth every mission. Simple as that.

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There is a cap on strength growth, with a max of 2 points per mission. The problem is that you do so many mission that even 2 points per mission ends up with massive strength after a dozen or so missions.

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