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Chris

Indestructible interceptors?

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@Person - You're inadvertently proving my point there. In your example, the main factor in selecting difficulty levels is how good the player is at the air combat. That's the exact problem we already have, the air combat shouldn't be that important to the game (ultimately the ground combat is much more important).

What happens if someone is a veteran X-Com player and wants a hard game, but doesn't want to pick up all the extra skills to do the air combat correctly? They'd then have to pick Easy mode. We can't make an X-Com remake and not cater to them. Ground combat and the strategy layer are the two "core" parts of the X-Com experience, as far as I see it, and primarily success in the game should be based on success in them.

Having an interceptor rendered unusable for a week or two because you had it shot down can be a pretty severe penalty, one you're overlooking. It's actually far more severe than being able to replace it immediately at low cost, hence why 3) is better than 2). There's no reason why the length of the repair time can't increase with difficulty, either.

Nope, it's one of the factors. I did mention balancing it so that air combat was less "difficult" per given game setting than ground combat (ymmv of course but for most people at least).

Although frankly I can't have much sympathy for someone who wants to be good at the game but doesn't want to learn how to be good at the game. I understand it's a remake, but it shouldn't cater just to people who "don't want to learn the skills" to play the game. imo.

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Successfully navigating the air combat still requires skills, though. If you always suck at it and never shoot anything down, and are always getting shot down yourself, you're still going to lose.

You have to have some degree of skill, but this system is more allowing for flaws, in that you can lose a plane and not have to shell out thousands of dollars to replace it, plus any materials, plus workshop time. Losing a plane is just too game killing, so they made the game-killing part go away while still keeping the "bad thing" of losing a plane; you don't have it for a week, which sucks majorly when you need it for shooting down UFOs.

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@Thothkins - The idea of having free interceptors in unlimited quantities is quite similar to recovering them after being shot down, except there's less time penalty for losing them and also you can't have the manufacture costs as a way to "gate" the invasion difficulty. So I don't think it'd address the problems people have with recoverable interceptors and would add a couple more too.

Yes the mechanics are very similar, which was sort of the point. To replace immortal interceptors with something less [tact] immersion breaking[/tact], without adding any additional features.

Time penalties and manufacturing costs are part of balancing and are completely adjustable to suit without adding an y new mechanics. Suddenly, funding decreases, or facilities cost more. It's pretty unbalanced as it is, that tweaking that in isn't unlikely as it stands now. Incidentally, they aren't unlimited. Controls over hanger facilities and upkeep costs are already in place.

I tactfully raised aircraft recovery with some folks I know who quite like their wargaming. It was laughed at. Fine, a few of them are a little precious about it all, but everyone thought it was laughable. By the time that was done, you could have a whole new game based around the exotic adventures the airframe recovery team have retrieving the stuff. Let alone logistics, systems damage, what the aliens are up to while all that is going on, and on and on... and it did go on.

I can only hope that this doesn't get the mileage that UFO:ET got with "immortal soldiers" who were also incapacitated for a while, but always recovered. While that wasn't a feature I didn't particularly liked for very similar reasons, it was a shame to see it used as a easy target for criticism that impacted perceptions of the game as a whole.

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It's not us being deliberately aloof about this, rather we don't see any other option.

People have been proposing alternatives left and right. Some are crap, but there's got to be a usable idea out there.

Don't want to sound rude or patronizing, but "I don't see another way to do X" is not a satisfactory answer coming from a game designer, whose job is to come up with alternatives. I can understand that time constraints and pressure can force one to pick a simple solution and stick with it tough.

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This is my proposal - create a funding bonus for aircaft loss coverage:

[TABLE=class: grid, width: 600]

[TR]

[TD]Relation Points[/TD]

[TD=align: center]0-20[/TD]

[TD=align: center]21-40[/TD]

[TD=align: center]41-60[/TD]

[TD=align: center]61-80[/TD]

[TD=align: center]81-100[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Relation Status[/TD]

[TD=align: center]bad

[/TD]

[TD=align: center]poor

[/TD]

[TD=align: center]average[/TD]

[TD=align: center]good

[/TD]

[TD=align: center]excellent[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Airplane Loss Coverage (%) [/TD]

[TD=align: center]10[/TD]

[TD=align: center]25[/TD]

[TD=align: center]50[/TD]

[TD=align: center]75[/TD]

[TD=align: center]90[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

[TABLE=width: 800]

[TR]

[TD=align: center]-------------------------------->[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=align: center]Game Difficulty[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

Relation points value (example):

- mission success = 5 points

- mission failure = -7 points

- interception success = 2 points

- interception failure (retreat) = -3 points

- airplane losse = -1 points

Now lets suppose that in the first month of the Xenonauts activity they get the following results for Africa:

- previous relation status: bad (20)

- successfull missions = 2

- failed missions = 1

- successful interceptions = 3

- failed interceptions = 0

- airplanes lost = 1

Calculation:

Africa relation points = 20 + [2 * 5 + 1 * (-7) + 3 * 2 + 0 * (-3) + 1 * (-1)] = 20 + 8 => Poor (new relation status)

Africa airplane coverage funding = nÂș of airplanes lost over territory * airplane cost * coverage percentage = 1 * airplane cost * 0.25

I like this one. Gives you back some money for risking airplanes.

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Dranak - Without a viable alternative available that addresses the same issues as recoverable interceptors (and "do nothing" not being a valid choice), there's not really much scope for the decision to change no matter how many people voice opinions for or against.

It's not us being deliberately aloof about this, rather we don't see any other option.

That comment wasn't meant as being critical of you, more pointing out that playing games to stage a protest of sorts on the forums wouldn't be productive.

If we accept your premise that aircraft should be expensive (I don't, although I agree it seems slightly wonky at first glance to have them cheaper) and that a total rework of the air combat system isn't feasible (understandable due to limited resources) then options become far more limited. Within those restrictions the only idea that comes to mind is a changing HP/damage values to make air combat play out more like in the OG/EU where you sit and trade shots with UFOs and then can disengage easily when at lower HP. That would make the combat more forgiving, but still wouldn't necessarily address the core issue of aircraft loss being too important (although it would make such losses more rare).

The only realistic alternative I see would be to make significantly more inexpensive. This would allow them to primarily serve as a check for "Are you upgrading appropriately to keep pace with the invasion?" while greatly reducing the penalty for losing an plane, allowing players to put more of their focus/funding into the meat of the game (ground combat, base expansion). I made an argument for justifying this in an internally consistent manner here.

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Wall of text continuing above discussion in the spoiler tags.

Reimbursing you the cost of lost aircraft in your nation funding would address the money element of losing a plane, but not the alien materials or workshop costs of building said plane, so again it's only a partial solution.

People have indeed provided an awful lot of solutions but only one actually solves the problem without adding extra gameplay problems - which is what GizmoGomez suggested above:

  • A plane type is assigned to a hangar by ordering in a free airframe
  • This unlocks a workshop project that turns that airframe into a working interceptor, costing time and money and materials. This also produces infinite amounts of spare parts.
  • If said interceptor is destroyed, another airframe arrives immediately and a certain amount of time is spent refitting the airframe with these amounts of spare parts. This is done free and on completion you have a new interceptor.
  • This interceptor can continue to be destroyed repeatedly, and is replaced for free each time.

This solution works because it's basically identical to the recoverable interceptors solution, it just has a tweak to the logic. However, in my mind it'd require just as much explanation and simply adds another step into the process so I'm not really sure it's an improvement. I also think the average person who finds the idea of recoverable interceptors enraging will probably dislike this solution almost as much.

@TrashMan - my job as a game developer is to find the best solution to the problem (and most people do at least now seem to accept there is a fundamental balance problem at the moment), and I'm pretty sure I've already found it. I can't think of anything better and I've yet to see anyone else suggest anything better, which suggests I've done my work OK.

There is actually a third alternative, which nobody else is mentioning (the first being a game that's impossible to balance and second being recoverable interceptors), and that is vastly simplifying air combat.

The problem we're having is that we've made air combat much more advanced than any other remake so far and now we're paying the price for it - indeed I suspect there's actually a reason why other studios didn't do it, because it screws the balance.

I suppose it's feasible we could make an option mode where air combat is literally just auto-resolve and aircraft are destructible if people would prefer that? Or reduce air combat to 1-on-1 air combat against single UFOs with no lateral movement and just engagement ranges? I assume those would be seen as an even worse solution though.

Perhaps you should look at the added air combat complexity in Xenonauts as a bonus rather than being disappointed it is not as complex as it was in an earlier stage of development?

People are always more angry if you give them something and then take it away (and I understand why), but a game isn't just a collection of individual systems rolled together. If you produce a complex air combat model that uses expensive planes and gives the player a lot more opportunity to lose them, you need to change the fail state in order to stop it unbalancing the game.

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Well, actually, the debate in a nutshell simply boils down to this - "how important do you want air combat to be?"

I don't think it's fair on people who buy an X-Com remake to expect them to have to pick up a whole new set of skills to be able to play a challenging game. In the current system, if they fundamentally don't like what we've done with the air combat at present (and it is somewhat divisive) then they're not going to enjoy the game. They'll be limited to a lower difficulty setting than they would be otherwise.

A number of other people obviously enjoy the air combat and that's cool. It's a part of the game that you think contributes heavily to the difficulty of the game, and if you like what we've done then it seems like we're removing a big element of it and reducing it back to the same level as other X-Com games (although in reality we're not going that quite far back, but I can see where people are coming from).

Fundamentally then, this is a debate about whether we're willing as developers to exclude people because they don't enjoy or are not good at the current air combat to improve the experience for those who do genuinely enjoy that part of the game. There are plenty of people on the forum that fall into both camps and it's not easy to come to an agreement between them.

I think we're not willing to exclude people because people want our game to be more challenging. The people who want a tougher experience are likely those who will spend time on the forums, who are willing to try out mods, pick up new skills and willing to replay the game many times to do what more casual players might consider impossible. You'll be able to make the game more challenging relatively easily if you wish to.

However, people who don't like our air combat and think it ruins the game aren't going to stick around. They'll just stop playing the game, hate it and badmouth it to their friends. That's a waste of a player, who might otherwise become a hardcore player once they'd completed it once or got a bit further into the game.

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There is actually a third alternative, which nobody else is mentioning (the first being a game that's impossible to balance and second being recoverable interceptors), and that is vastly simplifying air combat.

The problem we're having is that we've made air combat much more advanced than any other remake so far and now we're paying the price for it - indeed I suspect there's actually a reason why other studios didn't do it, because it screws the balance.

I suppose it's feasible we could make an option mode where air combat is literally just auto-resolve and aircraft are destructible if people would prefer that? Or reduce air combat to 1-on-1 air combat against single UFOs with no lateral movement and just engagement ranges? I assume those would be seen as an even worse solution though.

Just auto-resolve would feel kind of cheap, since it would remove combat from the player's hands and they would never know if they were going to lose an engagement until after the fact and would have no ability to retreat (unless the auto-resolve also included an option for cautious engagements with better chance of survival/higher chance of UFO escaping).

The latter option however... I assume you mean something more akin to the OG/EU? If so, I would definitely support that style. It would be a bit of a letdown, but I think a vastly simplified air combat could be an overall improvement for the game as a whole. Given a choice between immortal aircraft and simplified air combat, I'd take the simpler air combat (assuming the Geoscape part of interception stays the sameish) every time.

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I prefer the air combat the way it is, aircraft recovery and all. I mean, that's the best way to fix the problem, best that's come up, anyway.

As far as people not liking my idea, yeah, of course some won't like it. However, those that took issue with it because of the logical inconsistencies should be appeased, reducing the number of unsatisfied players.

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Reimbursing you the cost of lost aircraft in your nation funding would address the money element of losing a plane, but not the alien materials or workshop costs of building said plane, so again it's only a partial solution.

They pay a percentage of the total expenses you had (including materials and workshop cost) for the production of the airplanes lost protecting their territory.

How can the regions supply materials? - they have been gathering them since the beginning of the invasion from abandoned UFO's that they are able to shoot down and from the Xenonauts airplanes crash sites.

http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/5193-Indestructible-interceptors?p=76289&viewfull=1#post76289

Edited by Antr4cite

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Hmm. Interesting idea, Antra4cite, I'll think about it some more.

Dranak - redoing the air combat as something simplified would be a lot of work, but if it proves by far the most popular option then we will at least give the idea a serious evaluation within the team.

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Chris,

Allow me a moment to add something to the development of recoverable aircraft. My thoughts lean towards some feedback to the player and a choice by that player when the aircraft is lost. It's a few steps in the process :

(1). Aircraft gets destroyed.

(2). Returning to the Geo, the player gets a "pop-up" message with two choices;

a. Recover Aircraft?

b. Scrap Aircraft?

(3). The Pop-Up will include ;

a. % of material recovered.

b. Cost to scrap.

(4). The Difficulty level controls the % of material, ie, EASY = 100%, INSANE = 0%, (or random % for all levels).

With the recoverable aircraft functionality switch ON, the player can still choose how he wants to manage it. He might not want to recover the Condor and wants to use that material towards a Corsair ... so he selects "Scrap" and gets some material back or sell's it to use the money towards a new plane.

In the previous builds, I used to jump for joy when the Condor got shot down ... That opened my hanger up for a new model. Basically, the player will be able to choose the old way (scrap) or the new way (rebuild). With this new choice, I might find myself using both methods as the situation changes.

Just my two cents ... In my mind, that's how I envisioned a recoverable aircraft.

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I don't think it's fair on people who buy an X-Com remake to expect them to have to pick up a whole new set of skills to be able to play a challenging game. In the current system, if they fundamentally don't like what we've done with the air combat at present (and it is somewhat divisive) then they're not going to enjoy the game. They'll be limited to a lower difficulty setting than they would be otherwise.

Fundamentally then, this is a debate about whether we're willing as developers to exclude people because they don't enjoy or are not good at the current air combat to improve the experience for those who do genuinely enjoy that part of the game. There are plenty of people on the forum that fall into both camps and it's not easy to come to an agreement between them.

This is what difficulty settings are for. You give the player the default for each difficulty level, but allow players the freedom to choose what they want for their experience if those defaults aren't appealing.

A casual player on "normal difficulty" gets recoverable interceptors and normal plane prices. A player who wants that extra challenge gets something similar to V18: destroyed aircraft and "expensive planes". Two check boxes, ok, everyone's happy. Those who aren't can mod a few values in the configs to alter the balance in their favor.

There's also a strong case to be made for making 2 difficulty settings: one for ground combat and one for air/strategy. Other classic strategy games have done this and it has worked very well. Does it take extra time? Not that much, I would think. You first balance the game properly, find out what you want each difficulty level to change for both aspects, then make those different aspects independent of each other and make separate "sliders" for each. Add checkboxes for special options, like indestructible interceptors, and that's it.

Choices, that's the most important thing for pleasing everyone. Without them, you end up leaving a lot of people grumpy.

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Perhaps that is what Chris is doing in a way?

He is creating the game he wants and balancing it in the way he sees as proper and then he will provide options for players who want to play it differently.

He has already said that the indestructible interceptors will be able to be adjusted, probably in the xml.

Most of the other difficulty settings, if not all, will also be available to adjust individually.

If you want a challenge that is different from what the game designer envisaged then you have the ability to easily change them to your liking.

Hopefully there will be a nice in game screen with hundreds of little sliders and checkboxes under a 'custom' difficulty setting as well though.

If not then it shouldn't be too difficult to knock up a program that locates those settings and allows them to be adjusted in a single place.

Want interceptors that disengage at 25% and are half price then set those two sliders accordingly.

If you want a more punishing air combat set the disengage slider down to 0% and the cost slider up to 100% (or higher?).

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I can't really fathom cost reductions breaching player sense of realism and immersion as an argument for indestructible interceptors when the proposed solution is that my interceptors which have sustained damage from high-powered, hyper-advanced energy weaponry somehow manage to successfully break off and return to base no matter how badly they are shot up.

Air combat is too difficult for the average player and demanding in Xenonauts at the moment, but making interceptors indestructible will be far more damaging for my personal sense of immersion than any price reduction, no matter how steep. Am I really to believe that a modified F-16 can survive direct hits from a battleship's plasma cannons, or break off and escape from faster, more maneuverable and better-armed alien craft?

Costs are ultimately an abstraction. In all my time playing X-COM and Xenonauts, I've never once had the cost of an item yank me out of immersion in the game. What does yank me out of my immersion is when gameplay does not behave realistically. Interceptors being cheap or replaced for free I can easily rationalize away as government backing, especially since no item in X-COM or Xenonauts has ever really been "realistically" priced. Aircraft magically surviving engagements that I know should have destroyed them? Now that's damaging my immersion.

Making interceptors indestructible for the sake of preserving the "realism" of prices in a genre where prices have never been realistic is simply misguided. I understand how much of a pain balancing the economy must be, Chris, but if you're concerned about player immersion and realism you absolutely cannot have interceptors that always manage to break away and return to base no matter the context.

As far as Gaudlikke's solution goes, I find it much more palatable than a magic, fool-proof emergency disengage. In fact, I rather like it. As long as my planes can be shot down I am 100% okay with any path the air combat takes.

My only issue with your initial proposal, Chris, is that rickety human aircraft managing to survive and break away from engagements with enemy vessels that are superior in every regard is simply impossible to swallow while maintaining a sense of immersion. Gaudlikke's solution preserves my immersion, as my planes are still being shot down and must be replaced, while also greatly easing the pains of air combat.

Edited by TheTuninator

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Making interceptors indestructible for the sake of preserving the "realism" of prices in a genre where prices have never been realistic is simply misguided. I understand how much of a pain balancing the economy must be, Chris, but if you're concerned about player immersion and realism you absolutely cannot have interceptors that always manage to break away and return to base no matter the context.

At the risk of igniting another major debate, they don't. They crash-land and the remains of the plane are recovered, shipped back to base and rebuilt.

As a general note, as all the code is done for this feature, we're going to leave it in for a bit and balance the game around it for now and come back to it when everything has cooled off and we can have a more dispassionate look at the mechanic (and when people have had a chance to get used to it). We will then evaluate it to see how it has worked and if it needs to be replaced with something else.

I appreciate not everyone likes the idea, but as the work has already been done on it it seems a shame to waste it without giving it a proper evaluation first.

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At the risk of igniting another major debate, they don't. They crash-land and the remains of the plane are recovered, shipped back to base and rebuilt.

Oh, I know, but that still brings up realism concerns. How is enough of the plane left to salvage if it takes a pounding from a battleship? How do we salvage a wreck in a timely fashion that goes down in the middle of the Pacific, and why would we even bother doing so when exposure to the salt water has probably ruined whatever is left of the plane? What about planes that go down in the Arctic, or the Sahara?

I'll gladly try the feature out and see how it feels, but I don't think that recovering the same plane is the optimal solution for preserving realism. If it must be done, so be it-balancing the economy is a monstrous task-but I would strongly encourage you to attempt to implement a feature that is a bit kinder to the player's sense of immersion. Obtaining new planes for free or greatly reduced costs from international backers makes much more sense to me than recovering and repairing a plane that has been shot to hell and crash-landed in some remote corner of the Earth. This could be as simple as changing some of the pop-up text while keeping all of the gameplay effects intact.

Like you said, though, let's try it out first and see how it goes.

Edited by TheTuninator

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TheTurinator:

Have you seen my proposed idea to "explain" aircraft recovery?

http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6411-Another-slight-tweak-to-aircraft-recovery-system

Basically, it changes how we acquire Condors and Foxtrots, making them acquired the same way.

Because of the way they are acquired, getting a shiny new Condor or Foxtrot after one is shot down makes sense, and isn't immersion-breaking like, to be frank, it currently is.

A somewhat in depth description of how Condors and Foxtrots would work, acquisition wise and aircraft recovery wise:

To acquire a Condor or a Foxtrot:

First, you order an airframe for free through the aircraft hanger "buy" screen. This takes X days to arrive. This is "stored" in the hanger, taking the space of one plane.

--Lore: The funding nations give you basic human airframes, like ballistic weapons and other technology, for free.

Second, once the airframe arrives, you can begin a manufacturing project that costs money, takes time, and requires/uses up one airframe.

--Lore: This project costs money because you are manufacturing the needed Xenonaut components to refit a human airframe for UFO combat. You are paying for not only the parts needed to refit the airframe, but also a bunch of spare parts that will be used to replace damaged parts of the aircraft to reduce repair time. The project also includes the flight crew refitting the airframe with the newly manufactured Xeno-parts to make the human plane a Xeno-plane.

Third, fly around and shoot down aliens in your new Condor or Foxtrot interceptor. Profit.

How aircraft recovery will work for Condors and Foxtrots:

First, after X amount of time has passed since your aircraft was shot down, you have a new interceptor ready to fly.

--Lore: Upon the aircraft being shot down and destroyed (because no human plane can survive being shot down; too weak) the base automatically orders another airframe, which arrives after X days. This airframe is refitted using the spare parts left over by the original aircraft, meaning there isn't a cost attached to getting a new interceptor (since the manufacturing of the parts is already done). Then, after $0 spent and X amount of time, you have a shiny new interceptor.

Second, fly around and shoot down aliens in your new Condor or Foxtrot interceptor. Profit.

Here's what'd happen for the other, alien alloy built interceptors:

(Hint: it's exactly the same as it currently is, just with more explanation as to why it works)

To acquire any other interceptors (Corsair and on):

First, Start a manufacturing project with cost of time, money, and resources.

--Lore: They are manufacturing the airframe for that aircraft, as well as duplicate parts to allow the same rapid repair, through swapping out damaged parts with new ones, that the Condors and Foxtrots benefit from.

Second, fly around and shoot down aliens in your new alien alloy-built interceptor. Profit.

How aircraft recovery will work for Corsairs and on:

First, after X amount of time you have a new interceptor ready to fly.

--Lore: The still mostly intact (due to the insane strength of alien alloys) airframe is shipped back to base. Then, it is refurbished and equipped with the previously manufactured spare parts created to replace damaged components.

Second, fly around and shoot down aliens in your new alien alloy-built interceptor. Profit.

Anyway, Chris himself said at one point that this idea made the most sense, and would probably be the most likely to be implemented to explain things. His only? concern was that players may be confused about the different acquisition of Condors and Foxtrots.

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Oh, that was your proposal? I thought it was Gaudlikke's. I really like that proposal. It actually makes sense from an immersion perspective. I might still prefer a nominal reconstruction fee, but immersion-wise it's very palatable.

Edited by TheTuninator

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I can't really fathom cost reductions breaching player sense of realism and immersion as an argument for indestructible interceptors when the proposed solution is that my interceptors which have sustained damage from high-powered, hyper-advanced energy weaponry somehow manage to successfully break off and return to base no matter how badly they are shot up.

Air combat is too difficult for the average player and demanding in Xenonauts at the moment, but making interceptors indestructible will be far more damaging for my personal sense of immersion than any price reduction, no matter how steep. Am I really to believe that a modified F-16 can survive direct hits from a battleship's plasma cannons, or break off and escape from faster, more maneuverable and better-armed alien craft?

Costs are ultimately an abstraction. In all my time playing X-COM and Xenonauts, I've never once had the cost of an item yank me out of immersion in the game. What does yank me out of my immersion is when gameplay does not behave realistically. Interceptors being cheap or replaced for free I can easily rationalize away as government backing, especially since no item in X-COM or Xenonauts has ever really been "realistically" priced. Aircraft magically surviving engagements that I know should have destroyed them? Now that's damaging my immersion.

Making interceptors indestructible for the sake of preserving the "realism" of prices in a genre where prices have never been realistic is simply misguided. I understand how much of a pain balancing the economy must be, Chris, but if you're concerned about player immersion and realism you absolutely cannot have interceptors that always manage to break away and return to base no matter the context.

As far as Gaudlikke's solution goes, I find it much more palatable than a magic, fool-proof emergency disengage. In fact, I rather like it. As long as my planes can be shot down I am 100% okay with any path the air combat takes.

My only issue with your initial proposal, Chris, is that rickety human aircraft managing to survive and break away from engagements with enemy vessels that are superior in every regard is simply impossible to swallow while maintaining a sense of immersion. Gaudlikke's solution preserves my immersion, as my planes are still being shot down and must be replaced, while also greatly easing the pains of air combat.

I just want to say a big plus 1

But will try to keep an open mind, but really Chris... It makes more sense to the majority of players that it's more sensible to take 3 days to pick up hundreds of plane fragments, get them back to your base and then take X hours to rebuild them again, then it is to say start from scratch with (any imaginable) subsidized help from funding nations?

Edit:

Also let's say you actually find most pieces of your airplane and have a team to jury-rig em back together, the final product will be far inferior than what you had originally. I was an aircraft A&P technician way back on little Cessnas, and there are things called cracks, there would be millions of them, and you just can't repair that kind of damage.

Ask a car mechanic, if it's ok to fix a total wreck, or rather how long it would take and if it would save you money over buying a new one.

Edited by smoitessier

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The goal Chris has (as far as I'm aware) is:

a) Aircraft require significant one-time effort, costing the Xenonauts both treasure and time.

b) Aircraft aren't a major variable in the economy;

If you can lose aircraft, you have to be able to recover from such losses. This makes those who play without losing aircraft have much more money and resources than those who, for whatever reason, lose a plane or two. That variable cannot exist within the game, for balance reasons.

My idea (posted above) takes these into account, and makes the game work within the bounds of realism. Human aircraft are subsidized by the funding nations, but they still have a significant cost. Human aircraft are completely destroyed upon crashing, but we get new aircraft for free.

Because both realism and Chris's desires/needs are satisfied, I can't see why this wouldn't be the way to go.

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The goal Chris has (as far as I'm aware) is:

a) Aircraft require significant one-time effort, costing the Xenonauts both treasure and time.

b) Aircraft aren't a major variable in the economy;

If you can lose aircraft, you have to be able to recover from such losses. This makes those who play without losing aircraft have much more money and resources than those who, for whatever reason, lose a plane or two. That variable cannot exist within the game, for balance reasons.

My idea (posted above) takes these into account, and makes the game work within the bounds of realism. Human aircraft are subsidized by the funding nations, but they still have a significant cost. Human aircraft are completely destroyed upon crashing, but we get new aircraft for free.

Because both realism and Chris's desires/needs are satisfied, I can't see why this wouldn't be the way to go.

Your idea is the best possible solution to preserve realism and meet Chris's needs for gameplay at the same time, but I would prefer to pay at least some fee rather than $0. Even a trivial fee of $4-5000 would lend believability to the notion that we're digging up parts and slapping them on a new airframe while still being affordable to even a player in the most dire of economic straits.

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No, my concern was that:

1) The end effect of the system is identical to that of the existing system, so it doesn't address the gameplay complaints about the system. People will still be complaining if they don't like the idea of non-permadeath interceptors.

2) It adds an extra layer of abstraction to building planes. At the moment to get a plane you go to the manufacturing screen and build one, and if it is damaged then it is out of action for a while and is repaired up to strength. This requires no explanation for players.

Under your system, you have to choose the airframe for the hangar...and then do a manufacturing process on it when it arrives for some reason, which different to the manufacturing process for everything else in the game. New players will be scratching their head at the extra step.

3) The assumption that the airframe will always survive a crash is basically the same as the assumption there will be recoverable parts of a crash-landed interceptor in my system. What happens if it crashes into the sea? I don't see the logic fundamentally being any better, really.

4) If 3) is not the case and you're given a replacement airframe every time a plane is shot down, why do you have to pay for planes at all? Why are they not available in unlimited numbers? And if the backing nations are doing all the manufacturing etc for you, why do we have to manufacture our own weapons etc?

So while it is one of the more palatable of the alternative systems, I still don't think it addresses the points people don't like about the current system and also adds extra complexity to the manufacturing process in the first place. For those reasons I don't really think it's worth implementing.

In any case, as I said in my previous post, we'll leave the current system in for the foreseeable future and see how it works. We may change it in the future if it is not working but as the current system is already in and working we're at least going to give that an extended test first.

As the topic will be re-opened in the future and thus the debate here is a bit meaningless, this'll be my last post on the matter. Best to save further discussion until we come back to the issue.

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