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How to Better Integrate Combat Roles in the Geo/Battlescape


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I was pleasantly surprised to find out about the new Combat Role feature in Xenonauts. It’s a handy tool which automates the item equipping process. However, I believe this feature can be improved by integrating it with other aspects of the game.

BATTLESCAPE:

The icon each Combat Role has is a visual bookmark that allows the player to know exactly whats in a specific unit’s inventory. In the battlescape, knowing exactly what role your units have and what items they have on them is critical for decision making. I have looked into several ways to integrate the combat role icons into the current UI.

1. Replace the unit numerals on the soldier buttons with the combat role icons.

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I don’t need to have the number of a troop shown to me; although the slight color change to signify which unit you’re controlling is important. If the soldier buttons were made slightly larger this could work, but at the moment they are too small for the icons.

2. Combat role icons placed on top of soldier buttons

Role-Battlescape3_zps719f0bd9.pngThe extra space allows for more optimal icon size, but this looks extremely cluttered and would probably work better if made smaller and properly integrated with the button.

3. Large icon in the menu bar

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This option can be used in conjunction with the first two options and looks the nicest. The problem is that unlike the preceding options, you only see the combat role of the selected unit. It can additionally replace the inventory button.

I think a combination of option 1+3 would be the optimal solution, option 1 takes up minimal space but allows you to see the roles of your entire squad while option 3 allows players to view more detailed icons modded and possibly provide additional functionality.

GEOSCAPE:

I believe there are additional ways to further integrate the combat roles in the geoscape, but they require a few additions.

1. Color/Icon Selection

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The bar above the combat roles is not just for show. Clicking on it allows you to change the background of the icon, giving the icons a bit more flexibility than they do right now. I would look into allowing players to modify the letter/icon in the center as well.

2. Combat Role shortened names

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You should be able to sort soldiers by role, but having the roles’ full names show up in the personnel list might take up too much space. If combat roles had a second 4-6 letter limited name, roles could fit nicely in the personnel list and be sortable.

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Edited by Azek
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I like the selected icon unit on the UI, the second option.

I do agree that it would be great to be able to see what role you've selected for a unit during battler as I often have to go into the inventory to familiarize myself.

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I've pretty much stopped using roles after the beginning of the game anyway. Mostly I'm adjusting what people carry by their strength, which is changing constantly. Would be fine with anything that didn't clutter the screen much though.

OFFTOPIC

What I would really like to see are unit numbers next to the units in the battle map. THAT would be useful to me. Or a map/minimap that indicated all the soldier's positions by number.

I do fondly recall firing rockets into the darkness in the approximate positions of enemies, then gleefully counting the little white crosses or whatever showed up to indicate a corpse on the map.

Come to think of it, if the Role feature was flexible enough I could just make each role 1, 2, 3 etc and it would have about the same effect...

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I've pretty much stopped using roles after the beginning of the game anyway. Mostly I'm adjusting what people carry by their strength, which is changing constantly. Would be fine with anything that didn't clutter the screen much though.

Try to use class roles as a 'base' loadout and you'll find them more useful.

Rather then going by your strongest soldier, you go by your baseline.

ie my top rifleman carry 4-5 clips and up to 6 grenades. My base rifleman loadout is only a medpack, 3 clips and 3 grenades.

When you get into the later months its a ton easier to have a base role to quickly put all the 'must-haves' on your soldier. I couldn't imagine doing it manually in the 5th month as you usually have stay at home soldiers and about 18-20 deployable soldiers. Through in the injury rotations and doing it manually is a nightmare!

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Eh, playstyle I guess. I'm pretty up in the air about what I equip at a given time. Just whatever I feel like, and if I have one soldier I want to copy, I just make it the default for whatever role that soldier was (so the Sniper role has a heavy plasma, woot!) and quick apply it. Mostly they only get 3-4 types of items so it's been pretty quick.

Tempted to give these fusion rockets a try just to see if they explodify bigger

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