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I'm thinking Private, Private First Class, Corporal, Sergeant, 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major.

Do those sound low enough?

I would drop PFC and 2nd LT and throw a couple extra sergeant ranks in, but whatever. This would just make Armies of Majors really because promotion is pretty uniform across a squad and rapid, so if you don't take big casualties most of your guys are still going to achieve maximum rank pretty quick.

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Well, yeah. Obviously, balancing will have to happen. The way rank-ups work is, after a certain number of skill points have been earned, you gain a rank. You can change the required number of skill points needed for each rank, though, and each rank does boost morale, so the rank system itself has gameplay significance.

So, in essence, I would campaign for changing the rank names and icons (after we know exactly what we want them to be, that is, to reduce work for the devs), which don't mean a thing to the balance of the game; only the player's perception of the game is changed with different rank names/icons.

Let the developers worry about balancing the rank-ups properly; that is part of the balancing process, after all. They'll get to it in due time.

Also, I just like saying "Second Lieutenant", I dunno why. ;)

Actually, I do. 2nd Lieutenant Maria Ross (from FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) is hardcore, that's why.

Dropping PFC, though, I'd be okay with that. No attachment to that particular rank. haha

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Go into the strings.xml file, and search (control-F) for captain. That'll take you right to the top of the ranks.

Just for people to be aware, here's a thread discussing what ranks to have in the game for a mod (and maybe a permanent addition, who knows?)

http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6380-Soldier-Ranks-What-Ranks-Should-We-Have

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I would like to take a stab at this one again.

I love the idea of a pyramid ranking scheme. It solves a lot of the other problems I have seen crop up like super soldiers, immersion, power creep, yadda, yadda.

Basic hypothetical idea is a total of 4 normal ranks, and maybe 4 officer ranks. Tie rank promotion to skilling up your soldiers. And you eliminate a full squad of super soldiers. You eliminate power creep, You make balancing the game easier as the developer can safely assume that there will be a set amount of troops within a certain skill range. you can then handle the horrible accuracy issue of rookies vrs vets. And you can also address the problem of trying to get rookies to survive those late game missions when you have to replace the inevitable losses if you aren't save scrumming.

Hell an easy quick thought is...

Figure max 3 bases in the world (not counting dedicated airbases) an assume maybe max 20 soldiers per base. that number is probably to high but it is a good starting point. From there figure the breakdown.

60 soldiers equal

Four beginning ranks, Recruit, Private, Corporal, and Sargent. these 4 ranks all soldiers can attain with the 4 corresponding skill ups.

Then we start limiting ranks after that, lets say...

1 Lieutenant per 10 which would equal 6

1 Captain per 15 which would be 4

1 Major per 30 for a total of 2

and 1 Coronel per 60 for a total of 1

Total of tops 13 soldiers that can attain more than 4 skill ups. and only one of those can get a total of 8 skill ups.

After that it is just a matter of deciding what Power level you want the bulk of the soldiers to fall in. Makes Balancing much much easier. It becomes a whole lot easier to deal with the accuracy issue because you know at best the player will have mabey 1 soldier with a super high accuracy but the bulk will fall well below that. With a handful of others between good and godly.

On top of that if you know you are a lot more limited in the number of skill ups. then those starting stats start taking on even more importance.

Can the system still be gamed to a degree, yep. But to do so you would have to have 120 soldiers to get 2 Coronels and 4 Majors. and if the player is good enough to be able to buy and support 120 troops along with the requisite buildings to bunk them. Bah at that point all the power to them.

Anyways just a quick and dirty idea. Take it or leave it.

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Sorry to burst your bubble, mate, but unless Chris completely changes his mind it's not going to catch on. He (and I) don't see the point in limiting rank, since the ranks are basically just morale boosts. Besides, we have no limited numbers of billets, we don't need to postpone rewarding soldiers for outstanding performance. They don't even get paid any more; the upkeep is still the same.

The lack of increasing pay as they rank up supports my idea that they're all actually equally "ranked", or rather, they have no ranking hierarchy. I mean, you can have a colonel and a private doing the exact same thing; they're obviously on the same level. The only reason one is a colonel is because he has more experience.

I'm making a mod that changes the ranks to something more along those lines, here's the idea:

http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6430-New-Xenonaut-Rank-Names-and-Images-%28artists-please-help-with-images%29

I'll continue to flesh it out as time progresses (and I still need to make/find rank icons. hmm...)

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i hear you black cat, there are alot of us on here that believe that the system in the original game would work well in this game and make it look and feel more realistic looks like you'll have to hope someone can mod it in though as they;re not interested in weather you feel immersed in the game.

Edited by Simmo753

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The only problem is that the ranks are named after real military ranks.

If they are not then the whole problem goes away.

Ranks in Xenonauts are a reflection of the power of the soldier, or at least how much combat he has seen, not some position in an imaginary command chain that has no in-game effect or any reason to be there.

No one cares if you have as many 'Elite' ranked troops as you do 'Rookies', they are only bothered because the ranks are named Major or Private.

In fact having as many of your troops as possible being ranked Elite makes perfect sense.

Rookies can become Experienced then through Veterans and eventually up to Elite.

Any other rank names you can think of that reflect progress can be used.

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Ranks in Xenonauts are a reflection of the power of the soldier, or at least how much combat he has seen, not some position in an imaginary command chain that has no in-game effect or any reason to be there.

No one cares if you have as many 'Elite' ranked troops as you do 'Rookies', they are only bothered because the ranks are named Major or Private.

I have no clue or freaking interest what the "names" of ranks are IRL, and what would be correct, I just care that the game (while minimally save scumming) is unbalanced because the moral boosts are so big that it doesn't effect your high ranked squad if even many die...

I just hope this will be addressed, hopefully the way the OG did it.

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What he said ^.

Having 12 "colonels" or "commanders" or "xenomasters" is ridiculous when you only have 18 soldiers. The morale boost is great, but it should come with costs and have limits. Limits like your entire squad can't be the highest rank. Currently, the sole purpose of the rank system is the morale boost. That's fine - being next to an experienced soldier should carry a morale benefit. Hell, being next to an inexperienced soldier should carry a penalty. I think it's wise to divide this system into two tiers: non-officers and officers.

Non-officers (PVT-PFC-CPL-LCP) are all unlimited in number and just simulate a soldier's gaining of experience and the boost this gives to his comrades beside him. It works as the system does currently. Above that are the "officer" ranks (SGT, LT, CPT, MAJ, xenomaster, whatever). These give much higher boosts to simulate not only higher experience but also their being in leadership roles and having built up additional confidence in their men through those roles in-combat and out-of-combat. These are also limited in number as a ratio of total soldiers in all bases (for the fun of personnel management, though it can be 'streamlined' so it's just on a per-base basis). This gives a pyramidal structure to the top half of the hierarchy, with a fluid base of "grunts".

Such ideas are too elegant to be implemented perhaps, but it is the most realistic (in terms of simulated benefits) and satisfies both sides (ratio ranks and current system).

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The most recent information on the xenonauts morale system is on the wiki.

The pyramid structure doesn't really solve anything for me.

In the OG I had troops defending bases who were all low ranks and all of the highest ranks were in my main squad as they were the most active and generally had been alive the longest so had by far the best stats.

It didn't matter that only five of my troops could be of the top two or three ranks.

Those five would be the most active members of my force on the front line while the lower ranked troops would hang back or stay at home until they could develop the stats necessary to survive.

That is the opposite of what the pyramid rank structure tries to represent but is a good way to use your troops when the rank only represents how many stat increases that soldier is likely to have accumulated.

Privates will never be your main force, the highest ranks will.

It also still means you have an unrealistic mix of real world ranks on your active squad.

All that changes is the names of the ranks as you hire more soldiers.

It is likely that you will have one main squad containing your best troops, at least in the beginning.

If that is a colonel, two commanders, four majors and a handful of captains it is no less ridiculous than half a dozen commanders.

What military would use those ranks as frontline ground troops when other troops are available?

You could allow stat gains to accumulate separately from rank of course but then what is rank representing at all in that system?

An arbitrary naming system that has no relation to the effectiveness of the soldier in ground combat?

A role playing system where you can pretend that the major is giving orders to other soldiers?

Limits like your entire squad can't be the highest rank.

A large part of the ground combat for me is the attachment that can develop with the soldiers you employ in your squads.

Limiting those squads by rank would mean that I would be unable to take along groups of soldiers that I wanted to simply because the game wanted to call them major instead of sergeant.

Unless you meant your whole force rather than your squad, but then you would just pick all of the highest ranks to put in your squad and your pyramid system has solved nothing.

Having 12 "colonels" or "commanders" or "xenomasters" is ridiculous when you only have 18 soldiers.

I don't see how only having 18 soldiers should limit them from being known as 'experienced' or 'elite' soldiers.

That still only matters if you are using real world military ranks as a basis.

Every soldier you employ could be an elite xenonaut.

Only a handful of any military should be officers otherwise who actually enacts the orders that are being given out.

You hire a private from the british army.

He remains a private in the british army but in the xenonauts he starts as a rookie, becomes a squaddie, then a veteran, then an elite xenonaut or whatever.

The military rank means nothing so should be separate from the xenonaut rank/level.

Why would you have an arbitrary limit on how many of your soldiers could be classed as elite or a link between how many veterans you are allowed to have compared to the number of rookies you employ?

Edited by Gauddlike

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Let me put it another way,

Right now I never even look at the moral bar of my soldiers, it's never been a factor, don't even know if it drops at all, but looking at my soldiers in mid game, I noticed that their moral was usually above their maximum, If it was something I decided to do fine, but I never asked or planned around this, that's the problem for me.

I'm not asking that ranks be limited in ground battles, if you want to collect all your high ranks in one base or mission, it should be your valid strategic right to do so.

My gripe is unless your playing Irionman, you will almost never be at a disadvantage on the battle field. And I'm playing all my games very realistically, i.e. my wounded get rotated regularly and the skill gains are shared more evenly, but I still reload when a veteran gets killed.

Having the OG's rank system would, in my mind, should stop having all top ranks at any one time which is an exploit. When your guys die the next guy down the totem pole would get promoted for the next fight, so everything's cool, it just stops the player having too high of a moral bonus at any given time, unless they invest in more men and play well, which is an added option that enriches the game if you get me.

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Right now I never even look at the moral bar of my soldiers, it's never been a factor

I'm not asking that ranks be limited in ground battles, if you want to collect all your high ranks in one base or mission, it should be your valid strategic right to do so.

Agreed on these. I think agreed on rest, but it's less important.

This should at least be moddable.

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The most recent information on the xenonauts morale system is on the wiki.

I'm not sure that's true - when I read the morale file for the v19.4 the other day, it had differences to what is specified on the wiki page and it the page says it was last updated in December 2011. It possibly needs updating.

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It is still the most recent information unless you have seen something newer anywhere.

I know the values presented are outdated and it is not complete.

It is a public wiki though and clearly no one has felt it important enough to update.

I don't see how using the actual game mechanics in the way they are intended can be considered an exploit either.

They may not work the way you would prefer but that is a completely different thing.

It sounds more like the issue is that the highest ranks do not provide enough of a morale penalty when they die, not that they should be limited in number.

That is a simple balance tweak that has nothing to do with a pyramid structure.

I honestly don't mind which is used, I just object to the view that the pyramid structure is the only way to do it.

Personally I feel that the current structure without military rank names would be superior.

I also agree that having the option to mod it either way would be great.

A simple flag in the rank progression section of the xml that lets you set how many of the previous rank are required to allow someone to be promoted shouldn't be too hard to do.

It is just a question of if the devs feel the time taken away from other aspects of the game is worthwhile.

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It is a public wiki though and clearly no one has felt it important enough to update.

I've tried frequently without success to login to it, as it constantly fails on the confirmation code. So it may not be a lack of willingness.

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I can only remember two people mentioning that they have been unable to login.

If it was a big issue it would probably have come up on the forum more often.

I made my account there a long time ago, before Chris had problems with some kind of russian spambot so it may be that the problem originated then.

A forum member created their own version but I can't currently remember who.

*edit*

This is the one I was thinking of.

It has slightly more content in some places but less on actual behind the scenes mechanics.

If account creation is working (or anonymous edits allowed) then that might be a good place to add your information.

Edited by Gauddlike

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You could try and create a second account as a test, he typed hopefully :) At least then I'd know if it was me.

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Just had a look and didn't work for me either.

Each time I load the page up if I inspect the captcha element of the page I get a different ID number so I am assuming the answer is actually still random.

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Thanks for checking Gauddlike. I keep getting an error with the confirmation question - surname of Julian, creator of X-Com either missing or incorrect. I'm fairly sure I could hazard a guess at the right answer there, so that bit seems to be busted. Perhaps a kind dev could take a moment to investigate?

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If the answer is random still then the question should have been 'What is the second name of the indie dev Chris...'.

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Not sure if someone mentioned this earlier in the thread, but: On the subject, I'm not sure Generals and Majors would be out in the field fighting alien scouts, either.

If we restricted ourselves to military ranks which would be dealing with frontline enemies, what would we have?

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