Mask Posted August 16, 2013 Share Posted August 16, 2013 (edited) The mod is ready for its alpha debut for version 1.0x of Xenonauts. This is a mod by Ron Losey, which I have helped test and distribute. It attempts to simulate some level of reality within the Xenonauts setting by tweaking the variables. Changes include weapon damage, weapon randomness, armour, vehicle armour, combat fuel consumption for aircraft, weapon and sight ranges, rebalance of weapon types (plasma, laser, ballistic) so that they each excel for certain uses (later guns still being better overall), economics, and many various other changes. A more thorough description: Installation: This was made for version 19 build 7 of the experimental beta. It might work for other versions, but has not been tested. Go to the Xenonauts Folder. Most people have it in, "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Xenonauts" I suggest backing up your files before installing (only the .xml files in the assets folder are modified). Extract the rar to the assets folder, and you're done. Quasi-realism for Xenonauts Alpha version (so please don't whine about stuff we haven't got to yet) Currently for version 1.0x Testing on version 1.07, community build 0.23. Primary programming by Ron Losey (also writing this text) Additional testing, and distribution, by "Mask". Editing of this text also by "Mask". Help welcome. ------------------------------------------ Summary: This is a project to create a sense of realism, or at least reasonable-seeming, to the world of Xenonauts. Certain hacks must be made for game balance, but the objective will be to reduce these in number and intensity, in order to give players a feel of actually being there ... not stuck in a bad "Starcraft" clone. The final objective is "suspension of disbelief", to use the literary term - to make things seem real enough that people want to believe it is real, or at least that it is an accurate simulation of reality. Xenonauts seems to be a great game engine with which to work, and the plot, while obviously built off of the old X-COM games, is well written. But the actual number values used to calculate the action are, in many cases, totally out in left field. These items break suspension of disbelief, and make the game frustrating and difficult to play. Fortunately, the game was written to be easy to mod, and so these items can (for the most part, I hope) be fixed. Methodology: The basic point here is that reality is balanced. The real world balances military and economic issues with itself. Therefore, if something is made as realistic as possible within the game limitations, and it creates a "balance" issue, then this is because SOMETHING ELSE is out of balance. The realistic element should not be modified for balance - the other items that are unbalanced by it are the problem. The idea here is NOT to change the universe in which the game is set. That is, I am not adding new alien types, or bending the lore in any way. The idea is to make the game data match the apparent lore. The only exceptions here are in situations where some item in the original game is absurd or not useful, in which case it must be modified in a more heavy-handed manner. (16/8/13) Current changes: Sight range. Limiting sight range in daylight is a terrible hack. If your troops can't see a crashed spaceship 50 paces away in broad daylight, they don't need armor - they need glasses. Likewise, weapon ranges. Some weapons have short ranges - thrown items, shotguns, and to a lesser degree, low-velocity handgun rounds. Everything else is still pretty effective from a hundred paces away. Things like melee weapons and thrown grenades are limited in effectiveness because many other weapons have much greater range. This is, after all, why few armies rely on shotguns and pistols for a battle ... short range weapons are for short range situations. Explosives. Explosives are messy. A hand grenade is an absurd weapon. According to USMC (that's "United States Marine Corps", for any who missed it) field manuals, the average marine can throw a normal grenade about 8 meters (in combat ... you can do better if you have time to wind up for the pitch, but if you can do that, you don't need a grenade). The M67 fragmentation grenade has a fatality radius of 5 meters and an injury radius of 15 meters... and body armor doesn't help much for that first couple of meters from the blast. (That is a 14 ounce grenade, containing 6.5 ounces of composition B ... not exactly a huge bomb.) (And that's RADIUS, not diameter ... that thing is going to kill pretty much everything in a 30-foot circle, and maim everything in a 90-foot circle. And grenade splinters leave horrible wounds - "maim" is the correct word.) To use one, you throw the sucker, yell "frag out", and duck... because if you're not under cover by the time that thing goes off, you're history. Compare that to most grenades in games, where you can drop them on your foot and survive ... and you start to see the issue. The problem with grenades, and explosives in general, is NOT the lack of killing power - the issue is that you can blow yourself up. Yourself, civilians and friendlies, valuable equipment, whatever. Also, they're not subtle weapons -grenades and other man-portable explosives tend to be heavy to carry, hard to deploy safely, and not terribly precise about what they destroy. Vehicles and vehicle weapons. If you're going to bother to take along a vehicle, you expect it to do something that one guy on foot can't do. It should be faster, tougher, and/or pack a LOT more firepower. This somewhat makes up for the cost (both cash and logistics to transport it) and the fact that it's a big target for enemy fire. (That last point is only a game issue because of the sight and weapon range changes above.) Vehicle weapons are larger, and/or they are solidly mounted, so automatic weapons can fire a lot more without walking around so much. Note: don't use the vehicle rockets up close, or anywhere around locals ... they're based on a 30-pound warhead. More for taking out terrain, like smallish structures and walls of larger ones, than targeting individual hostiles. Aircraft, added a few more missiles. Who would build a plane that can only carry two missiles, anyway? Not to mention, the game is unplayable otherwise - you can't build enough hangars to put enough aircraft in the sky to stop the larger UFO's, otherwise. To make it fair, alien fighters got more missiles too ... so don't think you're getting something for free there (although you might not notice, early ... once the fighters appear, you'll notice). Economics. While it is reasonable to think governments might be making secret deals with the aliens to let them terrorize the population, one would expect them not to be so utterly obvious about it. Therefore, funding has been raised to a level that, while still unreasonable if earth was facing alien invasion, is high enough to not just scream "this organization is a token attempt ... we're really working with the aliens." A game balance adjustment, such that conventional firearms are faster to use, lasers more accurate, plasma more damaging ... such that, while the more advanced weapons do offer some overall improvement, these improvements may not always be the best solution for every situation. This will open more tactical options, making a mixed-weapon strategy viable. It also makes sense ... those sci-fi weapons are big, clumsy-looking things, combining the aesthetics of Star Trek with the convenience and usability of an Underwood typewriter. And despite my general disdain for the mechanically unreliable M-16, it's hard to dispute that they are fast, handy weapons (if you can get them to fire... good luck with that). And that HK G5 sniper rifle ... a fine weapon, and still surely lighter and easier to use than those square bricks of laser rifles. Specifics on that: for game purposes, note that plasma weapons WILL melt down armor, no matter how strong ... You can't take repeated hits without suffering damage. Laser weapons are highly accurate, but neither fast nor terribly damaging ... use with caution. Conventional firearms still offer good potential for situations that favor speed over accuracy or damage. Greater difference between snap and aimed fire added. Burst fire generally faster ... you can waste ammo as fast as you want. Most weapons have seen overall damage increases ... note for the record, bullets can be fatal. Alien plasma rifles, more so. Randomization on damage has been greatly increased. This is not a hack for balance - this is reality. The difference between a bullet removing someone's ear lobe or hitting them in the eye is about an inch. If you can keep all of your rounds in a 2-inch circle under combat conditions, I would love to know where you learned to shoot. This means, also, that armor performance is highly erratic ... maybe the round hit a trauma plate, of maybe it hit bare skin. So armor improves your odds ... but it's exactly that, odds. Chances. Not "my armor plus my hit points can take (x) hits from (whatever)". Unless you're in a tank and you know the enemy is armed with beanflips, there's always a chance that things could go badly for you. Minor changes to other factors, related to this ... times on weapon fire, accuracy, skills and armor numbers. Weapon damages, damage randomization, modifications to make certain weapons seem unique ... too many smaller changes to list, really. Planned changes: Once everybody is satisfied with these changes, we'll move on to balancing the aliens to make them suitably challenging ... again, in ways that seem reasonable. Say, the little humanoid sectoid-looking suckers - making them more resistant to fire than a brick wall would be unreasonable, given their apparent body mass, but they could easily be more skilled with their weapons, or use better tactics. This is a believable scenario. Still learning exactly how the blast damage and radius numbers interact. Haven't really started on "suppression" yet ... surely explosions will generate a lot of that, but exactly how much is going to be tricky to compute. So there's a lot more tweaking to go, still. If somebody suggests a weapon that should be present, or some other such change, I'll do what I can ... I somehow suspect a mortar or grenade launcher is needed, if for no other reason, just to add illumination for the night missions. But we're not adding a bunch of stuff just to be adding stuff ... it needs to be something that would have an impact on the tactics. Nuclear hand grenade jokes. One of the weapon "upgrades" is "Fusion Grenade" ... so I think we should cook up plenty of "nuclear hand grenade" jokes. (At least it should negate the need to carry the much heavier blocks of C4.) The other "issue" - needs confirmation: There was some concern that alien AI does not tend to react to hostiles ar ranges greater than about 28 squares. They will still use reaction fire, but little else. Still trying to figure that out. Most maps do not include such long clear lines of fire anyway, and aliens flee back to the ship (not the corners of the map), so it was less of an issue in v19. However, it is a point of potential concern, and needs confirmation. ------------------- For the record ... anybody is welcome to take these changes and run with them. I am not adding any graphics, or anything else that could be construed as "my work", outside of changing the numbers to what they probably should have been in the first place. However, if you get a combination of numbers that does seem to be an improvement, do let everybody else know. If you want to use these numbers as part of some other mod, do cite the "Quasi-Realism" project as the source of the numbers ... not because I care about credit for it, but just to eliminate confusion when people start asking "What is the difference between mod A and mod B?" If it is clearly stated, "Mod A uses the numbers from...", then everybody is on the same page. If you want to know if this is compatible with some other mod ... just check which files were modified. If another mod changes the same files, you will need to decide which one to use, and/or merge them by hand. If you're just angry because you think grenades should look like kiddie firecrackers and people should only be able to see a barn from less than 30 feet away ... then this package is not for you. Go make your own mod, don't tell me about it. Download the mod from here: https://mega.co.nz/#!iBUBGLYI!eL9vj8gxTEki_QWILPl35oeYBWoWr47o9LUF2gO6-6s Edited July 14, 2014 by Mask Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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