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Make the geoscape more interesting without really changing anything.


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Some people adore the air minigame. Chris seems to hate it. But you have to agree that it has a "cool factor" to it that breaks up the monotony of dozens of scout missions. Unfortunately, mundacity arises in the geoscape because EVERY week, EVERY ship (except for the ones that are trying to kill you) does the same random walk around one little corner of the globe. A little variety in the air combat would go a long way.

Anyways, I don't think the development team would want to radically change the game at this point, so I'm making suggestions that would be very easily to implement and would not impact the geoscape balance. These features are just meant to make the Geoscape more "interesting."

1. Make Alien Bombers priority targets (i.e., air combat terror sites)

Bombers are this unique type of alien ship that don't really go after you and can't be recovered, but are designed solely for ruining your relations with the host nation. Given that host nation funding is far more important now, bombers could have a more prominent role in the game.

Instead of just milling about like every other alien craft, what if they circumnavigated the Earth on global bombing runs. They would be detected independently from Xenonaut radar similar to terror sites or alien bases (as they're just dumping plasma bombs on everything, they're fairly easy to track). In fact, a message pops up that says "Alien Bomber Detected" just to let you know how important this is. The bomber travels in a path resembling a straight line, across the globe (so that you can easily intercept it) and every hour it stays alive, it bombs something and costs you about $2000 in funding from whatever nation it bombed. Depending on the stage of the game, the bombers could have an escort fighter wing that trails them, or there might even be two bomber groups at once. It's essentially like an airborne terror site that can cost you up $50,000 or whatever in relations funding depending on how long it stays alive. This isn't really too different from how bombers act now, but it's just more advertised and more "fun".

2. Alien radar jamming stations (i.e., air combat alien bases).

Another thing that's kind of messed up about the current geoscape is that radar ranges are gigantic and you can build two bases and see just about everything on earth. (It's even more amazing that a radar dish is operating while buried underground but whatever, it's just a game).

To counteract this, the aliens have developed this radar jammer that blocks the Xenonaut radar and cloaks any alien ships under its protection. You can determine its location by how it distorts your own radar range circles (or maybe the Xenonaut operatives just stumble upon it as soon as it pops into existence). You have to take out the dish with your interceptors, BUT, there are alien fighters (and maybe even a SAM site or two) defending it.

Essentially, it's just the same as an ordinary alien fighter wing, but instead of tracking you down and disappearing after a while, it persists forever and blocks your radar vision.

Edited by lemm
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The bomber event idea is interesting. Especially as there have been some posts about skipping missions. If there's no landing mission perhaps fighters and bombers are skipped more than others. Adding strategic importance to certain bombing missions prods the player out there to tackle it.

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We do plan to revamp the UFO behaviour on the Geoscape a bit in the near future. Also, the bombers are a prime candidate for airborne terror sites that do significant relations damage if not dealt with (just a normal air combat) before they time out.

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