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Aaron

Ground Combat Balance Discussion V19 Stable

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I am just going to refresh this thread now that V19 Stable is out. For those of you who might not visit the forums as often, the purpose of this thread is to gather feedback of the current state of balance of the Ground Combat portion of the game (i.e. the turn-based tactical combat part) so we can see if the gameplay is shaping up the way we want. This is specifically NOT for bug reports - they go in the bug reporting forum (and are gratefully received!).

As V19 Stable is quite a milestone for us, I am interested in hearing more general feedback on how people feel about the Ground Combat - do you find it challenging, frustrating, fun? Are there parts of it that get on your nerves, or that you feel are particularly effective, and if so, why? I'm really hoping we can also get some feedback from people who have only been playing V18 up until now, as they will have quite a different perspective from those who have followed every experimental build and all the attendant minutiae (feedback still welcome from the usual suspects too of course :) )

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Someone mentioned dual wilding shields and putting two additional shields in their packs along with grenades. Ultimate protected grenade man.

Perhaps the shield weight should be increased a bit to avoid this situation?

He suggested 10kg. 10kg would be loads better than the super heavyweight monstrosity it used to be (20 was insane), while still being hefty and not something you can just load up three multiples off. Maybe 8kg? At any rate, 3kg seems to be too low for balance reasons.

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There seems to be something weird with flashbangs, especially when thrown into a UFO. I've had multiple instances of direct hits on both seb and cesean non-coms without them being suppressed.

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Hey i have only been playing v18 up until now and i had the time to try the v19 this w-e.

Seems like there was quite some changes in the alien AI. I find the game to be a lot more difficult now. You get reaction fire at every angle now (almost :D). And aliens tend to group together (very good) but also to fall back when odds are against them which is very nice to see also. There also seems to be more alien per crashing site than before (not sure if it s a real change or just bad luck from me) but i didnt play that much so i dont have tha big a sample.

Personnally i love the dificulty but the problem i forsee is for new players.I finished the OG several times but i have quite a hard time now in the ground combat (i play in normal mode). I had to load my games several times this w-e due to heavy casualties in ground combat. That makes the game interesting for me but for someone who never played X-com i m not sure it will be the same.

I think that you should tweak the difficulty to be a little less unforgiving in normal mode. Losing two to three mens each missions makes it hard to have elite soldies for later in the game when you need them. So if you are new to X-com and you dont know the aliens will be a lot tougher later on you might go on hiring new recruits instead of reloading only to find yourself unable to advance later on due to increased difficulty. Usually the normal mode is not meant to be a no error possible mode.

Maybe making the actual normal difficulty level be instead the veteran difficulty level (which it must have been based upon actualy: X-com veterans being the only ones giving their point of view) and decreasing it a bit for the normal mode would be a good idea i think. I was considering giving the game to my father but with the actual difficulty he will just hang himself after the tenth wipe :D.

Anyways i love this game. High difficulty is fine with me i am just a bit afraid about newcomers hitting a BIG wall :D.

Thanks fo your great work

EDIT: do sebillians have night vision? they seem to spot me at twice the distance i spot them in night missions.

Also i only played this w-e on the new v19 so i only have experience till mid october approximately. I ll try to give a more in depth point of view when i ll get more hous of play.

Edited by Saskali

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I don't think aliens suffer the night vision penalty. Avoid night missions like the plague, unless you're confident you outgun the aliens there.

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I don't like the fact that Wraiths can teleport behind your cover and 1-shot kill your operatives, though i really like the idea that they teleport away when they're low on health to regroup and escape. Perhaps Wraiths should now be allowed to shoot after teleportation?

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We do plan to alter Wraith teleportation so that they can only do it as the last action of their turn.

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I utterly HATE the new ground combat changes the new +-50% thing is very annoying because it seems like ONLY the aliens get those 50+ shots and the my guys get 7 damage shots I recommend weighting the damage slightly to the one listed on the weapon because instead of the damage listed you should list 10-30 damage instead of 20 its pointless to say 20 if thats only one of the tiny chances you get. Also I would suggest that the combat shield block 80% of the damage all the time instead of a 80% chance of blocking all of it, because the FIRST time I used one the guy was shot at 2 times and BOTH times the shots some how just pass right through the shield :/. Also because flashbangs are bugged UFO's are almost impossible to clear with out a meat shield.

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Format your posts so they can be more easily read.

That said: heartily disagree on the modifier (many one-shots w/ snipers on non-coms), 80% all the time= more occasions of dead soldiers + makes little logical sense, and flashbangs do seem bugged.

In the mean time: click your soldier's weapon, highlight the UFO door until it turns green and spend a few turns shooting it down. You're now at a distance and can easily light up the aliens inside w/ machineguns and snipers. Alternately, blow it up w/ c4 then launch rockets inside.

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Regarding difficulty: make it brutal first, then balance it for lower difficulty levels with bonuses and maybe switching off certain behaviors. Of course, my long-standing demand to make a lot of sliders/options for the game and difficulty remain.

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I had a bit more time to play the v19 yesterday evening.

My point of view on what i saw:

-The changes to shotguns are very nice. It is a real improve over v18 where after some ground missions i had just replaced them with riffles. Now i always take my two armored shotgunners they are deadly at close range. They do wonders in UFOs i blast the door supress the aliens inside with flashbangs and heavy weapons and then i go in with the two shotgunners :D

-The increased cost for snipers is alos a good choice. They were plain overpowered before. You really have to place them well now so they dont have to move before shoting and thus can make make aimed deadly shots.

-The change to grenade range was a meeeh at first but it seems you have increased the damage a lot so if i can get close enough to place it well it is almost a sure death for the alien. (dreading the time when aliens will throw theirs still have in mind the OG where i got grenaded right in the skyranger on the first turn :D). So in the end the change seems ok for me.

-Regarding difficuly it seems to even out after some month (end october) when you begin to get armor and better soldiers. But it was a brual time before this point.

-I had a base mission and the improvement there are awesome, very good job. No more shooting trough walls which reveals exactly where every aliens are and the AI is very good. They were waiting for me in the first room i had like 6 aliens there in cover reaction firing me. Lost 5 men on my first attempt (had to reload :D). The number of aliens also seems appropriate for a base. So well balanced from my point of view. Having closed doors is also a nice addition and you can see it is closed to the red light on top of it very well done. The new graphics also make it a lot more lively so very nice.

-I also had a terror mission and it was brutal. So many aliens. But i think it is the right feeling. I really feel the terror. you have aliens everywere so makes you fear to move your soldiers even one step forward. I couldnt finish the mission yesterday was already way past the time i should have gone to sleep :D. But already have one dead and several wounded.

Well sorry for the big post but you asked for feedback so i m tringing to help. Dont know if it's the kind of feedback you need. If it is i'll go on posting my impressions here as i advance in the game and discover new things :D.

Thanks a lot for your work again i had a blast yesterday.

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-The change to grenade range was a meeeh at first but it seems you have increased the damage a lot so if i can get close enough to place it well it is almost a sure death for the alien. (dreading the time when aliens will throw theirs still have in mind the OG where i got grenaded right in the skyranger on the first turn :D). So in the end the change seems ok for me.

Just curious: do you know that frag grenades destroy any equipment that aliens are carrying? This means that you get less money for the mission (less stuff to sell on the black market). I'm wondering whether there should be any kind of indication that this is the case, because otherwise you're going to get some people who use frag rockets/frag grenades/C4 liberally, not realising that they're shooting themselves in the foot.

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Just curious: do you know that frag grenades destroy any equipment that aliens are carrying? This means that you get less money for the mission (less stuff to sell on the black market). I'm wondering whether there should be any kind of indication that this is the case' date=' because otherwise you're going to get some people who use frag rockets/frag grenades/C4 liberally, not realising that they're shooting themselves in the foot.[/quote']

Well the animation shows it think the alien just disapears when you grenade him so i was expecting some kind of downside. Still i prefer loosing some monney to loosing my 80+ TU soldier to 2-3 packed aliens behind cover :D

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Well the animation shows it think the alien just disapears when you grenade him so i was expecting some kind of downside. Still i prefer loosing some monney to loosing my 80+ TU soldier to 2-3 packed aliens behind cover :D

He's got a point. ;)

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you're going to get some people who use frag rockets/frag grenades/C4 liberally' date=' not realising that they're shooting themselves in the foot.[/quote']Ahh...don't you mean BLASTING themselves in the foot? ;)

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My thoughts so far... HUNTER needs more MG ammo. Heavy plasma shotgun might be a bit OP. Lt. drone, rate of fire is very cool, but individual hits need slight damage reduction or armor needs to mitigate better. Laser modules need more capacity i.e. more shots in each magazine maybe a 25% - 50% increase.

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Yeah, alien drones are rather weak right now. You could dramatically upgrade the light drone's suppression abilities and in the xenopedia say that their weapon is designed to cause visual disorientation in humans.

The heavy drones need a HUGE health and armor boost. They die so easily since they are easy targets. The fact that they explode on death is gravy if other aliens are around. Since it's essentially a hovertank= make its weapon hurt.

Alternative, more aggression with a burst-fire plasma shotgun-type weapon. That way it charges into your troops, wreaks havoc, then can explode to try and kill them.

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Yeah, alien drones are rather weak right now. You could dramatically upgrade the light drone's suppression abilities and in the xenopedia say that their weapon is designed to cause visual disorientation in humans.

Fighting Light Drones makes me think of shooting at clay pigeons. I'd more than happily see them buffed.

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The number of enemies in alien craft is a little too high IMHO. Seven aliens for a light scout makes me wonder where they all stand during the flight. (Much) Larger numbers for larger craft (landing ships, that is their point) bases etc aren't as bothering.

Flashbang issue, vehicle ammo issue, visibility not updating issue.

I'd prefer a longer grenade throw range but I'm not going to make a fuss about it. I haven't noticed shock grenades being that effective though (Read: two direct hits having no noticeable effect on any target) Am I just using them wrongly?

Not certain if this counts as a ground combat issue, but is there any scope for being able to switch out ammunition during loadout where different options are available. In particular, being able to take a launcher loaded with a stun rocket as opposed to the explosive option. I've been unable to swap them pre-mission, instead having to reload the launcher after mission start.

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Fighting Light Drones makes me think of shooting at clay pigeons. I'd more than happily see them buffed.
That's interesting. I think they're damned dangerous and wouldn't want them any tougher. I had two guys killed and one wounded on the first turn of a terror mission before I could even get out of the Chinook. They really dangerous if they surprise you and you're guys don't have Wolf armor yet. If you know they're there then yes, they are like clay pigeons.

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Gonna disagree with you on this Stellar. I feel that jackal armor is meant to be essential to reducing early game losses to light plasma weapons. Once I acquired it, light scouts became easier to deal with. I feel that you're meant to at least have jackal by the first terror mission.

By extension, light drones have a machine-gun light plasma w/ slightly weaker bolts. Jackal armor makes me feel fairly immune to light drones, barely taking damage. In wolf= they're a joke. I can walk right up next to one and eat full blasts.

Aside from unarmored troops, if you compare the rest of the tiers against the light drone= they don't scale well at all. I don't know if there should be a drone in between light and heavy to solve this. It could be a re-skinned light drone that fires a heavier plasma machine-gun.

IMO, the easiest way to make light drones relevant without to much of a buff is to tie their AI together w/ the troops around them and buff their suppression values. By 'tie together' I mean making the light drones stick near another unit and fire at its target. This would tie into the xenopedia entry and my view of how the devs want it to be.

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LIght drones are supposed to be jammed packed with sensors, why not let them see you behind walls, if you/they are close enough to it?

Then if the AI was buffed a little the others could charge you or wait behind corners

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Gonna disagree with you on this Stellar. I feel that jackal armor is meant to be essential to reducing early game losses to light plasma weapons. Once I acquired it, light scouts became easier to deal with. I feel that you're meant to at least have jackal by the first terror mission.

By extension, light drones have a machine-gun light plasma w/ slightly weaker bolts. Jackal armor makes me feel fairly immune to light drones, barely taking damage. In wolf= they're a joke. I can walk right up next to one and eat full blasts.

Aside from unarmored troops, if you compare the rest of the tiers against the light drone= they don't scale well at all. I don't know if there should be a drone in between light and heavy to solve this. It could be a re-skinned light drone that fires a heavier plasma machine-gun.

IMO, the easiest way to make light drones relevant without to much of a buff is to tie their AI together w/ the troops around them and buff their suppression values. By 'tie together' I mean making the light drones stick near another unit and fire at its target. This would tie into the xenopedia entry and my view of how the devs want it to be.

Well, if I :D were going to buff the Lt. Drone I would just make it more elusive. I would make it faster so it could come around objects, fire, than retreat to cover. That's all I'd change plus whatever AI code it would take to give it that shoot and scoot mentally.

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Gonna disagree with you on this Stellar. I feel that jackal armor is meant to be essential to reducing early game losses to light plasma weapons. Once I acquired it, light scouts became easier to deal with. I feel that you're meant to at least have jackal by the first terror mission.
Yes, but my experience is that Jackal is good at stopping single plasma pistol hits. The Lt. Drone have frequently hit one or more of my troops multiple times in a single round. They are frequently severely wounded even in Jackal.

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