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Big Feature Request - Ordering Civilians around.


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So after some reading of old post, I understand that the player isn't going to get psychic powers in Xenonauts, which is fine for balance reasons, as I get that such an ability can prove gamebreaking considering the focus on tactical combat of the game. However, there is an implementation of "taking control" of other non xenonaut units that I think would make sense and improve the game quite a bit.

Basically, in order to increase the tactical ability of your squad, I think it would be incredibly useful to be able to order civilians around during battle zones.

Essentially, what would happen is when you select a xenonaut and you move your cursor over nearby civilian (there would have to be a "speaking range" where the civilian can hear your selected 'naut) instead of a targeting cursor, you get a little speech bubble cursor and a percentage of success. If you click on it, you expend TU to tell the civilian what to do for that round, and you get temporary control of said civilian.

This would allow for our 'nauts to do things like escort civilians to safer locations, and more importantly, to safely get them out of the line of fire or move them into a position so a medic can heal them if they are injured and bleeding.

However it would be at major costs and be tricky. Namely, ordering a civilian would take a LOT, if not ALL of a Xenonaut's TU, so you're effectively sacrificing one character's movement/use to puppet another one.

Secondly, it wouldn't always work, because civvies are panicked and running around like scared chickens when aliens are about. So there would have to be a success check, ideally between the bravery of the 'naut doing the ordering, and the civilian being ordered. Something like having a ratio where the Xenonaut's bravery must be 50 - 100% over the civilian's in order to have a moderate chance of success, and at 150% over the civilians, it's a strong chance, while at 200%, it's an almost guaranteed success (for this theoretical exercise, I assume the civilians all have very low bravery values).

Civilians would also lose bravery just on sight of alien forces, and so could easily panic and lose control anyway, so it can be a lost cause. Also, while they aren't armed, they should have the ability to "hunker down" and hold position unless further ordered, so you can essentially put them in a spot that seems safe (like insider your chinook). Additionally, I'm assuming that local forces have higher bravery values than normal civvies, so it should be very low chance that the player can take control of armed civilians (Though still possible in certain situations).

Again, the big advantage of this proposed feature is that the player can get a bit more tactical control of the battlefield vis a vis the civilian population. Also, it does just sort of make sense. I mean, I understand people freaking out when ET is lasering up their city with superheated plasma, but when the cavalry arrives, most people will listen to the higher authority and do what they say in order to save their own necks. It's not a 100% thing of course (hence not making it automatic) but it is something that could prove eminently useful in lots of tight spots.

Because really, wouldn't it just be nice to tell a civvie to "GET DOWN!" so you could fire at the alien behind him? I know I think it would be.

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