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StellarRat

Put alien ammo supply back into the game? Or at least update us.

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Alien ammo limits were removed a long time ago because they were causing code problems (at least that's what I remember.) That was before the new AI developer came onboard. Can this now be put back into the game? You're going to have to have some type of working reload / weapon switching functions to use the alien grenades properly anyway. This was in the OG. Can we have it back now?

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Sadly not, because the aliens don't have sprites for the weapons they don't spawn with.

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Actually, this brings up a point that I keep seeing raised that I don't fully get...

Why, exactly, is it such a bad thing if you don't have sprites for something?

I mean, this is a recreation of an older sprite-based game that didn't have sprites for all that much.

Even right now, we have female soldiers in a game with only one sprite - we just assume that the soldiers all look enough alike.

Would it really be so bad if aliens kept holding their guns, even if it had no ammo in it? Does there need to be a sprite for every permutation? Couldn't we just have a status icon instead of a sprite for something?

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Sadly not, because the aliens don't have sprites for the weapons they don't spawn with.
I don't get it. Can someone explain what he's trying to say? You don't see ammo magazines on the sprites anyway even now.

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As long as aliens need to reload, there is no noticeable difference.

In Firaxis' XCOM with "infinite" ammo, reloading plays a far greater role than it ever did in the OG.

It's the action that matters. Not the micromanagement of it.

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Actually, this brings up a point that I keep seeing raised that I don't fully get...

Why, exactly, is it such a bad thing if you don't have sprites for something?

I'm really confused about why that makes any difference as far as aliens having to reload.

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Whether aliens actually use ammo or not is less important than whether they reload. Forcing them to spend most of their TUs on reloading once in a while would be important.

As for the sprites, I don't really see a problem. You can always use some default sprite as a placeholder for everything that the alien/soldier doesn't have a proper sprite for.

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I don't get it. Can someone explain what he's trying to say? You don't see ammo magazines on the sprites anyway even now.

I think he means, the aliens do not have sprites (for whatever reason) to any other weapon than the one they spawm with. So they cannot change to grenade, but I don't understand why the reload would be an issue - maybe there is also no sprites for reload?

Did any of you actually notice if the xenonauts sprites change when we change weapons from say a shotgun to pistol? Never checked this :) but would explain why aliens cannot change weapons if only a single set of sprites could be loaded for a character that cannot be changed.

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The sprites change.

If the alien runs out of ammo, just have them run away from you constantly, or rush you and beat you with their empty weapons. Simple. No need to change sprites. Just give all aliens a melee attack like the xenonaut soldiers have.

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Did any of you actually notice if the xenonauts sprites change when we change weapons from say a shotgun to pistol? Never checked this :) but would explain why aliens cannot change weapons if only a single set of sprites could be loaded for a character that cannot be changed.

I change from pistol to empty hand all the time on my shield commandos - and yes, they change sprites. (Shields don't appear at all if you don't have a pistol, but still function, oddly enough. Presumably because there's no sprite for "shield and empty hand". But again, so long as you know what's going on, the loss of the sprite isn't all that terrible.)

I don't see why there would be no ability to change sprites for aliens when there's an ability to change sprites for humans.

For that matter, I don't see why you'd need to make the alien stop having a gun at all in the sprite when the gun is empty. Unless they gain some new "throw the gun at you" ability, there's no reason they couldn't just keep holding the gun in the sprites. An empty gun looks just like a topped-off gun from a distance.

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Yes, the aliens can be set to have infinite ammo but a reload TU cost. However, we can't set them to have limited ammo because they'll exhaust their weapons in a prolonged battle and will then be defenceless.

We can't let them freely scavenge weapons from the battlefield like the player can, because the aliens don't have weapon sprites for most weapons and therefore if they pick up an unfamiliar gun they'll default to appearing unarmed but will still be able to spray bullets from their chest.

All the aliens planned to use grenades do have grenade sprites though.

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Yes, the aliens can be set to have infinite ammo but a reload TU cost. However, we can't set them to have limited ammo because they'll exhaust their weapons in a prolonged battle and will then be defenceless.

We can't let them freely scavenge weapons from the battlefield like the player can, because the aliens don't have weapon sprites for most weapons and therefore if they pick up an unfamiliar gun they'll default to appearing unarmed but will still be able to spray bullets from their chest.

All the aliens planned to use grenades do have grenade sprites though.

I get it now. But, Chris, in the OG I do believe once the aliens had expended all their ammo they were also defenseless. That was fairly rare. If you'll remember, the alien clips had gobs of ammo and they all carried one spare if I remember right. My soldiers can also run out of ammo. Even with scavenging it can be a big problem particularly if you run out of something that is rare. Like medkits, rockets or C4. I just don't see a problem putting this back in the game or giving us the incendiary weapons back for that matter.

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Yes, please put alien ammo back - 2-3 clips per default alien would suffice. They could even have a pistol as spare weapon to which they change when their big gun is dried out.

It would add greatly to the feel of the game if we would see aliens recharge and even (in rare occasions) run out of it and change to secondary. The player would also lose on weapon scavenge options if the aliens would deplete their ammo and would make picking up alien weapons a bit less inviting if they are mostly half depleted

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Ammo (and reloading) never was much of an issue in the OG to begin with.

You could. Theoretically. It just didn't become necessary.

When to reload is a major issue in XCOM:EU and some are still calling that dumbed down because it doesn't force them through repetitive chores instead of giving them an actual decision to make. =)

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I have also enjoyed some aspects of XCOM:EU, but reloading sadly wasn't one of them. I never had a problem with reloading in the game since the only viable strategy was to advance verrry slowly with overwatch. Thus I always had time to reload after each alien pocket. I do have reloading problems in the current game, if may heli needs to go to more then one location at a time, and when aliens charge my positions en mass (these stuff never happened in that game). But what is more important: the limited amount of ammo clips force the player to consider when to reload. If ammo is unlimited we just reload each and every situation when there is no shooting going on making the whole action irrelevant unless one is fighting many (5-6) enemies at a time. If ammo is limited it would be foolish to loose a clip just because we have shot once with it.

I also didn't like the art how the reload IMG was shown. here was no counter - it was very dashboardy from the bad sort. Either make it a nice image or display a number - or better yet-do both :)

Edited by zolobolo

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Chris, I think both alien problems could be solved.

Give them actual finite ammo and reloads, but large clips. Just like in the original, where ammo was almost never an issue for you or the aliens. And then maybe further increase penalty for humans using alien weapons so that their large clips would not become too helpful to human soldiers.

Also let them pick up any weapon from the battlefield, just falling back onto their default armed sprite (plasma rifle, pistol, whatever) with any weapon that there is not a separate sprite for. I'd say as long as it's any existing sprite except the unarmed one, it's fine.

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Also let them pick up any weapon from the battlefield, just falling back onto their default armed sprite (plasma rifle, pistol, whatever) with any weapon that there is not a separate sprite for. I'd say as long as it's any existing sprite except the unarmed one, it's fine.

I'm pretty sure the aliens in the OG could not scavenge weapons. That's not to say they shouldn't in Xenonauts.

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Yes, sure they couldn't then, but it would seem to be an organic addition now.

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All the aliens use the same ammo, though. Being able to scavenge ammo from existing corpses still wouldn't require a sprite change.

Things like

They could even have a pistol as spare weapon to which they change when their big gun is dried out.

or picking up new weapons don't make any sense when they all use the same ammo!

I honestly am failing to see how this is a sprite problem - there isn't even a sprite for picking up ammo from a corpse, is there?

Edited by GlyphGryph

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I just think it's only fair that the aliens have the possibility of running out of ammo or at least having to reload occasionally, particularly since they love to auto fire on everything with gusto. When I play the same way I definitely have to deal with both possibilities regularly.

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It's a sprite issue largely because they aren't allowed to pick up any non-alien weapons, nor are they able to switch to a pistol because only the very basic aliens have pistol sprites. They therefore have to stick with their starting weapons (not all of which can be reloaded, such as the drone weapons etc, so looting nearby alien weapons won't fix all eventualities).

This then means they'll be defenceless if they run out of ammo. Fundamentally I don't want "wait until the aliens run out of ammo" to be a valid strategy in the game, so I imagine we'll be sticking with the aliens having unlimited ammo. It's a bit of a hack, but I think it's for the best.

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Fundamentally I don't want "wait until the aliens run out of ammo" to be a valid strategy in the game, so I imagine we'll be sticking with the aliens having unlimited ammo. It's a bit of a hack, but I think it's for the best.
I bet if you were to test that strategy you'd find that running the aliens out of ammo as a game tactic simply wouldn't work. The AI is smart enough not to fire when there is no chance to hit. Also, that would imply the human player is intentionally exposing one or more troops to alien fire for a prolonged period. That's pretty much suicidal in Xenonauts. The only way I could see the aliens becoming "defenseless" is in a long battle where both sides have probably taken heavy casualties already. Is that really so bad?

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Can we at least have aliens reloading and alien weapons having the amount of ammo available that is left after usage so we do not have a full clip each time an enemy weapon is picked up from the ground?

It would be nice to have the actual amount of ammo left over from the alien on the ground, but that is truly not a cardinal feature since I guess the player should be encouraged to not use enemy weapons which is not the case now. I frequently utilize them on all phases of the game since they are free, effective and come in large numbers so ammo is never an issue and though I enjoy this tactic I see that this should not be so and we should use human weapons and resort to enemy weapons only in tight situations. Since reducing accuracy would be bad, limiting alien ammo within the weapon and making alien ammo heavy and large would help making them less of a clear choice in a friendly way.

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I honestly don't understand the argument about "switching to a pistol" anyway. Again, all the alien weapons take the same ammo - why would they ever want to switch to a pistol?

Okay, they can't pick up non-alien weapons - but if you have run the aliens out of ammo after a long firefight, and they are finally in a state where you can waltz in and kill them, they won't have any ammo on their corpses either, so it's not like it's a particularly good strategy. And there are almost always a lot more aliens than Xenonauts, esp. in a long fight, meaning that even if the aliens were winning the war of attrition there would still be other alien corpses to loot. And since all alien ammo is exactly the same, looting those corpses would just mean reloading their primary weapon and scooping up clips.

"Letting the aliens shoot at you until they have no bullets" doesn't sound like it would EVER be a good strategy. But it would make losing a long, drawn out battle a lot less cheap if you didn't know that the aliens only emerged victorious because they get to cheat instead of having to follow the same rules the player does.

And the player DOES run out of ammo in longer and more drawn out battles.

And drones being unable to reload is fine too, it's not like our vehicles can reload. And them having some essentially infinite reservoir of ammo isn't even that bad, because nothing to the contrary is ever communicated to the player. Again, I think it's important in a tactical game to at least feel like you're fighting someone who's operating under the same rules as you, which is very hard to do right now.

There's an argument to be made that it's not worth doing this from an AI development perspective - all of these things (aside from the straight-up-need-to-reload-thing) could get pretty difficult. I also understand the argument that 'waiting out the enemies shouldn't be a valid strategy', but I think the solution to that would just be to give them plenty of ammo. I just think the objections raised so far about sprites being the thing holding this back just doesn't pass muster.

I expect the AI to cheat pretty atrociously in tactical games, but the cheating in X-com is just a wee bit too blatant to sit well with me.

Edited by GlyphGryph

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