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Training facilities

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I know the game is pretty much feature complete, but hey, maybe good ideas might get in later. Anyway, I feel the game is lacking training facilities. As it is, the only way to improve your rookies is to take them on combat missions. If you want to uphold garrisons in secondary bases, this involves some tedious micromanagement. You need to keep moving those people back and forth so they aren't completely useless if the base is attacked.

For this reason, it would be nice to have training facilities you could build in a base. They would - very slowly! - increase stats of the soldiers present. Only soldiers 100% healthy would train. They might possible require a veteran to act as a trainer, the cap of the skill gain being the trainer's skills. This way you could let garrison soldiers and other recruits gain experience without tedious micro. Transferring veterans as trainers would be acceptable opportunity cost without being as micro-intensive as transferring grunts around en masse.

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This game used to have soldier training.

It was taken out as it was deemed pretty pointless to have it as it has negative effects on how the game is played or the training itself was rendered useless after a point.

It will not be going back in.

There's some fundmental problems with training systems in games like this. The three normal sytems are below:

  1. Put a cap on the upper limit of the training.
    (This is what Chris chose for Xenonauts, where it turned rookies into the first proper rank)
    Regardless of what the cap is, there comes a point where having people in training is rendered pointless because you've either got enough skilled personnel from combat to cover any gaps, or whatever the cap is results in "trained" soldiers that aren't good enough by the mid to late game anyway, so throwing people at combat is the only option.
  2. Uncapped and a fixed time limit per training gain.
    This resuls in people generally setting up training centres, with the end being multiple full squads of highly skilled (stats wise) troops ready to take on the hardest missions who've never actually seen battle. Which is just daft.
    Very similar outcome to manufacturing in the original Xcom, ie dedicated bases for laser cannon production.
    Has the problem of completely nullifying other game systems.
    Why fear losing a Colonel in combat when you're running a full squad of them and have 10+ in the background?
  3. Uncapped but big time increases per gain.
    You can have it uncapped, which means you can train people right up but with an an increasing time limit on each gain (ie, rank/skillup). Ie, 1 week for rookie to private, 2 weeks for private to corporal, 4 weeks for corporal to sargeant...
    This contains both negative points from point 1 and 2. Either the increased training time only gets silly at really high ranks, so you end up with loads of decent troops who've not seen action, and/or you end up at the point where your trained troops aren't good enough and training in the centre takes too long to get them good enough, so throwing them at combat is the only option.
    It's pointless to have a trooper training for an entire month for a single gain, when a couple of weeks of missions would have seen him get x4 the gains.

In short, training sounds good on paper, but in reality, doe not work well in games like these where risking soldiers is a calculated choice and it can take away from the notion of losses being important.

Your suggestion using an existing experienced soldier could straddle all three of the suggestions, but you're still left with the negative points.

Edited by Buzzles
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It has been so long since I played UFO: Enemy Unknown that I don't remember if it had training facilities. However, I'm pretty sure X-Com Apocalypse had them and they worked fine. In practice, they provided a chance for secondary base garrisons to... not be useless. Since base space is limited, I know I'd only put training yards in secondary bases, which are just for radars and interceptors. I'd be fine with diminishing returns from training regarding time spent, eventually reaching a hard cap. It could be combined with the requirement for a trainer, so a soldier could train others at the maximum of three ranks below his rank, or the like. Getting decent base defenders without having to babysit them through some combat is all I'd really want. So I'm certain a way to make it work could be found... but I don't expect to see it in the game.

Perhaps a creative modder can make it work somehow. As it is, I simply don't garrison secondary bases, instead I put them full of AA. The micro involved in leveling up garrison soldiers is simply not worth it, as it makes the game tedious. Using rookies as defenders is next to useless, so it is either decent soldiers or none at all. I guess making base defense somewhat more interesting might solve the problem; such as by allowing heavy weapon emplacements, traps and so forth to give the defenders a boost.

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I can attest for the fact that in XCA they worked 'fine' or at least never felt 'wrong' to me.

Though I will also point out that they were kinda obnoxious because actually had to tell your new recruits to train.(I guess paying them was not enough of a reason for them to do anything...) Which can easily be fixed by making the game do that, but really it is a mood point, training isnt a big thing, but I find it is wrong to say there is no way to implement it functionally.

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Well to be fair Buzzles didn't say there was no way for it to function but that the three main methods had fundamental flaws.

The original reason cited by the devs was that they wanted troops to be at risk in order to gain the rewards of stat/rank gains so training went counter to their design for the game (paraphrased).

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well Training can be complementary to Combat , that makes it both desired and not a game breaking.

This is not to make rookie to corporal or some like that.

It may be designed to improve soldier in the current Roll it plays , i.e sniper training , Heavy training etc..

it requires the soldier to meet a cretin requirements that can be achieved during combat (medals , min score, etc.).


Sniper Course. (10 days):

requirements: accuracy 70, 10 kills, 10 missions as Sniper roll.

benefits: +10 to accuracy with sniper weapon, +5 moral.

Heavy weapon expert (10 days):

requirements: 60 accuracy , 15 missions as Heavy, Strength 65.

benefits: +5 accuracy , 1 more round fired , +5 strength.

Close combat (10 days):

requirements: 60 reflex, 10 missions as Assault, 5 kills.

benefits: +5 accuracy , +5 reflex +10 hit points.

those courses will be desired by player for there veteran troops.

It will make players use more rookies because there Aces are on training , it can create another layer of depth to the game.

I think that it may create better teams, and make a 2nd team viable

The game is probably on the final stages of QA / balancing .. so don't throw away this idea for the next expansion/MOD

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All ideas that were discussed but the devs felt that they would prefer the soldiers to progress on the ground.

Additional coding to record experience with different weapons was out of the question.

The code is not in place to make this sort of mod and I don't think Chris wants to spend much more time working with the broken and unsuitable engine that powers Xenonauts so expansions of this sort would be unlikely.

Whatever game Goldhawk works on next though is a different matter entirely.

I am hoping for a decent reboot of syndicate myself and training programs like this would fit right in there.

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  • 7 months later...

The reasons given for taking out training seem like excuses, no offence intended. Seems more like a lack of motivation for the idea as anything is possible in reason and football management games do training very well as a concept. this could of given a really interesting extra dynamic to the game. I am thinking of commissioning a PVP mercenary game with similar mechanics now.

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Technically training was never taken out.

It was a feature trialled during alpha but didn't work very well so was not implemented.

You could say the reasons given are excuses but the fact is that the training system that was originally envisaged added nothing to the game.

You could also argue that the devs could have taken time and resources from other aspects of the game to design and implement a different training system just for the sake of having one in the game.

That was not what they decided to do however as they still felt that progression needed to be linked to ground combat rather than training courses.

That could indeed be viewed as lack of motivation for the idea. It was something that the devs didn't really want to add and did not see as a central pillar of the game so motivation to do so would naturally be quite low.

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I was booked onto a training course for pithy forum responses...but it was scrapped :(

I was hoping the training would find it's niche in the game as it may have led to any number of specialisations. But the resources really needed to be used elsewhere and it just never seemed to get any momentum behind it.

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I can state with clarity that in Xcom: Apocalypse, my trained soliders were more effective than the soliders who went out on missions. Certain characteristics (such as the strength stat) could only be increased in training, and training had no limit to how super-duper you could make a solider. I was never attacked (because I had swarms of hoverbikes always on standby) so all my garrisons spent all their time training which made them my best soldiers in the game. I eventually ditched my "first team" (ha!) when I attacked the alien dimension as they woefully lagged behind the trained garrisons. The uncapped, unlimited training in XCA is not a good example of how to do training.

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>dusts off memory cell<

I'd agree with that. No player wants to see their grizzled veteran soldier outclassed by someone who hasn't ever left the gym. It was a similar-ish argument to bringing in new recruits with higher stats too.

Here's my take on it from way back where I was giving a very broad scattershot approach to it all; more to increase squad diversity than creating super soldiers. If I was good there should hopefully be links to other ideas there too.


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