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Missing Features Ground Combat


dakta
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Just finished a veteran full campaing and these are some relatively small changes that the game would benefit a lot.

Toggle reaction fire

Its too annoying to consume TUs of your heavy or your rocketeer because of fear of friendly fire, a button to disable this behavior would solve this problem.

Floors Cycle

Tab should be to cycle soldiers, the mouse wheel should be for floors to rapidly them back and forth. As it is right now you have to manually click them or go from floor 2->3->4->1. If im moving my troops between floors 3 and 4 I don't want to be having to cycle all the way to 1 every time.

Soldier Cycle

tab should cycle soldiers with enough TUs, if a soldier has no more TU it should be ignored.

Throw

I think the tactical combat benefits a lot from this feature, throwing weapons, clips, non active nades, etc. Its too time consuming and TU consuming to drop something and have another player move into the now vacant spot to take it.

Dropship Storage

It breaks the immersion to have a mule soldier stacked to the head with stuff just to make sure I don't run out of bullets mid tactical deployment, Give me a limited storage at least in the ship and that way I don't have to spend a round tossing things to the floor just for insurance.

Better troop highlight

A green glow and a red glow would help find some of those units inside of map elements, some things just don't alpha and you just cant see the units under.

Color customization

This one might be tricky, but let me customize to some degree the appearance of my soldiers. Using the role mechanics could be the easy fix for this, I don't need a full color kit but at least let me differentiate them with something besides the armor level and weapon they carry.

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An option to select reaction fire without reserving it for each round, as in: if you have enough spareTU dont only use snapshots.

And a different aiming (with holding CTRL or so) to target ground. Important for throwing grenades. >.<

Edited by tscho
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I wouldn't consider the last one, it is a very big job to alter any part of the uniforms because of the way the engine works.

Any change, however minor, involves remaking the whole armour set with a full new set of sprites for each and every change.

There is already a hotkey for targeting the ground isn't there?

I thought it was control but I haven't used it for a long time.

Tab moves the camera up and shift-tab brings it back down so you don't need to cycle all the way through the levels each time.

That is the normal functioning of the tab key.

I prefer the mouse wheel to switch soldiers and tab for camera level but I think that is just personal preference.

I almost always bring enough bullets to last so not overly bothered about the dropship storage.

I think it just means people are less careful about selecting their equipment loadout if they know they can stash a load of extra gear on the ship.

Another case of personal preference I think.

Throwing is a feature that would be nice to have but I have rarely felt the need to use it while playing.

Low priority at best for me.

More useful highlights or a more robust alpha system for the terrain would definitely be nice though.

I could definitely see the use for a button for reaction fire in some situations as well.

I am pretty sure that reaction fire uses the maximum number of AP to fire the most accurate shot you have available rather than always using a snap shot and only fires once a turn so an option to select a shot type would be redundant.

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Please nerf friendly fire.

The amount of times I crouch one guy so another can try shooting over his head, only to have the crouching guy killed is absurd.

This is especially pronounced when attacking alien bases. The door and corridor system there forces you to be shooting past your own men frequently.

In v19 this was not such a problem.

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More useful highlights or a more robust alpha system for the terrain would definitely be nice though.

I could definitely see the use for a button for reaction fire in some situations as well.

Alpha around cursor could definately be a handy feature sometimes. Btw, anyone else like to have toggle roof to default on? Maps just look so much nicer with roofs on and you get a better feel of structure heights and stuff..

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I wouldn't consider the last one, it is a very big job to alter any part of the uniforms because of the way the engine works.

Any change, however minor, involves remaking the whole armour set with a full new set of sprites for each and every change.

I almost always bring enough bullets to last so not overly bothered about the dropship storage.

I think it just means people are less careful about selecting their equipment loadout if they know they can stash a load of extra gear on the ship.

Another case of personal preference I think.

Throwing is a feature that would be nice to have but I have rarely felt the need to use it while playing.

Low priority at best for me.

More useful highlights or a more robust alpha system for the terrain would definitely be nice though.

I could definitely see the use for a button for reaction fire in some situations as well.

Is there any other way to approach customization? adding perhaps a floating icon that can be toggled? Just like when you mouse over the soldier number in the UI in tactical, you can see their "role" icon, something like that but that can be shown on top of the actual soldier. I think its a big improvement to have some flavor when moving and watching your troops.

I think considering ammo space around how the game is right now, is a moot point. The game is way unbalanced right now, ammo is not a real concern since you dont actually need to carry anything else. Aliens never shoot unless they are really close or in reaction mode, so once they are in view, turkey shoot until dead and repeat.

Explosives are pretty useless until you set them to actually destroy everything they hit. Explosives would be something to use if they actually destroyed cover. As it is right now, there is no reason to use a rocket over a heavy, the heavy gun will most likely get rid of the cover and might even kill the alien with ammo that is much lighter.

Granades have a such a short range and do so little damage they are not even useful when aliens are next to each other. Rockets take so much ap, you can only fire every other turn, they are probably the worst gun. Satchel charges take 1 turn to explode and well at most they open 1 single space in the wall. If you are playing smart, explosives are just garbage.

The only 2 granades that are worth their salt is smoke and gas, gas is really overpowered since they effectively set an area where they die if they stay and blocks their movements. Ufos are really easy to storm since you only need to open a door toss in a granade, close the door. Wait.

So in summary, throwing stuff and having space in the drop ship would make sense if the game was a challenge, as it is, yeah it doesn't.

PS. I will make a post about the explosive situation. In my opinion there is a lot of potential to have the different materials have different effects instead of everything replacing each other. That way storage space and ammo types can start to make a difference.

If the new explosives would have less power but more area, more power but less AOE, more demolishion power. More penetration/less penetration. The idea that all of my options are more damage or less damage makes me a bit sad.

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Toggle reaction fire

Floors Cycle

Soldier Cycle

tab should cycle soldiers with enough TUs, if a soldier has no more TU it should be ignored.

Throw

I think the tactical combat benefits a lot from this feature, throwing weapons, clips, non active nades, etc. Its too time consuming and TU consuming to drop something and have another player move into the now vacant spot to take it.

Dropship Storage

Give me a limited storage at least in the ship

Better troop highlight

some things just don't alpha and you just cant see the units under.

Color customization

let me customize to some degree the appearance of my soldiers.

I think this post has some excellent suggestions.

Toggle reaction fire: Should definitely be in the game. Kind of a no-brainer with as deadly as friendly fire is.

Floors cycle: Personal preference.

Soldiers cycle: Would be useful to have some key to toggle between soldiers that have TU remaining.

Throw: Definitely would be a cool, if little used, feature and shouldn't be hard to add.

Storage: The OG had this, and it was great. No real reason not to add it. Shouldn't be hard to code. Adds a bit of depth and realism.

Troop highlight: Good suggestion

Customization: Not sure why anyone would say "I wouldn't even consider this." Customization would be great in this game. Give soldiers a more personal feel, make you more attached, increase the anxiety when your favorites are in trouble. It may be difficult to implement, and as such the developers may choose not to do it. But as a suggestion, I wholeheartedly agree.

Aim at point/ground: This needs to exist, if it doesn't.

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just look other way with the troops that shouldnt reaction fire...

This is a pretty useless comment. Turning costs TU, why should I have to burn them for a UI feature that should exist. This is a game in development, they could add this feature in about 10 minutes.

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Customization: Not sure why anyone would say "I wouldn't even consider this." Customization would be great in this game. Give soldiers a more personal feel, make you more attached, increase the anxiety when your favorites are in trouble. It may be difficult to implement, and as such the developers may choose not to do it. But as a suggestion, I wholeheartedly agree.

I said I wouldn't even consider it as a missing feature because of the work involved.

It isn't worth considering because it won't happen from the devs and most modders won't touch it either in any meaningful way.

If we are talking about pure vaporous ideas with no concerns about how likely or how possible they are then yeah it would be nice to have a few dozen new uniforms.

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Storage: The OG had this, and it was great. No real reason not to add it. Shouldn't be hard to code. Adds a bit of depth and realism.

I'm pretty sure the dev's have said it won't be happening because it's intended for their to be an increased element of risk in taking on multiple missions without returning to base (risk running out of ammo, etc).

I don't understand why people think it would be more realistic either. I can't ever remember choosing to, or hearing of someone else, loading up a transport with extra gear that I would deliberately be leaving behind and not taking with me on my current mission because I might need it later.

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I'm pretty sure the dev's have said it won't be happening because it's intended for their to be an increased element of risk in taking on multiple missions without returning to base (risk running out of ammo, etc).

I don't understand why people think it would be more realistic either. I can't ever remember choosing to, or hearing of someone else, loading up a transport with extra gear that I would deliberately be leaving behind and not taking with me on my current mission because I might need it later.

Actually, you're way off. The devs said it would be difficult to code because they changed the way equipment assignment works from the OG, where they assign equipment to soldiers instead of to crafts. Also, I think it's pretty common for a tactical squad who doesn't know what kind of situation they're facing to take gear to cover as many contingencies as possible as far along the trip as is reasonable. The alternative is "generic loadout for all" which some may prefer, but removes a tactical decision element from the game. Since there is no information about a landing site when you embark, the only place the game allows for this decision to be made is on landing. Hence the suggestion.

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Oddly enough with the current system I don't have a generic loadout for all troops so that is clearly not the only alternative.

I tend to have troops to cover all roles and contingencies that I am likely to come across but then I would do that even with extra storage space.

The ground combat is not complicated or diverse enough for me to need to take multiple different loadouts.

It isn't like I am going to need jungle gear for one mission and then urban gear the next.

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Oddly enough with the current system I don't have a generic loadout for all troops so that is clearly not the only alternative.

I tend to have troops to cover all roles and contingencies that I am likely to come across but then I would do that even with extra storage space.

The ground combat is not complicated or diverse enough for me to need to take multiple different loadouts.

It isn't like I am going to need jungle gear for one mission and then urban gear the next.

Right, I should have mentioned that as an alternative. The ground combat is actually so easy that you don't need to be efficient or well-prepared.

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I would be happy to see a change in ground combat. Like being able to lob a grenade in a smoke covered area, example opening a door... visual contact with three grey fish.. smiling as you throw one smoke bomb and how she do with three grenade... lol.. and bring back those death skull explosions.. those were epic.

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Does extra storage space increase the difficulty of ground combat then?

If not I am not sure where you are going with this line of argument.

No, extra storage space doesn't increase the difficulty of ground combat. Increased difficulty in ground combat would justify the need for troops with a more specific equipment load. To the initial proposal of "allow storage space so once I land I can customize my loadout based on what I find" you responded:

I tend to have troops to cover all roles and contingencies that I am likely to come across but then I would do that even with extra storage space.

The ground combat is not complicated or diverse enough for me to need to take multiple different loadouts.

I am using difficulty somewhat as a synonym of complexity here, which could open up another argument that I would hope you would see past. There have been some examples made in another thread (the one about newer weapons rendering obsolete all older weapons) that would make this a lot more clear. As in the OG, certain aliens were more vulnerable to certain weapons fire, etc. Since this game lacks those features, here's another example. Were the AI and the aliens not so bad, then upon landing at a site populated with Caesans you may want more accurate weapons (since they tend to hunker down in cover) whereas a landing site that was likely to have reapers you may want something that packs more punch.

In any tactical situation, having a squad prepared for all contingencies inherently means that some of your squad are less prepared for specific contingencies. When the game is sufficiently "Easy", this is a non-issue. If the difficulty is increased, this inefficiency becomes more of an issue, so having more ideally equipped units becomes desirable.

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Sorry if I am being a bit literal at the moment, it does make following text based conversations difficult sometimes.

Comes of too many shifts of too many hours I reckon.

Even in the examples you give I see the extra storage just as a way to bypass the difficulty of those situations.

If you know you may need to deal with a variety of situations then you need variety in your equipment loads.

Let's assume for a second that the ai changes and balance patches have worked and made the game much more challenging and storage lockers have been added to the dropships.

If you come up against ceasans hiding behind cover you can just pull the precision rifles out of storage and you have made the encounter much easier, not by clever use of tactics but by adding precision rifles to the dropship.

If you were likely to be charged by reapers then unloading the shotguns from the storage locker makes that encounter much easier.

You have made the game more challenging by smarter ai and well balanced enemies then made it easy to bypass that challenge by ensuring the player will always have the ideal counter to the situations presented.

If you were to balance the difficulty of the encounters against players who have the ideal counter then you are ensuring that anyone who doesn't have it will be at an increased disadvantage.

Without the storage locker you need to consider the chances of running into either situation, or even both if you are planning on doing multiple missions on a trip.

Yes this does mean that you will be unable to run with the ideal setup for every situation but that is not a problem for me.

As I said previously the ground combat is not very diverse so it is unlikely that any equipment set that is useful on a mission will be useless on another.

Sometimes you may wish you had brought an extra rifleman instead of a shotgunner but it's not like one day you will need scuba gear and the next desert camo and bringing the wrong one means the mission is a complete bust.

I am not saying the suggestion is without merit I am saying it is not without flaws.

I don't personally feel that the merits outweigh the flaws by a significant enough margin to make this feature desirable.

Edited by Gauddlike
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I would like to point out that adding extra storage space is just giving the game a way to not break the immersion. It does really nothing for the difficulty since you can have mule soldiers. At the moment I can load up my 8 troops with whatever I will ever need and more, however when I start the game I have to manually drop every thing thing to the ground.

This is something that I can see a lot of people doing because a lot of us are OCD shits that like to name our soldiers and control every tiny aspect of them. Other than immersion the storage is just convenience.

To reiterate, storage space is for thematic consistency and convenience. The alternative is to let your users get annoyed by having to manually achieve the same with soldiers completely overloaded.

Edited by dakta
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Without the storage locker you need to consider the chances of running into either situation, or even both if you are planning on doing multiple missions on a trip.

Yes this does mean that you will be unable to run with the ideal setup for every situation but that is not a problem for me.

To build on what dakta said in his post, this is about immersion/realism. What you describe a "choice" and "weighing up the odds and building a squad that can deal with anything" others might see (and I do see) as a lack of depth and lack of choice. The end result is that you run the same squad layout regardless of mission type. The problem could actually be solved an entirely different way, by giving some intel (alien types, numbers, and terrain) to the Xcom before the mission is dispatched. In much the same way that people describe how they load differently for base assault or terror, the same could apply to landers/crashes, if sufficient info was given.

I haven't actually seen you point out a flaw in this suggestion. The only "flaw" I'm aware of is that it's not as simple to add as one might hope, due to the way inventory on the transport is handled. Aside from that, your argument seems to be that you don't care about this. That's not really a downside, as it wouldn't affect you a bit if it were implemented, unless to compensate the AI were tuned to be more difficult which made your "One Size Fits All" squad approach less desirable.

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To build on what dakta said in his post, this is about immersion/realism. What you describe a "choice" and "weighing up the odds and building a squad that can deal with anything" others might see (and I do see) as a lack of depth and lack of choice. The end result is that you run the same squad layout regardless of mission type. The problem could actually be solved an entirely different way, by giving some intel (alien types, numbers, and terrain) to the Xcom before the mission is dispatched. In much the same way that people describe how they load differently for base assault or terror, the same could apply to landers/crashes, if sufficient info was given.

There's nothing realistic about soldiers carrying around a stack of extra weapons that they can't actually carry into combat. Despite what we see in video games, that isn't something that's actually done in the real world. I can not ever remember seeing any other soldier (conventional or SF) lugging around extra weapons inside their vehicle. Ammo is possible, but only if they expected to be fighting from their vehicles as ammo you don't have with you in a fight is useless.

You have terrain type and time of day handed to you pre-mission, and can make an educated guess about alien numbers and weaponry based on the class of UFO you downed. Those pieces of intel are enough to make certain reasonable adjustments; for example I bring more snipers in the desert than I do on industrial maps because on average they're better sat up for it.

I don't understand how "bring everything with you instead of choosing what to bring" makes for better gameplay than actually having to make a meaningful choice pre-mission.

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