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Suggestion : no workshop in the default base


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This is something which I dislike with the default base : you have a useless workshop for days until you discover the technology.

In my gamestyle, I always hurry to build a secondary base, and I would love to have the workshop in that base instead of the main one. That will also free space for more scientists or soldiers which are more important in the beginning.

A simple fix would be to not have that "free" workshop when starting the game.

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It's not something I'd considered, but it's an interesting idea. I guess Foxtrots are not required for a few weeks at least, so it wouldn't slow down the progression at all.

Do other people think this would add to the game at all?

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Unlike OzoneGrif, I kinda need that workshop because my style of play is to build up my central base and then focus on secondary bases. I don't need more than 30 scientists for the first half of the game but I do definately need that workshop when I get Foxtrots out the door (which is very quick), and I'd be annoyed at having to pay for a workshop and engineers when I want them. The free workshop works for my playstyle, but not for OzoneGrif's.

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Counterpoint: I must wait 10 days for a workshop to be built, then 3 more days to recruit engineers for a total of 13 days. Would you not think that a player new to the game when s/he is told s/he can build a spanky new Foxtrot/Hunter then learns s/he has to wait 13 game days (2 waves) before s/he can even start to build it would be just a little bit annoyed? 2 extra living quarters provides all the space you need in the main base for lots of soliders, scientists and engineers, and as I previously said, a second lab with a total of 30 scientists is more than adequate to research everything and have a gap between the scout and the corvette.

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I've always felt that that there not being anything to manufacture at the start was a little bit of a waste. If only to show that you had engineers and that they could be useful form the beginning, giving you additional choices.

But worse, would be to remove it. You are going to have players who don't realise that you have to have one and won't know when it's best to get one. After all, they didn't need one at the beginning to get anything and there are no beginning manufacturing items. So, with the 13 day delay just to get a foxtrot, that could be a very frustrating pain.

At least if it's there to begin with, you won't be frustrating those players.

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Thinking about my aforementioned "new player", perhaps it's better to think of it like this. Let's say that Goldhawk is lucky enough to have their flagship game reviewed by a big-name Youtube critic, say... uh.... Angry Joe or Totalbiscuit who love the crap out of games like Xenonauts. So Xenonauts really needs to make a really good first impression - within that first half an hour of playing, the mind of the critic will likely be made up. And in the first half an hour if Totalbiscuit, Angry Joe or whoever researches something and they can't fricken build it, they're going to say so. Probably several times. Underlined.

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The argument claiming that new players will be frustrated to have no workshop at the beginning of the game because they won't understand its use aren't right. A simple message in the "empty-workshop" tab explaining something like : "With the recent researches, we will probably need a workshop with engineers to build what our greatest scientists pull out from their minds. We recommend you to build a workshop as soon as possible", should be enough. Also : tutorial and player experience...

Xenonauts is the typical try and improve kind of game. So if you fail the optimisation of your first playthrough, you will improve in the next one and build the workshop right away. Just like I build a second radar and many jets right-away because I understood that detecting and destroying UFOs are what keep the money going. Although I prefer to build a second base with jets but no soldiers at the beginning, just to detect and shot down more UFOs. The workshop comes (should come) next in my strategy.

The second argument is the 13 days to build a workshop. I haven't calculated the optimal number of days required to get the Foxtrot technology, but I doubt it would be much lower than 13 days.

Removing the workshop opens the game for different strategies, but if you want to continue with your own, you can just build it right away at the beginning of the game, like some experienced players might recommend to beginners.

Edited by OzoneGrif
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But why would you need a message, if the workshop is already there? There's no need to prod the player to build a workshop, if there's one to start with. With the starting 10 scientists, you research Alien Invasion on the 2nd of december, then on the 10th of December later either project (Foxtrot or Hunter) is researched, so in 10 game days you can build something, which you can't because you have to wait 13 game days for a staffed workshop, provided you start straight away and put down a workshop. I'd consider that frustrating - I have to wait through at least 1 wave before I can start to build something. And... how exactly does opening up a 2-square block in the starting base open up more strategies?

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I must side with Max_Caine here - Workshop is something mandatory and you will build it. Removing it and giving money will not change anything since most of the players WILL build it straight away. I'm also playing to have a second base right in the second month and that workshop in the first base doesn't hinder me in anything.

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There is more to what Max Caine said: new player will not know they need a workshop and some others (like me) will simply forget to build one. Then I will find myself in a need for it on 10th day, which effectively puts me on 23rd day of invasion... If you need to build it anyway, why just not have it from start?

Maybe it would make sense if the maintenance and wages were calculated pro-rata (i.e. half month - half cost), but in Xenonauts we pay always the same. Just yesterday I sacked 15 scientists in an operation of moving R&D department to Asia and did not pay them a penny for 30 days of work. Was someone saying that Xenonauts lack in realism? :-)

Not that I am complaining about that the game's economy: I much prefer to have a clear balance sheet then realistic accountancy (God forbid).

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Technically you pay your staff a month in advance.

The hiring cost is the first months wages, the payment at the end of the first month is for the second month and so on.

Firing them at the end of a month just makes sense, you are actually getting what you pay for out of them :P

Back on topic:

I don't really see the need to remove the starting workshop personally.

Removing it only benefits a single play style as far as I can see and only then because you get the extra cash to build it anyway.

You could make the same argument for any base structure.

I want to make my second base my aircraft base so hangars should not be wasted in the first base, I want my first base to just be for research so radar shouldn't be built etc.

I don't think it adds any real gameplay it just means the majority of players will need to build the workshop straight away, before anything is even available to construct.

I for one would likely forget until the scout car or foxtrot was ready and end up restarting so I wasn't nearly two weeks behind.

Edited by Gauddlike
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I wouldn't like it if you removed the workshop from the starting base, sure it's pretty useless at the start of the game before you research something to construct, but having to time out when you'd need the workshop in some min-maxing exercise just seems annoying. Besides, who is restocking all those infinite items you have at the start of the game? I'd like it much better if you actually had to produce those "free" items and and thus giving the engineers a purpose that way.

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I play with a second base built at day 1. I research foxtrot immediately then produce them until I got armor researched after which point workshop is always busy so having not one at the beginning is about two weeks of freetime for the engineers. If it were removed from the start, I would start to build one until about day 5 so practically in the beginning to get it ready in time for production. I would instead propose the addition of something to build at the beginning to keep them occupied rather than removing them at the beginning. Perhaps first armor can be free of research and nerfed to balance, I don't know.

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I think the workshop and engineers should stay and the starting base ought to come with a med bay and garage too. Mostly because I think beginner players shouldn't be overloaded. Not knowing/remembering/having a workshop when you make your first discoveries would be really annoying for the beginning player.

However, I would not be opposed to it not existing if you're playing on veteran level and up.

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Waiting for 3 days to get the workshop running *at best optimal* can't be that frustrating. 3 days is nothing on the scale of a whole game.

The two squares the default workshop occupies does bother me, because when my base is full, these two square could be used for something else more interesting for me. But the most annoying are actually these 10 engineers taking space in the living room when I could have more soldiers or scientists right at the beginning.

All these arguments about beginners getting lost really disappoint me : the purpose of the whole game is to learn and improve. If you want the game to be easy, why not have three fully featured bases all around the world ?

Starting from nothing and stopping the aliens is the whole point of Xenonauts. What differentiates a win from a loss is how well you manage your resources. I always prefer an open gameplay which favors creativity than a guided brainless game.

Now the idea to have a base with less buildings in hard mode is a valuable alternative. Why not.

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I wouldn't be opposed to the first base only being a lab, storage, living quarters and the main lift if you were playing on veteran level or higher. It would be up to you to build the radars, hangers, buy some Condors and Chinook, hire the first troops, etc... Basically, you would be "founding" the military side of the Xenonauts based on the results of the first discovery ("Alien Invasion"). Of course, I would expect you'd start with more money and the first month or so would be very quiet on the alien front.

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OzoneGrif.

You can have exactly 5 more scientists to begin with. That's it. That's all you can get without a new lab. And surprise surprise, there are 5 extra spaces. Building a new lab takes 10 days. Building a new living quarters takes 5. Removing those engineers doesn't help, the existing living quarters can't house enough scientists to fully a new lab, so you have to build another living quarters in any case. So exactly what are you going to fill that space with - soliders? That's it - that's all you can fill it up with until you get more labs built, and the labs only happen after you get the living quarters built. If you suffer heavy casualities in the first wave, there's 4-5 days until the next wave appears, which is more than enough time to recruit more soliders. As I have already pointed out, 2 extra living quarters gives scads of room - you can house 70 more people with 2 extra living quarters. Isn't that enough?

The next wave of UFOs appears on day 13-14. It take a fully staffed workshop 2 days 11 hours to build a Foxtrot or a Hunter, which means the thing I'm building will miss out on the wave - and why should I put up with that? Why should I always be a day out when I don't have to? That Hunter I want to build could be vital to the survival of my troops. Why does it have to be benched until the next wave?

OzoneGrif, I refer you to this comment you made:

The argument claiming that new players will be frustrated to have no workshop at the beginning of the game because they won't understand its use aren't right. A simple message in the "empty-workshop" tab explaining something like : "With the recent researches, we will probably need a workshop with engineers to build what our greatest scientists pull out from their minds. We recommend you to build a workshop as soon as possible", should be enough. Also : tutorial and player experience...

If you want an open experience, to learn and improve, to not have a guided brainless game, why did you suggest having that in the empty workshop tab? That's directly telling the player "build a workshop", to which the player says "ok!". If you want an open experience, you let the player learn the hard way, by forgetting to build a workshop (because it's not needed to begin with), then trying to play catch-up when it's all "oh shit!".

EDIT 2: I much prefer DrNoid's idea. Have a perfectly blank space, build on it whatever you want, recruit whatever you want with that starting million dollars. There's your learning experience. You can really have it your way.

Edited by Max_Caine
edited because I can't do math - duh.
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EDIT 2: I much prefer DrNoid's idea. Have a perfectly blank space, build on it whatever you want, recruit whatever you want with that starting million dollars. There's your learning experience. You can really have it your way.

I quite like this idea too. How about making it difficulty based?:

Easy: You pick the location of a fully built base.

Normal: You pick the location and the base is less built. You only get a complete command room and living space.

Veteran: You pick the location but the base is not built at all. Command room under construction.

Insane: Base is randomly placed and not built at all.

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you can house 70 more people with 2 extra living quarters.

This is where you miss the point, I don't want another living quarters, you can do well with just one per base if you remove the workshop. That's four squares freed for something else (more planes!) and more soldiers.

Please understand that not everybody plays your way. If I want to play this way, with one living quarter and no workshop, its because it's more efficient for my strategy.

I think there are enough arguments from both sides. The devs will take their own decision.

Edited by OzoneGrif
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