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End Game Weapons


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I'm rather disappointed with the end-game weapon selection when compared to the inspiration for this game: X-COM. X-COM introduced some late-game options that weren't just more powerful of the same against more powerful armor of the same, but introduced new mechanics. Things like the Avenger, which could not only shoot down just about ANYTHING, but also IMMEDIATELY land and assault it, like the flying suit and flying tank, where you could actually hover in the air and shoot things (I'd LOVE to see mid-air shooting and turn-ending added to the Sentinel armor), or like a multi-explosive, guided projective in the famous Blaster-Bomb Launcher! Am I alone in thinking that late-game weapons should do more than just add damage? Ok, I realize it's probably too late to get anything this drastic changed in the game, but I'd like to throw these ideas out and get them critiqued anyway:

Small and Large Graviton Arrays:

These weapons utilize an array of dozens of graviton emitters angled on servo-motorized joints which allow the emitted gravitons to converge at a single point at any range, through any material, with 100% accuracy due to the complex computerized targeting system. The resulting convergence of gravitons causes a massive increase in local gravity, upwards of 1000%, but only for a fraction of a second, resulting not in a sustained high-gravity field, but rather a sudden gravitational compression wave which can disrupt the functioning of any system the convergence occurs within, be it electronic, mechanical, or organic. Additionally, the sudden release of the compressed material causes a localized explosion-like compression wave, dealing high damage to all targets within range. The small graviton array is a massive infantry weapon, only usable in conjunction with the Predator armor, and uses massive power with every use, requiring reloading after every shot. Additionally, the complex targeting system requires considerable time to lock onto coordinates (90-100% TU, with reloading costing more than the remaining TU), and the whole system's weight is a considerable burden. The large graviton array is an aircraft-mounted system heavy enough to require a heavy-missle hardpoint connection, but allowing up to 10 shots. (Maybe limit range as gravitons verge off course over distance, maybe make only the distance 100%, and the shooter still needs to aim correctly?)

Hyperspace Grenade Launcher:

This heavy and complex weapon uses a miniaturized hyperspace engine to teleport the contained grenade to any target location within a large range, regardless of intervening material and with 100% accuracy. The power used in each shot is fed by a super-conducting alien alloy capacitor loop powered up in our base from a captured singularity core (power charges have to be manufactured, but some number can be made from each singularity core). The power drain is such that each capacitor can only feed one use. The strategic and tactical changes this weapon can bring to the battlefield are massive, as any type of grenade can be fired to any spot in range from anywhere, regardless of line-of-sight or cover, however the weight of this complex system is such that only a soldier augmented by the Predator armor can lift it. (Maybe limit range, and again I'm imagining a massive TU use to fire and reload, requiring separate turns for the two actions.)

Electro-Static Micrite Cloud:

This seemingly simple hand-held device emits a cloud of very simple pollen-sized machines developed through our miniaturization of alien technology. Each machine in the cloud, which I have named a Micrite due to their microscopic size, can self-maneuver using tiny fans and can collect static electricity from the atmosphere. The controller can use the hand-held device to steer the cloud through the air, and any enemy caught in it will trigger a discharge of the accumulated static electricity. While the static charge rebuilds quickly, the tiny size of these machines limits the power source in each, so the cloud as a whole will only function for a limited time (several turns) and the lack of any feedback means the controller must maintain line-of-site with the cloud or attempt flying it blind (which should be possible, but running into walls should dissipate the cloud). This is effectively a remote-controlled, reusable EM grenade.

EM Wave Shield:

Through the use of alien alloy superconductors and the recent developments in micro-power sources, it is now possible to generate a localized planar electromagnetic field capable of effectively dissipating any plasma coming in contact with it. This device has been fitted into a simple shield that can be wielded by any soldier to block incoming alien attacks. While each impact of plasma will drain some charge from the shield, the device can be recharged through a standard plasma power-pack. (Basically, a rechargeable shield.)

Psycho-Jammer:

This landing craft-mounted device can be triggered at any time in combat to release a massive burst of radio energy in the range used by alien telepathy. This effectively 'jams' all telepathic activity in the area for some time (certain number of turns). The effect of this will both block telepathic attacks (with more complex attacks like mind control maybe taking more time to recuperate) and disrupt alien communications, resulting in telepathically-controlled drone-type enemies (most caesans, probably most harridians, maybe even wraiths) becoming completely passive and inactive for a time (not KO-ed, they just won't do anything). However, the intense power required to overwhelm 'natural' telepathy will completely drain the battery, meaning the device will have to be recharged at base after every use.

Any comments? Any other ideas? Any chance at all any of these maybe make it in? Any chance a more skilled modder could make these?

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I will say it would be sweet to have the blaster launcher in the form of a 1 way point max rocket launcher. If you can shoot and hit directly on your first way point, so if you miss it just blows up like normal. If you land in the the square you targeted ( has to be empty) you get to shoot again from that square even no extra cost. high aim only gives a rocket 60% or so chance to hit and rockets are balanced to not be spammed already. i think it would be nice for no other reason then a nod to the original game.

If your ideas got coded into game as is( not likely you say so your self). i think most people would use normal weapons just for pacing of the action. Thoughts on each below.

Psycho-Jammer:

Your drop ship aoe stun/mind control sounds like you might as well play the editor, and use the win mission command. I would love a more dynamic way to fight Psi powers, this just sounds like the nuclear option. With a one time use it either too much or pointless. I don't know how you would fire it with the UI as is. A buff to the leveling mechanics of bravery for defense married with suppression and bullets to the face for offence work more to the scale of the game as is. Something along the lines of added options to the med pack to give players a more active role when fighting Psi would be very nice, but i think we are to late to add that functionality.

EM Wave Shield:

The em shield has a nice dynamic to it. To trade extra health for ammo( i assume it will use gun ammo other wise you need art). You already do this with med-kits on some level so it keeps with theme well, cool idea for combat shields over all. If Goldhawk reworks shields by making it so they only fit in hand no where else, so no back ups. Human metal ends up one time use with say 30 health. add on the EM laser,plasma,fusion battery upgrade each new battery gives 10 extra HP to its other wise low cap 30. use the ammo packs to recharge. once it breaks because you let the charge get to low its gone. sounds pretty fun but maybe too complex. This is a change that might be viable to have in game. depending-on how hard it is to code reloading health onto an item.

Electro-Static Micrite Cloud:

The basic goal is a stun weapon that never runs out of ammo with no weakness, other then doors. if it has a spotter there is no flying blind. You end up with a unkillable ranged stun baton, so it has to be nerfed to useless, or left as god mode. Not much to say on that front. I will add i would love an Electro rocket using the standards from the grenade equivalent, which is the basics of your idea toned down.

Hyperspace Grenade Launcher:

This is going to have pacing issues i think. Grenades are not balanced to be what your talking this weapon up to be. Case in point i am not going to waste a predator armored trooper, just to sit back at the landing zone to chuck any grenade. I can for half that cost get him to use machine gun fire for more damage. So then we go buff grenades, or at least this things grenades. Either it ends up an i kill you button, or just a rocket launcher with cooler lore.

Small and Large Graviton Arrays:

The big one we got its called the fury, its an i win button for air combat. Yours sound more along the lines of a upgrade past mag for cannons with its short range talk, but then you go heavy hard point, so i dont know what your trying to get this to kill in air combat. You might mean vehicle weapon, but i think that falls in line with the small one. the small one sounds like it does just about what rocket launchers in game do now, only ammo is where the weight is not so much the launcher it self, and predator armor cant use them. You can add this to the game right now with some small edits to the XML for rocket launchers. Up there aim, and damage, boom there you go, oh and rename it.

so type all this up while rereading i worry maybe i sound dismissive that is not my intent. however i have typed too much just to delete it.

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The blaster bomb was not added to Xenonauts because of the inherent balance problems with the weapon type.

I cannot see any reason to replace it with other weapons types like the ones suggested in the OP which are even less balanced.

At least the blaster bomb had a chance to miss a waypoint.

The jump armour in the game can now end turn in the air, it still cannot fire though which I quite like personally, it has an advantage in one way and pays for it in another way.

I would have liked to see rechargeable energy shields though, I tried adding one in a mod early on but it didn't work so well.

Actually it didn't work at all...

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As for balance, I fully agree that all of these would need balancing. Limitations to Predator armor and high TU costs were intended for this, but also things like limited range and removing 100% accuracy would fall under this category.

I don't really see any of these as an 'I win' button.

The small graviton array would basically be an upgraded missile launcher, like the singularity cannon, but able to shoot through walls. Not SEE through walls, mind you, so you still need someone to risk themselves to get sight on the target, but shoot through walls anyway. And, being an explosive, it would destroy any loot.

The large graviton array was intended as a sort of a cross between a torpedo and a cannon. No chance to intercept/dodge and multiple (if limited) shots like the cannon, but a torpedo hardpoint and higher damage like a torpedo, with probably a long time between shots (not nearly as quick as a cannon).

The psycho-jammer would primarily be used as a tactical, "Ok, for the next X turns I don't have to worry about dread, mind control, berserk, etc, but when should I spend those X turns" combined with a lore-inspired but probably not too useful disabling of minion enemies that either are encountered before the critical turns, aren't in this mission anyway because it's the wrong races, or aren't in this mission anyway because all the enemies are too high a rank (from what I can tell by looking at armor, at least).

The limited turns and probably limited movement speed of the electro-static micrite cloud would limit it's usefulness substantially, but it could be used to attack around corners if you were careful about when you played it. It was inspired by a kind of combination of drones, blaster bombs, and stun grenades.

I was primarily thinking of the hyperspace grenade launcher as a way to reinforce the use of grenades later into the game. The damage done by fusion grenades and the tactical usefulness of smoke and stun gas grenades are still things I value even in the end mission, but the high time they take to use and the very limited range significantly nerfs them. This tool was intended to completely remove the limitation of range and accuracy, allowing one or two soldiers in the background to launch grenades anywhere they wanted, but between the consumption of grenades and the possible limits of them due to a heavy weapon could keep this from being a primary attack tool. Add in the tactical use of placing a smoke or sun-gas grenade anywhere you want any turn, or launching flares anywhere, and it seems to me this would be a useful but not over-powered tool.

As for the flying suits, the only advantage I see to ending a turn in the air is that you're immune to reapers. Other than that, it means you have no protection from shots (kneeling, being behind a partial barrier, etc) and are probably exposed to more aliens.

I haven't actually tried the singularity cannon yet, but it seems to me like it's basically a high upgrade to the rocket launcher.

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Ok, just tried the Singularity Cannon. It's awesomely powerful but even with 100 Str (I think that's the max, right?) using Predator armor, just carrying the weapon itself reduces my available TUs to such a point that I couldn't reload it even if I HAD more ammo. I've only got 48 TUs, but weapons_gc.xml says it takes 60 to reload.

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The Singularity Cannon is appropriately powerful but the weight is a massive problem. Even carrying just the cannon alone its impossible for the soldier using it to function as much more than a stationary turret. Given the explosion radius is absolutely massive its necessary to carry a primary weapon with reduces the soldier to less than twenty tu. Whilst I understand the desire to make it a weapon with significant drawbacks I think the sheer scale of destruction gives it such a niche use that it really doesn't need anything further.

There is one situation where its absolutely fantastic, on the final mission you can have one soldier open the door and then the guy with the launcher just clear out the whole corridor as he can shoot down it without needing to move.

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Given the massive weight and the fixed TU cost of reload, I don't see the user as a stationary turret, but rather a one-shot option. There's no point in carrying any more ammo since you can't use it even with a full turn. Better to carry a secondary weapon and ditch the Cannon once it's expended. Which stinks.

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