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Concern: There seems to be no reason to take a vehicle on a mission instead of 2 troops.

Reason: (Reasoning based on experiences up-to but not including the late-game)

  1. Vehicles take up valuable workshop time that could be better spent making planes
  2. Rookies are cheap and replacable at near zero cost.
  3. Rockets are free, turrets take up workshop time
  4. Troops can carry more than one type of rocket.
  5. Troops are more survivable (well, at least they can take cover and rocketeers usually aren't on the front line).
  6. Tanks fail at tanking, they attract fire and can easily be destroyed by 3 or so enemies.
  7. Troops improve, vehicles don't.
  8. Missiles upgrade for free, turrets don't.

And the list goes on.

Suggestions:

  1. Reduce cost of vehicles or make them recoverable.
  2. Give vehicles armor upgrades as aircraft or troops get them
  3. Give tanks a secondary weapon.
  4. Include a tech upgrade that allows a single vehicle to be carried to missions for free (it's strapped to the bottom and is dropped next time the dropship).
  5. Give tanks smoke cannisters (infinite zero range smoke grenades).
  6. Bailout! Destroyed vehicles spawn two privates with pistols.

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Vehicles may well need a buff. I guess the auto-upgrade logic should probably also apply to their turrets, given it already happens for everything to do with planes and explosives.

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Bailout! Destroyed vehicles spawn two privates with pistols.

It's a pity that you couldn't have two soldiers assigned to the vehicle, and they have their own equipment stowed away. Should they have to leave they could take their equipment with them. If that could be done, then it would be nice if the soldiers received experience so that vehicles aren't experience suckers.

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Of Burzmali's suggestions, the first I think would make vehicles pretty attractive. If you permitted destroyed vehicles to be recoverable in the same way planes are recoverable, there's no reason not to repeatedly risk vehicles in situations where it would be dicey to send in troops, because you can get that investment back with a little TLC.

Speaking as a modder, I'd personally prefer if being able to make weapons for vehicles didn't go away even if an auto-upgrade system is installed, mostly because it's easy and fun to make different weapons for tanks (I've made loads m'self).

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I actually suggested months ago the vehicles should be recoverable. Logically, they are FAR more recoverable than airplanes. Tanks are usually knocked out by one component being destroyed (engine, tracks, gun, etc...) from a small hole in very thick metal. Unless they actually burn up or explode they aren't too tough to repair in a maintenance depot. Compare that to jet that's made of very thin metal and scattered in little pieces across the countryside when it crashes.

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The main advantage vehicles currently have is better night vision. There's really not many other reasons to use them currently.

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A larger ammo supply would make them far more useful than they are right now. I'm finding that I can only usually get through about half of a tough mission before they run out of ammo. If they had enough to take low probability shots more often it would probably make them more survivable too. Right now, I'm very loathe to fire them until I've tried with several soldiers because I always feel I have to "nurse" their ammo supply for true emergencies.

In general though, I don't think the current survivability is too bad. I treat them exactly like my soldiers, staying behind cover, etc... Even real tankers use cover as much as possible. You shouldn't find yourself in trouble too often with AFVs as they can spot enemies before they can fire most of the time and duck back in cover if it looks bad. The real problem with them is the expense (time, money, transport space) vs. what you get in combat compared to taking more soldiers.

Edited by StellarRat

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I'd have to agree with Stellar. The small ammo loadout for the Ferret with the rockets I can understand, considering how it'd be madness to have the crew reload spent launchers in a combat situation even though it's modeled with only four launchers.

For everything else however, it seems that their cost as fire-support platforms coupled with the low amount of shots for their main cannon (9 shots for the laser cannon I believe) regulate it to just blasting targets that we deem requiring death as immediately as possible. I only ever fire the main gun maybe twice or three times each mission just to conserve ammo for "potential" threats.

On survivability, it feels...okay. The Ferret is destroyed at the drop of a hat, but it's an armored car, while the tanks can take a few shots before its taken down, though two or three aliens firing upon it can pretty much wreck it in a turn or two...

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Also, the MG on the Hunter could use an accuracy buff. It's miserable compared to even a moderately good human gunner even though by all rights it should be far more accurate since it's a solidly mounted weapon.

@Pancakes - Not to mention you can haul literally dozens of rockets and dozens of LMG magazines to a battle that are as good as at least tier 2 vehicle weapons. That makes the vehicles even less appealling in terms of how much they bring to team when instead you could just bring another rocketeer or machingunner with you.

Edited by StellarRat

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I was thinking about Burzmali's comments and Chris' thought that turrets should auto-upgrade, and yeah, as the turrets stand there isn't a good reason for them not to auto-upgrade because each grade of turret from laser to MAC is just an upgrade on the last. However, that isn't quite true of the Hunter. The Hunters' starting weapons, the machinegun and the missiles operate in very different ways and one isn't a straight upgrade over the other. So why couldn't the same be true for the other vehicle turrets? I mean, it's easy to figure out if all the turrets are the same but stronger, but the hunters' starting gear shows that a little variety encourages differing playstyles. If vehicles brought weapons to the battlefield that had unique properties that rocketeers and grenadiers couldn't, and if these weapons were also in keeping with the kind of superheavy weapons you would expect to see on a tank, then mission loadouts could be even more diverse by taking into account the choice of vehicle turret.

Permit me to demonstrate. What would make a unique weapon on the vehicle that rocket troopers or grenadiers couldn't have? A destructive blast weapon that didn't cause overdamage. Like so:

[video=youtube;YHFlMTg5mKA]

What you see there is a modified laser cannon. It does as much damage as the viper missile (80 rather than 120 currently), has a smaller blast radius but has a larger magazine, is cheaper (and less accurate) to shoot and crucially, doesn't do overdamage. You might think "so what?" but not doing overdamage is huge in a blast killing weapon. Stun rockets don't do overdamage, but they don't wreck cover, and they aren't much good against later tier aliens. The laser cannon keeps its value by virtue of not costing the player valuable (and resaleable) technology.

Edited by Max_Caine

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Another unique weapon type we don't see anywhere else would be a multi-explosive weapon. Rockets do one explosion at a time, but what if you were able to pack several shots together?

[video=youtube;3ZYV_UqUG_U]

Now, this one needs a bit more tweaking, but what you have there is a plasma-ball spitter. It gobs out several plasma balls in a clustered package, each one doing 160pts of damage, so you have more chance of a plasma ball hitting on target and spreading its damage to several areas at once. The advantage of having several gobs may not be clear at once, but will be if you considered another type of vehicle weapon - an explosive type with burst fire.

Edited by Max_Caine

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This modified MAC is clearly onto a winner here:

[video=youtube;b0d2kr20zFs]

It causes widespread devastation (it's been modded to do exactly the same damage as the plasma cannon), and there isn't anything else except the singularity cannon that can touch it. However the plasma cannon will fire three shots every time it fires, whereas the MAC can fire three bursts and it's out of ammo - a subtle difference between the two. I honestly think that if turrets were reworked to provide more than an upgrade in damage they would justify being built, and I can see the potential for players developing their own preferences. There's no need to add any new coding - all the tools are already there.

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I find it odd then even when a Hyperion (tier 3 tank) is shown having rockets in its picture, You actually cant use them besides the main gun during real ground combat...

Edited by Veggetossj

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The secondary weapon implementation was never adopted, although it should still be possible to mod back in.

Vehicles could be given smoke launchers or flares as a secondary weapon to give them a little more versatility.

Maybe even a slightly less devastating offensive weapon to complement the ones Max has come up with.

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I would like to revive this thread because for the same reasons I found vehicles underwhelming. Their roles should mirror vehicle roles in real life. If we look at the Hunter Scout Car, you can think of it as a Stryker and the Scimitar as a Main Battle Tank. They should have greater differentiation in the regard that the former should be able to move significantly faster.

There needs to be greater variety of weapons. As some has mentioned about having a secondary weapon (often a forward hull mounted anti-infantry machine gun), the primary weapon should also change according to the situation. Right now the main weapon is always assumed to be a cannon. The situation in Xenonaut is that sometimes we want to recover equipment for sales, or there are civilians or collateral damage that is bad.

I actually look the scout car in later missions because I thought that the MG was a useful platform for laying down suppression fire as an infantry fighting vehicle to very limited success. I would like Tanks to mount things like Heavy Lasers or Plasma Casters as an alternative to simply big cannons. It could also mount Automatic Grenade Launchers (smaller explosions) or choose the type of rounds it want to fire. Not too sure how that would fit into the canon at Laser and Plasma technology point.

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Except that a Stryker's main role is pretty much to just carry infantry safely to where they need to go and offer fire support. The Hunter is an armored car, something that will never be anywhere near armored enough to take the amount of punishment a Stryker would be able to (which is somewhat moot anyways, considering how energy weapons would just eat through the armor quickly).

The Scimitar, on the other hand would be more like the British World War II Tetrarch Light Tank or M55 Sheridan Light Tank, rather than a fully fledge MBT just because of one thing: it's air mobile. In order to be carried around by, at minimum, a Chinook, the armor on the tank is going to be pretty sparse to make it light enough to actually be transportable; enough to take a few hits, but pretty much will melt after a couple salvos of plasma cannon fire.

If anything, I'd like a buff to vehicle accuracy, and in the case of the Hunter, ammo supply. While I don't mind the current amount of rockets available at present for the Hunter's research-able weapon upgrade, I think that a 50-round belt that is un-reloadable just hampers it to never being viable enough for use when you can just send two solders with machine guns for the same amount of space.

As for the secondary weapons...there's always mods?

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I modded flares and smoke as secondary weapons a long time ago.

This was under the old UI though which was designed with support for secondary weapons in mind.

The new UI may not have that support.

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