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Reflections on Xenonauts Running V22, Hotfix 5

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Hello, I just thought to share some observations after completing V22-5; this is nothing more than one person's point of view, however, there is always a chance that the developers may see something of interest to them. BTW, yes, yes, yes, this has been covered here and there in the forums, but, without my bringing them up again, it may not seem like someone else really thought likewise.

***Minor Spoilers***

I. The final battle.

- the "High Praetor" is listed as a "Praetor Leader" (pretty sure it should be a different class)

- the High Praetor now charges down towards my troops (quite sure that it should not move than a few spaces from the throne)

- I dropped a weapon (yes, the singularity cannon, of all things) on one of the squares that ring around the landing zone while inside the entry room (the next square was a hallway square), well, I could not have anyone go to that square, it was off limits!

- the reaper release worked just as described....please increase the random release timer by a few orders! It is not realistic that anyone can even run to the three targets through all of those enemies in such a miniscule amount of time, seriously.

II. Combat

- it seems like the enemy AI has turned into "charge at the xenonauts until you are within weapon range, mill around and keep firing", I know that this is development, but, the enemy tactical combat AI seemed to have lapsed into senility...no challenge, no tactics...they don't really charge, they don't try to ambush or use cover or concealment

- it would be nice to include a few other types of foes (OK, not realistic, but, it sure would be)

- a melee weapon (i.e., combat knife) would be a realistic last resort of any self-respecting special forces commando

III. Psionics

- so....the enemy can target humans anywhere on the battlefield, even if they are NOT in line-of-sight...are we certain that is what we want??

- any option for troops to start wearing tin foil hats (LOL!!)?

- please have troops who berserk shoot wildly at any visible enemy or any nearby location, NOT at other troops! That is called "mind control" (murdering your own team mates), not, "berserking ,as in becoming scared and shooting wildly"

- it seems that a few aliens can launch multiple mind attacks per turn (I have no idea how the mechanics on this work), now, this seems significantly unbalanced

IV. Other

- once I have established air superiority, then, the terror missions, alien base building, city bombing, and, xenonaut base invasions all cease...really, really boring...perhaps, sometimes they can get through undetected? IDK, several bases with interceptors and the invasion waves are toast

- a few new faces and names for the pool would be good (keep getting repetition)

- for a world community that has acknowledged that mankind is facing a genocidal invasion by technologically superior aliens, the amount of funding for the xenonaut program is ridiculous. It is not as easy to make money (as in XCOM), and, one American fleet or one Russian army group would cost more per year, so, while the budget should be important, but, it seems too severe

- remember those raids from XCOM Apocalypse??? :-)

I am certain that other forum members have even better suggestions!

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Don't take this personally, but I strongly disagree with your assessment of the combat AI. I think it has taken quantum leaps over what it used to be. I have seen aliens using cover intelligently, retreating in the face of superior firepower, employing grenades much more frequently, and doing something other than turtling in their ships. Sebellians in particular are using aggressive tactics that have been inflicting greater damage and keeping me off-balance. I actually love the AI changes that have been made

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Combat AI in the latest release seems much as he suggests. In my case I have "move slowly or get sniped by aliens that can see you when you can't see them" across the board. Sebs are the easiest, because they have the lowest accuracy and don't regularly one-shot my 60+ hp troops in Predator armor...

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Nothing personal... I LOVE THIS GAME!

Truth be told, the combat AI in prior versions seemed to me to be more challenging...and, yes, the aliens do seem to posses superior vision.

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...and, yes, the aliens do seem to posses superior vision.

Yes, Chris seemed to be bothered by this when legit1337 pointed it out, and has said he's looking into it. And the AI debate is essentially fruitless; some people prefer their aliens aggressive, others prefer them defensive. The only solution that I can see is for the devs to strike a balance between the two to add the random element and keep both camps happy

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Yes, Chris seemed to be bothered by this when legit1337 pointed it out, and has said he's looking into it. And the AI debate is essentially fruitless; some people prefer their aliens aggressive, others prefer them defensive. The only solution that I can see is for the devs to strike a balance between the two to add the random element and keep both camps happy

I have a solution for that, only wait a minute ;)

Tomorrow you'll experience a huge difference in AI reaction.

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You can melee with your ranged weapon, press m to toggle it when you need to use it.

Only reason I can think to use it would be if you were completely out of ammo though.

Psionics are currently broken, there is a suspected bug in the line of sight calculations somewhere that is allowing them to be used from outside of their intended range.

Until that bug is found, or its presence ruled out, then balancing those abilities will be difficult at best and a complete waste of time at worst.

I am still hopeful that they can be made challenging without being a frustrating and irritating addition.

The AI is jumping around a little between too passive and too aggressive but that is at least partly due to player feedback.

As dpelectric says there are opposing views on how the AI should respond and it appears neither is happy most of the time :P

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It would be nice if there where a way to disable Psionics for a playthrough while it is in such a broken state. I just did an alien base assault and lost 3 of 8 people to my soldiers being beserked when they were no where near an alien, let alone in line of sight to one. The first soldier was lost before we even left the starting room (Laser carbine against Jackal armour, brutal), while the other two were lost to soldiers that were beserked from across the entire base! I like the idea of Psionics, but right now all they are doing is causing frustration, rather than forcing me to think tactically.

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Beserking seems to behave too much like mind control (what significant difference?).

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III. Psionics

- please have troops who berserk shoot wildly at any visible enemy or any nearby location, NOT at other troops! That is called "mind control" (murdering your own team mates), not, "berserking ,as in becoming scared and shooting wildly"

Berserk does that. It randomly selects a random target (often the closest one) and shoots at it, or doesn't shoot anything at all. I had it often that soldiers got into 'berserk' and killed the closest Alien, often a Ceasan.

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Berserk nicely prioritizes enemies now, before berserked soldier just shot at the closest friend or foe.

Also, I find that, heavy weapons don't fire when berserked, this might be a bug.

I also have a balance suggestion: Having enemies in sight increases chance of berserk, and having no enemies in sight decreases it.

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Berserk does that. It randomly selects a random target (often the closest one) and shoots at it, or doesn't shoot anything at all. I had it often that soldiers got into 'berserk' and killed the closest Alien, often a Ceasan.

I've had soldiers berserk and target and kill aliens that are beyond LoS, so "closest" is a relative term. Also, civilians seem to be as good targets as aliens, I've had berserkers target the local forces over aliens as well.

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Caaygun suggested, "I also have a balance suggestion: Having enemies in sight increases chance of berserk, and having no enemies in sight decreases it." ...what a good idea! It seems that beserk has changed over version as the game is tweaked and tuned, so, we have all had some different experiences.

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Not sure if it is logical if.....a person is in battle, then goes berserk (not, mind controlled), that they would turn on their comrades. If they shot at a target and accidentally hit a team mate who was in the way, then, sure.

Going, berserk, well, you'd unload on any enemy or enemy position, even if you had a bad shot or would expose yourself. You might also shoot at "shadows" spooking you. No?

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Well... The word kind of implies a state of violent delirium. I think it'd be fun if troopers so afflicted tossed their primary weapon, ran to the nearest living thing and started beating on it, but I'm perfectly fine with berserk troopers just unloading on the closest living thing.

Not because it makes a hell of a lot of sense that a trooper actually would do such a thing out in the real world, but because it's dramatic and fun.

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That's what they used to do sometimes in the OG- drop their weapon and run off in a random direction (often towards the aliens)

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Thanks for posting this, by the way. I've read it and should probably have commented earlier :)

The psionics changes are already under consideration.

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