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Is anyone else finding the waves are making the flow of the game quite stop start?

At the moment with the wave system I know with 3 bases once I have downed the last ufo on screen I can click 4x speed for a few days as I know exactly when the next ufo will appear.

I'm not getting any of the old Xcom watching the geoscape never knowing when the next ufo will appear and if I will be ready for it.

I am feeling with the waves I am not getting any sense of tension or unpredictability.

I guess this could be solved by trickling the waves in a bit more to stop 5 popping up at once and then nothing for 4-7 days?

In my current play through I have 4x flights of 1 corsair and 2 foxtrots and a single flight of 3x marauders and interception has just become a routine chore, 4-6 ufos appear and I just despatch the flights, knock them down, air strike them and go back to research. (and this is at the point battle ships start showing up.)

The same number of Ufos more randomly paced might leave me with everything refueling/rearming or flying short sorties and most certainly focusing less budget on air power.

(p.s. is the scout the only ufo that shows up all the way through? As late in the game they are just like swatting flies, I send out a single interceptor to knock them down and just airstrike them, the rewards for a scout are just not worth the effort and risk of doing a crash site.

A corvette might be worth it though.)

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A lot of people, myself included, have said that a few UFOs should appear in between waves to keep the game interesting. But it has never been addressed or implemented by chris.

Even would be better if the game dont progress with "waves". Invasion would be a aggressive process in enemy terrain that need to be quick.

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The UFO's appear in waves to make it more difficult to shoot them all down. Repairing, refueling and rearming aircraft while there are multiple simultaneous UFO's flying around lets them complete their mission more often and makes it more important to have a larger aircraft fleet. Also, constant UFO alerts make the game very frustrating while trying to complete long researches and manufactures.

If the game drops single UFO's here and there, a player could manage the situation with only one or two interceptors and on the other hand, if there's a more constant stream of UFO's, we'd complain about too much emphasis on air combat... I'm fairly confident the system is just fine as it is. :)

Edited by Skitso
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The UFO's appear in waves to make it more difficult to shoot them all down. Repairing, refueling and rearming aircraft while there are multiple simultaneous UFO's flying around lets them complete their mission more often and makes it more important to have a larger aircraft fleet. Also, constant UFO alerts make the game very frustrating while trying to complete long researches and manufactures.

If the game drops single UFO's here and there, a player could manage the situation with only one or two interceptors and on the other hand, if there's a more constant stream of UFO's, we'd complain about too much emphasis on air combat... I'm fairly confident the system is just fine as it is. :)

True about researches and manufacture, but this a senseless assumption. If a invasion was constant developers reduce the amount of UFOs and his frecuency. If the invasion has some type of logic aliens first try to reduce earth defenses, then build stable infraestructure in ground and begin huge carrier landing in bases to begin a ground to ground invasion.

In this game aliens was having a tour, they come for seasons and only to watch. The wave system is confortable but dosent mean that is the best way to recreate it.

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If the invasion has some type of logic aliens first try to reduce earth defenses, then build stable infraestructure in ground and begin huge carrier landing in bases to begin a ground to ground invasion.

As we've seen multiple times through the past years, "realism" rarely equals good gameplay...

With any logic aliens should bombard earth from the orbit. Game over.

Edited by Skitso
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I'm not saying the wave system should go, I just think sometimes single UFOs should pop up in between waves. I think it is sort of dumb that i can count on an alien attack every 7 days like clockwork and know that nothing will ever happen in between.

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I'm not saying the wave system should go, I just think sometimes single UFOs should pop up in between waves. I think it is sort of dumb that i can count on an alien attack every 7 days like clockwork and know that nothing will ever happen in between.

This is more what I am leaning towards myself.

It would be nice to see a touch less UFOs in the wave and some more roaming at random, perhaps some fighters, lone bombers or corvettes roaming at random.

At the moment I just wait until the wave is revealed, prioritise the key targets and knock down the most important, scouts etc become secondary if I have a spare interceptor.

With some randomisation I would not be able to prioritise so easy, that lone bomber may be a random roamer or it may be a terror attack, which would mean I might have to send the Ateam of interceptors, no if that's mid way between waves am I going to have them back and ready for a cruiser? when is the wave coming? if I ignore it then is it going to bite me back?

These are the choices I want to have to suffer, at the moment Just wait and all the ufos pop up, no problems choosing the best target for the right interceptors.

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I've commented on it quite a few times - I don't want to change the existing system. Waves are more challenging, requiring more fighters to deal with...and getting your research continually interrupted by lone UFOs appearing (which would be incredibly easy to deal with by themselves given the number of fighters you have) doesn't appeal to me.

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I've commented on it quite a few times - I don't want to change the existing system. Waves are more challenging, requiring more fighters to deal with...and getting your research continually interrupted by lone UFOs appearing (which would be incredibly easy to deal with by themselves given the number of fighters you have) doesn't appeal to me.

Then perhaps some sort of randomized variance in the wave structure? A wave may come up to 2 days early, or 3 days late? Something along those lines will stop the aliens from being massively predictable.

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Then perhaps some sort of randomized variance in the wave structure? A wave may come up to 2 days early, or 3 days late? Something along those lines will stop the aliens from being massively predictable.

It already does this. The time period between waves should vary by as much as 50% either way (the variable for this is in gameconfig.xml).

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It already does this. The time period between waves should vary by as much as 50% either way (the variable for this is in gameconfig.xml).

Ah ok, I did not know this. Interesting. To me waves seem like they happen every 7 days on the dot.

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If it's any consolation, I get the same feeling as well. Before I posted above, I had to load up a game and test it just to make sure it was working! But, apparently, everything is working fine; waves should and do occur between 2.5 days and 7.5 days apart.

It's possible that the shorter wave-gaps are overlooked because they can occur pretty much as the last wave is finishing. It might therefore feel like an extension of the same wave, maybe? I don't know.

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I've commented on it quite a few times - I don't want to change the existing system. Waves are more challenging, requiring more fighters to deal with...and getting your research continually interrupted by lone UFOs appearing (which would be incredibly easy to deal with by themselves given the number of fighters you have) doesn't appeal to me.

I think you guys are so proud of your little air combat mini-game that you are putting waaaaay too much emphasis on the challenge of shooting down UFOs, and completely ignoring that your approach leaves the geoscape a barren uninteresting wasteland for most of the game.

Why did you decide that air combat should be such an important part of the game?

It's as if your design philosophy doesn't understand what made the original games great. One word: Tension. You would feel tense never knowing when the next UFO would appear and if you'd be able to take it down due to the more random air combat. You'd feel tense in ground combat never knowing what the mission site would look like or where the next alien is lurking about. In Xenonauts you sit around looking at your clock while waiting for the next predictable wave of UFOs to appear. In ground combat you know the map patterns after a while, you know that only about half of the aliens will engage you outside the UFO while the rest hunker down inside, you even know that Aliens can't spawn on the second floor of buildings, so you never have to check or be wary of sniper fire from the windows. I think this is the games biggest downfall.

Edited by Monifix
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@Hicks I usually fare better with squadrons of 2 foxtrotts and 1 corsair per interception base... (so i usually have 3 of these) and 1 extra corsair per base for Air superiority.

Manually fight your battles let the foxtrotts take out the bigger craft(s) and then get them the hell out of there.. corsair provides cover and distraction. If you cant get them down on your first run either launch the air-sup corsair or if that wont be enough a full second run.

@Monifix I really don't think its that bad, but then again I'm using the community map packs.

I also think your nostaligia is getting the better of you when you look at XCOM 95. The game didn't use completely randomized maps it used tile sets and you were pretty quickly able to spot a tile when you saw one (patrol stations, drug stores, etc.)

I for one like the fact that there is Air-combat in the game.. and it provides tension.. too much sometimes (and I'm not that good at it.. so I autoresolve when I'm unsure). I agree that it's a thin line to walk and that ground combat should always be the focus, but I don't think that line got crossed that heavily.

Again the community map packs help a lot.

Edited by StK
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@Monifix I really don't think its that bad, but then again I'm using the community map packs.

I also think your nostaligia is getting the better of you when you look at XCOM 95. The game didn't use completely randomized maps it used tile sets and you were pretty quickly able to spot a tile when you saw one (patrol stations, drug stores, etc.)

I for one like the fact that there is Air-combat in the game.. and it provides tension.. too much sometimes (and I'm not that good at it.. so I autoresolve when I'm unsure). I agree that it's a thin line to walk and that ground combat should always be the focus, but I don't think that line got crossed that heavily.

Again the community map packs help a lot.

Well I don't know if you can call it nostalgia when I've been playing the original games regularly ever since they came out and only just finished a Terror From The Deep playthrough very recently. I respect that you don't think it's that bad, but for me personally the issues I bring up are major negatives as far as enjoyment of the game goes.

I also mainly use autoresolve now, simply because the air combat mini-game became such a chore and after I've gotten good at it, the outcome is also very predictable (I hate the little exploits you can use to swing the battle in your favor.) At least the autoresolve is pretty random sometimes and can screw you over even though it sometimes gives you an unexpectedly positive result as well.

I understand that the maps were not completely random in the original games, I don't think we have the technology to make reasonable looking maps that are completely randomly generated for every single tile, but they were FAR more random than the ones in Xenonauts. Xenonauts doesn't even have hills in the landscape, or simulated damage to UFOs for that matter.

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I understand that the maps were not completely random in the original games, I don't think we have the technology to make reasonable looking maps that are completely randomly generated for every single tile, but they were FAR more random than the ones in Xenonauts. Xenonauts doesn't even have hills in the landscape, or simulated damage to UFOs for that matter.

While at risk of a) facilitating off-topicness and b) shameless self-promotion, if you follow the link in my signature there's couple of map packs you can download which provide about as much randomness as I think can managed (which is actually quite a lot). It's WIP, mind.

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While at risk of a) facilitating off-topicness and b) shameless self-promotion, if you follow the link in my signature there's couple of map packs you can download which provide about as much randomness as I think can managed (which is actually quite a lot). It's WIP, mind.

Thanks, I will give your maps a try ;-)

I don't think that I'm really straying too much off topic if that is what you meant though. The general issue for the points I bring up is lack of randomness, which ties in to the waves of UFOs vs. having them appear sporadically. Predictablilty detracts from the enjoyment of this type of game in my opinion, and compared to the original games I think there is significantly more of it in Xenonauts.

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Sorry, I didn't mean the comment about off-topicness as an accusation. Talking about random maps seems fair enough as you say, but using a thread that has nothing to do with random maps to post about my random map pack and directing people to them seemed to me a bit closer to the line. This post may well be worse (sorry, I'll stop now).

EDIT: If its any consolation, I do agree with you about randomness. It's (apparently) something of a pet obsession of mine. But while its disappointing that Xenonauts doesn't come with more random elements, I think it's probably a better product for it in the short run as it will make the game tighter. Randomness only really matters for people who want to play the game more than once/a lot and I think given the resorces available Goldhawk are sensible to have focused on producing a solid core game while providing means of expanding upon that should people care to.

Edited by kabill
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Sorry, I didn't mean the comment about off-topicness as an accusation. Talking about random maps seems fair enough as you say, but using a thread that has nothing to do with random maps to post about my random map pack and directing people to them seemed to me a bit closer to the line. This post may well be worse (sorry, I'll stop now).

Haha, yeah better be careful or the internet forum police will come after you ;-)

If its any consolation, I do agree with you about randomness. It's (apparently) something of a pet obsession of mine. But while its disappointing that Xenonauts doesn't come with more random elements, I think it's probably a better product for it in the short run as it will make the game tighter. Randomness only really matters for people who want to play the game more than once/a lot and I think given the resorces available Goldhawk are sensible to have focused on producing a solid core game while providing means of expanding upon that should people care to.

Consider me consoled. And yeah, you bring up a good point. This IS an indie game after all and perhaps I am expecting too much. On the other hand, I think a lot of it could have been addressed without adding costs to the development such as the decision to make UFOs appear in waves. Adding hills and more randomness to the maps and simulated UFO damage would probably come with a significant price tag though.

Edited by Monifix
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The Internet knows not mercy.

Incidentally (and with a view to not being off topic any more) if anyone cares to it would be possible to mod the game to produce a trickle of UFOs rather than discrete waves. You could do this in two ways:

- Set the time between waves to a small amount (say once every two days, with 75% variation) but also set the number of UFOs per wave to be very low. Basically, you end up with smaller, overlapping and mroe frequent waves.

- Change the minimum time between which all UFOs in a wave appear. At the moment, this is set to something like 30 minutes (so all UFOs that are part of a wave spawn within a half-hour period) but you could extent this to hours or days if you wanted. I have no idea how the game decides when to spawn UFOs within that period, mind.

The second option is probably the better solution overall, since it will allow for more uneven distributions of UFOs (it allows for both grouping and even distribution which should be entirely random). Indeed, for most 'random' without directly affecting game balance (i.e. number of UFOs), the best bet would probably be to reduce the time-between-wave-randomiser to 0 (so waves *always* occur exactly five days appart) but set the time spawn-in time to 5 days as well (basically meaning that UFOs can spawn at any point over the five-day period. In fact...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j72zf61ofmrs85r/gameconfig.xml

There. That was possibly quicker to do than explaining how to do it. The file overwrites gameconfig.xml. Please note that this file is from v21 stable, but I think the only change in that file in the expeirmental builds is related to air combat fuel time (I was going to change it, but I couldn't remember what the new value is) so it should be compatible.

EDIT: I was thinking that it wouldn't be possible to have a wave *and* trickle system at the same time, but you might be able to simulate it by overlapping the spawn time for a wave with the following wave. During the overlap period, there'd be an increased chance of UFOs spawning compared with the rest of the time (because there's twice as many waves active). It wouldn't be perfect, but it's the closest the existing mechanics would allow I think. I've not done that in the above file, though.

Edited by kabill
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I think you guys are so proud of your little air combat mini-game that you are putting waaaaay too much emphasis on the challenge of shooting down UFOs, and completely ignoring that your approach leaves the geoscape a barren uninteresting wasteland for most of the game.

Why did you decide that air combat should be such an important part of the game?

It's as if your design philosophy doesn't understand what made the original games great. One word: Tension. You would feel tense never knowing when the next UFO would appear and if you'd be able to take it down due to the more random air combat.

Yeah, like there's much tension in not knowing when the UFO spawns would be. You just click on the fastest time setting and react to the events as they pop up. How long the in-game downtime is between each UFO wave is is virtually meaningless in real-life terms - it all comes down to a few seconds spent watching time whizzing past at maximum speed.

The time between UFOs is equally barren in both systems, it's just that when they appear in our game we at least force you to think about which UFO squadrons you should be assigning your fighters to. And you don't get interrupted every six hours by another bout of pointless air combat, so late game research / manufacturing progress isn't an unbearable chore.

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