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Author Topic: Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)  (Read 2746 times)

Offline Salvo

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Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)
« on: May 15, 2012, 12:11:44 am »
The key surprise element in the early X-Com games was the Mind Control thing, and you'd find out the hard way how your favorite killing machine operative was prone to alien mind control, and you'd have to fire him, if not do a kamikaze attack right on the battlefield. So, it got me thinking, what if each soldier had 2 hidden traits, and they would be revealed after a semi-random number of missions or kills, like, after 10-20 missions/kills. I envisioned these traits to be such as:

Diagnosed PTSD
Increased morale drop whenever a fellow soldier or a civilian is killed. You might want to think twice to send this guy to the Final Mission, whatever that may be in the future. Picture a dramatic verbal fight between this guy and his CO once he finds out he's not going be a part of the last battle.

Talented [weapon name] operator
Boost to the hit chance with one particular weapon (only if the weapon has been researched). At later game, you might get rookies with bonuses to newer weapons (since they've heard rumors of them and they can't wait to try them out), while you'd still have those seasoned machine gunners and such, adding flavor to the mix.

Dislikes [weapon type]
Slight penalty to the hit chance with all weapons of this type. Penalties to reaction fire. Note that this could be possibly circumvented by using certain firing modes or ammo types since they rely on various proficiencies.

Unusually skilled medic sometimes gets more healing done with the same amount of TUs. This chance goes up over time as the medic gains battle experience.

Alert gunner
Slight bonus to the hit chance when doing reaction fire. Slight bonus to the chance of doing reaction fire. Weapon is fired only if the hit chance is 70% or above, or whatever. Or possibly the trait triggers when an alien is just about to fire. Hit chances and reaction fire chances are increased when soldier is confirmed to have the perk.

Fast aim
Aliens have harder time interrupting a soldier who can wave his gun as if it were a pencil.

Hates [alien race]
Extra damage against a certain alien race since one such alien killed the soldier's brother / mistress / random nice lady next door / jaywalked. Can you picture a necklace made out of Ortnok toes? Needs autopsy research.

Fears [alien race]
Less likely to do reaction fire against a certain alien race, since he's seen them do inhumane things to human beings first hand. Smaller chance to hit these aliens. Severe to-hit penalties at close ranges.

Slightly increased throwing range and accuracy. Bonus gets bigger once the soldier is confirmed to have the trait.

Diagnosed antisocial behavior / dislikes crowds
Penalty to morale when in a team with 5 or more soldiers. Bonus to all skills when 4 or fewer members in the team. Trait would need to be checked again every time an agent dies.

Option to spend more TUs to do an extra-aimed shot with select few weapons. With increased accuracy, of course.

Die hard
Generally more damage resistant than others. Faster health stat growth.

Nyctophobic (fear of the dark)
Unless the soldier is wearing infrared goggles, his morale is decreased, his aim is worse and he's more likely to do reaction fire during night missions.

Likes [operative name]
Soldiers can grow to like other soldiers. Increased accuracy when the buddy soldier is in the same team on a mission. Incur (recoverable) penalties if the buddy soldier dies.

The soldier requires no upkeep as soon as the trait is discovered since he has donated his entire funds to PHALANX to fight the aliens. Instantly gain 10,000 credits or such.

Security specialist
Bonus to all skills during base defence missions.

Recon specialist
Lowered AP cost for infrared goggles as soon as the trait is discovered.

Offline headdie

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Re: Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 12:44:02 am »
In principle I love the idea

but when you get down to the nuts and bolts concerns have to be raised about the generator disabling your team, remember there is only a small number of soldier available iirc 9 at startup on standard difficulty, if 4 land with fear and/or PTSD and 3 get wounded in battle before you get a good reserve of soldiers then you are screwed

Offline TrashMan

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Re: Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 09:24:34 am »
Yeah, the small number of soldiers at startup needs to go away.

Pahalanx shouldn't be strugling with getting recruits. Besides, once the new healing system gets in and the abiltiy to easily restore health is gone, it's gonna be murder. IF you start with 8 soldiers, you got no replacements.


Offline H-Hour

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Re: Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 09:28:27 am »
It reminds me a bit of Wesnoth's traits system, with most units getting two from a pool of traits.

I am saving those ideas which seem appropriate to a proposal page on implants, so we have them in the future.

I think it's not a terrible idea, but it's also a low-priority idea, so it wouldn't get implemented for some time, probably. That said, I'd like to see each unit get one positive trait visible when being hired. Then all the negative traits and perhaps some of the positive ones have a secret chance of developing depending on mission performance (someone who is in a terrible mission where most of his friends die has a % chance of developing PTSD, for instance).


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Re: Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 11:24:10 pm »
(someone who is in a terrible mission where most of his friends die has a % chance of developing PTSD, for instance).

Yes, yes, yes!

As far as "hidden" traits otherwise:
I'd appreciate if they were kept to things that would be hard or impossible to screen for. As this is an elite unit, we'd surely know know who is a medic and who is a machine gunner, but perhaps uncanny skill with alien weapons could be believable as a thing you find out in the field. "Hates alien X" as a damage bonus carries a faint odor of D&D IMO, but "fears alien X" I find very believable.. like a phobia, where someone just can't take alien lizards or arachnids? Such a fear could perhaps also be triggered in a similar scenario to the one above... hmm?

Offline Triaxx2

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Re: Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 07:25:16 pm »
I don't know. I mean if you're say... hunting an enemy, like a bear, you're going to learn more about it, learn just where to shoot to kill it the quickest, and how to avoid getting hurt by it. It's more that 'I hate this foe type, so I'm going to learn my best about how to kill them. Perhaps:

Alien Hunter: Has learned about a particular alien menace with considerable enthusiasm. Is more likely to hit and does more damage by aiming for vital organs. Minor penalty against non-favored targets.

So if the Alien Hunter has studied Ortnoks, he'll be less capable against Bloodspiders.

Offline OllyG

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Re: Hidden soldier traits! (but revealed later)
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 02:38:47 pm »
How about when you hire soldiers you only see if they are average or proficient in each ability, not the exact number.  After the first promotion you get exact numbers.
With the small number of recruits, I don't really bother to look when I hire them, I'll get them all in the end anyway!