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Messages - H-Hour

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Are the armour and weapon tables ( still up to the date (for version 2.5)?
No, not even a little bit. Our wiki is packed with outdated info. I wouldn't recommend it for any non-development information.

Interesting. I see two minor issues here, both possibly related to the in-game feedback thing. First the unarmored aliens take more damage from plasma, and second I can't tell if an alien is wearing light or heavy armor. For a time I did arm some of my garrisons with laser rifles but the lasers underperformed the plasma in close quarters and the armored ortnoks and combat bloodspiders were highly resistant. Still the lasers did rock the shevarr pretty hard but I don't know if they can even wear armor.

I think that the issue for me is that lasers are another siituational weapon. They are better at longer ranges (but I have snipers fot that) and less damage for equal or greater TUs at point blank range. In my play style lasers compete against sniper rifles rather than against plasma rifles, and they lose in that comparison.
Actually, by the time you get lasers, all aliens except the Shevaar will be wearing light armour (Bloodspiders and Hovernets both have protection values equivalent to light armour). So for all aliens but the Shevaar (who can not wear armour), the laser rifle outperforms the plasma rifle -- with the caveat that it does not have a full-auto option.

I admit the distinction between light and heavy armour could be clearer (although I think it's not that hard to notice). But by the time you see Ortnoks, Tamans will be in heavy armour (and Combat Bloodspiders and Combat Hovernets have heavy-equivalent values). The aliens have reinforced their armour against lasers by this point, so it's really in your interest to move quickly to Encased Plasma or Particle Beams. This is late-game, though, so you'll be on the back foot until you can deploy one of these -- regardless of whether you use Laser Rifles or Plasma Rifles at this point.

Is there a thought of adding a health bar to aliens on the battlescape? Stick a +/- 10% inaccuracy on the bar and it is useful without being spoilery. I would advise against giving it a number display (except perhaps a % of total health number). This would help players in game to better judee the armor/weapon interactions.

I have always liked that there is a little ambiguity in the game in how it doesn't tell you everything about your enemy. But I have been thinking that a rough gauge is important for getting in-game feedback about the impact of weapons. A lot of important thresholds happen with weapon/armour/health stats that go unnoticed. Showing one of three icons -- full health (90-100%), wounded (15-90%), near death (15%) -- would really help discern the impact of a hit, and help make decisions about when it's useful to deploy a low-power weapon (like a pistol or incendiary grenade). Having this information seems plausible without being too number-y. If you saw an enemy combatant on the field, you could probably tell if it was seriously wounded, or if it was limping along near death. Even if you knew nothing else of its physiology. But this is definitely not a 2.5 feature. Maybe 2.6, maybe later.

Mapping / Re: The Clinic
« on: October 24, 2013, 11:37:42 am »
Had a grass texture oversize error when rendering with -quant 3 so left the scaling at .2 for now, are all the maps rendered at -quant 4 in game?

If I recall correctly (and it's been a while), lower numbers are actually more resource-intensive. You're in effect defining the size of the box to use, so smaller numbers lead to more precision (and prettier shadow lines), longer compile times, and occasional texture errors.

The lasers are a moderate improvement in accuracy in exchange for more TUs, weight, and slightly less damage. Significantly less damage against armored aliens. While they compare decently to plasma rifles I felt that the heavier punch, lower TUs for reaction fire, and more shots of the plasma was a better fit for the role that assault skill weapon play in my squads.

When you factor in alien armour, the laser rifle in 2.5-dev actually has superior penetration. Not that the game provides you with any useful numbers to assess this, though. :)

Plasma rifle snap shot against alien light armour: 80 damage - 30 armour = 50 damage (with an accuracy spread of 1.2)

Laser rifle wave fire against against alien light armour: 62 damage - 5 armour = 57 damage (with an accuracy spread of 0.8 )

Arguably, the plasma rifle maintains an advantage by having an automatic fire option. But IMHO the accuracy improvement of the laser rifle more than puts it over the top.

(Hopefully we'll expose more information with UI2. In the meantime, the research text for alien light armour tries to stress how lasers can penetrate the armour.)

Mapping / Re: The Clinic
« on: October 23, 2013, 11:07:23 am »
The screenshots look very cool! Sorry, I don't have time to check it out now, but keep going! ShipIt and mattn can answer all the questions you've got and we really need more mappers.

Thanks for the feedback Telok. I don't have any time at the moment to check out your save but will definitely do so before 2.5 ships, as we still need to tune the stats growth.

Can you tell us how many missions you had? What was the date when you finished?

And lastly: no lasers? They were my go-to assault rifle for much of the game.

Discussion / Re: Changes for 2.5
« on: October 16, 2013, 10:58:19 am »
OK. I might be blind but... where is that intro movie?
It's been removed, I think. At least we plan to do so.

Discussion / Re: Official Baseline?
« on: October 14, 2013, 11:28:11 am »
2.5 will be released as the next stable version. We don't do even-odd version development in this way. We've just branched so that work can continue on some areas for 2.6 without causing instabilities in 2.5.

Feature Requests / Re: Month end procedure
« on: October 11, 2013, 01:51:57 am »
DarkRain to the rescue again! :)

Feature Requests / Re: Month end procedure
« on: October 10, 2013, 10:40:01 am »
You'll need to modify the "rate" attribute of the original template as well. This is basically the percentage chance that a specific template will be used and the base template uses 100 (ie - 100% of the time).

Windows / Re: "[2.5 is stable]" - H-Hour
« on: October 10, 2013, 10:38:11 am »
We have branched in preparation for a 2.5 stable release. I would say across the board it is more stable, balanced and fun than the current stable release (2.4). However, a couple of late changes still need to be checked for balancing/problems. The two big ones are the change in soldier stat growth and the new reaction fire panel. Even if these do undergo further revision, I don't believe either would cause significant problems in their current state.

I'm currently unable to spend almost any time on finalising 2.5, so I can't say a release is imminent. But in terms of stability and performance, we're just about there.

Feature Requests / Re: Month end procedure
« on: October 09, 2013, 05:22:18 pm »
Why was it removed?

Elites are made, not purchased.

Feature Requests / Re: Month end procedure
« on: October 09, 2013, 03:45:45 am »
Nations give you what they have to offer based on their competencies. Some give you more soldiers, some more engineers, some more scientists. This is part of the strategic layer.

Is there a plan to reintroduce specialists and elites, and if not, could we request it please?
No plan. Of course, you can always mod it. :) It's a very easy mod.

Bugs in stable version (2.5) / Re: Scientist cannot be hired?
« on: October 07, 2013, 08:09:18 am »
The new ui is not in a playable state. You should play 2.5-Dev for now.

User modifications / Re: Weapon Mod for 2.5 dev
« on: October 06, 2013, 07:55:19 pm »
Congrats on the release! I've added it to our (small) mods list.

Windows / Re: left and right handed troubles
« on: October 06, 2013, 12:35:32 pm »
I don't know what condition the HUD is in, but in the past, if there is an item in the second hand, a small box will appear in the weapon panel.

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