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Author Topic: My feedback  (Read 2247 times)


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My feedback
« on: January 22, 2009, 03:20:05 pm »

I've discovered this project maybe two years ago, but I hadn't much time to help, and it was nowhere as playable as it is now (I guess when I tried it the only playable level was a mine, or at least that's what I seem to remember).

Now, I have to agree the progress made thus far is quite baffling. However, I have noticed some problems which shouldn't take too much time to code, but would greatly enhance the playing experience :

1) When one of your soldiers dies, you lose it's stuff. It's because it doesn't drop what he was carrying, he dies, his corpse lies on the floor, but the items disapeer. That the armor be destroyed would make sense, but, unless blasted to pieces by an ultra-powerful alien weapon, you should be able to get your equipment back. Or have someone pick-up the only laser-weapon of the squad, to kill the laser-vulnerable-alien-which-is-mega-armored-vs-anything-else. I hope you see my point.

2) Another thing which annoyed me big time is that equipment is stored in bases or on craft-assigned-soldiers, but not in crafts themselves, or on soldiers themselves. I mean, each and every time you remove someone from a craft (to change personnel, or because he's hurt, for instance), you have to re-equip from scratch then new guy in team, and will have to do so too when the old guy is back. Additionnaly, allowing to equip soldiers individually would be quite great for base defense (having already equipped soldiers, according to their actual skills, and not randomly), or just for re-assigning squads quickly. You need 2 snipers, 3 Heavy-weapons guys, 2 assault, and a grenadier ?  Click, click, there they are. Need a full close assault team ?  Click, click, there they are.  That would be much quicker, thus much more enjoyable, than the actual pain-in-the-ass process of re-equiping everybody to your taste.

3) The game interface is sometimes wierd, unintuitive, and I guess there are bugs too. I mean, when you're clicked on a character, sometimes you can change the level view by pressing "up" or "down" arrow keys, but sometimes you cannot. Sometimes, you wanna turn someone around (it only costs 1 action point, no matter how much you turn, be it 1/8 of turn (45° angle) or 1/2 (180°)), but when you wanna turn more than 45° while having only 1 action point left, you cannot. Seems like a bug, to me, but I dunno wether it should cost 1 AP per 45°, or if the check is just flawed.

4) To continue on the interface being weird, for instance, when you click on the menu, and go, maybe into the options (don't have the soft open right now), then you hit back, on the main "menu" screen, the button at the very same place than "back" was in the submenu is now "EXIT". Which is dangerous, considering how a double-click can happen, and there is no confirmation for quitting (at least, none that I remember). The "continue" button should be there instead of "exit", for safety reasons, and to avoid needing to click left and right just to go back to the game.

5) One can't save during missions. I guess it's an anti-cheat policy, but it's really stupid. If someone wants to cheat, there is no harm in letting him do so. However, if someone really needs to save his game in mid-fight, then he's screwed...  Modern games do have such options (at least, when it's not too problematic), I sure hope it will come too for yours. If it's a "TODO" on the project, then please excuse my outburst.

6) As much as I love the "mails" I get from my R&D department, some just don't make sense. I mean, giving too much details is wierd, considering how some events didn't happen in the first place, or already happened several times before. For instance, forensic reports about autopsied aliens each mention a "strange device" in the throat. I had researched the Alien Breathing Device after my first autopsy, so when I autopsied two other races, and it told me this, well, it really fell flat. Maybe have some variations in messages, depending on wether some tech has, or not, already been researched yet ?  Or some event happened ?

7) There are other strange things too. For instance, you need to buy equipment, or even aircrafts, and you get them in seconds. However, transfer between bases takes time. You can speed-up things by selling from one base, and buying back at another one, losing only the price difference... Another feature allows you to recover UFOs to any of your bases with available UFO hangars, and it's quite good. But, then, why not allow it for live aliens, when there is no "alien containment" available at the base where your party came from ?  I lost several specimens this way, the first time I captured some, just thinking it worked the same way as with UFOs...

8) Flashbangs are described as grenades useful to prevent reaction fire from aliens. Well... I never saw any alien shoot at me during my turn. Do all my guys have cat reflexes, or is it a bug, or a TODO ?

9) Alien artifact names should be "unknown flavoured" when not researched. Like, "Strange throat device" instead of "Alien Breathing Device", or "Alien Rifle-like weapon" instead of "Particle Accelerator Rifle", some things like this. It's definitely not a priority, but such a minor modification would do much to improve the gaming experience

10) UFOs on the planetscape (at least in 3D version) lack descriptions, at least when not researched. I hadn't noticed visible differences in representation, at start, and thus kept sending my interceptors at all UFOs. Obviously, I had a nasty surprise when encountering a harverser for the first time, while I only had fought scouts and supply UFOs beforehand. I lost 3 or 4 interceptors, just trying to understand what hit them...   Displaying something like "small, very fast UFO", "small winged UFO", "big, slow and dread-inducing UFO", etc. would be quite nice. Or, at least, ufo type #1, type #2, etc. Such numbers would be given when you first spot a ufo type on your radars, thus avoiding the "already know what it is" syndrom.

11) I haven't noticed any use for the medikits, although I equip every soldier with one. Is it because there are no alien stun weapons, or bleeding wounds, yet (but will be, TODO again), or is it because it resurrects dead soldiers, or gives back health to living ones ?  Couldn't figure that one out.

12) The production interface is a bit strange, too. It's quite difficult to understand how engineers work, how much ARE working, and the like. Or maybe I was just a bit distracted, but I guess a bit more explicit panel would be most welcome to begginers.

13) Sometimes, you know you CANNOT down a UFO type (Or think so, at least. Remember those battleships on X-COM 1 ?), and would like to ignore the sightings (or, at the very least, not to get back to 5s mode each time you see one pop on your scopes. If you're not gonna intercept it, why bother ?). It's quite annoying to have to put back the timer to 12h mode every real-life 5 seconds...  So, maybe allow a "detection filter" to act accordingly to the UFO sighted ? Like "scout -> 5s mode", "battleship -> ignore flight, but report landings", and so on...

14) The autosell feature is great, really. But why turn it ON by default for most things ?  This way, you end up selling a lot of useful alien stuff on mission return. At first, I thought that was because my warehouses were full, but I could still buy things...  Please make it start disactivated, and the player will be clever enough to autosell what HE wants gone, not everything at the program's whim. Oh, and PLEASE, put the "sell batch" to 1 by default. It's already annoying to sell one item and have to buy it back for more cash, when it's a mistake, if you sell 5 interceptors, it costs you more...

I'm sure there are other things worth mentionning, but I cannot find what right now.
So I'll wait for your comments :)

Offline BTAxis

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Re: My feedback
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 03:44:49 pm »
Please read the sticky in this forum.

Offline Kenner

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Re: My feedback
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 04:29:10 pm »
I have a couple of comments on some of your list, but these are just my opinion, FWIW:

3 & 4. The interface is a work in progress. These are good ideas - hopefully it's something that will find its way into the game someday.

5. You will not be able to save in missions. Not going to happen. Been discussed (to death) - please don't get BTAxis started again.  :)

6. I think the mails will appeal differently to different people. Myself, I don't bother reading them, but I know others that really get into that kind of stuff. To each his own, I guess.

7. I've had aliens shoot at me often. Try a different difficulty level, or play enough missions, and you'll run in to it.

11. Medikits work perfectly fine, to provide battlefield healing in the middle of mission. I'm not sure what problem you're having with them. If a soldier gets wounded, another soldier can "use" the medikit to partially heal the wounded soldier. A wounded soldier cannot use it on themselves, AFAIK.

12. Seemed clear enough to me. The only thing I don't like is that they only work on one thing at a time, and in the sequence you have in your production list. I'd prefer the option to schedule multiple production runs (which would each take longer, but that's an acceptable trade-off).

13. Pretty sure you can turn this off. Isn't this one of the message options that you can set when you're in the geoscape?



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Re: My feedback
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2009, 04:53:58 pm »
Ok, first, please excuse me if I've broken some rules.

It seemed to me that it belonged to the "discussion" category, as it was mostly what I had felt, as a "newcomer" to the game. But I won't argue this choice, it's good there too ;)

I didn't check whether those things were work in progress, known (or even fixed) bugs, etc. Just giving an opinion I hope is useful.

One thing I just remembered, which felt strange too, is that "incendiary" grenades, both hand- and launcher-thrown models, do release a blast of fire, but do not continue burning. This is especially strange considering the fact that the description you find in the Ufopedia says they are "area-forbidding" weapons, used to deny access to some zones...

Oh, and in-mission saving would be great for testing purposes, too.
But I guess this won't change the matter  ::)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 04:56:34 pm by Kzwix »