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Author Topic: 28 days later  (Read 2107 times)

Offline cryssalid

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28 days later
« on: September 17, 2009, 07:44:01 am »
Hi I love XCOM and as such I love this game too.

My intorduction to XCOM came through its demo, designed back when it was planned as just being a tactical game.
What got me into the full version of the game was how bloody hard that demo was and the days I would spend playing it to try to find an effective strategy. If my squad was spread out they would get picked off one at a time by an enemy with much better time units and vision. If I concentrated them into an inpenetrable group. I'd see an alien grenade tossed in wiping out half my squad. However, when playing the full version I was never really confronted with such a scenario, which was kinda sad.

ufoai has had some of that degree of difficulty: maps where you have to run across an area where there is no cover (alternating who's most visible and thus gets shot) 'cos you don't have the accuracy the aliens do at a distance to survive a sniping battle. XVI was a nice twist, but not something that nightmares were made of.

To that extent I'd like to make a proposal:

XVI outbreak mission:
This is the 28 days later (classic zombie movie made by the poms in 2002) theme – The spread of XVI will generally be an expanding area, hindered by government quarantines and topographical issues. The aliens can circumvent this by performing a UFO drop of XVI civilians in a populated area where XVI has had difficulty spreading to.
In the tactical mission 1-4 (depending on the speed of PHALANX response) unarmed civilians affected with XVI go around zombie-like biting other civilians and PHALANX members infecting them and turning them in, lets say, 2 turns. The goal is to kill all the zombies (thus preventing an outbreak and further spread of XVI) with minimal civilian casualties.
A twist on this is the question "How does one distinguish XVI and non-XVI infected civilians"? Only really by their behaviour (I'd assume the skin discoloration hasn't set in) and it is this factor that could set this mission up to rival the XCOM snakeman/cryssalid demo. Reaction fire will be useful as a PHALANX member will automatically shoot at an infected person who moves to attack someone. Strategy will be difficult. You need to get close to the civilians in order to protect them, but not so close that if they're infected they bite you and then it really becomes hard. Having to kill an ex- team mate before they are turned would really lower the morale of a PHALANX member, potentially making him start to shoot at any friendly he sees.
I don't see this as requiring too much extra work - a new enemy PHALANX unit, a zombie AI; however, the maps and artwork should be the same. I still haven't figured out a method to counter the simple strategy of just sending remote bots to wipe out the zombies. Maybe the need to keep the operation covert (thus requiring PHALANX to dress in civies and only carry pistols or knives). More thought required on that one.
If the player is not successful at this mission then XVI gains a foothold in a new area and the aliens then may even establish a base in the area. This may also be a good mission to introduce the player to XVI, as well as one to instil a few nightmares.

Greater blast radius for the alien grenades (this will make it tougher for bunched team tactics for PHALANX, but no real gain for PHALANX when they research it as they have to worry about collateral damage) is also something I'd like to see along with improved AI but is probably better discussed seperately.

Offline Hertzila

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Re: 28 days later
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 03:47:49 pm »
I'm sorry but the XVI doesn't work that way. First of all XVI can be defeated by a normal human immune system. It requires most of the victims blood replaced with infected blood for it to work (or at least to speed up a lot, the UFOpedia is a little vague how strong the XVI is IIRC). Even then if you could get infected by that, you forget that viruses take time to infect its host. So no sudden zombies. Also at least PHALANX agents are wearing HEAVY armor to stand a chance against alien weaponry so it really doesn't make sense if you could just bite through it.

And last but not the least, XVI produces no zombies. Have you read the article concerning it? Since it gets more and more intelligent by infecting more people, it would be extremely stupid move to risk well-being, valuable members of the hivemind for a tactic like that when a team of well-armed, prepared aliens does basically the same thing. Even normal people fitted with alien tech is a viable tactic if they need some "undercover" agents.

Oh and it does produce a little discoloration IIRC.

Edit: If I have understood correctly the XVI is more of an explanation to the aliens way of living than something that should cause nighmares. The research article and humans attacking PHALANX with alien weapons is a good explanation already.
Also don't worry about having no nighmares right now. If the devs want them they will get added to the game when more urgent stuff is out of the way (and somebody does all the necessary artwork, sounds, etc. ;) )
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 03:54:35 pm by Hertzila »