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Author Topic: Impressions after playing the latest nightly  (Read 4722 times)

Offline TrashMan

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Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« on: January 18, 2012, 11:18:14 am »
Definite progress from the last time I played. However, there are still plenty of problems and areas of improvements.

For starters, balance:

- too many aliens. It becomes a chore and downright irritating - especially since you can't auto half of hte battels, and when you can it generally isn't advisable.
- no cash in the begining, swimming in $$ at the end.
- not nearly enough manpower (too little workers, scientists and soldeirs)
- close combat weapons become seruiously underpowered later in the game. Flamer is godly early-game.

How to fix it:
The number of alien raids should not increase dramaticly.
Increasing the price of alien items and UFO's would ease the financial problems in the begining, and keep a steady income near the end. Adn it makes sense - it's alien stuff, it's worth it's weight in gold.
Alternatively, an option to build milita bases that could handle any crashed UFO missions for you (in a certain radius)

The cost of producing items in your workshops should be LESS then the selling price. You should be able to earn a few bucks for a brand new, never-before-seen lazer rifle.



What the game needs or could use:
- Separating equipment of soldiers from the aircraft. A separate soldier/equipment managment screen
- more weapon options. Proper heavy wepons with proper penalties for the advantages of firepower. I would propose heavy weapon to be hip-carried and require a backpack ammo/power/fuel stachel.
That way the negatives would be: the backpack is unusable to store anything, the weapon is heavy and increases movement cost per tile, possible penalty to reaction fire? It would require new animations and modeled backpacks tough, but that shouldn't be a big problem.

- NOT spawning aliens with heavy weapons and reaction fire on, right behind your soldier. It's instant death for several of your soldeir the second you do ANYTHING.

- Maybe an explanation that Phalanx isn't the only initiative in the world. Rather one of several and most governments do not trust it will work. That helps explain the low funding and support. Helps with the immersion.

- Allies (sometimes) on the battlefield. Depending on map and mission type. Cops and soldiers. It's not hard to do. No nation standing bonuses or penalties for their deaths. Again, helps with the idea Phalanx is part of the world and that the rest of the world is doing something.
I dunno, maybe you devs want to go for a "all alone agaisnt the evil" feeling, but frankly it contradicts your own setting.

Offline MCR

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 01:20:16 pm »
I agree on most of your observations. A very good analysis.  8)

Offline antkatcin

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 01:33:11 pm »
I'm a newbie in UFO:Alien Invasion, but not in XCOM world. Yesterday i start playing latest 2.4 build and found almost the same problems. There are too much aliens! My warehouse are filled with dead aliens (more than 200). Because of aliens looks that my research going too slow. I've played three and half game months, but i have only two and half completed researches (i always build laboratories and use all available scientists to hire).

Also i think grenades(at least that are available at the start) are too unuseful in the game. I tryed them a lot of times, but the accuracy are extremely low and i can't remember if i ever killed any alien by grenade, but rocket launcher can hit alien with 90%+ hit chance in a half map distance (just like a sniper rifle).

One more thing about defending bases. I've more then 8 solders on a base. Ok, possibly i understand why i can't take them all to the mission, but why i can't select which 8 solders should defend my base?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 01:39:40 pm by antkatcin »

Offline TrashMan

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 12:30:18 pm »
You talking about normal grenades or the Grenade Launcher?


That said, the pacing is really bad. Missions become tedious the longer the game goes on, simply because of their frequency.
Several missions per month tops. No more.
When you do 4-5 missions a day, you just want to bach the monitor. This also solves the "too much cash late game" problem, sicne ouy won't have 400 plasma rifles to sell.


Also, the cost of building advanced aircraft. You serious? 7000 alien materials? For a small fighter?
You get 800 from a HARVESTER.

I have to dissasemble 10 gigantic harvesters to build 1 measly fighter??????

Offline Ronar

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 05:50:02 pm »
This is my first post, as I'm still new to the game. First, I just want to say I'm having a blast and thought I'd leave my impression as well.

I've been reading the posts on the forum and I've noticed a lot of comments about the pacing of the game. I agree, that it gets pretty hectic after a few months and I can see why a lot of people are frustrated (though I'm still enjoying them).

It seems the argument is the high volume of tactical missions slows down research/production and they cannot be skipped because of hit to nation happiness. Furthermore, auto-resolve does not always end favorably and gives no experience. This makes tactical missions seem more of a chore than fun.

Perhaps if the tactical maps were spiced up a bit, people would find them more attractive. I'm aware the game is still a work in progress (and a great one at that), but it may add excitement to have more randomness in the tactical missions. Random map layouts, random alien starting points, random loot, plot hints, etc. Perhaps a rescued civilian is a skilled worker and decides to join the cause. Maybe you find an alien relic that gives a new tech without having to research it.

Just a few thoughts to make the grind more enjoyable. Thanks for the great game!

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 07:54:13 pm »
Two days ago we made a small but significant change to the math that determines how many UFOs are spawned. We're still testing it to make sure we haven't disrupted game balance elsewhere, but if I did everything right the player should see about 1/4 the number of UFOs in a given time frame.

We'd love for more people to download the latest nightly to help us test before 2.4 is released. There's probably still a lot of fine tuning to be done in our next development cycle, but our priority for the moment is to bring the number of missions back under control.

Offline Jon_dArc

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 03:15:35 pm »
One idea that came to me to slightly reduce the tedium of missions would be to keep a list of recently used maps and bias the map selection logic against those maps—I remember one stretch on the October 15th nightly where BigCity just kept coming up over and over and over again. Even on HEAD (well, as of a week or two ago, I've been busy) I start to forget that there are maps other than a short list (africa, bridge, druglord, farm, give or take).

~J

Offline Sandro

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 04:25:07 pm »
One idea that came to me to slightly reduce the tedium of missions would be to keep a list of recently used maps and bias the map selection logic against those maps

I second that.

Offline geever

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 01:54:43 pm »
One idea that came to me to slightly reduce the tedium of missions would be to keep a list of recently used maps and bias the map selection logic against those maps

it is done just like that! The problem with those missions were that only one map was available for the terrain-population-culture combo, so no selection were possible...

-geever

Offline Watered_Down

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 12:57:36 am »
Two days ago we made a small but significant change to the math that determines how many UFOs are spawned. We're still testing it to make sure we haven't disrupted game balance elsewhere, but if I did everything right the player should see about 1/4 the number of UFOs in a given time frame.

We'd love for more people to download the latest nightly to help us test before 2.4 is released. There's probably still a lot of fine tuning to be done in our next development cycle, but our priority for the moment is to bring the number of missions back under control.

THANK YOU! I have been playing for at least a hundred hours and am just in start of August, downloading the nightly builds every week or so. After installing the latest, I went three whole days without seeing a UFO right away! Previously it was rare to go 12 hours without at least one. So, after three days, one spawned in Asia (shot down) and a few hours later another fighter spawned in USA, but it landed quickly. If anything interesting happens with spawning I'll post here.
I saw in the code changes that you guys tried to fix the bug I got frequently, which was the white cone appearing in the map and stopping pathfinding. I just played two battles and didn't see it happen.
Also, I agree with what Trashman said about alien materials and what Antkatcin said about not being able to pick your base defenders (its been said before). Perhaps these are two relatively straightforward code changes that could be tried for the next release? I read the previous discussion where the original designer of the way UFOs spawn debated the new guy who had outlined a way for UFOs to react to how well the player interrupts them (can't find the thread atm). I think it's true that the world's military/political reaction to the aliens should be fleshed out more, and then that would impact future revisions of how UFOs spawn and soldiers/cops doing their darn jobs and helping out on the battlefield (or not).  :)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 01:00:36 am by Watered_Down »

Offline Jon_dArc

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Re: Impressions after playing the latest nightly
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2012, 04:00:29 pm »
it is done just like that! The problem with those missions were that only one map was available for the terrain-population-culture combo, so no selection were possible...

Heh. In that case, maybe the selection-by-location should be loosened until more maps are available—I'll grant that that could lead to "WTF?" moments as trendy discotheques start popping up in the Sahara, but I feel like the "oh god, not this map again" feeling is one of UFO:AI's biggest weaknesses.

Also, I agree with what Trashman said about alien materials and what Antkatcin said about not being able to pick your base defenders (its been said before). Perhaps these are two relatively straightforward code changes that could be tried for the next release?
Dangerous words!

The alien materials thing isn't even a code change, you can change it yourself in base/ufos/research.ufo (to change how many materials things cost to produce) or base/ufos/components.ufo (to change what you get from a single disassembly, and how long it takes). Given how frequently being able to pick base defenders has been requested, though, I'd guess that that one is far from straightforward (since if it were it'd have been done already).

~J
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 04:05:57 pm by Jon_dArc »