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Author Topic: Game mechanics lookup?  (Read 5048 times)

Offline Quizer

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Game mechanics lookup?
« on: December 26, 2012, 01:37:56 am »
I'd like to know how several things in the game work in detail. Is it possible to look this information up somewhere? (Version 2.5dev)

 - How does radar detection work? Is it chance-based or 100% once it enters the detection area? What are the inner and outer circles? Is one radar enough or is it beneficial to have several? Should you have one of each, or only one of the best type available?
   With the basic radar you get at the beginning, whenever I detect a UFO, it is usually at the border of the inner circle. But once I built an advanced radar, I started getting detections only further inside the inner boundary. And then I got a "landed UFO" site within my detection area without ever seeing the corresponding UFO.
   
 - How does reaction fire work? On the whole, it doesn't seem as reliable / effective as I'd like it to be. I've seen a thread about people arguing over how strong reaction fire makes "camping" as a strategy too powerful, but they never actually came out and said how it works. If you reserve TUs for reaction fire, can it trigger once only, or several times?
   Also, does it work the same way for humans and aliens? I've noticed that on a turn after an alien walks very close to you, you can often evade reaction fire by walking around it and shooting it from the side / behind.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 02:59:36 am by Quizer »

Offline Bonzo

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2012, 02:20:19 am »
In 2.4, the small radius is the area a UFO will be detected in, the larger radius only picks up UFOs already detected (having passed through the small radius first). I suppose this simulates that it's easier at long distances to show up a stealth aircraft you've already identified than spot them right off.

Regarding effectiveness, reaction fire is a major game balance issue the development team are working on - can't comment on it's 2.5 behaviour.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 02:23:29 am by Bonzo »

Offline trillioneyes

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2012, 03:43:09 am »
I'm playing 2.5 and the aliens seem to always get reaction fire against me and never trigger my reaction fire (slight exaggeration; there have been exceptions on both sides). I've heard from other places that actions take place in an order dependent on their TU costs, so that using an attack that costs 6 TU should not trigger a reaction fire that costs 8 (or something like that). I don't know the specifics or even if that's how it works at all, though.

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 04:42:02 am »
Bonzo is right, and it still applies to 2.5 inner circle is the detection radius, outer one the tracking radius, to complement: detection is chance based, advanced radars have better chances, detection rate of the radars doesn't add together, but each radar will have a chance to detect the ufo in turn, so while you can't have 100% chances by stacking radars together you do get better chances by having more radars.
Additionally ufos can drop from orbit anywhere (seemingly even right on top of bases that they then proceed to attack :( ), aaand some missions are generated without ufos btw.

What trillioneyes describes is the general idea of how the reaction fire system works, other factors like chances to hit also play a role IIRC, note that there was a bug that caused the aliens to reaction fire much more often than normal, which has been recently fixed, you might also be interested in the last pages in this thread

Offline Quizer

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 07:23:01 pm »
Do we know exact figures for radar mechanics? As in, what the chance of detection per check is for the different radars (I have only seen regular and advanced, so far), and how frequent checks are while a UFO is with in the detection radius.

As for reaction fire, I've tried using less TU intensive shots for reaction fire when trying to ambush aliens, and have had much more success. And yeah, having a firing squad set up somewhere rather than just one guy definitely helps.

Still, I kinda miss the safety of combat I experienced in the old 2.4 release. Most maps in 2.5dev are a lot more close quarters (which I don't really feel is necessarily to the player's advantage), and the weapons aliens fielded at the beginning never outright killed one of your soldiers. Now, starting two months into the game in 2.5dev, I'm facing aliens with plasma blasters and so many TUs that they can do a full turn's walking, then do a full turn's firing, then walk some more, fire again, and still kill your soldier by RF'ing a plasma ball in his face on your turn when he so much as twitches. (Anyway, I don't really mind that Reaction Fire isn't all-powerful in the player's favor, but I'd still like to know exactly how it works so I can take advantage of it as I may.)

I like the wounds system, which is more in line with the old X-COM. Healing HP by the dozens felt kind of overpowered; I'm fine with healing only enough HP to make sure I don't immediately bleed out on the next turn while I stabilize my wounded comrade. I've never had occasion to use the other two medikit 'firing modes', though. How exactly do they work? Is stimulants solely for curing stun damage, or does it do something else as well?

By the way, is there a way to check how many fatal wounds an alien has? I'd like to be able to make sure a partially stunned, partially injured alien I want to capture doesn't bleed out without wasting excess medikit charges.

Are we going to get upgrades to radar towers in the future? The detection radius is so teeny-tiny, and there are other things like ufo yards you want to build, too. Getting two non-base buildings per base built (is that right?) feels a little stingy.

Offline Wolls

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 10:14:34 pm »
By the way, is there a way to check how many fatal wounds an alien has? I'd like to be able to make sure a partially stunned, partially injured alien I want to capture doesn't bleed out without wasting excess medikit charges.

 If you pull up the console  umm Shift+Esc , it shows the exact amount of bleed damage you are taking at the beginning of your turn,  I think it shows for the aliens as well, but I'm not sure.

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 05:41:07 am »
Do we know exact figures for radar mechanics? As in, what the chance of detection per check is for the different radars (I have only seen regular and advanced, so far), and how frequent checks are while a UFO is with in the detection radius.
Someone would need to go digging in the code for those, I'm not familiar wit that part.

Quote
(Anyway, I don't really mind that Reaction Fire isn't all-powerful in the player's favor, but I'd still like to know exactly how it works so I can take advantage of it as I may.)
Ok, more details: as mentioned it all depends in TU cost of the reaction shoot, once an unit - like one of your soldiers - has used the same or more TUs as the opponent - say an alien - needs to reaction fire *while in the line of sight of said opponent* then reaction fire is triggered (assuming target is in range, high enough hit chances, low enough friendly fire chances, unit is not panicking, ...), note that RF is checked when you are about to shoot, if the cost of your shoot *will* cause RF to be triggered, then the unit which needs less TUs to fire will shoot first -so if you are trying to full-auto an alien in the face, they are more likely to plasma-ball you in the face first- and if you haven't noticed the AI will always choose the first fire mode for reaction fire, which is also the one that uses less TU

Quote
By the way, is there a way to check how many fatal wounds an alien has? I'd like to be able to make sure a partially stunned, partially injured alien I want to capture doesn't bleed out without wasting excess medikit charges.
That reminds me that I wanted to disallow the player from trying to heal a not wounded unit, just as it was disallowed to 'heal the void' (unlike other weapons you shouldn't be able to shoot the air with the medikit), I will probably forget again though.
BTW, did you know that stimulants actually work as sedatives for the aliens? (disclaimer: only if they are *already stunned*)

Quote
Are we going to get upgrades to radar towers in the future? The detection radius is so teeny-tiny, and there are other things like ufo yards you want to build, too. Getting two non-base buildings per base built (is that right?) feels a little stingy.
I don't think that is planned, AFAIK anyway, but I must admit the fact that aircraft have a much larger detection radius strikes me as odd.

Offline Quizer

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2012, 11:53:18 am »
Ok, more details: as mentioned it all depends in TU cost of the reaction shoot, once an unit - like one of your soldiers - has used the same or more TUs as the opponent - say an alien - needs to reaction fire *while in the line of sight of said opponent* then reaction fire is triggered (assuming target is in range, high enough hit chances, low enough friendly fire chances, unit is not panicking, ...), note that RF is checked when you are about to shoot, if the cost of your shoot *will* cause RF to be triggered, then the unit which needs less TUs to fire will shoot first -so if you are trying to full-auto an alien in the face, they are more likely to plasma-ball you in the face first- and if you haven't noticed the AI will always choose the first fire mode for reaction fire, which is also the one that uses less TU

Okay, the general gist of that is clear, but what about walking? Usually I don't get plasma balled in the face when I try to walk a short distance around an alien to whack them from the side, out of their line of sight. Do the TU for all the steps you take within an alien's sight radius pile up until the RF cost of the alien's action is lower, at which point it fires?

Also, if an alien is in front of me with a RF mode that costs 12 TU, and I try to shoot it in the face with something that costs 12 TU as well - what happens? And how does hit chance factor into it (and why? I'd rather waste ammo with a shot that might not hit the broad side of the proverbial barn rather than have my soldier not RF because he is suddenly feeling gun shy)?

Quote from: DarkRain
That reminds me that I wanted to disallow the player from trying to heal a not wounded unit, just as it was disallowed to 'heal the void' (unlike other weapons you shouldn't be able to shoot the air with the medikit), I will probably forget again though.
Yeah, fixing that would be nice. I don't think the void is going to mind. :D

Quote from: DarkRain
BTW, did you know that stimulants actually work as sedatives for the aliens? (disclaimer: only if they are *already stunned*)
Really, is that true? Interesting. I usually just whack their corpse a couple more times with my stun rod, just to be safe. (If a stunned alien wakes up, do I get a turn's worth of warning, or can they go on a rampage immediately?)

I'm guessing antipsychotics are for morale damage (not that I've had any call to use them yet - even if a soldier is all but a smoking wreck and is going to bleed to death on the next turn, his morale is still peachy. Are psionics in the game yet?). Any other applications for that?

Offline kurja

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2012, 01:51:55 pm »
About morale, is how it works now really the way it's meant to? Because I've seen a soldier suffer panicking of any kind maybe twice, it's really uncommon, even when badly wounded and fellow soldiers dying left and right.

Offline Bonzo

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2012, 10:09:33 pm »
but I must admit the fact that aircraft have a much larger detection radius strikes me as odd.

If it's not treated as a bug, that encourages a strategy of having standing air patrols of non-antimatter aircraft, which could make for interesting tactical situations, I suppose. If NATO are supplying the fuel free of charge, of course! Keeps Stillettos and such still useful later in the game maybe.

'Equippable' radar modules could effect this too - but this is turning into a speculative suggestion.

Offline Anarch Cassius

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Re: Game mechanics lookup?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2012, 10:10:57 pm »
Morale recovers quickly and high mind soldiers have more morale.

Given that we're talking trained soldiers it seems reasonable that panic should be rather rare. A totally massacred force will typically have it's last members panic which means sometimes it's worth it to take risks to blitz an enemy since they'll be too shocked to respond.

Also certain weapons seem to do more than others and suppressive fire works. If you fire all around them and launch grenades you don't have to hit that much to cause a soldier to panic, especially if you can get someone near them to go down.

Also I expect psionics will have direct attacks against morale at some point.