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Author Topic: 2.5 sucks completely  (Read 228948 times)

Offline Merlin

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #150 on: June 03, 2013, 09:05:15 pm »
Ahh, ok. You don't realize how reaction fire works. If your build is after May 7, you should have an entry in the ufopaedia, under Basic Concepts (Ground Combat), which explains reaction fire. It is not a free shot on the enemy as soon as they appear. It's a first-to-the-draw race using TUs. Here's the text we've added to the game that explains it.

This is why, in the picture example I provided, the difference between an 8 TU and a 12 TU reaction firemode matters so much. Ideally, we'll some day have some in-battle feedback on RF that makes it clearer what is happening. But for now this is all we've got.

You know, after I walked away the word "Threshold" stayed with me and I think I figured that out after walking away. But if that's the case, it still makes no sense and is in my mind rather silly compared to the other two games that I can compare it to, X-Coms and the remake XCOM(yeah this is gonna get confusing).

It takes 16 TUs to reaction fire with snap shot. That means an alien can walk, shoot, and leave before he spends 16 TUs if he's moving around a corner. Heck this explains why my snipers never react. An Alien would have to be dancing in front of them the entire turn before the sniper figures out "Hey I should shoot this guy".

I also find it silly because the two XCOM games(The first and the remake) just had you set it up and they would fire on the first guy that walked into sight. When I go on reaction fire I want to spend my unit's turn to overwatch and shoot the guy that turns the corner. But the system here wants me to worry about "okay how long will the Alien be in my line of sight before I die"? No, to me that's a bad idea! I'm giving up my turn to shoot Aliens during their turn! I shouldn't have to worry about how many TUs they decide to burn.

How are you loading your soldiers? If you find yourself short of TU's have you tried going light to get those bonus time units? I usually have my "assault team" without armor and using light weapons, like shotguns, lasers or rifles, wielding forty-plus TU's they basically sprint from cover to cover spotting enemies for snipers and grenadiers to kill and when they don't have a shot I'll use smoke and shoot them close up in the back :) At the end of my turn I arrange them defensively for reaction fire. Reaction fire mechanics are now really simple actually, actions that take less TU's happen first and a target needs to be seen for as many TU's as a reaction shot needs. which is where those shotguns are handy.

You didn't comment on my question of purging ufo's or small buildings, what's your strategy for that if you don't carry any short range weapons?

For gear I tend to have; Primary, Armor, 2 Reloads, Medikit. From there it's extras like grenades or side weapons. I never try to go without armor though at where I am in the game, might as well. Everything one shots my guys it seems. I've had soldiers that could only carry their explosive weapon and armor, that's it. Reaction Fire to me is still fiddly. "Mr. Alien could you stand right there for a minute while I get my sights right to shoot you?" Sure it might be more real, soldier taking time to actually aim, but when I go on reaction fire I want to oh, React, when I see an alien the moment they step in view.

As for Purging UFOs and Small Buildings, combo of grenades and time. Aliens are still stupid and are prone to leaving their hidey holes after enough time. If they don't well; Flash bang around the corner, Grenades and Incendiary at spots where I think the aliens are and smoke right on top my guys. Because Aliens can just walk through past my guy and shoot him in the back if I try to reaction fire.

@Merlin: Which is your build's date? I have this feeling you are using an old one for some reason.

May 25th 2013. I'm not playing a very old one.

Offline ShipIt

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #151 on: June 03, 2013, 09:31:49 pm »
...
It takes 16 8 TUs to reaction fire with snap shot.
...

Offline H-Hour

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #152 on: June 03, 2013, 10:20:13 pm »
I'm giving up my turn to shoot Aliens during their turn! I shouldn't have to worry about how many TUs they decide to burn.
I'm against this method because it inherently preferences defensive over offensive tactics. If I can be sure that my unit on RF will fire on an enemy the moment it appears, then it is always in my interest to encounter the enemy during the enemy's turn. The enemy will be lower on TU because they will have moved into view and they will probably be closer because they've had to move into my carefully limited field of view. This defensive advantage would be exacerbated by our poor alien AI, which can't really play defensively in this way, doesn't understand indirect fire and loves to rush the closest target.

It would be inherently unbalanced in multiplayer, too.

Heck this explains why my snipers never react. An Alien would have to be dancing in front of them the entire turn before the sniper figures out "Hey I should shoot this guy".
You must keep in mind that a firemode takes into account a series of actions, not just the firing of the weapon as soon as something is spotted. It also entails the time it takes to raise the weapon and sight in the target. If a soldier could just as easily and quickly do this with a sniper rifle as they could with an assault rifle, all soldiers would take them in real life. But scopes reduce situational awareness (hence the range of low-magnification scopes typically used on assault rifles), and sniper rifles are bigger, heavier and take more time to aim unless a sniper has already dialed into the keyhole (something which is not really appropriate for the scale or pace of our battlefields).

Snipers are not reaction fire specialists and shouldn't really be used in that capacity (except on very long range maps from defensive positions). Probably the biggest misconception is that Reaction Fire is Overwatch -- but in UFO:AI we don't yet have any mechanism to properly handle overwatch, in which a soldier prepares himself to fire rapidly on a specific target area. I'd like to see something like this implemented some day, with the ability to spend TUs to increase fire rate and/or accuracy in a small target area in exchange for losing some wider field of view. But it's not here yet.

I also find it silly because the two XCOM games(The first and the remake) just had you set it up and they would fire on the first guy that walked into sight.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! I haven't played the new one, but the old one was definitely not that simple, especially early on (hence the need for reactions training). The original had a reaction fire stat and, before it was adequately trained, your soldiers almost never took their shots first. The high reaction fire stat of the aliens was also the source of the enter-room-die-immediately frustration that was endemic to clearing UFOs.

Reaction Fire is not properly communicated through the UI, which is a real problem I don't want to pretend doesn't exist. But the system is actually not that complicated when you figure it out, and it does reinforce something that I think is a vital part of the 2.5 weapons balance revamp: the most important tactics are squad-based, not soldier-based. You need to use your soldiers in supportive roles to cover for each other's weaknesses. No matter how good a soldier you have, they will be defenseless in some situations. This is a significant improvement over 2.4, where you basically equipped your guys with the best weapons you could and sent them into a shootout with the aliens. It's often the people who were most used to this old style of play who have had the hardest time adjusting to the new style. But in spite of the title of this thread (which will, apparently, never die), I am convinced that the ground combat in 2.5 is more tactically interesting, more intellectually challenging and, therefore, more fun, than 2.4.

Offline Merlin

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #153 on: June 04, 2013, 02:59:36 am »


8 TUs to prepare + 8 to snap shot = 16 TUs. Aliens must pass a 'threshold' before being shot. I used 16 TUs so they must use 16 TUs before I shoot.

I'm against this method because it inherently preferences defensive over offensive tactics. If I can be sure that my unit on RF will fire on an enemy the moment it appears, then it is always in my interest to encounter the enemy during the enemy's turn. The enemy will be lower on TU because they will have moved into view and they will probably be closer because they've had to move into my carefully limited field of view. This defensive advantage would be exacerbated by our poor alien AI, which can't really play defensively in this way, doesn't understand indirect fire and loves to rush the closest target.

It would be inherently unbalanced in multiplayer, too.

So rather than making it work that way for fear of making game play too defensive, you make players play defensive anyway because they can't rely on Reaction Fire? Also, don't care for balance in multiplayer myself so can't say how it would affect it.

You must keep in mind that a firemode takes into account a series of actions, not just the firing of the weapon as soon as something is spotted. It also entails the time it takes to raise the weapon and sight in the target. If a soldier could just as easily and quickly do this with a sniper rifle as they could with an assault rifle, all soldiers would take them in real life. But scopes reduce situational awareness (hence the range of low-magnification scopes typically used on assault rifles), and sniper rifles are bigger, heavier and take more time to aim unless a sniper has already dialed into the keyhole (something which is not really appropriate for the scale or pace of our battlefields).

Snipers are not reaction fire specialists and shouldn't really be used in that capacity (except on very long range maps from defensive positions). Probably the biggest misconception is that Reaction Fire is Overwatch -- but in UFO:AI we don't yet have any mechanism to properly handle overwatch, in which a soldier prepares himself to fire rapidly on a specific target area. I'd like to see something like this implemented some day, with the ability to spend TUs to increase fire rate and/or accuracy in a small target area in exchange for losing some wider field of view. But it's not here yet.

I used snipers as an example since they have some of the largest pools of TUs needed to reaction fire. An alien would need to sit there dancing before they fired. Worst case alien come around the corner and shoots him from across an open field killing him before the sniper goes "oh look ET, better shoot him". Also, given that aliens are invading with plasma weapons, anti matter engines and a plan to conquer the human race, I thought we gave up on 'realism' when it came to the specific actions a soldier must do to shoot.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! I haven't played the new one, but the old one was definitely not that simple, especially early on (hence the need for reactions training). The original had a reaction fire stat and, before it was adequately trained, your soldiers almost never took their shots first. The high reaction fire stat of the aliens was also the source of the enter-room-die-immediately frustration that was endemic to clearing UFOs.

Reaction Fire is not properly communicated through the UI, which is a real problem I don't want to pretend doesn't exist. But the system is actually not that complicated when you figure it out, and it does reinforce something that I think is a vital part of the 2.5 weapons balance revamp: the most important tactics are squad-based, not soldier-based. You need to use your soldiers in supportive roles to cover for each other's weaknesses. No matter how good a soldier you have, they will be defenseless in some situations. This is a significant improvement over 2.4, where you basically equipped your guys with the best weapons you could and sent them into a shootout with the aliens. It's often the people who were most used to this old style of play who have had the hardest time adjusting to the new style. But in spite of the title of this thread (which will, apparently, never die), I am convinced that the ground combat in 2.5 is more tactically interesting, more intellectually challenging and, therefore, more fun, than 2.4.

My soldiers from the first XCOM game tended to shoot. They don't here. Maybe it was the bonkers pathfinding that made them dance for the soldier to shoot. Or maybe it's because I grouped soldiers that started with high reaction as cover soldiers. Point is, it worked more for me in that game than it does here. Also Aliens still do the enter-room-die-immediately in this game, more so because I've seen Hoverbots move, shoot 3 times, and still reaction fire.

To me there is no reason to rely on something that will not work most the time. Why sit there and pray the enemy will give you enough time to shoot when you can take cover or throw a grenade or do something that doesn't equal into putting your head between your legs and kissing your hide good by. No reason to use half the weapons, no reason to try to be defensive other than smokes, and when hoverbots show up en-mass say good bye to your soldiers. 2.5 combat is more luck, more confusing, and outright far more frustrating. God help the players if you guys ever put in Chryssalid like enemies. But I doubt nor would want the game changed just for me. Just putting forth my problems and concerns.

Also, doesn't the forum let those that control it change the name of topics?

Offline ShipIt

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #154 on: June 04, 2013, 06:27:13 am »
8 TUs to prepare + 8 to snap shot = 16 TUs. Aliens must pass a 'threshold' before being shot. I used 16 TUs so they must use 16 TUs before I shoot.

How do you spend eight TUs to "prepare" for RF? It´s simply enabling it and your soldier will use RF if he gets a chance, as often as he has enough TUs and ammo left to fire. So, if you enable RF while your soldier has eight TUs left, he is able to shot once (if the correct firemode is set in the firemode menu), if he has 16 TUs left he can shoot twice during the aliens turn.

Offline homunculus

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #155 on: June 04, 2013, 08:46:58 am »
Assuming that reaction fire is not supposed to be the primary means of killing aliens, but an emergency measure to try to save your poorly placed soldiers, I see nothing wrong with the reaction fire as long as it works according to this spec.
If X-COM reaction fire didn't work like that, then I think UFO:AI reaction fire is better.

The only thing that I would debate (your opinion may differ, of course) is that the shots should be fired half-way through the time units needed for the shot. This is because after pulling the trigger and firing the shot there should be some time for recovery.

Along the same lines (of firing half-way), it is possible to do something that has a similar effect to sneaking up to an alien.
It is estimating where the alien has moved far enough not to have time units to shoot when it has line of sight to your soldier.
Then next turn you walk around the alien (to the alien's side or behind) and kill it with a knife.
If the shot was fired half-way through the time units, it would be more difficult to walk around the alien.
Killing aliens with a knife is a bit fun, though.

Offline Merlin

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #156 on: June 04, 2013, 09:18:51 am »
How do you spend eight TUs to "prepare" for RF? It´s simply enabling it and your soldier will use RF if he gets a chance, as often as he has enough TUs and ammo left to fire. So, if you enable RF while your soldier has eight TUs left, he is able to shot once (if the correct firemode is set in the firemode menu), if he has 16 TUs left he can shoot twice during the aliens turn.

Okay here's how i try to set up RF. I select a soldier and click to 'prepare' RF mode which takes 8 TUs. Then I have to select a 'Fire' mode for my weapon. So I select the Gun icon right next to the Reaction Fire Icon. A menu comes up asking what fire mode would I like to save for. I select Snap Shot, which costs 8 TUs. 8 + 8 = 16. Took me 8 TUs to go into RF mode, and another 8 for the lowest firing mode. 16 TUs to snap shot during the enemy turn. Alien has to dance for 16 TUs before my men shoot.

Assuming that reaction fire is not supposed to be the primary means of killing aliens, but an emergency measure to try to save your poorly placed soldiers, I see nothing wrong with the reaction fire as long as it works according to this spec.
If X-COM reaction fire didn't work like that, then I think UFO:AI reaction fire is better.

Smoke does the same thing and is far less random/guess work/praying.

Offline H-Hour

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #157 on: June 04, 2013, 10:46:00 am »
Okay here's how i try to set up RF. I select a soldier and click to 'prepare' RF mode which takes 8 TUs. Then I have to select a 'Fire' mode for my weapon. So I select the Gun icon right next to the Reaction Fire Icon. A menu comes up asking what fire mode would I like to save for. I select Snap Shot, which costs 8 TUs. 8 + 8 = 16. Took me 8 TUs to go into RF mode, and another 8 for the lowest firing mode. 16 TUs to snap shot during the enemy turn. Alien has to dance for 16 TUs before my men shoot.
No, you're misunderstanding this. RF is simply enabled or disabled, and doing so doesn't use any TUs. When you select a RF firemode, you're not spending those TUs, but telling the game which firemode to use. The firemode TUs are reserved this turn, which prevents you from accidentally spending them doing other actions, but the TUs are only spent during the enemy's turn when reaction fire is taken.

The threshold -- the amount of TUs an alien must spend in view of your soldier before that soldier will take reaction fire -- is equivalent only to the cost of the reaction firemode. So, if you have set reaction fire to a snap shot that costs 8 TU, the threshold is 8, not 16.

With this in mind, go back and look at the image I attached earlier in the thread. It should make more sense now.

Offline ShipIt

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #158 on: June 04, 2013, 11:19:00 am »
.

Offline kurja

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #159 on: June 04, 2013, 03:55:19 pm »
perhaps you can now see why some like to have those smg's and shotguns combined with tu's spared for rf?

Offline Merlin

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #160 on: June 04, 2013, 08:28:49 pm »
No, you're misunderstanding this. RF is simply enabled or disabled, and doing so doesn't use any TUs. When you select a RF firemode, you're not spending those TUs, but telling the game which firemode to use. The firemode TUs are reserved this turn, which prevents you from accidentally spending them doing other actions, but the TUs are only spent during the enemy's turn when reaction fire is taken.

The threshold -- the amount of TUs an alien must spend in view of your soldier before that soldier will take reaction fire -- is equivalent only to the cost of the reaction firemode. So, if you have set reaction fire to a snap shot that costs 8 TU, the threshold is 8, not 16.

With this in mind, go back and look at the image I attached earlier in the thread. It should make more sense now.

Semantics. Sure I didn't spend the TUs during my turn but unless I turn off RF, I can't use those either. Hence the word cost. It Costs the soldier that much TUs to use RF rather than say move, change gear, heal, etc.

.

Now see that explains it far better.

perhaps you can now see why some like to have those smg's and shotguns combined with tu's spared for rf?
Only if it kills something which in my practice of firing at the alien at close range on my turn, I end up needing another shot. So hoping for the Alien to not kill me on their turn so I can shoot back isn't viable to me.

Reaction fire is still clunky to use and hopefully more to the point, this shows just how confusing it is to some people. Sorry I'll take my chances for a kill on my own turn thank you. Even if the aliens get enough TUs to do everything and still RF.

Offline H-Hour

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #161 on: June 04, 2013, 08:57:14 pm »
Sorry I'll take my chances for a kill on my own turn thank you.
So, now we've learned that you didn't understand how reaction fire works when you became frustrated with it. And we've gone through quite a lot to explain to you how it does work. And you're not even going to try it out?!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 09:03:13 pm by H-Hour »

Offline Visitor

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #162 on: June 04, 2013, 10:08:51 pm »
Don't worry, we do appreciate your effort, H-Hour. But if guy doesn't like how the whole RF works, then even the best explanation, with the best intent in mind won't help. I do understand his disappointment somewhat - you basically freeze action of your trooper, on the off-chance he will perform it during enemy's turn, after said enemy will get into line of sight and spend some TUs and even then it may be that enemy will fire first making the whole setup more useless than rushing in possibly could be or RF won't kill the alien and phalanx boys will get a mouthful of hot, hot plasma anyway.

Funnily enough - I find some things needing adjusting when aliens travel great distances or shoot with uncanny accuracy and I do find them when there are issues with balance like this one.. but I cannot recall me being really annoyed by RF, despite informations of it being (at least uspposedly) overpowered for aliens/of little value for Phalanx.

Offline kurja

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #163 on: June 04, 2013, 11:41:57 pm »
Semantics. Sure I didn't spend the TUs during my turn but unless I turn off RF, I can't use those either. Hence the word cost. It Costs the soldier that much TUs to use RF rather than say move, change gear, heal, etc.

No!! Not a matter of semantics. An 8TU snapshot as reaction fire costs 8TU, not 16, no matter how you turn it. If you have 40TU, spend 32 walking and shooting so you have eight left, you can activate RF and the 8TU shot will then happen on the alien turn (if conditions are met). 8, not 16!

As it is, reaction fire sure isn't suitable for sniper overwatch or similar as you've noted but it still has it's uses. I use it extensively.

Offline H-Hour

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Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #164 on: June 05, 2013, 12:15:07 am »
I do understand his disappointment somewhat - you basically freeze action of your trooper, on the off-chance he will perform it during enemy's turn, after said enemy will get into line of sight and spend some TUs and even then it may be that enemy will fire first making the whole setup more useless than rushing in possibly could be or RF won't kill the alien and phalanx boys will get a mouthful of hot, hot plasma anyway.
RF is much more than just a shoot now or later choice. If you can shoot at an alien safely and move into a safe position during your turn, you should almost always do it. Reaction Fire is for all the other times when you can't quite kill an alien and need an alternative solution.

Consider a situation where you have an alien at mid-range spotted by two soldiers with laser rifles. You estimate that a burst shot has a good chance of hitting with one round at this range and two hits are enough to bring down this alien. However, one of your soldiers already used many of his TUs. If he fires a burst shot at the alien, he won't have enough TUs to move into a safe position, so any other alien can walk into the open area and fire at him.

Instead of taking the chance and hoping to get lucky, you can move your soldiers behind a nearby building and put one crouched in front of the other. Now they only have enough for a snap shot, but at this range they're almost certain to hit. The alien is almost certainly going to come around the corner and fire at one of your soldiers, so with their 8 TU snap shot they'll get their shots off first. Now you've traded one likely kill for an even more likely kill, and added on the bonus that your soldiers will be in a safer position.