project-navigation
Personal tools

Author Topic: 2.5 sucks completely  (Read 224788 times)

Offline Merlin

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #165 on: June 05, 2013, 04:34:56 am »
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.
Yes. It is a matter of semantics. I get that it doesn't take 16 TUs to go into RF mode, thanks to Shipit explaining it to me. It only costs/takes/save/needs/youcan'tusetheseTUsifyouwanttodothis 8 TUs. But regardless of the number it still costs/takes/save/needs/youcan'tusetheseTUsifyouwanttodothis. You're saying it doesn't take 8 points to use because they are still there, I'm saying it does techincally take 8 points(because again Ship explained it with the pic and I get it now), because while I don't lose those 8 points, I still can't use those 8 points in my turn if I want to use RF.

The points are lost but I can't use them if I want to RF. So it has a cost, a refundable cost if you want to do something using those points instead of using RF, but a cost none the less. And again, I used the Sniper example for hyperbole. Lemme try this again. I use 8 RF on a shotgun to watch the door. The alien walks in a way to not let me see it for 8 TUs and shoots my guy in the side killing him. A sniper watches an area, and never shoots anything because the TUs are too high for him to cover. A shotgunner has to get lucky that the alien is brain dead.

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?!

I still don't see how it works. No wait, I see how it works mechanically, not practice. The only time RF will work is if the alien is in vision enough. And there's very few times where you can grantee that the alien will spend the TUs to be allowed to get shot. Here lemme see...

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.

Ah ha. Depending on how the alien moves, your two soldiers won't get a shot off. He can spend enough to get killed, move enough so only one can fire, or moves the side of the second guy(the standing one) with TUs to spend. Aliens have weird movement patterns and it makes little sense covering alien UFO doors in places as they can walk to your side and kill you that way. I said the AI is kinda dim yes, but this is an XCOM style game. The AI always has weird movement patterns.

Which brings me back to, why take a chance on RF when Smoke saves my bacon more often. The reason I wanted RF explained to me was to see if I was doing it wrong, to see if I can shoot them when I see them. I was wrong in both. I wanted RF to be 'prepare to shoot' rather than 'prepare to react to shoot'. So thanks for putting up with me and thanks for explaining how it works, even if the answer wasn't what I was expecting.

Offline kurja

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #166 on: June 05, 2013, 11:32:53 am »
Yes. It is a matter of semantics. I get that it doesn't take 16 TUs to go into RF mode, thanks to Shipit explaining it to me. It only costs/takes/save/needs/youcan'tusetheseTUsifyouwanttodothis 8 TUs. But regardless of the number it still costs/takes/save/needs/youcan'tusetheseTUsifyouwanttodothis. You're saying it doesn't take 8 points to use because they are still there, I'm saying it does techincally take 8 points(because again Ship explained it with the pic and I get it now), because while I don't lose those 8 points, I still can't use those 8 points in my turn if I want to use RF.
OK, activating RF does take away from what you can do in your own turn. Good that you now understand the actual TU cost (8 instead of 16). But what would be the alternative? Have RF cost nothing?
The points are lost but I can't use them if I want to RF. So it has a cost, a refundable cost if you want to do something using those points instead of using RF, but a cost none the less. And again, I used the Sniper example for hyperbole. Lemme try this again. I use 8 RF on a shotgun to watch the door. The alien walks in a way to not let me see it for 8 TUs and shoots my guy in the side killing him. A sniper watches an area, and never shoots anything because the TUs are too high for him to cover. A shotgunner has to get lucky that the alien is brain dead.
And if your options are going through the door with 8TUs, finding yourself facing an alien with 0 TU left? You'd rather do that than instead wait for next turn by the doorway with RF activated?
Which brings me back to, why take a chance on RF when Smoke saves my bacon more often. The reason I wanted RF explained to me was to see if I was doing it wrong, to see if I can shoot them when I see them. I was wrong in both. I wanted RF to be 'prepare to shoot' rather than 'prepare to react to shoot'. So thanks for putting up with me and thanks for explaining how it works, even if the answer wasn't what I was expecting.
OK. If it sucks so bad you're probably better off not using it then.

imho some sort of overwatch mode of rf would be sweet, like pre-targeting a square for quick rf if an enemy walks there, but afaik such a feature is not planned (can a dev confirm this please?)

Offline H-Hour

  • Administrator
  • PHALANX Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 1923
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #167 on: June 05, 2013, 11:39:35 am »
Ah ha. Depending on how the alien moves, your two soldiers won't get a shot off. He can spend enough to get killed, move enough so only one can fire, or moves the side of the second guy(the standing one) with TUs to spend. Aliens have weird movement patterns and it makes little sense covering alien UFO doors in places as they can walk to your side and kill you that way..

The situation where an alien walks around a corner then past your units (and thus out of view) is a fairly simple tactical problem that you would be able to solve if you weren't trying to find a reason to think RF is useless. The solution is to position your soldiers not right on the corner, but at least 4 grid spaces from the corner. This way, the alien will not be able to get past you without spending at least 8 TU. See attached image. Note: the aliens know this, and you'll see different behaviour when you position your soldiers this way.

I'm not sure what you mean by "move enough so only one can fire". If you meant walking out of view, then disregard this. But if you meant that an alien can spend just enough TUs for only one soldier to fire -- that's not possible if they both have the same 8 TU firemode for reaction fire. As soon as the alien goes over the 8 TU threshold, all soldiers who have an 8 TU firemode on reaction fire will fire (assuming they maintained view).

imho some sort of overwatch mode of rf would be sweet, like pre-targeting a square for quick rf if an enemy walks there, but afaik such a feature is not planned (can a dev confirm this please?)
It's not officially on the roadmap or anything, but I am in favor of this and hope we'll get there eventually.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 11:41:26 am by H-Hour »

Offline ShipIt

  • Project Artist
  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #168 on: June 05, 2013, 06:17:32 pm »
@Merlin

What´s the build date of your version? You should see it at the bottom of the main menu.

Offline kurja

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #169 on: June 06, 2013, 07:09:45 am »
shipit, in some earlier version a shot from a standing actor would hit a squadmate crouched in front of him/her, has this changed?

Offline ShipIt

  • Project Artist
  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #170 on: June 06, 2013, 09:56:14 am »
shipit, in some earlier version a shot from a standing actor would hit a squadmate crouched in front of him/her, has this changed?

Yes. It´s save now.

Offline homunculus

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 387
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #171 on: June 06, 2013, 10:15:02 am »
For anyone who wants reaction fire to happen instantly, would you like the aliens doing the same to you?
As soon as you stick your nose around the corner into the alien's field of vision, you would get blasted by the most time unit intensive firemode of heavy particle beam.

It took some time but at last I remembered the main problem with firing: the burst firemode. In this case it would be more realistic if the first shots of the burst were fired sooner. Like a sequence of single shots (uh, I just tried to model in my head the burst accuracy decrease with sequential shots dependent on the soldier's skill of handling recoil, but I guess that would be too radical change).

Offline kurja

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #172 on: June 06, 2013, 01:28:08 pm »
For anyone who wants reaction fire to happen instantly, would you like the aliens doing the same to you?
As soon as you stick your nose around the corner into the alien's field of vision, you would get blasted by the most time unit intensive firemode of heavy particle beam.
Not "instant reaction fire" per se but a parallel function, that would likely cost more tu's or come with some other complication. I don't think there's any debate over the fact it is a shortcoming of the current game mechanics that it is impossible to have a soldier simply sit tight, aim his/her weapon at a doorway and shoot at a hint of movement in the said doorway; currently the tu cost of firing a weapon is said to include 1) assuming firing position/raising the weapon, 2) aiming and finally 3) taking the shot. Suggested "overwatch mode" would, for an example, spend the tu's needed for stages 1 and 2 immediately, thus less tu's would be needed during the alien turn to actually fire - assuming the enemy ever walks into the targeted area as an actor in overwatch mode would not take any reaction shot at enemies moving about elsewhere. Thus, it would actually cost tu's just to enable this mode, in total it would cost more tu's than normal reaction fire, shots would only be taken on enemies moving in a pre-defined area, plus side being that the shots would happen faster. (ofc the above is just one way of doing it that has been discussed around here)

I'm confident this would not wreck game balance or make normal rf obsolete. But surely this has been discussed through before, just mentioning...


Offline homunculus

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 387
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #173 on: June 07, 2013, 11:39:37 am »
Not "instant reaction fire" per se but a parallel function, that would likely cost more tu's or come with some other complication.
I don't understand what would be the difference. The aliens would still blast you into cinders as soon as you look around the corner.
currently the tu cost of firing a weapon is said to include 1) assuming firing position/raising the weapon, 2) aiming and finally 3) taking the shot.
That assumes UFO:AI is a computer game. It is not, it is a real world battle between humans and aliens ::)

The last TU cost is missing:

4) recovering from recoil.

Therefore the shot should happen sooner than the total time units cost.

Offline kurja

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #174 on: June 07, 2013, 01:22:59 pm »
I don't understand what would be the difference. The aliens would still blast you into cinders as soon as you look around the corner.That assumes UFO:AI is a computer game. It is not, it is a real world battle between humans and aliens ::)

Only if the alien happens to have pre-targeted that particular corner in it's turn (and having done so would have moved and fired less during it's turn, and during your turn would not take rf shots towards anywhere else). You make it sound like it would become impossible to move at all.

As for getting shot in the face when peeking around a corner, I don't see why that shouldn't happen every now and then.

The last TU cost is missing:

4) recovering from recoil.

Therefore the shot should happen sooner than the total time units cost.
whatever. it's not like I was laying out plans for some shortly upcoming feature.

Offline homunculus

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 387
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #175 on: June 07, 2013, 02:30:39 pm »
As for getting shot in the face when peeking around a corner, I don't see why that shouldn't happen every now and then.
whatever. it's not like I was laying out plans for some shortly upcoming feature.
Oh, well, that seems to miss the point entirely. I meant your soldiers (or the aliens) shouldn't be able to run so long in the enemy reaction fire area. Which should be at least half-way similar to what you seem to be suggesting.
That, and first shot of a burst happening even sooner.

Offline Xeinar

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #176 on: June 07, 2013, 03:21:58 pm »
The overwatch idea is good (still it seems a redundance of RF reserved points).
In order to avoid instant kill, the rule could be something like: 1) the unit steps in the line of sight 2) if a second uncovered step is taken, (overwatch) RF is activated 2) if a second step is take and goes in cover, there is no RF 3) if the unit rotates on the same spot without taking a second step, no RF is activated.

This would:
- keep on working with the TU count (take one step AND firing would result in a preemptive RF)
- allow aimed RF (sniper rifle, for example)
- avoid instant kill (the soldier/alien can react to a false movement before being blasted)

Offline H-Hour

  • Administrator
  • PHALANX Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 1923
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #177 on: June 07, 2013, 05:02:31 pm »
I am more inclined to keep it simple, not RF-specific and without conditions, such as:

Overwatch will improve accuracy and reduce the TU cost of firing by half, but limit the unit's visibility. A soldier will leave overwatch when they move, crouch or turn.

Then, entering overwatch would cost a flat rate (say, 20-24 TUs). The benefits (improved accuracy and cheaper firemode) could be used during the player's turn or during the enemy's turn in reaction fire.

This would interact well with the TU-cost distributions we have in place. A pistol (4 -> 2 TU) would be able to RF after a single grid movement. A snap shot or shotgun (8 -> 4 TU) would give the target an opportunity to retreat but not to do anything else. Burst modes and the cheapest flamer firemode (12 -> 6 TU) would RF before the target could fire everything but pistols. And an aimed Sniper Rifle (20 -> 10 TU) would not be able to beat an alien in a close-up battle, but would be more effective at returning fire when covering distant areas (which would fit its role well).

At a cost of 20-24 TUs, it would interact well with the average TUs of a lightly equipped sniper (40-42). A light sniper could enter overwatch and still get off two shots in a turn (Sniper Rifle only). An assault rifle soldier with normal equip average TUs (~32) could enter overwatch and still possibly take two snap shots in a turn, but would be unable to move much having done so. However, a lightly equipped assault rifle soldier (40-42 TUs) could enter overwatch and then take three to four burst shots. That may be excessive. This could be resolved by making the overwatch cost a % of total TUs, but this would create a situation where the player would not be certain how much it costs and it would go against TU transactions for every other action in the battlescape.

Benefits:
  • It's very easy to understand the effect.
  • It works the same way, always.
  • It is valuable enough to use but (maybe) not overpowered.

Drawbacks:
  • It might very well be overpowered and shift the impetus on the battlefield to defensive strategies. It would need playtesting.
  • Players will still complain that their sniper can't instakill from across the map.

Offline MonkeyHead

  • Squad Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 127
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #178 on: June 08, 2013, 11:51:24 pm »
Just going to drop my own minor opinion in here if that is ok with everyone.

Played 2.4 through one full campaign, and switched to 2.5 after that - played it solidly now for a month or so, taking a campaign into the middle game, but no further before choosing to restart. Why you ask? Needlers.  >:(

I know that sounds like a minor peeve, but other than that the balance for 2.5 is overall very good (tested extensivley in the single mission mode to check how needlers compared to particle weapons in the regard). 2.5 rewards agressive play, and punishes mistakes. I was winning most ground combats, and would loose at least one trooper per mission, until those god damn needle guns came along. Quite simply IMHO they are OP when combined with the wound/bleeding out system. Aliens carrying them become death dealing gods. I know the damage done by one needle is tiny - but when several dozen of them can impact on troops even in partial cover from the entire length of the map away, taking away most of a group of troops health and leaving them bleeding out due to multiple wounds in a turn or two time and time again from whole map range it becomes a bit of a joke. I totally get them having a high RoF and cloud like dispersial, but the damage they can deal at long range is a bit silly when you consider the sheer volume of fire (which totally negates thier current level of dispersial) that they can lay down from one end of the map to the other. As soon as needlers came along I would lose almost all my ground combats and should I manage to win one I would lose most of my troops, regardless of approach (flashbangs/smoke grenades, highly cautious cover taking, use of RF, staying at extreme range, NOTHING HELPED!). Has anyone else had such difficulty with them? Unlike other Alien weapons (such as extreme short range of plasma blaster, innacuracy of plasma rifle) they seem to have no weakness.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 12:10:26 am by MonkeyHead »

Offline H-Hour

  • Administrator
  • PHALANX Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 1923
    • View Profile
Re: 2.5 sucks completely
« Reply #179 on: June 09, 2013, 12:42:16 am »
It's definitely a change when needlers start appearing, but I find the threat from them is very map-dependent. The more open ground you have to cover the more difficult it becomes. The high TU costs of the needler, however, are its big drawback. I found the most effective way to deal with them was to not draw their fire. On large open maps, smoke was the only effective way to prevent return fire. On smaller maps with some cover, indirect fire and drawing the enemy in to a closer range where I could use low TU firemodes helped. The nice thing about needlers is knowing I can get off a snap shot without taking RF.

But of course the needlers are still gonna fire some. For these occassions, I found I really had to use all 12 soldiers (have you gotten the Herakles yet?). When soldiers were injured I just had to take them off the front lines and task another soldier or two to patch them up. If you're still going in with just 8 soldiers, you may not have the manpower to do that. But keep the research program up and you'll get the Herakles not too long after needlers start appearing. And in really dire situations, it helps to have some rookies that you can sacrifice by putting them in harm's way (be sure to keep the rest of your soldiers well away from them!). For this purpose I typically bring 1-2 "scouts", lightly equipped and unarmoured for extra TUs, carrying an assault rifle and a ton of grenades. They're great for reconnaissance and gutsy grenade tossing that saves everyone else. But they never survive long so I don't mind sending one to his death to protect one of my veterans.

From the mid-game onwards (about when needlers start to appear), I found most of the time I had at least a few soldiers off deployments in hospital and sometimes up to 10. Training up a bigger squad that can rotate on and off the battlefield will help for this (and the incentives and stat-growth rate for this should improve in future versions).