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Author Topic: Some suggestions  (Read 3186 times)

Offline dr_moebius

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Some suggestions
« on: September 29, 2014, 01:35:21 pm »
Hi everybody,
I think the game is absolutely great and really captured the flavor of the old x-com series!
Here are some suggestions/observations to improve gameplay:
  • You should be able to send ships to arbitrary locations on the world map, this way you can scout and eventually find alien ground bases.
  • You should be able to make your ships follow UFOs from a safe distance, so you can attack the UFO as soon as it has landed and grab the intact UFO and not just the damaged one, and also be able to follow it to alien ground bases. As an extra gameplay element the UFO could realize that it is being followed and start attacking, or try to flee, maybe even a stealth device for the own interceptors or drones could be possible.
  • You should be able to sell live and dead aliens on the market (as well as alien tech), I am sure something like an international weapons company/science community would be interested in stuff like this and they even could start producing alien weapons for the international market after a while. This would somehow more logical than a tiny lab/workshop on the base being able to produce a lot of high-tech stuff, at least for some things.
  • After the shotgun and the plasma blaster where great, but then there is no good weapon for close combat, so after a while I just had to change the profession of my close combat soldiers, in skirmish mode there is a double barrel shotgun, but I did not find it (yet? I just finished production of power armor) in the campaign.
  • One of the coolest weapons is the grenade launcher, I think it deserves flash, gas and smoke grenades.
  • There should be a less steep learning curve in the beginning, I think the first missions, especially after the first month are somewhat brutal.
  • Initial base design is far from ideal (the alien containment is right besides the dropship hangar and living quarters are far away, the workshop is on the opposite side of the dropship hangar and you have to defend/take two entry points), maybe there should be an option to assemble the initial base in the campaign instead of using the standard layout.
  • Another suggestion (this one will probably much more complicated to implement): What about the possibility to hover over the map first and see the surface (maybe even try to shoot some aliens with an onboard cannon) and choosing a landing site, there could be places where the dropship could land and places, where the team had to go down on ropes or parachutes. I think this would add another tactical element to the missions. If the dropship stays in the air, there could even be some airsupport (not only with the board cannon, but also with visibility like in the base defense missions), of course this would have to be balanced and the AI would need some counter strategy and the ability to adapt to this (e.g. like staying in buildings, being able to shoot in the air...).
  • Here are some other observations, I don't know if they are bugs or if I just did not figure it out:
    (1) After a while zero bombs showed up in the equip solders menu, but I was not able to purchase any of them or make them in the workshop.
    (2) I think the magazine in the guns get used up even if the guns are not fired during a whole mission. I did not realize this until I got needlers where ammo is somewhat scarce.
    (3) I was not able to find out what smoke was good for.

cheers,
moebius

my ufoai version is 64bit, 2.5-1~getdeb1
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 02:03:58 pm by dr_moebius »

Offline TBeholder

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Re: Some suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 08:47:51 pm »
You should be able to send ships to arbitrary locations on the world map, this way you can scout and eventually find alien ground bases.
You can. It also allows to intercept faster UFO (even Firebird can shoot down some scouts) - under "intercept"   they try to go around the planet.
You should be able to make your ships follow UFOs from a safe distance, so you can attack the UFO as soon as it has landed and grab the intact UFO and not just the damaged one, and also be able to follow it to alien ground bases. As an extra gameplay element the UFO could realize that it is being followed and start attacking, or try to flee, maybe even a stealth device for the own interceptors or drones could be possible.
See point 1. If your aircraft is faster, manually clicking outside firefight distance usually does the trick. Also, dropships have radar, lots of fuel and low fighting capability, so they double as AWACS.

After the shotgun and the plasma blaster where great, but then there is no good weapon for close combat, so after a while I just had to change the profession of my close combat soldiers, in skirmish mode there is a double barrel shotgun, but I did not find it (yet? I just finished production of power armor) in the campaign.
Yup, without burst mode on the Riot shotgun, double barreled version starts to look attractive. It's configured (in equipment.ufo and equipment_missions.ufo) to be available only in skirmish and appear in the hands of local armed guards (farmers, police, gangsters...) too. Except this part apparently doesn't work.
Also, different magazine volume means seems to be a problem with the current way of ammo handling.
One of the coolest weapons is the grenade launcher, I think it deserves flash, gas and smoke grenades.
Yup. Currently, the way magazines are implemented doesn't allow partial load and thus unloading, though.

Initial base design is far from ideal (the alien containment is right besides the dropship hangar and living quarters are far away, the workshop is on the opposite side of the dropship hangar and you have to defend/take two entry points), maybe there should be an option to assemble the initial base in the campaign instead of using the standard layout.
Yup, it's horrible. Containment is isolated (heh), Powerplant in two steps from the stairs, and Radar is between entry points.

Another suggestion (this one will probably much more complicated to implement): What about the possibility to hover over the map first and see the surface (maybe even try to shoot some aliens with an onboard cannon) and choosing a landing site
  As it is, a map preview showing main passages, alien craft location and choice of several landing positions would be a good start.
there could be places where the dropship could land and places, where the team had to go down on ropes or parachutes. I think this would add another tactical element to the missions. If the dropship stays in the air, there could even be some airsupport (not only with the board cannon, but also with visibility like in the base defense missions), of course this would have to be balanced and the AI would need some counter strategy and the ability to adapt to this (e.g. like staying in buildings, being able to shoot in the air...).
Air support - yes, but it's not exaqctly sniping, and the map is supposed to be a small location already with civilians, and either way with friendlies after drop... Of course, this brings up the point as to why crash landing in the middle of nowhere always spawns civilians who are tethered to this little spot of land.  :D
Perhaps target designators on soldiers could help. Then again, if you want to get targets in the open and have target designators, just roll a low-caliber mortar or bundle of missile tubes into dropship and have indirect fire support - much faster than remotes (once you have them) can get to the scene, and more precise (and less splash-y) that air support.
As to parachutes and fast-roping - why not, but a lot of aliens are going to use reaction fire.  You have seen that "Fast Roping 101" picture, right?  ;)
But if it was more Apocalypse-y and "more than one dropship" was implemented, this could be a good idea for reinforcements.
Alternatively, drop a few UGVs on parachutes before landing or dropping troops: little boxy tanks are both less vulnerable and easier to fix, and even if they slagged one, at least now you know where's the trouble. Speaking of which, why ever waste trooper compartment space on UGV like in X-Com, and even then, why so much? They look squat, more than enough to be stackable 2x, and/or could be hung right on the door or ramp - it makes sense to lead with these anyway.
Same applies even more to deployed cameras: 3-4 webcams with tranceiver, wire landing gear and parachute can be cheap and small enough to cluster-bomb the whole map with eyes - losing a lot of them is expectable, but provides information too. A lot of fun can be had beyond visual range.

(1) After a while zero bombs showed up in the equip solders menu, but I was not able to purchase any of them or make them in the workshop.
There's one map with bomb puzzle. It could be made much less arcade-ish if there were more destructible objects, of course...
(3) I was not able to find out what smoke was good for.
my ufoai version is 64bit, 2.5-1~getdeb1
Did you miss all the threads here about how smoke is overpowered?  ;D But mostly, you see civilians ahead - throw a smoke behind them, now aliens (who will probably walk out right after them once you end the turn) won't see and mow them down.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 10:37:21 pm by TBeholder »

Offline MonkeyHead

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Re: Some suggestions
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2014, 11:05:12 pm »
    • You should be able to sell live and dead aliens on the market (as well as alien tech), I am sure something like an international weapons company/science community would be interested in stuff like this and they even could start producing alien weapons for the international market after a while. This would somehow more logical than a tiny lab/workshop on the base being able to produce a lot of high-tech stuff, at least for some things.

    This is suggested a lot, and I am sure one of the Devs will be able to give a sensible answer regarding it.

    Quote
    • After the shotgun and the plasma blaster where great, but then there is no good weapon for close combat, so after a while I just had to change the profession of my close combat soldiers, in skirmish mode there is a double barrel shotgun, but I did not find it (yet? I just finished production of power armor) in the campaign.

    TBH there does not really need to be a better close combat weapon than the Plasma Blaster (or flamethrower for troops with horrible accuracy). Laser pistols allow for close combat troops to hit from range, and Particle beam pistols pack a decent punch. Plasma blades are also much fun. I did make the suggestion that the particle beam blaster should be a CQ weapon, but have no idea if this will be implemented - probably not.

    Quote
    • There should be a less steep learning curve in the beginning, I think the first missions, especially after the first month are somewhat brutal.


    Never really noticed them being too hard - if anything, the first few scout missions are too easy and lull you into a false sense of security.

    Quote
    • Initial base design is far from ideal (the alien containment is right besides the dropship hangar and living quarters are far away, the workshop is on the opposite side of the dropship hangar and you have to defend/take two entry points), maybe there should be an option to assemble the initial base in the campaign instead of using the standard layout.

    This can be modified in the .ufo files - basemanagement.txt, towards the bottom. It is fairly straightforward to work out and do.


    Quote
    • Here are some other observations, I don't know if they are bugs or if I just did not figure it out:
      (1) After a while zero bombs showed up in the equip solders menu, but I was not able to purchase any of them or make them in the workshop.
      (2) I think the magazine in the guns get used up even if the guns are not fired during a whole mission. I did not realize this until I got needlers where ammo is somewhat scarce.
      (3) I was not able to find out what smoke was good for.

    1 = specific item for one specific mission. irrelevant elsewhere.
    2 = Not so. Basically the game tracks ammo down to the individual round. So lets say, a shotgun clip. Fire 2 rounds, and the game "stores" the odd 5 rounds and loads a new clip. Fire 2 rounds from that one, and 2 rounds from the invisible clip are used to round it back up, storing 3 "invisibly". Needler ammo, being large capacity clips that are emptied very quickly, seem to vanish as they are filled up from the "invisibly stored" pool.
    3 = Oh boy do you have lessons to learn!


    Offline Noordung

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    Re: Some suggestions
    « Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 12:18:51 am »
    about weapons. actually i think its great that with different types of weapons you have to use different tactics. laser weapons are all for long range cobat, while plasma are mixed. than you have special weapons, like compat knife, kerr blade. granades... its much about what style od game you like and what weapons to use to make most of your style. and thats one really good part of game.
    anyway plasma blaster is very stong weapon. so dont think we need anything stronger for close combat. the weapons as they are are really good.


    Offline dr_moebius

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    Re: Some suggestions
    « Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 01:03:05 pm »
    Thanks for the corrections! I like that you have a really constructive vibe here :D!

    I started reading through the forum AFTER posting here and read how the smoke works. I haven't had time to play since my post, so I could not try the tactics yet but some of them seem unrealistic an overpowered. I think that the hiding inside smoke and just stepping out for scouting can be solved by changing the AI, so aliens fire inside smoke if they know that someone is there and giving shots that have no direct line of sight an accuracy penalty.

    Seem I still have to learn some tricks about sending my ships around  :).

    As it is, a map preview showing main passages, alien craft location and choice of several landing positions would be a good start.
    Perhaps target designators on soldiers could help. Then again, if you want to get targets in the open and have target designators, just roll a low-caliber mortar or bundle of missile tubes into dropship and have indirect fire support - much faster than remotes (once you have them) can get to the scene, and more precise (and less splash-y) that air support.
    As to parachutes and fast-roping - why not, but a lot of aliens are going to use reaction fire.  You have seen that "Fast Roping 101" picture, right?  ;)
    But if it was more Apocalypse-y and "more than one dropship" was implemented, this could be a good idea for reinforcements.
    Alternatively, drop a few UGVs on parachutes before landing or dropping troops: little boxy tanks are both less vulnerable and easier to fix, and even if they slagged one, at least now you know where's the trouble. Speaking of which, why ever waste trooper compartment space on UGV like in X-Com, and even then, why so much? They look squat, more than enough to be stackable 2x, and/or could be hung right on the door or ramp - it makes sense to lead with these anyway.
    Same applies even more to deployed cameras: 3-4 webcams with tranceiver, wire landing gear and parachute can be cheap and small enough to cluster-bomb the whole map with eyes - losing a lot of them is expectable, but provides information too. A lot of fun can be had beyond visual range.

    I had the Idea of roping or parachuting in because on some maps you can see the dropship and on other you cannot, of course being exposed to reaction fire seems logical if you arrive at a location outside of a dropship.
    I think the developers should decide if a minimap or a zoomed camera view would be more suitable. Dropping equipment like cameras and UGVs also seems great, airsupport and shooting alien before arrival would probably need a lot of balancing.
    Mortars seem cool, better idea for indirect fire than through-wall-snipers  ;) and would allow some interesting tactics. There is whole discussion on deployable weapons that was quite interesting to read.

    2 = Not so. Basically the game tracks ammo down to the individual round. So lets say, a shotgun clip. Fire 2 rounds, and the game "stores" the odd 5 rounds and loads a new clip. Fire 2 rounds from that one, and 2 rounds from the invisible clip are used to round it back up, storing 3 "invisibly". Needler ammo, being large capacity clips that are emptied very quickly, seem to vanish as they are filled up from the "invisibly stored" pool.
    Maybe I was wrong, next time I play I will write down the number of needler and particle beam magazines I have, they just started disappearing and I did not remember firing those weapons at all.

    Never really noticed them being too hard - if anything, the first few scout missions are too easy and lull you into a false sense of security.
    As soon as I figured out how to use cover I got a lot easier, I think the designers did a very good job here because tactics really affect the outcome of a battle.

    Offline MonkeyHead

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    Re: Some suggestions
    « Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 07:11:40 pm »
    ROunds could seem to vanish if you have autosell on - lets say you have 30 plasma rifle magazines set to autosell, and come home with 8 recovered form the aliens. Those 8 will sell before the "filling up" occurs IIRC, which could drop you by 2 or 3 clips, possibly.