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Author Topic: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape  (Read 7997 times)

Offline anatoliy

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Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« on: May 26, 2015, 11:51:09 pm »
Dear developers,

First, thanks a lot for the game! It gave me a lot of good time to remember. // This was enough fun for two thankful posts)

Once upon a time a Gunboat destroyed my Heracles with the best troops and gear. That was sad but logical and somewhat inevitable consequence of enemy's air superiority. After that I bought a Firebird, waited for the Gunboat to disappear and sent it on the mission. It was intercepted too but left a "Firebird-crash" mission. The question is: why not allow the player to manually land transports, leading to the same rescue mission? It's logical thing to do, relives the frustration and the relevant mechanic is already implemented.

Offline ShipIt

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 01:03:59 pm »
Glad to hear you enjoyed the game.

An emergency landing for the dropship in order to give the player the chance to save his troops sounds nice. However, this would also lessen the player´s need to develop and deploy new technologie.


Offline Visitor

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 03:26:47 pm »
However, this would also lessen the player´s need to develop and deploy new technologie.
To chip in - I don't think there's any risk of that.

Not developing/deploying new technologies will still be as grave in consequences as ever for average player as most of the gameplay revolves around one shooting down alien ships and sending out troopers to some alien incursion sites - and those will work the same no matter if player will decide to make a dropship-in-transit land or not, still depending on new developments to the same degree.

In fact, in average gameplay of mine a situation when a dropship is both endangered and with no chance of getting back to base before being intercepted happens so rarely, that being able to land before either of above situation would happen would hardly affect balance in general, while being quite a nice last-ditch option for the times when it does happen (with a side bonus of it being useful when the player simply has bad luck and an alien interceptor spawns just the dropship).

Offline ShipIt

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2015, 06:48:11 am »
To chip in - I don't think there's any risk of that.

Risk is never non-zero.

... would hardly affect balance in general ...

Thats really the point of suggestions like this one. Lots of hours (yes, it is) gone for little gain.

Offline anatoliy

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2015, 10:51:23 pm »
Risk is never non-zero.

I concur the ability to safely land transports will lessen the utility of advanced fighters. But is this the right device to promote it? For the sake of the argument let's imagine transports already can land. Will it be the right thing to deny that capability as an artificial way to force the player into research? Wouldn't it be deux ex machina?

Quote
Thats really the point of suggestions like this one. Lots of hours (yes, it is) gone for little gain.
In this particular case, gain isn't that little. For the first-time players the game mechanic of transports being intercepted by UFO's isn't obvious. When it happens for the first time, it seems grossly unfair. When
Quote
an alien interceptor spawns just the dropship.
it seems grossly unfair. Arbitrary bad luck isn't challenging or thrilling. People might just quick playing after the first incident. And the odds of at least one incident happening through the campaign are not little. I myself saved and quit the game - rationalization that this is the way things should work when enemy controls the skies needed time and some effort.


Offline ShipIt

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 07:38:36 am »
When time advances, aliens will upgrade their equipment. This should enforce the player to research, develop and deploy better equipment, too. If he does not do that, or even if he is not fast enough in doing that, he will lose the game. This is how the game mechanics should work.

This suggestion contradicts that by helping the player to work around this mechanics. Instead of using faster dropships, or guarding his dropships with advanced fighters, he can simply escape by emergency landing and winning his soldiers back in a battlescape mission.

An unguarded Firebird getting hit by a Gunboat out of nowhere without a chance to escape is not unfair imo. It´s just what happens when the player is still using the starting equipment, whilst the aliens already did upgrade theirs twice. In other words - What do you think your chances are with just a knife in a gunfight?

Oc, not all of the game mechanics are implemented properly (or at all) yet. E.g. we are missing the Hyperion Armed Dropship, and there is no option to let fighters auto-guard a dropship.



Offline Rodmar

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 07:20:01 pm »
An unguarded Firebird getting hit by a Gunboat out of nowhere without a chance to escape is not unfair imo. It´s just what happens when the player is still using the starting equipment, whilst the aliens already did upgrade theirs twice. In other words - What do you think your chances are with just a knife in a gunfight?

Oc, not all of the game mechanics are implemented properly (or at all) yet. E.g. we are missing the Hyperion Armed Dropship, and there is no option to let fighters auto-guard a dropship.
I'd like to make a late comment. I lost myself a Firebird to a Corrupter. It was my Beta team toward an easy mission.

Spoiler:
As it was a trans-continental mission and should the Corrupter's mission have been an interception, the transport was doomed the moment when the Corrupter was detected thousands of kilometers ahead (before flying out of radar coverage). But as I didn't realize that the routes were crossing (so far away: Baltic Sea - Bering Straits; mission in Ural), I let the transport pass the point of non return, and despite I had saved prior to the ground mission (i.e. too late), whatever the direction I would flee in, the Corrupter would appear again when detected by the Firebird, and start chasing it.

In another XCOM game, Xenonauts, transports are attacked too, and pretty soon. You escort them. Is there a difference? Maybe. I don't remember the relative aircraft speeds, but :

  • the sense of danger is more present (tragic events pop up on the Geoscape on each day: Earth is under attack);
  • cargo crafts may be attacked, and you probably already lost one cargo with some weapons inside (cargo are AI unarmed aircrafts that fly from base to base when you order a transfer);
  • as such, you get accustomed to escort valuable cargo;

but most importantly

  • thanks to a tactical aerial fight mini-game, you soon get used to deal with bigger UFO. The UFO sometimes fly in squadrons (mostly the fighters), and you have to launch squadrons at them. Escorting a transport is then more natural. Even the Harvester-equivalent can be dealt with 3 starting or poorly upgraded aircraft (1 fast Sarrasin-like with long range Sparrow-like missiles that unload them all to severely soften the UFO if lucky, and mainly to "draw aggro" before acting as a bait, and 2 Stiletto-like that manage to maneuver and pin down the UFO from behind with SR missiles and SHIVA-like; when the big UFO is escorted, you may need a fourth aircraft and deal with the escort before). Also, dogfight is important as the bigger, the less nimble UFO.

In UFO:AI, it's true we are not so urged to research PBW and new fighters, until the very first Corrupter appears (and even then, they could be dealt the same way the Harvester still are at this time: let's wait for them to land, or build a SAM network and lure them into it if you're faster). In 2.4 on normal, the Starchaser could be skipped (to save resources), and when the last interceptor would be build, now the Harvesters and Corrupters may now be taken down quite easely.
It's frustrating that the first or second time you spot a Corrupter, it's when it targets a transport.

That said, it's true that I had postponed the 2-tier transport (not build already by Ortnok and needler times) because I was waiting for my second factory base (the first one is to dismantle the UFO), and chiefly, because a 8-men team is enough to deal with Harvester and Fighter missions (until alien last tier equipment). I'd became lazy...


Suggestions (if not already implemented) :

  • Soften the learning curve by
    - adding more alien patrol (1 or 2 fighters) that will target lone PHALANX fighters at first;
    - ensuring that no transport is targeted by an alien retaliatory mission before a fighter is (a fighter only cost 50 kc, 1-2 Harvester missions in playing time, whereas a full transport cost probably thrice, plus several in-game month);
    - having Col. Falkland send a memo to warn the uncaring base commander (if at a given alien interest, research X, Y are not researched, and craft/weapon Z is not in base inventory).
  • Allow emergency landing and subsequent SAR missions, as suggested above, but know that it can be easily quite bloody (for instance, put 16 civilians on the map, and kill one rescued PHALANX soldier for every 2 civilians killed during the SAR mission, also, the first transport is considered to have crashed (the alien ship landed on the spot to finish it), or devise another, more imaginative, specific SAR mission (kill X% at crashing/landing time, kill Y%/hour if SAR is delayed, ...).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 07:22:34 pm by Rodmar »

Offline tembero

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 12:38:47 pm »
I think the issue with the alien ship is a valid one but the solution I believe could resolve far less technically. I have been treated to the dramatic theatre of "XCOM - Enemy Unknown" by Firaxis and I believe herein lies the answer. Throughout said game you get prompted into dialogue with scientists, engineers and Tactical Advisors and it is made ever-so-clear that the aliens are dominant on the globe outside of the XCOM facility. Not that the aliens intercept your craft in that game, yet you would not be surprised if they did.

I think a little more atmosphere upon the geoscape would raise the level of expectation of the aliens intent/attention, maybe Orsen Wells "red weed" making it's way across the landscape. Or If you try to send a skyranger 1,000's of miles a tactical advisor could pop up and suggest and interceptor escort or sing 'no Nathanual no'.
 

Offline fireday

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 10:52:49 pm »
i think it is real idea
and - game have one troubles - lack of independent airports

in tip of the day - "to intercept fast UFOs - run interceptors from different angles"
but there only one option to start airplane - base

i see two solutions:
- make airbase on geoscape (like air defenses station)
- make allow to manually land the airships (transport) on geoscape

sry for my eng
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 10:55:26 pm by fireday »

Offline geever

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 10:50:22 pm »
Dear developers,

First, thanks a lot for the game! It gave me a lot of good time to remember. // This was enough fun for two thankful posts)

Once upon a time a Gunboat destroyed my Heracles with the best troops and gear. That was sad but logical and somewhat inevitable consequence of enemy's air superiority. After that I bought a Firebird, waited for the Gunboat to disappear and sent it on the mission. It was intercepted too but left a "Firebird-crash" mission. The question is: why not allow the player to manually land transports, leading to the same rescue mission? It's logical thing to do, relives the frustration and the relevant mechanic is already implemented.

The UFO could just shoot a few AM rockets and blow up your people on the ground...

-geever

Offline fireday

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2015, 05:25:37 pm »
The UFO could just shoot a few AM rockets and blow up your people on the ground...

-geever
then why not XCOM make similarly ?
XCOM too can shoot aliens from helicopters - not need always to ground operation
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 05:28:59 pm by fireday »

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2015, 08:09:34 pm »
To avoid dropships getting intercepted, do not immediatley launch when missions appear. Crashed UFO missions stay for at least a full weak until they disappear and do not reduce nation happiness at midnight unlike other missions. UFOs always come in waves. Lure gunboats to bases, taking them down with ground defenses while repeatedly launching and fleeing with an interceptor into the base. Begin flying missions only 2-3 days after the first UFOs appeared. Landed UFO missions and ground-spawned missions are problematic, since the disappear after ~2 days and reduce nation happiness at midnight as long as they are still active. More than one dropship and bases with dropship hangars so that there's an alternative escape from a chasing UFO can help.

Offline geever

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2015, 12:20:36 am »
then why not XCOM make similarly ?
XCOM too can shoot aliens from helicopters - not need always to ground operation

Wrong forum. This is not XCOM, that game is produced by the Firaxis software... ;)

-geever

Offline aa_

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2015, 10:53:30 am »
 I think he was referring to PHALANX, calling it XCOM by mistake.

 I think that the alien air superiority should be more implied, by adding more UFOs always flying on the Geoscape. Thus, in the early game the player will have to make choices on which UFOs to intercept. Since Fighters and scouts cant actually land, the player may only focus on harvesters that are targeting inhabited places. Also, the ability to shoot Harvester with starting tech should be present, Currently they are impossible to shoot with 2 Stilettos.But this i think is going to be introduced with the new air battles, which seems to be quite far away.

Offline fireday

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Re: Allow to manually land the transport on geoscape
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 05:39:09 am »
I think he was referring to PHALANX, calling it XCOM by mistake.
yes, you all right
I made a mistake