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Author Topic: Smoke on higher difficulty settings  (Read 2666 times)

Offline Rodmar

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Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« on: September 05, 2015, 05:08:14 pm »
Hello,

On v2.5, on hard difficulty, I use at least 4 smoke grenades a mission.
I use them until I know where all the aliens are, and until distances, coverage and support are proper and ensured.
It doesn't spoil the game interest.

  • Smoke last quite long, often enough to cancel the initial pressure.
  • It seems that any smoked square offers the same protection degree, whereas one may questions whether (standing up or) being on the last square (at the border) should protect the same. Standing up in the square just next to a non smoked area looks unfair.
  • Finally, there are blatant situations when any intelligent enemy would heavily suspect that smoke cloud on an empty map hides some PHALANX.


Suggestion: on hard and higher difficulty

  • Have some wind on the map! Smoke could last less (1 or 2 turn less).
  • Add a chance for  a "borderline" soldier to be spotted. This chance would be computed at LOS computation time. I guess that currently, he's sighted by the LOS system, and then a test causes it to be removed from the target list:
    (T: target, X: sighter, S: smoke, -: fresh air)
    TX : 100% spotted
    T----------X : 100% spotted
    T--S------X : 0% spotted
    T----------X (T is in smoke) : 0% spotted

    I'd change the last line:
    T----------X (T is in smoke) : 20% (e.g.) spotted

    (see the code below)

     
  • Make any smoked area a threat to the AI:
    • be "cautious" nearby a smoke (as far as the AI may be cautious): crouch, ready for reaction fire in this direction.
    • make some center locations in the cloud (in case LOS prevents to aim at the very center) low priority targets (the nearer, the more priority).
    • aim at the middle of the cloud with AoE or dispersive weapons (grenade, blaster cannon ball, needler, ...) in order to hit either those hiding inside, or those hiding behind.
    This targeting would be cancel if friendly fire is likely to occur.
    Of course, PHALANX could lessen this new threat by staying at the border of the smoke, and they could lure the alien by firing smoke in remote locations, but that's war.


If I'm correct, the current algorithm is (considering that the target would be spotted without the smoke):
Code: [Select]
IF {((target is at smoke location) AND (target is not adjacent)) OR (a square of smoke is blocking the sighter-target LOS)
THEN (remove target from target list)}
Could be altered to the following:
Code: [Select]
IF {((a square of smoke is blocking the sighter-target LOS) OR ((target is at smoke location) AND (target is not adjacent) AND (test to spot is failed)))
THEN (remove target from target list)}
It is assumed that when there's no smoked square between the sighter and the target to block LOS, and the target is in a smoked square, then this smoked square is next to fresh air square in the direction of LOS, and the sighter should be given a chance to keep on spotting his target.

Offline Rodmar

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 03:32:35 pm »
Perhaps the kind of situation depicted on the screenshot should draw enemy fire?

Offline DarkRain

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 06:12:28 pm »
Perhaps when the visibility system gets implemented — which will handle partially obscured targets — we can take smoke into account there...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 06:15:38 pm by DarkRain »

Offline tembero

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 11:00:02 pm »
The 1st 2 turns on some maps are brutal, particually on small maps. Without smoke your soldiers are cut down before they have even disembarked from the Phalanx Skyranger. If smoke does not provide adequate cover I believe the process would just become a task in temper management.

Once your in turn 3-4 smoke is less of a necessity, and firing smoke from a grenade launcher away from your squad to lure aliens makes for some potentially interesting play. Is their a way to secure the 1st 2 turns?

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 04:33:27 pm »
Is their a way to secure the 1st 2 turns?
Killing or disabling as much aliens as possible right away on your very first turn.

There are some maps where you sometimes see a lot of them right at the start. And you can know how many aliens are at worst hiding somewhere since you know the UFO's maximum crew. For instance, flashbang an Ortnok near to you, put smoke for you and civies, kill 3 or 4 Tamans and hovernets, then only 2 can attack, one of which kills a cannon fodder of yours you placed outside of the smoke and only 1 kills a civilian. Your next turn the one killing your fodder is dead since you at least know its general position and the stunned Ortnok. Map basically won. If it runs well, that is. It all depends on the map and starting positions.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 04:36:12 pm by anonymissimus »

Offline tembero

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2015, 08:53:54 am »
"it all depends on the map and start positions" - I agree with this sentiment to a degree, but on some of the really small maps you land the shiip right smack bang in the middle of the aliens, you are surrounded and flanked from the offset. If the aliens have the ability to shoot at you in smoke you are gambling that your shots on the first turn are all successful, and then thats the map complete, win or lose, on to the next one...

If the idea of aliens being more 'informed' to deal with smoke is in the pipeline I still believe that a more steadfast visual counter measure would be prudent in the first 2 turns.

Can there be 2 types of smoke:-

                                              1. A lighter canister of smoke for troops, semi translucent to aliens
                                              2. A skyranger countermeasure, deployed on landing obscuring a couple of tiles around the skyranger, totally opaque, to Aliens and Phalanx combined.

A Skyranger smoke countermeasure would also make a plausible "bolt-hole" for civilians evading terror. It may also play a part in skyranger/interceptor evasion of other airbourne hostiles.

Offline ShipIt

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2015, 03:14:13 pm »
Smoke as is right now is basically a cheat. The solution should not be even more cheating.


Offline tembero

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2015, 07:01:42 pm »
at least allow typing "MILLION" when a soldier is in smoke to give 1,000,000 credits on the geoscape.

Offline hwoarangmy

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2015, 07:05:18 pm »
IMHO, smoke is ATM the only way to not loose every soldier in some missions. I remember a mission in 2.5 with an Heracles dropship and an Ortnok with a needler and direct vision in front of the entrance. I even loose soldiers trying to launch the smoke grenade (because of reaction fire).

For me, without smoke, the game would be unplayable because aliens too many TU and they can snipe from a distance even with close quarter weapons or rifles. It would be very unlikely to have a soldier reach a high level...

Offline ShipIt

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Re: Smoke on higher difficulty settings
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2015, 08:34:53 am »
IMHO, smoke is ATM the only way to not loose every soldier in some missions. I remember a mission in 2.5 with an Heracles dropship and an Ortnok with a needler and direct vision in front of the entrance. I even loose soldiers trying to launch the smoke grenade (because of reaction fire).

For me, without smoke, the game would be unplayable because aliens too many TU and they can snipe from a distance even with close quarter weapons or rifles. It would be very unlikely to have a soldier reach a high level...

You´re right. That was the reason why we introduced the smoke 'cheat'. 
But instead the Herakles should have side doors to allow more flexibility when disembarking, the map selection should take the number of actors into account (large maps for many aliens, small maps for fewer - requires a major rework of how and when the teams are assembled), the maps should in general provide more cover. As we are unable to change the ammo in a weapon when on the battlescape, we cannot even use the different ammo types we have, ...