Attn: XCOM shit in this thread.

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Attn: XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby weemadando » 2012-03-10 09:49pm



That's the latest big thing I've seen come out about it. And if it's at all honest, it's a kind of neat look at their design ethos for it.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Grumman » 2012-03-11 08:51am

Everything they mentioned in the video sounds good to me. It's the other bits that I'm unsure of.

I think I like the side-on base better than the top-down one, but I don't like the idea that you can only have one. And I'd rather have smarter ammo management than none at all.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Vendetta » 2012-03-11 11:09am

Grumman wrote:Everything they mentioned in the video sounds good to me. It's the other bits that I'm unsure of.

I think I like the side-on base better than the top-down one, but I don't like the idea that you can only have one. And I'd rather have smarter ammo management than none at all.


You only needed multiple bases in the original to have more radar coverage and the occasional interceptor. There was really only ever one proper base. If they've done detection and intercept in a smarter way (like: Countries provide their own detection and intercept, their loyalty to the X-Com cause impacts how effective it is) then you only need your base for the important stuff.

Also ammo management only ever mattered for weapons that had really bulky ammo like missile launchers and blaster bombs. It was trivial to have more ammo than you could ever need for all the other guns in the game, so why even track ammo individually? Track it for heavy weapons because they are a "special" use item.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Stark » 2012-03-11 02:59pm

Detection is apparently driven by satellite launches, so there's not much need for the other bases. To be honest I think anyone who 'enjoyed' juggling ammo in 17 different pockets is going to be surprised how different this game is; it's clear they're focusing on the stuff the player actually does rather than the hoops you had to jump through to do it. Ditching time units and inventory will probably be the decision that makes the game good if it succeeds.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby weemadando » 2012-03-11 09:13pm

Also, by having just one base in that layout (side on), I wonder if base invasions are going to be a thing again.

Let's hope not.

But I love the hew and cry over no ammo management. Because we all know that was what made XCOM great. I know it's why I always just used lasers...

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby AniThyng » 2012-03-12 09:28am

Yeah I'm actually looking forward to playing this now. I agree with their reasoning behind getting rid of time units, and yeah, i once won an entire game of enemy unknown using just lasers. I don't know why anyone would even bitch about balance anyway, enemy unknown was all "just use heavy plasma"...
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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Grumman » 2012-03-12 11:33am

Vendetta wrote:Also ammo management only ever mattered for weapons that had really bulky ammo like missile launchers and blaster bombs. It was trivial to have more ammo than you could ever need for all the other guns in the game, so why even track ammo individually? Track it for heavy weapons because they are a "special" use item.

Didn't the original also have technology that required alien-manufactured ammunition or fuel? IOW, not just weapons/ships limited by your carrying capacity but also weapons/ships limited by supply?

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Vendetta » 2012-03-12 12:00pm

Grumman wrote:Didn't the original also have technology that required alien-manufactured ammunition or fuel? IOW, not just weapons/ships limited by your carrying capacity but also weapons/ships limited by supply?


You had to use Elerium to manufacture certain armour suits and vehicles and fuel the endgame vehicles, but the game would give you tons of the stuff, and you never had to manufacture ammo with it because after about three or four months in every enemy soldier would be toting a Heavy Plasma so there was infinity free ammo (And the HP had such a large clip that you'd never run out in a mission either)

Just because it has a number which goes down from time to time doesn't mean it's resource management. Resource management is when you don't have enough for everything you could possibly want and have to choose what you do want.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Grumman » 2012-03-12 01:10pm

Oh, okay. I haven't actually played the original since I was nine, so my understanding of the game balance is obviously a bit lacking.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Nephtys » 2012-03-12 02:31pm

Elerium was a great idea. It was an unreproducable resource, that could only be attained from attacking. In fact, it had several great mechanics around it. You could not just sit back and stock up the stuff from some resource fountain, you had to consciously go out and seize it.

1. It only comes from two sources: UFOs and Bases. Both of which you had to proactively attack.
2. UFOs gave a LOT more Elerium when you captured them intact. Shooting them down destroys usually 70 percent of the stuff, as it's all in the engines. Same with limiting collateral damage, as the engine may explode.
3. Bases gave Elerium too if you captured them instead of blowing up the reactor. This actually was a problem, as bases gave TOO much. That's the sole reason for late-game surplus. If you toned that back a good bit, then it's fine.

But otherwise, a great idea. All the high tech gear needed Elerium, and your high-tech aircraft guzzled between 5 to 10 units per sortie.
Meanwhile, Alien Alloys were a reproducable resource, but not cost-effective to do so. The stuff was expensive. Another good idea.

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On the plus side, no more 80 item limit ;)
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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Stark » 2012-03-12 06:22pm

They actually sound like they're aiming to have more 'resource managemnt' than he other games, by making things like player activity and attention matter more, along with suggestions that science/development time will be far more strictly rationed and have more mission-critical things to do than 'make infinity money'.

It's ironic that people can bemoan the loss of pretend-not-really resource management o stuff that never runs out and hate the inclusion of more actual decision-making and store get impact of priorities.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Tolya » 2012-03-15 04:17pm

Yeah, today's crowd seems to be only interested in pew pew, so kudos to the Firaxis guys for making a game where you need something else other than your trigger brain cell.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Stark » 2012-03-15 05:53pm

Or your finely tuned tile-counting skills. Now useless! GAME FOR BABIES! :v

I don't remember from the shots released, but I hope that they obscure to-hit chances. It won't matter so much because you can't savescum but it's still mega lame and distorts decision-making.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Vendetta » 2012-03-15 09:18pm

Stark wrote:I don't remember from the shots released, but I hope that they obscure to-hit chances. It won't matter so much because you can't savescum but it's still mega lame and distorts decision-making.


Since this is a more modern game they'll probably have more variables involved in to hit chances, like range, visibility, cover, etc. Rather than in the old ones where 100% accuracy means will definitely make any shot you can think of at any range. Whether they're visible or not is less relevant than what affects them.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Stark » 2012-03-15 09:23pm

Remember how 100% meant you hit dead centre and thus always missed ifthey were down stairs or behind waist high cover.

Those were the days.

But I think even with heaps of variables (especially aspect and target image etc) i hope the game doesn't boil down between the 78% shot and the 79% shot.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Tolya » 2012-03-16 02:51am

Stark wrote:Or your finely tuned tile-counting skills. Now useless! GAME FOR BABIES! :v

I don't remember from the shots released, but I hope that they obscure to-hit chances. It won't matter so much because you can't savescum but it's still mega lame and distorts decision-making.


No numeric representation of your aiming skills? HERETIC!

I don't remember exactly, but there was a game where you only had low/med/high feedback on your to hit chances. Maybe it was one of the UFO: Aftermath series games?

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Stark » 2012-03-16 09:10am

The option I use in JA2 just gives you a red/green/yellow bar that let's you know generally without hdowig you the spreadsheet behind it. Since these games use primitive rules there's a sudden drop in oddat the magic 'range' number. :v

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Covenant » 2012-03-16 05:33pm

I like some kind of representation of the bonuses to aiming, since any kind of feedback tends to be better than no feedback at all. There are times where a lack of information is good for encouraging a degree of paranoia or something, but this kind of tactical gameplay would suffer without something to give me notification that yes indeed, crouching is giving me a better to-hit so that I know that it's doing something.

There's ways to do it other than a percentile number, but I'd personally rather have a percentile than just a Red/Orange/Green shot probability indicator. The extra granularity lets me know when I'm doing something properly, which is pretty handy during the training-wheels portion of the game when you're getting used to how your soldiers handle and what you can expect from them. Not having that leads it to feel a bit muddy and slippery, which is less fun.

You can always make it a literal training-wheels function where you've got some kind of equipment for your soldiers (like the motion detectors in X-COM: Original Blend) that provides you a function that's useful for noobs and nobody else. Make it the N-1 Noobscope Targetting Computer, which provides information on your to-hit potential but is obsoleted early on in the game when the PRO-5 Target Analyzer comes out and is much more valuable.

You could also do it with flavor texts. "They're too fast!" or "I can't see the target through their cover," or "I'm majorly incompetent and I doubt I'll hit the target, sir." But that'd become a lot more annoying than a floating number-bug would, if ya' ask me.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby weemadando » 2012-03-28 03:11pm

Rock Paper Shotgun has another big article. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/03 ... explained/

Some interesting points in there about how units will gain skills and perks. And their opinions on why inventory management in the original was dumb.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Andrew_Fireborn » 2012-03-29 03:04am

Article wrote:RPS: Oh, I must ask about the bases. You’ve only got one base in the new one, right?

Jake Solomon: Yes. [World-weary expression]. Yes. Are you looking for ammunition, Alec? [laughs] Yeah, you only have the one base, and then as you saw there in the hanger, you can expand your Interceptors and Satellites to other hangar bases on the other continents. So depending on what continent you choose to start the game – like, ‘I want to start in Europe because of bonus x,y,z’ – then as the game plays on you can then expand your satellite coverage to other continents which have other bonuses, and you can also expand your jets into hangar bases on those continents.

So you still have to cover the world, and if you don’t you will lose that part of the world. But it’s true that research, engineering, barracks, those all happen at a central location.

Alright, there goes the only real complaint about single base.

Although, it means no dedicated manufacture/R&D bases to pump out the odd item that could be made at a hilarious profit making the base pay for itself in a week. :cry:
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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby PeZook » 2012-03-29 03:21am

Andrew_Fireborn wrote:Although, it means no dedicated manufacture/R&D bases to pump out the odd item that could be made at a hilarious profit making the base pay for itself in a week. :cry:


Which is good ; X-COM was best when resources were scarce and had to be carefully managed. Once you broke the economy, it became boring as fuck.
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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Cykeisme » 2012-04-02 04:45am

PeZook wrote:
Andrew_Fireborn wrote:Although, it means no dedicated manufacture/R&D bases to pump out the odd item that could be made at a hilarious profit making the base pay for itself in a week. :cry:


Which is good ; X-COM was best when resources were scarce and had to be carefully managed. Once you broke the economy, it became boring as fuck.
Hehe that's one way to put it, but I prefer to look at it as a logical way that X-COM can fund their operations. I mean, being the sole organization to have reverse-engineered alien technology, they can indeed start manufacturing goods that, at the moment, no one else can.

Although I'll have to admit that there should be checks and balances in the game.. limits to such things to avoid making cash essentially unlimited. At the very least, the game can be designed such that construction of highly advanced fighter/transports requires you to start mass-producing alien-tech consumer goods in order to secure sufficient funding to get by.
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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby PeZook » 2012-04-02 04:57am

I don't have the problem with the concept of selling alien tech, I have a problem with the way it broke the economy and gave you limitless resources. Managing technology transfers could actually be implemented as an interesting mechanic, or just tuned to be necessary in order to even be capable of constructing superfighters et al, balanced to bring you cash you need and will quickly spend running your operations.
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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby Covenant » 2012-04-02 01:11pm

Well, the first X-COM games (1 and 2) were structured so that on the hardest difficulties, if you didn't make some R&D bases you'd get really behind the tech curve. And the only way to afford all the gear you'd need to make the money to buy and maintain all those 200+ scientists and stuff was to make some Fab Labs out there to crank out things for profit. Your meager governmental stipend is just not enough for it.

I'd be surprised if they hadn't had at least an inkling of the ramifications of a laser arms deal mechanic. The alien weapons used Elerium as a mitigating financial circumstance, and that really made them poor mass production choices. Lasers required nothing. If they had made Lasers require a few units of Elerium (even just 1 for pistols, 2 for rifles) they'd be incredibly valuable to the players as weapons but would instantly fail as mass production devices. I doubt the idea never crossed their mind!

If it did, well, I'll make a Mod of XCOM to make the laser weapons require Elerium research and a unit of Elerium to produce and people can feel all hardcore and shit.

However, this next game is designed with the concept of no mass-fab in mind, so I think they'll do fine. It's not like they're copying the original, down to the letter, then removing a nearly-essential strategy. Same goes for the bases. My firebases around the globe were fun and cool and I'll be sad to see 'em gone--but wait, they're not ENTIRELY gone. My firebases actually WILL remain, because there WILL be sat/interceptor hangar coverage around the globe. When spitballing my X-COM style game to my fellow devs I came up with the same solution, and I think it makes sense.

In XCOM, base invasion moments were very rare, and pretty momentous. But the inclusion of base defenses was nearly pointless until it became insane. Rocket and Laser defenses did zilch and you could basically never create a base that was defended using them since the aliens ONLY send battleships/dreadnaughts to invade bases and you need heavier defenses to reliably defend a base from those. So for most of the game the aliens a) can't find your bases, b) don't want to invade them and c) could easily land and destroy your base if they did. That's not a fun situation--it's a dangerous but unused sucker punch mechanic, like them bombing it from orbit.

Once you get the decent defenses though, you can fairly reliably hold off a battleship or two at a time, and base defenses become again, very very rare because they just can't reliably land troops. There's a short window where they're pissed off and can actually land forces, especially on harder diffs. So removing the 'random' base invasion mechanic and replacing it with a set-piece engagement at a point in the game's timeline makes way more sense to me--that or entirely restructuring the game so that your bases are being rooted out and destroyed regularly.

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Re: Attn: STARK - XCOM shit in this thread.

Postby weemadando » 2012-04-02 03:50pm

Semi-RPing the original XCOM a few years ago, I made the decision never to mass produce laser weapons for sale as it would have meant losing out on follow-on sales for ammunition from the purchasers.


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