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Cityscape weapons balance

Discussion in 'Game Mods' started by The Reaver of Darkness, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. bobucles

    bobucles Registered
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    What? XCOM never pays a dime in craft expenses and there's no agent upkeep for managing a fleet. Hangar space is totally free. Craft can stay in the air for days or weeks on end, remaining at peak effectiveness, only returning to base to rearm and refuel and fly out 5 minutes later. Androids sport a fully realized personality and combat awareness in a humanoid package. The UFOpaedia explicitly states that transport craft are only manned so that unions can have jobs. Road bikes can carry an agent to a building, unload the guy and drive back empty. The Dimension probe is fully autonomous. The craft equipment screen explicitly tells you that craft without passengers have no passengers.

    It's a VERY safe bet to say that XCOM fighter craft are unmanned in Apocalypse. There is nothing in the game that suggests to the contrary.

    What would pilots add to the game anyway? Health, accuracy, damage, evade? This isn't EU. We don't send our ships in single file because we aren't idiots. Get more fleet craft and send them at the enemy. It plays better and looks better to boot. EZPZ.

    How does jamming work? I think it reduces the missile turn rate by the listed percentage, but I haven't seen it in action. At least I think it works that way against cloaked UFOs, where 80% is a huge missile penalty. Alien missile launchers all launch from the rear and do a 180, so jamming should be super effective against them.
     
  2. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator
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    Your explanation makes much sense, Bobucles. Yet this reality is really disappointing. :p

    I've obviously noticed these things, but I've always thought it's more of a simplification of the game engine. But it probably is as you described.

    Then, I want to see tactical drones in the game. :)
     
  3. bobucles

    bobucles Registered
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    What do you mean by "tactical drone"? You'll have to be more pacific because XCOM already has combat drones.
     
  4. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered
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    They are real, they fly, are difficult to hit and can equip them with a lineage plasma gun.
    We call them "Hoverbikes" ;D
     
  5. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered
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    All I know is that when I tested fitting my hovercars with defense matrixes, they got hit about just as often as before. I have been unable to discern any advantage from the device. A shield unit, on the other hand, easily makes the difference between surviving three missiles and possibly going down from only one.
     
  6. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator
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    I believe you're referring to this, right?

    [​IMG]

    :)

    And I mean something like HWPs from the first X-Com games. Because why the hell not (assuming it can be balanced, but I believe it can).
     
  7. Thamarias

    Thamarias Registered
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    Cityscape early Combat weapons

    Since I did not find it anywhere (hope I'm not that bad at searching) I would like to start topic about vehicle weapons, namely how balanced they were, since I feel that original vanilla weapons had too many terrible flaws, while other were ridiculously overpowered.
    Here's some list, plus notes how I feel about weapon platforms and I hope you'll share some ideas here as well.

    Bolter 4k laser - typical "start" piece, cheap and reliable against less armored targets. Seems to be right.

    Lancer 7k laser - also very cheap and more powerful cousin of 4k. One of few start weapons capable of significantly damaging even most armored of the Ufos.. Perhaps it should become available much later since it is far too advantageous to have medium gun with unlimited ammo at the start.

    Rendor Plasma Gun - Expensive and using elerium as ammo (very expensive and has hard weekly quota). Imho far too OP for something available from the start even with ammo limitations.

    Lineage Plasma Cannon - Expensive, firing priceless elerium, but extremely efficient. Should become available when destroyers and assault ships start to float above the city, but not sooner

    Plasma multisystem - Expensive, weak, short-ranged, useless given the combat mechanics. I personally never found any practical use for this since anytime I tried to get anything small, or big in useful range, weapon did only minor damage in comparison to other frontal platforms, while exposing aircraft to close fire. This one is simply useless.

    40mm cannon - Extremely cheap, base of all basic weapons. It is somewhat efficient against early ufos up to light assault ship (which mostly can avoid its fire). Later are completely immune due to their armor. Perhaps this could be given greater power or x-com researchable ammunition. On vanilla it is just weapon to be quickly replaced.

    Janitor missile - Expensive, slow rate of fire, weak, good only against probes and scouts. Basic issue with this platform is that while missiles are homing, they have rather slow fire rate in comparison to cannons and ammunition for them is pretty expensive, not to mention they are next to useless from point blank range. Bolter laser is far cheaper and from practical point of view way more effective, not to mention later ufos are almost immune to its hits.

    Justice missile - I spent alot of time trying to determine the purpose of this missile. It is slow moving, even slower to adjust its course (can't catch up even with bomber, lol) and while dmg is quite high, there is technically no situation, where its use could be justified over any other platform (early ufo's simply evade it, later slower ones are far too armored and durable). Simply speaking it lacks any sort of purpose.

    Prophet missile - Very expensive for basic missile system, but unlike janitor this one is surprisingly efficient. Missiles are as in any other case homing and actually carry sufficient kick to cause serious dmg even on later targets. Only disadvantages are price and limited ammunition in pod (mere 8 missiles).

    Retribution missile - Bigger version of justice with completely same problem, that is lack of any practical purpose. I tried once to build up fleet equipped with retribution launchers to test their usefulness against Ufo mothership. It took nearly 14 missiles to down it (weekly quota never reached more than 4), not to mention, that these can be fitted only on large flyers.

    Defense arrays are bugged on vanilla (they do not shoot down the missiles, but can be fired against targets on manual control), so no comment from me here
     
  8. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator
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    Regarding people piloting the craft: I have already agreed it is unnecessary/dubious, but I've been translating strings and there's Piloting among others, like Stamina or Accuracy. So I guess it was at least considered.
     
  9. Kammerer

    Kammerer Administrator Administrator Translator/Writer
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    I think the idea of a manual agent control becomes much less stupid if we look at the possibility of spying at the VIPs. In that case the craft should be manually controlled by a person to shake the trail / use non-standard methods of hiding in the transport stream. Even the most complex AI isn't able to beat the man in such a game. Moreover, it gives some explanation of the existence of such numerous one and two-seaters in the game.
     
  10. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered
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    Re: Cityscape early Combat weapons

    You gave me an idea: you know how the battlescape sometimes has cityscape vehicles built into the terrain? What if you could take your Griffon AFV into the battlescape, only you could manipulate it and shoot enemies?

    Or more reasonable: a mini-Griffon HWP that can board a craft and fill 4 personnel slots or one cargo module's worth of cargo space, and is a lot like tanks from original X-Com.



    Lancers, at 16 damage, don't really go through the heavier armor. They also don't have very high DPS. That combined with them taking up a 1x4 space I think means they aren't overpowered at all. Without Lancers, you'd have nothing to justify a 1x4 slot. What we need is something else to put into 1x4s other than just Lancer and Retribution.

    Rendor Plasma Gun has high DPS and armor penetration but it costs 2 elerium per shot while the significantly higher-DPS and penetration Lineage Plasma Cannon costs only 1 elerium per shot. Rendor does 20 damage per hit, Lineage does 25 per hit. I have found that through stockpiling elerium throughout the game, I have enough ammo run a fleet of Lineage-using hovercars and hoverbikes able to obliterate all of the strongest threats to the city as long as I use other weapons most of the time. I think swapping them so that Rendor costs 1 and Lineage costs 2 makes sense. Use Rendor to get better damage efficiency but use Lineage for better net DPS, and the improved armor penetration probably won't ever fix its efficiency but it can close the gap partway.

    Janitor missiles aren't too expensive. As long as I use a variety of ammo types, I find I have enough of everything to get by without using lasers at all, though I still use them sometimes just because I like how they don't damage the city much and I don't always like dealing with cannon ammo. But Janitor missiles actually break through almost any armor (22 damage), they just have low DPS. If you stand back a bit from alien craft you can usually hit them much more reliably with Janitors than any non-missile, but they struggle with anything smaller than a Probe (like a hoverbike).

    Prophet missiles actually turn slightly faster than Janitor missiles. This plus their higher damage and rate of fire makes them a higher-quality Janitor missile with less ammo. Altogether they're too similar to Janitor missiles, and lack distinction. Might be nice if they were made even more expensive and rare, but their turn rate was increased a lot. Good for hitting enemy hoverbikes, not good for stockpiling ammo.
     
  11. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator
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    That would be awesome, yeah, but:
    1) It'd do so much collateral damage you'd rarely want to use it (killing civilians, damaging buildings, destroying loot),
    2) Many maps are indoors, where you wouldn't realistically be able to take a vehicle,
    3) Senate will roast you if your "investigators" are speedracing on turbo bikes in corridors. :)

    Yeah, that's what I meant.
     
  12. Huaptlo

    Huaptlo Registered
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    One thing I was thinking of the unbalanced vehicle weapons and sizes, what if there would be add-ons/mods for weapons of 1x1 or 1x2 sizes that you could fit in with a weapon to enhance it, giving it more Armour Penetration, Damage, Range, Accuracy, etc.

    Another thing would be to give different types of weapons some kind of flair. Lasers could be accurate and armour piercing. Projectiles could do more damage against un-armoured, no shields and rapid firing. Plasma could punch through shields and do tons of damage, but with short range. Missiles could have long range, tracking, variety of warheads, but could be scrambled. All this would need to be balanced thou so that no one version would be op.

    The thing I don't like is when weapons just upgrade from one tier to another Projectiles to Lasers and then to Plasma. Would be nice to see every weapon type have some kind of use later in the game. Maybe even giving a choice at some point in the game to specialize in some type of weaponry.
     
  13. Thamarias

    Thamarias Registered
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    To reply on reaver's note >

    /quote

    Lancers, at 16 damage, don't really go through the heavier armor. They also don't have very high DPS. That combined with them taking up a 1x4 space I think means they aren't overpowered at all. Without Lancers, you'd have nothing to justify a 1x4 slot. What we need is something else to put into 1x4s other than just Lancer and Retribution.

    /quote

    Speaking about Lancers>

    Truly I admit I was sort of a laser freak since above mentioned Lancers found their use in my armory even near the end of game as I had fleet of explorers, which I at the time deemed much more useful than retaliators which despite their potential firepower took too much of a time to build, were way too large and too slow to maneuver (not to mention time to build then and then 3 times medium disruptor as what else you would possibly pack up there...maybe alien missiles, but was just my opinion back then off course) and their cost was 50% more. Thing was that as long as your craft was set to lowest altitude and on cautious approach pattern, it simply kept itself on maximum weapon range and unless flying towards it, for the most part my fleet effectively kept itself out of a harm's way, since lancers have rather huge range, unlimited ammo (main reason I was utilising them) cost nothing to rearm, ufo's disruptor was laughably slow and mostly misfired at such distance (giving few point of dmg to the city and sometimes granting me favour of company's building it did hit, explorers were smaller than valkyries (surprisingly much harder to hit, than these "Captain Proton's rockets" if you forgive my expression) and still could equip two shields, not to mention I downed scores of battleships with Explorers armed merely with Lancers and nothing more.

    This was just for the show mostly, but on occasion it was also quite useful if you wanted overspawn raging in the city in order to gain new "allies" as mothership then usually had time to deploy it, but under such constant laser barrage it never made it back to the gate, since it was almost impossible to miss from lasers on such a big honky slow moving target, which NEVER fired back due to position bug on her weapon slots as they fired only when someone was directly under the mothership or few meters away from it. At maximum range they completely ignored your vessels. Battleships did fire back yet as stated above rarely hit, or damaged ever evading shielded Explorers (in packs they actually were crossing their flightpaths and as such were always changing directions and altitude even when set to fly low).

    The main point of mine is that I would classify this is to be imbalance taking in account that Lancers are available from the very beggining and thereby were easy to stockpile for later use having from five to ten per week when their cost was almost ludicrously low in comparison to any other weapons and Megapol virtually never went hostile with Xcom. (unless overtaken by aliens, or attacked by you off course) ;D
     
  14. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered
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    I'd say that's more just a problem with poor code writing.

    I never tried making an explorer fleet, but I think the time investment for retaliators with medium disruptor beams is a slightly better payoff for their ability to smoke large alien craft in a short amount of time.

    I did knock down a mothership with mostly bolters once, that was after recognizing that autocannons were doing virtually no damage at all. Still, it is possible that more than half of the damage came from the small number of lineage plasma cannons and janitor missiles being fired at it, despite the rather large fleet of bolter-mounted hoverbikes and hovercars, all due to the armor. But I couldn't tell for sure.
     
  15. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator
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    That's a good idea - for modding. But still, where would be the UI for that?

    I definitely tend to agree. But does the original game even differentiate between damage types in cityscape? Would be nice if it did, but I don't think so.
     
  16. JonnyH

    JonnyH Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    There's a set 'armour' value (for each direction) that means you could implement a 'shield-buster' as lots of low damage shots, as the armour negation from each would mean it would do lower damage to that than a shield, but a single high-damage shot would be more effective against the armoured hull of a craft.

    Outside of that, it's mod territory afaict, I believe the 'weapon type' stored in the data files is only used for the beam/missile image, not any kind of 'different resistance' for each, but is certainly something we'll add hooks for mods to change that.
     
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  17. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered
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    I just had a thought! Someone mentioned a while back that perhaps multiple weapons could go into 1 slot if they fit (for instance, fitting ten lancer lasers total onto an Annihilator's two 3x4 and one 4x4 slots). I think that would be overpowered, but perhaps the extra space could be used for weapon upgrades? That way you still have just one weapon per slot, but if the slot is larger than the weapon, you could apply upgrades.

    There could be damage and rate of fire upgrades that you add beside the weapon, which would come in 1x2, 1x3, and 1x4 size. The rate of fire boosters would increase DPS a lot more, but at the cost of spending ammo faster and not punching armor any better.

    There could also be range and projectile speed upgrades that you add behind the weapon, which would come in 1x1, 2x1, and 3x1 sizes. For instance, you could equip a bolter laser (1x3) to your Explorer's 2x4 slot, then apply a 1x3 damage upgrade which makes the weapon into a 2x3. Then you add a 2x1 projectile speed upgrade which makes the final weapon fill the 2x4 slot fully.
     
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  18. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Active Member Tester
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    Hell yeah!! Nice idea Mr. reaver, oh by the way, i really loved your oxce mods!!
     
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