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Road Cars need to not fail

Discussion in 'Game Mods' started by The Reaver of Darkness, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    All of the complex attributes of the road cars are for naught in X-Com: Apocalypse because one shot to the road will blow out that section, and the car (which is unable to stop) will inevitably be destroyed as soon as it goes off the road.

    These roads are pneumatically operated and the cars actually hover slightly over the road. I don't think there's a problem with them not being able to stop. But the roads should be a lot more durable. I can't remember the last time a stray shot tore up a section of tarmac in real life.

    Just mentioning this.
     
  2. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Yeah, this problem was resolved in the original game by the Roadwar mod. It basically made roads way harder to damage.

    Having said that, the Ufopaedia explicitly says that cars can float over any terrain:

    So you should be able to drive anywhere, as long as you have the balls to go beyond the impossible and actually grab the steering wheel!

    ...just saying. :)
     
  3. Fat Pokemon

    Fat Pokemon Registered

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    The roadwar mod did solve the problem with tanks getting one shotted but it actually didn't make roads harder to damage. What the roadwar mod did was that it changed how damage calcuation was resolved against land targets.

    Normally when a car or tank gets hit, if the attack was explosive in some way (which was like, 90% of range attacks from aircraft) then it would also effect the road, which if the road was destroyed then the car/tank would die along with it. Roadwar solved this by applying the damage calculation to the car/tank BEFORE the road below it, meaning the only would result in the car/tank dying by actual lethal damage.

    (roadwar also made ground based vehicels much faster ;3)
     
  4. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I don't really think it's the case, I remember my tanks being damaged but not destroyed.

    But if I'm wrong, then we know what must be done in OpenApoc. :p
     
  5. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    It doesn't implicitly state that a car will continue to function if it does leave the road.

    I always felt that:
    1.) the road should be much more durable
    2.) bridges and raised roads should be designed to prevent collapsing sections from dragging the rest of the road down with them
    3.) normal cars that leave roads should merely become immobile with passengers and equipment able to be rescued by hovercar
    4.) immobilized cars will eventually be rescued by a Rescue Transport unless rescued sooner by another agency, and X-Com can rescue non-X-Com vehicles in order to recover some of the points lost from city damage
    5.) the Griffon AFV should be able to leave the road freely, or perhaps not even be able to be on the road at all
     
  6. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    You are correct, apologies.

    Definitely makes sense, even though it would require a lot of new mechanics.

    I would also like to reach crashed UFOs with my ground vehicles...
     
  7. pmprog

    pmprog Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator

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    TBH, I always sold all ground vehicles. Maybe there should be a speed penalty if it goes off-road.

    One "bug" you could possibly get in Apoc is that a road vehicle could get cut off from the rest of the road network, and if it had a new recruit for you, you'd have to wait until TransStella rebuilt the road. This would overcome that problem
     
  8. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Roadwar didn't fix much. The problem is that bullets just barely miss the vehicle and hit the ROAD. Dead road == dead vehicle.

    Apocalypse ground vehicles don't have wheels. They all operate off of low power engines that DEPEND on micrograv struts built into the road. If the road breaks there's nothing to hold the cars up, so it's okay for vehicles to crash and burn a bit. Perhaps if they went into critical damage like a UFO and required rescue/repair, it would help. Not everything is required to be permafatal.

    The only exception to this rule isn't, but SHOULD be the Griffon. It is blatantly obvious from the UFOpaedia that the Griffon is a fully tracked tank. Player complaints are fueled mostly because this 700 HP behemoth explodes off road when a 20HP road gets broken. It has treads, for crying out loud! It can handle it. Except maybe when an elevated road falls down.
     
  9. Mustang

    Mustang Megapol Agent Tester Researcher

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    Even if road vehicles don't explode so easily, are they even that useful? Hovercars still get to every destination significantly faster, which is critical when UFOs have appeared across the city from your base. I guess what I'm curious about is, what were you guys using ground vehicles for before you discovered how easily destroyed they are?
     
  10. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Ground vehicles are much cheaper to purchase, so even if you lose them more often they'll still be an attractive option -as long as they don't die from one hit (which doesn't even touch them directly). They also much cheaper to operate, which is even more useful.

    Sure, deployment is hard, so I just send them on patrols near Dimension Gates whenever I expect an incursion. You can also keep them in buildings so that they don't lose fuel, but rolling out takes time.

    Oh, and the only ground vehicle I've deemed worth the trouble is the Griffon tank. :p Therefore I would like to see some more heavy machines, possibly X-Com made... but that's in the real of modding of course.
     
  11. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    The ground based guns are 100% worthless because XCOM accuracy does not track movement. The ground based missile weapons are pretty decent. Ground vehicles are extremely cheap and do pack good firepower for the price.

    Generally, you should spread your road vehicles across the city. Expect only 1/3 to ever fire a shot against a fast ship mission. They're simply in and out too quickly. Over half can reliably engage against the super sized slow ones. The Griffon elerium cannon is one of the few human weapons that can do serious damage to a battleship. Most other weapons bounce off the heavy armor.

    Ground weapons are uniquely sized to be wider than air weapons. Technically you could get rid of the air/ground weapon restrictions without breaking any major part of the game. What you get is:
    - Ground vehicles could run small disruptor beams. There is a HUGE part of the game where you simply can't use alien disruptor weapons, and by the time you can the small disruptor is already obsolete. This would close the gap a bit, upgrading the beam from "useless" to "making ground useful".
    - Ground vehicles could run anti missile systems. There is a point where your hoverbike swarm gets shredded by alien missile weapons. This would extend the viability of both ground and air vehicles as they gain a working synergy. Anti missiles systems would need some changes, such as improved range and the ability to arbitrarily attack any enemy missile. Might be cool.
    - The Griffon could use the medium disruptor, large disruptor, and alien missile weapons. All three upgrades give it increasing viability as the game progresses. For a vehicle with durability on par with the ultimate XCOM craft, it's a shame that tanks don't see any useful upgrades.
    - The Hawk Air Warrior can use the ground missile array. This is a minor upgrade for a ship you never want to see in direct combat.

    Basically if ground and air weapons were combined, you would see a smoother progression of player fleets than what you get in vanilla.
     
  12. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Large Disruptor Beams certainly wouldn't fit on a Griffon, icon-wise; not sure about the Medium. That's a good reason to add more X-Com-made tanks.
    Apart from that, hell yes, I agree with all your points.
     
  13. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    I'm not sure what you mean by "icon-wise". The Griffon has a 4x4 weapon mount. The Medium disruptor is 3 tall x 2 wide, and the heavy disruptor is 4x4. Other ground vehicles have a single 2x2 mount, which could mount a small disruptor or an anti missile if they were modded.

    Are you referring to the icon shape? Griffon turrets are 4x4 but have a triangle shape, while the large disruptor is a beefy 4x4 full square. It may look strange but the issue is purely cosmetic.

    Reiterating my previous points:
    - Direct weapons on ground vehicles suck. Ground vehicles can't choose their range and thus must fire long range shots most of the time. XCOM can't properly aim long range direct weapons, and even if it was fixed, most UFOs are agile enough to dodge.
    - Ground vehicles only successfully fight on 1/3 - 1/2 of their sorties (or worse!). They're simply really bad at getting into a fight and staying engaged.
    - Ground vehicles are super vulnerable to road damage and can die instantly (probably worth modding).
    In addition, Disruptor weapons sport a hidden 180 degree firing arc. Ground vehicles can't choose their facing making a difficult fight even more so.

    So basically, allowing disruptors on ground vehicles would not be a huge game breaking deal. It gives a nice place for your extra small/large disruptors, and gives a more complete feel to combat by bringing everyone together for the midgame.
     
  14. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Does it? Oops. :)

    Also, good post.
     
  15. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    If road cars weren't sudden death mode anymore, I would definitely use the Griffon because it has very high toughness and the rumble cannon has the highest DPS of any pre-alien weapon in the game. The Wolfhound would be a safe way to transport troops when you expect to get shot at. On higher difficulty settings, you can end up with several companies attacking you on sight, and a mission might lie past their buildings. If you don't have an explorer yet and you can't afford a hawk air warrior, a wolfhound could suffice where a valkyrie would DIAF.

    I might use the stormdog for cheapness but as it is difficult to get road vehicles into the fight, I'd probably stick with hovercars and hoverbikes. Also I usually try to fly my craft as high as the aliens or higher so they shoot upward at me and away from the city. I just make sure I'm using either weapons that won't miss or that won't destroy buildings if they do. I'd be a lot more into stormdogs if they were accompanied by air ships that could draw fire, and if the ground weapons were particularly powerful and could mop up the alien forces much more quickly. Might be useful against fast attack ships if I could manage to get my cars in the right place.
     
  16. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    In my experience the only chance you have of using ground vehicles is to have them spread around the city BEFORE any UFOs show up. That's why I state only a fraction of ground vehicles get to join into any one battle. They have NO chance of crossing the city before UFOs are in and out, alien missions are simply too quick. Instead you have to bank on the UFOs flying over whatever vehicles just happen to be in position. That's not too unreasonable a downside, especially if they end up a cheap and easy way to use alien tech.

    Anyone who thinks the Rumble Cannon is good has NEVER used it. While it may look cool cool on paper, it gets murdered by its incredibly tight firing arc (90 I think?). As if ground vehicles don't have a hard enough time, the Rumble Cannon barely gets a chance to fire even if your stars align and things go right. The Plasma Cannon can swivel much more effectively (270?), letting it attempt many more shots (or take any shots at all).

    In practice, the only time I've had a Plasma Cannon do more damage to the enemy than to the city is against huge UFOs (great damage for cost, if it doesn't die). Against everything else it's just like... nope. Use missiles all day e'ery day. Fortunately Apoc has a healthy supply of missiles for ground vehicles, because the flying missile launchers run out pretty damn fast.

    My only gripe about cannon weapons, especially the ground weapons, is they hold WAY TOO much ammo! A single load of cannon ammo can last the life of the vehicle (if not the whole game), which isn't a good thing because A) bullets are expensive, and B) the shops don't have enough ammo to replace lost weapons. This is even worse with the Plasma Cannon, because it holds nearly a week's supply of precious E when it only uses like 30 shots on a good day. Returning a tank to base to refill its plasma cannon is probably the dumbest thing you can do. Cannon ammo should really be cut by a factor of 5'ish or something like that.

    For reference, this information is found in the General Metro entry of the ufopaedia.

    As cool as that might sound, ground transports never end up useful. Why?
    - You NEED a flying transport to assault UFOs, it's 100% mandatory.
    - Cargo is perma glitched to never be a problem, so only one raiding vehicle is ever needed.
    - The game starts you with a flying transport, the Valkyrie.
    - If there is any danger in the sky, you can just wait a few minutes for it to clear away. It's not like any of these buildings have active SAM sites.

    If you are stuck in a situation where ground is the only way to travel, your Apoc game is already in DEEP trouble. Apoc would have to be seriously modded to play mostly on the ground (not that it isn't available, it's just totally obsolete from day 1).
     
  17. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Now this is a reasonable post. :)
     
  18. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    Excellent points overall, except:
    Cargo is rather difficult to play with in Apocalypse. The cargo modules hold a miniscule amount of cargo and anything you don't have room for won't come back, except perhaps the last item on the list overlapping a bit (I suspect this might be happening due to large objects occasionally being returned on small cargo storage).

    The cargo module holds 50 units of cargo, and a brainsucker launcher takes up 45 units by itself. While it is particularly high for the space it takes up on a soldier, it is not alone: the disruptor gun takes 30 space units. I find even the Bio-trans with 7 cargo modules still has a cargo space so insignificant in the later missions that what I can take home in the excess inventory space of 8 soldiers is several times higher. I used to go on the final missions with extra personnel who only carried teleporters and shield generators, and otherwise just looted the site.

    The cargo module should probably carry 500 cargo.
     
  19. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    There is one place where cargo space matters. Airtrans cargo transports have a capacity that seems to depend on them being fully equipped with 4 cargo modules (I estimate 200 space, though it's been a while). Fixing cargo modules would be nice, but massive fleets of cargo transports are really damn cool. That shouldn't be changed just because X-COM wants to have "realistic" and "euclidean" cargo modules.

    But that's not true. Apoc NEVER makes a cargo capacity check after looting a site. If there is A cargo module, then everything is looted. The amount of loot or actual cargo space is irrelevant. Without a cargo module, NOTHING gets looted. Only your agents' equipment remains.

    Don't get me wrong, the cargo module is definitely messed up in vanilla. For the same equipment space you could stash 4 extra agents ready to rock. A single agent's equipment alone is WELL over the 50 units of space that a cargo module gives.

    Changing the looting system means changing many things in Apoc. For starters you need viable cargo capacity. You need a special screen for discarding excess loot. Players will no doubt try to cram extra gear in their agent bags if it won't fit in the cargo bay, so ships would probably need their own independent cargo capacity as well. What if XCOM wants to use a second transport for gathering loot? What if they want to pay Transtellar to ship it? There are a bunch of considerations involved, which can end up being a drastic change over vanilla.

    Early game missions can net you 150'ish cargo if you're lucky. Late game missions can pack on nearly 2K cargo from the massive load of alien loot (I recall 1800 being fairly typical).

    A cargo capacity of 500 per module means you need 4 cargo modules for a standard late game mission. The Air Hawk could do it with no bonus crew, and a Biotrans can handle it with room to spare. If the goal is to pack every single square inch of alien tech on the one transport ship that is raiding, 500 space would do the trick. If the goal is to use corporate alliances and XCOM fleets to move stuff around, then a number closer to 100/200 would be good enough.
     
  20. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Considering that a Phoenix Hovercar can just up and transport an entire Mothership at once, I'm not sure talking about load capacities make any sense.

    But if I were to design the system, I'd probably make the excess weight stay at the building after a battle so you can go back and take it later, or maybe pay Transtellar to do so (not in the Alien Dimension building of course). Which would require a new menu for handling items, yes, because the transport doesn't necessarily have to be manned by X-Com troops.
    And for the alien ships, well - I suppose that you can take everything by stuffing it in the ship itself, which is hauled to your base anyway.

    Of course, this is a "what if" mechanics; I don't expect OpenApoc to make any radical changes in the vanilla version.
     

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