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Stun grapples vs. shields.

Discussion in 'Game Mods' started by bobucles, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    I'm sure you've all seen this at one point. You take an agent, load him up with the stun grapple, and run at the nearest arthropod. You zap him and zap him and zap him but nothing happens. Finally a stray bullet goes his way and you see the familiar electric blue outline of a shield. Your stun grapple kept hitting but it did nothing!

    The failure of the Stun Grapple defies two rules established in Apocalypse:
    1) Things that bypass shields have full effect on the target. (psionics, stun grenades, AG gas, toxigun)
    2) Things that strike shields show the bubble animation and deal damage to the shield. (literally anything else except the solitary stun grapple)

    The stun grapple does neither. It both deals no damage to shields, and is interrupted by them without showing an animation. I suspect this is a bug.

    This bug may be due to how damage modifiers work in Apoc. The Stun Grapple is listed as dealing zero damage to shields. This is likely meant to represent the weapon ignoring the effect of shields, in the exact same way that AG gas or stun gas (or the never included psionic blast) deals zero damage to shields. It is possible that the "ignore shield" flag was never actually set and made it through testing.

    There are two possible solutions to this problem. They depend on what you think a stun grapple should do.
    A) Stun Grapples should ignore shields as graphically depicted, and deal full stun effect like any weapon that ignores shields.
    B) Stun Grapples should be interrupted by shields as mechanically depicted. They should deal appropriate damage when zapping the shield like any other weapon.

    I don't know about you, but stun grapples are not my first choice for capturing aliens. I opt to use stun gas until half of the city is knocked unconscious and Sanctuary Clinic suffers an epidemic of retarded babies. I pick option A because I know that grapples are more difficult to use for capture, and it's okay to let players risk their agents for another precious shield.
     
  2. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I can't remember, does Stun Grapple shoot actual needles? Or is it some form of energy discharge?
    If it's the former, the shield should be ignored, as with other slow-moving projectiles (toxin darts, for example). If it's the latter, the shield should take full effect, since we know it to stop beams and explosions.
     
  3. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    It's really tough to tell with what is shown in game. The UFOpaedia entry shows a giant claw thing, it has a recharging energy source, and it has the range you would expect of a modern day taser weapon. The weapon also hits aliens DEAD center when used in game. Make what you will of that. My kid imagination assumed it shoots out the claw thing which goes ZAPZAP. But you know. Even the power sword shoots bullets, and that's a frickin' sword.

    The Toxigun does have a damage modifier against shields, dealing 25% of listed damage (typical is 50%). That is yet another inconsistent thing as it suggests that Toxigun ammo was not supposed to be stopped by shields. The Toxigun is stupidly powerful as is, and even if shields did their thing it would be no issue to power through with the gun's insane rate of fire. Changing that sort of thing is really a mod (albeit a recommended one).

    I almost forgot! The power sword IS blocked by shields. That is quite unusual. You'd sorta expect the idea that slow moving weapons just kinda go through, but the game is fairly inconsistent on that matter. So go for what PLAYS best, I guess. You already put agents at enough risk by running them with a stun grapple.

    If toxiguns don't go through shields, the difficulty of capturing shields goes up like 500%. Maybe allowing stun grapples would be a good tradeoff in that situation. It's not as though Stun Grapples are otherwise that special (stun gas is WAY more effective and safe to use).

    Shields can be captured through stun gas and stun psionics. The best 2 out of 3 says that the Stun Grapple should join the club.
     
  4. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    I think stun grapples should deal no damage to a shielded target or to the shield, but instead should have a chance of outright overloading and destroying it. Also, broken shield units should be something you can take home and fix.

    I think the minilauncher rounds, when striking a shielded target directly, should explode inside the shield, containing and concentrating the blast and dealing heavy damage to not only the shields but also the target inside.

    As a kid I figured the claw appearance was part of the retro-futuristic styling of the city, or it was some sort of nonsensical design that's supposed to look cool to the player without having any connection to real life technology. But today I realize that the stun grapple looks like some of the electrical generators you see which use two or more electrodes suspended near each other in the air to make zaps. They don't shoot electricity out in real life, but they often do in movies. Why not in a game? Maybe the claws are electrodes.
     
  5. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    So, to sum up the model that seems to emerge here:
    - Toxigun should do 0 damage to shields, OR be fully stipped by them.
    - If Toxigun is fully stopped by shields, it should destroy them good.
    - Stun Grapple should not interact with shields (neither be stopped by them or damage them).
    - Plasma Sword (and other hypothetical melee weapons) should not interact with shields either.
    - If shields are impossible to capture using firearms (namely Toxigun), perhaps we could think of some special ranged weapons which aren't terribly strong for the late game but bypass shields like swords? (Hint: thrown spinning power discs!)

    Well, what do you think? Is this model anal enough to make the game more fun? :)

    These rules are quite arbitrary, and foreign to the vanilla. Frankly, I don't really like them.

    If there are few options to get them otherwise, this can be considered.
     
  6. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    The only ACTUAL bug at play is with the stun grapple vs. shields. There are good arguments for going either way on the issue:

    - Letting the stun grapple pierce shields only requires one change: fixing the "piercing" flag.
    - Letting shields block the stun grapple requires two changes: one to fix the animation, and one to provide a new damage modifier against shields that isn't "totally immune". Stun grapples are still high impact weapons, lethal or no.

    My experience when playing with the stun grapple was "why isn't it knocking these guys out? I'm totally nailing them!". I'll take the one fix over taking two fixes any day. Playing with anything else is going into mod territory.

    ~~~~
    The first and most obvious mod is to let shields block the toxigun. The Toxigun is the most crazy OP weapon in the game, so this is a very obvious difficulty mod that any veteran will appreciate. The game's default (and unused) toxigun damage against shields (half of most weapons, exactly what you'd expect) should be good enough to use, unless someone seriously wants to cut it down more. Of course, this mod will cripple your ability to harvest shields! It may be necessary to expand XCOM's shield harvesting options beyond the other two vanilla options: stun grenades and stun psi.

    Letting the power sword pierce shields will bring back the glory days of TFTD thermal drilling all day e-ery day. This mod seems more like a fun thing than any serious difficulty change. And you know what? I think "it's fun" is a good enough reason to mod it. Let any commander crazy enough to charge headfirst into aliens at least get some bonus shields out of it.

    I don't like the idea of letting missiles go inside shields. Even a vortex dropped literally at your feet gets blocked by shields. Any explosive is already extremely effective in Apoc, and the minilauncher is pretty damn good as is. Besides, XCOM already gets a shield piercing missile with the alien gas weapons at endgame.
    You mean like it would shoot out a bolt of lightning or something? Getting hit by a lightning bolt would definitely knock most things out! But Apoc was made in a day where we didn't have fancy special effects. Every single gun type in the game shot "A thing" that moved across the map. Even the laser sniper shot a projectile, which helped make the weapon SO USELESS when aliens dodge. It's the sort of weapon that would benefit immensely from a modern game upgrade to using an instant beam-style of attack.
     
  7. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    I am of the mind that toxigun fire should be stopped by shields, and should deal very little damage to the shields, similar to how they deal very little damage to humans or armor. I think maybe aliens should use shields less often or should get them later in the game, because if toxigun fire was stopped by shields and the aliens start using shields by the time you get toxiguns, then they won't be a very useful weapon. I think they should be great against unshielded targets but should not be a perfect weapon for absolutely every fight with aliens. Also toxiguns have a rate of fire greater than a machinegun, which is absurd. They are overpowered and should probably have their rate of fire greatly reduced.

    Maybe after you encounter shields, you could research a weapon that fires a slow-moving projectile to get past the shields (perhaps based on boomeroid propulsion), and a later version of that weapon could deliver alien toxin.

    It's pretty useless even in turn-based mode in which enemies cannot dodge, simply because of the horrible accuracy soldiers have. In the time unit expenditure i t takes to score a hit, you could usually have ran all the way to them but the second option results in less terrain damage while also allowing you to re-fire at point-blank range very quickly. It makes the Laser Sniper Rifle completely inept and the Marsec M4000 overpowered in comparison to everything else (except toxiguns).
     
  8. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    This already exists in vanilla. By going over the damage modifiers, one can clearly see that nearly every weapon in the game deals ~50% damage against disruptor shields. The only exceptions are weapons that ignore shields (0%), the stun grapple (0%), and every single toxin ammo(25%). Some quick math shows that 25% is half of 50%, which means toxigun already DEALS half the normal damage vs. shields. The value just never gets utilized in game.

    This statement is blatantly FALSE. Let's look at the raw numbers.

    The devastator cannon deals 70 base damage at a fire rate of 0.90 rounds per second. The Toxigun deals 50/65/85 damage at a fire rate of (I $hit you not) 4.50 rounds per second.

    The devastator cannon deals 50% damage vs. shields. The Toxigun deals 25%.

    The adjusted, perfect aim DPS values against shields are as follows:
    Yes, that is right. The weakest toxin ammo in the game still rips through shields at such an extreme rate it makes the Devastator Cannon look like a play toy. The alien weapon does have more accuracy to work with, but if twice the devastator shots strike their target you are still in the lead with Toxin B.

    So no. Toxiguns would still kick ass because shields are nothing but a speed bump for them. Let's not forget they still annihilate anything without a shield. The BIG change here is not to the difficulty of beating the aliens (from "stupid easy" to "kinda easy"). It instead is happening to the difficulty of looting alien shields (from "automatic success" to "HOLY CRAP I NEED TO GET SHIELDS").

    This once again feeds back into the OP topic of whether or not stun guns should pierce shields. If Toxiguns pierce shields the question is irrelevant; Toxiguns are clearly the best shield harvesting option available. If Toxiguns destroy shields (day 1 mod all days), Commanders will struggle to find effective ways of getting them. That's where the stun grapple can be allowed this new benefit.

    Changing the power sword isn't a very invasive mod, because charging aliens head first really isn't the smartest of ideas. Unlike the Stun Grapple, you can still use the sword to set up lethal ambush tactics by carving through walls with ease.
    This is partially true. Apoc uses a new accuracy formula that calculates the "cone spread" of a shot, where higher values equate to lower accuracy. Zero spread is 100% accuracy, and some unknown huge number (100?) is 0%. Negative accuracy values SHOULD be possible, but I don't know the game engine limit.

    Agent accuracy is a HUGE contributing factor to why laser snipers are bad. Agents with low accuracy will contribute a big spread to the weapon, no matter how accurate it is. Agents with peak accuracy (96? Listed in code as "4 spread"?) will have extremely accurate weapons, only slightly put off by a very bad weapon.

    The other half of the situation is that Laser Snipers simply have atrocious damage. A single weapon shot hits for 26 damage (Yeah. From a SNIPER), and the weapon fires at an appalling 0.86 rounds per second. The next lowest DPS in the game comes from the autocannon with AP shells, which is nearly twice as lethal. The Laser Sniper would require serious modding to come remotely close to being a lethal and valuable weapon in XCOM's ranks.
     
  9. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    I said toxiguns should deal the same damage to shields as they do to armor or humans. I assume the idea behind their paltry damage against anything other than the aliens is due to the toxin only being effective against the aliens, and the damage dealt to other targets is from the darts themselves. There is no reason to think the toxin would harm shields, so they should only take damage from the darts. If AP weapons only deal 50% damage to shields, then toxin darts should deal 50% of their non-alien damage to shields. That would make them basically useless against shields. Then they would be only useful against unshielded aliens. There are plenty of unshielded aliens, so toxiguns would still be a useful weapon.


    Well that explains the problem. I had noticed that well-trained soldiers can hit with even machineguns, while untrained soldiers can't hit at range with a sniper rifle even using aimed shots. I think the accuracy formula used could work, but it'll need tweaking. I'd suggest making it so that a more accurate weapon will divide the soldier's inherent spread to a fraction of its base value, while inaccurate weapons should multiply the spread. This would make it so that a soldier with very low accuracy would still have a small spread doing aimed shots with a laser sniper rifle, while an agent with very high accuracy would still have a large spread doing auto-fire with an inaccurate weapon.



    -------------

    Also, I agree with making stun grapples good for recovering shield generators. Stun grenades already are, so why should grapple-lovers do more poorly than grenade-lovers?
     
  10. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Welcome to vanilla Apocalypse! It's probably good to check out the links when I post them. The Toxigun deals 25% damage against humans and 30% against agent armor. That is the same damage they have listed against shields.

    But wait! Doesn't everything in the game already deal like half damage to shields? That's correct! It is probably some cheat so the devs could use single byte shield values (I.E. 150 HP with everything at half damage is 300 effective health. One byte caps at 255). In order for the Toxigun to achieve the same parity as other weapons, it would need to deal a quarter of the modified damage that everything else does. This means 1/4 of 1/2, or 1/8 (12.5%).

    Okay. My question is WHY? Have you used the Toxigun before?

    Making the Toxigun go from like 6 to 12 shots(total guesstimate here) vs. a shield doesn't do anything to fix it. If your goal is to balance toxins against the entire game, only one number needs to change. The reason the Toxigun is so overly strong has always been due to the weapon's blatantly absurd rate of fire. Seriously, it fires faster than the machine gun and literally CAPS out the game engine with dual wielded autoshot. Killing an alien in turn based mode for 3TUs is NOT okay! Fix the RoF (it's mod territory of coruse), and keeping the vanilla 25% damage vs. shields is probably good enough.

    Some of this may already be possible in the game. Prone agents get a considerable accuracy bonus, and aimed shots should contribute the lowest possible weapon spread. Unfortunately having maximum aim just isn't enough to save the Laser Sniper. The weapon is simply FAR too weak for agents to justify taking 3 seconds(or like a third of their TUs) on a single shot.
     
  11. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    I've used toxiguns against humans and it's taken a lot more hits to kill them. Against an unarmored civilian it only takes a handful of shots, but they are very squishy anyway. Even against Cult of Sirius (who wear very light armor), a toxigun can unload a whole clip into one of them before taking them out. Against one of my soldiers in megapol armor I found it took several clips and more than a soldier's full turn of time units to even break through the armor. I had to quit a Cult of Sirius raid early once when I had forgotten to bring conventional weapons because the toxiguns just weren't cutting it.

    Obviously it also needs a damage increase. I think doubling it (52) is entirely reasonable and won't even begin to make the weapon overpowered. It'll pierce armor better though, I think. X-Com: Apocalypse seems to have a damage reduction system that makes weaker shots lose a larger percentage of their damage against stronger armor. I know it is present in cityscape combat, but I think it might also be present in battlescape combat. That would explain why the devastator cannon is able to sometimes kill an armored soldier in one hit and often in 2 with only 70 power, while a machinegun (22 power) takes some 5-8 hits just to break the armor. That 70 power seems to deal almost as much damage as 10 machinegun shots.

    Maybe that's why toxiguns seem so inept at shooting non-alien targets. The armor might be reducing their lower damage by a higher percentage. In any case, don't quote numbers to say I'm wrong if you haven't actually tested it in game. For instance, I can say that the Retribution missiles are rather underpowered at 68 damage because I have tested their use against armored UFOs. Even the strongest armor doesn't seem to have much resistance to lineage plasma cannons and janitor missiles, while that paltry 68 damage from retribution doesn't make much of a dent and then you have to go home. Maybe if you had 15 Valkyrie Interceptors you could bring down an alien destroyer in one volley, but it's much easier and cheaper (except for city damage) to just chase it with 5 hoverbikes using lineages. Justice missiles can get a break because you can fit them to hovercars and hoverbikes, but they still are only useful when you have several extra cars and want to take down UFOs as fast as possible regardless of the cost--which is actually a reasonable tactic. It's not always feasible, however, because even if you have enough money there are often not enough justice missile launchers available for sale. With any less than 10 you aren't going to do much damage to even a fast attack ship. Anything weaker goes down easily with cheap bolter lasers.
     
  12. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Apoc's armor system is straight up damage reduction. I'm fairly sure that everyone else has a flat armor value that does its thing. Only XCOM details an armor segment system that decays with damage. The UFOpaedia has more detail on how that works.

    Toxin damage against humans is as follows:
    Human armor values range from 12 to 25. Toxin ammo can barely scratch that, but damage spread (+-50% I think?) can sometimes do it.

    Retribution missiles have ONE shot, Every UFO starts at over 100 health and goes up to 2000. The projectile is slow and the seeking power is very low.
    Not really. Justice missiles aren't fast enough to hit agile UFOs, and they don't have enough damage to bother big UFOs. I've never tried a pure Justice strategy, but every time I tried to use one it was a disappointment.

    Both the Justice and Retribution launcher would likely need some major changes to have a home in XCOM's arsenal. The simple solution is to vastly increase weapon damage (150Jst; 250Ret). A more complex solution is to introduce some kind of cityscape AoE damage and use that. Or maybe something stranger? Like for example the Annihilator might be able to mount 3 Retribution missiles in each of its side bays because of their huge size. Something like that.

    There are obviously plenty of weapons in Apoc that could use some love, both for the city and tactical mode. IMO they're best attacked all at once as a mod.
     
  13. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I've taken the liberty of moving the missiles discussion to a new topic.

    Now, it's only partially on topic, but... don't you want Entropy Missiles should bypass shields too? They seem to be rather slow-moving.
     
  14. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    I just want to point out that I'm not exactly sure how NPC armor works. It might have body zones and decay the same as anything XCOM uses. This is most easily tested with the Toxigun thanks to its low damage, and a mind bender to see if the target takes an increasing level of damage (representing armor decay).
    - The big and small launcher both launch out slow missiles.
    - The Hyperworm and Power Sword use melee attacks, portrayed as short range projectiles.
    - Grenades at your feet explode at point blank range.
    - Boomeroids literally fly into your face and explode at point blank range.
    - Poppers explode in your face.
    - Falling debris doesn't go terribly fast either.

    Should all of these things ignore shields? If we want to follow the "slow projectile" or "inside shield" line of logic, practically half of Apoc's weapons would bypass shields! Don't get me wrong, that might end up pretty damn cool. XCOM wouldn't be able to lean entirely on their shields for midgame protection. However the UI would need an upgrade to show both health AND shields (shield display overrides health) since the incomplete protection of shields would make both displays relevant all the time.

    We could assume that half of the weapons in Apoc are screwed up. That is always an option. Or we could go the other angle, and assume that the Toxigun is at fault and slow weapons were never meant to be blocked. This is implied by the existence of an appropriate Toxigun damage multiplier, it's confirmed by literally every other damaging option being blocked no matter how slow or point blank it is, and it's demanded by the shield bypass being completely ridiculously OP on every level.

    The Stun Grapple is another obviously bugged weapon when it comes to shields. If we were to accept the game's graphical input, the damage modifier, and the general behavior of other stun weapons, it is clear that the shield block is some kind of mistake. If you argue that every projectile gets blocked without exception, then a new damage modifier needs to be devised as zero is just a no good thing to have.
     
  15. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Damn right!

    Yeah, I was referring to the model where weapons like plasma sword or stun grapple do bypass shields. Sorry, apparently there are too many "forks" now in this discussion to not mention which one you mean. :)
     
  16. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Whoops. Yeah, I tend to massively multitask when it comes to strategy discussions. Let's see if I can compartmentalize this conversation a bit:

    - Stun grapple: No matter what way you choose, this falls under the category of bug fix. There are a number of reasons to choose either way but it must be chosen for OpenApoc. The dev's intent seems to favor the bypass, to match other stun options. It would be a MAJOR help with shield collecting if the next option is chosen.

    - Toxigun: Removing the shield bypass will partially address the huge EZ mode of this gun. It is a tiny mod, something that could be a check box option in a menu. It would over ride this next option.

    - "Slow projectile bypass, melee bypass" - Imperfect shields are a completely new approach for how shields work in Apoc. The overall lethality of combat increases, the ease of gathering shields increases, and entropy missiles become SUPER dangerous at all times. Like they'd be more dangerous than dimension missiles and may even need some kind of nerf. This would be a mod package, something that is best done as an all or nothing deal.
     
  17. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Yeah, thanks for tidying it up.

    Both models (nerfed toxigun and imperfect shields - I like the sound of that last one) seem interesting and worth a mod. I think I'd personally lean more to the latter, since capturing shields is very rewarding in itself (I mean psychologically, not strategically) and it's simply fun. On the other hand, combat might get a bit too lethal, which is not that much fun in late game.

    As for the entropy missile, the stripping trick (dropping all armour and equipment for a few seconds) makes it more of a nuisance than a deadly weapon, at least if there are no explosions nearby. Which is a bit anticlimatic by the way, though I don't know how to prevent this except by forbidding the player to remove armour during battle (which would be lame too).
     
  18. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    I don't know about THAT. The first time I played Apoc? Sure. I knew nothing about the toxigun, which made the game much harder. More agents died and it was a horrible task to try to get some shields.

    Now? My Apoc campaigns have very few casualties. I typically lose maybe a dozen agents or less, and most of that happens BEFORE shields become available. After shields pop up I have everyone double shielded within a week. Most soldiers can go the entire game without ever suffering another scratch, though I have lost shield protection several times. It's safe to say that shields are pretty damn good using vanilla stats.

    Doesn't removing your gear to avoid entropy damage feel a bit like an exploit? I mean the goop is already all over your gear. Why would pulling it off do anything to help? Obviously the status ailment is happening to the agent so anything he doesn't touch doesn't get enzymed. But keeping goop on the items even after you remove them is something worth modding into the game.

    I don't mind Enzymes being strong. They've always been the alien's version of the Toxigun. But maybe some new tech could help? For example the medikit could have an ability to restore entropy enzyme. It's suited for the task, even if it might need an upgrade to do the job. An agent who is quick on the draw might be able to prevent a good amount of entropy damage.

    I always thought it was a little strange that Apoc lets you move items around instantly at no TU or time cost. This is a huge departure from UFO defense and TFTD, where every action burned a large numbers of TUs. It may be worth looking into, but the only real issue it causes is with the entropy gun. Work on the gun and things should be okay.
     
  19. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Frankly, I haven't really played the game in quite some time, so I am not sure how it would turn out. I thought that with shields stopping only direct fire (beams and projectiles, and probably missiles too) it would keep your units more vulnerable to alien trick weapons than more straightforward weapons, but the X-Com armour is probably enough to matter. (And it would give the new armour more importance.)

    Of course it's an exploit, yet if your agent gets hit with the alien goop, it's the only way to save them (unless you can get to the exit fast enough, but it's also a bit of an exploit).

    It would be really nice if the goop was attached to an item, not the unit, but how would it work to fit the gaming experience? Perhaps it would act more like a small jelly creature (an acid blob) than a splash? You know, like this:
    1) The game decides what item is hit, and it becomes the location of the blob; for example, if your weapon is hit, the blob stats dissolving it immediately. The location is revealed to the player in the equipment screen, for example by highlighting the item or surrounding it with a greenish cloud.
    2) When the item is dissolved completely, the blob moves on to the next thing, say the gauntlet that was holding the gun, and proceeds with the same. Rinse and repeat.
    3) Dropping the affected item before it gets eaten results in some sort of dexterity check, representing the agent trying to remove the damn parasite from their body. If the check succeeds, the item is dropped with the creature still attached, forsaking the item to a quick demise but saving the rest of agent's gear and the agent themselves. If the save is failed, the item is dropped but the blob remains, attached to another item, and the game continues.
    4) A successfully dropped blob will devour the item first, and then... well, it's a matter of designer choice. If we want to cut the effort, it may just disappear with the item; if we want to add yet more fun, we may allow it to move around slowly (much like a micronoid aggregate) and attempt to eat other stuff, like agents, mines or elements of scenery. More enemies, yay.

    I don't know if this idea is the best, but I think it's still better than the vanilla solution, which is sort of... unfinished. I mean, there was an idea for an alien weapon, but it wasn't quite finished, with no convincing mechanics behind it. This is an attempt to turn this element of the game into an actual part of the game, with something for the player to do about it.

    I'm not against using a Medikit to spray on the bugger and neutralize it, though probably only after the Entropy Missile is researched.

    But I have yet another way of countering this weapon that is currently impossible to defend against: turn the projectile into a unit. This unit would move in the same way, the only difference is that you could shoot at it as it approaches. This would make it possible (if not easy) to shoot the goop down before it reaches you, yet provide another distracting element to enhance the aliens' strategy (because everyone is bound to shoot at the bugger instead of the anthropods).

    Agreed.

    EDIT:

    I've upped the laser sniper rifle damage from 26 to 46, and it's a decent weapon now. Almost doubling the value may seem too much, but in fact it's nothing excessive - it still doesn't even one-shot a Spitter. And I decreased the clip size to 10, since the shots are so much more powerful now. Overall, I think the balance is much better now.

    I've also halved toxigun's fire rate, but haven't had the opportunity to test it just yet.

    Now, what should I do with the light machine gun... Or is it OK as it is...?
     
  20. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Even at half rate the Toxigun would still be pretty damn crazy. Maybe from 4.5 to 2.0? No matter what it would take some testing to get a good feel for it.

    The Toxigun is an obvious problem because it's SO far ahead of everything else in the game. But dealing with the rest of the weapons is no easy fix.

    The machine gun IS pretty good, but I think most of the fault lies with how Apoc handles fire modes. You see autoshot shoots twice as fast as normal, which shoots twice as fast as aimed. At the two extremes you get a 4x change in how fast agents are firing, but you don't get a 4x change in how accurate the weapon is. At the end of the day a deluge of fire wins out because you have that many more chances to hit the enemy (plus any nearby ones), and when you're using explosives a tiny miss doesn't matter at all.

    This problem is further exacerbated by Apoc's turns being too long. Eleven seconds is a hell of a lot of time to do whatever. Run speed screws things up yet again by being insanely effective. It literally doubles an agent's turn and doesn't suffer the many lagging slowdowns that real time has.

    I don't think nerfing the machine gun will help much because a lot of things are happening at once. The autoshot is too good, the run is too good, and the typical turn simply allows too much to happen before the enemy can react. All these things add up to a sum of "run in point blank and spray the area". The machine gun naturally excels in this area because that's exactly how it's supposed to work.

    If you want to see how long a turn should probably be, just check out the aliens when they take their turn. Granted the aliens ARE wasting about half of their time, but the outcome is pretty good. They get a few steps and a handful of shots. Nothing major. Running autoshot XCOM agents can clear a entire room and get to the next room in one turn.
     

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