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Stun grapples vs. shields.

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

  1. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    While I did my first playthrough in turn-based mode, I switched to real time for the second one and stuck to it afterwards. The balance is completely different obviously, and the issues you've mentioned may be a result of trying to balance the weaponry to both modes.

    What I find lacking is a wider weapon selection allowing for further tactics. For example, a one-handed alternative to the machine gun. It is particularly visible on the aliens' side (though perhaps it would be too weak, since it would have to be weaker than the disruptor), but it applies to X-Com weapons too - both pistols are not exactly the same thing. Shotguns would be nice too.

    And I think I really don't like effective lack of burst fire. I'd really prefer if the X-Com mechanics were used: various weapons have roughly similar times to fire in aimed and snap modes, and the autofire has a set number of bullets that are sprayed in a short timeframe, costing a lot of TUs. Of course this could make point-blank shots too effective, but I think it'd work.
     
  2. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    Totally agree with both!
     
  3. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Uh. You mean the Megapol Lawpistol, right? The only reason it doesn't compare in turn based is because it takes 2TUs to fire while the machine gun takes 1TU. There's no way to compete with a 1TU shot, it's simply OP.

    Point blank shots are always going to be good. There isn't much you can do about that nor is it really a problem. Apoc has plenty of "melee range" dangers that make you not want to deal with aliens at point blank range. So spray and pray!

    Here's what I was thinking in terms of turn based changes. Granted these are REALLY major things that will alter the entire game. But they will accomplish the goal of shorter, faster turns with more play between the two sides and more chances to use fire modes.
    Code:
    All weapons cost 50-100% more TUs to fire by default (Certain slow weapons may require less).
    Aimed shot +50%-100% TUs (2/3 to 1/2 raw fire rate). Aim boosted by weapon accuracy rating (HUGE with snipers, minor with hand weapons).
    Autoshot +50%-100% TUs, triple shot fire (+100% to 50% DPS boost). Some weapons won't have this option like missile launchers (they could use fire rate changes as is). 
    Snap shot as default.
    Running uses 4/6 TUs, walking 6/9 TUs, crawling 9/12 TUs. (alternatively running could include the TU cost of that awkward turning but that may be too frustrating for some).
    Stamina burned by 2/3 points per step running(1-1.5 on screen as value is halved)
    Overall the goal here is to have a 4-6 second turn instead of an 11 second turn. The combined might of changes try to give that.

    Using the triple shot is pretty important because it addresses the problem of shots costing 1-2TUs. If we used vanilla stats then a triple shot from the machine gun might take 5TUs, but as a single shot it only costs 1. That's a huge difference! Increasing the TU cost of weapons across the board will also prevent the speedster issues that happen with all weapons. I mean three big missiles or 2 clips of machine gun fire in one turn IS pretty crazy.

    The movement changes try to bring things into a slightly better area. Crawling gets a speed buff while running gets a speed nerf in turn based mode (real time may require some changes). Stamina is obviously burned while running but can also be consumed with the vastly improved crawl speed. In total you'd get two good turns of sprinting before exhaustion (vanilla is like 4-8 turns). Hopefully the goal is agents get to use all of the movement modes instead of sticking to always run.
     
  4. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Both pistols are fine, I?m using them, but I meant an alternative to the PPSh-minus-coolness that we have. :) Frankly, I find the weapon selection woefully poor, both in terms of attractiveness and tactical choice - sepecially for a cyberpunk game. I guess adding more wouldn't be hard for future modders though.

    Sounds good. Now we only need a working game to test it. :)
     
  5. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    REALLY? You have a light pistol, a heavy pistol, a machine gun, a heavy cannon, a sniper rifle, a frickin' sword, mines, flight, fire, smoke, zappers, and missile launchers. Like the only thing missing is a mid range battle rifle, and you get one of those from the aliens.

    Just what exactly do you need? A shotgun? Autocannon with HE is so much better. A sniper? Buff the one that currently sucks. I don't know about you, but Apoc already seems to hit every major tactical variance with their weapons.
     
  6. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I'm sorry, but in this particular case I think you're completely missing the point. There are many weapon types that are not covered at all - heavy machine guns, miniguns, grenade launchers, (actually heavy weapons apart from the missile launcher), SMGs, shotguns, various ammo types, and more - including various futuristic weapons I won't even mention here. All of them have their uses, sometimes covering similar areas, but ultimately different in how you use them and demand different tactics. Saying "autocannon is best anyway" is neither accurate nor productive.

    But as I said, it's a matter of modding them in when the time comes. And it's not like they can't be balanced to be both varied and adequately efficient, I did it with UFO: Enemy Unknown already and I think I did well. And I think Apocalypse needs that more than the first game, because a significant part of its armoury is very boring.
     
  7. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    I suspect you might be missing the point, Solarius. All of those fancy weapons from Long War only work because EU has a completely different mechanic system from Apocalypse. Mechanics such as status effects, special abilities and perks simply don't exist here. There's no suppression, no hunkering, no debuffs, no buffs, no explicit range penalties, and nothing else that can be used to distinguish play styles between any series of weapons. What you DO get to play with is this:
    Code:
    Damage output
    Fire rate
    Damage type
    Accuracy
    Weight
    Seeking (if any)
    That's it. Apocalypse already covers all the bases on these mechanics. You have the high powered slow guns, the long range guns, the heavy guns, the light guns, the heavy armor, the flying armor, the popper poppers, the popper non poppers, the traps, the property wreckers, the property protectors, and the rapid fire short range guns. There isn't much else to play with here.

    What would that be, exactly? A heavy machine gun is just a light machine gun with more damage(I.E. obsoletes the weaker variant). A shotgun is just a weapon with high burst and low effectiveness beyond short range. Just about anything can destroy cover. Most damage types have little distinction between aliens beyond how good they are against the tiny ones.

    Yes, it is a valid argument. Can you add a weapon that inspires a new play style? Can you make a weapon that doesn't simply act like a superior or inferior version of another one? I'm not seeing it here. All I see is pointless fluff, stuff that has no purpose beyond cluttering equipment screens and adding a learning curve.

    Even Apoc's rejected weapons have more promise than your remakes of standard bullet weapons. The Tracker gun and alien scanner presents new ways of investigating the city. The Dimension Destabilizer presents a way to disable shields (but there's only one shield type and it can be bypassed, so meh). The mind shield and PSI grenade presents a new angle to fighting psionic enemies. All of these things had the potential to open up new tactics that could not be accomplished with a mere change in attributes.

    There is no actual play in dissecting which weapons are OP and which ones are junk. That's busy work. The best way to get rid of busy work is to cull the weapon selection to best options available. Apoc already does a pretty good job at providing a minimal number of weapons that each inspire a maximum number of play options. Some of them might still need tweaks or buffs or nerfs to find a good home in XCOM's arsenal, but they are definitely there.
     
  8. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I won't comment on the new X-Com: Enemy Unknown, because I've never played this game, I was talking about 1994's UFO: Enemy Unknown. Which had mechanics similar to Apocalypse, especially if the mechanics you proposed for Apocalypse would be used (with real autoshots etc.).

    As for the weapon types, I don't think you really believe that a HMG is "just a bigger gun", or that shotgun's mechanics is the same as other weapons. I do admit that the system should also feature accuracy drop over distance to make the weapons more varied, but otherwise there's plenty of room for more weapons. No need for status effects or such crap.
     
  9. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Eh but they kind of are. An HMG in terms of stats simply has more bullets and more damage output with maybe a different accuracy score. It's basically the same.

    Shotguns are a bit more unique because there's no concept of 'burst fire' in Apoc. They fire multiple pellets in one volley which provides a high alpha strike of low piercing power. But you already have a kind of "bean bag" gun in the form of the stun grapple. It's short range, super powerful and will KO just about anything at close range. It doesn't KO big armored things just like a shotty would struggle with, and it has the added bonus of not making poppers pop. Yes, shotguns would truly struggle when 1/3 of their ideal targets is something that explodes in their face.

    The HE autocannon is already super effective at close range spray&pray. They have the added advantage of never having to directly hit their target so they will excel against brainsuckers/worms/poppers in a way that a mere pellet gun can only DREAM of. That's not even getting into the cannon's alternate ammo modes. Tragically these competing factors mean that even if it behaves in a kind of unique way, the shotty doesn't have much to add to the game.

    Basically I don't see any point in adding new weapons until you add new "mechanics" for them to take advantage of. Apoc already has a solid mix of guns that utilize most of the existing weapon traits. Now if you were to add something Apoc doesn't have such as "illumination", there is a new opening for tools that both light up the dark and alien artifacts that can steal it.

    Uhhhhhh what. Please tell me you have ever played Apocalypse! Apoc is the first XCOM to feature a realistic accuracy drop over distance. That's because the game doesn't use accuracy percentages! Weapons instead fire out as a random "cone", the size of which is determined by all the factors that alter accuracy.

    High spread weapons still work great at point blank but utterly fail at range. Accurate weapons have little difference between short range and long distance hit rates. That's exactly what you would expect of a true accuracy system.
     
  10. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    I'm strongly agree with Bobucles, there is no need to create a lot of different weapons without a reason.
    But, I think that we need to find a way to make all (or almost all) weapons usefull. Why? because in the first X-com, you start with lame weapons ("humans" weapons) but in Apoc you have laser, plasma, ?Gauss? weapons... and they need more "life". This weekend I was thinking in deferent ways to do this and I have some ideas. I don't know if those are good for mods or for the game or neither but is fine for a "Brainstorming" at least:
    Humans cannot use aliens weapons: In a way very similar to District 9, aliens weapons have some kind of DNA protection and humans (or hybrids/androids) cannot use aliens weapons, they can study the disrupr tecnology and find some way to "introduce" this tecnology in our equipment or create new one, some examples:
    - A new kind of disrupt pistol clip who "transform" a plasma weapon in some way to a Disrupt gun. The same could happen to the Sniper rifle
    - New kind of dimension missile useful to the marsec heavy and mini launcher.
    - New king of vortes explosive ammo for the Auto Cannon.
    - A new hybrid rifle similar to davastator cannon.

    Why this? Because when you study a weapon is very easy "upgrade" your inventory with all the alien loot.
    Trying something like EU-EW (autodestruction weapons) is useless thanks to the wide methods for stunt.

    Opinions?
     
  11. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I see your point, bet me reiterate mine: Apocalypse armoury SUCKS ASS, plain and simple. It is boring, looks bad, is mildly inconsistent with the first alien war technology (some techs known in the 1990s are unused) and most guns have zero coolness factor. It's begging for something to liven things up, and this can be easily achieved with minimal changes to the gameplay. This is how I've felt since the 90's, and I still do.

    [/quote]

    Sorry, but it's not. Using the cone mechanics is a step forward from arbitrary dice rolls, but it's still far from what I meant. As you know, various weapons have different accuracy parameters at various distances, because of different bullet types, barrel lenghts and so on. This is crucial to the UFO Extender accuracy system used in many OpenXCom mods, including Piratez and my own FMP, and it is something I would like to see in pretty much any tactical game, because it's a good way to introduce more options, tactics and items without adding unnecessary stuff that adds nothing. And I would like to be clear, I know adding inconsequential equipment is wrong.

    Ouch! It hurts, it hurts! :p

    I think the balance between Earth weapons and alien weapons is okayish in Apocalypse. As opposed to the first alien war, there is no huge difference between our tech level and theirs, it's more about differences: they have dimensional physics, we have cybernetics, for example. Alien firearms are somewhat better than ours in damage and clip department, but there's no huge leap here, and therefore not so much space for new weapon tiers. (Though a few more could be fun, if designed well.)

    Why not? Any sort of safety device can be neutralized. It's way easier than understanding alien tech itself.

    Disruptor sniper rifle? Why not, it's logical, though I'm not sure about stats yet (it must be different from the devastator). As for the mechanism itself, I think I don't understand your concept.

    With the alien launcher still useable, it would be superfluous, I guess. One missile launcher is fine, and the minilauncher has a different profile.

    The AC is a bit too good already. :)

    I see no problem with this, but we can discuss it.

    And stupid too. :p
     
  12. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    ;D

    But Earth weapons became quickly obsolete in two weeks :p

    Maybe the device use some "micronoid signature"? If very reasonable than you want to "protect" your tecnology and it's look a Interesting way to give some advantatge to the alines VS Humans (Human's weapons can be similar but never could be the same as alien's).
    One of the "problems" of X-com that game like Xenonauts resolve (IMO very well) are the "simetric equipment", at the end of the game you have the same weapons that the Aliens and the only Breach between are weapons like Brainsucker and entrophic launcher. I think it should be more funny and interesting if you cannot use aliens weapons and must develop some hybrid technology (I propose ammo instead of weapons because it should be more easy) as the same way like Aircrafts.

    Is very easy, the same way AC have diferent kind of ammo, you can "develop" a clip that raise the DMG of the weapon (and make disrupt DMG) AND they recharge in the same way that Aliens weapons. So basically you will have a plasma/laser weapon with more DMG than recharges alone.

    Upgrading your armor is a slow process but upgrade you weaponry is very easy (when I finish the study of devastator cannon I have twelve of more in stock for example)
     
  13. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Not exactly, I'm using a large part of X-Com starting weapons throughout the game. I ditch Megapol pistols for disruptors, I don't use plasma pistols that much, and naturally fast-firing weapons like the machine gun get obsoleted by the toxigun (even if nerfed), but auto-cannoins, all grenades and launchers are still fine.

    I think part of the problem is that X-Com does not use heavy plasma guns, plasma grenades and such. How about this loose idea: X-Com can't buy certain high-power weapons, they exist only in the hands of certain strictly military forces (X-Com is more like FBI). So you would only be able to get it through illicit means, and I don't mean buying them off from Osiron, who wouldn't have it for sale either. So the only way would be to raid Marsec for them, and even if you get them, you would only have a few clips. However, these weapons are quite powerful, probably on par with the devastator cannon.
    Once the aliens gain enough points however, these limitations would be lifted. This would be tweaked so that X-Com should have devastators and such by then.

    But it's silly. If the weapon has a genetic/psionic/whatever lock, then your engineers would analyse and then disarm it - after all it's not vital to the weapon's function. It's a simple problem if you have an advanced laboratory. And it's a problem that's been discussed to death on the Openxcom forums.

    My solution for the FMP mod pack for Openxcom was to base alien tech on specific scientific modules, available through live alien investigations. But in Apocalypse it wouldn't make much sense though, since the aliens are not exactly engineers or medics, but rather drones.

    Aaah, okay.
    Maybe make a line of dimensional explosives, based on vortex mines? Including better HE ammo?

    Yeah, but armour is IMO more important. :)
     
  14. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    I think this is the more pressing matter. The Sniper Rifle definitely needs a buff over vanilla, but the Toxigun is what renders nearly everything obsolete. It's okay for the devastator cannon to be good, but it really kind of does everything well which hurts weapon variety a bit. It snipes good, it wrecks good, and it has the ammo to simply spray everywhere so kind of hard to compete with that.

    These weapons are totally prohibited in megaprimus due to the city's rationing of Elerium-115. That's why you only see a light pistol, a power sword, and flight armor. And guess what? Those items are all locked until week 2! Even vehicle engines use a much simpler fusion power source instead of Elerium.

    This already exists! Most weapon types do not unlock until week 2, and even then they have low availability. It is nearly impossible to deck out your squads with the advanced gear until many weeks later. That is, unless you raid the manufacturers to get more gear for XCOM.

    There's always the option of expanding the system, making items more or less rare or even holding out until week 3 or longer. But vanilla Apoc has already touched on the subject.
     
  15. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    I remember that the reason of the first week "weapon's lock" are burocracy (a cool reason very accurate with the flavour 8) )
     
  16. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Possibly. I think it might be too accurate, though it probably should be better than the disruptor, because it's two-handed (even though 1- or 2-handedness is not really that important in Apocalypse, since you can go akimbo with anything).

    Yes, agreed - that was precisely my point.

    I'm aware of that. :) I was mostly proposing another alternative to the standard progress, as well as a way of expanding Earth armoury without compromising balance. Of course tests would still be necessary, but I think it should work.
     
  17. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    You know the best way to come up with new weapon ideas? Play the game. ;) When you hit something that's really hard, think of a way to make it easier. When you think something is missing, come up with something new. That's basically how I've built my posts.

    XCOM currently has everything it needs to overcome all of the challenges presented in Apocalypse(and then some!). But it is clear that some things aren't good enough to work, while others are so good they override alternative options. There are also obvious spots where difficulty is lacking or where exploits can cause things to become pitifully easy.

    I think a good thing is to try out some of the challenge modes for Apocalypse. By pushing the game to its limits you can see where the strong or weak points are. I haven't tried the tech ones yet but Senate funding isn't too difficult to work with.
     
  18. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I don't have any trouble actually beating the game, I'm trying to make it more fun. :)
     
  19. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    More of those challengues are based in avoiding exploits and it's a good idea to see how dificult the game should be.
    I'll try some of this options this weekend :D
     
  20. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    My personal experience with the challenge modes is you don't need the money from alien artifacts. Like at all. The senate really gives enough funding even for the highest difficulties. Perhaps it may be worth adjusting artifact price to be more like the brainsucker/entropy launcher? If it was adjusted with difficulty, something like 100%/50%/30%/10%/5% might do the trick. Oh yeah. Selling a devastator cannon for $285 would feel pretty bad but you get around 150 of them so that's still $50K.
     

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