Author Topic: [HWP] Scout Drone  (Read 17392 times)

Offline Arpia

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[HWP] Scout Drone
« on: December 04, 2013, 11:20:07 am »
So I've now got this working flawlessly (everything working as intended) so it probably wants to go up here in the finished section o_o
Small automated drone, featuring an integral smoke launcher. Designed to scout out enemy positions and provide smoke cover for ground troops.

feel free to use/share/change/question/cheddar - and dont forget all Credit to Ryskeliini for the spritework/concept. I just put the ruleset stuff together.

Edit: Just checked to make sure this is all ship-shape and ready for 1.0
Addressed the tracked plasma tank having no clip. Increased drone smoke clip and zero'd off reactions. amended documentation
viva la revolution >.<
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 08:19:45 am by Arpia »

Offline Sharp

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 02:37:46 pm »
Still takes 4 slots on craft though right?

Pretty cool drone though

Offline Arpia

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 04:59:17 pm »
unfortunately yeah, all HWP's take 4 slots on a craft regardless of size

Offline Sharp

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 01:29:14 am »
Can it open doors?

Offline Arpia

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 04:29:36 am »
yes, it can open doors, use the elevator and scout the inside of a ufo just fine... i checked to make sure >.>

Offline Ryskeliini

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 07:08:19 pm »
Just came back from the long trip and tried this mod, very well done Arpia! Just tested it for couple quick matches and noticed, maybe its bit too overpowered?
By meaning overpowered, its quite fast drone (cos of the large amount of TUs) to spot aliens and thus causing them aliens getting killed straight away by agent from long distance... EVEN it was my idea to do so, maybe it was bad decision :P (just blame me for that)

i guess ill try to do some balances for that drone, maybe have same amount of TU's like the orginal tanks have (70 TUs if i remember right) or even less ( to 50 TUs)
Also increasing the price for the scout drone to... around 200 000 credits? ... (it has to be worth of 4 agents atleast :D )

Probably at current state, its quite easy for early game with this sccout, but at the later state...?... good? ..or too OP at then also?

But all 'n' all nicely done :) ...couldnt made it better back then... i think those "4-grid-spaces-needed" will be taken care of in the future. ..(and Research images)

well done, cu!

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 04:25:43 am »
unfortunately yeah, all HWP's take 4 slots on a craft regardless of size

latest git build takes care of this imposed restriction

Offline Arpia

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 05:35:54 am »
i guess ill try to do some balances for that drone, maybe have same amount of TU's like the orginal tanks have (70 TUs if i remember right) or even less ( to 50 TUs)
Also increasing the price for the scout drone to... around 200 000 credits? ... (it has to be worth of 4 agents atleast :D )

This i can do. I'll Update the first post with the changes. As for if it's still OP in early game. I have tested it for functionality, but further feedback based on use in campaign would be useful *wink wink*

Offline mk-fg

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 06:53:32 pm »
Played a few missions with current version and came up with these points:

  • - It costs 200k vs 40k for usual "scout lamb", takes as much time to arrive.
  • - Armor is pretty much useless - both rookie and vehicle gets one-shotted.
  • - After the very early game stage, rookies have better armor and still cost way less.
  • - Gives much worse score penalty for loosing - 50 vs 20 - 2.5 cannon fodder people make much better scouts, even unarmed.
  • - It gets no xp and gives no chance of nice stats (i.e. 99psi), surviving rookies (good chance) should always be better than vehicle.
  • - Sacrificial rookies can and actually do shoot, and not that ineffectively.
  • ? Given that aliens see better through smoke, not sure which side actually gets advantage from mounted smoke launcher.
  • + 70 AP is slightly better than rookie, but only by 10-15 AP, which is kinda negligible.
  • + Should be immune to psi attacks.

Did I miss anything?

Given the list, I think there's little reason for a thing with current stats to be more useful than a couple of rookies with basic guns (or just stun rods in case of psi enemies - "primum non nocere") and (later) plastic armor to send ahead.
I realize it seem to contrast with Ryskeliini's opinion, but maybe some buff is in order? ;)

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 08:29:45 pm »
Aliens are pretty bad with seeing through smoke, so it helps a lot in some missions.

Other than that... Well, I find these points hard to argue with :) Maybe some major decrease in price and penalty points should do the trick.

Offline Ryskeliini

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 09:39:06 pm »
hi mk-fg! thanks for the constructive feedback, i see you have used it more than i am :) ... i havent tested it a lot ingame so this is important information whay you have given.

-- It costs 200k vs 40k for usual "scout lamb", takes as much time to arrive.
- Pending on that... tho it has superior way to go trough alien ships to seek whats in there as vanilla HWPs cannot do. Maybe that can be lowered. i agree timing to arrive to base should be halfed.

-- Armor is pretty much useless - both rookie and vehicle gets one-shotted.
-i didnt want to be this as fighting vehicle, more likely spot and hide one. Spotting is one factor that gets aliens killed by snipers. (atleast in my game i can easily spot then kill them with sniper fire wich imo causes huge unbalance... it shouldent get easy!

-- After the very early game stage, rookies have better armor and still cost way less.
- Saving rookies will get "trained" to better class, so saving them is useful? DONT YOU LOVE YOUR SOLDIERS! :D

--- Gives much worse score penalty for loosing - 50 vs 20 - 2.5 cannon fodder people make much better scouts, even unarmed.
- ok, needs to be looked on this. (if i understood correctly what you ment)

-- It gets no xp and gives no chance of nice stats (i.e. 99psi), surviving rookies (good chance) should always be better than vehicle.
 ----

-- Sacrificial rookies can and actually do shoot, and not that ineffectively.
----drone shoots smoke at them aliens :> .. hilarious for me atleast when it has extra TU to use :)

 --Given that aliens see better through smoke, not sure which side actually gets advantage from mounted smoke launcher.
- Not completely sure about that, i think its completely the same as Xcom units have. IF there is a smoke screen aliens cannot see trough it, atleast in my gameplay experience.

-- 70 AP is slightly better than rookie, but only by 10-15 AP, which is kinda negligible.
- So it should be more?... it was in the first rule version ,and scouts completely overrunned aliesn instantly by spotting them in first turn, and thus getting killed by agents running from skyranger and shooting from distant places. Disacree in this point. i think scouts should have EVEN less AP. But notice taken, be pending on this..

-- Should be immune to psi attacks.
- i have no exprience on this but totally agree (if this is mindcontrol thingy) :)

Sorry for my harsh awful english, im finnish and drunk at the monemt ;p ... But afterall, thanks your feedback is very good :) Lets try to fix it :>








« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 09:40:42 pm by Ryskeliini »

Offline Arpia

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 10:59:06 pm »

- It costs 200k vs 40k for usual "scout lamb", takes as much time to arrive.
- Armor is pretty much useless - both rookie and vehicle gets one-shotted.
- After the very early game stage, rookies have better armor and still cost way less.
- Gives much worse score penalty for loosing - 50 vs 20 - 2.5 cannon fodder people make much better scouts, even unarmed.
- It gets no xp and gives no chance of nice stats (i.e. 99psi), surviving rookies (good chance) should always be better than vehicle.
- Sacrificial rookies can and actually do shoot, and not that ineffectively.
? Given that aliens see better through smoke, not sure which side actually gets advantage from mounted smoke launcher.
+ 70 AP is slightly better than rookie, but only by 10-15 AP, which is kinda negligible.
+ Should be immune to psi attacks.

some things to note:
Aliens can't see through 4 tiles of smoke. which is the same for xcom. Smoke does work both ways, but xcom can choose where and when to pop smoke, so thats advantage xcom.
Just because it takes the space of one unit and behaves like a unit (ie - can move/spot/die) it's still not really comparable to a unit. A tank is a tank... it's designed to take hits and provide fire support... this is not tank. think of it more as a deployable tool.

that said, it is kinda flimsy... a good shot with just about anything can take it out. I suppose the problem with that is aliens are only armed with plasma weapons... so you need good-decent armour just to survive a hit anyway, so increasing the drones armor wouldn't stop it being one-shotted unless it got a good buff. However... it's not a tank, high armor doesn't really make sense. It's tricky...

sacrificial rookie tactics... I don't really use 'sacrificial' cannon fodder, so for me this helps save lives. and in terms of lives saved... if you use the drone cleverly, you can avoid meat grinder situations where 3-4 rookies run blindly into danger and get killed. these lives saved add up too. Ideally I'd like the drone to be stealthy, I tried to implement that by giving it high reactions (to avoid incoming reaction fire) but a side effect of that is the drone wastes its smoke shooting at aliens as reaction fire too ._. It's also a smaller target, so aliens will have a harder time hitting it. these little things help it's survivability, atleast thats the theory.

as for delivery times... it's standard delivery time for a tank if I recall, I could up it to standard delivery for equipment I guess.
I'm not sure if I can monkey around with the score since the game treats it as a HWP, i'll look into it.
It should definitely be immune to psi attacks since its basically the same as an RC car.

Offline mk-fg

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 03:36:20 am »
some things to note:
Aliens can't see through 4 tiles of smoke. which is the same for xcom. Smoke does work both ways, but xcom can choose where and when to pop smoke, so thats advantage xcom.

I don't have much experience with smoke, so you are probably right here.

Come to think of it, disposable soldier with smoke grenades seem to be somewhat worse alternative due to need to prime these, but then again, it can be done in advance and throwing usually gets better accuracy (than 0% for vehicle launcher) with same TU costs.

Just because it takes the space of one unit and behaves like a unit (ie - can move/spot/die) it's still not really comparable to a unit. A tank is a tank... it's designed to take hits and provide fire support... this is not tank. think of it more as a deployable tool.

I should've probably stated clearly that all comparison points above are to using soldiers in place of a vehicle, not tank scouts, which are much worse than soldiers at that, at least until hovertanks.

that said, it is kinda flimsy... a good shot with just about anything can take it out. I suppose the problem with that is aliens are only armed with plasma weapons... so you need good-decent armour just to survive a hit anyway, so increasing the drones armor wouldn't stop it being one-shotted unless it got a good buff. However... it's not a tank, high armor doesn't really make sense. It's tricky...

One potential I see for such tool being useful is advanced sensors - always-on night vision (like aliens have, presumably through biotech and/or implants) might be nice (<insert comparison with flare-packed rookies here>).

Maybe an even better vision? Built-in motion scanner?
Other sensory equipment that don't fit on humans?

Not sure how much of that can be done from the mod though.

sacrificial rookie tactics... I don't really use 'sacrificial' cannon fodder, so for me this helps save lives. and in terms of lives saved... if you use the drone cleverly, you can avoid meat grinder situations where 3-4 rookies run blindly into danger and get killed. these lives saved add up too. Ideally I'd like the drone to be stealthy, I tried to implement that by giving it high reactions (to avoid incoming reaction fire) but a side effect of that is the drone wastes its smoke shooting at aliens as reaction fire too ._. It's also a smaller target, so aliens will have a harder time hitting it. these little things help it's survivability, atleast thats the theory.

I didn't realize there was a height difference, that should be another "+" point, though not sure if it affects the actual aim either.
After casual glance at Projectile::calculateTrajectory, I think it should, as what seem to be calculated there is not just whether shot will be hit or miss, but "target voxel" (which I assume is smaller than 3d tile, given that projectiles hit fences, window frames and such) - the point in 3d space which projectile will actually fly to.

"sacrificial" can be replaced by "first out of the door" usually - someone/thing has to go and spot aliens at the end of the day, and that one/thing has good chance to die, so no point sending best shooters there - they are much more useful at shooting spotted stuff and will become even better at it (as they get kills).

-- After the very early game stage, rookies have better armor and still cost way less.
- Saving rookies will get "trained" to better class, so saving them is useful? DONT YOU LOVE YOUR SOLDIERS! :D

Putting extra value on human life in this case seem to be at odds with game mechanics, where you get "TANKS DESTROYED (1): -50" vs "X-COM OPERATIVES KILLED (1): -20" - clearly lives of even most experienced and decorated humans aren't worth even half of fried silicone and gears they put in that tank, further confirmed by the actual price tag of soldiers vs tanks ;)
Guess overpopulation, mass indoctrination and lack of raw materials for good tech in the world of x-com might explain how such thing came to be.

Another "+" for fair comparison would be that you don't pay monthly wage to the tanks, like you do for soldiers - at least cruel world of x-com doesn't have them die as slaves or battle thralls.

as for delivery times... it's standard delivery time for a tank if I recall, I could up it to standard delivery for equipment I guess.

Don't think it's that huge of a deal, but might be one more advantage over meatbags.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 03:04:15 pm »
I edited ListOrder, now it should behave more properly and not separate vanilla weapons from its ammo. :)

Offline Jo5hua

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Re: [HWP] Scout Drone
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2014, 07:26:07 am »
Great job on this mod!

I just installed it today and tested it out and turned out very well.. I'm currently using it when I farm supply ships for their Elerium. Send two scouts to clear a safe path, and mind control and unarm any aliens in the area.. Send one rookie through this clear path the scout made, all the way into the power sources. With the help of my psi units in the Avenger, the first level of the supply ship is cleared.. Rookie runs in, pops off all 3 power sources, and grabs the Elerium.. He runs out with two drone escorts ensuring safe delivery of the precious goods.

Sweet raiding glory! Looks like the sectoids are pissed.


I have 6 bases providing me a nice flow of Elerium now.

I edited ListOrder, now it should behave more properly and not separate vanilla weapons from its ammo. :)

Hey Solarius, what kind of changes did ya make?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 07:28:15 am by Jo5hua »