Author Topic: [Documentation] Surrender mode and Bug-Hunt mode  (Read 10433 times)

Offline clownagent

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2016, 09:13:44 pm »
I wouldn't bind it to the item.
Just when the mode activates (user is informed somehow, e.g. by a short message/indicator), you could bring up the motion scanner UI by pressing a hotkey with any soldier at any time at zero TU cost.

That's also a good idea! (certainly most intuitive and straightforward anyway)
A small disadvantage compared to motion scanner UI is that it wouldn't show enemies that don't move at all.
(The bug-hunt version of motion scanner UI would show those too, if you're asking yourself that question right now; and also those which are 10+ tiles away would be shown at distance 10... so that you know the direction to go)

I think the minimap would be better suited for showing the last remaining enemies. Red circles or arrows could point to an area, without giving the exact location.

Offline khade

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2016, 02:49:59 am »
The actual surrender could have different behaviors based on what those trying to surrender actually are.  A still armed Merc I'd have evade and escape with his equipment, with a score penalty, while civilians who want to surrender, armed or not, would be captured and/or ransomed.  Wild animals could decide to flee, while trained ones will fight until the target is gone.  A disarmed Merc I think I'd give a 50% chance of escaping on a surrender, since these guys are supposed to be extremely good soldiers.

Offline Meridian

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2016, 05:52:26 pm »
Just FYI, OpenXcom has a fleeing mechanic already :)

If you attack for example enemy base in TFTD and go to second stage via exit (i.e. not killing everyone), the ones you spared count as fled and won't be recovered.

Offline Meridian

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2016, 06:15:07 pm »
Sounds much better than it actually is... in OXCE, they will very rarely all panic... in all my battles, I don't remember a single instance of this scenario.
I will implement this, so that you can test it... but be prepared to be disappointed.

Units marked as "canSurrender: true" (default is false) will surrender if they panic or berserk.
Their loot and they themselves will be recovered.
You get a single scoring point per such weakling.

PS: screenshot is just for illustration, since they of course didn't all panic... I had to force them to panic by debug magic

Code: [Select]
units:
  - type: STR_GUILD_ATTENDANT
    canSurrender: true
  - type: STR_HUMAN_FATMAN
    canSurrender: true
  - type: STR_HUMAN_FEMALE_4
    canSurrender: true
#  - type: STR_HUMAN_MALE_3
#    canSurrender: false
#  - type: STR_GUILD_GUARD
#    canSurrender: false
#  - type: STR_GUILD_PILOT
#    canSurrender: false
extraStrings:
  - type: en-US
    strings:
      STR_LIVE_ALIENS_SURRENDERED: "SURRENDERED WILLINGLY"
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 06:20:24 pm by Meridian »

Offline karadoc

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2016, 02:40:05 am »
I like the way it works in Apocalypse, where the enemies start fleeing the combat area after awhile - and the mission ends when they are all gone. Of course, that isn't really viable in this game though - because enemies can't exit the combat area, and there's nowhere for them to go even if they did. (In apoc, they the enemies just move to a neighbouring building - and you can hunt for them there.)

In any case, I don't mind the idea of a surrender mechanic - but I just hope it is never 'surprising'. I mean, don't want the enemy to surrender unless they are definitely defeated. I don't want to suddenly win a mission that I didn't think was over.

The AI shouldn't surrender if the human's team is in bad shape. I'm not sure what the best rules would be, but I suggest we I'd suggest we check the relative health of the player team as well as the proposed conditions.
 * don't surrender if the player has any critical wounds.
 * don't surrender if the player only has fewer units than the AI; or if the human team has lost ~50% of their team already during this mission.
 * (armoured vehicles and terror units should not surrender.)

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2016, 03:48:38 pm »
Automatically surrender when panicking is less than ideal, but - baby steps :)
How does it work, exactly? Are units which surrender stunned, or do you have to kill/stun everyone who's not surrendering before the rest surrenders?

You get a single scoring point per such weakling.

No need to penalize this, you should get full capture score.

* don't surrender if the player has any critical wounds.

Objection  - the enemy has no way of knowing that. How about use simple outnumbering rules (surrender only if the player has more conscious units than AI)?

Offline Meridian

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2016, 04:14:19 pm »
So, first of all, the above is the "true surrender" mode, as requested by SolariusScorch.
I am still working on the "anti bug hunt" mode, which will be something different... these 2 are not to be confused.

How the surrender mode works:

If during enemy turn all enemy units that are still standing (i.e. are not dead, are not unconscious and "have not fled"**) either panic or berserk... and all of them are capable of surrendering (the new "canSurrender: true" flag), the battle game automatically ends... in a very similar fashion to what happens with psi-capture.

If at least one of the remaining units didn't panic or berserk (this can happen even with morale=1), no surrender.
If at least one of the remaining units is not capable of surrendering (by default nobody is capable, mod needs to define that), no surrender.

** fled units are the ones who you haven't killed in the first part of a 2-part mission (e.g. TFTD base attack)

Automatically surrender when panicking is less than ideal, but - baby steps :)

As requested by SS.

How does it work, exactly? Are units which surrender stunned, or do you have to kill/stun everyone who's not surrendering before the rest surrenders?

No, they are not stunned.
Yes, you have to kill/stun everyone who is not surrendering... only if all remaining standing enemy units surrender, mission ends.

No need to penalize this, you should get full capture score.

Over my dead body :)
I wanted to give 0 points actually, but that leads to some other problems.
No work, no score.

EDIT: and you actually get more points now, because normally you would get minus points for killing/stunning them, right?

Objection  - the enemy has no way of knowing that. How about use simple outnumbering rules (surrender only if the player has more conscious units than AI)?

It's impossible to make good rules for automatic surrender... the current one is acceptable IMO, because it almost never happens (unless you start tweaking bravery stats).

All these more complicated rules belong to the "anti bug hunt" mode, which can be more forgiving to false positives, since it doesn't end mission automatically... only tells you where the bugs are hiding (approximately).
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 11:24:02 am by Meridian »

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2016, 09:02:17 pm »
EDIT: and you actually get more points now, because normally you would get minus points for killing/stunning them, right?

That's only because it's impossible to set a separate score for capturing (which is a shame); now it somehow works (stuns saving points) only through my 'magic', a state of affairs I don't like.
As for the surrender points, I'd argue that forcing the enemy to surrender is the same as stunning/killing them manually, only w/o stat training, which is a tangible minus. A grind-streamlining feature shouldn't be discouraged IMO. Naturally this can only work if the modder properly balances the chances of it happening.

Simple improvement proposition: instead of the requirement for all enemies to panic at once, any units allowed to surrender should save a 'has already panicked' info if panics. If all enemies left standing are allowed to surrender, and when all are panicking or have already panicked before, they surrender.

To discourage 'muton rape' stat training, those enemies who were stunned and woke up could count as 'have already panicked' too (naturally if mutons never surrender in a mod, 'muton rape' is still a thing).

I know bug hunts are a separate topic, but this improvement would save the player effort of finding the last 2 Altar Boys at least 50% of the time (more often if he plays fast and aggresively, racking a lot of kills within the space of a few turns).

Offline Meridian

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2016, 09:18:57 pm »
Simple improvement proposition: instead of the requirement for all enemies to panic at once, any units allowed to surrender should save a 'has already panicked' info if panics. If all enemies left standing are allowed to surrender, and when all are panicking or have already panicked before, they surrender.

What does Solarius think of this?

If I do it, which enemies are you planning to mark with canSurrender flag? Approximately...

To discourage 'muton rape' stat training, those enemies who were stunned and woke up could count as 'have already panicked' too (naturally if mutons never surrender in a mod, 'muton rape' is still a thing).

The waking up Ghouls (and potentially Cyclops) could become a lot less scary than they are now with this change... are you sure? The Cyclops messed me up pretty bad last time (episodes not aired yet), so just thinking out loud. Again, depends on which enemies are you planning to mark...

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2016, 10:52:44 pm »
If I do it, which enemies are you planning to mark with canSurrender flag? Approximately...

Basically everyone with 90 or less Bravery, most monsters and aliens excluded (so Cyclops wont get it).

Offline Meridian

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2016, 10:58:22 pm »
Basically everyone with 90 or less Bravery, most monsters and aliens excluded (so Cyclops wont get it).

OK, I'll make the change tomorrow for you to test.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2016, 11:53:14 pm »
What does Solarius think of this?

It's hard to say, because it depends on how this plays out. I'm unable to get a good feel of it without trying it... But I think the general mechanic is exactly what I asked for.

I think units who panicked before and then regained their composure probably shouldn't surrender, because it would make some missions too easy... It would still be useful in many cases, where only one or two enemies remain and they both aren't feeling well. Why would a soldier who panicked before but now has Morale 80 surrender? Unless of course some more complex tactical mechanisms are introduced (like some ideas above), but for now I'm looking at the simple, core feature. I guess the "has no weapon equipped" condition would probably be good enough.

If I do it, which enemies are you planning to mark with canSurrender flag? Approximately...

It depends if the "surrenders if has panicked before" is in, so (regarding X-Com Files):
  • If no, I'd give the flag to pretty much all human and human-like units, like cultists, hybrids, etc. Maybe even some aliens, but I'm not sure. The exceptions are units who are extremely fanatical, on combat drugs, or with other special psychological considerations. And of course animals and robots don't surrender.
  • If yes, then I'd only give it to the weakest units: low-level cultists, cheap mercenaries, conscripts. In Piratez, it would be civilians in general. Professional soldiers shouldn't break like this.

The waking up Ghouls (and potentially Cyclops) could become a lot less scary than they are now with this change... are you sure? The Cyclops messed me up pretty bad last time (episodes not aired yet), so just thinking out loud. Again, depends on which enemies are you planning to mark...

Actually, if you add the additional check so that only unarmed units surrender, it would probably solve most problems with giving the flag to almost everyone. This would also include units with built-in weapons, who would never surrender.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2016, 12:44:18 am »
The discrepancy between mods makes unified surrender mechanic hard to pull off; In Piratez, enemies regenerate Morale while in other mods, no.

Actually, if you add the additional check so that only unarmed units surrender, it would probably solve most problems with giving the flag to almost everyone. This would also include units with built-in weapons, who would never surrender.

Combined with the 'has already panicked?' this could be enough to make surrender global, instead of unit-by-unit. I like that.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2016, 02:24:42 am »
Combined with the 'has already panicked?' this could be enough to make surrender global, instead of unit-by-unit. I like that.

Yeah, but it'd influence vanilla. A unit wouldn't surrender only if specifically forbidden from doing so (I assume it'd be possible). And vanilla rulesets don't have this flag.

Therefore, it'd have to be an option. (Otherwise it wouldn't matter.)

Offline karadoc

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Re: Surrender mode
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2016, 10:02:49 am »
One side effect is that the mission will sometimes  end when the player doesn't want it to.


For example, I sometimes keep a couple of enemies alive for a few turns while I revive my soldiers to quaff mushroom beer. Doing that might be harder if the AI is likely to surrender.