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Messages - CSam

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Hello, I've been playing X-Piratez since v0.92, and decided to start a new game on v0.95 to try some of the changes which looked interesting. I would like to provide some feedback on the changes I have noticed, since the author seems to appreciate this.

Since the combat stress mechanic seems to be a point of discussion, I will first give my opinion on this. After having started a new game, I found the combat stress to be negligible when recovering UFOs. Even when acting fairly cautiously, I was able to keep morale high with a kill per turn or so. During the two terror missions I have encountered so far, however, I have noticed a much greater impact. The first 2/3 of the mission proceeds normally, but when trying to mop up the spread out survivors who are usually concealed I was unable to keep morale up. I was unable to retreat my panicking soldiers to the Bonaventura before the 20-turn rule kicked in and the straggling enemy spartans finally emerged to pick off my helpless soldiers.

I like the idea of the combat stress mechanics, but I believe that the current implementation is a bit too harsh on larger maps. I play pretty recklessly, but on terror mission maps, especially ones with very dense structures such as those 5-story apartment buildings (sometimes 2 or 3 of these buildings per map even) the enemies are too spread out for me to adhere to a time limit reasonably. Maybe I just need to learn to use the motion scanners more in such situations. I suspect other large map events, such as cruiser UFOs and alien base assaults experience a similar issue.

I think that part of the problem some people might be experiencing with the combat stress is that it seems at a glance that knocking out enemies does not grant morale recovery like killing them does. If a player were to rely heavily on nonlethal weapons and attempt to take many enemies prisoner, they would succumb to stress much faster. I have not tested this directly, but I think I will use the debug mode to check it out.

If possible, it might be a good idea to reduce the stress factor on larger maps. The nature of the game simply makes it overly difficult to clear some maps quickly. Some terror maps are relatively friendly, open areas, but it's those dense city blocks with bunches of hotels, movie theaters, and apartment buildings that make it tough to deal with. Another possibility is to increase the amount of morale recovered after  panicking. Regaining ~30 morale after a panic would help a lot towards keeping your units at least partially in play, rather than being mostly disabled.

I like the stamina regeneration change. I don't know the actual formula, but I feel like my more veteran soldiers with decent stats are more able to keep their stamina up than they used to be. At the very least, they no longer rely on a less visible stat that can't be changed.

The junk piles in the base are flavorful and useful, as is the increased base storage, since the 75 standard vault was usually filled in the first mission if you recovered an engine with fuel. It would be neat if the junk piles could have a few random bonus items like assault rifles or data disks or such but I don't think random crafting is currently possible in the engine.

The nerf to throwing skill hurts a bit, I had been using fuso knives a lot in my early game to extreme effect. They're still a pretty good lightweight ranged attack, though. Less accuracy for grenades is less noticeable, since usually a slight deviation doesn't make the difference between a hit or not, especially with 3D explosions.

The change to sniper weapons provides an interesting diversity to weapons, although I already miss the super-accuracy. It seems that I can still attain perfect accuracy pretty easily compared to other weapons, and the damage scaling means that more shooting skill is not wasted on them like it used to be.

I'm enjoying the mortar accuracy buff, although I haven't gotten to try any of the new shell types yet. I usually have a gal or two plugging away with mortars or grenade launchers on top of the Bonaventura.  The indirect fire lets them pop random wanderers outside of UFO's and tear open/down building that enemies have garrisoned.

Overall, I'm a big fan of the mod, and the changes so far are very interesting and do a lot within the limitations of the engine. I look forward to future updates and encountering new content in my v0.95 game. Thanks to the author and contributors for your efforts, I know a lot of work goes into even the smallest changes.

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