aliens

Author Topic: Position Marker use  (Read 1250 times)

Offline Nonenone

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Position Marker use
« on: March 09, 2023, 01:19:14 am »
I tried to use them but they were right away destroyed by enemies so i was not able to see their use. If someone has experience with them could you describe what they are really used for and how to make them useful?

Offline Juku121

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Re: Position Marker use
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2023, 07:19:02 am »
I haven't really found a use for them, either.

In open and semi-open terrain, they're just sitting ducks.

Theoretically, they'd be useful in an interior mission with branching paths, like alien or cult bases or maybe caves. In practice, the usefulness seems limited to when you're unable to cover each path with at least one agent. But in that case your manpower is so limited and there are so many enemies that dedicating even one of your people to lug around and deploy markers is a good way to lose the actual fight.

Offline Alex_D

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Re: Position Marker use
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2023, 10:03:02 pm »
The original intention when I created the marker was to be the "canary mine" on difficult missions where full coverage isn't possible due to the limited number of agents. In particular, it was to provide bait for the ninjas, and in caves. Also the light can be turned on/off to provide additional spotter visibility to snipers.

On an open battleground with lots of enemies it isn't indeed a good idea, in that case it's better just to toss flares around, until it's time to chase down the last enemies.

Usually, a marker can be equipped on the backpack or on the free hand while leaving the craft area. More than once I found myself returning to the craft (or car) to grab some markers and deploy them around at strategic locations. I often toss them in relay to reach further.

There were other ideas of making upgrades to the marker replacing the light with a motion tracking device (and adding IR vision to compensate), or with a timer explosive (sort of grenade exploding in hand). Maybe if Sol likes the idea these extra units can be implemented.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Position Marker use
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2023, 11:38:33 am »
There were other ideas of making upgrades to the marker replacing the light with a motion tracking device (and adding IR vision to compensate), or with a timer explosive (sort of grenade exploding in hand). Maybe if Sol likes the idea these extra units can be implemented.

Sure, why not. :)

Offline Vakrug

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Re: Position Marker use
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2023, 11:06:03 am »
In particular, it was to provide bait for the ninjas, and in caves.
I also used markers that way. Now I feel smart for guessing it's purpose!  8) But once I realized markers don't have nor thermal vision nor camouflage revealing, I gave up trying to use them. Just like handcuffs.

There were other ideas of making upgrades to the marker...
The main problem with markers is that they are ridiculously slow. It takes at least 2 whole turns to place one marker. In "Enemy Within" there also was something like markers, but they were in the form of throwing items, which made them somewhat useful. And also there is whole 2x2 unit that can only place markers (few tiles away), but has technological level of hovertanks! How useful is that thing?  :P

Offline Alex_D

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Re: Position Marker use
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2023, 10:11:17 pm »
I also used markers that way. Now I feel smart for guessing it's purpose!  8) But once I realized markers don't have nor thermal vision nor camouflage revealing, I gave up trying to use them. Just like handcuffs.
The markers are cheap disposable units. No penalties if they are lost in combat. Also not meant for every mission, but only on a selected few, at the discretion of the player. Eventually, once the troops have access to better armor and weaponry, and are in great numbers, markers are used less and less.

The main problem with markers is that they are ridiculously slow. It takes at least 2 whole turns to place one marker.
It weights like 9 units. A strong soldier can carry one in a backpack. But the best way to use it is to relay it across the map. Or at least that's how I found myself using it. One near the stash tile picks one and throw it at one soldier, they, pick it up and deploy it or throw it to another further away. Remember, markers are mostly to secure coverage on a partially conquered map, where you don't really want sneaky enemies attacking from behind.

In "Enemy Within" there also was something like markers, but they were in the form of throwing items, which made them somewhat useful.

Yes, the idea of a throwable marker, like a javelin, was at some point considered. It may be OP. But it can be done.

And also there is whole 2x2 unit that can only place markers (few tiles away), but has technological level of hovertanks! How useful is that thing?  :P
I think the hovertank main purpose was to deploy flying drones, as a nod to Starcraft  :)
The markers clips were mostly used as a "filler". I suppose I can implement a sort of "manual" dispenser. An agent may pick up and kneel to use, like a mortar, but fire the markers instead of explosive rounds.

Offline Juku121

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Re: Position Marker use
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2023, 12:16:37 am »
Again, the biggest point against markers is that the effort spent on using those is better spent on actually killing the enemies. Especially if it requires your squad to tether itself to the equipment pile.

Additionally, securing coverage is not particularly helpful if you have no agents to take advantage of said coverage. And if you do, the agent(s) can already do what the marker is supposed to be doing.

They might be useful against the 'last alien' or few, but we already have bug hunt mode for that. And bug hunt mode is a lot less manually intensive.

I wish there was a good niche for them, but given that agents are permanently starved for carrying capacity, I just can't justify their use, especially early on when the agents are few and weak.



Edit: Well, there is one use that's not too bad: to get eyes on something where using a soldier/tank/whatever would be suicide. Even if the marker is destroyed right after by reaction fire, you still get vision. It's just that such positions aren't in great supply, since vanilla AI doesn't really ambush you and there aren't a lot of long-ish straight tunnels around.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2023, 08:15:15 am by Juku121 »