aliens

Author Topic: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers  (Read 8983 times)

Offline civilian

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[OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:40:15 pm »
Something lazy I made, it reduces the chance of new Soldiers being complete PSI weaklings, by simply raising the minimum PSI strength to 50, so now they spawn between 50 to 100 instead of 0 to 100.  :)
Code: [Select]
soldiers:
  - type: XCOM
    minStats:
      tu: 50
      stamina: 40
      health: 25
      bravery: 10
      reactions: 30
      firing: 40
      throwing: 50
      strength: 20
      psiStrength: 50
      psiSkill: 0
      melee: 20
    maxStats:
      tu: 60
      stamina: 70
      health: 40
      bravery: 60
      reactions: 60
      firing: 70
      throwing: 80
      strength: 40
      psiStrength: 100
      psiSkill: 16
      melee: 40
    statCaps:
      tu: 80
      stamina: 100
      health: 60
      bravery: 100
      reactions: 100
      firing: 120
      throwing: 120
      strength: 70
      psiStrength: 0
      psiSkill: 100
      melee: 120
    armor: STR_NONE_UC
    standHeight: 22
    kneelHeight: 14
    genderRatio: [3, 1]

Offline Branes51

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2014, 03:14:23 am »
I would go one better and make minimum bravery and strength stats as well. Consider...these are the elite commando units for every country in the globe. Does it make sense that they would cower the minute someone got killed? Not hardly. And as commandos, they are cross trained and strong because they have to carry a lot of stuff sometimes.

Bravery should be minimum 40, and strength minimum should be 30. The majority of soldiers we're given don't have the numbers to even be decent National Guard troops, much less highly trained, screened commandos.  That would eliminate, at least for me, a lot of time expensive and time consuming hires and fires before I get an adequate squad.
Being a Marine Vietnam  Vet, I don't like the idea of parading sub quality troops out to be sacrificed.
Even in a video game. The military knew about that tendency of commanders to waste troops, which is why a commander has to write or phone the family of the deceased soldier. It makes him remember that this isn't a number or a rank out there, it's a man, or woman with a family that cares for them. I know it sounds silly in a pc game, but if you play it that way and assume the responsibility of command, you'll find the personal involvement adds a different dimension to the game. You'll play much more tactically and you'll be more careful about conserving TU's and staying out of the open as much as possible. The suspense is better too because you really care if there's a alien on the next level with a blaster launcher ready to decimate your squad.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I could be wrong.


« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 03:16:06 am by Branes51 »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2014, 03:34:02 am »
I don't think these guys are professional soldiers at all. I imagine more of an international agency - more FBI than US Army... That would explain their abysmal skills. ;)

Offline neube

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2014, 01:50:33 pm »
Hello there. I'll start with apologising for reviving the topic...

This is something what I was looking for - I am really, really tired of having to fire 11 of each dozen of troops ordered.

I thought about making a mod like this, but keeping the usual soldier type as it is; just add another item (researched, "Pre-Screened Soldier" with a flavour text something along the "After extensive research, we have come up with a method of pre-screening soldiers so they would be more fit for duty in countering the alien invasion" lines) to the regular buying list (manufacturing seems like a bad idea here), but for a price of, say 10 or 12 regular troops.

Proposed minimum stats would be: more energy than TU's, 40/50 bravery, 30/35 strength, FA over 50/60, reactions over 50/60, and your PSI mod. Could be made into several variants (both in price and in stats) if needed.

Additionally, it could have two variants (regular pre-screen and PSI pre-screen) with the latter involving another research topic (just after discovering psi lab) and a minimal increase in price (say 5-10%).

I myself lack the necessary modding skills, though, but I'd gladly try (I've done some simple rulesets edits) if you (Civilian) were to guide me. I have more free time than I would like to (yay job hunting :P).

Keywords to help people using the search feature: filtered pre-screened screened rookies soldiers battle-hardened veterans.

Offline Arpia

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 02:14:01 pm »
want improved soldiers??
...if you use them... the stats improve...

shh... it's a secret.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2014, 03:02:44 pm »
I don't know what the fuss is about.

Bravery - if it's relevant at all, you're a commander who doesn't value your soldiers' lives and you fully deserve what's coming when the morale breaks. Although indeed the minimum should be improved because a trained commando with 10 Bravery seems silly. Otoh everyone with 50+ Bravery is basically fearless as long as the field commander and his second-in-command are alive, so maybe Bravery 10 was included to compensate for the vast officer-related bravery boosts.

TU's - the range is pretty narrow, even supersoldiers don't have that much of an edge here;

Strength - 20 Str (minimum) is enough to arm a soldier with a loaded rifle (laser rifle, heavy plasma), a spare clip, and a smoke grenade, leaving 3 encumbrance units to take whatever else he might possibly need - extra grenade, combat knife, even a medikit if you don't mind a mild movement penalty. Not everyone should be instantly fit to carry a Heavy Cannon or Rocket Launcher. If the range was 30-50, 60-70% of the starting squad would be able to roam around with a Rocket Launcher and a backpack full of spare rockets... This doesn't seem fair.

Accuracy - accuracy 45 (minimum) is low... but compared to what? To 120 absolute maximum? To about 70 (maximum for aliens?). It's very relative, who knows, maybe an average recruit has that stat at 30? We don't know that.

The vast difference in Accuracy between a recruit and a veteran is IMO the main factor that encourages players to protect their soldiers.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 03:12:16 pm by Dioxine »

Offline Mackus

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2014, 10:25:23 pm »
I actually made minimod like that, (to cheat - yay me) but also increased cost of recruits to fell less guilty about it.

If you want to balance thing, every time you cut of 50% of "weakest" soldiers in any given skill, DOUBLE cost of hiring them.
If you manually hired them normally, then fired all those with psi strength less than 50, on average you'd fire half of them, so you'd have to spent twice as much to get same number of soldiers. Then if you wanted remaining to be above 50% in some other skill, you'd have to fire half remaining.
40k for normals
80k for >=50 psi strength

Since discounting melee that's useless (in vanilla) and psi skill that is purely trainable there are 9 basic soldier stats, if you'd want to keep game balance while making sure you soldiers are above average in each and every stat, you'd pay 40000*2^9

20,480,000$ per recruit

naturally, in my mod recruits cost only 20k more per soldier...

Offline neube

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2014, 03:06:42 pm »
I know the soldiers improve with time, thank you for your input. Training a 10 bravery/40FA units is just a long, tedious, repetitive process I would be glad to skip. The same goes for PSI+Laser Pistol gifts for Reaction training. I don't enjoy wasting my time pressing the "next turn" button (and I don't even count the set-up time).

As for the "bad commander" thing - I don't usually lose soldiers because I choose them personally and not-shit-stats. And I play cautiously to the point of OCD.


Mackus, what is the status of your mini-mod? If it does what I would need it to do and if it actually adds a class of soldiers instead of changing the regular ones, I could work with it by just adjusting the values.

And yes, since I'm immediately sacking somewhere between 11/12th and 19/20th of my rookies, a decent soldier for a few millions wouldn't be a bad investment. Time-wise especially, I really don't like to go through the roster, "sack"+enter 20 times each 3 in-game days.

I could always cut down the cost by not having all the desired starting stats for the soldiers, but I like your calculations for the cost (though I think it may have to account for the min-max spread somewhat differently, but I cannot check it at the moment).

Offline Dr_Rad

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 03:36:42 pm »
" Does it make sense that they would cower the minute someone got killed?"

Yes it makes perfect sense. Its not coincidentally called "Enemy unknown". Xcom is not just about military tactics.

Offline Arpia

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2014, 04:04:10 pm »
^ agreed, it makes absolute sense.
The alien threat and it's affect on morale represents 'the alien horror'. The fear associated with facing off against something slightly intangible. you don't know the aliens, you can't understand their motives... because they're simply not human or of this world. Its on par with demons from hell pouring into your world. It's one thing to fight a man or a hunt an animal... it's another entirely to be attacked by something from beyond your understanding entirely.

stop thinking about it in terms of "I know what a sectoid is and what it can do" and start thinking of it in terms of how it must feel to come face to face with Gigers monster or Lovecraftien horrors
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 04:10:44 pm by Arpia »

Offline neube

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2014, 04:36:09 pm »
Back to the actual topic:

I've took a bit of time I didn't have and put down some values and formulas for calculating good soldiers' cost.

It doesn't look good money-wise.

For a soldier with starting stats as follows:

TU 60
STAMINA 70
HEALTH 35
BRAVERY 60
REACTIONS 60
FIRING ACC70
THROWING ACC70
STRENGTH35
PSISTR85
PSISKILL0

the player would have to pay around 75945094,51 millions of dollars.

Though for the more reasonable starting stats of:
TU 50
STAMINA 55
HEALTH 25
BRAVERY 50
REACTIONS 50
FIRING ACC60
THROWING ACC50
STRENGTH30
PSISTR60
PSISKILL0

the player would have to pay only 18 millions. I could live with that once I started the manufacturing farms running.

The formulas I've devised are a bit hacky (had to do a little trick to avoid dividing by zero), but that's the best I can do without knowing the proper math for random distribution and/or statistics and/or probability.

Attaching the Excel file; no macros included, so if Excel asks about them then the file has been hijacked ;P.


So... how do I go about making a different class of purchasable soldiers with the pre-screening process having to be researched first (and a reasearch and an Ufopaedia entry)?

Once you've seen a muton's head burst into a bloody mist with plasma fire, you don't feel their such a threat anymore.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2014, 04:44:54 pm »
Your gorillion-dollar soldier is barely comparable to a 10 mission veteran... except for Psi Str (85? 60-ish guarantee impunity against most powerful psi aliens, and even 45 is enough to at least weather almost all mind-contol attempts, even if not enough against Panic attacks) and Bravery (imo a completely irrelevant stat, as you get +50 or more bravery bonus if you have 2 high-ranking officers on board)...

The only valuable skill that cannot be easily trained are Reactions; I'd pay x8 for a soldier with Reactions in upper 4th and Psi Str>50.

Offline neube

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2014, 04:52:04 pm »
Playing over-cautious in Battlescape is time-consuming, 10 missions (especially early, without HPs, flying suits, psi, laser rifles) take reaaaally long ;).

As for your Reactions 45+ and Psi Strength 50+ soldier - 160k. At least so my formula would say. I would be more than willing to pay that much for such a soldier instead of wasting my time with rookies with civilian-like stats...

I would have to measure my needs by my money if the mod ever comes to fruition (and that's a good thing for balance!), though.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2014, 04:54:15 pm »
But going through new soldiers is way more time-consuming, and certainly more boring! Each new recruit has to be:
- screened for stats,
- moved to the craft (or sacked),
- armoured,
- outfitted with weapons,
- placed in the right position.

No thanks. :P

Offline XCOMFan419

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Re: [OPTION] Less Psi-weak soldiers
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2014, 06:29:35 pm »
I've come up with an average that 1:3 soldiers are actually worth while.

This being said, if you order 30 soldiers you will get around 10, maybe 9 or 11, good soldiers. If you order 100, you will get around 30 soldiers, which is a very good number to have. However, this is expensive and a lot of money.

An option for Better Soldiers or Better God Damn Screen Tests would be good.