Author Topic: [Suggestions] 6 Quality of Life Improvements (with pics) to save time  (Read 4982 times)

Offline marcoblbr

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Hi guys! I'm a big fan of X-Com. I played in when it was first released and I was still a child. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered Open X-Com more than 20 years later!

I've been playing the game for a week now on superhuman ironman and I just love that this version makes the game very playable and also makes the process of modding easier for the community.

After playing for a while, I end up repeating many tasks that makes me lose time and distract me from the main game.

I compiled everything in a problem/solution approach so you guys can understand it easier and hear from you suggestions about it. I ordered them from what I think are the most time consuming tasks. They are all quality of life features. None of them change the game mechanics.



SUGGESTION 1: INVENTORY WEIGHT LAYOUTS

Problem: I pack my soldiers according to the weight they have. If they have weight 38-40, for example, they will have one layout and if they have from 41-43, they will have another and soon on. The save/load layout in Open X-Com helps a lot when I had only 1 template per soldier because they were all similar.

But now I'm facing a big problem since I met sectopods. They need Heavy Lasers being equiped instead of the Heavy Plasmas and now I need to change all my 26 soldier layouts when I have a mission with them and have to go back to using plasma after that. What is worse is that Heavy Plasma and Heavy Laser have different weights, what makes the task of packing all soldiers very and very time consuming. 

Solution: Every weight would have 2 templates that could be loaded and saved.

Another soldier having the exact same weight would have the same 2 templates.

The ideia is to change very quickly between the 2 layouts for the same soldier, according to the mission. It would be saved on disk and it could be applied to soldiers across multiple bases. And if you have the same layout for different weights, you could just save it on that specific weight and it would be there for you. The idea is even to create a hotkey to load all soldiers with inventory 1 or 2 with a single key. It would be awesome!

I searched the forum for solutions about this, but I couldn't download to test them since the openxcom.com is down. I saw all the solutions and I think one could be adapted to implement this way. I will search later for these developers to see if that can be done.
 



SUGGESTION 2: UNSEEN ALIEN HIGHLIGHT

Problem: During almost all of the missions that have big ufos with multiple floors, I spot an alien on the above floor that I didn't explore. So when I click on the number to center the alien, it shows an entire black screen and I need to pass the mouse over and over to find the alien.

And when I shoot and don't kill the alien, I have to go to another soldier which most of the time can't directly see the alien, so I have to go to the black floor again to search for this uncentered alien and keep passing the mouse all around until I find him.

Also I always want to mind probe or capture the alien, so I need to select another soldier with mental habilities and then come back to find the alien for later shooting or deciding to capture him. It takes a long time on this process and sometimes I even go to the floor without sufficient TUs to sacrifice a soldier just to see the floor and get shot, so I don't have to search for it again and again.

Solution: When an alien is spotted in a black area, a highlight is created and it stays until the next turn or if the alien is killed. It stays there even if you change to another soldier.

By doing that, it would be very very easy to select another soldier to shoot this alien since the spot was highlighted. It would also disappear if it gets killed. And this would be perfectly applied together with sugestion 3.

Also, the number on the right corner could be kept there even if you select another soldier so that other soldiers could easily shoot the detected alien. And this could be even extended to show the last seen spot of an alien when you go to the next turn and the alien moves and disappears from your sight.




SUGGESTION 3: REMOTE MIND HABILITIES

Problem: I keep my strongest soldiers back on the ship to protect them and to train the rookies. The strongest ones are better in mind controlling aliens. I'm also playing on ironman superhuman and I mind probe almost all aliens to detect if they have TUs left to avoid being killed on my turn.

So, when a soldier detects an alien, I have to go back to my ship just to select the soldier that has mind habilities to go back to find the alien to use the hability to then select back the same soldier to kill the alien. Imagine doing this over and over for all aliens on a mission.

Solution: When you right click on the number of an spotted alien, you can directly use mind habilities of other soldiers carrying the mind probe or the psi amp that have TUs avaiable.

This one is strong! It wouldn't change the game mechanics because it is a process you do manually, but would save a lot of time! One question raised is what soldier should be selected if multiple ones have this hability avaiable and with TUs? The answer could be simple: select at random or the first one that would be selected if the button Select Next Unit was pressed.

Also, it would show only the options avaiable. If during this process there are no more soldiers with mind probes with TUs, this specific option would be grayed or not shown at all.




SUGGESTION 4: MULTIPLE SELECT ARMOR

Problem: This one is pretty straightforward. It is very tedious to keep selecting one by one armors for the soldiers.

Solution: When you ctrl click a soldier, it highlights the line of that soldier. If you shift click another soldier, it will highlight all soldiers beetween the first one and this one.

Pressing the right mouse button opens the select armor screen. After selected, the armor is applied to all highlighted soldiers.

Simply and even fun! If there are no armors for all the soldiers, it displays an error message and only applies the armors of the same number avaiable in the ascending order.




SUGGESTION 5: INTELLIGENT NEXT UNIT BUTTONS

Problem: I use the "Select Next Unit" and "Don't Relesect Unit" a lot to move beetween my 26 soldiers. The problem is that these buttons are not smart at all. Pressing this button will go to the next unit in the order that was put on the ship. But the units spread fast on the map and  form groups that explore each part of the map independently.

The problem is that you are working with a group and you press one of these buttons and it goes to the other side of the map, with another group. Then you press the button again and it goes back to the 1st group. It's almost a ping pong game and you lose time because you could just focus on one group at a time.

Solution: Select Next Unit: from the current selected soldier, it goes to the nearest unit  that wasn't selected yet. If you click on another soldier, it resets the list and it starts over when you press the button. But if you move your soldiers only by pressing this smarter button, it would be great and you probably make smarter moves instead of having to rethink everything when a soldier is selected because you would move to another group only after the 1st one was done moving

Don't Relesect Unit: same thing, but it would go to the nearest soldier not selected yet. This list doesn't reset since the button should be used to go through all soldiers from the mission.




SUGGESTION 6: SHORTCUT FOR ACTIVATED GRENADES

Problem: To survive on superhuman ironman, I need to use a lot of smoke grenades and since my soldiers keep dying or old soldiers get promoted, their weight changes and I use it most of the time to add more smoke grenades and I need to get them one by one, priming it to zero turns and putting on my backpack.

Solution: This one is very simple! Just a shortcut on the inventory screen for putting a primed grenade (smoke or not) directly on the backpack. It could be even smarter and internaly save what kind of grenade is primed when it is put on the inventory. 

The shortcut would add to the inventory the last primed kind of grenade with the same number of turns previously used. The custom option to save the primed grenade on inventory helps a lot, but this shortcut would make it even better!

This could be extended for a hotkey to put and prime a grenade on the soldier's hand during battle. It would choose the least consuming TUs as it is shown in the Open X-Com Extended+




That's it guys. It was a long post and this was more of an outburst for me. I hate spending time doing repetitive tasks. I'm a programmer and I have automated many things that I use regularly on my computer. Sometimes I even spend more time automating than the time the task would take to finish, but I prefer that way.

I was very happy one day when I discovered the game Cookie Clicker and created a script to play the game for me! I left the computer on when I went to sleep and in 1 week I had a perfect score! Just checked and it is still running after almost 30.000 hours!! omg!


I know nothing about programming Open X-Com, but I was able to compile Open X-Com on XCode 2 days ago and will take a look to see if I can implement some of this, starting with the easiest so I can learn while making progress.

I hope someday some of this could appear on future versions of Open X-Com or Open X-Com Extended+ so that everyone could benefit from it!

Does anyone know if any of these features were already released in a mod?
And what do you think about it? Would it be useful for you too or would you rather change something about it? :)

Thanks!
Marco
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 10:02:30 pm by marcoblbr »

Offline SupSuper

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Re: [Suggestions] 6 Quality of Life Improvements (with pics) to save time
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 01:50:06 am »
Regarding "SUGGESTION 4: MULTIPLE SELECT ARMOR", you can right-click to equip the last selected armor without going through the popup.

Offline Countdown

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Re: [Suggestions] 6 Quality of Life Improvements (with pics) to save time
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 01:03:47 pm »
Nice post and visuals. Hell yes to the "unseen alien highlight." There have been times I've had so much frustration moving the cursor all around the blackness trying to find that one damn tile. I don't know if I'd want the number on the bottom of the screen to stay there when selecting another soldier though (unless the multi-colored number system from OXCE was utilized); I think the red highlight box remaining would be enough.

Regarding "SUGGESTION 4: MULTIPLE SELECT ARMOR", you can right-click to equip the last selected armor without going through the popup.

Thanks for the reminder on this. I think I had read that at one point, but completely forgotten.

Offline marcoblbr

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Re: [Suggestions] 6 Quality of Life Improvements (with pics) to save time
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 09:35:35 pm »

Regarding "SUGGESTION 4: MULTIPLE SELECT ARMOR", you can right-click to equip the last selected armor without going through the popup.

Yeah, me too! I totally didn't know about that way of putting the armor. It saves many clicks and I really liked that. It makes my suggestion second plan now. It's not the same, but at least I'm more satisfied.


Nice post and visuals. Hell yes to the "unseen alien highlight." There have been times I've had so much frustration moving the cursor all around the blackness trying to find that one damn tile. I don't know if I'd want the number on the bottom of the screen to stay there when selecting another soldier though (unless the multi-colored number system from OXCE was utilized); I think the red highlight box remaining would be enough.

humm. I will check that. From what you said, I think the box could be of a different color if it is not a alien the current soldier is seeing. The thing is that most of the times, a soldier shoots an alien that other soldier sees, even without directly seeing it, so the number would be quicker to center the alien.

I actually started implementing suggestion 1. I've been able to put the button on the screen already. When I have more news, I will post about it! Hope I can finish it because it is what consumes me more time that all others together.

Offline Countdown

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Re: [Suggestions] 6 Quality of Life Improvements (with pics) to save time
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 01:09:39 am »
I think the box could be of a different color if it is not a alien the current soldier is seeing. The thing is that most of the times, a soldier shoots an alien that other soldier sees, even without directly seeing it, so the number would be quicker to center the alien.
You might want to just try out Meridian's OXCE+. I believe it already does just that ... I think the numbers are green when an alien is visible that isn't the currently selected soldier.

Offline marcoblbr

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Re: [Suggestions] 6 Quality of Life Improvements (with pics) to save time
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 03:25:56 am »
You might want to just try out Meridian's OXCE+. I believe it already does just that ... I think the numbers are green when an alien is visible that isn't the currently selected soldier.

Nice! I didn't know that. I will definitely take a look at that to see how he does. Thanks!!