Author Topic: Agent upgrades  (Read 7264 times)

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Agent upgrades
« on: May 12, 2018, 12:14:02 pm »
In preparation for the (hopefully) upcoming code for changing soldier types, I would like to share some plans regarding this issue for X-Com Files.

I have never really been happy with how agents progress in this mod (or indeed any other X-Com setting); even though your guys are normal humans, their high-end stats are clearly way above normal human capabilities, when compared to non-player human units, even highly trained ones. But limiting their stats' maxima would of course be a very poor and frustrating choice (and would probably make the mod virtually unplayable in the long run). But now we have a real possibility to have actual upgrades to an individual soldier, based on research and independent from armour worn.

The general idea is as following (all names are working names, not necessarily confirmed to be used):
1. Human. Minimum stats same as now, maximum stats around the Elite Soldier and similar top human units (though accuracies may be higher).
2. Augment. Chief Medical Officer's implementation of Red Dawn's bio-enhancement tech. Boost to basic physical stats, like Strength, Health or Stamina. No improvement to skill-related stats, like accuracies.
3. Linker. Available through the Tactical Neural Implant. Boosts to skills, as the implant improves and accelerates your neural system. At this stage the soldier has similar stat caps to the current version.
4. Cyborg. Not sure if it will happen at all, but could be further improvement to basic physical stats through heavy cybernetic augmentations; possibly with some penalties to certain statistics (for example Psi Skill). This option would probably only make sense if it has exclusive armours, so the amount of needed work is kinda scary - therefore no promises here.

I am not sure if similar progression will apply the same way to dogs, but probably. Not sure about any other soldier types which may appear in the future (primarily hybrids, which are in the making).

Further details will be provided when I have something more to say. For now, feel free to share your opinions.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 12:16:59 pm by Solarius Scorch »

Offline Meridian

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 12:55:37 pm »
Stat progression (in xcom) is stupid.
It doesn't fit the lore at all.
Early soldiers who can't even carry a rifle and can't throw a grenade further than a 3-year old is stupid.
Late soldiers who can shoot a fly mid-air at 5 km is stupid.

Stat progression should be cosmetic at best (+20% max).
Vanilla did an acceptable job at that as your soldiers are expected to die after 2-3 missions in average early game, 5-10 missions mid game and 10-15 missions late game. "Survivors" should be rare.
At least that's what I think the game designer anticipated (I might be completely wrong here though).

I hated stat progression (or actually the whole soldier evolution concept) in xcom2012 and I hate it in openxcom mods too.
In total conversions (non-xcom themed) it's acceptable.

---

Now to your proposal... I don't get what is the difference between Human, Augment and Linker... is it just stat caps??
Because if it is just stat caps, we don't need "upgrades" for that... didn't everyone interpret their stat progression this way already?... and converting them manually will bring a completely unnecessary boring tedious micromanagement component to the game.

... at least that is my opinion.

If anything, I vote for xcom:apocalypse approach... separate non-upgradable classes with different stat min/max ranges (e.g. human, hybrid, android, ...)

But limiting their stats' maxima would of course be a very poor and frustrating choice.

I guess I am the only person here wishing for that... simple, elegant, effective, realistic, challenging, fun.

Of course assuming you don't fight bunny rabbits early game and predator-alien-xmen-hybrids late game... but that's not xcom either.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 01:09:58 pm »
Now to your proposal... I don't get what is the difference between Human, Augment and Linker... is it just stat caps??
Because if it is just stat caps, we don't need "upgrades" for that... didn't everyone interpret their stat progression this way already?...

The thing is, it isn't research related. So you would have all the options open available from the start...
Of course you can make the new types recruitable after a research, but they would be completely new people. Would it really be cool to have to fire your best men because they are now obsolete? I don't think so.

and converting them manually will bring a completely unnecessary boring tedious micromanagement component to the game.

How many soldiers do you have? 20? 30? This doesn't sound like much micromanagement, compared to mostly everything else.

If anything, I vote for xcom:apocalypse approach... separate non-upgradable classes with different stat min/max ranges (e.g. human, hybrid, android, ...)

It's fine in the Apocalypse setting... Makes no sense in the X-Com setting.

I guess I am the only person here wishing for that... simple, elegant, effective, realistic, challenging, fun.

Hopefully. :P

Of course assuming you don't fight bunny rabbits early game and predator-alien-xmen-hybrids late game... but that's not xcom either.

Of course you do, in my mod. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Who ever said it would be for vanilla? (Apart form the fact it wouldn't be vanilla any more.)

Offline robin

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 01:18:09 pm »
your surviving agents turning into sort of G.I.Joe super soldiers fits the "comic book" tone of vanilla x-com, imo.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 02:44:27 pm »
Regarding the micromanagement issue... I guess we could have it done automatically on all soldiers after the relevant research is completed. But I don't think it's as much fun as upgrading your people personally.

Offline HT

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 03:57:41 pm »
It sounds good on paper, but what happens when you already started a game and progressed enough in the campaign to affect your entire agent staff? I think it was fine for the soldiers to become seemingly superhuman: It could be said that they took booster drugs and enhancements in the background and so on. Besides, even them are still quick to die if they're hit by plasma.

Power armor becomes more valuable than the soldiers' stats in the long run (with the exception of Psi, whose allows you to dominate the game once that's unlocked).

I don't like the offered options so far except for the cyborgs, which sound like they would be a separate, "auxiliar" type of agents similar to Synths from Piratez. Speaking of: What about cyber-doggies? If power armor for doggos is not an option, perhaps that one is?  :)

Also, when will next version be out? I suppose you'll include the unarmed fighting thing, right? Will the zombie arc be dealt by then?

Lastly, in a less serious note: Will it be possible to hire friendly Mummies in the future or something like that?  :D

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2018, 08:03:40 pm »
It sounds good on paper, but what happens when you already started a game and progressed enough in the campaign to affect your entire agent staff? I think it was fine for the soldiers to become seemingly superhuman: It could be said that they took booster drugs and enhancements in the background and so on. Besides, even them are still quick to die if they're hit by plasma.

That's how it works now... But I don't get why it would be different for someone who loaded an older save? Apart from the fact they'll have superwarriors without the tech.

Power armor becomes more valuable than the soldiers' stats in the long run (with the exception of Psi, whose allows you to dominate the game once that's unlocked).

I've been thinking about PA requiring the implant. :P Same for the Cyber Armour.

I don't like the offered options so far except for the cyborgs, which sound like they would be a separate, "auxiliar" type of agents similar to Synths from Piratez. Speaking of: What about cyber-doggies? If power armor for doggos is not an option, perhaps that one is?  :)

I already said dogs would be likely to get a similar treatment, whatever it would be.

Also, when will next version be out? I suppose you'll include the unarmed fighting thing, right? Will the zombie arc be dealt by then?

Not for a while. But yes, it will have punches. And possibly more zombie stuff, hard to say.

Lastly, in a less serious note: Will it be possible to hire friendly Mummies in the future or something like that?  :D

No, they're too powerful :)

Offline HT

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2018, 10:15:06 pm »
That's how it works now... But I don't get why it would be different for someone who loaded an older save? Apart from the fact they'll have superwarriors without the tech.

I meant that if you end up nerfing a regular agent's max stats without external enhancement, something you were wondering about doing. What would happen then if you were to load an old save?

I've been thinking about PA requiring the implant. :P Same for the Cyber Armour.

The Cyber Armor already mentions in the description that it uses the implant though.

Too bad it cannot stop bullets well even though it can do that with plasma.

I already said dogs would be likely to get a similar treatment, whatever it would be.

Cool! I hope they do get something silly like chainsaw teeth and/or flamethrowers.  :)

No, they're too powerful :)

What about "regular" Knights or other minor Zombie units then?  ;D

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2018, 11:47:18 pm »
I meant that if you end up nerfing a regular agent's max stats without external enhancement, something you were wondering about doing. What would happen then if you were to load an old save?

Probably keep the old stats.

The Cyber Armor already mentions in the description that it uses the implant though.

Yes, I would have to change it.

Too bad it cannot stop bullets well even though it can do that with plasma.

It's somewhere in the middle, but yes, more resistant to alien weapons.

Cool! I hope they do get something silly like chainsaw teeth and/or flamethrowers.  :)

Umm, we'll see when we get there. :P

What about "regular" Knights or other minor Zombie units then?  ;D

As HWPs? Doable, but a bit too much of a hassle...

Offline khade

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2018, 05:17:10 am »
You could do some of the enhancements as passive upgrades and others as active ones, such as a steroid regime or whatever the term is, chemical enhancements could just be a research away, maybe with some lost support, assuming the shadow government finds out you're doping.  Meanwhile the implants would be expensive and take a unit out of the fight for recovery and retraining time, so you'd want that one to require active choice on who gets it and when.

Another idea is to have soft caps instead of hard ones, the soldiers can pass the normal human limits, but unless you've researched the techs that would make those easier, it's slow going.

Offline HT

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2018, 12:11:26 pm »
Another idea is to have soft caps instead of hard ones, the soldiers can pass the normal human limits, but unless you've researched the techs that would make those easier, it's slow going.

That would be for the best, it would be the best one that works with already existing saves and everything.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Agent upgrades
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2018, 03:24:06 pm »
After discussing it further with Otto Hartenstein, it appears that the best and easiest solution will be a sort of "perk" that you can give the soldier. Such a "perk", for example Cyborg, can grant stat bonuses and penalties to a soldier without too much hassle.