Author Topic: Ideas for improving soldier usability  (Read 2664 times)

Offline bramcor

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Ideas for improving soldier usability
« on: September 01, 2010, 02:09:15 am »
In continuation of my post with ideas for improving on UFO's usability-issues, here are my thoughts about the functionality of soldier features - from the same point of view, that is. I still try to keep new features to a minimum, and work with what is already there to help the player be better at playing. Feel free to comment and add your own ideas!

SOLDIERS:

# Make an initial recruit evaluation system provide a simple numerical rank according to stats to make it easier to evaluate their cumulative worth and pick out the worst slackers. This could be in the form of a "screening result" that show in base "soldier stats" screen, in the line beneath "wound recovery" line, to the right of "In Psionic Training" indication (neither normally shows, so the indication would be quite visible).
* Such an indication would make the life of players easier, while not giving too much away. Being an overall rank, it might not take into consideration if soldiers were low on important stats, or just really mediocre - players would have to figure those things out on their own. But it would be starting point from which to learn more about soldiers.

# Enable player to modify order of soldier list, to decide who leaves landing craft first. Could be done by adding arrow up/down from buy / sell / transfer to left-most side every entrance in "squad selection" list and "armour selection" list for crafts. I guess the first guy in the list would be closest one to the exit.
* This has great implication on the player's control of which soldier leaves craft first - gives him more control over an otherwise seemingly random situation.

# Show soldier ranks in "armor selection" list under "equip craft", to provide best possible information to base choice of armor on. The "armour selection" list could be made without craft name (only showing soldiers designated to particular craft would appear in it) but with ranks instead.
* This would improve the players ability to quickly and meaningfully assign armour - especially when only limited numbers are available in storage.

# Make "armour selection" list into a "load-out selection" list, in which the player can change order of soldiers assigned to craft (by arrows in left side), click on names to enter "load-out screen" where changes can be made to their default equipment and armour template. This would be used on missions, so players would not have to remake & reconfirm desired load-out for each separate mission.
* HUGE game changer for player as it makes more specific load-outs possible (without wanting to kill yourself), which allows for more variation in tactics. Such a change would make the game more interesting and provide easy access to greater variety to the player's experience. All good stuff :)

Offline Daiky

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Re: Ideas for improving soldier usability
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 03:35:40 pm »
Impressive and nicely written down list of suggestions bramcor!

About the soldier screening, I think it should be better if the pool of soldiers you select from always have the same cumulative worth. Supposing they already had a pre-selection sorting out the slackers.
But that you are able to screen them for their strengths and weaknesses. So you can make actual strategic decisions instead of doing a boring job sorting out good and bad.

If you win a battle, then you think by yourself "Hmm, I did a nice job selecting the soldiers to make a nicely balanced winning team. I like this game, because I'm good at it."
That is what makes a strategy game a good strategy game. :)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 03:55:01 pm by Daiky »