Author Topic: New here, some questions  (Read 2481 times)

Offline Bobit

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New here, some questions
« on: May 06, 2019, 07:20:38 am »
1) In Xenonauts and to a lesser degree FiraxisCOM you ignore the terrain that's directly adjacent to you. This lets you take cover behind a barrel without it negatively impacting your aim. Does original XCOM have this feature, or can it be modded in? It might seem minor but it's extremely important to the feel and cover-based combat of those games (though not necessarily this one).

2) Similarly I hear that the tiles are physically modeled in map files? How exactly does that affect gameplay?

3) In Xenonauts and Apocalypse there are gasses that deal damage (and other stuff) instead of just obstructing vision. Does this exist in OpenXCOM?

4) I'm not a huge fan of the CQB / melee dodge mechanic enabled in a lot of mods. You can just take a single step back and it doesn't count, which you should very often do because 2-space accuracy is very high and they have no dodge chance. But the AI won't, which is extremely awkward. It feels like it could do better, maybe apply in a slightly larger range. Would love to have someone CMV.

5)  What is a "master" mod? What kind of files would you need to basically have a 1-hour campaign with a single level? That seems like it would be a useful starting point for me making a mod. The ruleset reference is very helpful, but I basically don't understand how to delete everything and start from scratch like most mods seem to do.

6) Are there any wizard modes or similarly helpful debug tools/mods?

7) Free reaction fire seems like a fun idea. Basically wearing light armor would give you 30% TUs refund on end of your turn. This way you can offhand a pistol to protect yourself. Is it possible, and would it be fun?

8 ) Got any mod reviews? What are the shortest mods? I like short games.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 07:23:22 am by Bobit »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2019, 03:02:57 pm »
Welcome to the forum, Bobit!

Ad. 1) I don't think there is any special mechanics, but at 1 tile you are extremely unlikely to get a deviation big enough to hit your cover.

Ad. 2) It affects the gameplay by, well, the battlescape being in full 3D... So in all sorts of ways.

Ad. 3) Smoke weapons can cause extra effects on explosion, but the residual smoke will be normal. We can't have multiple smoke types.

Ad. 4) I was the one to suggest this feature. I realize it's not perfect, and some people don't like it because of this, but I will defend it to the death. It adds tactical depth and makes close combat look a bit less silly. True, the AI doesn't use it that well, but it is pretty simplistic in general, not just here. Also, "stepping back one tile" very often gives you a fistful of buckshot to the back. :)

Ad. 5) I'm not sure what you mean at all. Do you want a single level game, play-until-you-die style? If yes, I can help with it. But it's not related to a mod being a master (it's generally not important for 99% of modders whether a mod is a master).

Ad.6) Nothing widely known, but I remember some attempts. X-Com 1 is commonly regarded to be too easy to warrant this, and TFTD isn't that popular. But there is the debug mode for auto-killing enemies, seeing the whole map, etc.

Ad. 7) No, that  would completely ruin the mechanics, which while simplistic is very tight and quite ingenious. Changing something this basic would probably require redesigning everything TU-related from scratch, and good luck beating Gollop here (though who knows).

Ad. 8) I am not aware of any mods making the game even shorter than vanilla. Maybe Survivors, but I haven't played it yet.

I hope it helps!

Offline Meridian

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2019, 03:40:52 pm »
1) No, cover is cover. You can't shoot through cover in (open)xcom. If you want to shoot, you need to move out of cover (or destroy the cover).

2) It means that cover is cover, not hot air :)

4) IMHO, there's just about everything wrong with CQB. The feature is irredeemable.
Melee dodge is better (than CQB), but also doesn't fit into core xcom mechanics very well.

7) It's probably possible to script that. If not, it would be very easy to implement.

8 ) All mods are longer than vanilla.

Offline Bobit

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 07:22:59 pm »
1-2) So I assume if you are in knee-high cover it won't reduce your chance to hit but will reduce your chance to be hit?

4) Fair points.

5-6) Basically I just want to easily spawn custom enemies/missions for testing purposes. I'm not entirely sure what the master tag does. I know that it prevents you from enabling vanilla mods with it. Does it do something else?

8 ) I am a traditional roguelike player. Those games can be 2-5 hours, yet I replay them for hundreds. I don't understand why every game dev in this genre thinks longer = more hardcore/replayable. Mostly it just seems to mean you spend less time on the fun geoscape gimmicks.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 07:36:44 pm by Bobit »

Offline Meridian

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 08:03:55 pm »
1-2) So I assume if you are in knee-high cover it won't reduce your chance to hit but will reduce your chance to be hit?

Yes. A little.

5-6) Basically I just want to easily spawn custom enemies/missions for testing purposes.

That's what "New Battle" button is for... it starts a skirmish mission based on selected parameters (enemy, mission, difficulty, terrain, etc.).

Offline Dioxine

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2019, 08:36:41 pm »
4) IMHO, there's just about everything wrong with CQB. The feature is irredeemable.
Melee dodge is better (than CQB), but also doesn't fit into core xcom mechanics very well.

It is a concept taken straight from turn-based tactical games like Necromunda. It was one of the things that made these games great. So it's a classical, timeless mechanical concept - you might like it or not like it, it doesn't change anything.

Offline Bobit

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2019, 08:41:37 pm »
Ok, ty!

Gotta say tho I'm not a huge fan of these realistic bullet physics if they can't make partial cover viable. In most FPS partial cover is a huge deal because you can peek and lean and generally manipulate it so that it blocks your opponent but not you, as well as pop out from multiple sides to catch them off guard. Here it looks like you can't manipulate it more than full cover, so there's not much reason to use it. In Xenonauts this is not the case and partial cover is huge, especially for ufo breaches.

Offline Meridian

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2019, 09:07:02 pm »
It is a concept taken straight from turn-based tactical games like Necromunda. It was one of the things that made these games great. So it's a classical, timeless mechanical concept - you might like it or not like it, it doesn't change anything.

Necromunda? Never heard of.

None of the turn-based games I played have this mechanic... hardly timeless.
And even if they had, it doesn't change anything on the fact it doesn't belong into xcom.
You may not like that, but it doesn't change anything :)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 09:13:35 pm by Meridian »

Offline Dioxine

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2019, 09:19:14 pm »
Necromunda? Never heard of.

Sorry, that only makes you uneducated in the genre.

Offline Meridian

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 09:23:12 pm »
Sorry, that only makes you uneducated in the genre.

That was so offtopic, it doesn't even pass as trolling.

Anyway, I have plans to improve CQB to at least a "non-bullshit level" in 2019. Who knows, maybe something can be done with it.

Offline Bobit

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2019, 09:52:48 pm »
It's not perfect, kind of clunky, but it adds something and takes almost nothing away. I actually didn't mean to say I don't like it. I do, it just could be better... probably...

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2019, 02:08:10 pm »
That was so offtopic, it doesn't even pass as trolling.

I probably shouldn't say anything... But Necromunda is literally the most famous and popular tactical squad-based game in the world. Nobody has to be knowledgeable about that, it's a very niche hobby after all, but don't claim to know anything about tabletop tactical games if you haven't even heard of this one. And no, it's not off-topic, this is very relevant to the discussion (which is the only reason I am writing this, not to reprimand you for not being nerdy enough or anything like that).
We don't have to, and we shouldn't copy Necromunda, it's a different game, but it is the golden standard and it is extremely well tested, so it is justified to use it for comparison as Dioxine did.

Anyway, I have plans to improve CQB to at least a "non-bullshit level" in 2019. Who knows, maybe something can be done with it.

I assume you mean making the rolls respect facings (penalties for fighting an enemy behind you) and such. Yes, I fully agree - this would be quite necessary, as it's a bit unpolished at the moment. I would be happy to discuss it elsewhere, if you're looking for feedback.

Offline Meridian

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2019, 02:43:47 pm »
I probably shouldn't say anything... But Necromunda is literally the most famous and popular tactical squad-based game in the world. Nobody has to be knowledgeable about that, it's a very niche hobby after all, but don't claim to know anything about tabletop tactical games if you haven't even heard of this one. And no, it's not off-topic, this is very relevant to the discussion (which is the only reason I am writing this, not to reprimand you for not being nerdy enough or anything like that).
We don't have to, and we shouldn't copy Necromunda, it's a different game, but it is the golden standard and it is extremely well tested, so it is justified to use it for comparison as Dioxine did.

So, Necromunda is not even a computer game? How more offtopic does it need to be? How can it possibly be used for comparison?

PS: I don't claim to know anything about tabletop games.

PS2: Just out of pure curiosity, can you describe how the TUs work in Necromunda and how does CQB work there (in relation to TUs)?

I assume you mean making the rolls respect facings (penalties for fighting an enemy behind you) and such. Yes, I fully agree - this would be quite necessary, as it's a bit unpolished at the moment. I would be happy to discuss it elsewhere, if you're looking for feedback.

I am sorting the objective flaws from the subjective flaws at the moment.
When I'm ready, I will ask for feedback, as always.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2019, 11:02:57 am »
I'll leave the explanation to Dioxine, don't want to argue on his behalf, since I'm not sure what exactly he meant.
But I'm quite excited about the development of this feature... as you probably guessed. ;)

Offline Hobbes

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Re: New here, some questions
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2019, 07:29:28 am »
Sorry, that only makes you uneducated in the genre.

Dioxine, it's likely that it wasn't your intention, but calling someone 'uneducated' in English is usually considered rude and arrogant since you're saying the person is stupid and ignorant.

And I share the same opinion as Meridian regarding CQB: none of the turn-based games I play has this mechanic... hardly timeless, and definitely not a requirement to make such games great. You may disagree with both of us, but that doesn't make your opinion more educated than ours.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 08:06:35 am by Hobbes »