Author Topic: [Suggestion] Turn-based air combat  (Read 634 times)

Offline krautbernd

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Re: [Suggestion] Turn-based air combat
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2019, 07:56:48 pm »
What do you have in mind?
Pretty much the same idea you had (replace it with a battlescape fight), since this would be the easiest to implement if you are looking for a total departure from the current mechanic. But i had to reject it for the reasons i listed - it's not a true change or a new mechanic - it's just more of the same that's already in the game. The problem is that battlescape is designed for squad-based ground combat - not for aerial dogfights. My ideal choice would be something like X-Com Interceptor or a true dogfight simulation - neither of which is realistic, given the contraints of openxcom.

Something i completely forgot to mention is how additonal equipment slots would be handled. OCXE adds the ability to use up to four weapon/equipment slots, while soldiers in battlescape can use a max of two weapons. How would this be handled? Do we need to redefine crafts and craft weapons? How would this be compatible with vanilla dogfights?

A close range shootout between 2 units won't last long either.
True, but it would still be bound to battlescape rules&mechanics, meaning multiple turns, intro, exit and possible equipment screens.

I do have ideas how to vary the outcome (see below), but didn't put them in the first post to encourage people to suggest something less obvious[...]
Clouds or other obstacles were also on my mind regarding tactical options, but again, this would be like having a total flat battlescape, with the addition that you get to use smoke grenades.

You can't see this as a totally separate game mechanic - you're prefacing a 'real' tactical engagement with an inferior one. Would you want to play through this hundreds of times? I don't think i would. I would probably try it a couple of times and then disable it. I just can't think of a way to make these as engaging as the ground assaults - and they would have to be in my opinion, otherwise you're just adding a ton of mandatory knock-off battles to the game.

And, as mentioned above, you run into problems with changes that have been made to the vanilla mechanic. It's simply not as easy adding an 'optional' combat stage to the game. You can't reuse existing content - it would need to be designed from the ground up to support that mechanic and vanilla dogfights, and it would need to be balanced for both modes for it to be 'optional'.

Would it be possible to implement? Probably, since it's reusing elements already in place. But would it be a worthwhile addition and would it be justifiable to rework existing and future content to support both modes? How much work would you have to put into it to make it interesting and different enough from ground battles? Would it even be possible to do that, given current and future limitiations and extension to ground-based battlescape gameplay?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 10:05:17 pm by krautbernd »

Offline N7Kopper

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Re: [Suggestion] Turn-based air combat
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2019, 12:02:10 am »
Just reading this, it honestly looks like a waste of time. I could make a better argument for being able to run two Battlescape scenarios at once using the same turn cycles (that argument being mods with units that can teleport great distances through supertech/magic being able to swap between fronts) than for completely overhauling the interception mechanics to use the Battlescape. And even that would likely be a huge waste of time to implement compared to its limited use.

Yeah, the interception mechanics kind of stink. Even OCXE's additions don't do much to make them suck less - even Enemy Within has more strategic punch than vanilla UFO and TFTD thanks to consumable items, and that game's Geoscape is way simpler! It's just a reminder that the main focus of the game is in the tactical Battlescape, not the strategic Geoscape. Remember that item capacity limits didn't work right in vanilla! (nor did loading a save file's difficulty, and that was one byte!) Plus, it's old. The original engine creaks under its own weight, requiring two different executables for both Geoscape and Battlescape. It's likely that fancy dogfights just weren't possible. Yes, OpenXcom/OCXE could have fixed it (like Quest for Glory II VGA did the combat system up nicely, making swordfights actually interesting when you weren't just throwing OP fireballs at everyone) but OpenXcom was meant largely as a reimplementation of the original engine, while OCXE is based on it. Clue's in the name.

Go ahead and implement this crazy idea yourself if you like, but personally, if I were to do it, I would keep it real time. Turn-based combat works best when there's enough tactical/strategic depth to consider or characters to control that doing it in real time wouldn't work. Like X-COM. Making a dogfight turn-based when it's a matter of "shoot the bad thing and dodge boolet" is just a boring, slogged down version of autoresolve. If, however, you make it real time, you're telling the player that "you can gain an advantage by performing the right actions at the right time" - and even if you can't really do that, it's usually inoffensive and quick.

You already spend most of the game on the Battlescape - having to do it twice for most battles would just be terrible.

Offline animal310

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Re: [Suggestion] Turn-based air combat
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2019, 12:59:41 am »
What did they use in UFO the two sides? I remember hearing that their implementation was quite good. Personally I use the Air combat rebalanced mod which i think really improves the air combat making it more challenging and the weapons better balanced.