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Author Topic: Readiness mechanics discussion  (Read 1383 times)

Offline justaround

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Readiness mechanics discussion
« on: January 14, 2020, 02:31:49 pm »
[Split from Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste]

Thanks for the creative report :)
No problem!

But to the point: aren't you simply suffering from low Readiness?
Some of the units do, but as mentioned in the middle paragraph:
Quote
I am wondering if it has something to do with the new fancy readiness stat balancing, but even at very low readiness, fully trained, full-fledged agents with some medals and succesful missions under their belts, in good health and with equipment in order shouldn't panic at the sight of an empty brick house just standing there.
So, especially since I had a few other issues to report in my previous post as well (embassies/very large UFOs spam and laser rifles problem) and I read in your other post that
Depending on your playstyle, it can be a significant help, compared to no Readiness system.
I thought I'll report constant unit freak outs over nothing for the sake of balance consideration btw as even high rank, decent Bravery stat units entering the mission with 25% - 35% of readiness after dozen or so of turns are prone to morale-lock freaking out practically every turn, even over nothing, with no enemies and no injuries, becoming bigger threat toward each other than those enemies. I can understand really exhausted troops with less energy/TU but no way anyone would hire troopers THIS psychotic over being tired, especially when the mission sometimes is just "yo, there's a giant scorpion somewhere in this desert - shoot it and go home, will you?". ;)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 12:04:06 am by Solarius Scorch »

Offline Mathel

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 09:34:19 pm »
So, especially since I had a few other issues to report in my previous post as well (embassies/very large UFOs spam and laser rifles problem) and I read in your other post thatI thought I'll report constant unit freak outs over nothing for the sake of balance consideration btw as even high rank, decent Bravery stat units entering the mission with 25% - 35% of readiness after dozen or so of turns are prone to morale-lock freaking out practically every turn, even over nothing, with no enemies and no injuries, becoming bigger threat toward each other than those enemies. I can understand really exhausted troops with less energy/TU but no way anyone would hire troopers THIS psychotic over being tired, especially when the mission sometimes is just "yo, there's a giant scorpion somewhere in this desert - shoot it and go home, will you?". ;)

25% to 35% readiness on mission entry?
They are not scared, they are mutinious. You drive them too hard.

Offline justaround

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 11:16:28 am »
25% to 35% readiness on mission entry?
They are not scared, they are mutinious. You drive them too hard.
If it's 2, 3 missions over about as many (or one or two more, even) days, they really shouldn't be. Regular, likely held to lower standards soldiers IRL had and have to deal with worse during military campaigns. Hell, not even soldiers, sometimes just law enforcement in less stable/more violent places in the world. Plus, while I understand that it could be preferable reaction but code doesn't allow it, right now it's presented as being morale-locked into panic running around (and getting themselves killed) or shooting each other - a thing even mutineer wouldn't do as that's basically dooming oneself to death or worse.

Thus my above suggestion - assuming that my troopers freaking out at nothing was just readiness - some of them had it higher than others on a mission I tested, yet all of them behaved like mental patients.

I really wouldn't mind it if an exhausted trooper would simply perform considerably worse, but it should at least retain enough morale to not go crazy because they stand around in some town, or farm or wherever. Combined with the fact there's no real indicator how exhausted/ready someone is when choosing them for a mission, it's a pain in the butt too as I have to look up stats each and every potential agent I want to add to a vehicle, and then switch them with other set needing to check the stats again before another mission. The readiness feature is good in theory but implementation is kinda crude right now and leads to weird results, is all, thus my report - in case something can be tweaked there to work better.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 11:27:21 am by justaround »

Offline Mathel

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 12:32:35 pm »
Listing readiness recovery time in the agents list would be nice.

The thing I do is cycle soldiers. Before every mission, unless the last mission took only one turn (Very Small UFOs sometimes), I kick all people off the plane and put fresh ones on. That way, nobody gets too exhausted.

Offline Doc

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 04:23:18 pm »
I have no idea how it would be implemented, but ideally readiness wouldn't simply drain morale but make morale impacts hit harder. I like the idea of readiness, but it usually only comes into play for me at the very end of long missions when I've effectively won and am just hunting down that last stubborn corner camper.

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 05:02:50 pm »
my mental model of readiness would be negative impact on most stats on low readiness (some more, some less, depending on stat) and on critical depletion beginning stun dmg each turn... at some point you´re just collapsing.
Morale doesn't even have to be affected that much, but TUs, acc, str, and definately energy.
If you don't get proper recovery time you may be as motivated as you want to be, but your body will give in over time.

Offline Empiro

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 07:48:49 pm »
You can't abort from any mission on the cruise liner because there are no escape tiles. However, thanks to your report I discovered that it was not mentioned in the descriptions, so I'll update them.

Perhaps in the future I'll mess with it somehow to include the x-Com craft on this map. I just don't want to se a situation where you spawn on deck with a god damn van. :)

Haha that I can see, but I think it makes sense to be able to abort from Cruise Liners, the worst mission from TFTD (made even worse now by combining the 2 parter into 1). There are other missions that don't have the craft visible, but are abortable. Would it not be possible to do the same here?

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 07:39:02 pm »
btw as even high rank, decent Bravery stat units entering the mission with 25% - 35% of readiness after dozen or so of turns are prone to morale-lock freaking out practically every turn, even over nothing, with no enemies and no injuries, becoming bigger threat toward each other than those enemies. I can understand really exhausted troops with less energy/TU but no way anyone would hire troopers THIS psychotic over being tired, especially when the mission sometimes is just "yo, there's a giant scorpion somewhere in this desert - shoot it and go home, will you?". ;)

I get your point, but then again, I can't see the problem much. I am playing a test campaign (another one...), will keep looking for such effects.

If it's 2, 3 missions over about as many (or one or two more, even) days, they really shouldn't be. Regular, likely held to lower standards soldiers IRL had and have to deal with worse during military campaigns.

True, but not in such intense combat. And if they do, they're often on drugs. (You can do that here too.)

I really wouldn't mind it if an exhausted trooper would simply perform considerably worse, but it should at least retain enough morale to not go crazy because they stand around in some town, or farm or wherever. Combined with the fact there's no real indicator how exhausted/ready someone is when choosing them for a mission, it's a pain in the butt too as I have to look up stats each and every potential agent I want to add to a vehicle, and then switch them with other set needing to check the stats again before another mission. The readiness feature is good in theory but implementation is kinda crude right now and leads to weird results, is all, thus my report - in case something can be tweaked there to work better.

So the issue is only with morale?

I guess you are driving them too hard...

Listing readiness recovery time in the agents list would be nice.

It is shown already, in the same place as recovery time.

The thing I do is cycle soldiers. Before every mission, unless the last mission took only one turn (Very Small UFOs sometimes), I kick all people off the plane and put fresh ones on. That way, nobody gets too exhausted.

This is the optimal way, yeah.

I have no idea how it would be implemented, but ideally readiness wouldn't simply drain morale but make morale impacts hit harder. I like the idea of readiness, but it usually only comes into play for me at the very end of long missions when I've effectively won and am just hunting down that last stubborn corner camper.

That would need new rules (design + code) and I though could be confusing to the player.

my mental model of readiness would be negative impact on most stats on low readiness (some more, some less, depending on stat) and on critical depletion beginning stun dmg each turn... at some point you´re just collapsing.
Morale doesn't even have to be affected that much, but TUs, acc, str, and definately energy.
If you don't get proper recovery time you may be as motivated as you want to be, but your body will give in over time.

I don't think you can do that with basic stats. You can only manipulate dynamic parameters, like morale or energy.

Haha that I can see, but I think it makes sense to be able to abort from Cruise Liners, the worst mission from TFTD (made even worse now by combining the 2 parter into 1). There are other missions that don't have the craft visible, but are abortable. Would it not be possible to do the same here?

It would be possible, but would look kinda artificlal - you're in the middle of an ocean, how exactly do you escape? In a boat?

Offline Mathel

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 08:11:38 pm »
It is shown already, in the same place as recovery time.
I am playing X-Com Files: v. 1.1.2 on OXCE 6.3.3. Unless the feature was added in OXCE 6.3.4, it is not there.

Readiness recovery time is in the Agent screen. I said the agents list, by which i meant the place with
NAME         RANK                CRAFT    columns (Specificaly the Agent Info tab)

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2020, 12:44:49 pm »
Right, it's not on agent list. But why would you want it there? Sorting by missing Readiness is available and useful, why would you care about recovery time left?

I mean sure, reasons can be given, but to me it's just splitting hair. I don't understand why people want to analyze everything so obsessively, don't you have day jobs for number crunching? I mean in some cases it's necessary, but I think the game already gives way more info than you need.

Offline justaround

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2020, 08:28:09 pm »
I get your point, but then again, I can't see the problem much. I am playing a test campaign (another one...), will keep looking for such effects.
Thanks.
True, but not in such intense combat. And if they do, they're often on drugs. (You can do that here too.)
Yes and no. Depends on the battle. There are diaries and recollection and during nearly any full-scale military campaign there are times were altercations could be rapid firefights and sitting for days in some place with enemy regularly trying to snipe or shelling one's position.
I am also really unsure about drugs. Maybe some take things hush-hush to handle things better but in general, top brass of armies worldwide seems to frown at the idea of dependancy on mind-altering substances. You can even be kicked out if you use anything stronger than coffee and cigarettes without prescription, especially when you're in situation where your officer requires 100% of your mental clarity and cannot be sure that whatever you do need won't be reliably provided all the time through the supply lines.

So the issue is only with morale?
Yeah. I know that other stats also get a hit but it's morale that's seemingly the most bothersome and unfair. It may be a matter of granularity - other stats offer percentage impact on overall combat effectiveness, in case of morale effects it's all very binary - either the trooper is good to go or they freak out really spectacularly wasting whole turn and possibly being a thread to themselves and other - nothing in between. So when the trooper freaks out just because of exhaustion even without sensible stimuli to freak out, it does look very out of place.

I kinda like the idea suggested earlier - if readiness wouldn't decrease stats as much as affect impact of certain things (how much stun damage one gets from stunning attack, how much morale they lose witnessing serious morale-decreasing event) it could be a bit more sensible and possibly at least offer the player some chance to counteract certain effects rather than leaving it all to random chance.

It would be possible, but would look kinda artificlal - you're in the middle of an ocean, how exactly do you escape? In a boat?
While I personally don't care that much about this issue I think it wouldn't be beyond one's belief to assume that whatever means of travel let the agents reach the location are still in the area in case there's a need for swift extraction. After all, it's the same with leaving the battle - agents pack up and immediately travel back to base instead of waiting one more day, to, say, let the cruise ship reach some harbor and get thoroughly checked by the council cleaners.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 08:32:57 pm by justaround »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2020, 09:16:18 pm »
OK, I'll think about the morale effect further. I hope for more input too.

As for the ship, an additional problem is that there may not be another tile left for an exit. If anything, I'd rather restrict the vehicles to flying and small ones and spawn them right on the deck, like in TFTD.

Offline Alex_D

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2020, 10:29:17 pm »
OK, I'll think about the morale effect further. I hope for more input too.

I'd like to throw in my 2 cents on the matter.
My understanding of the readiness thing is to simulate combat fatigue. So let me elaborate my thoughts:

The first item is to agree on what a game turn is. Based on numerous posts, it appears each turn is equivalent to 1 to 2 minutes of real life. This means a base defense or Cydonia, with 100 turns can be between around 1.5 to 3 hours of fight.

The second item is the stress per mission thing. There are missions that are short (less than 10 turns) and missions that are long (over 30 turns). Also there are missions where the turns are spend just moving around (say chasing a bug or so), and other missions where the fights are relentless until the last couple of turns or when the enemy surrenders (e.g., Red Dawn HQ).

My point above is the amount of stress inflicted upon an Agent may not be proportional to the number of turns of a mission, but to the intensity of the events on said mission. What other activity is also proportional to the intensity? And this is where I'm getting, is the experience gain.

The above would suggest to make the readiness consumption of a mission proportional to the experience gain of the Agent on that mission, as a whole or in part. Unfortunately, I don't know the code enough to suggest how or even this is possible.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2020, 12:01:35 am »
I don't think it's possible, but if we come up with a concrete model, we could thin of implementation.

I don't think you literally meant "experience = fatigue", so something more specific is needed - and it would have to be creative.

Offline X-Man

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Re: Readiness mechanics discussion
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2020, 07:58:37 am »
The whole idea about readiness is absolutely right and there is no doubt about it.

IMHO, it would be more realistic if you put readiness counter into dependence on spent TUs. That will make difference between active agents on mission and passive ones. Spent 50 TUs - minus 1 readiness... or something like that.