Author Topic: Troop Deployment: Unfair?  (Read 2966 times)

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2020, 02:02:46 am »
its supposed to be hard. its not even supposed to have every single battle winnable.
so there are losses. There are some losses you can't do anything about it, otherwise it´d be "play perfectly and win every time".
on "normal" difficulties like veteran, what the game is balanced for, its not that much an issue.
Superhuman is possible. (at least some people claim they did it)
So basically you´re just complaining that a) superhuman is too hard or b) you´re not good enough. Whats the point in that...

Offline justaround

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2020, 12:39:58 pm »
its supposed to be hard. its not even supposed to have every single battle winnable.
But that's not the issue. I am pretty sure OP, whose side I kinda-sorta take, isn't having issue with some battles being unwinnable, but with being surrounded at the very beinning. When the vehicle just stops and the agents unboard, they do so right under the scopes of the enemies and before player manages to make them take even one step, they can fire off.

Unwinnable battles are alright, there's evacuation button just for that. But it's more fun and the design's better when the player evacuates because the battle was hard and tactical errors were made, rather than skipping out of the whole mission at the very beginning of first turn because the driver parked in kissing distance of armed enemies - a situation which is understandable on superhuman level of difficulty, but happens semi-commonly on most others as well.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 12:43:07 pm by justaround »

Offline vadracas

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2020, 07:02:35 pm »
But that's not the issue. I am pretty sure OP, whose side I kinda-sorta take, isn't having issue with some battles being unwinnable, but with being surrounded at the very beinning. When the vehicle just stops and the agents unboard, they do so right under the scopes of the enemies and before player manages to make them take even one step, they can fire off.

Unwinnable battles are alright, there's evacuation button just for that. But it's more fun and the design's better when the player evacuates because the battle was hard and tactical errors were made, rather than skipping out of the whole mission at the very beginning of first turn because the driver parked in kissing distance of armed enemies - a situation which is understandable on superhuman level of difficulty, but happens semi-commonly on most others as well.


Explain it like this-"when you are fighting cults, sometimes they ambush you and you ned to get out."
Good, problem solved.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2020, 07:13:48 pm »
It's pervasive exactly because/but it's not just a meme. It's a common attitude/idea and one you may disagree with but it doesn't make it any less/more meme or dumb, just less likely to be listened to since in the end it all depends on you, we just provide feedback - including one that may sometimes annoy the hell out of you :P

Pssh. Common where? It's not common among players.

And if it's true, well, I don't really care. All the more reason to do some correctional work. :P

Not being surrounded/shot at by enemy units before the player does anything during first round is a "win nao" button? Or having player's TU lowered is a "win nao" button? Neither seems to be such decisive thing unless someone claims that either players win every battle at the beginning of the first turn or they somehow win by having TU lowered - neither seems reasonable to me.

Except it doesn't make sense. You start with full TUs despite just having landed, why wouldn't the AI units have it worse? IT's illogical.

Most game developers ever, I'd suspect but it depends whether you see risky challenges as part of it being fair. Either way, developers may make the game challenging, offer obstacles and risky situations but most games of any kind either have progression in the boundaries of certain rules player can understand or the few that don't make that the main challenge to overcome. UFO/XCOM is the former, however.

A friend of mine remarked while playing Stalker: "Western games say 'come play with me, it's good fun!', whereas Eastern games are more like 'What the hell are you doing here, player? Get out, I don't like you!'

A combat game is supposed to be hostile. That's what a combat game is: propagation of violence. Making it friendly is a sign of confusion. It's supposed to be hostile and you're supposed to beat it anyway. (Dioxine called this "the aggressor principle" or something similar.)

When a game approaches you with kiddie gloves, then it makes your experience feel fake. If you struggle too much, this is precisely what difficulty settings are for.

Not at all! Even Julian Gollop, as I recall from his presentation on EGX admitted that he simply is most interested in simulation aspect and that he even added stuff like hush-hush dynamic difficulty in UFO that was slowing down alien progression if the player was having hard time and resuming it once said player was getting better - literally admitting it's because he had hard time and no idea about balancing and it was such stuff that, again, in his opinion made the game playable.

I can't speak for Julian Gollop, but I think he meant a simulation in a specified range. You simulate ground battles, but you don't simulate the Geoscape level, because dynamic difficulty is directly contradictory to simulation.

Anyway, I don't think it is in any way relevant here.

I dislike autobalancing to be honest, but it does underline that even by the design game being unfair was never "the whole point". Even XCOM was meant to be hard but balanced, just with some random curve balls to pose a challenge kept in mind. It just, well, as Gollop admits wasn't ideal at it. Now, we can disagree whether changes in this or that direction would negatively affect that balance, make things too hard or too easy, but like every game, some fairness and consistent boundaries are necessary for it to be a game.

Well, I'm not good at balancing myself. Actually, balance is not even on my list of objectives. I only aim for things making sense, and also to show all parts of the game properly.

Frankly, the term "balance" makes zero sense to me in a single player game. There is only "experience".

Probably doesn't have to be. Though I guess the difference here is based on opinion where the fairness is. I don't mean "every situation offers same difficulty to each sides allowing initial equal chance of success" (a trait of most sport games), but I find important to limit situations with player being screwed over by no fault on their own under circumstances they couldn't really prevent or manage (prefering harsh but understandable screw-ups due to tactical/strategic mistakes and taking risks) even if you'd consider it a fair challenge.

Fair. But I disagree that opting out from a battle is being "screwed over". If you decide to do the battle and then inevitably lose, then yeah, you may be screwed - but it was totally your fault. And I agree it wouldn't be cool otherwise.

Sorry to speak so, umm, directly, I do not invite confrontation and frankly I don't even think we disagree, but I think there is a bit of miscommunication. So I'm just explaining my position, hopefully well enough.

Unwinnable battles are alright, there's evacuation button just for that. But it's more fun and the design's better when the player evacuates because the battle was hard and tactical errors were made, rather than skipping out of the whole mission at the very beginning of first turn because the driver parked in kissing distance of armed enemies - a situation which is understandable on superhuman level of difficulty, but happens semi-commonly on most others as well.

I totally agree, but in order to achieve a more polished experience we would have to sacrifice randomness (prepare special starting areas and such), which IMO would really be too much of a cost.

Offline justaround

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2020, 01:56:46 pm »
Hey. Will try to keep it shorter (especially since it probably will be already quite big) as while we kinda-sorta may understand each other by now, it does seem we moved from debating idea itself to what beliefs regarding gameplay we have for why we want/don't want it. I mean, it's not a bad conversation either but I suspect you have better things to do :P

Except it doesn't make sense. You start with full TUs despite just having landed, why wouldn't the AI units have it worse? IT's illogical.
Alright, keeping your "makes sense" priority in mind:

Why it'd make sense from the standpoint of logic/believability: X-COM likely doesn't mill around before round starts. I imagine that when the battle begins it's immediately after sudden surprise insertion, when geared up agents just jump out of vehicle or, in case of covert mission are not being paid too much attention to and are just breaking cover.

From the standpoint of mechanics: AI has infinite, constantly regenerating, trained and geared up enemies it populates each mission with at no cost. It doesn't, need, can or should concern itself with saving or maintaing any number of them outside of appearances of self-preservation. At the same time, it simulates them as detached groups or single units present in location doing their own stuff. It doesn't have it worse either way.

The point of the game is after all aggressive sudden strike with teams of costly, trained agents disrupting enemy plans after all, but the player gets no proper preparation phase safe for gearing up (which is in place of doing so at the base), cannot choose any entry point, decide angle of attack etc; even when attacking enemy installations he doesn't approach them from safe distance, his units can just pop right in the middle of it all. Since we don't really have stealth mode of Firaxis' XCOM2 that is used to mitigate similar issues, something helping situation where only player is really suffering any lasting losses anyway, especially due to plunging into the middle of enemy group which IS illogical - would help.

I can't speak for Julian Gollop, but I think he meant a simulation in a specified range. You simulate ground battles, but you don't simulate the Geoscape level, because dynamic difficulty is directly contradictory to simulation.

Anyway, I don't think it is in any way relevant here.
Yup, he realized that himself but decided to put in it because simulation on its own doesn't always mean decent gameplay and some things have to be worked around. I suspect simulations in games often lack a lot of factors and elements to be truly realistic and often those who do still need elements handwaved to make the simulation manageable and the game fun.

Anyway, that was in regards to any "it was intended this way/that's the point of the game" arguments, to point out that even the creator himself didn't plan a lot of how the game is seen, just didn't manage it as thoroughly.

Well, I'm not good at balancing myself. Actually, balance is not even on my list of objectives. I only aim for things making sense, and also to show all parts of the game properly.
That is some sort of balancing consideration. Balance doesn't have to always mean "everyone gets the same" after all, even more so in a single player game - a thing which I think we got in agreement on, too! That's also why the idea of giving player certain capabilities AI doesn't have as AI/player already have different capabilities and the rest serves the way of presenting gameplay.

Fair. But I disagree that opting out from a battle is being "screwed over". If you decide to do the battle and then inevitably lose, then yeah, you may be screwed - but it was totally your fault. And I agree it wouldn't be cool otherwise.
Let me differentiate - I agree that in general, having a hard battle it's better to evacuate from is alright, hell - it may make for some cool, dramatic scenes. It's the exception of one situation I hope to resolve: sometimes you don't experience the battle and miss the experience. Without some sort of management of enemy actions in the very beginning, the player doesn't even get to realize the battle is undoable as upon just embarking agents suffer loses in the first turn, with game offering no way of handling that save for savescumming.

Also, only slightly related - would be nice if missions one evacuated from still provided points for things the player did manage to achieve (killed enemies, secured artifacts), not just subtracted for losses and with every civilian in the area automatically killed with no chance anyone escaped or hid.

Sorry to speak so, umm, directly, I do not invite confrontation and frankly I don't even think we disagree, but I think there is a bit of miscommunication. So I'm just explaining my position, hopefully well enough.
Noted. For future reference, as I am sure we may have different approach to other things in general, I bear you or anyone else I talk 'bout stuff with no ill will either, offering feedback and thoughts hoping for the game to improve as much as possible/solve some issues as I see them. It's unlikely people will agree on everything ever and that's uderstandable as well.

I totally agree, but in order to achieve a more polished experience we would have to sacrifice randomness (prepare special starting areas and such), which IMO would really be too much of a cost.
True. I would imagine it'd best depend on the mission (investigating rumors about stuff in the area and getting ambushed /stumbled upon said "stuff" vs planned attack on stationary enemy base). Plus I understand that'd be pretty huge undertaking. It's only because of that I drop such "quick & dirty" ideas like the TU cut - in hopes of getting at least slightly similar result but without having to work on something huge. It's certainly not ideal but, eh, not many other ideas of handling OPs issue - and that is, even if not big, is just kinda a meh thing (wouldn't guess so given how big walls of texts I make, would you? :P).
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 02:00:56 pm by justaround »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2020, 06:49:31 pm »
Why it'd make sense from the standpoint of logic/believability: X-COM likely doesn't mill around before round starts. I imagine that when the battle begins it's immediately after sudden surprise insertion, when geared up agents just jump out of vehicle or, in case of covert mission are not being paid too much attention to and are just breaking cover.

From the standpoint of mechanics: AI has infinite, constantly regenerating, trained and geared up enemies it populates each mission with at no cost. It doesn't, need, can or should concern itself with saving or maintaing any number of them outside of appearances of self-preservation. At the same time, it simulates them as detached groups or single units present in location doing their own stuff. It doesn't have it worse either way.

Indeed, this is covered by the "alien hordes are endless" handwavium in vanilla. Here it's a little less abstract, but we still can assume that enemy organizations have at least thousands of members and don't struggle with personnel numbers as a result of X-Com actions.

The point of the game is after all aggressive sudden strike with teams of costly, trained agents disrupting enemy plans after all, but the player gets no proper preparation phase safe for gearing up (which is in place of doing so at the base), cannot choose any entry point, decide angle of attack etc; even when attacking enemy installations he doesn't approach them from safe distance, his units can just pop right in the middle of it all. Since we don't really have stealth mode of Firaxis' XCOM2 that is used to mitigate similar issues, something helping situation where only player is really suffering any lasting losses anyway, especially due to plunging into the middle of enemy group which IS illogical - would help.

Oh, it would be great to be able to at least select the starting location (like for example in Aftershock). But we can't and that's it.

I feel that limiting AI TUs is not the naswer here, but of course this is subjective.

Yup, he realized that himself but decided to put in it because simulation on its own doesn't always mean decent gameplay and some things have to be worked around. I suspect simulations in games often lack a lot of factors and elements to be truly realistic and often those who do still need elements handwaved to make the simulation manageable and the game fun.

I totally agree... If I went for 100% simulation, the mod would be much less fun to play. :) (And the tory probably wouldn't make any sense.)

Anyway, that was in regards to any "it was intended this way/that's the point of the game" arguments, to point out that even the creator himself didn't plan a lot of how the game is seen, just didn't manage it as thoroughly.
That is some sort of balancing consideration. Balance doesn't have to always mean "everyone gets the same" after all, even more so in a single player game - a thing which I think we got in agreement on, too! That's also why the idea of giving player certain capabilities AI doesn't have as AI/player already have different capabilities and the rest serves the way of presenting gameplay.

Yeah, not gonna argue with this principle. But since the AI generally has it worse, boosting player's options, or in this case actually debilitating the AI, so not something I'd do lightly.

Let me differentiate - I agree that in general, having a hard battle it's better to evacuate from is alright, hell - it may make for some cool, dramatic scenes. It's the exception of one situation I hope to resolve: sometimes you don't experience the battle and miss the experience. Without some sort of management of enemy actions in the very beginning, the player doesn't even get to realize the battle is undoable as upon just embarking agents suffer loses in the first turn, with game offering no way of handling that save for savescumming.

Yes, won't argue with this one either. I just think it's something we can accept as an inevitable part of this gaming formula.

Also, only slightly related - would be nice if missions one evacuated from still provided points for things the player did manage to achieve (killed enemies, secured artifacts), not just subtracted for losses and with every civilian in the area automatically killed with no chance anyone escaped or hid.

That's a big subject, happy to discuss it later :)

Noted. For future reference, as I am sure we may have different approach to other things in general, I bear you or anyone else I talk 'bout stuff with no ill will either, offering feedback and thoughts hoping for the game to improve as much as possible/solve some issues as I see them. It's unlikely people will agree on everything ever and that's uderstandable as well.

Glad to hear. I never assumed otherwise myself.

True. I would imagine it'd best depend on the mission (investigating rumors about stuff in the area and getting ambushed /stumbled upon said "stuff" vs planned attack on stationary enemy base). Plus I understand that'd be pretty huge undertaking. It's only because of that I drop such "quick & dirty" ideas like the TU cut - in hopes of getting at least slightly similar result but without having to work on something huge. It's certainly not ideal but, eh, not many other ideas of handling OPs issue - and that is, even if not big, is just kinda a meh thing (wouldn't guess so given how big walls of texts I make, would you? :P).

You've very welcome to open a thread on this, and I'll be interested in reading it, but naturally it will be addressed to the developers.

Offline justaround

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2020, 09:44:41 pm »
That's a big subject, happy to discuss it later :)
Looking forward to it!

You've very welcome to open a thread on this, and I'll be interested in reading it, but naturally it will be addressed to the developers.
Keeping the "quick and dirty" approach in mind, I was thinking more about it being work in regards to mapping. Adjusting each map and enemy spawn so one would be some distance from them during base assault (as usually most of them does seem to be inside their outposts), but could still risk being surrounded as it is right now in regular "strange creatures" missions.

Offline Mrvex

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2020, 08:44:58 pm »
Maybe would it be possible that vehicles would create smoke cover on arrival ? It would make sense when you are fighting cultists that your Firefly or hell even the chopper would smoke the landing zone to prevent this exact situation ?.

Or atleast making smoke grenades accessible more early ? Like some cheaper, weaker version the XCOM can either buy ? (Like some illegal fireworks from Asia or something)

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2020, 09:41:08 pm »
Or atleast making smoke grenades accessible more early ? Like some cheaper, weaker version the XCOM can either buy ? (Like some illegal fireworks from Asia or something)
It's called a fire extinguisher.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2020, 10:38:39 pm »
I could add smoke projectors to some vehicles :)

Offline Doc

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2020, 05:58:33 pm »
I could add smoke projectors to some vehicles :)

The Mighty Mudranger, make it even more tantalizingly useful and out of reach!

Also, addressing the general concern of the thread does this setting "percentageOutsideUfo:" apply to cult missions and their buildings? I'm pretty neutral on the subject of starting deployments, they can be punishing but imo reasonable since they are entirely avoidable but maybe tweaking this setting would work for some?

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2020, 12:01:37 pm »
The Mighty Mudranger, make it even more tantalizingly useful and out of reach!

:)

Also, addressing the general concern of the thread does this setting "percentageOutsideUfo:" apply to cult missions and their buildings? I'm pretty neutral on the subject of starting deployments, they can be punishing but imo reasonable since they are entirely avoidable but maybe tweaking this setting would work for some?

I doubt this setting works, since the ruleset reference specifically says that it applies to UFO land/crash sites, and this mission is not one, even though it features a UFO.

Offline Bobit

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2020, 07:31:35 am »
Certain vehicles are much less vulnerable to being "ambushed" at the start and so don't really need a smoked ramp.

For example if you try to deploy all 16 agents out of the Osprey under heavy enemy presence, smoke or not you're gonna have a bad time as your agents will basically spend their whole turn advancing under enemy fire (it's just so LONG). Or if you deploy out of a Helicopter (nevermind the 6 agents) you'll be totally at the mercy of RNG.

But if you're using the mudranger, well you have multiple closeable doors and an alternative escape hatch which can be used as a safe spot for peeking out and sniping.

If you want to nerf "ambushes", then maybe it would be a better idea to add more doors than to add smoke projectors. Smoking the ramp without thermovision means you'll mostly be using close-range weapons and greandes until the dropsite is clear, but more doors just gives you more options.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2020, 02:09:55 pm »
Adding more doors is tempting, but also kinda hard to do well.

And yes, the Mudranger is generally agreed to have the best defensive layout. :)

Offline HT

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Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2020, 02:27:28 pm »
Adding more doors is tempting, but also kinda hard to do well.

And yes, the Mudranger is generally agreed to have the best defensive layout. :)

It's too bad it has such a shit range, even the Airborne variant, that it can only be used in very specific situations, limiting its usefulness.