Brainstorming combat features


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#1 Catwalk

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:46 PM

Feel free to delete this if I'm spamming too much, I'm not sure about how freely we can post here. If you do delete it, please send me a copy as a private message so I can repost in a more proper manner.

AUTO
- Any amount of auto shots may be fired, costing x% TU each.
- Each auto fire burst costs y% TU, regardless of how many shots are fired. This cost is deducated after the shots are done, for reaction purposes. x and y differ from weapon to weapon, making some weapons semi-automatic (high x, low y = good for small bursts) and others fully automatic (low x, high y = good for large bursts).
- The enemy is allowed to react after each shot, same as other modes.

AIMED
- Any soldier who cannot see his target is only allowed to use an aimed shot at it.
- Aimed modes are weakened across the board, especially for pistols.

This serves to distinguish the three firing modes more from each other. Auto fire will still be somewhat resistant to reaction fire, as fewer TU are expended while firing. You are rewarded in a sense for doing large bursts as it won't cost you many more TU, but you risk wasting a whole bunch of ammo before realizing your target is dead. Scout'n'sniper tactics are hampered some, but still viable.

EXPERIENCE

- Instead of generating XP during a mission, have a fixed amount of XP to be gained each mission. Each alien gives a different amount of XP, based on overall strength. Either damage done to aliens is tracked and the XP from an alien is split accordingly, or the killing blow gives full XP for the kill. Mission completion also gives XP, which is split evenly among all soldiers.
- Stat increase is made independent of actions performed during missions, in order to avoid encouraging players to run around doing silly training things to make sure their preferred stats are increased. While it may seem cool to have a soldier advance based on his actions, it really just leads to worse gameplay. Without it, the player is free to simply focusing on winning each mission in the most efficient way possible. Instead, each soldier is given his own set of progress multipliers for each field. This makes soldier strength more diffuse. The sum of progress multipliers for any given soldier should be within a fairly narrow range so most soldiers progress at roughly the same rate, only in different stats.

THROWING

- Base Throwing Accuracy is lowered by around 50% and progresses more slowly.
- Change explosions so only the tile of origin generates damage to under armour, rather than all 8 tiles around it as well.
Please check out my TFTD Ironman video campaign here, I'm grateful for any comments!

#2 Jman4117

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:52 PM

View PostCatwalk, on 22nd November 2009, 4:46pm, said:

Feel free to delete this if I'm spamming too much, I'm not sure about how freely we can post here. If you do delete it, please send me a copy as a private message so I can repost in a more proper manner.

AUTO
- Any amount of auto shots may be fired, costing x% TU each.
- Each auto fire burst costs y% TU, regardless of how many shots are fired. This cost is deducated after the shots are done, for reaction purposes. x and y differ from weapon to weapon, making some weapons semi-automatic (high x, low y = good for small bursts) and others fully automatic (low x, high y = good for large bursts).
- The enemy is allowed to react after each shot, same as other modes.
Unlimited shots would be pushing it. Hopefully the only things that will end up with full auto ability will be SAW and minigun varients with submachine guns being another possible, but possibly just high burst limits.
Reactions? Your minigunner should absolutely be able to take reaction fire anytime between the spin up cycle of his gun and his final shot.

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AIMED
- Any soldier who cannot see his target is only allowed to use an aimed shot at it.
- Aimed modes are weakened across the board, especially for pistols.

This serves to distinguish the three firing modes more from each other. Auto fire will still be somewhat resistant to reaction fire, as fewer TU are expended while firing. You are rewarded in a sense for doing large bursts as it won't cost you many more TU, but you risk wasting a whole bunch of ammo before realizing your target is dead. Scout'n'sniper tactics are hampered some, but still viable.
Can't really aim at something you can't see. A sniper scope would extend your vision, but if you don't have one, you're more likely to spray and pray. For pistols, I'd totally agree on weakened aim shots, but they should still be higher than snaps since you still are taking the time to aim.

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EXPERIENCE

- Instead of generating XP during a mission, have a fixed amount of XP to be gained each mission. Each alien gives a different amount of XP, based on overall strength. Either damage done to aliens is tracked and the XP from an alien is split accordingly, or the killing blow gives full XP for the kill. Mission completion also gives XP, which is split evenly among all soldiers.
- Stat increase is made independent of actions performed during missions, in order to avoid encouraging players to run around doing silly training things to make sure their preferred stats are increased. While it may seem cool to have a soldier advance based on his actions, it really just leads to worse gameplay. Without it, the player is free to simply focusing on winning each mission in the most efficient way possible. Instead, each soldier is given his own set of progress multipliers for each field. This makes soldier strength more diffuse. The sum of progress multipliers for any given soldier should be within a fairly narrow range so most soldiers progress at roughly the same rate, only in different stats.
Can't say I really agree here. I like the idea of experience being gained from simply being there, but the bulk should come from doing the action that would logically boost it.

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THROWING

- Base Throwing Accuracy is lowered by around 50% and progresses more slowly.
- Change explosions so only the tile of origin generates damage to under armour, rather than all 8 tiles around it as well.
I agree on the explosions, if you are hit in the chest with an explosive round, it should effect your front armor, if it's under your feet it's under armor, if it's a little bit away it should be a blending of both
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-- Krusty the Clown, "The Simpsons"

#3 Catwalk

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:30 PM

Thanks for the responses.

View PostJman4117, on 22nd November 2009, 11:52pm, said:

Unlimited shots would be pushing it. Hopefully the only things that will end up with full auto ability will be SAW and minigun varients with submachine guns being another possible, but possibly just high burst limits.
Reactions? Your minigunner should absolutely be able to take reaction fire anytime between the spin up cycle of his gun and his final shot.
If you can react between each shot, what's the real difference between Auto and Snap? For all practical purposes it's just a separate Snap mode where you lock yourself into firing 3 shots at a time. As for unlimited, it's obviously limited by x and y. What's the problem with allowing a soldier to spend all his TU on firing if an enemy is allowed to react?

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Can't really aim at something you can't see. A sniper scope would extend your vision, but if you don't have one, you're more likely to spray and pray. For pistols, I'd totally agree on weakened aim shots, but they should still be higher than snaps since you still are taking the time to aim.
I'm a firm believer in gameplay being more important than realism. Why completely take away the ability to do long distance shots? Limit them, yes. Take them away? Another chunk of X-Com removed.

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Can't say I really agree here. I like the idea of experience being gained from simply being there, but the bulk should come from doing the action that would logically boost it.
Again, gameplay over realism. Logic isn't all that important, especially if it leads to illogical actions ;) The player should be rewarded for playing in the most efficient manner possible. If his actions dictate his rewards then he'll be playing in the most rewarding manner possible rather than the most efficient manner. The options for abusive XP training in X-Com are many.

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I agree on the explosions, if you are hit in the chest with an explosive round, it should effect your front armor, if it's under your feet it's under armor, if it's a little bit away it should be a blending of both
Good point about explosive rounds, change the suggestion to apply to grenades only. Main point was that only grenades who land at the target's feet get to damage his under armour, rewarding good throwers.
Please check out my TFTD Ironman video campaign here, I'm grateful for any comments!

#4 The Veteran

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:42 PM

Thanks again for all this info catwalk but I'm not going to be able to get back to this one right now so I'll leave you in Jman's capable hands! I'll be back in the morning but if I don't sleep I'm no good to anyone!
Welcome back to the wonderful world of Fan-fiction! (it's short for fantastic!)
Go check em out, UFO TFTD and Apocalypse all under one roof!!!

Also why not check out XCom : Colonisation over in the special projects forum. Won't kill you if you do, might kill you if you don't!

#5 Jman4117

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:22 AM

View PostCatwalk, on 22nd November 2009, 6:30pm, said:

Thanks for the responses.

If you can react between each shot, what's the real difference between Auto and Snap? For all practical purposes it's just a separate Snap mode where you lock yourself into firing 3 shots at a time. As for unlimited, it's obviously limited by x and y. What's the problem with allowing a soldier to spend all his TU on firing if an enemy is allowed to react?
Speed. You probably get off at least double the shots in auto as snap, factor in TUs and reactions and you'll have more lead on the target before it shoots back at you. As for allowing them to fire the whole turn, why not just click the burst 3-4 times? ;)

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I'm a firm believer in gameplay being more important than realism. Why completely take away the ability to do long distance shots? Limit them, yes. Take them away? Another chunk of X-Com removed.
It's not being taken away. You're firing blind, why would you take a single "aimed" shot on something you can't aim at when you can take several snap or auto shots on the same target? Only things I'd consider aiming would be single shot HE weapons like rockets or grenades and even then I'd want to put it into a wall or ground it near the target.

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Again, gameplay over realism. Logic isn't all that important, especially if it leads to illogical actions :) The player should be rewarded for playing in the most efficient manner possible. If his actions dictate his rewards then he'll be playing in the most rewarding manner possible rather than the most efficient manner. The options for abusive XP training in X-Com are many.
Yep, totally gonna get that sniper merit badge from the cockpit door of the Skyranger :)
"Guns aren't toys. They're for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, and keeping the King of England out of your face."
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#6 Catwalk

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:32 AM

View PostJman4117, on 23rd November 2009, 1:22am, said:

Speed. You probably get off at least double the shots in auto as snap, factor in TUs and reactions and you'll have more lead on the target before it shoots back at you. As for allowing them to fire the whole turn, why not just click the burst 3-4 times? ;)
But then you have 3 modes that are only different in TU and accuracy stats. You actually make them less diverse than in X-Com, as Auto loses its resistance to enemy reactions. For all practical purposes, Auto is simply a mode with even lower TU cost and accuracy, where you have to commit to a small number of shots. With my proposal it'd be possible to distinguish weapons more clearly from each other, with some weapons encouraging small bursts and others encouraging large bursts. If you have a weapon capable of firing at very high speed, a good way to balance it is to require a large number of shots fired.

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It's not being taken away. You're firing blind, why would you take a single "aimed" shot on something you can't aim at when you can take several snap or auto shots on the same target? Only things I'd consider aiming would be single shot HE weapons like rockets or grenades and even then I'd want to put it into a wall or ground it near the target.
Are you arguing that because you wouldn't be using Aimed mode under current rules, the rules shouldn't be changed to allow only Aimed? Or is this a realism argument? I'm not following.

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Yep, totally gonna get that sniper merit badge from the cockpit door of the Skyranger :)
Note that I suggested weakening sniper tactics, for gameplay reasons rather than realism reasons.
Please check out my TFTD Ironman video campaign here, I'm grateful for any comments!

#7 Jman4117

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 01:03 AM

View PostCatwalk, on 22nd November 2009, 7:32pm, said:

But then you have 3 modes that are only different in TU and accuracy stats. You actually make them less diverse than in X-Com, as Auto loses its resistance to enemy reactions. For all practical purposes, Auto is simply a mode with even lower TU cost and accuracy, where you have to commit to a small number of shots. With my proposal it'd be possible to distinguish weapons more clearly from each other, with some weapons encouraging small bursts and others encouraging large bursts. If you have a weapon capable of firing at very high speed, a good way to balance it is to require a large number of shots fired.
Say for instance I have a SMG with 5 shot burst. I spot a sectoid before he sees me. I fire a burst. He notices me and begins to react. I begin my second burst and I'm hit half on shot 3 with a plasma bolt. This would be more likely the more your gun can shoot at one time, like if you had a machinegun of some sort that can take 10 or more shots in a row. Your average automatic is capable of around 600 rounds a minute and those 10 shots would take at least a second to go through the whole process of firing. More than enough time for reactions to it, especially in followup bursts.

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Are you arguing that because you wouldn't be using Aimed mode under current rules, the rules shouldn't be changed to allow only Aimed? Or is this a realism argument? I'm not following.
Realism, there is nothing in your sights to target on, wouldn't really matter if you aimed or not since you have such a high likelyhood of missing because your aimed shot is only going to fall where you aimed it which could be 2m to the left of the target. Better to use an automatic and spray the area or use an area effect weapon when you are firing blind.

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Note that I suggested weakening sniper tactics, for gameplay reasons rather than realism reasons.
I was only using sniper as an example. Anyone cowaring next to the cockpit door of the Skyranger should get negligable gains ;) If you want to improve, you need to practice.
"Guns aren't toys. They're for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, and keeping the King of England out of your face."
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#8 Catwalk

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:05 PM

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Realism, there is nothing in your sights to target on, wouldn't really matter if you aimed or not since you have such a high likelyhood of missing because your aimed shot is only going to fall where you aimed it which could be 2m to the left of the target. Better to use an automatic and spray the area or use an area effect weapon when you are firing blind.
...
I was only using sniper as an example. Anyone cowaring next to the cockpit door of the Skyranger should get negligable gains ;) If you want to improve, you need to practice.
I think where we're miscommunicating is about the realism issue. I don't really consider realism arguments valid when discussing gameplay issues. Reality is great inspiration for gameplay design, but it should never take precedence over gameplay considerations. If an unrealistic game model allows for better gameplay, it should be chosen. Thorondor has some excellent points about how the game can benefit from realism in the main brainstorming thread, concerning how to set a properly spooky atmosphere. In matters of core game functions, I don't feel realism arguments have much relevance.

As for your objection to my XP system, I think you misunderstand my system. Soldiers who kill aliens are rewarded, soldiers who cower in the skyranger get negligible gains. Do you understand my points about XP generation and the abuse that follows?
Please check out my TFTD Ironman video campaign here, I'm grateful for any comments!

#9 Catwalk

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:37 PM

RANGE

There were some comments in the main brainstorming thread about range, I'd like to continue that discussion in this thread to keep it from drowning among the other topics discussed:

Jman4117 said:

with that range thing... can it be an effective range estimate that's basically a function of the accuracy of the weapon? Maybe have a curve factored in to make it accurate in close then dropping off at range. With a cap on the accuracy that the soldier can't top. No matter how good he is at shooting, the weapon just isn't good enough to allow him to be his best.
---

The Veteran said:

Absolutely, a high accuracy drop off once the selected target is outside the maximum 'range' for the weapon is a very good way to retain some more realism in the game. It also means that our two statistics will work together with the 'range' of the weapon and 'accuracy' of the shooter being highly complimentary of each other. For example a high accuracy soldier with a low range weapon could effectively increase the useful range of said weapon by up to 50% and contrarily a low accuracy soldier with a high range weapon would see the useful range decrease by anything up to 50%. This is yet another reason that training troops would be useful.
I agree with Jman's sentiments and disagree somewhat with The Veteran's sentiments. I don't think you should be able to easily compensate for low weapon range through high accuracy. If that's the case, weapon choice becomes a lesser factor as you'll just start choosing low range weapons once your accuracy is good. Here's an initial attempt at a model which captures that effect.

Accuracy = Skill ^ (1 / (1 + Distance / Range) / 100))

All constants as well as the formula itself subject to change, just want to demonstrate its outcome. A few examples:

Distance 50, Range 1
Skill 20, 40, 80
Accuracy 7.4, 11.7, 18.6

Distance 50, Range 2
Skill 20, 40, 80
Accuracy 11, 19.13, 33.3

Distance 20, Range 1
Skill 20, 40, 80
Accuracy 12.1, 21.6, 38.5

Distance 20, Range 2
Skill 20, 40, 80
Accuracy 15.2, 28.6, 53.7

The formula operates on basis of Distance/Range, so Range 2 at a distance of 50 gives identical results to Range 1 at a distance of 25. This has the practical implication that doubling the Range factor effectively doubles the range of a weapon: It gives you the same accuracy at twice the distance. This makes for an intuitively easy system, even though the mechanics are a little murky. It is fairly easy to explain to players that you benefit less from skill when firing a weapon at a longer range than it's suitable for.
Please check out my TFTD Ironman video campaign here, I'm grateful for any comments!

#10 The Veteran

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 12:08 AM

Ok I've left this thread way too long so I'm going to throw something together before bed but seeing as how I don't understand any of that last post and I don't want to sit here and quote every other poster a dozen times I'm just going to give my personal opinions on the main points raised with reference to other posters where possible!

Ok so the first thing mentioned in this thread are the three types of fire which assumption has dictated will be snap, aimed and auto shot. These 3 modes have then been continually debated with no real conclusion so I'm going to save a lot of headaches and say there's no such thing as a snap shot and an aimed shot is just the basic pointing of a gun at a target you can see and pulling the trigger.

3 fire modes essentially isn't enough because there are more than three types of ways to fire a weapon. First things first we have to take into account how many different weapon types there are so how about a standard pistol, a submachine gun and an assault rifle for starters? The pistol has a single shot capability only (in this instance) while the SMG can fire bursts and the assault rifle can fire continually untill the magazine is entirely empty.

Now we have 3 ways to shoot weapons with regard to rate of fire how about what we're doing as a soldier besides just pulling the trigger? Most of the time you're going to be taking a moment to point the weapon you're holding at the thing you want to hit so that gives us more options as to how we proceed. Are you just squuezing off a quick reaction shot in the vagues direction you just saw a blur of movement in or have you been taking careful aim for several seconds beforehand to ensure the first shit hits? How about a standard mode of attack where you take a moment to aim and then squeeze off a few shots and see how you did? Or the action-movie favourite, keep shooting until there's nothing left in the direction you're facing and you're standing in a pile of brass.

All of a sudden it's not looking as simple as a snap, aimed or auto shot option any more is it? Now it becomes single, semi-automatic or fully-automatic modes of fire. And next you have to decide how much time you want to allocate to aiming the shot. This is essentially what a 'snap' shot is, it is a quick shot with a low accuracy. An aimed shot is what one would do with a sniper rifle and involves taking more time to fire with an increased chance of hitting the target. These two references though are not modes and they are not selectable. Read on to see why...

A 'snap' shot can also be referred to as an 'ahh what the hell was that noise, I'm sh#tting myself' shot and is basically what a soldier does when something moves and they're scared to death of it. It's also referred to here as a reaction shot. It has low accuracy and requires very few TUs because it is a lightning fast reaction the speed of which is determined solely by how fast the soldier can move.

An 'aimed' shot can only be carried out when your weapon has a sight or scope and you are firing in single shot mode. It is therefore the standard fire type for all weapons in 'single shot' and is more accurate than any other types of fire, if any, which the weapon can perform.

This only covers the pistol out of our three example weapons though so how does automatic fire work? Well as just mentioned you can use an automatic weapon in single shot mode (with a few exceptions) which will result in an aimed shot being executed regardless of the weapon type unless said single shot was reaction fire in which case it is a 'snap' shot. For automatic fire we need to discuss the difference between semi and automatic weapons a little more.

Firstly let me point out that by semi and auto I am not referring to the way in which the loading mechanism operates (semi automatic fires a single round when triggered but automatically reloads the next whereas fully automatic continues to fire without pause so long as the trigger is depressed) as a single shot performed with an assault rifle will technically be semi-automatic fire but only one round will be spent. I am referring to burst (semi-automatic) and continuous (fully-automatic) fire modes.

Burst mode is the most common type of weapons fire used in all arenas of war for the majority of the human arsenal of infantry weapons. I know I've been to some of them myself! It is essentially an 'auto shot' and consists of depressing the trigger for a matter of seconds to fire a small number of rounds without accuracy loss due to recoil and other factors. This mode is used as it allows soldiers to fire off several fairly accurate rounds at a high speed whilst maintaining accuracy and still being able to monitor the target for the duration of the assault. The time between bursts is negligible and serves only to observe the target and conserve ammunition and accuracy.

Continuous fire could be better referred to as machine-gun fire which most people over the age of 12 will relate to the Normandy landings of WWII where the Germans used them to great effect to defend the French beaches. The bonus of continuous fire is primarily in the incredibly high rate of fire as the name suggests but also in its ability to pin down enemy troops by making it suicidal for them to emerge from their cover for extended periods of time. Continuous fire weapons are almost always mounted on vehicles, tripods or other defensive structures as the recoil can make targetting particularly difficult and weight is often also an issue. Most if not all modern infantry weapons can be fired in a fully-automatic mode from the first round in a magazine to the very last but they suffer serious accuracy loss in the wrong hands.

So now we have our modes of fire, our methods of aiming and how they all affect accuracy. A good weapon which can be used to explain all of these aspects is a common assault rifle. Here are four scenarios featuring the same weapon and the same trooper which display every possible scenario that could be encountered.
1. Our soldier is in a defensive position when a hostile unit rushes by in the near-distance. He reacts immediately and fires at the target quickly with poor accuracy but low TU usage (the weapon was preset to fire in single shot mode or the outcome would have been burst fire with a significantly reduced accuracy)
2. Our soldier has spotted a hostile target that hasn't noticed him. He makes use of the time by taking up a good firing position and takes a single shot at the target using his iron sights. The shot is considered to be aimed and fires one shell with very good accuracy but consumes a lot of TUs.
3. Our soldier missed with his last shot and is engaged in a firefight with the enemy and so must take cover between shots. He fires a short burst of sevral rounds and pauses to reassess the target's position and condition before firing another several rounds in another burst of fire. These shots have a fair accuracy and take an average amount of TUs.
4. Our soldier has been victorious in wounding the enemy but now it is fleeing and in the open. He takes very quick aim at the enemy and depresses the trigger continuously until the magazine is empty. This is a less accurate way to shoot than burst fire due to increased recoil but is still more likely to hit the target than a snap shot due to the initial time taken to aim the weapon at the target rather than shooting as a reflex action. The soldier fires a great deal of ammunition and possibly the entire magazine and uses a set number of TUs per round fired. Essentially this is the same amount he would use per shot in burst mode but burst mode includes an additional amount of TUs to represent the pause between bursts.

Hopefully now everyone can see how weapons actually behave and what we're going for with Colonisation. Catwalk you may not like reality but we aren't making Pacman and if you cannot see a target Jman is right, you simply can't take an aimed shot at it. If one of your allies has spotted an enemy unit and you have a LOS to it's position then you may attempt to shoot it based on the information they have supplied but all modes of fire carried out on such a target will suffer drastic reductions in accuracy meaning the single (aimed) shot can not be considered to be aimed any longer.

I think something else that's come up is a quote from another thread where I mentioned that a soldier with a high accuracy but short range weapon will increase it's effective range and similarly a soldier with a poor accuracy and a long ranged weapon will decrease its effective range. Catwalk I know you disagree with me here but you don't seem to understand what I mean as it's essentially undeniably true.

My point is that a rookie soldier with serious shakes and a sniper rifle will probably hit the wall 10 meters away due to their own lack of skill (accuracy, not weapon skill) A professional soldier with shallow breathing and a good stance however could hit a tin-can off a fence post at a hundred yards. This is the undeniable truth. The more accurate you are, the better you will perform with any weapon that relies on targetting and let's be honest they all do.

Now I think I see why you've misunderstood me so I'll try and explain it again more clearly. I said that a soldier with a high accuracy could possibly increase the effective range of a weapon by 50%. You need to pay attention to the word 'effective' and notice that I did not say maximum and also to the fact that I said by 50% and not to 150%.

Assume that a standard soldier with a standard accuracy has an effective range of 50% regardless of what weapon he is issued with. That means if a weapon has a 100yard maximum range (random number) then he can shoot at a target up to 50 yards away with a good chance of hitting them. Any further they stand an exponential chance of missing.

Now assume we have a soldier with a low accuracy and one with a high accuracy as well as our average Joe. By saying the poor accuracy could lower the effective range of the weapon by up to 50% I don't mean the guy breaks every gun he touches or takes the sight off the thing. I mean he's just no good. Either he snatches the trigger or can't control his breathing or maybe he's just too nervous to keep the thing straight. Either way I know from experience some people just shoot better than others. So say this guy has a poor accuracy stat, the effective range of any weapon he is given would be reduced by say 25% meaning he can only use the weapon mentioned above to hit targets within 25 yards of himself rather than 100 yards as is the weapons maximum ability. Similarly a good accuracy stat will see a trooper firing out to 75 yards with the same weapon and with the same percentage of effective range on every weapon.

Perhaps we could describe the first and last 25% of effective range as specific to type by saying a good or poor in a specific weapon proficiency would fill those numbers out on top of accuracy. Our average soldier for example has average skills in rifles, pistols and heavy weapons but our other guys aren't so standard. Our good accuracy trooper doesn't like pistols but is great with rifles and the guy with poor accuracy is naff with a rifle but great with heavy weapons.

This means that our trooper with good accuracy sees his 75% effective range boosted to 100% for rifles but drop to 50% for pistols. Similarly the trooper with poor accuracy would have an effective range of 0% with a rifle (hope he's got his steel toecaps on) but could be useable in heavy weapons as the effective range is back up to 50% for these.

My back hurts so I really want to call it a day and go to bed but I'm nearly done so I'll cover experience before I go.

This almost certainly needs a dedicated thread if it's to be discussed in depth as it is crucial that we achieve a good balance as far as statistics go and this is not an RPG with indispensable troops it is a strategy game with soldiers who will at some point or another more than likely meet their maker.

What I mean by this is that I want to dissuade people from reloading to save their good trooper and to have a chance at preventing players from fielding a squad of super troopers with 100% in everything because they don't allow anyone to die. Possible thoughts to avoid super-troopers is to have specific stats directly affect one another so a trooper that spends his down-time in the gym will be very strong and so have a greater carrying capacity and strength but he'll be slower as a result. More cardio-vascular activity and less pumping iron will soon see these stats inverted as the player becomes less physically strong but more nimble and fast. In this way you never have to 'allocate stat points' eurgh... and you can never have a maxed out trooper.

Also consider that in my previous 'effective range' example I only used poor, average and good as stats whereas there could be several more measures of proficiency in weapon skills and other training disciplines and its possible that things such as weapons training (which will not suffer a noticeable decline unless that weapon is no longer used by the trooper) can only reach the maximum proficiency level by becoming the troopers 'specialist weapon'. This would add a permanent 10% onto weapon range, accuracy and damage when using this specific weapon type but also impose a permanent decrease of a similar amount to the other weapon classes to simulate the time he has taken off his other training and dedicated to his preferred method.

But I didn't want to talk about that here and I'm still tired so regarding experience I agree with you both. Troops who attend a mission should automatically receive some 'experience' for being present but this should not affect things like weapon proficiencies or other physical or psychological statistics. These will be affected by what the trooper does whilst in the battlefield, for example running around a lot will increase speed, firing a weapon will increase proficiency in that type and experiece from damage to enemies and kill-shots will be added to a troopers rank which will be used to determine when a promotion is due. Of course these will all increase very slowly as a further attempt to prevent the birth of super-troopers but training will be available back at base for those who want to use the option. Ranks will also operate on a first come first served basis so that while several troopers in the squad may be eligible for promotion to squad leader they only need one so the rest will remain privates until their leader is pegged!

What we simply will not have with regards to experience is a screen with lots of little progress bars on it that says stuff like 'xp till next level' and 'favourite weapon'. This is not an RPG and the day it becomes one will be a good while after I've stopped leading it so anyone who wants to play the Elder Scrolls 17:EtherealMenace will have to wait.

That's all I have to say tonight as one of my fingers has just rolled under the desk so I've probably done enough typing for one night.

Hope everyone understands the above as I'm very tired but please continue to discuss and now I'm here I'll be trying to stay here so feel free to question my post if you so wish!
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#11 Jman4117

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 08:14 AM

How would automatic fire be implemented in turn based? Really long burst option? Empty it (the fun way) option?
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#12 NKF

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 08:44 AM

How about a sliding accuracy/TU cost system for single shots, so snaps would just be attacks on one end of the scale (low TUs) at the base accuracy, and the more TUs you allocate to it, the more accurate the shot but the more costlier it will be.

Bursts would have to have a separate attack option as, depending on the weapon, you can do short 3 round bursts or fully automatic weapons would empty their ammo hopper. Perhaps a similar option, but one that controls the proportion of bullets spent in addition to the amount of TUs spent to fire them all (base TU weapon operation cost + TUs for the bullets). No accuracy bonus beyond the base burst accuracy. Accuracy lost from recoil per bullet could fit in their somewhere. It does sound strange to be be able to adjust exactly how many bullets are spent, but maybe some randomness such as +/- a one or two bullets can be thrown in.

Not sure how it would be best implemented. Perhaps a percentage slide control bar (attached to each soldier - or a grouped selection of soldiers, with game options to have them remain or reset each turn). For those that want quick results, they could even get a few pre-set selection buttons next to it. It does result in only two distinct attacks - single shot and burst.

Actually adapting this from a energy weapon overcharge concept I'm meddling with (aka "I think it would've been better if they'd done it this way"). Imagine System Shock II's overcharge setting for energy weapons, but with an analogue power selector rather than absolute settings (normal/double strength).

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#13 The Veteran

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 09:58 AM

View PostNKF, on 26th November 2009, 8:44am, said:

How about a sliding accuracy/TU cost system for single shots, so snaps would just be attacks on one end of the scale (low TUs) at the base accuracy, and the more TUs you allocate to it, the more accurate the shot.

Sounds like a good way to implement the aimed shot and add a little variety but the main concern here would be that we don't want to complicate the interface too much so would have to be careful how this is implemented. The last thing we want is for someone to select their weapon and be faced with three fire modes and then select a fire mode and be given 3 more options and then an option to assign how many TUs to assign and one for how many rounds etc. If we were to implement different speeds of aimed shot which is essentially what we're discussing here then I'd advise we have a finite number of options to do so rather than a sliding scale of percentages with 100 differnt options! Say we used a 'quick', 'standard' and 'sharp' shot option to allow for 30,60 and 90% accuracy and TU modifiers respectively. (all numbers are random as usual)

View PostNKF, on 26th November 2009, 8:44am, said:

Bursts would have to have a separate attack option as, depending on the weapon, you can do short 3 round bursts or fully automatic weapons would empty their ammo hopper. Perhaps a similar option, but one that controls the proportion of bullets spent in addition to the amount of TUs spent to fire them all (base TU weapon operation cost + TUs for the bullets). No accuracy bonus beyond the base burst accuracy. Accuracy lost from recoil per bullet could fit in their somewhere. It does sound strange to be be able to adjust exactly how many bullets are spent, but maybe some randomness such as +/- a one or two bullets can be thrown in.

There are already two seperate options NKF, this is what the burst and continuous fire options refer too. Burst fire is a 3-5 shot burst followed by a pause for example while continuous fire has no pause but becomes less accurate the longer it is in use. I can think of two ways to control the no. of bullets spent when using fully automatic fire which is essentially one fof RT and another for TB gameplay modes.

In turnbased gameplay the fully automatic fire could work in an identical sense to the burst fire mode shooting a random 3-5 times and then stopping to allow further orders to be given. This would require fewer TUs than a standard burst shot because the soldier has not paused after firing and therefore is technically still shooting the weapon. Now our soldier can do one of two things. Either he can be given another fully-automatic fire command which will see him fire another 3-5 shots as before but this will not be a new order, rather it will be the continuation of his previous fully-automatic fire order and therefore his accuracy will be reduced again. The effect of this is that every time the player selects to fire in fully-automatic mode a small accuracy handicap is imposed on them to represent the fact that non-stop recoil is making it harder and harder to control the weapon. Let's throw in a value of -1% to accuracy per shot fired. So the first round he fires 4 shots and his accuracy is reduced by -4% which will remain in play until the troop carries out an order other than fully-automatic fire. If the troop does us fully-automatic fire mode again immediately after this first round then there will be a further penalty imposed. So his second burst would already be affected by the -4% accuracy  penalty imposed by the first burst and it will also impose a further penalty of -1% per round. So say the second burst consists of 3 more shots. His third burst (assuming there is one) will be carried out with a penalty of -7% to accuracy and so on. This will continue until either the player issues an alternate order or the magazine runs dry. In either case the penalty will be removed and play will continue as normal.

In realtime gameplay fully automatic fire simply does what it says on the tin and fires at the target until the magazine runs dry (with the same -1% per shot penalty for accuracy) but of course this gives us a problem if the target dies with the first round and the magazine was full. So in this case it's not quite as clear cut as it was in TB mode and we need to introduce a new factor into gameplay to save our soldiers some ammo! This would be to use one of the soldiers base statistics (maybe something along the lines of 'awareness') to determine how much ammunition should be expended to accomplish the desired goal. So when we select our soldier in real-time and issue a fully-automatic fire order they will continue to fire until either the target is dead or the hopper is empty and then automatically stop. This is self-explanatroy in the case of an empty clip but for the aforementioned scenario when the first shot kills we don't want out trooper to destroy the corpse with another 30 rounds before stopping. So after every round is fired the soldier takes a check against it's awareness stat to see if he notices any changes to his target. If the target is dead and the trooper passes an awareness check then they will realise the target is down and cease fire without expending the entire magazine. This new factor can effectively be used for TB too but due to the fact our soldier will have limited TUs in TB mode it may be best to stick with the model previously mentioned for it to save running out before the target is dead..

View PostNKF, on 26th November 2009, 8:44am, said:

Not sure how it would be best implemented. Perhaps a percentage slide control bar (attached to each soldier - or a grouped selection of soldiers, with game options to have them remain or reset each turn). For those that want quick results, they could even get a few pre-set selection buttons next to it. It does result in only two distinct attacks - single shot and burst.

Hence it would ultimately be a step backwards as far as a simple interface goes wouldn't it? Why have only 2 modes of fire but then have each one subdivided into further modes when we can feature just one more fire-mode and save having to introduce sliders and such on an additional setting? I think our three fire modes will either be accessed in a similar way to those in the original games or the list will be displayed when the player right-clicks in the battlescape thus bringing up a menu. This would save on excess cursor movement from the screen to the weapon and make for a quicker battlefield resolution by assigning the LMB to selection and movement and the RMB to combat initiation.

View PostNKF, on 26th November 2009, 8:44am, said:

Actually adapting this from a energy weapon overcharge concept I'm meddling with (aka "I think it would've been better if they'd done it this way"). Imagine System Shock II's overcharge setting for energy weapons, but with an analogue power selector rather than absolute settings (normal/double strength).

I haven't even thought about how all of the above relates to non-projectile weapons just yet but then to be honest I can't have that discussed here without giving away what other weapon sets will be featured so as of right now I can neither confirm or deny that we'll even be using energy weapons! I can guarantee we won't be limited to one set of weapons however and many weapons have a number of counterparts which if desired can be selected specifically as a part of non-essential micro-management for those players wishing for a more in-depth gaming experience.
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#14 StVier

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 12:51 PM

The concept of allocating more TUs for an aimed shot has been implemented in JA2: hovering the reticule over the enemy, you will see the current TUs required to fire a 'snap' shot; right-click and you dedicate slightly more and one final right-click again to fire an aimed shot. Relatively simple and straight-forward enough if I must say.

In real-time mode, and I'm gonna cite the UFO series again, beginning from sighting an enemy, lifting the gun to do a snap shot takes for example 2 secs, to fire the gun in burst mode takes another 2 secs, after which correction of aim after recoil takes another 2 secs and the cycle repeats itself. In TB mode, to simplify things, one should group all these actions into 1 block costing a certain TUs. Naturally, in TB mode, after the set of actions, new orders are required so no problems there, but there isn't really an issue in RT mode as well since cancelling the current order to fire is a simple matter of pausing the game and asking all 10 guns shooting at the dead guy to stop. We should also bear in mind that burst fire and auto-mode is part of mechanism of the gun and is linked to 1 single depression of the trigger so obviously we can't stop the remaining 2 bullets from flying out of the barrel even if the first bullet kills, there is even less control over auto-mode since the time between one bullet and another is in micro-seconds and it would take a good number of bullets from 'knowing' the enemy is dead to stopping the spitting from the barrel.

In any case, I think we shouldn't try to complicate things too much, just try to think in terms of firing rate and what is the equivalent of 1 TU in real-time, then TU usage on weapons, regardless of firing mode, can be relatively handled. Since the firing rate of a weapon is a constant, the only variable would come from time taken to aim (aim Vs snap shot) and the type of firing mode (Single Vs burst Vs auto) to determine how many shots are fired before 1 set of action is completed and requiring an input from the player.

Not sure if any of that make sense but I just feel that no mater what, it's gonna be quite difficult to break away from the many successful features in previous games, unless one comes up with a truly innovative and unique formula or enhances these well-received system.




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