About psi and morale


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#1 Catwalk

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 04:20 PM

A discussion in another thread prompted this idea, which I feel merits a thread of its own. Note that all of this refers to a TB game model, some of it may be viable for RT as well but I haven't given any thought to that.

I disliked psi immensely in X-Com for three reasons: 1. It was overpowered in your hands 2. It was overpowered in the enemy's hands (unless you made your entire team immune or resorted to tricks like using stun rods) 3. Getting vision from controlled aliens allowed you to scout out the whole map speedily and safely.

I also disliked some things about the morale system, mainly that the actions were too random. If a soldier panicks, he should run away from nearby aliens and towards the transport. Possibly for the nearest cover instead, if it's a mild panic attack. And if a soldier goes berserk, he should fire at nearby aliens or charge in their general direction. In extreme cases, he'll also fire at civilians or soldiers. In milder cases, shooting into thin air would be applicable.

I suggest that the psi system and the morale system are combined into one system, essentially letting psi boost normal morale processes. Psi will not be able to do anything that can't occur naturally. Psi will never lead to actual unit control, and will not lead to shared vision.

The following concepts can be used (I know some of them are redundant, not suggesting that this should necessarily be the final model):

Psycosis: Determines the unit's ability to tell friend from foe. A soldier may be turning psycotic without losing morale, and he may lose morale without turning psycotic. Psycosis is a hidden value going from 0-100 which denotes the probability of seeing a friendly unit as a foe. A Psycosis value of 100 means he'll consider all units foes (note that this doesn't mean he'll consider former foes to be friends, as I'm removing the control aspect entirely from psi with this).
Bravery: Similar to Bravery now. Bravery is a semi-hidden stat. Once a unit has gained a certain amount of experience, its Bravery will be indicated with one of the following terms: Courageous, Disciplined, Undisciplined, Cowardly. Bravery can increase with combat experience.
Morale: Much the same as morale now, also ranges from 0-100. Is lowered by casualties, damage and psi attacks. Directly determines the likelihood of a unit going under AI control as well as how large a portion of the unit's TU are spent before returning to player control (a simplified example: 90 morale means a 10% risk of the unit spending 10% of its TU under AI control at the start of the following turn. This formula is subject to change, of course). This value will also be hidden in order to make it harder to determine when a unit is about to crack.
Aggression: Determines whether a unit will react to low morale by going berserk or panicking. Also affects whether a unit is likely to hide or shoot when reacting to an enemy unit during the enemy phase. Make this semi-hidden in a similar manner to Bravery?
Psi strength/skill/thingamajic?: There should still be some kind of psi stat, obviously. I'm leaning towards suggesting to do away with psi skill entirely and make psi strength subject to progression like other stats.

Three kinds of psi attacks will be available: Paranoia, fear and rage. Paranoia increases Psycosis, Fear lowers Morale and Rage increases Aggression.

These effects are obviously weaker than outright control and will likely take several turns to manifest themselves. In order to avoid underpowering them, I suggest that the player isn't informed about which units are subjected to psi attacks, he only gets (really scary) audio feedback (possibly an option for visual feedback as well, but still not centered on the affected unit).
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#2 AlanatXcomHQ

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 11:27 PM

Considering that Colonisation is going to be 65 millions years previous to the first X-com game, then its definately feasible that psychic abilities aren't of the terrifying level they were in X-com 1 and X-com Interceptor.

I'm not gonna go into the stats, but its certainly looks like you've definately thought about it stat wise.

For the last paragraph, the use of visual or audio cues from the units to signify their under psi attack sounds like an interesting idea. Definately reminds me of messeges from wing-mates in X-com Interceptor letting you know they were under psi attacks, obviously your suggestion leaves the player clueless onto which specific unit is being assulted mentally and just how severe it is and definately going to make the player unsure on how to handle their units. I certainly like the idea of that.
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#3 Catwalk

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:58 AM

Precisely, it's all about uncertainty and paranoia. With those two, I think psi will be quite well balanced even if the effects are lesser.
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#4 NKF

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 07:19 AM

Old films involving mind control (say episodes of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's UFO) often mixed sound cues and music to build up tension.

Only skimmed this thread out of general interest, and I somehow ended up thinking about this all day long when I should've been working. ;) Not wanting to lose the fruits of my labour, thought I'd throw out them out here for consideration. Might be doubling up what's already covered.

State of mind
Following on a similar line of thought, a soldier's mental state could be simplified as:

Bravery, Morale, Mental State

Bravery is pretty much to morale what armour is to health. It just reduces how severe bad events influence the soldier. Same as it is now. In addition to natural improvements in bravery, it could get small one time bonuses from current rank and how many battles the soldier has seen.

Morale, or should I say the fear and confidence meter. The usual 0 - 100 meter, but should balance at 50%. That's the stable level. When it goes above 50% by way of good events, the soldier gets more confident. When it goes under 50% through bad events, the soldier gets more fearful. So you can have various severity levels such as fearful, slightly distressed, normal, feeling positive or even very confident.

Rather than resetting after reach battle, the morale level at the end of the battle should stick with the soldier. Over time, the score rebalances itself until it is back at 50%. Events outside of combat could influence the current level from time to time, such as promotions/demotions or a surprise birthday party just to make up an example.

Now, we know low morale in X-COM makes soldiers lose control and use up all their TUs with some action or ther. How about the more morale starts to fall, it starts introducing various degrees of involuntary movement from the soldier that occur randomly. Lower level panic, in a way, which is more frequent.

For example, in a highly fearful state, a soldier pointing a weapon might visibly be hold the weapon unsteadily - too afraid to attack. In real-time, this would mean the build up before the gun is fired would be much slower to execute. In TB, more action points would be spent than usual. The worst case scenario being the soldier completely fails to attack and says something like "I... I can't do this!", while wasting time/TUs in the process.  

Another example, a soldier can get really jittery and will jump at any may even turn to look at any nearby sudden noises. Say you had a soldier walk nearby across some dry twigs. The twigs crack and the jittery soldier will jerk around to see what made the noise. Things like doors slamming in the distance, or screams out of the darkness.

None of this results in complete loss of control of the soldier, yet. This is where the next stat comes into play.

Mental State

This works in tandem with morale. It could go from stable, wavering to unstable. Maybe even further down into psychotic. Guess it's the same as the psychosis stat mentioned. This will determine the severity of the involuntary actions taken when morale is low. Also doubles as how suggestive you are to psi suggestions (more on this in a bit). The weaker they are, the easier psi attacks effect them.

When it hits rock bottom while morale is low, the soldier may do something extreme. Like panic, freeze for a moment, go berserk or even flee - being the classic responses. The soldier could even surrender or even curl up into a foetal position and won't move again. These two would mean complete loss of control of the unit, requiring some sort of intervention from others or medical (maybe psi) resuscitation to get them functioning again.

Psi abilities

The mind control in the first three X-COM games was way too powerful because you got near-complete control over the alien for the duration of the mind control. So rather than full control, how about instead changing it to suggestion.

That is to say, you use your psi abilities to suggest to the alien to do something, and both sides do a battle of wills, and if the alien fails, it does what you want it to do. Say, "attack target", "move to Y", "interrupt what you are trying to do". In effect, it's a milder version of mind control. Throw in the classic panic attack that attacks the morale and the mental state of the target.

An interrupt attack would be almost like a stun command, but not for knocking the target out. Makes the target fail or really mess up its next action. Or you could even make it psionic feedback that makes the target cringe and reel about in pain. Only thinking it is in pain, when it is not. Again, a form of momentarily stunning the unit but not knocking it out. Could be useful for setting it up for a melee attack to really knock it out.


I think psi could be used for a few other support abilities as well. The classic mind probe could be expanded a bit. Such as being able to get an idea of what the alien is doing (idling, on routine patrol, searching for enemy, attacking X, fleeing), or taking a moment to see what it can see, or probing its mind to get a brief glimpse of the location of (where it thinks) its nearest out-of-sight allies are. Could also use it to get information on operating alien thingamajigs to open up shortcuts through UFOs or alien structures in the current map for example.

Other more useful support ability would be to calm targets to normalize (but not boost beyond) the morale and mental state of soldiers that are in a very bad frame of mind. A psi variant of EUTFTD's pain killers.

I also wrote "Placebo" in my notes, which I can't seem to remember what it was about. Probably using hypnosis to make soldiers think they aren't suffering from wound trauma. Oh well.

There was one idea I was playing with for a sword and sorcery type magic system I was fiddling with that can be adapted to psi. A psionic assist ability where multiple weak psi users can channel focus on one psi user to bolster that user's skill momentarily for a combination attack on a strong psi enemy. With appropriate usage/time costs, obviously.

Imagine it like the weapon control systems from Apocalypse, but withpeople. Each person assisting would provide a fixed bonus to the person they are assisting. Say a +10% improvement. Each person that joins into the combo would have their contribution drop in effectiveness. Say by dividing by 2 for each member in the team. The first would get the full 10%. A second person would add +5%, the third 2.5% , the fourth 1.25% and so on and so forth. This way it wouldn't get too overpowering.

Not sure if any of that can inspire any new ideas, but there you go.  

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#5 Catwalk

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 04:59 PM

Excellent feedback, thanks. I'll try breaking down your post to highlight where your ideas differ:

1) Having morale balance at 50 rather than 100
If this is the same as current morale except letting it rise above 100, I agree. However, I disagree with allowing morale to stay high after combat for reasons mentioned below.

2) Doing away with the Aggression stat
How will you determine if a soldier is inclined to react aggressively or fearfully to morale loss without an Aggression stat? And I feel a chance for adding flavour to soldiers will be lost without this way to diversify their behaviour.

3) Allowing psycological effects to carry over once battle ends
I agree with to the extent that it means allowing negative psycological effects to carry over. If you allow positive effects to carry over, it becomes a pseudo-XP system where the player will seek to maximize troop morale before finishing missions. The player should not be encouraged to do stuff like that. I think allowing for semi-permanent psycological damage which cannot be remedied during combat is workable. Essentially, a soldier can also be inflicted psycological "wounds", the symptoms of which can be alleviated during combat but without being able to remove the wounds themselves. Let's call it trauma. They will only go away over time (or possibly through some active efforts at the geoscape level). On a side note, I like the idea of promotion being a player decision. The player should be able to promote any soldier he likes, whenever he likes (probably restricted by XP). Promotion should come at a price, and having several high ranking soldiers in combat at the same time should be ineffective. Maybe even have a complete squad system where loyalty becomes an individual quality, forming bonds between rookies and squad leaders. Just thinking out loud, I know this is definitely bordering on feature creep.

4) Involuntary movement during the turn rather than at the start of the turn
Interesting idea (note that I'm only looking at the TB implications). Question is whether or not it'd frustrate the player too much to have actions interrupted all the time, leading to a lot more clicks. If not for that, I can see the idea working. Each time a soldier moves the game should be interrupted, and some mechanism should be in place to make sure the player doesn't accidentally click on without noticing the soldier has moved on its own. An implication of this is that if you don't move, you don't lose TU either. That actually works out okay, since this aspect will apply to soldier reactions as well. And having units move involuntarily through the turn would be better for paranoia than movement at the start of the turn. More frustrating for the player and harder to balance, but I think it could work out well.

5) Possibility of TU increase or failure to comply when ordered to shoot
I like this one, and it could be tied in with the reaction system mentioned. Another possible reaction when ordering a soldier to shoot would be to simply run away. It might get a little complicated explaining the mechanics to players, as this will combine reactions with all the psycological factors to determine the outcome. For example, a soldier can be fast to react but hesitant to shoot because of morale. Or he can be slow to react, but not hesitate. It's kind of the same thing happening, at least the outcome is the same in this case. If we add the possibility of running away then it makes sense to have this combination with the reaction system, as a low morale soldier could react lightning fast when escaping. On a side note, I think it should be possible for paranoia/psycosis/whatever to raise a soldier's reaction level. If you're paranoid, you're also highly alert.

6) Soldiers reacting to noises
I think this one sounds bothersome, and not interesting enough to implement from a gameplay perspective. Not least because you can't really follow these reactions visually, since the screen won't be centered on the soldier. Scrolling around to follow these reactions would be even worse. I think this will just be nuisance because of that. However, I do see a possible use for this in the reaction phase. Whenever a soldier hears something without being able to see it, it makes sense that he'd react to that and have the screen center on him. Depending on his psycological stats and orders, he may then react by investigating, taking cover or simply stand his ground.

7) Psycosis vs mental state vs aggression
I misread your suggestion at first, yours is pretty similar to mine at second glance. We differ in that I use psycosis to determine ability to tell friend from foe, and you use it to determine whether a soldier will react to low morale with a panic or berserk reaction. Yours might actually make more sense than mine, I'll ponder it some more.

8) Allowing for limited enemy control rather than solely AI control (suggestion)
I'm not too keen on allowing specific orders to be issued, even if they aren't a sure thing. I prefer the idea of messing with a unit's psycological stats and let those stats determine his actions. That also requires less effort from the player and goes a long way towards making sure psi doesn't go right back to being unbalanced.

9) Interrupt attack
I'm not sure about exactly how this would work and how it ties in with the other concepts. Does this work if you're high morale, completely bypassing that? I'm leaning more towards tying psycological aspects and psi closely together, rather than allowing psi to bypass the psycological aspects entirely.

10) Pseudo-medical psi functions (or stimulant drugs)
I like this one, and I see many interesting possibilities. Being subjected to psi excessively (by friend or foe) would possibly cause trauma (the concept mentioned previously). This way you can fix an immediate emergency when the shit hits fan, at the cost of possible long-term repercussions.

11) Additional mind probe functions
I like more ways to get intel. I think getting direct visual intel would be overpowered, as that allows you to safely create a chain. How about allowing you to establish a one-turn visual link with the affected alien which shows you its vision during the enemy phase? Gives you valuable intel but no lasting alien positions to target. I'm not sure about spying on the AI of an alien, for practical reasons. How would it be displayed? How clear cut would an alien's current orders be? I doubt orders would generally extend past the turn they've been given, there should be a new assessment at the start of each round.

12) Psi channeling
Not so keen on this one. Don't see it doing any harm, but I don't think it adds much and the system is already getting very complex.
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#6 NKF

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 06:16 AM

As I said, much of this was thought up while I was working so I've not really spent that much time to really think over the particulars.  


Anyway, I'll just address a few points:

1. All I'm really doing is changing the scalar and making 50% the new 100%.  Made it 50% just to to keep it in the 0 - 100% scale.

Carrying high morale over, riding on their success as it were, shouldn't be a problem as long as it's not conferring major combat buff bonuses - it's not going to make them immune to psionics and doesn't rule out them suffering from tragic losses.

But I guess this can be worked out as. Limiting the number of good events that can raise morale beyond normal, such as on the defeat of enemies (there's only so many to go around) could be used to prevent players from maximising their morale before moving on. It just doesn't seem right for them to suddenly go from being extremely motivated one minute to being indifferent one hour later when they arrive at the next mission site.

2. I hadn't quite gotten around to fitting the aggression stat in to it all yet. :) But yes it would be good to add flavour and it would determines the soldier's initial predisposition or control the type of behaviours they are likely to have when they hit their panic point.

Actually, if you make it a stat that doesn't change too frequently, it could be used to model any lasting psychological trauma, that would require medical attention to recover from. For example, a really aggressive soldier (prone to shooting bursts into the air) who was badly psychologically harmed in a battle will be be quite timid (prone to fleeing) in future battles. They can remain that way or they can be put into therapy to return them to their original state, which could take some time.  Not sure how you'd do it in reverse for a timid soldiers becoming extremely aggressive/psychotic. Whatever the case, it should not be use as means of healing the opposite ailment.  

Hmm, therapy. Now that's going to add a new profession to the list of hire-able professionals - psychologsts or therapists. Come to think of it, they had a really good severe looking chap play just such a character on the late 70's TV series UFO by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. But that's just an aside.

4. Paranoia - that's it. Just to add to the idea, there's one word used in my workplace that describes the effect on domestic violence victims who have been in abusive relationships. Hyper-vigilance.

The soldiers basically have their reactions become more acute as they become more afraid. This would be a bonus for soldiers with low-level fear as it would enhance their reaction time a bit. When the fear becomes too great, they start reacting themselves.

I don't think the players would appreciate it, but we could even work it in reverse. If the soldier got way too much morale (aka become overconfident), their reaction performance could start dropping.  

6. If you mix in the state when a soldier who is unable to determined friend from foe with the reacting, could even go so far as to fire a reaction at one of his own companions during the turn or a civilian during the civilian turn.

7. Don't mind me - I get boggled easily when there's heaps and heaps of numbers, so like to see if I can get away with less. ;) Only problem there is it makes stats too multi-purpose. The old swinging a sword makes you better a better swimmer problem.

8 - 9 : Well, I'm not keen on mind control in any form myself, but it is a stock psi element. Actually messing with the unit's friend or foe perception might prove to be a better option than directly telling them what to do. Would be more amusing too thanks to the unpredictability.

The interrupt method, now that I've considered it a bit more, would be one of the possible outcomes of a panic attack (as per soldiers being hesitant or even failing to attack when ordered). So wouldn't have to be a specific psi attack method.

11: Spying during the alien turn. That's not a bad idea, you'd actually get the camera to follow the alien as it makes its move  (with the condition that the the psi user isn't dead!). Could be a great way to spy on patrolling aliens while they are not yet aware of your presence to see what they're up to.

As for seeing what their actions are, it would just be a quick message during the probe giving a general idea what it's currently doing at the time of the probe. Your psi ability could improve the level of information given. Say at the beginner level it might just say "investigating a noise". At a higher level, it could say "investigating a noise at (coordinates)". You could even find out if it's only feigning an investigation (you've been throwing rocks to draw it away from the main force for example and it has cottoned onto the ruse).  

This needs more thought though.

12: Well, this actually originate from an idea for over-charging an energy cannon (in the guise of magic - with robots. Well out of the scope of this discussion) , so it's not exactly the most compatible concept. Just like the idea of collaborative attacks to overcome obstacles that normally cannot be achieved on their own.

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#7 The Veteran

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 12:45 PM

Right, I'm pretty sure this is the only thread I'm not up to date with yet so I'm going to give it a go now! The first thing I want to say is Catwalk, please try and address these ideas for both RT and TB scenarios as otherwise you're only making half an argument which will have to be addressed again at a later date regardless of how good your points are!

I'm not going to quote everything I reference here as I think this post will end up long enough without that so I'll take Catwalk's approach and use titles then reference who's ideas I'm talking about in the body of the text! So here goes...

This is in response to NKFs first post,
Agreed, high bravery should provide a buffer against morale reducing events although it will have other implementations as well. Morale should definitely average 50% on a scale of 1-100 and I agree with both NKF and Catwalk to some extent regarding carrying over the effects after battle so I'll summarise that later.

Regarding low morale affecting TU usage and inroducing involuntary movements or actions I'm in agreement with NKF. I think it's a milder way to display the toll the battle is taking on an individual than just having them go crazy and kill half the squad. That was just never a realistic representation of battlefield psychology. I think this is especially important if the effects of negative morale remain after battle and even more so if 'morale scarring' is introduced which is a thought I have based on Catwalk's comments but one I'll go into later. The reason for this is that a soldier who's morale is at an all time low is not one you want to send on another mission until they've had this issue addressed be it through medical, recreational or even disciplinary action. Maybe some troops simply aren't cut out for war and you just have to let them go?

I think the example of failing to fire when in a bad way morale wise makes sense and a good reaction to a failed order would be for a soldier to simply take cover instead of obey the command. The audio cues are also a very good way to provide the player with feedback regarding the soldiers' state of mind.

As for the jittery soldiers jumping at noises I think this can be implemented without catwalk's concerns being an issue if done in a certain way. As he has already mentioned it may be better suited to a reaction phase (though this is solely suitable for a TB model) in that the camera would focus on a door being opened in the alien turn and the soldier would turn to see what the noise was so long as he was on screen and this is the key. A jittery soldier should only pay heed to a nise or movement if they are on screen at the time or the player will never know it happened and it will simply cost TUs with no explanation. Say the player is moving character a past character b however and b is jumpy already, when both men are on the screen soldier b will hear a pass and spin around to check out the noise accompanied by a 'what the hell was that!' kind of comment but gameplay will continue as that was not the soldier you were controlling. In this way it could work in a similar way for both RT and TB games.

Regarding Mental State and Psychosis which seem fairly similar I think having it as a measure of the troops actual psychological condition is a good call with the same 1-100 sliding scale with 50% as norm. I think this should affect how easy it is for the trooper to be affected by psionic attacks as NKF has said and I also think that it should be constantly affected by the troopers morale. For example if a trooper has a low morale but somehow still has a good mental state then the low morale should see the mental state decreasing in real time (by which I mean x% per second rather than only in realtime mode) Alternatively if a trooper is in a bad way mentally but suddenly recieves a morale boost that takes him over 50% the mental state should slowly increase so long as he has a positive morale.

Perhaps for this to work the level of morale should directly affect the mental state max,min and change rate. For example a soldiers morale drops from 50% to 40% but his mental state is still at 50%. The 10% decrease in morale results in a constant -0.01% mental state per second and can affect the soldier to a minimum mental state of 40% (same as morale) If a soldier's morale drops to 20% from 50 then there will be a negative effect of -0.03% per second with a minimum value of 20% mental state. Imagine now a troop with 0% mental state who happens to somehow have a morale of 100% (for example only) and his maximum mental state would be 100 and would be increasing at a rate of 0.1% per second.

As far as psi goes I think its a good idea to remove the full control feature and instead carry out a 'battle of wills' as NKF said. I think rather than being a win/lose though this could be more gradual as well with a partial or complete win or loss for both sides. For example a 50% success rate would be a draw thus using up TUs for both parties but causing no effect. 100% would cause the alien to carry out the action desired while 75% would do the same but with a significantly reduced success rate for the alien itself. (take an attack order for example, 100% would ensure a concentrated effort by the alien to kill the given target whereas a 75% success rate would have an accuracy penalty of -50% based on the alien fighting the suggestion) results of 25% could consume a larger amount of TUs for the trooper (resulting in a temporary inability to react in RT) and a 0% scoe could seriously traumatise the trooper or even prevent them from using psi attacks again that battle or at all. I'll cover negative effects of psionics again later when I do 'morale scarring' under the title 'psionic scarring'.

The use of psionics as a support power are interesting and I like the idea of implementing it as a form of morale boost or temporary pain relief etc. The group attack is also a very innovative idea and it would essentially allow us to include far more powerful alien psionics in the game (as rare creatures rather than sectoids/ethereals etc) I picture this technique as involving the support trooper being totally out of action whilst channelling their power to a surrogate whilst said surrogate is able to move as normal and attack or assist with significantly increased psionics as long as the link remains. I don't think there should be any long term affects caused by this form of support for any of the troopers involved, especially if we introduce aliens which make it almost essential as a way to defeat them.

Now we're onto Catwalk's second post! Anything I've already commented on I'll leave out but will respond to everything new and useful!
I agree somewhat that the Agression stat is a good one to have but not solely for the purpose of morale testing but also psychological testing too. This is the statistic that I referenced when determining if a soldier shoots first and asks questions later rather than radioing in an alien immediately (ie. pausing the game immediately after the sighting) This aside I think it will be a while before we determine what stats may or may not be useful however I think catwalk is right that the aggression stat could be used in morale testing. If morale falls too low and you issue an attack order for example a trooper with an aggressive nature is less likely to run away and ignore the order than he is to charge at the target on full-auto!

Catwalks' 3rd point has a lot in it that I'm going to discuss later which is the carrying over of morale after battle as mentioned, semi-permanent psychological damage (see morale scarring) and promotion though I'll cover promotion here quickly by saying this is the wrong thread for it! I've discussed it under experience in the combat thread and most of what you mention will be answred there already.

As a quick note I agree that a high level of paranoia (a low mental state) would most definitely increase a troopers reaction speed but it will also increase their wrecklessness meaning the soldier will notice noises that aren't necessarily enemies and spin to them immediately but is then likely to shoot at it regardless of what it is as well. This would need to be very well balanced to avoid unnecessary and frustrating trooper injuries and even deaths to friendly fire. Of course there will be a lot of warning before a trooper reaches this stage and so there will be plenty of opportunities to stow his weapon, place him in cover for the remainder of the mission or even return him to the craft/leave the building.

Regarding psycosis vs mental state I think mental state wins over on this and there's already been a lot of discussion regarding its possible implementation. Even the best soldier can lose morale in the heat of battle and this will eventually take its time leading to jumpy, paranoid soldiers as mentioned above. Very few fighting forces are short sighted enough to allow soldiers through the basic screening if they are likely to become psychotic regardless of the situations the are placed in for this to occur! I understand that you were simply referring to it as a way to differentiate friend from foe catwalk but no professional soldier will EVER shoot an ally after observing them for more than a second or two (apart from Americans but then they all look the same, we're fighting aliens and they're easily spotted!) This means that friendly fire is only likely to occur in the above scenario due to paranoia rather than psychosis.

Regarding some points I missed from NKFs post which Catwalk has also commented on. The ability to use psionics to interrupt an enemy action would in my mind function in the same way as my thoughts on suggestion based on NKFs initial thoughts. A successful attack would completely interrupt the attack while a partial one would simply hinder it with an accuracy or TU penalty applied to the alien. An unsuccessful attack would have the same affect on the soldier as listed above. The use of psionics to affect statistics such as alien morale and such would work in a similar way but once we start off on this road we have to design and develop another system for alien morale and mental state too which is in my mind rather different to that of human soldiers.

One more point I missed from NKFs post was additional information gathering via psionics (ie the advanced mind-probe functions) but I don't have much input for this one to be honest! I think the most useful way to implement it would be to provide very rough location details on other alien lifeforms (although not necessarily all of them) by placing large red circles on the map for example inside of which somewhere is an alien. It would give some useful intelligence but not too useful that you have a surefire win on your hands. There could be a dozen more aliens that aren't being displayed on your map and even if you have pings for all of the myou don't know where abouts in the marked areas they are anyway.

Now we're back to NKFs most recent post so hopefully I've covered my opinions on this stuff already but here goes! If anyone else has responded to this thread while I've been writing I won't be impressed btw...

Just seen psychologists mentioned here as a staff member which is definitely something we'll be featuring in order to combat the stress of battle and war not to mention all of the psychological and morale related issues that have already been covered in this thread! That said however I don't see them as a 'to hire' member of personnel but more as a part of the medical team to which a monthly funding can be given or specific patients assigned therefore affecting the cost of employing the neessary number of professionals for any given month.

Regarding the psionic possibility of convincing the aliens that their allies are in fact enemies could work interestingly well but the unpredictability may not necessarily be a good thing. I always liked to be able to use the aliens for my own nefarious purposes and although it was vastly over-powering for the human side we don't want to remove too much of the original psi-element from the game or we risk alienating some of the more hard-core fans.

Spying during the alien turn by following an alien on patrol would certainly be a new feature but of course would only be compatible with a TB model and therefore provide more work in developing the RT client with its own equivalent. I think a third or first person shadowing of an alien may be a bit much personally unless it can be better polished to make it more useful than just allowing us to see where he's going.

The ability to determine an aliens actions via psionic attack could work well but as Catwalk suggests it would be a matter of displaying them well. Perhaps this type of attack could have more of a timed effect rather than just providing a one off message concerning the alien's current action as NKF suggests. Once the attack is successful the link between soldier and alien could even stay open indefinitely so long as the soldier doesn't break off the attack. This information could then be displayed only when that specific soldier is selected, always be visible somewhere on the screen until the link is broken or if we determine that the alien must remin visible while the link is open then the box could follow that lifeform around until it's no longer available.

That's all the direct responses so now I'll go on to what I have to say regarding morale carrying over after battles! Sorry to say Catwalk that I'm with NKF on this one for the most part as he makes a very valid point that just because you've got on a transport and headed back to base you haven't forgotten about what you just went through! This means that if you've had a bad mission it'll take some time to get over it and likewise a good mision won't leave you feeling on top of the world forever.

The most important thing Catwalk has mentioned however is the kind of statboosting that goes on in a lot of RPGs where as NKF said 'swinging a sword makes you better'. If I've taken that the right way I think he's referring to the fact that if simply performing an action is enough to improve your skill at doing so again then we'll have 10 troopers with assault rifles shooting at their transport for an hour to max out abilities before they even engage the enemies. This can be dealt with elsewhere but as far as morale goes there will be no way for a player to accumulate great deals of morale during any given mission due to the fact there are a finite number of actions that can occur which will affect morale either way.

Killing an alien for example will boost morale for example, every trooper present will get a lift but the killing shot will receive a larger boost. This means that you could send one sniper to kill every single alien and max him out in morale but everyone else would receive a much lesser gain and no combat or weapons experience making this a pointless affair. Add to that the fact that there are only x amount of aliens per level anyway and so once they're all dead that's it!

Regarding negative morale, this will be occurrences such as the sighting of a previously unknown alien (as you have one more enemy now) or the injury or death of a fellow trooper. Additionally things like troopers freaking out or fleeing the battle will also affect morale but these again are finite occurrences. Private Pile can only die once after all!

Now that addresses why no player will ever be able to reach 100% morale in a single battle but he could still technically achieve 100% all round after a few good fights right? Wrong! Although morale will stay with the player's troops after each battle it won't last forever and a bit of R&R will quickly see morale return to normal levels as they run out of new people to tell their war stories to and their nightmares begin to subside! Of course this change will not happen immediately or there would be no point allowing it to carry over at all but the only consequence of taking these troops straight back into the field is that they won't have forgotten their previous experiences. While this is fine for the ones with the stories it may spell disaster for the ones with nightmares and that could easily bring the rest of the squad back down!

Regarding these troubled troopers who have significantly reduced (or even 0%) morale we can offer some respite between missions in the form of the medical team mentioned earlier. Assume R&R has the affect of +1% morale a day for example, the chances you can afford to keep a trooper out of action for a month and a half are pretty slim so it needs hurrying up! Assign a paranoid wreck to a psychiatrist and the rate of recovery will grow to something more like 5% a day allowing them to make a full recovery in only 10 days. This will cost money of course to employ the correct staff but only when in use. It is also another example of an additional feature that can either be used by the player to their advantage or totally ignored with little consequence if they would rather not spend additional time on micromanagement and instead just replace the trooper with a fresh one next time a mission flies out.

The other concept I wanted to raise, and I'm happy to say the last, is mental scarring. This represents permanent psychological damage and comes in the form of both morale and psionic scarring. As I mentioned previously whilst elaborating on NKFs 'battle of wills' I think a failed psionic assault on an alien should result in some sort of penalty to be incurred by the soldier who launched the attack. In the case of a complete failure to overcome the alien psionically the player could be afflicted with a psionic scar which will serve to permanently reduce their psionic capacity. No other statistics would be affected but this could easily cause some serious problems to the player and serve as a punishment for playing a mind-control game in which he is simply employing psionics to have the aliens fight each other rather than put his troops at risk. This also places further emphasis on the importance of training which as mentioned before is not an essential part of the game but is greatly beneficial to those who wish to take full advantage of the micro-management aspect of the game.

Regarding morale scarring this is a similar penalty but this time it has no grounding on the players gaming style and is more down to each individual soldier and how suitable they are as soldier material. Say for example our man has 0 morale and 0 mental state, he's about as on edge as it's going to get! When he hears a twig snap behind him he wheels immediately and pops he squad leader right in the temple... Now morale will come back to you after a battle but this soldier will never forget that moment and no amount of therapy will remove the mental scarring that this moment will cause. Therefore a permanent penalty will be applied to this trooper making his minimum and maximum morale values 10% and 90% with the effect that he'll never fully get over what has happened in the past and it will take that little bit less to freak him out again due to what happened last time he was in this situation.

Regarding successful psionic attacks by the enemy on the players troops this effect will be different as a trooper could be forced to kill a colleague but not be strictly responsible for it. In this scenario it may be suitable to either compromise both systems of scarring and inflict only 50% of each penalty for both psionic AND morale scarring, to show how his mind has been weakened and he still can't forget that he was partly responsible for a colleagues death, or we impose semi-permanent morale scarring with exactly the same affects as the permanent kind but with the ability to be treated in therapy.

Other situations which will affect morale off the battlefield include the negative affect of squad injuries for as long as a permanent member of a squad is out of action in the infirmary. This essentially treats the squad as a tight-knit group, more so depending on how many long they've been together, and plays on the fact that the death of a colleague is finite but an ongoing injury comes with some uncertainty. For this reason any squad who is deprived of one of their permanent members due to injury will suffer a permanent morale penalty for as long as the soldier is in sickbay. This penalty will be removed either when the trooper returns to the squad (at which point it may be wise to instil a temporary buff to morale as celebration) or when the trooper is no longer in sickbay regardless of whether he returns to the team or not.

Over time the connections between team-mates will slowly decrease if they are no longer in the same squad. This will not occur while a member is in sickbay but once they are fully healed the relations will slowly degrade to the point where if this trooper were to be injured again somehow his old squad would not suffer the penalty for it as he is no longer an integral part of the squad. Similarly a new member when introduced to the squad can be sent immediately to sickbay after his first mission with no affect on squad morale as he has yet to integrate himself into the group.

A possible way to combat loss of morale due to injured squadmates while they are in recovery may be to transfer them to another base (which may halve the penalty for example) or send them to a privately owned hospital facility for a small monthly cost (this may negate the morale affect entirely)

That's pretty much all I wanted to say I think and hopefully it covers everything else that's been mentioned here so far as well so if you've just read this from start to finish consider it a summary of this thread so far with my own opinions as standard!

Keep up all the good work guys as this feedback is making me write down my thoughts too which is something I'm working on doing anyway!!!
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#8 Thorondor

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 05:21 PM

Well, I have a few ideas that partially overlap what's is being touched upon in this thread, so I'll share.

The main difference here is that I'm looking to target the _player_ himself through them, using gameplay elements to achieve it:

- Player Paranoia
a ) Infection by alien parasites
Unlike in a mind-control situation, affected soldiers won't immediately reveal themselves by attacking, and may continue to take orders until a suitable time presents itself. This forces the player to suspect even his own men for the duration of the mission. How many might be already infected ? Trust only your androids; for now...

b ) A more cunning use for psi abilities
Some alien psi adepts can make you doubt your own eyes. There is no way to tell a real creature from a psi illusion. Making short "apparitions", those projections are paramountly used to interfere with your judgement of a situation's severity. Fake input though it might be, it will have you fear for rear or flank threats that simply aren't there. Or are they ? [cross reference with: 'Omega' class threats]


- From predator to prey
a ) Creatures catalogued under the 'Omega' threat level are too powerful and too fast to handle head-to-head in a conventional way. You'll need the sustained, concentrated fire of at least four of your soldiers to bring a single such creature down. As a result, when one or two of your troopers come across such beings, the only way to survive the odds is to avoid detection. Move or shoot and you die. Wait, and you may live.

They will keep moving, unaware of your gaze. Should misfortune lead them your way, close enough, even their poor, selective sight, will register a victim...

The latest draft of the Encounter Threat Response Report, 'Omega Threat Level' section, shows a veteran Human soldier's typically actively persecutory role will shift to one of expectant vulnerability when faced with an 'Omega' class foreigner. From the known survivors of such encounters, 86% have had to resort to limited evasion by blocking creature access to their vicinity (barring doors, bringing down walls). Be sure you'll be overtaken if you try to gap any but the most negligible of distances by running.

b ) Death by numbers
It has now been proven that a given sub-set of the creatures already encountered can accurately tell and keep track of how many foes they have come in contact with. This seemingly crude faculty, however, has made them much more thorough killers that don't simply react to how many foes they are seeing, but to how many they have seen and have yet to kill.

c ) When playing, several layers of thougt condition the player's reasoning. In the so-called meta-game, the player is privvy to things that, while not directly connected to the gameplay itself (strategy, tactics, etc) do have an influence on it. Chief among those, the awareness of a safety net can and will alter a player's anxiety level. Examples: the possibility of reloading, and the knowledge that all missions created were essentially made to be won.

One of those things present in similar games is the option to 'Abort' at any time during a tactical mission. The player will be required to evacuate as many of his soldiers as possible to the nearest valid extraction point. Distance to such an extraction point will, of course, vary from case to case, making anxiety levels vary and thusly subject to manipulation.

::

Looking to affect the player puts things under a different light, and one I believe may open you up to ideas you might not otherwise come to consider, Veteran. ;)

#9 StVier

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 01:44 AM

Probably another reason why psi in the first 2 X-Com games were over-power was because one could just spread psi control like a disease simply by sight alone. Common usage is to control an alien, scout around with it, spot another alien, mind-control it and repeat. The blindspot in this system... is that you could effectively mind-control any alien that's spotted by any of your units or mind-controlled units. That, to me is a pretty horrible 'oversight' in the psi system.

Imagine if Line of sight and effective range were fundamental prerequisite, meaning Soldier Tom can only attempt to mind-control Alien Dick because he has it in his sight but Soldier Harry can't mess with Dick because the alien is not in visual range of Harry. In addition, mind-control is and should be a 1-to-1 kind of ability with extreme vulnerability, in that since you are effectively taking over another body, you can only control the alien but not the soldier anymore unless he decides to cut the mind-link. Which means if he mind-controls an alien while standing in the open, his body is effectively a sitting duck after he shifts his consciousness to the alien. If he dies, obviously the mind-link is cut. With this, even though the 'hostage' might see other enemies but other than the basic motor functions, there should be no way to one can mind-control another alien nor 'jump' minds. Furthermore, unless the weapon the alien is holding on has been researched, there is no way a mind-controlled alien can use the weapon so it puts another dampener in the effectiveness of Psi abilities. Also, I see a stealth component to playing Psi since one would try to be hidden when attempting to use Psi for various reasons.

With regards to implementing it into TB/RT, I supposed RT is straightforward enough so no need for me to explain it. In TB mode, I was thinking maybe a mind-control attempt take up a huge chunk of TUs (since it's effectively a highly and mentally taxing ordeal to focus and control another being), and that the mind-controlled enemy has zero TUs until the next turn (one can imagine taking a whole turn trying to adapt to the new body).

#10 NKF

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:51 AM

Apocalypse introduced a few good fixes that limited its power. It had line-of-sight requirements and a recharging psi-energy bar (Separate from TUs), and all the base costs for the more destructive actions were quite hefty so you didn't have much energy to maintain the links for very long. Also you could only perform your psi actions on one target only, as a lot of the actions like stun required that you maintain the link for the effects to kick in. Of course, with mind control, the fact you could make a link, set all the explosives, then break the link all in a matter of a split second meaned that you didn't have to worry about the maintenance costs too much, so it was still quite powerful but perhaps not to the same extent as it was. Still could use some improvement.  

Now, having the soldier stand still while the mind control effect is not a bad idea. Rather than freezing them entirely, they could be allowed to walk so that they can keep their victim in their control radius (sight), but anything involving their hands (or head) would be nil or minimal at best.

Psionic "RC". ;)

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#11 AlanatXcomHQ

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 01:21 AM

This reply is in direct reply to NKF's post on line-of-sight psi and to Thor's suggestions on Player Paranoia and "OMEGA" threat level creatures.

NKF:
Considering that this game is set 65 millions previous to X-com 1, then yes psi abilities should be limited, but not full blown mind-control and you've got an alien do puppet dances for yea. (Sorry to sound rude) I think cause the soldiers themselves are just learning these psi skills themselves (Not to the extent the aliens do) then perhaps having them use the same level of "suggestion" and "paranoia" as the aliens do would be a more feasible handicap.
Also, in X-com 1 and 2, you only really had enough TU's on one soldier (even with maxed out TU's) to technically only be able to affect one alien, 2 pushing it before your TU's ran out. (Since mind control basically took half of that's soldier's TU's to work)

Now I know that was mostly TU based, but for RT Apoc wise (of which I'm not familiar with completely) Let me suggest perhaps that the psi-recharging bar be "Based" on the amount of total TU a soldier has, so that if a soldier has 51 TU units, the psi bar also has 51 "units" of psi energy the player can use seperate from the TU the soldier has. However, for options like Stun/Panic/Suggest/Create illusion/Scare(Fear)/Paranoia perhaps a *set amount* of Psi unit could be used and then have a constant "maintenence" fee to continue effects over time. Like for example Soldier A uses 10 psi units to "Create Illusion" and then has 2 psi units drain every second to keep that illusion on. What about that?

Thorondor:
In regards to your suggestions on a) player paranoia and b) predator and prey. I don't want to go into specific details simply cause if I were to, then we'd be going onto the realms of the creature list for this game, which, if I recall, hasn't been finalised or even "unclassified" for others to know of yet. So far the only people that know of the creatures in the creature list is: Myself, Vetern and a few others from the last time the Colonisation Project was working.

However, I will TRY to reply to this post as best as I can.

A) Player paranoia

You noted about alien parasites in this section and their function and purpose remind me of the G'uold from Stargate-1 or the Las Plagas from Resident Evil 4 and 5, however, so FAR no such "creature" exists in our current creature list, so no Chryssalid's or Tentaculat's on the list to turn your soldier's into walking timebombs. This game is 65 millions years BEFORE they appeared in the alien force.

As for psi illusions, I think it would be extremely unfair for players to see an enemy unit and unload all their bullets on that illusion expecting it to go down and find out its not real. Personally I feel its TOO unfair, perhaps by giving the player at least some form of hint as to it being an actual illusion, like being partly see-through or something to the same sortof affect. Just to give the players some hint or clue that its not real.

B) Predator to prey
Again, another thing that I hesitate to say upon cause of the Creature list, BUT I will say there is definately some creatures on the creature list that certainly qualify for "OMEGA" threat level. Some creatures earn it physically and others mentally with their Psi abilites. So that's as far as I'm gonna go on that.

Oh yes and one more thing, you mentioned Android units, as far as I know, the player only has control over human units, no androids or hybrids to hire or anything like that, pure and simple human units. With the odd tank thrown in ;)
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#12 NKF

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 05:21 AM

View PostAlanatXcomHQ, on 29th November 2009, 2:21pm, said:

NKF:
Also, in X-com 1 and 2, you only really had enough TU's on one soldier (even with maxed out TU's) to technically only be able to affect one alien, 2 pushing it before your TU's ran out. (Since mind control basically took half of that's soldier's TU's to work)

Technically 3 aliens. 25TUs flat cost to mind control and you had 80/81 TUs max to play with. Two too many.

Quote

Now I know that was mostly TU based, but for RT Apoc wise (of which I'm not familiar with completely) Let me suggest perhaps that the psi-recharging bar be "Based" on the amount of total TU a soldier has, so that if a soldier has 51 TU units, the psi bar also has 51 "units" of psi energy the player can use seperate from the TU the soldier has. However, for options like Stun/Panic/Suggest/Create illusion/Scare(Fear)/Paranoia perhaps a *set amount* of Psi unit could be used and then have a constant "maintenence" fee to continue effects over time. Like for example Soldier A uses 10 psi units to "Create Illusion" and then has 2 psi units drain every second to keep that illusion on. What about that?

Apocalypse does force you to pay a usage fee, and this fee ignores the success rate of the attack. So if you make repeated failed attempts, your psi energy bar gets sapped very quickly. Then to maintain the psi link, you have to pay a maintenance cost every time the psi bar is refreshed.

Apocalypse's psi energy bar was in essence a TU bar for RT mode, but only functioned for psi. Come to think of it, it is very similar to how Fallout Tactics manages its time in RT and TB modes, which you can switch back and forth as you are playing. In RT mode, it had the AP bar fill up over time (can't remember if the unit's agility sped it up or otherwise). The only way you could perform any combat actions in RT was by spending AP. Think of it as a TU system that plays out and recharges gradually in real-time.

Myself, I'd be happy to see psi energy stick to spending the good old TUs rather than have a separate energy bar. By making it a separate bar in Apocalypse, it allowed the psi user to perform psi attacks in RT mode without disrupting the user's normal activities, as everything could be done during a pause phase. If all the attacks failed, the psi user can then continue fighting as if nothing happened. It makes more sense for you to actually spend the time to make the attacks.

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#13 Thorondor

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for posting back your impressions, Alan.

Regarding what you can't disclose at this time, we want to stay light on spoilers anyway. :)

Quote

As for psi illusions (...) perhaps by giving the player at least some form of hint as to it being an actual illusion (...)
Well, it does need to be effective enough to justify alien employment of this technique in the first place. If the player can just look and tell it's a fake (as with semi-transparent stuff), then it's purpose is negated as it would just be ignored.

The aim of the illusion is to divert attention and cause anxiety, temporarily getting your eyes elsewhere, making you think an alien is flanking, etc.

So, I think a reasonable and fair approach would be: someone has to shoot it in order to tell. Once you hit it (a pair of bullets will do) the illusion will shimmer and then be gone.

This way you can scale difficulty as the game advances as well. Early on the illusions created are restricted to basic and easy to shoot alien creature lookalikes because they haven't mastered mirroring the speedier ones yet. As time goes by, however, they get more proficient, making it possible for them to mimic the faster, harder to hit aliens.

Also, by that later time the player will already be familiar with these alien tactics, and will know to keep his cool, by watching out for the "source" alien responsible too.

"I got a visual of the bugger - on your six!"
*kalink-kalink-kalink* *splat!*
"Area clear! Let's move out. Move! Move!..."


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Tanks?! More critter splat - me likes! ;)

#14 AlanatXcomHQ

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:06 PM

Thanks for understanding on not disclosing such info :)

Certainly, having a illusion the player can actually distinquish as fake isn't good, I was thinking something along the lines of about 90-95% opacity so the player has an actual HARD time to distinquish its a fake, I certianly like the idea of an illusion taking about 2-3 shots before dissapating.

As for WHAT aliens can appear, it would certainly be a bit too easy for players if their playing a mission with a specific type of species and then find one completely different alien in the mix. Usually X-com has missions where aliens are usually either 1-2 species dependant on the species included, such as Sectoids and Cyberdiscs and Snakemen and Chryssalids.
To put this into a clear example, lets say we're in a Sectoid and Cyberdisc mission, it would be VERY unusal to see a Celatid thrown in cause they go with Mutons ;)

So perhaps any illusions made are of the aliens that create the illusion, like a mirror image of them, or creating the illusion of the species accompanying them.
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#15 NKF

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:11 PM

One way would be for the illusion to be fully visible, but if you observe it long enough, you can start to see it shimmer or ripple a little. Like bad TV reception. In a heated battle, you're more likely to open fire first rather than watch the alien to see if it is an illusion. It would work well in real-time, but not sure how this visual clue would would in turn based. Maybe the severity of the distortion could be based on the skill of the closest psi user vs. the strength of the illusion.

Of course, just watching a highly accurate bullet go right through it is also another good visual clue. Or conversely, having the illusion's attacks not have any effect. Or worse, visibly seeing the illusion pop up or if the illusion just stands still and does nothing.

Another implementation would be to multiply a single fast moving melee alien. You see the original, then you see it distort and lots of them pop up. In this case you'll know they are illusions but the problem is all of the units give off the appearance of illusions (even the real one), so you can't pin-point the real one right away. The trick here would be to confuse the player as to which one is the original when it does split into multiple images otherwise vigilant players would spot the ruse right off.

By the way, with the diversification of psi, would it be a good idea to have it split into several fields that soldiers can choose to specialize in?

Just using a pip system I'm thinking up for another project, you could, for example, have six pips (or stars - or whatever) you can allocate to determine that unit's desired training syllabus in three separate fields. Each field has 3 pip slots, for 9 pips in total. The first pip enables you access to that field but skill is minimal. The second pip means normal usage and the third pip means expert in the field. First pip in each stream is mandatory. With only 3 remaining pips to allocate, you can cannot be an expert in all fields. As the unit trains, the pips are earned. The un-earned pips can still be shuffled around as necessary.

I don't think this syllabus training system would be suitable for this project, but I thought I'd toss the idea out anyway to see if it could spark any other ideas.

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#16 AlanatXcomHQ

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:28 PM

I think your probably right to doubt the usefulness of the pip system within this game. Cause then we'd be going into stats pages and manually adjusting things when X-com really just makes things simple and either you have the skills or not. There really isn't any sort of control on the player's part about that.

Although perhaps a good suggestion based on Psi training would be to perhaps increase the Psi units bar in much the same way soldiers train their TU's in X-com 1 and 2 whilst having set levels of psi profiency that are awarded in much the same way as ranks are within X-com 1 and 2. So like a Commander, you can only really have like say 1 super powerful psi user with all psi skills in 1 base, whereas several weaker psi users have access to psi skills based on their "psi rank".

This sort of example proves more clearer in this sort of context.
A) a soldier that, while they may have the most units of Psi (lets say 250 units of Psi for arguments sake), that soldier can only do ONE specific psi skill like create illusion because their a "Rookie-ranked" Psi soldier whereas;

B) a "Sergeant-ranked" Psi soldier or "Commander-Ranked" Psi soldier would have access to more psi skills because they have a higher "rank" in psi.

To some degree, this kind of prevents "psi training and farming skills" to much the same way that it prevents players from achieving 50 commander-ranked human units in X-com 1 and 2. In basic, preventing players from actively trying to force better psi abilities to soldiers rather then earn them with experience the long way.
X-com slogans, gained by http://www.thesurrealist.co.uk/slogan.cgi?word=X-com. Find all 503 slogans.
The most true slogan for X-com:
I liked X-com so much, I bought the company!
The Slogan for Project Colonisation:
Not Just Nearly X-Com, But Really X-Com.




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