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  1. #61
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    3 new screenshots from GameInformer:
    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/featur...y-unknown.aspx

    GeoScape and 2 Battlefield shots.

    The 2nd screenshot looks like a collapsed roof on top of a building. Wonder if it starts that way or if its destructible to make it like that.
    Last edited by Moraven; 14-01-2012 at 02:29 AM.

  2. #62
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Wrong. There's a limit to how slow a turn-based control scheme can be before it gets irritating. Games need to stay on the right side of this limit. This could cause compromises.
    You are right, but I'll add in the other bugbear: turn length. If the AI is slow to take its turn, the whole experience becomes grating.

    From what I've played of console-based TBS, there are a couple of key points to ensuring a smooth control scheme.

    1. Pre-mission loadouts: The less the game expects you to do during battles, the better. That sounds awful, but all I mean is that fiddling with equipment, abilities, etc. should be kept away from the battle screens.
    2. Menus: For things that simply have to be done during battle, having some menus that can be pulled up is vital. Final Fantasy Tactics had a ton of information available in the menu during battle and all sorts of sub-menus and button shortcuts. In fact, it could have been trimmed down quite a bit and been better off.

    And unrelated to Wizardry's post, but consoles actually have a rather proud history of turn-based tactical titles. Atlus, for one, makes titles that are incredibly complex, massive, and frequently experimental in nature. And I still hold Final Fantasy Tactics as my favorite turn-based tactics game.

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Oh god, those screenshots do not fill me with confidence, especially that Geoscape screenshot.

    Pre-ordered Xenonauts the other day, and I'm pretty much convinced that anyone who wants a straight XCOM experience will not be disappointed by Xenonauts. This one, on the other hand, looks like it's suffering from having things stripped out purely to accommodate the console interface. I don't subscribe to "Consoles dumb down games" but in this case it seems to be 100% true.

    For example: why the hell is there a "Press Y to scan for UFOs" option?!

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    You are right, but I'll add in the other bugbear: turn length. If the AI is slow to take its turn, the whole experience becomes grating.

    From what I've played of console-based TBS, there are a couple of key points to ensuring a smooth control scheme.

    1. Pre-mission loadouts: The less the game expects you to do during battles, the better. That sounds awful, but all I mean is that fiddling with equipment, abilities, etc. should be kept away from the battle screens.
    2. Menus: For things that simply have to be done during battle, having some menus that can be pulled up is vital. Final Fantasy Tactics had a ton of information available in the menu during battle and all sorts of sub-menus and button shortcuts. In fact, it could have been trimmed down quite a bit and been better off.

    And unrelated to Wizardry's post, but consoles actually have a rather proud history of turn-based tactical titles. Atlus, for one, makes titles that are incredibly complex, massive, and frequently experimental in nature. And I still hold Final Fantasy Tactics as my favorite turn-based tactics game.
    Of course.

    Animations: Off

  5. #65
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    ...
    Civilization III was rubbish? Huh. I loved it. What in particular did you dislike?

  6. #66
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    Just got my game informer today I'm sure there'll be coverages soon enough but I figure I'd list some points I thought were important. It says that the devs will be giving the PC version a different UI and possible different features (Comparing it to Dragon Age:Origins overhead tactical view).

    Although its eight pages long, the actual description of the game can be summed up as "XCom with more stuff", the only thing really "changed" is that it no longer uses Time Units but instead a D&D style Move Action/Attack Action system, the soldier gets either two moves or one move and one action per turn. You can save the action move for reaction fire, and aim shots use both the move and the action. Also, you only have one base it seems, and instead of building several stations to protect many areas, you launch expensive satellites to give you radar coverage.

    It mostly talks about what has been added. Tanks are now called "SHIVs" (Super Heavy Infantry Vehicle) and are outfitted with any gun you have researched and come in all kinds of different varieties (The only one described was "ant shaped" and was a super-heavy armored type designed to offer cover). A SHIV takes the slot of one soldier, gains no experience and can't be salvaged if destroyed. Soldiers have skills and classes now. Every time they level up, they get to pick one of two mutually exclusive skills (Described are: two moves and one shot in the same turn, suppressing fire that forces an enemy to skip their turn, a grappling hook to get to building roofs, being able to snap shot with sniper rifles, and being able to fire on any enemy a squad mate can see). You don't know what class a rookie is until they level up for the first time, and you don't get to pick which class they are, but rookies can be recruited quickly and cheaply. Weapons are class restricted, but items and armor are not. High-level soldiers can do officer training that can give squad-level buffs (like reduced panic chances). Described classes were: Sniper, Assault, Heavy Weapons, and Support.

    It shows Sectoids, Mutons (who are now huge, bulky guys in power armor) and cyber discs, which can open and transform into a spider-like form. Each alien has a special ability- Mutons has a warcry that buffs their squad, and Sectoids can "mind link" into pairs which somehow strengthens one of the sectoids, but both die if you kill one. The other alien described is a "thin man", which is said to be based off of slenderman. He can run extremely fast and jump to the roofs of buildings, he has an acid spit attack, and dies with an acid spray that can hurt your equipment.

    Most of the game is procedural like the old XCom but there are also story events that will always happen, these include cutscenes to show public reaction, as well as pre-designed tactical missions.

    Some other random bits:
    Time passes on the geoscape during tactical battles, so you have to prioritize crash sites/interceptions
    Fog of war is in
    Soldier morale is in
    Psionic attacks are in (Well, psionic defense is in, so I assume pisonic attacks are)
    There are objects soldiers and enemies can take cover behind, denoted by shield icons.
    The map is fully destructible (including cover objects, doors, cars, no mention of walls or roofs)
    UFO Interception will have some type of minigame
    Funding nations will offer some sort of quest-type thing (example: Give us laser rifles and we'll give you engineers)
    The game has been iterated for at least 3 years
    The hardest difficulty is called "Classic mode"
    possibly an optional "Iron Man" mode, disabling the loading of older saves.
    Losing the game is very possible on normal difficulties, and the AI strength is not scaled based on your performance.
    XCom squads *seem* to be only four people at a time.
    Battle maps are "handcrafted" but "You could never, in two playthroughs, see the same map"
    Last edited by CobraFive; 14-01-2012 at 09:29 AM.

  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CobraFive View Post
    [...] the only thing really "changed" is that it no longer uses Time Units but instead a D&D style Move Action/Attack Action system, the soldier gets either two moves or one move and one action per turn. You can save the action move for reaction fire, and aim shots use both the move and the action.
    Works for me. Several board games like Doom and Descent use this kind of system with great success. The rest of your summary reads good as well, so color me cautiously optimistic.

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Okay I'm slightly more optimistic now but I don't like only having one base. Part of the fun for me with XCOM was having to manage multiple bases, shuttling veterans and equipment as required. Still, that list doesn't seem too bad.

  9. #69
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    Sounds like they're moving the squad combat closer to something like Incubation which I 100% (if it's done well) approve of.

    While I always liked the idea of having more than one base, effectively I never did. I found the micromanagement to be too tedious to have any desire to try and keep more than one squad operational. In the original XCOMs this was a problem as it meant you'd effectively write off ~50% of the planet as undefendable. In Apocalypse the limited nature of the city + the fact you didn't have to scan to find UFOs meant having one base was perfectly fine. You could still have multiple bases of course but they became less necessary (well, unless you started with a base with a small amount of floorspace). Even if you wanted/needed more it was a lot more viable to set up bases focused on one thing, e.g. research.

  10. #70
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    hmm ghost recon shadow wars

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuriKuri! View Post
    In the original XCOMs this was a problem as it meant you'd effectively write off ~50% of the planet as undefendable.
    But this was kind of the point of XCOM: you couldn't defend the whole planet, and later on you couldn't respond to every single incident that occurred. You had to pick your battles and regions carefully. The entire point of the game was asymmetric warfare, where you'd never gain the upper hand. Blaster Bombs not withstanding of course...

    See this is my biggest worry, that they'll make it too "balanced" in that you can effectively respond to every threat and fight on equal ground. To me that was never the point of XCOM, and I keep playing it because the aliens effectively have the upper hand, either by psychic powers, numbers, weapons, or battlefield terrain.

  12. #72
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    See this is my biggest worry, that they'll make it too "balanced" in that you can effectively respond to every threat and fight on equal ground. To me that was never the point of XCOM, and I keep playing it because the aliens effectively have the upper hand, either by psychic powers, numbers, weapons, or battlefield terrain.
    Time still passes in GeoScape during tactical combat, so you won't be able to respond to every threat.

  13. #73
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    Time still passes in GeoScape during tactical combat, so you won't be able to respond to every threat.
    Yeah but I mean in the original you couldn't cover the whole globe, at least not without significant investment, so some regions had to fall. That's different from time still passing in Geoscape. XCOM limited your capability to respond to threats by limiting your base coverage, and making it a fair investment to set up another base of operations.

  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Yeah but I mean in the original you couldn't cover the whole globe, at least not without significant investment, so some regions had to fall. That's different from time still passing in Geoscape. XCOM limited your capability to respond to threats by limiting your base coverage, and making it a fair investment to set up another base of operations.
    You still need to launch additional satellites to cover all parts of the globe, which I guess will be a significant investment too. It just takes away setting up a completely new base, but the original problem apparently remains.

  15. #75
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Yeah but I mean in the original you couldn't cover the whole globe, at least not without significant investment, so some regions had to fall. That's different from time still passing in Geoscape. XCOM limited your capability to respond to threats by limiting your base coverage, and making it a fair investment to set up another base of operations.
    There also hasn't been any discussion of how time works. If you are limited to a single base but also have to deal with travel times (i.e. it's not just a "one day=one mission" structure) you would definitely have to prioritize missions; do I go to this far-off mission where I have a good chance of acquiring a piece of vital tech and let these two local problems go unchecked, or do I solve them and hope that putting off acquiring that tech won't hurt too badly in the long run? Additionally, if missions have the potential to escalate in difficulty rather than skipping immediately to "expired" (similar to how it was done in Dawn of War II's campaign with the Tyranid infestation levels), you could potentially face the additional choice of allowing missions to expire (with all the negatives associated with that) or risk wasting valuable resources on dealing with a noticeably nastier scenario that got to that point because you've ignored it.

    Not saying that will happen, but I've heard from so many X-Com veterans (never played it myself, but keeping an eye on Xenonauts and, now, the remake) that making those decisions was critical to the experience that I can't imagine Firaxis completely scrapping it. I've never played the game but I know about that facet of it, and I can't imagine that a long-running, high-profile strategy studio doesn't have at least a few people who are intimately acquainted with the series.

  16. #76
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    But this was kind of the point of XCOM: you couldn't defend the whole planet, and later on you couldn't respond to every single incident that occurred. You had to pick your battles and regions carefully. The entire point of the game was asymmetric warfare, where you'd never gain the upper hand. Blaster Bombs not withstanding of course...
    See I don't quite agree. I mean, sure, a few missions will always slip through due to time constraints but if any of the games empowered you to deal with the threat across the entire globe it was the first two - it all depended on how much you wanted to micromanage. There wasn't any technological barrier to you having 10 bases and each with a 10man squad (although money may have been a problem - even if offset by the extra you'd pull down through doing extra missions). I didn't play like that (and I'm guessing most didn't) because that level of mucking about between the 'meat' of the game just wasn't fun.

    In the context of the extremely limited diplomacy/funding thing it was irrelevant anyway - losing a country was nothing because their financial contributions were tiny after you got established so the reward for your time was negligble. Apocalypse handled this a lot better - losing a company to the aliens was a serious setback in some cases and money always seemed to be a lot tighter.

    The UFO:After--- series tried a few variations on the base paradigm; I think I liked the last one best although you just had one base. You couldn't respond to every mission due to the time taken to travel to/from them, but you could respond globally without direct hindrance. In XCOM if you have only one base you don't even know what's happening outside your scanning range at all, terror sites excluded. That's more what I'm getting at here. I just didn't like having to set up a full base for a scanner.

  17. #77
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuriKuri! View Post
    In XCOM if you have only one base you don't even know what's happening outside your scanning range at all, terror sites excluded. That's more what I'm getting at here. I just didn't like having to set up a full base for a scanner.
    I can sort of agree about the funding but not that second or other bases were absolutely useless. I used to set them up for storage or to establish a second team for quicker responses. Plus if the first base got attacked and wrecked, at least I still had something left... plus the default base had an abysmal design anyway. Also on the higher difficulty levels (assuming you'd patched the game so that they were enabled properly) attacks could come much sooner and before you were able to effectively respond to them.

    I'd disagree that most people didn't like the "meat" of the Geoscape aspect. I'd say most people did. What they didn't like was the interface, which I guess did the best it could for those days but today is a real pain in the backside to use. Now we've got "Press Y to Scan" which seems ridiculous to me.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I'd disagree that most people didn't like the "meat" of the Geoscape aspect. I'd say most people did. What they didn't like was the interface, which I guess did the best it could for those days but today is a real pain in the backside to use. Now we've got "Press Y to Scan" which seems ridiculous to me.
    Was the interface really that bad? I don't remember it being too horrible. Unless you mean the number of button clicks it took to select a specific solider or outfit a certain craft - it wasn't exactly streamlined, but it was easy enough to find things.

  19. #79
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    Was the interface really that bad? I don't remember it being too horrible. Unless you mean the number of button clicks it took to select a specific solider or outfit a certain craft - it wasn't exactly streamlined, but it was easy enough to find things.
    It wasn't exceptionally bad, no, I'm not saying it's like Dwarf Fortress. But it was stuck on low resolution displays, so like you said there were a bunch of clicks needed to get to various things, which probably made it a bit frustrating and tedious.

    The battlescape needed the most improvement though. It was FAR too easy to accidentally move your soldiers off somewhere without intending to do so.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The battlescape needed the most improvement though. It was FAR too easy to accidentally move your soldiers off somewhere without intending to do so.
    Oh god, the number of times those poor chaps marched halfway across the map because of a misclick...

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