Give us realistic ranges and visibility

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kautsu posted this 4 weeks ago

Hello, 

Please, give us realistic ranges and visibility on the game. The newest XCom had way too short ranges for all weapons. Assault rifle should have effective range of 400 meters and maximum range of 1 kilometer. Sniper rifles have even longer ranges. I do still miss original XCom and Laser Squad which had realistic range and maps large enough to allow this. Both games still had use for shotguns when fighting inside buildings. 

Yours, 

Kautsu

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SpiteAndMalice posted this 4 weeks ago

When it comes to map size and pacing what I personally like to experience is variety.

I'd agree with UV in that having every map involve a situation where you have to hunt down that last alien which is hiding in the corner would quickly become tiring.

But I think it's the same when every map is close and tight with limited space to actually explore your surroundings as it is in the modern Xcoms.

For me what I'd like to see is a bit of both, some short intense firefights, but also some bug hunts where you do have to track down an ellusive foe... Or even the opposite, where you have to avoid and hide from a foe which clearly outmatches you.

With squad sizes being larger in PP than Xcom, I'm hoping that, on average, it will lead to larger maps.

From what JG was saying it sounds like missions will have multiple objectives, to that end, would the player even need to hunt down that last creature? Could they not just leave the map if they were inclined to?

Whilst on this subject, I think one of the aspects which peed me off as much as anything with Xcom was the fog off war. I've got all this advanced technology on my hands, but I don't have a radar image, or even a map of my local area so I go round every corner blindly revealing all the black space. Really?

I think Laser Squad got this aspect of the game bang on right... Show the whole map to the player from the offset (or at least the building structures) but hide anything that lives until that being comes into your line of sight.

Laser Squad also got it right as far as map designs went imho. There weren't many, but the variety in them along with the choice of starting locations made them infinitely replayable. When I played Xcom I just felt like every map was more or less the same map being repeated, the outdoor one, the four building block one, the flyover, oh look it's the outdoor one again... Sure, they're pretty but, oh look it's another outdoor map...

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kautsu posted this 4 weeks ago

I think main reason why XCom was so badly designed was the fact it was made for consoles and then just ported to PC. 

I do not want ultra realistic ranges, but I hate to see totally ridiculous ranges used in XCom. IN XCom sniper was next to useless until he chose one of the level 4 abilities, and that was only essential ability for snipers. I did also dislike the oversimplification of classes and the class and level based system XCom used. Either make character development useful, or drop it altogether. I do not want to have micro-managering complexity nor oversimplification games for console players has made. I loved the original Xcom with variable abilities of candidates you chose. The graph view was good. You had to choose the role of person by checking his stats. This made recruitment worthwhile. This could be made "easy mode" by allowing simple guidelines for less enthusiastic pointing out from stats "This person is good sniper", "This person cannot handle heavy weapons" etc notices. And it would be really nice if made like advice from your subordinates. "Your sergeant tells you, that this person is not worth to hire as combatant, but might work as scientist or builder" etc. 

Good example of well made console game was Ring of Red or Vagrant Story. Both had quite complex character development with several viable options. You can give "wizard mode" to dimwits who does not want to think at all. Honestly, such people should not be considered target audience for any strategy games. 

As rpg game master, I know the complexity of making things balanced, and preventing abuse. This is pain in the ass for character development systems. Literally you have to test all combinations, and think if some of them are too powerful. j

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SlipperyJim posted this 4 weeks ago

Realism is always going to take second place to gameplay I'm afraid.  I suspect that most players will appreciate decent gameplay more than accurate weapon simulations.  For those that don't then there are likely other games out there which will cater to their needs I reckon.

Regards,

Jim

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Zizin posted this 4 weeks ago

>>> Realism is always going to take second place to gameplay I'm afraid.



And this is good. I like to play games, not simulators. Certain degree of "impossible things" is fun, while after certain dergree of realism there comes frustration and boredom. For example, take DooM. How good it will be if you could carry 1-2 weapons only and just a pack or two of ammo. This would be called "ruined gameplay" ,)

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Zizin posted this 3 weeks ago

>>>> Even if you give options, you can always create "wizard-option" for those who does not want complexity of character advancement.


Wizard-option will be given to players who want "something special" or "change something". This option is called "mod support", and it works perfectly in Firaxis Xcom 2 and will be implemented in Phoenix Point too, as Julian said. If there is something which a large group of players wants to be changed, such mod will likely appear.

For example, I play X2 with some 20+ mods that change normal gameplay and normal ingame mechanics a bit. For me - this version of Xcom2 is perfect, and devs would have never made this version for sure. People are different with different demands.

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Vathar posted this 3 weeks ago

Bringing too much realism in a game that is based upon an abstract turn based design is begging for trouble.

Have a look at any XCOM forum and you'll periodically see complaints that soldiers shouldn't miss a point blank shot at a static target, from people forgetting that this standing dude shooting at another standing dude is just a representation of a soldier who vaulted across cover and sprinted across a fire-zone to get a clear shot at an alien that has no intention to die and will do everything it can not to. If you compare in game accuracy to actual conflict reports and estimate, their accuracy is actually godly!

Where is the realism in OGXCOM turn optimization by playing backpack-fu and switching items, or playing tactical hot potato with a grenade so that the guy in the best position takes the final throw?

Many video games weapons obey to game conventions that are inherited from older games or Hollywood and have little basis in facts.

- Shotguns spread

- Medieval armor is bulky and turns its wearer into a clumsy turtle, longswords are absurdly heavy.

- Anything that can explode will, and stuff that cannot still has a good chance to. All kinds of liquid fuel know to man are highly flammable and will ignite at a mere spark.

- Swords require strength and bows require dexterity (clarification : try drawing a historical war bow if you're built like a shrimp)

- Anything that blocks vision can act as a bulletproof cover, even against high powered firearms

- ...

Weapon range isn't immune to this and shouldn't be.

 

PS: Can you provide me with a source saying that XCOM was a console port? Also, snipers in FiraXCOM required squadsight (lvl2) to start shining and sharpshooters in XCOM2 were underwhelming with a sniper rifle in most cases (very useful with a pistol though), level 4 wouldn't do much.

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SlipperyJim posted this 3 weeks ago

@kautsu

I'll say this once.  Expecting anything approaching Realism in a computer game about mutant crab men wiping out most of the human race is optomistic at best.

I have already told you game play will always come first.

This thread is locked.  Any more of this confrontational attitude and you will be banned.

Friendly discussion is always encouraged but you are not friendly.

Regards,

Jim

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UnstableVoltage posted this 4 weeks ago

Do keep in mind that weapon and sight ranges do have to be proportional to the map sizes. If weapons in XCOM had realistic ranges, pretty much any weapon that wasn't a shotgun would be able to hit anything on the map. Scaling the maps up would not work either, as you would be in for a very long game of hide and seek with the enemy.

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UnstableVoltage posted this 4 weeks ago

2D games like Laser Squad did not have complex 3D models, dynamic lighting, high-resolution textures and volumetric particle effects. That aside, map sizes aren't just down to technical limitations or performance optimisations. It partially comes down to pacing - not having a mission that takes hours to complete because you have to search a massive map for one enemy that's hiding in a corner somewhere (a problem games like the original X-Com used to suffer from).

We're dealing with a sci-fi game with Phoenix Point - so I wouldn't say we're going for realism. That said, things like weapon ranges and damage have to be an abstraction. The game would be radically different if an assault rifle could hit a target at any range on the map and kill anything in a single shot/burst.

Sometimes mechanics work the way that they do for gameplay reasons (and they're always designed and tested), and not always based on the way they should work in real life - or we'd have XCOM soldiers break their legs every time they jump down from a rooftop.

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spark disiple posted this 4 weeks ago

Well the maps probably not going to be super small if squads can be 16 units big but I see the point on both sides

kautsu posted this 4 weeks ago

I know the technical complexity, and understand pacing. I am not saying you should not make smaller maps. You totally missed my point. 

And honestly, in scifi game the ranges should be realistic, as it is not fantasy game. Laser Squad was scifi game as was original X Com. The pacing is not issue, smaller maps suit well for it. I am talking of realistic ranges, and giving each operative better set of equipment they take to the vehicle they can change when they notice on site what they need. If the site is indoors, snipers would pick up other weapons and leave the bulky assault rifle to the vehicle. 

Thus pacing does not require you to limit weapon ranges to ridiculous. And I do also agree with other person telling the fog of war should be fog of enemies, not fog of environment except in places where you do not know the map like caves. 


The idea of strict roles was really bad idea in XCom, as was character development. Sniper was next to useless until he got level 4 options. Please, do not do that. And do not limit people to one tree. Let people make some of their soldiers into jack of all trades, and others as specialists. Sniper should be able to use assault rifles as well as sniper rifles. 

SpiteAndMalice posted this 4 weeks ago

Just thinking about this some more - Is it not more of a question of scale than one of size? 

A single tile on the map can represent any distance you like - To which weaponry (and other things) can be designed around that scale, the actual size doesn't matter? 

For example - Your mission takes place within the interior of a building, each tile might represent 1 meter. Your next mission takes place outside, each tile might represent 10 meters.

Shadowrun does this; the insides of buildings take up more tiles than the actual streets which you find them on, it doesn't keep it's weapon ranges the same between locations, which doesn't quite feel right now, but it does often make its interiors very tight and twisty so that sniper rifles aren't an effective indoor choice.

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SpiteAndMalice posted this 4 weeks ago

Regards realism/theme I think it depends on what type of sci-fi you are creating. Hard sci-fi pays a lot more attention to detail in trying to creative a realistic world and environment (Red Mars), Soft sci-fi takes more of a casual approach (Star Wars).

I don't know for a fact which PP is aiming to be, but from what you're saying UV and from what I've seen it looks a lot more towards the softer end of the scale, would that be right?

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CaptnBlaster529 posted this 4 weeks ago

I enjoy some realism but I would error on the side of the developer playtesting and alpha/beta feedback. One thing often overlooked is the issue of: Is it fun to play?  (NOD To comment from SpiteandMalice, I too very much like variety. Small maps, med Maps, Large maps, indoor, outdoor, different terrains, ugly despotic, to beautiful forest maps, industrial, technical, residential, city, farm etc)

To my point. You can paint yourself down a rabbit hole trying to make everything realistic. One person wants realistic range, another physics, and so on down the line. At some point, you have to play it and determine if it's fun to play and then to scale the realism vs the gameplay to where you get that just right feeling when playing it.  WIll it please everyone, no but you want to please the majority and for that, I would go with allowing the playtesting to help determine realism? It may be that more realism makes it more fun, and in that case, they may choose to add that.

Also as this is being made for PC, it stands to reason they can push the system a little since the power of average PC's today are on average much more powerful than when the Firaxis XCOM's were released.

kautsu posted this 4 weeks ago

Dear UnstableVoltage, 

Can you give me any rational reason why ranges should be proportional to the map size? This is game with real guns. I am sorry, but as citizen of Finland, which has conscription, people here tend to have better grasp of weapon ranges. The shotgun range does not get greater when police officer leaves the building, even if he can shoot it further away. Thus map sizes should have effect on usefulness of various weapons, but it should not affect the ranges of weapons. Environment can alter accuracy, but not ranges. 

The usefulness of weapons is determined by map size. In tight quarters, sniper rifles are useless, but any military sniper can be given assault rifle in such cases. That sniper quite likely would use the rifle in single shot mode, and should be able to use aimed shots just like with sniper rifle, but with lesser accuracy (which is offset by shorter ranges). 

UnstableVoltage posted this 4 weeks ago

In our game, a single tile represents a distance of approx 1meter. If weapons were to have the ranges that you are requesting, an assault rifle placed on the high ground with a line of sight would have cover over the whole map. Firstly, this makes snipers pretty redundant. Secondly, while this might be a good tactical position, it isn't much fun from a gameplay perspective. We don't want players to think the optimum way to complete a mission is to camp on some high-ground and have the ability to fire at targets over the whole map. The whole purpose of this type of game is to force you to move and get good positioning.

Making the maps larger isn't really a viable option either - and map size is something that we have spent a lot of time discussing. Making a large map can make the mission times much longer, can cause path-finding issues - and requires more unique assets (otherwise things start to look very repetitive).

Phoenix Point is like the original X-Com in the sense that you can take a shot at something as long as you can see it, and have LoS. There is no "out of range". However, accuracy does deteriorate with distance. If it was at a realistic level, then shots would have a high chance of hitting ever time.

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kautsu posted this 4 weeks ago

It does not make sniper redundant. Sniper rifles are more accurate, but requires aiming, and are more powerful than assault rifles. And, I know, assault rilfe would be able to cover whole map, but its accuracy is worse due worse scopes. Snipers could use assault rifles in your game with scopes attached for better aiming. 

In combat situation, most soldiers should be armed with assault rifles. There is good reason why all modern armies use them as primary weapons. That does not mean snipers are useless, but they are specialists. Your maps are small, so be it. Snipers have hard time hitting close range, but superb accuracy long ranges. Snipers also specialize in "anti-material rifles", which allows them to kill lightly armored vehicles with single shot. 

If you think realistic ranges would make most wepaons obsolte, then do not give players those obsolete weapons instead of ridiculous nerfing of ranges and specialist roles. 

CaptnBlaster529 posted this 4 weeks ago

Have the devs considered using some sort of real-time just to the point of either being discovered (or manual toggle if the player wants to adjust the movements). Sort of like the turn based Divinity Original Sin?

This might allow much larger maps as you can compartmentalize the combat as turn based but then open it up for exploration, searching, sneaking etc.

By the way, I'm not saying this would be fun because I'm not sure with this type of game (though I do love DOS2) it will work and I love the original X-Coms reverently. It's just something that "might" be entertaining to test out depending on complexity.

kautsu posted this 4 weeks ago

Why should I keep it in mind? If you make game with way too small maps, it your choice. You should not make weapons ridiculously short ranged. Choice of maps is your choice. If you try to keep game even closely realistic, you should make maps larger. Why modern computers cannot handle maps as large as Laser Squad did? We had games with 64kB of memory which could handle larger maps with more complex mechanics.

My point is: Do not make maps ridiculously small, or if you do, sniper rifle should be removed, and assault rifle aimed shots should take its role. You should alter the weapon options, not make weapons laughing stock. 

On XCOM maps, weapon setup should've been: assault rifle, submachinegun, shotgun, pistol, not sniper rifle, assault rifle, shotgun, and pistol. 

kautsu posted this 4 weeks ago

Did I say weapons or mechanics should be realistic? Nope. I did say weapon ranges should be realistic. If sniper rifles have too long ranges, then do not give player sniper rifles. If assault rifles have too good range, give carbines. I am talking that developers should create believable image of realism, not simulation. As I have ran tabletop role-playing games for ages, I am not asking for simulation. I am asking to preventing blatant image of total lack of understanding modern weapons. 

I did give developers options how to fix the thing _with realistic ranges_. Original X-Com and X-Com 2 had realistic ranges (except X-Com 2 did not have any realistic submarine physics.... It was still enjoyable, as you could ignore submarine stuff totally, as game did not support it at all.. Thus game-play is important to me too). The whole thread is blatant example of American game designers - they cannot take any criticism as constructive, but handle it as attack on their decisions without evaluating, if they could fix it. 

Simple solutions would be limiting weapons, and giving snipers either assault rifle and sniper rifle, or just accurate scope attachable assault rifle, and make sniper rifles anti-material weapons usable on large vehicle scale targets such like the Behemoth of the trailer. But apparently devs see machine-guns as only heavy weapons as they are COOL by those who lack all understanding of weapons. Anti-material weapons and sniper rifles are heavy weapons too, as are missiles, mortars, and rockets. I would love to see option to have mortar armed heavy weapon user who needs spotter but fire indirect area of effect weapons. X-Com 1 had alien tech doing this. Actually X-Com 1 has been rare exception to have real guided missiles. 

Even if you give options, you can always create "wizard-option" for those who does not want complexity of character advancement. 

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