Aliens move too much, free-aim misses

So, I lined up a shot perfectly aiming at the joint on the queen’s arm. It’s bigger than the other parts of the arm so it felt like a smart move, and I would say it was, right until I hit ‘confirm’ and she suddenly swayed to the left, leaving my heavy gunner shooting into the air like he was trying to paint the sky with tiny lead stars. I think one shot hit out of all 15, even though both the yellow and red circles completely covered the queen’s arm.

I’ve had other moments when the alien recoil animations have caused the alien to move and half the shots to miss.

Admittedly this is a difficult one to fix while also retaining immersion. I would suggest doing what Xcom does and have the shots and damage done first and then the recoil animations to play. You could also perhaps use a ‘slow mo’ mode for the enemies while being shot, similar to xcom’s overwatch slowmo moments.

I mean you could leave it as a ‘gameplay aspect’ but honestly I think it will just negatively impact the gameplay. While it might be more realistic for them to idly move or recoil when shot you’ll have to decide what realistic things to sacrifice in the name of fun. Plus, it is a turn based strategy, so realism can be suspended a bit since no-one actually fights by moving one person at a time and firing one at a time every few minutes. :stuck_out_tongue:

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This is probably a bug - once the target point is selected the soldier shoot keep shooting at it, even if it moves. We will see if we can reproduce it. Unfortunately we can’t do it like XCOM because Phoenix Point is very much an animation/physics driven system.

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I’ve noticed this too, only it was sniper shots at the pincers and the circles were smaller than the area targeted. A lot smaller.

Thanks for the reply. I’m happy to know that this wasn’t intended. :slight_smile:

Huh, wait, so aiming works by… actually just aiming with the mouse? I thought you select the body part and then click the fire button, and the selected target would be shot…
Btw, can anyone explain how chances to hit are calculated here? I read about the red/orange circles but I don’t fully understand what that means in gameplay mechanics…

The way it works is the game looks at that circle and picks a random spot somewhere inside it. The bullet then flies from the barrel of the gun to that point and hits the first thing it comes across, even if it has to travel all the way across the map to hit something. The chance of any one point being hit are the same as any other.

The chance to hit your target is determined purely by how much of your target is within the red circle as all shots will fall within the red circle. The area of the circle that is on your target is your hit percentage.

Not quite correct @Kings_Rook. The point the bullets land at in the circles is determined by a ‘bell curve’ function. It’s like a two sided exponential curve where it’s extremely unlikely to hit the dead centre and the chance to hit increases as it moves away from the centre of the circle until it reaches the edge of the yellow circle. It then decreases again at the same rate until it’s back to the bottom where it’s extremely unlikely for a bullet to land on the very outer rim of the red circle.
See this picture so see what a bell curve is:
This means that your shots are most likely to land on or next to the rim of the yellow circle.

Aside from how the bullet trajectories are decided you’ve got it right. They’ll keep going until they hit something or disappear off the map.

In answer to @BBShockwave, yeah, they changed the targeting system between the demo and the backer build. It’s now free aim similar to Valkyria Chronicles, where before only the sniper could aim specifically at particular body parts.
I’d recommend watching a video to see what the yellow/red circles mean. it’s kinda hard to describe them and it’s really just a visual representation of where the individual bullets in each burst fire are likely to land.

If it were following a bell curve, then the yellow circle would have ~66% of the bullets landing in it not 50%.

For fifty percent you need a flat distribution. The radius of the yellow circle is half that of the red circle, which means the area inside the yellow circle and outside are the same. That means that for both areas to have 50% odds of hitting, the distribution has to be flat.

If the distribution was a truncated bell curve, then the circles correspond to the standard deviations, and that’d mean that ~66% of the bullets would appear within the first standard deviation.

It is possible the yellow circle is not drawn at the correct radius to take into account the distribution curve.

yeah, that would explain things.

Why would it equal 66%?
Wouldn’t the highest middle point on the bell curve be the edge of the yellow circle? Where the curve going up being equal to the curve going down is representative of the chance for bullets in the centre yellow circle being equal to the chance for bullets in the outer red circle?

Like in that picture I linked. There’s 34% chance on either side of the middle point of the curve, then down to 13.5% and 2.5%. Meaning that on both sides there’s the same percentage chance.

Or am I not understanding this correctly?

I said approximately 66% as I was recalling from memory. It is more accurately 68.2%.

The yellow circle would have both 34.1% chances because the exact center of the bell curve would be the exact center of the circle. The left side of the circle, would get the left 34.1%, and the right side would get the right 34.1%

This is not how it works. As explained in this post by UnstableVoltage: Shots too random.

“The spread within the cone works on a bell-curve with highly inaccurate shots being as unlike as highly accurate shots (meaning that most rounds will tend to fall somewhere close to halfway between the red circle and the bullseye).”

In other words the centre of the yellow circle is the edge of the bell curve since it’s just as unlikely as the outermost point of the red circle, since these are the “highly accurate” and “highly inaccurate” shots he’s talking about.

So, really it is 50% for each circle but it’ll be a tight spread around the ring of the yellow circle with very few shots landing in the centre of the yellow circle or on the extremities of the red circle.

I believe there must be some confusion here; let me try to clear things up a little:

The accuracy of a shot must be measured by its distance from the center of the circle(s), i.e., its radius, and the amount of shots of a certain accuracy is then the integral over the circumference of circles of that radius – an integral whose terms increase linearly with this radius.

This means that if shots are uniformly distributed within the red circle – what I must assume is meant with this flat distribution – then each shot has a 25% chance to land inside the yellow circle, since it has a quarter of the area of the red circle. It also means that extremely accurate shots are much less likely than extremely inaccurate shots, since the radius of accurate shots is much smaller than that of inaccurate ones.

It also means that if the distribution is bell shaped, with its maximum in the centre of the circles, it’s still quite possible both that 50% of the shots fall inside the yellow circle – in fact the function has to have a higher mean value inside of the yellow circle than outside it for this to be true – and also that most shots will fall close to the yellow circle – even though the highest density of the distribution is at the centre! Remember, the radius increases outwards, while the probability density decreases (if it’s a centred bell curve), and the most common accuracy will be where the product of these two functions has its maximum; intuition is that this may coincide nicely with the half-radius, yellow circle.

After all, this is such an intuitive way to implement inaccuracy I’d be highly surprised by any other choice :slight_smile:

I feel this is way too complex and hard to calculate with. I understand the game tries to be different from the current XCOM games, but let’s remember, all the old X-COM games too had percentage hit chance displays when you aimed, even though the bullets/plasma bolts followed the laws of physics and could be impacted into objects between you and the target. I feel while the aiming reticle is a nice touch, it should just be used for selecting target bodyparts, and the to hit chances should be displayed numerically.

Some calculation later …

Indeed, truncating a bell curve such that the inner half-radius disk gets 50% of the shots, means the most likely accuracy is at 0.43 of the radius of the outer circle, i.e., almost that of the yellow circle.

I guess they may also have decided that the probability as a function of accuracy / radius should be highest exactly at the half-radius, yellow circle, and compensated for the difference in radii inwards and outwards from there – this could, depending on truncation of the bell, give a probability density which was either a local minimum, maximum, or neither, at the centre of the circles. The resulting probability distribution could therefore be almost the same as the centred, bell-shaped one.

The position of each shot is perhaps most easily computed this way, as well, as it is simply choosing an accuracy according to a bell-shaped distribution, and uniformly picingk an angle at which to go outwards from the centre.

This was one of the things that I was just coming to post about! While I like that the enemy slightly moves around while aiming at them, would it be possible to have the game freeze their position once we hit the fire button? I had this exact same issue where the Queen moved her leg during the shot animation, causing a sniper round to completely miss even though the red circle completely covered it.

Even if the soldier were to keep aiming at the same point on the enemy when they shift, the shift alone can cause all sorts of issues depending on the angle of the shot. For example shooting at the joint of a back leg on the Queen, only to have that joint shift behind another body part or cover AFTER you have clicked fire could be the difference in your soldier living/dying. At which point I don’t think people would find it overly fun to lose soldiers (or missions!) because even though they did it right the game RNG shifted the enemy after selecting fire.

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@JMPicard, You’re assuming a lot there. The developer that commented simply said that it was defined by a bell curve and that extremely accurate shots were just as unlikely as extremely inaccurate shots.

That second part is important because it tells us that the edges of the bell curve, the least likely results, are at the centre of the yellow circle and the extremities of the red circle. This means that the highest point of the bell curve, is the rim of the yellow circle, since there’s 50% in each circle.

While we’d all like to believe it’s a bit more complicated than that, it doesn’t seem to be at the moment. The reason I started the other thread on shooting patterns is because it didn’t feel accurate enough. In fact, when describing my issue I pretty much described my shots going around my target rather than hitting them. Which would make sense if the shots were concentrated just inside and outside of the yellow circle’s rim.

@Duskmare, I’m sorry if I failed at explaining the mathematics well enough, but I am right.