I’m not a backer, but am already in love with this game and would like to contribute a few suggestions for new mechanics and features. One topic at a time as it might be easier to digest this way
This suggestion is about psionics. It should be a lot more sophisticated and impressive than it was in the original X-com, it’s 2019 after all and only our imagination should be the limit today I think!
Psionics could have 3 or more skill levels that make each separate psionic skill more powerful and complex. You could always use the lower level versions if you choose so. This would ensure that psionic development would follow technological development. Psi could be available immediately and level 1 psi attack skills would be comparable to our basic starting weapons in power. They would later scale to match the projected strength of higher tier weaponry developed later on. I’ll give examples to different levels in my suggested psionic skills list below.
Psionic power and defense could be based both on some kind of Willpower attribute. Willpower would automatically recharge when not being challenged, recharging both psi attack power and the resistance to it. There could be a separate psi attack attribute that could be improved with training, and with perks and speializations psi attack bonuses could be gained. Psi attack could work the following way: let’s say the soldier has 30 psi attack, a 10 psi attack bonus and 70 willpower and our enemy has 45 willpower that acts as psi defense. Psi attack determines the amount of willpower a psi user can channel into attacking an enemy per turn. If the enemy’s willpower drops to zero, he/she will become under the influence of that particular psi power, whether it’s telekinesis (crushing their body or throwing them against a wall violently), pyrokinesis (incinerating them, causing massive damage) or using mind-control. In this example, the psi attacker would be able to reduce the opponent’s willpower by 40/turn, making his/her opponent succumb to the psi power ussed in the 2nd turn. Psi attack bonuses could work in a way that they don’t get deducted from the attacker’s willpower. Attacking would make the psi attacker temporarily vulnerable to psi attacks too. Additionally, 2 or more psi users attacking the same target could wear down an enemy faster and lose less willpower in the process. Willpower would regenerate by 10 points per turn modified by perks and augments, like brain implants. I believe this system would be magnificent, what do you think?
My suggestions for psionic skills our soldiers could be trained in include:
-Telekinesis. The kind of telekinesis you can see in Cellfactor Revolution, at least at its maximum level towards the end of the game. For this to work there would have to be plenty of movable human-sized or smaller objects be lying around on the maps. Small crates, junk, debris, rocks, car parts, etc. Since the environment is destructible, this should be a natural thing in the game and is probably already like this. At level 1 this skill could hurl 1 object towards a selected enemy, causing them great damage, like a grenade throw. Since willpower needs to recharge, this kind of damage would be appropriate I think. At level 2, objects in the environment could be levitated around the psi user constantly, blocking projectiles and acting as offensive weapons at the same time. Levitating objects would incur a very small willpower cost per turn and this could be reduced by perks, such as the “TK Defense” perk that reduces the willpower loss per turn to 1 point per turn per item, for example. At level 3, any human-sized enemy could be crushed and killed instantly in a bloody explosion on a failed willpower resist and also multiple objects could be hurled at an opponent at once at a lower willpower cost. Or one huge object. Larger enemies would still receive massive damage from a TK crush.
-Pyrokinesis. At level 1 it could be a small damage over time effect, with increasing DOT and one-time damage at higher levels, maybe burning large areas at once, setting everything on fire.
-Mind control: Level 1 could paralyze a single enemy, level 2 could take control over an enemy temporarily and at level 3 an enemy would convert to our side until the end of the mission, when it’d die from an overwhelmed brain/nervous system.
-Levitation. Flight/levitation, temporary levitation without vertical elevation at level 1 (useful for crossing gaps, not triggering traps, or other purposes) ranging to being able to staying afloat and reaching the top layer of the map at a small willpower cost per turn while airborne. And the ability to levitate a team member.
-EMP shockwave. At level 1 it’s a touch attack targeting a single mechanical enemy that shuts down, at level 3 it’s a ranged AOE blast. If there are no robotic enemies, it could be a force explosion instead.
-And more! (insert your idea here…)
I think psi powers would give the game the kind of appeal that differentiates low-fantasy worlds from high-fantasy ones (no magic/elves vs. mythological creatures and spectacular spellcasting). Also the same with augmentation, as we already have this technology in 2019 so if the game wants to have longevity and appear futuristic, the most creative and prophetic ideas need to be implemented I think.
I look forward to hearing what you think!