As things stand, Autopsies/Vivisections [A/V] give you a lot of flavour text and the odd occasional easter egg in the form of a damage buff, resource boost or new tech, but they don’t tell you anything useful about the creature you’ve just spent valuable research time studying.
Autopsies should give game-relevant physical info, like HPs per Location, Armour & the Damage of inherent armaments. Vivisections should add to that info with useful game hints, like ‘the trigger range of a Sentinel is X’, ‘A Pain Chameleon relocates within a Y-tile radius’, or ‘the RF range of a Crabbie is Z’. Most of this you will have figured out already through painful trial & error, so to make a Viv worth the effort there should also be a nice in-game buff, be it a boost to damage inflicted or a reduction in the detection range or whatever.
But I do find it both strange and frustrating that currently the last thing I use to find out more about a Panda is an A/V
I’m posting this with the same title on the Feedback Site.
Personally I think the vivisection is what should be giving you that INFO screen, instead of it being there by default.
Also would’ve loved a “Simulator” in this game. For every live Alien I capture, I can throw it into an arena and practice with them to see how they behave in a more controlled environment where I don’t have to be worried about being injured. Training facilities offering the ability to enter a simulation to practice with weapons I haven’t seen before to see if it’s even something I want to build yet or not. Just so…
… was less of a thing. Weirdest thing about this game is unlocking a new tech and having no idea how it functions until you’re on the battlefield, only to realize you made a mistake or a dozen. Your only options being Save Scum and pretend this feature exists, or suffer the nonsense of not understanding what your own weapons do until the last minute.
With current state of the game and all things that we already know… your proposal is quite interesting. BUT:
damage - I’m not sure if I would apply damage buff. Such damage would be justifiable if we would make precise melee attacks or precise shots with sniper rifle. With other weapons I suppose it is too hard to hit particular vulnerable spots when enemy is not paralyzed. Btw. Snapshot would need to make new hit box dummies to apply this effect. I wouldn’t modify damage, because it would mean need for balancing around 2 different values (before and after research). Leave the damage as some constant unchanged value over the course of the game. Enemies get new mutations, we get new weapons, lets not mess with modifiers of those already possessed.
perception - I’m not sure why our knowledge of enemy would modify his perception (unless we will develop special camouflage against one particular enemy). I don’t think it is good way of changing combat.
There is one vital thing that players seek - information about enemy. Both autopsies and vivisection should reveal that partially and that would be enough reward for doing these researches. In my opinion it should be similar to what you and Rainer have written:
Autopsy (required only one specimen, but shows up after each new mutation encountered) reveals:
ability to highlight particular body part
info about general armor and health of a creature with
armor and health of currently researched body parts,
damage pop up messages
there may be a hint about purpose of those mutations, but nothing specific.
So before autopsy we don’t see HP and armor stats along with the damage we have done (as pop up information above enemy). Info screen is not present. I suppose that even information which part we have hit (creature silhouette with grey/yellow/red icon) should be hidden. When we aim we just see general highlight of a creature not its body parts. We would need to act blindly and guessing what is the condition of enemy. That could be horrific on its own.
Vivisection (required capturing few live specimens) unlocks:
info screen with all information related to specimen abilities (only those we have encountered), so
range and power of attacks,
other ability stats you have mentioned with
creature’s willpower, speed, perception etc. along with
pop up information above enemies which we have now (-2 Will Points after death of Arthron, Daze, 8 paralyzis)
In my opinion this information is so much vital (especially on higher difficulties) that necessity of having this only, would compel players to do these researches.
So there is no need to give resources, or damage buff or anything else.
Not sure about that. In PP there is no situation like in X-com where aliens just came and people didn’t know anything about them. PP operatives lived in post apocalyptic world long before they were called, so it is logical that they know a lot about enemies. It’s not first mist incursion so I suppose that arthrons, sirens, tritons are common knowledge among post apocalyptic people. And PP is certainly not the first who did autopsy on them.
What I would like to see is that we can research new weapons or ammo using autopsies. For instance to be possible to make grenades from arthrons launcher arm or ammo from machine gun, or to be possible to make stealth armor from stealth triton research.
They already do. Can’t remember which (it may even be all of them), but I’m pretty sure a Sentinel Vivisection gives you +10% damage vs the Sentinel. It represents your understanding of what its weak spots are - and I’d say the Trigger Range debuff would represent your learning how to avoid setting it off once you’d researched it.
I like the main thrust of your proposal. I was trying to propose something that could be implemented quickly, without requiring a massive rewrite of the code - but in the long-term, that partial reveal of information would greatly add to the fog of war & sense of menace I think.