I’m under the impression that the main source of tactical variety (per soldier) is supposed to come from the fact that each of them can hae up to 3 items placed in the ready slots, so effectively can and should decide which of the three should be used in any given situation, SO having multiple firing modes for each weapon (or at least some of them) seems like a lower priority.
But I’d still like to propose implementing a system like that - if only to justify the name of your company (what’s a ‘snapshot’ if there are no ‘aimed shots’ to compare them to?!) ;]
The current UI seems to allow for only five equipment/blue icons, so in order to not make it stretch and keep the UI clean and readable, various firing modes could be represented as an icon ‘stack’, i.e. something like this: >Clicky here<
When hovering on the icon with the mouse cursor (or selecting it with the gamepad), the stack would unroll upwards to show all icons (2-3 at most) - and would roll down again after picking the selected firing mode. Since it’d be only visible for a moment, I don’t think it’d be a problem if it obscured the ‘alien icons’ for that time.
Not every weapon would have different firing modes - like the pistol (Gunslinger should stay separate as it is, since I think only the default firing modes not requiring aditional abilities should be stacked - and class skills should stay separate).
The alternatives could include ‘aimed shot’ (ideally I would see it take +25% TUs and 1-2 WP, but for simplicity’s sake I think all TU costs should be kept the same - so just 2-3 WP for ~25% smaller aiming circle), and ‘short burst’ (2-3 round burst - maaaybe a little aiming bonus of 5-10%, but the main objective would be to conserve ammo when you just need to take those last 2 HP from an anemy, and can’t switch to the pistol). Since there are already automatic firing modes included that take varying number of rounds, I don’t think it’d cause any more confusion with the pip-indicator.
ALTERNATIVELY the burst indicator (’ * * * x 6’) could be made into a clearly clickable icon, that would similarly expand into 2-3 options (’ * * * x 3’ / ’ * * * x 6 + 2WP’), but since it’d be further from the main icons, it’d be easier to forget about changing your firing type at the start of a mission.
I don’t like the idea of multiple shot types since it would clutter the UI too much and complicate the game unnecessarily, but I do think an icon on the weapon UI for changing firing modes could work alright as a method for ammo conservation.
Now, in my opinion changing firing modes should not change the amount of TUs the gun uses (shooting a burst takes roughly the same as taking just one shot), but as a method of ammo conservation.
I don’t see adding reasonable tactical options as ‘unnecessary’. You could argue that adding TUs was unnecessary, that adding the ability to shoot and still move (or shoot again) was unnecessary etc. - but all these things made the game better.
Even something as simple as nuXCOM had firing modes - but disguised as skills on a cooldown. PP includes a much better system in WP, which would lend itself pretty neatly to the idea of various firing modes. In essence they’re just like any other abilities, they just happen to make the most intuitive sense (which is, I would argue, extremely important for a game aiming at creating a sense of horror - some abstractions are unavoidable in a TB game about fighting crabmen and other cute mutants, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to limit the number of ways our intuitions about what options should be available are contradicted, reminding us ‘hey, you can’t do that because it’s just a game’ - and firing modes are a relatively cheap and fun way of enriching the game both mechanically and thematically in that way).
After all, we already have the -currently disabled- alternative sniper firing mode - so things like that are already being considered. What I’m suggesting amounts to two things: treat having modes like that as a default state for weapons, and have some weapons without that functionality where it makes sense (like heavy’s MG or missile launchers - it’s perfectly fine for them to have only one firing mode), instead of ‘one firing mode by default - some rare exceptions have more’; and perhaps have it neatly integrated into the UI, as I described in my original post.
That’s right, nuXCom already has different types of shots but class based, not weapon based. Making them weapon-based (like in original) would be more natural. It isn’t cluttering UI or slowing pace of the game: usually in specific situation you know immediately when to aim more or use multiple, less accurate shots. And these are situations where using different types of shots is risky but fun at the same time, and let you have some more choices. I see no cons here.
Really good thoughts. If we gonna have directional overwatch and other cool tactical choices, Firing Modes is a natural thing to have.
And yes, weapon base firing modes is a right way to do it. Like modern ARs could have up to three firing modes:
Full-auto (maximum ammo per burst; high bullet spread; lesser accuracy; high TU use),
Burst fire mode (short ammo burst, about 3 rounds per shot; normal bullet spread; normal accuracy; normal TU use),
Semi-auto (1 round per shoot; normal bullet spread; slightly higher accuracy; lesser than Burst fire mode TU use). This one should be balanced not to be the best TU per bullet option leaving Semi-auto mode useless.
With such system there will be quite a lot of possibilities to make different weapons and weapon types feel unique.
ARs could be the kings of variability providing tactical flexibility whenever you need it with all three modes.
LMGs could have only Full-auto and Burst fire mode.
SMGs could be very agile weapons while still packing more punch than a pistol with Auto mode and providing accurate strikes to enemies with Burst fire mode at close range.
There even possible to have Burst fire sniper rifles which fire bursts of less damaging bullets but having a good damage per burst value.
What about targeting?
Can you (in your opinion) switch targets between shots if you have enough TU for multiple? (Probably not for Full-auto, but Semi-auto or even Burst with specific weapons could have enough, like Pistols.)
Would you restrict to the same enemy, just different bodypart? Same “direction” but allowing to switch to another?
Full 360° change without additional TU cost? With additional TU cost?
I can’t see reasons why wouldn’t you be able to shoot at different enemies if you have TU available. But this is kinda another question to the devs. I mean if they come up to the question whether to have directional cone LoS (something like Battletech) or 360 degree.