I’m thinking about random starting places where our initial base can be, because such place determines starting difficulty. When you start on great landmass instead of place surrounded by oceans or see then you have greater potential of finding some important sites (scavenging sites, more havens with potential missions, even second Phoenix Project base in range of single flight). Building the radar station reveals more POIs there. So starting in US, Canada, Brazil, China, eastern Europe or Africa has more potential than starting in Guatemala, Indonesia or Iceland. And I wonder if developers will mitigate this in some way, or selecting difficulty level before campaign will narrow randomness of starting position.
btw, radar is a bad idea. I’d prefer some manual terrestrial and aerial scouting.
I mean call it what you will, the effect is the same. Given that we own the air, they could easily just say that it’s some type of drone(s) and the “radar” buildings are really just more/improved equipment for both said drones and the processing of drone data.
For example the base level could just be standard EO (electro-optical) imaging with a CLDR unit (Compact Laser Designator/Rangefinder). The next upgrade could be using a SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) to help find things. Finally there could be LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) which would generally do a better job than a SAR at finding things. All of these things deal with “Detection and Ranging” (the “DAR” of RADAR and LiDAR) and the SAR straight up uses RADAR for this.
So radar isn’t really a bad idea for this. I mean SAR has the ability to penetrate certain things and it can paint a reasonable picture of an area to help one decide where to focus their search (at which point they can then take a more zoomed in picture).
Throw some of this tech on things like the Flying Wing and it could stay up for a VERY long time. I mean the RQ-4 Global Hawk is already known for doing EO, IR, and SAR all in the same mission, with a flight time of 30 hours, and it’s already over 20 years old as of right now! So don’t discount radar so quickly. Sure ground-based radar would be fairly useless but not radar as a whole.
Mmm… no, because I said “manual”. Do something on the map here or there, send scouts to discover points of interest instead of just building a radar. I mean, I’m for active scouting, not passive. First, this is just more interesting to discover points of interest manually, yourself; second, your scouting vehicles might be ambushed if you deliberately send them to hostile territories (new mission type). At least all this will be very good in the beginning, until you (later in the game) construct (or obtain somehow) aerial scouting units. Again, radars, as technology, could be implemented later in the game to lessen monotonous explorations, but still some degree of manual exploration should remain to find something rare/exceptional.
I’ve got nothing against the different starting positions idea but I think it’d be best if it was something the player can specifically choose, rather than random in any way.
Maybe give the player the option for various starting positions with displayed difficulty ratings, something separate from the main game difficulty. That way players have an extra bit of difficulty to tweak and won’t have to menu hop to start 3-4 new games until they get a starting position they are happy with.
Implying that Brunei is not an optimal starting place.
Jokes aside, yeah, starting position greatly changes difficulty in the beginning. I had Malaya (around Singapore) in my longest game and also Burnei start once. I did not get far in that one. With “refuel on landing” mechanic, you can actually get of the islands, too, but before… Let’s just say aliens had that one in the bag.