Weak points for bosses

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, I was mostly basing my concerns not on what was in the alpha(outside of, maybe the queen) but rather on what the mechanics we saw implied for the mid-game onwards, namely mimicking the relevant FXCom’s mechanics. I do think having armour stat and ways to counter it can be very good for the game if implemented correctly but the simplistic interactions of “armour hit points” and armour shredding are, in my opinion, the worst possible way of dealing with all this. It will work early on but as the game ramps up and armour values skyrocket, this all becomes very clunky.

I’m not even against some enemies being immune to some damage types or levels. Queen for instance, as far as I understand, is supposed to be a recurring enemy with stats tracked between encounters so she should be all but immune to squad’s attacks when it appears for the first time. Even regular enemies(just like the Phaser you mentioned) can have complete immunities like that or high armour levels which may prevent squad from harming it. But this must be accompanied with game’s lenience towards abandoning mission if there’s no hope of success, allowing for a natural, trial and error learning without compromising the campaign. I think such moments will work well with the “enemy unknown” theme.

Given the availability of vehicles that will be in PP, and given the bosses will be persistent and could very well be described as biological tanks themselves in a sense, it seems sound to think that they could need more explosives or medium to high caliber rounds than a small squad not kitted specifically to deal with them could provide in order to do more than deter one. Think of the scorpion fight scene from the first Michael Bay Transformers movie: big baddy shows up, rifle-caliber rounds are useless, switching to rifle grenades is effective, the baddy’s vulnerable tail is blown off but the baddy’s main body is only somewhat damaged and it’s able to escape. Sounds play-by-play like a proper boss fight in full release PP, no?

So, perhaps one of the issues is the focus on anti-armor rockets and the like being primarily for shredding rather than bypassing the armor and being the primary damage dealer as how they behave in real life.

Provided, say, the limbs and head are vulnerable to infantry weapons then I’d say it’d be perfectly fine for a rocket or a vehicle-mounted machine gun being necessary to get through the armor on the parts of the main body the boss probably can’t survive losing; it’d preserve the boss’s intimidation factor and sense of imposing presence without the player being left powerless if they didn’t bring the all-heavy squad or tank needed to truly kill it (that’s what boss hunting missions will be for).

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Yep. She walks up to you and your soldier decides to be nice and just take the dive with a Vader-esque cry.

I’ve never had this happen. I’ve killed her twice now from having her bleed out with destroyed pincers and she never killed the soldiers. What did happen is that once she was over them they couldn’t move until she died (and one time the soldier died to crabman fire while being unable to move), but she never killed them. One of the times it even took something like 10-15+ turns for her to bleed out and she never killed the Heavy under her.

The only time I had a soldier die to a disabled Queen was when she destroyed the tower that my Heavy was on. He went from full health, bounced off her as he fell, and then died.

Really? Huh. Twice in my first play she casually strolled up to my 2 soldiers on the ground, who promptly prostrated themselves and /Vader’d. She had no pincers and no face but naive me had left her legs intact. Maybe I had some weird bug? I know I was getting the gameover transmission in the middle of the fight too, which really threw me off.

Sounds like a bug. In my last playthrough I was down to only my Heavy (Sniper died to cross-map crabman fire after destroying the last pincer) and only her pincers were destroyed. She quickly caught up and then proceeded to just stand there. The playthrough before that I tested this strat with an Assault, which was when I found out they can’t move when she’s over them (and he was then mowed down ~5 turns later from a crabman).

Well Hell at least we seem to have some kind of closure here. Plus, we solved this without going “Nuh uh!” “Uh huh!

So, here’s a question I don’t think has quite been brought up: how impervious and, I suppose in an indirect sense, persistent are you personally hoping the bosses will actually be?

One could probably guess from my previous post that I’m in the boat of “challenging to reach stalemate, sincerely difficult to beat, a lost cause to try to beat poorly prepared”, but I’m sure there are differing preferences. I’m all for the mechanics allowing for interesting ways to exploit weaknesses and take an enemy apart bit by bit, but I’m also jaded by illusion of difficulty and easy, straightforward solutions that I find spoil those sorts of daunting, multi-faceted problems.

These (mini-)bosses will run away, and come back with mutated parts (the ones you destroyed will grow back, probably stronger).

The great change compared to FXCOM is that the escape is not scripted, so if you somehow are in a good position, you can kill it while it runs away… but I expect that to be not as easy as killing the Queen right now :slight_smile:

You can kill Alien rulers as they run away too. It’s actually quite easy with overwatch. Chosen are a different matter as they only escape the battlefield if they capture one of your guys, and they do so by teleporting away.

Ruler gameplay suffers from the same alpha strike weakness as the rest of FXCom. They can do so much damage with their “act after each XCom action” that you have to stun them and alpha the shit out of them.

Yea, I was referring to the Chosen “scripted escape”.

I wouldn’t mind an X-com 2 approach, where they spawn periodically, but attempt to flee at low health to haunt us another day. Perhaps they could even mutate a bit in response to our armaments from last time.

So, as I play the build I’m finding that armor shred itself isn’t a concept that bothers me too much, provided it doesn’t get abused to the point of trivializing the boss; continuing to pour rounds into a fully shredded part of the body that’s already been crippled feels like it qualifies. From an immersive standpoint, it doesn’t really make that much sense, either; it’s hard to imagine something dying significantly faster from getting shot in places that have already been reduced to pulp, especially if it’s something like a leg. Although, I feel the issue stems more from the parts themselves rather than the armor mechanics.

So, new question: should shooting crippled body parts take reduced damage to the general health pool or be penetrated rather than taking damage?

I guess shooting at “dead” flesh wouldn’t cause further discomfort. Of course, shooting at a limb would eventually sever it. However given the scope of the team here they’re unlikely to be able to code in such a gory spectacle. I think the “bleed” effect is supposed to kinda represent that.

I don’t think having the simulation of dismemberment and gore is necessary or within the scope of the system, either.

Although, I will assert that there’s a critical difference between a crippled, shredded body part contributing a bleed stack(s) and leaving behind an extreme vulnerability to further weapon damage. Allowing a soldier to dump upwards of 36 damage into a crippled thorax per round for example is able to drastically shorten a fight and marginalize the body part system. It’s not just an immersion issue, it’s a balancing and pacing one as well.

Thus my notion of mitigating damage to body parts that are already crippled; it would make it so the player needs to tear up a large portion of the boss or massively bloodlet it in order to kill it, not just bore into one part of it with a shredder weapon and clean up with an assault rifle. If that change were made then major parts like the thorax and especially the abdomen would probably need to add more bleed stacks to compensate for the big deadzones of weapon damage (representing critical organ failure in addition to simple blood loss), but if anything that would make the bloodletting strategy more targeted and intentional.

I’m fine with how it currently works. For starters we’re using a “Health Pool” system so it isn’t really a full up simulation (for example your soldier getting blasted/stabbed in the face isn’t a guarantee to kill him even though it most likely would IRL). Also as you continue to shoot the same area you’re causing more trauma. This can cause the body to go into shock, create more bleeding, damage other internal parts that weren’t already damage/destroyed, etc. For example say you “destroyed” the leg but yet didn’t hit the femoral artery (or the equivalent that the enemies have). Continuing to fire on the leg could cause you to nick/hit the artery which in turn would cause the enemy to bleed out VERY quickly. Or maybe you hit a nerve that causes the whole leg to flat out collapse. Or if you’re shooting at a “destroyed” chest that still had an active heart/trachea and manage to then hit that.

So while I can see what you’re saying, I don’t think body parts should only be worth X% of the overall health or that the enemy should take reduced damage from destroyed body parts. Ultimately this is still a game and short of modeling units all the way out to 100% lifelike internals there’s still going to be some level of gamey-ness to it that we need to accept and move on.

I do understand that the ‘simulation’ aspect only goes so far and ought to; I suppose my attention being really focused on the big nasty is why the demands for my suspension of disbelief are greater for it.

I will argue that, with the large health pools of the major parts combined with the binary game effects of crippling and the visual feedback, the implication is that the trauma of a crippled part is “pretty much fucked” (technical term :stuck_out_tongue:). When 3/4 of the head or abdomen has been blown off visually and there’s no ‘super cripple’ to work towards, it’s a hard sell to convince me that there’s ‘trauma’ left to do, let alone more than from crippling it to begin with just because further armor shred.

Of course, that’s me going back down the flavor/suspension of disbelief route again, when the real point I want to make clear is that doing the reduced damage to crippled parts would make those instances of lucky armor shred still smaller victories, but not damning to the entire boss fight because of exploiting runaway numbers (I’ve managed to take all 4 armor off the thorax with one MG burst before and that boss fight lasted 2 rounds). It checks the edge cases and ‘cheesability’ factor of the health/armor system but leaves the meat and potatoes of the emergent gameplay that I think we can agree we want intact, and with minimal added complexity (we’re talking an ‘if’ statement and an arithmetic operator).

Doors and corners… Doors and corners…

They are like the creepy music in a horror movie, they amp up the sense of danger. OF COURSE they are scary, they are supposed to be. Aliens popping up from behind full cover would be, too, except once we’ve spotted them all the way across the map (no fog of war yet) thru a window somewhere, we continue in our ability to track them. This too will (I expect) change.