I'll take the bait.

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ASDF0716
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:18 pm

I'll take the bait.

Post by ASDF0716 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:56 pm

"We do read these threads, and when we have something to announce, we'll announce it, but there just isn't anything to report right now. I should add this forum isn't just for promoting our work but a place to chat about XCOM modding in general." - johnnylump

okay, I'll bite. I've been thinking about this quite a bit over the past month or so- I'm not sure that a "Long War" style version of XCOM 2 is a thing that will come around- or- at least- not for awhile, organically. What I believe will happen- and- what I already see happening is a "Long War" style that develops from an amalgamation of mods- and I actually believe we (as a community) are closer than we probably think; we just need the correct group of mod authors to come together with all of their pieces and start to put it all together and then rebalance things.

What I've been watching for within the XCOM 2 modding section are things that- at their base level make XCOM 2 a.) longer b.) tougher c.) maintain balance and d.) add more/new tools. (One of my favorite quotes is from jlump where he said they wanted to show the players that running away could be an effective tool). I would submit that those are at heart the pillars of what made LW so great.

Here is a basic list:

Max Squad Size / Max Squad Size Fix
Soldier Fatigue
Start Your Own Mission
Increased Enemy Squad Size
*Avatar Project: Reworked
*Class Mods*

One of the easiest things to notice about vanilla XCOM 2 is that at face value, it doesn't really lend itself to a LW style of mod. All things considered, the game is pretty linear, there are only ever "x" amount of missions at once time, you can only delay the Avatar Project for "y" amount of time, etc...

Max Squad Size- As shown countless times in TLW, upping the squad size even from 6 to 8 greatly increases the players tactical choices and flexibility when planning missions.

Soldier Fatigue. Again, as shown in TLW, if something isn't broken, why fix it? Most people that played TLW, I think, liked the idea of having to have a deeper bench of soldiers instead of the Superhero Squad we had through both Vanilla Games. As I played through vanilla, it became quickly evident that having a secondary or tertiary squad wasn't really all that feasible (possible, yes, I'm sure there are plenty of people that will talk about having two or three squads) and, lets be straight, to me, it was never really something Firaxis was all that interested in to begin with. Sure, they attempted to make it "more impacting" when a soldier was hurt by giving him retarded high heal times for losing a pip of health, but, to me, it fell flat. The reason it isn't all that feasible is because you only ever get "x" missions with "y" amount of aliens and there simply isn't enough to go around for everyone. In TLW, this was handled by giving you more UFOs to shoot down- which brings us to...

Start Your Own Mission. I'm a huge fan of this mod, because, while, yes, you could just make .ini edits to increase the number of missions each month, I find this to be a much more elegant solution. XCOM isn't really in the shooting-down-ufos business anymore, but, this mod does two things; increases mission count and makes XCOM appear to be less REACTIVE. Why is a global resistance movement so entirely dependent on random resistance groups to feed them information and do all of the scut work for them? Isn't it feasible to say that XCOM would also have their own shit to do? What makes the most sense would be to equate XCOM to the British Special Operations Executive during World War 2; which was a global resistance that started in London and worked with other organizations (such as the French Underground) to disrupt the Nazis. They worked with host nation resistance elements when possible, but, they also had their own operatives and their own operations going at all times as well.

Increased Enemy Squad Size. Because challenge and balance.

Avatar Project: Reworked. This has a caveat because, while I agree with the overall goal of the mod (in that it needs to make the not optimal strategy to ride the Avatar timer), I'm not sold on the implementation of this mod. Discuss.

Class Mods. Lets be real, the vanilla classes are pretty terrabad and there are some key elements missing- some of which have begun to be sorted out through mods (Rifleman and Infantry come to mind for me right off the top of my head). The game also needs a dedicated healer class that doesn't suck and some work on the support side.

One of the biggest problems that I have with XCOM 2 was Firaxis's decision to make everything so prohibitively expensive in order to as they put it "make choices feel more impact". At heart, I think this is a pretty failed concept (or- at least the way it was implemented here). I obviously don't believe you should be able to do everything, however, I do believe that for a Long War type of game to be reasonable, you need to be able to do more. One of the things I'm working on, but, haven't really begun to tackle is with all the new added capability, how do you rebalance finances for XCOM? For instance, I reduced the cost of all of the missions in SYOM because I want SYOMs to be something that expounds on the campaign and gives you the freedom to level up multiple squads and be able to take a hit and not have it be the end of the campaign because you "only" ranger just got curb stomped. The problem with doing this is that everything is out of whack now- starting a Supply Raid is 30 Supplies and 25 intel, but, hiring a new Sergeant is 300 supplies? The equation isn't balanced on both sides of the equal sign anymore.

Now, I'm sure one of the reactions to this post will be point/counterpoint of "well, why didn't you include this mod or you should totally consider that mod."- and that's fine. Discussion is good and we can debate things all day long. I'd be curious as to others input. Tell me how crazy I am.

Andor
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:48 am

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by Andor » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:46 pm

Well, I finally got the game running and here's my thoughts on finishing my first play-through.
  • 1) 20 years later, and I still want a STFU Bradford button. :D
    2) The devs do try way to hard to force arbitrary "hard decisions" rather than letting them grow organically. I think they have a terror that someone might enjoy badwrongfun.
    3) That having been said it does flow much better than X-Com EU/EW.
    4) Nice TFTD nods there.
    5) DNA doesn't work that way. It didn't make sense when the Reapers did it, and it doesn't make sense when the Ethereals do it. Hasn't anyone ever heard of RNA polymerease reaction?
    6) The stealth mechanics also suffer from terror of wrongbadfun. Why not allow someone to play a stealth game if that's what they want?
    7) Swords need something of a reason to exist. I think an integral aim boost at the very least.
ASDF0716 wrote:"We do read these threads, and when we have something to announce, we'll announce it, but there just isn't anything to report right now. I should add this forum isn't just for promoting our work but a place to chat about XCOM modding in general." - johnnylump

okay, I'll bite. I've been thinking about this quite a bit over the past month or so- I'm not sure that a "Long War" style version of XCOM 2 is a thing that will come around- or- at least- not for awhile, organically. What I believe will happen- and- what I already see happening is a "Long War" style that develops from an amalgamation of mods- and I actually believe we (as a community) are closer than we probably think; we just need the correct group of mod authors to come together with all of their pieces and start to put it all together and then rebalance things.

What I've been watching for within the XCOM 2 modding section are things that- at their base level make XCOM 2 a.) longer b.) tougher c.) maintain balance and d.) add more/new tools. (One of my favorite quotes is from jlump where he said they wanted to show the players that running away could be an effective tool). I would submit that those are at heart the pillars of what made LW so great.

Here is a basic list:
Max Squad Size / Max Squad Size Fix
-Agreed

Soldier Fatigue
-While I agree with the goal, I think there are probably better ways to accomplish it. For example a promotion training time.

Start Your Own Mission
-Abso-fgiggin-lutly. As a resistance organization we should have more ability to set our own agenda. Now the game did do a good job of making me feel like I had so many eggs in the air at once that I was already at the limit of what I could handle, but...

Increased Enemy Squad Size
-Goes hand-in-hand with increased X-Com squad size.

*Class Mods*
-Some are needed. I don't think a full Longwar stye boost is needed, but at a minimum I think the heavy needs to get split up into a gunner and a grenadier. I would give the Grenadier a rifle and sprinkle some support/overwatch into his other tree. The gunner would see larger changes, I would make the heavy weapon fire first only, like a sniper rifle, but give it intrinsic shred and boosted base damage to compensate, and give them a pistol as a secondary.

Andor
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:48 am

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by Andor » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:29 pm

Two other things I came away with.

1) Skitter cam. In EU/EW this was really only a problem with grenades, but in Xcom 2 I'm getting miss-clicks all the freaking time. The camera just won't hold completely still. How the hell does firaxis keep managing to screw up ui responsiveness in turn based games? Probably not an easy mod fix, but still.

2) Engineers are gods, scientists aren't crap. Seriously, what is the deal? Everything you want to do requires engineers but scientists are just a static bonus? Why not allow us to staff some of the centers with (like medbay) with scientists thereby giving us a choice between research speed and operations?

grich117
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:40 am
Location: Canadia

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by grich117 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:58 pm

Andor wrote:
2) Engineers are gods, scientists aren't crap. Seriously, what is the deal? Everything you want to do requires engineers but scientists are just a static bonus? Why not allow us to staff some of the centers with (like medbay) with scientists thereby giving us a choice between research speed and operations?
I totally agree. Scientists should definitely be in some of those rooms, as you said, like the medbay.
Signatures are a thing? Huh.

ASDF0716
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:18 pm

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by ASDF0716 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:42 pm

grich117 wrote:
Andor wrote:
2) Engineers are gods, scientists aren't crap. Seriously, what is the deal? Everything you want to do requires engineers but scientists are just a static bonus? Why not allow us to staff some of the centers with (like medbay) with scientists thereby giving us a choice between research speed and operations?
I totally agree. Scientists should definitely be in some of those rooms, as you said, like the medbay.
Both of you bring up interesting points- and it's something that I neglected in my original post- mostly because I was focusing on the larger "game changing" things and less on the QoL type ones- having said that, to me, there are certain QoL mods that would absolutely find their way into any LW type overhaul and near the top of that list would be:

Engineer2Scientist - which is an amazing mod that converts some of the more intelligent slots (PSY Labs, for one) from Engineers to Scientist slots.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =625047162

grich117
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:40 am
Location: Canadia

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by grich117 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:11 pm

ASDF0716 wrote:
grich117 wrote:
Andor wrote:
2) Engineers are gods, scientists aren't crap. Seriously, what is the deal? Everything you want to do requires engineers but scientists are just a static bonus? Why not allow us to staff some of the centers with (like medbay) with scientists thereby giving us a choice between research speed and operations?
I totally agree. Scientists should definitely be in some of those rooms, as you said, like the medbay.
Both of you bring up interesting points- and it's something that I neglected in my original post- mostly because I was focusing on the larger "game changing" things and less on the QoL type ones- having said that, to me, there are certain QoL mods that would absolutely find their way into any LW type overhaul and near the top of that list would be:

Engineer2Scientist - which is an amazing mod that converts some of the more intelligent slots (PSY Labs, for one) from Engineers to Scientist slots.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =625047162
Yeah, that would make so much more sense, then the current system.
Signatures are a thing? Huh.

Zaramnor
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:28 am

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by Zaramnor » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:21 am

ASDF0716 wrote:"We do read these threads, and when we have something to announce, we'll announce it, but there just isn't anything to report right now. I should add this forum isn't just for promoting our work but a place to chat about XCOM modding in general." - johnnylump

okay, I'll bite. I've been thinking about this quite a bit over the past month or so- I'm not sure that a "Long War" style version of XCOM 2 is a thing that will come around- or- at least- not for awhile, organically. What I believe will happen- and- what I already see happening is a "Long War" style that develops from an amalgamation of mods- and I actually believe we (as a community) are closer than we probably think; we just need the correct group of mod authors to come together with all of their pieces and start to put it all together and then rebalance things.

What I've been watching for within the XCOM 2 modding section are things that- at their base level make XCOM 2 a.) longer b.) tougher c.) maintain balance and d.) add more/new tools. (One of my favorite quotes is from jlump where he said they wanted to show the players that running away could be an effective tool). I would submit that those are at heart the pillars of what made LW so great.

Here is a basic list:

Max Squad Size / Max Squad Size Fix
Soldier Fatigue
Start Your Own Mission
Increased Enemy Squad Size
*Avatar Project: Reworked
*Class Mods*

One of the easiest things to notice about vanilla XCOM 2 is that at face value, it doesn't really lend itself to a LW style of mod. All things considered, the game is pretty linear, there are only ever "x" amount of missions at once time, you can only delay the Avatar Project for "y" amount of time, etc...

Max Squad Size- As shown countless times in TLW, upping the squad size even from 6 to 8 greatly increases the players tactical choices and flexibility when planning missions.

Soldier Fatigue. Again, as shown in TLW, if something isn't broken, why fix it? Most people that played TLW, I think, liked the idea of having to have a deeper bench of soldiers instead of the Superhero Squad we had through both Vanilla Games. As I played through vanilla, it became quickly evident that having a secondary or tertiary squad wasn't really all that feasible (possible, yes, I'm sure there are plenty of people that will talk about having two or three squads) and, lets be straight, to me, it was never really something Firaxis was all that interested in to begin with. Sure, they attempted to make it "more impacting" when a soldier was hurt by giving him retarded high heal times for losing a pip of health, but, to me, it fell flat. The reason it isn't all that feasible is because you only ever get "x" missions with "y" amount of aliens and there simply isn't enough to go around for everyone. In TLW, this was handled by giving you more UFOs to shoot down- which brings us to...

Start Your Own Mission. I'm a huge fan of this mod, because, while, yes, you could just make .ini edits to increase the number of missions each month, I find this to be a much more elegant solution. XCOM isn't really in the shooting-down-ufos business anymore, but, this mod does two things; increases mission count and makes XCOM appear to be less REACTIVE. Why is a global resistance movement so entirely dependent on random resistance groups to feed them information and do all of the scut work for them? Isn't it feasible to say that XCOM would also have their own shit to do? What makes the most sense would be to equate XCOM to the British Special Operations Executive during World War 2; which was a global resistance that started in London and worked with other organizations (such as the French Underground) to disrupt the Nazis. They worked with host nation resistance elements when possible, but, they also had their own operatives and their own operations going at all times as well.

Increased Enemy Squad Size. Because challenge and balance.

Avatar Project: Reworked. This has a caveat because, while I agree with the overall goal of the mod (in that it needs to make the not optimal strategy to ride the Avatar timer), I'm not sold on the implementation of this mod. Discuss.

Class Mods. Lets be real, the vanilla classes are pretty terrabad and there are some key elements missing- some of which have begun to be sorted out through mods (Rifleman and Infantry come to mind for me right off the top of my head). The game also needs a dedicated healer class that doesn't suck and some work on the support side.

One of the biggest problems that I have with XCOM 2 was Firaxis's decision to make everything so prohibitively expensive in order to as they put it "make choices feel more impact". At heart, I think this is a pretty failed concept (or- at least the way it was implemented here). I obviously don't believe you should be able to do everything, however, I do believe that for a Long War type of game to be reasonable, you need to be able to do more. One of the things I'm working on, but, haven't really begun to tackle is with all the new added capability, how do you rebalance finances for XCOM? For instance, I reduced the cost of all of the missions in SYOM because I want SYOMs to be something that expounds on the campaign and gives you the freedom to level up multiple squads and be able to take a hit and not have it be the end of the campaign because you "only" ranger just got curb stomped. The problem with doing this is that everything is out of whack now- starting a Supply Raid is 30 Supplies and 25 intel, but, hiring a new Sergeant is 300 supplies? The equation isn't balanced on both sides of the equal sign anymore.

Now, I'm sure one of the reactions to this post will be point/counterpoint of "well, why didn't you include this mod or you should totally consider that mod."- and that's fine. Discussion is good and we can debate things all day long. I'd be curious as to others input. Tell me how crazy I am.
Can you give me some links to the mods you mentioned? Especially this "start your own mission" mod... I can't find it on nexus. Thank you.

Andor
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:48 am

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by Andor » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:08 pm

Zaramnor wrote: Can you give me some links to the mods you mentioned? Especially this "start your own mission" mod... I can't find it on nexus. Thank you.
It's on Steam. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =646124583

Zaramnor
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:28 am

Re: I'll take the bait.

Post by Zaramnor » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:53 pm

Thank you very much!

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