(The figure of 6 aside - of which i think is too small a number for a game of this type....)
In respect to Lore, I find it a little odd the world is being attacked by an alien race - yet the powers that be believe 4 to 6 soldiers is enough to combat that threat.. Consider the threat, then consider that number. Do you think that is a reasonable force to put in the field?
And the base infrastructure in place seems inordinately large to kit out a max of 6 units.
I'm sure a caravan wouldn't suffice, but this feels more like a pjama party than a fully fledged fighting unit..
6 guys?... so a bout of communal flu would bring Earth's defenses to a halt.
The number seems a bit lean.
Maybe you could only have 6 deployable soldiers, with no limitations (or a very high ceiling) on how many soldiers you could have?
I myself would prefer a higher number like 8 or so, but their talk of "increased versatility in soldiers reducing the amount needed" thing isn't something I'm on board with yet.
That looks to be the way it works, there's a screenshot I saw that IIRC had numerous soldiers on it, but there's a maximum of six you can take on missions, and the way the base looks, there's only one Skyranger available total, which I suspect plays into their "choices choices" mechanic when it comes to taking missions. The latter seems like a rather contrived form of difficulty, speaking personally.
I've got no problem with this. As, I've said in other places (here and elsewhere) I like the challenge. It's another trade off. You'rre trading fourteen (random number picked. I know you can field more). Seven of which were meant to eat up bullets and mind screw.
You're getting six people with a wider range of skills and abilities. A heavy that can lay down suppressing fire and keep aliens pinned. They couldn't in the original, and it makes it easier then to grenade them. Most aliens I found were either not affected by my grenades, or if I ever had to put a one-count on it, they could easily walk away.
Snipers with long-range capabilities. Support troops. Plus it makes it that much more brutal when your heavy bites it in battle. Now your strategy is one less heavy. You can't have soldier number seventeen walk in their and pick up his rocket launcher like the guy just didn't bite it.
Let's face it when you start using meat shields it's the day you stop caring. I know I had a victory or death scenario. I left one guy in the ship to mind the car. If my guys didn't win they didn't come back home. The only time I'd evacuate is when some of my officers were in trouble.
Hey let's be pragmatic. A skyranger costs five hundred K. A soldier costs 40K. Which would you rather lose?
Tanks also got retreat priority.
A large pool of grunts means nothing if you can't get them on the ground.
So Sarge has 30+ soldiers kicking around the barracks, but elects to take 4 out on a mission?
The rest sit at home, wave as the skyranger takes off.... And then what, pump iron? bake cakes?
Well, I JUST saw the demo video; and I was so pumped I came here to try to get a better time of release. Especially the part about using a rocket launcher on a single alien inside a gas station. Then I hear about the proposed squad limit. I agree with those who say 'six isn't really enough'. Personally, my game style was more like 3-4 fire teams of 3 soldiers each, often with an attached HWP. I didn't keep a huge number back at the plane.
Remember, we're supposed to at least start with a technological disadvantage ala War of the Worlds, Battle for LA, etc... I can accept not sending an entire bridgade only in the sense that X-Com are the first responders -and the near-supersonic vtol transport can only haul so much. But you should suffer casualties(in the beginning, esp) unless you're both incredibly lucky and incredibly skilled. So I'd say that you should be able to take at least 3 casualties without losing half your unit. I'd say 12 would be a better number, at least later in the game. Because otherwise you'll get flanked by the enemy.
Another option - have each turn count as so much world time, and give you the prospects of receiving reinforcements. From the local military if the combat is long enough. Note: Local military wouldn't be under the player's control, would generally suck and do stupid things. Their un-upgraded, mostly small caliber, weapons wouldn't do much damage, but there's so many of them...
Last edited by Firethorn; 03-07-2012 at 07:46 PM. Reason: fix word flip
Agreed. Having tried the original with using a 4 man team, I actually found it was a lot more enjoyable. When I have a massive amount of soldiers...I get lazy. Then people die. When you have such limited resources, you pick and choose your actions a lot more carefully.
And it's not as hard as some make it to be to clear a map, even a terror mission.
6 man squad sounds legit. Although I've been playing the original X-COM with a lot more soldiers in missions, resulting in getting lazy (like Nosmirc said) moving the last three or four guys. Lowering the count of active soldiers in missions would keep you more involved in the action.
Again, never felt lazy or left my last three or four guys hanging around. I just sweep them around the map in small groups. I've tried using lower numbers, and it felt like wearing a straightjacket.
Fair enough. Hopefully it's something that can be easily changed.
Hopefully. I think 8 - 16 would be nice. Two squads of four to start with, with a max of four. Maybe the option of a little bit more than that for people who really like the meatgrinder aspect of gameplay, the same way you could go all the way up to, what, 26 with the Avenger in the original?
Modding an extra 10 soldiers in would definitely break the game. Once I got in a L4D server that had 12 simultaneous survivors.. Well, let's just say that I didn't even fire one bullet..
So we rebalance it, then. But I'm not sure it'd be such a big problem, considering the context is usually multiple groups around the size of the one group you're given at the moment - it'd probably end up more like engaging the enemy on multiple fronts. Heck, it might even be self-balancing to a degree - more soldiers means less experience per soldier, which means as a whole they advance slower, so your guys aren't as powerful, or at least don't get as powerful as quickly. I think we can work something out either way.
Well, rebalancing it wouldn't be as easy as merely multiplying enemy numbers in the same ratio. Maps would also have to be redesigned, same with class abilities and even items. They're all being designed with a certain number of entities on opposing sides. Getting hit by 6 people vs 12 people is a drastic change. Certain stuff would be more powerful or less powerful.
You could just do it anyway but would play rather differently and I believe not for the better. Of course everyone is welcome to try but I believe it'd need many other changes to support it.
You know. I think from a story and gameplay perspective I like a total of six more. Because you're fighting a secret war. I tend to forget that with my fourteen dudes and two tanks rolling up in an avenger. Now, you've probably got the worlds' different military organizations running interference, they probably set up a quarantine on a terror site or something. The world governments probably hush up the presses, too.
The thing is X-Com is a clandestine organization whose supposed to be fighting the alien threat behind the scenes. Sure, sometimes it spills over (i.e. Terror missions). Most of the time though you land, you wipe out the aliens and you leave. The funding members know what you did, but not anyone else. My point is when I've got a lot of units (especially in the later game where they've got mind power, flying suits, and plasma rifles) I feel more like an emperor waging wars with a xenomorphic race with my (hur hur) space marines not caring if civilians get trod underfoot in this clash of demgods made flesh.
Covert wars means covert tactics, which means Seal Team Six, but better. I think you'll be having six people, but one of them will die, or a few will get wounds that lay them up for a week or four. Given the small squad cap, you can't just leave that guy benched and go at it with thirteen and a tank. You've got to hire some kind of rookie to fill the gap (doubly so for dead people). So I think unless you're really good/lucky you might beat the game with the same party at all times. I think though by the end of it you'll have a pool of maybe three times you squad limit. So, yeah, it's a small group of twenty or thirty people who save the world. Also what if you send an officer of to the school to get a meta-bonus? Gotta hire someone else. Something tells me the game still has no problem blasting your captain into a nearby wall if you have so much as a single happy thought.
I don't really mind making other changes if I get the chance. I've said that before, I think. I know you prefer small squad tactics, but I'd like to try for something more simulationist and wargamey, on a somewhat larger scale, and I honestly don't mind if that means we have to tone down the perks system, which I'm not at all attached to. Heck, if the modding scene for XCOM takes off, I wouldn't be surprised to see dedicated teams trying every angle.Maps would also have to be redesigned, same with class abilities and even items. They're all being designed with a certain number of entities on opposing sides. Getting hit by 6 people vs 12 people is a drastic change. Certain stuff would be more powerful or less powerful.
You could just do it anyway but would play rather differently and I believe not for the better. Of course everyone is welcome to try but I believe it'd need many other changes to support it.
It occurs to me that we've discussed possibilities to get around this stuff on this forum before, one of which (good alien reactions) they actually seem to have used. We know they get a free reaction the moment they spot you, diving behind cover or attempting to thin your numbers... It also looks like they'll try to flank you and be really tricky. I think it'd be interesting to see if they've tweaked the system so much since the time they had large soldier sizes and decided that they didn't like them that the original problem with them has been perturbed out of existence. I'm wondering if, at this point, any large conglomeration of troops would attract every alien on the map and find itself flanked, pinned and grenaded from behind cover, forcing you to naturally split your guys up to attack/defend multiple choke points and positions. I'm certainly interested in trying larger squad sizes out, time permitting.
Any commander worth his salt for the last couple millennium have known that the best way to increase a missions chance of success is by increasing the number of troops. The only time 4-6 troops would be sent out is in support of a larger forces operation. Granted, you have to consider gameplay before realism, but I'd really have liked to have seen a balance around 12.
Last edited by b15h09; 03-07-2012 at 06:22 AM.
6 aint bad if you can take a drone with them. With drone, even 4 is enough, i would assume. But assuming is stupid, since we know so little yet.
Anyways, I would like to remind you people that even max. 5 team members is enough. Try out the original Space Hulk and you will understand. Small team does not mean easy gameplay (for example, the single enemy type melee genestealers meant instadeath in close range, and you could not affort to lose a single Terminator).
I hear you! Space Hulk was one of the toughest games I ever played and as you said you only ever had a four man squad at any one time. Space Hulk was verging on being too hard - Firaxis must avoid that at all costs.
That pretty much set in stone the fact that soldier will be vastly more durable than in the originals. You can't devote that much time and energy both in Dev side, and for the gamer side to a system where a soldier will die every mission thus average soldier might survive 4-6 missions. Also, the guys in the demo weren't fully leveled up - which, again, implies people stick around to get to the higher levels. The game Tone goes from your squad (a real squad mind you) going up against aliens who are often hardier and more lethal than your people to a game of hide super-soldier behind next piece of cover so i cannot get shot then maneuver to flank of target and kill - ad nauseum. This leads to a feeling of vulnerability and mortality where one can be a bit trepidatious in their activity because of that. Likely the reason they come up with unrealistic tools (sniper batman grapple gun) is for their mechanics to work with their intent (ex: cover & fire suppression) - which makes people last longer. Likely that is the reason they cannot go with randomized maps - their hand created maps are done so as to have the right amount of cover for people to run to each turn. Randomized maps will leave bare spots -gaps or holes.
Not saying the game will be bad - but it seems more of a 3rd person FPS. That said, the reason they've been doing the full court press on repeating their love of the originals is clear - the fundamental tone has changed so much. So yes, like a 3rd person fallout/c.o.d action game with rpg elements. They're following the money - smart business decision.
I don't remember seeing any FPS that was turn based...
I am looking forwards to this incarnation of the X-Com game, i am going to hold off judgement on the game until i have it in my hands ;o) as for squad size, in reality a commander would plan to outnumber his opposition by a 3:1 ratio....
Example: To attack a position occupied by a platoon you would aim to hit that position with a company strength attack
Anyways wish the fall would hurry up already ;o)
I'm with the people that think the 6 unit cap is just a little too restrictive. I'd prefer starting with 6 and being able to expand to 8. I understand that the soldiers are more powerful but the 4-6 limit just places too much of an overly critical emphasis on choosing exactly which type of soldier classes to bring. With the current cap it seems like there would be an optimal setup to run in order to complete the game while punishing any of the other sub-optimal composition choices. I think a 6-8 solder squad would feel better and allow more open play style choices about your squad composition, which was some of the reason the original did so well.
Of course most of this is just supposition as the only way to really know if the 4-6 soldier cap feels good or not is to play the game, which the developers are capable of doing. For a lowly fan like myself all I can say is that starting with four soldiers just doesn't sound quite right.
Why not put 10 as max? I liked to take 8 "veterans" and rest newbies so they could gain a little experience or to be used as bait. Don't force us to use drones(shiv or what ever it called.) 6 seems like meh, this will feel like UFO:after series.
I was kinda hoping for 8 as a max, 4 for tutorial/beginning missions and 6 in the mid game.
I enjoyed a high number of people on the field.
Personally I think they have it backwards. Starting out you should have a lot of units and gradually work down to a smaller squad as the game progresses and your units become more experienced. The best way to do this is to limit the amount of space on the transport. Each transport should have limited capacity for troops, shields, engine, pilot, and later weapons. Beefier shields, weapons and engines would take more room away from troop capacity. SHIV use would further decrease the amount of space. If the player wanted to use the smallest engine etc for max troops he would travel miserably slow to the crash site and might risk a night combat or missing the UFO altogether. The incentive to improve the craft would be a certain type of engine that would only work in the next model but the next model would have less room and be more sleek etc.
I have encountered, repeatedly, encounters where one soldier gets offed by a reaction shot triggered by movement or a miss and soldier goes down. Reaction is along the lines of darn it! - more exclamation marks the fewer people left to go still. I use other soldiers to try long range hope-and-prayer shots to see if i can down the unexpected new danger. I.E. on the spot modification in tactical movement and force application due to new information. I was invested because of the potential cost of what was going on - losing one or more people - and the additional soldiers enabled me to execute plan hope-and-prayer.
You do not get more tactical the smaller the unit size you have - battefield tactics were more weighty and hence more serious on the huge battlefield of kursk for things other than battle-unit size and populaion and not less because one million people took part.
I believe when they mean "tactically better" it is along the lines of here is your squad - they want you to get attached to these four-six people who save the world - i.e. uber C.O.D squad. But done in a 3rd person perspective in rounds.
Compare that to when I went with a full unit...my 'tactics' were akin to throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Bottomline is, large squad sizes means you can afford to make mistakes, or just be sloppy. The small squad means you have to maintain better control, because losses will hurt more. Ergo, you need to be more tactical in your approach.
The thing is, for those who want to take fewer, there was nothing ever stopping you from doing so in the original. Just because you can have upwards to 10 or more soldiers in the Skyranger, does not mean that you had to take that many. The problem is that they are taking away the option and forcing everybody to use smaller squads. For those of us who liked filling up our 'Rangers, we now have the tactic of "divide and conquer" stripped away from us.
Considering that they said that the demo map used was one of the smallest ones, this worries me for the larger maps. With 6 max, you can only split into two groups of three or three groups of two to search a vast area with nooks and crannies (unless the AI is terrible). I, for one, do not want to be spending 3 hours on one map because one alien is hiding in a good spot and I just keep missing them.
The limited max squad size, coupled with only one base, is the OUPT of X-COM. I am sure I can live with it, but I don't have to be happy about it. I only hope that modders will be able to expand that number after release.
While I am interested in everything else that I have seen, those two points above have me a little upset that they are taking away the freedom of playstyle choice from the players which was one of the things that made X-COM so great to begin with.
I own every X-Com game except enforcer and I have them on the original floppies and then the re-releases on CD. I'm a old school gamer. IMO 10 soldiers would be about right. 6 seems very inadequate to me. I really hope this is moddable because it'll be the first thing I change. I'm not saying there should be a huge army of X-Com members on the map but 6 seems pretty weak if you ask me.
As for those wondering if 6 will be all the soldiers we're allowed to recruit, I'd say it's safe to say we'll be able to have more troops back at the base, but be limited to only taking 6 to a specific engagement.
A game with max 6 units = a few super space marines Vs zergling aliens
X-COM = lots of barely capable soldiers with crap guns VS Protoss, and then a slow gradual shift of power as you become more capable.
this is the narrative and style of X-COM
In style, it is now a totally different game
Now your six people who start the game with tactically obsolete Terran gear and no perks or abilities to speak of. Remember, this is the magical demo magic. They've got it dialed up to look good for the camera. I think you could still lose people to one hit or close to it.
So it's less people, with crappy guns, and barely capable (well actually very capable just not against aliens). Fits the X-Com model perfectly. You basically start out as an underpaid, underfunded, overworked, understaffed, under-appreciated dog and pony show that some nations in got together in Geneva and put together to make it seem like they were doing something. They give you mediocre funding and expect the impossible.
So... how has it changed?
As for tactics, i would like to know what tactics other than pepper-potting exists with a four man squad. Note: I have been in the Military for 15+ years and used to perform & teach section level tactics. We never worked with anything less than a two-man fire team (as part of an 8 man section, which for combat purposes was the smallest fighting force, and generally did not work alone themsleves). This in my world would mean, if you wanted a sniper/fire support team, you were left with a two man assault team. Taking a defensive position based on current military philosophy requires the attacking forces to be double than the defenders. Due to the fact that we have no knowledge of the aliens numbers or capabilities, why would we err on the side of stupidity and bring a smaller and likely under powered/tech force. WE are supposed to be made up of Military forces who have had tactics taught to them for years on end, who for some unknown reaons would change theses tactics in face of the unknown. Just doesn't fly with me
I recall seeing one of the developers talk (video posted by sectoid in other thread) about losing his sniper and I thought, she deserved to die you sent her in without protection. Heck if I was a sargeant in his squad he probably wouldn't have come back either. I would have made sure of that.