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Thread: Different ranks of aliens are replaced by the diversity of species.

  1. #1
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    Different ranks of aliens are replaced by the diversity of species.

    So, basicly I refer to this article, which I dig up in heniv's thread, for which I regard to him many credits.

    I'll quote the specific part of it:
    GameSpy: We saw three different alien types in this one map, but in the original there were pairs of aliens that worked together.

    JS: The symbiotic pairs, yeah, sure, like Cyberdisc/Sectoid, yeah. We still have that relationship, but tactically I just wanted those maps to have the mix. Tactically it's kinda fun to go into a map, you see one group of aliens, but you still don't know what the other group of aliens is. There's always that tension of how you could face off against all these different aliens. So yeah, we still do have aliens that have an affinity for each other. But in a lot of missions, we mix it up even more, where we have three or four different types of aliens on the map at the same time.

    GameSpy: Does that type of diversity replace the different ranks of aliens, or will there still be alien commanders and soldiers and engineers?

    JS: You're right, that basically does replace that idea of the different ranks, you have the engineer, you get the hyperwave, all that stuff. That is something that we haven't included in this game. That diversity of species has replaced the ranking system within the aliens.
    Which basicly confirms three following things:

    1. There still are classical 'links' between some specifiacal species of aliens. (that's wonderfull);
    2. The map will no longer stick only for one or two species, as it was in original. It goes more to a mix of species (what's also good);
    3. Looks like there will be no ranks of aliens anymore. Instead this we will face some kind of between-species alien hierarhy.

    The last thing actually sounds kinda dissapointing. No more Commanders, Navigators, etc., etc.. But I want to see if this feature actually so nessecery? Whant to ask you guys, what's your point?
    Last edited by Akinaba; 04-19-2012 at 10:56 AM.

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    That all depends on how researching of live aliens works because in the original game the only reason it was fun to have different ranks was because you learned different things when beating the cra.... ummm... questioning them. (Don't want to upset the Universal version of Human (alien?) Rights. )

    Can't wait to see what Alien Containment/Interrogation looks like.
    Last edited by SectoidSquisher; 04-14-2012 at 04:12 PM.

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    Yes, yes! This also points us on question if we will be able to use an old-good stun-rods, or they will be replaced by something different and most likely remote like stun grenades for the purpose not to allow player go into close combat?

    As for me, I always enjoyed using stun rods back in the days. There was always a team of four, or six (depending on how large UFO was) who carried them obligatory (particulary those who goes for breaching into the ship). I can remember even one alien base charge mission, when every single operative carried a stun rod for a case.

    If we will be able to immobilze the alien only by a 'immobilizing shot' of sniper or whatever rifle that would be pretty much not cool. I'm eager to go realy close quarters with those bastards (if you know what I mean ), not speaking of being able to capture them without having a qualifyed sniper in the team.
    Last edited by Akinaba; 04-14-2012 at 04:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SectoidSquisher View Post
    That all depends on how researching of live aliens works because in the original game the only reason it was fun to have different ranks was because you learned different things when beating the cra.... ummm... questioning them.

    Can't wait to see what Alien Containment/Interrogation looks like.
    I always imagined the scientists were using the... you know... the probe... when interrogating aliens. Payback being a female dog and all that.

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    The scientific value of live alien specimens were an important part of the XCOM games as it what kept you from going all crazy and blow everything up with rocket launchers (oh... yeah, that and also civies... sometimes... hehe).

    So my guess is that it will still be in the game. Now, I dunno about stun rods and stun grenades and all. There's many ways to approach this. My guess is, since they want to cut down in equipement management (you don't have the backpack anymore, I think), stun weapons could be left out of the game. But, like I said, there's other ways to make this work. There could have perk that enables a soldier to make "stun damage", there could be a critical hit system that make aliens drop uncouncious on a hit, enabling the team to bring it back alive when the mission is complete. There could be a lot more ways I didn't though about to manage this and it's too soon to make any assumption for now. Let's just say I'm pretty sure they thought of something about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverwave View Post
    There could have perk that enables a soldier to make "stun damage", there could be a critical hit system that make aliens drop uncouncious on a hit, enabling the team to bring it back alive when the mission is complete.
    This looks like more likely way to evaluate. I also have a thought about that every class can have a specific ability to non-lethally disable the alien. Yet it's too early to speak about this. I only hope I still will be able to shut it down by close quater charge.

    Talking back on ranks of aliens I think it makes the game more interesting. If you see, say navigator, or commander, you will obviously want to capture it alive, on the other hand it's a lot easier for you just to samash every enemy into pieces if there's no need to capture the specific aliens.

    And being able to capture alien only on dedicated 'capture miisions' si not like the way I want it to go.
    Last edited by Akinaba; 04-14-2012 at 04:23 PM.

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    You bring an interesting point here! I think a great way to approach this is to make all soldiers able to make melee attacks when there're adjacent to an enemy. This melee attack would knock aliens unconscious if you manage to drop their health to 0. And if you don't... you're in big trouble! That way, it makes taking live specimen very dangerous and a lot more rewarding!

    EDIT : I've just watched the Curse video of X-Com presentation at PAX ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4a5b...feature=relmfu ) and, though I cannot tell you at what time I've heard it, Jake did mention that taking live aliens is in. There's even the Containment Cell you can build in the base.
    Last edited by Silverwave; 04-14-2012 at 07:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akinaba View Post
    The last thing actually sounds kinda dissapointing. No more Commanders, Navigators, etc., etc.. But I want to see if this feature actually so nessecery? Whant to ask you guys, what's your point?
    Honestly, the rank really only came into play when it came to research, and how much they would use psi attacks if I'm not mistaken. That said, I hope they keep the concept of having to capture base commanders.

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    Can we waterboard the aliens ?? Assuming we can find their nostrils..

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    Or airboard aquatic aliens? What about multi-environment ones? Just beat the crap outta them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosmirc View Post
    Honestly, the rank really only came into play when it came to research, and how much they would use psi attacks if I'm not mistaken. That said, I hope they keep the concept of having to capture base commanders.
    Rank mattered more than that. Rank directly affected the stats of the alien from TUs to HP to accuracy to psi defense, etc. For sectoids rank also determined if they could use psi attacks (needed to be leader or higher i believe), but all ethereals could use psi attacks.

    Rank also slightly affected what weapons they had. For example "medics" (dunno why they were called that since they couldn't heal other aliens) almost always had a stun launcher, while blaster launchers were almost only used by commanders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Rank mattered more than that. Rank directly affected the stats of the alien from TUs to HP to accuracy to psi defense, etc. For sectoids rank also determined if they could use psi attacks (needed to be leader or higher i believe), but all ethereals could use psi attacks.

    Rank also slightly affected what weapons they had. For example "medics" (dunno why they were called that since they couldn't heal other aliens) almost always had a stun launcher, while blaster launchers were almost only used by commanders.
    Yeah, but it's not like it's something they can't just shift around. Sectoids no matter what the stats will be worse stat-wise than mutons. I doubt each alien is going to be exactly identical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Yeah, but it's not like it's something they can't just shift around. Sectoids no matter what the stats will be worse stat-wise than mutons. I doubt each alien is going to be exactly identical.
    Sectoids should be smarter than mutons and thus use better tactics (or more hit-and-run type tactics). Also depending on what they do with psy, sectoids should be harder to MC and use psy attacks. So no, I don't agree that sectoids should be worse than mutons in all areas. They are different aliens and should act differently rather than having a muton simply be a tier 2 sectoid with different graphics.

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    Actually mutons are smarter tactically. They're supposed to be kind of your opposite. Alien Seal Team Six, so to speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Actually mutons are smarter tactically. They're supposed to be kind of your opposite. Alien Seal Team Six, so to speak.
    Debatable, though they are definately not at a SEAL Team Six level. Though the live research says they are "intelligent" it also says that they "rely on telepathic commands from a race known as Ethereals," that "Once separated from this telepathic link their mental system appears to break down and they die," and "They are clearly the foot soldiers for a higher intelligence." Mutons also have no leaders, commanders, or medics. To me this says that mutons aren't really all that smart (you can have sentient intelligence and not be "smart"), that their combat tactics actually come from another race (the ethereals), and that they are foot soldiers used to be thrown at a problem like a sledge hammer.

    I'm not saying that my way of viewing mutons is the only way to view them. I am simply outlining why I view mutons more as a shock trooper or WWII trooper (overwhelming numbers/strength and less focus on tactics) and less like a spec ops trooper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Debatable, though they are definately not at a SEAL Team Six level. Though the live research says they are "intelligent" it also says that they "rely on telepathic commands from a race known as Ethereals," that "Once separated from this telepathic link their mental system appears to break down and they die," and "They are clearly the foot soldiers for a higher intelligence." Mutons also have no leaders, commanders, or medics. To me this says that mutons aren't really all that smart (you can have sentient intelligence and not be "smart"), that their combat tactics actually come from another race (the ethereals), and that they are foot soldiers used to be thrown at a problem like a sledge hammer.

    I'm not saying that my way of viewing mutons is the only way to view them. I am simply outlining why I view mutons more as a shock trooper or WWII trooper (overwhelming numbers/strength and less focus on tactics) and less like a spec ops trooper.
    Actually, it's not debatable. That's the blurb on mutons Faraxis gave Game Informer for their article. I just looked it up in my issue. They're supposed to work together better than most aliens. You probably don't see it in the footage because the guy doing the demo had control of everything they're going to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Debatable, though they are definately not at a SEAL Team Six level. Though the live research says they are "intelligent" it also says that they "rely on telepathic commands from a race known as Ethereals," that "Once separated from this telepathic link their mental system appears to break down and they die," and "They are clearly the foot soldiers for a higher intelligence." Mutons also have no leaders, commanders, or medics. To me this says that mutons aren't really all that smart (you can have sentient intelligence and not be "smart"), that their combat tactics actually come from another race (the ethereals), and that they are foot soldiers used to be thrown at a problem like a sledge hammer.

    I'm not saying that my way of viewing mutons is the only way to view them. I am simply outlining why I view mutons more as a shock trooper or WWII trooper (overwhelming numbers/strength and less focus on tactics) and less like a spec ops trooper.
    The Mutons always kind of reminded me of the Ogrons from Doctor Who in that sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Actually, it's not debatable. That's the blurb on mutons Faraxis gave Game Informer for their article. I just looked it up in my issue. They're supposed to work together better than most aliens. You probably don't see it in the footage because the guy doing the demo had control of everything they're going to do.
    I didn't see that article before, so I didn't know that was the direction Firaxis was taking them. I'm not against it, it's just different than what they were in the original game is all.

    Still, I don't want mutons to simply be "sectoid, tier 2" or for the most part any alien to make another alien completly obsolete.


    Although if Mutons are truely SEAL Team Six good then earth is effed in the a.

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    Back to the OP I don't mind there not being ranks of the same breed aliens. By the looks of it we are getting several brand new breeds which I really like, so dropping the rank doesn't fuss me much.

    As for the Mutons being a SEAL team, I hope the hype is spot on. If they are the SEAL team of the aliens ranks, I would like to see them using the tactics better then the other breeds and out flanking etc. It would be good to see the mutons very strong in teams but the sectoids fighting with different tactics.

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    I considered putting this into my Info post but except for "Alien ranks are not in" there weren't alot of info.

    But I really hope Firaxis manages to create a good mix of aliens so thay they have different ways to synergize with each other. That would provide more interesting and tactical games.

    However, the concept of ranks is not entierly gone. There have been hints att special or hero-type aliens, im guessing these will have special abilities or give bonus research or resources or whatever, simmilar to the Commander type in the original.

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    One thing about the old game that made it harder where the ranks that you needed to capture to progress in the game. On the other side it was pure horror to go after 1 alien commander that you have been in need of to see him die...oh crap...wait till the next chance.

    Somehow i'm happy to see those ranks vanish.

    Firaxis would just need to tie it very well together that maybe there is some alien hierarchy without the need of a rank system. Let's say that as an example Sectiods are above Mutons or similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EaglePryde View Post
    maybe there is some alien hierarchy without the need of a rank system
    Exactly on this article I was refer to. There is ranking between species, not inside species.
    Last edited by Akinaba; 04-19-2012 at 09:26 AM.

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    I'm slightly disappointed in this. A sectoid shouldn't just be a sectoid, he should have a job and a function as well. That's different from other sectoids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oathbreaker View Post
    I'm slightly disappointed in this. A sectoid shouldn't just be a sectoid, he should have a job and a function as well. That's different from other sectoids.
    Yeah, if the first game had actually had them do anything different it would matter. Other than a couple of bonuses and general game progression they were just tougher. If a general hierarchy replaces these general stat buffs I'm not going to gripe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Yeah, if the first game had actually had them do anything different it would matter. Other than a couple of bonuses and general game progression they were just tougher. If a general hierarchy replaces these general stat buffs I'm not going to gripe.
    The new game could have them with different AI though. Just because it didn't matter much except for research in the original doesn't mean it would have to remain the same in new game if they brought ranks over, right?

    Even deteriorating teamwork if you kill their squadleaders etc.

    I'm disappointed too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Yeah, if the first game had actually had them do anything different it would matter. Other than a couple of bonuses and general game progression they were just tougher. If a general hierarchy replaces these general stat buffs I'm not going to gripe.
    I'm okay with a Sectoid Commander not really being all that much different from a Sectoid Soldier - after all, so are our commanders. Just add some Morale-affecting stuff and better armour and a Motion Scanner or something. Higher-ranking people in real armies are rarely better shots and better fighters, they just have a different job and more experience. The top brawlers and shooters are ranking specialists, so I don't feel the need for the distinction to be much larger than it was in the original. I don't even feel the need for a distinction for Research purposes - just a name (title, really) and some minor stuff with stats or equipment or AI and I'm happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EaglePryde View Post
    Firaxis would just need to tie it very well together that maybe there is some alien hierarchy without the need of a rank system. Let's say that as an example Sectiods are above Mutons or similar.
    Judging by how feral looking these Sectoids are, i doubt they're superior to the Mutons. I'd say they're more like harvesters or scavengers. Besides, in interviews, the Devs have compared the Mutons to Seal Team Six...ie, elite soldiers with better weapons and tactics. I'm guessing Ethereals or something similar will wind up being the brains of the operation.

    Unless of course we have another Boss Brain at the end of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishSamurai View Post
    Judging by how feral looking these Sectoids are, i doubt they're superior to the Mutons. I'd say they're more like harvesters or scavengers.
    So are my thoughts, so I generally Ok with Sectoids having no ranks at the moment.

    Speaking of the game how I see it myself, I'd prefer diferent look of the Sectoids, generaly speaking. If they'd looked more humanoid-like (not nessecery too high, I'd say not higher of the shoulder of a regular man), more intellectual-like, then they should have different ranks definitely. Since it all about the view of the game (which is individual) and not about the game itself (wich allready have final look of Sectoid) I have no trouble nither with their look nor with understanding why they (or any other aliens) have no ranks. In the end it's all up to devs.

    From my side, I hope the changes will emerge in further sequels (which I'm sure will be there) 'cause everything is evaluating.
    Last edited by Akinaba; 04-19-2012 at 11:52 AM.

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    There actually might be some sort of ranking within alien species. If you listen to that podcast that someone posted yesterday from February - JS alluded to there being some kind of 'boss fight' type alien, that sounds bad and gamey, but maybe there will be a super-sectoid that you need to find, interrogate and/or research. That might something to look forward to, maybe there will be a special version of each species out there to kill, have to wait and see....

  30. #30
    No ranks isn't really a bad thing. I mean there is no reason you need a leader Sectoid when you can just include an Ethereal to lead them. You know as long as they have the time and money to include a lot of alines it should be good. On the other hand, it's quite neat to see an enemy that think you know, pull out some new power and ability that you haven't seen before. Like seeing a sectoid with psi powers to kind of turn your expectations on you head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShredZ View Post
    That might something to look forward to, maybe there will be a special version of each species out there to kill, have to wait and see....
    Listening to the podcast I kept thinking they meant cyberdiscs and berzerkers and whatever monsters they've got accompanying other species. They're significantly more threatening than the standard alien, right?

    But there could still be the commanders and such as well of course.

    Assault, support, heavy and sniper sectoids?

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