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Thread: NPC casulties as a way to make Alien more scary? (since you only have 4-6 man unit)

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    NPC casulties as a way to make Alien more scary? (since you only have 4-6 man unit)

    Prospective notes:
    First let me say I do not like the 4-6 man assault unit size. I would prefer a squad of 10-14 over a fire-team of 4-6. But since it has been announced and There is very little chance of them changing it I was trying to think of away to make the aliens scarier despite the "Epic Hero" action style they are making it (Instead of the suspenseful horror/survival style of the old game).

    My Idea:
    So Since aliens need to kill things to look dangerous, why not add a lot of NPCs and/or NPC bodies to maps.

    Then also Add NPC resistance to terror missions, so you enter a map to the screams of local police shooting pistol at aliens and being torn apart? Also this allows terror missions that are traditionally harder to provide some distractions and support to make it more reasonable for a fire-team of 4-6 to take 6-12 aliens (some being the generally more dangerous support units). Even if the police only kill 1 or 2 aliens it gives designers and reason to not have all the aliens in defend-able positions and waiting for you and some distractions so you can get in close and make some early kills. Plus I think Thin men should be able to look like police unless your up close or they shoot at you.

    On non-terror missions I always see farm houses with no people and no bodies in the original. Give farmer Joe a shotgun back him in a corner of the barn and put the bodies of his family all around him. Maybe he takes out 1 alien ... maybe not. But again it makes since then for the aliens to not be in the best defense positions waiting for you since they have been busy. There are some times 3 houses on a map 9 aliens are shot down on the property. 2 killed in the crash, 1 already injured in the crash killed by a farmer, and the other 6 dispersed and clearing the area until you land... Now it seems plausible that your 4-6 man fire-team could defeated 6 superior aliens by isolating them and forcing a number advantage on them 1 at a time before they can regroup, position, and use tactics along with their superior firepower and abilities.

    In the videos I have seen so far, they have had 4-6 well armed aliens grouped up in a dependable position with no distractions waiting for your 4 guys to attack from an open area starting point... and you win with only 1 casualty or none?

    You should lose two guys running to cover the first turn in that scenario because their just waiting to pick you off. They should have had 1 guy on the roof which would have taken out or at least put some resistance to several of the scenarios and you would be looking to take 3-4 aliens with 1-2 guys in close range combat (sucks to be sniper) and 1 alien could be a Muton berserker. ... ya not good odds.

    A little bigger map, spread out aliens, and civilian distractions... do able.

    Any thoughts?

    Edit: This is actually confirmed in the game , thanks to pjstetson for finding the post. (link fixed 04-30-2012)
    http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/xcom-enemy-...1220087p1.html

    Just the relevant quote:
    GameSpy: Will there be police officers or other armed civilians in there?

    JS: You'll encounter other troops from around the world in the game, for sure.

    One would assume they would be on your side. While they did not confirm that directly and I guess aliens could have gotten to them and you could be fighting them, I will say that most likely they will be used as I suggested above.
    Last edited by Clayton Cross; 04-29-2012 at 09:08 PM.

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    As far as I can tell the bulk of that is heavily implied by the developers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    As far as I can tell the bulk of that is heavily implied by the developers.
    Give me a source then, because I have not seen it anywhere, not even hinted at. I have only seen the dumb scenario at the end shown/described in different ways over and over again. I have not seen or even heard about any civilians or civilian resistance. If you have a source video, article, or Dev post, link it here and I will edit my post accordingly.

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    I want to say it's one of the RPS articles that has Jake talking about vanilla military at least, and civilians are in the game.

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    I agree, adding some random AI units or local military to that mission would make the game so much more involved. It would also make the aliens a whole lot more scary to fight if you see a squad of local soldiers mowed down as you start your mission. It gives that 'man, do I really want to face these guys' sort of feel.

    I mentioned else where I would love to see a cyberdisk banging heads with a MBT (like a T72 or Abrams) the first time we are introduced to them. You see a cyberdisk putting hurt on a tank for the first time and there you are with 4 soldiers... you know you are in for a serious fight. I know its just a dream but would make the threat and power of the alien forces really put the fear out.

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    @Inkidu

    I just went over all 3 Rock paper shotgun articles unless there is another one...

    All they say is the in some maps there are civilians and they imply that aliens will kill them. Nothing about resistance or to what extent. The original only had civilians on terror missions. They also did not say talking about using then as I mentioned above but more in the since of them screaming and run around. No mention of bodies from the start to make it look like they killed a lot of people already.

    We already know there are hostage missions and extraction missions, but that doesn't mean the aliens will be distracted by them strategically or placement wise in the way that I mean. There is no mention of a "vanilla military" or police.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...known-preview/
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...-xcom-preview/
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...n-xcom-part-3/

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    Quote Originally Posted by DazzD View Post
    I agree, adding some random AI units or local military to that mission would make the game so much more involved. It would also make the aliens a whole lot more scary to fight if you see a squad of local soldiers mowed down as you start your mission. It gives that 'man, do I really want to face these guys' sort of feel.

    I mentioned else where I would love to see a cyberdisk banging heads with a MBT (like a T72 or Abrams) the first time we are introduced to them. You see a cyberdisk putting hurt on a tank for the first time and there you are with 4 soldiers... you know you are in for a serious fight. I know its just a dream but would make the threat and power of the alien forces really put the fear out.
    I like the idea of NPC tanks getting mowed down, I did not take the idea that far. Maybe better if they are already destroyed when you get there though that might tip the scale of battle too much if it is an actual functional unit.

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    True, or the NPC can just be a cannon folder example of how good your soldiers are! The NPCs are mearly a distraction for the aliens and do not do any real damage. The aliens only consider XCOM a threat, because XCOM are the best of the worlds best. It would give some distinction between the average soldiers of the world and your elite troops.

    When your sniper misses that critical shot or one of your rookie noobs bounces a grenade into your own squad mates back, you can say 'imagine how bad he would be if he was one of the NPCs!!'

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    How about freaked out NPCs running at your soldiers trying to give them "intel" of what they have seen... OMG they are running right at my soldiers should I shoot em? ^.^

    Freaked-out intel from NPCs would certainly allow the game to improve on its legendary creepy atmosphere. "It... it's.. giant... GIANT! HUGE EYES! I think it wants to eat me!" A few seconds later lil ol Mr. Grey pops out from around a corner with his big head in tow...

    ...or what if NPCs got it in their heads to loot YOUR downed soldiers to fight back? And they have BAD AIM! "OMG there is an alien ten feet in front of me! I hope this blaster launcher thing is loaded... I'll just hit the "snap shot" button..."

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    --wrong post wrong thread--

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    Ask and thou shall receive
    http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/xcom-enemy-...1220087p1.html
    its towards the bottom in the interview section

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjstetson View Post
    Ask and thou shall receive
    http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/xcom-enemy-...1220087p1.html
    its towards the bottom in the interview section
    Added to the top, thanks pjstetson. I also requested that it be added to the consolidated notes.

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    Sweet, well since they have now been confirmed it will be very interesting to see them in action. If we land in a hostile country that we have neglected on the other side of the world do we get attacked by the aliens... and the locals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarofex View Post
    How about freaked out NPCs running at your soldiers trying to give them "intel" of what they have seen... OMG they are running right at my soldiers should I shoot em? ^.^

    Freaked-out intel from NPCs would certainly allow the game to improve on its legendary creepy atmosphere. "It... it's.. giant... GIANT! HUGE EYES! I think it wants to eat me!" A few seconds later lil ol Mr. Grey pops out from around a corner with his big head in tow...

    ...or what if NPCs got it in their heads to loot YOUR downed soldiers to fight back? And they have BAD AIM! "OMG there is an alien ten feet in front of me! I hope this blaster launcher thing is loaded... I'll just hit the "snap shot" button..."
    Any way for that not to feel horribly scripted? Especially in a turn based game?

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    Any way for that not to feel horribly scripted? Especially in a turn based game?
    the field npc might be scripted to a certain point, but how else can you solve the issue?
    they could do quite cool stuff with that e.g. after a small first skirmish in the map, you'd hear guns rattling afar. you move there to see the last few soldiers/cops holding a thin line across the street; as you reach them, they'll be killed, but one gives you a bonus mission with his last breath.

    the decisions will lie in the missions you'll accept and those you dont i think. if you leave out one mission with potential npcs, for another thats more important (for that situation), you swap one potential bonus mission for another. and get certain rewards too and so on. i think a little scipting is unavoidable, if you would want to have a story that'll be carried through those scripts.

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    Civilians would have their own AI to wander around and react to certain actions, just like aliens (but obviously unique to them). No need to have them running up saying "oh no a muton" then getting sprayed by a muton. At least I don't want that kind of cutscene junk.

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    but how do you avoid that they'll be moved down, before you even reached them (as they'll be massively underpowered?), or had the chance to save, or even just see them?
    dont get me wrong, I'm not FOR scripting, but if makes you not miss vital stuff thats going on, then I'll accept it.

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    Civilians got mowed down all the time in original. It was pretty awesome to land at a terror mission and be greeted by the screams of civilian from unexplored territory. At times, not seeing was more interesting than seeing in the original xcom.

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    Agreed. Makes for more suspense- initially it was oh my god there is something out there ! and in later missions, multiple screams spur my guys on, as in we gotta get a move on! People are dying out there!

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    ok true, that makes sense, that you hear whats happening, and then see (come too late) the result. more suspense of course. still, I'd find the idea cool to run into a (scripted?) sole girl (last survivor) holding her teddy, and asking you to take her home (bonus mission) across a cornfield full of aliens. thats when scipts make sense and make more of the game. might be just me though.

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    Ok imagine you are just about to make a break through in some awesome weapon research when you have to go on some stupid mission and....F***! a frickin girl holding her stupid teddy bear wants to lead me through a cornfield of death! I just want to finish my research!! <plasma teddy bear girl in the face>

    Or maybe that would just be my reaction....There may be hope for the idea, but it doesn't feel like an xcom mechanic really.

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    nono... i mean the girl would appear DURING the MISSION. not in your base or whatever. didnt mean for it to be a seperate "go save a stupid brat"-mission you pick up at base. no, she'd be the sole surviver of the massacre you just saw; or havent. and she crawls out from under a car or a big trash box, or a dark shadow by a house.
    the way you describe it, wouldnt make sense at all, thats true I'd react the same! "supress fire that teddy!!!"

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    Reading my post i understand your reaction. I meant halfway through your mission there is a girl begging to have her teddy bear replaced with a grenade. Making a mission even longer!!???!!!
    haha

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    I dont think they will (or should) stray too far from the original formula: land, kill aliens in a handful of set missions, return home. No wierd craziness in-mission. No side missions or minigames (during deployment). Just pure Xcom

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    Just pure Xcom
    same here. I was just saying IF they use scripts then only minimally, and then for a fun cause like:
    there is a girl begging to have her teddy bear replaced with a grenade

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    The one thing that ruins an enemy is when they appear to do nothing. Seeing the devastation the aliens bring, seeing people suffer gives you a reason to fight. I love this idea of seeing fatalities and destruction but I assume most of the drive will come from the plot as you endevour to fight back through science.

    Usually when I played the old games I tended to be the one killing civilians.... by accident ofcourse :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by ste-V View Post
    nono... i mean the girl would appear DURING the MISSION. not in your base or whatever. didnt mean for it to be a seperate "go save a stupid brat"-mission you pick up at base. no, she'd be the sole surviver of the massacre you just saw; or havent. and she crawls out from under a car or a big trash box, or a dark shadow by a house.
    the way you describe it, wouldnt make sense at all, thats true I'd react the same! "supress fire that teddy!!!"
    Besides she could be a thin man in disguise, trying to lead you into a trap! lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Cross View Post
    Besides she could be a thin man in disguise, trying to lead you into a trap! lol
    "You sure are tall for a little girl, aren't you... Hey, what are you.... Aaaarrgh!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShanDaMan View Post
    "You sure are tall for a little girl, aren't you... and what big eye's you have. Hey, what are you.... Aaaarrgh!"
    lmao that is so funny and idea, I like it.

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    I just hope that there is the ability to actually control the civilians (as a group, make them go from point A to point B) or using one of the soldiers, you pick a spot and choose 'Direct Civies' and they all scramble over there (I would prefer this one myself). And that is simply if you can control them at all.
    They're subject to panic, and may still try whatever, but for the most part, you just try and keep them out of the line of fire. Police would have a higher Will, but still more prone to panic than an experienced XCOM soldier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdeasGuy View Post
    I just hope that there is the ability to actually control the civilians (as a group, make them go from point A to point B) or using one of the soldiers, you pick a spot and choose 'Direct Civies' and they all scramble over there (I would prefer this one myself). And that is simply if you can control them at all.
    They're subject to panic, and may still try whatever, but for the most part, you just try and keep them out of the line of fire. Police would have a higher Will, but still more prone to panic than an experienced XCOM soldier.
    I think it is unlikely you will control them for 2 reasons.
    1. They keep saying any time there are civilians it is like "herding cats", implying lack of control.
    2. Armed civilians may be different, but if they wanted to add fodder control they would have left squad size larger. They specifically reduced squad size to reduce management of numbers. It would go against their design to add that back in with armed civilians. I would expect them to have stronger will than most civilians and less likely to panic as you said before.

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    I would love to see local armies shooting it out with the aliens as we land. It wouldn't require much scripting. A soldier here and there behind cover and shooting whenever they had line of sight to an alien. No need for cut scenes or stopping game play. It wouldn't matter if they caused no damage on the aliens. It would just add to the feel of the game play them being there. It would also reinforce how good your xcom soldiers are. 5 local soldiers shooting it out with them and missing 9 out of 10 shots. Then you step into the fray and start taking them down. That way when your noob rookie misses a few shots but still does some damage, you get the feeling he/she is still an elite soldier not some random off the street.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DazzD View Post
    True, or the NPC can just be a cannon folder example of how good your soldiers are! The NPCs are mearly a distraction for the aliens and do not do any real damage. The aliens only consider XCOM a threat, because XCOM are the best of the worlds best. It would give some distinction between the average soldiers of the world and your elite troops.

    When your sniper misses that critical shot or one of your rookie noobs bounces a grenade into your own squad mates back, you can say 'imagine how bad he would be if he was one of the NPCs!!'
    I see how this would pan out, but doesnt this smell slightly of WH40K? Imperial Guard, Blood Angels?
    I understand how this could add to the game, though I would prefer a larger squad, not huge, but enough to say to the NPC's... "Pick up your towels boys, we'll take it from here..!" and watch as they fall back (Which would be the natural Scenario)

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