Suggestion of time dependent enemy positioning
An oft mentioned "feature" of the original XCOM was the tendency to receive a volley of fire straight into your dropship the moment you landed, often from aliens you couldn't see and before your team had taken a step. I have to confess this was the one time when I would reload the game and restart the mission, to me it just wasn't fair that random chance had turned my men into fish in a barrel for the enemy.
For the new XCOM however I would like to make a suggestion. The problem is not actually with your men being mown down the second you land, the problem is there needs to be a reason for it. Sometimes when I played a crash site would have been on the other side of the world and taken me the best site of a day to reach it, and yet when I arrived the aliens would have not even taken a step outside their crashed ship. At other times I would respond in minutes and there would be a perfect ambush ready and waiting, my suggestion is simply to make this a feature.
The way I envision this working would be simple, the distribution of hostiles within an environment would be affected by the speed of your response. You would set the crash site or ship itself as a point of origin, and have a formula increase the likelihood of hostile dispersal from this origin point according to the time taken to respond. Their are numerous obvious evolutions to this start point such as having enemies concentrate around the chosen drop site more if it is within their dispersal range, or around defensible locations, but in practice the dispersal could likely be left very simple, players tend to fill in the reasons for enemies being in a particular location even when they know placement is essentially random. In my opinion the benefits of this model of distribution to game play are worth the time it would take to make the (I imagine) fairly small changes to enemy distribution, with this model next time your team eats a volley of plasma before they clear their vehicle you know it was because you dawdled, and will now have no excuse to be a ☺☺☺☺☺ and reload the mission, furthermore it adds a layer of tactical complexity, and realism. In the original XCOM the aliens politely waited around for more than a day for you to show up, with this method you know theres a ticking clock and the quicker you get a team to the site the better.
Of course its possible the dev team already have a solution like this, in the mean time, what do others think of this idea?
I like it better than the original XCOM "D Day landings" (as one of the devs compares it to - where your guys are stepping over the bodies of their comrades to leave the Ranger). I often wondered why the Ranger pilots didn't see all those aliens nearby and pick a different landing spot.
But personally I think the route the devs are currently going is the best one - deploying from the Ranger will be cutscened... basically the first turn or two of the original game will be 'assumed'.
I like this a lot because I don't think there's too many circumstances where a troop ship lands IN a combat zone - not without REALLY good intelligence on where the opposition and surprise (and going up against other humans who are mostly asleep at 3am and aren't as well trained in fire and maneuver).
I think the standard procedure in most cases would be to land close to the action but in an area that's "known" to be secure ("known" - because intelligence has said so.. the motto of the intelligence community - "we bet your B][/B] life")
I realize that 'more realism =/= more enjoyment' in a video game but I do think if you can maintain fun and strengthen the logic behind whatever 'internal narrative' you use to explain the situations you see then that's a plus.
Oh.. and talk about the WORST landing site EVER... OMFG.. WHAT were the pilots thinking? LMAO.
The second pic... and if you scroll down some of the comments on it are quite funny.
I like the OPs idea, something that encourages a quick response - obviously that's what you strive for, but if you drag your heels, or if you're just getting back from a mission before hitting the next - maybe the aliens could be in better defensive position, or to get the same idea without having to do too much work to the game, just add in another alien for every 3 hours it takes you to get to site.
D-day landings were not devastating in the original xcom, losing 1 or 2 guys out of a pack of 15 is no biggy - losing 1 of 4 in this game would be a different story, 'specially if you lose one of yer best guys... i would definitely walk up to the pilot and hit em in the back of the head.
I like OP's idea, I thought on similar lines years ago and I still think it's a good one.
Firstly why I think it's good is it reinforces risk/reward mechanic. All of us are guilty of waiting until daylight to hit a UFO crash site. We wanted to even up the odds right? So what this mechanic does it allows you to prepare yourself tactically and mentally for the challenge ahead.
If you strike hard and fast, and lets say it's at night. The algorithm for dispersal would randomise to a certain extent the chances of multiple aliens being outside, this grows as time advances. More likely the majority are holed up inside the craft and injured.
So less risk, higher certainty of containment of aliens. You can then extrapolate on this further and introduce other mechanics such as: Alien reinforcements to crash site, alien ambushes if you take too long, alien abductions of surrounding farms / housing, BLUFOR encounters that might be friendly or have their own agenda and so on. There might even be a mechanic for retrieval of sensitive intelligence or materials on the next planned terror site or the retrieval of a vital component to speed up research.
Point i'm trying to make is the maps are procedural, the risk reward mechanic is enhanced. You dont know for sure what it might be but you do know that the faster you engage the better the outcome. Through the use of helpful GUI hints, intelligence gathering this could be a very interesting and unique story enhancing mechanic.
If there is no danger, then the game is stale and without soul to me. If you can't learn to throw smoke properly or how to lead with a disposable tank, then go right ahead and hit that Reload/OMGsavemyguys button. I won't call you a sissy.
There, I lied. The world is a harsh place and people like me lie in order to hurt your feelings. Deal with it or go back to softcore.
You'd think any sane pilot might choose to land in a safe distance to any ambush spots.
Originally Posted by Oathbreaker
I have no problem with a game being hard as long as it's fair, but if a game needs to throw ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺ like this at you just to ramp up the difficulty it's neither fun nor challenging.
Exactly! That's the definition of artificial difficulty.
Originally Posted by Alucardex