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Thread: Fog of War! ... didn't seem so dramamatic...

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    Fog of War! ... didn't seem so dramamatic...

    Before I critique, I would like to preface that I love the overall direction of the game and the passion being put into the project. I have faith that it'll be great and it'll stay true to what made the original so amazing.

    So I've seen the magical demo many magical times. Did any of you find that it wasn't nearly as scary as it should be? I remember playing the old XCOM and being constantly scared. The map was super dark and contrasted (night missions). I would crap my pantaloons when an alien was just around the corner and I didn't reveal them until just turned that corner. My soldier was, all of a sudden, face to face with a Muton with the barrel of his rifle pointed at his/her soft human dome.

    I understand that it was a flashy demo made to quickly convey the gameplay mechanics. So I'm REALLY hoping that fog of war is it was in the original.

    That's where TUs were important in peeking around corners and getting a good visual on the scenario before executing the next plan. It seems that a lot of line of sight was streamlined and the soldiers do a lot of the visual checks. As if their field is vision much larger than it should be.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSLlZh9yelk

    Why is it not scary? Because the people doing the demo knew exactly where the aliens were.
    Why is the fog of war seemingly ineffectual? Because the people knew exactly what was going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSLlZh9yelk

    Why is it not scary? Because the people doing the demo knew exactly where the aliens were.
    Why is the fog of war seemingly ineffectual? Because the people knew exactly what was going on.
    I can't read your sarcasm if its there... but ya part of the fun is finding the enemy in the dark, the devs even said so when they were talking about the game and I also think fog of war is a bit light, but I have been hoping its demo magic as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Cross View Post
    I can't read your sarcasm if its there... but ya part of the fun is finding the enemy in the dark, the devs even said so when they were talking about the game and I also think fog of war is a bit light, but I have been hoping its demo magic as well.
    That's because there's no sarcasm. It's just how I see it, and I've been through it a few times on these forums to boil it down into those two points.

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    they should have demoed unseen aliens taking potshots on the troopers initial move. i think that would have been unnerving.

    we've only seen 2 demos so far which were pretty much tutorial aspects of the game. maybe the real missions will be more nail-biting than those. *crosses fingers

    the chrysallid night mission demo was pretty scary to me. burning cars, lotsa dead civilian, zombies shuffling around and there was one chryssalid up on the roof. we still dont know the entire menagerie of aliens lurking around the corner waiting to dish out death to your troops so imo there are more things to scare you in this game than the fog of war...
    Last edited by carldivine; 05-31-2012 at 08:28 PM. Reason: typo

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    depends what you are talking about as "fog of war"

    if you watch one of the vids of the gas station that shows the mission from the very beginning; the camera shows the whole level, then the shadowy fog of war "moves in" and the troopers are deployed. So the fog of war doesn't hide the buildings and map layout, it only conceals the aliens.

    So yeah, in this version you can see a lot more than the original, where you could be approaching a barn in daylight and still not be able to see it... doesn't mean that there aren't meanies hiding behind every corner!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftyRighty View Post
    depends what you are talking about as "fog of war"

    if you watch one of the vids of the gas station that shows the mission from the very beginning; the camera shows the whole level, then the shadowy fog of war "moves in" and the troopers are deployed. So the fog of war doesn't hide the buildings and map layout, it only conceals the aliens.

    So yeah, in this version you can see a lot more than the original, where you could be approaching a barn in daylight and still not be able to see it... doesn't mean that there aren't meanies hiding behind every corner!
    I'm hoping that's the case.

    I imagined the fog of war, in a night time setting, to be much darker and more constrained. As if you could only see a few meters ahead of you. (i.e case studies) i loved that feel in xcom94.

    j solomon, in his interview with strategycore, said that vision values are the same in both night and day time missions. sadness...

    i guess we'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laager View Post
    I'm hoping that's the case.

    I imagined the fog of war, in a night time setting, to be much darker and more constrained. As if you could only see a few meters ahead of you. (i.e case studies) i loved that feel in xcom94.

    j solomon, in his interview with strategycore, said that vision values are the same in both night and day time missions. sadness...

    i guess we'll see.
    However, I'll point out that your people can not move as far nor can they see as far in all conditions, where as in XCOM Classic they could see pretty damned far. I've taken a look at the vids and they walked right up on those sectoids hidden by a car. This is why I think they allow the alien scramble. If you were to walk up on them like that in the original then you'd go full auto and keep walking.

    The game in general feels closer from what I've seen.

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    The alien scramble is really one mechanic I hate.
    You walk up to a group of aliens and suddenly they go "WOOOB WOOB WE'VE BEEN FOUND!" and scatter around showing you exactly how many aliens there are and were they are positioned.
    Kinda takes out all the strategy so I really hope that won't happen with every group of aliens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alucardex View Post
    The alien scramble is really one mechanic I hate.
    You walk up to a group of aliens and suddenly they go "WOOOB WOOB WE'VE BEEN FOUND!" and scatter around showing you exactly how many aliens there are and were they are positioned.
    Kinda takes out all the strategy so I really hope that won't happen with every group of aliens.
    I'm in favor of anything that keeps it from being a ROFL stomp, and come on the aliens in the original had no tactics together. You take them on a one to one basis. If having an actually tactical battle with two or more aliens means they travel in groups some of the time then so be it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    I'm in favor of anything that keeps it from being a ROFL stomp, and come on the aliens in the original had no tactics together. You take them on a one to one basis. If having an actually tactical battle with two or more aliens means they travel in groups some of the time then so be it.
    I don't have a problem with them travelling in groups. I do have a problem with the way their reveal is handled.
    You are basically shown EXACTLY how many aliens you'l face and even where they went. That's boring in my opinion.

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    don't forget we've only seen a small amount of what the AI might do with the aliens... I know the gas station had a group of sectoids and a group of mutons, but that might have been a scripted experience. And the crysallid swarm we had described in the hands on articles was after the first squad got killed by them, hence a fair few crysallids in one place as they were once a squad of rookies... and the whole "two squads" thing was scripted for the demo vid the press saw.

    I'm just trying to point out that we don't have enough to go on about the tactical options nor how the AI spawns the aliens and how it uses them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftyRighty View Post
    don't forget we've only seen a small amount of what the AI might do with the aliens... I know the gas station had a group of sectoids and a group of mutons, but that might have been a scripted experience. And the crysallid swarm we had described in the hands on articles was after the first squad got killed by them, hence a fair few crysallids in one place as they were once a squad of rookies... and the whole "two squads" thing was scripted for the demo vid the press saw.

    I'm just trying to point out that we don't have enough to go on about the tactical options nor how the AI spawns the aliens and how it uses them.
    I think if it just set mini-battles and nothing else, then it does have the potential to be boring but I don't think we can go by the scripted play we've seen to know that's how it will *always* work. I do agree that I like the idea of it not being a stream of single aliens that are all easily dealt with.

    It could very well be after spotting 3 sectoids you might end up moving to a flanking position and end up triggering a couple more at another secondary 'spawn point'.

    As a deployment mechanic instead of just having them wander randomly (even in small groups) I'm fine with it. We'll just have to see how it plays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alucardex View Post
    I don't have a problem with them travelling in groups. I do have a problem with the way their reveal is handled.
    You are basically shown EXACTLY how many aliens you'l face and even where they went. That's boring in my opinion.
    i agree. i would hope that it's scrambling can only be achieved on some kind of initiative / pre set over watch ... or something.

    aliens that have been moving (hidden) toward your position should no longer have a scramble. whereas some will be scripted to stay in place until they're discovered.

    i'm sure they thought that scrambling ALL the time would be stupid. also, some could scramble into the dark, unseen, portions of the map?

    that'd be interesting to mix scrambling and non scrambling mechanics. just because you know where THOSE aliens are... doesn't mean there aren't others creeping around your flanks.

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    I think scariness in the original was a lot about the experience. It looked like garbage, but everyone has a very-early-in-game "shot while setting up" experience. Add that (and the almost certain permadeath that follows it) to seeing an alien pop out of the fog of war, and there's your scary. The context is what makes the fear, not the "look".

    I'll respond here to those places elsewhere that have misgivings about night ops/visibility issues:

    Operating at night sucks, but it doesn't work in real life the way it does in a game. In my mind, "less realism" isn't a fair reaction to have, because visibility in life is complicated as heck.

    First: any special forces group operating with the kind of ridiculous satellite/drone coverage XCOM would have is going to know the floor plans of every building in the combat zone. They won't know the position of the furniture, but they'll know doors/floors/rooms. If there's more than ten minutes of planning time, someone might even build a small model or map of the battle space. So for me, fog of war only really needs to conceal enemy positions. Fully visible building exteriors at start of mission are perfectly plausible.

    Second: night visibility is complicated. The problem isn't not being able to see, it's not knowing if you should shoot the moving thing you can see, but cannot identify. I don't think any combat game yet made can really simulate the horror of shooting the wrong thing or person - indeed, most of the time gamers just laugh it off.

    Other people have commented elsewhere that muzzle flashes would ruin night vision, anyway. And electro-flares? i can only say, good riddance. Stupidest. Game Mechanic. Ever. Flares were last used in actual combat in what? World War 2? At Bastogne? Whatevs.

    Anyway, yeah. It doesn't matter if the fog of war isn't even there, and aliens just disappear when nobody has line of sight. When they pop out where you least expect, it'll be plenty scary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coyote_blue View Post
    I think scariness in the original was a lot about the experience. It looked like garbage, but everyone has a very-early-in-game "shot while setting up" experience. Add that (and the almost certain permadeath that follows it) to seeing an alien pop out of the fog of war, and there's your scary. The context is what makes the fear, not the "look".
    I agree with everthing you said. I also think the technical limitations/expectations/decisions made in the original factor into the experience.

    As the OP said - walking around the corner and coming face to face with an alien was an 'oh crap' moment. The knowledge those moments could happen increased the tension. There was part of me that always wondered why I wouldn't peek around the corner - instead of blindly walking forward and then turning a corner.

    Quote Originally Posted by coyote_blue View Post
    First: any special forces group operating with the kind of ridiculous satellite/drone coverage XCOM would have is going to know the floor plans of every building in the combat zone. They won't know the position of the furniture, but they'll know doors/floors/rooms. If there's more than ten minutes of planning time, someone might even build a small model or map of the battle space. So for me, fog of war only really needs to conceal enemy positions. Fully visible building exteriors at start of mission are perfectly plausible

    Pfft.. kids nowadays. Sattelite reconnaissance. Back in MY day, our 'Ranger pilots didn't even scout the lay of the land or the enemy positions before they touched down and we were out the back and if you got shot by some grey, you died knowing the next man out would get revenge....

    (personally I prefer the plausability I've seen the new version to the tension that some of the lack of plausability in the first version created - I think the tension will still be there, a different form maybe, but there)

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    you died knowing the next man out would get revenge....
    or get shot as well...

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    Quote Originally Posted by carldivine View Post
    or get shot as well...
    Wow, this is the first time I've ever been ninja'd. :\

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    Wow, this is the first time I've ever been ninja'd. :\
    first time for everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carldivine View Post
    they should have demoed unseen aliens taking potshots on the troopers initial move. i think that would have been unnerving.

    we've only seen 2 demos so far which were pretty much tutorial aspects of the game. maybe the real missions will be more nail-biting than those. *crosses fingers

    the chrysallid night mission demo was pretty scary to me. burning cars, lotsa dead civilian, zombies shuffling around and there was one chryssalid up on the roof. we still dont know the entire menagerie of aliens lurking around the corner waiting to dish out death to your troops so imo there are more things to scare you in this game than the fog of war...
    Wait a second, when did this chrysallid night mission demo come out and where can i find it?

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    Wait a second, when did this chrysallid night mission demo come out and where can i find it?
    try this one

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