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Soldier Personalities And A New Stat


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#1 Sdragon

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 09:08 AM

Okay, this could be a long post.

I think it would be good if solders had a bit more of a random appeal to them. Such as certain skills that could be rare and make the soldier more usefull in certain situations. Would also make soldier be more unique, and unique means they'll be noticed and that the player will care more about them right? Espestialy if by luck a soldier has one or more of these traits. I'll wight some ideas down that come from the top of my head. (Oh yeah and my spelling sucks)

Eagle Eyes: The soldier has greater eye sight than normal.
Good hearing: Soldier can detect enemies that are hidden.
Tenacious: Despite how bad a situation gets, it'll only make him fight harder.
Nerves of Steel: Soldier is almost totaly fearless.
Fleet of foot: Soldier can move across distances faster than normal.
Body Builder: Can carry heavy equipment better than normal.
Charismatic: Makes better officers.
Blood Thirsty: Would rarther skill the enemy with his bare hands. (Or whatever he's holding at the time)
Vendeta: Hate a particular speties more for whatever reason and fights against them with the upmost agression.
Heroic: Throws himself into gun fire to save a civilian or squad member.
Martial arts: Better in hand to hand combat. (more on this later)
Stealthy: Less chance of being detected.
Its mine!: Soldier always brings his lucky hand gun with him for luck.
carefull: Soldier wont return fire when fired upon, instead he will look for some nice solid cover to use.
Animal lover: Pats the snake man on the head cause he thinks its cute. ^_^

Could also build on it and have negative traits that makes certain soldiers poorer than normal. Which could appear over time to existing soldiers, or be there on new ones. (Getting shot in the head for example, the guy might never be the same again)

Trigger happy: Don't bother telling this guy to hold fire.
Phycotic: Runs across the battle feild with an auto cannon in either hand, craving nothing but death.
No Retreat: The soldier will refuse to take a single step back from the enemy.
Sexist/Raceist: They are the best soldiers in the world, doesn't mean their nice people right?
Perfectionsist: He does things in his own time, only aimed shot it worthy of his attention. (Could happen to snipers more oftern)
Damaged ears: Less chance of detecting things without use of sight. (Must be hard on the ears when a Blasta goes off near by)


Was also thinking of giving soldiers a close combat rating, when mele fighting starts who ever has the highest stat is more likley to so. So your mighty X-com commander wont always be turned into a zombie if a "you know what" gets its claws on him. Also, it'll be fun to stamp on the sectoids.

Just a couple ideas, let me know what you think. I might add more traits later, but I think thats enough for now. :)

#2 ATeX

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 09:27 AM

I think that's a great idea. U would make some difference between the units in skill etc. Altough, it might be more difficult to distinguish them. More like: where the heck did I leave my hearing guy? But if the designers and programmers do a little effort, they could also make little icons to put above the soldiers. Anyway, it improves the tactical aspect of the game. Just don't make it too extreme. Great thinking! :D

#3 MagicAndy

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 01:21 AM

Medievil Total war had "Vices and Virtues" for its commanders. The soilder's could be like that.

They could have say 1-3 vices which damage their performace (will sometimes use all tU's running towards enemy and firing, thus needing saving), and 1-3 virtues, which improve their performace (nerves of steel, or perfectionist, which means aimed shots takes 30% more TU's but increased chance of hitting)

#4 Blehm 98

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 02:11 PM

I like the trigger happy. All good ideas. If he sees an enemy, he will open up on it until dead. Takes less TU's than normal to fire any shot, but he will shoot no matter what is in the way, or who is in the way. He is also innacurate during his reaction fire, in which he should shoot tons of shots at aliens
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#5 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 02:24 PM

JA2's or Fallout's systems of traits could work well here I think.
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#6 Phaxzjan

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 11:41 AM

Hi all,
I guess it would be nice to give the soldiers more individuality but there should be a option for "clean mode" or something like that. You have to decide like in JA2 if you want to play with charstyle or without.
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#7 Breunor

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 01:30 PM

The list of traits reminds me of what Rolemaster had, it also had eagle eyes and things like that. I think it would be best if there was also a negative trait to balance things out, perhaps even directly tied to the bonus for balance. As an avid min/max gamer, I'd say you should include that option in tandem with a limited pool of recruits during the game, so a player couldn't just filter through an endless list of soldiers looking for the best combos to outfit a squad. There are enough roles in a group of 12 or more than most traits would have a niche within the team.

#8 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 05:32 PM

Uhh...If we have a limited amount of troops, then I'm probably not going to survive. I go through rookies like candy. In apoc it wasn't so bad because they could survive a few hits, but in this game, the aliens are going to be carrying those nasty instant kill heavy plasma guns, which contribute heavily to my rookie casualities.
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#9 Otterboy

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 04:42 AM

You could just have all new recruits having a chance of having a trait, and you dont find out about this trait until it is revealed on their first mission, stops people filtering through all the new recruits.

Then you could add a max number of positives, say 2 or 3, which would be rare and would take all game for even 1 to develop 3 traits.
Bad ones wouldnt count against the positites total and would be capped at maybe just 1.

I know id be annoyed if my super soldier devoloped something bad, like when my general with 9 star command on M:TW gets that annoying vice that affects morale or something similar. But if he had a whole host of bad traits then i would be beyond annoyed <_<

Edited by Otterboy, 19 April 2004 - 04:26 PM.


#10 Monkeyboy

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:50 AM

some stats could be revaled in combat, like bravery, lots of rekruits breke down in combat, and I mean lots! the first times :puke:
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#11 AbonZel

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 01:16 AM

I can see how a trait like Eagle Eyes would work with the game, but what about... psychotic? Would it mean that they will always charge at the enemy with guns blazing? Will it be a percentage chance?

Perhaps a new trait called "Discipline" or something to that effect. The percentage chance will be effected by the amount of discipline the soldier has. If his discipline is low, he will be more likely to charge the enemy, for example.

Perhaps one could add a psychology center to help soldiers with those problems. It would make an interesting strategic choice to train the soldier or treat his... problem... if one wanted to, of course...

Edited by AbonZel, 03 July 2004 - 01:21 AM.


#12 Khai

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 02:41 AM

Losing control of your troops makes for bad and frustrating gameplay. Aren't these elite commandos we're dealing with? Not trigger happy pyschotics that you pick up at your local NRA meeting? If the guy didn't have enough discipline to put 3 shots into the alien and move on...I don't think he'd make it into x-corps...

#13 mikker

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 07:17 AM

Pokémon had the same thing :P

Although i disagree with some of them, giving them a random skill would be nice.

Maybe they have a chance of having 1 bad stat, 1 good stat, no stat, or 1 bad AND 1 good stat.

Just remember that you can't really control the soldiers, as you conttrol them most of the time. Maybe we can give soldiers an additional extra round to do stuff on their own?

Bad:

Forever Rookiee: This guy won't get better at anything because his just can't understand anything. He will remain a rookiee. Good cannon-fodder.

Hyper :Hyper: : This guy will often go kick a can or just shoot at the ground if his boored. Lethal if somebodys arround. Get him killed, please,

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#14 Adun_Toridas

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 08:27 AM

gotta gotcha ´em all!!!! :P

#15 GARAK

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 04:55 PM

I like these ideas a lot. I think bad traits should be in, but only very rarely, otherwise they wouldn't be the best of the best. With over 6 billion people to choose from, the human race can find a few hundred who aren't screwed up. Besides, most people would just shoot them anyway, or fire them.
Maybe the traits would always develope, or get noticed anyway, over time. That way the player can't hire 50, can 40 bad. Hire 50 can 45 bad. People would just keep hiring and firing until they had hundreds of uber soldats at their command.
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#16 T-1

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 09:00 AM

What effect does rascism actually have on the game?

More good traits:
Tough Guy - about 1.75 times the health than normal
Thrower - throws grenades much more accurately, and can throw much farther
Far shot - normal accuracy, however, doesn't decrease over distance as much.
Fast reload - improved reloading technique, uses less TUs
Sprinter - More TUs

Also more bad traits:
Natural Target - for some reason he's easier to hit.
Slow - less TUs

#17 CopyBass

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 07:19 PM

I'd like to see a guy who only does what you tell him to do if A. he's being paid for it, or B. If it doesn't put him in harm's way. Likes to stay away from the front of battle, 50% chance he'll do something completely different from what you say
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#18 Shinzon

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 10:03 PM

Mabe to prevent your super commander tommy :NyaNyaNya: from developing something nasty, mabe his other stats could cancell out the bad ones... mabe disipline level? (High, much like a heartless hitman, can controll his emotions and thoughts, could transfer into physical traits like better stamina. Low, rookies tend to have low, thats why they break down easily)

So the quality of the unit could be determined by disipline which is unknown at the begning and builds at diffrent rates... Mabe could also contribute to psi strenght? Highly disiplined soldiers make better (usualy, except the ones with natural gift) psi troops twards the end of the game?

If this is too un balanced, think what the aliens have at end game, especialy on harder difficulties, this could be a perfect way to balance them out...

Edited by Shinzon, 24 May 2005 - 10:03 PM.


#19 NKF

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 01:51 AM

Edit: I thought I'd summarise for the benefit of those that just don't have the time for reading my original reply, which is just one messy block of text. ;)

The short of it:

Time released specialties are a good idea.

Alternately, soldiers can start with unique abilities/perks/personalities/whatever and the grow out of them. (i.e. bonus grows weaker as the governing stat (or stats) get better until they bonus is no longer required)

That can potentially lead to boredom as everyone'll be the same.

So, to get around this, soldiers can be made unique by specialising or generalising and earning unique stats/perks/personalities/affinites/whatever you want to call them based on their specialisation.

A single stat, like firing accuracy can be split into general firing accuracy and a subset of various weapon branches - generalising or specialising gives special benefit. Earning generally gives the soldier transferrable weapon skills that can be used across the board while specialising improves a certain weapon subset faster and provides unique bonuses of its own.

The biggest problem would be coming up with a balanced set of bonuses so that they'd all work no matter what the player decides to do.

I think that about wraps up what I'm trying to get across.

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---

I've been thinking about these perks or traits, and I find that they'll also end up with players buying and seiving soldiers until they get the one they want.

The timed released mechanism where these stats are hidden until the prerequisites are met sounds good, but it would still make the player pick favourites by the time they come about. Some soldiers may get neglected if this happens.

One other option is to make these special traits only useful at the start of the game, but once the soldiers get better, their base stats get so good that they override the usefulness of the special bonus. I.e. they wear out their special ability.

Let's use an example. Say we have trait that gives a +20% affinity to using alien tech before it's even researched (i.e. this soldier can fire unresearched alien tech 20% better than anyone else after the penalties are applied). Now let's say this trait's governing stat is based on firing accuracy - assume it has a 50 point cut-off. The 20% bonus becomes less and less as your accuracy improves. By the time it hits and surpassess 50, the bonus becomes 0% and gets taken off the soldier's skill list because the soldier can already do everything bonus originally gave her and them some with just the current stats.

This would make the start of the game unique as everyone would be better suited to certain tasks than others, but once the special bonuses wear out as the soldiers improve, you'd end up with almost identical soldiers at the end, which is what the original games gave us, and I guess we're trying to move away from that - but we don't want to make super soldiers either. Then again, I find that in X-Com, the most fun is gained in the building up phase of the soldiers, not the end result.

But to get around the identical soldier syndrome, you could introduce earned traits/perks/affinities/habits/bonus/whatever. One way I can think of doing this is to split your stats into sub-sets. Let's take accuracy as an example and say we have a total of 100 max points that can be allocated to it for any one soldier (points earned through combat). Accuracy is then split into general and specific skills. General covers all skills to some degree, and specific skills (like light firearms, rifles, heavy or exotic weaponry) are specialised skillsets that offer special bonuses and other intersting perks once they are a high enough level. When you train, you can choose to train generally and get a point, or gear your training down a specialised path and gain a point and perhaps a fraction more (an extra .25 or even .5) under the specialised skill at the detriment of having lost 1 of your max 100 points which could've been used by all the skills. (This could all be done by simply assigning the soldier's active training to concentrate on any particular sub-field).

In the end you could come up with a rifleman who is pants with pistols or rocket launchers, but can weild an assault rifle like no one else can and do more with it than a general soldier that's reached the same level of skill due to the addition of, say, a 20% recoil bonus that the generalist doesn't get (who instead gets a completely different set of generalised 'transferrable' skill bonuses that provide different benefits).

Mind you, that was just accuracy, you could split the other stats into further subsets as well.

Of course, the real problem is balancing the bonuses for the various skill subsets that you can earn so that any way the player builds the unit, it'll be fun to play and not become too strong or too weak.

There's just so much that can be done to make your soldiers unique, that in the end you sometimes wonder if a simpler approach would be better. ;) But oh well, if it's fun, it's fun, but there'll always be some min-maxing.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 26 May 2005 - 02:34 AM.

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#20 kelfka

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:43 AM

Other traits could be Claustrophobic and Agoraphobic

A Claustrophobic soldier would suffer a moral loss in urban and jungle terrain but is reflexes would be boosted.

A Agoraphobic soldier would suffer a moral loss in desert and polar terrain but is reflexes would be boosted