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Alien Bases-dull?


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#1 Sabin

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 01:46 AM

Usually, when I attack an alien base, it oddly seems rather repetive, graphics-wise and in functionality. How about adding some themes and special propertys, like turret defenses or a egypt-like look and design.(pyramids, perhaps?) I would also think that some of the base being above ground would be good visually, and make more sense then the lifts your soldiers appear in when they initially attack a base.

The same could go for X-COM's bases, as far as some of the above-ground combat would go, and replacing the lift with a command center, since that might be more visually pleasing then the lift.

My own ideas for themes and propertys:

Base Themes:
-Egyption
-Human/Alien Base
-Volcanic.(The enemy has the uphill position, thus sniping oppurtunities for them.)
-Cathedral
-Embassy
-Japanese shrine

Other Area Battlescape themes:
-A fair/carnivel.(good for terror missions, has children, mimes, clowns, and other lethal creatures. Many different structures that have many holes-lots of suprise attacks.)
-shopping mall/or similer
-air port.

Special Propertys:
-Integrated defenses(alien defenses for UFOs and their bases in the battlescape.)
-Bloodbath(Many dead bodys around before X-COM arrives at terror site, lowers starting morale by 10%.)

#2 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 02:52 AM

Yeah, a lot of what u ave said has been discussed elsewhere, apart from the bloodbath idea which would appeal 2 me being a very sick man :) Basically we are gonna try and get as much variety into all the missions as possible.

#3 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 08:28 AM

Yes, Jim is right,

But I think that humans should get defense turrets too, except that they would need to be manned by your men.
But good bloodbath idea! Keep em coming!
I'm only partially inactive. :P I can still be reached at cpl.facehugger@gmail.com, and via PM. Preferably the former.

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#4 Sabin

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 12:48 PM

-School(alien base or terror site?)
-Research Lab.(alien base, terror site.)
-Factory.
-Suburbs.(Crash sites, terror sites.)
-Slaughter House.(alien base.)
-Canyon(alien base)
-Mansion.(alien base.)
-Jungle(usually crash site, alien base.)
-Nuclear Power Plant.
-Museum: Alien base


Special Properties:
-Grav Tram.(Alien version of tram, takes four entitys, can only travel on the designated gravity track.)

-Icy Floors.(These usually make entitys slide when trying to go somewhere on this feature, which can make them go to the wrong area. The amount of distance when this is in effect is random. Can't slide beyond physical objects.

-Power: The power allows the lights and other features to work in houses or in alien ships. If the providing or other portions of this system are destroyed, some or all of these features may be disabled, like street lights in terror missions(reducing visability.), or alien UFO defenses.


Ideas for human bases:

-Impact Pods: The aliens use these in order to send a select number of their troops directly into the lower levels of the enemy base.

-Humans can place their troop before the battle begins in their base, an auto-place feature available to do this for them(much like what is already in X-COM.)

-Walls: These surround the base, preventing small amounts of attacks to penetrate the base. Three varietys, with different features.

Regular: human starting wall
Alien Alloy: much stronger, can have defensive emplacements installed.
Elerium: Gravity based defenses. Can repel some attacks, emplacements optional.


UFOS: If a ufo is crash lands, it's forces may be highly damaged and the ufo with be just outside the base, and the forces are disorganized. If it lands instead of crashing, the forces available are fully equiped and organized, with the ufo to fall back on in bad times.

Also, I think that alien convoys should be able to attack bases in large numbers, like 6 very small scouts, 2 small scouts, and a large scout. This will randomize the number of forces assulting the base, and the positions of these forces.

Edited by Sabin, 23 August 2003 - 01:01 PM.


#5 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 12:57 PM

Here's something 2 think about. Ever played Apoc in turn based? Found wandering thru small corridors extremely tedious? I know I did. The best places would be rural area's, and places with large rooms and a lot of things in it ( like a warehouse or workshops ).

I like the mansion idea, lots of open space and things 4 cover as opposed 2 small corridors. Jungle's are hard 2 do coz of all the tree's, that's why the only 2 games ( 1 isn't even out ) that have done jungles well is Vietcong, and MGS 3.

Basically I'm all 4 variety as long as it isn't like apoc, coz the maps were purely frustrating and not very strategic IMO.

#6 Sabin

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 01:05 PM

I have edited my second post, which contains new information.

I have never played that version of X-COM, and I don't design the actual lay-out of these areas, I only give concepts with which the Xenocide team may forge into reality.

#7 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 01:43 PM

Well, ave u played the ship missions on TFTD? The ones where u walk around all day thru corridors without actually finding ne1 till the last room, where ur 1 man dies and u curse after spending 30 mins wandering around aimlessly 4 no reason? Imagine that every mission, and u got the Alien Spotted missions on Apoc :(

#8 fux0r666

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 01:46 PM

Does anyone here watch cartoons? *raises hand, looks around, then quickly lowers it again*.

Anyways, the cartoon Samurai Jack... hate the title song... but all other sounds/music/ambience in that show is incredible. It's a testament to what good sound editting can do for mood. I'd highly recommend to anyone interested in mixing sound to check out that cartoon, especially episodes where Samurai Jack is wandering the northern lands.

Also, what was great about the jungles in Vietcong (although even IT could not save that dull, dull game) and Soldier of Fortune 2 was the way the trees and other foliage moved. You animators out there should study the way those things move, especially now since we are getting into the end of summer now and it's going to start to get breezy out there.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#9 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 01:57 PM

U should look at MGS 3 then, that is the definitive example of how 2 do a game in a forest, even more so than Vietcong.

#10 Sabin

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 01:15 AM

Themes:
-Prison(alien base or terror site, contains many locked areas and cells that require a soldier to unlock via advanced computers. This could be represented by a white space, which represents an map interaction.)



Special Propertys:
-Map Interaction squares: These squares cause changes to a map, like locking or unlocking doors. Some of these may be used by anyone, but those with green borders are allied with X-COM, taking only 10 Tus, and if they have red borders, the aliens get the same benefit, and the X-COM personal take 300 TUs to change the alien's square conditions.(X-COM squares also make the aliens take the same amount of time to open.)

The map interaction square takes a set number of tus to open, and this is cumulative.

Example 1: Alien square requires 150 tus, and the X-COM soldier has 25 per turn. He uses the alien square, and does so for the next 3 turns. The tu threshold is now 100. The soldier dedicates 2 more turns to it, and the threshold is matched, and the door opens.

Whenever a person uses a square, they by default put all of their tus into interacting with that square in that turn. The threshold of a square resets when the threshold is matched or exceeded, and if a command is given.


Merits: This will allow the development team experiment with locked doors, and even expand into other possibiltys.

#11 Blood Angel

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:11 AM

I think we should implement 2-level bases, like in TFTD. The first level would feature alieny bits along with the features of the standard landscape. In TFTD this was mainly seabed sand, but in Xenocide this could be forest, jungle, plains, desert, mountains, etc. Also, in TFTD, the structures were pretty obvious, because who apart from Xcom and Aliens go underwater? but in Xenocide, they'll need some more camouflage.

#12 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:13 AM

NO, please DON'T, I actually want to play Xenocide :( I hated the two level things in TFTD.

#13 Blood Angel

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:25 AM

I quite liked them, they added a level of realism. But then, we run into the age old sodding problem of gameplay against realism.

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:37 AM

I don't see what realism has to do with anything, the bases already have several floors, I don't see the point in adding another whole section.
Plus, games are not supposed to be realistic, they are supposed to be fun, I don't mind if having my character fly, travel through time, or shooting bloody fireballs from his mouth is realistic in a game, I care that I have fun doing it! AFAIK X-Com agents could cast magic for all I care, as long as I have a lot of fun while at it.

edit: I am not sure if I caught the point of your post, I hope it was that I replied to :unsure:

Edited by Azrael, 04 September 2005 - 11:38 AM.


#15 Blehm 98

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 04:17 PM

I agree with blood angel, i want two part alien bases, it would make it better

it would most likely be a lot better than TFTD, as the testing we will do will root out any problems like aliens that hide behind staircases or in corners you can only find on your 12th sweep of a 6x6 map
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#16 Snakeman

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 05:41 PM

I think I'd prefer a really big map with lots of levels to it rather than it being a stage mission i.e. Cydonia.

Granted, themed maps like Cydonia do have a niche, but I wouldn't want any one mission type overwhelmed because it has to be done in stages like that. I like them and they are fun, but in small doses.

However, I think the there's still that inherent problem of creating decent AI pathfinding routines in maps that just have more levels. It would have to be good enough I feel to warrant a map that has 4 levels to it.

#17 Blehm 98

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 09:59 PM

well, i want an outer level of alien bases, which you have to fight to the entrance, and then fight your way to the command center
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#18 MirariNefas

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:16 AM

it would most likely be a lot better than TFTD, as the testing we will do will root out any problems like aliens that hide behind staircases or in corners you can only find on your 12th sweep of a 6x6 map


In UFO:AM and AS they tend to get around the tedium of the last alien hiding under the stairs by letting you win without killing everything. They set a number that represents 90% or so of the aliens on the map, and assume that after you've taken care of that the resistance is broken and the rest can be taken care of off screen.

I don't see what realism has to do with anything, the bases already have several floors, I don't see the point in adding another whole section.
Plus, games are not supposed to be realistic, they are supposed to be fun, I don't mind if having my character fly, travel through time, or shooting bloody fireballs from his mouth is realistic in a game, I care that I have fun doing it! AFAIK X-Com agents could cast magic for all I care, as long as I have a lot of fun while at it.


I really hope someone makes a mod where the soldiers shoot fireballs from their mouths. It'll be called Fireball Squad Nemesis. Just for you Azrael. Then maybe you'll start to think that departing too much from realism makes things less fun.


I'd like to add that I had a problem with the base layouts in UFO and TFTD. They were constructed not like they were underground, but like they were inside a big square building and all the space had to be used. What I mean is, can we have long corridors and oddly shaped rooms and so on? The series of square and rectangular rooms rather bothered me.

#19 Oldblue153

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:39 AM

I liked the 2 part missions myself....the second parts where you start off in the open ( no ship to hide in) made it near impossible to get through one without losing a few men ( even if ya are the reset-reset-reset type) for the terror missions there was ammo peroblems too i remember having to use aimed shots on Gauss Rifles rather than Auto-shot cause clips were getting rare. I'm all for multi-level scenario's.

#20 sir_schwick

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:18 AM

For bases I really think integrating the outside and inside into a single levle makes more sense. For the X-CORPS side, it allows you to shift men between interior and exterior defence. For aliens it means you also have to fight your way up or down an access shaft and corridor. This could lead to interesting BB deuls and such. Also imagine the application of wide-dispersing but high temperature burning gasses. That could actually be a research item, 'Type 451 Gas' which requires a high temperature spark but burns incredibly hot(hot enough to melt metal and maybe weaker alien alloy spots).

#21 Garo

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:30 AM

I'd like to add that I had a problem with the base layouts in UFO and TFTD.  They were constructed not like they were underground, but like they were inside a big square building and all the space had to be used.  What I mean is, can we have long corridors and oddly shaped rooms and so on?  The series of square and rectangular rooms rather bothered me.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Interesting idea, it might be possible. But in XCOM, the base you see at basescape and the base you see at base defence mission are the same. How would the basescape look then with those big corridors and all?

If you come with a good idea.. well, that's a good start =)

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#22 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:51 AM

I really hope someone makes a mod where the soldiers shoot fireballs from their mouths.  It'll be called Fireball Squad Nemesis.  Just for you Azrael.  Then maybe you'll start to think that departing too much from realism makes things less fun.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hardly, my favourite games are not realistic at all, realism is not always = fun.
Now go play some fantasy games, young grasshopper, and you may see the light :P

I'd like to add that I had a problem with the base layouts in UFO and TFTD.  They were constructed not like they were underground, but like they were inside a big square building and all the space had to be used.  What I mean is, can we have long corridors and oddly shaped rooms and so on?  The series of square and rectangular rooms rather bothered me.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Interesting idea, it might be possible. But in XCOM, the base you see at basescape and the base you see at base defence mission are the same. How would the basescape look then with those big corridors and all?

If you come with a good idea.. well, that's a good start =)

- Garo

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is the way it was done in UFO: Aftermath, all rooms and corridors were of irregular shape, I thought it was nice ^_^

Edited by Azrael, 17 January 2006 - 09:52 AM.


#23 MirariNefas

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:44 PM

Now go play some fantasy games, young grasshopper, and you may see the light


LOL, yeah I'll admit to enjoying fanatasy as well. I just keep this line between my science fiction and my fantasy fiction. One is scientifically plausible, the other operates by entirely different rules. To level with you though, I'm a science major aspiring to one day be a PhD'd researcher. That probably makes me more finicky than most people.

This is the way it was done in UFO: Aftermath, all rooms and corridors were of irregular shape, I thought it was nice


I was quite happy with the way it was done there as well. My one criticism is that I felt there should have been some terrain obscuring fog of war when you were clearing out new bases. I think it would have added to the atmosphere.

Interesting idea, it might be possible. But in XCOM, the base you see at basescape and the base you see at base defence mission are the same. How would the basescape look then with those big corridors and all?


A start would be to do this for alien bases at least. I presume the alien bases don't have a little grid that they fill up with labs and hangars just like we do. In fact, I was under the impression that their maps were randomly generated and not beholden to any exterior standard at all.

As for trying to incorporate it into your own bases, you'd have to change the little grid. Instead of a bunch of squares and each square being one room size, you'd need little squares one-fourth or one-fifth the size of a room, so all the rooms wouldn't need to follow such a uniform pattern. You could then include a corridor build option which would be half the width of a room, and various high traffic rooms would have a corridor access requirement. Also, you could have an ability to merge certain rooms. If you've got two storage rooms in a row for instance, they would merge into a big rectangular storage room. You might even want to directly encourage this, by giving a few percent capacity boost to merged rooms from the extra space that would have been devoted to walls.

Edited by MirariNefas, 17 January 2006 - 05:45 PM.


#24 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:55 PM

Now go play some fantasy games, young grasshopper, and you may see the light


LOL, yeah I'll admit to enjoying fanatasy as well. I just keep this line between my science fiction and my fantasy fiction. One is scientifically plausible, the other operates by entirely different rules. To level with you though, I'm a science major aspiring to one day be a PhD'd researcher. That probably makes me more finicky than most people.

Oh, me too, but my point is that we must not forget that the important thing about a game is to have fun, how does the game accomplish that, I don't really care, as long as it does it right :)

#25 Snakeman

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:58 PM

I'm the same way with regard to building structures and also applying some worth to corridors too by making them base objects to be built as well.

I would just hope that, no matter how much we can build in any direction and vertically, that the AI pathfinding will make use of those areas in different ways.

You could have a few "corridor" objects:

I = Straight corridor
C= Rounded/curved Corridor
[ ] = Angular (curved but not "smooth") corridor
S or Z= Winding (smooth or more angular) corridor
U= Elongated (but curved) corridor
O= Ciruclar corridor object etc.

With the last one, its obviously only closed off unless there's a connecting module or hallway. What's more, some could be reversable, placed "upside down" etc. I think that at the placement portion, i.e. when you've selected the one you want - right clicking or something could change its orientation so that when you find the positioning you want, left single clicking back on the map area places it.

Now maybe, with these corridors too, some AI actions can be applied to a few of them (separate from whatever behaviors are ascribed to them in room module) such that:

x % of the time, an alien might roll a grenade or use a BB before advancing or

x % of the time it may break out some cutting tool, bore through the hallway to an adjacent module (to inject a little circumventive sneakiness).

x % of the time an alien may set a trap and go down a different hallway etc.

x % of the time they'll just go through the obstacle course hallway more quickly, perhaps at a brisk walk or burst run while shooting

x % of the time, they'll use the twists and turns in the corridors wisely for cover before moving again.

Anyway, just some thoughts I had with ascribing some AI behavior to the hallways themselves that might then help make them seem like they're intent to doing room to room searches.

Then it becomes a question of what routine kicks in at different points for the rooms themselves. They might just duck in and hide for a turn, take the lift down to the next level etc.

Also, then, when alien bases are generated, and if they use a similar method to AI in corridors, theoretically you could make alien base layouts a little more robust at times.

Edited by Snakeman, 17 January 2006 - 06:01 PM.


#26 sir_schwick

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 06:45 PM

Base customization is one of those areas I think could have used a lot more work in this re-make. Medieval castles could show us many ideas that would be useful in defensive design. Here are some examples.....

[b]Arrow Slits]/b] - Of course these have been upgraded through the ages with pillbox slits and such. There are a few ways these slits could use modern and possibly elerium based technology to be even better.
Smart Slits - These are blast sections that are about 6x6 on the outgoing side and 2x2 on the inside portion. Using the smart weaposn systems that I am sure X-CORPS will happen, when a soldier aims out one, as they fire the slit opens for hte duration of fire then recloses.
Field Slits - If some kind of elerium based grav shielding is implemented, this is the perfect place for it. A strong field could be in use here that pushes out. In fact weapons going through the field would have slightly worse aim because of the acceleration, but a lot more power. This also allows for a systme that can have much bigger slits.

Also with the slit system you have ways of deciding where and how some can be placed. Here are some examples......

Partial Corridor Slits - These are usually horizontal and on the ends of corridors and coming across. They could even be in blast doors that are normally retracted but put down during base assault. You could even have the option of having access to the base defence grid and being able to open/close blast doors. Big advantage is that you get a full field of fire and can handle the situation on the fly. Disadvantage is that the aliens might hack those more easily and definitely can focus fire perpedicular to the armour surface.
Gatehouse Slits - These are placed along the side of the corridor in question. Usually they are well camoflauged, even while firing, due to confusion devices such as bright alternating lights and heat sources. There are several ways to get access, whichver works best. Part of it may involve the use of a 'defence tunnel' system that works its way up and above the rest of the base. IT allows defenders into defendce structures not normally avaliable to the rest of the base and possibly drop down into rooms. The entrances would be in the more secure part of the base to give defender advantage. This way aliens cannot take a door into the corridor kill areas.
Ceiling Slits - It is obvious to imagine how this woudl work, especially with the defence tunnels I described. Also these could be the control areas for turrets and such.
Floor Slits - There probably isn't a reason to describe this, but as you can guess the only real weaknesses is its easier to penetrate down into the defence network.

Imagine alien bases with these improvements as well.

#27 Snakeman

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:31 PM

I see what you mean, sort of like pillbox concrete bunkers at hallway junctions for both sides' bases.

I have an idea to add to yours about the windows you fire from having panels that open and close. I think just stepping up to it and standing to face it, it should trigger the panel to stay open. It'll stay open from turn to turn so long as a soldier is in that position - standing and facing it.

The panel should close if the soldier either A. steps one tile away from it or B. kneels down below it during the turn.

Alternatively, maybe it should be closed between turns by default or is its default state, such that again, right clicking on the window tile could open it if a soldier is facing it (not unlike how I've heard opening doors worked in TFTD).

I also like the notion of having connecting side type corridors that probably in most cases only have links to the other security stations that bypass the traditional corridors. This way if one security area gets compromised, the enemy can use those side channels as well to move around.

Some of those pillboxes could be standalone too, providing a place to duck behind and shoot from a corner outcropping (or even a slight recessed area even) or something off of the main corridors.

#28 sir_schwick

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:42 PM

I was thinking it opens and closes with fire to protect the firer from reaction fire. Either that or there is a massive to hit penalty on reaction fire. Also, I never got to how you could design these things. Rather than letting the computer decide, you could manually add the new tunnel plans and a number of days would be required for construction. First you could add features(blast doors, traps, turret spots, cameras, etc.). Next you could 'slit areas' that would automatically have the slits in them. Next you would connect the slits area from a direction of your choosing(or multiple). The network it connects too would simply be 2 wide corridors connecting to 6x6 hubs with electronics over every room. Maybe the entrance would be the 'command center' since ti is the final line of defence and the hardest room for invaders to get into. Also, when choosing any kind of wall slit, you can choose whether it is slanted or across. Slanted walls slits will give a much better firing angle in the direction of the slant but a similar penalty in the other. It is great for corridors that attackers will pretty much only be coming one way down. Across simply means there is no slant and the view down a hall is much more restricted, but that gives no great advantage to the attacker going through more quickly.

That last idea was sorta what hte blast door slits were. You could also have 'pop-down' pavisses that had a slit in them or lowered when the firer was ready to fire. This pavisse would also cover the side of the trooper as well to reduce explosive damage.

This also allows for the idea of ceiling cages for flying troopers. Flying troopers could get on these armour sheets and shoot through slits at the ground in the hangers and other high ceiling areas.

#29 Snakeman

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:42 PM

With the game promising to be moddable, hopefully it won't mean that we're relying too much on the game's pool of alien base layouts, but rather, having it tap into those, and player-made alien base challenges if present in the specified folder(s). That way the game would have that many more plans to choose from to generate.

I don't mind random generated bases for the aliens, but I would want some consistancy this time around as to what base has whatever layout staying relatively the same (but allowing for the fact that over time, there might be changes the game makes to the base yet its still recognizable if you revisited the same one).

Another option could be to turn off the random base generator for the aliens at game start, and just have it choose between player-made alien bases we've swapped between us.

Presumably (devs correct me if I'm wrong) the battlescape will be in that same isometric view we were familiar with, so for the purposes of this idea of using a network of corridors in place of a module being placed, I forgot to point out the issue of levels.

If a base can be 2-4 levels, and I'm building a different corridor over the same area of base for each level, that should also mean you can decide what your connection points will be, either in the form of stairs, grav lifts, ramps, or just a hole with a ladder or rope that can be retracted.

Shwick, I see what you mean about different sized slit openings. Some openings could be no bigger than a shoebox (limited visibility/angle of attack from it-its more a straight shot trajectory kind of thing), to narrow but more verticle slits (better up/down tracking of targets/limited side-to-side tracking), to larger more rectangular openings that cover a wider swath of area (not good up/down tracking, but better side-to-side tracking of targets).

You bring up another good point about tertiary opened-up areas for flying units to make use of. Either as places to attack from, places to duck out of combat for a bit, or even as places in the case of the aliens, good places to lay some kind of trap.

I like the idea of mixing and matching corridor segments with those kind of rooms to better tailor your maps, both enemy and X-COM. I wonder too if we could lump in with this the ability to manipulate previously existing wall segments attached to a module, so that for instance, you could have your firing peep hole slits installed where they hadn't come that way in the stock design.

Perhaps base building shouldn't just be a top-down affair as with the base view in the first game. I think to be able to better visualize it as things come online, I think there should be an ability to view your base as you would have in the battlescape.

Basically being able to preview it and check all its connections from that viewpoint, that corridors line up the way you want them to etc. A base editor is probably what I'm saying, but in this context, I mean something you can do to check tweaks while the game is running. i.e. using your soldiers at your base to traverse those areas, test firing from the defensive positions you've made to better guage thing before you actually see a defense battle.

Edited by Snakeman, 17 January 2006 - 11:49 PM.


#30 Snakeman

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:59 PM

Just thought of another idea for corridors: Having some of them be collapsable in places if not destroyable. If a position can't be defended well, bring down some dirt for added turn delay defense bonus.

If its a base attack or a base defense, those little rock creatures that eat anything would be pefect foils for this tactic.

#31 sir_schwick

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 12:09 AM

Murder holes in general seem easy to do since you are buried under hundreds of tons of dirt.

#32 Snakeman

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 12:25 AM

Going back to the outside arena for the base, you could apply similar logic of these corridors we've been discussing for the interior and put that towards a bit of a trench network if that's the way the player (or the alien generated base) wanted their outside portion to be.

Only difference being that much of the trench network is without a ceiling (except for probably a few makeshift pillboxes along the route). Perhaps a particular layout can have it where the only way to reach the access lift is through a portion of the trench network.

#33 sir_schwick

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 01:09 AM

Any good 'secret base' defences would involve hundreds of well camoflauged weapons of some kind. This could include poison grenade launchers, flashing lights and psionic wave emitters, machine gun turrets and rayzor wire held between to hyper fast missle probes. Basically you want to suprised the enemy and not give them a basis of which to expect defences. Trenches soudn good except for the atmosphere detection bit. However heavily fortified underground tunnels that lead to defensive peepholes and such is a very good idea. That could be similair tunnels that are a level or two down and pop up in places. These would be smaller of course. Also, they would feature tons of blast doors and trap spots for aliens taht try to come through taht. Maybe the access life would be covered with a giant blast shield and submerged, only accessible thorugh the defensive tunnels. They would also try to either blast it with ship weapons or use high powered explosives.

This does raise interesting questions about how anti-ship defences are set-up and who defends them. In another thread I started to discuss the fact that X-COM would probably require an army to invade Cydonia. There are a lot of 'not quite XCORPS super commando' troops necessary for stuff such as guarding and cleaning up crash sites and maintaining security. Also imagine the troops required to truly take out alien defences as I described. So the point is that anti-ship sites would be as much a target of invaders as the base itself. Obviously you would have the option of pulling in the defence under the blast shield(in Aeroscape). The aliens coudl then choose to send a hit squad, I would say a BS if it can land, maybe with a couple scouts worth of backup, to turn the site, or assume it will not come out because of air-superiority. Otherwise they may drop troops on the ground from a lot of smaller craft to attack and subdue the facility so they can bring in larger and more vulnerable ships. Expect that attack force to be even larger, say three of four BS worth of troops.

So we could see the alien assault on a built up X-CORPS base as almost an epic battle of massive preportions. It is an operation that the aliens probably had to downsize other operations for at least a month to accomplish. First they probe around the area, trying to provoke AA response as they start landing troops. If you do not respond hard enough, they will land more troops freely without htem dying in the air. Respond with too many of your assets and they will know where your defences lie and be better prepared to attack. First they land recon troops to try and figure out the lay of the land battle. Next comes the light elite troops that will storm the fortified positions. Do not expect them to give up every man to gain a posiitoin. Their primary interest is to make sure that the heavies will not be landing in too hot an LZ. At this point you can force them to rethink their base attack if you can keep them from establishing a good LZ. Destroy the elites well and the aliens will pull out before things get too serious. However this is very difficult unless the enemy underestimated you, especially since the terrain outside the defensive grid is not friendly to you either. What is more likely is that they will start landing stormtroopers to organize and push into the openings of the base. However even these guys are not enoguh to sustain the assault. Heavy enough losses with little enough reinforcement and gained ground will eventually force the alien general to admit they no longer have the operational force to continue. How the AA battle is going will affect this greatly. If your guns are keeping the big ships from landing, the aliens can not reinforce very quickly. They are forced to divert troops to eliminate AA and can only send in smaller vehicles. The larger ships also contain the heavy weapons platforms and troops that can push into the base and combat the hardened defenses. However it is unlikely, especially if one of these fails and this is go number two, that they will forever be denied the sky or the heavies. At some point you are going to have to give a little bit and little bit more ground. The real key to to punish them heavily for each square of territory they gain. Finally your exterior defenders have been pushed back inside by the tremendous weight of the assault. Maybe a few of your guns are still firing, keeping the reinforcements down. Maybe even more audaciously a few guns had to go under cover because of a heavy anti-AA infantry force, but they were beaten back so now the guns are shooting again. Remember, this fight is not over for a long time. Now after sustaining from a good defence what shoudl be an amazing loss, they now descend even further into what is your home field. Even with heavies they are in corridors full of slits, heavy turrets, corrosive and poisonous and hot burning gasses, and angry XCORPS soldiers and comandos. Ultimately the fight really only ends whenever the aliens finally walk into that control room, disable or turn all the defenses, mind control who they can using XCORPS communication equipment, and kill the rest. Whether or not they even get past landing a couple recon squads or to the victory stand will be determined by greuling, nightmarish combat.

Imagine having the same kind of battle ot fight when attacking an alien base. It would take serious coordination, but good planning ahead of time could save the lives of hudnreds if not thousands of XCORPS soldiers and commandos.

#34 Snakeman

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:55 AM

Ya now something, I keep coming back to that alien rock creature for some reason :)

If they could come up with a fast way to deploy them (think Silacoid launcher mounted on ships) as they land or when parked, the aliens can get around, at least partially in the deployment phase, the poor TU traveling speed of those creatures.

A bunch of those intermingled with Zombies, Chrizzies, Mutons and some Ethereal or Sectoid controllers w/mixed terror unit makeup should do wonders at clearing outter defenses.

That's plenty of fodder going through minefields, getting lost in trench traps, falling to miniguns, artillery etc., but with that above rock thing, they could be sending a few nasty things right behind your lines to work on your fixed fortifications and doors, while the rest are widdling away everything else. It'd split your attentions from the get go on turn one. Now that could be a cool challenge.

I threw in Zombies as an afterthought. I figured hey, maybe they should use 'em more just in principle. On top of that, its a unit that has two phases to it before you actually get to kill it. Maybe that can make for and streamline the "waves" of units this would otherwise represent.

As for alien base assaults themselves, if they can get sophisticated outter defenses like this for them too, I think it only bolsters the argument for a reinforcement option as you play through that base layer (it should only be good while your still outside, not once you've entered). I think it only fair that its a boon granted to the attacking opponent rather than the defender in the case with bases at least.

Edited by Snakeman, 18 January 2006 - 08:21 AM.


#35 Blood Angel

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 11:29 AM

Locking Schwick and Snakeman in a room together can create a game of its own accord. It's official.

#36 sir_schwick

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:16 PM

I am wondering what kind of drilling sensors you would have. Even in WWII prison camps had microphones buried to detect digging. Whiel ti would not stop the approach, maybe it would be like dungeon keeper where you knew it was coming.

#37 Snakeman

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:31 PM

Locking Schwick and Snakeman in a room together can create a game of its own accord. It's official.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


What can I say, we're on a roll looks like :D

If you ask me, brainstorming is the funnest part of the whole project without even being on the project. Its kind of a shame really, my time limitations prohibit it, but if I did get on board, I'd probably be one of the poor guys in the corner in the dark cooking up some art assets.

shwick, I was thinking that from the aliens' perspective anyway, they might not need too many sophistcated drilling equipment objects. If heavy plasmas are decent enough for taking out walls, floor and ceiling tiles made of alien alloy, they could use that way, or the rock creature thing that eats anything. However, that's not to say that there shouldn't be at least one type of tool that's carried that's similar for both sides for getting through a tougher section (like outter ship hulls)

As to tracking ability, the old game did use something for AI that had them gravitate toward your units. I figure something like this in accordance with behaviors ascribed to both rooms and corridors (or dare I say, to remember paths of least resistance in the outside portion and use those), we might have the beginnings of a way to have robust base layouts for both sides.

With the last bit, if units could remember for instance, that a portion of your minefield is now gone thanks to some sacrafices they made, some of the units would take advantage of that. Its something I could see whether assauting or defending a base both sides units could make use of - letting each other take turns advancing and retreating as defenses fall.

#38 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 11:35 PM

Hmm...how about this:

You can setup your defense outside, as well as inside. When the aliens attack you, you allocate some of your men outside, and some inside. Position them if you want. Now, the UFO attack you, and a few things will happen. You might completely obliterate it, you might damage it enough so it would crash, and you might not do much damage to it. In the first case, the UFO and everyone in it is gone, so there's no battlescape. In the second case, the UFO slams into somewhere on the side of the map, possibly crashing into some of your outer defenses, and killing any unfortunate men that happen to be in the way. Because of the crash and damage, some aliens will probably be dead already. The remaining aliens come rushing out, and you'll have to kill them all. Fixed defenses outside will probably come in handy in this situation.

In the third case, the UFO lands wherever it want, probably right on top of your defenses. Now, the difference here is that the aliens will have the option of retreating if they get too heavily punded here, since they have an intact ship. To be fair, they won't be able to lift if one of your men is on it, since that would be kinda tricky to code in.

The same thing occurs when you try to invade their base. If you're shot down, you crash down somewhere random. If you manage to survive the SA defenses, you can pick where you want to land, maybe get a nice map of the area as well. Perhaps there's a sensor or camera or something you can add to your transport for this ability. Heck, maybe you can take out their defenses with fighters, and be able to get an aerial view of the map or something after you gain air control.

Another idea - why not scramble fighters? Or evacuate the base?

#39 GARAK

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 02:25 PM

The alien ship should be able to fire on the defences while landing. Why not?

#40 Blehm 98

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 06:21 PM

it would make sense that the base defences would be integrated into the environment so it'd be about as effective to shoot the defenses as it would be to shoot a large hill...
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#41 Snakeman

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:33 PM

The alien ship should be able to fire on the defences while landing. Why not?


it would make sense that the base defences would be integrated into the environment so it'd be about as effective to shoot the defenses as it would be to shoot a large hill...


Both of these are points worth looking at. I'd say yes for the first definitely, and with the second point here, maybe there's a pro for attempting it in daylight, and a con for night. Such that your average of knocking out or weakening secondary outside defenses is higher for day and harder at night (more indescriminate, since all your likely to see are muzzle flashes from the weapons).

In addition, perhaps something to ascribe to the pilot in the combat transport attempting to land (if its got weapons) toward his 'vehicle weapon accuracy' or some such (which would be independent of firearms firing accracy).