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Base View And Options


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#1 Durandal

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Posted 09 February 2005 - 12:01 PM

I'm new here, so forgive me if this topic has been discussed to death already. I also haven't played any of the other XCom games past UFO, I tried TFTD once, but it was just an underwater version of UFO which never appealed to me.

But I'd like to mention the one thing that I really want to see in XCom UFO Defense: more options on the base view screen. I have always liked SimCity, and I've always wanted to have base construction be more like that, more options and space to expand.

First off, the XCom bases are always underground, but you can never choose how deep. A nice 3D isometric view of the base, similar to the battlescape only less close up would do. Instead of only having a 6x6 grid to build in, it could be an 9x9x9 cube (not all facilities would only take one unit either.) You could see your entire base, or view it in segments level by level, where each level represents about 3 meters or so. This would completely change the way we build bases. Instead of stacking your hangars and lift to one side of the base, we could actually build the hangars and lift entrance on level 1 and have other facilities right below them on level 3 (because the hangars would be so big they take up two levels), and more important facilities further down. Facilities might even have to be built in certain areas based on their function. Radar, Hangars, lift entrances, and missile defenses would have to open up on level 1, and be potential entrances for aliens during an attack. A grav shield would not work if it were too deep, but it doesn't have to be on top either. Mind Shields would have to be built somewhere above Living Quarters and Containment facilities. Missile silos, for example, would start on level 1 and reach down through a few more levels (a silo only 3m deep is unrealistic, 12m or even 15m tall sounds better for a silo, doesn't it?) This offers something new for base construction and defense. A setup like this seems more realistic and offers new options for attacking aliens. Instead of bieng stuck in your hangars, Aliens could get into any facility on the top level and blast their way down into the next level of your base.

Now, you're probably thinking that this would only encourage some 3D version of "stacking syndrome" (that's my term for when people stack their lift and hangars in a corner and have only one hallway leading to them, so they can easily seal the hall off during an attack.) One way to discourage this is to make each level a multiplier, so facilities level 1 (which means they are covered by a thin layer of dirt) cost what they normally would. Facilities on level 9 would cost 9x higher than normal. If that sounds unrealistic, keep in mind that level 9 means covered by 8 levels or 24m of dirt and rock. This could tie in with an "alien bombardment" feature, where the aliens can bombard your base to damage certain facilities before they land to attack. Facilities at lower depths should sustain less damage than higher ones. If they are deep enough, no damage. Speaking of damage, parts of your base should sustain damage. This would cut down on the number of times that people sit outside their hangars and randomly throw blaster bombs down the hall. You could still do it if you are desperate or something, but each bomb damages the hangars, which means that you can't use the hangars (and craft stored within) for a few days until they are fixed (naturally, fixing stuff would also cost some cash.) If this sounds unrealistic and unfair, it is. In UFO alien attacks on your bases are hit or miss battles, either they win and you lose all craft, scientists, engineers, materials in your base, or you win and the only costs are buying or making more ammo and recruiting a couple of replacement soldiers. But if the Aliens lose, and still knock out your hangars for a while (or you knock them out by hitting them repeatedly with high-explosive and fusion wapons), at least that's something they have to show for their efforts.

Also to prevent "stacking syndrome", there could be more facilities to build. These facilities would also add to the realism of the game. A Command Center, power generators, communications systems, computer cores, loading docks (for incoming and outgoing shipments), training centers, rec centers, cargo lifts, advanced Psi labs, , air and water purification (or life-support), protective concrete barriers, advanced manufacturing centers (it always annoys me that four workshops spread out around the base grid can build an Avenger just as fast as four that are right next to each-other, and that a "workshop" can churn out anything from ammo clips to ship-mounted fusion missle launchers and spacecraft.) The list goes on and on, and these facilities should be big. Why follow UFO's system where one facility takes one square (except for hangars of course), with all this space to spare, the facilities should be bigger, especially any "advanced" variants. People want Xenocide to have more features than UFO, so make them earn the new features with these new facilities. I could see myself playing a game with these features just to design the perfect military base for your perfect special forces Extraterrestrial Combat Unit.

Finally, terrain types could come into play. In UFO the Geoscape showed different terrain types, but it really didn't make much difference if you built your base in the Alps or Riviera. However, with bases in depth, it could be more expensive to build deeper bases in rocky mountainous terrain, but that terrain would better protect your bases during bombardment. Also it would be more difficult and expensive to ship supplies into and out of bases in mountains too. This would remain constant, so it would be much easier to program in than the "weather affects gameplay" idea.

Anyway, I'm getting tired and this post is getting pretty long, so let me know what you all think.

#2 Eckpert

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 09:20 AM

i like these ideas for the bases ... but i think simplicity made the ufo games so good ... altough i wouldn say no to all these changes keep in mind, that no all players want to go so deep into a game or even have time to do that ... i would prefer something between the old fashioned way and your suggestions ... or some auto-feature for someone, who wants fighting action, no endless baseconstruction !

#3 sir_schwick

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 07:10 PM

I readily support the idea of 3D base construction. However why try to end 'stack syndrome'? If the aliens use it too, then that would even everything else out.

Also, you should be able to manufacture or buy systems for rooms such as defense, gas defense, blast doors.

The only upgrades for facilities I would recommend would be ones that took current facilities and combined alien techs. Most of it would be from salvaged alien base.

#4 Snakeman

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 07:37 PM

I'm all for it within reason. I think it depends though on a couple of factors. One of them is how many levels you could go maximum. I'd keep it to around 3 or 4. The other I reckon would have to do a lot with the alien AI pathfinding routines.

Its no good to have all that space to fight in if the AI isn't using options open to them from a tactical point of view. I want them to be just as sneaky playing hide n' seek as I am against them :)

#5 sir_schwick

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 09:19 PM

Good point about AI snakeman. Really two or three distinct floors(two to three 3 meter levels per those floors) is best. This allows for protected, underground levels while adding to upper levels.

#6 Durandal

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 06:23 AM

Also, you should be able to manufacture or buy systems for rooms such as defense, gas defense, blast doors.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


If you want some good ideas for defensive systems, look here:

http://www.goingfast...29/helicis.html

It's from one of my fav Terminator sites.

#7 sir_schwick

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 10:41 AM

Those are some interesting and good ideas. Almost all of that would be possible with XCORP/Aline techs. Of course alien bases would need all this stuff too.

#8 azmodean

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:05 AM

And just think if the lien bases were similar in size, could you see trying to take a squad through nine levels of alien base? *shivver*

#9 sir_schwick

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 11:06 AM

That is why you would have the 'cave-in' option. You can destroy connections between higher and lower leves, thus if you destroy all connections to a lower level then the aliens are trapped in a caved in base. Also imagime the applications for heavy gasses and such.