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Armour Questions


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#1 nopoet406

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

I've always had problems with armour in the first three X-Com games. A single hit from a heavy plasma gun or sonic cannon will kill any human no matter how well armoured, which sort of defeats the point of buying an expensive power suit with an AV of 140. This problem is extremely noticeable on the PSX version of TFTD where armour is totally useless.

On the other hand X-Com Apocalypse takes things to the other extreme. I once had a single agent in flying armour carrying a disruptor shield facing off against six enemy rentacops. (This was in turn based mode.)

My agent survived a barrage of bullets, autocannon fire and no less than TWO heavy missiles. His shield was gone and he was wounded - but on the next turn he proceeded to wipe out all six enemies on his own (got to love grenades and minilaunchers).

Hopefully armour in Xenocide will be a balance between these two extremes. Basic armour (which should be available from the beginning of the game) could offer more protection against indirect impacts such as explosions and shrapnel, plus it would be more useful against small calibre firearms such as pistols and shotguns, although it wouldn't be much good against some of the alien weapons, and it won't hold against a rocket launcher impact.

The next armour up could be the full body suit which provides a good standard of protection without removing the fear factor inherent to X-Com. In other words, a solid hit from a strong weapon will still be goodnight Vienna.

Even the most powerful armour in the game would not be infallible. I believe defence industries would be interested in finding a way to deflect firepower using forcefields instead of blunting its impact with solid armour plating.

#2 Adun_Toridas

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:01 PM

first of all, i think itīs a matter of luck. I remember my guys have survived LOTS of hp shoots, even without being wounded... (with flying armor and front shots)

#3 NKF

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 11:59 PM

You really have to get down to the actual numbers to understand how effective armour works in UFO and TFTD. First of all, the damage range of your weapon is double what's listed in the ufopaedia. So a heavy plasma actually does between 0 and 230 damage, while a sonic cannon can do 0 - 260 damage. Subtract the armour level of which ever section was hit from the total damage. You'll see that even with the front plates and the best armour, you're only able to reduce this total range by half, and the remaining half is much greater than your maximum health. It looks bad, but try comparing it against a soldier with no armour. The odds are even less appealing.

Apocalypse's armour was indeed a bit ridiculous for the bullet weapons. Full disrupter armour was almost (the keyword is 'almost') impervious to explosives, but is fully susceptible to damage from disrupter beam weapons. The human weapons did diddly squat on account of the low weapon damage.

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As for armour, I rather prefer a combined layered approach. Imagine having the main one-piece suit of armour with lots of extras that can be added on top of this. It could be your standard combat khakis, a flight jumpsuit, a suit jacket, personal armour from UFO, etc. Your basic clothes. the additional items could be helmets, alien alloys breastplates and other armour plates, jetpacks, backpacks, etc. Simply other parts that hang on to your existing suit of armour. Wear enough high-techy looking equipment and you're turned into a miniature mech. Whee!

The basic suit, on its own, provides good protection and good mobility and stealth (well, short of having the soldier run around naked covered in anti-radar paint). Combined with the optional armour plates, helmets, gloves, boots, etc, you get even better protection but lose your mobility somewhat. Sort of like a combination of UFO and Apocalypse's armour.

The idea of having optional parts would be to allow the player to make choices during the battle such as whether or not to dump the excess gear to gain a more mobile/stealth advantage or whatnot. I like options like that.

But this is just how I'd like to see things and how I'd probably implement wearable gear were I ever to make a game. I can't remember what's planned for Xenocide, but rest assured that it's not going to share the same traits as those in the X-Com games. Remember, they're just for inspiration - not for duplicating. ;)
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#4 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 10:11 PM

My, I think that's a great idea. One problem I had with the original X-Com was that if someone died, I lost their entire armour. That really ticked me off for some reason. In Apoc, that wasn't the case, but the armour was a tad too strong.

And the combined layers approach means that soldiers can swap stuff on the fly. Like, have one jetpack for a four person squad, and throw it back and forth to get everyone on the roof...

#5 dteviot

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:11 PM

Sorry to disappoint you, but the current plan has armour working just like in XCOM. 4 one piece suits - none, armour, powered, flight.
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