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Why On Earth (or Cydonia) Is Shooting % Based?


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#1 mini

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 09:40 PM

maybe this bothers other people too.... lance corporal shmuckatelli is just sauntering along, turns a corner, and blam! theres a floater right in front of him! "oh !@#$" thinks shmuckatelli, and while he panics, he remembers what gunny told him..... just point and squeeze.

but does the shmuckster hit the floater? no- of course not: he doesn't even come close... he does vaporize the wall next to the floater, and scorches the ground under both the floater and himself, because he is a fresh recruit, and recruits can't hit the broad side of a barn, even if they are inside!

ridiculous? of course. not even lance coolies can miss when they are at point-blank range.

so here's my solution. drop the ridiculous % based accuracy system. as a mathematical model, its atrocious... who ever heard of a man with 109% accuracy? thats just not realistic... we hang on to the idea, cause it's nice to have those two guys with 102% accuracy with the sonic cannon, who just can't miss if they take the time to aim... but lets face it- there is wind, there is adrenalin, there is someone tossing a grenade while you are slowly squeezing that trigger to the rear...

instead, lets latch on to a more realistic minutes-of-angle system. I'm not sure this system is in use anywherein the gameplay world, but here's the gist:

each gun has an accuracy built into it- like weight and size, its a characteristic of every weapon. but no matter what you do, you *CANNOT* get that gun to shoot more accurately, no matter how bad-a$$ed you think you might be. you can get it to shoot worse, but certainly not better.

for example: lets say lcpl. Shmuckatelli has his government issued M-16. each one of them rolls off the assembly line with an average accuracy of 3.3 MOA... which means that if you stick the gun in a vice, and shoot it a bunch of times, you will end up with a group of shots that deviates within a circle with a 3.3inch radius, at 100 yards. thats pretty good, if you think about it.

but the shmuckster's been running away from a reaper when he goes to shoot, so his heart is hammering and his eyes are watering, and his accuracy is crapola...

except that he's shooting about four feet into an alien that is 2-3 feet wide. so theres no possible way he could miss without shooting himself. the overall accuarcy you'd need to be able to miss is something like 1200 MOA.

to wrap this up succinctly- we give each gun an accuracy- .005 MOA for the laser sniper rifle, .25 for the conventional sniper rifle, up to 5 or 6 for the lowest-bidder assault rifles, and possibly as high as 20 or 30 on handguns... i'd have to do some research on that area for a solid figure. but then give each squaddie a multiplier which makes that accuracy worse. this is the stat that each can hope to improve, by making it as close to 1.0 as possible

and furthermore, decrease it further based on their recent activities... like running, would be a huge penalty while standing would be a modest one, kneeling would be smaller, and prone would be nearly nil.

we end up with a realistic solution... snipers that can wiff a shot at 1000 yrds, like normal mortals, and boot privates who can still hit the guy standing next to them.

anyone with me on this?

#2 fux0r666

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 10:23 PM

I dunno, there have been numerous times in fps's where I have been unable to hit someone I was surprised by at point blank. You can't hit all the time, even from feet away.

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
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'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#3 The Master Maniac

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 10:50 PM

True. And besides, just because a firearm is meant to work a certain way, doesn't mean it always will. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe margin of accuracy itself is an approximate value.

Also, I must contradict your belief that a better soldier cannot make better use of his weapons system. Quite the contrary. A skilled user can achieve a much higher ratio of dependability with any given weapon than, say, a green recruit. Over time, skill develops with extended usage of his/her own weapon, and grown affinities affect such things as marksmanship and reaction speed. To say a soldier can't be an improvement over one less familiar with his weapon certainly doesn't seem to add up.

But I do agree with the notion that posture and other environmental variables should improve/reduce effective accuracy. Having a sniper lay prone to take shots at the enemy at a distance while his comrades advance would not only make for a more natural tactical feeling, but it would also give that extra bit of player interactivity as well in terms of being able to affect how his/her soldiers perform.

Whatever angle, you have to look at it like this. What's fun, and what's realistic? Sure, you want an authentic, tangible feel to the action, but then again, if you make everything TOO predictable, tedium never fails to set in. Also, there are things that happen on the field that you just can't predict--weapons jamming, etc. may be going a bit too far in this case, but then again, one of X-Com's strong points was that you never really could anticipate what was going to happen next. Even though you had a man staring face to face, barrel to barrel, with a looming alien and it was your chance to fire, you always tensed up with the knowledge that there was a chance something could go wrong, that you may actually miss and doom your soldier to death. It's a lot better and more exciting than your Full-Spectrum-Warrior-style game of predictability (i.e., I know I'll hit that guy, so I don't have to worry about him). It's hard to strike a good balance between realism and fun, but you have to know where to make allowances.

Well, there's my two and a half cents, anyway.

Okay, that was quite shoddily-written. It's apparent that I am in desperate need of sleep. Maybe I'll ramble a bit more coherently tomorrow. :huh?:

Edited by The Master Maniac, 22 July 2004 - 10:57 PM.


#4 Tuoppi

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 01:45 AM

Is target movement going to be noticed.... It should be way harder to hit 100km/h runnin chrys than your average slowly-aiming snakeman.

Just occured to me... Maybe not just Aimed/snap but system like JA2, it was truly a great feature to decide exactly how many TU:s to spend to aiming.

#5 mini

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 07:11 AM

I wasn't trying to say that a vet can't use his weapon better than a rookie... only that once you reach a certain point, further improvement can only be made by getting a more accurate weapon (a scientist would call it a more precise weapon, whatever)

ie. an M-16 will never hold as tight a group as a sniper rifle- moreover, an m-16 in a boneafide snipers hands may not hold as tight a group as a sniper rifle could in the hands of an amateur...

skill shows up when you are comparing apples to apples- giving both our sniper and our newbie the same gun and watching their groupings... at say.. 100 yards. but at 3 feet, you are either going to hit your target, or you are going to shoot your foot, because there aren't many other options!

#6 54x

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 07:49 AM

I agree that in UFO, it was a bit too easy to miss at ridiculously close ranges- the model they had made best sense at medium ranges and long ranges.

It should still be possible to miss at close ranges- but it'd be nice if this was a function of your morale and rank (lets face it, you're not gonna miss point blank unless you are scared and fumbling your weapon, right?) rather than one of pure percentages.

If Xenocide is going to have its accuracy percentage-based, let's also ensure the amount never displays above 100% at the very least, even if the model actually allows it to go above 100% :D

#7 fux0r666

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 05:06 PM

>>>>
an M-16 will never hold as tight a group as a sniper rifle- moreover, an m-16 in a boneafide snipers hands may not hold as tight a group as a sniper rifle could in the hands of an amateur...
>>>>

I think you underestimate how difficult it is to shoot- and the m16 is quite a highly accurate rifle, as I understand it.

If you are talking about groupings at extreme ranges, I doubt an amatuer would be a good match for the sharp shooter as any deviation would be in the minutes of an angle. The amateur could mess up those groupings up with bad breathing technique.

Of course, that is neither here nor there, considering we're talking about a square away. Once more, it is possible to miss someone who is standing right in front of you. The 'big miss' thing comes in because in xcom you either hit the square or you do not. I suspect the game calculates whether you hit the target you are shooting at and if you do not, it decides which square to but the miss in. Any adjacent square is going to require a huge deviation even if you only missed by one percent.

I don't recall how common missing at point blank range is, and I don't know if you get penalties or bonuses for range, but I think that missing at point blank is realistic.

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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#8 mini

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 08:06 PM

>>>I think you underestimate how difficult it is to shoot- and the m16 is quite a highly accurate rifle, as I understand it.

not likely. I am very familiar with the difficulty inherent to shooting (i carried an M16 for 4 years with the USMC). An M-16 is an accurate *assault* rifle, but not compared to an M40 sniper rifle... if there were little to no difference, why would the Marines spend so much money procuring a different weapon system? I've shot both, and i can tell you there is a world of difference.

the figures i quoted before are accurate- an M16 straight out of the factory is lucky to hold 3.3 MOA (minutes of angle), while an M40 is refined until it can hold .25 MOA. those are still ideals though- a chump who can't breathe right will never come close to those, and even someone who is reasonably familiar with the weapon will still have a difficult time reliably performing to that standard.

i think 54x had it right: the accuarcy model in the original games didn't have any calculation for range, and that is the mistake that we should correct. The calculation from the originals was simple- FA of the soldier times the percentage of the weapon. i'm pretty sure that the sonic cannon had an aimed accuracy of 130%, so any soldier with over a 77 firing accuracy was guaranteed a hit, regardless of the range.

a further note- i concede that missing at point blank range is possible, and should be, within the scope of the game, but it should be a rarity, not a continuous frustration. Elite troops (XCOM troops are elite, right?) should be hitting more than missing.

also- we don't have to drop the percentage... it is a good way to judge whether or not its a good idea to pull the trigger... but how that percentage is calculated really needs to change (IMO). and yeah, 54x, it shouldn't ever give over 100%... prally not over 99% either, cause who knows when you are going to sneeze- sniper or not. :puke:

#9 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 08:53 PM

One thing about accuracy over long distance- most X-Corps combat will be very close quarters. The accuracy of the weapon itself won't mean much. It's how easily and quickly you can get off a good shot that does. The ergonomics of the weapon would be far more important in close quarters than the innate accuracy of the weapon, IMO. That's pretty much what the weapon stats are based on.

Apoc didn't have a percentage system at all. It used the "degrees off center" system as well. An agent's "accuracy" was actually a "miss" value. Accuracy went from -155 to 100, where -155 was the maximum miss value, and 100 was a miss value of zero. Weapons would have their miss value factored in as well. The miss value could never completely reach 0, but when you could have dual devistators with an awesome accuracy on full auto, it didn't really matter. :rolleyes:
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#10 54x

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 02:46 AM

Okay, so what factors have we got here?

So far, I think the following have been mentioned:

Experience and technique with weapon
Morale, and the likelyhood of low morale to cause mistakes
Reactions for point-blank shots?
Weapon ergonomics for short/med range shots
Intrinsic weapon inaccuracy for long range shots
Weird hit/miss system in XCOM

Experience and technique is covered with the firing accuracy sort of stats you saw in XCOM. I particularily liked that some people were more "natural," and that they improve at different rates, too. It made you think more carefully about who to assign weapons to.

Morale in XCOM just made you panic- it was an on or off thing. It'd be nice if, instead of being all-or-nothing, morale could start off by simply making it harder to hit, make shooting take extra TUs, etc, eventually progressing to panicing and moving randomly for half or all of your TUs, and dropping weapons. I think either morale or just plain readiness are the only two things that could cause you to miss point-blank, hence why I mentioned the reactions score.

I'm not sure if it would be worth implementing two different accuracy models for weapons based on the range used- but it would be nice to have a formula that made it LOOK like we were doing that ;) Something as simple as positive modifiers for accuracy at really close range, and negative modifiers at long range.

RE: hits and misses... some of the close misses in XCOM really looked like they should've done a little damage. This could be easily avoided in Xenocide because we have 3D models. If any part of the projectile model touches a part of the alien model, it can do some damage, or at least cause a drop in morale. (you'd be spooked if a shot sailed a centimetre above your head, right? ^_^)

#11 mini

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 09:21 PM

myself, i'll just be happy if we factor in distance as well as skill and weapon quality.

I don't know how well this fits in with this thread, while we are talking about accuracy, what about training- VR for our soldiers, or even just a firing range where they can blow off rounds (and our scientists can test fire the new plasma weapons on our excess alien prisoners). that way you could focus development on certain qualities.

#12 PopeBij

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 11:42 PM

I think we should stick with something close to the original x-com. Yeah it would be great to make the shooting as close to real life as possible, but thatís not very x-com like. Then again shooting 2 auto shots at a floater thatís two spaces in front of you and not hitting him once is total bull. I agree with the factoring in of distance, skill of a person and the quality of the weapon, :stupid:

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#13 Paladin

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 07:01 AM

I readily agree, V1.0 will be as close to the original as possible, but this is a forum to discuss the V1++ issues :D

So yes, having used a laser pistol on full auto at point blank range twice, and missed six times (once on the roof??), I agree that shooting Point blank should DEFINITELY be improved...
On the other hand, shooting outside/beyond line of sight (LOS) should be more penalised (ie, VERY hard to hit except with explosive amno)

Then again, the % value in the original was merely an indication, not the actual number, because distance was factored afterwards...
And yes, with a decent shooter, it was rare to miss at point blank.
Some soldiers were terrible shooters though... :LOL:
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#14 Blehm 98

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 10:30 PM

i noticed that. But remember that your guys are turning and firing full blast at aliens. But it does annoy me when my guys miss point blank shots every single time
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#15 kchickenlord

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:07 AM

If youre going to do a more advanced system do it in metric, it fits in better with the rest of the game, rads for angles metres for distance etc. imperial mesurement will confuse things.

#16 centurion

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:57 AM

If youre going to do a more advanced system do it in metric, it fits in better with the rest of the game, rads for angles metres for distance etc. imperial mesurement will confuse things.

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#17 SatansEvil

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 06:17 PM

I just want to add one thing, what about the size of the aliens? If anyone has played X-com 3, the little multi-worms would seem to be harder to hit than the giant mutant guys, so maybe there is like a -5% to 10% accuracy when shooting at a small alien, and a +5% to 10% for shooting at a alien that is large.

#18 The Master Maniac

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 04:25 PM

I think that morale should have some bearing upon accuracy, as well. Try shooting at something right in your face when your adrenaline (I can't type well today for some reason, and I'd only make it worse trying to correct that) is going through the roof--trust me, it ain't easy. Long-range target interdiction is even harder, no matter how incredible a soldier's hit/miss ratio is. I know shooting targets at a range with a standard bolt-action rifle is different than targetting armed aliens, but the fact still remains that a soldier's "mood" does have significant bearing on accuracy. You tell me that you can keep your nerve when you're staring face-to-face at an angry Muton. :wink:

I agree with Mini--it would make more sense to feature an accuracy system in which skill, morale, etc. would influence a soldier's aim. But then again, what's better? Realism or fun? I suppose we'll have to see.

Edited by The Master Maniac, 02 August 2004 - 04:32 PM.


#19 StarKillar

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 07:29 AM

I'd agree with the factoring of distance and keep the % system (being inaccurate made the game what it was) but perhaps give a 'close quarters' bonus to accuracy making the chance of insane misses still possible, but less likely.

This would keep the 'chance of failier' in the game, but perhaps undo the annoying 'I've missed 9 times and the aliens so close its commenting on my aftershave' problems...

#20 Paladin

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 10:55 AM

Well, it's all basically a question of balancing the numbers...
Should'nt be too hard to figure out, even for a mod...
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#21 The Master Maniac

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 10:23 PM

Starkiller's right--just because a character may statistically be able to make a shot, doesn't mean he/she can or will all the time. Perhaps the 100+ percent soldier accuracy ratings you're lucky enough to sometimes get are a bit ridiculous (you never miss, no matter what the distance), I think that making the game as unpredictable as possible is important. Makes fighting more, for the lack of a better word, exciting.

#22 j'ordos

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 02:26 PM

I think that morale should have some bearing upon accuracy, as well. Try shooting at something right in your face when your adrenaline (I can't type well today for some reason, and I'd only make it worse trying to correct that) is going through the roof--trust me, it ain't easy. Long-range target interdiction is even harder, no matter how incredible a soldier's hit/miss ratio is. I know shooting targets at a range with a standard bolt-action rifle is different than targetting armed aliens, but the fact still remains that a soldier's "mood" does have significant bearing on accuracy. You tell me that you can keep your nerve when you're staring face-to-face at an angry Muton.  :wink:

I agree with Mini--it would make more sense to feature an accuracy system in which skill, morale, etc. would influence a soldier's aim. But then again, what's better? Realism or fun? I suppose we'll have to see.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The way I see it, that's already simulated in X-Com, albeit abstractly. WHY does your soldier miss that Muton standing right next to him? Right, because he just wet his pants when he rounded the corner and bumped into this huge, Schwarzeneggeresque and quite upset version of ET. So we can say the accuracy system is quite correct, you just have to use your imagination a little :)
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#23 Paladin

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 07:16 AM

Yep. It might not be THAT realistic to display the numbers in fixed % of accuracy, but the game DOES consider distances...
I'd like it to be like in UFO:aftermath, where you see a different color of real% to hit for each soldier when the cursor moves over an Alien...
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#24 Blehm 98

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 06:55 PM

I agree with Mini--it would make more sense to feature an accuracy system in which skill, morale, etc. would influence a soldier's aim. But then again, what's better? Realism or fun? I suppose we'll have to see.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


yeah, but try shooting an M-60 at someone at point blank. Its so big, not only would you have trouble aiming it at teh aliens, but you would have massive recoil to make you miss. I believe xcom is very real when compared to most other games
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#25 Paladin

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:57 AM

Then again, it misses point blank, even with a measly pistol...
It's great how wounds affect aiming, but morale should affect it too.
And base accuracy should be greater for aimed fire, esp. for rifles... And LASER have no recoil, they should be more accurate, period.
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then I have to write it down so it doesn't corrupt the rest of my brain.. "

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#26 The Master Maniac

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 07:01 AM

Yeah, but you'd have to factor in battlefield stress variables, too--even most modern projectile weapons today have respectable true accuracy ratings, technically as far as ballistics are concerned anyway. The only thing that can negatively affect accuracy (barring internal elements), is the soldier himself. Even though, theoretically, a single, focused beam of concentrated light would have a near-zero miss ratio, a soldier still has a very high chance of missing an aimed shot. Let's face it--we're not machines.

#27 Paladin

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 08:43 AM

Of course, I'll make my point clearer: I thought a Laser weapon would have an autofire even more precise than the snapshot, because there's no recoil, and you can see where the first beams got, and ajust...

Try using a laser pointer and hitting something on a wall, you'll know what I mean... You're almost never going to hit precisely on the first shot, but the third always hit... ^_^
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#28 Tuoppi

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 12:43 PM

I just have a problem in that my scarred veteran who will NOT panick makes the miss from point blank nearly as often as a rookie who wets his pants at first sight of a moving shadow. This kind of thing should be simulated somehow.

#29 Paladin

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 12:45 PM

Yep, point blank shot is far too easy to miss... I can't argue against that, but it's mostly play balance of the post v1.0 version, so we'll see to it that xenocide does not suffer the same inconsitencies too much... ^_^
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#30 Pheonix

Pheonix

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 12:03 PM

I also think that not only should morale should effect the way a soldier fires, but how "groggy" he is.

If you were "small launcher" shot unconcious, and revived by yourself, you'de be pretty darn tired or "Groggy".

What is tired-ness? (referring to UFO Defense) It's the Blue part of the soldier's health. At first, when I awakened a soldier, and his health was almost all Blue, I thought he'd shoot crappily. Much to my suprize, he wasn't.

On another case, I do hope Xenocide will fix the "2 squares away" miss.

#31 sir_schwick

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 11:55 PM

Factors that effect shooting:

Obviously stance is where you are when you make the shot. A new option could be to 'get in stance' or 'brace'. This would cost TUs but make shooting in the direciton your facing easier.

Stamina left should effect your shooting, since when you are out of breath you are not as limber and breath more uncontrollably.

Morale should affect your shooting since your adrenaline is up and you are under stress.

Reaction should determine if you need to 'track target'(uses TUs) before shooting or not.

Shots on a different altitude should be less accurate because you have to adjust your plane of vision.

Shots on a landscape you haven't scanned over should be less accurate. Now you can 'scan setting' with a few TUs to get a good shot.

Strength should increase accuracy since you will be more limber with the weapon.

Weapon incumberance should help determine accuracy, sinc emost combat is under 200 m, i would guess.

I think a cone aim system would make sense since distribution would be towards the center.