Hi guys- I'm back from a loooooong hiatus induced by lots of work from Uni...
I like the idea of EM-based Psi. It sounds plausable and is a much more satisfying explaination than simply having it unexplained.
Alex: What people are saying to you is that you have no objective proof that Yuri is using psychic powers. You may believe that, but we don't have to work such beliefs into the game's fiction if we don't want to. Let's stick with things that are at least SEMI scientific, hmm?
Mind-Bending: Altering the way a being percieves the world. Such an attack could have various effects, such as identifying friends as enemies, screwing with visual/audial perception, etc. Basically, a quick and effecient "scatter" attack.
Pain: Tripping the body's pain sensors in a forceful manner, triggering violent bouts of sweeping, incapacitating agony. Such an attack can easily demoralize even the strongest, most resolved enemies, leaving them stunned and panicked. Simply a much more effective manner of the Panic attack.
Traitor: Altering social perception to "persuade" an enemy to view his comrades as hostile, and his enemies as friendlies. Such an attack is difficult to make, but the effects are practically irreversible and can cause various side-effects.
Fear: Amplifies the brain's self-preservatory complex, effectively thrusting the target into a berserk frenzy, firing his weapon with reckless abandon or simply fleeing in mortal terror. More difficult to incite than your standard mind-control attack.
Sightjack: Allows the stealthy entry into a target's field of visual perception, without having to force entry into the mind. The target shouldn't notice the intrusion, allowing the user to effectively "see" what it sees as it moves about. The effects vary depending on psionic strength and capacity, as does the duration of sight. Such an attack requires the user to get his/her bearings afterwards.
Brainwave Aura: Difficult to use, but effective. Allows the user to detect mental activity within a limited radius--a great way to detect a potential ambush, or see a limited distance in the dark when surrounded. It's even an effective means to get your bearings around sharp corners. The user must take a moment to rest to get their bearings after using the attack.
Mirage: Induces rapid brainwave activity in the target, the resultant effect resembling that of a hullucinogenic drug. The effects vary greatly, generally confusing a target. Victims may attack anything in sight, or even end their own lives. A nasty attack which takes time to perform correctly.
Seize: A mental seige on a victim from afar, this psi ability wreaks terrible havoc on an unprotected mind. Wrestling with the very fabric of a target's brain, the attacker can instantly render a living being unconscious with a single blow, or with some luck, even cause all brain functions to suddenly cease. A dangerous, taxing, and time-consuming attack that's unlikely to be used successfully without considerable skill.
Mind Control: Allowing the user to bend the mind of another being at will, one can assume control of a target's nervous system in the blink of an eye, controlling its every move for a slight duration of time. In this brief window, the creature is still conscious and aware, but unable to maintain control of his own body. The victim can be made to perform insidious deeds, all at the whim of the attacker. Should the controlled entity be killed in some manner, no harm comes upon the controller whatsoever. However, successfully pulling off this attack is difficult and taxing, significantly impacting the user's physical condition for a short while until adequately rested. The mental link may also be broken (?) should the attacker become incapacitated.
Just a couple things I had come to mind, there. Using the psi powers shouldn't feel like magic, of course--there should be some feasible way to explain them.
Hmmm. Some thoughts:
Traitor sounds very powerful, especially because it seems permanent. Perhaps it should temporarily block their faculty of recognition, making them shoot at ANYthing? Sort of like your Mirage idea? That sounds a bit more balanced. Call it "confusion."
Sieze sounds a bit like the fact mentioned elsewhere that EM could induce a heart-attack... Perhaps incorperate this with attempting to use "pain," so that when you do a really strong pain attack, they are stunned or even pdysically hurt? (call it psychosomatic injury ) Also, a reasonably sucessful pain attack would make the victim drop their weapons. If I were in pain, I'd not hang onto my gun, I'd be clutching my head/stomach/wherever.
Fear is obviosly the panic attack under a different name. All good, except that unlike the original game, you shouldn't spin around from a fear attack. Instead, they should run towards their nearest squad member, fire randomly into open spaces, or at squad members they can't see well. (Getting paniced in your ship would not cause you to shoot at your own suad members, more likely that you simply collapse and are unable to move)
Brainwave Aura sounds like some sort of Psi-detection- This would be a novel way to know if you were fighting psi-capable aliens, too- presumably they'd show up as more concentrated areas of psi power.
Sightjack sounds really cyberpunk and doesn't fit with the simple tone of the others... but I can't think of a better name anyway. It's pretty cool, and it's actually part of the reason I did so much MC in UFO and TFTD- more effective scouting. Using Psi-detection and this sightjack ability in combination could be really effective and help you fight your battles at longer range, and past the cover of UFO walls, too. Nifty. It would also allow us to make MC require a much more skilled psi than it did in UFO.
Mind-control: We've heard this one before. All cool.
What would be really good though, is if you could reaction-shot with Psi. For example, if an alien attempts to psi-attack a soldier with an amp, or anyone in their field of vision, they could attempt to block that attack, or if they've got really good reactions, fire off an attack of their own at the alien afterwards. This way, one well-trained psi who is NOT using his abilities could keep your whole squad protected, and the presence of a powerful enemy psi-user would force you to rely on other methods of attack, or a decisive attack on their location BEFORE sweeping the map.
I think that a defensive option along with psis being able to "see" other psis would make a lot of the problems that people have with Psi in UFO go away
Yeah--thought I'd mention Mind Control in there, somewhere, just so somebody didn't think I'd forgotten about one.
I figured the name "sightjack" didn't sound too fitting, but it was all I could come up with at the moment. Perhaps "ghosting" (yuck) or "projected perception" would sound a wee bit better. I do like the idea of having another step to take on the road to MC, as you say, and even after your guys are skilled enough to use MC rather well, it wouldn't hurt to fall back on the more stealthy approach, would it? Possible advantages would be to see troop movement without tipping enemies off to your intrusion by firing at your "host," and you could watch as he takes his next turn.
I was kind of floating the "pain" attack myself, but I do like the devious nature of it. Sounds more aggressive and devastating than a panic attack, or what have you. Seperating it from a panic psi-attack would be actual stamina decrease (?) or extreme demoralization, coupled with a more effective stun.
My favorite of the list so far is Brainwave Aura--it sounds like a really useful ability that's not only effective, but not too out of place or unbelievable. Also, it's, for the lack of a better word, "fair." The range would be limited, but good enough to see a bit around your squad. I particularly like your suggestion that more psi-capable beings would show up brighter. Very cool. If there's one ability I'd like to see make the cut, it would have to be this one. Doesn't sound too magic-y or unpractical, and it's actually fairly interesting (or at least I think so).
Hmm, as for "traitor," I figured it'd be some way to step up the panic attack a bit. Maybe a long-lasting effect would be going a bit too far, but heck, it's not like an alien shooting at his buddies was going to last long, anyway. Kidding aside, perhaps there would be some way to temporarily alter an enemy's perception--maybe for a single turn? It'd be a step down from Mind Control and a bit easier to perform. Er, we could just axe the idea altogether, too....
As for "mirage--" I don't know, doesn't "confusion" sound a bit too "Final Fantasy" to you? I don't particularly like the name "mirage" myself, but I do like the idea of what it does. C'mon, we need a wildcard attack in there somewhere!