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#1 BensonNosneb

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 04:20 AM

I was thinking it would be cool to be able to view and mess with your pilots.

Such things as experience with the pilots and being able to transfer pilots from old interceptors to new Firestorms.

Having different stats per pilot isn't really important but having just a general rank for the pilot (while also increasing his dog-fighting ability per rank) would be very cool.

They may have the best pilots in the world, but no one entering the x-com program would have a lot of experience shooting down Alien battleships.

#2 Paladin

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 06:09 AM

Yeah, we were discussing that on another thread... It was suggested to give more customisation to the interceptors as well, and taht keping stats & experience for the pilots might mean that when one is down, there'd be a possibility of a rescue mission, be it against grounded aliens or local, hostile police/army forces :devillaugh:
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#3 Snakeman

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 10:43 AM

Adding to that rescue pilot mission thought. I wonder what we could arm our pilot's with. Perhaps they couldn't have as many "pockets" as our soldiers do, so I was thinking that if we could equip them too, we'd have to think hard about what they carry should they go down.

I was thinking along the lines of perhaps a few electroflares (for your guys to sorta find a trail to him) or maybe a special smoke grenade that'll make a colored smoke signal akin to soldiers in the field setting up an LZ for pickup. A standard-type sidearm would be good too.

However now I'm left wondering if we should be able to control that pilot right away in the battlescape as soon as you land. Maybe we can't control him until one of your scouts has a line of sight to the pilot, then he'd be controllable like the rest of your squad.

Might be fun too, if he'd used his flares dispersing them several feet around him, that when we come accross him, he's already been engaging the enemy. Imagine the challenge then when your scout gets close to him and you get control, the pilot has few ammo left. Not only do you got to rush him back to your craft, you have to be careful with his shots :)

#4 The Master Maniac

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 11:22 AM

That sounds excellent--you'd be crunched for time because the pilot would be fighting for his life (sometimes) while you mount a rescue party. Of course, most craft today have homing beacons and the like to give you a general position, but you'd have to actively search for a while to pinpoint the exact crash location (ie, the smokes or flares). It'd also be an interesting scenario to land at the site, only to find the pilot had died in the crash, or the aliens had gotten to him already. And the way pilots could gain skill as the game goes on, losing them is generally not a good idea. I like this...

#5 Snakeman

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 11:34 AM

Certainly the longer you take to go to that crashsite, the greater the ramifications should be like this I feel as well. Maybe you go in real early, say the moment you got word and saw the X on the map, you tend to find the pilot before the enemy most times. Wait a little longer and he might be already engaging the enemy when you come across him, and if you wait longer to go (before the X site dissappears), you could find him croaked or not there at all (abducted by aliens, held for ransom or even interrogated by any bad guys, aliens or rival orgs).

I think I like the ransom idea too now that I think of it. We wind up with so much mega moolah late game, I think its time we spent it on things like bribes, ransoms or for information or for bettering relations ala Apoc. Perhaps too, losing one pilot could effect the morale of some of your other pilot squads for awhile.

Edited by Snakeman, 21 September 2004 - 11:36 AM.


#6 The Master Maniac

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 11:51 AM

Yeah, but what would the aliens do with cash? Perhaps hostile countries could use such a tactic, though. Another ramification of having a pilot being captured is having the aliens learn the location of your bases--now that would suck. These are interesting ideas.

#7 Snakeman

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 09:44 PM

Yeah, but what would the aliens do with cash? Perhaps hostile countries could use such a tactic, though. Another ramification of having a pilot being captured is having the aliens learn the location of your bases--now that would suck. These are interesting ideas.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Oh absolutely, I think this kind of mission would lend that same sense of ugency you get when you get terror sites popping up ("Can't lose funding...and oh yea, gotta save the civies!"). With the pilot its like "I need his experience! *scratches head* If I can't have him no one can or they'll find my base!" :)

Heh, interesting thought too that if you found him in a losing firefight, deciding if you should just kill him outright and bug out ;)

#8 BensonNosneb

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 04:40 PM

I think what would add urgency in an awsome way was if the aliens/rival organizations had a ship specifically built to do fast recon and retrievel. That way, if you couldn't send out a troop transport quickly but you had an extra interceptor at hand, you could just shoot down the incoming plane (providing you can spot it).

#9 Snakeman

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 07:41 PM

Sounds good. I mean, as long as your radar or hyperwave stuff overlaps the landing zone, I don't see why not.

However, then it begs the question of 'If there are no enemies on the battlescape when you can send a transport, should there be any other hazzards, or must find and march that pilot back w/out opposition of any kind?'

A different thread posited the idea of incorporating some wild animals or something, maybe that could be good filler for maps where you didn't expect return fire from bad guys so the scenario won't be too boring.

#10 Tuoppi

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 04:13 AM

IMO the pilot rescue should be mostly a simple taxi mission, aliens are rare and would not generally bother for single soldier. In friendly countries the local military would pick up a downed pilot within few hours, and you could accept the minimal risk of hostile intervention in that time. However the hostile countries would go for pilot almost as fast, but they lack the effective searching beacon and alarm systems-> ground search mission. There would be a battle against human soldiers, pilot fortified and hidden in a barn, nothing a rookie squad couldn't handle. Sometimes the aliens would go themselves if they are not in more important mission. (scouts, researchers, base seekers) and that would call for tougher squad.

If you decide to ignore the site the pilot would have varying chances to escape on his own depending on country and terrain. A simple "pickup completed" window in planetscape would be enough if in friendly country or when hostiles have not reached site and begun search. Only when enemies are in area there would be a battlescape mission.

#11 Guest_alex the greater_*

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 04:49 AM

maby not just intreseptors maby if a skyranger crashes you could have a rescue mission too

#12 Paladin

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 05:42 AM

I agree with tuoppi, not all pilot downed missions should be full of bad guys, but in some instances, it could... Like, what if the UFO scout the interceptor was against just decided to land beside and try to find the pilot, to find your bases?
That way we could fly in and find the pilot already MCed, or shoot down their UFO and find him inside... :D

And if your Skyrnager crashed, remember the interceptor pilot have a chance of ejecting, I'm not sure there'd be much survivors amongst the soldiers... unless they got flying armors :LOL:
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#13 Snakeman

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:34 AM

I agree with tuoppi, not all pilot downed missions should be full of bad guys, but in some instances, it could... Like, what if the UFO scout the interceptor was against just decided to land beside and try to find the pilot, to find your bases?
That way we could fly in and find the pilot already MCed, or shoot down their UFO and find him inside... :D

And if your Skyrnager crashed, remember the interceptor pilot have a chance of ejecting, I'm not sure there'd be much survivors amongst the soldiers... unless they got flying armors :LOL:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Nice thoughts there about finding the pilot somewhere you didn't expect, like on a UFO already (where the UFO backtracked to site, or if it wouldn't interrupt its own mission, it then relayed to another craft which would then become an abduction mission type entering a few moments later from some random area on its way there).

Anyway, I was also thinking that maybe the pilot crash site could be one of those types that stay on the map a while longer than your average downed UFO site. I think Tuoppi has a point about the pilot might not always have someone after him or know the situation where you would cause of that locator beacon stuff with the pilot.

Even if many times picking him up is essentially just a taxi run, I like the notion too of having some of your craft tied up now and then on these pickup runs (at risk of not being able to shoot down some other UFOs on harder levels for instance).

Heh, about the troop transporters getting shot down, now that'd be a pickle wouldn't it? :) Those poor troops...oh well, at least you have a shot at getting your pilots back ;)

#14 mikker

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 10:10 AM

I don't think that X-corps would give those top notch troopers no chance to escape at all. A few catapult seats, maybe even the whole storage bay area is detachable.

Also, you should be able to salvage the remains of a craft. Put it back into the bay, and give it 200% damage. That should keep your engineers working for a while.

To the pilot issue, maybe even a few stats wouldn't hurt.

-They should be payed, hired, and fired like you hire soldiers.

-They should have their own name.

-They should have their own ranking system.

-They could have a stat "manouvering ability", that the higher this is, the higher the chance that it avoids incomming missiles.

-They could have a stat "Wind knowlege", to make them faster, and waste lesser fuel in the air, outside battle. This sounds strange, but you know. Also faster to engage/disengage UFOs (move closer, further away).

-They could have a stat "Bravery Factor", so that he can remain cool in the toughest of battles. More like, tough enemy, low weapons holding, they could flee if this is low

-They could have stat "Psionic Defensive Ability", so that UFOs containing Cloaks and high ranking Grays won't affect the effectiveness of the pilot. Only later in the game of course.

-They could have a stat "Psionic Offensive Ability", so that they can shot a burst of willpower into the control pit. Only if close enough, also determained by this.Only later in the game of course.

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#15 Paladin

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 11:10 AM

Nice thoughts here, I think we're on to something ^_^

However, "Wind Knowledge" is IMHO... naive, at best... You can't do much against the winds, they simply depend on the altitude and direction you're flying... but to get somewhere under given conditions, no pilot is going to be able to do much different, becaus the whole wind mass moves in the same direction...
The rest of the description falls under the "Maneouvrability" category...

Manouvering, Bravery and Psionics are Must haves for Pilots, ajusted depending on the craft and experience, of course...
And pilots would only carry a sidearm, and maybe a flare or grenade or two, and that's it... There is only so much weight one can carry on a fighter jet.

I LOVE the idea of pilots having problems / using Psi... :devillaugh:

Edited by Paladin, 23 September 2004 - 11:10 AM.

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#16 Snakeman

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 11:48 AM

About the transports again, you could have a point about adding in the possibility of troop survival. Perhaps it might be something looked at too in the design of the transports. I was sort of thinking along the lines of those modual transports in the show Space Above and Beyond. The drive and cockpit section could jetison the cargo compartment, but also the cockpit was its own lifeboat.

Stats to pilots:

I think they should have the basics, TUs, Stamina, Bravery, Health, Strength etc., just like any other trooper. About Psi stuff, I wonder if we should go to the trouble of having them have Psi skill. With their limited inventory by comparison to troops, I can't imagine he'd have much opportunity to lug an amp around with him. Instead I think that if anything, we should be able to develop their resistance/defense (like we do now in X-COM when we hire then assign them in a lab, then later weed out the weakest ones with low defense values).

With regard to the facilties involved, I like the option of deciding where to put them. "Should I let this guy go to psi school first, or thrust him into pilot training? Should I find some time here to let him get some rudimentary ground combat training?"*

The pilot training facility I still think should only hold maybe a couple of pilots at a time to add to that training priority delema a bit. Naturally pilots will come to the fold with some experience, but the training lab can keep those abilities honed. Their growing abilities can be manifested through actions on the Geoscape (rather than like, listing more stats on their sheet). Things like longevity with a craft helping to reduce fuel consumption etc.

*edit - slight edit here cause I forgot to mention the combat facility. This was one of the aspects of Apoc that I feel could be carried over that also adds to the training delema stuff and when to do what with who.

Edited by Snakeman, 23 September 2004 - 11:50 PM.


#17 T-1

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 03:07 PM

You could give more advanced craft built-in psi amps like the psi blasters in xcom4.

#18 Snakeman

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 11:46 PM

You could give more advanced craft built-in psi amps like the psi blasters in xcom4.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm not that familiar with Interceptor, but I suppose it could work somewhat. Though it would depend on the pilot not getting shot down or he would lose his delivery device (the amp being part of his ship an all). I guess it'd boil down to is what function might it have at interception stage? How should it manifest its self? (i.e. should he try to divide what he's doing flying his craft to try to mind link with the alien pilot/navigator to force it to make a course correction in favor of your interceptor's weapons? Force it to land by sabotaging the alien Engineer's actions? Stuff like this).

I guess before I can see the pilots developing some Psi skill besides being checked out for defense, I need to figure out how the commands might be presented on the interception window. Probably just needs an easily identifiable icon to represent mind control (could use whichever one the soldier's have probably). Nice thoughts though. I wouldn't have thought of it having never had my hands on Interceptor :)

#19 mikker

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 06:09 AM

i'm not sure why the pilot needs health and stuff. He isn't a top trained soldier, and are most likely to be hiding inside the craft the whole time.

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#20 Snakeman

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 08:02 AM

Well, he'd probably need some health, otherwise he wouldn't have flight status because he'd be dead or a zombie :)

Seriously though, the only reason I can see to give him this stuff is that he probably most times will be open and exposed during the rescue attempt on the battlescape (no where near your craft). In that way, just like your soldiers, he'd be in a position to practice up his stats as he made it back to your ship even though engagmements with them on the ground like that could be few and far between. Certainly I can understand his TUs, Stamina & Strength (albeit a wee bit) to grow ever so slightly in those instances. If/when engagement does occur, he then has a chance go grow some of the rest of it, Reactions, Firing Accuracy & Throwing Accuracy etc.

Besides, if the combat facility were to make it in along with the pilot unit, maybe you feel he has enough pilot stuff to get you by for the time being, so you let him train there for awhile as another method to improve on the ground (I just feel better safe than sorry if that happened to him).

#21 mikker

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 08:37 AM

Hmmm.... yes..... the soldiers themself might have pilot protential. This way they get all their stats, and no need for heavy coding! Yay! The soldiers just need a stat called "Flight ability". Done!

(this stat might also be in use with flying armour.....nah :P)

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#22 dipstick

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 04:16 PM

Why don't you give pilots civ-like stats to begin with, which improve slightly after each mission? then there is a point in sending interceptor 3 out once in a while....
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#23 Snakeman

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 07:00 PM

Hmmm.... yes..... the soldiers themself might have pilot protential. This way they get all their stats, and no need for heavy coding! Yay! The soldiers just need a stat called "Flight ability". Done!

(this stat might also be in use with flying armour.....nah :P)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Nah, my guess is not needed for flying armors, but you have another point too, about simply diverting a soldier to become a pilot via the pilot lab. I hadn't given much thought to "cross training" a soldier, so maybe this could be a kind of "low budget" way of handling pilot shortages if it could be done where the price to hire a pilot falls somewhere between say, engineer or scientists' salaries.

Well, low budget in the sense your only charged 40,000 or whatever for soldiers. If you cross train one as a pilot though, I think there should still be a cost to balance things ever so slightly here. My thoguht on this is that perhaps a cross training session for a soldier could be twice as long as a pilot going through one session of training evaluation (since the pilot already comes to the group with flying skills). So basically the cost here is in time to readiness (and/or perhaps unavailability of that soldier for that period while cross training). With hiring a pilot and using him in training, to offset his higher salary a little bit here, you change things around so that he's available to fly from the get go.

In other words, have either option attractive (cross train or hire a pilot unit), and let us decide what we're happiest with from a bugetary and/or time cost standpoint. Starting bases I feel if they are anything like with X-COM (starting out with 3 ships), only makes sense you start out with 3 pilots.

Why don't you give pilots civ-like stats to begin with, which improve slightly after each mission? then there is a point in sending interceptor 3 out once in a while....


I agree. They should start out as basic as a civ's stats or soldier's. About making it attractive for the next part of your inquiry, pilot craft assignments should definitely mean something here. Any pilot devoting several hours to a craft should begin to know something about it and introduce peformance enhancements in general (geared more toward saving you costs but also maybe the time it takes to down something based on available weaponry for it). I often think too of how close knit for example pilots were with their ground crews in WWII so in a similar atmosphere, stands to reason that's one way to explain the performance enhancements of the pilot in (arial at least) combat.

Edited by Snakeman, 24 September 2004 - 07:01 PM.


#24 Tuoppi

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 04:25 AM

Well, it does take several years of full-day work to train a military pilot, and most people don't fit in that no matter how hard and long the training is. I don't think that soldier to pilots training is needed or reasonable.

The salaries were partly leasing costs to militaries where the soldiers were originated, if i got it right. A pilot training is VERY costly when compared to a grunt, and monthly it should be far more than scientists, i think that craft leasing cost was mostly pilot leasing anyway. A jet fighter is expensive, but a well trained pilot is worth more.

And when flying interceptor a civ-stats will certainly not be enough. Good fighter pilots are physically well-trained and have keen senses and reflexes, not to mention high mental training. (or they get kicked out very fast). A spec-ops ground troop is of course better in what he does, but a military pilot is not your average cessna-flyer either.

A training from craft to another would take a few days just to know how to fly properly and few weeks to be effective. You can never use the craft to its full potential, but you get closer all the time.

One thing still... There needs to be some calculation of flight time. No military would expect a pilot to fly 10 hours to a site and back, just too risky. A skyranger would need 2 pilots for long sorties, or some time in destination to rest. An interceptor pilot could not just take off after refueling/rearming (which needs to be MUCH quicker) but another pilot would be just fine.

#25 mikker

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 04:52 AM

You should think, that these aircraft are allout new, and have so much electrical stuff, that you don't pilot that much. Think Eurofighter: You barely fly the plane at all: You can concentrate on fighting. Similar systems in the XC-1 and XC-11. In that case, it might not take years of training, but only, say, a month to learn the essential, and you can improve your knowladge on flying the craft over time, if you still train. You would need a pilot training facility too, unless you could put this into a more general soldier training facility. You shouldn't know their flying potential untill they start training as a pilot, similar to psionics.

As for hiring pilots from start, those would have bad stats, but medium to high flight potential, plus they ALREADY know how to fly crafts pretty good so they don't NEED the training. They can still improve their abilities, though.

Also, the pilots could be active on the field if you decide to do so (in options tab, off by default), so that you got an additional soldier in the field. Remember that if he dies, you won't be able to fly back home, unless one of your other soldiers know how to fly a plane. If you doesn't have it, the men won't die, but the soldiers and the craft need to get back a diffrent way, so the craft is inbound to your base, but at half speed. You can't change its rute. I think thats fair, to be able to draw out an additional unit to the battlefield if things go bad. But you cannot execute an evacuation if there is no pilot in the cokpit. He (or someone else with fligt skills) have to get back there, to be able to evacuate. Also, if he is in there, it doesn't matter if theres anything in the cargo bay or not.

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#26 Snakeman

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 05:07 AM

Tuoppi raises a good point about cross training someone to be much more time intensive than my above example. But I was thinking along the lines that since, in general, X-COM is looking for the cream of the crop, its not unreasonable to assume that every other soldier might not come to the table with some supplimentary ability he wasn't originally tasked for. i.e. had minimal flight ability, but was intended as a ground scout or something. But I also understand the need (if this cross training was implimented) to suspend reality somewhat in this regard to the time it takes.

On costs, I know the first game incorporated a ship's leasing costs, (presumably with the unseen salary of the pilot taken into account), though later on I imagine with invented and built craft that if the leasing cost is taken out, you then only need to worry about the pilot's salary (with of course ship maintenance on the side, though I'd guess that could be lumped in with hanger maintenance in a general sense).

Another thing you raised, that might further the cross training concept though I'm not sure you intended it this way, was pilot rest. In a way I can kind of see it where after a flight or two, you were faced with the option of using a soldier with pilot training as a stand-in. I'm not sure on the feasibility of introducing rest time for any unit (hospitals, repair time for tanks or training aside), but its interesting to me.

Edited by Snakeman, 25 September 2004 - 05:12 AM.


#27 Snakeman

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 09:46 AM

You should think, that these aircraft are allout new, and have so much electrical stuff, that you don't pilot that much. Think Eurofighter: You barely fly the plane at all: You can concentrate on fighting. Similar systems in the XC-1 and XC-11. In that case, it might not take years of training, but only, say, a month to learn the essential, and you can improve your knowladge on flying the craft over time, if you still train. You would need a pilot training facility too, unless you could put this into a more general soldier training facility. You shouldn't know their flying potential untill they start training as a pilot, similar to psionics.


I was thinking about this as well. I think with pilots, you should already know his ability right off the bat, but with cross training, not seeing that soldier eval until he's been through the training loop once like psionics was handled. I like it, keeps things a mystery for awhile.

As for hiring pilots from start, those would have bad stats, but medium to high flight potential, plus they ALREADY know how to fly crafts pretty good so they don't NEED the training. They can still improve their abilities, though.


They probably wouldn't need continuous training I agree (their stats should defeintely be on a scale higher than that first cross trained soldier), but I think having the lab should help stats increase at a slightly more steady rate than from just having had a little combat and lots of hours in the craft. Just thinking along the lines of Apoc and its combat facility. I can't remember to be sure, but I got the sense that not only did they gain experience from the combat, they also gained something minimal with the lab. Factor in too that sometimes we may change up a pilot from a craft he knew so well to one he didn't, that's a little time to adjust probably if they aren't too similar.

Also, the pilots could be active on the field if you decide to do so (in options tab, off by default), so that you got an additional soldier in the field. Remember that if he dies, you won't be able to fly back home, unless one of your other soldiers know how to fly a plane. If you doesn't have it, the men won't die, but the soldiers and the craft need to get back a diffrent way, so the craft is inbound to your base, but at half speed. You can't change its rute. I think thats fair, to be able to draw out an additional unit to the battlefield if things go bad. But you cannot execute an evacuation if there is no pilot in the cokpit. He (or someone else with fligt skills) have to get back there, to be able to evacuate. Also, if he is in there, it doesn't matter if theres anything in the cargo bay or not.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Not quite sure what you mean by turning an options tab off here. If you mean toggling off the thing that makes that pilot "required" to win the scenario, I don't see anything wrong with that. Though I suspect an accompanying editor somewhere down the line could allow for all sorts of tweaks if it didn't come with the game at start. If the toggle did make it in, you could have it on say at the cost of points on the mission or something.

I do like the bit about having the units return home slower if they lost their ride and/or pilot and then not being able to alter route besides. Kinda makes my over spending on units-I-will-probably-never-use in X-COM mean something on occasion :)

#28 sir_schwick

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 11:55 PM

I think that special ops are that way from years of training, as pilots, and engineers, and scientists are. Cross training removes the need to find good pilots or good soldiers or good engineers.

Pilots would try to salvage what they could from the wreck and get a long distance away, preferably to an easy pick-up zone. Local militaries do not know who X-COM is and will assume the pilot is a spy if caught. There will be protocols to help you locate pilot, but the aliens might reach them quickly or they may get picked up by military. Expect to fight humans then.

Pilots should have good TU and Stamina/Strenght, but bad combat stats. Also, Wind, Mnauevrability, Dog-fighting, Crisis Management. They will have some equipment/especially laser and survival/beacon.

Also, pilots coudl theorhetically, once research on Navigators was done, pilot alien craft. Imagine distracting most of the alines of a Large Scout with two/three soldiers while the rest kill the one or two engineers on board and escourt a Pilots on board. THe pilots could then pilot the craft. Engineers would be required to use the E-115 reactors, or blow them up(useful to ground large UFOs when they try to liftoff and leave you).

#29 Snakeman

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 12:22 AM

I think that special ops are that way from years of training, as pilots, and engineers, and scientists are. Cross training removes the need to find good pilots or good soldiers or good engineers.


I agree, and I wouldn't want cross training to be a substitute or even a replacement for hiring "full on professionals" heh...More like a band aide. Cross training may be cheap in the $ category, but could be time intensive in the days/months area. Plus in the time it takes to go through one or two sessions, those stats will still be lower than the unit that had that as its main thing from the get go. In the time it takes to evaluate a couple of those band aides (soldiers or whatever), you may suddenly find that a few good candidates by that point made themselves available to you in the hiring pool. I'm still just relaying pretty much how I'd seen things in Apoc. Sometimes the game skimped on making the kick donkey scientists available.

Anyway, the main reason I delved into the pilot thing, then eventually the cross training stuff, probably in retrospect, has more to do with how aggressive players may expect to be playing. If any losses of specialized classes get particularly high as well as said units being semi-unavailable in the hiring pool, I can't quite think of a way around getting by if all your most skilled (in this case pilots) units got whacked or hospitalized.

Pilots would try to salvage what they could from the wreck and get a long distance away, preferably to an easy pick-up zone. Local militaries do not know who X-COM is and will assume the pilot is a spy if caught. There will be protocols to help you locate pilot, but the aliens might reach them quickly or they may get picked up by military. Expect to fight humans then.


I highlighted this aspect because I also want to see some variance to what the pilot could experience based largely on whether or not he's in friendly, enemy, or neutral territory (neutral in this case basically means a low funding country, yet one which is not courting aliens or has high infiltration attributed to it at that time). If he's downed in friendly territory, he has much higher odds of making it back on his own w/out opposition but he's inaccessible to you for awhile...May need one of those slow performing band aides mentioned :)

Enemy territory lends its self to a couple of interesting possilities: Battlescape generation as discussed above with the aliens, & rogue human militaries (courting alien alliance or not). With the human militaries, you can introduce bribes to get him back and possibly even better relations if you can placate them to your side with even more moolah (diplomacy stuff). They may accept and release him, or they may take your money then kill him anyway. It should all depend on how nasty they are to you as a whole. It may be diplomacy related as one root cause, but it can also relate to how often you intervene and violate their territory to rescue pilots or other personnel, even how often you do alien ship recovery on their turf.

With aliens though, you rule out bribes of course, they've no use for our dirty money :) Instead they have opportunity of their interrogation revealing the base of origin he came from. If the mission to get him out of alien territory happened late (you landed there within a few hours of the X site disappearing), you get a last minute chance to free him from the alien ship. This kind of thing can also be used with the rogue human militaries, only you see their kind of craft on the field and relevant opposition. The only noticable difference in units though would be whether or not they had been courting an alien alliance...then you'd see a mixture of alien and human units arrayed against you.

As for the rest of it, I'm in favor of it. However with regard to combat ability of the pilot on the ground, again, you can make up for it with respect to the combat facility akin to Apoc's. Limited classroom space adds to that base module placement + training delema as a whole. What I definitely see eye to eye with you on especially though is the engineers/scientists. I think there ought to be special missions which require their presence, if not the ability for our soldiers to have rudimentary or supplimentary skills to muddle through (as in having more mixed results when you just can't seem to find enough professionals available in that hiring pool).

I can envision a lot of interesting mishaps where you wished you'd had a professional with your detachement rather than that band aide. He/she might be best in one area and simply dumb in another. i.e. great soldier, crappy scientific ability, run of the mill pilot. On the other front with the professional, could be great engineer, run of the mill combatant, crapola resistance to Psi invasion.

So things can certainly go weird with the band aide as well as the professional non-combat profession. But any success to get by at something unusual should seem like luck on occasion.

Edited by Snakeman, 03 December 2004 - 12:33 AM.


#30 sir_schwick

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 10:30 AM

I would figure that any of your troops would run from the crash site ASAP unless the rescue beacon was not working. Of course the alien ship that shot them down may land and call in support, then they have to fight it out till you land(not long if you have UFO techs). Aliens don't deviate from the site because then X-COM gets free goodies.

Also, like I said earlier, militaries don't know you, so you are a mysterious band of brothers if they are found(unlikely unless its all specialists). If you have good infiltration in that country they are 'mysteriously' released. If not you might have to stage your own 'release' or provide a bribe through back channels. If its alien infiltrated they will temporarily be held at a facility then transferred to an alien facility(base).

I actually wanted to see that you needed non-soldiers regularly in combat. Engineers would allow you to set advanced explosives(for blowing holes in UFOs), breaching UFO doors(they should theorhetically lock to humans), disassembling/sabotaging Elerium reactors, programming turrets. Pilots with Navigations traning should be able fly alien craft or at least operate the computer and weapons systems. Scientists maybe have little use in combat, but you would need to send a team to UFOs to study the UFO. Result would be more knowledge for engagement and assault purposes.

#31 Snakeman

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 11:25 AM

Agree. It would definitely make a little sense to have an engineer and/or scientist for recovery missions. Together they can make on-site evaluations in terms of the best way to salvage the ship, and at least one of them will be able to tell you what's important or stands out that requires some extra scrutiny.

I mean, it didn't make much sense for example that when we went after the elerium, it required a solder to fire his weapon at the power source first. That's a bit John Wayne especially when at least early on, you wouldn't think of that as the smartest way to go about that type of recovery :)