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Everything posted by LXant

  1. Looks like you were spot on! 😅
  2. We have a dev studio with a history of good games, one of the better publishers out there, and the announcement trailer was not only well done, but had - if that's something to go by - above average clicks compared to the other games that were announced. It indicates that there's some sort of a fanbase interested in this game and its success; that part plays a key role when it comes to allocation of resources. While it is good to remain cautious, I also think that we have some good reasons for optimism this time around. But @THQN Fabian, a DevDiary and/or the FAQ would certainly help. 😉
  3. They found them 'interesting', hm? That's usually an euphemism for 'wtf' 😅
  4. Well, poor Fabian, descended right into a pit of starved dogs. Hopefully he isn't too frightened to come back. 😄
  5. Hey Fabian, great to have you around! We understand that it isn't up to you to give us any info about the game, so I won't ask. 🙂 However, would it be possible to for you to ask someone about the FAQ and the promise of getting some Dev Diaries? It has been some time already and there's nothing new since the announcement trailer. Please and thank you!
  6. It's listed by them only as TBA, in contrast to other games being TBA 2021/2022. They know as much as we do, which isn't much. 😆
  7. It should also be noted that with both examples we have a couple of years between the announcement trailer and the final release date. I just hope things go a bit faster with JA3. We're patient, sure, but waiting for 3 or 4 more years? That would be too much.
  8. From my experience, the bigger the budget/project, the more restrictions are in place. They are usually placed by the publisher and not the developers. It means that every bit of info, every piece of content that is released to the public has to go through the publisher and needs official approval, as marketing and PR are part of the publishers' responsibilities. It's easier when publisher and developer are the same, like it is with Paradox, but this isn't the norm. And not the case with Haemimont and THQ Nordic; both are obviously different entities. And don't forget that it is a frustrating experience for the devs, too. They dedicated a few years of their lives towards JA3 and can't talk about it. It would drive me crazy.
  9. Don't lose hope, it's too early for that. That new article just does what we do: analyze the trailer/screenshots. There's nothing new, just speculation.
  10. I can't say anything regarding their registration process or country selection, but if you're willing to actually buy the magazine, I'd go for this: https://shop.gamestar.de/hefte/gamestar/1791/gamestar-11/2021?c=5 There you need to select "Epaper", click "In den Warenkorb" (meaning "into the cart") and then you can check out. What you want to avoid is the month-long subscription or shipping the printed magazine across the world. If you really buy it, then I'll give you the complete translation via PM and you'll be free to do whatever you want with it. I mean, if you really bought it, it's yours, right? 🙂
  11. That we are indeed! Now we have to wait until someone posts a summary or a pic (which I can and will translate).
  12. The printed version is scheduled to release tomorrow.
  13. Only if someone provides me with something to translate, mind you. 🙂
  14. That's something all of us have been for the last 20 years.
  15. The choice of developer is a good sign, I agree that their portfolio gives me hope that we'll at the very least get something that is thought-out and not full of bugs. Good news after 20 years of mediocre attempts. Hopefully, when the magazine releases in 2 days, someone will post something about it or provide pics of it. I'd be happy to translate the whole damn thing if need be. I need to thank you too, it is rare to meet someone who can string more than a few coherent sentences together and makes me even re-think my own perspective on certain things. 👍 And I will follow suit and do the same! 🙂
  16. Is there an ETA on the answers?
  17. Let's stay here in this thread, since part of what we discuss here concerns all the things the gamestar article is about. I know, it's a generous interpretation of the rules, but there's not much going on in this forum anyway. 😄 First things first, I admire your dedication. Even I don't play all those old games that much. Sure, every now and then, but not as regularly as you. Overall I agree with you on everything you wrote in your post. The point you made with equipping the militia sounds interesting. Never tried it for myself, though. I'm sure that we'll get an abstracted system of it in JA3, in which training militia might cost money to cover all expenses. While effective, hiring mercs to use them exclusively as mules feels a bit wrong (as in not quite intended by the devs). I can't imagine any dev to implement it as part of the expected gameplay. 🤣 It all depends on how buying and using equipment works. A shame the article preview ended right before they went into the strategic management. 😑 That's actually quite clever. It reminds me of a similar system (at least similar in principle) from the newest Owlcat game WotR, although Kingmaker also had this system in place. There you're presented with many choices, some of which will shift your alignment in a certain direction. The interesting part is that the choice is entirely based on your characters knowledge. Without spoiling too much, there's a person that is unfriendly, but not hostile towards you. You can choose to attack that person in a fit of anger, which is classified as a chaotic action. But if you spend some time doing a bit of research, you learn that the unfriendly person killed an innocent man quite a while ago. With that new piece of information the same action of attacking and killing him is now classified as lawful, as your character now has a legitimate reason to kill said person. Seeing the world through the eyes of your character is a core-principle of any good RPG. What you described here is actually a deep system that requires you to know your mercs. Of course, the downside is that you can never be certain whether the information the game gives you is reliable or not. I'm not sure which is better, I could live with both. But let me tell you, I can already see many people complaining about it. 😅 "It said hit chance is high, yet I missed five times in a row. wtf?!" I wouldn't say wrong, most interviews are just what you think they are: devs trying to sell their product. The interesting interviews I'm talking about are more like podium discussions or lectures about game design. Or devs reminiscing about the history of the genre. If you're interested, look up "The Past, Present & Future of XCOM with Julian Gollop & Jake Solomon from EGX 2017". Both talk about the original vision of the game, tell how those games were created, what influenced their decisions etc. This one is especially great as it takes place after the release of XCOM2 and its expansion WotC. Or "Classic Games Postmortem - XCOM: UFO Defense", a talk at GDC 2013 given by Julian Gollop himself. Very very insightful for anyone that is interested in the history behind those great games. I very much agree, the interrupt mechanic is unique, only the reaction fire of the first X-Com games comes close to it. My problem with it - and I suppose the reason why it got cut from JA3 - is the lack of predictability. While it feels great to have it work out for you, it feels terrible when you're on the short end of it. Let's take Dark Souls as an example. The game is hard, punishing and unforgiving. Yet nobody would call it unfair or unpredictable. If you play well, you won't die. The same can't be said about the interrupt mechanic. You can play well and still randomly die to it. And this is likely the reason for its removal, as it crosses the line towards unfair game design. It is hard to think of a way to improve that particular aspect. Yes, you could always say "then scout ahead, be more careful etc.", but that only slows down the pace. While some may enjoy a game full of slow paced engagements, most people don't. I can clearly see why they'd remove the mechanic and replace it with something that was proven to be successful in recent years. But I wouldn't lose hope yet. I may very well be that Haemimont didn't just copy the overwatch mechanic, but refined it or gave it a bit of a twist. For now we know nothing about it, just that combat is similar to XCOM/XCOM2 and that there's a button with the same symbol as the overwatch command. XCOM/XCOM2 went heavy on implementing RPG/customizing elements. I fully expect Haemimont to at least copy, if not outright improve on it. A good chunk of it is customizing visuals, which is easier today than it was 20 years ago. So, yes, I agree with you 110%. I want tons of different equipment and I want it all to be visible on the character models. If I could agree even more with you, I would! Yes, absolutely my thoughts. In the end we both have the same problem: we don't know what to expect, as not much is known. Until the magazine comes out, someone buys it and then shares this info with us, the upcoming FAQ is our best bet to get our hands on new info. Cheers @GODSPEED! 🍻
  18. Again, you've my thanks and appreciation for voicing your thoughts in such a respectful and thorough manner. I think I can understand the direction you come from, now that I know a bit better what it is you enjoy. I look forward to discussing things with you, your passion for JA is admirable! I can see why you like inventory management. Scarcity adds to the experience of dealing with limited resources, of improvising and a feeling of accomplishment when overcoming such a challenge. But most of the time the logistics part feels unnatural and at times arbitrary. Usually you encounter a great number of enemies, supply with basic weapons, ammo and other equipment shouldn't be an issue thanks to that. It only is because those basic things - while being used against you mere moments ago - simply don't drop as loot. It creates a shortage of something that should've been there in abundance. The question is, how should the game handle this? 100% loot would be realistic, but it would remove the challenge. Less loot would give you a challenge, but go against realism. Which is why I willingly accept the modern abstraction of making basic items like cheap firearms or ammo free/unlimited. It allows you to focus on collecting rare and special items. But it seems we'll have to wait on this one until we get to see the full extent of inventory management. I would like to note, however, that - like you - I want a multifaceted inventory with more than 4 or 5 slots. At least weapon customization is in, something both of us should enjoy. It is hard to tell how many hours I spent with Skyrim/Oblivion/Morrowind over the last decades... and I could argue that hardly anybody plays those games for their story. The freedom of choice is the main selling point of those games. Story-driven games on the other hand limit that freedom to give the player a clearer direction. This puts JA in a bit of a hard spot, as it tries to tell a compelling story while at the same time aims to give the player a sandbox experience. Maybe that's why so many JA sequels failed, because they failed to walk that fine line? While I agree with you in principle, I disagree from a standpoint of game design. Chances and uncertainties are fine, I'd even say important. However, a game still needs to tell the player crucial information, so that their choices are more than lucky guesses or the result of trial and error. If there's an element of chance, the player needs to be told about it. XCOM got that right, as you had effective weapon ranges, weapons had dmg ranges and, of course, the infamous hit chances. And if the trailer is right, it seems that JA3 will follow suit. If something isn't 100%, it can fail. As a player I understand and accept it, because the game tells me that there's a 10% or 30% chance to fail something beforehand. Or if there's a dmg spread between 10 and 20. I accept it, because the game told me BEFORE I chose to go with it. Failure becomes a consequence of accepting the possibility of it happening. But when the game doesn't tell me with how much movement I'm left when moving somewhere, when I won't know if I can see/attack/flank someone when I move to a certain tile, when I don't know if something counts as half or full cover... then failure becomes a consequence of lack of information. It is a frustrating experience and overall bad game design. That's where people start complaining, and rightfully so. Some people enjoy that kind of unfair design, but most people don't. That's a very unfavorable view on interviews. 🙂 I mentioned them because some of those went beyond simple advertising and explored the thought processes that led to certain decisions. It was interesting to learn of the challenges and problems the Devs had when trying to adapt an old game. Why did they change this? Why did they do that? It was very insightful. We might like certain aspects in old games because we associate them with our childhood, but there are many people who never played the old games, who simply lack that feeling of nostalgia. And they don't hesitate to point out elements that are simply not fun or borderline unfair. Hearing those hardcore X-Com fans describe the difficulties when creating the remake helped me understand that not everything was simply "watered down" to make more sales. They were as surprised as everyone else when the game became a huge financial success. Turn-based tactical games were dead back then, the whole genre is still a niche product. Turn-based strategy is generally better received, but - as you said - also remains a niche compared to other genres. We might never agree on this one, but I see XCOM as a step in the right direction. It started the renaissance of the whole niche, which is why we even get JA3 now; development began shortly after XCOM2 released and proved that the success of XCOM1 wasn't just a fluke. It is only natural that JA3 will try to build upon and improve on some aspects of what XCOM2 had to offer. I don't know if you know, but XCOM actually had a bunch of talented modders that created awesome mods for it. Long War was the biggest and most popular one. Their work was so impressive that Firaxis involved them in the development of XCOM2. A huge part of why XCOM2 is so moddable, has thousands of mods and still gets mods to this day is thanks to that group of modders. They even founded their own dev studio btw, Pavonis Interactive. If JA3 comes even close to the success of XCOM2 and gets a mere fraction of its mod support, it would be a huge win in my books. As it is, the interrupt mechanic is out and we get overwatch instead. And I suspect the reason for that change was, as you correctly pointed out, the unpredictability of the whole concept. I understand that this is something you like, that there's always a risk of getting killed by something that is impossible to account for. It is very similar to reaction fire in the first X-Com games. This touches on the aforementioned subject of giving players reliable information. Elements that heavily punish players in random unpredictable acts simply need to be tamed. Not to cater to all platforms, but to make things more predictable for the player. We might also disagree here, but too much randomness - especially when the consequences are as severe as perma-death - is what constitutes bad game design. Many people find no fun in getting punished for something that was a) outside of their control and b) not clearly communicated by the game beforehand. Again, some players might enjoy unfair game design, but most people don't. This is where our experiences differ. I spent countless hours customizing my soldiers, giving them biographies, using visual mods to make them even more unique. The campaigns I fought in XCOM2 are among the most memorable I ever had. When thinking back to Apoc, I don't remember my soldiers. Also, the aliens were not memorable or important for the whole experience. What made the game great was the destructable environment, all the interactions within the city, destroyed buildings after hard battles in the sky, raids against various organizations. It was a huge sandbox that I greatly enjoyed, but it never made me truly care about my soldiers or the main mission. XCOM2 was the exact opposite, which was closer to the original games in that regard. That puts JA2 in a special place for me, as it somehow unifies the strenghts of both worlds, giving me soldiers that I care about, a clear direction and at the same time a sandbox experience that I like. From what little we know about JA3, we might get something very similar. At the very least I'd love to have XCOM2-like customization options. What do JA2 players want? Not always the same thing, that much is clear. And given the high costs of game development (especially when compared to two decades ago) some concessions will be necessary to make it more appealing for a broader audience. Like you, it leaves me a bit concerned, as we don't know where that line is drawn. For now, from what we heard, no major feature seems to be missing. If the gamestar magazine is right, that is. Without seeing for myself I will remain sceptical. But tbh, while I hope for the best, I'd already call it a success if it doesn't kill the entire franchise. And we all know that this could very well happen, as JA3 is the biggest JA project in a long time. Financial failure could mean another 20 years of small pay-to-win/mobile JA games. That makes mod support the maybe most important feature of all.
  19. Here you go, the closest possible translation of that part: You hire mercs for a certain period of time; the longer it is, the more money they want. Throughout the game their skills improve, automatically as well as through specific selection of certain generally useful (more dmg, higher precision) and character specific talents (use two weapons at the same time). But the higher a mercs level is, the bigger their weekly costs get. This is a bit tricky, since you need your money to also buy equipment like weapons, armor and explosives. To answer your question, there's absolutely no indication that you direcly buy skills with money. However, indirectly any new skill will increase the weekly costs, so skills do cost money.
  20. I wish I knew the answer! All I did was translating the sentence as literally as possible. But if the announcement trailer is to be trusted, we can expect something similar to XCOM2 - also a game with destructible environment. Would mean that you can use explosives freely, but not aim your weapons directly at normal objects (though missed shots would still damage them).
  21. "At least 40" can also go as far as 60. My best guess here would be something around 50. 🙂
  22. Here are the last tidbits I could gather from my limited access to Gamestar: The person actually interviewing Brad Logston is another member of the team, but he is an outspoken fan of JA2. A bit of speculation on my part: since he is a big fan of the new XCOM games, it isn't unreasonable to assume that he'd speak in a positive manner if JA3 had similarities to the new XCOM games. There are at least 40 mercs available Max squad size seems to be 6, though it remains unconfirmed for now Destructable environment is in, you can "shoot holes in walls and use explosives to surprise your enemies" Like in JA2, you get a starting budget, which you'll use to hire your first mercs Mercs are paid weekly Well, there it is. Everything else is already known.
  23. I just provided a literal translation of that part from the short preview. Sadly, without having the whole article I cannot tell you more than that. And believe me, I'm as keen on getting new info as everyone else here.
  24. Thank you for taking your time and giving me such a detailed answer. I must warn you, though, as I also tend to ramble when it's about something I'm passionate about. 🙂 What you describe as strong points in those old games, I experienced as irritating and at times confusing. Let's take X-Com and TftD as an example: There was no fun in buying stacks of ammunition and equipping my soldiers again and again before each mission. Yes, it is more complex than a simplified inventory, but there's no challenge in that kind of complexity. It just eats time, it doesn't do anything for gameplay. True, it adds the illusion of freedom, and - like you - I actually dislike arbitrary equipment restrictions. BUT: once I got my team, roles and equipment didn't change anymore. I'd give them exactly the same things I gave them in the last few missions. As if, surprise, their class was set and their role was determined. While I always had the freedom to equip everyone as I saw fit, I chose not to. This is something that is also true for many other games btw, like RPGs (since you mentioned D:OS2), be it Baldurs Gate, Kingmaker or the newly released WotR etc. There you also level certain characters in a specific way and stick to your idea, despite all the freedom of equipment. While the idea of having a restriction might be offending, its impact on how we actually play the game is arguably small. That's what I try to say here. Inventory management and ammo shuffling aside, counting AP, varying AP costs between soldiers, unclear AP costs when moving over different surfaces, many issues with positioning, cover and line of sight etc. were also weak points that I'm glad were improved. You called that a challenge, learning from experience, a game not holding your hand. I call it guesswork and unclear communication of crucial information. It was okay in the 90s, to some degree in the early 2000s. I didn't complain because I didn't know better. But now? A game not telling you what your action actually entails is just bad game design. I don't know if you followed some of the interviews the Devs of XCOM gave. It is interesting because it shows why certain things had to change, even when great fans of the old games were part of the Dev team; fans that loved the old games as much as we do. They described that their early versions of the game had all the things you could ever ask for (meaning all the 'complexity' of the 90s). Firaxis didn't simplify things randomly, they actually struggled with their modern adaptation of clearly outdated mechanics. To the point of nearly failing the whole project, as they freely admitted. Only when they simplified things without forcing players in endless loops of trial and error (interestingly enough they also made the game give the player less exact information, to keep an element of surprise), only then did they manage to make a game that many people (including myself) found enjoyable. That Firaxis is on the right track is evident when you compare Phoenix Point and XCOM/XCOM2. Julian Gollop deserves all the praise for creating the original X-Com, but Firaxis clearly has a better understanding of how to create a good game. As I said in another thread, they managed nothing less than the revival of a dead genre and inspired other developers to make similar games. Which brings me to JA. It was a good game in its time and I greatly enjoyed it (I wouldn't be here otherwise). But it suffered from the same weaknesses that I described here. AP counting, unclear interrupt mechanic, inventory shuffling, too much trial and error and so on aren't exactly part of a good game design. That's why I'm quite happy with Haemimont implementing some of the more popular elements of modern XCOM design: The old AP count was drastically reduced, you have much clearer information about movement, attacks and cover (and three stances to choose from if you don't have any cover I think), the overwatch system is also superior compared to the old interrupt system... There's just one challenge that even Firaxis didn't manage to overcome with both of their games: combat pacing. Without strict time limits the player is rewarded for slowly crawling and overwatching everything to death. That makes combat boring. JA2 is also guilty of this very thing: waiting in the darkness, luring single enemies to you and then going for interrupts was the way to go. It was fun at first, but quickly became repetitive and boring. There was not much of a variation in mission types either. Time limits are generally disliked, but most people can't argue with the results: they forced many XCOM2 players to choose a more aggressive approach. It made engagements more dynamic and memorable, you actually had to use your skills and do some planning in advance. And that is something you can only do if the game gives you the necessary information. Looking at JA3, I think the better way would be not to punish players for failing a time limit, but to reward them for being quick. I hope JA3 will go this route. That would discourage overwatch-crawling without forcing time limits down our throats. But it is too early to comment on it, just that I'm curious what the Devs have in mind here. Looks like I couldn't resist my urge to ramble away at it. Oh well... I hope my rant didn't bore you.
  25. I've played all of the games you mentioned (and some more), so naturally I'm a bit curious: why do you seem to dislike more modern approaches for turn-based strategy?
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