Changes to the tactical layer

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johnnylump
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Changes to the tactical layer

Post by johnnylump » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:17 pm

These don't really fit in a promotional blog post, but following the FXS stream, I thought I'd bullet point some of the tactical changes we've made in Long War 2:

COMBAT
  • Shotguns are less accurate at medium and long ranges
  • LMGs are less accurate at point-blank range
  • Pistols and SMGs are between shotguns and assault rifles in terms of accuracy at range
  • On Veteran+, enemy reinforcement flares do not appear to XCOM
  • Reinforcements on many missions will appear at more regulated intervals, based on regional ADVENT strength. They will start out somewhat stronger than in vanilla and end up far stronger.
  • Enemy pods may have up to 8 enemies. Larger all-alien pods will almost always have more than two species.
  • Enemy pods will now employ certain tactics before they engage XCOM. This may include going to protect the objective or attempting to flank XCOM. They also have a broader set of options if they become aware a battle is underway, typically from hearing weapon fire/explosions or seeing dead allies.
  • Enemy AI will generally be more careful about cover and moving. They will order their turns to put units with certain ability types ahead of others.
  • Enemies who activate on their own turn will have a chance to take a ‘reflex’ action. If the unit was previously aware that a battle is underway, this may include firing at XCOM if they are unharmed after their scamper move.
  • Throwing any grenade has a one-turn cooldown before you can throw something else. Launching a grenade does not.
    It now takes the Skyranger multiple turns to arrive after you throw the evac flare. Certain factors like Squad Size and infiltration status affect the number of turns. Throwing the evac flare reveals the squad.
  • When receiving a potentially fatal wound, soldiers are more likely to bleed out in general rather than die immediately.
  • Mission timers may be extended by officers using the “Intervention” ability. Using this ability costs intel.
  • Absent certain grenadier perks, grenades rarely destroy all but the most fragile of cover or induce vehicles to immediately explode.
  • Minimum explosives damage falls off from the center of an explosion. So a grenade that does 6-8 damage at the center will do 1-8 at the edge of the area of effect.
  • Rockets scatter based on a soldier’s aim, distance to target, perks, and whether or not the soldier has moved yet.
  • Loot drops are more common, but contain less loot.
GEAR
  • All armors have three utility slots. Pistols now go in utility slots.
  • Each full utility slot reduces your mobility by one. Base mobility is 15 for soldiers.
  • Soldiers may equip vests (bonus hp + a special bonus) and plating (ablative HP that functions like shieldbearer shields) at the same time in utility slots.
  • Most items, including weapons and armor, must be constructed individually. The schematic system of upgrading all weapons at once is largely eliminated.
  • Proving Ground projects are now tied explicitly to single items and generally enable mass production of a given ammo, grenade, vest, weapon mod, etc. in engineering.
  • All primary weapons have at least three slots for upgrades.
  • Repeaters are gone. They now function as suppressors and reduce infiltration time as well as the range at which enemies can hear your fire.
  • Stocks now provide the “Steady Weapon” ability (turn-ending action to provide bonus aim and crit on the next turn) instead of doing damage on misses.
  • Hair Triggers now provide to-hit bonuses on reaction fire. Scopes now only work on non-reaction fire.
CLASSES
  • Sharpshooter: Primary: Sniper Rifle; Secondary: Holotargeter
  • Shinobi: Primary: Rifle, SMG or Shotgun; Secondary: Sword
  • Ranger: Primary: Rifle, SMG or Shotgun; Secondary: Sawed-off Shotgun
  • Assault: Primary: Rifle, SMG or Shotgun; Secondary: Arc Thrower
  • Gunner: Primary: Cannon; Secondary: Combat Knife
  • Grenadier: Primary: Rifle, SMG or Shotgun; Secondary: Grenade Launcher
  • Specialist: Primary: Rifle, SMG or Shotgun; Secondary: Gremlin
  • Technical: Primary: Rifle, SMG or Shotgun; Secondary: Gauntlet
  • Psi Operative: Primary: Rifle, SMG or Shotgun; Secondary: Psi Amp
  • Spark (DLC): Primary: Spark Rifle; Secondary: Bit
TO-HIT MECHANICS
The following hit mechanics in Long War 2 have been modified:
  • Critical chance is no longer an absolute chance
    • In base XCOM 2 a 10% hit and 10% critical chance would land 10% of the time, and if it hit would always be a critical. This is no longer the case.
    • Dodge no longer supersedes crit. (In base XCOM 2 if dodge + crit chance was greater than hit, crit chance would be removed in favor of dodge.)
    • Soldiers can graze even if the target has no dodge (In base XCOM 2, grazes were only possible if the target had dodge stat)
  • These changes apply completely symmetrically to both sides
    • All units will now graze if their to-hit roll is “close” to the required to hit
      • This is referred to as the “Graze Band.” The measure of “close” is configurable in-game, and defaults to +/- 10%.
      • Example 1 : Base 70% chance to hit results in 60% chance of a normal damage hit and 20% chance of a graze. The displayed to hit is 70%.
      • Example 2 : Base 20% chance to hit results in 10% chance of a normal damage hit and a 20% chance of a graze. The displayed to hit is 20%.
    • Critical Hit Chance is now a chance to “promote” the damage type. A successful critical roll will:
      • Promote a graze hit to a regular damage hit
      • Promote a regular damage hit to a critical damage hit
    • Dodge Stat is now a chance to “demote” the damage type. A successful dodge roll will:
      • Demote critical damage hit to regular damage hit
      • Demote a regular damage hit to a graze
      • Demote a graze into a miss (configurable)
    • Consequences:
      • Low % shots are generally more likely to do something, but that something results in less damage, and is very unlikely to deal critical damage
      • 90% to-hit and above won’t entirely miss enemies (unless they have dodge)
      • Dodge and Crit counter each other, so a high critical chance helps counter high dodge units, while a good dodge helps protect against critical hits
      • When using Not Created Equally, soldiers may have negative dodge, increasing the chance hits against them will be promoted
    • Example 1: 90% to hit, 50% to crit
      In base XCOM 2, this will result in Critical damage 50%, Normal damage 40% of the time, Miss 10% of the time.
      In Long War 2, this will result in Critical damage 40% of the time, Normal damage 50% of the time, Graze damage 10% of the time.
      • Example 2: 20% to hit, 10% to crit
        In base XCOM 2, this will result in Critical damage 10% of the time, Normal damage 10% of the time, Miss 80% of the time
        In Long War 2, it will result in Critical damage 1% of the time, Normal damage 11% of the time, Graze damage 18% of the time, Miss 70% of the time

      Badman_bacon777
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by Badman_bacon777 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:21 pm

      Does Steady Weapon carry on to Overwatch/other forms of reaction fire done on the next turn?

      How does the blade differ to the sword?

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      rifleman
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by rifleman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:29 pm

      Well, Ranger could still learn Rapid Fire, Rapie Reaction on last second rank, which means 3 to 4 shots in one turn. No sure this is OP or not in LW2. These peaks are outclass Tactical Sense on this rank as well.

      I tried a 6 Assaulst or 6 Rangers squad in a legend run before. They are efficiency. Maybe we need some turn here.

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      johnnylump
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by johnnylump » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:29 pm

      Badman_bacon777 wrote:Does Steady Weapon carry on to Overwatch/other forms of reaction fire done on the next turn?

      How does the blade differ to the sword?
      Steady Weapon works generally like it did in LW-EW; it persists until you take a shot or use ability that costs an action, so it goes away if you move or go into Overwatch.

      The Combat Knife is really a personal defense weapon, so it doesn't have a full column of perks supporting it.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by roberdjp » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:42 pm

      I believe you mentioned yesterday that there are still pistol-focused skills. Which class(es?) has that focus available? I was always annoyed in the base game that my Gunslinger couldn't equip an SMG to not hamper his movement, so I'm hoping it's not the sharpshooter...

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by johnnylump » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:45 pm

      roberdjp wrote:I believe you mentioned yesterday that there are still pistol-focused skills. Which class(es?) has that focus available? I was always annoyed in the base game that my Gunslinger couldn't equip an SMG to not hamper his movement, so I'm hoping it's not the sharpshooter...
      Staying quiet on this one :)

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by roberdjp » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:49 pm

      Also, it goes without saying that this whole thing sounds great. Every one of those bullet points, I'm like, "Yeah, of course that's how it should work." Very much looking forward to playing.

      brunodema
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by brunodema » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:52 pm

      I'm curious about something: in LW1 controlling the enemy was a must and many strategies were based on it. Suppression was the most efficient way to do that. Did you guys change the way suppression works? In vanilla xcom 2 overwatch penalty is applied to the shot and enemies didn't care much about it either, making it quite useless. Will the AI use/respect suppression in LW2? Or will we have to evolve beyond the lw1 suppression warfare playstyle? :P

      That_Derpy_muton
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by That_Derpy_muton » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:55 pm

      Yo i see an arc thrower. :D does this mean interrogations? :twisted:

      ChocolateTower
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by ChocolateTower » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:09 pm

      Great info, thanks for all this time and effort from the whole team. I know I'm going to be spending an unhealthy amount of time playing this mod as I did with LW1.

      I think the Example 1 you give right at the end of the post might have an error, or else I misunderstood the description of how it works. It says:

      Example 1: 90% to hit, 50% to crit
      In Long War 2, this will result in, Critical damage 40% of the time, Normal damage 40% of the time, Graze damage 20% of the time.

      But I figure that, before the critical roll, it would be normal damage 80%, graze 20%. After the critical roll, it would be crit damage 40%, normal damage 50% (40%, plus half the graze amount is promoted), graze 10%. Is that right?

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by johnnylump » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:10 pm

      brunodema wrote:I'm curious about something: in LW1 controlling the enemy was a must and many strategies were based on it. Suppression was the most efficient way to do that. Did you guys change the way suppression works? In vanilla xcom 2 overwatch penalty is applied to the shot and enemies didn't care much about it either, making it quite useless. Will the AI use/respect suppression in LW2? Or will we have to evolve beyond the lw1 suppression warfare playstyle? :P
      We've trained the AI to pay more attention to suppression. Unlike PP and LW1, Area Suppression now targets multiple enemies who try to move as long as you have ammo. We actually had to disallow using area suppression to trip pods from concealment because it was OP :). Hair trigger, Lockdown, Mayhem, Cool Under Pressure are some of the ways to make it even more of a threat.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by johnnylump » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:11 pm

      That_Derpy_muton wrote:Yo i see an arc thrower. :D does this mean interrogations? :twisted:
      Nope. Its role is to help in combat.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by Frozen Shepard » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:12 pm

      Will Long War 2 be getting its own page on the UFOpaedia?

      Amineri
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by Amineri » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:17 pm

      ChocolateTower wrote:Great info, thanks for all this time and effort from the whole team. I know I'm going to be spending an unhealthy amount of time playing this mod as I did with LW1.

      I think the Example 1 you give right at the end of the post might have an error, or else I misunderstood the description of how it works. It says:

      Example 1: 90% to hit, 50% to crit
      In Long War 2, this will result in, Critical damage 40% of the time, Normal damage 40% of the time, Graze damage 20% of the time.

      But I figure that, before the critical roll, it would be normal damage 80%, graze 20%. After the critical roll, it would be crit damage 40%, normal damage 50% (40%, plus half the graze amount is promoted), graze 10%. Is that right?
      You're right, I forgot to factor in that half of the 20% graze was getting promoted to normal damage. The correct values in that case would be 40% crit, 50% normal damage, 10% graze.

      Jesterofgames7732
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by Jesterofgames7732 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:17 pm

      So what i'm getting is Enemy's typically have 20% chance to get grazed at least on higher percentage shots?

      but that brings a question to my mind if yes are Grazes and dodge still negated by 100% chance shots?

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by Dalanfox » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:36 pm

      I love the changes to the repeater (now silencer) and the hair trigger. These attachments always felt so inconsistent, especially when using the base version where they would only have a 5% chance to activate. Great work.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by ChocolateTower » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:41 pm

      @Amineri Thanks for confirming! I'm actually really pumped you decided to make independent crit rolls, since the vanilla X2 system drove me nuts, and the rest of it will take a little getting used to but it sounds like a great system you've devised.

      Related question: Are there separate crit and dodge rolls, or is it one roll based on the difference of the two values? e.g. with a single roll as I'm imagining it, a 50% crit shot against a 40% dodge enemy is effectively the same as taking a 10% crit shot against a 0% dodge enemy. With individual rolls these would not give equivalent results.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by ChocolateTower » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:52 pm

      Jesterofgames7732 wrote:So what i'm getting is Enemy's typically have 20% chance to get grazed at least on higher percentage shots?

      but that brings a question to my mind if yes are Grazes and dodge still negated by 100% chance shots?
      Yeah, I think I have the similar question if someone would graciously answer. Is it still 10% chance to graze with 100% CTH, and/or does the game internally track if you have above 100% such that >110% CTH lets you avoid grazes (excepting enemy dodge chance)? This is probably not the main point of the post but it's what I'm mostly interested in for some reason.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by OhGod » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:58 pm

      A few questions if I may;
      1. Looked like (recent Firaxis stream) that there was a "to hit" modifier applied to crit chance? Is that purely from low aim, or some other mechanic?
      2. Weapons (shotgun at least) had much wider damage range (4 - 11). Was that shotgun specific? Taking crit into account? Other comments appreciated.
      3. Is DR from armour 'pips' honoured when damaging ablative armour? Pretty sure if you're using shield bearer mechanics this won't be the case.
      Also, in the stream slug shot had a -4% aim penalty due to range, which seems to go against the description of the ability!

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by johnnylump » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:05 am

      OhGod wrote:A few questions if I may;
      1. Looked like (recent Firaxis stream) that there was a "to hit" modifier applied to crit chance? Is that purely from low aim, or some other mechanic?
      2. Weapons (shotgun at least) had much wider damage range (4 - 11). Was that shotgun specific? Taking crit into account? Other comments appreciated.
      3. Is DR from armour 'pips' honoured when damaging ablative armour? Pretty sure if you're using shield bearer mechanics this won't be the case.
      Also, in the stream slug shot had a -4% aim penalty due to range, which seems to go against the description of the ability!
      1) That's the to-hit adjustments we're describing being applied ingame
      2) Shotgun has a wider damage range than other weapons
      3) Plating follows shieldbearer mechanics.
      4) I believe that it also showed an equal bonus from Slug Shot (of +4%) which is how it works

      OhGod
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by OhGod » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:13 am

      johnnylump wrote:4) I believe that it also showed an equal bonus from Slug Shot (of +4%) which is how it works
      Well, yeah. I mean *I* knew that, I was just, uh, checking...uh...carry on!

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by JulianSkies » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:21 am

      johnnylump wrote:[*]This is referred to as the “Graze Band.” The measure of “close” is configurable in-game, and defaults to +/- 10%.
      Okay hold your horses, I need to ask about this. Something confused me here.
      The Graze Band is +/-10% default, that's fine. But is that put on top of the Hit zone (meaning a 40% hit chance would have rolls 1-10 be a graze, 11-40 be a hit and 41-50 be a graze) or does it overlaps somewhere?
      The way you mentioned in the examples it seemed like, somewhere, 10% of the hit chance was getting consumed somewhere.

      OhGod
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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by OhGod » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:21 am

      ChocolateTower wrote:...such that >110% CTH lets you avoid grazes...
      Seems that has been answered on this Reddit post.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by Amineri » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:40 am

      ChocolateTower wrote:@Amineri Thanks for confirming! I'm actually really pumped you decided to make independent crit rolls, since the vanilla X2 system drove me nuts, and the rest of it will take a little getting used to but it sounds like a great system you've devised.

      Related question: Are there separate crit and dodge rolls, or is it one roll based on the difference of the two values? e.g. with a single roll as I'm imagining it, a 50% crit shot against a 40% dodge enemy is effectively the same as taking a 10% crit shot against a 0% dodge enemy. With individual rolls these would not give equivalent results.
      These are independent rolls. So a unit with 50% net crit vs a target with 50% net dodge, results in a 25% chance to promote (crit fires, dodge doesn't) a 50% chance to be unchanged (either both or neither fire), and a 25% chance to demote (crit doesn't fire, dodge fires).

      Comparatively, 10% crit against 0 dodge enemy is 10% chance to promote a damage tier, 0% chance to demote.

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      Re: Changes to the tactical layer

      Post by Amineri » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:42 am

      JulianSkies wrote:
      johnnylump wrote:[*]This is referred to as the “Graze Band.” The measure of “close” is configurable in-game, and defaults to +/- 10%.
      Okay hold your horses, I need to ask about this. Something confused me here.
      The Graze Band is +/-10% default, that's fine. But is that put on top of the Hit zone (meaning a 40% hit chance would have rolls 1-10 be a graze, 11-40 be a hit and 41-50 be a graze) or does it overlaps somewhere?
      The way you mentioned in the examples it seemed like, somewhere, 10% of the hit chance was getting consumed somewhere.
      Think of it like this -- with a base 40% hit chance, a roll of 1-30 is a regular hit, a roll of 31-50 is a graze.

      Under the hood I actually compute all of the conditional probabilities (assuming multiple independent rolls) and deliver the correct a priori probabilities for each of the 4 possible outcomes. This helps maintain compatibility with the rest of the game and other mods.

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