New and Improved Dark Events Thread

LordYanaek
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by LordYanaek » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:37 pm

Denniz wrote:I think I had a Dark Event go into effect while I was infiltrating on the mission to counter it. Has anyone else seen this? Is it intended behavior?
This was a vanilla bug caused by the (hidden) dark event timer finishing while the skyranger was flying towards the mission. I had this a few times in my campaigns. Maybe they changed it for LW2 and can fix it thought.

food
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by food » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:54 pm

People arguing against player agency cuz 'they did the math', what a ludicrous point of view to hold.

cmdrspyker92
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by cmdrspyker92 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:24 pm

xmd1997 wrote:
UzielTD wrote:Alternatively to allowing permanent Dark Event completions (the real bad ones at least) to be reversible, perhaps make it so that dark events only show up in regions where the actual Resistance (i.e. the player) is operating? Why would Advent need better HP or weapons in a region where the resistance is comprised of 5 lonely dudes holed up near a shack in a forest, anyway? Originally, I thought this was how it worked; it just made sense, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Maybe even force some Dark events to have negative repercussions for Advent. Advent has more HP by virtue of heavier armor now, but less dodge, for example. It makes sense, since the player also has to pay a price for everything they do. Higher tier weapons don't get built or researched just with time alone, after all. They have to be paid for in supplies and alloys and elerium as well.
They mentioned that they originally tried this already (making dark events only in contacted regions), but their testers were able to counter every event that would pop up which ironically made the game too easy near the end. Not to mention it would discourage the player's from expanding since expansion just means more DE's to deal with.
Maybe script it so that 1 of X always happens in a player region?

Say 3 fire in May, 2 fire out of player reach, and 1 fires within a player territory. It allows the player to feel like they have SOME control of the alien shenanigans.

nightwyrm
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by nightwyrm » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:06 pm

This is just my brief 2 cents about why people seems to be reacting much more negatively to TDEs than the Navigator system. In general, one of the things people react most negatively to in a game is the illusion of agency. They would rather never have a choice in the first place than to have that choice denied them at the last minute due to something outside their control.

I play Magic the Gathering and their head designer posts articles on game design on their official website every week. From their player feedback, one of the card mechanics most hated by all players is a "flip a coin, card does X if you get heads" type of mechanic. Players tend to react much more positively to an identical card that never do X rather than a card that do X if you get lucky. Magic is also a game of probabilities (you don't know what cards you'll draw) and hidden information (you don't know what cards your opponents have) so players are used to risk management, but if you give them a mechanic that gives an illusion of agency, they will hate it.

Magic is an extremely commercially successful game that lasted for 25 years, and I think one of the reasons is that they have learned that a player's perception of a mechanic is just as important as the how the mechanic functions.

mattprice516
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by mattprice516 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:27 pm

@nightwyrm it has certainly been very confusing for me personally to see some people wishing tactical DEs were just automatic (and even completely hidden from the player!?) rather than having a chance to counter them.

As someone who has had a bit more time to come to terms with the functionality, I personally see the tactical DEs as essentially automatic and the chance to counter them being a rare bonus. I also like knowing which ones have happened (unlike navigator system where you had to look it up), and I like a bit of variety between campaigns as to which upgrades come when.

Doesn't mean someone who feels differently is wrong - just trying to explain the way I view them, as that drives my not minding them. I think some folks are still in the vanilla mindset of "dark events are things the aliens do which I get a chance to counter and choose between", which is just not how LW2 uses them. They're a fundamentally different system in LW2 in many ways.

nightwyrm
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by nightwyrm » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:42 pm

@mattprice516

I think a large part is due to people are coming in from Vanilla where you do have a chance to counter any DE. You won't be able to counter ALL the DEs but it was your choice. TDEs are viewed as a reduction of agency from X2 and not as an increase of agency from LW1. LW2 is essentially using the same X2 name for a different mechanic and so people are naturally going to compare the two. People react much more negatively to a perceived reduction.

Compare if your boss tells you you're getting a $1000 bonus at year's end and then in December he tells you to flip a coin and halves your bonus if you lose to where your boss initially tells you you're getting $500 and then offers a doubling if you win a coin flip. Even though the money is the same, one situation creates much more negative feelings. Expectation heavily influences perception.

As to why I think some are saying they would rather not get a chance to counter TDEs. With the current system, LW2 is essentially teasing you by saying you might get lucky. A lot of people react negatively to that and would rather you don't get their hopes up at all than to dash it at the last minute.

GavinRuneblade
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by GavinRuneblade » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:35 pm

I think @nightwyrm has nailed it. People seem to see the loss from x2 not the increase from lw1.

Thus far I've yet to stop a single one in any of my campaigns, so I would enjoy greater ability to detect and stop them. but I see this as a failing on my part not a design flaw. If people are reliably winning at the highest difficulty then my losses are my losses not the game's unfairness. They definitely get outrageous if they are unchecked.

UzielTD
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by UzielTD » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:41 pm

Well, if the devs are set on this being the de facto state of affairs then I guess there's really just a question that naturally flows from this discussion: is there an .ini tweak I can make to change this? :)

Denniz
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by Denniz » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:58 pm

From what I have read here, it seems to me like Dark Events can be categorized into three groups:

1. Vanilla-like DEs that expire - Are these all the same events as in vanilla? Doesn't Rapid Response fall into this category? If so, I am not sure what the bother is. Just have to be a little more picky with missions while it is in effect.

2. Permanent Tactical DEs that boost specific Advent units that are becoming too weak. (i.e. it might apply to an Advent Trooper but not an Advent Advanced Trooper) Seems reasonable. Much better than having to face level 2 units any earlier. ;) I guess these events could be avoided by adding more units and force level (FL) breakpoints. (i.e. Adv Trooper I, Adv Trooper II, Adv Advance Trooper I, and Adv Advance Trooper II) The DEs seem to allows more diversity of units and abilities without all the redundant setup. Very creative.

3. Permanent Tactical DEs that are applied to all enemy units. I not 100% sure these exist but the implication was there. Although the force levels may account for this. In any case, these vary the ramp up of Advent strength over time. It does for the tactical what the Avatar project does to the strategic. (i.e. screw around too long and you are going to lose.) Again, more units and FL could replace but this is more flexible.

I know if comes under the heading of spoilers, but is there a list of DE somewhere in the config or code files we can dig out? Some of controversy seems to be perception as several people have mentioned. But there is also some fear of the unknown. By the time I started playing LW1, the wiki was pretty mature so I could go look when I got confused. Some of us just need to be spoiled so we know where we stand. Those that want the thrill (terror) of coming at it cold don't have to look.

TL;DR: Let's put together a list of all the DEs. What they do/affect and timing for when they happen. Some of us need our blankie. ;)

mustangdood
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by mustangdood » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:09 pm

nightwyrm wrote:This is just my brief 2 cents about why people seems to be reacting much more negatively to TDEs than the Navigator system. In general, one of the things people react most negatively to in a game is the illusion of agency. They would rather never have a choice in the first place than to have that choice denied them at the last minute due to something outside their control.

I play Magic the Gathering and their head designer posts articles on game design on their official website every week. From their player feedback, one of the card mechanics most hated by all players is a "flip a coin, card does X if you get heads" type of mechanic. Players tend to react much more positively to an identical card that never do X rather than a card that do X if you get lucky. Magic is also a game of probabilities (you don't know what cards you'll draw) and hidden information (you don't know what cards your opponents have) so players are used to risk management, but if you give them a mechanic that gives an illusion of agency, they will hate it.

Magic is an extremely commercially successful game that lasted for 25 years, and I think one of the reasons is that they have learned that a player's perception of a mechanic is just as important as the how the mechanic functions.
This is interesting gamer psychology that has been around since day 1. I don't know if you were referring Richard or Mark, but both of them are brilliant with game design.

It's smart that you want to understand this. Still too many people here are pouring over the numbers, like they are going to stumble onto some magical solution.

"I bought that game because I heard it had great math."... said noone ever.

Fun is why people play games. Lack of fun, is why people leave games. How does this system rate for fun? That's the road to the real solution.

Goumindong
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by Goumindong » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:40 pm

Stability in difficulty (which leads to fun, since players are less likely to encounter random elements which take away from their enjoyment of the game) is good and requires an understanding of the math

nightwyrm
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by nightwyrm » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:10 pm

mustangdood wrote:
This is interesting gamer psychology that has been around since day 1. I don't know if you were referring Richard or Mark, but both of them are brilliant with game design.
Mark Rosewater. His articles and podcasts have some very interesting insights on game design.

Merkle
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by Merkle » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:12 pm

I would like to see the perm. one tied to assaulting alien facilities, destroying one would reduce the avatar timer and remove one or two TDE's at a time.

This might encourage a quicker path to skulljacking/skullmining.

mattprice516
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by mattprice516 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:55 pm

@Denniz, to the best of my knowledge LW2's system is a combination of 1 and 2, with none of 3. Rapid Response is indeed a temporary DE.

nightwyrm
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by nightwyrm » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:28 pm

I think even temporary DEs are having a stronger effect in LW2 compared to Vanilla. I'm not too far into the game but I'm already going on at least about the same number of missions in a week in LW2 as I did in a month in Vanilla. There is so much more opportunity for a temporary DE to screw a player over. Rapid Response may only be there for a month, but it's a month that feels like it takes forever to get thru.

wobuffet
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by wobuffet » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:13 am

Would this simple change make everyone happy?

> Tactical Dark Events may only spawn on your starting continent.

Keep the TDE frequency as is, and make sure the missions to counter them are difficult to infiltrate/complete. Then the player can probably counter any single particular TDE they don't want to happen, but most of them will come to pass (as is the case now).


Alternatively (and this is almost certainly too much work) convert all enemy upgrades (forcelevel, etc.) to TDEs, so at least players can see the progression/what they're up against.

dstar3k
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by dstar3k » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:20 am

wobuffet wrote:Would this simple change make everyone happy?

> Tactical Dark Events may only spawn on your starting continent.

Keep the TDE frequency as is, and make sure the missions to counter them are difficult to infiltrate/complete. Then the player can probably counter any single particular TDE they don't want to happen, but most of them will come to pass (as is the case now).


Alternatively (and this is almost certainly too much work) convert all enemy upgrades (forcelevel, etc.) to TDEs, so at least players can see the progression/what they're up against.
Better idea, that avoids providing a counter-incentive to expand: The distance that a DE counter-mission can be from your starting region increases over time, such that if you expand at a slower rate than expected, you won't have the chance to counter events. E.G., the first X days DEs can only spawn one hop away from your starting region, the next X days they can only spawn 2 hops away, etc.

Set X to just under what you expect players to manage based on difficulty level, and you should still have un-counterable DEs (or players not countering the Avatar project or liberating regions because they are focused on DEs).

Denniz
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by Denniz » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:48 am

I was poking around the UFOpedia and notice someone is working on a Dark Events page: http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Dark_Events_(LW2). It has a lot of interesting info about units affected be each DE. I also shows a percentage chance. Don't see anything about any prerequisites (if any), though. Hopefully they still digging into where-ever they are getting the data.

ConradKurze
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by ConradKurze » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:58 am

Just some feedback on Dark Events I've experienced:
Tactical Sense - Seems a bit stronger than others, makes some enemies really hard to hit, but can be dealt with. Still one of the more annoying ones.
Grazing Fire - One of the harsher ones. Grazes against your squad while you've disoriented the gunner are especially annoying.
Rapid Reinforcements - Not fun. This just turns up a whole mission to 11. Other Dark Events' effect on an entire mission are small, they will effect 2-3 enemies on the map (it seems like, since each DE has a chance to effect specific unit types). This one either has 0 effect on a mission, or it basically turns up the enemy level by 2 or 3 notches. Extremely Light mission, 1 turn after breaking concealment 4 units arrive, 2 turns later 4 more arrive, 2 turns later 5 more arrive. That is more units than started on the map. If this was a strategic level temporary DE it would be better, but if this goes through then for the rest of the game you basically roll a die and if it succeeds then this entire mission is going to be 2x as hard as it would have been otherwise. This one really needs to be reworked.

Other than that the permanent DEs seem to be a nice flavor, and it really gives incentive to spread out and find them.

nightwyrm
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by nightwyrm » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:50 pm

I believe Rapid Response is not a TDE and expires in a month since it was also in Vanilla. But since a month in LW2 can have you go on at least a dozen missions....well, failing just half-a-dozen missions in a row coz of RR can pretty much means a campaign lost.

Fightersword
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by Fightersword » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:33 pm

ConradKurze wrote:Just some feedback on Dark Events I've experienced:
Tactical Sense - Seems a bit stronger than others, makes some enemies really hard to hit, but can be dealt with. Still one of the more annoying ones.
Grazing Fire - One of the harsher ones. Grazes against your squad while you've disoriented the gunner are especially annoying.
Rapid Reinforcements - Not fun. This just turns up a whole mission to 11. Other Dark Events' effect on an entire mission are small, they will effect 2-3 enemies on the map (it seems like, since each DE has a chance to effect specific unit types). This one either has 0 effect on a mission, or it basically turns up the enemy level by 2 or 3 notches. Extremely Light mission, 1 turn after breaking concealment 4 units arrive, 2 turns later 4 more arrive, 2 turns later 5 more arrive. That is more units than started on the map. If this was a strategic level temporary DE it would be better, but if this goes through then for the rest of the game you basically roll a die and if it succeeds then this entire mission is going to be 2x as hard as it would have been otherwise. This one really needs to be reworked.

Other than that the permanent DEs seem to be a nice flavor, and it really gives incentive to spread out and find them.
Rapid reinforcements is definitely temporary (I've played through its effects entirely), but it can make some missions a lot harder or next to impossible, especially if you don't utilize pretty heavy stealth tactics. City missions especially become super high risk and often require you to simply dash away, break LOS as much as you can, and get to the evac. It can wreck guerilla/hack missions with timers too depending on when and where you break concealment. If you get it at an inopportune time it can torpedo your whole campaign if you aren't careful and lucky.

NephilimNexus
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by NephilimNexus » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:59 pm

Here is my take on it, and why we need a 3rd way of doing this:

In vanilla all dark events are temporary. No matter how bad it is, you know that it will be over by the end of the month. This is too easy.

In LW1.1 a lot of dark events are permanent. No matter what you do afterward, you're stuck with them forever. This is too difficult.

This is why I believe that all permanent dark events should be directly linked to an Advent facility. The same ones that appear on the map and build up the doom clock. That way they will continue to persist until you destroy that particular facility. This would be the ideal balance between too easy and too difficult.

It would also be more realistic. Did Advent get special ammo? Blow up the factory that makes it. Did they bring out a new prototype trooper with more hit points? Blow up their cloning facility. Did they get even more reinforcements? Blow up their central control facility.

Thus the events could be undone, but it would require a lot of work and risk to your forces. It wouldn't be too easy and it wouldn't be impossible. Instead it would be a challenge, and a good challenge should always be the goal for LW.

Nemesis
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by Nemesis » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:06 am

I love that idea too, I actually thought of a type of mission that could be linked to the removal of TDEs and such, though Im sure some might find it "distasteful". It was always my impression that Xcom2 was a very desperate situation, resulting in rather extreme methods needed to liberate the planet from the aliens... and it sounds woefully difficult to program to a layman such as myself but, perhaps a TDE mission assault type could reflect some kind of "reverse haven assault". This would be where Xcom infiltrates a facility to well... eliminate the researchers participating with Advent... and it's up to Advent to secure their "civilians" and such. This might be entirely too much but, it could lead to other ideas for missions I think. Perhaps the number of NPCs "Neutralized" (killed/captured) has something to do with the removal of the TDE/intel packages/leads for other TDEs ? This might unlock facility locations in other regions you can then see but not interact with until you make contact with said region?

I personally think this dividing of your attention can add more things to divert your attention from the Avatar project completion just like you can divert the aliens resources in your own way through the game. Thus bogging you down mentally with hard choices, and adding some more in-game tension and consequences to your choices.

mudcrab69
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by mudcrab69 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:38 am

DE implementation in LW2 is nonsensical - they just make your game into a massive "coin-flip" fest on a strategic level. Player has absolutely no way to counter them, besides relying on a random mission lead. We end up just ignoring them, until "+ health + armor + dodge " pile up to an unmanageable degree and we lose.

DougS2K
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Re: New and Improved Dark Events Thread

Post by DougS2K » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:24 pm

mudcrab69 wrote:DE implementation in LW2 is nonsensical - they just make your game into a massive "coin-flip" fest on a strategic level. Player has absolutely no way to counter them, besides relying on a random mission lead. We end up just ignoring them, until "+ health + armor + dodge " pile up to an unmanageable degree and we lose.
This. I'm in the same boat right now. In July with laser rifles and 6 to 8 hp going up against advent with double the hp and just slaughtering me. Currently have around 15 dark events going. I countered 4 that popped up and failed the only other one to ever pop up. Thinking about restarting if I can find a way to disable the permanent ones. It's just to brutal.

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