Xeno

Fixing the Xeno Gamemode

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If you cannot tell I’m a big fan of Xenos. I rather enjoy the few times the xenos come out to play on the station but its not exactly common in my experience. 

 

I was hoping the Xenos game mode might get fixed. Not many people get much experience with Xenos, making a shortish round when ever they show up. As far as I’m aware they dont have a assigned objective so here’s my idea for two:

Infest (number) of tiles

grow the hive to (number) of Xenos

 

i honestly have no idea how much coding would go into this, but i dont think it will require more than anyone could handle with a fair amount of time.

 

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The problem with Xenos is that they aren't balanced at all, they are so broken that their actual gamemode was removed from round rotation, and they only show up as a mid-round randomly spawned antagonist. It's pure agony whenever they do, because the round goes from fun to garbage in seconds.

 

Giving them an objective so that the round ends when they inevitably snowball would be a good idea, actually, because currently the only way to end a xeno round when there are no crew left and they've killed multiple ERTs is nuking the station. 

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Perhaps they could be hit with a notable disadvantage at round start

IE: instead of being larva its a few facehuggers, or the players get something to tip them off before the xenos show up

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As was already stated, they were a balance nightmare, it more or less simplified down to the crew annihilating them in 5 minutes, or them controlling the station in 30. I'm not very knowledgeable about our coder situation, so there are more qualified people to speak on it than me, but at the time of their removal our coders didn't have the time/energy to sit down and balance them in a meaningful way, and I'm inclined to believe that that's still the case. 

It's not a unique feature, and people (or those with coding knowledge), generally,  aren't interested in putting the time into fixing it. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Xeno said:

If you cannot tell I’m a big fan of Xenos. I rather enjoy the few times the xenos come out to play on the station but its not exactly common in my experience. 

Due to their broken status i'm the polar opposite, every single time a xeno outbreak occurs i cringe, and think "Welp there goes the round, we're all dead, and most RP is down the tube" and if they get wiped out quick i think "Oh boy, its not ruined, but now we don't get a fun enemy to fight like terror spiders or a blob"

 

Overall Xeno need a huge rebalance, and in all honesty, the sheer amount needed to fix them and make them interesting and fun seems to be on par with taking ideas from Colonial Marines and creating new sprites for new xeno types to fit abilitys and ability walling.

 

What i mean by this is:

Terror Spiders:

Open Vents: Brown Spider Only

Infect Crew: White spider Only (Infection is not fatal when allowed to come to term, infected pass out for a bit when spiders hatch)

Ranged Attack: Queen Only

Stunlock Attack: Prince of terror only

Destroy Walls: Royalty spiders only

Speed: All spiders are slower than crew

Tankiness: Only 3 types of spider can tank crew attacks, but not for sustained periods

Cloaking: Only grey spiders can become invisible, and only then on spider webs (Not sure if this is still a thing)

 

Xeno:

Open Vents: All xeno can, though only from on top of the vent

Infect Crew: All xeno can carry 2 facehuggers to infect crew (Infection is fatal if allowed to come to term, COMPLETELY destroying the body, removing a player from the round during outbreaks)

Ranged Attack: Sentinel xeno get a ranged acid attack, all xeno can carry 2 ranged facehugger attacks

Stunlock Attack: All xeno have a stunlock attack that is repeatable ad-nauseam 

Destroy Walls: Queen and all Sentinels can melt walls and airlocks

Speed: Every xeno is faster than the crew by a factor of 2

Tankiness: Xenomorphs have a 50% extra resistance to brute damage, the most common in game, but take 50% extra burn damage

Cloaking: All hunter xenomorphs can cloak

 

When compared side by side, Xenomorphs need some serious work to get them on par with terror spiders, and honestly terror spiders almost seem like they were made to replace xenomorphs as an antag entirely.

 

 

Edited by BlackDog
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10 hours ago, BlackDog said:

terror spiders almost seem like they were made to replace xenomorphs as an antag entirely.

I coded terror spiders partly because I was frustrated with how poor/unfun xeno mechanics were. I challenged myself to make something that was better designed, something more fun to play as and to fight against, and terror spiders were the result.

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Posted (edited)

Wow, i tossed that out there as a guess, well I'll say it, TS are FAR more fun and balanced than xeno in their current form.

 

Xeno almost need Colonial Marines level of polish and reworking in their current state, multiple xeno types, specific xeno for specific tasks, with some designed for very specific tasks.

Examples for those who have never heard of/played Colonial Marines: They got a xeno type for everything, one who is the ONLY one who can toss facehuggers at people, one who is really fast, but weak, big tanky guys, acid sprayers, the works and the biggest difference: While fire is more effective at killing them, they are just as susceptible to brute damage as anything else, they just got more HP, hell in the movie they blow ones head off at point blank with a 12 gauge, so their brute resistance has never made sense to me.

Edited by BlackDog

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I really hate xenos. Its a stun/disarm spam that is so powerful with their speed its a joke. Especially you 0 ways to fight back and will just explode eventually.

 

I admit though I love the Alien from the first movie where its alone and slowly stalking and killing crew members. Something that is inevitable and mostly unseen. Something that walks faster only slighter than you and will hunt you over several minutes as it avoids public places. I think people would enjoy them more if they were changed from spam-xenos to singular big creatures that only very slowly bred.

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I am still in favour of replacing xenos completely with Terror Spiders.

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1 hour ago, Eler00 said:

I am still in favour of replacing xenos completely with Terror Spiders.

As am I. Until a complete rework and rebalancing go into xenos they are better off scrapped to make room for more terror spider events.

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All right i guess ill go get some ideas for a Xeno rewrite if any one ever wants to take on the task.

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Posted (edited)

Here’s some ideas i had off the top of my head to hopefully balance and flesh out xenos a bit more

Xenos can no longer throw the facehuggers due to it being the equivalent of yeeting a child (some comic shows that queens dont care as much for drones but when eggs where burned freaked the fuck out)

Facehuggers can be controlled but are slightly slower then players and ghosts can choose to leave the facehuggers body at anytime due to limited gameplay

Facehuggers can vent crawl, leap at a limited distance (at most from 2 tiles away)

Facehuggers not being controlled will automatically leap at anyone from two tiles away weather being held or not

After evolving from larva Xenos automatically become drones and must evolve again to gain a more favorable form

Sentinels can become praetorians if the green does something to them

Only the queen larva can evolve in to queen with out being a praetorian

A queen uses a fair amount of plasma to turn a sentinel into a praetorian

Only praetorians can evolve into queens

Larva no longer start on the station instead a queen facehuggers does, which is notably faster and can jump farther and players MUST forget they where impregnated otherwise no infestation would start and queen facehuggers are more advanced and some other lore shit

Facehuggers have a internal plasma supply that slowly depleates the more they move, when it hits zero they die (apparently facehuggers have some sort of internal chemical battery and if it runs out welp rip)

New Xeno class that can store multiple facehuggers on its back and recharges there plasma slowly (in some wiki cant find it though)(looks like it has spikes coming out of its back with face huggers feeding off them)

Only queens and praetorians can acid spit but xenos can “Self Sacrifice” if another Xeno is nearby splashing its acidic blood on everything nearby, and rendering it in crit

MASSIVE debuff to xenos stunning (time is reduced, and cannot be used on a person already stunned to reset the timer(cause stun locking is a bitch and your already stunned when ya got a hugger on ya))

Hunters now move 1.5 times the speed of a player

Sentinels move 0.75 time player speed

Praetorians move half the speed of players

Queen moves same speed as praetorians

Facehugger holders speed depends on the amount of huggers they are holding (full load makes you VERY slow)

the facehugger holders are fragile but passively regenerate with the speed varying on the amount of huggers

Facehugger holders cannot vent crawl due to the spikes that the huggers feed off unless it has no huggers and then can fold them into its back and vent crawl

Facehugger holders have the default disarm due with increased efficientcy the less huggers due to the drain of feeding the huggers

 

Edit:

the queen facehugger starts on Lavaland and miners who get affected feel the urge to return to the station or something else to get the to return to the cyberiad (not so sure about this one)

Edited by Xeno

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3 hours ago, Eler00 said:

I am still in favour of replacing xenos completely with Terror Spiders.

This. This so much. 

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5 hours ago, Eler00 said:

I am still in favour of replacing xenos completely with Terror Spiders.

Xenos master race.

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Let’s meet in the middle here... Terror Clowns.

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The only fun part about fighting xenos is the feeling of relief and elation when they're finally wiped out, which might not even end up happening if they snowball too hard.

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Being realistic, xenos are not going to be fixed.

Why?

  • Because their mechanics are so well established from the films, that changing how their mechanics work to make them more fun to play as/against would arguably make them un-xeno-like.
  • Because there's already a server that focuses on xenos, CM, and we're never going to want to compete with CM in their niche.
  • Because xenos are copyrighted and we don't want to sink development time into further developing something with IP issues regarding its use.
  • Because we already have better alternative antags (e.g: terrors).
  • Because xenos have been done to death and if we're going to put in the amount of work required to truly fix xenos, I'd rather we just create something entirely new/original instead.
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I do like the idea of replacing xeno with a new antag type entirely, the question comes up though: What?

Xeno types are Terrorspiders

We have our replicator type in the form of swarmers

Wizards are wizards

Vampires suck (hur)

Changlings give us our paranoia type

Blobs and Nuke Ops are our end of the world scenarios

I swear zombies are in the code but broken, but those are kind of meh considering your on a space station.

We got cults for our lovecraftian nightmares

Whatever would replace them would have to be unique and stand out, I alawys figured Necromorphs would be fun, but they would be to tanky and similar to a blob outbreak.

 

I'm all for their removal though until a replacement is found, their just not fun.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, BlackDog said:

I do like the idea of replacing xeno with a new antag type entirely, the question comes up though: What?

Definitely a completely new antag idea. The focus of Xeno's is that its basically a conversion mid-round antag, which terror spiders also do but in a more balanced way.

I personally like the "Sentient Virus" idea i've seen a while back, like Plague Inc.
You start as a virus in a non-SSD person, vision is like a blob overmind and can jump to anyone thats infected.
The initially infected person has the virus start with perfect stealth, undetectable through any forms of scanning (so you don't insta-die by spawning on a guy in medbay) until you evolve it.
Goal would be to develop the virus and spread it to infect people further, and evolutions can be varied between beneficial (healing), deadly (bleeding), or insane (zombification post-mortem).

I'd go more indepth but that'd deserve its own thread.

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That actualy sounds pretty cool

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well the one thing about the Xenos event thats on the wiki that interests me is the idea of a borg or even AI assisting the Xenos in their early stages but obviously this would not be balanced.

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On 3/12/2020 at 12:36 PM, Xeno said:

a borg or even AI assisting the Xenos in their early stages

This used to exist back when Xenos was a gamemode, and yes, it was horrible. 

Xenoborgs now are just a fun thing for the crew to take advantage of if they manage to kill a queen.

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Time and effort would be better used designing more original midrounds for the server like Terror Spiders.

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