Theaghan
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 13:03

Is the pin stunt really viable? Isn't it only available if the target fails a panic roll? I don't think at the end that you can pin the aliens. They actually dont react to being shot, it's clearly portraited in the movie.
You pin down your enemy. PCs need to make an immediate Panic Roll. NPCs instead miss their next slow action.

I see it as stopping power (but sure AP ammo should just cripple the target, crushing body and limbs)
 
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Vader
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 14:28

Personally, I sincerely doubt flame throwers have any significant effect whatsoever on the Aliens.

Let us by no means forget that the suggestion to use fire as a weapon against them comes from Ash.

Bearing in mind that Ash's first, second, and third priority is to ensure that the specimen is preserved and reaches the Company's labs intact, I'd consider him severely unlikely to suggest anything that stands any kind of real chance to actually damage the Alien...

In the movies, the only concrete effect we see is that the flame Ripley shoots at the Queen ... at best, annoys her. Only the eggs seem to take any real damage from fire.
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Theaghan
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 15:00

Personally, I sincerely doubt flame throwers have any significant effect whatsoever on the Aliens.

Let us by no means forget that the suggestion to use fire as a weapon against them comes from Ash.

Bearing in mind that Ash's first, second, and third priority is to ensure that the specimen is preserved and reaches the Company's labs intact, I'd consider him severely unlikely to suggest anything that stands any kind of real chance to actually damage the Alien...

In the movies, the only concrete effect we see is that the flame Ripley shoots at the Queen ... at best, annoys her. Only the eggs seem to take any real damage from fire.

I think flames hurt them but as the survival instinct triggers they will flee away: at the end flamethrowers are a deterrent, as they will not kill the alien but keep them away.
 
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 15:26

I think flames hurt them but as the survival instinct triggers they will flee away: at the end flamethrowers are a deterrent, as they will not kill the alien but keep them away.

That would be a reasonable assumption — however, it would also mean that Ash would actually have been speaking the truth; that his "most animals shy away from fire" idea would have enabled the Nostromo crew to drive the Alien with the flame throwers precisely the way they hoped.

And somehow ... I must doubt that.
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Gebohq
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 17:27

I've tried considering a "minimum" number of aliens killed before (see post of minimum kills here) but let's try another approach.

In Aliens, there could be as many as roughly 150 xenomorphs (high estimate if we consider nearly every colonist to have been incubated and not killed before) and for simplicity, let's ignore the one chestburster death and the queen in these numbers. There's roughly 3 scenes where there could be mass numbers of xenomorphs dying (going by the director's cut), and since we have no evidence to suggest otherwise, let's assume each scene averages to have all of the xenomorphs die (unlikely, but let's go with it) so that'll make roughly 50 xenomorphs per encounter. At the start of the first encounter, there are 10 Marines that would be engaging in the combat, 4 sentry guns in the second encounter, and 4 combatants I believe (Hudson, Hicks, Vasquez, Gorman) in the third (Burke and Newt don't contribute, and Ripley manages 1 but I don't think is seriously contributing).

So, at absolute best, a marine/sentry gun takes down roughly 12-13 xenomorphs in the final encounter before unable to kill anymore (dying, running out of ammo, retreating). At absolute worst (based on my minimum post linked), a collective 10 marines are able to take down 4 adult xenomorphs (so a little under half a xenomorph per combatant) in the first encounter before being out of the encounter (and they were retreating fairly soon in that encounter).

If you want to go by the theatrical version, the two encounters would have roughly 75 xenomorphs each, and a best then becomes 18-19 xenomorphs killed per combatant. If you want to take the absolute illogical extreme and say only the bare minimum of adult xenomorphs died before the final encounter (4) and nearly all the xenomorphs die in the final encounter (146), that makes 36-37 per kill. Anyone thinking more could be killed with the weapons they had I think has gone far past the evidence shown, especially as this "maximum kills" exercise ignores how there are still a non-trivial number of xenomorphs alive and tracked after that final encounter (when Hicks and Ripley initially try to get Newt when she got seperated).

Take that information as you will. I'm sure someone could probably math the average kill ratio before death in the ARPG system, but that person is not me. :)
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Vader
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 18:20

In the "minimum kills" tally ... shouldn't the Alien "guards" that attack Ripley when Ripley starts blasting the eggs (and are shot to pieces — again showing how a Pulse Rifle can make short work of an Alien) be counted among "dead aliens"?

Anyway ... there are so many unaccounted-for factors here. We know that Ripley and Hicks are approached by a hoard of Aliens inside the Colony when they try to rescue Newt (as seen on the motion tracker display); yet Ripley only encounters a couple in the Atmosphere Processor. So there are obviously several live ones still in the Colony.

Scenes with gunfire going on in the background but the camera being elsewhere can reasonably be assumed to mean Aliens being despatched. "It's a shooting gallery in there" presumably means there are targets being hit, off-camera. We can also note that none of the sentry guns are overrun and destroyed while they still have ammo, so clearly they are able to dispose of Aliens quicker than the Aliens are able to approach them, even en masse.
What the Colonists were able to do off-camera is also unknown ... at least one can be presumed to have died at the huge acid crater; two Facehuggers were removed prior to embryo implantation, and so never gave rise to adults.

A reasonable approximation of a true number of available adult Aliens might be arrived at if one took the trouble of actually counting the Colonist PDT blips from the tracking screens... Apart from the six Facehuggers in the medlab, most of the other colonists were probably taken there to be cocooned.


But in the end ... sentry guns, smart guns, pulse rifles, and pistols ... it is clear that any and all of these (unlike the flamethrowers, IMO) are quite well able to kill aliens, with dispatch. I can see no basis in what we see in the movie to doubt the capability of any of these weapons to kill several Aliens in a single combat round.
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Gebohq
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 19:01

In the "minimum kills" tally ... shouldn't the Alien "guards" that attack Ripley when Ripley starts blasting the eggs (and are shot to pieces — again showing how a Pulse Rifle can make short work of an Alien) be counted among "dead aliens"
I had to rewatch the scene again as the youtube video I linked apparently no longer exists, which is all the better as I suspect it cut out early. By my count, Ripley may have shot and even killed with said shots up to 3 adult xenomorphs (though we only see one fall).

I think a larger point to consider is that while I don't think anyone would argue that these weapons can hit relatively well, and are even capable of killing them quickly in certain circumstances (something the game can reflect if you roll well and they roll poorly on armor), that it's not a sure thing that these weapons "easily kill" xenomorphs en masse.

From a gameplay perspective, I personally feel a change in these stats as suggested would incorrectly begin to portray fights with xenomorphs as no longer feeling deadly on average. Again, though, someone else would have to math out the averages of recreating these scenarios to see if the ARPG would normally capture the sort of situations we see in the movies or not, else it's all just conjecture.
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Vader
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 19:23

In the "minimum kills" tally ... shouldn't the Alien "guards" that attack Ripley when Ripley starts blasting the eggs (and are shot to pieces — again showing how a Pulse Rifle can make short work of an Alien) be counted among "dead aliens"
I had to rewatch the scene again as the youtube video I linked apparently no longer exists, which is all the better as I suspect it cut out early. By my count, Ripley may have shot and even killed with said shots up to 3 adult xenomorphs (though we only see one fall).

I think a larger point to consider is that while I don't think anyone would argue that these weapons can hit relatively well, and are even capable of killing them quickly in certain circumstances (something the game can reflect if you roll well and they roll poorly on armor), that it's not a sure thing that these weapons "easily kill" xenomorphs en masse.

From a gameplay perspective, I personally feel a change in these stats as suggested I think would incorrectly begin to portray fights with xenomorphs as no longer feeling deadly on average. Again, though, someone else would have to math out the averages of recreating these scenarios to see if the ARPG would normally capture the sort of situations we see in the movies or not, else it's all just conjecture.

On principle, I don't disagree. However, there is another factor to take into account:

The game tries to do two slightly incompatible things at the same time: it tries to encompass both the milieu of the claustrophobic horror of ALIEN and the action of ALIENS in the same package. The former precludes anything so crass as a firearm being able to dent the creature, whereas the latter, with an army of creatures against a "pocket platoon" of soldiers, demands that the soldiers' firearms are effective against them, on an individual basis.

I am not sure any amount of math is able to resolve that genre conundrum satisfactorily. I am inclined to believe that the exact effectiveness of weapons might best be adjusted on a scenario-by-scenario basis — that weapons in a "Space Truckers" campaign are less effective, and the opposition more ... personally horrifying, while in a "Colonial Marines" campaign, weapons are more effective and the opposition less scary and more of a tactical problem. Like the movies.
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sathyr
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 19:41

I can think of three important considerations that should be made:
1. We do not know the game stats of the Sulaco marines. They could be starting characters, they could be seasoned soldiers like the DoW PCs, they could be even more experienced than that.
2. We do not know the stress levels of the characters, and we do not know when they push their rolls. Both can add a substantial advantage in a combat check.
3. We can not assume that an acid splash or a screech equates to a death.

But I think the biggest consideration of all is that the film is a film, and the RPG is an RPG. I know I'm going to get resistance on this point, but hear me out. The game is supposed to emulate the movie, right? Well, here's the thing: the film is scripted. Every moment of tension and every challenge the characters face was deliberately cultivated. There's no random element. The game has to emulate what we see on screen while also being unpredictable. It doesn't have the benefit of relying on a script or a director, and it is that very randomness and uncertainty that allows the game to build suspense.

I think Gebohq has it right; making the aliens easier to kill would harm that tension. I'd even take it further and say I don't think it should mathematically emulate what we see on screen. It should emulate the feeling that the audience experienced when they watched it. I think trying to achieve a 1:1 simulation undermines that goal.
 
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Vader
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 20:01

There's no random element. The game has to emulate what we see on screen while also being unpredictable. It doesn't have the benefit of relying on a script or a director, and it is that very randomness and uncertainty that allows the game to build suspense.

I think Gebohq has it right; making the aliens easier to kill would harm that tension. I'd even take it further and say I don't think it should mathematically emulate what we see on screen. It should emulate the feeling that the audience experienced when they watched it. I think trying to achieve a 1:1 simulation undermines that goal.

There is actually no random element — but for the audience, there is. Seeing it for the first time, the audience doesn't know the outcome of every event or encounter. A well scripted movie gives the illusion of outcomes being results of somehow believable processes — why you also need to maintain suspension of disbelief.

The game needs to emulate that suspension of disbelief, and for it to be consistent with the movie, it needs to do so on a somewhat equal level.

So, if we set up the Atmosphere Processor scene and played it through five times, and found that we never get a single marine to come out of there alive, then the game fails in conveying a feel of the movie. And likewise, if the whole platoon gets out of there every time.

It needs to strike a similar balance.
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