Discussion in 'PC/Console Game Discussion' started by Cubit, Jan 5, 2012.
i think ignoring a UFO also increases panic.
So I'm getting close to the end of an impossible run and I thought I'd post some thoughts:
1) Ironman impossible: I gave up on this. I've been save scumming. Why would I do that? Because the first time you play impossible, it's essentially a different game than the one that came before. I raged to hard trying to ironman before giving up, and I'm glad I did. I might consider it now, but if you are thinking about doing this, just save scum so you can learn the in's and out's.
2) Losing countries: I lost a bunch of countries, I think I'm only 2 away from losing the game. In impossible each country that you don't select on an abduction mission automatically goes to 5 panic. Theoretically it's possible not to lose any countries, but I wouldn't worry about it. The most important thing is to get full satellite coverage. See below for that.
3) Satellite game: I never get any of the advanced building structures. You can get a ton of satellite capacity and power by planning your base layout. Your power plants and satellite nexii should be arranged in a 2x2 square. Any advanced structures can be built in the lower levels. You'll also want to keep a few spare satellites in the queue. In Impossible the game starts sending large+ alien craft at you much sooner, so it's much more likely that your interceptor will be outclassed. Ignoring alien craft will both hurt your monthly rating (losing you money) and a 2nd ignored alien craft will shootdown a satellite. You can mitigate this by keeping spare satellites around. The aliens will increase panic by shooting down your satellite. You will reduce it by launching a satellite.
4) Continent bonus: I liked the money one. In Impossible, you're resource starved until much later in the game - in the early game you are money constrained. In the mid-game you are alloy/weapon fragments/corpse restrained. I only have the continent bonus for my starting base - Africa. This helps mitigate the early game constraint and alleviate the midgame restraint because I had to sell very little of my captured resources. Selling on the black market will hurt you alot in the midgame where you need those materials to get advanced tech. The other bonuses are useful, but it's very difficult to juggle panic/mission difficulty/rewards. Trying to save a continent bonus could cost you an engineer reward which delays your entire operations by a month. Take the engineers to advance your tech and lose the continent.
5) Research and Officer school: You have three routes: armor, guns, and grunts. I feel like a good route is armor, grunts, guns. Some people will tech guns/grunts first, then armor. That is completely legit. I think it's dependent on whether you are playing iron man or not. Ironman games will go for guns/grunts first over armor. Non-ironman games will go for armor/grunts, then gun. When you are at this part of the game, you are right around your first terror mission. The tradeoffs between armor and guns is this: Armor lets your guys take a hit and survive almost 100% of the time from every enemy EXCEPT for chrysallids. Your squad will be between 4-6 soldiers. I highly recommend getting at least 1 additional soldier to your squad. The reasoning is this - 4 well equipped soldiers at that time will generally be unable to deal enough damage to a chrysallid assault. This is because your soldiers will miss, and the laser upgrade is nice, but not enough - chrysallids have 6 HP and laser weapons will do 4 damage on average without a crit. Also not all of your soldiers may be in position to take a shot at every enemy. That extra soldier is critical to give you an extra change with a gun shot, or to do guaranteed damage with his/her grenade. If all your soldiers have upgraded weapons (either laser or class weapon) plus grenades, you can expect to do alot of damage with 5-6 soldiers even if some have the starting rilfe vs a squad of 4 soldiers.
6) Movement: Watch beaglerushs video. Even in the late game, you cannot take many enemies on at once. You'll want to move as a unit (excluding the sniper) and have your first soldier act as a scout. Move that soldier about 50% of his/her possible movement and try to take cover with that soldier. If they don't trigger any enemies, move your other soldiers in line with that soldier so they take the same movement path. It's okay to have soldiers in the open on overwatch. If enemies warp to your position on their move, they will move to cover first. Your soldiers will take their overwatch shot and hopefully kill one of them. Then move to cover and engage.
If your first soldier discovers enemies, skip his/her 2nd move and position your soldiers for ambush. Not too far away, but enough to pull the enemies towards you a bit. Then move your scout BACK to his/her original position under cover. This is critical - if you hold your ground and move up, you will almost always discover additional enemies. If you havent, you almost certainly will when you push forward to flank. By moving back you give yourself room to maneuver and flank. If you cannot flank, you will almost certainly lose the battle. Elite mutons in heavy cover against colonel soldiers are ridiculously hard to hit. Snipers will only have a 45-55% chance to hit, and your other soldiers will be around 15-20%. If you can get close, or better yet flank, you can take down the units early.
Hopefully these hints help. Also, there are a number of bugs, so sometimes you're going to rage anyway. I'll add another post when I actually finish the game. That should include notes about psi units, and some observations about the classes.
This part here is why I have no desire to replay XCOM on impossible. Having interesting firefights is fun. Exploiting arcane rules regarding line of sight and aggro behavior is not.
Nice tips though!
Picked this game up during the holiday sales, and the damn thing keeps locking up during the tutorials. "report to mission control!" The game sits, zoomed in on one of the rooms in the base, with animations and whatnot going, but is totally unresponsive to any input until I shut it down on the taskbar.
Are the tutorials just buggy, or... ?
I didn't see you're bug in the dedicated bug list:
I also wanted to post up this great interview with Jake Solomon, the lead designer:
Kind of makes me reconsider playing on Impossible difficulty :)
Patch 3 has been released, among other things enabling Second Wave for those who've beaten the game:
Patch 3 Notes
Second Wave addition
If a player has beaten the game, they can access a variety of gameplay toggles upon starting a new game. The Second Wave option will be available on the New Game menu.
AI teleport bug fix
Minimizes the bug where aliens teleport into the middle of a player’s squad
Defeat screen when beating the game
Minimizes a bug that displays a Defeat screen after winning the game
Chris Kluwe as XCOM Hero unlock
I just want them to add a bunch of random content. Maps, gear, and new aliens. I will pay literally ten of dollars for that content. Get on it Firaxis!
Yeah, it seems like an easy expansion is to add an alien, who when researched grants a new tech. And of course maps, maps, maps. Hell, a map editor would be great too, but then they couldn't sell map packs. I really wish they'd open up modding.
So that Berserker mysteriously appearing behind my line wasn't necessarily my lack of attention, there actually was a teleport bug.
But what's up with "minimizing" bugs instead of fixing them?
Jake Solomon said in this interview that they're aware that the slingshot dlc wasn't exactly what people were looking for, so I imagine they'll make more DLC like you describe, which I'd love to see too.
Has anybody tried out the DLC? I'm curious about it but haven't bothered yet.
Doesn't it just add a few council missions? Unless those are really well designed, probably not worth the $$.
They aren't, and it isn't, according to everyone I've seen write about it. Pretty much everyone wants more variety in the base game and tighter work around the weaker missions, and it's none of that and more fluff.
Yeah, I think the dude genuinely loves the game he designed and is now excited to be able to play around with adding the types of systemic features he describes. I'm sure he knows that they have an excellent combat and strategic layer that they can add onto. Now I just hope he knows that adding value to X-Com means that future sales of the game at half-price will explode.
What I think the game could really benefit from is another path to a victory ending that doesn't include that final mission. That mission didn't really bother me, but it wasn't very interesting. I can't think of any ideas for an alternative path but if Jake does, then I will get on my knees and blow him repeatedly.
I would like to see more viable base builds, as it is all one needs is the starting power generators and satellite uplinks beyond the required buildings. They should tweak it so there are better reasons to upgrade to the other power generators and sat uplinks.
I wonder if just removing the adjacency bonus would do the trick.
What's so strange to me is that for Civ V they pumped out tons of maps and new factions with new units and new wonders and so on. That's exactly the kind of content that I'd want in XCOM. So I don't understand why they thought people would want lame scripted missions.
Some of the rebalancing mods that people have made address this by making workshops and laboratories more effective, while at the same time making the default research/manufacturing times longer.
It's a tough balance because people are inclined to change every aspect of the strategic layer to be a bit more difficult, and that eventually compounds the issue because then you have more expensive satellites, longer research/build times, longer hospital times, higher equipment costs, lower council funding, etc. etc. You throw all that shit together and the game becomes exponentially harder, not balanced.
I haven't played a Civ since like Civ 1, but do those units and factions actually require new animations? I'd imagine the cost in manhours to add a new unit to Xcom is higher than CivVs.
Oh yeah, I wouldn't make it harder, I'd do the original WoW motto of design, which was, "Don't nerf, buff the others". I'm fine with a fairly forgiving strategic layer. As long as it still has valid choices that change how the tactical layer gets played, I think that's the main thing. (For example, go research, money, or manufacturing first, which in turn those things have their own sub choices) I almost think power could be cut entirely, it wasn't really an interesting decision, just something you built when you needed it.
Yeah in my experience by the time you can afford to build a satellite nexus you probably have all countries remaining in the council already covered, given how crucial it is to churn out satellites in the early game. And usually I just end up doing more missions that give you engineers instead of building workshops.
The strategic layer provides a nice campaign arc and cadence to the game, but it doesn't really generate very different outcomes other than failure and success.
I'd still wager that the number of animations on a Civ unit are drastically lower. Move, attack, idle, onhit?
Think of all the crouching, mantling and different positions that a model has to fire from in Xcom. Granted they could probably mitigate things by coming up with a new type of alien that is just an old alien but a different color. Beware the Pink Berzerker, and it's mango dance!
Each civ does come with a fully animated leader head that generally looks as good as anything in Xcom. It seems like it would be a similar amount of effort.
I think the way they happened to build XCOM:EU all hung together and worked brilliantly, but in a way that didn't really work as an open 4x/sandbox style the way that the first game did. I haven't adjusted my level of satisfaction with the game because of what a delight it was while it lasted, but the strategic linearity definitely had an impact on replayability imo..
I think if they wanted a meaty expansion-pack directions to go in, they might be, in order of complexity, a campaign of dynamic or scripted alien base-attacks, scripted or dynamic base defence missions, or an interplanetary counteroffensive (preferably with a strategic element) aiming to improve on, rather than just imitate, the final mission of the original game.
I'm not sure it'd be good business sense working anything that ambitious-yet-potentially-niche, when they might instead do a sequel or new game. More strategic gameplay might not appeal to non-grognardy console players who were drawn into and enjoyed XCOM:EU primarily as a tactical alien shootout game, no platform snobbery intended.
I started a new game last night with most of the second wave options on. I like the red fog, varying weapon damage and 100% crit ones. But the game itself still feels too linear to make me want to play through it again. I wish that we would have seen more DLC by now, or at least given more info. Even simple aesthetics packs similar to what they do in Crusader Kings 2 would help. I just don't have the desire to play through the game again even to attempt an impossible run.
I'm playing the game for the first time having avoided most information about it but I certainly do feel like both the missions and the advances are being given to me in a very scripted way. I mean, nothing nothing nothing but then everytime a mission happens it's 3 mutually exclusive choices? How ... not random.
Question. This is early game yet, and I have 6-7 or so vets and 6 rookies. If I lose 3 vets in two successive missions, am I pretty much screwed?
This small squad size throws my XCom instincts off. You can't help but send them into danger, since there's so few of you - but at the same time they feel so much more precious, so losing feels like a pretty tough spot to recover from. Or am I wrong and the death spiral is not so easily achieved? I'd much rather try to push through, but would appreciate a hint on what constitutes a pretty solid critical hit to my win chance, so to speak.
Also, Outsiders with their ridiculous accuracy on full shield + criticals can suck it. :P
What difficulty? 3 vets total or per mission? If it's total, you're fine. If you only have one vet left, try a couple missions and you'll find out soon enough.
You're not necessarily screwed, I had some squad wipes that I managed to get through. One time in classic difficulty a single surviving vet managed to heroically lead my rooks until I recovered. This did happen when I had a good number of covered countries so I had the monthly income to get back in the game, you might be in trouble depending on your strategic layer situation.
I would try some missions like Hanacker says, it's better to see what happens and maybe get a cool story out of it.
I had a bunch of wipes early on classic ironman and lost seven council members. My one vet sniper was able to lead the team back and we've mostly recovered.
Normal difficulty. It was 2 vets in one mission, and another just prior (and the mission wasn't ended yet, I was considering evac). Sounds like it's a toss-up, but not a catastrophe. I shall press on!
Yeah, you can recover, and in fact, I think the game plays much better when you run into difficulties like that, since the game doesn't have any sort of dynamic difficulty adjustment, and once you get ahead of the curve, the game slides into easy mode and can even feel a bit repetitive.
So I started a new game with random trooper stats and randomized skill increases, and it's like a completely different game. In the very first mission, I was wondering why only one of my guys had decent to-hit odds, and it was because she had great starting accuracy (but terrible Will, unfortunately). I actually pay attention to my troops and recruits to see who has potential; they seem like people instead of cookie-cutter templates. I may even fire some guys for the first time.
Is this a starting option or a mod?
The new patch enables the Second Wave starting options. Those are both in there. You do have to have completed the game once normally, unfortunately.
Actually, Random stats on start and/or lvl, greater spread of damage and randomized funding should be available regardless. The rest are supposed to get unlocked by having played through the game though.
I really shouldn't have done Ironman on Classic. I lost half my squad on consecutive landings when multiple patrols kept popping into the starting area. Fighting 6 at a time is rough. The first one ended with an assault and a sniper remaining to clear out a ship that couldn't have much left. I decided to press on and came across two sectoid commanders. I hang by the door and one pops out and shoots my sniper. I kill him. Next turn the second one pops out and shoots my sniper, leaving him with one life. My assault shoots him and runs out of ammo. The sectoid commander is down to seven life. My sniper has a laser rifle that does a maximum of 7 damage. It's a point blank shot, 55% chance to hit, 80% chance to critical. So basically a coin flip as to whether I survive or whether it will be the commander's move against an almost-dead sniper and an out-of-ammo assault. The shot crits and we live to fight another day.
Intense, but after a string of surviving missions, my guys have started dropping like flies. On the next map I lost a guy or two (those plasma grenades suck) and am surrounded by a few mutons and a berserker (who I just started encountering and I'm not entirely sure what they do). I saved and quit, but things are looking grim. I'm turtling more than I'd like, but it seems like the winning strategy is to turtle even more. Maybe I should finish my normal game and come back.
I've been playing Impossible, and it's brutal. But nothing's quite as brutal as trying to breach the Battleship without immediately losing all of my guys to massed plasma fire because there's no good cover.
Totally agree with this. I've been playing a Second Wave game with random starting stats, random skill increases, greater damage variance, and something else I can't remember offhand, and I've had to allocate additional money to hiring troops, because I only like to keep the ones that meet my arbitrary minimum decent stats (combined starting stats > 110). I pay much more attention to my individual squaddies, as members of the same rank and class can have vastly different stat spreads, and I get a lot more "YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME" moments when a perfectly lined up flanking shot hits for 1 pt. of damage due to the greater damage spread.
The stat spread also makes you consider whether that crack shot sniper is worth bringing along when she also has the willpower of a docile cow.
Your sniper should be far enough back that willpower shouldn't matter all that much. =)
I also started a second play-through with random stats, leveling, and damage, and it's pretty fun but can also be super-frustrating with the random damage (although it works both ways, which is great). You definitely have to pay more/deeper attention to individual soldiers now, and currently my heavy has better aim than my sniper (!). That will change as they level, of course, but it just shows how different the game is this way.
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