UFO: Enemy Unknown, remake by Firaxis

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Rub'Rum, Jan 5, 2012.

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  1. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    I found the base defense mission pretty easy on Classic, but then, I knew it was coming eventually so I made sure to keep my squad equipped. I've actually found most of the missions that are supposed to be hard pretty easy. Newfoundland is one that gets a lot of attention. I'm not playing on Ironman but I might as well have been, I didn't need to reload even once on that mission. I really am not seeing why it's such a big deal. Maybe it's because I had 2 MECs? They pretty much wreck house against chrysalids even real early in the game. Portent part 1 was challenging, I admit, but it WAS my first time doing it after all and now that I know where the enemies spawn subsequent attempts should be much easier. Portent part 2 was a bad joke, it was easier than most of the random UFO missions. Honestly starting to get a little bored with my current playthrough, it's become really easy. The only hard thing at this point is getting to Meld canisters before they expire.
     
  2. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    You should play on ironman.

    Although i agree about the Newfoundland mission being easy. If you have a mech with a flamethrower then its very easy. Its a pretty cool concept that one though. I wish some of the other council missions were as imaginative.

    Played through the base defence mission again. I did it on my second attempt. The trick was to use the rookies as bait so the aliens kill them instead of my vets. Not very moral, but then this is war :devil:
     
  3. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    Yeah the Newfoundland mission WAS fun, I just didn't think it was hard. I normally would play Ironman but it's my first playthrough with the expansion and I wanted to check out MECs and gene modding and such without being too stressed, subsequent playthroughs will all be Ironman.

    Sacrificing redshirts is definitely the way to go on the base defense haha, I used them indiscriminately as meat shields and it worked great. There was one guy though... one of the redshirts single handedly took down a muton, I really wish I could have recruited that guy to full XCOM status instead of just being security, he performed like a boss and even survived the mission but I guess he likes his cushy security job since I haven't seen him since. :lol:
     
  4. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I've just faced (and lost) my base defence and see what people are getting at. I don't know if it's always timed this way, but I got it after defeating the alien base, so there were two Sectoid Commanders running around with the Mechtoids, who posed more of a problem than the mechs themselves (disabling shot delayed one, destroyed another on turn one, moved out of sight of the third. Then destroyed the other two). My star heavy had died to my mind-controlled MEC colonel two missions earlier and I had no heavies in the team I had to defend, nor had any arrived by the time I lost. My covert operative colonel, freshly back from the field, had her trusty plasma pistol but no other useful gear (and of course no armour) - she and the other sniper were the only members of my team to turn up at the start, and the only reinforcements I received only added my support lieutenant - everyone else was a base support rookie (not even my unused squaddies).

    I'm not sure Newfoundland is a big deal - I had no trouble with it, and had no MECS; I think only one person here's reported finding it difficult. The only issue I had is that I wasn't expecting the countdown timer, and almost lost one of my soldiers to timeout.

    One of mine (actually my last non-mind-controlled survivor) dealt the killing blow to one of the Mechtoids, but then I was throwing grenades around indiscriminately to get those last few points of damage.
     
  5. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Spoiler :


    I dont think it does come just after the alien base mission, because i cleared out the alien base at they very start of month 4, and i believe the base defense is month 5 (or was for me).

    Without heavies i can see it being a problem. Fortunately i had 2, and even though they didnt have any armor or weapons, they did have 5 rockets between them, and thats going to hurt anything.

    Im starting to see what people mean about the late game being very easy now. I have plasma weapons now, psi labs, 3 gene modded soldiers, 1 mech, and i am totally bad ass. Im also ahead on research i think, because i have not yet encountered heavy floaters and im fully decked out with plasma weaponry. Exalt are now an annoyance more than anything, but im close to identifying their base now.

    I only had real trouble on one of the missions when my operative was miles away and when i tripped Exalt, they ran the other way. It was a bit dicey at one stage, with me cowering in a corner with my operative. Im so glad i armed him with a gas grenade. I threw it at a bottle neck and poisoned the 3 exalt soldiers. Then i had to leg it past them and trip 2 overwatches. Im sure one would have hit, but poison really screws your aim up.

    My over all impressions of the game are good. I would give it a 9 out of 10. The end game is a bit neglected, and some of the missions are a little bit dodgy in how they play out (base defense and portent), and there are a few balancing issues. But other than that its a solid expansion and well worth the money IMO. Id be happy with another expansion that concentrates on the end game. Not really sure what they could do to improve that.
     
  6. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I don't mean immediately after, I mean I presume it never triggers before the alien base invasion, and so there will always be psionic aliens in the mission (indeed the cinematic relies on there being someone doing the mind-controlling).

    It seems only colonels spawn at the start of the mission, and I only have three of those left. On the second run, forewarned I made sure to fix the equipment of my soldiers (so the second sniper got a laser sniper rifle - I don't yet have plasma snipers - and the MEC got the level 3 suit); I also faced fewer enemies for some reason (only two each of mechtoids and cyberdiscs in the first few turns). Unfortunately I lost when the MEC was mind-controlled by the Ethereal (having carefully flanked and killed the Sectoid Commanders in the final wave), and he killed the surviving sniper colonel (who couldn't trigger his mimetic skin because he started in sight of enemies).

    The late game always was very easy. I found the mid-game - pre-psionic aliens, post-laser - easy, but now psionic aliens are about and I'm starting to lose long-term team members (which is why I only have three Colonels). I'm getting three-Mechtoid abduction missions, with the Mechtoids supported by Sectoid Commanders and Muton Elites making up the remaining numbers. If you aren't at heavy floaters yet (who are much scarier than they were in vanilla), you probably haven't got to the difficult bit yet. Sectopods are quite a bit tougher, since they take halved damage from non-explosive sources - you absolutely need heavy plasma (or sniper, or particle cannon) and/or HEAT ammo to deal with them.

    Just give the soldier you use as the operative Mimetic Skin. Mine is also a sniper with Gunslinger and (because I'm mostly using her as an operative rather than to run missions) Double Tap - with a plasma pistol she'll reliably kill any (single) operative she sees.

    Yes, there are quite a few balancing issues - MECs have very little customisability since at pretty much every level and promotion there's a single best option (and while flamethrowers get an upgrade, as far as I've found so far kinetic strike doesn't, although it becomes completely obsolete once you have particle cannon, except when caught out of ammo). SHIVs seem a bit purposeless, although maybe of some use later in the game as alien psionic powers now seem much more likely to work (I haven't yet had an alien psi attack fail). Reaper rounds are a nice idea but become obsolete quickly, and I've yet to find a use for needle grenades. I'm also not a fan of the gamey medal system.

    It does seem that the early game is a bit too dependent on MECs - too easy with them, a little too hard without. EDIT: MECs also come too early, and should at least require unlocking with the Foundry, like SHIVs. As a fan of UFO, it's a real shame that Chryssalids may now be the least scary aliens in the game - unlike Sectoids they don't come too early for MECs, and unlike later aliens they can't do any meaningful harm to them. It's a particular shame since one of my more memorable vanilla missions was a terror mission on the all-Chryssalid terror map.

    Also, it now seems impossible to lose a country from the Council if it has a satellite (other than by losing a terror mission or falsely accusing it of harbouring EXALT), when from recollection this wasn't the case before. This makes EXALT propaganda missions mostly harmless - plus, the panic reduction from successful EXALT missions makes controlling panic too easy; I've been delaying the alien base much longer with no ill effects.

    Otherwise, though, it's an improvement over an already strong game - a few more mission types, and much more activity generally thanks to EXALT, some more maps (though not a huge variety, and one of the best and most unique - Newfoundland - is a one-off). MECS are a clever way to meet the demand for a new class and generally balanced until they've had a few promotions (although sniper mechs have a fairly weak passive bonus). Most gene mods seem a little underwhelming, but they help to make meld a meaningfully limited resource. Seekers aren't up to much as units, and their AI is too predictable (they will always attack one at a time) but are a clever idea and the need to be aware of them changes my playstyle at least, and Mechtoids are appropriately scary.

    Less advertised changes are much appreciated, such as alien mechs going on overwatch. I have a sense that costs for plasma weapons are much higher than they were in the past; at least, I find that the arc thrower is now actually important as a way of obtaining new weapons.

    People said the same about Civ V... The best fix for the end game would be to make it shorter: it's part of XCOM's structure (in both modern and original forms) that late-game human tech/soldiers should be better than aliens, and practically the player needs the tools to win the game at that point. The trouble is, that point usually comes several story missions before the actual end of the game (this was a problem with the original UFO as well). It's the mid-game rather than the end-game that needs improvement, to keep things challenging until much later than is generally the case now.

    Mostly this is due to alien behaviour - aliens get more powerful but no more aggressive, and psi aliens are still generally stuck in control rooms on ships (Sectoid Commanders accompanying Mechtoids is an improvement, both because they can be encountered outside the ship and because it means you now face psi aliens in terror and abduction missions, but it's not enough. New psi aliens, and probably multi-Ethereal spawns as well as Ethereals outside UFO missions, are needed particularly. In the original UFO psi powers were the only thing that presented any kind of late-game challenge.

    Of course more mid-game aliens are needed - it's a disappointment that the only new aliens in Enemy Within were early-game ones, and there are still no 'second tier' versions of Chryssalids or Thin Men (I was hoping to see Snakemen back), which become obsolete as the game goes on (a second tier Seeker is probably also needed).

    Extending the EXALT storyline somehow, long enough to justify giving them a plasma weapon tier, would also help - and for goodness sake improve the AI so that they actually fire instead of reloading unnecessarily, and avoid standing out in the open (also, they have a nice set of abilities which can sometimes catch me by surprise in unpleasant ways - I lost a soldier to Rapid Reaction in one mission - and should make more use of them. Give some EXALT snipers Squad Sight instead of Snap Shot as well)
     
  7. Rubin

    Rubin King

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    Always interesting reading your thoughts on the game, PhilBowles :goodjob:

    I've yet to find a use for SHIVs. Firstly, they take up a valuable and already limited soldier spot. Secondly, I never seem to be able to reserve resources for making them fully available. In my games, the Foundry is very low priority, because whenever I manage to built it, almost everything is either fairly obsolete/useless or far too expensive; and the remaining options are mandatory.

    The MEC, on the other hand, has become my number one priority in the early game as a defensive scout. Regular soldiers have almost no chance of surviving a forward position--at least mine drop like flies. Nano-Fiber Vests or Respirator Implants just don't do it, and Carapace suits arrive very late.

    This becomes very apparent in marathon games, and indicates issues with research progression and balance. In my latest failed Classic ironman, Carapace Armor would take 50+ days to research, while my first MEC would arrive during the second month. Conversely, once you have enough scientists to cut down research times drastically, every project just rushes by. E.g. I go directly from Carapace to Ghost Armor. This problem also affects laser weaponry, because assault, sniper, heavy, and MEC troopers all need extra research time to benefit; leaving you with a support with a laser rifle.

    I don't see a particular problem with MEC customization. I use MECs defensively, so the Flamethrower suits my playstyle better than the Kinetic Strike Module. My only real gripe is with the choice between One For All (the one that turns the MEC into a high cover element) and Jet Boot Module. So far, I fail to find any use for the high cover choice :(

    Spoiler :
    Come on, the tactical part is strong, but the rest is average or worse at best ;)

    I've been pleasantly surprised by the impact of the Second Wave Training Roulette option. Combined with Not Created Equally and Hidden Potential, soldier development becomes very interesting! The usual and mostly tedious min/max approach is completely gone. The diversity means that the previous choice of higher aim (and sometimes will) no longer applies. This feature alone should convince any XCOM fan to get the DLC!
     
  8. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I found them quite useful in vanilla, particularly in Marathon where wounds would often lay key soldiers out for a while, as a fully upgraded SHIV is comparable to a fairly high-level soldier, and is mobile and expendable. It's a shame there's no clear use for them now as EW added several options for them that I haven't had a chance to try.

    I find the Foundry a priority now because of the upgrades to MECs (and they really need Ammo Conservation), although most MEC-applicable upgrades aren't that early.

    That at least is an early use for genetics - Mimetic Skin comes in month 2, and makes for an invulnerable forward scout before you can get ghost armour (haven't yet found much use for ghost grenades, save as an occasional way to save a damaged MEC).

    I'm not sure what respirator implants do - the description suggests they specifically counter Seekers, and possibly poison, but I haven't built any yet.

    This sounds like Marathon working as intended - it should make laboratories and "research credit" relevant and desirable to obtain (currently there's no meaningful value to interrogations other than of key aliens - Outsider, Sectoid Commander with Greater Good enabled); the issue is with the placement of MECs specifically. In Marathon you should generally be researching armour before weapons anyway since the single most important consideration in Marathon is keeping soldiers alive and unwounded; reaper rounds may be able to serve in place of laser weapons for a while.

    My point is that the kinetic strike module is suboptimal in any situation, since you don't want to waste meld upgrading a kinetic strike MEC with an ability you know will become obsolete. I see no particular use for Restorative Mist either, and while I haven't tried it and don't know if it sticks around after triggering, the proximity mine seems a nod to the original game rather than a useful alternative to electro-pulse.

    Me neither, but then again I've seen no use for most of the other options - what use does additional defence while on overwatch have, since it will trigger in very specific circumstances (when attacked by an enemy that manages to get a line of sight on the MEC without triggering overwatch fire)? Of the remaining upgrades, the defensive boosts (auto-repair, reduced damage) seem to be no-brainers.

    Nothing has really been done to make alternative Assault builds viable, either - I still go with the same set of promotions for every Assault, the same ones as in vanilla.

    Well, yes, but the tactical part is the game. Everything else is just connecting missions to each other...

    I haven't used that yet - it's the only new SW option (at least of those immediately available) that looks interesting, but at this point I'm aiming to complete the campaign to re-unlock the remaining SW options (not looking forward to doing it again on Impossible). I don't think I even have access to Marathon mode yet, since EW resets the SW options.
     
  9. Rubin

    Rubin King

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    This depends on playstyle. I haven't been able to afford both a Cybernetics Lab and a Genetics Lab in the early game, so I guess it's a choice between the two; although Mimetic Skin does take considerably longer to come into play (unless your base is in South America).

    My preferred amputee is the heavy for the extra evasion. Unlike ghosted soldiers, the defensive MEC attracts enemy fire. Automated Threat Assessment (that's the extra defense while in overwatch, not when firing from overwatch) adds a bit more evasion. Add Damage Control (reduced damage) and Repair Servos (health recovery) and the MEC should be able to stay alive and fairly well while your regular soldiers take a few turns moving into good positions.

    The Flamethrower is useful throughout the game due to the panic feature. The flames often flush enemies out of cover. Early game, a good flame carpet is very effective against Thin Men. Other than that, my poor aim MECs rarely kill anything, and Foundry upgrades are mere luxuries.

    Respirator Implants confer +2 health and immunity to strangulation and poison. Think of the implant as a more expensive upgraded Nano-Fiber Vest.

    I agree with all of this, except the "working as intended". My point about research times is that without early game science focus, you are in dire straits. That's fine. The problem arises once you've reached tolerable research times, because by then everything just flashes by so fast and you cannot keep up economically. I haven't found a middle ground. Part of the reason could be that satellite coverage isn't first priority, hence reducing your monthly income, and early engineers is not really a viable option... I don't know. Something's just off.

    Marathon is fun, but not balanced.
     
  10. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Good point - in this game my base is in South America. Still, it's not uncommon to have that bonus by the time you get to Seekers.

    Mine too, though assault is good - I don't tend to cluster my soldiers, so I don't get a lot of benefit from the Support. But it depends a lot on the stats I roll; usually I want someone with high Will inside the suit (though so far that hasn't protected me from mind control).

    I'm happiest when not attracting enemy fire. The best way to avoid taking damage in this game is not to get shot at - I'd much rather allow the aliens to spend their time moving around the map instead of shooting, and using an Assault to draw out any overwatch fire.

    Yes, it's while in overwatch - my point is that, by the time the MEC's being shot at, it's usually not going to be in overwatch any more because the attacker will have triggered overwatch fire when it moves. So unless you end the turn with surviving enemies in sight of the mech, and overwatch just for the defence bonus, you don't get much from it. If you have Advanced Fire Control, it's less likely to survive to be an attacker, which is generally a better place to be.

    I much prefer not to rely on that - even if the MEC survives, that kind of treatment can lead to soldiers being wounded even through the suit.

    My MEC has over 100 Aim at maximum level - he's pretty reliable at hitting, and with a particle cannon that's always good.
     
  11. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    I thought they make your soldiers go critically wounded guaranteed instead of dead (not sure if its guaranteed, but they nearly always do). I have one on every soldier once i have the extra inventory slot. They have saved 2 of my vets, which is a worthwhile investment IMO.

    Me neither - Shivs suck. The only time they could ever be useful is if somehow you have nearly all of your vets killed and you need some backup going into a mission. But they are very low down on the list of priorities.

    Disagree here. Labs should be employed anyway, regardless of game speed. Effective use of labs and research credits shaves over a month off the game in most cases. Key aliens to stun for the research credits are - Mutons (plasma), Beserkers (heavy armour) and sectoids (lasers). I think research speed increases by 50%, which is nothing to be sniffed at.

    Ghost grenades are awesome, especially on the battleship, alien base and other places where there is no cover. They are also useful on Exalt missions. The best thing about them is if you clump up your team, fire all your shots off, even leaving people exposed, then run someone in with a ghost grenade and set it off. Boom! All your exposed guys are invisible. They are actually better than ghost armour because they enable you to fire a load of shots off first before you go invisible. Well worth saving seekers and money for.
     
  12. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    Yes, I'm pretty certain that base defense will always come after you assault the alien base. I'm not sure of the exact timing but from what I've read it's the next month after the alien base, but that might be off. The only thing I'm sure of is it will never happen before alien base assault.

    It's mostly the Reddit XCOM board that I see complaining about this a lot, not a lot of people here have, true.

    Sectopods got massively buffed in this expansion, anyone who hasn't met them yet, be careful. It seems they only take half damage from all sources now so you really need to tread carefully around them. Probably the hardest enemy in the game to be honest. Also, what the HELL, Mind Control? I have literally never ever seen this ability miss when aliens use it since installing the expansion. Makes Sectoid Commanders a little bit more scary, so that's good I guess, but damn is it ever annoying. I haven't tried it on my own guys since I like the defense force field too much to bother with it, so I don't know if it's better for you as well or not.
     
  13. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Alright...I'm thinking of I/I and activating Not created equally and Hidden Potential to add more spice into the game as well as Randomized Skilltree. The only question is whether to have Damage Roullete so late-game snipers don't make it too easy. Losses need to happen to keep things interesting otherwise it becomes a surgical mop-op every mission.

    Also does marathon make the game better or super tedious? I like desperation but I'm worried about it making the late game drawn out. Aiming angles as well? Does it make positioning and flanking more effective?
     
  14. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Not created equally and hhidden potential probably make the game easier. But randomized skill tree definitely harder (unless you luck out).

    I tried damage roulette once, and found it a real pain. In Xcom i prefer the certainty that when i run up to an alien in some circumstances, i am going to 100% kill it. Damage roulette makes this a whole lot more difficult. But if you want to make what is already a hard challenege (II) even harder, then feel free.

    I am guessin this will be similar to absolutely critical. Whilst you can get criticals more easily (every flanking hit is a guaranteed critical), bear in mind that the AI gets the same perk. So you are far more likely to lose someone to a one shot kill due to poor placement.
     
  15. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Ive seen a number of people complain about this but i think its the same as EU. I have had a number of encounters in vanilla where i had a severely depleted squad before tripping the sectoid commanders, and about 9 times out of 10 they would successfully mind control my soldiers. I think the crucial thing is that in vanilla you tripped them in a confined space with all your squad right next to them, so they were easy to kill (this is even slightly true of Etherals). Now Sectoid commanders are out on the field, often with mechtoids, and thus have far more chance of being in a position to mind control you.

    I have a plan for sectopods. It revolves around battle scanners, ghost armor, ghost grenades, and the gene mod that cloaks a soldier (a heavy) when they move into a position of full cover. That and a whole load of fire power :). Ill let you know how i get one.
     
  16. Pikkis

    Pikkis Prince

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    It's not that it's hard, but it has the greatest aesthetics in the game, and a great idea. (Also, it shouldn't be hard since it only provides panic reduction and "free kills" for leveling soldiers up.)

    The late game has always been by far the easiest part of the game (I don't know about Impossible, but I would assume it's more or less the same there). I actually think the late game is harder than before because of the Sectopod buff.

    Definitely won't trigger before Alien Base Assault.

    Spoiler :
    After all, Bradford says "we already know the aliens are capable of some kind of mind control" in the following cutscene.


    I'm pretty sure you always get your six best-trained soldiers as well as some base defense personnel. Three veterans will show up at start, and the remaining three will show up later, though not all at once.

    Kinetic Strike does get a similar upgrade (+50%), which is a second-gen Foundry project that has the SHIV project as a prerequisite.

    Most of the new equipment are weak. I'm still to build a set of Reaper Rounds and a Gas Grenade. A Needle Grenade is nothing special, and while I used lots of Respirator Implants in my first EW C/I, once I found out Titan, Archangel and Ghost Armors provide anti-strangulation and anti-poison benefits, I've used RIs a lot less. (I think only Titan Armor and Medikit provided anti-poison back in EU. I'm not sure though.) Ghost Grenade, on the other hand, is a great one, especially with Grenadier and/or Deep Pockets training.

    MECs are OP in the early game, but I'm starting to think that a big part of that is that they're the opposite of Snipers. While Snipers start weak and eventually become the greatest class, MECs start strong, but don't gain as much as the other classes as the game progresses. So by choosing to use MECs the player gives up more promising opportunities to gain instant benefit. This, of course, doesn't work as it should because of the game's difficulty curve. But I think it's what Firaxis has aimed at.

    Definitely not impossible. The US who had a satellite were brought to five panic when I opted to take a mission in Asia instead of North America, and they decided to leave the council at the end of month.

    I often would like to build the Foundry earlier than I end up doing so (perhaps with the Asia bonus it would be possible?), since it now offers Tactical Rigging, and that one is available early.

    It seems that Firaxis has tried to change the SHIVs a bit in EW to balance for the MECs. Especially the fact that MECs can't suppress is probably to make SHIVs more interesting. Although I don't use SHIVs much, the Sentinel Module project (which requires Drone Autopsy), is interesting as it provides SHIVs both an ability like a MEC Trooper's Repair Servos and an ability like an Assault's Close Combat Specialist. With plasma weaponry, the SHIVs are also reliable hitters (much more so than rookies or squaddies, if you have soldiers at the infirmary).

    I'm pretty sure research credits halve the time, but the problem is that in most cases the player will do just fine playing the game an extra month so there is little incentive.

    My thoughts exactly.

    I think the three most important traits against Sectopods are Shredder Rockets, Disabling Shots and Electro Pulse (although I'm a bit critical of late-game MECs all things considered). HEAT Ammo comes a close fourth. Without any of those, Sectopods are really lethal.

    Not Created Equally and Hidden Potential definitely help if you can afford recruiting lots of soldiers. Training Roulette still preserves some options at their original places; the only very important combination that is a lot harder is Medic (Field Medic, Revive, Savior), but one can do without a Medic, too. It has led to some very interesting builds such as a Close and Personal / Bullet Swarm Assault, who could take three full-aim shots against a Sectopod after ghosting near it the previous turn.
     
  17. Rubin

    Rubin King

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    Damage Roulette may look fairly minor in theory, but it's my biggest killer on ironman. Basically, all your conventional weapons only do 1 damage reliably. Nothing more. Shotgun assaults doing 1 damage at point blank. 100% hit chance snipers doing just 1 damage. It's very, very scary, and my soldiers die left and right, because an otherwise guaranteed kill $!¤#% up. Be prepared for a much, much harder game.

    Not Created Equally and Hidden Potential both make the game significantly easier, particularly the late game. They don't really add that much spice by themselves. I find it nothing but a reduction in difficulty unless combined with Training Roulette (random skills). This is where the soldier stats and skills become very interesting, because you may wish to sacrifice aim and will to get a specific set of useful skills.

    I suggest you play the first two months of a marathon game, to get a feel of how it plays. It's very different on the strategic level. I cannot comment on potential late game tedium, because I've never gotten that far.

    Aiming Angles does affect positioning, though sometimes it's not at all obvious where you'd get a better shot. I like it.
     
  18. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    It's reduced damage, but I'm not sure exactly how it works - my MEC's grenade (normally deals 5) deals 4 to Sectopods, and a shredder rocket from my blaster launcher (normally 9, with the Heavy's buffs) dealt 7, so it seems there is some damage reduction against explosives, but not as much as against other sources - it seems it nullifies buffs from promotions (I don't think I got the bonus for having autopsied a Sectopod on the MEC with that promotion), but doesn't affect base damage from explosive sources. Kinetic Strike did deal exactly half damage (there aren't many other fixed-damage non-explosives).

    I have now seen it fail, on a high-Will soldier I augmented with Neural Damping, but Sectoid Commanders do now seem to have much more effective psi powers than in vanilla.

    They can be found in fairly large numbers, since they eventually replace Sectoids as Mechtoid companions, so they are now very scary - appropriately so, I'd say. They die easily to the more powerful plasma weapons, though.

    I always activate all three - Damage Roulette, Not Created Equal and Hidden Potential - because that's closer to the classic XCOM experience, and because the latter two add sorely-needed character to individual soldiers. The latter two are potentially abusable, in that you can hire-and-fire to get the best soldiers, but in general you won't have the funds to do this early in the game, and because the main reason to use these abilities is flavour I tend to work with what I'm given (moreso in EW than EU I seem to find I get soldiers with suboptimal stats - Will below 45 and/or Aim below 65 - more often).

    In Impossible this can make the game significantly harder on the first mission (where of course you don't have any choice in who you bring along), since soldiers with low Will are very prone to panicking; past that you have more flexibility, but in Impossible it is very important to promote your soldiers as quickly as you can, so a poor soldier from the first mission who gets a promotion is often better to keep than a stronger rookie.

    Damage Roulette is pretty much exactly that in terms its impact on difficulty - it can be harder or easier depending on what you roll. Aliens get the Roulette effect as well, which can contribute importantly to keeping your soldiers alive in the early game, and against some of the more dangerous later-game units. In general it seems more likely to make the game slightly harder than easier, since taking down tougher aliens like Berserkers, Mechtoids and Cyberdiscs is much less reliable.

    Haven't re-unlocked Marathon in EW yet, but in EU the sense I had was that the game was designed to be played in Marathon mode - more of the upgrade and promotion options are useful, you'll often want SHIVs to stand in for wounded soldiers, labs and early scientist missions are more important in the early game, money and other resources were meaningfully limited, and the extended timeframe made things like wounded soldiers and slow research times actually meaningful (in the standard game the difference between 'fast' and 'slow' research is usually only a few days, and by the time you've finished researching all the laser weapons you're already replacing them with plasma). Many of these changes have made it into the main game in EW (such as slower promotions and some more viable options, and the greater frequency of missions makes it more important to avoid getting wounded).

    These are effective anyway, particularly with Damage Roulette, but I haven't used Aiming Angles because it looks designed to make the game easier (like the 'always critical' SW option in vanilla). Yes, aliens will get the boost as well, but while XCOM's alien AI is pretty good, it's still not as good as a human player at exploiting flanking (and I imagine that it will struggle with 'nearly flanking' angles).

    Haven't used it on a Heavy (I'd planned to, but she died), but I find this a very good combination with an In The Zone sniper, since you can often set up a position where you can fire and then move, recloaking as a result.

    No, seems to be just the top six in the roster. I have four surviving levelled soldiers - three colonels and a lieutenant. The other two were just the next two squaddies in line, never mind that they weren't the best-suited to the mission.

    Still having a lot of trouble getting through this, due to the sheer number of Mechtoids in the final stage (I had 8 in play at one point, and that's even without the final reinforcing Cyberdisc and Sectopod being in a position to attack) - I may well have to revert to an earlier save and resurrect my Heavy colonel and second MEC.

    Reaper rounds seem good with assaults, who will be up close anyway, and I suspect will be more important in Marathon. I've bought a gas grenade but pretty much never used it (I threw it in an EXALT mission, but it seems everyone was a medic since my targets were all immune). I still carry a flashbang with one of my supports, but its radius is much too small - it has niche uses to disable someone you want to stun, but that seems to be about it, and the fact that it doesn't work on mechs limits its usefulness.

    No, I haven't found that at all. I have a fully-upgraded colonel MEC trooper who's my best soldier, moreso than my In the Zone sniper colonel. The particle cannon's base damage seems to be the highest in the game, the Major promotion allows it to be used twice per turn, and electro pulse is extremely powerful. A MEC starts out being tough but having a weak gun and very short-ranged, if any, area effect attacks (other than by fully discharging the gun to deal 1 damage plus an exploding car with Collateral Damage) - I find the earliest MECs almost a liability, and in the playthrough where mine didn't survive long enough to promote they consistently underperformed even compared with other classes who I also had difficulty keeping alive. A few promotions and a grenade launcher in, however, and the MEC was winning me battles.
     
  19. Pikkis

    Pikkis Prince

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    I don't think I understand what the difference is here. If you have four veterans, then your fifth- and sixth-best soldiers should be Squaddies given New Guy training, shouldn't they? "Suited for a mission" is probably a concept the game can't handle internally.

    I'm pretty sure the ones I've got for base defense have been my six best in both completed games.

    Spoiler :


    Spoiler :


    In my opinion the MECs just don't ultimately have the required flexibility. In the game I just completed I mostly gave up on MECs halfway through; not voluntarily, but for the better still. After that I mostly went back to the tactics that had served my so well back in EU (the unorthodox Snap Shot Snipers, for example), although Training Roulette of course added its own spice there.
     
  20. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5,333
    The difference is that there are squaddies and there are squaddies, now that kills don't instantly lead to a promotion to Corporal. I have squaddies who've run missions and scored kills who got left on the shelf while new squaddie supports who've never seen action were chosen as being at the head of the roster.

    Yet in the other you had three MECs on the base defence (I presume 'Clank' and 'Android' are MEC nicknames - I had a Number Six of my own, but my first MEC always seems to be Tin Man).
     
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