UFO: Enemy Unknown, remake by Firaxis

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

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  1. Pikkis

    Pikkis Prince

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    Well that's true. As far as I know, soldiers are listed by 1. rank, 2. number of missions and 3. number of kills. Given your experience, the base defense algorithm is a bit different, I guess.

    Like I said, I only switched tactics halfway my second game. :) I did have three MECs; 'Number Six', 'Clank' and 'Maya' -- 'Android' is an Assault nickname. The Temple Ship Assault went a lot better in the second game (3 Heavies, 2 Snipers, 1 Assault; actually the exact same soldiers as in the base defense) than in the first one (3 Heavies, 2 MEC Troopers, 1 Sniper).
     
  2. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Pretty sure rookies/New Guy squaddies retain their original placement in the listing (based on when they were recruited) until promoted.

    Finally beat the base defence mission (I did go back and rescue my Colonel heavy, however it seems fate has decreed that Elizabeth "Doomsday" Watkins will fall in battle - she was killed by a Berserker, the last surviving alien, on the final turn, the only one of my core team to die. Even most of my rookie redshirts made it through). The MEC was crucial, mostly for electro-pulse (which was especially devastating against the flier invasion, when they all congregated in one spot) but the cannon did, indeed, do its fair share of damage.

    It is a real shame that rookies who earn promotions in the battle don't get recruited to the barracks - this is, after all, a game all about the development of your characters.
     
  3. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    Yeah, that was a pretty big oversight (and the automatic squad selection without the chance to change equipment). My guards had a high casualty rate, but they really held their own when it counted. Some of them definitely earned a promotion.

    I'm still on my first game and have finally figured out where the EXALT base is after there were three suspects left and I wrongly accused Egypt and Mexico. Of course the base is inside the USA. Damn yankees. I'm finding myself with too many troops. I haven't lost many (normal difficulty) and Furies was a bit too generous with the reward considering the low difficulty of the mission. Ah, it's getting time to finish this up. The EXALT storyline is a bit too long and easy. They definitely should tech up more and use gene mods that make them look more alien (I'm thinkig snipers who look almost like Thin Men or troops with Chrysalidesque exoskeletons).
     
  4. Pikkis

    Pikkis Prince

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    It seems the game can take several quite different directions; I've always thought the EXALT storyline is a short one, and Furies has only showed up for me near the Temple Ship Assault (i.e. way past EXALT's demise).
     
  5. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Definitely. Watkins was newly out of the gene lab, and on a previous EXALT mission her heavy plasma and carapace armour had been assigned to someone else (fortunately the blaster launcher wasn't); she did well with a standard LMG though. My operative colonel ended up with a standard sniper rifle, because she can't take her main gun on missions as an operative.

    With the way I'm playing I've found the pacing of the EXALT base poor - without actively scanning for EXALT I'm getting the location finalised in September, a month after I ran the alien base assault and immediately before my base was attacked itself. So three of the game's major story missions are showing up at much the same time. It reaffirms my impression that the EXALT storyline should be extended (with a plasma weapon tier), putting the base further into the late game,

    I'm a bit disappointed that gene mods don't change the appearance of soldiers noticeably, XCOM or EXALT.

    I like the EXALT base mission - lots of clambering over roofs, shooting through skylights and literal gate (or, if so inclined, wall) crashing.

    I haven't yet faced Furies. It seems that, aside from Slingshot and Portent, Council missions are pretty much fully randomised - no Newfoundland so far in this runthrough either.
     
  6. Rubin

    Rubin King

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    The Base Defense mission is somewhat poorly implemented. Personally, I dislike all the on-rails, scripted nonsense, but this mission feels even worse--as a sloppy and detached afterthought. Yeah, I can rant about these stupid game design decisions all day, but considering contemporary game design philosophies, I fear I'd better be thankful they didn't $!¤# up the whole game (see Diablo 3, SimCity, and recently X-Rebirth). :lol: But I do hope Firaxis recognizes that we want to be able to equip our soldiers prior to the mission (maybe with some restrictions), and allow us to keep the surviving rookies after the mission.

    Kudos to Firaxis, though, for including the scrapped 3rd DLC (Portent) AND the option to disable it (and Slingshot too). :goodjob: And although I did find the EXALT missions far too easy, I kinda like the concept and implementation. It was a nice surprise to see EXALT soldiers getting dropped in by helicopter near the EDGE of the map. This just feels so much more right than the "Thin Man dropping on top of one of your soldiers".

    I agree, it's lacking. But I find it annoying that the different XCOM armors look so similar on gene modded soldiers. Sleeveless armor? I'd call it cheap.

    Edit: Just encountered this bug (Operative can't target anything) on one of my heavies (could be related to suppression). It's a nasty bug on ironman.
     
  7. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    A much better way of implementing it would to have say 3/4 of your vets spawn in different locations (with backup), then have to fight their way to the armory with conventional weapons, then gear up and blast home. Any rookies that survive could be insta promoted to sergeant and earn a special medal or some crap like that.
     
  8. BlackWizard

    BlackWizard King

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    Is it new feature that you can lose your start continent bonus? I started on Africa and lost my "ALL IN" bonus when Nigeria left XCOM. Only two ther countrieshave left XCOM(USA and Canada)
     
  9. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Now I have, and see what you mean both in terms of difficulty and in terms of reward soldiers. And the number of psi soldiers I have is pretty silly - six (it was seven, but Colonel Torres - former covert operative and later backup sniper colonel - was one-shotted by a Cyberdisc in my last mission), with two in my squad at any given time.

    Deluge is a bit too easy at its point in the game as well, but could be a challenging mission earlier. Furies is just a Thin Man mission on a standard UFO map (except that for some reason it's snow-covered, even though I got it in October and it's set in France, where October snow is unlikely), and I haven't had issues with Thin Men since my MECs got grenade launchers.

    There also seems no effort to scale the difficulty of later council missions substantially - I got Asset Recovery after finishing Progeny, and it was all-Sectoids. No Mechtoids, no Commanders, just Sectoids. And by that point I had my psi-soldiers as well as my grenade-armed MECs.
     
  10. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    I also had two Berserkers show up, but at this point they weren't really a threat without heavy backup. The mid to late game seems to be much easier, but that's probably because I selected normal difficulty for my first Enemy Within playthrough.
     
  11. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Yes, I had the Berserkers too. I do find Berserkers more worrying than I did in vanilla (and a couple of soldiers died to them over the course of the campaign), but alone they aren't a problem.

    I found it easy going in the late game, but probably no more so than EU - I lost a couple of soldiers after the base defence (although one was a critically wounded soldier I accidentally killed with an explosive).

    Sectopods are tougher (but the two in the final mission are fully manageable - disabling shot and electro pulse make things easy enough), but they don't seem to be very common. I think I only encountered about three between their first appearance and the temple ship assault, including the attack on XCOM (not counting the two on the Overseer mission). Whenever I heard clanking, it usually turned out to be a Mechtoid, which at this point in the game can almost be one-shotted (not quite - the only one-shot I got on a mech was against a Cyberdisc, while my sniper was benefitting from Combat Rush).

    It's a shame nothing at all has been done to the final mission, not even adding Mechtoids in the Sectoid section.

    Onto my second playthrough now - using Training Roulette and Itchy Trigger Tentacke (which so far hasn't triggered - it seems it may only work when the aliens reveal themselves, rather than being revealed by XCOM, but that seems a rare occurrence in my games).
     
  12. Rubin

    Rubin King

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    I've finally given up on Damage Roulette. :mad:

    My soldiers seemed to deal consistently less damage, and while I know how the random number generator can mess with your perception of "bad luck" versus "must-be-a-bug", I was becoming so frustrated that I finally looked into the mechanics.

    Damage Roulette reduces the average non-critical damage output by around 15%. Critical hits deal about 10% more damage on average. The Shotgun is particularly unreliable with a 22% non-critical damage reduction on average, and a 14% increase in average critical damage. The Assault Rifle is just flat out worse with 17% non-critical reduction and 8% critical reduction. Pistols seem largely unaffected.

    Here are my findings in detail:

    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
    WEAPON DAMAGE CRITICAL
    Assault Rifle
    -17%
    -8%
    Shotgun
    -22%
    +14%
    Sniper Rifle
    -13%
    +7%
    LMG
    -13%
    +7%
    Minigun
    -20%
    0%


    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
    WEAPON DAMAGE CRITICAL
    Laser Rifle
    -20%
    0%
    Scatter Laser
    -17%
    +10%
    Laser Sniper Rifle
    -17%
    +10%
    Heavy Laser
    -17%
    +10%
    Railgun
    -21%
    +4%


    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
    WEAPON DAMAGE CRITICAL
    Particle Cannon
    -20%
    +13%


    I didn't quite have the patience to research plasma weapons in my test game, so if anyone can provide the damage numbers (minimum and maximum damage, only available in Enemy Within), I'll complete the list. This would actually be useful regarding the damage output of aliens.

    I don't know how effective a general "critical hit" focus is, but if it's possible to build your soldiers around critical damage, then Damage Roulette allows for more damage output--and a potentially easier game. Otherwise, we're talking a general damage reduction, and since the minimum non-critical damage of all these weapons is 1, your soldiers are at higher risk of becoming exposed to alien fire. Also, I find that one-shot kills hurt the player more than they hurt the aliens. The risk of one-shot kills should be higher with Damage Roulette turned on.

    My conclusion so far is that Damage Roulette makes the game harder. My personal experiences suggest A LOT harder. :)

    I have not experienced this. Could be a bug.
     
  13. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Interesting. I always play to maximise critical hit chances, so that probably explains my perception that the difficulty is only slightly increased with damage roulette (particularly since you'll likely take less damage from overwatch fire, since that doesn't cause criticals).

    I find MEC weapons powerful in general - you don't list the minigun and its successors in your table, but I wonder if that's got less damage reduction than equivalent weapons for other classes.

    I never use the assault promotions that affect criticals, since I can reliably get criticals with Assaults anyway and defensive promotions are almost always better than offensive ones in this game. But insofar as a 'critical focus' is one that focuses on flanking and destroying cover to get shots against targets in the open, that makes the game easier with or without Damage Roulette, and indeed is essential to survival on Impossible.
     
  14. Rubin

    Rubin King

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    I should note that the minimum critical damage is slightly lower with Damage Roulette on. It's the maximum damage that's significantly higher; close to +40%.

    Good point on the overwatch fire. Now that I think about it, overwatch was (almost) never the killer in my most recent games.

    If you can provide the damage numbers, I'll add them. I have no saves anymore. :( Edit: Found the MEC weapon stats online. No luck on plasma weapons yet. Tables updated in post #872.

    Hehe, as long as you focus on critical hits, it doesn't matter how you achieve this.

    My most recent loss was a terror mission swarming with Chryssalids during the second turn. Chryssalids have the Hardened ability, reducing critical hit chances by 60%. I don't recall the specific percentages, but it was a wipe, and I did at least two 1 damage hits in a row (I had already used 2 rockets and a flamethrower in that round). I find that's the scary part of Damage Roulette; moreso than the reduced average non-critical damage.

    I'm curious, how to deal with Hardened enemies in this context?
     
  15. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    So MEC weapons actually do pretty badly out of DR. The minigun's not great, but the others are strong with DR on (haven't played EW without DR) - they must be pretty formidable normally.

    I noticed that for the first time today - I wasn't sure why my aggressive Support Sergeant wasn't getting much of a boost from Aggression (the cap at +30% in any case makes me reevaluate the value of that ability). That's the first game I've had since EW where Chryssalids are scary - a map I haven't seen before (a terror version of Paper Warehouse, probably the best of the original game's maps), and the Chryssalids spent a lot of time out of sight zombifying things. I had something like half a dozen zombies to kill, and one of them killed my aggressive holo-targeting Support (shame, he had quite a story - he was one of my original team, and so far the only one to have died, and in the first mission he spooked a Sectoid trio within grenade range. Not only did he take all three out, the explosion caused two cars behind to explode, killing the final - unseen - Sectoid as well).

    Yes, the Chryssalids did each seem to need 2-3 hits to kill. Early on the Support triggered the Chryssalids, and one remained pretty close. Two shots (one from the sniper) reduced it to 1 damage. The Support could well have been zombified - fortunately an overwatching Heavy dealt the final point of damage.

    Explosives and kinetic strike, possibly a MEC upgraded with vital point targeting (+2 damage to autopsied aliens) - anything that deals fixed damage (or additional fixed damage, such as Gunslinger); with Chryssalids particularly massed overwatch fire usually works.

    As an aside, I'm really loving Training Roulette, though it's made me face some tough choices (and it's a shame, though logical, that it doesn't work on MECs). It definitely makes characters feel individual, and makes you want to use their abilities to the maximum; I want Zhang (High Ground) in an elevated position wherever possible. Looking forward to facing MECs with my HEAT ammo Assault, and one of my heavies will be a tank when armoured, with both Will to Survive (-2 non-critical damage when in full cover) and Resilience (immune to critical hits).
     
  16. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Ive finished my CI game. Was ok at the end with those 2 sectopods. The mech sorted them out. I also had psi troopps fairly early so could mind control. Here are my stats. I think i managed to finish it quite quickly compared to others.

    Spoiler :




    Going to start another one now and see if i can get mechs early and finish portent.
     
  17. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    People seem to have many fewer casualties than I do - I had 30 in the Classic game I completed, and that's with occasional reloads.

    Portent hasn't appeared so far in my latest playthrough (I'm now in May), although I didn't turn Progeny off - I got a bomb disposal instead. Since storywise it's linked to the base defence (is that actually part of Progeny, I wonder?) I presume it will still show up at some point.
     
  18. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Compared to my casualty rate in vanilla, this play through was actually pretty good. It doesnt include the 13 or so i lost in the base defence mission though (as i lost it the first time).

    30 is quite a lot though. Im more the sort of player who thinks "to hell with the meld, id rather keep my soldiers alive". Interestingly, 2 of those deaths were actually due to friendly fire. Zhang shot a rocket in the wrong place and blew up my other mech (on its first mission) and another guy. My sniper, which is another one of the deaths, was totalled by a cyber disk on the last slingshot mission. The rookie was just strangled by a seeker after some fairly annoying RNG rolls.
     
  19. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I tended to play aggressively pre-Meld as well, mostly because it makes for a better game but partly because the all-overwatch tactic was never especially reliable at keeping people alive anyway. Now that Seekers exist - apparently introduced precisely to defeat this tactic by drawing all your overwatch fire before dangerous aliens arrive - it's less reliable than ever, and aliens do seem to cluster a lot more.

    In my current playthrough I've lost perhaps 8 soldiers so far, and one of those was to friendly fire - my HEAT ammo Assault, who didn't use her ammo to good enough effect against the first Cyberdisc of the campaign. Because the Cyberdisc was above her, the rocket I used to take it out shouldn't have caused any damage (and the firing dome was blue, so she should have been safe), but instead she took damage from it, and was then killed by the exploding disc.

    I lost two soldiers to that Cyberdisc. Most recently I lost my Support Major and my Assault-cum-covert operative, the former to a Cyberdisc and the latter to an overwatching Muton (he'd been heavily wounded by a Cyberdisc at the start of the mission) on the base assault, since I was forced to go for it earlier than I usually do (only lasers and carapace) due to severe panic issues. On the plus side, hopefully facing the base defence in July will be easier than facing it in September was...
     
  20. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I've now encountered this, and it's definitely a bug. I had to take a bunch of newly-minted squaddies on a Council mission while my main team was wounded; I lost an assault and the sniper was critically wounded. The mission completed screen told me I'd lost one soldier, however both the assault and sniper were shown as KIA on the following summary screen.

    At least now I have justification for redoing the mission since it was bugged...

    I've also lost soldiers to an annoying critically wounded bug when the game's telling me a soldier is bleeding out and has X turns left, but they don't have an onscreen health counter and aren't recognised by soldiers with medikits - I lost a good support squaddie that way, since even with the remaining medikit squaddie standing on top of her I couldn't persuade the medikit there was anyone there to stabilise.
     
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