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XCOM 2 + WotC Advice?

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Loerwyn, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Warlord

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    Hey all,

    Recently I've been playing the /other/ Firaxis franchise, with the War of the Chosen expansion for the first time. I've decided to start again after losing three of my best soldiers in one evening of playing (including the first ones from two of the factions). However, I'm finding it quite a struggle and rather unforgiving, particularly with how many 'free' moves the AI seem to get. I know it can take a while to get up to speed with needing to build various facilities and research a number of things before I can get gear, upgrades, an extra soldier, but I'm finding even the early game really overwhelming with how much the game is throwing at me.

    Does anyone have any advice, particularly for a WotC game with all the DLC packs installed (for variety, and their bonuses), to try and smooth out and deal with the sheer amount of things the game wants you to deal with straight away?

    Thanks!
     
  2. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    What difficulty are you playing on? Thats the easiest way to adjust how difficult the game is. Its a tough game so no shame playing on rookie. Even commander is no joke. And impossible is for masochists.

    If you are having trouble with timers - try downloading a mod that either nerfs or removes them. True concealment is a good mod. The turn timer only starts ticking down once you break concealment. Speaking of mods - Gotcha Again is another handy one which will help you to see line of sight points of interest - like if you break concealment or any flanking shots that are available.

    Early game you want 2 buildings ASAP above all others. The first is the resistance ring and the second is the GTS school. The resistance ring allows missions for each of the factions - these level up your soldiers who go on them - so are a good source of early XP and will get a rookie a promotion. The GTS school allows you train rookies into a specific class - this helps fill out your roster. You also want the squad size upgrade in the GTS school ASAP.

    Try starting the game with the reapers as your home faction (in the advanced menu). They have a resistance order which means any hit of any kind of any lost will kill it. This makes any missions with the lost much easier. When fighting lost, the best classes to bring are the ranger and the sniper. Dont bring heavies - their grenades are practically useless as all you will do is bring hundreds of them via swarms. Park a ranger in the middle of a load of lost and they can score 100% hits at high damage. The sniper can pick off close lost with low health with the pistol - which doesnt use any ammo.

    As for the chosen, they are possibly the biggest challenge. Note their weaknesses. Try not to engage them unless you are sure they are the only ones left on the map - you dont want other pods being triggered when they are in the mix. And when you do engage - blow up their cover with grenades and let rip.

    Good luck commander :D
     
  3. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Warlord

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    Thank you Sherbz, I really appreciate that. I'll look at the difficulty settings for sure. I built the Res Ring probably second after the Proving Ground, because the game just kept nagging me about both. I think one of the WotC difficulty settings does adjust the timers too, unless it's just the Avatar project?

    I think what really annoyed me was a rescue the contact mission in a subway. I got him next to the extraction point... only for the game to go "it's been compromised, go here!" the following turn. This is after the game was dropping fresh waves of enemies every other turn, giving them at least 8-10 vs my... well, one.
     
  4. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Proving ground you can get fairly late - its a mid game build really - maybe in month 2/3 and onwards. Same with training centre and AWC (you want a resistance network after the 2 buildings i mentioned above). And yes - the game tries to force you to do stuff when really its nothing like the optimum time. Like the black site mission. My advice is leave it until you have mag weapons and predator armour. The same for if you do anything else thats big - like the DLCs or an assault on a chosen base - make sure you have the best tier of stuff available in a good window. The armour in particular makes things A LOT easier - as you can take 2 utility items per soldier (researching faceless corpse gives you mimic beacons - which are great. Also med kits can be carried if you dont have anything better). Finally - the game doesnt "end" when the Avatar timer hits maximum - you get a small window of about a week to do something - anything - to reduce it. So it is often a good idea to save black sites and facilities until the timer ticks up to maximum - then you do the mission to push it back down and buy yourself another few weeks as the final click will have to push the time up to maximum again and then you get another window of opportunity.

    And that contact mission sounds like there was some sort of environmental hazard on the evac point. Like fire maybe. And yes - the respawn there can end up being awful and wiping your squad. Try and avoid throwing grenades onto it (near it) as if 1 tile gets blown up i think it automatically respawns somewhere else. Ive had that happen a few times. Once i even did it intentionally to try and get something that wasnt camped by a swarm of death.
     
  5. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    My advice is to do what I did and go to skymods and just download almost every voice and clothing pack. They slow the loading down a tad but it's well worth it because the customization really make your characters come alive.

    Gameplay vise my advice is:
    1. If you have the two DLC there is an option in the start game menu that says something like "integrate the DLC into the game". DO NOT CLICK THIS. It disables the cool in game missions and stuff and instead just dumps the DLC rewards on you.

    2. Try not to build anything in the center most slot on the avenger. And build facilities that need engineers around that slot in a cross pattern. You'll thank me later.

    3. I disagree with the proving grounds being a mid or late game thing. Get it early. The heavy armor you can buy there that comes with a rocket launcher really does help. And so does the special ammo once you can get it.

    4. Hold off on any special missions until you have armor and at least tier 1 improved weaponry. And only hit the chosen when you have at least tier 2.

    5. You. Absolutely positively must get this mod: http://catalogue.smods.ru/archives/33029
    Do not even start a game without it. WOTC comes with cool factions (reaper, skirmisher, templar) you can only ever get 1 of each. And that is ********.
    This mod lets you get multiple.

    6. Do NOT neglect the NPC factions and the resistance ring facility.

    7. This game has stuff to do with a lot more soldiers due to #6. So don't just build one super squad like you could in regular XCOM2. You need at least 3-4 of them to split between missions, combat and recovery.

    8. My advice for settings on a first run is to click the option that doubles the avatar timer but not the double HP one. As tempting as it is it just makes combat a grind.

    9. If a mission is too frustrating remember that you can change difficulty mid game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  6. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Strongly disagree here. Proving grounds is not a priority. Build order for facilities should go something like:

    1 - Resistance ring
    2 - GTS
    3 - Power
    4 - Resistance Com
    5 - Proving Ground

    You could maybe slot in a workshop instead to get an extra gremlin to either clear a room or help staff something. The only thing it gives you initially is access to the alien hunter weapons - which cost money - a scarce resource at the start. And you want to increase your income via resistance contacts which is more important. So for that you need resistance coms. Ive completed the game on legendary ironman mode and watched a number of other LPs and no one went for an early proving grounds.

    You will also have very few Elerium cores at the start of the game which are required for most projects. You also lack alloys until you do the first supply run - which is not until the second month anyway. So Anything before month 2 is a waste.
     
  7. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    I guess it depends on your play style. I like getting as much HE into my squads as possible as early as possible. And rolling something nice on the experimental ammo like AP rounds early on can be really devastating and let you do some harder missions early.

    My personal build order is:
    - Resistance ring (for those nice missions)
    - Proving Ground
    - The one that lets you expand squad size
    - Power
    - Comms and Infirmary (order depends on how many wounded / brain damaged I have)

    Personally I find that I can always crack out a HE suit or two if I just rush clearing as much of the avenger as I can. And those rockets work miracles. Shred armor, blow people of buildings, remove cover... you name it.

    I don't play on the very hardest difficulty but honestly I newer struggle too much for cash. The trick I find is to rush clearing as much of the avenger as you can as quickly as possible and get as many engineers early as the game permits.

    Also, what people do on LP's is irrelevant. I am not saying their approach or yours does not work after all. what I am doing is simply sharing what demonstratively works for me. You should try it some times. An early rocket or two is like taking 1 point off the difficulty scale.

    Alloys you can get from clearing the avenger. Lots of them. And you only need 2-3 cores for the proving ground to really massively pay off.

    Also, month 2 is very much early game. That's like literally 3-4 combat missions in at most.
     
  8. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Warlord

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    Thanks both. I'm not going to get mods as I don't really like playing with them so much. At least not for a first run. But I'll definitely keep in mind that I should be more cautious when choosing missions.

    As for the layout of my facilities, is that a cross as in a plus sign? So in a 3x3 grid it's the middle room?
     
  9. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    There is a 3x3 grid to build in, yes. And later there is a facility you can build later on that can bust up to 3 facilities right next to it. But like it only works in strait lines and not diagonals so you want to have that in mind when designing your layout.
     
  10. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Warlord

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    For some reason I had it in my head it was four deep, not three.
     
  11. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Maybe it is. I honestly can't remember off the top of my head.
     
  12. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    its 3x4 ;) - so you should definitely be thinking a workshop in the second row down middle box is a good idea ;)
     
  13. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    PS - i dont disagree that much with what you say. All i am saying is that in the leap up to legendary difficulty i found that by far the best strategy is the one that i advocated. Granted - on other difficulties, a proving grounds might actually make more sense. But on legend you really need to hit your straps hard in other areas. And im "assuming"" that also is best for other difficulty levels - which it may not be - as you can take more liberties at lower difficulty levels.
     
  14. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    Guerrilla Tactics school and Resistance Ring should absolutely be your first two buildings constructed. If you have Lost and Abandoned enabled for your game, you go GTS -> Resistance Ring (since you can't start resistance ring immediately). If you don't have Lost and Abandoned, you could argue for going Resistance Ring first then GTS; either approach. After that you're gonna need power to go further. Proving Grounds, Infirmary, Training Center, and Resistance Comm are the next four you're gonna need in some order (exact order will depend on how the game is going overall).

    Prioritize Covert Actions that give engineers or scientists. Resistance Contacts and reduced avatar project progress might be a priority depending on the state of the game. If you don't have any of those available, you probably want to work on Locate Faction / Hunt for the Chosen missions at least until you've done two chosen hunt missions for each faction (to get max relations).

    Get a single soldier to Captain ASAP. Send them on all the missions they can handle, get them a bunch of kills, send them on resistance actions that reward promotions. You want to unlock the second squad size upgrade as early as possible.

    Turn on the "Enemy Preview" option in the options menu. Tactical battles without that are brutal slogs of looking at lines of sight and counting off tiles to figure out when/where you can see and be seen by aliens. It does all that for you and gives you a nice simple display. Remember that when you trigger aliens, they will immediately take cover from every soldier that they know about. If you've got soldiers that no alien has line of sight on when the pod is triggered, they can pop up in flanking positions right after it moved to "cover" positions.

    I wouldn't worry too much about saving a space in your avenger layout for a workshop. It wouldn't be any of your first six or seven builds, and by late-game you don't need it, so it's more or less irrelevant (just a very, very narrow window where it would temporarily be useful). That's a building you can skip.
     
  15. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Warlord

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    Awesome, thank you coanda :)
     
  16. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    I tend to go for it at the earliest convenience. It really allows you to save up on engineers. And remember, that does not JUST mean you get to use your engineers on other stuff. It also means you can afford to pick missions with rewards that aren't engineers without loosing much.
     
  17. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    Before War of the Chosen, I was on the pro-workshop side of the debate on whether to get them. There were some good players who skipped them in vanilla, and good players who didn't. But with War of the Chosen, that balance tilted heavily against workshops.
    • One of the big previous soaks of engineers was staffing your resistance comms, which you had to get up and running ASAP (on legendary, at least) or the avatar project could run out of control and cost you the game. In War of the Chosen you get a little bit more breathing room because you can buy an extra two points of avatar time with a covert op if needed.
    • Additionally, you can now get resistance contacts off map scans. This makes it very viable to go with a single Resistance Comm all game, rather than the double-comm that was standard in vanilla.
    • There are more early priority buildings. Where in vanilla you'd want to get AWS, GTS, and Proving Ground, now the AWS has been split in two and the Resistance Ring has been added. It's harder to squeeze a workshop or a lab into the build without significantly delaying some of those.
    • Speaking of labs, those are better now. In vanilla, if deciding between lab and workshop you'd generally go workshop. WotC added breakthroughs, which can potentially be hugely impactful... and labs make those more frequent. If you had to pick between one workshop or one lab, you'd get the lab.
    • You get more engineers now. You have all the normal vanilla sources of engineers, but you also can get the occasional engineer from covert ops.
    So the extreme early-game engineer shortage of vanilla is softened in WotC, while demands on supplies and building space are boosted. Long story short, the workshop - which used to be a solid option - is now simply not worth it.
     
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  18. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    I agree with everything there except for the last two. I simply feel that for the most part breakthroughs are just too random to be relied upon. And more often than not they just hurt me as they force me to drive my research away from the things I actually want to do. Nothing is more annoying than having a breakthrough on turrets or some other semi useless tech and feeling compelled to delay your next tier of weapons or armor.

    As for recruiting engineers I agree that in the base game covert ops help a lot. But if you pick up a couple mods, in particular the one that lets you recruit more faction heroes (which I keep recommending to everyone because it's worth it) than that tends to eat up a lot of your ops. And that shifts the balance for me personally. But I guess in the unmodded game you'd be right.
     

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