Posted: Feb 08, 2016 12:37 pm
by Thommo
Cthulhu's Trilby wrote:Heavy was best in XCOM:EU? Is that the general consensus? I generally found they didn't do enough extra damage to offset their lack of accuracy.

I think the common wisdom was that snipers were best, but that was wrong. You'd always hear this stuff about in the zone snipers with archangel armor and plasma weapons, but by the time you've got that you've won the game, if you can make that much you can make ghost armor instead which breaks the game.

Among the better players (i.e. people streaming I/I and stuff) heavies were rated way, way higher because you could pretty much guarantee a lot of kills in the challenging part of the game - i.e. low rank troops in the first 6 missions or so. The heavy squaddie ability is by far the best of the bunch since even a missed rocket usually hits one of the things it's aimed at and 90% accuracy even in cover is really good anyway. Where snipers are actively worse than rookies at that rank. Heavies also get one of the best abilities in the game in bullet swarm at the next rank (which I see people overlooking all the time, preferring a 10% higher hit chance with their sniper from shitty holo targeting to a whole second shot at marginally lower accuracy).

If you ever go back to playing it and get the chance to run 2-3 heavies for the first few months you'll see how amazing they are. You sometimes need to carefully move up all units into high cover and hunker down so the heavies can do their thing with both actions next turn, but there's no other class that can cover a double pod activation even a fraction as well and that's where games are won and lost. In EU bullet swarm heat ammo destroyed cyberdiscs and sectopods (SCOPE heavies a big help) later in the game, and once you get ghost armor you can just forgo cover, advance right into the middle of enemies so they are all flanked and you can queue up multiple bullet swarms and GG. Of course that works with assaults too, who can potentially get more shots per turn between double fire (again a no brainer that people often forgo because they like to use flush to feed kills to their sniper instead of just killing the thing outright with the assault).

In EW the heavies were a little less good, with assaults buffed and heat ammo nerfed, but on the other hand they could get grenadier and ghost grenades at early-mid game, which was even more game breaking than mimetic skin since it allows the entire squad to forgo cover in a big bunch flanking and shooting whatever they like and then if anything is still alive the heavy can twice per mission make them all completely immune via ghosting. Obviously all classes could do that, but heavies could double up on the grenades and also fire and then ghost making them best at it.