XCOM 2

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Re: XCOM 2

#21  Postby Rome Existed » Feb 08, 2016 2:07 am

Thommo wrote:That's a shame. :(

What did you say?


Nothing I haven't said in here.
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Re: XCOM 2

#22  Postby Thommo » Feb 08, 2016 2:44 am

Seems pretty innocuous. I never really post on the steam community, I guess they have totalitarian moderation there then.

Pity you're not liking the game, I'm still having a great time with it.
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Re: XCOM 2

#23  Postby Cthulhu's Trilby » Feb 08, 2016 9:57 am

Thommo wrote:Really? I'm loving it so far. Having a whale of a time!

Class balance is a little odd I would admit. Specialist is way buffed from support, sniper is buffed up a lot to sharpshooter, heavy is slightly nerfed to grenadier (but still pretty much the best, which goes to show how far they were ahead in XCOM:EU) and assault has been slammed so hard with the nerf bat I find it hard to believe.

What problems are you having?


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.
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Re: XCOM 2

#24  Postby Thommo » Feb 08, 2016 12:37 pm

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.
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Re: XCOM 2

#25  Postby Thommo » Feb 09, 2016 7:36 pm

Reading steam forums is such a bad idea. I've spent about an hour this evening trying to wrap my head around two whole threads of posters complaining that Chrysalids are nerfed compared to in XCOM 2012. I don't think I ever got hit by them in all my playthroughs. :scratch:

A melee only enemy that bunches up out of cover and that your soldiers are faster than (since the chrysalids will not attack but simply surround the nearest unit if they have to dash). At least in this XCOM they are actually capable of landing a hit with the new dash+melee rules.

Admittedly they aren't remotely as bad as stun lancers, which are definitely the peak of the difficulty curve at around the turn of the first supply drop.
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Re: XCOM 2

#26  Postby Shagz » Feb 10, 2016 5:57 am

Haven't picked up xcom 2 yet; would you say that the difficulty is higher than EU? Xcom 1 is a bit too easy, late game.

I was just playing through Xcom: Enemy Within this week. You're right that heavies are the best early on, since the rocket negates cover and almost always hits something even when missing. I took a combination of bullet swarmers and holo-targeters; bullet swarm is ok, but usually your accuracy is not that great when you first get it, and you're just wasting shots using the ability, it seems. Snipers suck balls early, yeah, but somewhere around mid game, a single sniper with squad sight becomes extremely useful, since it seems like they rarely miss and do great damage with the laser sniper. Also, that ability that jams the main weapon is very useful mid game, when you run into cyberdisks or whatever that your squad is not quite good enough to handle, and can save lives. But the best class, I would say, is assault. Run and gun plus lightning reflexes? Can't beat that. Also that skill that lets you get a free shot against close enemies, close quarters or something like that.
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Re: XCOM 2

#27  Postby Thommo » Feb 10, 2016 7:35 am

Edit: Sorry, this reply is way longer than I intended, my bad. Skip the first half before the ------ if you get bored, it's just waffle.

Assaults are better in EW than EU I think, close and personal (if that's the one you mean) did something else in the base game. The free overwatch ability CQC was in though, so assaults could still fire 3+ times if they double shot in a good spot where enemies would have to pass them by.

Can't say I've ever been a fan of disabling shot. I simply love battle scanners, well used that's 2 free ambushes and also let's you know if you can move to flank or not in a lot of situations. Absolutely great for getting into the UFO in those horrible open areas for UFO crashes. Things are easy once you're inside and you can just prep+door breach everything.

Bullet swarm + shredder rocket heavies with heat ammo at that stage of the game make cyberdiscs and sectopods a non issue in EW, the rocket softens the mech up and takes out its attendants, then second heavy can just make mincemeat of it, a single heat+shredded hit does enormous damage at any tech level, if both land it's about the same damage as 4-5 shots from a sniper rifle (and it's much easier to get laser cannons for heavies than laser snipers too, since you need the las cannon research ASAP to stop the early medium-large UFOs escaping in month 2-3). A group of purely heavies with 1 healer is basically optimal for the entire game, you can hardly lose when you have nuclear option for every encounter and up to 10 shots a round. Even at sergeant to lieutenant rank the aim difference (assuming you don't play with randomised troop stats, which favoured heavies the most) between a heavy and a sniper is only 12/14 respectively. Even at enemies in full cover 2 shots is a much, much better bet than 1 shot at +14 aim. I think a lot of people scope their snipers but don't scope heavies, making the gap of 24% feel much bigger than it should. Also 2x ghost grenades in EW is better than anything any other class can bring at those ranks. Admittedly you can mimetic skin and spend hours sniping instead by that point, I guess, but that's boring and once you have either your campaign is won anyway. It probably makes the first month or two harder as well, since you have to go for a gene lab instead of MEC trooper rush, which is a huge boon to month 2.

Disabling shot was more appealing in EW I'd definitely agree, although it still means giving up battle scanners and of course missing it was always lethal, which happens quite a bit midgame due to the accuracy and lack of high ground with good LOS on flat maps like UFO crash sites.

-----

Sorry, that was a really long aside, to answer your question I'd say the XCOM 2 difficulty curve is really similar to XCOM:EU / EW. The peak is at about the end of the first month, with the first 2 months being by far and away the most challenging. I'm nearing the end of my first legend campaign now and I don't even try any more. Last mission I played I activated all 17 aliens (including all end game types AFAIK) at once pissing about with mind control and walked away with no casualties. If I'd brought along another specialist I doubt I'd even have got injured, but I took a bit of a pasting from a pod of two heavy mechs, so I could only hack one and the other was in a flanking position.

The first few missions before stun lancers appear in weeks 1-3 or so are probably a bit easier (the first mission is substantially easier with concealment and grenades that stand at least a fair chance of 1 shotting the basic enemies - they have a damage range of 3-5 now, although they do 3 about 80% of the time, if you hit 3 enemies to activate a pod that means you have about a 49% chance of a kill). Although on classic difficulty and below where sectoids are 1 shot by grenades those weren't remotely as hard anyway I guess. The next few weeks or month are probably harder, since you have timed missions that force you to take risks and injury recovery takes longer, which results in more taking rookies/squaddies. Mind you, you can replace troops with new recruits at the highest rank you've attained twice a month (once for cash, once for intel) which makes recovering from losing a key member or two easier.

The game is still challenging, but without mods I'd say slightly less so.

I do love the strategic layer changes. You don't need to get a lucky start or have guaranteed permanent country withdrawal now. The number of campaigns I quit because the first UFO didn't show up by day 11, or the first council mission by day 7 was crazy. I hated losing a country to pure RNG. Of course that does make things easier in a way too, you can really afford to go 100% in on research and construction that aids the tactical layer with no tension pulling the other way now. Come to think of it, that's rather odd when you think that the tactical missions are now riddled with timers (about 50% of missions ish, compared to about 5% in 2012 XCOM) which does exactly the opposite - provides competing tension that harms your combat effectiveness. I much prefer the tension this way, but it seems a lot of people don't. :shifty:

Personally I think it's a better game, although again, that seems a bit of a controversial opinion. Clearly poor old Rome Existed hasn't had a good experience. :(
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Re: XCOM 2

#28  Postby Thommo » Feb 10, 2016 7:58 am

This probably says it all in rather less words! :lol:

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Re: XCOM 2

#29  Postby Shagz » Feb 11, 2016 4:01 am

Funny, I remember, when I first got the game, and saw the battle scanner skill, I thought it would be way better than disabling shot. Then it never ended up being very useful, and I haven't messed with it since. Of course, it's likely that I just really sucked at the game back then, so maybe I should give it another shot. The problem is, now, 9 out of 10 of our squaddies seem to become heavies or assaults, and you end up getting one sniper the whole game, which makes it hard to experiment with them.

During my latest playthrough, I've been experimenting with different ratios; I've gone all heavy, mostly heavy with one sniper, heavies and assaults, etc.. Now, maybe I'm not playing optimally, but it seems like having one sniper is better in most situations than going all heavy. The reason is, a heavy can't move then fire a rocket, and often are unable to be effective with their rocket, because there are obstructions between them and the enemy, or the enemy is too far away, or they're too spread apart and you don't want to waste a rocket killing one sectoid. Snipers, on the other hand, have a very large range if you're going with squad sight, and their shot is not obstructed as much, especially if you can get on high ground. So a sniper is able to respond to having a powerful enemy suddenly appear, no matter where he is, while if you're going all heavy, maybe only one guy can shoot while the others all have shit in the way. If you have disabling shot on that sniper, you can likely disable his main weapon, even if you just have a basic sniper rifle, and possibly save a guy from getting wasted. This seems to be what happens to me a lot, anyway.

Another use for disabling shot that just occurred to me: It's useful for capturing with the arc thrower. Say you have an alien with 5 health that you want to capture, but the guy with the arc thrower is too far away. Disable the alien's weapon, which reduces his health to 3 making him easier to stun, allowing your guy with the arc thrower to sprint next to the alien and stun him next turn without fear of being shot.

I've never actually messed with ghost grenades; the problem is, by the time they were available, I had sold off all my seeker wrecks :( They take 8 seeker wrecks to make... Funnily, I had a request from China for 4 ghost grenades in return for 2,514 credits, but it was impossible to come up with 32 seeker wrecks that early in the game. I'm guessing that, like ghost armor, they make things pretty easy.

As for XCOM 2; the way you've described it makes it sound like my kind of game. It definitely needs to be different from EU in order to keep from being stale. I'll probably get it pretty soon.
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Re: XCOM 2

#30  Postby Thommo » Feb 11, 2016 4:32 am

There's a lot of truth in what you say, and generally I never played class stacking, it's too hard to get multiples of one class early enough to really matter. I did find that successful runs were those were there was 2+ heavies available at all times though. Arc throwering with disabling shot is a good point too.

You can always move to high cover and hunker to fire a rocket, other than thin men the chance of being hit is never more than 1% if not flanked and hunkered in high cover. Of course the temptation to fire with other units often undoes that plan, but if you're disciplined and leave no better target it's virtually foolproof - even a 1% hit won't crit when hunkered. Rockets actually have slightly longer range than guns as well, so if you're going with mostly or all heavies as long as the furthest advanced unit is a heavy you can pretty much always hit with a rocket.

All this is moot in XCOM 2 where aliens scatter for cover close to you instead of far away at the verge of your range. It's one of the things that make the game a bit easier, since they are basically always in range now instead of tauntingly out of range of 1/2 or 2/3 of your units. I think this is necessary with the timer, if the aliens just backed off for 4 turns in an 8 turn mission you'd be guaranteed to double and triple pod on every mission.
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Re: XCOM 2

#31  Postby DSpat » Feb 11, 2016 12:13 pm

It's great!

Finished my first playthrough.

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Next up I need to do an ironman run, and see how hard legend difficulty is.

Turn timers, best thing they added to the game, no more endless overwatching crawl forward. Had on average ~2 turns remaining during the timed missions. Really should have screencapped those stats thingies.

And no, not nearly every mission has timers. Besides, the 8 turn ones are done after you do the objective, which with the remote hacking of specialists is really easy to get done in time. When you need to extract too you have 12 turns, which is more than enough. Unless you blue move crawl forward of course, which is exactly what those timers are there to mix up. Did I mention they're the greatest new feature?

Also gonna be really fun to see what the modders get up to, already a lot of mods released, so soon after release.
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Re: XCOM 2

#32  Postby Thommo » Feb 11, 2016 6:14 pm

Holy shit some of the AWC abilities are amazing.

My sharpshooter in my fresh pseudo ironman (I've alt-F4d bugs at least 2 times) just got rupture, guaranteed crit damage with no aim penalty and only takes 1 action to fire. That's just nuts. :rofl:
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Re: XCOM 2

#33  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Feb 16, 2016 6:50 pm

This game is crack. In true XCOM form I'm playing Iron man mode. No regrets.
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Re: XCOM 2

#34  Postby DoctorE » Feb 16, 2016 6:56 pm

Loving it!
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Re: XCOM 2

#35  Postby tuco » Feb 18, 2016 4:59 am

The game has little to do with original XCOM. Its XCOM ala Avengers, commercial XCOM relying on action and eye candy without depth and difficulty.

Difficulty revolves around avoiding the so-called RNG: http://9gag.com/gag/a57XP9O So the way it works is: Find 3-pack, do not activate more than one, blow cover, kill them, find 3-pack, blow cover, kill them, find 3-pack ect That is difficulty, that is game play.

RNG is ever present. Hacking? No mini-game just time wasting sequence, close your eyes and press button. AWC - RGN. Maps - RNG. Enemy placement, some fucked up cheating RNG. The so-called "random seed" is determined before player makes any move. The trick is then to find spots on map which have favourable RNG, unlike spots which from tactical point are "good moves". Its totally fucked up and dumbed down making Ironman nightmare rather then challenge. Play some chess Firaxis.

Soldiers speak 10 different versions of English and none speaks Polish for example. There are no Polish people near Firaxis HQ? Kinda doubt that. But player can spend hours designing own soldiers. Dressing, hair cut, scars, tattoos .. XCOM Sims wtf.

The game is short. Around 20 hours. Its the kind of game people buy, en mass, get their Steam achievements, post about it on Steam discussion usually "How I outsmarted the idiotic AI" and move to consume another product. If this game will be reckoned in 20 years like the original XCOM is today, I will be very surprised.

Not talking about bugs and optimalization which is just horribad. It has atmosphere and some fine moments but that is about it. Oh easy modding, that is admittedly big plus. Its not XCOM players spent months playing 20 years ago. Its 20 hour of entertainment, 20 hours of achievements, 20 hours of illusion that player is playing legendary turn-based strategy. Shallow, short, unfinished, innovative, cut-scene and animation fest.
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Re: XCOM 2

#36  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Feb 19, 2016 7:43 pm

I'm so glad I'm not as cynical as all that, and just really enjoying this game. :D
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Re: XCOM 2

#37  Postby tuco » Feb 19, 2016 8:12 pm

...

It has context. As games are art just like movies or literature, there can be distinction made between popular and lets say quality. That is despite that there is no objective criteria beyond sales or likes or popularity.

89 on metacritics and 7.0 user score - http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/xcom-2

Without evoking conspiracies, it is my observation that the so-called hype is very real in video-games industry. The so-called new media (twitch, lets plays, gaming sites and communities, etc) make this hype possible. It is my opinion, based on several decades of playing turn-based strategies, that in this case the hype did not deliver. Admittedly, my tone was not necessary, though there is context for it too, the game does not deserve 89 despite being hyped as such.

Indeed, Avengers are fun, enjoyment. Lots of action, heroes, fighting the bad guys and kicking ass, audio-visual feast aimed at basic emotions. It is not however material for the hall of fame. Its not of the same quality as The Witcher 3 or Pillars of Eternity, let alone the original series.

Besides the fucking RNG, the way implemented, is fucking stupid. If I move bishop in to right position, which is part of my plan, bishop does not miss. That is bull shit. It downplays the core of turn-based strategies: sound tactic and strategy.
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Re: XCOM 2

#38  Postby Boyle » Feb 19, 2016 8:23 pm

tuco wrote:...

It has context. As games are art just like movies or literature, there can be distinction made between popular and lets say quality. That is despite that there is no objective criteria beyond sales or likes or popularity.

89 on metacritics and 7.0 user score - http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/xcom-2

Without evoking conspiracies, it is my observation that the so-called hype is very real in video-games industry. The so-called new media (twitch, lets plays, gaming site and communities, etc) make this hype possible. It is my opinion, based on several decades of playing turn-based strategies, that in this case the hype did not deliver. Admittedly, my tone was not necessary, though there is context for it too, the game does not deserve 89 despite being hyped as such.

Indeed, Avengers are fun, enjoyment. Lots of action, heroes, fighting the bad guys and kicking ass, audio-visual feast aimed at basic emotions. It is not however material for the hall of fame. Its not of quality of The Witcher 3 or Pillars of Eternity, let alone the original series.

Besides the fucking RNG, the way implemented, is fucking stupid. If I move bishop in to right position, which is part of my plan, bishop does not miss. That is bull shit. It downplays the core of turn-based strategies: sound tactic and strategy.

But these complaints can be said of Firaxis XCOM EU and EW as well. I've missed a few 95% shots there that didn't make sense except in light of the RNG. Then I've gotten lucky with the aliens missing or not catching me with criticals when I've made dumb mistakes. Or just getting lucky with enemy placement/movement or map generation for terror missions.

Reading the complaints for XCOM: EU on Metacritic, actually, they basically say what you say here about XCOM 2. Did you play and enjoy XCOM: EU or EW? What were you expecting, here?
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Re: XCOM 2

#39  Postby tuco » Feb 19, 2016 8:30 pm

I wrote my opinion on the subject. Instead of improving game mechanics, with exceptions, the focus was on eye candy and action. I named particulars too: lack of foreign languages, hacking sequence instead of clever mini-game, poor optimalization, poor mechanics resulting in poor game play (pod by pod same shit). I am allowed to post my opinion and even complain. Question is, why are you questioning me? Wanna be friends?
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Re: XCOM 2

#40  Postby Boyle » Feb 19, 2016 8:42 pm

Well damn, my mistake for askin' then.
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