Inspiration from War of the Chosen

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Dark_Ansem posted this 16 August 2017

Check a number of the things that Firaxis did for the War of the Chosen DLC

 

 

A number of these would work beautifully in this game! (I am a bit biased as XCOM2 is the game that let me appreciate again turn-based strategy).

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CaptainGeneral posted this 16 August 2017

Meh. X-com 2 got really silly. I hope the storyline elements are kept to a minimum and PP is more akin to the original xcom. 

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Dark_Ansem posted this 16 August 2017

CaptainGeneral said:

Meh. X-com 2 got really silly. I hope the storyline elements are kept to a minimum and PP is more akin to the original xcom. 

I beg to differ, This expansion pack looks great.

Mazy posted this 17 August 2017

I'd say Snapshot needs to try to make something dissimilar to the Firaxis XComs, almost the antithesis of them. The Firaxis XComs are really focused on lore and stuff like that, as a consequence I think they lose sight of what makes good game mechanics.

 

The fact that it requires a third party mod to re-balance the game is very telling.. PP should perhaps try to cater to fans who are more into squad tactics and game mechanics. Luckily, interesting and balanced game mechanics is what JG does best.

 

The Firaxis versions introduced some good things but also some bad things. Snapshot and JG seem very aware of which things did and didn't work in the Firaxis versions.. as well as very aware of what did and didn't work in the original XComs.

 

I'm sure PP will be influenced by some of the good things that Firaxis came up with, but I doubt they will replicate some of the questionable combat mechanics they introduced.

 

IMO, watching playthroughs of 'War of the Chosen' actually highlights a lot of the things that are wrong with XCom 2. Here's a list (which kinda reads like a 'what not to do' for Snapshot)..

 

Aim Modifiers - (This is a biggie) During one particular mission (that was intended to showcase the DLC favorably) the player rarely missed a shot. The mission lasted 45 mins, and in that time there was a total of 40+ successful shots landed on enemies and only around 5 misses (most of those misses came from random opportunity fire during overwatch)..

 

..The XCom squad did not sustain a single hit (or injury), and this wasn't because the player was playing like a tactical genius. It was because the shot chance %'s were over inflated (even at mid-long range).

 

..Firaxis implemented an aim modifier system which manipulates the RNG in favor of the player (on low-intermediate difficulty levels), the problem is this hides the actual true numbers from the player (unless this has been fixed recently) ..even when the UI displays an unusually high % chance, the actual % can be even higher than what it states.

 

..This system also factors in things like any previous missed shots and soldier deaths incurred, then attempts to even it out for you.. All in all, a massive backwards step for the TBS genre.. where true RNG is fundamental to pure tactical play.

 

Shotguns - They are laughably effective and accurate from long range.. All shots from close range are 100%.. unbelievably high accuracy at close-mid range seems to make things like chaining OP (remember that even 75%-95% shots are likely a lot higher than the UI states, using aim modifiers).

 

Close range attacks (and grenades) - There seems to be a 0% chance to miss any kind of close range attack in XCom now, including melee attacks, which is crazy..

 

..even crazier still is grenade accuracy is always 100% ..You can't get anymore broken than grenades that always land exactly where you want them to (I think even the grapple attack is always 100% to?) ..Any attack, even ones from close range (and especially thrown ranged attacks), should have a chance to miss, just to have some sense of realistic combat physics.

 

LoS and bullet trajectory - Is a mess, intervening fellow squad members don't block your LoS, you virtually fire through them (making tactical positioning almost irrelevant).

 

..I think Snapshot will avoid a lot of these bad trends that have crept into the genre, it's really up to PP to save the genre.

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Dark_Ansem posted this 17 August 2017

Critics differ with you. Firaxis brought people back to turn-based strategy.

kompan posted this 18 August 2017

Firaxis indeed has successfully revived turn-based tactics and UFO franchise with Enemy Unknown/Within. The modern XCOM looks pretty, feels good, has high replayability and I have spend many, many hours playing it (and still playing Long War). That doesn't mean that XCOM2012 is the best possible template for turn strategy and cannot be changed and improved with brand new mechanics, as LW expansion has proven already. Especially when comparing the modern XCOM with the original one - I won't go into flamewar about TUs and aiming system, it has been discussed already  

I mean, knowing about some Phoenix Point ideas (and original X-COM being the spiritual predecessor) we can assume that it will contain some elements already tested in EU/EW. Due to huge influence of the Firaxis' version today gamers are accustomed to it and would react poorly if those are missing.

But I can't help but notice that other EU/EW solutions are problematic and it has been pointed out by other people too. Again: 2-point action, only one base limit, silly air fights, pod activation system, auto aiming, 360 degree overwatch, fixed damage for explosives, unlimited ammo with additional inventory slots but no backpack - it felt weird and uncomfortable for a long time, until I got used to it. 

Agreed, it was made easier and simplier in terms of UI and console pad - like just click "next, next, ok" and watch the result - but I wonder if today gamers really would get bored while using inventory screen to reload ammo clip or choosing which direction soldier has to face in order to trigger overwatch.

Now with Phoenix Point we can hopefully compare, discuss and adjust various solutions from original X-COM, modern XCOM 1 and 2 and the brand new PP ideas to merge some new quality here. I don't mind reading some pros or cons aspects of any game and adjust my own bias accordingly

 

First I have to admit that I didn't play XCOM2 personally - but I have seen the complete campaign playthrough by Beagle, to not be a hopeless noob. 

Worthy improvements of XCOM2 IMHO include:

 + soldier customization and exporting/importing,

 + personnel management and assigning engineers to selected tasks instead of already discussed "ant farm",

 + establishing contacts with resistance, gathering supplies and buying intel on black market,

 + option to hack electronic devices (but I'd rather see some "opening lock" minigame instead of RNG),

 + evacuating target or unconscious soldier by carrying them,

 + gathering loot on the battlescape (without expiring please, it is not milk that goes sour),

 + swarms of enemies lured by the sound of unsilenced weapons (trailer),

 + multilevel maps, houses with multiple floors, windows, balconies and other sniper nests.

 I believe some of this features are planned to be in Phoenix Point already!

 

And after watching this trailer I can point out some elements of XCOM2 that in my opinion are broken, weird or just overdone:

 - Displaying the enemy view range with precision to every. single. red. tile. I know it is sort of required by the concealment mechanics, but why could not the red area just fade out on the outside of last 2-3 tiles? It is not a game of chess.

 - Shooting through the wall, revealing everything inside a building regardless of LoS, marking the exact place of  enemy drop zone, infinite chain combos etc. Looks fancy but unrealistic and kinda game-breaking.

 - The radio commentary by base NPCs, enemy NPCs, some periods of constant chatting every single turn and action, as seen on this trailer. WTF, how to turn it off?

 - The cutscenes on the enemy turn that at first were fun to watch, but after umpteenth time seeing a half a minute movie during where camera switches between all soldiers while they fire overwatch shots again and again got really boring and repetitive. Hopefully it can be turn off or randomized?

 - The arbitrary countdowns that require player to rush through the map before time runs off.

 

This is my opinion only, but I feel the parts mentioned above is where XCOM2 got worse instead of better and it would be good for PP to avoid it - focus on building solid game mechanics instead of more flashy effects.

Perhaps you could point out and explain your favourite elements XCOM2 (or expansion) has introduced that may fit well into Phoenix Point?

And yes, we need that photo booth mode in PP - when the photo can be exported to pdf and printed out

Dark_Ansem posted this 18 August 2017

A very thoughtful answer.

Zizin posted this 06 September 2017

What I did like in War of the Chosen:

- mission modifiers aka sitrep
- improved (more dark and eerie) atmosphere
- soldier bonds (not too useful, but interesting)
- soldier traits
- fatigue system
- the lost (well, these zombies are impressive as a horde and bring in fresh combat experience)
- more mission types (now you hardly have more than 2 same missions per full campaign which is great)
- 3rd party in combat (lost, resistance)
- The Chosen verbal comments on things (some are nice -)
- inspired research

What I didn't like:

- music (and btw, still no "turn off music" button in options)
- new enemies are humanoids again. Almost all enemies in Xcom2 are human-like. "Dudes", as one guy said.. ))
- no diplomacy (factions are totally passive, are always your allies and friends to each other)

What I accepted as it is without too much negative/positive emotions:

- chosen themselves both as NPCs and enemies to fight on the tactical map
- factions, including new 3 types of soldiers
- new base structures
- new weapons (used by factions and chosen)
- covert ops (passive gameplay)
- resistance "cards" aka orders

Dark_Ansem posted this 06 September 2017

I actually liked the music a lot!

SpiteAndMalice posted this 07 September 2017

Man that aim assist mechanic is god damn awful. The idea of a game showing the player one % and then in my eyes cheating the player by calculating a completely different % behind the scenes because the player was doing well or badly completely put me off puchasing XCOM-2.

It's like taking a mulligan in golf, for a tutorial fine, but not in the main game.

I think the thing that I liked most in the previous XCOM was the soldier customisation, I set each one up in the closest I could get to their national colours; well as much as possible anyway, I ran out in some cases - The French guys had to fight in pink.

But then that was just gimmicky, In general I much prefer the orginal UFO style of mechanics, or Silent Storm/Jagged Alliance, soldiers with personality and destructible environments.

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MrTwister posted this 12 September 2017

Just to add some counterweight here, I hope Snapshot doesn't take too much inspiration from Firaxis' Xcom games.  While I won't say all is bad (the UI for instance is a big improvement compared to classic Xcom ), I find the gameplay less strategic and satisfying.

And don't get me started about the aim assist.  

Apart from my subjective view, what's the point in making a game very similar to Xcom-2.  Then you might just as well play Xcom-2 right.

Dark_Ansem posted this 13 September 2017

I'm talking in principle, about not being afraid to release something ambitious and largely expanding upon the existing game.

Comes Moesia posted this 13 September 2017

I don't agree with shotgun comment here, shotguns should have 100 meters effective range, but at least 50 meters is fine. I claim that as someone who used shotgun to shot all kinds of (non-living) targets with all kind of optics. Do you know there are shotguns with scopes? Why if not for long ranged combat. Shotgun is specialist gun, but its gun, a rifle. Sewn-off double-barrel is something completely different from riot or hunting shotgun. Its called shotgun because it fires shot, aka, a bunch of pellets, but it can be focused or dispersed depending on barrel. Thats why you saw-off shotgun, so you can cover everything in pellets, and effect of just pushing it trough the door and pulling both triggers is quite harrowing.

As for the rest, I agree with percent shown being false is absolutely mind-breaking. Simply changing order of actions can, while constantly reloading can give impressive results. Psi has gone to hell. Do you boys and girls remember Psi from X-Com and XCom? There were mind control and panic and MIND stuff. It was basically ESP empowered by gear and training. In XCom 2 its literally magic. Life steal, teleporting, mind swords etc. Worst thing for me is spotting actually. The game thought it could put 24 enemies on small map. Enemies would not be spotted by me, but one Lost would run into line of sight, and he would spot another Lost. That Lost spotted alien and chain would start like dominoes, and everyone on map was pulled on me. In normal game it would be fine, but with 6 guys in power sweatshirts against bunch of mind controllers, and other cheat abilities (clone, teleport, disarm). I ended in fight with 3 groups of aliens: 3 codexes (clone, teleport, disarm), andromedon (because 3 armor, grenades, poison and resurrection is fun) and some random advent and third group Gatekeeper and 2 Sectoids (mindcontrol and rest of Psi goodies from Sectoids and for Gatekeeper I have no idea, I death or glory it, as I don't know what it does). And that is VIP rescue mission with Lost attacking, too. I'm fine with melee hiting melee incapable enemies 100% of times, as its really hard missing inanimate object, but grenades are not really that accurate, as they bounce off ground and its not that easy to predict (unless you are trowing it on high slope and you generally should not). I will add more if I remember something.

CaptainGeneral posted this 14 September 2017

Dark_Ansem said:

I'm talking in principle, about not being afraid to release something ambitious and largely expanding upon the existing game.

 

Turning into a silly GI Joe movie with freshman-level writing would be my interpretation.  I dearly hope the game does not become anything like Xcom 2. 

 

Dark_Ansem posted this 15 September 2017

What an absolute killjoy you are.

Dangermouth2 posted this 18 September 2017

Didn't WOTC essentially re-skin Long War (again)? Good game, but low on originality and as for the Protossss (sorry, Templars) and Zerg (oops, zombies, no I'm lost ....). I do hope that Mr Gollop (and Co) have much more up their sleeves and he is one of the remaining 'old school' designers afaik so I think more someone who might knock out System Shock/2 or JAG2 than another clone of a remake of a clone of a ... as happens too often these days. But back to this game, it does look from what I've seen of some vids on Youtube by Ret-something (forgot the name) that they do want to add in a lot of different things that they have seen as inspirational. As long as the game can't be completed in under 300 hours I'll be reasonably happy.

Vathar posted this 19 September 2017

Comes Moesia said:

I don't agree with shotgun comment here, shotguns should have 100 meters effective range, but at least 50 meters is fine. I claim that as someone who used shotgun to shot all kinds of (non-living) targets with all kind of optics. 

Firearms range in video game is often drastically reduced compared to RL, in order to balance a game, avoid upscaling environments and create a more dynamic experience. This is annoying but I can live with it.

As for the rest, I agree with percent shown being false is absolutely mind-breaking. Simply changing order of actions can, while constantly reloading can give impressive results.

There are two different things here.

- The first is Aim assist, which is bullshit that most serious XCOM players hate. Thankfully it's easy to edit out.

- The other is "savescumming", which is a non issue for me. It's a common thing in RNG based game, akin to cheating as far as I'm concerning, but since we're talking single players non competitive games, if one wants to cheat, it's their choice and won't affect me in any way.

Psi has gone to hell. Do you boys and girls remember Psi from X-Com and XCom? There were mind control and panic and MIND stuff. It was basically ESP empowered by gear and training. In XCom 2 its literally magic. Life steal, teleporting, mind swords etc.

Everything scaled up in Firaxis' XCOM, psi had to follow. I'm not overly fond of it but it kinda fits with the game and its aesthetics.

Worst thing for me is spotting actually. The game thought it could put 24 enemies on small map. Enemies would not be spotted by me, but one Lost would run into line of sight, and he would spot another Lost. That Lost spotted alien and chain would start like dominoes, and everyone on map was pulled on me. 

LoS and activation is a bit more complex than this in WotC since the lost are a third faction, and you could have Advent and lost pods activating by entering your Los while chasing each other. That said, if you had gatekeepers and andromedons, you were well into lategame and lost are a non-issue at that stage, but that is beside the point. the point is : pod mechanics suck. If you love Firaxis games you learn to deal with it and play accordingly, but it sucks nevertheless

Wormerine posted this 29 September 2017

Firaxis' XCOM revived the genre and did a lot of good. I loved first reboot, was a bit 'meh' with XCOM2 but I am absolutely loving WotC. That said I feel like Jake got away with murder. Well, that's too harsh but both new XCOM games have some serious issues. What I don't like about them is how passive they are. The game is very scripted. While it works well for half of one playthrough it is easy to see the strings and game the system (in a wrong way). While original UFO was much more messy, it organically created engaging situations and engagements. 

Also pod activation mechanic is rubbish. Strangely, instead of redesigning it XCOM2 added stealth to negate activating unwanted enemies. 

I don't like "dice roll" system Firaxis went with. It's too binary. Unmodeed xcoms made it easy to 100% everything which is just not fun. I am really happy that PP goes for ballistic simulation. 

it seems like Gallop understands what Firaxis did very well and where their games are lacking. So far PP looks great.

Dark_Ansem posted this 30 September 2017

I'm agonising due to the wait.

CaptainGeneral posted this 02 October 2017

If they did gain inspiration from x-com, I'd want it to be from the pitch video Firaxis made before they settled on the less tension and atmosphere-heavy version.

3.55 onwards-

 

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Dark_Ansem posted this 02 October 2017

CaptainGeneral said:

If they did gain inspiration from x-com, I'd want it to be from the pitch video Firaxis made before they settled on the less tension and atmosphere-heavy version.

3.55 onwards-

 That's an excellent find!

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