A new look at a fair RB?

For Legendary difficulty - definitely Yes, Both.
Make good skills for Legends, and then soften them with a bunch of ways for beginners. So everyone will be interested.

This. And not only because of small maps/long viewranges. There is a lot of other small elements that conform to this intentional design.

And it’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t make the game less tactical. It cuts away the fluff, not the tactical choices. I don’t want a mission to last x turns because everyone has a lot of HPs and/or has to wonder about a large map before they meet.

The bad thing is going overboard with this to the point where you can obliterate your opponent before they had a chance to move. This for me is alpha striking, and nothing else is: if you can obliterate your opponent on the second turn, after they have moved, I don’t necessarily have a problem with it*. It means that the mission is too easy. It would end the same way if it was made to stretch out to 20 turns, and pose the same (lack of) challenge. By all means, get it over with quickly!

*There are OP combos beyond alpha-striking, but depending on how alpha-striking is dealt with they might be done for as well, as most of them have the same causes (ie. accuracy, mobility & damage buffs).

What I see playing as I do (I have moved on to Legendary, still no skill spamming and now I’m keeping Speed at 20 or under) is that some missions I just breeze through in 2-3 turns. And it’s OK, having them last 10 turns would just bore me. However, every once in a while I get a nice challenge, which may also last as little as 3 turns, but may also take 5, or even 10. IMO, this is good design. Cut the fluff, let the easy missions end as fast as possible, have a few longer and more challenging missions.

Yes I do.

I confess I have never done a sabotage mission. In my last playthrough I was at war with NJ and I have sworn to never get into faction wars again because of the stupid, broken steal research missions (stealing the Thunderbird was fun though).

I did have a few fights with Armadillos but it didn’t even occur to me to use RB on them.

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Try the same thing for the Hero, and if there is no noticeable difference, and I think so, then the Legendary difficulty does not work correctly (interesting).

To the Op’s suggestions:
-4AP makes any skill very hard to use, as the AI…save for vehicles, melee combatants and vehicle-sized panda’s tends to take cover.
-is the 1AP+3AP system pre-paid (as in 1 AP now and 3 AP on the next turn, or is the AP payment up front?) this greatly in or decreases the usefulness of the skill.

rally the troops suggestion,
what does it grant 4 tiles of movement and 2 WP or an action (the latter being generally more powerful)? the range limit to 6 tiles can be interesting.

sniper examples:
-extreme focus: this gets in my box of fixing something that isn’t broken, I rarely rely on overwatch…I have seen very few people rely on overwatch. it doesn’t really add much of a multiplier even though it can reduce the action cost to 0 as it also auto-ends the turn.
-quick aim: pretty much my original suggestion, just lacking the cap that prevented AP cost to drop to 0.
-master marksman, I would have added a more powerful variant of the skill as a weapon specific skill (for snipers) while retooling sniper rifles.
-1.25X multiplier in a passive skill, it would move the sniper as a finisher unit as it triggers on damaged limbs…finisher passive + rapid clearance would be the most obvious combo. granted it wouldn’t be doing much finishing without third track +% damage skills…but you get the point.
-mark for death, +1AP for +1.3X damage on a single shot isn’t that great a trade on a capstone skill, especially not if the suggestions for rageburst are basically +1 AP for a 3.0X damage multiplier.

personally I’d kick out almost all third track damage multipliers and retool armor to remove the majority of +% accuracy and +spd benifits…moving the latter mostly to 3rd tracks.

Rage burst, quick aim, sneak attack, frenzy, adrenaline rush and a few more would have to become reworked because of the huge multiplier effects they have, and most skills would go to 1/turn. and at 1/turn without using frenzy and stacked speed…I really can’t say that dash needs much more work.

I agree with this in principle. I would

  • remove all accuracy buffs from armor except for (sniper) helmets, slightly lowering both their armor and the accuracy buff. Basically leaving it at +20% accuracy max

  • remove all +spd from armor, and lower the +spd from leg augmentations to +2, instead of current 5.

Edit: regarding the third row damage multipliers I would just get rid of reckless and cautious.

Two conditions at the core (more concept than exact numbers):

If you want better, pay more, the main thing is to be fair.
Mathematical image:

3 AP on the next turn and -50% accuracy - stun mechanics.

  • 4AP and 1+3AP are just two more ways to change the current RB.

(4 dash points or 0.5AP) + 2WP to the selected ally

continuing my line, then 75% of the max accuracy cap with a target in the opponent’s head

quick aim +

in any case, for 1 shot “4AP” + 25% accuracy + for example - gun/pistol overwatch*

weak spot - active skill with low cost (2WP)

OK. 1 shot “+1AP” +25%" accuracy “+40%” damage, if the shot is fatal:

  • restores 1AP + "1-5"WP(2xWP)
  • activates - extreme focus*

Meta Sniper - this is not moving from a place, at a distance from the target, mortally and accurately sting.


One use per turn or multiply by 2 the cost of WP for each stack in this turn.

@conductiv, I add:
*auto overwatch, with a wide cone in the direction of the last shot, with a range of effective destruction based on the number of accuracy of the shot.

I think there is. The start is definitely harder, tougher enemies appear sooner. There are many more haven attacks, which on the other hand also means that diplomacy advances superfast. I haven’t played enough yet to give a definite opinion on this though.

You mean free aim? I wouldn’t touch that. This is core mechanic to be able to fire in any direction you want if only soldier can fire. I would stick with the idea of disabling attack for sniper rifle if enemy is close enough.

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Do not let shoot or shoot at the center of mass with SR (with high accuracy).
And any other 3AP weapons (Hello :100: miss :innocent:).

If I think about it, your guess might be correct as the devs don’t respond to all the anti alpha strike threads. At least I don’t see that in the patches and not in this forum either … In fact, after the Leviathan patch you can even breed ultra superheroes. (Of course, this patch also did a few things right)

If that’s the reason why cooldowns somehow don’t make it into the game, then I wonder why the devs give the gently dangerous enemys any interesting skills at all? Seriously: If I see a chiron or a scylla, then they are either swept away with teleport spell or with a meteor shower with unlimited range. I even stopped looking at the mutations of these “dangerous” enemys because it doesn’t matter. You could just as easily replace these opponents with large blocks of armor and HP … Anyone who has seen through the advantages of mobility and accurancy can use these unfair methods. The OP skills are the cherry on the cake.
If this is not dealt with and is even intentional, the game will apply alpha strike to itself.
I hope it isn’t …

For me personally it is also an alpha strike if I either eliminated most of the heavy boys in the first round or disabled them (no movement, no weapons). If several rounds are then required for the rest of the small cattle, it has no effect on the outcome of this encounter.

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Why not? Look at bionic augmentations with built-in skills.

  • Swipe burst - 2 burst, cost “4AP +4WP” for all machine guns, use only people with heavy prof (PP, NJ, Free).

I think, or better I hope, they are aware of these threads, but, to be honest, what do you expect from them? There are also many threads about the “ridiculous difficulty” even on easy and they are also not really responding there. If they balance the player side they also have to balance the other side and at the end we propably have almost the same as now. All players that understand how it works will continue to rock the game even on legend and others still struggeling on easy.

For instance, what should they say to a thread like this one? Without any balance to the other side they can’t nerf RB, even when they are aware of that it is obviously broken.

A simple question:
What should they nerf on the panda side? Making scyllas or chirons even more weaker? These are the most called cases where RB is needed.

My personal opinions:
At the moment the whole game seems to be mostly somewhat balanced, many players need these alpha strikes to have a chance against the sometimes overwhelming Pandas.
Sure, it could be much better and more and more I think the first way can only be to do something with the lower difficulties. Easy should be really easy and this seems not to be the case for many players if I look around this forum.
Then we can talk about restrictions/nerfs/balancing for all these alpha striking, RB, dash …

But my favorite would always be a form of “second wave” adjustments as it is in firaxis xcoms and even more of them. I think, with such an underlying setting tool independent from the global difficulty setting, you could handle many different cases for the majority of all players.

Yeah, that’s why I say obliterate the opponent, doesn’t mean kill, or disable all of the enemies, or even most of them, just make it impossible for the opponent to respond. Think of it as if you were playing with Panda, what could you do on your turn after PP’s first move? If the answer is not much after what PP did on the first move, then it’s an alpha-strike.

What I disagree with is using alpha-strike to refer to any OP attack by the player, or even the AI, which can’t alpha-strike because it moves second.

“Fast and furious” is different from alpha-strike. From the Q&A my understanding is that the devs do want something “fast” or without the fluff, as I would put it.

I agree with that approach. The way I think about it is that when I’m playing any short turn based match in almost any game, usually there will be just 1-3 really decisive turns. The rest I could really do without. Even more so in a game where I have to do around 100 missions to win. Make 10% of these missions a bit more involved, but for the rest I’m glad they are short matches.

Alpha-striking is an unwanted byproduct of this approach, and I’m 100% sure that it will done away with, simply because you can’t bring the game to Steam with this. There is stuff you can leave for later, but if the players can reliably beat the AI before it had a chance to move it will be crushed by players’ reviews.

Why not? Yes, let the weak and skinny begin, and gradually they will build up fat and muscle. With a lag, send the next and next. Let the curve of difficulty increase gradually.

(Simple amateur solutions)
Set Pandor Balance for Veteran. Reduce the number of Pandors on first appearance for beginners. Then everything depends on how to set up the evolution system + dynamic difficulty.
Adjust the balance of skills for Legend. Increase bonuses and decrease the cost of skills more and more for each difficulty down: Hero, Veteran, Beginner.

Unfortunately, you argue just like those who find the game too difficult … sorry not meant bad :wink:
I agree with many of your arguments … but
The argument that I always read is: if you weaken this skill, I can’t stand against high tier pandas. The chiron breaks my team in one turn, which is why I absolutely need skills that I can use to destroy the pandas in one turn (before it’s his turn).
I do not want to name the OP-Panda problems in detail, because you and probably everyone else who writes in this thread know it very well.
It’s NOT about making both sides OP! It is about balancing both sides FAIRLY, so that the opposite side has opportunities to counter or noticeably reduce the first strike. And that is NOT the same!

To be honest, I’m not sure if this is true. Compare it to Firaxis XCOMS. Yes, there is not one Alpha Strike for one mission like in PP but in FXCom every “pod” you will always alpha strike because otherwise they will wreck you to hell. One mission in FXCom is a follow up of more ore less independent alpha strikes and many players likes that or at least don’t complain that very loud.

I’m completely with you, they should begin with something. But I really don’t know with what, because in my opinion RB is not the biggest problem.

Ups, it is going fast here … :wink:
@walan, see above, I’m mostly with you :slight_smile:

That is a good definition

I hope so too …

I think your definition of alpha-strike is too rigid, because there are several different ways that alpha-striking can occur:

  1. Exploiting Skill combos to win the mission on Turn 1 or 2.
  2. Crippling the other side in 1 turn so that it cannot strike back effectively.
  3. Inflicting so much damage on the enemy that it has no long-term chance of survival in the mission.
  4. Hitting an individual target so hard that it is taken out in a single turn.

Definitions 1&2 conform to your rigid interpretation of alpha-strike and should be rendered impossible.
Definition 3 is what everyone is complaining about with Acid Chirons and should also be nerfed - it’s just as much of an alpha-strike when 1 or 2 Chirons suddenly appear out of nowhere and pepper half your squad with acid before they have any chance to react.
Definition 4 is a perfectly legitimate way of dealing with a Siren/Chiron/other Nasty, and should be possible if you know how to do it right.

The thing is, as the game currently stands, Definitions 1-3 completely overwhelm Definition 4, turning the game into a mess of Mutually Assured Destruction that satisfies no-one (or very few who have a voice). The way you and I limit ourselves does away with 1&2, but probably exposes us quite badly to 3 - though I was lucky enough to avoid any massive acid attack on my playthrough, partly because I apply strike 4 religiously to the most dangerous enemies on the map.

Really? I find a mission that lasts only 3 turns deeply unsatisfying. It feels like an anti-climax. But then, I like LW2 so I’m invested in deeper, longer play. I’m not saying all missions should drag out to 10+ turns by any means, but 3 turns simply isn’t enough time to have an interesting tactical engagement - it just feels like a hit-and-run, rather than a skirmish.

It also contributes significantly to the lack of any sense of menace that so many people miss in this game. Take XCOM as the obvious benchmark - on most missions, you would have a couple of turns at the beginning where nothing much happened as you were getting yourself into position and reacting to the noises off-screen. And it was great! The sense of tense anticipation it generated before everything kicked off was exhilarating - and is completely absent in this game.

  1. Get rid of Acid Chirons on all but the highest difficulty settings, and nerf acid damage to Health, but increase it against armour.
  2. Adjust the DDA so that Arthrons get more armour (making them harder to kill) but do less damage. Atmo, mid-endgame Crabbies are essentially 1-shot killing machines if you’re not careful, so you have to alpha-strike them. Make them less dangerous but more durable, and you immediately have a more interesting encounter.
  3. Sirens should only be able to MC with LoS.
  4. OPPOSITE TO NERF: Make the Scylla less of a glass-jawed boxer: We have to talk about the Scylla in the room