About the pace in the tactical battles

I think 5-10 turns is a good mission time to have, at 10 turns you will already start feeling it will become more like a slog, but 5 can be very quick…if you have set out your moves pretty much from the get-go like can happen if you are rushing lairs.

unlike VOLAND I do feel skill spam has to be somehow curbed, note that there are many ways to do this that don’t even require cooldowns or turn limits, I just think that these are the easiest to implement. (for example to limit skill spam you you could have teams that mentally exert itself a lot…lose significantly more stamina on the strategy layer…this is just one example)

personally I feel the fun of a longer mission should be from back and forths between the AI combatants and the player. how to achieve this…well there are a significant amount of options, but I don’t know what option would be best. but I would avoid:
-slowing the player, you can add mission length by making players slow, causing a higher movement tax…moving on its own though isn’t that interesting.
-making enemies tankier, bullet sponges come with the drawback that positioning becomes much less important then simple damage output…on the other hand very high lethality only makes weapons valuable as long as they hit certain tresholds and forces the player to kill quick or he loses men so that isn’t the best option either.
-map blinding the player, when a player is blind he will play more cautiously…as he is afraid of losing troops or getting crippled from the fog of war, this creates tension. however, as this game has an overwatch system it would also promote using this constantly…at the moment the game actually does the opposite is most cases (the majority of pandorans, save perception head tritons have less perception/stealth then the player…allowing the player to make a plan and get its troops into position before the fight actually starts) nor does it have pod activation where an enemy gets free movement…

from the above I actually feel that the game is already at or very close to where it has to be, players can get into the action fairly quick. they are not afraid of moving about because they can’t see anything or would be instantly killed by a single misplaced trooper. now all these things can be pulled completely out of proportion with certain skills and abilities…but the assumption was that those problems where worked out.

my main problem happens when the fight is on, very often I’m pretty much forced to disable or kill enemies outright because you cannot allow a back and forth to happen. not just because that 40 dmg grenade launcher can bug out and delimb my troops with an 80 dmg blast, but because the enemy happily waddles into the middle of the open and uses it…and it won’t ever miss. the enemy is not afraid of getting shot and will barge through overwatches to land melee, explosive and psychic attacks…I only occasionally get back-and forth gameplay with faction troops, tritons (not kamikazi iconoclast) and MG crabs (if they don’t also have a launcher).
extended fights are hard to generate, because as soon as you have the power to plow down all the grenade launching crabs before they can get a grenade off into your team, you also have the power to do the same to the MG ones…unless they happen to be well covered and reasonably far away. so I feel one of the ways longer mission times could be generated is by introducing more gun toting enemies that have high self preservation. (in effect the only one that comes close to this at the moment is the triton)

to make the issue even worse, extended fights would automatically link into the overall difficulty of a fight, what a hard extended fight is for a player with a lower skill rating could be much easier and faster for a player with a higher skill rating, and the speeds would vary from position to position in the game ( player A might be awesome in the startup but poor by endgame, while player B is better at endgame tactics), or sheer luck (position of bases, timing of evacuated/lost missions/lost troops/available recruits) on top of the selected difficulty. I think this is the problem that the DDA is intended to resolve, but I think the current DDA cannot define the problem clearly enough to work with my vision of an extended fight.

now my post is starting to degrade into ramblings, so I’m going to end the comment here.

Note that I’m playing without skill spamming - one skill per soldier per turn, squad wide skills one use per turn, so I do think it has to be curbed, at least for experienced players. (If it was to be curbed for everybody difficulty would have to be adjusted a lot for rookie/veteran, which is why I suggest that it be a difficulty option).

Personally, I don’t like the idea of linking use of skills to stamina, because I fear it will lead to a lot more R&R…

I agree - there are issues, of course, but they are relatively small, when put in perspective.

On this, @walan , as I have said many times, I have no doubt that balancing will be taken care of - the question is how. The balancing has also to be done in a balanced way…

I know what you mean, but I’m kinda happy with that.

In PP, if you want a soldier who can take multiple attacks in one turn, you have to invest in STR, and heavy armor.

Back and forths do happen, but they are pretty brutal.

I understand your point of view.

First, I can say your are a very good player who can challange yourself to have a game as you like. Low hat.

Now, I’m sorry but the pace of the game is linked with the balance of the game.
Let’s explain my point of view.
As the ennemy can spawn from everywhere in number AND with powerfull units, we must have the opportunity to alpha strike.
I agree the problem is you can alpha strike all the time the only limit is your will.
We should have a cooldown to soldier’s perks to limit a bit.

I already encouter 3 acid chiron at the begining of my turn what can I do ? Flee ? Yes it’s an option.
But there are some scripted mission you have to do.
I have encounter a sylla very close to the drop point so without using all my fire power in one turn you are lost.

So the balance enter in action. Without big amount of PV from ennemy units you can enter in another pace like exploration, embush etc…
But the maps are often too tiny and the range of fire is high so you have to kill as fast as you can (chirons, grenade launchers, and the famous sirens).

Concerning the scripted missions, well it’s a point of view because random missions are also boring at this point.
But the grind can be hidden by more incentive, loot, blue prints, ressources, spot location, fragment of research…
I agree with you, the game should be more smoothy. More interresting, with more implications.

What can we do ?
Add cooldown to perks AND reduce a bit the ennemy PV and armor. It can be fine to have bigger maps so we have some choices to do.
And Maybe change some perks, some are not relly usefull and some are mandatory and overpower (armor down to 0 on member desactivation, 5th fire in a raw).
The perk should be more usefull even at the begining but a bit less powerfull and the end.
Or more perks to compensate, even on the personnal line, and maybe some ones hidden that can be discover by using some actions or equipement or just at leveling).

In my opinion, the game as a lack of exploration, scan and foraging all question mark spot is a very boring task.
I suggest to add an another spot type : ancient ruins.
As we discover havens we can learn more about ruins location and we can decide to explore. Find clues (as a gauge), items, blue prints, history fragments.
But the cost is bigger exploration maps, often dangerous because infected or trapped by ancients and so on.

In lairs, I’m very disapointed when you finish the only reward you have is a ridiculous amount of points to factions.
No loot to attempt to grap in the maze ?
The lairs are very frustrating because we can see the objective at the firt round or maybe walk all over the map to down the last objective (1 or 3 sentinels).
But the back of the medal to explore more is you have to retreat to the landing point by youtself, as in trap missions. And i dislike this part, it’s long and boring.

I’ve not explain all my feeling but I gess I have to stop here :slight_smile:

It is, that’s why I say that both alpha-strike must be gone and the difficulty evened out:

I have never encountered 3 acid Chirons together, so I don’t know what I would do.

However, if it’s a situation that can only be solved by what is essentially an exploit (alpha-striking, which basically amounts to an unlimited first move), or I just don’t feel that it corresponds to the difficulty level I’m playing, I would report it, starting a topic here.

Which, IMO, is the best thing that players can do when they come across some mission that is more difficult than they expected: report it on the forum in as much detail as possible, and better with screenshots, as well as the context (difficulty level, date in game, type of mission, how they are playing, ie how many injured and dead- to see if it’s the DDA).

I mean, the problem when you get 3 acid Chirons in front of you when you not playing on hard, or legendary, is the difficulty. That doesn’t get solved by giving the players the chance to use godmode, or an infinite first turn.

I can honestly say that I have never faced a situation that I felt was unfair (not counting bugs, of course), i.e. that required resorting to exploits or I didn’t bring on by myself by doing something stupid (e.g. going on an extreme mission with a squad that wasn’t up to it). That doesn’t mean I’m the greatest player ever - it literally means that it didn’t happen to me.

I never had 8 sirens, 4 acid Chirons and 20 Arthrons crowding my deployment spot. If I had had something like that, I would write about it. And take a picture of it. Because something like that is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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(I didn’t want to write, but I’d rather write) If you go along this path, then theoretically for the Beginner’s difficulty, it may be enough if you remove fat from enemies (HP-20%?).
And we can edit the above rules:
2) remove manual saving in tactical combat (+ three auto-saves on the Geoscape), or disable DDA; 3) limited spam skills, 2 times per turn - high cost in WP and max Willpower parameter = 14?; 4) max Speed parameter = 17?

And how do you look at that idea:

  • let the Devs make a balance for the Beginner (with max attention to the “Guide to the Little Things”) and the Veteran (with the balance center here), (70% / 30% - Devs / Consultium)
  • and the Hero (the balance center is here) and the Legend, with close cooperation with the Community and Moders (50/50% - Devs / Consultium-Moders)
    • open beta test ([rebalance test] button near the New Game in the start menu), only for PC - until the work is completed
    • to the base game, without DLC and without mods

I don’t think that such involvement of Council will be possible.

These are crude figures as part of the discussion of balance points. If the build will work well and be perceived by the players, why should the Devs be dogmatic.

Or perhaps better to reduce their capacity to remove damage (-20% damage). Or perhaps both.

It also depends on how effective the planned tutorials are going to be, because if the players are more familiar with the mechanics, they can deal with tougher opponents.

I repeat myself, but there are many different ways to address the balances issues, and the devs are definitely the ones in a better position to judge what’s best.

All I can say for certain is how my experience is being with a particular set of restrictions. I do think that probably reducing max speed to 20, adjusting some armor/augmentations and how frenzy works would be the most efficient way of dealing with extreme mobility.

had an interesting idea

Ahh that ‘mission at the fishery’ in Enemy within , I had dreams about that mission. I play pretty much as you do and sinse the last tweak am fairly happy with the way difficulty now works.

@noStas if I where a developer in this game there is no way I would give any part of it away under the direction of a players or fan council. I’d listen to suggestions, possibly build a test build that only members of that circle can enter and play and listen to their feedback on the impact of their own and dev idea’s. and then I could considder moving part or the whole suggestion to the main branch.

but the council has no power whatsoever with regards of where the game will go, it only has a consulting purpose. If I where a dev…any decisions regarding the final product would remain on my side.

this would be different with regards to modders, a modder is responsible for his own mod and that would not be tied directly into decisions regarding the base game.

Or ‘The Nantucket Whale Disaster’ as I fondly remember it.
One of my favourite characters, Suzy ‘Moby’ Wong, crashed my first Ironman run of EW when she outran more Chryssalids than I care to think about back to the evac point and blew the ship. She’s the reason I now play HonestMan, to prevent losing a game in that sort of crash.
Ever since, she has reappeared in every XCOM-style game I play, as a Twitchy, Paranoid character with scars all over her face and a pathological hatred of Bugs - though she doesn’t like to talk about it.

She’s even my lead Heavy in Phoenix Point.

Happy days…

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Because, generally, devs are in a better position to judge the balance of the game. I assume they gather data meaning they can compare what skills/weapons/builds people use, and how they perform better then individual players. Player perspective is important of course (there is a quote I like from Overwatches lead, that perception of balance is more powerful then balance itself) but it’s only one of couple things devs need to take into account, and it shouldn’t sway developers decisions by itself.

Games are always being tested - I am sure, you read stories of E3 demos, and how closely players are watched, to see if the UI is intuitive, or if they engage with mechanics, what they focus on. I am sure there are behind closed doors tests, focus testing etc. Indie devs don’t have resources available to bigger companies, and they use what they have. Family, friends, and it seems they want to form a small group of fans for this very purpose. One may provide feedback, but not be a backseat developer.

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(70% / 30% - Devs / Consultium) - The Consultium can only offer (but immediately get an answer - why not or let’s try it) and test rude mechanics.

@conductiv, @Wormerine
1 step - Concilium
2 step - open beta test ([rebalance test] button near the New Game in the start menu), only for PC - until the work is completed

(50/50% - Devs / Consultium-Moders) - Devs give control of the game as soon as modding opens. Why wait if this energy can be used right now?

My goal is to engage the Community and Moders for Actively improving and deepening gameplay, here and now, and not a year after the failure of the game, in Steam (also).

Because mods and the base game development are fundamentally different things. It’s a difference of a chef serving a dish, and giving a client an option of adding additional spices or ingredients or allowing clients to decide how the dish will be made for everyone in the first place.

It’s not about power play - it’s about devs being, well, devs - they design the game, and it should stay that way. At no point did they offer relinquishing this responsibility. Testing and providing feedback, is not the same as designing.

EDIT: There is also a polish saying: “where there are six cooks, there is nothing to eat”. If community were to influence development, it would go nowhere. Simple as that. I used a lot of food illustrations in this post. I am starving. Supper time.

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I will be honest, draw conclusions from the whole time of the development of the game. If everything goes as before, without a radical change in approach, the game will not become a faceted diamond in the hands of developers. And in contrast, the game will be a masterpiece, passing through the hands of fans and modders. And it will be a fall for Snapshotgames as a gaming studio.

Firaxis had a lot of this and they benefited max. But then LongWar1 came out and made of “all the work of Firaxis” - Tutorial for Mod. Then of course, they made effective conclusions from this.

In any good restaurant, there are always a lot of cooks, but there is one over all - Chef Cook (who will leave if he finds out that deteriorate food).
But the Devs is not a restaurant but a cafe, and they can (give yourself and your clients a lot of freedom) give customers to cook their own food if, for example, customers do not like the degree of roasting of meat. Concilium and Modrs are unique customers, turning the “food place” into one of their favorite places in their life.

Forgive @VOLAND for the offtopic branch, but this is a very important part for me.

Right. But it is too early to do that. Devs create additional content and change core mechanics. Letting too many people into this mess would be a problem. They will do that probably just before or even after release on Steam. 4 months already passed and game is coming in good direction in my opinion. It is more stable right now and there are a lot less things that frustrate in the game.


Such as? Perhaps there is part of XCOMs development that I am not aware of, but I don’t know anything about Firaxis letting fans rebalance or change mechanics of their games.

longWar was a fun mod. Mods are great. I am in all favour of adding mod support once devs slow down on supporting the game.

+4 months to useless chatter on the forum.
+8 months to see a game with a poor balance?

Focus group, beta test department, 5 years of development…
Snapshotgames don’t have this, but they have Fans as long as there is hope and trust.

LongWar. Pavonis Interactive, johnnylump - I am Grateful to You.