Abrupt difficulty spike

I’m not sure what the triggering event was, but the seeming simultaneous introduction of two new species has made many missions difficult if not impossible to complete … the slithery mind controllers and the four legged missile launchers.

The former reduces your team’s strength immediately (seemingly no resist, my characters have always failed, and no way to easily release them, destroy the snake’s head and the MC continues … you have to kill it outright it seems) by 1/6 (as at that point that’s the biggest my craft is) increasing your opponents strength CONSIDERABLY (since the front lines tend to have characters that have the return fire ability, that they only seem to use on fellow Phoenix Point members, for an unlimited number of times in the reaction round).

The latter can plaster half your squad every round with AOE missiles (even if you’re spread out, it fires 3 missiles, so prepare to say goodbye to one or more of your teammates in good order).

If they came alone, they’d be challenge enough to defeat (while the latter is tougher, they both require at least a couple of rounds of your entire remaining party pouring fire into it) … you still have all the PREVIOUS species to deal with … there doesn’t seem to be a ‘point cost’ reduction (that is, these tougher species don’t seem to ‘cost’ more and thus reduce the number of other guys) … and there doesn’t seem to be a staggered activation, so once things get rolling, everyone’s in play.

Now … I’m playing on the EASIEST difficulty here, just so I can work my way through the campaign once before I see if I want a greater challenge … AND I’ve played the original X-COM: Alien Defense (and all its sequels) and the more recent X-COM games … I’m not sure what to say but … WTH.

I can hear the calls for ‘git g00d’ or ‘l3rn 2 play’ … and seeing as the ‘topic is similar to’ has ‘How to make BB5 more difficult’ … asking for a perhaps yet more forgiving difficulty curve, without such perilous spikes, might seem odd … but it is what it is.


Hey, BB5 was trivial. I still can’t judge full release. :wink:

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are you at a point where you have more than one transport?
I’ve heard you can deploy multiple squads from multiple transports to the same mission.
That could give you some extra flexibility maybe.

Currently 5 days away from finishing my second aircraft (with pauses as I have to keep building ammo, grenades, etc.) … and the game is stalling in the manufacturing screen when I’m trying to reorder things to my liking (wish I could just drag and drop them in the order rather than having to do what boils down to a bubble sort).

I can hear you ! I had the same mission yesterday (defending a haven) and was wondering also about the huge firepower of the big artillery monstrum across the whole (!!!) map!
I naddition that annoying mind controlling thing which is very very hard to kill due to his much armor.
I spam saved that mission and got it then after 2 hours of trysing different approaches.

Next 2 missions (saving havens) thes mind controlling things came again - then used the armored car to blast it away since it can´ßt controll it (but it costs 3 spaces in the aircraft…)

Summarized: yea, the spike is hard and unfair. But that´s a challenge I like :wink:

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Yeah the tank sounds like a reasonablish solution.

I think the easiest way to deal with the big guys is to panic them by killing off the easy ones.
Not sure of that works on the sirens though.
They are always my primary taget (so far).
The worst encounter in BB5 was mist and sniper / cloaking multi-armed blues.

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here it is not necessary to ask developers to simplify the game in difficulties…I like the game and do not want to simplify the game to the game where you do not have to think or stupidly go on the attack .

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How about the fact though if you destroy the head it still keeps going with no decrease in it’s accuracy or anything. What is the point of snipers if there are no usable weak points.


Yea I wondered too that destroying the head of that monster has no effects on it´s behaviour. Still shots very accurate at my soldiers…that´s a pitty!

Also the siren seems to have no weakness. High armor, high hitpoints and high ammount of willpower so it can control at least half of your team at one time!


The mind fraggers can be shot off the heads off anyone they are controlling. A tooltip on a loading screen clued me in on this and when I started to face them (last night!) I employed this tactic to immediate and good effect, so they have not been a problem for me. I’ve yet to face the other enemy named in the original post, but I feel that my crew are ready for them!

That’s fine … there are higher difficulties for you … but your desire to have a tough game shouldn’t mean that I should have a tough game. Again, I’m talking about struggling on the EASIEST difficulty level, having played these sorts of games all my life.


For clarity, I’m not talking about the mind fraggers (I generally keep my guys in fireteam pairs, so if one gets ‘bagged’ the other goes over to 'im and uses the bash function to get it off) … I’m talking about the half snake, half praying mantis creature that has a psychic scream and can mind control folks from range.

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Totally agree with you, these half snake things should have at least a weak point so a sniper or trooper has a chance of being able to silence their screams or cripple them. If you can target individual locations and their destroyed the target must suffer some reduction in lethality or death…no head, your outta there!

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in fact, your words are almost aimed to ponerfili, and specify about what complexity you had in mind

I believe what you’re trying to say is ‘aimed to nerf’ which is the English translation of the Russian ‘ponerfili’.

But no, it isn’t about reducing complexity, but providing a smooth difficulty curve, without sharp spikes … introduce a new enemy, give you a chance to figure out its tactics, then introduce ANOTHER … you build up complexity over time … dumping a ton of new enemies all with different abilities is overwhelming, unless the game is forgiving of failure (which this isn’t even on the LOWEST difficulty).


Can’t speak to 1.0, because I haven’t had enough time to get that far yet, but in BB5 Sirens could only Mind Control you if they had more WP than your Squaddie, and hitting them in the head or killing off their friends reduced their WP.

So the trick is to keep your low WP Squaddies out of her range, while slamming her in the head with your Sniper(s) and using the rest of your Peeps to take down her weaker allies. She should always be your primary focus of attack, though, until you kill her (and you think that’s hard, you should try taking out 4 of the beggars, backed up by Sniper-wielding Tritons ;0)

The Chiron forces you to take cover in buildings and Dash across the map to reach it. Once again, if you can get a couple of Sniper/Assaults in LoS, you can usually take it down in a couple of turns, especially if you have RF. Also once again, in BB5 taking out its head reduced its WP, which seemed to have some impact on whether it could lob or not.

Hope that helps. For what it’s worth, this is supposed to be hard, but I’m with you - I’ve been arguing for ages that the Easy setting should be much more forgiving than Hero or Legendary, which is only for us masochists who revel in pain :face_with_head_bandage:


Ok, you explained the tactic which isn´t explained in any way by the game - unfortunately.

I think the real pain is, that this enemy appears already after a few hours of playing the game. I.e. in my first assault on a haven colony the Chiron appeared along with that longrange missile shooting monster and around 4 allies ! A lot of stuff for a lvl4-5 team…on normal difficulty !

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for me, the game already gives concessions.but I rather liked your logic )))

For what it’s worth, I only developed those tactics through painful trial and error - though it was in Backer Builds, so it didn’t matter so much.

I may be in the minority here, but I WANT this game to be punishingly hard - it’s what makes it worth playing. I play LW2 in XCOM because I find the vanilla versions boringly predictable after a couple of playthroughs. I’m not saying I’m good at it - I have to start most XCOMs on Normal difficulty and only ramp up to Veteran and Legendary as my Squad progresses, but I do that because otherwise it ultimately gets way too easy.

The challenge with PP (I hope) is that it should never get too easy because the Crabbies keep evolving to counter my best moves, and that’s what I find really appealing about it. But the price you pay for that is a punishingly painful difficulty curve, where if you’re not careful you can TPW.

Remember, every good general will tell you that in real warfare part of the skill is knowing when to bug out, so that you live to fight another day with the intel you got from that last painful experience.