Aihnsa's BB5 Impressions

So here are my BB5 impressions. I am intrigued by the research trees and the thread about the antediluvian society, and I enjoy the combat gameplay. I am still looking forward to this title, and am fully prepared to work through another couple of backer builds. However, I have some notes about my later game experiences and game balance.

  1. There are many too many combats in this game and most of them feel unrewarding in terms of progress strategic progress, tech progress, or character progress. If I invest hours, I expect progress. But In the few days it takes to advance a technology, you may fight a dozen or more battles, only some of which reward anything at all. Nest invasions and ambushes in particular drain lots of resources and leave you with little that progresses the characters or strategic game, particularly once you have level capped. You might try throwing in random rewards: no reason why nests can’t have materials or that ambush zones can’t have reward gear lying around from previous, more successful, ambushes. Or if you don’t want to assign materiel rewards you might broaden the array of stats available (add a perception stat, or a luck stat, or an agility state, or an accuracy stat, or add willpower to represent increased “courage”) that you can invest points in and then loosen up the point rewards for fighting so the player can at least advance his toon even if there are no material rewards. Or optionally there could be positive traits that apply to a character randomly or be purchased.

  2. There is a mismatch between the cost of a recruit and how easy it is to lose a recruit. It SEEMS like the game wants you to lose squad members, since toon development and customization is relatively shallow, and because before long I was facing 18+misting/chameleon tritons on haven defenses, which even in the best circumstances tore my squad apart unless I turtled in a room and spammed medikits.
    Still, at 500+ resources to replace a recruit, I couldn’t accept a loss and do anything else, like progress a base, build an aircraft, etc. So I ended up save scumming every battle until I came out on top. I would have liked, honestly, to accept a battle outcome and recover, but this was unrealistic.

  3. Mounting tactical map errors like pandoran-turn freeze ups and saved game corruptions eventually made it impossible to finish a tactical battle. Then, to progress the strategic game, I started using the “win” console command to continue and explore the strategic game. But even with tactical wins now instant, the strategic game progressed very slowly. I’d been so tied down in battle, recovery, then racing home for more battle that I’d never found a second phoenix base, but I finally managed it now that I was insta-winning without harm to my squad. Still I think a breadcrumb research or quest makes more sense than flying around the map, further and further from where to you have to rest your squad, and praying for enough resources to launch an area scan.

  4. When I finally found a second base, research progression became faster, and then alliances all of the sudden “instantly” started adding tech to my tech pools. This was sudden and jarring: tech progression had been marginal for so long, and Phoenix had no weapons / armor techs of it’s own to develop, but then suddenly I’m awash in weapons tech from other factions I don’t have the resources to build.

  5. After researching my first allied tech myself, strategic time seemed to freeze while map time progressed. For example, my toons could no longer rest, manufacturing would not continue, research would not progress, and if I continued to fight on I was presented with an empty globe the first time I returned from the tactical map to the geoscape. So here I abandoned my exploration of the strategic game. Fatal errors had thus arrested both the tactical and strategic levels to the game.

TL:DR In conclusion, I think:

  1. There’s way too much fighting which, based on the amount of player time it involves needs some kind of reward and/or needs to be better balance with strategic progression;

  2. That recruits are much too expensive to accept battle outcomes, leading to painful save scumming;

  3. That technology pacing is too dependent on number of bases and allegiances and that phoenix needs more of its own research that effects the battlefield as well as progressing the lore.

It seems to me highly unlikely that this could be the last backer build. I feel that, as a backer, I spent more time working as a playtester fighting/reporting errors than as a “player” exploring the game. I don’t mind doing this, it’s all for the greater glory of the game and its wonderful lore. But it seems that at least one more debugging build will be called for before we really get an in-depth “player” build that would be needed to explore challenge/reward balance issues.


Yep, bye bye material… but at least you get a :handshake: from all factions.

It’s more expensive than a research lab.

Still haven’t found one. Maybe I should use this command to skip battles.

I’m completely in phase with your conclusions.