AJS Review of the Game

Many players are reporting serious game breaking bugs with the new patch, but I’ve yet to encounter any of them. Could it be related to save scumming? I’m playing Ironman style, only saving when I have to quit and taking every loss as part of the game

(I have no knowledge of coding, of course)

That is why you create mods. :slightly_smiling_face: Great work btw. So you know exact mechanics standing behind all attacks and damage types?

The bread and butter of turn based tactics game lies within the tactics. It should be beatable with any arrangement of classes, even all non-dual class ones. Good tactical decisions SHOULD be rewarded. As it stands, taking high ground is essentially pointless. Taking cover on multiple flanks against an enemy in the open in likely to wind you up with a still-standing enemy and 1-3 of you own soldiers dead or seriously injured due to return fire. Offscreen enemies that you haven’t seen can cripple half your squad in one turn. 2-3 mind control enemies can take down 8 soldiers with a bit of luck. Some of the most effective strategies involve charging right out into the open and unloading. The way this is set up, only game logic wins through. Actual tactical decisions get you murdered. Tbt games should not really allow for the amount of cheesing that is possible or even required here.

The game has great bones, but needs some serious fine tuning and variety.


This should be a sticky

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That’s an interesting find. Sadly there is no differentiation between save scumming cause you didn’t like that some guy got shot or game just obliterated your squad on first enemy turn, which many feel as unfair. The other issue is that you could handle a loss of one or two soldiers but loosing whole squad of 6 might send you into a downwards spiral.
Does it look at just binary mission win/loss or takes into account injuries/casualties? I mean, you might loose your whole squad except one guy who finishes mission and game is like “Damn, he finished it too, let’s ramp up the difficulty more” :smiley:
Imho this is very meta mechanics which probably can be abused. Like ones in a while you could send some rookie to a kamikaze mission and “reset” your win counter.

It figures out a predicted score based on the difficulty, enemy deployment and your deployment.
Then it uses the difference between that score and your actual score (based on damage dealt, damage received, healing, deaths and the percentage of possible XP gained) to modify the enemy deployment budgets on every threat level.

It does smooth the modification somewhat by using the average of your last few battles.

Also you should take threat levels seriously. Unmodified Low threat caps out at a budget of 1000, but extreme caps out at 3000. Those caps are then modified by the difficulty:
Rookie: 1.0 x
Veteran: 1.15 x
Heroic: 1.3x
Legendary: 1.5x

All the deployment budgets start out much smaller, but they’ll trend towards max as you exceed expectations or trends towards min as you under-perform.
This is why you get swarmed if you save scum, because you are performing far better than you should be and the game is ramping up numbers to try and challenge what it perceives to be a god tier player.


Don’t inform more. :smiley: Now people will try to save scum with particular outcome of battle. :wink:

Will you be trying to make some balance mods too? I am kinda wondering if I should buy the game, but when I am looking at forums, I am worried that current status is not that good.

I don’t expect any balance changes from Snapshot any time soon also, which is a shame cause I will have some free time during Christmas break…

I also like to play on highest difficulty, but seeing that heavy/sniper is an only way to go, seems unbalanced and boring.

Will this be like with The Elder Scrolls Oblivion, where people put out mods to remove the level scaling?

I think I’m done with the game for now.
I’ve done my best to address the bugs and QOL issues that I was facing myself, but there just isn’t enough depth to the game. I like a lot of what’s here, but it could have done with another six months of development and some of the DLC content included in the release product.

I’ll probably drop back in when blood and titanium drops, but I have no plans to release any further mods until then.

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Ok, thanks for info.

No this is good information, it’s a risked design, and a very complex problem in a tactical game context.

It’s already very difficult to tune fairly well multiple difficulty levels, but tune multiple adaptive difficulty levels, that looks like impossible. In my opinion with such system the difficulty level of the game will always feel approximate and not well tuned.

That doesn’t look too bad, to be honest. Sounds like a good system assuming that individual deployment scores are well weighted. Thank you for sharing this, it explains a lot.

Thanks for the info and the work to get it, after some thought about it, the core design error of this system isn’t to be too ambitious but to believe all players of the game are in same category:

  • Permadeath, this is certainly partially expected for games with large infinite rosters, but still hardly true for all players.
  • Ironman, which is totally wrong, many players would not have bought it without saves feature.

But fix the problem seems impossible without to let the player abuse the system in some ways.

In my opinion the game should be a Roguelike with only Ironman mode, or have an option to disable this scaling.

Can you then prepare a mod to decrease explosive damage done to weapons? It looks like still broken feature despite increse in HP pool of weapons.

If so, this is genius! :slight_smile: The ability to save-scum has been the bane of balancing within the TBS genre for years.

I don’t know about that, but I might well be sending one or two guys out who are slightly unequipped in the armour department. :wink:

(I was already planning to only shoot Pandorans in the legs)

It’s nothing genius, it’s since the 70’s there are games with forced ironman and permadeath, no way this is explaining this system.

It’s nothing genius, let say in simple words what would be such system, if you play well the game becomes harder. Try sell that, lol.

I did a test and I don’t believe what is explained in this thread, that the code is here doesn’t mean it is activated. Killed half of roster among highest soldiers generated no clear changes, after like 6 sites search, for a scavenging mission. But ok it was a quick test, get a Chiron at start of this mission is perhaps not enough significant.

@Zzzz it’s the average over a number of battles and it’ll trend over time. It’s not going to immediately swing in your favor because you had one bad battle, and it’s not going to immediately crush you just because you dominated one mission.

Also, the code is definitely called and in use.

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The real funny part here is that I would not save scum if the game did not have absurdly high recruiting costs - a few too many high level soldier losses and its game over anyway.

It’s a bit of a viscous circle.

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