When I got to the end of my Legend campaign, I was clearing the map on the opening turn with just one soldier. Okay, other soldiers helped by instilling frenzy or occasionally lending a few AP to the terminator to keep the kill chain going. I was able to do a lap around the map killing all the enemies on Anu’s save the Exalted mission as well as the destroy Project Vulture mission. And these are supposed to be super tough, late game missions. LOL!!!
I was able to stomp the enemy in a dozen haven defence missions that way too.
And more enemies on legend maps actually makes it easier to string together one-turn mission clearing kill chains.
It doesn’t matter how tough, buffed, or modded an enemy is if you can take it out before it even has a chance to move.
So I completely understand why some legend-only players find the game to be easy. Or too easy. Or super easy. Because it is. The end game is laughably easy.
My last Legend campaign consisted of 225 missions. The first 5 were fun. The last 20 were super-easy stomping sessions. And the 200 in the middle kind of sucked.
Improving the 200 missions in the middle of a campaign so that they don’t suck anymore is the main focus of my feedback and criticism. And, in my opinion, balancing the game so that the mid-game (the bulk of the player’s time in a campaign) is better will improve Phoenix Point immensely.
I have no problem with the initial faction missions on legend. The original poster’s comments (which I agree with) is that some of the special enemies on some missions are out of sync with the game’s overall research arc, and present a challenge that is a bit more than what should be appropriate at that stage in the game.
For example, the poison crossbow on that first introduction to synedrion mission not only does damage but it also applies posion, which then requires players to burn med kits–at a point in their campaign when they can least afford to burn med kits. Most players can find a solution to the challenges presented in these missions. But can a player overcome the challenge isn’t the right metric. If a challenge isn’t balanced with the state the player is in at that point in their campaign, it can have unintended consequences or even derail their campaign or sour the players’ experience with the game so much that they just put the game down either for a considerable period of time or permanently.
The original poster pointed to the poison crossbow wielding infiltrator on that opening mission as just one example, a symptom of a much wider problem and issue with game balance.
The Sirens on the Khaos DLC mission to jack the New Jericho APC is another example. It pops up–if the player does the mission right away–well before the Pandora’s actually evolve Sirens. I had the exact same WTF reaction when I first did that mission on Legend difficulty.
The player has a huge incentive to do the Khaos missions right away because they reduce the prices of the ridiculous explode-in-your-face weapons and pimp-options for the vehicles that we probably won’t use. Plus the missions also spawn close the the market place and players main base (unlike other DLC, cough-cough, Living Weapons).
So having this this mid-game enemy arrive and unleash havoc on an early-game squad using its psychic scream to send half the players low-will rookies and raw recruits into a panic is just … like, seriously?
There is a subtle difference between challenging the player and frustrating the player. And then there are some missions that are a massive kick to the players’ groins.
If the “solution” is to not do a mission right away (or at all) and just let it sit on the geoscape, then what is the point of having that mission on the geoscape–at all? And if the solution to a challenging is to just avoid the change, is it really a challenge?
If a players “plays” on legend while skipping all the “challenging” nard-kicking landmine missions, then, of course, they will complain about it being too easy.
Landmine missions are, from a game design perspective, an all-or-nothing proposition; they present an unfair challenge to the player who steps on that landmine–and absolutely no challenge whatsoever to players that have learned to avoid stepping on the landmine.
And then there is the knock on effect of putting a landmine mission in the middle of the Khaos DLC. If the player delays doing that mission they could potential come back at point in the campaign when Khaos weapons are no longer as powerful or useful, which really begs the question is it worthwhile enabling the Khaos DLC for a legend play through? That’s a tough one to answer. But the honest answer is probably not. As DLC goes, it is kind of pointless–almost as pointless and superfluous as Bethesda’s horse armour DLC.