Balance thrown out of the window?

Quality assurance probably also. Let me give you an example. You meet the Mechanic right outside of your base. First mission recover Scarab. Easy you fight the pandorans that normally spawn. Second mission. Recover NJ vehicle and here where it all went to hell.

  1. You fight NJ
  2. You fight Pandorans.
  3. Pandorans are mid tier units + Sirens, right where you have only 4 soldiers. WTF? And Pandorans have infinite reinforcements, but we are fighting in NJ heaven and NJ doesn’t have reinforcements.

Wouldn’t it be better if NJ turned hostile once you acquire the vehicle?

Next 2 missions are again super easy.

Next example. Symes retreat. There is a Arthron Prime, a late game unit. What is he doing there if Pandorans didn’t even develop such a unit…

Next example. Meet the Synedrion mission. I don’t remember earlier, but why is the infiltrator having POISON Crossbow that he snipes you from whatever place. Synedrion doesn’t even such technology yet…

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Did someone say that this was an easy mission you should go strait from the start ? In fact, none of the DLC missions are EASY, take the Living Weapons DLCs last mission…
Just cause you can go into it early does not mean you SHOULD go there immidietly !!!

“Next example. Symes retreat. There is a Arthron Prime, a late game unit. What is he doing there if Pandorans didn’t even develop such a unit…” right, let’s go with the hardest difficulty and have no idea what we are doing, we can take anything the game can throw at us. Good luck explaining how … you sound.

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Good luck explaining how … you sound.

Better than you do. If you plan to shit on others then just don’t speak at all.

ALL Kaos Engines DLC missions are mega easy except the second one period. The final mission for living weapons is not attainable early game, so your point has no sense. In fact in some cases you won’t be able to get the first mission in living weapons DLC super early because it can spawn at the other part of the globe and in all my games I always reached the final mission when there were citadels already on the planet.

I don’t think there is something wrong with the balance here. Maybe just bad user experience. The UI could indicate better what difficulty you should expect.

Like:

Sure, but how would you know where you should, and where you should not, go? This isn’t UFO where you could assess threat by ie. UFO ship class. All you have is just a map point that appears early with a mission name and some vague info.

I just get why he can be upset about it.

Scripted missions almost always have super evolved enemies. Some have been toned down, but others have not.

AFAIK, Symes retreat never had evolved enemy. And this does not make any sense that magically there is a unit that wasn’t even evolved.

Additionally in Corrupted Horizon if you go for the Specimen Zero mission very late in the game, you fought the base version of the enemy.

Some of these missions have different enemies based on the level of difficulty one is playing at.

That still makes no sense. I’ve played on Legend from the beginning and there was never such a unit in this mission.

This ignorance is not excused… you should read the patch notes. Also, it’s very consistent with the original game, in fact, there’s a not evolved/researched yet enemy on all the first missions for the factions. A priest, a chiron and an infiltrator, so why change the formula, you are playing on the hardest difficulty after all. Yes, it’s not there in the easier… so if you want to learn to play the game, play it on easier.

As to what comes to the Living Weapons DLC locations, they are all placed on the current distance from the aircraft, when the mission is unlocked, in a Point of Intrest that has not been explored yet, and if they all have, it’s randomly placed on already explored one. Knowing this, helps getting it in a spot you want it to be at, and makes them easier to get to. Same is true for the KE missions. It’s the nearest unexplored POI.

Then explain to me, why I am getting Living weapons first mission in ANTARCTICA where my starting point is Syberia. No way I’m getting there in early game.

The ignorance is only on your side. I’m not here you average first time comer to this game, so cut your all high and mighty preaches. This is game feedback part of the forum and I’m giving a feedback. I also had faction specific mission spawning half across the globe, so while for KE it spawns nearest POI for others not necessarily.

 Yes, it’s not there in the easier… so if you want to learn to play the game, play it on easier.

And it wasn’t there in previous versions, so why change the formula?

A priest, a chiron and an infiltrator, so why change the formula, you are playing on the hardest difficulty after all.

Chiron on it’s own is easy enemy to kill, priest on it’s own is easy to defeat. The thing I said about infiltrator is that now it has poison crossbows, but previously I think it didn’t. Considering that the AI has significant bonus to AIM means it can as well deliver entire clip from far away. With normal crossbow you can handle a hit or two, but not with poison. This is one of the first missions. Doesn’t matter if it is easy or hard. There are far better ways to balance the difficulty instead of throwing crap.

But see, it does not. By default, it’s a vanilla weapon… so if you are less than 34 tiles away from it, and you are a human sized target, so it can hit you 50% or more from that far away from, it doesn’t need an aim bonus.

And for the Syberia start and and Antarctica LW mission, try to load the save game before it’s revealed again, and see if you can get a better spot. It’s not locked into a spot from the start, it’s randomized by7 the conditions you are at when the tech that reveals the site is researched.

Yes, it did. It always had… as far as I can remember. In v1.10 at least…

And for the Syberia start and and Antarctica LW mission

Best I got was Chile/Argentina region

By default, it’s a vanilla weapon…

If it is a vanilla weapon, why does Synedrion has to research it first?

Yes, it did. It always had…

Still it doesn’t make any sense. Not that it makes the mission any difficult.

Playing on the highest difficulty and complaining about balance? I suppose you are angry because not all missions are hard?

Unfortunately some are scripted and don’t get enemies based on the alien evolution / faction progress.

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I also do not like to meet technologies before they are received. Much more reasonable and logical to increase the number of enemies. I fully agree with the author. This looks dissonant.

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If that was a rule for more missions then sure. But we can assume that we meet prototype units which are their first attempts to get working mutation/technology.

To be true I don’t think it would be so easy to balance. And for some enemy units it is really not so important how many of them are there (at least in reasonable numbers). Single more powerful unit gives the feeling of killing something special. Like mini boss.

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Balance in Phoenix Point is just random.

And the devs seemed to have taken a “throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks” approach to the game’s difficulty settings.

The result of that approach renders Legend difficulty borderline unplayable. And definitely not fun. A tedious and unrelenting 3/10 experience. And that’s me being kind after finishing a Legend campaign with all DLC enabled and the doom clock only ticking down to 61%.

One of the huge missteps of their failed approach to Legend difficulty is to add an upscale enemy to every story and DLC missions. So on the opening mission for Anu where you have to take out some worms, you get a mid-game Chrion lobbing more worms at you. No big deal. It’s a chiron that merely adds three more worms per turn for five turns, a reasonable challenge for a bunch of level one soldiers; the real change becomes trying to take out the chiron before it flees so you can unlock the chiron autopsy (and its huge resource windfall) in the early game.

Then the New Jericho intro mission gets an Anu Priest added to the mix. Fair enough. I’ve got mind control and return fire to deal with. No problem for an experienced player with an early game squad.

Then there is the openning Synedrion mission, a bunch of thieves with deadly accurate laser pistols head-shotting troops from across the map. Plus there is an invisible infiltrator with a poison crossbow. WTF? Like seriously? Are the devs just going around the room asking for suggestions about how to up the difficulty–and one jerk-off keeps suggesting ludicrous late-game enemies that will consistently frustrate the player in the early game and make the game feel unfair and ridiculously unbalanced?

Anyway, I can do that mission without loosing a soldier, but the trick is to delay doing it until you’ve got a squad of 6 soldiers with enough strength stats to take a few hits. Plus each soldier needs to carry two or three med kits. In other words, it is not an appropriate early game faction-intro mission.

As for that Second Khaos DLC mission, I hear you! It has a number of huge problems.

First, it shouldn’t be the second mission in the DLC.

Second, you fight New Jericho and the Pandorans. Kind of a massive issue if the player has to fight them all at the same time–especially in the early game when fighting NJ can be incredibly difficult. But if NJ didn’t turn hostile until after the vehicle was unlocked, that would make the mission much more balanced. Or if the player could, say, duck into a nearby building and just let NJ and the Pandas duke it out for a bit, that would be okay too. And the level is almost set up for that latter approach. almost. So frustratingly close to being almost. Except that some NJ soldiers just spawn in the wrong place. But with a little tweaking and a quick conversation with some QA testers, that spawning issue should be easy to fix.

Third, that mission has infinite reinforcements, and infinite reinforcements on Legend difficulty just suck so much. They are bad enough on Rookie/Veteran/Hero, but on Legend difficulty, the devs seemed to have doubled down on a bad idea and, somehow, made it worse. On Legend difficulty, the enemies just keep coming, one per turn every goddamn turn and sometimes more per turn, which just transforms the tactical combat on legend difficulty into this unrelenting and monotonous experience of advancing for one turn and getting bogged down for a couple of turns as some high-powered bullshit reinforcement arrives on the scene–right on the coattails of some other high-powered bullshit enemy that had arrived at the same nearby spawn point the previous turn.

haha. And some find Legend difficulty to be too easy. That is why they install mods making enemies more dangerous.

infinite reinforcements are only the problem when you try to camp and sit in your position during most of the mission time.

Initial faction missions? If you play on legendary you should be able to find solution to these:

  • Disciples - just bash worms, and fire with half of your team at Chiron. It will go down before he will deplete his worm stock
  • NJ - aim at arms, especially with sniper and heavy - they won’t return fire anymore with broken limbs. And priest? Easy to kill in his light armor.
  • Synedrion - break line of sight. If they can’t see you, they can’t shoot you with their super accurate weapons or even crossbow. And they will come to you, all with bad armor.
    And they can be done with lvl 1 soldiers, but as you have seen it can be postponed a little bit to have level 2 or level 3 soldiers.

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.

Right. Balance issue. But this is the problem of sandbox type of the game.

Developers give us choice when we want to approach any given mission. Some prefer this way over handcrafted story where difficulty increases with player’s tech (so we research something - then enemy gets something, just like in XCOM).

That is why I think that there are these missions on the Geoscape, even if some of them are easy and some are ridiculously dangerous, because of throwing additional content at us.

I think it is not fixable at this moment without complete overhaul of missions design.

And in terms of terminator build. This is skill sandbox design. Some combination are too tough for the enemy. Devs left these to allow players discover them and ‘have fun’ while annihilationg half of the map in one turn. We (community council) tried to cut these synergies, but we only get what is available now. I suppose no skill rework will happen. That is why there is mod ‘better classes’ to provide more challenge to the player.

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Except you FORGOT one problem… Many of them have those stupid timers. Which I hate in a game.