Do not do any scavenging missions. Do not do unnecessary missions
I just finished a Legendary playthrough where I wanted to test if keeping the number of fights to a minimum would help control the difficulty curve. And it did!
. I did ZERO scaveging missions. The amount of resources you get from exploration, missions, haven defenses, lair attacks is more than enough to build everything you need.
. I chose the faction I was going to ally with (Anu) and ignored the others. So I never came to their rescue. Only haven defenses for my ally.
. I traded food for tech and materials. You get waaaaaay more food than you need.
This made the difficulty progression slow down A LOT to the point that the game become easy now that I have all the meta knowledge on classes/gear builds.
So yeah. Don’t to scavenging missions.
I’d think the not defending havens probably did you more good than the not scavenging though.
Did you try a run where you only skipped haven defenses?
Im’ not even surprised it succeed. But a bit anyway, number of soldiers death was none? There’s no evidence but strong clues that past first month it becomes the main factor for difficulty dropdown, which is a bit weird even if there’s a logic. But at least at Legendary the drop down should be seriously capped, it’s not named Legendary for nothing.
Lost 2 soldiers during the play through. One early, other mid game.
My advice for managing difficulty is to be advised that armour of the enemyies would go up and to prepair for that beforehand.
That is a good tip. But hp and armor can outlevel your gear fast. Even if you are ready to strip armor you still will have crabs with 320hp and if your gear is not up to par you need 2-3 soldiers per crab.
You don’t need to be, and don’t benefit from, ignoring the other two factions.
Your tactical options and overall firepower increase significantly when you combine faction techs - Getting most of the tech tree of at least two factions is pretty important. If you can get all three, it’s even better.
Fighting the factions doesn’t seem to increase crab evolution (as far as I can tell anyway), so you should feel free to raid tech and supplies from them where you need to.
Generally, really the only metagaming you need to do to stay relevant against the crabs is to avoid scavenging missions, as you suggest - Avoiding layer exterminations isn’t a good plan, haven defense that you can reach in time are basically always a good idea, etc. You can go basically full aggro with the crabs as long as you have a decent spread of tech and it’s no big deal, excepting scavenging missions.
I’ve got my first Athena rifles ready when the first armoured crabs came in my Heroic campain. Didn’t have any problems with armour ever since =)
I’ve never had to lay off haven defence missions or skipping scavenging missions. Yes, some missions were pretty difficult, but manageble.
The easiest way to manage difficulty is to let the computer win once in a while. Don’t restart if you lose a guy, only if it goes seriously FUBAR. Those occasional human sacrifices go a long way and with NJ boost on training and 3x training centres you can keep level 7 “rookies” coming off the production line.
NB I don’t use OP skills much as that’s boring and I use the RB limit mod.