Comprehensive run down on how this game goes against its own rules

Hey devs and gamers,

I first want to state that I do actually like this game a lot and what I’m about to specifyil is constructive criticism and not a fan rage attack.

I’ve been playing this game for 3 maybe 4 days now and I’ve invested quite a number of hours into it so I’m quite familiar with the mechanics.

I’ll start with the most glaring experience that occurred just now. Phoenix Avionics is under siege by Pandorans. I landed at the base ahead of time. When the battle begins my team are scattered all over the place like they’re on leave. Now, these guys are professional soldiers (or at least they’re supposed to be). If an attack was imminent and you’d landed on site ahead of the enemy, the best strategy would be to create a chokepoint. But you don’t get this. It’s anti strategy. It doesn’t make sense. Theyre all over the place while the invading are all in one specific place having just entered the building (pro strategy). The pro strategy (if it’d been considered) would be to start the mission off with the soldiers in defensive positions. They’re stood about like they’re on a tea break. It goes against the whole strategy thing. Let’s consider this in reverse. The soldiers are going to reclaim a sacred site of Anu and have entered the site in a formation of sorts. The defending patrol, while somewhat scattered, still are in defensible positions. Going back to Avionics, there is no consistency either in the strategic locations of the squad or the reason for being where they are. Like I said, it goes against its own rules and at this point, doesn’t make sense why this was done as a whole.

Moving on to overwatch now. Usually overwatch is to slap an enemy with bullets for moving out of cover or running into your POV. One enemy and multiple overwatch should reduce the enemy to mush. However, 2 problems occur. An enemy can pass through overwatch without triggering it and when multiple overwatches overlap, only one is activated. I’m not sure if this is a bug or not but it needs work. When you use overwatch, you kind of expect it to work.

Another issue- and again I’m not sure if this is a bug or not- is half the time my heavy gunners on overwatch are hitting things but doing no damage. I just had a machine gun heavy hit Anthron Shieldbearer Alpha on the lower armour body parts as it ran towards my formation and yet, even though there was visible impact, no damage was received. It was completely unscathed. My machine heavy usually decimated most enemies but this has happened a few times.

Moving on.

Manufacturing goods is all well and good but I’m getting people proficient in certain classes that can’t use weapons for that class. I have a sniper that cannot use sniper rifles but can use heavy weapons. This is utterly confusing as I specifically recruited a sniper. This issue needs clarity. A lot of clarity. Also, the class comes with symbols. I know there’s a class tab system on manufacture and inventory but perhaps you should put the symbols on the manufacture for weapons and armour and specify any conditions the character needs to use it in the inventory. A bit like an RPG does. It’s very effective.

Now on to healing. I’m not sure how you managed this but with yellow player indicator and bright green healing indicator it’s tricky to see who you are healing. Sometimes I’ve healed the complete opposite of who I meant because it’s very difficult to see which is the dominant indicator as to who is being healed. Maybe change the indicator to dark blue on the character to be healed and keep it on yellow for the character doing the healing? It’s just a thought.

Onto AP counts now. I understand the way the AP system works. I’m very familiar with strategy and RPG games but for some reason enemies on this game defy AP rules while the player is constrained by them. A Synedrion sniper jumped down the stairs (5 tiles), moved out of the building (8 tiles), went to cover, and shot at my infantryman 5 times. Heavies only get to move once and shoot once or shoot once without moving, very similar to infantry who can do the same unless they stay stationary and shoot twice. Snipers aren’t so much different from heavies. So how come the enemies get free roam? This is a strategy, yes? This isn’t strategic. Even RPGs limit the AP of all classes after a certain number of moves but you can guarantee that even while they may have 1 or 2 more available AP than your character, they don’t take the kids like this did.

The game crashes a lot. 'Nuff said.

All this could do with fixing. It’s a good game but these things let it down. Oh, I also had bug issues with key structures not showing when hovering over them. I could only locate them with free aim snap on when near to them.

Good work but I know you can do better.

Things I do like:

The depth of story and the political motives. The ability to customize characters. The artwork and settings. The gameplay is good but would be great if it achieved equilibrium between gamer and system mechanics (no taking the mick with AP for a start). I’ve already left a 4 star review on MicroStore, only citing the crashes and bugs as a 1 star deficit but it’s likely to get knocked down to 3 maybe 2 because of the poor balance. Otherwise, it truly is a good game but does need a bit more work.

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Base defense are the weakest missions in the game rn… The scatter is annoying, though there are 3 soldiers who always spawn in the hangar. Another common complaint is that the enemies spawn at the entrance and always have to go through the same chokepoint - very uninteresting and repetitive.

This can happen by design or because of a bug. By design OW is triggered if a perception vs stealth check is passed (so characters with high stealth don’t trigger OW from characters with low perception).

And then there is a bug where OW just won’t trigger. Tbh, I haven’t seen it in a long while.

Both can activate, but not simultaneously… So if an enemy is out of the “second” OW cone by the time the first OW is done, it won’t activate. This is by design, some players like it, some don’t. Personally, I like that setting up OW takes some thought. Eg OW from high cover (where to shoot the character has to step out) takes more time than OW from low cover, so a narrow double OW is unlikely to be effective.

I have never seen this. It does happen fairly often that hitboxes from scenery interfere with the shots when you don’t expect it…

The initial proficiency is dictated by the class (so all your snipers are proficient with Sniper Rifles and Handguns). And then there are random “third row skills” or perks that allow you to become proficient in other weapon types. Not only that, but they also provide a bonus. So your Sniper with the Strongman perk, if you acquire it, can now use heavy weapons better than a heavy would.

This is kinda part of the whole sandbox approach to character creation in PP…

They don’t, enemies are bound by the same rules + a not very good AI.
They don’t get more AP or hidden stat buffs or increased to hit chances, etc. The only explanation I can come up with for your seeing an enemy sniper shoot a pistol 5 times is that it cast quick aim a few times to reduce AP cost to 0 (which the player can also do), but I have never seen them do this, at least with handguns (not sure if they can do it with sniper rifles?) Another explanation is that you think you saw it do that, but it actually didn’t :slightly_smiling_face:

BTW, if you think you have come across some bug, you can report it by pressing F10.

When and if the thing with AP happens again, I’ll record the footage and find a way to upload it.

Except when they take the ‘recover’ action and can still make a short move, or where they use all their AP and can still deploy a shield. That first one really annoys me!

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Careful. You’ll be next in line, being told you imagined it.

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I don’t recall seeing this, but the interaction between panic & auto recover can be a bit finicky. There were even some suggestions to merge the two (because rn you lose 2 turns to panic if you panic at the start of your turn, rather than at the end).

Another thing that can happen is enemy panicking at the start of their turn and making a random move, but then they don’t cast recover until the next turn…

In any case, the same panic & autorecovery rulesest applies to both player and AI. However, the AI is more often than not unable to make use of the Recovered turn when it has a strong viral status.

Because their shields are different items, it’s not the same item as the PX shield. The Arthron shield costs 0 AP to cast. And the player also pays 0 AP to extend the shield when controlling an Arthron.

Uh-uh. Where is that video?

The recovery/move thing definitely happens consistently for me: I panic one or more Pandorans on my turn - usually due to killing lots of them rather than the Priest ability - and on their turn they recover and move a short distance (possibly the other way round).

That’s not their ‘Recover’ action, it’s their panic move.
Panicked troops move in a random direction and Recover some WP. This is true of both PP & all enemies.

The specific ‘Recover’ Action which you (and your enemies) can order takes up all APs for that turn and is different to Panic recovery.

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Yeah, it’s probably what @MichaelIgnotus says.

The thing about panic & recovery is that, imo, it’s not very intuitive and it can be hard to figure out what exactly is going to happen:

If you panic an enemy unit on your turn, using psychic damage or through morale loss, the unit will auto-recover on its turn, and the next turn it will have the recovered status. So it will only lose 1 turn due to panic.

However, if the panic happens at the start of the enemy turn (because a friendly dies from a DoT effect, like bleeding), the unit will panic on its turn, making a random move, and autorecover on the next turn. Thus it will lose 2 turns due to panic.

And if the panic is due to viral damage you get turn 1 panic, turn 2 recover, turn 3 panic immunity, turn 4 panic, turn 5 recover, etc.

It works exactly the same way for the player (you can get panicked after your turn is finished, or just before it begins).

Question is, would it be better to merge panic & recovery into one, so that if you panic when you have 4 AP, you auto cast recover, and that way no matter what player and AI always lose only 1 turn to panic?

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Well I’ve learned a thing, thank you! That makes much more sense now.

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