Cthullu Legend Feedback (full campaign)

Feedback from a full campaign played on Legend difficulty on the new Cthullu patch.


• Strategic difficulty is good, tactical difficulty is too easy.
• Much too grindy! Too many repetitive missions with low rewards.
• Research/weapon balance seems fine.
• UI is better but could still use some tweaks.


I’m a long-running fan of XCOM-type games - played XCOM and XCOM 2 to death, then played the Long War and Long War 2 mods, and was one of the playtesters for Long War 2 for Pavonis. I usually play on max difficulty settings.

Campaign Feedback

I started a new Legend campaign as soon as the Cthullu patch came out. Just finished it today, and that was with playing several hours most days. Cthullu campaigns are LONG. Actually, too long. The biggest problem with the game as the moment is that finishing a full playthrough of the campaign just gets really damn tedious!

Early game is fine – you’re discovering new things, unlocking new abilities, growing and expanding. The problem comes once you hit mid game and have 2+ teams spread out across the world (I usually find you need one team to cover the Americas and at least one team to cover Asia/Europe/Africa – a third team helps a lot as soon as you can manage it). By late January/early February I was doing what felt like a neverending stream of haven defences with the odd nest clearance and scavenging/diplomacy mission thrown in. There were just too many missions and I was really losing enthusiasm by the time I got to mid-late game. I was very glad when I got the tech that let me scan for Pandoran nests (which meant no more haven defences) and I was happy to finish the campaign by the end.

The big problem is repetition. The first time you assault a Lair or a Nest it’s exciting. The second time you do one, you know what to expect, but it’s still fun. By the fifth one, it’s become a routine. By the end of the campaign, I’d done something like 20 of the damn things and I was bored of them. Nests became speedrunning contests where I’d dash through as fast as possible to snipe the Hatching Sentinels to end the mission, and haven defences were farming operations where the only question was how long it’d take to clean up all the bugs so I could collect the reward and go home. I’m not sure I’d play through another campaign without some major changes.


The strategic difficulty on Legend feels about right – you get lots of resources, but you never have enough to do everything you want and it’s a big challenge to have enough teams to both do exploration and also be in position to respond to haven attacks.

Tactical difficulty is another story. With Cthullu, the Pandorans are mostly a joke on the tactical map, for two reasons:

• Melee vs ranged – melee Pandorans have no chance against your soldiers because they get shot to death before they can get close. In the early game the Pandorans are mostly melee, which means they just run uselessly towards your team and get mowed down before ever getting to swing their weapons. As the campaign goes on the percentage of ranged enemies goes up, but by then you have well-levelled, well-equipped soldiers who can one-shot them before they get to fire.

• Numbers - In most missions the Pandorans outnumber you around 2 to 1. This isn’t anywhere near enough to be challenging. Assaults, Heavies, and Snipers with a few levels and early-game equipment can kill about 1 enemy a turn, which means that most maps consist of you killing about 2/3rds of the enemies in the first 2 turns and then the rest of the battle is mop-up.

You’d have to literally double the number of Pandorans in most missions to make them challenging, ie make them outnumber your soldiers by 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 or so (which is the kind of ratio the XCOM games use). Example: the first room of the final mission has something like 7 Arthrons, 3 Tritons, 3 Chirons, 3 Sirens, and 2 Scyllas, and it was the first time in about 20 missions I’d actually had to make an effort. Even then the enemies were all dead or panicked after two turns. Those are the sorts of numbers you need to make the missions a challenge.

And yeah, I know, you’re expected to win most missions, but this is supposed to be Legend difficulty. I feel like my soldiers ought to be at least a little threatened. In the course of the whole campaign I lost exactly 1 soldier, and that was when my underlevelled 5-man C-team with bad equipment got ambushed by 4 Sirens at once. Even then the other 4 soldiers got out easily.


Despite winning every mission, I made slow progress on the strategic map because everything cost huge amounts of resources. The biggest culprit for this is the Phoenix Bases. By mid-game a new base activation costs something like 800 resources and 100 tech, plus the money required to build/repair the generator and Satellite Uplink. That’s like 2 missions worth of income for just one base. And there are NINETEEN of these things, each more expensive than the last!

To get all that money I had to do endless haven defences, every scavenging mission, and trading. I didn’t raid the factions for resources, partly because I was trying to roleplay, and partly because by this point I was sick to death of missions and the last thing I wanted was to do even more. Trading is faster but boring as hell. I had two Helios aircraft circling the globe just trading with every haven one after the other, making a profit of 200 or so resources each time. It was efficient but mind-numbing. Oh, and the game forces you to do it all manually, so you have to remember the route you’ve taken and with each haven you have to click through the same trade deal that you’ve done literally 100 times already.

The game BADLY needs some sort of passive income that you can set up and forget about, rather than being forced to roleplay the Travelling Salesman Problem. Trade routes, like Civilisation, or a regular income, like XCOM.

Combined with the difficulty issue, I’d probably suggest doubling the rewards for missions as well as doubling the enemies. At the moment they’re low-risk low-reward high-frequency, which is a bad combination.

(The change to Food Production facilities with Cthullu has made things worse. They were already slow – now it takes so long to gain the ability to build them that the return on investment is so bad that the game’s over by the time you’re seeing any real profit.)


Research and tech seems to be in a good place right now. Most weapons are viable, and most are sidegrades/incremental upgrades rather than must-haves. You could probably do the final mission with starting gear without too much trouble. I don’t agree with the complaints about nerfs – various weapons could use some tweaks, but on the whole I think things are pretty good.

Raiding for tech on the other hand is awful. It takes FOREVER to get the one tech you want (all three factions have a bunch of useless techs cluttering up the tech tree as booby prizes). I only tried it once, in my previous campaign, and after only after multiple (and very tedious) Steal Research missions did I realise that it’s far more efficient to just do the Tier 2 Diplomacy missions for all three factions and get all their tech for free. The Diplomacy system in general is a mess but I’m not going to get into that now since it requires a bigger rework.

UI issues

The UI’s definitely improved since release, but there are various minor annoyances that it would be great if you could fix. A few that stand out:

• Third-person aiming is super confusing. I tried using the Dante flamethrower and I had multiple cases of my soldiers apparently flaming enemies right in the face and yet doing no damage. The Destiny laser is even worse – even after 10 or 15 uses I still couldn’t figure out when it was going to hit and when it wasn’t. Please make them ‘lock on’ to targets the way the new Rage Burst does.

• When you run a soldier next to a crate the crate auto-opens and you’re sent to the Inventory screen, prompting you to pick up the stuff. Even if you don’t have enough action points left, the game will let you move the stuff into your inventory, except it won’t happen – it looks like you’re picking it up but you aren’t. If you don’t notice the little red ‘Warning’ message, you’ll end up thinking that you’ve picked up stuff when you haven’t. I lost SO many resource packs on Scavenger missions because of this.

• Every time your soldier sees a new unit while moving they’ll stop. This on its own is annoying enough, especially if they do it 4 or 5 times, but what makes it REALLY infuriating is when you lose movement as a result, especially if it means you’re now one tile short of that cover you thought you were able to reach.

• Lots of animations are annoyingly slow/require too many clicks. Quick Aim for Snipers is especially annoying. Each time you want to use it you have to click on the soldier, click on Quick Aim, confirm Yes, wait for the animation/sound effect to play, and then go through the clicks required to fire. This gets really tedious if you want to spam the ability (which you often will because Quick Aim is really good).

• When you repair a generator the facilities in the base aren’t automatically onlined. So you have to remember which bases have repairing generators and manually turn stuff on once the message pops up (which is easy to miss).

There were probably others but I’ve forgotten them.

(Oh, and this isn’t UI, but why is the Antarctica mission set in an overgrown jungle?)


I’ve spent a lot of time on the negatives so I should probably say that I really do enjoy the game – the story and atmosphere is great and it’s a worthy edition to the XCOM-type defend the world genre. Hoping that you keep up with balancing and development!

Anyway, hope that some of this was helpful. I’ve seen a lot of these comments made individually on Reddit and these forums, but I figured you might place some value in a full campaign report.


PS - One last thing - bring back the ONI updates! They were wonderfully creepy and added a ton of atmosphere to the game, especially with the lines from the poem ‘The Second Coming’. It’s a big loss not having them in Cthullu.


[quote=“Saph, post:1, topic:11271”]
Early game is fine – you’re discovering new things, unlocking new abilities, growing and expanding. The problem comes once you hit mid game and have 2+ teams spread out across the world (I usually find you need one team to cover the Americas and at least one team to cover Asia/Europe/Africa – a third team helps a lot as soon as you can manage it) [/quote]

Fully agreed. Research near mid and end is quite slow, even with many bases, and much new does not happen. Meanwhile one has to defend heavens to keep reputation and resources and game tends to be boring. We need a bit more layers of new fresh missions and demands even from full allies or new approaches of our Pandoran foes.

Well, I havent played Ctulthu difficulty, but in past, when it was “perfection response” I would get a lot of Pandorans. Also, part of repetition is level 7 expirience cap where one just accumulates Skill Point, taking quite long to get new end skills. So development of soldiers get boring. Part of boring curve :slight_smile:

Some automated trades would do well, at one point (Dereth) you could do trade without visiting heavens.

I think that I agree with all your comments.

I would add that now teams of soldiers don’t need to be as big. At the beginning, 4 in a group seemed enough because the Pandorans are easier to dispatch.

Also the new base system with radar scanners sometimes means that one can’t do important diplomatic faction missions. A lack of resources to open up and upgrade or build facilities in certain areas has meant that I couldn’t get lots of nice tech including food production. Perhaps that is intentional to force more raids on the factions? But I did find myself often waiting for the next mission because of too few resources and not having access to parts of the globe. That’s a big change for the game - waiting for events to happen that are beyond my control!

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I think they are all on point.
-Resources are very low that you can’t even make armors to your recruits.
-Inventory story about you are transferring items but no because you did not have enough time is very annoying. Why do you let us transfer at first place?
-Melee is very weak in the game, for you and for enemy. Both are dying and the result is sad, because it’s not worth it.
-Bases you repaired but not energized rooms is another bad thing.
-For research, yes, it’s way easier to do the diplomatic missions rather then trying to steal techs.

Game is great, just cries for some more tweaks to be much more better.

Good feedback where I agree on most things. Just some comments:

It will be changed by some degree.

Issue is the power level of soldiers which I suppose won’t be addressed soon enough.

Increasing number of enemies is not a good way in my opinion. They just should get tougher instead of numerous. And player power should decrease to make things more interesting tactically instead of shooting the ducks with super skills.

Hehe. :slight_smile:


The issue with making the Pandorans tougher instead of more numerous is that that encourages ‘bullet sponge’ style combat where you have soldiers spending action after action emptying magazines into the things, which makes already-long and already-slow combats even slower and longer. Killing high-HP enemies like Sirens and Chirons is enough of a chore as it is – making it take even longer won’t improve things.

I don’t think I ever played a mission and thought “these enemies have too little HP, I wish I was spending more time shooting them”. The problem is that most enemies aren’t a threat – melee Arthrons can’t reach your guys, and most other enemies don’t have the hitting power to be really scary. The big exception are enemies with high-damage long-range piercing weapons like sniper rifles, but they don’t come in large enough numbers to be dangerous most of the time.

Just adding more HP to enemies without also rebalancing other things will NOT improve the campaign, it’ll probably make it worse. Yes, it’d increase the difficulty, but it’d make the grindy parts even grindier, and that’s the biggest problem with Phoenix Point right now.


but tougher enemies would be able to use their abilities. :wink: You wouldn’t be able to take them down like right now. So it would give them a chance to fight. And believe me it works like that - I have seen such change in one of the test builds. Yes enemies are then bullet sponges, but they actually pose a threat.

About the case of combats being slower and longer… If number of enemies wouldn’t increase, and in some cases even decrease, then I don’t think it would take more time and won’t increase grind of the whole campaign.

Of course there is also aspect of how many missions whole campaign should involve, but that is the case already discussed within community council. Many agree that there is too much of it and it is too repetitive. What will come out of these discussions - we will see.

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I agree higher HP totals/lower soldier damage would make combat harder, but I’m not sure it’d make it more fun. It’d encourage very slow/cautious styles of play where you stay at range and let the Pandorans trickle in one at a time while you focus-fire them down. This is already the safest/most reliable way to fight – you just camp out in your starting zone, wait for the enemies to come to you, and kill them one by one.

The most fun combats I’ve had have generally been ones where I was swarmed with LOTS of enemies, and actually had to make hard decisions about where to focus my attacks and which Pandorans I had to leave alone for a turn or two. E.g. the final mission, or Citadel assaults where the Scylla rushes you along with lots of other enemies. Maybe you’re right and boosting HP would make fights feel more like that, but I’m not sure.

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Agree with pretty much all the points made by the OP. In particular the issue about late-game speed-run lair raids particularly resonates - I’m just challenging myself to se how quickly/efficiently I can clear each lair type (Nests done turn 1, Lairs turn 2, Citadels not counted but I think I did one in 3 turns). This is Legendary mode. I don’t have a quick suggestion but clearly a simple method would be to start ramping up the Panda numbers a lot… getting swarmed… I won’t mind that as long as I am not having to continuously clear new ones taking a hour each time. Maybe a new large Panda which is more of a direct attacker than a launch Chiron - a quad mounted machine gun Chiron like a M16 half-track perhaps? :wink:

How about being able to ‘raid’ previously destroyed Havens to search for left over supplies (but remove the obvious box highlights as per normal supply runs) as a balance to trading?

One change I would definitely suggest is stopping the Nest raid as soon as the two target Pandas (forgot name) are dead. Instead I should have to safely extract the team afterwards as per the other raids.

I really love the early to mid game at the moment. Late game still needs some extra lovin’ maybe to avoid ‘grind’… again not a problem unique to PP by any means and I really like that things are still developing. I hope the games sales are going strong.


I always thought PP would begin with our operatives just being a ragtag group of men and women answering the Project’s call, and the tutorial would have you getting developing armour and weapons, which would be a cool way to introduce research and manufacture, and soldiers would have problems fighting melee pandorans because they would have such weak weapons. For an armed group that went into hiding for so long, PP’s troops carry very expensive military gear


The problem is that once you learn how to take advantage of AoE attacks and things like Rapid Clearance, and provoking panic, past some point more enemies make the game easier, not harder. For example, the Gatekeepers in the last mission are cannon fodder. You can easily erase most of them in a first strike and panic the rest.

I think that’s more because the panic system is just broken at the moment due to how crude it is. The flat Will penalty for losses means that a 4 man squad losing 50% of their members will take -6 will each (and will keep on fighting), while a 20 man squad losing 25% of their members will take -15 will each (and will probably all panic immediately).

This produces really silly results where you do a haven defence and 3 civilians get killed in a building on the other side of the map and suddenly your team are panicking and running around like headless chickens, wheras having your squad leader shot through the head right next to them makes them shrug and go ‘eh, I’m fine’.


then maybe it would be better just decreasing WP penalty for kills Pandas get…

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I agree.
More opponents lead to even more clicks (PP has already too many clicks with repeatable use of skills and also confirming). In addition, more opponents mean more time spent on the opponent’s turn.
Both together lead to a less dynamic game and therefore not very popular for the masses.


So I did what I said I wouldn’t do - play before the new DLC comes out. Wanted to briefly check in on Cthullu update so I would have a better idea of some of the new mechanics. Unfortunately, it has eaten up a bit of time and I have some thoughts about what you wrote. I agree with most of your points.
As I frequently do, I will start a new campaign with normal difficulty when there is new stuff to learn. I will figure out the new mechanics then start a new game on the highest setting. So, I ended up playing quite a bit on normal difficulty, and found that the tactical game is really easy. Before you hit a difficulty wall and now it is so gradual that there is basically no challenge. I haven’t reached the point where the enemy has Scylla’s but am seeing Sirens and different types of Chirons. They aren’t really a threat. My B team with beginning tech and mid levels was able to easily defeat a group with two Chirons and a Siren. This should be harder as these enemy’s have a lot of skills and HP’s but still can’t really penetrate a slow, methodical approach. The only thing that might have disrupted my methodical grinding were the fire chirons and even this did little, as it’s easy to spread out and mitigate the impact. So, something needs to change.
Also, the high price of everything really does make it grindy, even on normal. Can’t imagine how much worse that will be on Legend. Not sure about the best way too fix this, but someone else mentioned the high cost of bases as being a big obstacle. The price should be lower or you don’t have pay so much for repairs. Also, basic armor is a little too expensive, IMO.
I do like the changes to skills like Dash to make it not so gamebreaking (still very powerful).
I agree with you about the UI tweeks. The first scavenger mission I lost at least 3 resource packs that I thought I picked up (wasn’t exactly sure). I didn’t even notice until the mission ended and I am thinking I got like 8 resource packs and ended up with 4. I should have been paying attention to the counter. Sadly, I didn’t even figure out what was happening until the 3rd scavenger mission! Made me feel like a total noob.
This just shows that there is more work to do!
Like you, still enjoying and getting excited for the new DLC.

I’m not against giving a pass to WP penalties/rewards for deaths/killing.

Actually, I suggest lowering all of them by 1, so that it’s not so easy to use the skill your spent the WPs on to recover them.

What do you think?

Personally, I don’t like dealing with mobs of enemies, and I don’t think that it fits Phoenix Point thematically either. I would rather see fewer enemies with more non-lethal abilities, and a player with much more limited capabilities as well.


I can’t agree more here.

Looking at the patch notes for the next patch necronomicon, do you think it will address these issues?

I’m not sure. The lowered amount of Haven defences sounds good, but I’m worried that they’re not doing anything about the issues with the economy.

The biggest problem with PP at the moment, IMO, is that to progress you have to spend a lot of time doing low-risk low-reward repetitive tasks that are fun the first time but get pretty tedious by the 20th or 30th time. After a while it feels like you’re doing basically the same small set of missions and tasks over and over again.

I still enjoy the game, but I think this is what’s currently stopping it from being really successful. It’s supposed to be a Lovecraftian military-horror thriller, but by the time you get to mid-late game you’re spending most of your time doing boring stuff to earn resources.

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I came back to play Cthullu since I read there were big changes from the time I gave up playing the game (way back before the first DLC released).

Unlike everyone else in this thread, I am a casual player and I am not a tactical and strategic genius that can take a naked 4 man team with combat knives and kill a Scylla, then walk away wearing new suits of armor and using BFGs made out of reconditioned Scylla parts.

I find NORMAL mode challenging and tough and I found that to still be true when I played this time. Matter of fact, I restarted down on ROOKIE and still find it challenging Mid to Late game. Those are more my speed - Where I can walk away due to real life interruptions and come back and not have to worry about having forgotten some minor part of the combat where on higher difficulties that would make me wipe the team.

I see everyone talking about how easy Legend is and it just totally destroys me when I tried it, Multiple times. So, whatever changes are being considered - please keep in mind those of who don’t play/aren’t good on those high levels.

I’d played games where things were balanced from the top down and found the easiest levels still so difficult I decided to save myself the stress.

comment wise - I’m not a fan of all the changes, like the food production lockout, the endless Mobs on some maps or having to get your men to extraction points after completing the mission objective. Trading is still painfully grindy like other aspects of the game, including some of the constant haven missions and nests/lairs.

Overall though, it’s a huge improvement since the first iteration of the game.

I’m not sure what I think about the way bases are done now. They seem to get very expensive, very fast. You pay to activate them and they pay to repair them and the pay more to get the things you need in them…money sinks when money is already very tight.

I feel like Dash, Rage Burst and Marked for Death have been over-nerfed. Especially RB and MoD considering they are level 7 abilities.

Still, better balanced and more fun than the last time I played.