Do missions scale to the level of your team?

Yes, shared inventory is also a problem, but in my opinion it wouldn’t change much since power comes more from skills than equipment. So it is not so important if you will equip the most weak or the most powerful sniper rifle… or even assault rifle.

I’m pretty sure it will be addressed in this Phoenix Point, the question is how exactly and when.

It’s important to raise these issues as @walan (and many of us) do, but it’s also important to be aware that it’s not so easy to fix them as it seems.

The catch 22 to it, is that by pleasing X audience you then anger Y audience.

So whose voice is more important?

For example, if you addressed all the points raised in walan’s post above, then you’d have a harder game. So what do you then say to those that say that the game is already too hard? Suck it up?

If you stripped back all the abilities and essentially turned the game into the Micropose’s XCOM’s, then you likely would end up with a game akin to Terror From the Deep. Is that what people want? I think not.

I just think that there is no true perfect balance. No matter what you do you are not going to please everyone, because we are all at different levels with these sorts of games. I for example, have played every XCOM game on lowest difficulty, because I like a moderate challenge but not too hard. Where as others love the high difficulty factor. If you look at all the people playing on legendary vs rookie here, you can see the variance. Who do you cater for? You can’t do both. So who is the more important one?

Mod support is the important one. Get the game in good shape with the upcoming changes and then get to work on providing us with solid mod support.

4 Likes

Now that I 110% agree on.

Which is why I constantly argue for Second Wave Options and linking Skills limitations to Difficulty Settings.

XCOM has a pretty broad fan base, of which I was one until PP came along and knocked it out of the park imho. Some have no problem with save scumming, others abhor it - so XCOM gave them a Second Wave Option to cater for those tastes. Some like random rookie stats, others hate them, so the Second Wave gave them both. Etc, etc.

And to answer the inevitable ‘but who do you balance for?’ question, in this case I’d say you balance the Pandas against those playing with Skills limitations, because playing PP with Skills limitations is much, much harder than playing PP with super-soldiers - and people who have no problem with using super-soldiers clearly have no problem with wiping out an easier enemy in a handful of turns.

2 Likes

My take on that, is that if you factor in how long 1 play through of PP will take generally. Then do you want a long play through, or a quicker one? It factors in there.

Some people want a REALLY long play through, which is perfectly valid. I’m just not one of those people. But if you look at those who LOVE the Long War mod for the first Firaxis XCOM for example. We all just want different things from all of this.

Absolutely agree. It’s why I don’t play this on Legendary - not because of the difficulty, but because I like to take my time and savour the world in these games, and Legendary gives me absolutely no time to do that.

So yes, another SWO should be Speed of Timer; another should be Recruits come Naked/Armoured/Fully Armed etc.

1 Like

I’m one of those people - though tbh I never finished LW2 because PP came along.

But that’s my point in a nutshell. Fans of this genre of game (or any game for that matter) want & like different things, and games are now sophisticated enough to let them have their cake and eat it to a pretty large extent.

I mean, I think my point on Terminators/non-Terminators is actually being proven right now in the way that people report they play on these forums. I play HonestMan with 1 Skill/turn limits and Rally restricted but not limited to 1/turn; Voland plays HM with 1SPT including Rally; mcarver2000 self-limits on Terminator skills, but allows himself to use them when he needs them; but Spagetman seems to like his Terminators as far as I can tell. We all obsessively play the same game, just in different ways - it would just be nice if the game itself could act as our referee, rather than us having to exercise sel-restraint (or not) is all.

For me, I feel that there needs to be more differences in gameplay based on difficulty level selected. At rookie it should be a substantially easier game, with less limitations. Where as on the higher ones, more restrictions (or options for restrictions) should be there.

Make the game far harder. Limit skills. Have certain abilities not in the game at all. Go for it. I’m all for it. I’ll just never support a harder game, when it comes to the easier difficulty modes.

Not necessarily, because you can (have to) balance difficulty for each difficulty level primarily by looking at the enemies’ side.

The problem right now is that you can’t balance difficulty because with First Turn Strike what you do with the enemies is irrelevant, they aren’t gonna have a chance to do anything on their turn anyway. It’s the same thing on Rookie through Legend.

True, though the same can happen to you as well. When I attempted the Antarctica mission on Veteran I got my ass handed to me in 1 turn, every time and gave up. So it goes both ways. It’s not just an issue of first strike from the Phoenix side, it’s also one from the Pandoran, where your up against such high level Pandoran enemies that your screwed over in 1 turn with no counter possible.

But that’s precisely the thing -

  • as a player with +200 hours I can do Antarctica on Legend with self imposed restrictions, without using FTS, without any problems

  • any player can do Antarctica using FTS (provided they know how to do it) on any difficulty level

  • casual or new players (I don’t dare say what % of all players, because I have no idea) probably can’t do Antarctica without FTS on any difficulty level.

The problem with super-soldiers is not that they make the game too easy for some players - they make the game unbalanced in general for every kind of player.

…because the game balances itself to cope with super-squads, so mere mortal squads don’t really get a look-in.

But yea, @icemann, to your point about Easy needing to be Easy etc, we completely agree. Problem is, atmo the game is so wildly unbalanced, even in the early pre-Lvl7 stages, that some people have problems coping with it.

But I think the devs know that, and they’re slowly working towards fixing it, so fingers crossed.

1 Like

Funnily enough I have been playing a little TFTD, the OpenXCom version, over the past couple of weeks. No, I don’t want Phoenix Point to go in that direction. I like the skills, I like how they bend the rules. What I don’t like is how far they go in this.

If you have no skills, you have no progression. That’s a problem even if you nerf the pandorans.

You can’t nerf the skills unless you implement a tangible upgrade system with the equipment.

But we’re not arguing to get rid of the skills - we like the skills.

We’re just pointing out that as things stand, unlimited skill use = Terminator Builds in the mid-late game, which creates a whole bunch of balancing issues.

To use the metric most people are familiar with: XCOM has a whole bunch of pretty OP skills - one of my favourites is that one where your sword (or Alien-Hunters Axe-) wielding maniac can go carving their way through multiple enemies in 1 turn. But it has a Cooldown, so that you can’t use it every turn, and every strike it makes as you use it is weaker than the last. Which is why it works and doesn’t break the game.

In PP atmo, it is possible to build an entire squad of Lvl 7 soldiers who can do that every turn, with no reducing scale of damage, backed-up by Rallying troopers who refuel them whenever they run out of puff. Imho, that breaks the game - reduces it to a mockery, in fact - which is why I play with self-imposed limitations.

Thing is, I know that some people like that kind of super-soldier, and some people feel the need for it because the difficulty curve in PP is so brutal (see Icemann’s post about Antarctica above). I’m ok with that - give them a Option to play with Terminators switched on and an Option for me to play with them switched off, then balance the whole thing so that the ‘switched off’ players don’t get slaughtered by super-Chirons designed to one-shot the Terminators before the Terminators one-shot them.

That way, everyone gets what they want, everyone’s happy, and the game’s not broken any more. :partying_face:

2 Likes

And XCOM 2 also has different ways of improving the player’s capabilities rather than just skills. Your “upgrade” options in PP are mainly side-grades.

If you start balancing the game for “terminators off” (whatever that is), then you will end up with a far flatter difficulty curve.

1 Like

Are you sure about that?

Why you can’t balance game for all audiences?

And many players who have expressed opinions on this forum would tell you that is a good thing.

As it stands, this game can be pretty punishing if you don’t know how to optimise its systems. Problem is, once you do know how to optimise its systems, it can become boringly easy unless you exercise some self-restraint.

As I said earlier, I think my point on Terminators/non-Terminators is being proven right now in the way that people report they play on these forums. I play HonestMan with 1 Skill/turn limits and restrictions on Rally, but not limiting it to 1/turn; Voland plays HM with a strict 1 Skill/turn limit including Rally; mcarver2000 self-limits on Terminator skills, but allows himself to use them when he feels he needs them; but Spagetman seems to like his Terminators as far as I can tell. We all obsessively play the same game, just in different ways. It would be nice if the game itself acknowledged that and acted as our referee, rather than us having to exercise self-restraint (or not) as the case may be. And it would also be nice if you didn’t have to have around 200+ hours of experience playing the game to be able to survive a non-superhero playthrough with 1 Skill/turn limits.

This will improve, eventually - though I tend to think that the ‘side-grade’ thing is a deliberate design decision. The thing people tend to forget is that XCOM2 has something like a decade of builds and DLC plus two mega-mods (which influenced later builds) to get where it is today. Compare XCOM: Enemy Unknown with WOTC or LW2 and they are light-years apart - basic architecture’s the same, but the customisation options you have now are phenomenal. But all those spiffy ammo & armour types you can research in Shen’s little experimental toolshed (whatever it’s called) are the result of literally years of gradual refinement.

This game’s had a couple of years of not enough programmers frantically building a massively overambitious project from the ground up - and then trying to fix all the bugs and balancing issues that releasing it too early inevitably entails. The fact that they’re still playing around with little more than half-a-dozen basic monster builds is indicative of how hard it is to build something like this from scratch.

Personally, I’d prefer to have AP rounds, smoke grenades and Siren Will-Sapper tranqs in my armoury instead of the Pure as a whole 'nother faction to deal with, but I suspect that kind of DLC doesn’t sell as well as ‘new enemies’. So we get what we’re given.

But give the devs (and people like you and me on these forums) time, and they’ll gradually start to implement new ideas and suggestions that will enrich the experience. Though, much as we’d like it to, stuff like that doesn’t just magically happen overnight.

2 Likes