Early Leviathan Feedback

I thought at the easier levels the Pandorans would evolve more slowly. Starting as Rookie (easiest – right?) my first encounter has an Arthron with a carapace, machine gun, an acid grenade launcher, along with a spitter head. This is slow evolving? The Tritons already have their chameleon torsos. It looks as if they reversed the evolution. Hopefully they will devolve some… not!

This is the complete opposite of what I was led to believe the re-balancing was meant to accomplish. In my 4 or 5 play throughs, I didn’t encounter such advanced Pandorans until a number of missions.


Are they random or from specific alien base? If random then it can happen.

I’m sorry, it is the first encounter, 2nd mission of the start of the game. This evolved enemy is not what one should encounter this early in the game, according to messages posted about this patch. There can’t be a particular base this early in the game, as it’s just hours in game time from the start. This is the 2nd location explored.

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Oh. So they didn’t altered randomly generated enemies.

From the patch notes:

Evolution System

  • The evolution system progression was advancing too rapidly from tactical battles and less from with time - we are changing this to be weighted more towards the time component making the whole progression a bit smoother.*
  • We are adding a difficulty component to evolution progression effectively slowing down Pandoran evolution (encountering elite units) for easier difficulties.

How does this fit in, bearing in mind that I am currently “testing” the patch in Rookie mode? Not even 3 in-game days the first encounter with aliens are highly evolved. (Though on the upside, I get a grenade launcher earlier than I ever did in other playthroughs.) Also, bear in mind that my units are level 1.

My 2nd encounter (6 in-game days), the Arthron has de-evolved and no longer has a machine gun and acid grenade launcher. However, the Triton now has evolved even further, as it can now regenerate. The latter is something I never witnessed in my prior games pre-Leviathan. All within 1 mission and 3-4 in-game days. None of this seems correct based on the patch notes or from the Feedback site:

Overall difficulty is getting a rework in the patch alongside DLC 1. Firstly, the Dynamic Difficulty will be adjusted to be more forgiving on easier difficulty levels. We are also changing the way that mission outcomes are evaluated in favor of the player. This means that completing certain missions with fewer injuries is less likely to increase the difficulty.

Pandoran evolution will now also be tempered by the passage of time and not just player performance, meaning that Pandorans will take longer to get tougher!

For the record, no I didn’t lose any units during the missions. However, in both cases, heavy injuries where incurred. Due to the over-powered Arthron in the 1st mission, one unit had to use 2 medkits to survive. Again, we were led to believe that DDA was being toned down for at least the 2 easier difficulties. I just ate some pudding and I am not finding an proof in it.

In this instance, the “evolution” of the Pandorans isn’t referring to their mutation configurations (which can be randomized), but is referring to the rate at which they gain more armor and health.

Okay, but they are already more powerful than I ever expeirenced early days in-game pre-Leviathan. In prior versions, the first few Arthrons didn’t have heavy armor (carapace, shields, etc.). They evovled over a few missions. My first 2 encounters after the patch they already have heavy armor and equipment. The same goes for the Tritons encountered pre-Leviathan and now.

So, turning down the agression of DDA means one has to face tougher enemies in their first few missions and with low level units? I thought the process was to even out the difficulty. So, since I didn’t lose any units against such powerful enemies, I should expect the DDA to be ramped up just in just 6 in-game days and 2 missions?

Hmm … in my 6-7 plathroughs i got almost any ‘configuration’ of arthrons and tritons from the begining on, allways on normal difficulty. I never saw them as an evelution and more as different variants. On the other side the value of armor and hp were also always very low at the beginning. For me the main question was not that they have a carapace or not but how much armor this also easy to hit target has and how much hp the arthron has. In most cases they were no real issue.
But just for the record, an arthron with gun, grenade and carapace is also for me the worst composition at the beginning of a campain.
I would say, very bad luck but has nothing to do with the current difficulty implementations or their changes.

You were lucky then previously. I encountered machine gun + shield + carapace + spitter head many times at the start of the campaign. Btw shield is preferred config in place of grenade launcher. Nevertheless those are all lower grade mutations. Upgraded versions have more HP and armor. Regeneration and cameleon are also starting mutations for Tritons - there is always one of them. Upgraded versions show later.

The game is going too fast now. Playing in legend mode despite having eliminated two pandorian nests I have the 10% ODI as of January 15. I have compared it to the progress of the game without doing missions against the Pandorian bases and the difference is only 2%. Which makes me think that these types of missions are not worth the risk you assume in exchange for only an increase in reputation that can also be obtained by defending settlements that also provide rewards.

My opinion is that although the speed of the countdown is greater, missions against the pandorian nests or citadels should have much greater effect.

I would add, it would be interesting a long campaign mode where the difficulty of the game is the maximum but you can do more missions and explore the whole map. It is very stressful to play against the clock constantly.


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And I was going to start a new game.

I think I’ll wait for the next patch. Sounds like the difficulty issues are even worse now, which I didn’t believe was possible.

I guess it’s all a matter of semantics. The definition of evolve is “develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form”. But in PP it isn’t really evolution, but just generating more armor and health. Which isn’t exactly what I though the word evolve/evolution really meant and how it was outlined for PP.

From the mouth of the creators

“The Pandoravirus can mutate living forms, and it can incorporate DNA from multiple species and clone them rapidly. You will face an alien threat that mutates and evolves new forms in response to your tactics. Our procedural generation system for the aliens can generate a huge variety of challenges and surprises for you on the battlefield.”

Perhaps this only means we can start with highly mutated Arthrons and Tirtons and they can mutate into highly mutated Sirens and Chirons. And the code in the game to evolve the Pandorans isn’t really being used other than to beef up armor and health.


Almost all my campaigns I have had Paradorans using spitter heads, shields and such right from my first encounter with them.

It’s not that the difficulty in this regard has changed in any significant way, you’re just experiencing different scenarios that deviate from your purely random coincidences before hand. And because the update notes mention evolution, you’re attributing blame solely there.

The rest of the thread really is just trying to justify that erroneous leap made in the initial reaction even after getting a direct reply from someone from the development team explaining that what was changed isn’t connected to what you claim to have happened.

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Not so much the patch, but from out of the gate. By Snapshots press I assumed (mistakenly) that the enemies would evolve of the course. Not just research more armor and weapons.

Others are right in that the Pandas can have all of their variables right out of the gate (great fun when the first Chiron you meet is a bomber >_>;; ) and you were probably lucky to experience some kind of evolution in that regard previously lol, but I agree with you that “more armour, more HP!” is not what I was expecting from the advertised evolution. I’ve mentioned this elsewhere though so I’m not gonna keep banging that drum and hopefully we’ll have something waaaay more intriguing for this mechanic after further updates and/or DLC.

This is a perfect opportunity for me to bang my Sphinx drum tho, so I will :slight_smile:

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Sure, but that’s been known before the patch. The patch didn’t introduce new mechanics, just tweaked the rate of enemy upgrade progress, which consists of passive boosts, not unlocking body parts.

Considering that what seemed to be the original mutation vs equipment doesn’t seem to exist/work (various body parts being counter and being countered by various equipment) I did threw an idea of creating a point system - aliens can construct units using certain pool of point, and different body parts and passive upgrades, depending on their difficulty level have different values. As Alien threat expands, they can spend more point, building more versitile, powerful and durable units.

As it is you can encounter in the game Tritons with postols and Tritons with sniperrifles - not nearly an equal threat, and one is simply more deadly and difficult to deal with.

To me the point system sounds like a solution to some of the game’s issues.*

*Layman’s Perspective Clause

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I like this idea, for the aliens to get an increasing budget. I also think it could work with a variation on the DDA system, by evaluating how much damage the player causes of each type (AP, raw, explosive, psych) to the Pandas. So if the player relies on AP weapons, grow the HP, if on raw, grow the AP, etc.

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Now to “late” feedback as I have slowly progressed to the endgame. Why so slowly, to enjoy all of the side missions.

Overall, the toning down of DDA appears to be close to a good overall balance. The only time I encountered a huge spike was in the Project Vulture mission. Perhaps DDA only applies to the Pandorans and not other missions. In this mission I encountered 3-4 times more and stronger enemy forces that in any other mission. More than 16 enemy (16 was the initial count - more were discovered later on). This comprised of 7+ snipers and 5+ heavies with missles. Through a bunch of assault and techs to even the odds even more so (not!).

Suffice it to say this was the toughest battle, even more than the final boss mission. I would hope this was an oversight, but it certainly felt totally out of place.

Things that are still broken (in my book) were not necessarily addressed in this patch.

  • Lairs are just plain unfair (though they say there are looking at this - but no clue on what they are planning). Yeah, I know many of you out there think the Lair missions are the best in the game.
  • Ambushes are a big pain since one has no clue where on the map their evac point will be. I would prefer that one at least know what side of the map the point will be, but of course it’s not activated until one has survived the 3 turns.
  • The haphazd random placement of units in base defense is still wrong (again IMHO). Units twiddling their thumbs in the area the Pandorans are known to come from. Sometimes the unit can not be brought safely out of the line of fire in 1 turn. While the others are in the furthermost corner of the base and can’t be brought into play within 3 turns.
  • Completed missions still showing on the geoscape
  • Failed and completed missions not being removed from the summary on the left of the screen
  • Enemy’s acid weapons appear to be more powerful than ours.
  • Selecting an aircraft on the geoscape and a destination - only to find out there is no Move option. One must tab through the whole list of aircraft to trigger the Move option
  • Virophage weapons still feel totally useless
  • Infiltrator stealth was broken with this patch
  • Many of the research benefits come so late in the game that they are totally useless
  • The dearth of non-elite units available to recruit. By mid-game there were none available. With the TF “fix” it’s hardly doable to recruit an elite and multi-class then to a non-elite class.
  • Early faction Special Missions in parts of the geoscape where one has no chance of reaching until late in the game.

Hopefully Snapshot will be looking and fixing the glaring things as well as work on the annoying, but not game breaking, niggling ones. Overall, I think that this patch was large step forward in making the game more enjoyable, while still challenging enough for one’s playing skills. I may even look at upping the difficulty level and notch or two and test some more.

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I did some play of it, and it looked like everything was fixed.

Then I got to the Antartica mission and got my ass handed to me. Tried via the autosave for different enemies and got bad combinations all 6 times I tried.

Thought, ok I’ll come back to that later and did a Haven defense and got a 1 Scylla and 2 acid shooting Chiron’s + the usual enemies. Tried 3 times on autosaves to get better combinations and nope same ones every single time.

Combine this with a new ODI bug where by destruction of Pandoran bases does not lower it and yeah I’m going off to play something else. Was fun for the couple of days that I got back into it. Made some good progress.

Acid really needs to be toned down. That caused near full wipes of my squad within 1 turn on a few occasions.

I agree with most of what you say. Acid needs some rework. Not sure what is going on with infiltrators, I understand that the sneak damage is supposed to work with silent weapons only now.

My impression is that DDA and speed of Pandoran evolution got noticeably adjusted downwards, which is good.