Easy Improvements to Strategic Experience

The strategic layer, despite it’s sandbox-like freedom, is actually fairly deterministic. Sure, you have to triage what you deal with, but beyond that, it’s pretty much a choose-your-own adventure book, with a random series of set multiple choice questions. I’d like to come up with some suggestions for improving it that would be relative easy to implement and fall within the devs apparent priorities.

  1. Change the Reputation Calculation: currently, it’s just a single number that changes in the most simple way, and incentivizes players to raid and steal. I suggest that a bit more go into the calculation.

First, haven rep should play a dominant role. Your base reputation score should be a population weighted average of your rep with the individual havens of that faction. Then, when you take actions that affect your rep globally, it improves/degrades your rating with each haven. This way, if you like to raid a lot, you’ll drive down your rep faster because you’ll lose rep globally and drag down your average by alienating individual havens.

A corollary to this would be that raids should more seriously damage your rep with individual havens.

  1. Faction Raids: Havens with which you have a negative reputation should have a chance of launching raids against nearby Phoenix bases, proportional to how negative your rep is with that haven. I call this the “don’t :poop: where you sleep” rule.

  2. Faction Gifts: PP should be able to gift things to havens, like resources and gear, that will improve PP rep with that haven. Be a good neighbor! Likewise, friendly havens should have a small chance of gifting stuff to PP, proportional to haven rep.

  3. Variable Raid Warnings Durations: The 24 hour warning of Phoenix base attacks is too much time — I’d like to see time that varies more, representing the fact that intelligence of enemy movements is not uniform. I think that the base value should start at 12 hours for bases with functioning satellite dishes (and 0 for no dish). Add 1 hr for each soldier garrisoned in the base, and 3 for each vehicle/mutog. Nearby havens within the attack range of a pandoran base should add/subtract 1 hr for each 25 points of +/- reputation. Finally, have a random +/- 6 hr to represent variable intelligence.

  4. Calls for Help: rather than all haven defenses being the same, they should differ in whether or not the faction calls for assistance. Organizations are proud, and while that NJ haven with a strength of 25 may appreciate your help stomping a weak panda attack, your rewards should not be that great if they didn’t ask for your help. Similarly, rewards should be greater for havens that call for help. Only calls for help should stop geoscape time. Declined calls for help should damage your rep based on your rep with the haven: the larger your positive/negative rep with the haven, the bigger the reputation hit.

  5. PP resource production: resource farming is a drag, and encourages raiding behavior by players. Meanwhile, there are abandoned production facilities around the globe. I propose that some exploration sites have the capacity to be activated (for a price) as PP production facilities for one or more resources. These facilities could then be targets for attack.

Along with these facilities, you should be able to hire local security equipped with raider gear for a fixed daily resource cost depending on the raider type/level (whose stats and skills are randomly determined).

  1. Competitive Scavenging: Scavenging missions get pretty monotonous after a while, and there’s little pressure to them. In this respect, I miss the old system where you had to move fast to keep resources from being destroyed. Therefore, scavenging missions should more often include non-panda enemies, and those enemies should also be able to open crates and make off with/use scavenged loot.

  2. Accelerating Reinforcements: This is not really a strategic change, but it would be more challenging if the number of reinforcements increased with turn count on some missions, tied to difficulty level. So, for example, on easy you’d start with 0 reinforcements on turns 1-6, go to some set strength level on 6-12, increase reinforcement strength on 12-18, etc. On legendary you could start with reinforcements appearing on turn 1 at a higher base strength level, and then bump up the strength every 3 turns.

Feel free to add to the list!


A lot of nice ideas. I don’t agree with everything as they orbit mostly around reputation and faction relations, but they feel at least pretty solid.

For me, “raid a lot” should never be an option. You raid? You don’t just get bad reputation, you get a faction enemy and immediate retaliation(s). Want to befriend them again? Survive retaliation and build up trust again. Raid again too soon and be damned forever. Early craft steal shouldn’t be a neglible diplomatic faux pas, but declaration of war; war you should have hard time survive (or at least should hinder your growth by a large margin) at this stage.

I don’t like the idea of gifts. This is always… cheap. “We know, we killed your only security guards and steal an aircraft, and yes, some reasearch too (twice or so, who would count) but loooook, shiiiiny triiinkeeets.”

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LOL, gamers never agree on everything. :wink:

I hear you: raiding is not my preference. That said, it appears baked into the game, and that seems unlikely to change. Given that, I’d like to make the decision-making about doing it more interesting.

As for gifts, hey, wergild is a really old concept. Plus, it doesn’t need to be an indemnity. You’d want havens close to your bases to like you, because you get benefits from it. It’s one more strategic choice to consider for your resources.

Oh, I am fully aware of that. But it didn’t make you a family friend. They have hated you as much as they did before payment, but at least it didn’t escalated into blood feud. Mostly. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, there is an obvious reason the concept didn’t survived till now. :stuck_out_tongue:

You could scale the benefit to reputation. The more positive/negative your reputation, the less you gain from giving gifts.

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I raided NJ 10 times in a row for tech, ended in -21 rep. I like the tech but screw West and his mindless lackeys. Uhm… anyway. They wouldn’t trade or let me hire soldiers until I finished the first Diplo mission, when I was up to around 28 again. Now they are like, Saul Goodman. So I stole 3 planes from them to help defend against the Big B. Cause as I said fu* West. AND he’s like Saul Goodman still. This system could use a tweak for sure.

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Diplomacy is not very good, no question about it. And penalties for raiding/stealing are too low.

However, imo it should be possible to occasionally raid and remain on friendly terms with the faction.

PX is not a faction, they are the experts on the Pandoravirus and all the factions need them to realize their agenda. So I would expect them to look the other way on many transgressions as long as they can expect that PX might still help them achieve their goals.

I can’t agree with that. I would go with increased, decaying over-time (or not) reputation penalties with each subsequent raid against same faction. Like reputation hit of -75% first raid, -100% second raid, -125% third raid and so on till -200% and reduce max. reputation you can reach (you can’t ally faction you raid occasionally, after two or three raids all you could get is nautral at best with tendency to turn very hostile at any transgression).

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Man u crazy, might as well skip the feature all together. There must be some middle ground.

Why? What’s the point?

I mean, I agree that it is immersion breaking to have stuff like 1) Murder a bunch of Synedrion to steal a Helios, and 2) Them offer you a fully armed Manticore to celebrate your friendship. And also that raids are easily exploitable because the penalty is too low and there is no cooldown (so you can raid the same haven again and again).

But a faction shrugging off occasional PX ehem… aggressive field procurements, I find quite reasonable. The parallel I would draw is foreign mercenaries living off the land of the lord who has hired them.

Point of what? I don’t like the idea you can raid everyone and still be like “Friendship is Magic”. If you like raiding, pick a faction that will be your enemy and raid the shit out of them, but don’t expect getting them allied any time soon if you do. You have two other factions to be friend with, right?

You still can raid an ally, but I can’t imagine the world in which they would still be your ally. This is not like accidental “friendly-fire”, this is intentional open attack.

There is no risk in it, just reward. You exploit the fact, that there are absolutely no repercussion to your agression. You know that because they are allied they will shrug your occasionaly milking them dry. So you will occasionaly do it because why not?

In my opinion raiding allies without consequences is failed idea. Fixing exploit of no cooldown won’t change much. It will still be a resource farm, but less exploitable.


I think we are imagining the relationship between PX and the factions very differently.

For me, it’s clear that PX is not a faction, it’s not a political organization, it has no sovereignty - it’s just your operatives and perhaps some support personnel + AIs. I think that terms like “Peace”, “War”, “Alliance” or “Act of war” are not really suited to this context, or any in case shouldn’t be taken for their meaning in international relations.

It’s also not about friendship (cringy plot devices like the Gift aside), it’s about faction agendas. You get rep for defending their havens and attacking rivals because that demonstrates your alignment with their interests. You get rep for destroying Pandoran colonies because that shows your capability to deal with the Pandoravirus, which is ultimately what they need you for.

When you raid their havens of course they don’t like it, but is it really worth it to stop a working relationship over a few dead soldiers, moreover when it’s a drop in the bucket when compared to daily attrition rate from starvation? Would West really say “That’s it, I’m abandoning my plans to deal with PV using PX (and renouncing a viable scheme to impose my vision of humanity) because they stole a Thunderbird”?

Honestly, I can see a case for either. I can certainly make up justifications for either.

West could conceivably be more upset by the failure of his troops, and still see PX as useful and tolerable for now.

Synedrion probably has so many factions that some are happy that others get raided.

The Exalted knows PX has the same goal, so would make reasons to do nothing, and she’s the prophet.

Ultimately, it’s a game universe. They’re all pretty artificial. I mean, we’re fighting crab men, here.

Yes, because Thuderbirds are more than just an aircraft - they are a lifeline for a network of Havens. Without them, the Havens don’t get supply drops and the defensive infrastructure (not to mention the Plan) that West is trying to build falls apart.

He might forgive one Raid, cos - let’s face it - you gotta get your Tech/Ships/Kicks from somewhere. But repeated raids? No. With someone like Tobias West, if PP exploited his relationship with them the way some players do, he’d raise a strike force and come down on them like a ton of bricks, just like we do against any Pandoran Colony we’re not farming for our cosy little extortion racket with the Havens.

So while you are (partially) correct in the short-term, in the long-term if PP kept being the serial offenders that I read they often are, the Factions would eradicate them.

In game terms, we can’t have that. But we can have realistic penalties that reflect the severity of what we’re doing and the complete lack of trust that would engender in our erstwhile ‘allies’.


It’s a valuable asset, but so is PX and, let’s face it, PX will probably make better use of it even to the benefit of NJ: The Pandoran bases destoyed or NJ havens protected using the Thunderbird are enough to balance the books purely in terms of resource allocation.

The real problems for West are 1) It makes him look weak, and 2) PX choosing to back a different faction.

Re n1), it’s purely a PR problem and in the vein of what @jrhebert said, I think West would blame the haven leadership for the lapse in security.

n2) is always a bigger issue for me, I would like it if there was a SWO limiting multiple alliances (and on that I know we agree :slightly_smiling_face:)

Again, I agree that penalties for raiding should be harsher and there should be cooldowns, but put simply I don’t think that the proposition “if you raid a faction, you can’t get its ending” reasonable in terms of lore; that would be like the faction punishing itself.

Neither do I, but I do feel that the penalties for raiding/stealing are far too low.

We’re in a post-apocalyptic dark-age society ruled by Warlords. Warlords don’t keep their power by being warm and fluffy and ignoring threats to their people. They have to be seen to protect their people, otherwise their people go elsewhere - or worse still, somebody stronger takes over by killing them.

So not even West or the Exalted with their long-term plans can afford to have PP deliberately flouting their authority on a regular basis, no matter how useful they may be. As for that usefulness, PP is only useful in that it enables West/Exalty to forward their agendas without risking their own people (and possibly with a slightly higher guarantee of success): so if the damage PP is doing to their organisation starts to exceed the benefit they’re getting (ie. if the number of soldiers/craft/tech they’re losing to PP is greater than what they would gain from PP’s success), then they’d come down on PP like a ton of bricks.

But frankly, my bigger beef with the system as it currently stands is that it actively promotes bad behaviour. Many people believe you can’t survive in this game without acting like a Dick (stealing someone’s plane/tech), and the game reinforces that belief by making it a completely costless exercise - because the rewards you get for offing the Pandas more than offsets the loss to your Reputation for being an untrustworthy git. And that sticks in my craw for 2 reasons:

  1. it’s completely unrealistic for the reasons I’ve described above. The history of this kind of society strongly indicates that if you act like an untrustworthy git, you end up with at best no friends and at worst no life.

  2. it removes any meaningful decision-making from the Diplomacy game. Why not steal what you want and kill who you want, because that’s clearly the easiest way of progressing. So you’re not having to calculate: ‘I want Laser Tech from Synedrion, so maybe I shouldn’t steal their Aspida and raid that weak Haven of theirs once a week.’ Where’s the risk/reward calculation of: ‘Do I try to steal that tech I want from that Faction, or do I try to make friends with it and get it that way?’ because as the game stands you can do both with no comeback.

I also really don’t like the way the game turns you into a Mobster (or a Viking, depending on your historical perspective), running a protection racket with the Havens where you keep 1 small Panda Nest alive, just so you can go and defend Havens from it when it triggers a HD; but that’s a completely different matter.

So no, I don’t think raiding should shut down your options at all, but I DO think it should make some of those options much more difficult the more you prove yourself to be completely untrustworthy.


I agree with this 100%. My first PP playthrough, I avoided raiding/stealing because it felt wrong. Then I read on the forums just how whacked-out the rewards were from it. So I tried it, and . . . yeah. Hello, free Helioses.

But it really does subtract from my enjoyment of the game. It makes me feel less like an X-COM force defending humanity, and more like a bunch of sociopathic pirates. Because in PP, being a sociopathic pirate WORKS! There’s literally no downside, you can murder, rob, and pillage everyone you meet and they’ll love you for it.

It’s the kind of thing that’s crying out for a mod to fix it. In fact, mods would fix most of PP’s problems. But PP is mod-unfriendly, so that’s really unlikely. Sigh . . .


Idk guys, I actually like that you can save humanity while being a psychopath, and that the game doesn’t prejudice against what the player actions shape PX into. I would be very upset if the game over encouraged me into the knight in shiny armor routine.

One of the strongest points of the game and what justifies all the troubles that come with the sandbox is that you have this freedom.

So sure, I’m all for meaningful consequences to player’s actions, but I’m against making them so harsh that “the being a dick” playstyle is suboptimal. And it will be if raiding carries a substantial risk of e.g. not being able to get tech from faction.

One of the strongest for you. For me it’s one of the weakest point of Phoenix Point. Because it makes game massively unbalanced and destroys pace, lore and atmosphere of the game at the same time. And this for what exactly? To allow someone experience some psychopathic gameplay styles that are interesting only for small group of players. This is like allowing in Ufo 1994 raiding some cities and fighting humans to gain resources. And doing it so that most players are encouraged to do those kinds of missions most of the time in-game instead of fighting aliens to save the Earth. What the heck? It would have destroyed the game completely from left to right. And this exact approach is destroying Phoenix Point. And it is strongest point for you? Maybe if your goal is to make poor game and repell your target playerbase. Guess what, you’ve achieved that due to believing freedom is more important than good gameplay. And now we have freedom with terrible game-play experience. We can imagine we have good gameplay experience. Going with this process they could’vejust left the game at menu and let us imagine we have a game to play.

SnapShot is clearly confused about what should be mod experience and what should be base game experience. The freedoom you’re trying to impose on everybody is something for mode-like experience where some niche ideas can be explored. And raiding all the time isn’t what this game should be about because it doesn’t fit the story. Unfortunetly people making decision think it should so we have some niche ideas implemented to cover lack of content in the game. And instead of adressing real problmes we have a marketing campaign trying to prove this is something needed and good for the game.

The problems with PhoenixPoint are not so hard to identify. But real problem that you can’t overcome is that you have dev team making terrible decisions about what should be done and how. They’ve spent so many time on making features nobody wants and at the same time making impossible to make features that everybody wants. And if you have leadership with poor decision making skill you can’t go forward because no matter what they will try to improve they will make another set of poor decisions.

They clearly didn’t analize what made UFo a masterpiece of games in 90’s. They clearly didn’t looked also at modern XCOMs to improve what is good and reinvent what is bad. This was not part of the process. They just wanted to make some game that is different from XCOM but in some way connected to the old game. They achieved this part. But so what? Old Ufo is better in so many ways that PhoenixPoint and it was made almost 30 years ago. And they expect what? make sth better than 30 years ago. And then we will clap and congratulate you.

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I have no interest in discussing with you, or anybody else for that matter, how SG should be run, or what games they should be making, or for who.

Also, I think you are very confused as to what’s happening here and what the purpose of this is


A more interesting discussion is why do you feel that you are constantly encouraged to raid:

Is this really the case? Do you do more raids than, e.g. Haven defenses and why?

It’s not my experience at all and tbh I have never seen a stat screen where a player did more raids than other kind of missions.