Easy Improvements to Strategic Experience

This is not about me but doing good game.

New players at the beginning don’t know what features are immersion breaking. They do things in the game and see results later. If those actions taken break immersion there is no way back to starting position. Immersion is broken and bad impression was already made. This is why you get low player retention, because some players feel off and leave the game. This “freedom” to choose immersion breaking features is killing the game.

Like I said you could have rading mechanics in old ufo. Fighting other Xcom squads in cities to get resources. You can say this is less freedom because we hadn’t have that ability to endlessly raid some cities to get resources to fight aliens. Yes it was less freedom. But it was better for the game to not have such a terrible feature. Freedom you speaking about is bad for the game if you allow player to make immersion-breaking decisions. This is strategy game and you want to implement RPG style freedom. You will get higer retention if you won’t make basic mistakes like that.

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.

Maybe because players who did them left the game already didn’t post anything because why waste time for such a poor design. People who stayed don’t do them and yes you can say why do we want players that can’t discern what is good and bad in the game. This is valid question and the answer is simple. Because we want to make a successfull game which other people play. If nobody playes the game, game is dead. And most people don’t play bad games with some good features. They will play the game where those features don’t exists or at least there are less of those. This is why such a game has more players than the one with “who cares if we have bad immersion breaking features, player will choose themselves” mindset. At least that how the strategy game industry works. If they want to reinvent the wheel and make from startegy game a RPG, they are free do so, but this will fail spectacularly.

I wouldn’t forbid being a psychopath on killing/raid spree. I just don’t think factions should consider it adorable quirk of spoiled child. It is just: if you are willing to raid, be prepared to be raided in response. :man_shrugging:

You mistake freedom for lack of consequences. No one wants to disable raid feature, right? Just expect that the faction you raid won’t love you anymore and it will be much harder to regain trust. You can still do whatever you want and maybe even finish the game being at war with absolutely everyone, for a challenge, because why not?


By the way:

That is wrong in my opinion. Lore-wise factions have no idea about “ending” options and can’t have its agenda set to love PP just because of risk of loosing it. Lore-wise, raided by PP faction wouldn’t consider PP a savoire of humanity, but a warmonger that doesn’t care about human beings/faction citizens anymore. Why would you expect to get faction ending if you raid the shit out of that faction? You would do exactly what you shouldn’t do if you would care about it, right? :stuck_out_tongue:

I talk of “occasional” raiding.

No, I think there should be meaningful consequences. Let’s agree that we both agree on that and that we disagree on what the consequences should be and the threshold at which they should be triggered.

My point is that if you make the penalties too harsh you are disabling raiding in practice, because e.g. Would you steal a Thunderbird if the penalty is that you can’t get NJ tech for free anymore?

When you say:

I don’t think you really want consequences. It is clear you don’t want to be able to do it as often as it is possible right now and I 100% agree why, but you still want to keep the consequenceless raids once a while.

Get the tech first and steal aircraft later? Steal the tech, because why not; you already got an aircraft, right? Steal aircraft, survive the retaliation, refrain from attacking new “enemy”, rebuid reputation to regain their trust so they will give you tech later?

Currently you can have a cake and eat it too. And you would like to keep it that way, maybe just eat it not as often as you can right now. :man_shrugging:

The funny thing about this discussion is that it’s really a fan-fiction head canon debate. There’s no right answer here, just personal preferences.

I could easily see West being ruthlessly vindictive, and begins planning the downfall of PX after the first raid. I could also see him being a cold utility maximizer who sees that the number of havens rescued and panda bases destroyed by PX is worth the occasional raid, because he really doesn’t care about individual lives all that much (NJ is basically fascist).

I think something that might help solve this issue for both camps would be the ability to negotiate for stuff from the factions. Like, after a haven defense, instead of just fixed resource rewards, you could choose from multiple options, like some gear, or even a reduced-price vehicle or aircraft.

From a gameplay perspective, the problem is that the factions have all the stuff worth having, but the number of ways of getting that stuff are too limited.


Actually, atmo that’s precisely what’s happening, but the other way round - and it’s what upsets me and a lot of other players.

I don’t want to behave like a complete a!£$ehole, but the game forces me into acting like one if I want to progress - or rather it makes not acting like a ‘sociopathic pirate’, as someone so accurately put it, so sub-optimal that only players like me who are aching for a challenge actually opt to go down that route.

I don’t steal aircraft, I don’t raid - I rarely even farm Panda Colonies for protection money - and I know that by not doing that I am slowing down my rate of progression and making the game infinitely more difficult for myself.

So right now, this mythical freedom of choice presented by the sandbox is just that: an illusion. Because if you opt to play like a good guy, you are putting yourself at an extreme disadvantage, which for me is only mitigated by the fact that the tactical game can get so easy I have to impose all kinds of self-restrictions just to keep it interesting.

However, if the game imposed a realistic level of Rep loss which meant that if you repeatedly cheated on your partners, they would stop trusting your obviously insincere promises, it would be infinitely better in my and a lot of players’ opinion.

I don’t want to stop you acting like a Dick. I also don’t want to be prevented from stealing the odd occasional thing from a faction I’m not too hot on for strategic purposes. However, I also don’t want to be forced to be a complete sh!£ just so I can survive.


Actually, from a gameplay perspective the problem is that the factions have all the stuff worth having and currently the best way of getting it is by lying, cheating and stealing it from them.

There is no incentive in this game to act like a trustworthy character in the interests of humanity, because all those cards are stacked against you.

And for many of us, that makes for really uncomfortable gameplay.

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I don’t entirely agree. The rewards for reaching aligned and allied status are significant. I’d just like to see things balanced out with more serious consequences for anti-social strategies (like I outlined originally), but not so much so that you just end up pissing off the players who enjoy going the resource pirate maximization route.

In my experience, it’s a mistake to assume that we good-guy players are as much of a majority as we like to think. I’ve known plenty of perfectly nice wargamers who like to play absolutely ruthlessly.

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I don’t think that it’s accurate to say that the game “forces” you to do that. It absolutely does not, as it is entirely possible to play without raiding and not feel pinched for resources or like you are missing out on something.

Actually, the problem is that it on some level it is an exploit that can easily ruin your game. It can be more like a cheat than a proper game mechanic atmo because penalty is too low and there are no cooldowns.

I have played many different ways: sometimes raiding a lot, sometimes a little, sometimes not at all, and at least that’s my concern when engaging in raiding: that it will ruin my game.

And my point is (and always has been) that you can actually reach Aligned & Allied status more easily by p*$$!ng all over your potential allies and then using those rewards to trash a Panda Colony than you can by behaving honourably and treating them like allies. So where is the incentive in getting them to trust you?

Which is wrong on a whole host of different levels, both in terms of game balance, ‘realism’, interesting in-game choices and the moral ‘feel’ of the game.

TBH, if this game was so hard that I couldn’t play it as a good guy, I’d simply stop playing it full-stop, because it is actively trying to force me to play like a bad guy - and I have dumped more than one game for leaving that kind of bad taste in my mouth.


Not viable. You would have to wait until almost the end of the game, once they have researched everything, or you have become allies and you research their tech.

Worst mission ever in the game x15. I have gone down this route once, and I don’t recommend it.

There is nothing like that in the game.

I think you are referring to sabotage missions, not raiding. Aggressive raiding definitely slows done rep progression.

It’s true that sabotage missions are weird in that way, but one thing at a time :slightly_smiling_face:

However, in any event, don’t you think that it fits the theme that doing the right thing the right way is harder, but has its own reward? Shouldn’t it be harder to save humanity while keeping your moral compass?

TBH Voland, you and I are the exception.

I’ve read more than one post from some hapless player claiming that this game is so hard they don’t know how to survive. And for them, the advice is always to raid for a plane asap, then raid Havens for the resources they need.

If you know how to exploit the meta and make the most of your tactical options, yes, it is possible to play like a good guy - but that’s not an easy option. The game really does incentivise people to be untrustworthy because all the risk/rewards are skewed that way. And you have to deliberately choose not to take that easy option knowing it’s a more difficult path atmo.

I must admit, writing this, I am starting to wonder whether I’d still be playing this game if the devs had fixed all the exploits and made it as hard as I’d like it to be, without fixing the Diplomacy system. Because I come back to your own quote:

That’s where I am right now, on the other side of that coin.

More easily? No, I don’t agree. Too easily? I totally agree. You reach those statuses faster without raiding. I’d like that differential to be significantly larger. For example, as I suggested originally, raid rep penalties should increase with your positive/negative reputation, on the theory that betrayal/validating the hard-line PX foes gets more costly as your reputation gets larger.

Actually, yes it should.
But it should equally be much harder to gain the trust of a Warlord if you repeatedly betray that trust.

Stealing an aircraft should be tempting but not to all intents and purposes ‘free’, which it is atmo.
Repeatedly raiding should result in diminishing returns, which it doesn’t atmo.
Sabotaging something for a faction should give you a big boost with the faction you want to impress and an equally big penalty with the faction you’ve attacked - and in my opinion that penalty should double with every level of trust you have supposedly earned with that faction.

None of this happens atmo. There is no reason not to do the wrong thing, because it doesn’t actually cost you anything at all.

Actually, I wouldn’t be at all averse to that last idea: if you are Friendly with a faction, all rep penalties for acting against them are doubled; tripled if you’re Aligned with them and quadrupled if you’re Allied.
But if you’re not on friendly terms with them, then they just shrug it off as they do atmo.
That works - and would make you think twice about stabbing your friends in the back, but quite happily pick on your enemies to your heart’s content.



Yeah, maybe something like that…

I was thinking diminishing returns for rep gains.

So the first time you e.g. destroy a nest, you gain +4, next +2, and then +1

That would make it much harder to offset rep loss through rep gains.

Could be an SWO.

the problem I see with diminishing returns for rep gains is you are getting punished for doing what you’re supposed to be doing - ie. wiping out Pandas.

I’m much more in favour of escalating penalties for doing what you’re not supposed to be (or rather would not be popular for) doing - ie. repeatedly stealing stuff.

Though as I say, i would not be at all averse to leaving the system as it stands for picking on non-friends, and making it more punishing for betraying the trust of friendship & alliances.

With the caveat that there should also be diminishing returns for repeatedly raiding the same Haven, which as it stands is simply bad design imho.

I also like escalating penalties for negative reputation. The more you raid, the faster you push a hostile faction to war.

Well… yes. But is it bad? This sound like a diplomatic choice to me. You steal an aircraft and they hate you, and while they hate you, you don’t have the benefit of being an ally. It is up to you if you care about that aircraft more than about their tech. :man_shrugging: Eat a cake and have a cake problem.

Don’t want to sound harsh, but this is not my problem and this is not an excuse to raid without consequences. If you have a problem with getting tech from a faction that isn’t your ally we should talk about how to improve research raid missions, right?

That is the core of what I consider diplomacy consequences and my proposition. I would be a bit silly to propose something already implemented. :crazy_face: You ask me about “what if” and shrug the answer with “it isn’t”. :smiley:

It has nothing to do with own moral compas, as far as I am concerned. If you like to raid, you will. If you don’t you won’t. There is nothing wrong with any approach and either way is and should be viable. What bugs me, is that you can be a total dick and still wear the shining armour.

Being able to occasionally raid without consequences won’t change anything - it will just put a delay on you being a dick. Gameplay-wise you will still farm them and milk them but not as often as you used to. I don’t think it will improve diplomacy in any way, it will just fix one or two current diplomacy exploits that ruin the balance but nothing else.


Bold assumption considering we’re discussing the options for a while and no one, even me, mentioned permanent war or worse, getting rid of feature altogether. Argumentum ad auditorem? :roll_eyes: