I’m nearing the end of my first playthough, trying to do the Synedrion route. I blew through most of the research at a pretty good pace, but the Synedrion route requires me to wait on them to build the launch site, which is going to take over 6 days, plus more research after that to unlock the final mission. At the same time, missions are becoming more difficult and more frequent as the Pandorans keep spreading, and my forces have gotten bigger (4 planes) so I’m defending more area. A day of in-game time took me a few hours of real time to play through.
It feels like the game was meant to end a couple of hours than it actually did. All the factions are at the top of their tech trees and have nothing to research. The Pandorans are pretty close to the top of theirs (they still have a few more models of Scylla to roll out, but I’ve seen most of their bag of tricks). I still have a few research topics, but nothing really exciting besides the acid cannon. There isn’t any story left, we know that the Yuggothian Entity is coming and the only question is how we’re going to kill it.
But there’s still probably 10 hours of game left to play. I’m in a holding pattern - just doing the same haven defense and scavenge missions until Synedrion finally gets off its ass and launches the rocket.
From a walkthrough, it appears that NJ and Anu have similar wait times to build their own buildings for the final mission. I am seriously tempted to go for the Phoenix ending just because I can have that researched in less than three days.
The last steps of the game should probably be sped up - either shorten the time for the final construction project, or allow the player to donate resources to speed it up. As it is, the game runs out of things to show you well before the final mission.
There is growing sense of increased Pandoran strength - Mutations speed up, more heaven attacks, but yes, I agree, after alliances, no new breaking techs in terms of really better armor and armament appears, no new type of mission or really new type of enemy (OK, evolved past species, but …) so feeling of repetitiveness and boredom while preparing for last mission is a real trouble. If not speeding it up, rethinking how to present new level of challenge and progress to player would be good.
Is it worth considering that different players play - well differently?! Haven defence missions when completed provide resouces, experience for soldiers and diplomatic favour. Many players have complained on these forums of not enough resources. Does the ending which is chosen matter unless you have a preferred playing style of philosophy? Some players like quick games and others like long games. I quite enjoy opening every PX base on the planet.
Ultimately, the havens are just a resource in the game for tech, materials and soldiers. How many are left is irrelevant, as long as the population index is high enough not to lose the game. Perhaps attacking them instead might reduce the drudgery of the endgame? Going to war against NJ sounds like fun to me.
I have long argued that the endgame overstays its welcome.
They could halve the research times of all endgame researches and it wouldn’t harm the gameplay at all - instead it would improve the overall experience.
By the sounds of it @beleester, you have invested in lots of Research Labs, and you’re actually waiting on the Faction(s) to pull its finger out of its ass. If not, build Research Labs - though MC’s advice to repair any damaged Synedrion Tech facilities is a better one in your circumstance.
It’s a catch 22. In the endgame, resources are only needed to stay in the game long enough to complete the endgame research, and the way to stay in the game is to complete haven defences. If you remove the need for them, you remove the need for the resources.
In my ironman veteran campaign, haven defences are a must to stay above the population limit of 15%. It’s so dull. I wish I count count how many I have done in this campaign - feels like it must be over 100 now.
If they want to have this many haven defences, they need to find a way to give them more variety.
I’m so envious, I’ve never reached even near endgame because when I reach the point of having 2-3 base the game become so tedious with the constant micro-managing that I always restart a new campaign trying to avoid spreading too much, but the game forces me to do so.
Thing is, that doesn’t enhance the game experience any.
As someone who a) lost his first game by 2 hours because he didn’t invest in enough Research labs and b) doesn’t play on Legendary because the Timer Element stops you having time to explore the world properly, I can tell you from experience that all the timer does is suck the fun out of the game.
So simply speeding up the endgame and cutting to the Final Mission faster would go a long way towards improving the overall experience of the average player.