Enemy sniper squads?

Probably thats why I want to meet not thousand but the One with 9-10 thousands HP :slight_smile:

And that could be interesting. One enemy that is stronger by far than your troops, and then you have to avoid and run away from, or hunt and work together to take down.

It’d be interesting to try, but it smacks of FPS end of level boss. Which brings its own style of boring.

It’s a drawback to programmatic generation of battlefields. Difficult to produce a genuinely challenging contest without either resorting to a few stupidly powerful enemies or hordes of under powered types. Or both at the same time.

I’d prefer a larger, pre-planned level where there are plenty of blind corners, rooms to clear, corridors and open spaces to cross. Just occasionally mixed in with the procedurally generated stuff.

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LOL I catched one more bug!)) Look at the damage on that 2 screens:
Phoenix%20Point%2060-80x8 Phoenix%20Point%2068-88x8
I can easily grow my damage to infinity :crazy_face:
I mean, bug is not into abilities, it is straightly into mechanics calc.
We just need to fix all that s… f… bugs!!! ))))

I think the discussion of how dangerous the enemy should be with regards to expendable troops versus powerful troops is interesting as both effect tension in their own way. It also has an effect on the original reason I started this topic - Danger levels of enemies with regard to Ironman mode.

If you have dangerous missions where troops can often be killed, then you must create a game where the player can have expendables, ie, losing troops isn’t a major setback. However, that in itself makes the game feel less dangerous/exciting because if the troops are expendable then who cares anyway? It’s counter-productive. It’s hard to feel, ‘Oh my god no! I’m gonna lose troop number 23! This is going to have a big impact on my campaign’, when the reality is you expect troops to get killed and know it doesn’t matter.

If you have powerful (but very limited in numbers) troops, then many missions might seem too straight forward. However, at least when you do end up in a dangerous situation you’ll genuinely panic because losing even those 1-2 soldiers will be a major blow, especially if early on before you build a larger roster. This is how Firaxcoms worked, imho.

When I eventually managed to finish Legendary Ironman in Xcom 2, I had a campaign where I lost only 5 or so soldiers. So, someone might say, ‘Well, if you only lost 5 soldiers then it must have been easy, the game must not have had any tension’. But of course it was the complete opposite. I only lost 5 soldiers in my playthrough because that’s what it takes to get a successful campaign. The amount of times I could have lost soldiers was far greater. I sometimes spent AGES making my mind up about each and every turn in battles that got complicated.

So, in the end, giving the characters abilities/super powers shouldn’t be a problem. You just need those powers to be balanced in a way that they are crucial to actually being able to win, rather than simply being an easy way to win.

I don’t know exactly how PP will end up feeling but it seems to me that there has to be a choice.

You can’t create tension from fear of losing your soldiers if the game expects you to lose lots of them and supplies lots of them.

You also can’t create tension if you then make the soldiers so powerful they’re never in danger. It’s just a question of balance and I think Ironman mode adds lots of tension because your decisions mean so much more and you can’t save scum. However, few people are gonna trust Ironman if you have extreme randomisation in enemy numbers and loadouts.

Some here have said, ’12 snipers isn’t fun’ or ’15 Crabs with grenade launchers is frustrating’. That sort of stuff needs to be better tuned too or else balancing troop power is going to be more difficult, imo.

Oh yea! I feel the point! If we want to play with expendables - we should have default squad more than 7. You know, that magical 7 number. X-com team was started from 8 if I’m in mind, and was easily extended to 14. And, in frames of existing spawns (35 tritons you know) we should have 15-20 expendable troopers from start. Smels like total rebalancing for this or that. Also we should have a normal way to hire them. But… In case of existing mechanics I can offer only one way for Ironman expendables - Try to remaster ground vehicles. Nobody use what they are now. So… Why not to mode them to expendable drones?

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Yes, I like that idea. The idea of having machines there to pad out squads and take the brunt of damage, if used properly and strategically. It could be a way to balance things out and create better odds for your soldiers, rather than simply making them even more super-powered.

The soldiers could be powerful but still vulnerable and so the player could have the tension of trying to keep them alive. The drones would be part of that. Losing them wouldn’t be so bad because they’re just machines and they’re there for that purpose.

It lets soldiers maintain their value and status as valuable assets and avoids the player ending up simply thinking of them as cannon fodder.

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Or you’ll just reload.

Why wait for tension until you’re in a dangerous situation, you should always be in a dangerous situation IMHO, otherwise what’s the point?

That earlier on of the Firaxis games is where the fun is, once everything becomes too safe and easy it’s far less so.

The tension comes from how and when you might lose them, and also how many. They can also come with a cost, and lead to a situation where you’re sending out lower standard troops, and/or less than a full squad because you’re up against it, but certainly that difference in quality between new and experienced troops would need to be less than at present.

we keep talking in frame of existing bugs. We should try to play the same in case of fixed mechanics. Probably, just probably - all will works fine after normal release. Because now we just balancing between critical pro and contra bugs. That is funny but useless talk :wink:

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It’s feedback for the devs to consider though, up to them what they do with it.

After release it’s possibly too late. If then everyone then starts to say that such and such a mechanic doesn’t work well, or that they don’t like it, I wouldn’t at all blame the devs for saying ‘but you never mentioned this before, we thought you all liked it that way.’

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Did you look on my damage screenshots? Most of overpowered abilities can working fine in case of fixed bugs. And everything was already demonstrated by youtube at least. Also, time of release was revealed. So I just hope on fixed bugs only. Other way we will get one more update of release date.

Yeah, but my whole reason for starting this topic was mainly with regards to Ironman :slight_smile:

You’re right, the tension should always be there. However, you don’t need to lose soliders regularly to have tension, you just need there to be the risk of it. Indeed, if you can lose soldiers regularly then who cares and where’s the tension?

Imo, the tension should be there simply because most battles and most decisions should matter, hence Ironman and hence the need for fine balancing in order to make it work. For me, there’s very little danger/tension if you know you can reload.

If you’re always in a dangerous situation AND enemy troops are randomised in weird extremes then you’ll end up with ‘expendables’ in order to keep balance for the player which then leads to less feeling of danger because who cares if you lose expendables? That’s what I mean by counter-productive. I’m not going to feel any danger if I have expendables because, well, they’re expendable :wink:

I agree with much of this, but this is where things get complicated as we then start to debate what the word ‘expendable’ actually means. If losing those troops matters because you’ll be up against it, then they weren’t really expendable in the first place.

Also, with regards to tension in losing soldiers, if I lose 30 out of 50 archers in an experienced Total War unit of troops, I don’t care as the unit remains and I can replenish them (iirc). If I lose the whole unit, then it matters.

However, part of what I like with these games is that I customise and name the soldiers. I want them to mean something. If the height of my concern for them is, ’I’m going to have a total of 90 soldiers over this entire playthrough and I can afford to lose 50-60 of them and still win’ then I’ll only care about them slightly more than those Total War soldiers :frowning: If I know I can lose a lot of them and still win the campaign then why bother even naming them?

It’s a difficult thing to balance and not everyone loves customising soldiers, so I understand if tastes are different.

My point is, soldiers were always in danger of being killed from just a bad choice or two on the harder difficulties of Firaxcom in Ironman mode. So tension was intense even if your winning campaign didn’t actually involve many casualties by the time you won. In fact, large amounts of casualties did occur…but they happened in all the failed campaign attempts before the one you finally win;) That’s why the feeling of danger was always present; because you knew the game was on a razor-edge, imho.

I’m heading out, so just quick reply…

There’s a whole range between there and I’ve got 6 soldiers and I can’t afford to lose even 1 of them.

That is to all intents and purposes just 1 unit in total war though, losing 30 out of 50 archers is the equivalent of 1 solider being injured in a game such as PP. Like you say though, it’s losing the whole unit that means something… even though a replacement for that whole unit can be recruited, it costs you something… and it is just something, but not too much, it’s not the same as playing that game where all your units are generals.

Okay a bit longer than I expected, now I’m late! lol

That is too fast to follow it sorry :wink: So now we have 6 (and 8 max cap) soldiers group, and how can we talk about expend them in case of existing mechanics? So the question is sould we find the way for gameplay incase of something already done, or should we wait for something completely new?
*Also, what do you mean - should we add it to bug report?

No worries, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Yeah, I think discussing this is difficult because I might be interpreting ‘expendable’ differently :slight_smile:

I thought maybe you were advocating taking, say, 8 soldiers and possibly losing 2-3 fairly often, while trying to protect your favourites. Or taking 5-6 and losing 1 or 2, you know? Possibly even taking rookie soldiers specifically in order to sacrifice them, in order to cope with dangerous missions. Something like that. A game where you lose soldiers regularly and only a lucky few live to see max level, with those few being the only ones that matter.

However, it seems that’s not the case which means we’re probably closer than I first thought in regards to where we’d like to see the balance, heh.

You’re welcome - I was racing against the shops closing, and then the sun going down before I could cut the lawn… it’s a chore of a job at the best of times, never mind when it’s half dark.

It is tough to get a point across in writing sometimes, when you don’t have that opportunity to Q&A, or even better drink a beer :wink:

I think where I’d be at ideally is to have a situation, where initially you’re taking out small squads of up to 4 soldiers, but build to one where eventually you’d take up to 16. That in itself doesn’t necessarily need to be a linear progression, it could depend on mission type. Infiltration of a haven might be suited to a smaller team of 2 or 3 specialised guys, whereas defending your own base, it should be all hands on deck.

I’d like to see those squads be a mixture of experienced, rookies, and even some who are past the point of being effectiveness. (I’ve posted elsewhere that I’d like to see soldiers suffer stress and injuries that don’t fully heal, so that they’ll eventually need to be retired and replaced (retired could equal moved into a training room to help develop others). A balance of 8 recruits, 4 experienced, and 4 being past it would make a fun experience for me. Some guys who are able to do their job well, combined with others that are just trying to survive whilst they learn how to fight.

In terms of causalities, I guess I’d like a situation where it varies, some missions you will get through relatively unscathed, maybe one of two injuries that need time to heal (as much as they can), some missions where you’ll lose say 10 or 20% of the squad, but then also some critical moments where you’ll be in a really tight spot, and to survive with half your squad intact would be an achievement. I’d like the game to have ebb and flow in this respect. I don’t think I’d ever be sacrificing anyone, I’d want all my soldiers to have the chance to grow to their optimum point, but losing soldiers at that optimum point should also be a possibility so that you’ve got an incentive to develop more troops to replace them when that loss inevitably happens.

I think an overall roster of around 30 feels good for me, you’d always have some rotation of replacements to cover injuries, you’d always have someone who could be training, and you’d have the possibility to defend your bases whilst attacking away from it, and/or send out multiple squads in different directions too.

Well that all sounds pretty reasonable to me and would be a balance I’m happy with :slight_smile:

The only thing I’d add is that, when it’s all finalized for the December release, I hope mission threat ratings will accurate so we can gauge what kind of soldiers to take and that enemy variation within a single battle will be there to give challenge without resorting to sheers numbers or weird weapon configurations.

I want soldier fatalities to be down to my mistakes as much as possible…because I know I’ll make mistakes and lose soldiers as it is without the need for the game to spawn my squad right next to 15 grenade launching crabs or have 2 soldiers get killed by sniper fire before I can even get them all inside a building :wink: