Equipment should not be tied to Will Points

Will Points make perfect sense for soldier abilities. Expending Will Points to run further, to shoot twice in a turn, to go on Overwatch, to take a particularly accurate shot, etc.? That stuff makes sense - it can be considered an abstraction of variables such as adrenaline, combat stress, fatigue, morale, and so on - your soldier his pushing himself/herself in the heat of the moment, but leads to negative consequences such as tiredness and stress.

But using Will Points for utilizing the Jump Jets? For using a Medkit? I don’t like it. It feels insensible and immersion-breaking. By the logic that decrees using Jump Jets costs Will Points, using grenades should cost WIll Points as well.

It’s particularly puzzling in the case of the Medkits, beause you would think that having your own wound patched up or getting your comrade back in fit fighting shape would increase morale, and therefore grant Will Points instead of taking them away.

Equipment use should just be natrurally limited by charges, independent of the WIll Point system.


I do think that using willpoints on certain equipment does makes sense.
Let’s take the Jump Jets as an example. You’re having essentially two giant rocketboosters strapped to your back, which not only could explode, but could fail mid jump, you could misjudge the timing, you could fly against something with full speed or just crash land … point is: They could fail horribly on you. And that’s not even taking into account the fact that you’re leaping through the air. So yes, I do think it should require quite a bit of will for the soldier to muster up to use these things.

For the medkits however, I agree, at least in part. While having the medkit cost WP also makes some sort of sense (you need to focus on cleaning/tending the wound and not botch up the impromptu surgery, if needed), I feel like you still should be able to use the medkit without willpoints too, albeit less effectively. I’ve already lost a soldier to bleedout, despite him having a medkit, just because he didn’t have the will to use it. So yes, maybe letting us use the medkit with half efficiency without willpoints would be better.

Still, all in all, I think that abilities from items, if they requiere some sort of mental effort, should cost WP. (And lobbing a grenade does not cost any mental strength, if you ask me)


I propose a system of basic equipment needing WP to operate due to being either experimental in nature or just complex to operate (include here a basic old fashioned medkit with bloodpacks, bandages, skin patches, etc, and manual operated jets, things of the sort) with the option to later down the line to research computer assistance or more reliable and easy to operate versions of the gear that don’t take WP to operate but still have limited uses. The current medkit animation in game for example could be the advanced medkit, a fancy push one button to spray healing mist affair that takes less than a second to operate. Advanced JJs could feature computer assisted flight, where the soldier simply “selects” his destination and the computer does the flying, freeing up the soldier to focus on other tasks.


That is a really good alternative.
Though again, I think balancing this might be an issue … for some things it shouldn’t remove the cost completely, e.g. Jumpjets, but all in all … I like the idea. Having better equipment, not only for better results, but also easier use.
Maybe another option could be skills: If a soldier is skilled enough with the use of a certain it, he should be able to use them more effectively, or with less effort. Again, cue jumpjets.


While I see where you’re coming from I disagree. I think flying through the air using a specialist piece of equipment that takes a lot of concentration to use would take some willpower. Add in enemy units that could be on over-watch, ready to snipe you out the air and the uncertainty of what enemies might be in blind spots you’ll only see once you land and I think it’s very reasonable for it to demand will points. Similarly, I doubt using a medkit is as simple as it looks in the animation. Having to open your buddy’s wound, retrieve the bullet/s, close up internal wounds and then finally close up the external wounds would be very stressful.

In terms of the game-play aspects I think it’s better using will points too. Ammo is already an issue in this game so adding more ammunition types and making them take up more inventory slots is just going to be a pain. It’s also far better strategically if you can have one soldier rest a turn and then use their abilities again rather than them running out of ammo and reverting to a recruit without any skills for the rest of that mission.

Your idea of WP is really just another ammo meter, just one that can’t be replenished. I like the idea that the more a soldier pushes themselves the more likely they are to panic when an alien hits them or wounds an ally. This would be lost if most soldier abilities were replaced by Weapon Points, or Equipment Points.

You do know med kits already operate on that logic right? they have limited use AND take WP to operate. That’s the thing with physical items, they tend to be limited in what they contain and how often they can be used before they simply run out. And again in my example, it makes sense to use WP if you were using some old fashioned bandages tourniquets and surgical clips type of med kit, but if all you do is a quick spray of magical green mist and bamf, HP is back, then there is a disconnect between what is shown to the player and what it costs him. It’s why I proposed the tech based improvements to items that eventually strip the WP cost of them. And yes, WP are another ammo bar though the better term is resource bar. Currently they are an resource bar for using class skills and limited use equipment like the medkit. Tech could simply refine the equipment enough to make rapid stress free use easy and let the soldier focus more on using his unique talents to survive the fight. And/or it can improve the number of uses or the effectiveness of each use.


I have to admit that, while I understand where the idea of WPs is coming from, I don’t like the way it is currently implemented at all. WP mechanic created a set of very arbitrary rules as a way to limit the power of some actions and equipment. But while I agree with the goal it is trying to achieve(providing players with powerful tools but balancing them by limiting their use) I think the current unified WPs are way to simplistic to be either engaging enough or realistic enough to be good for the game.

On the surface level, no only it takes a lot of willing suspension of disbelief to justify WP-based limitation for some actions, but it will also feel counterintuitive to have your soldiers’ panic and fear resistance(which, don’t forger, is also governed by WPs) being reduced by taking a successful combat actions.

But my biggest concern is in the fact that having a universal “mana bar” for all PP’s activatable abilities and equipment will result in oversimplification of game mechanics. Take the jetpack for instance(it seems like a go-to example in this thread): instead of having a fuel reserve and requiring a skill check to use properly(which could’ve been negatively affected by morale, amongst other things) with skill check failure resulting in anything from misjump to a crash to soldier’s unwillingness to use it at all, this gear currently boils down to “spend X mana, move your soldier to any square with the range”. If all other equipment and active skills will end up being like that, PP be way too simplistic for it’s own good.


I don’t think it makes much sense that even Overwatch requires will points. That to me feels more like stamina related. Why not use will points for PSI abilities instead only?
But the biggest problem for me is regaining them, and how the resource you have to use for special abiltiies will make your soldier panic too if it runs out. It probably sounded good on paper, but when you are being fired on from 3 directions, you cannot afford to hunker down and hit Recover. The current way of Recover only being available if you don’t do anything else that round is really not good. Basically it means you can only use it when no enemies are around, and you don’t always have such luxury.

Bolded for emphasis. Exactly, you DON’T always have that luxury and that’s the point. Which then means one has to be smart with the will points and/or make hard decisions.

You also have to remember this is a pre-alpha. There’s no fog of war, perception/vision range isn’t implemented, etc. Thus things are very different compared to how they will be in the final game.

As for the OP, I disagree. “Willpower” isn’t solely one’s will, it also includes things that could be viewed as being related to other stats. For example “Exertion” is more about one’s stamina to keep pushing. Overwatch is more about one’s focus. Jump Boots would be both stamina and focus. Not panicking as people are dying around you would be your mental fortitude. But from a game mechanics perspective it makes the most sense to lump all of these intangibles into a single stat rather than convoluting the system by trying to separate all this out.

Also have you ever looked at CANA and ATNAA injectors or been trained on their use? And then to know that if you don’t jam this thing into your leg that you’re going to die, but if you don’t jam it in right then you might die anyways. Or how the needle can potentially nick a nerve and paralyze you. Then there’s the fact that if you hold it wrong the needle can punch through your thumb, bone and all. Oh and YOU’RE JAMMING A NEEDLE INTO YOUR OWN THIGH/BUTT (caps to emphasize that it’s a freaking needle which is going to freak some people out).

So I think it makes perfect sense for some equipment to require Willpower to use. Both because Willpower encapsulates more than just “will” and because depending on the person and what they need to do it’s going to take actual Will to force themselves to use the equipment in question.


That actually is what I was trying to communicate - “Will” is an abstraction of focus, morale, stamina, and more. Hence why the medkit draining will to use is against intuition - you’re spraying magic healing mist onto yourself or your ally and watching them/yourself get back into fighting shape.

I just really don’t like the precedent of using Will Points for equipment. The cost for using battle scanners, medkits, jump jets etc. should be in time units and inherent limited charges, not in the same pool of points used for soldier abilities such as a “Run and Gun” equivalent.

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These are the injectors that I’m taking about. They’re limited use equipment that I’m supposed to stab into myself should I be hit with a nerve agent (or find my fellow servicemember’s and use their own on them should they be unable to inject themselves). That’s going to take some will to do even though the other option is likely death. Or we could talk Halo bio-foam and how they shove it into the wound before spraying it and how one would need to have some serious will to be able to shove such a thing into their own wound.

Now I understand what you’re saying about it seeming “odd” about spraying a green mist costing will points, I simply disagree with your assessment. It’s a game and as such not real. If such a thing were to be real who knows if/how much it would hurt as the magical green mist (bio-foam, nano-bots, whatever) does its thing. Or how you might need to work to calm down the other person if you’re healing a teammate.

So while I don’t think all equipment should cost Will, I think it very much makes sense for some pieces of equipment to cost Will to use since it is an abstraction of so many other things besides just will.

You know you can recover will points by using an ability and getting to objectives outlined in blue on the map. It’s not as big of a hindrance as you guys are making it out to be.

My objections are based on concerns other than difficulty and hindrance.

I want there to be a clear delineation between soldier abilities (which run on Will Points) and equipment abilities (limited charges) and for the game to be balanced around that.

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This feels like a rather artificial difference though. As said before, it would turn willpoints into just another resource to use for the soldier, more akin to stamina or mana.
I mean, I can see your point in wanting to seperate the two things, but … personally, I don’t mind equipment using wp, I’d even prefer it, both out of a roleplay perspective and a gampelay perspective.
While the roleplay part has been abundandtly made clear already (soldier needing to focus/mental strength to use certain equipment), I’d like to go into detail why I think it makes sense for the gameplay. With equipment, I could see three possible routes:

  1. One time use: If the item is only usable once, not once per mission, but once, and then you have to rebuild it. It could make sense for special grenades, battlescanners, medkits… but to be honest, that would feel too much of a drawback. I don’t want to rebuild every single flare I use, which would probably end with me not using them at all. The only items that are truly single use should be items that are seriously powerful, able to change the tide of battle within the mission, or give a rather substantial strategic bonus. (E.g. one time: “capture the mutant” item for massive research bonus.)

  2. MIssion limited use: This might be the closest to what you want: Build an item, slap it on a soldier and he can use it x times during a mission, but it refills once he is back at base. Now, this might make sense for grenades, flares, and other “widely used consumables” … but with the way Phoenix Point is planned, with different ammo types etc. … I feel like it would make things too easy at times, if you can just stuff one guy full with medkits, and as long as he isn’t shot to hell in a single turn, you can heal him up with no cost. Or what is stopping you from simply jumping all over the map with your jetpack. Sure, you can only go one turn at a time, but given the heavy’s armour, he should survive a couple of shots to the face.

  3. Limited use + Willpoints: This is the way it is currently for medkits. Other abliities like the Jumpjets e.g. don’t even have charges and only cost willpoints. And if I’m honest: I like it this way. Having a limited willpoint reserve means, you have to plan more. Do I want to jump there, or do I want to overwatch? Can I overwatch, without risking not being able to heal my guy next turn? It really makes you think about what you want to do, and how to utilise those limited points, exactly because they are so hard to get, because you don’t have the luxury of just sitting down to rest in a gunfight, as was stated before.

If the willpoints then are tied to the actual will of the soldier, their risk to panic … even better if you ask me, because it makes handling this resource so much more important. And again, it’s not even unrealistic. After surviving this nerve-wracking jump with the rockets straped on your back, you’re probably full of adrenaline … and more prone to just do a random panic reaction if something spooks you. At least, if you’re not used to it. I still like the idea of research/training enabling soldiers to use less willpoints for their abilities or equipment.

On another sidenode, what would also be a very interesting mechanic is the ability to use this equipment even without willpoints. It would use willpoints if available, but if your soldier is completely out of them, they could still be able to use it… with a risk. I’m thinking the “Roll a d6 to check for the result” kind of thing. You would generally want to avoid those situations, but if you really need to, you could also use your equipment in a bind, as a last restort. Even if you’re completely out of will, you could “force” your soldier to use the med kit … it could go well, it could only patch up some hp, it could do nothing, or outright kill the guy you tried to save. While I don’t expect this to be easy in terms of programming … it would add another layer of possibilities for the player.


You could even take one more step and say that there is a “minimum willpower level” for every WP-using skill, and if you are below that you have less than 100% chance of successful/most effective usage.

For example you need at least 3 WP to be 100% successful at flying into the air during a firefight with a highly-explosive backpack (but it will still only cost you 1 WP) while using the medpack needs 1 WP minimum to not panic at the sight of the wound. You could still use some of them at 0 WP (balance needed), but it can go horribly wrong, so usually you don’t take the chance.

Would it make the game more fun? I don’t know, maybe as a Second Wave option?


I absolutely love the idea … as a second wave option. While it sounds awesome to mess around with this as an added layer of difficulty… for the base game it might make things too difficult/convoluted for new players. But as an optional difficulty in the form of second wave… gimme that sugar.

This is interesting, but one could argue that it’s gonna take some will to even dare to shoot at a mutated monstrosity that wants your skin as a parasol, but soldiers don’t spend will for every shot they take.

i still chuckle when I think of anger powered jetpacks, but considering you can take a turn to regain willpower anyway mitigates the in-game impact. I’d argue that willpower is a misnomer, but I don’t have any better term to offer.

I think about it as “Fatigue”, but spending fatigue points… and gaining fatigue for using a skill would make more ppl confused, even if it’s the same mechanic just reversed…

Yeah, I feel the same but with the whole conception of what Willpower represents it is fine for me. But I feel that Jetpacks could have some more restrictions like fuel consumption and heat buildup.

What if there would be a Fatigue accumulation instead of “Fatigue points”: if a soldier does a powerful action he accumulates fatigue. And when fatigue reaches a certain threshold he will suffer a stat penalties as well as inability to do powerfull actions.

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I understand it, that’s what I was trying to say too, but it’s a lot harder to show 2/42 fatigue on the UI than 40 WP remaining, and it’s somewhat more intuitive to think about ability costing something than causing “weariness” for us players.