Prior to Festering Skies, I’ve played through a few times on different difficulty levels. Here is my, hopefully constructive, feedback:
In general, I really like the game and find the combat/aiming system rather unique and, despite some growing pains in the beginning, quite fun. Long story short, I’m a fan of the game. I will be mostly focusing on areas of improvement in the post:
I like the more narrow overwatch cone angles. It makes gameplay a little more realistic, especially when considering a sniper looking through a scope.
These things are just stupid powerful. Don’t get me wrong, I like a little extra challenge but it’s really hard to defend against these. They pop out of nowhere, have nearly unlimited flight paths (hard to overwatch), small hitboxes, and can completely disable my troops in one hit. They are also more durable than mindfraggers so even if I happen to get lucky and get an overwatch shot off, they still reach me and disable my arms. These things need some sort of weakness or we need some easier ways to repair limbs early game.
Legacy of the Ancients
Perhaps I’m playing it wrong but the risk/reward tradeoff just isn’t here. It takes an enormous amount of time and manpower to get these going. We have blueprint missions, then we have to research, then we have to build a couple labs (one is too slow), then we need to send out probes, then a 72 hour wait per site, then we have to visit the sites and deal with the residents, then we have to park a manned aircraft to slowly harvest resources, then we have to defend them. Great, now I have enough resources to build one piece of equipment. But wait, now I need to find the forge I can make it in. Although it’s a fun little diversion, if my goal is to save the planet, I find my time/resources are best spent elsewhere, especially now that I need a couple aircraft on the ready to intercept behemoth missions. My suggestion is to remove the need to park an aircraft there to harvest the resources and give some rewards that help us cover more ground or slow the pandoran progression. Perhaps the sites can have mist repeller like effects.
I find the introduction of aerial elements a nice addition. It requires a little fine-tuning but I think it can work.
- The first “Gift” mission is unbalanced. I had a full team (lucky for early game) go in and had to fight through around 40 enemies to get to the manticore. The way the map is set, you have to fight your way through and there is a bottleneck that makes the “Get to tha choppa!” rush strategy infeasible unless you’re willing to sacrifice a few soldiers.
- Maintaining an airforce is resource, research and manpower intensive. The rewards for successfully intercepting an enemy aircraft is rather paltry. I would increase the rewards.
- Aircraft slots (3) are very low compared to the needs. Enemy aircraft have a wide variety of attacks (even early game) and Phoenix aircraft have one utility slot, which can be used for defense against one attack type or increased hull or resting your troops. The point is, there are way more weapons and utility items than slots to put them in. What’s worse is that I don’t know what weapon systems the enemy has until I intercept it, which means I can’t swap out fire suppression for boosters before going into battle. I suggest creating some way to either increase slots or have non-countermeasure add-ons not consume a slot (perhaps you can load them up but it makes the aircraft a little slower and add a research item to speed up all aircraft).
- With the addition of more things to research and manufacture, as well as the need for more aircraft, can we increase the output of research labs and manufacturing or decrease the cost of bringing new bases online? Or, have allied faction bases increase research and/or manufacturing output of nearby Phoenix bases.
- I like the new recapture a base mission. It adds a new element to the game and makes slow starts a little more reversible.
- I’m wondering if the manpower required to guard my skies is worth it. I need to have two aircraft nearby behemoths to successfully intercept enemy aircraft. I’m on the verge of ignoring them because two aircraft is quite the commitment.
- Please let us intercept mid-flight and over a haven we haven’t discovered
- Please let us survey the battle before engaging. I have, twice, accidentally attacked a defending haven aircraft when I thought I was intercepting a pandoran craft.
That’s all for now.