In good news, I’ve found the Harrower shotgun, Piranha AR (as long as they’ve got the relevant personal skills for the damage / accuracy buff) and Raven SR are highly effective late game. (Incidentally the sniperist ability might be bugged: I’ve bought it for some of my characters, but it only seems to have affected some of them)
- The Destiny laser mount seems to have AoE targetting like grenades. I suspect this is a bug.
- The Archangel rocket launcher seems not to have AoE, which makes it extremely weak. Is this also a bug?
- The Jormangandr acid cannon is pretty pointless - I suspect this is because acid needs rebalancing. It seems really exciting to dump 600 acid on a target, and then… very little happens for a long time. Same goes for other acid weapons and to an extent poison - you’re just not getting enough pay-off.
- I don’t really “get” the Synedrion paralysing rifle/pistol, as they arrive long after I’ve captured everything. I guess if you need to constantly capture aliens for mutagens…? Also, as below about balance.
- That shock baton… 2AP for a 180 shock attack? Isn’t this extremely weak?
In the late game, I think the main problem for your party are actually the arthrons and tritons. Arthron machine guns - if all in a burst hit - deal ~200+ damage. Launchers are often crippling. Tritons with sniper rifles are also dangerous. Scyllas, Sirens are extremely dangerous in their own way, but I find often mostly problematic because dealing with them stops me keeping the athrons and tritons under control.
The game therefore really becomes about trying to wipe out as many incoming enemies as possible, because if anything gets to you, you’re in real trouble. This loads the game heavily towards fast killing - things like acid and poison have low utility because you just can’t afford to wait to let them do their work. (If you wanted to create a specific, infiltrator-based team things could be different: you could inflict all sorts of poison and acid effects and then vanish while they did their work - although that’s less use when you need to move fast to achieve targets like in haven defence.) That Scylla or Siren or those 4 arthrons need to die NOW or your troops do. The game also pushes you to long distance, because so much of the enemy potency is close-short range - mind controls, launchers, the MGs become much more dangerous, etc. Thus there are a lot of really good ideas in play, but I don’t feel they mesh as well as they could: shred and piercing are awesome, everything else seems niche.
It feels to me that the opportunity to make use of these tools requires a system where your agents are lot more resilient to damage - battles more about trading modest damage and debuffs than big alpha strikes. Either much better armour for your agents, or more basic arthron / triton enemies with lower damage output.