Feedback - late game weaponry & balancing

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)

  1. The Destiny laser mount seems to have AoE targetting like grenades. I suspect this is a bug.
  2. The Archangel rocket launcher seems not to have AoE, which makes it extremely weak. Is this also a bug?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

I won’t argue you are wrong on mass of Tritons or Crabs becoming the real danger later game and importance of killing fast making acid and poison less good options.

But to change it a little bit you need consider not move to enemy, but move out or even retreat for reorganize, ambush, disable some enemies keys positions, setup some keys positions. All in all, stop try rush constantly this pushing rush to enemy and this pushing rush even more.

Your points remain valid, In general Scylla, Archon, Sirens are better delayed as much than possible to manage the troops assaults first.

1 Like

Paralyzing sniper rifle actually saved my walkthrough at the moment when enemy started accumulating armor. These rifles have equal efficiency on all targets with armor below 70. Yes, they don’t disable body parts, but they cripple enemy by eating action points. Even 50% paralyzed target is hardly a threat because it usually has to either move or attack (not both).
The pistol is so-so because of much lower penetration, but can supplement Athena rifle teams for finishing nearly paralyzed targets.
The poison crossbow makes very satisfying damage if you hit the target with 2-3 arrows. I don’t have full infiltrator teams, but I often make an infiltrator flank to keep part of the enemy troops busy while the rest of my team is eating through another enemy flank. Poison + holo decoy make wonders and you don’t even need a high ranked infiltrator to use them.

Yesterday, I took on the Project Vulture mission with a team of 10 (yes I play with a mod that doesn’t limit the number of soldiers deployed) on NORMAL mode (2nd difficulty level).
I try to ban OP skills, so no rage burst, no 100% stealth, no dashing the whole map, rally spam, mind-crush spam, … other stuff.

I start the map and don’t over expand, I cleanly take out a heavy and see some other troopers (and an Armadillo) that are farther but I don’t want to over expand. Still I put a decoy with my infiltrator to take some bullets just in case. And so begins the enemy’s turn…

2 new Armadillos, 4 new heavies (so 4 rockets to my face, the decoy taking one - fortunately I’m not packed together), 4 snipers (fortunately my positioning prevented them from having line of sight), some assaults (dashing twice and shooting twice) and technicians.

I am swarmed, I have lost a few limbs with rockets, my decoy died (glad I had put one, should have put two), I know that if I let them an other turn I get wiped out. I can’t afford the heavies spamming 4 other rockets on me, the snipers now in good position to take shots and the armadillos taking shots (I was lucky most of the first one’s shots were missed the first time - next time I’ll have 3 shooting).

I was trying putting some acid on the Armadillos, but frankly, I don’t have time to wait for the acid to do its effect. I take out the cannon of the three of them (pretty harmless now) and I resorted to mind-crush a few soldiers by bringing 2 priests at the same packed place to have the rest panicking (yeah, I don’t want to die).

From there it became much easier. Simply follow some of them, kill 3 and have the rest panicking again until I wipe everybody including 2 armadillos, the third one running away.

All this story, to say:

  • playing conservatively is a death sentence
    • the first enemy trooper that detects you and you get bombed by a Chiron or heavies, sniped by a LOT of enemies
    • the enemy turn seems endless and you cross your fingers that nobody dies (had a soldier at 10 HP - phew)
    • I had nearly perfect positioning (that’s why snipers couldn’t shoot me) but still took a beating because of 4 heavies (Fury is too cheap)
    • You need a full infiltrator team to do so
  • playing aggressively from the start by dashing would have enabled me to
    • detect more enemies
    • start the panic loop before I get swarmed
  • DoT is useless (acid, poison, virus)
    • most enemies have no self preservation
    • enemies are still as dangerous
    • you simply don’t have the time for the effect
    • hope they change that and apply some additional effects as specified in this post: Serious Balance Fixes Needed- Acid
  • Fury should be more than 1AP
  • did I mention I’m playing on NORMAL difficulty ?
    • no priest, full retreat

What I like in FiraXCOM is that you can take a position where the enemy has low probability to do heavy damage (even if you trigger multiple pods - unless they are all around you, but in that case you screwed really bad and get what you deserve).

I don’t usually rush at all: I take up defensive positions and scout the enemy, then engage when in position falling back where necessary. Although, of course, you can run out of map to fall back to depending on where the fighting starts and the terrain set-up. If they’ve got bomb chirons, you’re also much more limited as you need specific forms of cover.

But once engaged / spotted, I get a deluge of enemies pouring at me, and it’s usually the arthrons / tritons that do the damage. Sirens just need the heads crippled. Late game, goo chirons are irrelevant, and worm chirons usually just require some movement or bashing/handguns to avoid worm damage.

The Athena does 15 paralyse - my tritons / arthrons have IIRC 22-30 to paralyse. I can therefore paralyse in two shots. But I can usually kill with a Raven in two shots, the first removing a limb with a weapon I don’t like the look of, or a headshot to induce panic with a kill or two. It’s a bit six of one, half a dozen of the other.

The poison crossbow is okay. But at best I find it’s merely on a par with a Harrower or Piranha except with a much smaller clip. Infiltrators I find very handy: vanish is fantastic, and the 3x spider grenade can cause a lot of havoc.

1 Like

With Athena, you can use one shot per Arthron/Triton. Applying 15 paralysis seriously prevents them from doing much. Therefore, where you would use Raven on one, you can use Athena on 2. But of course you don’t get will back. Pros and cons.

I think a key point is understanding that many weapons aren’t meant to work alone. Understanding the way they interact and how they’re meant to be deployed is very important.

Acid, based on the in-game description, I would think is intended to be used primarily to eat away armor to allow your main weapons to do more direct damage each turn and not intended to itself be a primary weapon. Alone it’s underwhelming in most cases, as a support weapon used to soften hard targets it might be the difference between a W and an L.

Yes, acid is a support weapon to soften targets.
But the problem is that you don’t have time to wait for it to do its effect, unless it is a worm Chiron.

1 Like

How are goo Chirons irrelevant? I’ve only met one in my walkthrough so I don’t have much experience. But the perspective of not be able to move sounds terrible for my playstile.
As for worm Chirons… I always hear about bashing/handguns. Does anybody else use Anu priests as primary option for pest-removal? :wink:

Slightly spoilery, but Late game you’re supposed to have a tech that lets you move through goo.

Once you do they aren’t an issue.

I know about this tech! :grinning:
But to start the research I need to catch me a living goo Chiron. And to catch one I need to meet one but they don’t appear any more))
For some strange reason Pandorians prefer to pepper me with worm Chirons. My Anu priests have no objections of course. They like to control groups of 0/3 WP worms sending them to their doom :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I have a slightly different issue, when I capture a goo chiron I get a worm one in containment instead. Two captures, two worm chiron’s instead. I reported it as a bug since it must be.

That’s weird! Do you catch them with their goo organs intact? =)
So you haven’t researched the anti-goo tech just like me?

Yeah, too much armor to bother disabling the abdomen most times. I thought it was because I already had worm chirons in containment so I killed everything for mutagen and captured a goo next opportunity. I got a worm chiron in containment. That’s when I reported it.

1 Like

I used to. But then noticed that it can also be used as anything-removal I-win-button and so I stopped.

Haha, I hate those guys for having a habit of knocking my Infiltrators out of stealth with their worm-launches :grinning:
So I’ve got a cheap method to counter their cheap tactics))
And it is not that easy: you’d like to lower the WP first and sometimes you don’t have line of sight. And you have to plan ahead before detonating the fireworms because the fire spreads in the following turns.

I don’t quite follow …
Lower WP of what ? The worms ? Do they even have will ? Mind crush ignores will … and line of sight … which makes it such a cheap weapon against anything …

(edit) I suppose you mean that since you don’t always have LoS to the worms and since they can also bug out into walls mind crush is go-to solution. Still not sure what you mean with WP :slight_smile:

Not Mindcrush. It is lvl 7 skill and none of my priests are so advanced yet. Mind Control.
The worms have 3 will, so you have to kill at list a Triton or a couple of Arthrones at the same turn to mind control the worms for free. Then you can send them away and ask to self-destruct (kindly).


Well that sounds legit xD

1 Like