Festering Skies feedback

In 2006 the Australian Defense Force released an interactive add on MSN which simulated air to air combat in a turn based game. It allowed both players to declare their intended movements, then acted both of them at the same time, with the objective being to hold your opponent you your sights long enough to either hold a missile lock or glance them enough times with machine gun fire.

What does this have to do with Festering Skies? This is an add on by an actual games developer 15 years later, which doesn’t resemble air combat, doesn’t resemble any in depth strategy of dog fighting etc… it’s largely a ‘set and forget’ combat system with the option to abort if it goes badly. The fact there was something better 15 years prior highlights that this failing is not a lack of possible options, technology, maybe budget I don’t know, but under any stretch it seems a poor attempt. The sense I get is that this minigames only intention is to be a ‘one up’ from the previous xcom games, with the air combat basically having near 0 interaction, but at least downing an aircraft resulted in a unique mission type.

XCOM was good and all, but the air combat wasn’t it’s thing, and this game should set a higher bar. If there was a better version of turn based air combat about 15 years ago in an MSN ad I’m sure your capable of making something even better today. If you’ve released a DLC which is specifically adding air combat, it shouldn’t be dull from the first combat onwards.

I haven’t killed the behemoth yet to comment on whether it’s just a pain in the ass early on or whether it leads to something interesting, but the poorly explained interactions with it do not lend to positive assumptions.

Side point - (thought I posted this in here earlier but I can’t see it) one of the side missions about rescuing Mr Sparks brother seems broken; he spawns a long run from your troops, surrounded by enemies who are meant to be keeping him prisoner but they’re hostile to him. Turn one he gets executed every time, it makes very little sense.


Yeah, the air combat could certainly be better. Honestly, however, it’s not why I play games like this, and it does successfully break the monotony of the mid-endgame mission slog, so I actually consider it a welcome diversion. It’s like a little bit of Darkest Dungeon-style arcade combat dropped into a TBS wargame.

I do wish there were more countermeasures options. There’s no way to counter radar and psychic weapon guidance, or reduce bio or acid damage. I also find the idea of flamethrowers in air combat totally ridiculous.


For radar guidance there is a countermeasure (from Anu) and for the bio damage there is also a module that get rid of the DoT (from Synedrion). Acid on its own has no counter but the weapon is visual guided, so hits can be avoided. The Tick is the only psychic guided pandoran weapon and deals bio DoT what can be countered (as already said).

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If blimp can ram faster ships, then surely Pandoran can breath with torch :slight_smile:

From medium ranges? Up close, fine, but the flame weapon has medium range.

It is big torch :wink:

There’s that whole “flying forward at high speed” thing that makes it problematic.

Yeah the Ram was super weird to see. I understand its place in the Anu theme, but it seems like they forgot Anu fly in blimps.

But the inclusion of one really stupid idea (blimp ramming module) doesn’t really make other stupid ideas (medium range flamers as air-to air weapons) less stupid. It’s just another highly questionable design decision.


Does it? For me it looks more like two gunships face to face that close the distance with pretty low speed and hovering close on close at the end :wink:

No, I will not excuse some design decisions, but I really don’t see any high speed in this … air fight?

C’mon, the panda flamer has a longer range than the NJ missile pod, and large things literally cannot fly without sufficient speed.

I doubt the developers will listen, they haven’t to my past posts.

This game just isn’t fun. I really honestly wish I had never played it. I keep thinking it will get better, the developers will listen, and make it playable, nope… it just stupid.

I love some aspects of the game, but every game I play just gets to an unplayable state. Something happens and all of a sudden I can’t win a battle. It becomes SOO frustrating. Example, my last game, it just doesn’t matter what I do, haven rescue, invested haven, or anything else… The Pandarians are just STUPID over powering. It doesn’t matter what I take into the battle, how many troopers, they just swarm me and there is just nothing I can do.

In this state, the game isn’t playable, isn’t fun, and just dumb. what a waste of programing and effort. I wish I had never played it.

keep in mind, I have played every xcom game, and loved them. I actually played this game early and completed it… it had some potential, just needed to be finished.

Nope… its in such a state its just un playable.

Sorry you’re having such a rough go of it. I haven’t had your experience. Personally, I quite enjoy the tactical battles — they’re the best part of the game, IMO.

May I ask for an example of a mission you found impossible, and how you approached it?

Is it the skyllas? Their start out with the instant death claws and leap definitely spikes the difficulty curve in a frustrating way, normally kill at least one person without any recourse but can usually angle it so that one person is an NPC :smiley:

Focus firing out it’s legs and using heavies to shout it down normally does the job though, even if it needs a restart or two.

Personally for this game I have 0 shame restarting a mission if it’s failed due to stupid reasons, because it does have such obviously broken balance in a number of areas.

Things like critical weaknesses (not just unarmoured) sections on models I think would go a long way to enhance the tactical aspects. Could be areas much smaller than the current size of things on models (eg think shooting a chiron in the heart, getting the angle through it’s legs while it jiggles about… may also need a concept of layers of hitbox on a target, internal organs etc… idea already getting much more complicated as I think about it).

What difficulty level are you playing and do you try to end battles without losses? Or even without damage done to your soldiers? If so, then algorithm tries to adapt to your skill level. So it see a player who can’t be touched and it adds more and more difficulty enemies.

Strangely I try to also play carefully, avoiding damage, but sometimes it is impossible and sometimes even some soldier die. And it really let me end game almost without big difficulty spikes. So I’m not sure… Definitely I don’t have such experiences, except version of the game that was just after Epic release, where enemy generation was really random.

Having played on further:
I’ve gotten to the point the Abaddon class ships are coming out. I realise now that having started “The Gift” as soon as it appeared (which you’d think is what you’re meant to do?) has severely damaged that entire campaign. There seems no point to that ‘quest chain’ yet (I’m assuming a chain?). Yes you get resources for downing the fighters, but the it costs time and resources to kit your fighters, and the behemoth is quite capable just to leg it to a continent you have no access to, and completely trash the place… which will mean your ingress into those places will be dogged by infested fighters. God help you if they’ve infested synedrion, the EMP missiles are broken.

I’m at a point where I’m abandoning that campaign as unplayable, as there are now these bloody Abbadons coming out with 6 weapon mounts, huge HP, and you have nothing more to face them with than your single fighters. The territories the Behemoth country hops to can lock you out of getting your faction missions.

Yes I could exploit the research raid, or raid facilities, but ultimately I don’t see the point of pushing on with this poorly designed crap any further. Next time I may just leave “The Gift” alone, but while fun for a bit, the gaping holes in this game just leave it as a frustrating experience in the end. The Behemoth update was an improvement - the Festering Skies DLC adds nothing to the game, makes existing elements no more cohesive, and exposes mid game lore much earlier than it should. I’ll check in after the next DLC, but for the moment this DLC isn’t worth playing.

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One needs multiple fighter ships to rotate in and out of air combat.

And the elephant in the room → teleporting equipment (meaning you can do the whole campaign with like 8-10 armors and weapons sets). Imagine a person buying whole equipment for everyone if they have 60 soldiers and on the other hand a 8 sets and teleporting them around. And selling rest. Like this is like 20.000 of resources lost if you’re not teleporting. Which makes me wonder if the game is balanced for teleporting or for no teleporting. And the answer is that the game is massively unbalanced for either of them. So you’re screwed if you’re teleporting and if you’re not teleporting. And if you teleport some you’re in this weird place where you question whether you should teleport. Weirdest mechanics of all times.


I do that - but take the EMP missiles as example - using dual railguns to outrange it an pen it’s armour I still can’t disable it before it’s disabled BOTH my guns, making ship rotation pointless unless it’s repeatedly doing short rotations with purely hull targets.

This brings up the alternate cheap tactic - use long range, repeatedly disengage after shooting. I could do it, but I choose not to play a game which demands that I do.

Better design would see a proper aerial combat of some form… some sort of tactical comparison to the rest of the game. Allow for multiple ship engagement. Differentiate between troop carriers and fighters… when was the last time you saw a fighter jet that was also a troop carrier? Deploy said fighters in squadrons, which use tactical movement.

I hadn’t looked at the other platform used for feedback with the voting mechanism, but after looking at that any hope I had left the Devs weren’t incompetent (this is more about their understanding of requirements than their coding ability) has vanished. 400+ upvotes for “more enemy variety” marked as complete with the weakest of excuses: they added the node (a structure on one map type), the guardians (2 units on special missions) and the myrmidon (weirdly missing all it’s tech tree related stuff like vivisection, and poorly designed - there’s another thread about that). Of all the things they had only 1 half assed effort really addressed the point and they mark it as ‘complete’. That’s them pissing on their customers most upvoted item.

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Yeah I generally don’t teleport unless it is a proper re-gifting. I’ve sent in troops without armour or appropriate weapons if I don’t have a set of armour just for them. Your point is 100% correct , allowing broken game play forces balance to adjust to broken game play.

But what if you start losing? You don’t teleport then?

That’s why it’s so wrong to have this rule as a player self-restricting rule. You play knowing it makes the game much harder. And when you for example squad wipe because of this you’re in this weird place of questioning rules of the game. And they are not even rules of the game. They are your own self-imposed rules. That’s why I woud better like an option button in game preferences before game-start that would disable teleporting or disabling merging planes for having 8 squads all the time and adjusting balance like making stuff 30% cheaper. This is like 5 minutes of work and it makes the game much more normal to play. Otherwise there is just no balance unless you’re trying to self-impose balance to unbalanced game. Which you never could possibly do because you need to know everything to know what is reasonable balance.

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