[Final Backer Request]: We need more Options!


I backed PP a long time ago on one of the highest levels, because the original X-Com from Mr. Gollop with its “simulation” approach is my favorite game (I did not like the new XCOM from Firaxis at all, because it is basically just a rather simple “board-game” with shiny graphics).

Here is my final request for PP:

Please give us more options!

Especially options to turn off:

  1. Visibility of enemy health points (on/off).

  2. Visibility of enemy “body part” details (on/off).

  3. Messages for enemy actions ( like “deploy shield”, “end turn”, “overwatch”) on/off - these are big immersion breakers!

  4. Preview lines of visible enemies after movement to a point on/off. (If you move in real life, you have to anticipate what you may see at this point - you do not know that before moving! This is what makes tactical movement interesting!)

Options like this would put the “Fear of the Unknown” back into Phoenix Point! This aspect (it was an early tagline for PP) is not present at the moment:

Knowing exactly how much armor and health points a creature has, completely destroys the “horror” atmosphere.

At the moment the player can even see how much points a bleeding creature loses every turn. Even the biggest monstrosity loses its terrifying effect, if you know every detail about it - and it’s body parts!

The best solution would be, to hide all this information (like it was in the old X-Coms); if you attack a creature you have to deal with it, as if you were in a real fight: Shoot at it until it goes down or flees.

What made the original X-Com so great, was that there was almost no hand-holding:

As a player you will learn how to act correctly; if you shoot hundreds of normal bullets at a heavy armored body part without any effect you have to adapt your tactics and perhaps use armor-piercing ammunition or target a not protected body part. The graphics of PP are good enough to communicate what parts seem to be vulnerable. You can even see graphically if a body part is destroyed or bleeding.

At least make some kind of “hardcore” or “realistic” mode were all the info is hidden or give us some adjustable settings in the options. This way the game would get a real “horror” atmosphere like X-Com and TFTD.

The creature design of PP is absolutly great - but all this is for nothing at the moment, because the enemies are just quantities of different health points (and status messages) for the players. As a player I want to immerse myself and fight the “creatures”, not “spread sheets” like it is at the moment.

The original X-Com from Mr. Gollop made the right decisions in so many aspects. I cannot understand why it is so hard for the successors of the original to see this and build upon it.

Please put options (like the ones I mentioned) in the game - it is not much work, these are just on/off options for the UI, but they would make the game a lot more immersive and atmospheric!

Thank you very much!


From what I know it will be by default like that until we will make proper discovery about that species. But permanent disabling of such information can bring another level of unknown as you say. Good idea.

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I like these ideas and they make sense! One thing that is interesting is that I would like to see what the modifiers are for height advantages that enemies have when they are attacking me from a high point and/or for myself (my troops). Given that height is a factor for tactics and combat, I would love to know what potential advantages are in scope if I end up making a move for higher ground. I can already duck and cover behind things, this additional lens can really help with decision making.

I also have a feeling that they have kept some stuff in secret as part of BB5, so I have a feeling more options are going to be revealed once we go to release.

There is none. There is only change of perspective for your soldier so he can more easily hit something behind cover - less of enemy should be hidden behind it.

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Yokes, can I ask you personally - what do you think about killing alien with 150hp by shooting in his hand/leg which has 80hp, like snipers do now? :slight_smile: What do you think about changing damage mechanics to get alive alien with 70hp, and 30hp/turn bleeding? I mean limb loss should not cause immediate death (because right now agile legs are my favorite way to kill), but bleeding 10hp after limb loss is not enough too.

So disabled body parts should not take additional damage beyond it’s maximum capacity? I’m not sure about it. Their HP is a limit for making that body part less operational, but it is still there and can take additional bullets which can be critical for creature condition. So body part HP is a limit for disabling but it doesn’t make body part disappear like there was nothing more to hit. And definitely 2 bullets are more lethal than 1 bullet in same body part. :slight_smile: But hard to say what would your idea change - I would need to see it working. Of course I vote for increasing bleeding effect for more vital body parts. :wink:

Well I’m not sure about aliens anatomy, but talking about humans - two bullets into one leg are twice deadly only and exactly because of double bleeding :wink: If we will talk about any bloodless damage and forget about pain shock (i hope aliens can do it! :wink: - there no more death reasons in limb damages. So, if we want more realistic details - I vote for add more bleeding again, instead of straight hp decrease, in case of second damage to disabled limb. Well, they made this body-part system - so why not to use it correctly?))

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I am never in favour of artificial difficulty by concealing important mechanics. But I wouldn’t mind if they were turnable off, for people who want it.

As to idea that damage to limbs should only decreese overall HP by amount of health each limb has - I think it’s silly. How annoying it would be, when any body part you disable, suddely becomes impervious to damage because it already bleeds.

Also sometimes it’s very useful! It’s possible to kill arthron behind his shield by sharpshooting in his toe! :slight_smile:

Hiding HP information seems to me a sensible design choice in raising difficulty. It makes sense from a story and gameplay perspective, it honors OGXcom tradition, and induces a major chill down your spine. As for the other aspects, they can be shown visually, Deploy Shield is a good example, you only need to see the action to know what it’s doing. But others are not so clear: is the enemy overwatching or just ending the turn? Wait, I blinked and missed what it did, was it raising WP, or trying MC? Of course, with proper research this information would start to appear.

Oh, I don’t know, it can be pretty nasty – a shot in the toe.


And in general, yes +1

The more options the better. And also, let them be individually turned on and off, not just some general difficulty setting that affects everything.

Yes, those options should be easy to implement and will greatly enhance not only the “atmosphere” of the game, but also the “tactical gameplay”.

“Fog of war” with all its aspects (for example, not knowing the exact status of enemy units) is one of the most important features to have when creating a “tactical combat simulation”.

Oh, it is? So soldiers in combat don’t see what’s ten meters in front of it? FoW is a gameplay mechanic, intended to conceal terrain and enemy movement. It has nothing to do with “simulating” anything. It does feel odd to have a game being so not forgiving When it comes to line of sight.

Every real combat simulation, like Steel Beasts Pro or Graviteam Tactics also has some kind of a FoW simulation (for different combat relevant processes).

Why? Because the concept of FoW is a military concept, not just a “gameplay mechanic” (games actually use certain mechanics to model/simulate FoW)

A small example:

In a lot of cases the crew of a tank, espacially in WW2 or Cold War, did not know when the far away enemy tank, they were firing at, was destroyed. The looked for signs of “destruction”:

  1. Abandoning by the crew.
  2. Ammo detonation.
  3. Fire, smoke (in some cases).
  4. Long period of inactivity or clearly noticeable significant damage.

And the enemy tank might have been fired upon until such clear signs appear, even if it was already destroyed before. Often tanks go down “silent”, so the only sign for the attacker is “inactivity”. The exact status of the enemy is unknown in a lot of cases…

That is just one small aspect of the FoW. Almost every combat relevant aspect can be subject to the FoW. Why? Because many things are unknown and uncertain in a combat situation (status of enemy units, status of the terrain etc.). This is why it is so important to properly implement it for “tactical combat”.

The original X-Com did it quite well (in some aspects). If you do not implement FoW properly then the game feels more like a “puzzle game” and not like “tactical combat”…

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Julian said they have the intention of reverting the normal difficulty curve of past XCom games, meaning PP will start easy and get much tougher down the line. Well, one of the ways to do this would be to introduce FoW later in the game, with the mist. That would put the first missions much easier, since our soldiers can see everything, and with time a FoW would be introduced - and not just any FoW, but a FoW that gives the enemy a clear advantage: any of our soldiers within the mist zone gets marked for every alien, our troops loose Willpower, etc.

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Fog of War isn’t a literal term within actual warfare, it’s a metaphor for the uncertainties of battle. It’s only video game’s interpretation of Fog of War that is often taken literally, but mechanics such as not displaying an opponent’s HPs, not showing a player the damage done by their attacks, or not giving the player the exact tiles from where they would have LoS in advance of moving could all be considered Fog of War in trying to simulate an actual battlefield situation.

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Thank you very much for explaining it! I also tried to explain it with my post above, but maybe I was not clear enough (English is a foreign language for me).

It is really important imo that a game about “tactical combat” gets the FoW right. I am kind of sad that in some aspects PP seems to be a little step back compared to the almost “ancient” X-Com. I really loved the “universal” simulation approach of Mr. Gollop in X-Com. For me Firaxis boardgame-like XCOM was a misstep…

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