General vision for the Geoscape?

Hopefully a dev can pop in and give some understanding on this. As I’ve learned from my other thread I don’t think the devs and I are on the same page when it comes to the tactical combat, but perhaps some agreement can be found when it comes to the strategic map.

While the lore for the strategic map seems quite well developed, it otherwise feels quite generic. Havens offer defense missions, resource trades, and soldiers, but that’s mostly it. Scavenging sites are a single mission and that’s it. When it comes to progression the singular goal seems to be building a team of level 7 soldiers and that’s it. Land vehicles have a small window in the early game for fleshing out undermanned squads, but beyond that serve no real purpose.

While I’m not exactly sure why the comparison is made, many people seem to believe that PP is a more a successor to x-com apocalypse rather than ufo:defense. Again I don’t really see that, but I did really like apocalypse’s strategy overview. One thing that I deeply enjoyed was the variety of vehicles, despite some of the flaws that showed up.

Phoenix Point seems to be a story of rebuilding an organization. It is retaking lost territory. Despite that overall direction, the strategic map seems to serve little purpose other than a backdrop for shuffling around the A-team. In the hopes of adding mission variety, team variety, and difficulty variety I’d like to see more mechanics introduced to the strategic map. Particularly I’d like to see the garrison problem implemented i.e. as you take territory you have to devote more and more resources to defending it. This is a major source of depth in any map game, yet there seems to be little resources invested in defending PP’s geoscape beyond maybe 2 teams and a third aircraft.

I think a good start for fleshing out the strategic overlay would be the introduction of overland trade mechanics. Allow the player to form convoys of scarabs, armadillos etc. to harvest resources from scavenging points, and trade with havens. In general they shouldn’t require that much effort beyond establishing the initial route, however they would be able to provide intel, and reduce the burden on aircraft. They’d add depth to the manufacturing screen, and could add more research topics. Constant resource flow reduces the number of extraneous scavenging sites, and havens. It also gives more opportunities to interact with factions and implement growth mechanics.

The most important thing to come from this system is mission variety however. As I see it the game suffers from deploying the same team over and over again, but that team isn’t special enough to be interesting for 50+ hours.

For general implementation I see 4 paths:

Option 1 - The trivial option.

Convoys are formed like the current aircraft system. You assign X number of PP soldiers to a vehicle and establish the route. It gives you intel, and it can be ambushed. The mission objective is to escape to the other side of the map. Benefit is that you occasionally get to fight with your C,D,E team, and you have a story reason to deploy a vehicle.

**Option 2 - The nostalgia handout **

Convoys are formed, generate intel, and can be ambushed as above; however, now they’re escorted by a number of generic soldiers without the willpower skills. Mission variety and pacing is greatly increased. Since soldiers are generic you’re not really risking anything in the missions beyond the convoy vehicles. Classic X-com fanboys are mollified with the authentic experience every now and then, and your A-team takes on a more unique feel now that you can contrast their abilities against the generic convoy guards. More interesting training mechanics and decisions can now be implemented for the A-team now that they’re no longer the only focus on the strategic map.

Option 3 - Let’s do something different

Convoys are only formed from vehicles. Since these missions are now completely ran by vehicles there is a dramatic change of pace. Skill system can be kept by the A-team, but now you can have an almost completely separate system for equipment based progression through the vehicles. Mollifies classic fanboys, and dramatically increases mission variety and pacing. A new ruleset can be implemented for large unit on large unit combat.

Option 4 - Let’s do something really different: an option 2&3 hybrid

Trade convoys are kept, and generic soldiers are kept; however, now we’re doing the occasional big battle. Panda’s occasionally launch two new attacks: haven seiges and convoy assaults. Current haven defense missions are now Panda raids that decimate the haven if not responded to, but to actually destroy a haven the Panda’s need to lay siege to it. Convoys can now suffer two types of attacks: ambushes wherein the mission occurs immediately with the vehicles and generic soldiers on hand, but they can now also suffer assaults: a large horde of 10 or so large type pandas, and 20 or so humanoids is spotted on the horizon and the convoy calls for help. Like a haven defense mission you can respond to the convoy distress call with your A-team. Both sieges and assaults would be large map battles designed for multiple teams to respond to. Over the course of the game there might only be 3-4 of these battles, but they’re a major change of pace where you get to manage 2-3 of your vehicles, your A-team, and 10-16 generic soldiers. Entirely new rulesets can be implemented such as manticore bombing runs etc.

Just wanted to throw this out there. Would love to see other people’s suggestions. I’d also love for the devs to comment on whether or not this is within the general vision of the game.


You mean that scavenging sites should be constant source of resources? That would be little bit against both the lore and the constant threat from Pandoravirus.

I would assume that only havens can be constant source of such resources and establishing trade with them could lead to some permanent income.

Single scavenging site I would leave as place to do maybe up to 2 or 3 missions, but not as a site which can be constantly visited.

So missions could be generated between PP bases and havens. So about options:

  1. I think you would need to assign too many soldiers to such convoys. They are needed elsewhere. That would lead to too much management of your standard troops.
  2. I would feel discrepancy between standard soldiers and those generic soldiers. That would require balancing aliens against two different sets of opponents (really advanced and really simple). Which is not a good option in my case.
  3. Sounds interesting but require whole new rules for the maps, missions etc. I’m not sure if combat can be easily made around only vehicles.
  4. Sounds really great, but again devs would need to create whole new environment for such idea.

I would prefer to change it to automated convoy routes, and that those routes can be ambushed. But your vehicles have some time before ambush will occur. So you can send one of your teams to defend it. That would lead the player to keep some small regiment of soldiers in bases and monitor area around bases. Soldiers in base would give standard base protection and response team to immidiate threats.

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What part of the lore would this be against? Ambushes under this system are a constant threat, and convoys are also a source of upkeep. Late game I feel like most players are swimming in 2000+ materials with nothing to spend it on since they’ve got all the aircraft they need, and equipment is maxxed out. For resources to feel rare there needs to be some upkeep beyond 1 food per soldiers.

I’d rather they be something that you have to clear out once, and then deal with the ambushes. Change 20+ scavenging site missions to 7 scavenging site clearance missions, and then 8 or so ambushes over the course of the campaign.

Ultimately this idea force cheaper soldier costs. Either for the main soldiers, or keep costs the same for mainline soldiers and add cheaper generic soldiers. Balancing generic soldiers isn’t that hard, especially considering this would be only a small number of missions. Hypothetically you could just make some set piece missions that never really change in power level on either side. For the sake of appeasing everyone I’d even make these missions non-essential to the Geoscape i.e. convoys to mist covered scavenging sites would be the only convoys to generate ambush missions, but come with slightly higher rewards.

This is why I ask for dev feedback. It might be outside the scope of what they imagine the game to be, but I think these would be a great relaxation missions to change up the pace. IIRC the Suikoden series had something like this. Most of the game was the typical 4 something man party RPG, but there were 4-5 big battles over the course of the game.

In most events you can read that places were cleaned up earlier by someone. Fortunately there was somehting left - and you take it all on your single dropship. So I can’t see what more could be scavenged there. People dwell in haven and they pick clean everything that is around them. Maybe destroyed havens could be such sites which you can drain resources on. And according to last chapters of Briefings Pandorans are expected to show everywhere. That is why you need to fight them on scavenge site or why you are ambushed in exploration sites. I suppose that ground convoys would bring too much attention to the Pandoran forces and it would be too great risk to set such convoys - at least in mist areas.

“After clearing the site of enemies our agents report that unfortunately this area of ruined city seems to have been picked clean of valuables. Our engineers report that there might still be some useful materials left in the rubble, but they are too heavy to be moved by air. To recover anything we’ll have to send many convoys by land”

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That could work. But I think that constant presence of aliens would be too dangerous for multiple convoys. Such scavenging sites should be then renamed to scavenge regions (separate from scavenge site). And there could be even fight for those places.

Maybe if there could be several escapades to single place (up to 4) and each would bring massive amount of resources, like something random in those ranges: 700 - 1300 tech, 5000 - 11000 materials and 700-1300 food (this one maybe is not a lot but it would be unrealistic to find a lot of it after so long time since the collapse of any community in such scavenging places - and we have food supply in bases). There could be even several missions defending excavation and collection of those resources.

It’s seems that geoscape got gutted pretty hard. Some things pitched during development didn’t seem to be finished in time, And other mechanics were scrapped due to not being fun.

To me beauty of original UFO design was the melding of both layers each feeding into each another. It was far from perfect but that was the appeal to me. I felt LongWars came the closest to this concept, with decisions on tactical missions being influenced by larger strategic goals, and larger strategic decisions being lead by immediate tactical needs