Greater role for scientists and engineers

One of the things I’ve never really been completely satisfied with in the XCOM games is the fact that the support characters never really have an impact on their areas of expertise and/or never get better at what they do. I’m not referring to the ‘chief’ characters like Vahlen, Tygan or Shen, but the people who you actually assign to projects. X2 went a little way to fleshing out the scientists and engineers you brought on by giving them names and a portrait, but in the end they were still just numbers you assign to a job and never think about.

So, I think it’d be a good thing to have your science and engineers skill up as they complete projects and, at the very least, give more of a benefit to whatever project they’re assigned to as they ‘level up’. A skilled scientist could have a chance at a breakthrough in research. A skilled engineer could save you resources when fabricating equipment and etc.

Those glory boy soldiers who are the stars on the tactical layer would be nothing without their support structure of researchers and engineers. They deserve more than being numbers!

(Full disclosure: I work in the industrial design and engineering sector. I have my own house, family and credit card and sometimes I go to the park with our dog. I, and my excellent colleagues, are more than an up-arrow on the UI.)

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Special functions that scientists and technicians could have in the battlefield:

  • Medic
  • Drug dealer
  • Getting samples
  • Field research (chance of breakthroughs)


  • Repair armor and vehicles
  • Repair powerlines, doors, consoles, or any other mission-specific objects
  • Operate experimental equipment
  • Operate drones or other recon equipment (dopler sensors, metal detectors, ultrasound scanners, etc)
  • Hacking
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Nice try, but I am still not convinced of your existence! :tophat:

Seriously though, I get where you are coming from, I would argue though that this could potentially turn into a bit too much micromanagement however, given the scale of science projects in Phoenix Point; I’m generally all for giving the thinkers and tinker(er)s more personality and screentime, but having to level each and every one of my scientists and engineers when arguably there should be hundreds of them, that’s more of a hassle than a feature.

I liked the approach Battletech took for instance, with both the Chief Mechtech and the Chief Shiptech Engineers being part of the senior staff/bridge crew and thus present for any and all team meetings, any and all strategy meetings, and always authorized and even encouraged to voice their opinions and expert analyses.

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Hi Masheen, please could you ask four of your colleges to also start posting on the snapshot games forum… we’re erm… hoping to increase activity by further 70%. :wink:


It’s kinda been hinted at, with scientists and engineers being able to appear on the battle field, but it would be interesting if you had to pick members of your team to man home base rooms.

Say you have a max level scientist. They’re your best healer. You have to chose whether to take them on the mission, to heal your squad as they fight, or to leave them at base, tending the med-bay so that your other soldiers recover faster.

The same idea with researchers and engineers. Where taking them on a mission or leaving them behind means that you’re losing out on the alternate option. So that it feels like you’re actually allocating jobs to people rather than simply putting the engineers where the engineers go, or having the scientists automatically add to the speed of research.

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From mid level base managment, if they are to be real people with skills etc. there needs to be few of them to be purchased, they must be expensive and valuable. Few good scientist on a case :slight_smile:

It would be interesting for them to have battlefield abilities, that would make them “pigions to be protected” but yet valuable. Mechanics/Engeneers could be used in a presented way. Surely, one would need to have them free from research/build to use them on field.

That could make a balance and choice of what to put in larger squads better.

Judging by the current engeneer role in build 2, he is a bit overpowered as squad member by default. On contrary, as real engeneer he would be expected to repair/heal limbs could be a scientist or medic job?

I got ufo afterlight at the summer sales, I’m very early on the game, but I like how engineers and scientist have his rol in the map and in the battlefield, and the terraforming stuff may be well translated to fight the mist, al least for synedrion if not for pp.


At the very least it’d be nice to see scientists and engineers on the map during enemy incursions into Phoenix Point bases. One thing I always found unrealistic when playing X-Com style games is that when the enemy force attacks you that the only people present are your squad of soldiers, all civilians are no where to be seen. This type of mission would be far more interesting if you had to protect your base personnel and/or help them to escape from the rampaging alien hordes.


True, they were treated more like base asset, similar to ammo or power needs :confounded:

If there were few of them to do the job (no longer few dozens to few hundreds) they could be what technician is. Or technicians could be our engineers.

Scientists … EW has trained me to think of them as only as persons to escort :slight_smile:

Yeah but what you gain in abilities/personality you lose out in numbers. So if you’ve only got four scientists, tracking what they are good at is not a problem, but if you have 40+… I wouldn’t really want to lose the ability to have big projects that you have to hire many additional scientists to solve, just to have one of them be a bit better at being a medic than another one, if you see what I mean. It’s just cool to have 40 scientists assigned on a big project, it feels like it must be really hard. To assign four to a project… well how difficult was it, really.


If we ever gonna get scientists and engineers in combat, they need to be highly valuable and few, rescaling game demands for scientific/building vastly. Also, taking them to combat (and risking wounds or death) would mean that first being off project, and then far valuable then ever before.

Given the post-apocalyptic setting I doubt the player will just hire 10+ interns from nowhere to do the dirty job in PP workshop or laboratory. If the personnel could be employed from other factions or independent havens, then indeed we would rather have a few than dozens of civilians to manage.

But I would like to have the ability and incentive to send scientists or technicians on the mission, especially if they have some unique specializations (like biology, electronics, genetics, chemistry, robotics and so on) which would roughly correspond with R&D tree.

So the player could just keep them in the base and do projects the old fashioned way. But sending them on the mission could gain some rewards:

  • a chance to have so called “breakthrough” on project in progress or “inspiration” on new one, like if you researching “mutant bosses” and encounter one while on the mission,
  • a chance to prototype new equipment or unlock new research tree without the need to go all the intermediate steps, like “pandora virus” -> “mutations” -> “mutant body” -> “crabman armour” - when you really want at the moment to research the armour,
  • the scientists or engineers could bring some unique, non-combat skills or equipment, like area scan, additional supplies, high mobility, willpower boost etc. (restarting those Fort Freiheit wall turrets would be nice)

And, as it has been said before, it would be great to have them present in case of base attack, and fight to protect exactly the scientist who’s been running our projects for the last few months, than some nameless civilian.

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Surely a post-acpocalyptic setting is when organizations such as the Phoenix Project will be most starved for personnel, and may have to accept anyone willing to help?

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They stated somewhere that more than a half of earth population is still alive, but governments and economy have crumbled. Population had to migrate away from coastline and bigger rivers.

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Oops my bad, sorry about the missed context.
What I meant was:
“I doubt the player will have the possibility to just hire 10+ interns from nowhere”
As in, there won’t be a large international pool of scientists and engineers to hire in numbers, the personnel will be in shortage and each new employee will have to be found in havens or factions.

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Actually they believe only 1 out of 10 people made it so far (reference is 7.5 billion people in 2005 in the briefings) so there’s only 750 000 milion people on Earth in 2050.

In my opinion most haven are barely hosting a thousand soul including farmers, soldiers, children and elders so I think PP would really struggle to reach a 10 descent science guys team.

Going back to the main topic, I would love to see missions focused on science (escorting our math guy or gal to some samples to study) or engineering (reaching a damaged vehicle to repair it and obtain it).

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small correction, the billion used when measuring population is the short system Billion, not the long system Billion. So 1 000 000 000, not 1 000 000 000 000. The annoyance with having two systems that use the same names for everything.

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If you have a population of 750 million, I seriously doubt that finding 40 scientists would be very hard to do. Especially if there is a real need for science. Which there would be: the havens are competing with each other for limited resources as well as fighting off an alien menace. Sounds like fertile grounds for new developments to spring up - there’s a real need for science and technology.

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I’d have thought that in such a situation scientists would be incredibly thin on the ground, because all hands are needed on deck for basic things like building, farming, and shooting the crabmen.

Some guy who went to a university in a different world so that he could work in a laboratory attempting to find ways to make a certain material 5% more efficient? His knowledge is useless to the average independent haven.

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Nonsense, if that 5% gives you the edge when competing with other havens (think: battle armour is lighter and stronger) then you’ve got an edge. An edge is what every haven is looking for. They’ll no doubt attempt to get an edge in different ways, but to think that just because civilisation takes a knock that science would be dead is simplistic.

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