Improve Haven ecosystem to reduce grind of Haven defense missions

As the game has shifted to making protecting Havens from attack the main concern of the player, two issues have arisen, or perhaps simply became more apparent.

  1. The game turns into an endless grind of protecting Havens from attack. The only way to do this is through tactical missions; there are no strategic options to improve Havens’ capacity to defend themselves. The purpose of these missions (both Haven defense and attacking Pandoran bases) is not really to win, but to avoid losing, and thus you end up spending most of you time doing something that doesn’t advance the game.

  2. The Havens lack individuality, character, something to distinguish them from each other, or to assign them comparative value. Or put another way, there is little reason to consider any Haven more important than another, despite them having different populations and facilities that create synergies between them (for example, the Haven with a good production facility produces food for itself and for nearby Havens, the Haven with a military training facility contributes to the defense of other Havens, and the same thing happens with manufacturing).

What I propose is to utilize the game systems that already exist to create a stronger Haven ecosystem. This would reduce the number of Haven defense missions the player has to do by switching the objective from protecting each individual Haven to protecting the Haven ecosystem.

To this end I would:

  • organize most of the Havens of each Faction into 3-4 “clusters”, so that the player would have to keep track of 12-16 clusters, rather than 80+ Havens.

  • ensure that within each cluster there are Havens specializing in at least defense and food production (but in some also manufacturing and research)

  • boost the impact of having specialized facilities (so, for example, the military training facility would give a much larger boost to defense of the Haven itself and others in the same cluster)

The idea is that these clusters can take care of themselves more often, and the player has to intervene less, like when for example Pandorans attack simultaneously several Havens in the cluster and the Haven specializing in defense can’t come to the rescue of the food producing Haven.



Points one and two are pretty obvious and permant haven defense need a solution, close to mid game there are too mnay attacks.

Havens could increase a little attacks to alien bases in order to control those events, I only saw NJ attacks a Lair once in a campaign.

And we could transfer resources tech + materials in order to improve havens, they use those resources to build better defenses, or perhaps a new tech that we have to research to prevent 3-4 simultaneous attacks, reducint that numbert to 1-2.

I don’t know yet about clusters or specialized military facility, but definitely a transfer of resources is a good idea.

One example, Feb 28 , only 1 Citadel on the globe, I destroy alien bases as soon as they are revealed,

March 4, after researching days ago Pandoran Citadel, all revealed instantly, I have 17 bases, 15 with satellite uplink scanning 100%

Suddenly I see 8 alien bases , the frequency of haven attacks is insane

I’m not sure if there is system for such ecosystem. :slight_smile:

Wouldn’t that lead to local presence of each faction? To be true I like the thrill of searching for next faction havens and not knowing what will show up next. In such clusters you can almost be sure that nearby are havens of faction that you already discovered.

For me such funcitons are represented by haven districts. Whole haven taking single role? … I’m not sure I like it. For me havens should be self-sufficient structures AND they could cooperate to increase their values, so if two havens in their influence range have training facility they both get bonus for defence, if both have food production they boost better other havens with food, etc.

For me it breaks immersion. We are not the 4rd faction globally present, with thousands of inhabitants and hundred of thousands resources to spend. For better visualisation I will use example of local backery, and imagine that Phoenix Project is such local backery. You can provide resources to cover demand of local haven. Hell, with time and progress you can even expand to several other local markets, so sustain up to 10 havens. But you can’t build global corporation in few months which will fulfill role of global saviour and supplier for all customers, while having few dozen people and some AI’s in the bases. For me it would really break the lore. In my point of view single havens are much more capable of dealing with problems on their own (or with cooperation with other allied havens) rather than with help of Phoenix Project. ------ now emerges question why it is us, who are saving their butts all the time while haven defence occurs. :smiley: And that is part that I would like to change just as Voland has written:

Just don’t make it on level of cluster, but on level of single haven. Alien attacks should emerge, but it shoudln’t be obligatory for us to join the fight to save that haven. Most of haven defences should be just an opportunity to earn some resources from grateful haven that we helped to save few lives. And THAT should be the case with current missions that we see (where we rescue up to 10 civilians, or save up to 5 structures) and that would also fit into the lore for me. Phoenix Project should be more of

  • a secret organization researching advanced tech to repell alien invaders at their source

rather than

  • military force fighting and purging aliens incursions behind human settlements’ gates.

This could be the case… But I’m not sure it fits the lore, because Synedrion want to co-exist, so they don’t want to kill. And Disciples see aliens as threat, but that threat is an opportunity to evolve, so probably erasing alien bases from existence is not really their way


Now also devs could ask… BUT WHAT WITH THE HUMAN POPULATION INDEX AND PLAYER’S GOAL AND AGENDA and WHATEVER? Well HPI we see, and it is fine, and I like it. Let it be there, let havens defend themselves, and let player operate where he wants not where you want him to operate. Decrease pace of the game, let player to rest their soldiers in bases for whole weeks. Let research be done for few weeks simultaneously on few projects, let him manufacture a lot during these weeks and equip all his teams to opearate in different regions. Let him do the diplomacy by siding with some havens or/and factions. Let him fly over the globe without hurry and conviction that 30rd alien base will definitely wipe humanity from the Earth, and he needs to rush over there to put it down. Let us work from the shadows, let us strike where it will hurt aliens, let us join haven defences for “fun” (failure would be penalized heavily) and satisfaction (and test new weapons, armors, attachments, modules) let us do some tricky diplomacy movements where we need to swiftly operate between arguing factions, and let us do the research to stand our ground in final mission and laugh at Mark of the Void. :smiley:


Yeah I like the idea of Haven’s being able to defend themselves. I’ve noticed most of NJ Havens can already do that, while Anu/Syn can barely keep anything together (might just be random luck?).

When a Haven is being attacked and is capable of defending itself (when the faction bar > pandoran bar), I’d like to be able to “assist” that defense still by sending a squad over (if I have people just sitting around and available) and it’d be nice if I can just have that squad locked out of being used for a few hours (but not as long as it’d take for it to complete normally, we’re helping after all) and then returned to me with maybe a few HP lost, stamina loss, no SP gain, and depending on how many I send and what level they are = how big of % of the reward I get (also some kind of check to see what gear they have equipped so it can’t just be cheesed by sending naked troops). All done from the strategic layer.

As it is now I just outright ignore those missions (unless it’s the first/second week), but there’s still a surprisingly large amount of defenses that pop up where they can’t handle their own shtuff and that would be nice if that was toned down a bit altogether. (Not sure what these next XPACs hold in store exactly, but more mission variety would still be nice. e.g. Pandorans are CREATING a megastructure and you have the opportunity to sabotage it before it comes into full effect/destroying it once it’s in place and it causes problems until it’s destroyed… anything like that)

A few questions I have that I don’t know how to find a answers to is:
Why do the havens all have dying populations? Why is everyone dying and no births happening? Especially when they have lots of food and other resources? Why does a haven have to be outright destroyed as a result of a loss from an attack? We raid havens and they don’t get destroyed, why can’t other factions/pandorans do that too? Factions raid for resources, pandorans raid for people?

I would expect population drop to occur as a result of attacks (win smaller or lose bigger, collateral also affected by rescued people but never 100% saved) or a cut off from supplies or being surrounded by mist (I’d assume some people are just walking into the ocean again) and perhaps the destruction of a haven results from a loss within mist. But I can’t make much sense of what’s happening, especially once the factions start nuking each other (admittedly I haven’t seen this part again yet since early February this year).


I’d noticed before Factions were in clusters, though I’m not sure if that’s still true. One of my previous games from a few months back had about 70% of Anu bases in North America, 70% of Synedrion in Asia, and 70% of NJ in Africa with the remaining 30%'s being all scattered about and I thought that was pretty neat, as I’d try to set up bases nearby these clusters to defend them and only help the outliers if it were convenient. I haven’t really noticed that in my latest game however.


There is, that’s why I say ‘improve’ rather than create.

If you examine the Havens on the Geoscape you will see that their stats depend on 1) Their population, 2) The kind of districts that they have, and 3) The kind of districts that nearby friendly Havens have

So the military strength of a Haven determined is by its Population (each 1000 = 1 point in military strength), whether it has military training facilities (IIRC, adds 4 pts), whether nearby friendly Havens have military training facilities (IRRC, each adds another 4 pts) and if it’s NJ it receives a minimum boost of +5 (but sometimes double that, not sure why)

(@Rainer that I believe is the reason why they are as a rule better at defending themselves)

You would still have Havens outside of clusters, but less. Also you can have superimposed clusters of 2 or 3 different factions, because what makes a cluster is that the friendly Havens are in range of each of other to create synergies between them. It wouldn’t mean that you suddenly have something like countries with borders.

But that’s what I mean - that in each cluster you have a Haven that has a food production district and a Haven with a training facility, and to boost the impact from districts to the stats of the Haven and to the synergies with other Havens.

One thing that doesn’t make sense right now is that you have a bunch of Havens that start each with populations of +10k but don’t have a food production facility among them and thus have horrendous attrition rates due to starvation (like 100+ casualties a day!) (btw, I’m pretty sure that this is why the world population drops like 10% in the first couple of weeks even if you stop every single attack on Havens).

I don’t think that makes much sense, tbh, especially for the larger Havens. That’s why they are organized in factions, to take advantage of cooperation.

As I’m saying, It does work like this already at the moment - it’s a matter of boosting the output values and adding something to the algorithm that populates the Geoscape with Havens at the start of the game.

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One specific update to havens I’d like to see added to the game, is for each of the combat-related tech tree advancements of a faction to give a small percentage bonus to the Military Strength of that faction’s havens. So far the weapons tech advancements of the factions doesn’t factor into the Military Strength rating of each faction haven. As the game is now, the only ways the faction havens can increase their Military Strength ratings over the course of the game, is through researching the NJ Walls of Jericho, Satellite Uplink and Centralized AI techs, and building Elite Training Centers and Anu Missionary Centers. The Synedrion Project Domovoy tech is in theory meant to inflict a 20% attack strength penalty on Pandoran bases within Mist Repeller range, but aren’t Pandoran bases only buildable under mist cover to begin with?

As the factions advance their technology in the current game, those advancements show up over the course of the game on the factions soldiers within missions, but I wish those combat-tech advancements influenced the Military Strength ratings of faction havens on the Geoscape as well. This would allow the faction havens to keep increasing their Military Strength ratings over time even as their population numbers slowly go down, allowing them to better defend themselves and keep pace with high-strength attacks from Pandoran Lairs and Citadels in the late-game. Players could proactively influence this process if they wanted to, by allying with factions at 75+ Rep and helping them advance their combat-tech research a lot faster.


You are right, I am such noob in that regard,

But after mid game, perhaps even before, number of attacks to havens is overwhelming, and regarding alien bases, you can destroy one and inmediantly another is created, I posted a video in this thread,
I don’t say that all factions should attack colonies, only NJ being a bit more aggresive would be enough,

but at least let me to decide if I want to defend all of them, or let the havens fight and defeat Pandorans in a better percentage, providing researchs or resources, whatever,
because so many simultaneous actually kills the mood

Edit: typo


Is this mechanic clear and understandable enough? For a Beginner?
Perhaps it should be visualized as

  • HP bar
  • points: Attack, Defense, Armor
    (+3% HP, +5 Armor, -3 Def …)
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