Looks as though I will be waiting on the steam release

There is a good community here… and I do hope that you folks manage to pound this critter into shape, but as is, for me at any rate, it is unplayable…

  1. For starters, the obvious… with the game’s radically changing mechanics it is almost impossible to play this thing… and while Snapshot can be lauded for the efforts made in recent weeks, the fact the game has been released in this condition raises the question of whether there was ever any real play testing. As I know some of you participated in that process you probably have a better idea than I do as to how this happened… but some parameters have been so far out of whack… the teleporting dash spell comes to mind… that it really raises some serious questions regarding this companies ability to turn out a final, playable product…

  2. Scaling issues are game breaking… difficulty level and troop proficiency should scale at a roughly similar pace… and both should peak near the end of the game and the final encounter. The fact that Snapshot attempted to tie enemy difficulty to player performance was wrong on so many levels. It is counter-intuitive as war simply does not scale that way. As you make gains against the enemy they get weaker, not stronger… they may be strengthened in their resolve, but their material ability to wage war is weakened, not strengthened. But what is worse… from a game design standpoint… is that you are punishing your players for winning. Whoever thought this would work probably needs to find another line of employment as game design may not be their forte…

  3. The story is weak to nearly non existent. I know some of you have said this does not matter to you, but it does… or you would not be concerned with realism… an argument I see bandied about a great deal. The desire for realism is the desire for immersion. That the story was added as an afterthought appears evident to me, but who knows? Perhaps some dlc down the road will start to address this, but for me… if I was going to design a game… this is where I would have started. First you build a world that people care about and want to defend, and then you develop the mechanics to make it come to life…

What works well? Why did I purchase the dlc package within days of starting up the game, something I almost never do…? It was the will system… which seems poorly understood by almost everyone including the devs… perhaps understandably, as it is a real innovation… but is a true advance in turn based gaming. It brings back the unpredictable and fluid nature of a tactical engagement. The problem with turn based games (and they are generally my preference) is that each turn happens in isolation allowing a moment by moment static imprint of the battle with the commitment adjustment to planning…The will system puts the ‘anything might happen at any moment’ tension back in to tactical play… it is the kind of innovative thinking I wish I had come up with myself. So hats off to the folks at Snapshot for this. This system has great potential, and I see it making an impact on turn based gaming for years to come whatever the future of The Phoenix Project…

Can Snapshot pull this off… possibly… I certainly hope so. And as I am already paid up on the dlc I do intend to give it another look when it is finally released on Steam… if, that is, I can encourage myself to put in the time to relearn the game. The fact that I have not even launched this critter to take a look at the Titanium release is not encouraging… and topics such as the one I saw on the new acid damage does not encourage me either, as this was so poorly thought out… well, no point in beating a dead horse. But if this game has a future it will be because of the game community here… and I will check in from time to time to gauge progress…

I do wish you folks all the best in this endeavor…


Good man!
Your emphasis on the mechanics of the Willpower is still in my mind. I would be interested to read your opinion about Gears Tactics and its new mechanics, I think it was not the best execution of positive ideas.

It’s a matter of personal preference, but I disagree on all counts.

First, expecting a small company like Snapshot to be able to produce something on the same level as Firaxcom is just not realistic. Snapshot may have been too ambitious, but I am thoroughly enjoying being part of a game that evolves continuously based on player feedback.

The Pandorans have no shortage of organic matter to turn into enemies, so your point about human warfare is irrelevant. These are Lovecraftian enemies — they are limitless.

As for story, I recommend you read the fiction on this site. Much of it is quite good.


I wish I could help, but I have not played since just before the Titanium release. I expect to return when the game is released on steam.

I have been keeping abreast of the dialogue here and hope to see a playable game sometime down the road. A lot of players have been working hard… would be nice to see their efforts bare fruit.

So far as my statement regarding the nature of war it is spot on… to take umbrage with a statement that is so obviously true is curious to say the least.

As to the companies budget, it is hardly relevant… you set out to design something… you succeed or you don’t… At this point the company is subsidizing their budget with a hard working fan base so hopefully a playable game is in the offing at some point… but how the company’s budget issue is somehow an answer to my game design complaints boggles the mind…

Finally, if you think these are Lovecraftian enemies, as you call them, you have either not read much Lovecraft, I have read all of his work, or you have not understood what you have read. These creatures are not Lovecraftian, to coin your word, in the slightest sense, starting with the fact they are intradimensional creatures… But if they were Lovecraft in origin the above complaints would not change in the slightest.

That said, we can agree to disagree.

I am a bit surprised to see a response to this thread after all of this time.

I have not played PP in months, although I have been keeping on top of the discussion here. It appears the recent efforts have coalesced around balancing, which I can certainly understand.

On the other hand, I still see a central flaw in the design that mere balancing will not address:

On the one hand the game is a squad level super hero game. Characters become these unstoppable killing machines capable of inhuman feats. But the thing about both squad level games, where the heroes are all individual soldiers, and superhero games is that we are suppose to develop attachments to our individual heroes.

Yet in PP we can expect our heroes to be summarily wiped out in a single mission. Hence we not only have batman, but batman 2 and batman 3… somehow looking to batman 3 to save me rather loses its meaning… in other words, we are not allowed to care about our individual men as they may well not make it through the next mission… This level of disattachment would be appropriate if the game were platoon level or above… but at the squad level it is a game breaker imo.

The problem with PP from the start is that it has never been clear as to what kind of a game it is trying to become. If that is true all the balancing in the world will not fix this fundamental flaw.


Dude, the name of the final baddie is the Yuggothian entity. Look at all the fishy enemies. Read the fiction. It’s quite Lovecraftian.

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The name maybe Lovecraft… the creatures are not… could the story take a Lovecraftian turn… I suppose it could…

Sorry I mentioned it as it is a distraction from the main points…

As an early backer I don’t personally mind that much the state the game was released in. I think of it as Early Access, even if it wasn’t released as such. Whenever the game would be released last december and improved upon along the way, or released good in 2 years time, doesn’t really change much for me.

I disagree on point 2. Negative feedback curve is a pretty common design technique - and something lengthy strategy game can benefit of.

First of all, there is an issue with giving only positive and negative feedback loops for winning and loosing respectively - this usually leads to snowballing effect: players who do well, get rewarded making winning easier and more likely in consquent battles. Similarly, when players do badly and get punished, they are at even bigger disadvantage in the consequent encounters.

Ideally, you want players too win a bit and loose a bit to keep things interesting. Those difficulty spikes can be implimented in various way - XCOM2 decided to impliment Chosen whose job is to wound, kidnap and kill our precious soldiers. Not a perfect solution, as Chosen still contribue to snowballing effect - while they can be tricky early on, defeating them grants a pretty substantial power boost, reinforcing snowball effect even further if one can get over the difficulty spike.

Amptjer way of achieving this effect is negative feedback loop. Players do too well, so they are thrown a curveball or are put at disadvantage to keep things interesting.

This negative feedback loop was something I was actually quite excited about for PP - I think the game can benefit of it. I also disagree that it doesn’t make sense - Pandoran virus evolves. Pandas aren’t strategies. It’s a virus. If it does it’s job, it’s doing it’s job. When it encounters resistance, then it evolves to compensate.

I think execution if far from perfect, though. The way the system reacts to players successes is far too heavy handed, while at the same time being poorly communicated. It’s overhaul is one of the things I am most looking forward to.

But it’s not demonstrably true in all cases is it?

Sure, it’s true for a big, conventional war like the ACW or WW2, where the Confederacy and the Axis inevitably went into a negative spiral as their resources and manpower got whittled away by the grinding war of attrition inflicted by the North and the Allies.

But PP’s not fighting that kind of war. PP is the Taliban in Afghanistan, fighting a guerilla insurgency against a distant enemy that has overwhelming reserves of manpower and resources which they haven’t bothered to deploy yet because they don’t think they need to. Then the Taliban give them a bloody nose, so they deploy more forces; which get a bloody nose, so they deploy better forces; which get a bloody nose so… ad infinitum. The only difference is, the Pandas don’t have to worry about pesky things like Public Opinion or Foreign Intervention to stop them from overwhelming us. The only thing that’s getting in their way is the speed at which they can spread their Mist and evolve new forms to deal with what we’re throwing at them - so we’re in a race against time to find the Maguffin and kill it to hit the ‘Stop’ button before the Pandas inevitably overwhelm us.

That’s the kind of enemy we’re fighting, and in that context, the Pandas throwing bigger, better forces at us every time we do well is perfectly understandable - albeit poorly executed in its first iteration, but Snapshot are dealing with that.

And in that respect, the company’s budget is very relevant. Yes, you can argue that they were overambitious in their design and tried to reach too far - but I applaud them for that. I also applaud the fact that they are constantly engaging with their player base and working as hard as they can to fix the issues we bring to their attention and make this the game both we and they really want it to be.

But they’re not Firaxis in several important ways, the most relevant of which are that they don’t have the manpower and resources to fix fundamental problems quickly - they have to take a slow-burn approach. But also, they don’t have 8 years of builds, refinements and DLC behind them to produce the kind of slick, polished whistles and bells that WotC presents. Compare Enemy Unknown with WotC, and they are very different beasts, albeit set within the same milieu, and that’s simply down to budget and build & development time.

PP will get there eventually. But to expect them to be there at this stage in their development is simply an unrealistic expectation in my view.


Snapshot is indeed willing to engage their player base… and I agree that is a great strength.

I would have thought the points I made regarding war… ie, that when one hurts the enemy they grow materially weaker not stronger…and that, more over, punishing the player for doing well is counter intuitive to human nature itself… would have been intuitively obvious, but perhaps not. We will need to agree to disagree on this point. So far as the snowballing effect you mentioned, this is always a problem. Where this is typically compensated for is in player options and difficulty levels. But no solution has been perfect, and this is one of the most galling issues with computer games.

Could the system work as is, assuming that the mechanism for altering difficulty on the fly was invisible to the player. I guess that depends on the player. For me, having a game that is going to get easier as I make mistakes, and harder as I gain success robs the game of any challenge as I am slated to win by a certain margin no matter what I do… In other words, I want to beat the game… I don’t want a participation trophy… but again, perhaps that is just me… maybe it is my age that is showing, and I fail to grasp the modern ethos.

I do hope a playable game emerges. I am paid up on the dlc although I have as yet to give Titanium a whirl… I do look forward to some kind of a finished product upon the steam release. A company as eager as this one is to engage its fan base deserves a shot…

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Yes we will have to disagree on war, since I equally think it’s blatantly obvious that a guerrilla insurgency against an overwhelmingly powerful enemy does not automatically result in the enemy getting weaker, but rather encourages said enemy to send stronger forces to deal with the insurgents over time.

Personally, I think the DDA could have worked if it had taken account of human nature and had not been implemented so badly in the first place that it created a massive difficulty spike against anyone who saved & restarted . But we are where we are and I think we’re going to get a better system that is much closer to what was originally advertised because of it - so that’s good.

Here’s hoping that when you come back, they’ll have ironed out all the issues and we’ll have a great game for you to try :blush:

Thank you my friend… I too hope this pans out, as there was/is potential there, and I do applaud the attempt to forge new directions. I am actually a huge supporter of the will system, and consider it a true innovation in turn based gaming.

I think there is space for only positive feedback loops - like in competitive PvP games. Also if each battle is a short one. And I overall agree with you. Being punished for playing well, and being encouraged to play sloppy is not a good thing. But such system does have a place - threat of loosing is much more entertaining then loosing itself. Every horror game I played looses a lot of its horror when it becomes too difficult. Beginning hours of Alien Isolation - terrifying. End game, with bunch of Aliens running around and and killing you constantly - just tedious and annying.

I think the ideal situation is when indeed the player is unaware that the game adjusts difficulty for them. Or if tackling harder challenge is rewarded as well. Like for example if Aliens would use the same “brainpower” to further their strategic progreesion and increase tactical threat. So playing well would slow aliens from reaching their endgame goal, but it would mean the player would meet harder resistance.

Anway this whole things it to be overhauled relatively soon. Curious to see how it will play then.

I won’t argue too much but about that:

To be true it is quite playable right now. Definitely more than on the release. Unfortunately it is still more arcade game rather than tactical.

The last patch killed it for me for the foreseeable future. I’ve played the previous builds a lot so have already had my fill, whilst always feeling the game wasn’t living up to its potential.

When I realised that the top 2 features in the danforth patch were obviously broken within an hour of playing, I lost hope that this game will ever be the game I wanted it to be. Whatever the reason, I don’t think the devs can improve it fast enough. Maybe they don’t have the resources, but I have seen smaller teams iterate through more complex games at a faster tempo. Perhaps a beta branch, but I also don’t think the problem is how quickly players report bugs - the canny website has a long list.

I’m going to try it again when DLC3 drops, I guess six months after Steam release. Hopefully then there will be enough new content for the game to feel fresh again and there will be less bugs. However I worry that all this time fixing bugs and trying to make the game balanced detracts from adding new content, which is what is needed to take PP from a decent game to a great game.

I apologize for the awakened topic, but perhaps all is for the best. :slightly_smiling_face:
I want to clarify, I’m interested in your opinion about :video_game: Gears Tactics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oMZS-1ryvY

Gears Tactics has a great tactical layer that starts to feel pretty empty after a few hours due to the lack of a meaningful strategic layer.

While I really like Phoenix Point’s lore and consider it to be a huge strong point for the game, it could never be Lovecrat-y. Phoenix Point is a power fantasy - get stronger until you can defeat the enemy - Lovecraft was quite about lack of power. The creatures in Lovecraft are so f*cking immense a battle wouldn’t be possible. It wouldn’t even exist. It would be a speck of dust trying to tear down a mountain. I don’t see any game emulating the core themes of Lovecraft (but if they do exist, please point them to me)