Make Scyllas immune to Virus, Warcry and Neural Disruption

Pandora needs more strength in late game against godlike Phoenix Point soldiers that are in this moment overpowered. Scyllas, the “apex” of Pandora evolution, can be easily prevented from playing!!!

Warcry is a low tier heavy ability! It can stop a Scylla to half movement… and don’t make sense, a monster like that with fear of a human soldier.

Virus is the worst… with a biochemist soldier doing rage burst or two shots of priest virus weapon, is possible to make the Scylla running and no play more in the entire battle.

Neural Disruption avoid Scyllas to use their abilities, like Sonic Blast, etc. making the ones with blaster cannon instead smasher harmless (they never use cannons or if so, adivse the turn before and it is very easy to avoid it).

Canny Official Feedback Tool topic:


… In other words “turn it to be badass again” :slight_smile:



Like it is now, they become harmless very easy… like it is now, this game is built to raise ego of players who become saviours of humanity with godlike soldiers against harmless aliens. That sucks.
In Legendary (and Hero) it is supposed to be a challenge and a difficult task to beat the game, not this walk in the park from middle game to the end, when superpower soldiers start to massacre everything that moves.


Haha. I was just ranting to a friend who doesn’t even play this game over the phone last night about this. TOO EASY. Even on Legend. A year of changes has only made this more of a problem because the developers keep listening to players.

But there are so many conflicting problems that exist that complicate things. Changing one thing (like making Scylla’s harder) isn’t going to change the fact that raiding is easily exploited to overpower you.

  • Changing raiding isn’t going to change the fact that Base defenses have these large fancy rooms with tons of props, but it amounts to a single choke-point at the entrance 99% of the time.
  • Or how the RPG elements of this game over-complicate things to a point that seemingly makes it nearly impossible to balance without making things somehow less fun. How they require so much time and investment, that I can believe and understand if players would hate to lose the soldiers.
  • Combine the above with the fact you can only bring 8 soldiers on any mission, and the game ends up needing to be balanced to favor the player because losing 1/8 of your soldiers can become a huge handicap if things are too difficult. (Bye bye original Xcom feel of walking out of a skyranger and losing a soldier… did people actually not like that, and not laugh…? It was hardly a hindrance when you could bring over 20 soldiers and most of them are disposable because of no RPG mechanics. [Edit: Should note that soldiers stats WOULD raise from mission to mission depending on what they did, but for the most part it wasn’t really necessary or important as far as I can remember] The only real hindrance was the terrible loadout screen that needed to be fixed with a mod)
  • Or how they can’t decide how to pace the game, and aliens progress on a time scale instead of your own personal progress… so endless raiding is an obvious advantage compared to anything else, but that once you get the snowball rolling the game never presents a challenge (easy to do within the first few days of any campaign) - they try to rebalance difficulty by increasing the pace and all that ends up doing is making you feel like you need to move faster at first to gain that advantage and keep that snowball running and every campaign becomes the exact same strategy (no replayability actually) [Edit Note: this 0 replayability comes from the fact that the optimal strategy seems to be to use a Scarab, drive around and do hit and runs with naked soldiers and basic equipment for the first month of the game… easy and cheap and :yawning_face:]
  • or how resources are acquired and how they create an uneven flow in progress unless you raid
  • or how loadouts on soldiers can be easily switched regardless of global location, making multiple teams spanning the globe with limited equipment a thing that’s doable because you just keep hotswapping your gear giving you another advantage. No low-gear scout teams that you have to debate whether you want them to respond to that High difficulty Haven Defense or not… just swap their gear really quickly and pop in for a cup of pando blood.
  • and how since saving resources on gear can then be funneled into more bases and facilities, that it renders THE ENTIRE RESEARCH/MANUFACTURING aspect of the game (and the entire game as well, really) completely negligible. Decide what to research next? “What do you mean? I finished researching things days ago… I’m just waiting for the first Scylla to attack so I can capture it with my team that I’ve already fully geared and skilled out.” :yawning_face:

Probably more I’m forgetting. One change barely makes a difference, and considering how every person playing this game seems to want something slightly different… we ended up getting a mess of mechanics that seemingly satisfies no one.

Kind of a problem when you can’t decide what you want your own game to be and keep trying to cater to the masses. Some people consider that good game design, but I don’t. They shouldn’t be listening to us. The game was better on release 1 year ago IN MY OPINION (minus all those annoying bugs that’d crash and break the game on nearly every mission).

This may be a harsh criticism, but I think it’s accurate. This game’s a huge disappointment, and the hype didn’t help. Knowing it was being made by Julian Gollop (who I thought was talented initially), and the fact that that was one of my favorite games of all time really had me excited to be getting another installment of sorts… instead we got a mishmash of popular games in the last two decades that barely resembles anything that made the original xcoms special.

I don’t get it. In the original Xcom, I’d bring 20 soldiers and I WOULD care about them. When I lost Josh Hartnett, my ace sniper… I was sad… but it was okay, because I had 2 other snipers (they weren’t a thing, but I just made people with high AIM stay at a distance and be designated marksmen) and hiring more soldiers was extremely cheap and easy. Encountering the dreaded Chryssalids were a nightmare… like being a part of an Alien movie. At least once ravaged my squad and I retreated with only a few survivors.

… in PP however, I spend so much time creating custom soldier classes that I’d easily forget what they were and what they’re good for if I don’t name/color/customize them as such. SYMBIONT ASPIRANT… a berserker that uses a shield, hammer, pistol, daze mutation head, poison mutation body that act as durable cannon fodder with a few tools. I couldn’t care less if he dies, also cheap to replace but annoyingly time consuming because I know it’s going to cost me another raid that I don’t want to do… the ones I do care about can’t die, because I pump them full of SP and they’re gods that can clear the map by themselves nearly. :yawning_face:

Maybe nostalgia is affecting me more than I realize, and maybe I should probably go back and play the original Xcom again… but I’ve loved playing that game so many times over the years that I can’t imagine that I’ll be disappointed all of a sudden now after playing PP. If I’m wrong, I’ll be back to correct myself. :laughing:

(This rant is a bit out of place in this topic, but it kind of applies to any and all topics that complain about the difficulty in this game or its pacing or how losing soldiers is just tiring)

I’ve spent the last year not even trying to beat the game (because I know in every campaign at a certain point that the game is already beaten) and I’ve been trying to tease out things that could/should be changed to create a better flow… after 30+ campaigns, I’ve yet to find stable ground to stand on, nor have actually beaten the game. In fact, I’ve already discovered (quite early on, even when the game was significantly more difficult, but also significantly more cheesy) that you can “beat” the game within the first 7 days. The next 40 days or so is you spending 100 hours grinding through missions that kind of put me to sleep. The only fun part of the game ironically ends up being the soldier/class customization, which I’d honestly prefer they outright remove just to help make the rest of the game significantly better. Along with upping soldier/enemy counts, battlefield size, reduced prop density, and more lethality, no raiding… … ugh I just could on with suggestions but like I said, after 30+ campaigns… I can’t really figure out what works as long as this RPG system remains in place. It’s the #1 thing that has to go IMO, and I doubt that’s ever going to happen because people just LOVE leveling with skill points… (or so they think)


Could bring a bit of specialization - a soldier that could throw granade further then others, soldier that was able to run more, but nothing like PP. Having better equipement and armor was way more important. Panic mechanics was influenced by morale including how many times you were wounded or psy attacked, so experienced soldier there also fared way better then rookies. Also, aiming.

Oh yeah, that was a feeling of being terrorized :slight_smile:

Yes. difference between early soldiers pumped with SP-abilities and seasoned rookies, even well equipped is such, recruiting loses any sense.

Raiding is nice innovation, but should come with more limits and at a higher cost. More variation within the game would really make it less boring.

Since, as you say, player demands vary, I would like to see - MORE OPTIONS. Simply you could e.g. pick up less franzy pace of game, with no such soldier super powers, but their natural progression depending on what they use (using more sniping brings improved accuracy with it, as example) and unlimited scale … or such thing saved for higher difficulties while leaving superpowers for lower ones.

It seems experienced Xcom 1994 players have biggest disappointment. Fireaxis Xcom only players find superpowers expected.

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Look: I came from XCOM 2 and even never played FiraXcom 1 or the original. And I was absolutely ok with super soldiers from XCOM 2.
But what PP fantasy soldiers can do is absolutely absurd to me and the almost only thing I don’t like about this game. They just destroy the „tactics“ in this game.


Sorry, I did not want to hurt anyones feelings, it was merely a generalization since Faxis introduced such stuff to the genre :slight_smile: There are exceptions to every rule.

I do play strategy games for feeling of a need for tactics :slight_smile:

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When the first of your 20 guys steps onto the ramp and is immediately met with a blaster bomb that not only kills him, but 5 others and now all your rookies left alive are panicked. No matter, just wait for them to recover, and try stepping out of the ship again…

The fond memories of XCOM tend to suppress the horrors of the blaster bombs, and mind control, and reaction shots from Floaters at night. And the worst was spending another 20 minutes trying to track down that last alien who was panicking off in the corner of the barn.

That said, some of the parts I miss the most is that time of day was a gradient. There was desert, ice, farms, rivers, and other normal terrain. The downed ships had engineers, navigators, leaders, some of who were already dead or wounded at the start. Hopefully Festering Skies will bring some of that.

Maybe the best way is to create a fifth difficulty level “BAMF”. 5 SP is so much harder than 8SP. How about:

  1. 3SP/mission, or just 2? (trivial)
  2. no dual-classing (trivial)
  3. better AI (hard)
    i) more coordination. Pandas work in teams of 2 or 3.
    a) A screamer Siren + 2 MC Sirens is a pretty potent group.
    b) 2-3 nader Arthrons all bombaring the same target will disable arms very quickly.
    c) 2 alpha sniper tritons can kill almost anyone with less than 290HP (130*2 + bleed) now, it’s just extremely rare they pick the same target.
    d) NJ uses “war cry” against you. AI uses bash.
  4. more deadly composition (easy)
    i) the Scalia with the blaster arms + 2 goo Chirons is deadly.
    ii) Tar shadow is the counter to many of the map-clearing builds. There just needs to be more of it.
  5. reduce the base attack warning from 24 hours down to 12 (trivial)
  6. the reputation penalty doubles each time (-6 -12 -24 -48) a faction is raided (easy).
  7. training gyms don’t stack (trivial)

#1 + #2 basically get rid of the RPG aspect for the BAMF difficult level when coupled with 50% cheaper PP recruits.


Ahaha… I actually couldn’t remember if Blaster’s were reaction fire or not, or if I was remembering me messing up with primed grenades and blowing up my entire skyranger. Either way, funny memories.

I’ll admit though that those wipes, chasing down the last alien, and a few other things about the game (never did have problems with mind control or blaster bombs really in general though) were quite the pain to deal with. I always felt the trick was to avoid night-time missions unless absolutely desperate/confident and usually not after a certain point in the game at all. Sometimes I’d land at a terror site, only to see 5 aliens pointing at me right away and just immediately evacuate because I could already see how that was going to go! Sometimes I’d be chasing down the last alien by spreading everyone out, only for the alien to ambush me and killing two of my soldiers and I actually remember LIKING that. (to the point where I’d often just blow up the map with Blaster’s myself if I felt I could afford it later on) But nooooooo, someone had to complain about chasing aliens down in Phoenix Point, so they went ahead and changed that too!

What else I liked was that each and every mission in the game was a reaction to something. Shot down a ship? Check it out if you can. Oh, a city is under attack, help if I can! Found a base, prepare an attack. Were there any other conditions for doing a mission? I don’t remember doing 100+ missions in a regular xcom campaign, but PP seems unnecessarily bloated with missions and no sense of progress.

So, Xcom is a fond memory that I played intermittently throughout my life because it had a certain charm. The change of terrain from mission to mission, and looking the way it did was very nice. Snow, sand, dirt, concrete… The interesting roles of crew members of downed alien ships. The game had its flaws obviously (my biggest peeve was the loadout screens and customizing inventories EVERY MISSION and the bugs that existed), but it had enough good things going for it that it became a title I could say I love.

I’ve tried to love PP because of who it’s made by? It’s like a dying relationship that started on a lie. I just need a divorce and I’m realizing that more now. :laughing: I was conned through good advertising and marketing. Look at PP’s advertisements and compare it to the game, and I’m supposing that’s where the money really went… (I’m joking here)

There’s too much different about this game to really be able to like it. It’s too much of a mess of ideas with no cohesion between them. The flow of the game is entirely dependent on what you feel like doing, and regardless of what the game tries to throw at you, the game never gets interesting. No amount of additional difficulty is going to really change that I’m realizing. I’ve made things this extra hard on my own already where I can, and it doesn’t make the game better. The AI used to be more difficult, and that WAS better, but also more frustrating because of the of the other issues I’ve mentioned and I’ll continue to elaborate on below.

When it comes down to it, I only want one thing out of this game I think: Disposable soldiers.

I want my soldiers to die. A LOT. I want to be able to easily replace them. I don’t want their deaths to have a large impact on my progress. I want it to be like Chess. You sacrifice pawns to gain an advantage. You trade pieces to win a match. You never finish a game with all your pieces unless your opponent intentionally lets you or it’s their very first time playing and somehow checkmated themselves on the 3rd turn. Against an AI though? Never. I like Chess more than I like PP. I liked Chess as a kid!

PP it’s like I’m playing through an Avengers movie. I feel like a kid again, but not in a good way.

Even original PP released a year ago was still “too easy”, but I’ve come to believe it couldn’t be made harder without perhaps being made near-impossible. The main mechanic that’s always been missing is the disposable soldiers, and it’s being impacted by a variety of other mechanics (and maybe engine limitations? I’m not sure, with these added rescued faction soldiers in defense missions I’m unable to believe that excuse). Cost between 250-1250 food. You get 800-1100 food on average from a complete raid. Right there, you can see how this doesn’t add up. Change the difficulty in this game to the point where you’re losing soldiers left and right, and all of a sudden all you’re doing is farming to recruit more soldiers over and over again. There’s too many design problems in this game that I can’t even begin to imagine how to correct… thought I was on to things with each and every campaign I played and tried to change, but I think I am done with this game now. … and to be clear, I’m aware that soldiers CAN die in this game and you can still easily progress… but there’s also a limit and what I’m really talking about is how to affects the tactics portion of the game. Losing a soldier on every mission I don’t think is sustainable… but if it is, correct me. I’ve not yet actually tried to just kill my soldiers intentionally to see if I hit a standstill and lose.

I’ll try Festering Skies if it’s free.

Thanks for the responses though. Always fun discussing these things and reminiscing when I’ve got time to blow. :grin:

P.S. Is it just me, or does anyone else find that original Xcom’s visuals and sound are actually more pleasant and interesting than PP as well? Even some of the original concept art for PP looked far better than what release was. I have no idea who made these decisions or why… I just wanted and thought I was going to get a truly modern version of original Xcom (mind you I didn’t care or need Sectoids, and UFO’s… the Pandoran/sea theme was very interesting) and not another Jake Solomon-type game.


Maybe initial special missions, first nest-lair missions and until first alliance reached, so some advanced tech is obtained (or same via research and raid), but gets too boring and repetative towards end.

also it was dependent on continent where UFO crash occured, really nice touch.

Early game, its too easy and they are replacable. Problem arises late in game when rookies simply could not handle pimped AI squads or scyllas, so in these terms (not in terms of super squad) games becomes notoriously hard.

DLC is always a way to input cash, maybe two-year edition will again re-integrate :slight_smile:

I really miss good Amiga music in combat, researching etc. And more linking of advancing tech and in game by researching aliens, here is too much weight on factions. Also, I would like to play game from factions perspective too :slight_smile:

Good choice of inspiration, but it turned out to be first big game for small studio. In the end it turns out @JulianG looks more like advisor and advertiser, then creative potential being put to life as it was in Xcom 1994 or Apocalypse (or even Laser Squad diversity of expansion missions).

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Gotta say I enjoy this hijacked discussion more than the game right now :laughing: (seems like it ought to be its own topic)

I’ll admit that some missions in this game are better than others, but all of them lack a certain element that makes them exciting. With how much this game is like Xcom2, it’s odd that it took none of the cinematic flair with it and we get boring static starts/stops/objectives/enemies. Why do so many missions have me arbitrarily walking towards a point to activate a single objective, usually with nothing particularly interesting to look at? Might as well just get rid of it because I 100% ignore it until everything’s dead anyways… which is also always part of the objectives too (and don’t notice even what I’m activating)

Case and point: Phoenix Point’s Antarctica vs. Xcom2’s Advent Research Center mission.

In PP: We’re in a square map with a lush forest (okay, 1-second rant: wtf? I get global warming… but this is 2050, not 2150… I have a hard time believing it’s not still a tundra down there… maybe rocky and little snow… but lush forest???) and ruins. A single objective next to what looks like a pot or something, but the real objective is killing everything.

In X2: A long rectangular map. Several points to sneak around enemies, or you can just fight them head on (I’ve done both avoiding being detected, and slaughtering them on Legendary - WOTC Reaper really helps). A large facility with defenses and lots of patrols wandering around. When we arrive NEAR the objective, a cinematic plays that shows us the facility and individuals remark on the nature of the facility. Once you reach the objective, another short cinematic plays that shows your soldier grabbing a sample and more voiceover informing the player… that… REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVE! Hope you weren’t rushing this objective, because now you’re going to need to get out before being overwhelmed.

I’ve done both game’s missions way too many times now. For how much I dislike Xcom2, it’s far better in this regard is my opinion. Phoenix Point’s mission quality terribly irritates me. All of them feel like Raids or Defenses to me.

Now I get that it’s a small studio and they’re limited in how much they can do and how fast they can do it… which is why I don’t understand some design decisions. This is why indie developers don’t use full voiceovers and instead facilitate text dialogue in a non-disruptive but engaging way… imagine little text boxes appearing above a soldiers head as he gets closer to the objective that tells you what he’s thinking or even saying about it? Is that really a bad or hard thing to do? … or even just removing the objective outright and make the map resemble an entrance to some ruins, and you’re clearing out that entrance… at which point once the mission ends the regular popup occurs telling you what they found. Both of these I consider to be far superior (and I’m sure there’s other good suggestions out there too) than to putting some random props scattered around a map to act as cover, randomly spawning enemies, and then adding a single point to the map that someone has to step on and “activate” arbitrarily.

It’s my assumption that too much time and effort has been put into the soldier’s stats/skills/equipment side of things + trying to make factions distinct from one another in a balanced way (which is overkill currently and not even important to me). Not enough time was put into making the story make sense or having the player’s decisions actually affect the flow and direction of the game. (eg. steal your ally’s aircraft! they don’t really mind… they’ll even continue to trade with you!)

And UI and Sound design is seemingly an afterthought. Even today, a year+ after the game’s initial release, it’s still inundated with incorrect information. Check out mutations and their descriptions. They probably should’ve just made this game 2D because when it comes down to it, does the “realistic ballistics” system really even make a difference? The #1 issue with Xcom2 in regards to aiming was how POINT BLANK could still have a miss rate… that’s a simple adjustment. If you have a concern about how limbs are being targeted and destroyed, I shall refer you to Fallout 1 and 2 and Battletech games.


In general, story “holds the water” once dots are connected, otherwise and per mission, it has a holes of waiting too much for any significant story driven progression. More stuff like Siamise discoveries, would be most welcome. Idea seems to be a bit of Civ like 4x4 games, to enable a lot of freedom to player while making them pay later for decisions that are not alligned with what Aliens will do (e.g. you went too far in researching map and raiding and lost stamina needed to do defence heaven mission).

While Xcom 1994 gave a bit of freedom, it tied progression to discovery of aliens. Here much of progression (beside needed Scyla and Siren capture) seems to be tied to factions. This could be great if pace of alien progression is different, enabling slower, more expensive progression and discovery.

It affects that heaven more then faction, if going 4x4 I would prefer ability to trade research with allies more then being pushed to steal or wait for alliance. More diplomacy options here would be better.

It was a proposed main distiction of game, and players seem to like it. However, its no substitute to way similar aliens and alien related missions. Having their war availiable earlier but at smaller scale (e.g. competition of few heavens in region rather then global scale war) and inability to tie to all, could be nice option here.

Yes, some in mission solutions look cheap compared to more throught storylined missions seen in Fireaxis series. Since I have played Fireaxis Xcom 1 Cryssalis infection mission was as example great story that I cant find no match in PP.

Tutorial has done this quite well, but its a limited experience. Going that way would be good.

Looks nice when you can shoot couple targets in line, but aliens do that often. Or using free aim to shoot through glass or an obstacle. But clear distiction what is destructable and non-destructable cover here is missing.

I disliked high miss ratios of games, but in PP its quite precise for both sides, and covers dont play such a big role, putting overweight in fast offensive to some defensive tactics. A bit of tactics possibility is lost here. I would like to see covers play more important role. Nowadays only options is to be completely out of sight, like completely around the corner, to avoid possibility of shot. Coupled with good rifles and high perception enemy gains later, it looks a bit too much like sniping over the map. Including our own side :slight_smile: High sniping damage and radius of shooting has make it to a bit of sniping fest, over-weighting any other tactics, and a bit overshadowing good class and class combo ideas.

There are lot of possible cures and directions, but sadly its unlikely any will be taken, but DLCs would expand in similar fashion with a bit of added enemies, equipment and no significant overall change. Maybe PP2, I dont hold much hope in 2 or 3 remaining DLCs. Even its stated game is still “in progress”.

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That’s still possible in Battletech without a free aim system. Just sayin’ It CAN be done in 2D. 3D and pointing down a scope is just a fluffy pretty thing to look at you could say. Doesn’t actually change the game fundamentally in any way. It’s their main selling point, but in my opinion it’s just another con.

I’d say that while the snipers become one of the biggest threats late game, that your tactics don’t necessarily need to change. (Phoenix heavy tactics) If you’ve been heavily relying on a vehicle or War Cry’s, that still works. (Synedrion heavy tactics) If you rely on stealth, that still works too. (New Jericho heavy tactics) If you rely on launching Boom Blast grenades… still works. (Anu heavy tactics) Frenzied Speed Demons that 1hit melee… still works. It’s part of my “nothing matters” criticism which is both a bit refreshing but then also makes you feel like it’s all kinda pointless after the first few times.

Also it seems like we both kinda agree that nearly the entire game needs to be redesigned :stuck_out_tongue: because one change here or there tends to affect everything else as well.

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Since most of mechanics and look-design is already there, I imagine re-thinking missions (goals, map, enemy spawning …), tech tree, AI behavior … is more fine-tuning. It would not be restarting, but kind of fine-tuning. All the good elements like survival-exploration grand strategy, innovative elements like limb shooting, cover destuction and physical bullets. Improving on good, mending the bad. However, what is bad has no universal answer :slight_smile:

I agree most advertised features like cover destructibility, intelligent alien mutation system and physical bullets dont live up to extent it could influence the gameplay.

Sadly, it seems this is what is seen as “semi-final game” with all its merits and problems. DLC might add some experience, but after seeing 2,5 DLCs I dont expect it to be game-changing experience, merely adding more “content” in modern vocabulary.


OpenXCOM fixed that! Still though, even with upscaled graphics it’s hard to watch. The music still holds up.

PP has some really cool bits, but they are subtle. I really like that any unit that can no longer attack will run off the map. While not always possible due to where your troops spawn compared to the exit, one can retreat from the battle and rejoin it. I’ve only done it maybe twice, and only due to the old “worm inside the indestructible terrain” bug, but it is there. Before you have any sort of proximity sensing tech I have a strong urge to retreat from the Anu housing missions, but the exit is often far away. I like how if a Scalia retreats you can go attack the Citadel and will find that Scalia heavily damaged already.

For all the flaws it seems many of us have played it quite a lot. It’s been a while since I’ve bothered to finish it, but my current game is just waiting another day for Anu’s Temple to finish building. After which is another couple days of research, but at 52% population there isn’t a need to defend havens any longer so hopefully that passes very quickly.

A mission had to be detected first, so as more bases are built there are more missions you can intercept. I do recall shooting down quite a few UFOs and not bothering to do the tactical mission.

In PP this is similar until you get to 25 relations with the factions. Now you have 100% detection, but not 100% coverage and the real grind to scale up begins. Too many missions for sure.


I must admit, I haven’t played in awhile, mainly because I have a life and this game takes too much time for too little reward. However, the last time I played I struggled and its mainly because I thought it would be cool to go through the ancients story line and try to get the new resources / tech. You had to do so much for so little that it seemed absurd. I also just got sick of the raiding. Plus the raiding is stupid. One chokepoint? Really? Alpha strike it, done, and no “special map clearing builds” whatever those are (I had that figured out early last year, but haven’t worked it out in the latest play through I tried sometime in late fall, mainly because I was too busy to put in the time) I just wanted to have fun and see if the game was better. It just seemed more tedious. Honestly, it didn’t feel like I was “winning” before I stopped simply because of the mind numbing number of missions. I will try this again when the game is feature complete (Festering Skies) and that whole ancients story thing (which seemed cool at the time from a sci - fi perspective) is fixed, if it is ever fixed.
One thing I’ve learned - it’s much more difficult than I imagined to improve significantly on the X-com formula. It seems like the original X-coms are still among the most compelling games despite being from the 1990’s!
In the meantime, there might be some new Xcom like games coming up that are of interest. No reason to mention them on this forum, but easy to figure out.


Nostalgia, hell of a drug. Personally I disagree whole heartedly with Rainer on this one, my memories of playing UFO - Enemy unknown is frustration, save scumming and the general feeling of the game cheating, the RNG could crush your soul and your will to live. But still I played it through multiple times. I feel like PP is the best game in the genre. Not as much fun as XCom2 WOTC, but the mechanics are superior in every sense. I have played through the gam 2 times, once upon release and once after Blood and titanium. It’s true that half way through you basically know if you won or not, and the end game is just by the numbers. But what strategy game isn’t, Heroes of might and magic, Xcom1 and 2, Civ. hell even UFO Enemy unknown.
As I said in the beginning nostalgia is hell of a drug. Also I whole heartedly recommend to my fellow seasoned XCOM vets. Xenonauts with the Xdivision MOD. If you enjoy getting your ass handed to you that might do the trick :slight_smile: Enjoyed reading this thread, very fair points. Have a good one.

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Yeah maybe.

A lot of games I played and loved at the time I can’t say I do today though. For example, World of Warcraft (I’d actually be one to argue, seemingly against popular opinion, that that game has only gotten better with time and that WoW Classic is garbagio.) There is a reason I’m NOT playing original xcom anymore after all… but it did have its good bits that nothing seems to replace. Mostly what I loved about Xcom as I’ve said before was that soldiers WERE disposable, the dark atmosphere, the bloody bodies/organs in tubes and on tables, the music and the sound effects. There was also a lot I didn’t like too, but enough to love anyways. WoW I mostly just remember the memories with friends, and a lot of painful grinding that I never enjoyed.

What I don’t understand is why people would/could enjoy a game that only gets easier as you progress? (provided you’re not falling behind. Battletech is a glaring example of this.) I want to use WoW as an example to make a simple point about the design and flow of difficulty.

In WoW, at level 1, you have about 1 or 2 abilities. You’ll cast them maybe twice before killing an enemy, and the enemy probably won’t even touch you before dying. Does that sound similar to Phoenix Point? Because it is. Off to a good start I think…

At level 10 (of… 60? 150? I don’t know now), you have maybe 4-5 abilities. Your strategy that was demolishing enemies at lvl1 no longer works. If you’re not adapting with your new skills, then enemies will begin to hit you but probably won’t kill you still (because that game is designed to be easy). Does this sound similar to Phoenix Point (or any tactics game really, as you pointed out)? I don’t think so… usually, the same tactics continue to work despite gaining more tools and abilities… it just takes longer… that’s more similar to WoW Classic where instead of a variety of tools, you got about 4 useless abilities and two upgrades to the only one that mattered and enemies just took longer to kill all of a sudden.

Now-WoW (last time I checked, max lvl was 110) just continues to progress like I was laying out there though. More abilities that can be used in combination to create powerful effects, and enemies that equally grow in power (later on begin healing themselves and stuff before you can kill them unless you interrupt the heal… if you fail, you still kill them but it takes about 5-10 seconds longer…). The battles go from “stand here and cast twice” to “stand here, cast this rotation, root the enemy, fall back, cast another rotation, interrupt” (especially if you’re challenging yourself to do more than 1 enemy at a time, then things get even more interesting and fun as you play with AoE rotations).

Phoenix Point however it’s “load 3 naked soldiers into a vehicle” drive-by murder everything at day 5… at day 14… at day 28… at 35. What are all these extra tools I’m finding? A waste of resources of course! End of game? Okay, pump that 500SP you haven’t spent (because it’s been wholly unnecessary) into a soldier to make him a murder-machine and equip him with some of your finest tools and end the game. (I just did this within the latest patch. Well… haven’t ended the game yet still but I’m just about to) Vehicles aren’t this only games problem though. There’s a bit too many to count, and it’s very reminiscent of WoW-Classic’s idea of balance. Which I guess there’s obviously an audience for… though comparatively speaking I don’t know which is more popular, WoW-Classic or Now-WoW. I just have never understood how anyone could consider Classic to be good design though.

Could compare to classic Xcom even. Heading out the first few missions with no armor and basic weaponry… Sectoids? Splat… Floaters? Not really tough but they do get an odd advantage, but lasers and alloy armor are evening things out. Okay definitely need some Plasma for those Chrysalids and Snakemen. RUN FROM THE CYBERDISC BEFORE KILLING IT! (admittedly PP has this in the form of an UMBRA now, and people COMPLAINED because… of the non-disposable soldiers? …from my point of view). I never complained about a Cyberdisc killing my squad (nor the Umbra… but I do complain about losing soldiers I pumped hundreds of SP into all of a sudden), I just immediately realized to not put any more soldiers near it when killing it and in fact realized I could USE that to my advantage by killing it when it was near a bunch of aliens! (or amuse myself and kill a bunch of civilians :laughing:… something that doesn’t exist in PP beyond some worms that may or may not explode near their allies… not that it matters though)

Funny thing though was that I never thought to save-scum that game when I was younger. It didn’t occur to me that I could cheat, because I never liked cheating. I beat the game on normal after a few dozen tries, and I remember mostly being confused about what was needed to progress the game (capturing certain aliens didn’t occur to me the first few times). Admittedly I only beat it on Superhuman difficult BY save scumming later on in life. I do want to go back and give it another shot maybe and see how difficult either mode really is in comparison to everything I’ve grown used to over the years… but what I remember fondly (in regards to my main criticism here) is opening the base management screen, going to buy and hiring a number of soldiers right there to the base, immediately equipping them with good armor and weapons and not even noticing a difference really. It wasn’t even until after playing the game a few times did I realize that soldiers got stronger when they leveled up and that certain actions could increase their stats. I rarely relied on reaction fire, and I lost a lot of soldiers. If I were to lose too many soldiers in Phoenix Point, it’s an entirely different game and it slogs forward if not outright ending the game. Every loss in Phoenix Point is a HUGE setback, because of how resources are gained (compounding negative effects in regards to losing soldiers here). Every loss in original Xcom could be covered by selling loot and corpses or just waiting for the next paycheck.

I fear that game may be too easy to me now too, but I need to do it again to be sure. I’d assume my main criticisms of that game would remain the same and are mostly what prevent me from wanting to play it again. Equipment diversity was lame and straightforward. No sniper rifles or shotguns, and everyone might as well be equipped with Flying Armor (on this note, you start the game with Flying Armor in Phoenix Point :expressionless:), Alien Grenade and Heavy Plasma because why not? (Okay, a few devices for mind control and the Blaster bomb was way too overpowered) The flare was intermittently useful (but fun to use and actually did make a difference imo) where smoke was broken, and incendiary generally useless and also bugged. I remember original Xcom just getting harder as the game progressed, and less fun as well but for significantly different reasons. I used HWP’s the same way I use vehicles in this game (mostly to draw enemy fire away from my units that can get more powerful in time). Worst/best part of Xcom was the turn-1 deaths as you step out of the aircraft. Both funny and irritating. There’s quite a bit I’d change about that game too (and I did, I created sniper rifles at one point) but it’s decades old and I’m comfortable putting it down…

This game doesn’t offer much though, actually. Boom Blast can do everything for you in every mission all throughout the game, especially if you upgrade to the LoA GL. Vehicles trivialize everything but base defenses, which are already trivial to begin with. The biggest and baddest enemy can be disabled by two simple mechanics, one which is gained at lvl2, and never does anything interesting other than tinking your vehicle or insta-gibbing a soldier. This is the hardest difficulty? Feels like Carebear mode to me.

Did you know it’s possible to defeat a Scylla with a group of almost naked soldiers, no vehicle, with little-no spent SP? (admittedly I had two with spent SP of 5) that was one hell of a fun mission. The Scylla was actually frightening and I feared I was going to lose, but didn’t… if I don’t lose with a nearly naked squad, why does anything in the game even exist? It’s better when it doesn’t clearly.

They took cover behind a vehicle right away… Scylla destroyed that and they all spread out. Lost one, War Cry did most of the work. I’ll agree to War Cry being a huge help and necessary but only on the condition that no one has any equipment or other skills. We’re offered too many tools that can be acquired way too quickly and easily that essentially trivialize the entire game NOT HALFWAY THROUGH but before you even start the game. Scrap the Access Lift, build a Scarab. Scout for 4 days until you finish it, win game essentially. It’s unnecessary to do combat in those first 4 days, so we can just call that the starting point. You won the game before you even started… and this is LEGEND? C’mon now… :face_with_monocle:

Edit: Oh and before anyone tries to point out that WoW and PP are different genres, I disagree. They’re both RPGs clearly. One is an MMO-RPG and the other is a Tactics-RPG but the feel of the game is similar enough. Do things, win, gain lvls and power, repeat. Only notable differences (for me) really beyond what you’re clicking on generally is that WoW gets more difficult over the course of the game and Phoenix Point doesn’t really.

Edit 2: Today instead of playing Phoenix Point I’d decided to give Original Xcom a shot again to just tease out what I remember vs. reality and frankly it’s exactly as I remember it. Two things to begin, the UI is so bad, especially the loadout screen :laughing: and it runs so poorly on modern PCs… like Farcry on my old PC when it was first released bad. Other than suffering those things (and a few other issues like lack of descriptions and info + Skyranger’s inventory not being present in a surprise base defense), the game is far more interesting in combat I still think, and I was playing on Superhuman difficulty. First 3 missions I lost 3 soldiers, big woop, and going up against Heavy Plasma right away :sweat_smile:. Was capturing aliens on the 2nd downed craft with stun rods. Had my main base (named Phoenix Point, hehe) attacked at the beginning of the 2nd month, and lost 9/16 soldiers… also not a big deal. I love the way that game’s Promotion System works vs. this game’s RPG system. Hilariously bad accuracy all around, and Snapshots reign supreme :wink: … but one thing I didn’t know/remember… Reaction fire is amazing! Works multiple times on a turn compared to this game’s Overwatch which only fires once. Base defenses don’t suck because there’s 3 hangars to begin with and an Access Point (that you CAN’T destroy) that enemies enter from. 4 different locations and 3 different angles of attack… far superior of a game.


I do recall the anticipation of fielding the brand new laser rifle, but then watching in dismay as my rookies blazed away apparently at nothing in particular due to their terrible aim.

Possibly the most important stat!

Yes, it’s all been downhill for these ever since unfortunately. I miss the laser/plasma defense square. IIRC it took 3 days to build and that 3 days was longer than other 3 day stretches.

XCOM1 was pretty good. It was often impossible to not lose some highly experienced soldiers in these missions.

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Im confused here. If OP finds Scylla’s to easy, just dont use the things that you find OP instead of demanding the devs to change it for everyone? Or mod it?

You are asking them to change something for everyone because you find it to easy.