Mid/late game balance issues

Indeed i like Phoenix point a lot, it does a lot of things better than X-Com did, like stopping the movment, when you encounter an enemy and in the early phases of the game it is pretty balanced in all regards.

But in midgame certain synergys of soldier skills start to outweight others skills and some aspects of gear start outweight others. In the endgame phase, most classes, skills and weapons get insignificant and only maximum movment and melee dammage outweight the rest, because melee weapons never miss and do way more dammage then ranged weapons can and armor becomes useless when it impedes movement, and does not really help a lot anyway, against mid/endgame weapons.

And some classes are pretty useless right from the start, like a berserker. An assault/heavy is way more versatile and can do everything important better then a berseker. Indeed a maxed out assault/heavy, is the only class combo I need for dammage, the rest is just for support or fun.

The vehicles in Poenix Point are a real cool idea, but that you can’t upgarde them, makes them useless later on in the game. Also most weapons that you have to put a lot of research into are basically useless and not even worth the material building them.

To demonstrate my point vividly, I linked two vids, one at midgame, one at endgame, that show pretty good what i want to say, no shots fired in both and both are first round wins.


Yes, one certainly can do that, but it’s not very entertaining. I don’t play that way. It would be nice if it were not possible so that people wouldn’t go “see, this game is broken!”, but personally, I think PP provides the best turn-based tactical experience of any game I’ve played on Mac. The strategic layer can be frustrating and some aspects of the gameplay are maddening, but the battles themselves can be excellent. Provided that you restrain yourself from min/maxing your squad and skill combos, of course.

The perennial problem with PP. In order to enjoy it, you have to tie your hands behind your back and treat it like a 5-year-old.

Thankfully, the devs are aware and are working on it - but I doubt it will ever be as balanced as some of us would like it to be, unless they finally bite the bullet and put a hard divide between Easy/Vet and Hero/Legend, where E/V lets you min-max super-soldiers to your heart’s content & H/L curbs the excesses to give you a proper tactical challenge.


Quick, dirty and cheap (and pretty sure it wouldn’t resolve issue in all cases, like melee pandorans, or even fact you could hunker down and still unlesh “this” next turn) nerf would be if enemy start first turn with OW cones over his own mates in LoS.


I would remove/nerf Rally the Troops AP bonus as well. It always, inevitably leads to “proxy exploit”. It bugs the Mordheim game as well.

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While I agree that there are mid/late game balance issues in general, that first video really comes down to one issue: Rapid Clearance. I’ve argued in the past that the devs should just remove that stupid ability from the game since it’s hopelessly unbalanced (general rule of tactics/strategy games: no ability should give you back more actions than it costs to use) but now that it’s been there for so long it’s hard to get rid of it without upsetting the players who’ve come to use it as a win button.

Maybe Michael’s right and the only solution is to have a really hard divide between the lower and upper difficulties where the upper ones ban a bunch of stuff. More realistically, though, we’ll just have to wait for someone to put out a mod and heavily self-restrict in the meantime (I never take Rapid Clearance for exactly this reason).

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Mate, I’m afraid you’re preaching to the converted here.
I’ve been arguing for 2 years that the AP-regeneration loop of RC should be closed, and despite some token nods in that direction, it still hasn’t happened.
As I understand it, the devs don’t want to close it to casual players, who feel they need it to cope with the supposed difficulty of this game (I’m being harsh here - some players really do find this game really difficult to cope with).

I’ve long argued that we should have Second Wave Options that should give those who don’t want these stupid exploits ruining the game the ability to switch them off.
I’m grudgingly coming to the conclusion that SWOs are never going to happen - but I do hold out some hope that the devs are listening about the need for a hard divide between ludicrously easy and challengingly hard, and may take some steps in that direction.

I hope so, cos while I love this game, I’m growing tired of having to compensate for all its idiocies.
If Firaxis brought out an XCOM3 tomorrow which incorporated all the good bits of PP and balanced it properly, I’d drop this like a hot potato right now 'cos I’m fed up of having to treat it like it’s a 5-year-old.


PP really is the most maddening combination of awesome and awful that I’ve ever seen in a game.


Why just don’t do it like in X-Com, add diminsihing returns of dammage to RC, which I like a lot, because the soldier that’s doing the RC does not have an endless dammage output and you got to think about the sequence and need to dammage the enemys from the later stages of the sequence before you use it. And add a long coldown or only once per battle use to it. That would make it still usefull without removing it completely.

And you think we haven’t suggested this endless times over…?


I just don’t want to say anything but… really? you believe that and you say this after:


This is like two totally different person speaking…

Well, yes maybe, i am sorry for being new to the forum and not knowing that, but i think another voice backing up your opinon and mentioning it again doesn’t hurt either?


Ignore his bad mood. He’s a nice guy here, one of the few (and I do not include myself :P).

Because I love the game and I have seen it change gradually over time in response to my repeated arguments.

But at times it feels like trying to turn the Titanic. You can see all the icebergs and you know what’s going to happen if you keep on the same course, but no matter how much you talk to the engineers, it seems like the Captain’s dead set on maintaining his course, and the helm can only be turned 1 degree at a time.

Still doesn’t stop me loving the game and trying to improve it - but if someone else came along with a game that took all the good bits of PP and added Firaxis’ understanding of how to balance massively OP skills like Bladestorm to make them something cool that you want to use without completely breaking the game, then I’d go rushing to it like a wanderer in the mixed metaphor of the desert.


Yea, sorry if that sounded harsh - it wasn’t really aimed at you.

But we really have been trying to get SG to recognise that RC needs a ‘Bladestorm-like’ rebalance for years and it gets very frustrating at times.

I seriously believe that there is someone very high up in SG who has a Thing against cooldowns, and who is terrified of alienating the casual audience that pays 50% of the bills. It’s the only explanation that makes sense of their resistance to such obviously needed changes.

Though I don’t think I’m breaking any confidences when I say that the devs did think they’d fixed it once, after an extensive consultation exercise with the CC. They simply wouldn’t believe that you could still generate an infinite AP loop until one of us built a Terminator that demonstrated it in front of their eyes.

Yet still we have no cooldowns or diminishing returns, which brings me back to my earlier surmise.


You really think that’s what it is? I’ve just been assuming that they’ve been putting 95% of their dev capacity towards new DLC, and most of what’s left towards bugfixes.

Based on what I’ve seen (admittedly I’ve seen less than the CC members have), Snapshot’s behaviour doesn’t read as “we have a thing against cooldowns”. It reads as “we regard PP as a finished game and we’re not interested in making any major changes to it”.

We all love this game. There is no problem about that. SG changed/fixed very few things at beta period before one year edition too, I accept that.

BUT there is something you need to accept too. After LotA, that period is over. This game is finished for SG as development. LotA and FS including the mid patches which suppose to fix something showed us that Titanic is beyond save already and SG left the ship with few DLC… You are on the ship.

Devs does not speak with anyone, CC or here for months (I don’t count little to no help one dev answers at CC), they don’t make their promises as Q-A’s, they are just closed many planned topics “done” labeled without doing anything, like they just closed “getting aircraft with more creative way” with the FS free ones, like an insult.

Yes, they will change some little numbers time to time with huge “BALANCE” announcements.

The only way to take attention of SG as CC, you need to retire all together to show them something was wrong and it gets worse.

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That’s your opinion, it’s not mine.

From my experience since the inception of this game, polite engagement with the devs slowly and incrementally pushes it in the direction most of us on these forums would like, whereas being rude about them generally gets ignored.

You chose to leave the CC, so you have no idea what conversations are going on atmo or what they are working to do. I can’t tell you, bc part of the deal with being in the Council is that the devs talk things over with you on the understanding that what they tell you won’t get plastered all over the internet 5 minutes later, and I don’t intend to betray that trust.

But they haven’t abandoned this game, and they are working on fixing at least some of the more egregious problems we have all identified.

Whether they will be able to fix them in a way that we’d all like, I seriously doubt - but that’s as much because what I want doesn’t equate with what @Nattfarinn , you or @Spagetman43 wants: and that’s as much a part of the square they have to circle as anything else.

I still think SWOs in the same vein as Mad’s Assorted Adjustments is the best way to square that circle, but I don’t think we’ll get those, so I’m pushing for an Easy Mode and a Hard Mode instead, as that door seems slightly more ajar atmo. We’ll see.

I lost faith… only actions change that… They lied to CC enough times… you just don’t want accept that.

Lied is a pretty damning word to use. I haven’t witnessed any lies. One may not agree with their responses, but…

Sadly, your “they should be the good guys” mainset just does not allow you accept the harsh truth.

“We are working on it”, “we want a balanced gameplay”, “we want a nice TBS” kind of words cannot be named “lie” as you cannot know the result until the development is finished. But those words and actions are very politic ones. You can never know they are saying truth also.

Eric told us we could have a bit more influence on FS design, but after FS we saw that everything is done what they planned. So I can tell that, this was a lie clearly.

You can be nice-naive guys to wait the results and after development is done, you can come and say “yeah they lied to us”… but you are not teenagers so I think you know how “words-actions” works at that age.

I am ready to say sorry IF they take an action and stand behind their words. AND I can just bet on that sadly, I will be probably right at the end…

So you can have your "but…"s for one year more with believing… I am just sorry for you as you know that you are good guys with good intentions… You can see me as annoying angry guy too… but I know how this kind of things end well from my experiences…