Mildly dissapointed with the general direction of the game

I didn’t really like the new xcom games so I bought Phoenix Point immediately after seeing it had some of the original UFO:defense devs, and fired up my first campaign on legendary difficulty. I was really hoping I would get the sheer rush of emotions that came from encountering that first crashed sectoid and watching in terror as it wiped out a 3 man fire team of recruits before disappearing back into the FOW. Unfortunately Phoenix Point has not recreated that feeling.

It’s the same disappointing rambo system implemented in the new X:com. There’s no equivalent to the joy of finishing a chrysallid terror mission with only 4 soldiers left. If I lose a soldier I instantly reload. It’s not because I’m particularly attached to the soldiers, but because I don’t want to endure another 3-4 missions to pay for the replacement soldier to then shuffle them to my training base with aircraft I want doing other things, and finally dig through the mess of menus to get 10 different equipment items built and equipped just to have them tag along for 10 missions before they can be of any use.

There’s no excitement from researching tech. I go through all this trouble to get access to New Jericho weapons just to find out that their top tier armor piercing weapon is only slightly more accurate than a shotgun, and doesn’t really improve on the higher damage laser rifles since I’ve already built a team with armor shredding. Whereas ufo defense dealt with progression through offering better weapons and equipment that can be slapped on any old recruit Phoenix Point’s weapons and equipment are all side-grades, and the only progression is through leveling characters.

I’m finally at the point in my campaign where I can field 2 manticores and have a 3rd plane for fetching recruits and supplies, and instead of feeling rewarded I’m burning out. Yeah my A-team can handle the 4 large units, and 12-14 humanoids that the missions are throwing at me right now if I figure out the right path of managing willpower points in order to have one guy blitz through 7-8 units a turn, but my B-team can’t do that. I suppose I could set aside the easier missions for them to go through and get skillpoints on, but whats the point in doing even more missions? They’ll likely never catch up to the A-team, and it’s not like I’m protecting funding, or getting more elerium for better weapons. I’m just multiplying the number of menus I have to go through when I can probably just finish the game by sending the A-team to do everything.

I was hoping for a tactical game with a strategy overlay wherein I’m losing countless soldiers fighting dangerous aliens. Instead I got a turn-based RPG with a tangled customization overlay wherein I figure out how to murder as many defenseless crabs as possible within my willpower budget. I’ve bought the base game and season pass so I’ll probably return to the game once more of the DLC is implemented, but I just don’t understand the whole rambo unit direction both this game and the Xcom sequels have taken. I can play some other turn-based RPG if that’s what I wanted, but I’ve bought these games because I was hoping for an updated and improved version of the classic Xcom. I don’t understand why no one will do that. I don’t think Phoenix Point is on it’s face a bad game but if I’m being honest I feel like projects such as open x-com and xenonauts have offered much more enjoyment. Maybe Phoenix Point will move back towards the original mechanics and away from this rambo stuff.


There is high doubt about that. But modders can do wonders - we just need to wait for it to happen. :wink:

I’m 100% sure most people who keep treat negatively every single new game and saying “old mechanic was better” don’t realize what they really want.

Classic games were first in kind, and nostalgia make us delusional. Some people just stuck in the past and don’t want accept new gameplay mechanics even if it’s better and more enjoyable.

That what I realized after 20 hours of my first playthrough.

What type of tactics is this game if I can’t calculate what is going on in battle?

I can give easy example. My soldier accidentally meet this little thing that grab on head and paralyzes. It all happens in one turn, I couldn’t prepare for this. Even after I take it out, my soldier paralyzed for 11 turns otherwords he became useless untill battle ends. GG WP, what a fun gameplay… mission restart

This is just a game, it supposed to be fair to player. Just because devs can artificially make difficulty hard it’s not actually make it hard, because you can abuse any AI once you figure out how it works. But it makes gameplay much less enjoyable.

Single-player game should be “fun” to play, and in my terminogoly word “fun” doesn’t specifially imply making game easy for this purpose. Any game can be fun and hard at same time.

Losing one soldier to a mind-fragger wouldn’t be a problem if it was one soldier out of 14 instead of one soldier out of 6. That’s the problem with the willpower/rambo system. In classic xcom an experienced soldier might be twice as good as a rookie. A well equipped soldier is maybe 4-5 times better than a basic soldier. In this new system a well equipped soldier is 2 times better than a naked soldier, but a rank 7 soldier is 10 times better than a rookie. They haven’t decreased the power level, they’ve just divided it among fewer soldiers. Losing one means you’ve lost 20% of your mission power, and 20% of your transport power, and hours of skill point gains. Having a bunch of factories doesn’t help since the equipment is mostly cosmetic, and everything is tied to having experienced soldiers which are impossible to replace without grinding out more missions.

Losing a classic xcom soldier hurt your mission, but it didn’t really delete your progress since most of the power was tied into gear. Missions were actually fun stories of how you were barely limping back to sky ranger with just your commander because of a blaster launcher shot. Under this new system it’s simply: “I spammed all my willpower abilities and killed everything in one turn. I couldn’t let the AI actually do anything because losing a soldier would set me back hours of tedious grinding.” The game is only fun if you like clicking +stat points, and doing willpower mini-puzzles.


Yes, exactly. In every mission I have 2 situations either I kill enemies in few turns or they harm me enough to wipe half of squad making further gameplay pointless and restarting a whole missions. I don’t have close battles.

It happens because enemies can shoot multiple times and kill soldier in one turn. There no way to predict where they shoot. Even if soldier not die, he can get broken hand or weapon and became just a target for rest of the battle.

Actually I don’t have anything against system in Firaxis XCOM where if you shoot you end your turn and you can shoot once except using ability as well as enemies.

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I’m not talking about Firaxis Xcom’s system which I don’t like, and wish Phoenix Point had moved away from it. When I say classic xcom I’m talking about the Mythos Games xcom from 1995 ( Easily one of the best games of all time.

Your first ship brought 14 soldiers to fight and the best ship brought 26 soldiers. Your soldiers would get better movement speed and stuff automatically by fighting, but otherwise there were no levels or perks or willpower points, but there was some psychic stuff.

Firaxis Xcom took away all the soldiers, but gave you abilities which was just a worse system. Phoenix Point followed that and it’s just dumb. It’s not like you don’t have the action points for 10+ soldiers. Rally the troops on one soldier gives you a whole new unit worth of AP, but instead of just giving you the extra soldier you gotta click the stupid button first. This new system basically gives you 14+ soldiers on your turn with all the extra AP and willpower abilities, but you only have 6 soldiers when it’s the AI’s turn, so the best way to play is to deny the AI’s turn as much as possible. The game rewards you for never interacting with it basically.


@UnstableVoltage, I don’t know whether you need any more evidence atmo, but here’s a classic encapsulation of the main problem with the game as it currently stands.


Now that is what I’m talking about. Remove those damn magical skills and put raw power in soldiers and their gear. :slightly_smiling_face: For some reason some players still oppose nerfing skills too much because it will hurt their experience and will remove fun. Blah blah blah…


How does this explain the fact that I (and others) have been playing the original 1994 XCOM since it was released? I’m not delusional and nostalgic, I enjoy the old mechanics to this day, and agree that nobody has ever properly replicated everything that made that game a classic.

Edit: And just to be clear, I do like Phoenix Point. I just don’t think it pushes all the same buttons that the 1994 XCOM did. Soldiers aren’t cheap enough to replace, and the power curve from fresh recruit to level 7 terminator is too steep. But as long as I don’t think of Phoenix Point as an XCOM replacement, I enjoy it a lot.


On top of that, if you spend your resources in vehicles, you are missing 3 x 10 SP per mission, losing skills , needed for mid game and beyond


I am 100% sure people on the internet have no idea what I want and they should stop telling other people what should be enjoyable for them and what should not. :slight_smile:

You have my axe (no, I don’t want it back).


I was theorycrafting about abstract mod, and that was one of the concepts I had. Keeping some of the, ultimately cool, superpowers like dash, or quick aim but as inventory items and research with limited per mission use. Dash could be a teleport, quick aim a stim etc. Not as abusable, amount of those per soldier limited by how much they can carry (perhaps limited equipment slots? A bit like skill system in Divinity: Original Sin2?). Will perhaps could be used for something more mundane - bring it back to use for Overwatch, perhaps slight boosts to movement or aim, like in Banner Saga (1 will point per tile, limited amount can be user per turn)


Actually I would keep skills as methods related to items or classes, but they should really behave like something from our realm.

I don’t see how abilities make this game easier. Enemies can also use own abilities and it’s quite powerful. It all depends on how devs make balance between you and AI.

Abilities it’s a next step evolution for any game, for RTS, for shooters and all other genres.

For example by dealing 500% raw damage instead of 100%. This allows to negate any armor.

Other skills remove armor like it would be some carton instead of reinforced steel or Kevlar.

Other let your soldiers compress time where enemy can’t do that.

And I wont mention some mechanics that make battlefield like some puzzle instead of dangerous environment with unknown threat.

After discussions I have seen in the council I think that developers tried to make Phoenix Point similar to Chaos Reborn instead of old X-COM.


It’s your opinion but I wouldn’t evaluate all(!) games by the fact of included abilities. It’s hell of a simplification as each game tells a different story. So called abilities, whatever they are, could help the game or make it worse - it depends on how are they implemented and how are they coexist with other elements of the game.


Others let you teleport over half of the map.

Others have the entire squad made indestructible (even if the soldiers are on completely different sides of the map).

It’s a current fashion, because a popular game in genre did that and was succesful and we want to be like that (and most likely a big chunk of players want it to be like that, because they know they like it already). There is nothing inherently better/worse about this design. XCOMs benefits of it a lot. Core cover, and shooter mechanics are too basic to allow for interesting decision making, and abilities enhance this experience, adding extra layer of decision and consequence and bigger distinction between soldiers. In case of PP, I feel they diminish the depth that comes with the ballistic system.


I like this game but I agree with the sentiment.

I haven’t played much of UFO but have competed Xenonauts and the atmosphere is unmatched.

This will probably sounds a bit sharp but PP is never going to be like that. It has taken five months to get close to a semblance of balance using small changes to overall mechanics.

What is being talked about here would taken a root and branch redesign. Maybe in a mod…

Even then, PP would still be missing fog of war.