My personal point of view on PP, as a non backer

That is to say, i have not tried the beta. And, you will have to forgive me for my english, since i’m french, actually.

So… I don’t know if the thoughts of a random Joe like me will be of any interest, but still. I wanted to share my impressions. Feel free to pass :slight_smile:

I’m interested in PP since the Fig campain. I could not back it at the time, but it happens that when i discovered this project, i was playing the Firaxis Remake (the first one) of UFO. A pretty good game. But i felt that it lacked many things. I particularly disliked the fact that the game forcefully pushed on you the idea of choice in a very unnatural manner (You’ll always have 2 or 3 alien invasions at the same time, with no chance to build a strategy around development of radars).

In the end, Firaxis’ XCOM is quite good, but still feel shallow to me. The soldier classes are stiff, it lacks options for weaponry and equipement, the LoS are broken, the campain is too short, and the tactical combat is, imo, not even as complex as the first 2 UFO from more than 20 years ago (which i still play from time to time). So, when i discovered PP i wanted to play it right away :D. A real urge which implied frustration.

Because PP is promising. I haven’t read everything, there are still things about the game i don’t know, but i’m wondering how you could fund such a complex and (visually) attractive game with such a low budget.

Probably, the players who consider a game broken if they can’t steamroll it without using their brain will complain about the complexity of PP. But know what? i don’t care. I definitely plan to buy this game. I like that my brains will be challenged. I like the customization options. I like the art (all of it). I like the tactical complexity it seems to offer. I like that there are still developers who won’t dumb everything down in order to be sure that Kevin, 10 yo, will be able to beat it, playing with his feet. And i like that the game is pushed back to 2019 (because i felt that it was much needed, since the start. Oh, will the Fig Campain stretch goals be added or…?)

Hum, if there is one thing i want to say, it is: “give us a deep, challenging, and flexible game, which will make us use our brains and our imagination. Don’t hold our hands, dont railroad things. Allow us to develop preventive strategies. Strategy is not all about tactical combat, but about managing our base and the geoscape, too”.

That’s more than one thing, i know. It may sound like a pointless rant, but i really wanted, after seeing what PoE 2 became, to send a reminder. Not everyone want convenient crap, some like to manage their resources, and Game Over is part of the game.

Regards everyone. I will continue reading these forums :slight_smile:


Well said. I loved firaxis’ take on xcom, faults and all. At the same time, there’s moments when I really want to regain the much more complicated Sim feel from years ago (thank you, xenonauts).

Considering this game is developed by Julian Gollop (one of xcom’s granddad’s), and part of what he wanted was to recapture what he was making with Apocalypse (even more complicated xcom), I think we’ll be happy in the end.

And if anyone from the old Microprose Era is around, I got to hang out with Dave Ellis at his Halloween party one year. Great guy and his garage has been converted into a full on coin-op arcade.


Sorry, I know it is not related to PP, but what PoE 2 became?

Pillars of Eternity 2 introduced all spells/ability being per encounter (allowing the players to spam everything all the time) and auto heal after combat. Along with countless other “features” that i dislike (very low difficulty for combat, which was just ramped up a bit after release for the 2 higher difficulty settings, …)


Since you said that FiraXCOM felt too short and shallow I would look into The Long War mod for EW (assuming you got it and aren’t just playing EU). It adds a bunch of depth and was so we’ll done that Firaxis hired them to make some launch day mods for X2.

While I’m trying to keep my hype down while waiting for PP (because letting it run rampant would cause burnout between now and launch along with leading to potentially unrealistic expectations) I’m looking forward to it so much because it appears to be adding in a lot of the depth that Firaxis removed for various reasons.


Yep, i know about Long War. Though i haven’t tried it yet. But i guess i may not have to try it at all, since PP pretty much answers my personal expectations already.

Try Long War mod if you own Faxis Xcom/“Xcom 2” It does what team had to do.

And LW team has a title of its own TERRA INVICTA.

Who knows, maybe one day they will mod PP for things we suggested :wink:

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Yep, i may try it next time i play XCOM. I always planned to try it at some point, but wanted to play the core experience of EW at least once before. I’m more into RPGs right now.

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Set it for half time or less in second wave options. Standard time of Long War mod will take you for a really long gameplay - if you have only 2 or 3 hours per day you may play over a year in this game. And it is a lot harder than vanilla version so take the lowest difficulty first. :wink: But you know what? I think that pre-alpha version of Phoenix Point is still less frustrating than FiraXCOM with Long War mod. :wink:


I don’t really care about the game being long. Actually, i feel that the longer the better. I always play Civ V in Marathon mode. I never finish games. Once i feel i’m closing the end, i tend to drop it. That’s why i never finished New Vegas, even though my last playthrough several years ago took like 300H. Still, your tips are useful to me, thanks. I had a hard time figuring out how long it would actually take :smiley:

I really like that PP reintroduced the need to carry spare ammunitions and buy them, as well as to research and craft new kinds of bullets. Like old UFO. Games nowadays tend to consider that managing ammunitions (arrows in fantasy) is too much to ask from their players. Even Pillars introduced unlimited ammunitions and never created special types of arrows. It’s lackluster to me. Hope PP will stay true to this kind of design choices until the end.

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Call it “frustrating” it brings back the feeling of original XCom. Brings back large squads and more liberty in mixing classes. If I would call Fireaxis Xcom “childish and a bit laughable version of real Xcom 1994” only LW brings it closer to original.

Yes, in real Xcom 1994, if you had few scientist, it would take ages to come to discoveries. It takes a long, long time to reach Mars in research and build and requires multiply bases working in parallel. All that was lost in Fireaxis oversimplification.

Like someone mentions - CONSOLE style gameplay (by console I mean old school time when they had no serious and strategy games) where reminding players that ammo is not unlimited resource is current standard. And so they removed more intense air fights, base management, multiply base build etc.

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Your English is a damn sight better than my French :slight_smile:

… it’s possibly better than my English as well. :wink:

Good post though, I also want a game that has the possibility of a Game Over screen and requires some thought.

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Thanks. Since i’m self taught with just random english websites and an online dictionnary, i’m not sure whether or not i am making mistakes. Well, it’s encouraging, at least :wink:

I watched some videos of gameplay. I was impressed. The combat feels really dynamic. The work on the sound effects in this regard is just awesome. Though i’m not sure why the guys i’ve watched tend to not try crippling the Queen’s legs. Is that particularly difficult? Or maybe the intent is to not waste ammos?

I like the circles thing too. I have always been bothered in the Firaxis remake, to see how my hobos, probably too drunk, would widely miss the target, and just throw wild shots into thin air, like they were aiming at some invisible ghost.

Against the current Queen, crippling the legs isn’t very efficient with the ammo of the explosives. It was one of the go to strategies in the first Backer Build where the Queen had very little armour though.

I would even say that now in Backers Build 2 it is almost impossible to cripple all legs - too much armor and hit points to deal with without using Armadillo. In her armored version priority have:

  • head (lowest combination of armor and HP, but small target available only from front),
  • thorax (big target with low armor, no matter the side)
  • and pincers (only two limbs with medium armor, with not so much HP and after disabling them queen becomes your puppet)

I ended up sort of accidentally discovering that ramming took out the pincers pretty well, but try as I might I couldn’t cripple one leg, let alone all of them. Then I discovered you could shoot between the limbs to the vulnerable thorax… made things easier.
Made me wonder though, how explosives work. It appeared that they’d be really good at taking out leg armor at least, but it didn’t seem to do much. They apply damage and (potential) armor shredding on everything in the blast radius, right?

Uhh…what? I mean I’m not a fan of how Firaxis did air combat (and neither were they, part of the reason it was cut from X2), but you can’t really call ANY of the XCOM air combat “intense.” In UD and TFTD you would just go for Plasma/Sonic weapons, put it to “Cautious” and then beat any UFO/USO that wasn’t a Very Large without them being able to fire back. Apocalypse had a more engaging system where you set your aggressiveness and altitude, but was still very much a “set it and forget it” system. Plus it had things like Hoverbike spam that was crazy effective against the majority of UFOs.

Overall I agree with the core of your post (though I would say the delivery is rather harsh) but I can’t get behind intense air fights for the OGs. FiraXCOM was “streamlined” compared to the old ones and it had a multi-platform launch to “help” with some of those decisions. Judging by my over 500 hours in X2 and probably close to that or more in EU/EW (253 logged, but my LW campaign hours didn’t count due to offline mode, same as a bunch of my hours while deployed) I would say the FiraXCOM games are still good even with the complaints.

At lest you had more options. Maybe that was not a bright and shiny example. Soldier ranks, stats, large squads, more types of planes, more alien races etc. were removed. And Mars fight :slight_smile: Surely they were replaced with something else, but overall I found reboot as “oversimplification” of original.

That is why I am against calling it Xcom or enemy unknown. “Enemy Within” is nice and proper as full release of game aka expansion pack.

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I understand that explosives work like this: Every part of the body which is in direct line of sight from explosion centre has a chance of armour being shredded, plus those body parts can be damaged if there is less armour than explosion damage, but from overall HP pool is only taken maximum of HP done to some individual part.

  1. First case. Lets say you toss grenade between queen’s legs and she is at full health and unscratched. Grenade there “see” all her legs, both pincers, thorax and abdomen. So 10 body parts. Each of those parts has 25% of 1 point of armour being shredded.

Shredding armour that can occur:
So on average grenade in this case will shred 2 or 3 armour points and it is random which parts will be affected. Of course if random rolls were great all 10 body parts could be shredded so even sum of 10 armour can be taken out (still maximum of 1 to individual body part), but if rolls were poor then grenade will not shred anything.

Damage being done:
As grenade does 5 damage and all body parts except Thorax (4) have 5 (Pincers) or more armour (Legs and Abdomen have 6), then grenade will only do 1 point of damage to thorax + eventual damage to those body parts which have had shredded armour (so pincers can take 1 dmg and thorax additional 1). So only thorax can be hurt for 1 or 2 points and each pincer for 1 point of dmg. So sum of damage to body parts will most likely be 1 but can also be 2, 3 or 4 with less probability for those higher values. And from overall HP of queen will be deducted max damage from most damaged individual body part - in this case 1 or 2 from thorax. So she will have 78/80 or 79/80 HP after grenade throw under her belly.

  1. Second case. Let say you throw grenade in same spot, but queen now has 69/80 HP and one leg after two Machine Gun bursts with only 2 armour and 5/16 HP on it. So grenade now see similar body parts, but one is more damaged.

Shredding armour that can occur:
Actually works the same, so most likely you will shred sum of 2 or 3 armour from 2 or 3 body parts (on each max = 1)

Damage being done:
Grenade will do 1 point of damage to thorax + 3 to damaged leg + eventual damage to those body parts which have had shredded armour (so pincers can take 1 dmg, thorax additional 1, and damaged leg additional 1). So now sum of damage to body parts can range from 4 to 8. And from overall HP of queen will be deducted damage from leg - in this case 3 or 4. So she will have after this attack 65/80 or 66/80 HP and will be still without crippled limb.

So answering your question. Explosives are good at taking out armour, but it is random process, and the more armour enemy has, the less effect we will see - explosives will probably take armour each time they explode but you will need more of them to be able to inflict damage. I would say they don’t apply effects on everything in radius of blast but on everything in LoS from centre of blast. It is good to throw grenade or launch missile to point where you can see most body parts from centre of explosion. So for a human it will be good to throw in front of him or behind him, not under his legs, for crabs it is better to throw in front of them and little closer to their right arm so left arm holding for example shield will be more exposed, and for the queen it is good to throw under her thorax of under her pincers, etc.


Oh I agree that it was extremely simplified. I mean it even tells you exactly what to research to continue on with the story, it removed most “bad” choices (such as base placement), removed most micro (loadout consumables, missiles, etc) while excessively simplifying the soldier gear, etc.

Something else it did was help expose a new generation of gamers to XCOM and to the genre as a whole. While I wish it was more hardcore, I honestly can’t say if it would have been as successful if it was. I mean for as much as people talk about LW only a fraction of people who’ve played FiraXCOM have played LW, and even then it wasn’t for everyone who did play it. Hopefully Firaxis works to keep adding in some features of the old games but brought up to modern standards, after all we’ve already seen it happening with (simplified) base assaults, base defense, MECs, etc. But I have no problem calling it XCOM even if I wish it had more of the OG systems.

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