Observation on Foe Difficulty

In my most recent play-through, I think I’ve uncovered a connection between foe difficulty and nearby Pandoran nests/lairs/citadels. In particular, in haven defenses and nest removals, the enemies you face appear to depend on the level of the main Pandoran base nearby. If there’s only a nest, the Pandorans are pretty basic. As soon as a lair appears, the Sirens and Chirons start showing up.

Anyone else confirm this?

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Nests make usually one, but sometimes two (that may have been a bug), combinations of anthrons and tritons. (Its risky, but if you find a nest that gives Tritons a good, expensive weapon, like an iconoblast, you may want to leave the nest alone to farm the gun).
Liars can spawn by themselves (if you aggressively smash nests) or they are created when two nests combine. If nests combine, the lair will spawn a combination of the mutations from each nest. Lairs spawn Sirens and Chirons.
Citadels spawn Scyllas. They can spawn by themselves if you crush all lairs immediately, or they are created when two lairs combine, mixing the mutations of each.

As far as nest difficulty, i guess, based on playing, that they have a currency, and different mutations cost different amounts. My evidence for this is that all the nests seem to randomly mutate, but are always lacking in some significant way. Something is always obviously weak. I have never rolled a nest that mutated with no weaknesses. This means that allowing nests to combine is dangerous, because you may get stacked anthrons and stacked tritons spawning from the same place, instead of only one template being stacked.

As far as difficulty in other aspects, it seems linear. You may notice that every diplomatic mission you do is harder than the last. It seems that every time you complete one of these missions, all future missions of the same type increase in difficulty. It seems like story missions and diplomatic missions share a difficulty amplifier.

This is true also of scavenge missions it seems. You can fight way harder enemies on scavenge missions than nests will ever produce until much later in the game. Part of the problem with the game is this isn’t clear until you play too much, and some people understandably don’t have the patience.

For example, a player may believe, reasonably, that the first diplomatic mission of New Jericho should be relatively as difficult as the first diplomatic mission for Anu, but the game says no, this is your third diplomatic mission, and cranks the spawns up a few notches.

edit: This seems to be different since the patch in regards to diplomacy missions at least. This at least was true pre-patch

I agree with the part of difficulty amplifier. I faced about 20+ soldiers in second diplomatic of Synedrion. Which makes me wonder if there is a Incubation chamber inside.

I had Sirens and Chirons appear with no liars nor nests. In fact, I have seen Sirens on the 2nd week of ingame time.

was it a story, diplomacy, or event mission/dlc? If it was an attack from a nest, it shouldn’t be.

I’ve hit a mutation/force score of 780/1000 by the end of week two. didn’t run a lot of missions, just scouted the map a great deal, which resulted in upgraded gear from haven gifts.

My earliest encounter with a siren was week 2, on the satelitte dish NJ mission. That was after I destroyed the one and only P nest in week 1.

thats because its scripted mission with opfor statically set…

Story missions don’t pull the enemy list from the nearby nests, they either use a hardcoded enemy list (e.g. the fireworms in the first Anu mission) or just use a baseline list of enemies: arthron, triton, siren, and chiron, with random loadouts. The NJ1 mission isn’t hardcoded, which is why you can roll an explosive chiron and several sirens with only level 2-3 soldiers. I thought this might be fixed by the patch cause the notes say some of these missions were adjusted, but it doesn’t look like this one was.

I am not sure if the fact that the NJ1 mission uses randomized enemies is intended or a bug, but given the mechanics of mutations and the enemies you face being based off nearby nests it sure feels like a bug. It’s one of the earliest missions you can get in the game and is wildly out of sync with all other normal missions you face at that time by including enemies you won’t see naturally for a long time. It could be that this is just intended to be a harder, midgame mission, but I’m not sure of that.

Nests only attack havens. And the nest size/tier determines what types of mobs attack which settlement in range. The largest nearest nest doesn’t determine what mobs spawn. A nest can spawn and attack a local settlement even though there is a lair in the area, and higher tier units won’t appear. Mob tiers on missions or events has a different way of determining what appears on the map.

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how about when there are neither nests nor liars around?

You can’t locate a nest until it attacks and it’s defended for most of the game, and then you have other options (in-case of spoilers). If you’re talking about missions, events or anything else that is not a haven defense, then the nests have nothing to do with those spawns.

My PP base has been raided twice and I still don’t see any nest or liar around…

Then you should send your game data, because that is a bug.

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do we need to scan for it?

The nest may need to be in an area that has been scanned already to appear after a successful defense. I haven’t experimented with that to see if its a condition. Also, i don’t know if Phoenix base raids are the same as haven defenses. They may have different rules, and no nearby nests may be required. I’m talking exclusively about the relationship between nests and havens.

if you successfully defend the base, it should appear on the geoscape. If it doesn’t it is a bug


or is it that if you destroyed that very first nest, no more ever turns up again?

No, countless nests will spawn inside the red mist without your knowledge, and greater tiers of nests will appear regardless of how fast you destroy the smaller tiers

ok , then its a bug. No more popped up in this playthru after I destroyed the first nest in week 1.