PP nitpicks and (mostly) QoL suggestions

I know there’s a dedicated feedback site now, but this has been sitting on my drive for a while. I didn’t want to post before I try all the endings, but couldn’t bring myself to reload my late-game save after finishing the game once. Solved my distaste by using a trainer and messing about. That was actually pretty fun.

The list is a mixed bag of Snapshot’s blatant oversights, some inconsistencies and a few observations. And several things I don’t even necessarily consider great ideas but I’m putting them up here for discussion. Sometimes I don’t even have a solution and even if I do I’m pretty sure there is a better one.

I try not to repeat major things that have been said or reported several times and focus on other things but after feedback thread explosion I lost track.

So let’s start:

  • UI is a mess. Giant mess with no heads or tails or thought about practical usage. Mess of a game can be worked around somehow (although we shouldn’t need to), messy UI means bad experience from start to finish on any difficulty with any strategy. It seems like a PoC more than anything.

  • Filters are nightmare to use. Maybe remembering filter state could help? Filtering e.g. only assault weapons requires damn way too many clicks. Or how about left-click to select class exclusively and right-click to add class filter as OR term?

  • Is there a point to class filter for armors? There are no penalties, are there?

  • If you want to manufacture anything you need to find it in a huge pile of other stuff. Search might help a little bit with that but that’s just in case you know exactly what you want. Get a random person, unlock endgame tech from everyone, tell them to equip a soldier as best as they can. Ask them about what could be improved to make it easier for them. My random thoughts: give me e-shop-like comparison menus with color-coded deltas and arrows, give me relevant stuff next to each other (helmets, etc.). Give me more filters. I think nothing bad could come out of designers trashing current design and trying to think of something better from scratch. Maybe they will, maybe they will just improve current design. Have your UI designers play some RPGs, I don’t know. PP is more complex than XCOM with one weapon in 3 tiers but instead of helping you make sense of it all the UI only gets in your way.

  • Merge ammo and weapon entry in manufacturing, e.g. a part of weapon manuf. line would become ammo manuf. square button. Current state only amplifies the overwhelming mess and it’s 1:1 anyway. Unless you want to go for m:n eventually but I can’t even imagine how that would go. Actually my idea could work even with that with multiple squares per line.

  • There is huge amount of wasted space and only a tiny bit of useful one. Recall equipment screen. Sure seeing your soldier is cool but seeing your inventory is more important. Comparing gear is more important. Now I need a magnifying glass for those tiny icons, I need to scroll through a claustrophobically tiny space of 5x5 squares and try to discern whatever it is I’m looking at while 1/3 of the screen is heavy’s bicep. The other 1/3 is completely useless orange. It’s supposed to be gear management screen not a fashion show.

  • Less wasting screen space in general. There is so much space on screen but e.g. in research you can only see ~3.5 things in queue… please open every possible screen and ask yourselves “What is the primary purpose of this?”. Most of rows are just huge useless ugly slabs of grey with a little bit of text in top left.

  • Not only are equipment icons already tiny, they don’t even span the whole square. Bigger. Please. Bigger. I don’t know, is it just me? I play on 27" 2k (~108 dpi) screen, can’t image folks with 4k. Just look at Chimera Grenade. 75% of the square is useless ugly grey. Zoom in, your artists put some work in and we want to see it. Same goes for guns, but it’s not that glaringly obvious.

  • Easier and less error prone access to soldier and enemy info screen in missions. F1 or right-click or something. Actually if you streamline this then that out-of-place-looking context menu can be removed completely, right?

  • Same thing with base context menus. Right click to move, left click for details. The menu is just unneeded additional click. Area scan already has a button in aircraft menu, so does repair. Deploy does not but either it could or selecting a craft already at A and clicking A again could result in a deploy.

  • Implement drag-n-drop reordering for research

  • Implement automanufacture/autoreload all button.

  • There is no way to filter personnel. Give me only assaults, give me only soldiers in transport X. How many soldiers do I even have?

  • Can’t see soldier location on individual soldier screen.

  • Implement left/right keyboard hotkey for switching soldier on equipment screen tab and shift+tab already works

  • Could we double-click to overwrite a save slot?

  • Manufacturing displays only items in storage but not equipped. I would like to know both.

  • Equipment detail tooltips in inventory and gear management screen are just a bit too slow. Not slow enough to be completely annoying but not fast enough to be pleasant either.

  • I would like to filter havens. Produces this, does not produce that, has elite training area, offers priest for hire, has mission available…

  • Change kill icon to harvest automatically after mutation lab is built. Why would I ever want to off Pandorans without harvesting? I killed a few captures several times before remembering that I’m not supposed to click that obvious icon but I have to carefully pick creature from a list and only then find that inconspicuous panel at the top and click that one.

  • Rework cover indicators, high/low has no real meaning, shield fill could be more granular (e.g. 10% steps) and could indicate % body hidden or [1] force needed to penetrate, where full shield is hardest material available and empty basically just visual cover. It might even be possible to indicate both somehow.
    [1]: wouldn’t work well, explained here

  • I think most icons on the strategic layer look like something taken from Font Awesome in a rush. Out of place and not very nice to look at. This one is very subjective and I have no other argument other than “I don’t like it”. Sorry.

  • Based on Fort Freiheit and the demo before I was really looking toward dark, gritty and gory setting. Instead the setting is… well… it just is. Not much can be done about it now I guess. After looking through the art book, I would prefer if you focused more on the horror elements. Maybe at least scavenging sites could be more gruesome. It just looks as if everyone got up and orderly left without hurry or casualties while leaving tons of food, tech and materials. Sure there’s rust on buildings, but that’s it. Very little vegetation, no lichen or alien growth. Areas/containers that should have water due to weather conditions are all dry. It all feels weirdly clean even through all that rust and dirt. I expected more scenes like what you see when you open PP store.

  • Scavenging containers look out of place. Everything is rusted and falling apart and suddenly you see a large shiny crate… maybe it should blend in more and the <objective-here-shiny-look-at-me> could be handled aside somehow. A glowing icon floating above them? Golden shine around?

  • It would be nice if destroyed havens weren’t just gone. At the very least they could become scavenging sites and an excuse to incorporate scenery from previous bullet point. Maybe even multi-stage scavenging site (area by area). Or factions could occupy the havens for themselves in faction war. If we want to get really fancy then maybe factions could reclaim destroyed havens if another haven has large enough influence radius and abundance of resources+population. Or just population and PP sponsorship.

  • Helmet mount research after mind-control capture is completely useless. Sirens don’t need psychic scream. They have 30 will, they can MC with 0 mental damage done. It would be more useful if it increased MC price & upkeep times coefficient (2x?)

  • Night missions are way too bright. Remember flares? Death flying at you from random tiles? Chryssalids crawling through the darkness and making zombies? It was stuff of nightmares. I remember waiting a bit so I don’t have to go through another night mission. It was suspension and horror. In PP I don’t remember differentiating between night and day. Well… then again, maybe we just have better flashlights and helmet visors in 2050 :expressionless:

  • There is no differentiation between visible area and fog-of-war. There is no black here-be-dragons area.

  • The intro is weird. You have a Scarab. You appear on a cliff in the base. Or is it a landing pad? Did you fly in with a helicopter? Where is your Scarab? Shouldn’t you enter via access lift? What happened here?

  • Clicking freshly leveled up soldier should bring you to training screen first. Not equip. Or at least clicking that level up symbol should.

  • Scroll down in personnel list. Click a soldier, do stuff, go back. Now, I want to be back at the exact same spot or at least where previously modified soldier entry is visible on screen. Constant scrolling down is annoying.

  • There are several dialogues “Have a gift/reward”, Accept/Refuse. Unless it’s intentional, it would be nice to know what we are refusing.

  • Could saves be asynchronous?

  • Siren’s Instill Frenzy has stimpack injection sound. It’s weird. Similar for berserker’s adrenaline rush (I think) where he seems to be screaming but there is no sound at all. Pretty sure you could find more examples.

  • Melee animation is just… no. Is that some kind of Unity default melee animation? I remember that Shadowrun too made sword slash look like a bitch slap.

  • During leveling I would like to be able to select ability by double-click and have and undo button. Or final apply button. In case I miscalculate or simply misclick.

  • When choosing another class, seeing abilities beforehand would be helpful. I’m not a dev that can recite all of them in my sleep. This would tie nicely to the point above, final apply button.

  • OK fine, no budget for fancy base. How about implementing short looping clips with stuff happening? Something similar to SCII:WoL armory.
    Clips could change e.g. after more efficient food research, more efficient energy generation, containment clip changing based on captured Pandorans etc…

  • Phoenix Point bases are just a bunch of boxes in corridors and some more boxes in rooms. I think I have a PP base home… I just looked it up and X-COM had more elaborate rooms decades ago. Especially its workshop or psi-lab are nice. That’s just sad. And of course, grey. Someone at Snapshot must really, really like grey. I’m all for utility over form, but the grey here is just noticeable because the rooms are pretty much empty.

  • When building another room in a base I would like to see number of said rooms already in that base (I missed already having one sometimes, I blame it on the placeholder pics… no one can persuade me they aren’t placeholder pics) and maybe total number of said rooms in all bases.

  • So this one would be fancy but IMO very cool. 3D model (maybe wireframe-ish?) in soldier’s but especially enemy’s info screen. Then, if you hover over body part row in the info list the model would rotate/zoom on said body part.
    Other than cool factor, I desperately needed this in the last mission, where I simply couldn’t find that one damn final eye with 2/100 HP, with one last soldier, down to a few shots in a handgun. Epic last stand I tell you. Only slightly marred by having another fully equipped soldier standing idle at the beginning unable to move away from Scylla corpse due to a bug.

  • There is very little sense of progression. By research you just get an option to make a tradeoff. There were almost no situations where I was genuinely happy about newly unlocked tech.
    I basically finished last mission with the same armor I had at the beginning of the game. I don’t think that should happen. Sure PP does not have the plot device of alien invasion where you suddenly get your hands on plasma weaponry, elerium or alien alloys, but be creative. Maybe continue refining the virophage for weapons and as for armor… I don’t know. I didn’t take money for the game, you did, you figure it out. :slight_smile:

  • Use different button to confirm dialogues than the one used for pause/unpause. I skipped a dialogue several times when I wanted to pause the game at the same moment a dialogue appeared only for it to disappear and never return.

  • Implement timeline (history) of dialogues, research, manufacturing etc. It doesn’t have to be long, e.g. 15 entries back is probably enough for any situation.

  • When I extracted Chaudri for NJ from Synedrion there was no Synedrion rep loss. Similar to other special missions (SYN vs NJ, etc.). Is that intentional? If so, why?

  • Actually what was the deal with Chaudri there? It seemed to me he went voluntarily, so it would imply he was Synedrion prisoner and wanted to get out, but then Villanova talked about interrogations, which would imply he went to being NJ prisoner… poor dude can’t get a break. From all those plot holes.

  • Are those Pandorans crawling through concrete wall in base defense missions…? Shouldn’t they climb over?

  • Character portrait is not displayed in Phoenixpedia lore section. It would be nice if it was.

  • Phoenixpedia is not accessible during mission. It’s not horrible but it would be nice to check what exactly is that damage you got blasted with in case you forget. Especially in the begining.

  • So, I’m all buddy-buddy with a faction now. Let’s say >90%. I also just finished defending one of their havens. And I would like to commence a counterattack. Could I invite them for a crab grilling party when assaulting Pandoran structure? They could send a soldier or two under my control. Or they could send a tiny squad under AI control entering from a different part of map.

  • So I got this mission where I need to investigate ancient technically developed civilization. I read The Briefing. Here I go, looking forward to it, investigating an ancient city/palace/temple/citadel?, maybe weird mix of ancient and modern… no. Have a damn clay pot and shut up. In the middle of a meadow. In the middle of Antarctica! :open_mouth: :frowning: OK, I know that glaciers melted but since mean annual temperature there is -57°C the planet would have to get a whole goddamn warmer for there to be a meadow.

  • Again with the Briefings, I remembered when NJ soldiers bartered oil for crops. Could we have deeper barter system? Let’s say I hired an infiltrator. His crossbow got destroyed but I don’t have access to the tech. I’m willing to pay 3x-5x manufacture price for another one. Let’s say 5x for 0 rep, 3x for 49 rep. After that I can just manufacture it myself. Or trade it for different piece of equipment, even from another faction.

  • I enjoyed listening to Symes’ story. It reminded me a bit of SC II: WoL Zeratul campaign. Maybe it could be handled in a similar way? Symes minicampaign mission as you advance the PP storyline? Obviously to pull it off would require more imagination than “kill all enemies” or “secure the area”.

  • Being a backer I’ll get DLCs regardless but I sure hope a lot of content will get patched into game outside of DLCs for free. Promising whatnot and delivering… this… is an EA move towards everyone buying in regular presale. Cutting half things that were supposed to be in the game and then putting them behind a paywall is not OK.
    Edit: Just found out that at least behemoths will be free patch. Nice.
    Edit2: And in the recent Q&A video more patches with interesting free content were mentioned. I think this one can be crossed off the list. :+1:

  • If you have testers fire them and hire new ones, they are incompetent. If you don’t have testers and decided to use backers for that (sure seems like it), fire whoever made this decision. In case you do have testers but they got the 1.0 version 24 hours before release fire whoever made that decision. Or dock responsible people’s pay for a bit. Seriously, you can’t pull crap like this. Whatever was released with all the obvious 100% reproducible bugs is an insult to everyone buying the game. It just means you didn’t care enough to have 1 single person go through the game once and say that the release is incredibly bad idea. Meaning all the people who gave you money weren’t worth investing ~70 more man-hours into go/no-go release decision.

  • Forget 5 DLCs in 1 year. I hope you learned your lesson. Make it 1.5. Hell make it 2 years. If you rush it, you’ll spend time fixing it in production anyway and with more negative feedback. I don’t care when I get them, I only care about the experience once I get them. For now, forget about DLCs completely and just polish, polish, polish…


  • Usually I really don’t like pictures with narrative as a cutscene. It feels cheap and/or like devs don’t give a damn, but I enjoyed them in PP more than I expected. They look good and result in nice atmosphere. Kudos to Snapshot art team, made me look through the art book. Actually I enjoyed the art, art book and Briefings more than the actual game.

  • The squelchy Triton sounds and the way they or the sirens move? Disgusting. I love those :slight_smile:

  • I like that you can’t prevent faction war and there is no 1 greatest ending where everyone wins. Right now all endings are equal in a way, but if there was a best one then all except that would be just interesting fillers. Humanity squandered several chances at the point the game takes place and this is just trying to make best of crappy situation.
    Even if you make the ending of the war-prevented scenario suck (all factions survived at full strength and without looming Pandoran threat they started a three-way massacre that pretty much killed humanity) you will only get people requesting that you make a “no faction war, everything is awesome” ending. I don’t think PP should be a fairy tale.

Well, I hope this was at least a bit constructive and helpful. To conclude, I liked the bits and pieces of the game that were buried and trying to be noticed in that huge mess and I want to like the final game. Your UI team’s reward cookies (the sweets not the files) should be reassigned to art team. If you make PP2 I will probably buy it, but after this? 100% not as a backer anymore nor in presale. Just learn your lessons, please. I just read a comment somewhere: “I want to like it but it’s like trying to hug a cactus”. Yep, PP in a nutshell. I’ll be looking forward to playing this again in 2 years or so when it’s really, really finished with all bells and whistles. Fingers crossed. See you then.


Really like your post
I would love some of the QoL stuff done

Oh for buyng individual tech
And getting faction troops to join you after a haven defence. Better still ACTUALLY have them help you IN the defence Woohoo

But its the annoying stuff about interacting with soldiers back at base and how hard it is abut shouldn’t be is getting to me

Oh and the HUGE lack of detail after a research is done. Hell even in old X-com back in the day (and that’s a LONG time ago) you would get info about strenghts and weaknesses of the aliens
Vulnerable to fire/ Weak to explosions etc
(I haven’t captured anything yet - so maybe that’s to come). But hell I DO hope so

Lets hope they are out there listening to the people who have paid the money and have Ideads on how to improve (and not criticise) the game

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This has been in the pipeline since backer builds so I didn’t mention that.

Well… you get +10% damage against that enemy and some tips (go for the head, seek high ground…)

Great post. Very well written and i agree with everything you said. Couldn’t have put it better myself

Isn’t OP should be added to book of records? I doubt I ever seen a post that long.

Just watched the Q&A. Since I didn’t manage to ask my question in time, could I ping @UnstableVoltage about these lore-related questions from my original post?

I’m also very happy that UI/UX improvements were mentioned way more than I expected in the video.

They reportedly are doing another one in the future, so you might be able to ask your questions then.

What a great post this is. Nice work, @fudizakasi

Nice list. :slight_smile:

Tab and Shift+Tab

This one point wouldn’t work, I think. But idea of visualization of cover toughness is good. :slight_smile:

It must be intentional.

I know but the ones I quoted are of no real consequence and I’d rather ask or leave room for more important questions. This is simply curiosity.

I thought that only works on battlefield. I don’t have PP installed now to test. Anyway that is not intuitive at all. Is it in the in-game bindings list? It’s not in the manual.

What exactly wouldn’t work? The body % thing, toughness or shield fill in general? Why?

Probably but we can’t be sure unless it’s stated by someone from Snapshot. I’m prepared to believe anything at this point.

Re-bindable keys are apparently coming soon, so you’ll be able to setup how you like.

this combination is used in personnel screen to tab between soldiers and also on geoscape to tab between dropshops. I don’t know if there is any keybinding list in the game. And even if there is, then probably it doens’t cover all combinations. There was topic on this forum with it but it probably has become not so accurate according to full release. :slight_smile:

This one, because you can’t display one specific value, because enemies will see that soldier from different angles and their line of sight will determine value which they see.

Right. Of course. :man_facepalming: I swear I’m only sometimes dumb.

I also updated original post with received feedback.

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Thanks for the Frank and honest appraisal and for taking the time to do so. Totally agree the artists did a sterling job. The Devs are clearly talented, the testers / testing probably gave up given the overly complicated mechanics and factors so they just went ok sod it lets release and let the community playtest it. All holiday is cancelled.

My impression is a talented but undisciplined team cramming too many features at the cost of quality and testing.