[QUESTION TO JG & THE DEVS] Am I playing a totally different game to everyone else?

Thanks for the reply, Michaellgnotus.

NOTE TO SPITFIRE: You’re probably playing the wrong game, mate. Gollop X-Coms are notoriously famous for their high casualty rates (to the extent that in the original X-Com, players didn’t even bother to name or customise them because the attrition rate was so high).

I did bother in the original X-Com :wink: Granted, I never got to the end because repairing my jets at some point took near endless time.

Sometimes you just have to accept that your men are going to die. If you can’t do that, find a different game.

Yes, I know that’s how it’s meant to be. I simply don’t enjoy that play style. It’s a game, not a real war. Of course you could argue that’s exactly why losses don’t matter and this is a perfectly valid argument, too, it’s just not how my brain is wired. Thing is: I tremendously enjoyed the first few hours until the game started to punish me for save scumming. By simply making dynamic difficulty optional, I could resume playing the game again and I really would like to play it again, but for me, it currently makes no sense. Maybe there are other weirdos like me. So, adding such an option could open the game to a broader range of players. Normal players can still do it the hard and more realistic way.

PS: How do you properly quote in this board, including the name of the original poster?

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Select text with left mouse button and click pop up button named “Quote”.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

I imagine once mods get rolling heavily, just such a system will be one of the very early ones.

But it’s a game that is unashamedly hard - that’s why many of us supported it.

I agree, it really is painful when one of your favourite Squaddies goes down - I just lost Sophie ‘Shotgun’ Robinson to a 1-shot Crabbie and it hurts so much I’m coming up with all kinds of excuses to break my ‘HonestMan’ rule and replay that mission :disappointed_relieved:
I think it’s part of the genius of these revamped XCOM-style games that they somehow manage to make a semi-random agglomeration of pixels something that you end up really caring about. Customisation really helps with this, I find. And for me, part of the ‘charm’ (if I can put it that way) of this style of game is that I actually care about my Peeps, and I’m not just some heartless commander throwing them into the meatgrinder until they produce sausages for me.

That said: for me that means character death is an integral part of these games. Why bother caring about your Peeps if you’re just going to save scum and keep them alive any time they go down? That stops you from pulling back and regrouping when you ought to, or from choosing to bug out and live to fight another day rather than hanging on against impossible odds. The death of characters you care about makes you play more like a proper commander, rather than some heartless gamer.

I’m still going to replay that last mission, though :smirk:

I wouldn’t agree with you on that. I am playing at Heroic difficulty and some missions are extremely challenging, but I’ve got only one Haven lost so far (couldn’t get there in time because there was only 1 defender against 20 or so attackers). Also in most missions I don’t reload or restart. Sure, sometimes my guys are badly wounded, but that’s when my Berserkers get their damage and speed buffs to help get rid of the enemy quickly))

Yes, I totally get your point, and I also backed the game. However, I am not a proper commander, not even a heartless commander, I am just a gamer with some peculiar ideas of what fun means to me.

I did some self-analysis and came to the conclusion that I use Save Scumming not only because I don’t want to lose men, but because I enjoy the principle of Save Scumming itself: I kind of like to try out one option after another and be rewarded at the end with an optimal result for my patience. It’s some kind of optimization game for me. Weird, I know, but there are also players who like grinding. This game style of mine goes back to the early 90s, when I held my first TBS title in my hands with “Historyline: 1914-1918” (an offspring of Battle Isle). Since then I love TBS games, probably precisely because of the save scumming, as I am actually a bad strategist. Needless to say, I don’t play online strategy games, nor do I play rogue lites or games without the possibility to save mid-battle.

Because I love TBS Games, especially the X-Com titles, I supported Phoenix Point. Of course, I’m now a little disappointed that I can’t play it my way. Actually, it’s quite frustrating, because I’m really captivated by the game and I don’t feel like playing anything else at the moment. But every time I return to the game, I get punished for my way of playing. Of course, I can’t let it go and keep trying. But the point will probably come when I really have no chance of success anymore.

PS: My sympathy for your almost-loss of Sophie :wink: I also got a character of that name. She is my best sniper.


Different horses, mate :wink:

I backed PP precisely because I hoped it was going to prove as demandingly challenging as it is [when you refuse to use the broken Squad Skills, that is :face_with_raised_eyebrow:] - and force me into making painful decisions. I recently lost half my B-Squad protecting a Haven, but it was crucial at the time because I needed to maintain that Faction’s support. It’s tough choices like that which elevate the game above XCOM for me.

Here’s hoping that they retool Easy to give you the style of game you want.

i do not share your feeling about superiority on x-com, because in my first try i get to the last mission at 30% ODI that means i have a lot more time to do stuff and such, in this state i not feel the pressure of the end of the world is coming it look like that the game try to punish you or overwhelm you with insane odds in the end it appear to be just a flaws on the game, enemy evolutions? There no such thing you can get armored arthron at the second mission. A lot and i mean a lot of stuff must be take care of to really appreciate this product. In this state is barely mediocre and a complete disappointment at least to me. Challenging and utterly difficult not always mean funny.

I have just finished the game on easy and I didn’t have any dramatic difficulty spike. It had difficulty level comparable to x-com 2 veteran. I HAVE USED OP class combinations like sniper/heavy, Rally The Troops skill and very late in the game 100% stealth infiltrators. In the late game I had few scavenging missions with high threat level where I managed to secure all the crates.

Before that my first try was on normal difficulty and I failed hard because I didn’t know game mechanics.

My team(s) was primarily snipers (1-2 sniper/heavy, 2-3 sniper/assault) and two scouts (1 assault/heavy, 1 assault/berseker). Later in the game I added priest and infiltrator. With that many snipers and Rally The Troops/ Quick Aim skills it is a lot of firepower in first 2-3 turns.

Basically assault rifles and shotguns become useless very early in the game. I used them only as a secondary weapon to shoot worms because pistols are very inaccurate for that. To shoot something with shotgun you need to be close, and to be close to arthton with 50 hp damage and return fire is a suicide.

Arthrons have a ton of armor but two weak spots are arms. One sniper with quick aim can disable arthron in one turn by shooting off arms. After that if it have spitter head it must come very close to do any harm and then it is easy target for heavy. If not it only jumps around the map useless until it bleeds out.

Tritons with assault rifles or snipers are useless if you disable one of their lower arms because they can’t shoot anymore. If they have tentacles they have to come close to use them and that is heavy’s territory. That is one good sniper shot. After that leave it to roam the map. After you get the priest you can mind control it and take its weapon. This way I got 10-15 sniper rifles.

Sirens mind control is disabled if it gets two sniper shots in the head. After that it can run away or get closer. If it gets closer then heavy deals with it using rage burst.

Mindfragers… do not remove them with pistols as game suggests if controlled soldier has return fire ability, especially if that guy/gal is assault/heavy combo. Use assault rifle instead.

Chiron/Scyla are just nice big targets if you have sniper/heavy with rage burst.

NJ/Synedrion snipers are similar to tritons, if you disable one arm then they can use only pistols. Mind control them to get the gear.

Dynamic difficulty goes wrong
As I mentioned above I heavily used mind control to get snipers/assault rifles/shotguns from tritons. Game adapted to that, in for me funny way, and after some time it started to send only tritons with guns. One time in ambush mission I even got the triton only with mist creating arms with no weapon. Its lower arms were in position like it holds a rifle but there was no rifle. It was an useless enemy. I laughed so hard about that because imo I broke the system.

After all, beside all the bugs and exploits, I had really good time playing this game. I will wait some time for some patches and balancing to play it again on normal difficulty.

Give the game a try on legendary. I’m thinking the difficulty levels might be inverted to some degree. At least in terms of combat and the number and types of enemies. I’m finding Legendary to be easier to play compared to Rookie and Veteran.

Bash: only 1AP and enough with 16 strength or more

Just out of interest what happens on the missions after the one where you experienced a difficulty spike? Were the following ones just as hard? Or if you had to retreat/take losses in the end despite not wanting to do so did you find that subsequent missions eased off?

Yeah, it is definitely better option, but sometimes shooting is the only option. I use bash when mindfraged soldier is near, but if my heavy/sniper is on the roof (jumped there) and nobody can’t get there in time, shooting it is the only option.

Assault rifle seems a terrible idea if you are not able to move 1AP to bash instead. Then again better have 4 bullets hitting your guy and getting rid of the mindfragger, than have your guy snipe or shotgun someone.

Bash is the best option if feasible. Assault rifle option is little messy but not to much. I think (not sure) that mindfrager also absorb some damage. But mingfrager have to be removed with first shot if controlled soldier have return fire. Game falsely suggests that it is good to remove mindfrager with pistol. Pistol can’t kill mindfrager in one shot. That way after the first shot you get return fire from any assault combo. With mind controlled assault/heavy or assault/sniper it can be a bit painful :smile:

I never pick return fire. So I don’t have this problem.

Mindfragger halves his HP when jumps in fave of soldiers, so if you get RF is because you hit the soldier and not the bug

As I mentioned in another thread, you have to take regular losses to keep the DDA from going berserk. Don’t restart if you lose one or perhaps two guys and those human sacrifices will appease the DDA God for a bit.

Now the problem here is that not everyone wants to play ironman. And that does not call for condescending remarks about thumb suckling baby difficulty level. There’s nothing wrong playing a difficult game and restarting a mission if you don’t like how it went, many people like to do that. Playing against those oneshot naked :crab: people all the time on some imaginary “loser” difficulty? Gee, that sounds so exciting.

You should be able to adjust this kind of thing yourself, make DDA a tickbox or for example allow placing a cap on how bad it becomes. Also put in an ironman tickbox so our elite players can feel superior.

And speaking of losses, “easier” difficulty levels heavily discourage of disposable troops, on veteran those replacements are expensive and if you lose one guy every two missions or so, you’re struggling with resources to pay for materials/tech to outfit replacements and you get scraps for recycling their gear. That’s where I’m now, struggling to pay the mounting gear bills for Recruitment campaigns (“welcome to the Phoenix Initiative boys, your war names are bloodsack, statistic and dogfood!”)…

On previous gameplay on heroic, I made the mistake of restarting regularly and the DDA essentially tapped out so I restarted on vet. Getting those specific guns are helpful when you’re starting out but adding seventh NJ Gauss AR or SR rifle to stocks is a waste. I’m on the fence on armour, I like getting those NJ troopers with their superior armour…

I’ve never lost anyone that far (reason: see below). The difficulty level varies from mission to mission and corresponds to what is displayed before the mission. “Extreme” is virtually unsolvable for me. This is where I have sunk so far as to use the console to help (e.g. by disabling the abdomens of multiple explosive chirons when there is no cover anywhere and I can’t disable them using burst in my first turn). This doesn’t exactly support the fun factor and is deviating even more from how the game is meant to be played, but meanwhile I just want to finish the game to see how it develops and the things that await you. Plus I enjoy it whenever there is a mission of normal difficulty in between.

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