In Phoenix Point, soldiers have no rank, only level. This represents the abandonment of what we saw in the original X-Com games, where the presence of higher ranking units increased the morale (what is now sort of ‘will’) of others.

I liked this dynamic, however flawed it was. What tended to happen was, if I ended up with an accidental major or colonel, or even general (I forget - could you get to general?), I would keep them at base, and only send out privates, corporals, sergeants and lieutenants on everyday missions, reserving my big guns for terror missions and so on.

The drawback and silly problem with this was that in the end, you would end up with an entire squad of very high ranking officers on tactical missions, which seemed daft, in any scenario.

Of course, it’s too late to implement the concept of rank in PP, and I get the idea it was something that was thrown out during the early stages. But, the idea of higher level soldiers improving the will of lower level ones is still something that could work, as far as I can see. At very least, it’s something that seems remiss, and I can’t help but feel a beat has been missed somewhere.

This is not to say that level 7 solders should amp each other up - it could be diminishing returns; the presence of at least one level 7 soldier may only add 2 will points to a level 1 soldier, but some representation of this would interesting.

In BB5, probably due to balancing issues, there is apparently hardly any scope to cultivate more than one operational squad among your bases - resources just seemed too tight. As a result of this, there were hardly ever any active noobs; you could just leave them at home until they trained up. I like the idea that you don’t have to nurse the new bloods through ten or so missions with them at the back, but conversely, there is no incentive to bring them to the battle other than as a third wheel.

On the subject of diminishing returns, it would be interesting to have a mechanic whereby, upon any mission, you could deploy one of your squad as a general, or ‘coordinator’, giving the squad on the ground a small bonus to will and slightly larger bonus to perception. The higher the level, the greater the gains. The trade-off would be in the balance of this, of course. This unit would take no part in the battle, and that too would be a choice for the player to make.

EDIT: to clarify, said unit has no agency, only provides buffs. END OF EDIT

There could even be a unit sub-class of let’s say ‘Tactician’, where recruits of this class specialise in this ability, but still take up space on the Manticore.

Any thoughts?

The Phoenix organization is really bad at delegation and macomanagement. The commander of the entire organization gives individual soldiers tactical orders, right down to telling them where to aim.

Having more layers of management wouldn’t change that.

PS A variation might be that the ‘tactician’ does take part in the skirmish, but their impartment of bonuses depends on them keeping a certain item equipped, let’s say a tactical terminal, or some such mcguffin. Tacticians are only allowed to become skilled in pistols, for example.

Well, I disagree. The commander of the organisation is ostensibly the player. If the player decides to deploy a tactical lieutenant, the input of which the player doesn’t see, or it is implied that they see, I see no problem with that.

LongWar had a great system for that, where you could train your soliders to lead in combat. Only one officer would be active (if you were to assign two officers to the same mission, only one of them would lead).

Yeah, I have love for LW - you’re preaching to the converted. :wink:

Well overall it is nice idea in this type of games, but I’m not sure Phoenix Point is good material for that.

I don’t think that soldier level should be tied to soldier rank. I even don’t think such soldiers should boost other soldier in other way than with skills.

This is situational. Some players tend to have few dropships along with few teams at the same time. You just need to find second base quickly enough.

This should be limited. Training facility should not train soldiers above some point and allow to level up few times only by sitting in a base.

And I hope there will be such need and there will be mechanics which will prevent player from deploying same soldiers all the time.

As it was mentioned just above my post there could be an officer function. But I think it should not work like that:

First of all I would stop boosting soldiers will in current build, and definitely I wouldn’t introduce anything more to increase that will. Secondly perception is already too high. You can see almost whole map during the day mission - only cover is limiting your sight. If there could be any bonuses then it could be stronger resistance to panic or mind control (lower decreases of the will from alien will attacks). There can be some skill to exert some individual soldier selected by that officer, but it should have limit to work only few times per battle and only for 2 turns.

If you don’t plan really high bonuses then loosing one of the soldiers would be too punishing. I would say lets don’t mess it up too much. Balancing of this would not be easy, and could lead to some radical changes in units behaviour.

IMO, the problem with training soldiers is somewhat different here. Now we have an exponential growth scheme with a levelhere. I mean, a soldier of the first level is equal to two GV (Just kiddin’). An assault of 2 lvl equals 4 rookiesl (dash!) One soldier of 4 level combines 2 classes and replaces 6-7 rookies. The 7th level flies off into space. An excellent system for those who take care about each soldier and loves to make each individual pink make-up. But what happens if a that veteran is lost? You replace him with a rookie, yeeeeah. And its effectiveness in the team of veterans is somewhere around 1%. You will have to try very hard and purposefully so that a 1st-level soldier, surrounded by 7th-level soldiers, deals at least 5% of the high-level mission damage. But the share of his damage directly depends on how much experience this soldier will receive from the general pool of points from the mission. While soldiers of the 7th level will get all another exp and abusively lower it into the toilet.
So, guys, the main bonus of a 7th-level soldier should be the ability to transfer his unnecessary experience points to a rookies :slight_smile: Do not forget who invented it )))

As ususal I am more in favour of addressing core issues, rather then adding new mechanics to patch existing problems.

  1. Abilities are too powerful and their use dominate any tactics we could use. That needs to change. Somehow. Nerf abilities or redesign them. Limit available will to make their use have lasting consequences.
  2. Lack of healthy roster is a problem. Power gap between trained soldier and a rookie were always a problem in new XCOMs. Long War and WotC addressed it by forcing you to operate with multiple teams at once. That is something PP point should encourage. You have multiple bases to cover bigger globe and expanding&training your personel for multiple bases should be cope part of gameplay loop. In case of loses personel could be transfered between bases to cover for lost troops if needed. For that, of course, recruitement needs to be more generous than it seems to be in BB5.
  3. Not a fan of the idea of simply empowering weak units without their involvement - having to take weaker units (either like in Long War taking a rookie or two for what seems like easier missions for training, or special low level missions in WotC) would help to make the game more varied.

Well, 5 DLСs have already been planned, so we have every chance of getting all the possible solutions, for example like this:

  • Completely cut abilities in the main release as the most reliable and easiest solution for the balance.
  • Adding a small number of new balanced abilities in the first DLС after the testing of release version.
  • for the 2nd DLC, a complete redesign of the combat system, with the change of the exponential growth scheme to the ‘square root’ scheme.
  • For the 3rd - an advanced alien mutation system, which will finally be finalized for that moment :slight_smile:
  • For the 4th - reworking the combat system in order to use more soldiers - play squads of 30 units, lose half of them as expendables - why not?
  • For the 5th - to reconsider the whole balance for underwater missions. Mix it and shake as desired :slight_smile:

? I think you confuse DLC (downloadable content) with patches. What you talk about are changes to core gameplay loop, rather then additional content, which is what DLC is and should be. Hopefully they will refine mechanics as time goes on but those certainly should be free patches, not paid fixes.

While I agree with your statement that the first release should be as complete as possible in general, the suggestion to add additional depth via DLC worked quite well with X-com’s war of the chosen. There ability points with corresponding training opportunities were introduced making the game more enjoyable, IMO.
So yes, this can be a great way to keep me playing for yet another campaign.

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