After finally finishing the game, IMO if there is one overreaching problem with PP, it is the lack of proper Panda evolution. Once the player comes up with a winning combo, it works throughout the game, no matter by how much the armor and the HP of the enemies is marginally increased. The last missions were an absolute bore. I felt genuinely sorry for the 20+ assorted shellfish waiting for me at the “gates of hell”. Most of them were dead by the end of the first of the turn, the rest panicked. I used the same technique I had been using for the last 10-15 missions: frenzy, soften up with artillery, then dash up to them and execute with rapid clearance.
And this is the whole problem: the player gets to spec out a team that within his/her game style optimally takes advantage of the Pandas’ weaknesses and the Pandas, unable to correct for their weaknesses, keep falling prey to the same one strategy executed again and again.
Yes, some skills need a nerf (rapid clearance in particular), but increasing the challenge via limiting the players’ options will only go so far before the game becomes a meta-puzzle.
What really needs to happen is that the Pandas have to respond to the player’s gameplay style, developing abilities that counter it e.g. armor resistant to explosives, or even creatures that multiply when “broken into pieces” (requiring flamethrowers, acid to end them); if the player relies on armor penetrating weapons, drastically (not marginally) increase the HP at the expense of armor; if the player relies on weapons that deal massive amounts of damage but have little armor penetration - the opposite, if the player uses mind crush - psyche resistance in exchange for low HP and armor.
Of course, this has to be done with a budget, so that compensating for one weakness creates a different one.
My opinions on this topic are so well rehearsed (Dynamic Difficulty and Evolution) here and on the Ticket that I won’t bore you with them again, except to say that the lack of proper ‘evolution in response to player tactics’ as promised in the original selling points of this game is a genuine disappointment.
Still haven’t finished the game yet - work (coupled with a prolonged sulk after a particularly brutal Lair Assault) have got in the way.
But how player could beat the game if there are no chance to take advantage of the panda’s, isn’t players should have something that step ahead of the panda’s beside strategy and tactics in combat.
I did mention in other thread about nemesis system from shadow of war game *I think , its good for reference. Long story short the AI’s behavior will adapt player play style, meaning at certain point it will force player to change their play style and still can beat them. And their grinding level thing it has ‘roller coaster’ emotion which is good imo.
I agree. Additionally to some of the points, I added:
If a person uses tons of poison mounts for their squad, have pandorans use less poison, and begin to use fire or acid more.
Change types of armor between projectile blocking and explosive/force dampening. Having two types of armor would be great. Explosives and bash melees would use concussive forces. Blades and projectiles would use piercing forces. And switching between these two and their amounts would show a direct change based on a player’s preferences.
If a person likes to sit back and whittle down their enemies, throw a ton of triton’s with sniper rifles at them.
If a person likes to be up close and personal a lot, throw a lot of tritons with shotguns at them.
If a triton is far away from an enemy when hit, have it use pain chameleon or mist. If it is close, have it use the mist cover, as pain chameleon is literally useless if it is too close, as it will immediately be respotted.
I’m not sure the whole idea of evolving enemies is really so great in practice. The classic approach to just make different enemies so different that they require different tactics, is probably better.
So instead of having crabmen that marginally adapt to withstand a particular tactic a bit better, make a completely different enemy where that tactic does not work at all.
Prior to release, I was expecting the evolution mechanic to be more or less both. The virus keeps throwing varying iterations of enemies at you until it gives up on certain types completely and creates something new out of whatever did work.
The XCOM parallel would be Standard/Advanced/Elite variations of ADVENT units, only infinitely more interesting, as thuis would potentially do away with weaker variants already. It kind of does this already with the way unarmoured Arthrons fall out of rotation, but the trick is missed as the concept of an agile Arthron is not implemented elsewhere instead.
Maybe that’s a touch out there, but there’s certainly a better alternative than “more armour pls” out there nonetheless.
100% accurate There is no surprise in the way that Pandorians evolve, what’s more - they do it in most cases in the same way, with some exceptions. And I would love some more randomization in the key missions.
Definitely on this one. I once made the mistake of letting ‘The Bulwark’ be my first ever mission in one campaign, thinking it’d be eezy-cheezy lemon squeezy, only to be greeted by The Amazing Fireworm Chiron Twins & Their Hefty Crab Lads Gang. Not ideal with six level 1 PX squaddies and basic PX gear.