Realism Vs Gameplay

There have and always will be discussions revolving around realism in games, such as the new ballistic PP is trying for.

At what point do the players recognise, that not all realism makes for a good game?

For instance in real life, there ain’t no comming back from bullet in the head. But slap an insta-kill on headshots and it would make the game a lot more frustrating than fun.

The wounded arm debate is a perfect example of how a realistic mechanic could ruin gameplay.

I’m sure the Devs are already discussing this, bit what gameplay elements do you actually like?

I like that switching between active weapons does not cost TU’s, because it allows you to explore options. . . To look at different ways to solve a problem. How about you?


Wounded limbs is definitely the most controversial feature, and most discussed one. I’ve found it very interesting but surely it needs more gameplay elements around it to make it bearable.

Too much of realism would ruin every game, that’s for sure, but I’m glad that PP has its own identity and trying to bring some new elements to the gameplay. I would like to see more and more of them, to make game even more distinctive from FXComs (but still true to nature of OG).

And balancing fun vs realism was always something which game designers had to face with so it’ s too soon to be worried about one thing or another yet.

1 Like

Disabling limbs feels like something you want to dish out, but not receive, especially with the potential irreversable consequences.

As a gameplay mechanic, disabling weapon arms is a great tactic to cope with an overwhelming force, but seems to be killing some playthoughs.

I quite like the body part selection idea, shown in the promotion material, as a mechanic to speed up gameplay, and make informed decisions. It’s also handy to see %to hit, but that might be because I’m programmed to expect it.


That’s right, disarming crabmen is very rewarding and lets you focus on other targets :slightly_smiling_face:

You mean that promotional material? Yeah, it looks fine

1 Like

IMHO, there shouldn’t be permanent damage to the soldiers. Disable for the encounter with a few weeks in a clinic afterwards is fine, but total limb loss… in reality such soldier would be retired. In general, I’d say it will hurt the gameplay, especially with the level of randomness present now. if it’s your favorite veteran soldier with hours of gameplay invested and you suddenly get a disabled because some crabman that shoots farther than your sniper got lucky. Sorry, no.

I could see the Devs using disabled limbs to force contact with the other factions (build limb, grow limb, fix limb) but totally agree, it would kill the game for me if my best soldiers were taken out of the game by a lucky shot.

Mind you, it might be that crab gunners only appear late game, when armour is better, reducing the risk of disablement.

It must be hard for Julian and team after they did such a thorough job with the Original Xcom, because it makes it hard to improve on an already robust combat system.

TU’s and their increase as soldiers progress, was one of my Favourite mechanics from the Xcom games, and gives a real sense of soldier progression through experience. I hope they implement something similar in PP

1 Like

Isn’t that a staple of the genre? I can’t even count the amount of soldiers I’ve lost to a lethal shot or a Chryssalis friendly hug since I’ve been playing this kind of game.

That is, assuming you have a sufficient headcount to accept losing a soldier.

One of the few games where I’ve actually retired soldiers is Darkest Dungeon. It’s quite simple really, look at the positive and negative quirks, check starter skills, see how much you’d have to pay to remove the more annoying phobias and determine if the positive quirks gained are worth it. But that’s in a game where there’s an endless supply of canon fodder.

I’m not sure how easy it will be to get fresh recruits in PP, so there is that.

And about loss of limbs and disability in general, I can think of games like BloodBowl or Necromunda (GW games) where soldiers/players can acquire lasting wounds, get crippled and you have to deal with it.

You can indeed retire them, you can rethink their role (if your grunt loses and eye and gets an aim penalty, put him on flamer duty, if another gets a crippled leg and can’t move that much, make him a nesting sniper) or you can maybe dedicate resources to acquire prosthetics/bionics or whatever. It also gives soldiers a story.

Even in Crusader Kings, I tend to remember “survivors”, who reign for decades, lost limbs in war, survived plague and “experimental medicine” but lived long enough to dance on their foes’ graves, than good guy billies who had an uneventful reign.

The point is, permanent trauma is a good character builder. It doesn’t have to be overly simulationist and should be enough of a pain in the ass to force you to make choices and rethink your strategy, but not crippling to the point that any injured soldier is a writeoff (although those could happen on occasion to keep you on your toes)


Interesting thing, that building your game around soldiers’ disabilities. If well implemented, would be real deal and something you don’t often see in games. Very, very interesting and worth paying attention to.

1 Like

You don’t want to have a squad of cripples, except maybe for comedy value, but the odd lasting injury should be manageable.

If one of your top runners in bloodbowl got a fractured collarbone that healed wrong and reduced his toughness, he may still be very good at scoring touchdowns, but you know you have to take extra effort to protect him because any brawl is likely to see the opposing team cleaning their shoes with his teeth.

1 Like

I’m also an advocate of the permanent injuries, as having not just strengths, but also weaknesses, potentially makes your characters more interesting – tactically, but also more memorable.
Getting a limb disable during combat means you may lose that fight, because you’ll have to retreat; as long as the strategy layer is balanced around losing some battles, this is perfectly OK, and much prefereble to losing soldiers outright – which would be the other obvious way to make the player lose battles. A third alternative would be bleed effects that could be stopped during combat, which would add time pressure, but probably not lead to permanent disabilities.


I remember they mentioning that when one of your men you lose a limb you can replace it with cybernetics or mutations, so you don’t lose you best men, you can “upgrade” them.


i like the disable body parts because it adds a whole depth to what your soldiers suffer, a crab-man stabbed him with its claw cutting several tendons and such unlike, he got shot and now dead.

maybe it can be dumbed down some, such as a disable body part is not always gone, possibly drastically injured and such and they need time to recover.

1 Like

in reality we wouldn’t have an alien virus ravaging earth i don’t think retirement is an option here.

1 Like

Disabled limbs aren’t gone straight away. In addition to the limb replacement systems such as Anu’s mutations or NJ’s cybernetics, there is also the technician class that can heal disabled limbs in the field.

My guess is that the longer a limb is disabled, the more likely it is for it to be lost. Also if the limb gets damaged again after being disabled, that could also increase the chances of it being lost.

1 Like

You think this is not possible?

I would prefer to have an option to heal disabled body parts. Maybe not in an instant fashion, but after some time, sure yes. There could be an option for ‘higher’ difficulty to give some permanent penalties after acquiring such disabled body part, but please don’t take such healing away. I know the Earth is in ruin, and many technologies are lost, but still this will be middle of 21 century, plasma guns and energy shields, cybernetic limbs etc… And probably supply of new recruits will be limited. This game has aspiration to be a horror story like first UFO, with continous fight for survival, but those permanently lost limbs would be too much.

1 Like

We will have a class that is able to “repair” disabled body parts on the field. Their suit is even in the current backer build!

1 Like

Yes I know that, but some here suggest that permanent disability would be interesting. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

It is interesting feature, assuming we got some methods to deal with it.
As @Vathar said, you don’t want to have a squad of cripples😊 But if you could replace some limbs and other body parts (thanks to cybernetic implants or mutations), then permanently injured soldiers never become much weaker than others in the end: maybe even stronger.


nope, realism never hurts a game, even more if we forget about realism and rather talk about logic. things like one bullet destroys concrete walls, soldier survives head-shot, ammo does not penetrate armor but still causes damage, a giant spider like creature that dies for a few bullets can smash buildings to the ground that was built to last natural catastrophes, stepping costs ap but turning doesnt, soldiers cant crouch or prone, everybody can see 360 degrees… i could go on but its pointless, there are so many illogical things that hurts a game far more than realism, but i also know that these illogical things only hurt logical people and we are far less in numbers…


And I suppose you want all those illogical things to change? If you want experience realism turn off your computer, get out with friends, and go play paintball or airsoft. :stuck_out_tongue: Soldiers in PP won’t cut their feet on the broken bottles. Phoenix Point will not be a simulator of dying/mutating Earth. :stuck_out_tongue: And remember that the best computer games are quite far from being realistic. :wink: