There have been posts on this forum and on the feedback page about how Scyllas are too easy to incapacitate and kill with certain combinations of abilities and weapons, and how preparing fire on Scylla Blaster Cannons should be removed so that Scyllas have a lot more opportunities to attack with them. But there is one more thing that I think needs to be considered so that Scyllas are rebalanced to improve their offensive and defensive capabilities to the point of making Scyllas a proper challenge to fight, without making them too difficult and frustrating in the process.
I think the Scylla’s Smasher Arms should do Area-of-Effect damage, instead of just doing damage against single targets. If the damage and shred that they do is changed to be slightly lower than what it is now, but includes a wide Area-of-Effect in its statline, that could make Smasher Arm Scyllas much better at fighting a whole team of operatives at once, without them one-hit-killing full-health operatives in just one turn. It would also do a lot to prevent players from just blocking and tar-pitting Scyllas with Spider Drones, if Scyllas can take out all nearby spider drones with just a single Smasher Arms attack instead of having to fight them one at a time. The attack animation for the Smasher Arms might have to change to be more of a sweeping motion though, to account for becoming an Area-of-Effect attack. How big the Area-of-Effect should be would have to be considered too.
A lot of different things would need to be rebalanced so that Scyllas become tense and formidable enemies to fight against without making them too difficult. Personally, I want a fight against any Scylla to be like a memorable, suspenseful, back-and-forth struggle over multiple turns, like a genuine boss fight.
Rebalancing Scylla Smasher Arms to do Area-of-Effect damage, I think, could be another piece among many others to help complete the Phoenix Point gameplay balancing puzzle.
Did you actually look how much damage this thing does if allowed to fire? It will kill any soldier in any cover. Hell, it will probably kill soldiers without direct line of sight just by destroying all the walls in the way.
By which point the only valid way to fight a Scylla is to instantly kill or incapacitate it.
The problem with posts like this is the vast majority of the player base don’t need the game to be nearly impossible without cheese to win. There has to be a balance and this is not an easy game as it is.
If the best players on here had their way there’d be no regular fan base at all.
Fun and challenge need to be balanced, and stuff like Umbrus appearing with 4 ap and being able to kill any soldier at four health or myrmadon reinforcements being able to enter from anywhere when reinforcing and attack on the turn they appear just isn’t that much fun.
Considering how long ago I originally made that post, given that Scylla smasher arms haven’t been changed since then to include an area-of-effect attack, then I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon.
In my experience it’s been oddly rare of Scyllas to actually use their blaster cannons instead of doing anything else in their turn. When they do eventually decide to use their blaster cannons and go into the preparing fire stage, the blaster cannons only seem to target a fixed area. If you look where the blaster cannons are pointing while they are in preparing fire, it’s fairly easy to tell where the shots they will fire next turn will go. That gives a whole turn to either get operatives completely behind line-of-sight blocking buildings or other large cover obstacles, or simply move the operatives off to the side of where the Scylla is targeting the blaster cannons and watch all those green shots go way past them next turn. Or simply kill the Scylla or cripple it’s blaster cannons while it’s still in preparing fire.
Scylla blaster cannons have a scary-looking statline that makes them seem extremely powerful, but their preparing fire stage gives a whole turn to get operatives out of the way of the area that they are targeting. And all the shots they fire when they do go off in the next turn tend to be inaccurate and get spread out over a wide area.
However, if a Scylla has a goo-spitter head or sonic blast head to go with its blaster cannons, and manages to use goo or daze to pin down operatives before preparing the blaster cannons, that’s when blaster cannons actually become dangerous. Otherwise, preparing fire makes them too easy to counter and deal with most of the time. I’d rather have preparing fire on Scylla blaster cannons removed so that Scyllas have more opportunities to use them, but rebalance the blaster cannons to have a less powerful, downgraded statline to compensate for removing preparing fire.
At the time I wrote the original post, it was a bit too easy to use certain combinations of weapons and abilities to tar pit/incapacitate/kill Scyllas without the Scyllas even having a chance to fight back in any effective way, and Scyllas are supposed to be boss-level enemies. This prevented proper back-and-forth combat with Scyllas and made them less interesting and engaging to fight. That issue still exists to some extent, but Scyllas have been improved a bit since then.