A little background here. One of the firsts UFO-like game I played was UFO:Afterlight.
In that game there wasn’t any soldier class, you started with “blank” soldiers, but there were different soldier trainings like heavy weapon mastery, sniping, ambidextery, proeficiency with melee weapons, athletics, heavy armor usage, and such, allowing the players to specialize their soldiers and to be able to play the game the way the player wanted. That was complemented by an inventory system which allowed full customization of what was each soldier going to wear and carry to the field, how many ammo mags, granades, which weapon(s) or tool(s) where they going to had in their hands and in their backpacks, etc.
Sadly, I can’t say I have played the original UFO games, but from what I have seen and read, it had a similar inventory system.
Will PP have structured classes which will determine which equipment will each soldier use, or will it have that freedom to build each soldier from scratch and equip them with the armor and weapons the player sees adequate? or maybe a hybrid system?
So far it seems like a “hybrid”, as soldiers will have a base class which determines the weapons they are proficient with, but does not restrict them to that, aka a Sniper can use an LMG, but you should not expect him to walk far (or a heavy to use a sniper rifle accurately).
This old update had three ‘base’ classes in which all soldiers start:
- Marksman - tends to have good perception
- Assault - tends to have good mobility
- Heavy - tends to have good endurance
I don’t know if it will change or not, but I can’t remember anything suggesting drastic changes (which means only that, I don’t remember, not that there was not one).
I like the option to retrain soldiers to fit your play style and build your teams to your liking. But the retraining option needs to be “cheaper” than acquiring a new soldier…
I complete a mission and get 2 new soldiers. One is a sniper the other is a tank… but I need an assault type. If I have the facility that allows retraining, something I can build with proper research and resources, then I can spend money/gold/resources to retrain a soldier into a a class that I need. The retraining time/cost is less than completing another mission or recruiting a soldier via normal means.
It has been mentioned that there will be 3 base classes (the ones mentioned by potkeny), and I believe 7 elite classes (I believe this ones are a post training after their base class). For example New Jerico will have the Technician class that repairs vehicles, limbs, and can deploy turrents on the go, and the Disciples of Anu will have the one that can mind control their Mutogs. Additionally, as a seperate mechanic you have ranks, and it has not been mentioned yet how they will work.
Leaving that appart there are soldier abilities, and weapon abilities. For example the return fire from the demo is a weapon ability which meaning you won’t have to train your unit for it, and will make use of it whenever it is using that weapon.
I think it would be good if the classes were a little less restricted in PP than in, say Firaxis’ XCOM.
Because in XCOM the soldier abilities were completely locked to which class they are, so you had very little choice in terms of an actual “skill tree”, although I think there was an option to randomize them, I think it would be great if the player had full control over which classes develop which sort of skills etc.
If you haven’t checked out the Facebook Q&A’s that were posted on the PP site, you should! There’s a lot of great info there.
There’s a few answers in from the Q&A’s that are particularly pertinent here:
Q: What classes can we expect to see in the game, and will there be more classes in DLC?
A: We have a number of classes planned already. We’re not going to reveal all of them now. We’ll be showing some of the New Jericho classes at the PC Gamer Weekender. They have an Assault guy, a Sniper and a Heavy Infantry – but we’re not going to be revealing all of them just yet. And yes, we do intend to release other classes in future DLC.
Q: Will there be more comprehensive skill trees for soldiers than in the Firaxis XCOMs?
A: Yes, is the answer.
Q: How many soldier classes are available?
A: The way the class system works is that each faction has different classes, and the Phoenix Organisation starts with a small set of classes. So, what you can do as a player, as you develop relationships with these other factions, you can recruit soldiers from those factions, or even steal technology from them. You will be able to use some of their more specialised soldier classes. For example, the “Infiltrator” class which comes from Synedrion or the “Technician” with robotic arms, which is a New Jericho class. We haven’t decided exactly how many of these there will be. At the moment there are at least seven. There may be more added a little bit later.
But seriously, check out the full Q&A’s if you haven’t. You won’t regret it.
UFO: Enemy Unknown had no classes at all. There were stats (and I still don’t entirely know what all of them did specifically) and there were ranks (and only a percentage of soldiers could have higher ranks). The ranks were tied to stats, but the specific calculations elude me.
I don’t mind specific classes or specializations, but every soldier (at least in the Danish army) are trained with rifles, pistols, anti-tank weapons, first aid, light machine guns. I really like that soldiers are just soldiers, and even though some might be better at using a sniper rifle, everybody can pick up a gun and fire it.
That does, in fact, seem to be the current situation in Backer Build 1.2.