Soldier XP gain based on

What about support-type soldiers, who rarely get killing shots but are contributing a lot towards victory with destroying cover/scouting/defensive/healing skills? Do I have to go out of my way just to level them up? Basing it on “Damage Done” is not a lot better, just already rewards “hitting” the enemy (and bleeding makes it problematic).

Even if the soldier was just hiding in a corner, doing nothing? I can just bring a rookie with 15 colonels (even if we will not have 15 colonels, you get the picture) and he will level up to colonel after enough time even if doing nothing at all?

Problem is it’s kind of a combination of the previous two, you either give everyone XP (even if did nothing towards the objective) or depending on the frequency of objectives, some of your soldiers will level up better (get to the “place”, pick up the “thingy” favors mobility [poor sniper/heavy], kill the “stuff” is firepower-dependent, escort the “idiot” needs everyone and can’t even imagine how to give XP to just some…).

…Skill usage?
Spamming skill just for the sake of leveling up sounds bad for gameplay (trying to trigger specific situations just to level up a skill), even if more realistic (you get better if you shoot a lot), and “successful usage” is not that easy to define for certain skills (jetpack? How can the game decide if your usage of jetpack was effective or not? scouting-type abilities? Not finding an enemy is not a failure, you now know that you have some “free” time to do objectives/other stuff without getting ambushed.)

It could be possible to have a combination of the previous ideas to make semi-balanced progression (you get XP for Missions/Objectives/Kills/“Successful” skill usage), but that would be maybe too complicated making it hard/impossible to properly balance while not necessarily making the game more “fun”.

What is your idea, how would you implement soldier progression so it makes the game “fun” (which may include a more realistic approach)?


Well I’d use multiple methods, largely all of the above, but cross influenced (so skills influence the base dribble from turning up). For success where success isn’t definable, then an amount adjusted (so higher than a fail, lower than a success), for some skills where they affect others, if they succeed while influenced by you, you get a bump. Skill spamming will be mitigated by many requiring willpower, and overly focussing on setting up situations for that should represent more risk.

Plenty of games have systems that reward you for literally everything, and given the enemy system in this it may well be easier than combat. Allowing people to level how they want to play is often the easiest way to make things fun.

All systems can be gamed so there is only so much effort worth trying to avoid it, as the internet hivemind is likely always going to win that.

A coupleish thoughts on ways to mitigate some gaming the systems;

  1. Add LOS/proxicimity requirements to objective XP (so everyone who can see gets some, but have to be at some risk.)

  2. Add all alone willpower debuffs to lower level soldiers, so keeping them out of the action risks them panicking,or requires babysitting further reducing combat strength.

  3. Allow the AI to take a units experience level (and equipment) into account when targeting, making raw recruits look like easier targets).

  4. Conversely boost the rewards for raw recruits when along with vets, to further encourage usage.

5.Have mission fatigue or similar (Long War 2 did this i think) to encourage rotation, to try and ensure a deeper pool of experienced soldiers.

maybe we could have a mix of them, but limiting how much exp can a soldier get from each source.
For example, if 5000 exp is needed to take a solvier from “level 1” to “max level”, one oculd only get a maximum of 1000 xp from going to missions (like one can only learn/get “so” much from watching brutality), 1000xp from tanking damage (like one can only learn/get “so” much from Experiencing brutality ~without dying~), 1000xp from healing others/itself, 1000xp from doing damage, 500 from completing mission objectives (placing a bomb, activating a terminal, etc), 200xp from killing an amount of one kind of enemy, 1000xp from undercover/infiltration missions, and a big etc, etc, etc. Of course this would need a reasonable amount of balancing.

I for one am hugely put off by kill based experienced flowing only to the characters that make the kills. That means that the snipers/shock troopers get huge XP and the guys who supressed, watched the flank, patch things up, destroyed cover, and reconned get zip.

One method I’ve seen that succeeds is to pool all the experience earned and then divide it evenly amongst the characters: the character who was able to heal because someone kept the aliens off him gets some XP, and the guy who killed the aliens and hence lived long enough to get healed gets some xp.

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all the experience earned and then divide it evenly

That sounds reasonable. This is the case in turn-based rpg’s like Divine Divinity. Kill gives same exp to all party members. However, can be easily exploited by taking on a mission too many (useless) soldiers. They will just stand and gain XP for nothing.

The counter measure for this was in Diablo II. Party members got shared XP only when they are near enough (2 screens or smth like that). In PP case this, prolly, could also work - you can’t hide a group of rookies-leechers. They must be somewhere near the battle - and this is not an easy task to keep them all alive or uninjured. Even if someone would like to leech this way - it fits perfectly with common sense. Some experienced soldiers show noobs “how to do it”. They stand near as observers and “learn” -) However, this is the battlefield and so they can die, even if they don’t participate in combat themselves.

For more individuality I’d add additional XP to soldiers who, lets say so, “deserved a medal” - found himself in a difficult situation or something like that. But this is not easy to implement. And in worst case such feature can be exploited too, which is bad.

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