Suggestion on Skill balance

Alright, so having spent about 100 hours the game I think I’m entitled to some opinions, and while there are some glaring issues with a lot of things I’d like to address the skills that I feel are the mostly overpowered ones and how I would like to see them brought into line:

  1. Add an 8th level to soldiers
  2. Lower the cost for dual classing, but remove the ability for dual classed soldiers to learn lvl 8 skills. The idea is that if you don’t specialize you can’t reach perfect mastery.
  3. Move the most OP level 7 skills to level 8. These would be Rage Burst and Adrenaline Rush, and perhaps some others although I don’t think the others are anywhere near as exploitable? Actually, maybe only Rage burst qualifies? Because;
  4. Limit some skills to a maximum of 1/turn. The most obvious offender here is dash, but there are probably others as well.
  5. Add new skills as appropriate for level 7 and 8.

I think this would solve a lot of problems, and also make the choice of whether to go Dual a more interesting one. I realise some enemies and encounters would need to be toned down to compensate.

Also, apart from Rage Burst 100% stealth is currently a huge problem. My fix for that would be that certain enemies have “psychic” vision like I believe the worms already do? This would allow them to always spot units at range 5 or less or so, and there should be certain enemies that always tries to chase down and localize units the Pandorans haven’t spotted yet.

Please let me know in the comments if you think I’m an idiot, and perhaps share if you have a great idea for a lvl 8 skill for a specific class or opinions of other skills that should be changed.


It sounds like a good solution to me :slight_smile:

(There does need to be some kind of incentive to choose to not double class)

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The incentive now would be the cost I assume. 50 ability points makes it the most expensive purchase, and then you need further ability points to actually gain from it in many cases.

I agree with what you think are problems. I have some concerns about your solutions though.

  1. I don’t like skill denial or gating as a solution. It’s one of the things I feel is unique about the game, which is you get to do what you would like if you have the points to spend. I would prefer a solution that makes abilities fair, with the most selection, rather than gating them.

  2. If you can only dash once, then dash is useless, and if dash is useless, then what exactly is the benefit of being a trooper? I don’t think dash is game breaking, but I think it needs to be toned down. It’s definitely too good. What if it cost 5 will power to use? The hope is that if you need more willpower to use the ability multiple times, you can’t spend more attribute points into speed, unless you want to spend your main pool on it, which reduces the silliness of the skill.

  3. Rage burst is problematic, for so many reasons. I think it should just be removed from the game, and replaced with something else. I strongly feel that you shouldn’t be able to one shot a Scylla. It’s suppose to be this big baddie, and its never caused a problem to my team. I’m hoping that without rageburst, things like poison, acid, and viral damage could find there way into the team, but they are so slow when you can just point and click for only 5 willpower.

  4. I think the problem with adrenaline rush is that it allows you to recover for one action point. After that, I don’t find it that broken. I know that it can combine with trooper for all kinds of silliness, but it’s just not as silly as rage.

100% stealth is a problem, but that seems like an easy fix, just cap the stealth, or have a unit with some kind of true vision like you suggested. Maybe a Siren can have a head mutation purely fore true sight? She could then mind control you through walls though :rofl: and people hate that unit enough. It may be an interesting ability for a Chiron to launch mist instead of worms or green bombs of death. Or for crabs to launch mist instead of grenades as a mutation. More mist, less stealth :slight_smile:

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1 always a solid option, but keep power scaling in mind. the more abilities you stack on a trooper the stronger they get and by extension, the weaker the opponent. it also increases the rooky-veteran gap making replacing troops even harder. increasing the players reliance on training center stacked bases to power level troops to replace losses.
2. overall not a bad idea, improves the potency of expert troops.
3. that doesn’t solve the problem, it just moves the problem to an expert trooper. you would still get scylla 1-shots, just without sniper being used as an accuracy crutch. over-performing abilities have to be balanced on their own accord
4. personally I don’t see that much of a problem in dash anymore since its cost was increased to 4 from the backer builds. but I’d support a rework to 1/turn or a change to make it basically double speed for a turn (but no longer move you “for free”)
5. this is an extension of nr.1

rage burst is a problem on its own because of the massive power spike it provides, and it tends to refund itself after its being used rendering its cost down to a magazine of the weapon you used to fire it off. reworking it to only be useful with automatics or set it to only fire a set number of shots (example, rename it to double tap, lower its will cost to 4 and allow it to fire a proficient direct fire weapon twice at the cost of 1 normal fire)
do not allow adrenaline rushed characters to “recover” for 1 AP, lock out the use of all WP using abilities and do not allow the adrenaline rushed character to gain WP while under its effect (to avoid the ability from simply refunding itself)
100% stealth is powerful and should be capped to 80-85% so most enemies would detect you if you get within 3 tiles of it (more with double perception tritons), but it doesn’t completely remove the thief perk benifit nor move the infiltrator to a pure sniper setup. pandorans “evolving” to make more and better use of their mist abilities if pandorans frequently get attacked before they detect an enemy (mist ability should be used liberally if a pandoran spots a corpse but hasn’t found an enemy yet), frequency of sentinels and eggs in lairs also increases. sneak attack skill could still use a looking at even with these changes. I’d also like the stealth overlay as it is used by the infiltrator to be available for all classes (so I know if my troops are being spotted or hidden, it also shows the benefit of high concealment troops more clearly)

Thanks for the opinions, exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping for.

  1. Regarding power creep, my idea wasn’t actually to increase the power of your troops but to make the single class trooper a worthwhile build as well. By removing the most obvious OP builds I think squad diversity would be increased.
  2. I don’t think Rage burst in a level 8 heavy is anywhere near the game breaking powerhouse it currently is. The only thing I would add is that you would have no free aiming and would need an automatic weapon, if that STILL is too good I’d add a 50% accuracy malus. Sure, you could down a Scylla in one turn, but you would need to get close and expose your heavy, and doing it on turn one would require most of your squad to participate with Rally the troops etc.
  3. Regarding Dash I disagree one time per turn would make it weak, it would still be an awesome skill, just not a game breaker. Perhaps increase it to full movement if it needs more Oomph, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

EDIT: I don’t think gating skills is wrong either, as long as you have choices. It’s already that way since you can only have two classes, not all of them. Being forced to choose between a pure Heavy with RB or a Sniper with jetpack is more interesting than simply making a sniper with both.

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no need to restrict rage burst like this… all they need to do is to reduce ammo sniper rifle and hell cannon have… if Hell fires 3 rounds in rage burst, it would be perfectly fine… same with sniper rifle… instead of 10 rounds, it could have 5 rounds and it would be ok…

I don’t think dualclassing is a freature like in RPGs, as single classes are really barebone - I do believe you are expected to dual class every single unit.

I do like OP ideas, though I don’t think they go along with what devs wanted players to do. Still, something to consider.

I still think that’s too powerful, but I agree to disagree on the issue.

I agree, I think the devs have their own ideas on how to balance the game going forward and don’t expect my ideas to get implemented. I just enjoy the theorycrafting, and not having neither the time nor the skill to mod the game to my liking I enjoy the discussion instead.

The level 7 skill could just not be enabled for the second class, but it wouldn’t solve many problem coming from class being also type or armors and weapons used. You start Heavy and pick Sniper, no problem solved you get a burst sniper rifle.

Thats exactly the point. Once I forgot to take my heavy sniper on the mission, I ‘had to’ use a viral priest. It was FUN (!) to keep chiron in panic to safe my team from being killed by him. BUT I tested it only I was unable to kill him within one turn.

Yeah, so in that case both lvl 7 skills would need to be disabled, which would give us less choice than now which I find less fun. Hence my suggestion on adding an 8th skill to pure classes instead. (And moving especially Rage burst to that level).

No need add one more skill, level 7 skills only for pure classes, I didn’t saw that in your suggestion, it could work better for some problems.

But the side effect is pure class are still tedious to build, no real choice, picked just to get some extra powerful skills, not sure it’s a good approach.

Skills just need be tuned, even for an Heavy Rage Burst is absurd, there’s no point to keep it as it is except if multiple OP holes is an intended design.

Removing the lvl 7 skills completely for dual classes would just make it less fun in my opinion, and most of the level 7’s are reasonably balanced I believe? It’s only Rage Burst that is a real problem. Sure, the Berzerker level 6 AND 7 combined with the Assault level 7 does certainly allow for some crazy power as well, but that’s more if a fringe case of abusing the mechanics for me, Rage burst is a lot more obvious. And I don’t think moving it to level 8 is enough either, I would also decrease accuracy and limit it to burst weapons. With that it’s still a bloody awesome skill, but no longer an “I win” button. Sure, you could rage a Scylla from half a map away, but the shots would hit different parts of the beast if at all. Yes, you could jetpack twice and with rally the troops on five (!) accompanying Assaults take the Scylla down turn one. But with no AP to spare for anything else, which would leave your troops sitting ducks for everything else, especially the Heavy you just sent alone to the other end of the field. Suddenly it’s a tactic, but hardly an exploit?

The exception of course would be if you managed to recruit a heavy with the sniper proficiency feat. But again, that’s a fringe case of hitting the jackpot and would give you exactly one OP Scylla destroyer. And I’m fine with that, because I don’t have a problem with certain lucky combinations getting really powerful, I have a problem when every single soldier can easily become too powerful.

In general, I dislike that soldier progression stops at lvl 7, and after that EXP is meaningless.

There has to be something to keep going for, for example if you increase the cap to level 100:

  • expand exp table to lvl100, with serious progression curve
  • add 1% accuracy per level (maybe 0.5%?)
  • add 1 to each stat cap per level (growing superhumans)
  • add 5 skill point per level

Literally anything, just don’t stop at 7, it’s kinda sad.

Skills are another beast to tackle. In current implementation, I feel like they are abused too much, and mostly because it’s 2 different pools.
I am not a fan of Willpower skills abuse, and using another resource for skills at all (so we have AP and WP, what’s next? ZP? another bunch of points? this is going nowhere), and I feel like a simple cooldown on powerful skills would be more balanced and clear to the player.
I understand “omg it’s too much like XCOM2!”, but hey, why not do what works.

This is a minor change, it would not make single class more fun, just one more skill.

I like the WP as a mechanic, I just don’t like the current balance if it. I understand the point that exp gains should never stop as well, although I’d prefer it if you after level 7 only got some ability points (10-20) every 500xp or so. That would make the soldier even more versatile and slightly more powerful with every step, but it’s pretty minor.

What about the system used in D&D to balance Dual or Multi Class characters.

Either, sending your soldier down a 2nd class route will lock out perks from the original class until that same level is reached in the 2nd class, and you’ll no longer be able to take additional perks in that original class. (To reflect that you’re now fully concentrating on the 2nd job role)

Or, you’ll be able to progress in both classes, but your experience gained will be halved from that point onwards. (To reflect that you’re not having to learn 2 jobs at the same time)

What I proposed in the OP is somewhat close to a DD multiclass, where you will limit your advancement in both classes to one or a couple of levels lower than s single class (depending on XP caps).

In this game I feel experience is gained to quickly for a system like the Dual class of DnD to be achieved, it would just make it slightly more time consuming? On the other hand, if they remove exp exploits like tech stealing or multiple training centers the situation might be different, and then especially for Ironman runs the idea is kind if intriguing.