The Problem with Nest Clear-outs is…

…After the first couple of times, they become kinda predictable.

You set up a defendable kill-zone with at least one Sniper and one Grenade-Launcher, and wait for the defenders to come to you. Once they stop coming, you know you’ve cleaned out the Nest, and you can start hunting the Sentinels with a Shotgun/Auto-rifle wielding Squaddie on point to take out any egg-pods you can’t simply ignore. If you want to conserve ammo, you can do this with a hammer-wielding loon doped up on Dash (about which see my earlier posts). Then it’s just a case of hunting down the Sentinels and positioning your Squad so that they can take it down in one turn before it triggers.

The big issue here is that each nest has a finite number of defenders – so instead of feeling like an entire hive of Crabbies is descending upon you, all you have to do is treat it like a standard point-defence mission and it’s fairly straightforward with the Squaddies in their current Superhero configuration.

That might change once the Squad has been nerfed to human level – which I think we are all hoping & assuming will happen on Dec 3rd – but even so, the first nest in these BB5 tests is still pretty easy once you know how to deal with it.

So I’d advocate NOT capping the number of Crabbies that can be generated by the Nest, and feeding them in based on the Difficulty Level (which I can never remember the names of, so I’ve probably got them wrong here :wink:
• ROOKIE: Keep it as it is at the moment – a finite number of Defenders that can be cleaned out.
• STANDARD: 1 Crabbie dribbling into the combat zone from a random Spawn Point every turn until you’ve killed all Sentinels.
• VETERAN: 1 Crabbie per Sentinel still alive spawning somewhere in the Nest every turn.
• IMPOSSIBLE: As Veteran, but to complete the mission you have to get OUT of the Hive AFTER you have killed both Sentinels.

That way, players would soon learn that you can’t just hunker down and pick off the defenders till they’re done. You have to push forward as fast as you can, otherwise you get swamped by overwhelming numbers of defenders until your ammo runs out. In this way, you promote a quick in-out hunt & kill mission without the annoying artificiality of the XCOM2 timers.


Those ideas while sounding nice are not practical as the ammo will run out before you get to the sentinels, as they are usually quite some distance and even now if you don’t shoot the eggs you still push your ammo to the limit! So unless you have a way to get more ammo like collect it from the dead (can’t with crabs) then it is just not realistic!

Or maybe the aliens should use defensive barricades to actually employ the advantages of being the nest defenders instead of running right at the squad. The main point is: let’s not have any type of enemy always charge at you after the first alert.
An observable change in behaviors across mission types will add more depth to the fights and I think this is at the heart of PP.


I think it may be more balanced when it comes out? We can hope so!

Overall nice idea, but I would cap enemies at some point (like 5 times they usually have on this map). They can’t be countless. Of course their number can be overwhelming for ammo which you can bring.

I see second problem here. And it is not just with your idea but also current state issue. When you kill enough number of them Sentinels don’t have Will Points to mass spawn eggs. Each kill decreases Sentinel WP and at some point they don’t have even 5 points to trigger their ability - even if they start preparing nothing happens in their turn. So Snapshot should change that Sentinel mass hatch ability (and other Sentinels) should not require WP to operate. I will write that in my feedback about enemies in my thread probably in next week.


Those ideas while sounding nice are not practical as the ammo will run out before you get to the sentinels, as they are usually quite some distance and even now if you don’t shoot the eggs you still push your ammo to the limit! So unless you have a way to get more ammo like collect it from the dead (can’t with crabs) then it is just not realistic!

And that’ the point!

As things stand, a standard squad of 6 including a sniper, GL & Shotgun can completely clear out a nest with just 2 spare clips apiece. So there’s nothing to stop you sitting back and letting the defenders come to you until you’ve wiped them out, then strolling thru the nest at your leisure, avoiding all but the most inconvenient eggs in the way. There’s no tension to it.

If you knew that you were going to run out of ammo before the defenders stopped coming, it would incentivise you to keep moving, pushing as fast as you can thru the nest in a desperate search for the Sentinels before your ammo ran out.

Yokes makes a good point, though, about the cost of Mass Hatching. PP would need to fix that to maintain the element of danger.


I just completed a nest raid just like that. Crabmen that just kept coming, two assaults with shotguns + four ammo packs were halfway through their last reload at the end, and that was using them to get behind the crabbies for one shot kills. I had to use dash to get to the sentinels before there was nothing to shoot them with…

I’d prefer it if the nest missions had enemies more dug in and defending positions and that they had to be weeded out in something akin to a door to door assault.

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Continual spawning of enemies during nest clear outs is a good idea.

But I think the issue of AI not just swarming you all the time is the bigger issue. I’d much rather see more varied enemy behaviours during all mission types.


Yes, endless amounts of enemies spawning during a mission is one way to increase difficulty. In my opinion it is also not the best way to do it because the new reinforcements are all likely to be just another batch of easy enemies approaching from the same one or two directions every single time. It’s not thrilling to deal with an endless flow of minor interruptions.

I’m not saying this shouldn’t happen at all. Maybe only in special story relevant cases or for a certain number of turns instead of using this as a general solution.

This is due to current balance. If devs will make each enemy count, then your case would not be valid. :wink: But even if that would be the case then infinite number of minor interruptions is something to consider when you have finite ammo.

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The trouble with nest clear-outs, IMO, is that there are too many of them.

They have an effect similar to that of alien base raids in the original X-COM 1994 - kill it, and you hobble the enemy ability to act in that area. But in OG-COM, each base raid was a massive undertaking that you prepped and stocked for well in advance, and took extremely seriously.

By comparison, nest clear outs feel…trashy. Not only are they samey, but there are so many of them and they don’t affect the metaphorical game board that much.


Agreed. It feels like it the game is spawning them out like smarties. Phantom Doctrine does the same thing with bases & spies and it’s totally not fun and a slog to play. The nests should mirror the number of bases the player have (+ a certain number), hidden in range of said bases and have a questline to discover and attack them. Nests should be significant, not something that is spawned randomly here and there without any meaning beside “timer up”.

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What I tend to do is go in with soldiers that can run far and snipe the objectives.
In lair I do the same with heavys, jet boost near the spawnery and done.

No. We have different enemy here. Those are swarming mutants created from any organic life found on Earth, not some sophisticated alien invaders from space who set some super-tech base to conquer whole continent from only one of those. This is not XCOM baby. :wink:

There is only one problem with them - that maybe they spawn too quickly after clearing previous one. Or maybe just have too big range in short time. But definitely their final number should be vast and never ending (unless we will develop something to prevent aliens from creating next bases).

I’m not talking about “sophisticated alien invaders from space who set some super-tech base to conquer whole continent”, I’m talking about ways of how funnelling the majority of alien strategic activity toward the player thru some kind of Venn diagram. Since the mist spawn close to the player at start, I’m guessing it’s was thought about.

And alien bases have already continent-reach range in BB5 which I don’t know if it’s intended or not.

The idea is to make sure the player don’t kill all of the alien’s strategic reach, get overwhelmed by exponential grow or get a situation that 95% of the missions are the same thing. Right now, I don’t see how it’s going to be handled beside “random timers & cooldowns”.

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It is intended if you let them grow like that.

Soldiers are so rare and expensive right now nerfing them puts us in a bad situation . If they make soldiers much easier to recruit i think its fine to nerf them and make them more cannon fodder types.

This game sits right in the middle of original xcom cannon fodder soldiers and new Xcom - legendary hero soldiers that losing a high level one can ruin your game.

If they are going to tune down the soldiers they also need to make new ones cheaper and much more accessible

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Or just tune down enemy.

I can’t comment on current alien base balance and fun-factor, as I don’t have access to beta, but I don’t like this approach conceptually.

The strategical layer, should be, well… strategical. That’s what FiraXCOMs are lacking the most. In this layer you should play against an opponent. It’s as if enemy expansion in Civs were capped by your progress.

I think Elevrai makes a good point.

In the current BB5 build, once you’ve cleared a Nest, you usually only have enough time to rest up your squad and run 1 - maybe 2 - plot-progressing or other interesting missions, before another Nest springs up and you’re back to the daily grind of Haven defence and Nest eradication.

Ultimately this becomes not only boring, but frustrating if you haven’t found another Base and are therefore limited to one squad - and even more frustratingly just one Manticore.

As ever, I believe this BB does not reflect what we’ll see on Dec 3rd, but there is 1 in-game solution and a handful of pretty easy Dev solutions that could alleviate this:

As the game currently stands, build a second set of Living Quarters and increase your Squaddie-base to 16. This means you’re not wasting valuable time resting your squaddies when they should be out exploring etc. It also means that you can tailor your Squads to specific roles - most obviously Haven Defence and Exploration.
But this is SLOW, and frankly not much fun. It’s like the mid-game of LW2, which just feels like a slog against never-ending enemies. So the Devs could also help by implementing a few tweaks to the current design:


  1. Allow us to build more than 1 Manticore per base. This means players can simultaneously explore and be on standby for Haven defence, which hamstrings them much less than at present.
  2. Allow Squaddies to rest (but not recuperate) in Havens - or on board the Manticore. This means you don’t have to waste valuable time flying halfway across the map to have a kip back at base before you head back out the way you’ve come to do more interesting stuff.
  3. Ensure than the player’s starting continent always has 1 extra base on it. So players don’t get trapped in that endless, boring loop of being too far from base to defend the Havens, or too close to the Havens to do any meaningful exploring. I can foresee a lot of less patient players simply rage-quitting this game as it stands because bases are simply too few and far between to make it interesting.
  4. Increase the spawn-time of Nests. In fact, it would be good if you could somehow reward efficient Nest control with reduced spawning. Maybe even link the Nest countdown to Haven defence - eg. say it currently takes 48 hours to spawn another Nest, maybe increase that to 72 hours, but subtract 5 hours every time a Haven is attacked - so if you leave the Nests unchecked, they spawn slightly more quickly, but if you stamp on them immediately, you get more free time before another Nest spawns.

Picking up on Wormerine’s point that the strategic layer should feel strategic, while good strategy can currently mitigate Nest irritation, it’s such an uphill struggle if you don’t find that crucial second base quickly enough that your strategy simply becomes reactive rather than enjoyably proactive.
And that’s a real shame.

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