The REAL problem with heavies

Everyone here has been (legitimately) griping about the inaccuracy of Heavy weapons. I am going to postulate that we are looking at the wrong problem.

Heavy armor is just - crap.

If heavy armor were protective enough for our guy to get in, get a shot, and get out then maybe it would be different. The problem however is that is never possible. A heavy is too slow, and their armor is too weak to have any real chance of getting anywhere. By the time a unit decked out in full heavy gear moves in close enough to hit something - he has been target practice for more than a few enemy shooters and/or had some melee cut through his armor like butter.

… and then he just stands there, because he is too slow to shoot once he is in range. … and he gets shashed/blasted or just watches his target run away before he ever fires a shot.

No wonder everyone ditches heavy armor. It is a truly abysmal design with zero redeeming qualities. Units are literally better off in their underpants.

I propose a few major changes to the armor beyond the desperately needed heavy weapons mounts;

PP plate steel carbonium or whatever the hell it is is weaker than sea shells; which are made from organic calcium carbonate… Really? REALLY??? Can my guys maybe start crafting armor from broken pieces of that magical calcium carbonate? Or maybe we can go with polysaccharide molecules? (bug exoskeletons) Seriously - I shoot enough of those fuckers - at least one of my guys shoudl be smart enough to grab a dropped shield and figure a way to put that magic to work covering his ass.

It really is illogical that metal armor is weaker than Pandoran seashell armor. Not only that - it pretty much breaks the heavy class soldier.

I propose that heavy armor be buffed - substantially. Like a factor of at least two. If you are going to make him slow and blind - at least don’t make him stupid too = make his armor worth the sacrifice. In addition make the armor cut slashing/blade damage by 50%. It only makes sense and gives Mr. Slow McSlowface a chance to get into firing range. Might want to make his shots do double damage against human sized opponents while you’re at it - so that taking the wildly inaccurate shots from max range at least has some sort of payoff in the early game… Seriously - at short range that wouldn’t break anything as the shots will all land and kill the target regardless. But from 10 tiles or more away the damage from the few shots that land is not worth it unless you buff it against smaller units.

I also would suggest doubling the WP cost of jet jump, but making it cost only one AP. Let our heavy play. Give him something at least as useful as quick aim or dash.

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Besides the material comparison making sense or not argument (you know, it’s scy-fi with alien tech… maybe there’s something else in those shells… my point is, it does not need to make perfect sense), the problem with upping armor much is that a lot of weapons start doing NO damage to it, and have no means of doing so. This was the problem we faced with assault rifles for our soldiers, which then got a bit of armor shred. If you buff heavies this much, everything will have to have a bit of shred, else we’ll put HA in every soldier for walking tanks and let the enemies come to us. But, I agree they can be buffed a bit.

I do like the last suggestion though about jet jump being cheaper in APs. I just suggested in another thread having jet jumps for 2AP and mounted weapons for 2AP also, but I think this one may be even better… having jet jump for 1AP BUT asking for a lot of WP makes it so that you can’t spam it, but you would be able to close in AND shoot at least once in the heavy’s life :stuck_out_tongue:

One problem with this though is that it would ultimately REDUCE the heavy’s overall movement, because he would lack WPs to use jet packs a lot if the player wanted. My heavies help a lot in scavenging sites because they can keep up with the other classes somewhat using the jet pack.

Agree there is an issue, but I am not sure about proposed solution.

I think Heavy Armor should not give Heavy Weapons any accuracy penalty (should even have bonus if anything). This huge worn piece of metal should compensate the recoil or whatever. Penalty should be for all other weapons, and oposite: lighter armour should not give accuracy bonus to heavy weapons at all and heavy weapon should have penalty if used without heavy armour (something like “almost-mounted” weapon). Heavy Weapons for Heavies, other combinations possible but penalized. Can be slow - but make it worth it. Maybe default shot with decreased accuracy, but allow siege mode that makes heavy stationary but accurate as f*** at long range, maybe even with 2AP shot?

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What do you mean everyone?

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in my opinion there are several issues.

  1. double dipping into the speed - it’s both heavier and reducing your speed, and if you’re carrying too much you get slowed further. a heavy soldier should be stronger than the average soldier to begin with, have this reflected in gear weights and/or strength requirements.
  2. only really useful heavy weapon is the grenade launcher, both because it makes up for the horrendous precision they have, and the interaction with the skill that allows you to fire two at the same turn.
  3. generally speaking, basic weaponry sucks. assault rifles don’t do much once enemies start getting armored, which is pretty early on. the only really useful weapons are the sniper rifle (also, mostly because of the sniper’s skills at level 2 and 3) and the pistol.

however, here are some optional solutions to these problems:
A. revamp the 3 stats system. all soldiers weren’t created identical. have the soldiers start with a total of X stats, but randomize their distribution. impose requirements on gear.
B. have weapons interact with the soldier’s environment properly. a sniper rifle should really be set with a bipod on a surface when shooting, either give the sniper a penalty to aim if shooting standing up without half cover, or allow him to shoot from a lower angle (like lying on the floor to take a shot)
C. heavy weaponry should, at the least, be carried with a sling, probably more sensible to have it clipped to a mount situated around your shoulder. maybe penalize bashing with with a clipped weapon. probably allow for the clipping to be destroyed if weapon/body armor deteriorates enough.
D. melee weapons - the ones available are swinging weapons, or later a sort of a dart shooter. why are there no puncturing weapons? or just a commando knife that only takes 1 hand and 1 action to use?
E. vehicles. how come there are no combat vehicles that can fit inside your starting air transport and fill the role of heavy soldiers without the jumping jets but with decent precision?
edit: F. heavy weaponry could also have a certain demoralizing effect on the target being shot regardless of hitting it. each shot could reduce the willpower by a certain amount, depending on the weapon being shot and possibly by how close the shots are.

You’re right about heavy armour being crap. Two shots and the heavy is dead later in the game, even with New Jericho heavy armour. It’s a huge waste of resources and the heavy guy feels like he’s made of paper.

You are aware you can just jump next to an enemy and smack them in the nose right?

Also hell 2 cannons are insanely overpowered. Just need to get a little bit closer.

Hi kingius, long time no see :slightly_smiling_face:

An operative with 14 STR (=140 HPs) wearing NJ Heavy Armor will be dead in 2 shots with a PX SR (a starting weapon) even if hit in the torso that has 40 armor: 110 - 40 = 70, x2 = 140. That’s why the first Pure you find even though they have very thick armor go down very easily with Sniper Rifles, melee weapons, Hel 2 Cannon - they have low strength = low HPs.

HA always works well against explosives, fire, worms, shotguns and some other stuff (the Redeemer, Hera…) because they just can’t get through the armor (or just barely).

However, to really take advantage of HA for protection you have to invest in Strength. What HA does is it improves the return on that investment when compared to other armors. And because HA comes with a jetpack and Heavies don’t have costly WP abilities until level 5, you can neglect Willpower and Speed at first, and just go for Strength.

Then I find the Heavies in HA very effective all the way to the end game.

(The one exception is when facing the Elite Arthron MG, that is OP atmo imo)

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Hey Voland, nice one on recognising me!

I’ve started using heavies as jump and wack. I’m still trying to play (and complete) Phoenix point as an ironman game, which proves very, very difficult to do. Heavy armour costs a lot but is really good early in the game.

Later in the game when you have a heavy go down in two shots, it feels wrong/bad. Not only did it cost you a fortune on that new recruit for all that armour, but he didn’t even last one mission. Playing as an ironman game, where you do not reload past saves when bad things happen, this is where my perspective comes from. Sure, a level 7 heavy in heavy armour is pretty good, but a level 1 is pretty poor late in the game… I think something is up there. If Phoenix point is ever to support Ironman play, that is.

Oh and thanks for the tips. I’ll think that through and try and work it out into my strategy.

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Also hell 2 cannons are insanely overpowered. Just need to get a little bit closer.

Yeah PP seems to be oriented around offence and not defence. Weapons deal a lot of damage, armour prevents a small proportion of it. I think it would be nice if you could research a super-heavy suit that absorbs a huge proportion of incoming damage, but maybe restricts your movement or something like that. I’d put rookies in the late game into it and slowly nurse then up to level 4/5.

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That’s what Training Centres are for Kingius. I too play Honestman (I just lost one of my favourite characters to a sneaky Piranha-wielding Triton, and it was a real struggle not to hit ‘Restart’).
But the trick is to have 3 or 4 Recruits cycling thru your Training Camp so that you can insert them into your squad(s) when they reach Lvl4, which is about the time that they can stand up with the Big Boys - though I do have a Lvl3 Heavy with Bionic mods who can more than hold her own alongside my A team :grin:.

Not saying that Armour doesn’t need a buff, cos it does. But unless you’re stretched to the limit, one of the advantages that PP has over older games like XCOM imo is that the TCs don’t force you to put a Lvl1 into a top-level squad to gain experience.

There’s a perfectly valid argument that says Recruits are still at a disadvantage because TCs don’t dish out as many SPs as combat XP, but I’m fine with that. I don’t think you should be able to get a fully fledged Lvl7 soldier just by putting him thru a Recruitment farm - that’s how it was in the early days and you had no incentive to risk new guys in a fight because they could progress safer and faster at Base So for me, the sweet spot is train them up to Lvl 4, then put them out in the field, and it works well for me.

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Agreed. Especially when you consider how hard it is to scrub the armor off of the PURE, and how easily they move around and fire in it.

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I understand the advice but I’ve given up on Training Centres altogether, because at level 4 the poor soldier doesn’t have the skill points accrued to actually get the abilities from the second class, from the Training Centre. I’d rather take a level 1 to the field and nurse them up to 4 so they can actually do something useful with that second class (e.g. warcry). If I want to access the jet pack I could augment the legs of a level 1 soldier to get it. Sure, it’s nice to get quick access to a sniper rifle, for example, but without enough points to add quick aim at the same time, like I do with a properly experienced soldier, I just don’t feel it’s worth it. Basically, I think the Training Centre is trash lol.

Fair enough.
Personally, I find TCs a very useful way of keeping new recruits ticking over in the b/g, ready to slot in whenever they are needed. A 3 TC Boot Camp gets Lvl 4 soldiers who, for my style of play, are perfectly capable of holding their own with the Big Boys.

But different horses for different courses, eh? That’s one of the beauties of this game :wink:

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Yep you’re right. The problem with Training Centres is that there are only a small number of levels for your soldiers to go through and you’re wasting them on those backup soldiers stuck at the base, due to the skill points accumulated being very low per level. In effect, you’re short changing your soldiers because you can never get those skill points that you lost by doing this (compared to leveling up through experience) back. This is not immediately apparent in the game but something I’ve realised in my numerous play throughs. I feel like the Training Centre is one of those things put in the game as a crutch for beginner players. I may be wrong but that’s my conclusion anyway. Like you say though there are lots of different ways to play. It’s definitely true that gaining a second class, with no abilities, is better than being a level 1 soldier, but it’s also true that the same soldier at level 7 is not on par with a level 7 soldier who got there from experience alone. The Training Centre one is possibly something like a level 5 experience soldier, in terms of skills/stats and he’s now at his normal level cap. So my advice is, don’t bother with the Training Centre, you’ll weaken the soldier in the long run.

@kingius I don’t see it as “weakening” them. The real experience of a soldier (in SPs) comes from the number of missions he’s done, regardless of having been in a training center or not. The training center only unlocks them some SPs (those gained by level, that’ll be gained be it in a TC or in battle) and access to higher level skills if you’re not using this soldier in battle for any reason.

I agree with you that a lvl4 TC-only soldier is not as good as @MichaelIgnotus finds them to be, but they’re heck of a lot better than a lvl1 soldier, specially if this soldier was recruited for food with 14 str, 6 wp and 14 spd. I tried leveling one of these guys in battle and experience-wise it went much more slowly than in the TC, because he just couldn’t keep up with the others and do any damage. The battle was always already over when he got close. Of course he got much more SPs from the battles, and it went all into stats so that he could carry equipment and walk more than a baby.

The idea I get from TC is that you can field one team and have other soldiers already training to be a bit more effective when you gather enough soldiers for your 2nd/3rd/etc team to go to battle. At least you’ll have a bit more stats and maybe one or two starting skills. Thus, they’ll be able to pull their weight along.

It’s totally fine to not use them too if you get into the habit of rotating your soldiers, so that all of them get experience and SPs, but then you probably need more airships which are expensive.

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Destiny III.

Now, even that lowly lvl1 heavy in a heavy torso (it is a mount) is a champ. The UI doesn’t show what you can actually shoot at, so bring a pistol to check line of sight. It is unparalleled. Finally a heavy can hit whatever. It can only shoot once/turn, but that is enough to disable a Siron’s head, and it leaves you with 3 AP. Now I shoot the obstacle with the hel II cannon, and then fire my 3 laser bolts into whatever was behind the wall. Such a game changer!

Noteworthy is the independent heavy torso fires from the foot. The graphic is correct unfortunately. The other 2 shoot from above your head.

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@MichaelIgnotus, @kingius and @sectoid_br about TCs and how I use them actually:

I don’t build TC any more in the early game, they are simply to expensive for me. But I use them if I take another Base that has one and build this Base to a resting place where my Squads recover their stamina, this way they get some little Exp in a time when they do no missions.
All recruits are going immediately into an active Squad and if I have no free space in my planes then I don’t recruit one. Yes, the LVL 1 recruits from PP are awful and coming without any equipment but they gain at least a little Exp with every mission plus the SP and additionally when I have my “Resting Base with TC” also there some Exp. This way I’m able to handle my spare resources more effectively in the early stages and even later I want to build many other things instead spending resources to build TCs. I have no big problems with these weak low level recruits as long as I only mix them into more experienced Squads.
And IF I would build a complete new Squad out of fresh recruits I would mix them with a Scarab or Armadillo, this way they are good enough to enter the APC, coming out to shoot and then going back in. A Manticore with 3 low level recruits and one APC is not that bad to do scavenging sites and the 3 recruits are leveling pretty fast this way, even when the APC is doing the most of the damage.

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Another example of how many different ways there are to play this game - all of them valid :relaxed:

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