Things we *don't* want Phoenix Point to have


Random recruits.

If I have 3 good Heavies in my team, and I go out looking for a new recruit, I’m NOT looking for a Heavy.
Conversely, if I’ve just lost my Sniper and trawl for new recruits I’m probably looking for a Sniper, NOT a Heavy.

Now, I have no objection to finding a couple of random Heavies holed up in a new PP Base I’ve just uncovered, because that’s just the luck of the draw; but if I’m specifically going out to recruit someone, I would like Commander’s Choice please, so that I can shape my squad the way it needs to be.


That will most likely be the base in the final game, to some extent. Please remember that features in the pre-alpha are often incomplete or just placeholder at the moment.


Good to hear, UV. Thanks for the info.


It was OP in UD/TFTD and pretty much crap in Apoc until near the end of the game (and even then it was only viable on hybrids). The ability to have a soldier sit in the ship and MC 3 enemies is just ridiculous. Likewise it’s completely stupid for the aliens to also be able to do this (and it’s even worse with them because if they see one of your soldiers they see ALL of them and just keep trying on the weakest).

I felt EU/EW had a more balanced system while in X2/WotC it went back to being OP. Overall I’m glad that they’ve stated PP won’t have it. While Psi “can” add some interesting things to the gameplay I’ve found that too often it ends up being either OP or utter crap for the player.


I hope that there won’t be any synergies between classes or skills like use skill A in class Z first to have a bonus in skill B in class Y. I don’t like falling in some predefined order or action scheme.


as well as the ability of enemies to do similar was ridicilous too.

Nicely envisioned, but both implemented and abused by AI and players :slight_smile:

PSI stats could remain, and psy items but with lesser power and yes, easily extorted.


What do you mean by synergies exactly? Like the old Diablo II ones where levels in Frost Bolt increased the damage of Frozen Orb, or do you mean like in X2 where you could Run 'n Gun to then be able to use some other ability?

Regardless, I don’t think you’re going to fully escape a predefined order/action scheme as certain things are simply going to snygerize better than others even if there’s not a D2-style synergy bonus. Generally speaking some abilities are just going to be better when taken/used in a certain order and if you can take them “out of order” people will still figure out which one is the “better” one to take first. For example in X2 not taking Long Watch on a Sniper is going to greatly diminish the value of Kill Zone later on (and is why I hate how FiraXCOM hides skills for higher level ranks).


I mean like X2. Diablo synergies won’t fall in here because of the type of skills. :slight_smile: Here you have some distinct action performed with some equipment, not a +25% fire damage with fireball and +1% synergy from firewall to that fireball (don’t remember exact combinations). :wink:

But I hated from FXCOM skills like:

  1. use Supression to prevent enemy overwatch fire or reaction fire (decrease his aim by 30%)
  2. use Scout’s or Gunner’s Holo-Targeting to get +10% aim bonus with other soldiers
  3. use most accurate attacks to deal some damage
  4. use soldiers with Executioner when enemy is below 50% HP to gain aim and crit bonus

and almost every turn looked the same because of that.

Or more simple example:

  1. weaken enemies not killing them
  2. then use “In the Zone” or similar skill to have unlimited attacks and finish 10 enemies with one soldier

In some way it was part of tactic or even strategy which soldiers you should bring to the combat. But it was damn annoying to remember all such cases and it dragged planning to long minutes (and whole campaign to long hours) and delayed action.

I like current skills in PP because they are not dependent on each other. Even move here can be performed after other actions not like in FXCOMs where you had to remember that first you move, then you shoot/overwatch/make a poo. There are small exception because you need to remember:

  • which actions end the turn for soldier (overwatch, enter vehicle, and whole turn actions - recover, jet jump, ram)
  • that Electric Strike should be performed before any other actions, because after them it becomes inactive (probably bug)
  • Rally also can’t be used after anything except taking a look into inventory (another bug?)
  • Exertion can be performed after any action which will use part of TU (you can’t use it when you have 100% TU)
  • Reload don’t function when you have full magazine in the weapon. :wink:

but other than that you don’t have to think about if you need to do something with your heavy or technician or anyone else first.


And see I actually liked those FXCOM synergies, my complaint was more that the moves themselves were just too powerful and thus contribute too much to the Snowball Effect (especially in X2). I had options on what I wanted to do:

Do I Suppression now to remove Overwatch or do I use my Assault with Lightning Reflexes? Maybe I want to risk the OW shot so that I can save the Heavy to blow up cover or for a Danger Zone+Mayhem Suppression later to finish people off (I preferred DT over ITZ on my Snipers generally).

Do I want to use the Heavy who has HT for that or for something else (Gunner/Scout is from TLW and while it was good for a playthrough I wasn’t a super fan of it).

Do I even take Executioner over Opportunist on a Sniper? Again not talking TLW. Generally no because I always felt the extra Aim was wasted along with a good chunk of the Sniper’s damage when shooting someone at sub-50%, but if I were to take it that then becomes something to factor in. Kill/severely wound X guy at the start to better prioritize who does what damage where, or save the Sniper for an Executioner shot later that might not really be needed?

As for ITZ, I don’t think the problem with it has to do with synergy but rather it’s a perfect example of a blatantly OP move (especially when not talking about TLW). The SR can 1hko a ton of enemies, especially the Plasma Sniper Rifle. This means that you don’t even have to think, you just look at what’s engaged and go “You, you, and you. ITZ dead. Moving on.”

Now I see a lot of your stuff deals with TLW so I’ll address that here. Again this isn’t so much synergy between moves as much as TLW was designed to be balanced to relatively tight tolerances. Between that and just how powerful each move was you HAD to plan out your turn in a very specific order, to include backup plans in case something went wrong. But that’s not what I would call Synergy so much as your tactics. To me synergy is how specific moves interact with each other, such as taking Holo-Targeting, Suppression, Danger Zone, and Mayhem so that a single Suppression would apply HT to multiple targets while also doing guaranteed damage.

This is just an inherent part of strategy games. We already see it in PP where you shred armor before using an Assault who’s individual bullets don’t do enough to penetrate or blow up some cover when you can’t move to get a better shot for some reason. But the big thing I would say in PP is both the TU system giving more flexibility and with an emphasis on the moves themselves not being as powerful. If I don’t have an OP ITZ move then it doesn’t really matter who wounds/kills the bad guys (though you still want to properly manage damage when able as using two Assaults to wound and then a Sniper on a 1hp enemy isn’t nearly as effective as it would have been to use the Sniper first and then only one Assault to finish it, if an Assault is even needed). If I don’t have a Suppression+HT+DZ+Mayhem combo then who Suppresses the OW enemy doesn’t really matter.

And to me that I think is going to be one of the big things of PP. By having weaker moves it makes your tactics matter more but also isn’t as much about perfectly lining up which moves when. Of course one might say that choosing the move order is enacting your tactics (and they would be right), but it felt far more rigid while also being a part of the balance problem of the FiraXCOM games imo.


I find prioritization to be a core aspect of turn based gaming, and synergies are a part of this. PP already has some that make sense thematically and generate meaningful gameplay. Stuff like “shred armor before using conventional weapon” or “blow cover to expose target” is tactics 101, should and will stay.

I feel like difficulty settings should have a significant impact on this. I’d expect the hardest difficulty to require to plan the perfect turn to succeed, and lower ones being more tolerant of mistakes.

In The Zone is an example of OP skills that probably shouldn’t be there in the first place. I can see its appeal in a mod like LW where stuff is dialed up to eleven, but it’s a no-no for base game.

Another meaningful thing is “every turn looking the same”. This is the Great Enemy, and I wouldn’t blame synergy as much as lack of alternatives here. Synergy is only a problem if it’s the only viable option.

Let’s take holo targeting as an example. Done the FiraXcom way, it’s a no brainer. You shoot AND give the next guys a targeting bonus, damage AND buff in a single action. There are very few reasons not to lead with holo-targeting, and it’s boring. Now think about a target painting skill/item that boosts subsequent shots’ chance to hit, but does nothing else. Assuming it’s balanced, you know have to decide if you want to sacrifice some TUs, most likely losing a shot in the process, to buff your teammate’s CtH.

I have no issue with the game forcing me to plan the entire turn in my head before taking a single move, as long as the plan is not the same every single turn. I have no issues with skills that should be used before others (like the primer/detonators categories in Mass Effect) as long as you can mix and match depending on the situation and are not forced to always use the same combo.


Yeah, this is what I meant. You could make decision if you want to follow specific order of skills, but actually there was no good alternative. What I would prefer that there were less synergies or not so meaningful, to be able to do other stuff with other skills which are out of any synergy. Right now there are few skills in PP but overall I don’t feel pressure and need to optimize those skill/soldier order. What is great. Of course there is this order: cover elimination, armour shredding, limb removal, all other shots follow. But it is not crucial to follow that order unless faced by the Queen.


Personally I think Holo-Targeting is actually a good skill in EU/EW. First you have to choose between Bullet Swarm or HT, where BS gives you all sorts of potential flexibility due to being able to use that first action to shoot (shoot+shoot, shoot+rocket, etc). Another thing about it is how it’s on a high damage class that also has other utility in the way of explosives.

I see your point and think that it can have potential in PP, but I think it would be sub-par in FXCOM. To me the Heavy felt like one of the better balanced classes even if I think that the abilities should primarily come from gear/research.


Truth be told I seldom use HT in XCOM2 as Aim is (too) easy to come by and it’s way too easy to get 100% shots with elevation, cover destruction and the odd scope on your hard hitters.

It’s also true that choices exist during level ups as picking a skill and building your soldier is important, but that’s a choice you make once per soldier.

Explosives are another good point, and the reason I find XCOM2 heavies to be over the top, as cover destruction is the way to go. They have their own mitigating factor which is limited uses.

On a side note, I’m fairly sure LW2 or ABA introduced target painters, with their own dedicated skill trees, and they were garbage unless you invested heavily in painting skills.