I may not know a bunch of different critic nuances or simply be wrong or not accurate. But IMO, you need to stop complicating things and focus primarily on balance.
Obviously, the framework, mechanics, interaction are ready, but they are not working well.
Therefore, in deadline mode to Steam, and as an Indie-studio
, they don’t have the ability to balance the whole game.
Then you need to single out and balance each Difficulty separately.
Yes it is so “divide and rule”.
“Tutorial + Beginner” should explain and interest. All this can be done using simple examples without delicate balance with ignoring minor inconsistencies. Give a general idea of “where and why we are going”.
After the “Tutorial + Beginner” is ready as a “great product”, we open access to the next step.
And so “Veteran”, (which could be completed, if it does not interfere with the Beginner before Steam), will already require work on balancing, eliminating inconsistencies, with a minimal introduction of new mechanics and/or changing old ones. But the main requirement is the obligation that it is a “great product”.
Yes, on the Steam release, the Hero and Legend difficulties will not be available in the game.
This will be an Honest Restart(Ready - Available and Working, Not Ready - Closed).
(IMO these levels need to be balanced with the Community +Modders +Modding Tools.)
You seem to think that people need to be handheld through a game and babied?!?
I just recently discovered the game and I had no problem understanding the basics of the game after the tutorial, sure I have played old and new XCOM so allot is familiar with me… I never touched beginner though but I believe it would be quite easy as I found veteran to be OK and after a few restarts on Veteran I now started my first real campaign at Hero level.
Even my 12 year old son found Veteran to be a bit easy after a couple of hours of play. I don’t think that a game is too hard or difficult to learn when a 12 year old understand the fundamental basics on their own after a couple of hour of playing a game. He even calls me a noob now…
Exploring and learning a game is fun and engaging and failing or doing stupid things is part of that.
I didn’t find the tutorial to be bad or the game too hard, I rather found Veteran to be decently challenging when I was learning the finer mechanics of the game, but not in any way overwhelmingly difficult.
The game is certainly NOT imbalanced in the early game or perhaps not even mid game, this is where you hook new players. It is later on the game seem to have balance issues.
I have seen people complain about certain enemy types and then probably not even contemplating how to counter them in the first place. Not every opponent can always be bull rushed in early or mid game. Late game with certain skill combination and you become nearly invincible though and can run the same tactic every time and that is boring.
The game should be balanced for Veteran play period and the rest is just made easier or harder as a result of that. No sane company will make skills and equipment different for different levels of difficulty in ANY game, I have NEVER seen that… but there probably are some game… but I have never seen one.
To be fair, considering there really isn’t any actual progression in this game, as in no more armor or weapon tiers like literally every other X-COM clone in existence, you have to have SOME way of overpowering the enemy.