After my very long experimental run I haven’t saved the combat but the overall stats that also show the amount of destroyed Pandoran structures, in game playing time was over 1 year and 3 month (the stats has “stolen” a month):
Surely, current feeling is that game is driven by “defend heaven destroy panda base” missions instead of story, leaving quite good story to entertainment and diplomacy boosting. More independent heaven missions, more fraction given side missions, more POI missions while reducing Panda attack rate would give game “more of a story” - or a soul, some would say.
Lowering either number of Panda bases, or their aggressive rate. Also, what was always a mistery to me is: you destroy Panda base, but it does not slow their agressivity rate in that region at all - almost like instantly another base gets active in same area. Only sometimes when destroying few bases in a role - deep in game when having few teams on disposal - have I a bit felt like their aggression to heavens rate has slowed - temporarily.
From the lore, our mission is pretty clear: To complete what Symes has started and to find a solution to destroy the Pandoravirus or at least to push it back. For me, protecting the factions is something that you can do, but you don’t have to.
In addition, it is also illogical that an 8-man PP squad can defend a haven that has several thousand inhabitants that should be fully alarmed about the threat out in the world. In addition, at least at the beginning, with technology that is quite a bit ahead of the player. Logical, right?
Yes, these two are closely related, the player “has to” defend havens to discover pandoran bases and he “has to” destroy them to get time for other things. I think it doesn’t have to be that way, the simple solution would simply be basically fewer (Edit: and/or weaker) attacks by the pandorans, both on havens and on the player’s bases.
A more complicated solution would be the one above linked suggestion about how the pandorans grow up (pandoran structures as a network) which should lead to the same goal but in addition more logical.