It’s hard to take game developers or a company seriously when they release a game with as much rage inducing stupidity as this game has. I took a break from this game to see if it had improved. It has not and the reason it has not is intentional decisions by developers and extremely poor judgement.
Here is a golden rule for any game developer out there. One which I think would be in a game making 101 college class, and a rule that if you do not know - should exclude you from ever developing games (spare humanity your stupidity)
The golden rule: taking control from the player is not fun. should be used sparingly. should be avoidable. AND SHOULD BE LIMITED
As I sit here and type this I am trying to figure out how the game is still in this state. If this is my game and I play just ONE MISSION where a single volley from an enemy (smacking a guy firmly behind cover) can disable that guy for an indefinite amount of time that to me would be a HARD STOP. I’d call in all the game developers and talk about gaming philosophy and make sure everyone understands the basics. What I would NOT do is include it in the game and send the turd out to the gaming public.
If you think its fun to simply control all my characters and move them around for me and then also control the AI and move them around and the proceed to have the AI controlled faction kill my AI controlled troops and then proceed to tell me its my fault, you know exactly where you can go. Hell why do you even need players? Why do you need us? Just set up AI controlled simulations in your workspaces and save us all the pain of having to experience this garbage.
It’s unbelievable that somehow this was thought acceptable even for one split second. Just because some creative “genius” comes up with a new “mechanic” it does not mean you abuse the krap out of and include it in every obnoxious way into the game because Tommy made a new toy and it needs to be shown off. For the love of God, get your priorities straight and focus on what is fun…taking control away from the player should be done with extreme caution.
If I got that mumbo jumbo right, he might be distinguished by virus mechanics. But, if you use it to your own benefit, and kill multiple enemies per turn, rest are likely to panic. If you keep killing … it works to our benefit. Maybe some armor or optional wears that would reduce the virus …
However, enemies that use virus weapons and Annu priests with such rifles appear late in the game
Or he dislikes that this strategy has no real covers, beside being completely behind or in the building (out of sight). It might be side effect of simplifications introduced by Fireaxis line of games
Virus-locking for a turn or two (induce panic then recover) is one thing, stunlocking anything for dozens of turns is another, regardless if it benefits the player or not.
I would maybe change the virus-decrease to some % of max-willpower of the unit (100% might be too strong on enemies), so that while virus-locking remains possible, you have to invest more into it, which means you can save your virus-locked soldiers too. (Some “Regain Sanity” consumable researched late-game might be still needed, but that’s a balance-design decision which needs even more playtesting).
I’ve never had too much problem with panic in this game.
I think Anu priest Frenzy ability and Berserker level 6 perk give you panic immunity, right?
Though of course that may be a problem if you ignore Disciples of Anu faction and don’t use their units.
yes they do grant immunity, but you also immediately state the problem with these solutions, they are buried in the anu tech line or on anu classes, the PP solution given to the player (virophage kit) is quite deep in the tech tree as well. (requiring pandoran virus infection tech) and virophage kit is a virus removing cure, not a form of panic immunity and as such… won’t do any good if a ghoul re-applies viral stacks
but the problem (along with paralysis lock on players) has been noted as devs are ironing out a solution.
I guess I’ve always thought of it as a different way to get “killed.” You have to make a choice: stick around to try to save the soldier, or cut your losses and run.
My preferred outcome would be a way to help the virus-locked soldier off the table. For example, if being in base contact with a friendly prevented virus panic, then you could at least help the impaired soldier off the battlefield, or into a vehicle.
It could use a more rapid decay, too, perhaps based on strength.
Actually, I think the OP makes a fair point, in that having one of your soldiers Virus (or paralysis) locked for twice the actual length of a mission simply isn’t fun.
And while I get all the arguments which say ‘But it’s better than getting him killed’ - psycholigically it’s actually more annoying than actually getting him killed. If he dies, you can grieve and move on. If he’s virus-locked (and no-one’s told you that simply evacuating everyone else will take him with you - which nothing in the game actually does - there really needs to be a pop-up Tooltip which tells you this) then you’re stuck twiddling your thumbs for Game-knows-how-long, getting increasingly more irritated.
However, the good news is that the devs are aware that it’s a problem and are working on a solution.
Yes, it has taken them a long time to get to that point, but at lease they have got there and are working on it.
Remember that XCOM WotC (if you play FiraXCOM) had the same skill, but only got it by building a relationship with only one teammate. And only then was this skill limited in the frequency of use of the whole fight (the highest level was used twice) and then only transferable to “this one teammate”.
Onslaught is a great usefull skill (transfer 2 AP every turn to [edit: any single soldier] in a big area), but IMO doesn’t break the game as long as you’re not cheerleading.
To be strictly accurate, it only transfers 2 AP to one person now.
But that’s still extremely powerful:
It can (re)fuel Terminator runs and keep them moving.
It can give a Heavy with Boom Blast 4 explosive shots instead of 3, which effectively obliterates any Crabbies in the zone of fire.
It can enable a Jet-Jumping Heavy to fire their heavy weapon after movement, meaning that they can jump across half the map and then annihilate a Siren (for instance).
And all of those are without its standard utility of giving any 1 squaddie in range an extra half-turn of APs - and since it can be stacked, you only need 2 officers in range and they can enable anyone else in their squad to effectively move twice in a turn.
Limiting its range to 10 tiles was a good move, but since possession of Onslaught almost by definition means the owner has already got Dash, they can generally position themselves wherever they need to be to motivate the troops. And by the time you’re buying Onslaught, you’re ‘officer’ has already got WP in the teens, so it’s not greatly limited by WP.
I agree with you, yes a temporary stun is fine whatever, but I also hated the moments when soldiers in the XCOM / UFO games were taken over with psionic. Same in Phoenix Point. At one point I looked for mods that removed the psionic attacks. So you spent days building up a character then he gets taken over and wipes out half your squad, the idea is extremely annoying. Yes you can research it away whatever eventually or do the same to the enemy AI, but I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to control aliens I want to fight with the squad I have developed over time. It always ruined it for me. Some annoyances should be optional.
I think Virus is fine in terms of game balance - it usually takes multiple hits to panic lock, and it’s usually in small enough numbers that you can kill the user before it gets out of hand - it just takes too long to recover. Having to cover my Heavy for one or two turns in the middle of a fight is tense. Having to babysit him for five turns when the fight is over and I’m trying to get to the evac is excruciating.
Another idea would be to make the Virophage kit easier to develop - maybe change the prereq to Virophage weapons and/or Anu virus tech? It seems weird that I understand the virus well enough to make bullets out of it, but I can’t cure the virus until I specifically capture an Arthron Bane or Siren Banshee. (And ironically, those are the least dangerous viral enemies - a Redeemer is far more likely to panic-lock you than any of the organic viral weapons.)