XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Strategy Game - Developed by Firaxis

robthomasson wrote:
Even though I will *always* default to playing on the PC with mouse & keyboard I'm using a controller on the PC for this game - it works (and looks) just great. Overwatch is always in the same place and ...

Overwatch is always in the same place on your keyboard: Y. Reload is always R. I think Hunker Down is also the same key (H?), but I don't use it much.

Gremlin wrote:
Disagree. If I was designing it, I would also have limited the squad size to six, max. There's diminishing returns the more pieces you are shoving around on the board; six is right in the sweet spot.

Well, I'm glad you weren't in charge of designing the original game then. The original that we were being promised this lives up to in every way, and then improves upon it. Oh, and if it doesn't, then we can easily mod it with the tools that will be available to us. No sweat.

A load of hogwash.

MoonDragon wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
Disagree. If I was designing it, I would also have limited the squad size to six, max. There's diminishing returns the more pieces you are shoving around on the board; six is right in the sweet spot.

Well, I'm glad you weren't in charge of designing the original game then. The original that we were being promised this lives up to in every way, and then improves upon it. Oh, and if it doesn't, then we can easily mod it with the tools that will be available to us. No sweat.

A load of hogwash.

Er. What exactly are you basing those rather insane assumptions on? They claimed it would live up to the original (IMO and that of many others it does.) They never claimed it would be exactly like the original, nor that it would have mod support.

Hypatian wrote:
They never claimed it would be exactly like the original, nor that it would have mod support.

I can't remember hearing these claims either, but I admit I didn't follow the game super closely before release.

Those are quotes from the early interviews. Where the lead designer answers initial questions about the game and justifies 6 man max squads in light of fan furor.

MoonDragon wrote:
Those are quotes from the early interviews.

Yeah, that's not what "quotes" means. Unless you actually have some sources to back that up.

Any more than 6 would have been too many for the game they built. They could have made a game based around 12+ sized squads, but they didn't, and the current game would suffer for having that shoehorned in.

They were more than open about the squad sizes throughout development, even if they did mention larger squads or mod tools earlier on, I don't see how that's a binding contract... priorities change as a game is developed, expecting anything more is simply a false sense of entitlement.

Seriously, getting angry about a game that comes out not being tailored to your personal tastes is ridiculous. If you wanted the original, go play the original. Or play Xenonauts when that comes out.

Keithustus wrote:
robthomasson wrote:
Even though I will *always* default to playing on the PC with mouse & keyboard I'm using a controller on the PC for this game - it works (and looks) just great. Overwatch is always in the same place and ...

Overwatch is always in the same place on your keyboard: Y. Reload is always R. I think Hunker Down is also the same key (H?), but I don't use it much.

This is the first I've heard of this. I'd been double tapping on the number key like Tkyl had suggested.

This game has a few UI flaws, and I'm starting to think the documentation may be one of the bigger ones.

Gremlin wrote:
Disagree. If I was designing it, I would also have limited the squad size to six, max. There's diminishing returns the more pieces you are shoving around on the board; six is right in the sweet spot.

I understand this idea, but at the same time, I think the problems of larger groups could probably be mitigated, if not solved outright...for mouse-keyboard input. The small squad size does reduce the cognitive load, but IMO it's the only option for a controller. So, a little from column A, a little from column B.

As has been said upthread, this is clearly a console game that can be played on the PC. It's a pretty good one, but I'm sure one of the first requirements on squad size (and everything else) was how intuitive it was on a controller.

So I've now started a classic ironman and once you get over that initial hump of 25% chance to hit, it's not too bad. Only lost 1 red shirt so far and got a lieutenant already so not doing too bad. Will see how it goes further up, but it's actually quite nice living with the consequences. It sucks when all 4 of your guys miss a single target, but whatever, it was only the red shirt that bought it

Just saved at the beginning of the first terror mission, so I'm not expecting good things...

pgroce wrote:

This is the first I've heard of this. I'd been double tapping on the number key like Tkyl had suggested.

Always go to the control settings and see what is mappable.

What makes a world of difference in XCOM is to swap the zoom in/out and floor up/down controls. Put zoom on your mouse wheel and floor up/down onto your keyboard. So much better.

Gremlin wrote:
LtWarhound wrote:
Six is the sweet spot? Please. Breaking my squad down into real fire teams, maneuvering them in supporting crossfire, flanking and suppressing the aliens as I moved across the map, that was a core feature to X-Com. Forcing my team of 6 to stay huddled together because splitting up farther than overwatch can cover is suicidal is not what I consider the X-Com experience.

Human short term memory is limited to handling around seven objects. Once you get more than six guys in a squad, what you're really doing most of the time is splitting up into groups and moving those six or so groups around the map. Functionally, it's not all that different, there are just more moving parts.

Gremlin, did you actually read what I wrote, or just tossed this irrelevant factoid out and then went to get another cup of coffee?

Splitting my team of 8 to 14 soldiers up and moving them around the map is exactly what I said I wanted to do. Functionally its is very different. Interlocking self supporting squads allow for tactics that 6 soldiers forced into a single unit can't do. An element that was pretty important in the original, but removed from this remake.

Man, this thread is like reading 4chan.

Would it be nice if the squad size was a bit bigger? Yes. But I'm OK with six people. It feels like a decent amount. Maybe seven would have been more interestng, so that you can have the last soldier float between squads. But six is fine.

But that's something that only affects Xcom. And I think - well, I'm surprised - that people aren't more interested in an issue that may affect all Firaxis games from now on: they are selling new routes through the tech tree.

That's what the DLC does. And that means the entire concept of how tech trees work in Firaxis titles is now up for grabs. It might change what happens with the next Civilization game.

THe squad size issue, the bugs, save game problems. Of course they are worth talking about. But I think the tech tree issue is the more important thing to discuss.

EDIT:

And I realise I am repeating myself. And perhaps I sound like a broken record. But, please, bear with me.

I never bother to managed more guys then the default your started with in the original xcom , because it was way to much work. I also never beat the game for years, because midway through the game becomes a major slog. Which made it tiring and dull usually causing me to quit. (Finally beat it this year actually). The original xcom was far from perfect it just also happened to be very good. Which is basically my opinion about the new one.

That being said, I really think the new version was hamstrung by budget and development time. In my opinion I think this game was given much less support due to the fact that it was a very risky project. Parts of this shows in the game. It's very clear the developers had a lot of things they were planning to add to the game but couldn't due to constraints. You can see some of these in the mods that basically unlock half finished features. If they were given another month or two to develop I'd imagine the game would have way more stuff. That's why I hope it sells very well, because if it doesn't the chance of getting an expansion is nil (I don't count DLC, DLC is almost always meh).

1Dgaf wrote:
Would it be nice if the squad size was a bit bigger? Yes. But I'm OK with six people. It feels like a decent amount. Maybe seven would have been more interestng, so that you can have the last soldier float between squads. But six is fine.

But that's something that only affects Xcom. And I think - well, I'm surprised - that people aren't more interested in an issue that may affect all Firaxis games from now on: they are selling new routes through the tech tree.

That's what the DLC does. And that means the entire concept of how tech trees work in Firaxis titles is now up for grabs. It might change what happens with the next Civilization game.

THe squad size issue, the bugs, save game problems. Of course they are worth talking about. But I think the tech tree issue is the more important thing to discuss.

EDIT:

And I realise I am repeating myself. And perhaps I sound like a broken record. But, please, bear with me.

I think those are valid questions and concerns. I guess come at it from a different angle, and I am part of the problem. See I personally LIKE dlc that makes the core game easier, that effectively allows you to cheat - single player alone, certainly.

Ultimately I don't see the big issue with this sort of DLC as it affects a single player game, as you always have the option of *not* downloading it, and thereby changing the core gameplay.

If your ultimate concern is that the dev is putting time and money into *cheat* dlc and not core dlc, i get where you are coming from - I am just not offended by DLC that allows me to enjoy the game my way.

To me it feels more like a balance change packed in with the DLC, the rocket launcher is generally the last thing you upgrade and it feels weird that you're still carrying around an old school RPG paired with your glowing green rapid firing death ray.

Either way, it's optional, a rather small part of the DLC, and for the single-player component. This is pretty tame.

It's pretty boring for DLC, but that's about the extent of my extremely mild discontent.

You could always... you know... NOT upgrade the RPG until after you upgrade everything else. It'll be like Pseudo-Hardcore mode, only for explosive projectiles.

Redwing wrote:
To me it feels more like a balance change packed in with the DLC, the rocket launcher is generally the last thing you upgrade and it feels weird that you're still carrying around an old school RPG paired with your glowing green rapid firing death ray.

Either way, it's optional, a rather small part of the DLC, and for the single-player component. This is pretty tame.

It's pretty boring for DLC, but that's about the extent of my extremely mild discontent.

I don't really get the whole normal upgrade route in the game as it is anyway. I mean, when you complete the first mission where you could possibly have acquired the tech, it isn't loaded into the van (or whatever transport they use) like all the alloys and everything else. You have to manually find it. That feels a little out of place in the game because you don't need to do that for anything else. I finally acquired it on about the third or fourth map I potentially could have acquired it from but only because I finally said to myself, "I wonder what's up here?" because before I'd never had any reason to go up there as the aliens never spawn or move up to those tiers...

oilypenguin wrote:
I accept my $5 punishment for waiting a week and a half until my birthday.

I accept it and shall now color code my people.

Red for Assaults, White for Medics, Blue for Heavies, Green for rookies and Black for Snipers

Hypatian wrote:
MoonDragon wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
Disagree. If I was designing it, I would also have limited the squad size to six, max. There's diminishing returns the more pieces you are shoving around on the board; six is right in the sweet spot.

Well, I'm glad you weren't in charge of designing the original game then. The original that we were being promised this lives up to in every way, and then improves upon it. Oh, and if it doesn't, then we can easily mod it with the tools that will be available to us. No sweat.

A load of hogwash.

Er. What exactly are you basing those rather insane assumptions on? They claimed it would live up to the original (IMO and that of many others it does.) They never claimed it would be exactly like the original, nor that it would have mod support.

muttonchop wrote:
MoonDragon wrote:
Those are quotes from the early interviews.

Yeah, that's not what "quotes" means. Unless you actually have some sources to back that up.

Here you go guys, this was a great episode to listen to. Jake plays the game every year and built prototype builds even before he was assigned to design the game. He justifies certain design decisions including the six squad. Enjoy = http://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episod...

Mex wrote:
oilypenguin wrote:
I accept my $5 punishment for waiting a week and a half until my birthday.

I accept it and shall now color code my people.

Red for Assaults, White for Medics, Blue for Heavies, Green for rookies and Black for Snipers :drink:

Nah, green for Assaults (Marine green), red for Support, Gold for Heavies (gold is heavy, right?), Black for snipers and Rookies have no class so they get no color (and white is as close as that gets).

Red for Support, White for Assault, Green for Snipers, Black with Gold trim for Heavies.

Spoiler:
Purple for the Volunteer. That's interesting actually, because it was about that point that I decided the Volunteer was pretty much the protagonist for my game, the cut scenes even supported that. I didn't intend it that way, but he was one of two people who survived from the very beginning, I was surprised just how attached I became to him and my sniper, the other survivor from the beginning. He was a Russian dude too, so that was neat. :)

Mex wrote:
Red for Assaults, White for Medics, Blue for Heavies, Green for rookies and Black for Snipers :drink:

Blue for Assaults, White for Support, Red for Heavies, Green for Snipers, Purple for Psi, Tan for Rookies.

My volunteer was my junior sniper, who was put into active rotation when my starting sniper hit Colonel (and got reassigned to a desk job). Of course, all of my snipers hit Colonel level eventually, because Squadsight + Double Tap was just way too useful to leave back at Headquarters.

I mix my colours depending on how I feel like they should look at the time. Sometimes everyone goes in the same colour, sometimes I'll give them a different look when they hit colonel and sometimes they'll be green or blue or black or whatever. It just depends on how I want my squad to look at the time.

One thing that does stay the same is rookies. Always wearing the red shirt.

So, do you guys also start to see blue shields behind objects in real life? My large flower pots have only half a shield, luckily the balcony railing has a full one.

I would like to test a squad size of 8, or rather 2 squads of 4 as then I will be able to move on the map with two separate groups. Currently with 6 it is better to stick together nearly all the times.

For those not interested enough to listen to the entire podcast, Jake says that in one of the prototypes for EU they did, in fact, have about as many soldiers as Xcom allowed you to have initially - about 24 max, or 20+HWP. However, they ran into this problem where a lot of new players to the genre were completely turned off by the pacing problems this created, even as the majority of the older fans testing the builds told him, "This is it. You've nailed it!"

These pacing problems were most obvious in Terror from the Deep, where you could be searching a vast area for one alien, and moving something like 24 units every turn. It dragged. People got bored. Few people ever actually finished Terror from the Deep. Yours truly is one of them. And yes, it gets really, really tedious.

A less charitable interpretation would be that Jake "sold out." In order to get more people to enjoy the essence of Xcom in his new game, he had to cut unit size. You could tell that it bothered him and he was a little conflicted about it.

EDIT: Jake also reveals that he moves his units in the original XCOM in fire groups of three, so 6 units in EU would actually be two fire groups for him. I, myself, used groups of three to four.

Skimming a little but I kinda find it interesting that now the initial shine is off and people are starting to complain about "problems" we haven't seen Tamren in the thread. Maybe the flak he caught early for predicting some things people are complaining about was a little undeserved?

I have to say, after a crazy amount of time banging my head agaist classic iron man I'm powering through a normal no ironman (no reloads yet though) game just to see the late game and the end. Then I'll probably shelve this. Not sure If I'll come back to it, which is sad.

wanderingtaoist wrote:
So, do you guys also start to see blue shields behind objects in real life? My large flower pots have only half a shield, luckily the balcony railing has a full one.
Bathroom trips just got exciting.

Prozac wrote:
Skimming a little but I kinda find it interesting that now the initial shine is off and people are starting to complain about "problems" we haven't seen Tamren in the thread. Maybe the flak he caught early for predicting some things people are complaining about was a little undeserved?

I have to say, after a crazy amount of time banging my head agaist classic iron man I'm powering through a normal no ironman (no reloads yet though) game just to see the late game and the end. Then I'll probably shelve this. Not sure If I'll come back to it, which is sad.

I don't think will have the same legs as the original. I still play the original from time to time. I doubt I will be playing this a month or two from now.