XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Strategy Game - Developed by Firaxis

Mediocrity_Or_Death wrote:

Quick check to see if anyone else is experiencing this. I'm still early on in my classic run on Enemy Within and in the last 2 months I've had 6 Council missions thrown at me with only 1 abduction mission to break it up. 3 of them only days apart which has resulted in over half my roster in the hospital.

In my classic run on EU i didn't get a council mission until the mid game.

I haven't had that but this game is stressful. It's fantastic but the missions are so tense. I have a feeling I've over invested in my base and under invested in weapons.

I actually enjoy that aspect. It's like a real invasion that's ramping up until you break the main force's back in the alien base mission and start making headway against the aliens.

Higgledy wrote:
Mediocrity_Or_Death wrote:

Quick check to see if anyone else is experiencing this. I'm still early on in my classic run on Enemy Within and in the last 2 months I've had 6 Council missions thrown at me with only 1 abduction mission to break it up. 3 of them only days apart which has resulted in over half my roster in the hospital.

In my classic run on EU i didn't get a council mission until the mid game.

I haven't had that but this game is stressful. It's fantastic but the missions are so tense. I have a feeling I've over invested in my base and under invested in weapons.

I think your progress and success rate affects it. I tend to get one every month or so in EU. Usually as a last ditch effort to lower some panic.

ccoates wrote:

I also somehow ended up with two events to respond to at once, but, whoops, only one transport. Brilliant! Thanks Firaxis!

This usually isn't a big deal. Go to the first one first, go to the second one after. Unless you are inordinately unlucky, you will have time to do both if you hop back in the Skyranger after you finish the first. (I've done it in reverse occasionally too: the first one was an abduction, the second a terror mission, and I prioritized the terror mission. The abduction was still available when I got back.)

Better hope nobody gets hurt, though.

Ed Ropple wrote:
ccoates wrote:

I also somehow ended up with two events to respond to at once, but, whoops, only one transport. Brilliant! Thanks Firaxis!

This usually isn't a big deal. Go to the first one first, go to the second one after. Unless you are inordinately unlucky, you will have time to do both if you hop back in the Skyranger after you finish the first. (I've done it in reverse occasionally too: the first one was an abduction, the second a terror mission, and I prioritized the terror mission. The abduction was still available when I got back.)

Better hope nobody gets hurt, though.

I was inordinately unlucky. I probably should have prioritized the terror mission, since the abduction only affects one country (right?) and having nearly everyone injured could have let me ignore it and deal with the consequences.

Abductions affect the target country a lot and the rest of the continent a little. It's either +2/+1 or +3/+1, it's been a while since I played.

Ed Ropple wrote:

Abductions affect the target country a lot and the rest of the continent a little. It's either +2/+1 or +3/+1, it's been a while since I played.

It's academic since I couldn't respond to both. That's the thing. I know things like missing three 96% shots are statistically possible, but given how short of a time I've had the game, that sh*t happens CONSTANTLY.

I think I'm done with ironman. I'll see if I can force myself to only save once per mission. In the end it'll end up being way more enjoyable. If you really don't want to waste a 6-8 hour investment, you can force crash/close the game and reload before the enemy turn is up, but I just think the game shouldn't make you want to.

The way things are structured now, it proves the old adage: better to be lucky than good.

So I've finally put time into my Classic campaign and really get it rolling. Through a series of fortuitous council missions I was able to build a satellite uplink in the first month. Instead of using sats to knock down panicking nations I decided to drop all 4 of them on Asia and lock it down. That also got me the foundry and OTS discounts before I had any of the upgrades. Things have kind of snowballed since then.

The slower soldier progression is a blessing and a curse. It makes the combat more interesting because you have to deal with the lack of high end abilities for more of the game. But it also means you are almost punished for not using your "Ace" team. I have a set of 3 colonels who between them are gene modded to the gills and possess all of the medals awarded to date. And yet my MECs, who became MECs as squaddies are languishing behind to the point that I've stopped using them. My instincts are telling me to level up my other soldiers, but these guys just blow everything out of the water. So why bother?

REALLY not a fan of how gene modded soldiers lose the ability to wear arm armour. You can put the shoulder pads back on through customization, but you have to do it every time they switch armours. I'm okay with everyone not having a helmet, but the bare arms just look... stupid. They should have gone with visible neck implants instead of putting them on the shoulders, and then made bare arms a cosmetic choice.

I was also dreading the laser rifle crash bug, but thankfully it hasn't happened yet. The laser rifle visuals and sounds seem to have changed too, they are far less "crackly" then before. And when using rifle supression the laser rifle no longer sprays shots constantly (which was kind of annoying and also provoked the crash) instead the soldier just fires a shot every now and then. Other than the two random crashes I had in the first 4 hours the game has been quite stable. I'm still seeing glitches here and there. I STILL have trouble with my cursor jumping between elevation levels. And while terrain is a lot smarter about when it fades out, sometimes it can get stuck and flicker back and forth.

There are also a bunch of camera bugs, when I go to stun an alien my soldier is usually standing right beside them. This wasn't an issue before in EU, but now the third person cam is WAY too close. Instead of being over the soldier's shoulder it feels like the camera is stuck to the arc thrower. So when I'm targeting the arc thrower and watching the firing animation the camera is essentially jammed up the target alien's nose and tilted upwards at an extreme angle. It looks and feels terrible. When my soldiers go to attack something and miss, instead of the shot missing by about a foot it veers off by several meters! Sometimes the shot can land so far off target it flies off screen! Pretty sure it wasn't so exaggerated before. Oh and every single time I have thrown a grenade to date, the soldier's animation never quite faces the right direction.

Anyhow I've managed to get to laser weapons and skeleton armour. Just about to hit the alien base and get rolling on the plasma stuff. The last continent bonus I got was We Have Ways, and I finally did ALL of the autopsies at once. Quite an amazing set of options it opens up.

When are you supposed to assault the Alien Base? Is that an endgame thing, or just another progression step?

mwdowns wrote:

When are you supposed to assault the Alien Base? Is that an endgame thing, or just another progression step?

The one you have to create the "key" for? That just a progression step. A fairly early one at that.

Mantid wrote:
mwdowns wrote:

When are you supposed to assault the Alien Base? Is that an endgame thing, or just another progression step?

The one you have to create the "key" for? That just a progression step. A fairly early one at that.

Save it for a panic reduction. It can lower panic worldwide. If you're lucky, it'll give you enough time to get full satellite coverage out there.

It lowers panic in every country by 2 I believe.

I do agree the late game is pretty easy once you get all your soldiers fully equipped. I tend to just stop and start again at that point, the fun parts are the first two thirds of the game or so.

Koz wrote:

It lowers panic in every country by 2 I believe.

I do agree the late game is pretty easy once you get all your soldiers fully equipped. I tend to just stop and start again at that point, the fun parts are the first two thirds of the game or so.

Which is the hallmark of an unbalanced game. I quit before I win, and I quit constantly with sub-optimal base layouts, or magic full cover hunker down slaughters of my entire team.

I mean, obviously I must like something about the game. But even hardcore games like Radiant Silvergun rewarded skill and not dumb f*cking luck.

I've survived a lot longer with hunker down. That 80 defense with full cover goes a long way (usually). It's too bad key binding hunker down is broken.

I also see no point in taking more than one movement early in the map unless you've discovered a patrol. It just increases the chances of revealing an enemy you can't do anything about. I move everyone, end turn, move everyone, end turn. Patrols automatically run and hide, with a few buggy exceptions.

If possible early on, I bring two heavies. That extra rocket can save your ass.

Right now I'm playing around with starting countries. It seems like a 4 country area has the advantage of never losing the starting bonus even if you ignore them entirely. But their bonuses can't be used immediately (like the money you get from North America or Africa).

Well that's how I often play strategy games. Once I know I've won I quit and start over. I do the same thing playing Civ 5. Winning for the sake of winning isn't that appealing once I've done it a few times already, so it's not really an issue of balance for me. If anything I think the game is a bit too long. If it was more challenging in the late game I'd probably quit even more often because it just becomes a slog.

I personally like the difficulty on Classic. I do restart pretty often, but I don't mind because I don't play particularly carefully. I full move blindly a lot of the time and sometimes all my guys die on the starting mission. But that's all part of the fun to me.

Do you guys cultivate your Barracks? I mean, do you stick a couple rookies in with your vets so that they can level up so that when things inevitably go pear-shaped you have some people to fall back on? Or do you stick with the same people over and over? I just had a game where there were 2 or so disastrous missions close together and I ended up with a Barracks full of Rookies. The missions after that were...no optimal.

Also, how long in the ingame time (months, years) does a game last? I have no feel for how fast I should be building or researching or whatever. I've had a couple games where I run out of money quick and have no engineers or scientists. I must be doing something wrong.

Finally, do I understand that if you get full satellite coverage over a region, you get that region's bonuses along with your home base region's bonuses?

mwdowns wrote:

Do you guys cultivate your Barracks? I mean, do you stick a couple rookies in with your vets so that they can level up so that when things inevitably go pear-shaped you have some people to fall back on? Or do you stick with the same people over and over? I just had a game where there were 2 or so disastrous missions close together and I ended up with a Barracks full of Rookies. The missions after that were...no optimal.

Also, how long in the ingame time (months, years) does a game last? I have no feel for how fast I should be building or researching or whatever. I've had a couple games where I run out of money quick and have no engineers or scientists. I must be doing something wrong.

Finally, do I understand that if you get full satellite coverage over a region, you get that region's bonuses along with your home base region's bonuses?

I generally use a core of about 4 veterans, then rotate a number of rookies through the remaining two spots. This won't save you from catastrophe, but it will make it a little easier to survive the steady attrition that you normally go through.

Yes full satellite coverage gives you that continent's bonus. Lose a country and you lose the bonus, before OR after getting the bonus.

I just want to say that it's really weird how this game runs better on my phone than on my Mac Pro.

Though now that I think about it, most of my slowdown hits when it's loading. That just means that modern flash memory is faster than a 6 year old HD.

Also I can also tell that the models are a lot simpler on the iPhone version. They still look good, but the difference is there.

I wanna watch a live stream of Tamren playing Xcom the bugs he experiences appear to be legendary in nature. I have encountered maybe 3 in all my hours of playing. And that's with the Warspace Extension mod (on base game)

mwdowns wrote:

Do you guys cultivate your Barracks? I mean, do you stick a couple rookies in with your vets so that they can level up so that when things inevitably go pear-shaped you have some people to fall back on? Or do you stick with the same people over and over? I just had a game where there were 2 or so disastrous missions close together and I ended up with a Barracks full of Rookies. The missions after that were...no optimal.

Each class has two distinct paths you can go down with the talent tree. So I try to have 2 of each type, for a total of 4 soldiers per class and 16 overall. I'm also planning to get 4 MECs up and running so my total cadre is 20 soldiers. Levelling up goes significantly slower than the previous game, MECs especially gain very little XP per mission. Currently I only have 3 Colonels so I've been taking one or two rookies along with 2-3 Majors. Once a soldier hits Colonel they go into reserve for the really difficult missions. So far I haven't lost anyone notable.

Really warming up to the new Snap Shot snipers. Having In the Zone with 100% accuracy per shot is unreal. The new Assault skill is awesome too. Free shots? Hell yes, combine with double shot and you can triple-hit stuff.

Has anyone made much use of the new grenades? Now that everyone has Deep Pockets I find myself bringing a lot of alien grenades. Flashbangs are great too because even if you can't get rid of an entire group you can still debuff them into the ground. Haven't found much use for splinter grenades or toxin grenades, anyone else tried these?

Also on the Exalt missions where you have to defend a transmitter, the agent can hack into the uplinks. Does this actually do anything? There was a voiceover that explained it but I can't remember what was said.

kazooka wrote:

I generally use a core of about 4 veterans, then rotate a number of rookies through the remaining two spots. This won't save you from catastrophe, but it will make it a little easier to survive the steady attrition that you normally go through.

Also, if you've had a lot of critically injured soldiers, it's especially useful to train up a rookie to replace one of your staple soldier classes once you get the +will officer training school bonus. Critical injuries permanently lower their will, and those suckers panic constantly.

Cayne wrote:

I wanna watch a live stream of Tamren playing Xcom the bugs he experiences appear to be legendary in nature. I have encountered maybe 3 in all my hours of playing. And that's with the Warspace Extension mod (on base game)

My game is chock full of bugs. They vary from annoying to game ending (no hunker down for the rest of a mission with armored mutons and those Robocop 2 droids, anyone?)

I actually just lost a Classic Ironman game where I got cheesed, but miraculously this is possibly my first game without a bug killing me. So I'm at least satisfied on that end. Now having a thin man splatter my best sniper through hunkered down full cover, causing my entire team to panic and shoot each other, that wasn't great, but it was survivable. I went Rambo with my last surviving support/laser rifle and killed 6 thin men and floaters.

I should have paid better attention to the research tree, because I was completely unprepared for mutons with plasma rifles. And I would have even survived that and two missions where all except one of my team was wiped out if I hadn't forgotten to build 3 satellites one month. I tried for 7 the next month, but it was too late.

I'm only able to keep all countries through luck, it seems. Otherwise I have to prioritize continents. Having random satellites on continents isn't as helpful as having a continent completely covered, since relief from the abduction mission is key. If you have 3 or 4 satellites in the pipeline to be finished by the end of the month, it's even worth it to completely ignore one continent and simply go for bonuses in other countries.

Did the sectopods really need that much more punch? I understand armoring them so that you can't two shot them anymore, but I'm only doing 6 damage with my anti-mech Heavy. A simple plasma rifle only does 4 damage. This is actually making me even more dependent on snipers, since nothing else other than headshot does any damage to them. Well, one other thing, and that's taking about 4 MEC troopers and repeatedly punching the thing in it's..."face." This makes the heavies superfluous as far as I can tell. One of the big reasons to have them was so that they could mow through armored units like this. Without that ability, they're basically just unreliable supports with a really big grenade.

The Heavy also adds shredder rockets, which increase your damage-per-attack for everybody. It might be a little bit too much of a nerf, but I think it's a little better than the alternative.

Does anyone know how the panic level formulas work offhand? Is it whatever the panic level is listed at, plus one for countries in the same continent?

Also, I just realized something that completely changed my game: you can build anything on a steam vent. Sometimes I really don't need the extra power, and would prefer a 2x2 satellite uplink setup. I just assumed steam vents were for steam generators only.

I just had the Chrysalid mission in month 3. I was... not prepared for the second leg of that mission. At all. Either the game was being nice to me or my last guy was a freaking hero because he came up from the back after his squad was wiped and completed the main objective solo, totally surrounded almost the entire time, and then made it almost all the way back to the evac zone before being taken out. I suspect the game was being nice to me, but I choose to believe he was just that awesome. So I'm back on it with a squad of rookies. Let's hope they have better luck than their predecessors.

My game just patched for 100mb, is this a patch? There isn't a news event for it yet on Steam.

ccoates wrote:

Does anyone know how the panic level formulas work offhand? Is it whatever the panic level is listed at, plus one for countries in the same continent?

Works something like this in my experience:

- Panic level from 1-5, with 1 being none and 5 being total. Any country that has panic at level 5 will quit the council at the end of the month unless they have a satellite.
- A successful abduction mission will reduce panic by 2(?) on the affected country.
- An ignored abduction mission will raise panic in the affected country by 2, and 1 for other countries on the same continent.
- Satellites reduce panic by 1 at the END of the month, and 2 when they are deployed.
- The alien base mission reduces all panic by 2
- EXALT missions reduce panic by 2

There may be some other new stuff I'm not aware of.

Do you use grenades and rockets much? I've found in the almost 30 hours I've played since starting it on Thursday, that I could probably count the number of times I've used grenades and rockets on one hand. And those times have been "oh crap, 3 guys are out-flanked by a bunch of baddies, I have no choice" moments. Are the fragments and corpses useful later on?

Also, does the satellite uplink bonus work vertically as well as horizontally?

Sorry, I'm re dredging a bunch of stuff from the original (I don't have the expansion, and won't be getting it anytime soon, sadly). I have tons of questions as I'm playing, so tell me to stop if you don't want any more.

I do use grenades occasionally. It's generally one of those situations where I don't really care about the resources from a few kills as much as just making them go away ASAP. Maybe a weird spawn flanking one of my soldiers, or some other situation where I really don't want to risk a missed shot. Rockets don't seem to have a lot of utility in early game, but later on when Mutons and such start showing up they're nicer.

On my normal play-through, I'm not sure I ever used grenades. On classic I've found myself using grenades a little more liberally. I'd rather get rid of the aliens than risk losing my soldiers.

mwdowns wrote:

Also, does the satellite uplink bonus work vertically as well as horizontally?

Yes, you get 1 bonus satellite coverage per 2 adjacent uplinks. So a 2x2 square will gain you 4 extra coverage. It's better than putting 4 in a line, since that will only get you 3 bonus.