XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Strategy Game - Developed by Firaxis

Really, the only purpose of a full contingent in early missions is to have plenty of cannon fodder rather than because the scope of the mission is terribly large. If Firaxis can keep the feel of X-Com without requiring me to load my ship with human bait, I'm all for it.

complexmath wrote:
Really, the only purpose of a full contingent in early missions is to have plenty of cannon fodder rather than because the scope of the mission is terribly large. If Firaxis can keep the feel of X-Com without requiring me to load my ship with human bait, I'm all for it.

But that was part of the fun! I didn't even name my troops until they'd survived at least one mission.

I have yet to see or read anything that keeps me from wanting to give Firaxis all of my moneys. Smaller squads in the early going keep things manageable. I currently play with 6 or 8 on early levels. Four is reasonable considering you are probably less likely to get wiped out on your first mission in the new version.

I like the clean look they are going for. Was anyone else distracted by the TV, PS3 and 360 all being stacked up together?

LarryC wrote:
That depends on the difficulty setting and whether or not I'm farming, natch. When I'm farming aliens, I could set up a base to get attacked twice a month or more (on the hotter bases, as much as twice a week!). Of course, you won't always get that many attacks on the Normal diff setting, even when you put your base right in their faces.

Now I'm really intrigued. How did you set that up? If the aliens attack your base, get past the initial wave of base defenses, but fail to take the base in tactical combat...they forget the location of the base. How are you getting attacked so frequently?

Up the diff setting, find an alien base, intercept the ships from there aggressively and stick a base right next to theirs. Make it big and make sure to launch interceptors from there. Don't put defensive cloaking tech on it, natch. A twice a week invasion is a rare occurrence, but it gets fairly hot - enough to justify the base. With the easy downs and intercepts, it's essentially funding the entire XCOM operation just by fighting the alien menace.


Slick! Thanks for sharing that link.
--
TAZ

Yeah, I liked the vid too. Looks like a cool game. Looking forward to more info and maybe seeing some actual gameplay. Anyone know of an expected release date?

BlackSabre wrote:
Yeah, I liked the vid too. Looks like a cool game. Looking forward to more info and maybe seeing some actual gameplay. Anyone know of an expected release date?

All we've announced so far is this fall.

Tkyl wrote:
BlackSabre wrote:
Yeah, I liked the vid too. Looks like a cool game. Looking forward to more info and maybe seeing some actual gameplay. Anyone know of an expected release date?

All we've announced so far is this fall.

I'll help Q&A, testing and, bringing coffee if it will ensure it's released in 2012.

Tkyl wrote:
BlackSabre wrote:
Yeah, I liked the vid too. Looks like a cool game. Looking forward to more info and maybe seeing some actual gameplay. Anyone know of an expected release date?

All we've announced so far is this fall.

Hope you reach your target

Also, gameplay vids!

complexmath wrote:
Really, the only purpose of a full contingent in early missions is to have plenty of cannon fodder rather than because the scope of the mission is terribly large. If Firaxis can keep the feel of X-Com without requiring me to load my ship with human bait, I'm all for it.

If this is the common attitude, it might explain why people say this game is hard. Me, I didn't waste troops as 'cannon fodder', that's just a failure of leadership. I used the troops for supporting fire&movement elements. Two groups, each one with a scout, heavy, rifle and medic. Scout moved forward to spot the aliens, reserving time to pull back to cover, heavy laid down fire on anything the scout spotted and opened holes in terrain. Rifle moves up enough to cover the scout and heavy and reserves TU for reaction fire and the medic played free safety. The two elements worked to support each other, either flanking on both sides to lay down a cross fire, or one element acted as an 'anvil' while the other flanked to flush the aliens. Short of just amazingly bad luck, I didn't suffer wipeouts.

And they expect me to be happy that I only have 4 people to do this with now?

Nice video, really liking the look overall, and the vehicles in particular.

LtWarhound wrote:
complexmath wrote:
Really, the only purpose of a full contingent in early missions is to have plenty of cannon fodder rather than because the scope of the mission is terribly large. If Firaxis can keep the feel of X-Com without requiring me to load my ship with human bait, I'm all for it.

If this is the common attitude, it might explain why people say this game is hard. Me, I didn't waste troops as 'cannon fodder', that's just a failure of leadership. I used the troops for supporting fire&movement elements. Two groups, each one with a scout, heavy, rifle and medic. Scout moved forward to spot the aliens, reserving time to pull back to cover, heavy laid down fire on anything the scout spotted and opened holes in terrain. Rifle moves up enough to cover the scout and heavy and reserves TU for reaction fire and the medic played free safety. The two elements worked to support each other, either flanking on both sides to lay down a cross fire, or one element acted as an 'anvil' while the other flanked to flush the aliens. Short of just amazingly bad luck, I didn't suffer wipeouts.

And they expect me to be happy that I only have 4 people to do this with now?

Yeah agreed. 4 soldiers, no action points.. makes the tactical combat seem like a minigame. Might as well allow us to auto-resolve so we can focus on the strategic gameplay..

LtWarhound wrote:
And they expect me to be happy that I only have 4 people to do this with now?

If it's just a starting limitation that later gets increased, then I don't see the problem with it as long as early encounters are scaled appropriately.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
LtWarhound wrote:
And they expect me to be happy that I only have 4 people to do this with now?

If it's just a starting limitation that later gets increased, then I don't see the problem with it as long as early encounters are scaled appropriately.

Having one fireteam is L4D. Its not X-Com. There are certain things that make X-Com, such as destructible terrain, research, interceptions, terror missions, night missions, fog of war, assigning gear, reaction fire, time units (so you can customize your soldier's action based on the needs of the mission and the moment), and finally, a squad that feels like a squad and not a four man fireteam. If its missing those, then its not X-Com.

From what they are showing and saying, its a very pretty game that looks like a lot of fun, but that isn't X-Com.

I'm not saying it isn't XCOM without seeing the game, but the reason why you need more dudes up front is that your troops are so woefully unprepared to meet this new enemy at the beginning of the game.

At the beginning of the game, four guys means that they need to be equipped to take on 3-5 aliens of unknown position and weapons with what amounts to basic gear. So these first four guys would need to be tremendous badasses to live.

In the original, you loaded your Skyranger with all troops in the first missions because you probably didn't have a tank and you knew you would take losses. There was no armor, no medkits, nothing to really give them any sort of edge over the enemy. If that starting point stays true, then four guys are going to take a beating. If it doesn't stay true, I'm thinking that one of the magical elements of the original game, the act of discovery of new gear, all the more important because it was necessary, will be missing.

LtWarhound wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
LtWarhound wrote:
And they expect me to be happy that I only have 4 people to do this with now?

If it's just a starting limitation that later gets increased, then I don't see the problem with it as long as early encounters are scaled appropriately.

Having one fireteam is L4D. Its not X-Com. There are certain things that make X-Com, such as destructible terrain, research, interceptions, terror missions, night missions, fog of war, assigning gear, reaction fire, time units (so you can customize your soldier's action based on the needs of the mission and the moment), and finally, a squad that feels like a squad and not a four man fireteam. If its missing those, then its not X-Com.

From what they are showing and saying, its a very pretty game that looks like a lot of fun, but that isn't X-Com.

I think starting with a 4 man squad is a great way to get new people into the genre. The original X-Com had such a high learning curve, that I think you lost a ton of people right away. Starting out slow with a group of 4, allowing you to get the basics of the mechanics down, and then further expanding your team is a great idea to me. It could even be a story telling mechanism, to where initially X-Com has seriously limited funding, leading to smaller 4 man teams, because the higher ups don't really see this as a a viable threat. Then as your teams uncover more and more of the alien menace, you get more funding, for larger teams, and can start attacking much larger threats. Your base starts out the same way, as a small outpost for your small scout team, that you will eventually build up, and expand as you get more funding.

In the original game, if someone wants to run with a specialized, well trained 4 man team, they are free to do so. If someone wants to run with an 8 man team full of redshirts and human bait, they are free to do so as well. That's what made the game great. Options. Different ways of playing out scenarios that felt like your own solution.

This restriction to 4 man well trained team sounds like dumbing down of options. However you spin it, sugarcoat it, or call it "streamlining", I can't see how it's better in the grand scheme of things. Less options of playing out a scenario in an XCOM game is not better or an improvement.

LtWarhound wrote:
Having one fireteam is L4D. Its not X-Com. There are certain things that make X-Com, such as destructible terrain, research, interceptions, terror missions, night missions, fog of war, assigning gear, reaction fire, time units (so you can customize your soldier's action based on the needs of the mission and the moment), and finally, a squad that feels like a squad and not a four man fireteam. If its missing those, then its not X-Com.

From what they are showing and saying, its a very pretty game that looks like a lot of fun, but that isn't X-Com.


I'm with Warhound on this. This is starting to look and feel like the same "XCOM but not X-Com" situation we have with the FPS game.

The very first experience most people have with X-COM is that they land the skyranger beside their first UFO. Arm their 10 rookies with rifles and pistols and then promptly lose half of them to a single alien because its a night mission, they never even bought flares much less brought any, and the starting weapons suck. Its at this point that most people would give up and quit. And I don't blame them at all. X-COM is a HARD game and its purposefully designed to be that way. But this difficulty is exactly why relatively few people get very deep into the game.

Making the game more accessible means unavoidably making it easier. Which is great if you want to expand your target market demographic. Not so great if you want to stay true to the original.

I will say that this is *closer* to X-COM, though. I'd much rather have a new turn-based tactical combat game than not. I'd just also rather have a new turn-based tactical combat team that regularly kills off half of my troops in a single mission and makes me huddle in a corner and cry than not.

Tamren wrote:

Making the game more accessible means unavoidably making it easier. Which is great if you want to expand your target market demographic. Not so great if you want to stay true to the original.

I disagree. By making the entry point of a game easier, and upping the difficulty as you go so a new person is having fun the entire time they are playing, you make an overall better game. When I start a new game, I don't want to have a to slog through 20 restarts because I didn't know about flares, or a specific aspect of the game. You can also do this, and still make the game challenging. Who says that when they limit you to a team of four in the beginning, that your first missions will have a limit of 3 aliens? A few tutorial like missions set up to show how a squad can work together to take down one or two aliens can really help you learn the games systems. I would be right there with you if you were limited to 4 men the entire time, but it has been stated that you will not be. You will get to those same sort of battles you had from the original. You just won't have to restart 20 times in order to not have your first few teams wiped out by an impossible terror mission, or a misunderstanding of the mechanics due to being a beginner.

The very first experience most people have with X-COM is that they land the skyranger beside their first UFO. Arm their 10 rookies with rifles and pistols and then promptly lose half of them to a single alien because its a night mission, they never even bought flares much less brought any, and the starting weapons suck. Its at this point that most people would give up and quit. And I don't blame them at all. X-COM is a HARD game and its purposefully designed to be that way. But this difficulty is exactly why relatively few people get very deep into the game.

Unexplained mechanics is not difficulty. They make the learning curve more steep, but by itself is not actual difficulty. It is simply bad communication, and the industry has gotten beyond this in the last 20 years.

The main difficulty in x-com comes from random events(blaster bomb -> skyranger) than from any of the mechanics.

Nevin73 wrote:
At the beginning of the game, four guys means that they need to be equipped to take on 3-5 aliens of unknown position and weapons with what amounts to basic gear. So these first four guys would need to be tremendous badasses to live.

See here you're assuming there'd be 3-5 aliens of unknown position and weapons, because that's how the original did it at the beginning.

I adore X-Com and think it's the best game ever made and, while I'm certainly vaguely apprehensive that the Sacred Pile of Pure Awesomeness that is X-Com is being modified, I somehow retain hope that we will all survive the remake. Seriously, it's Firaxis, who have an excellent track record, and everything from the developers so far has shown that they love and respect the franchise and intend to keep the spirit of the original game alive. Have some optimism, people.

Now, having said something positive and helped restore the promise of future sales of this game, I'm sure Tkyl and his alien overlords will want to reward me in some way for bringing light to their day. A copy of the game, some merchandise, the opportunity to record a horrifying scream so my death cries can be repeated in the game for years to come . . .

I'll buy two copies. PC and 360. Just redirect whatever you were gonna send MilkmanDanimal to me. Thanks!

XCOM XOXOXOX

Yoreel wrote:
I disagree. By making the entry point of a game easier, and upping the difficulty as you go so a new person is having fun the entire time they are playing, you make an overall better game. When I start a new game, I don't want to have a to slog through 20 restarts because I didn't know about flares, or a specific aspect of the game.

But adding tutorials and giving players all the information about the game mechanics up front wouldn't have made X-Com any easier.

X-COM: UFO Defense had a pretty thorough manual, complete with 40 pages of tutorials.

I suppose there's social commentary here about kids these days not wanting to read manuals and invest the time in learning new games, but that's probably worthy of its own thread.

Tamren wrote:
Yoreel wrote:
I disagree. By making the entry point of a game easier, and upping the difficulty as you go so a new person is having fun the entire time they are playing, you make an overall better game. When I start a new game, I don't want to have a to slog through 20 restarts because I didn't know about flares, or a specific aspect of the game.

But adding tutorials and giving players all the information about the game mechanics up front wouldn't have made X-Com any easier.

I'm not saying that the game is going to be made easier. Having a learning curve that gives the player the opportunity to learn necessary skills on their own, makes the game a better game. This may be done with tutorials, initially limiting you to a 4 man team, or just slowly rolling out certain skills over certain levels as you unlock them through basic research. It is just a better start to me than the huge wall you had to climb in order to understand the game mechanics and the way to win in the original X-Com. The difficulty still could be blindingly difficult as a four man team in your first mission trying to hunt down a single alien. Your have no armor, don't know their tactics, and they have better weapons. So yeah, I may die because I stepped wrong, or I made a wrong choice, but the mistakes I make are going to be informed ones, where I decided knowing how the rules of the world and all the skills available to me. If I die like that, I can learn from my mistakes and that to me is fun. Dying because i was not informed about the uses of flairs, or that crouching makes me shoot more accurate is not something I enjoy.