XCOM 2 Catch-All

Jonman wrote:
BlackSabre wrote:

Playing Phoenix Point makes me really appreciate Xcom even more. The beauty of this game, the way it just works and keeps dishing out those little pieces to keep you coming back... Amazing how no other game can really do it justice.

I'm playing Phoenix Point too - what is it about PP that's really making you appreciate XCOM?

Honestly it's the pacing. The progression. I find research in PP to be a bit underwhelming. I find an item from someone else and I have to reverse engineer it to get the ability to mass produce that item. That's fine. But actual research gives me... resources which I can get from missions in the world. Research doesn't feel unique and beneficial and in Xcom, research is king. It pushes you further and gives you that sense of progression.

But limited resources too. In Xcom you make those tough choices... do I research this item to give me better firepower but then will I have enough funds to buy the equipment upgrades too? You feel limited.

PP is good and I'm enjoying it. There are some great concepts. The circle aim thing is good and it gives you that extra control where you place your shots. But I'm getting Gauss rifles from the Blue tech guys, lasers from the purple people and stealthy things from the green people. Don't know, can't articulate this properly, but it doesn't feel quite right.

First, congratulations to Sorbicol! That's one beautiful sight right there.

Localgod54 wrote:
Sorbicol wrote:
Budo wrote:

Please, please don't nudge me into another 60 hour run through.

Welcome back, Commander.

I just read this aloud to myself and I'm thinking about finishing an old campaign myself.

Commander, one does not simply evac out of XCOM*.
At least, not permanently.

*Which brings us to: reinstalled on a whim late night while Phoenix Point, hopefully, bakes a bit more in post release.

At the moment, still sorting mods but I plan on going with at least "Pyrrhic Victories" + a LW2ish 'continental heat' mod (like the tin says, draw more attention if you don't regionally spread out your ops) + rabbid juiced up chryssalids as their own semi- faction ("The Hive" + "The Hive MORE" + no headshots vs lost lost w/ buffed lost (though may add molotovs with diff sound rules) + rulers progeny + more and earlier downed UFO raids + Reapers rebalance + nerfed repeaters + certain aliens can control/call in reinforcements + a number of other Long War 2-ish mods that are now ported to WotC as individual pieces.

Alien pod distribution and individual pod size bump vs force level 20 (hard ceiling?)is all up in the air though :/ I'm certain it will be a hot mess before tweaking to squad size [etc/other balance] and adding in mission variants.

In short, I suppose my working campaign theme would be to see how, necessarily, guerrilla one can push WotC even with late game super soldier power creep. I suspect this could be done if you retool [most all] missions to mechanically work as successes so long as you hit the primary objective even if you emergency EVAC without killing all the xeno witnesses. In fact, that's one tandem goal: make combat medics a necessity and get some sort of choose evac then count time-to-arrive. In a nutshell, more of the you will eventually be overrun elements.


As to Phoenix Point, I believe I'm of a similar mind as BlackSabre. I can't shake the feeling that "I wish Firaxis would boost elements A-B-C for XCOM3", because I believe they would execute on tricks A-B-C with more panache.

This is then followed by a hard to pinpoint circular melancholy. The latter, I suspect, stems from a sense that it would be bad form for Firaxis to pinch A-B-C from Phoenix Point (which admittedly has some nice gimmicks) because, well, they'd be showing Gollop up a second time with his own baby(?) This is where the snake sort of eats its tail because, again, I would REALLY have loved to see their take on A-B-C in XCOM 3, but if they do...

I think that's what they were going for with the timers - I'd assumed that once the timer ran out, the big guns just come crashing down and you got swamped. Basically, you're only ever dealing with garrison and emergency defenders, and that's the only chance you ever have of ever winning any encounter.

It could definitely be better communicated.

Beaglerush (BeagsAndJam on Twitch) is mostly done with his mod “Operators vs Aliens” - bigger pods, “class abilities” based on the equipped weapon not the character, abilities more front-loaded so rookies aren’t useless late-game, because you WILL lose soldiers. Interesting stuff.

Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:

Beaglerush (BeagsAndJam on Twitch) is mostly done with his mod “Operators vs Aliens” - bigger pods, “class abilities” based on the equipped weapon not the character, abilities more front-loaded so rookies aren’t useless late-game, because you WILL lose soldiers. Interesting stuff.

I watched some of this early in the campaign. Has it held up well? I liked his Long War videos in the old game, and his tribute videos to lost soldiers were fantastic back when he was really into it.

^ Speaking of actual Long War, Peter Ledbrook finally has a [project renewed] LW2 + WotC hybrid off the ground. It sits atop its own version of the Community Highlander, which isn't on the Workshop yet; as such, the mod itself is also absent there, but available via GitHub. Googled a bit after and it was stable enough that people are streaming.

Recreational Villain wrote:

^ Speaking of actual Long War, Peter Ledbrook finally has a [project renewed] LW2 + WotC hybrid off the ground. It sits atop its own version of the Community Highlander, which isn't on the Workshop yet; as such, the mod itself is also absent there, but available via GitHub. Googled a bit after and it was stable enough that people are streaming.

Oh, nice! I might have to check that out. It's ultra-niche, but I find it fascinating to watch, though it's too fiddly for me to ever play myself.

^ I tried the combined megamod for a bit, and liked it overall, but there are a small handful of items I don't gel with in the LW2 half (mostly the havens staffing tedium; always seemed to be a clearly optimal 'build' for most havens) -- hence my current plan to just grab a ton of mods that folks have ported for individual features of LW2. I do appreciate most of the smaller LW2 combat changes (including that you can't so easily grenade away cover without investing in the skills) and the hard push to need multiple, concurrent, teams in the field infiltrating/taking missions at the same time.

I will say this about the LW2 + WotC mod: they appear to have worked out the insanely loooong loading times that plagued original LW2. Anyways, am also grabbing a good 3/4 of the items that Mr. Odd has listed in his current XCOM play through -- for season, iirc, 5(?). I'm unsure if I want the MOCX Initiative on top of all the beefed up and extra alien variants though; it does look fun in his current run when past [seasons], flipped XCOM, allstars show up as enemies wearing ~ Advent-y armor. I wonder if anyone has done a mod for 'that' (?) -- for soldiers that the Chosen or sectoid abductors have abducted becoming flipped mini boss enemies.

I'll have to see if the guys that does the larger prison vs ~ jail break mod has something that integrates with MOCX. Speaking of, those missions are crazy if you mod in the red glowy fences to trigger alarms and are running something that sets ~yellow alert vs the base AI behavior to often just sit in the fog of war or ~ teleport around. Always annoyed me when you have a pod right next to the action that was just sitting on their backsides. Things get a lot more fun/tense when you are up against a wall with 3 pods rocking grenadiers, those duelist flankers, shield advent and beefed up priests as enemy medics. All loops back to my goal of changing timers to something more tangible that has the same practical end implication.

Lastly, I'm also VERY tempted by the ~ Musashi RPG (RPGO?) build your own soldiers mod in it's current state -- it finally seems fairly polished. Granted, I have NO idea how hard you'd have to make the enemies to legitimately balance out the power creep with that in play..

Had a really satisfying mission the other night where I managed to get a Sectopod to kill almost the entirety of my enemies - without hacking it.

It was a beast-heavy mission, one of those where you've got Berserkers and Faceless and a few stun lancers to cattle-prod them around. And one Sectopod. It was late game Commander level Ironman, so I was pretty well advanced, and since I had the Shadow Chamber I knew what I was going into, not that it mattered all that much. Mission was taking places in the tunnels, and I need to destroy a relay.

I triggered my first pod by mind-controlling a Berserker. I killed its two pod-mates, but no other pods activated. Next turn, I ran the berserker towards the relay, still not triggering anything with a move. I figured what the hell, and double-moved him to about five squares shy of the relay. This triggered everything. A couple of pods of faceless and stun lancers, and the Sectopod. The Sectopod moved up and took a shot, didn't kill him, and then initiated Wrath Cannon. Then all the beasties swarmed the berserker, and finally the last one took him down.

Small problem for Advent: ALL of them were standing in the area of the Wrath Cannon blast.

When it went off, it killed everything but one stun lancer, who had three pips left of health. He moved up, and my Psi Op used insanity on him - and mind controlled him. The Sectopod moved up and reaction fire from my squad took him out.

And the resulting explosion took out the stun lancer. Mission over. Flawless, in more ways than one.

^ I love it when that sort of chaos goes down in XCOM.

Although not a fraction as amusing, I was dealing with shenanigans of similar-ish nature last night. I'm close to mod lockdown for my pending run; as such, was running some prelim tests. The mission after gatecrasher: hunt down and kill the advent field commander. I have him beefed of as a general (or maybe something in-between past the normal field commander -- unsure how t1-t3 works on the particular mod yet), there are modded lost brutes that explode into poison and a few AI modded sectoids (vanilla variants this early in the game, no commanders or abductors yet), and added advent medics.

Anyways, running with 'fair' lost (target bias is ~ 50/50), have the lost headshot mechanic disabled and have altered their spawn mechanic distance a bit. Also have it set where if the lost kill anything it comes back as a zombie, some AI modding, also where higher rank advent can call in continual reinforcements while they live.

Talk about a cluster.. The general is running around with a tweaked bias to cover and just keeps calling in reinforcements every few turns as he can, the altered sectoids are constantly trying to hold back the tide with mind control and re psi zombie tactics. There are lostified troopers, sectoid psi revived troopers, living troopers, normal lost, lost raised by the sectoids -- as best I could tell by the animation. One of my soldiers (the most stylishly attired one of my crew) had been zombified by the lost and was lurching around at some point in a red leather jacket (the lolz there). I'm tossing the few molotovs I have and things are downright rowdy with the beefed up panic mechanics and changes to where advent can 'quick hunker' to out fire.

It was a glorious mess for the first, post gatecrasher, mission. I can't imagine what it would be like later on with modded up sniper shieldbearers and priests in the midsts of the lost chaos. Or better yet, when the Hive More (independent chryssalid ) + another mod that changes what sort of chryssalid you get depending on what the baby chryss pops out of.

The exit, however, was anti climatic with "Pyrrhic Victories*" installed. I figure the final low level touch will be some tweaking to 'no evac if enemies in the evac square' AND/OR a minimum arrival time for all called evacs.

* This mod, in general, just makes it feel right. Killed the field commander but then scooted the heck out of Dodge City. No Bradford, I will not kill everything here just so there are no witnesses. Advent has their hands full and the no witnesses part shouldn't be a problem.

Argh, first: apologies to anyone that waded through the above -- got sidelined when I was going to make an 'edit / trim' pass.

For those interested on my last balancing conundrum: "[WOTC] Request Evac" ( 1823265096\Config) has an ini (XComRequestEvac.ini) that can be tweaked for this as follows:

You're probably running 'yellow alert' status mods already too, else unrevealed pods are lazy, imho.

---default params---

; PlaceEvac=false ; Instead of a random location you will be able to place the evac.
(directly above is the whole point, so you don't want to touch/unremit this one)

; Evac Location
DistanceFromXComSquad = 20 ; (20 means the range is 0 to 20)
EvacInLOS = false ; Force the evac to spawn in LOS of your squad.
AlwaysOrientAlongLOP = false ; If true, will always strongly orient evac location towards the line of play
(I'd leave this one, else there's a higher tendency that the evac zone will drop right near the hot zone of your objective -- the general aim of running this is guerrilla warfare and managed fallback when sh*t comes out of the woodwork after you've kicked the anthill; naturally, if you want to kill waves of enemies you can still do so)

TurnsBeforeEvac=2 ; Turns needed for Firebrand to find an evac location. Set RandomizeEvacTurns to False if you want this value to be used.
RandomizeEvacTurns=true ; If true Firebrand will pick a random value between MinimumTurnBeforeEvac and MaximumTurnsBeforeEvac to find a spot.

TurnsBeforeEvacExpires=3 ; Firebrand can only maintain position for that much time.

later edit note: this contemplates one is using something like "Pyrrhic Victories" and modded in extra difficulty so that completing the main objective mechanically counts missions as a success. Note that Pyrrhic Victories DOES NOT remove the 'now kill all enemies' objective on such maps; as such, you still have that option if you want -- or assuming you can indefinitely survive. The choice is yours, commander.

I'm approaching end game on my current run. Just about to start taking down Chosen and the last couple of golden path missions.

For the next one I think I want to change eitehr soldier class stuff or enemey stuuff but not both.

Which are the standout mods for a fun/challenging Commander level game?

I swear every time I see this thread I get the strongest urge to replay Xcom again

@ Bruce
Soldier classes often require beefing up the challenge to balance out (just imho), but in keeping with your question see below. I believe that most of this should be compatible with the current WoTC version and these are mostly 4 and 5-star tier/widely agreed on community picks.

class stuff:
[WOTC] Proficiency Class Pack
[WOTC] LW2 Classes and Perks
[WOTC] Mechatronic Warfare: Total SPARK Overhaul
Musashis RPG Overhaul ((yes, WoTC))
(specific 'RPGO' [sic] plugins -- most mod authors plugins for RPGO are absurd though)

[WoTC] Purge Priests
Chryssalid Mutations ((yes, WoTC))
[WOTC] The Hive More
[WOTC] The Hive
[WOTC] Children Of The King
[WOTC] Sectoid Abductor
[WOTC] Alien Elite Pack
[WOTC] Advent General Revamp
[WOTC] Advent Purifier Revamp
[WOTC] Even More Robots
[WOTC] Sectoid Abductor
[WoTC] Pathfinder Hunter Standalone
[WoTC] Pathfinder Standalone -- real bastards if your game is setup for them to start showing up early -- 2 armor pips in my game and high mobility/flank AI
[WOTC] Adv Priest Revamped
[WOTC] Advent Sniper (not as sure on how current this is right now)
[WOTC] Advent Medic (was a 5'r at one point into WoTC cycle but may be buggy right now..)
[WoTC] Standalone Exalted Custodians
[WOTC] Even More Robots
[WOTC] Berserker Omega
[WOTC] Berserker Revamped OR [WOTC] EU Berserker
ADVENT Avenger Unit WOTC (def ~ 4 star vs a 5'r but used to be amusing late game)

other misc if I was going to cut my go-to list of the top 100 down:
A Better AI: WotC (there are a few other current, solid AI alternatives)
A Better AI: Chosen Tweaks
[WOTC] Yellow Alert Gameplay
and maybe [WOTC] Larger Enemy Pods OR Diverse Alien Pods WOTC
WotC: robojumper's Squad Select (5 stars and ~ 1,447 ratings)

One of my favorite 'simple' mods:
[WotC] Peek From Concealment AND [WotC] Peek From Concealment UI fix -- though other mods can break the UI fix -- I always have one Sam Fischer pistol + silencer guy/gal on my roster (re purposed reaper mechanic + repeaters to silencers; just for the lolz, more than one gets OP for hiding in high cover and popping low level troopers from stealth when they walk by at near point blank range)

depending on what else you have from above:
[WotC] Gotcha Again
[WOTC] Force Level Display
WOTC - Extended Information!
Tactical Armory UI
[WOTC] New Target Icons
[WOTC] Cost-Based Ability Colors
WOTC Nice Mission Debriefing
WOTC - Extended Information!
[WOTC] Accurate Covering Fire
[WOTC] Iridar's Underbarrel Attachments

special consideration:
XCOM2 alternative mod launcher [for WoTC version] currently v 1.3.2 -- so much easier to manage mods than from the game's vanilla launcher

aside/ps: I'm still trying to balance out my ~ 400 current list for difficulty but right now RPGO using open weapons + primary secondaries + ballistic shields (with nerfs to ini file) + long war 2 weapons + lw2 primary secondaries (and misc kit) is just insane fun if you are using second wave with a weighted not created equally for soldiers based around a point pool.

I can't recommend my directly above though until one has mucked with mods a bit. It's insanely fun ocne modded for pain to the point of super soldiers being in danger too.

ps(2) special shout out to Kexx for his outstanding work with his male and female hair packs. Some of them are a bit anime for my tastes, but there are a ton of choices so still plenty of gems for my prefs.

ps(3) if you mod up, for all that is holy, purge your config folder and let WoTC rebuild it before you start a new campaign

modders that turn out excellent product (and account for a bulk of the quality mods kicking around if you check the Workshop): RealityMachina, Musashi, Iridar, MrShadowCX, Kexx, Fudgekownsall, Claus, robojumper-14, shiremct, RedDobe, Favid, the Creative Xenos Team guys... [others I'm forgetting; point to convey: any mod for XCOM2, with any of these names attached, is at least worth a stop-n-read]

Thanks for the shout out!

Thanks so much

And I am definitely on the process of cleaning out the mods directory then loading up.

Robojumper’s squad selection mod is Damn near essential no matter how much you mod your game.

And all of Kexx’s mods too. They’re just awesome!

^ Indeed-y. Kexx's work is amazing!
The danger of modding: approaching 300 (active lock-in) mods playing nice with each other and THEN you find the flux capacitor you should have built around from the start...

"Covert Infiltration". Currently in late-ish beta on GitHub, much like the LW2 + WoTC mashup.

CI gives you access to the Resistance Ring's UI (minus resistance orders; still need to build the RR for that) right from the start; well, technically after gatecrasher.

The extended UI can be invoked/managed directly on the geoscape with ease (requires [WOTC] Open Squad Select At any Time, iirc). The twist? Most all missions pop up as multi mission 'chains' within the RR's geoscape UI.

You guessed it, much like LW2 (but without as much tedium in other areas) you can simultaneously field multiple teams and conduct actual, playable, missions that pop into an RR style pool to choose from. Note that the traditional RR 'hands off' style rewards missions are also/still in the mix. Better upgrade those barracks and keep a wide roster!

This is a touch out of date, and the devs sort of fell off with dev diaries past #3 (iirc), but here's an idea of what's going on with the mod overall and the idea of mission chains: Covert Infiltration Dev Diary 2 Note that there is a link back to dev diary #1 in like the first few sentences.

Nothing says oh sh*t like having a handful of ops teams simultaneously in the field, while also having a few guys out for traditional RR 'reward' /training missions, when advent strikes your first haven ;-P Well hello all-rookie squad vs souped up advent priests and buffed up riot mecs. Oh, and damn pathfinders (per previous mod list post)... I hate those guys when you don't have reliable armor shred yet. Amazing what a mere 2 armor pips on an enemy feels like early game when same enemy is also a flankenstein.

BlackSabre wrote:

I swear every time I see this thread I get the strongest urge to replay Xcom again

Me too - assuming I'm not actively playing a campaign at the time.

This game could not be more firmly ensonced in my wheelhouse.

So...any predictions for the future of XCOM2? Any other DLC, or do you think they go to 3?

[thinking along the lines of Bruce's comment] Hah, I thought I was ramping down but your last sentence I sort of embrace as a gaming reality [for myself and hard drive space] now.

'RPGO' aka classless build-a-soldier (though some high end class abilities are gated or mutually exclusive) gets panned by some segments of the community, because you can build some insanely OP combinations, but the mod friendly nature of XCOM2 WoTC + the Community Highlander let's me balance the difficulty against that in a myriad of ways.

Grappling gauntlet sniper/ripjacker? Pistoleer or dual pistol wielding covert OPs guy with silencers that blows stuff up with C4? Sawed-off shotgun & riot shield medic using beefed up smoke grenades? Primary sword wielder with a sidearm for return fire running around in a yakuza suit? Highly mobile, low profile, every vigilant ,primary autopistol soldier running around with all the stacking covering fire skills you can stack?

XCOM is as nearly as much an RPG for me now as it is a squad tactics game.

Budo wrote:

So...any predictions for the future of XCOM2? Any other DLC, or do you think they go to 3?

I would say they're working on 3. Hopefully we get it this year.

NDA's must not be broken.

Budo wrote:

So...any predictions for the future of XCOM2? Any other DLC, or do you think they go to 3?

they are working on 3 I believe. Some twitter chat from Jake Solomon last year more or less confirmed that's what they were doing at any rate.

@Budo's post: I'd love to see the devs take on a more LW2 experience but not as long and without some of the tedious bits, more parcels for map diversity, more stuff with allied factions, some smaller independent faction action in the mix, and (this would be gravy, but unlikely) a balanced take on a classless system.

RedDobe's [WOTC] Yellow Alert Gameplay V2.0 (BETA) has dropped in. I'm a big fan of his prior version. For a condensed description..

His old yellow alert simplified: upon being alerted enemy pods will [mostly just] run towards the alert of XCOM's last location as opposed to mostly sitting around waiting to be activated.

Now, in V2: most (well--usually, relative to distance, as some far away pods may still be in green alert) : yellow alertpods will still go into yellow alert but pull a 'pod job' per below. (wholesale paste for this section)

Guard - Move to the objective but once you reach it, find a new job.

Defend - Move and patrol a small area around the objective. This job is indefinite.

Intercept Xcom - Move toward Xcom's last known position. The last known position is updated each time someone from the alien team sees Xcom or when important alerts are known by the alien team. All pods on the alien team are aware of this location.

Flank - sets up a 3 phase flank move in an attempt to flank Xcom's last known position.

Block Xcom - Block Xcom's path to the objective by moving in between their last known position and the objective. Once they reach this location they will be assigned a new job.

Scout - This jobs only gets assigned once a pod has investigated Xcom's last known position via the intercept or flank jobs and Xcom is not there anymore. The pod will then attempt to scout the area until Xcom is spotted again.

Defend Evac Zone - This job kicks in if the alien team has spotted Xcom's evac zone and only after the objective has been completed. They will send a pod to permanently patrol a small area around the evac zone so Xcom can't escape.

other triggers:
Detected New Corpse
Detected Ally Taking Damage
Detected Sound
Alerted By Yell (Caused by Civilians)
Sees Explosion - actually works by hearing explosion
Sees Alerted Allies

..there's also a bunch of stuff with 'reflex actions' for their first engagement turn and rules for rapid reinforcements. Most of this states it can be tweaked via INI; as example, I've disabled some of the reinforcement options of YAG v2 as I prefer [a separate mod] give high ranking enemies the ability to call in reinforcements if they are the last enemy standing from a pod. Gives a good reason to mark specific enemies as, even more of, a priority target.

NOTE: intended to work alongside other mods like Dynamic Encounter Zones.

Do the Alien Rulers show up in the last mission the same way the Chosen do?

I am in the final throes of the current game and I am yet to lay eyes on the Viper King, despite taking down numerous facilities. I'm a bit worried I will have to deal with him on the way out.

*Nevermind. Found him. And regicided him

Bruce wrote:

Do the Alien Rulers show up in the last mission the same way the Chosen do?

I am in the final throes of the current game and I am yet to lay eyes on the Viper King, despite taking down numerous facilities. I'm a bit worried I will have to deal with him on the way out.

*Nevermind. Found him. And regicided him :)

This is irrelevant now, but in my last playthrough I'm almost certain I never encountered the Viper King.

He did not appear in the final mission.

And speaking of dead rulers:

Are there armor combos I haven't thought of that others recommend?

I like having Icarus armor on the sniper. Instantly setting up a nest anywhere on the map is super powerful.

I like a ranger in Rage armor. It's like a free run-n-gun with an attack included.

Serpent suit I would give to anyone other than a grenadier. Am I missing a synergy here?

Are there other combos you have had success with?

Wraith suit on a Reaper so you can phase through walls.

Somehow started falling down the Warhammer 40k tabletop rabbit hole recently which lead to me installing XCOM 2 & WotC to get my turn-based tactics fix...

And I'm so glad I did! Playing on PS4 which means some unattractive load times but it's giving me what I want.

I ran into my first Chosen last night. I have to hand it to the character designers... they sure created villains that have very punchable faces & personalities.