SallyNasty's Game Club — XCOM 2 (Mar. 2019)

billt721 wrote:
ThatGuy42 wrote:

Oh. My. Goodness. Spoilers for story mission and WOTC difference.

Spoiler:

So I have never before played the mission with the SPARK recovery. The story there with Lily and her dad, and the rogue AI, JULIAN, is actually amazing. I guess this is one of those things that got dropped in WOTC?
Because this is the first time I've played through it, and I absolutely loved it.

RE: Your spoiler -- that's part of the Shen's Last Gift DLC. In ~150 hours with the game (about 100 of them since all the DLC came out), I've never built a SPARK unit. Anyone have a strong opinion on them in either direction?

Some general tips for people just getting started:

Spoiler:
  • Until you start to promote rookies, make heavy use of your grenades. A guaranteed 3 damage is way better than a 50% shot.
  • Things like flashbangs and mimic beacons are lifesavers up until the late game, at which point you're better off just not letting the aliens get a shot off.
  • Once you've got the skulljack and skullmining researched, give one to any specialist you take it. It provides a hacking bonus.
  • Speaking of, always try to hack mission objectives with specialists, since those also often give permanent hacking bonuses.
  • While the gunslinger tree on the sharpshooter might seem weak, don't sleep on some of those skills. Late-game pistols are very powerful and getting a free shot with one (or taking a pistol shot at 5+ aliens) can really turn a battle. And, thanks to the WOTC training center room, you can now go down the sniper tree but still pick up a few handy skills from the gunslinger tree.
  • The same really applies to all classes -- there's are really good skills in all the trees, and I usually end up with my soldiers having most of one tree + a few select skills out of the other.
  • Don't neglect Psi soldiers. You can train them up entirely without sending them out on missions and then once you do they're ridiculously powerful as both offensive and defensive units.

The SPARKS were upgraded significantly in base WOTC to be much more worthwhile. You can now upgrade their weapons which helps with their low hit.

One of their biggest advantages is that they don’t suffer from fatigue so you can keep throwing in to combat.

Also, there are plenty of mods that improve them quite a bit. I use “Metal over Flesh Redux.”

ThatGuy42 wrote:

Oh. My. Goodness. Spoilers for story mission and WOTC difference.

Spoiler:

So I have never before played the mission with the SPARK recovery. The story there with Lily and her dad, and the rogue AI, JULIAN, is actually amazing. I guess this is one of those things that got dropped in WOTC?
Because this is the first time I've played through it, and I absolutely loved it.

Also, that mission is great for leveling up weaker soldiers once you get bluescreens and EMP rounds. Plus the final boss gives a bunch of ability points.

La la la... first time player here. An boy.. do I stink at this game.

Why do some missions sound like garagebands from the 80s.

Just finished blood soaked tears mission. lo and behold, all my crew survived... just.

Three seriously injured and out for fortnights. The one who survived is emotionall so scarred that I don't know I should offer him as fodder next mission or pedigree into some mean machine.

Off to mission 3, the rescue of a researcher..

As usual with this game, i make the decision to "pop in and just play one mission" and then next thing I know is it's three hours later. 'Flow' is a dangerous weapon in the wrong (right?) hands

Anyway, campaign is ramping up, I'm through most of the "tutorial" stuff (up to the introduction of the avatar project). No fatalities so far, but i'm not playing on a particularly high difficulty level.

Besides Cyberpunk, XCOM 3 may be the only game I’ll buy and play right after release without hesitation (unless Arkane has something up their sleeve) This thread, plus the earlier free DLC, may be just the excuse I need to do another play through. Ugh. Should be working on the pile though.

argh! I spoke too soon!

Regrettably, Tanglebones has the dubious pleasure of being my first casualty of the campaign. Shot in the back whilst evacuating after a successful rescue mission. My His foolish decision to zig when he should have zagged will be a learning experience for the rest of us!

Lost 2 members in the first mission. Hardly knew them so I forgot their names.

After that I realised the strength of grenades and now I am kind of juggernauting my way through mission blasting everything to smithereens that's in my way. It is handy to know that you WILL hit and you WILL hit three points with a grenade. Sectoids face a certain death if two of my men are in.

So far, so Good.

Localized some resistances, have money flowing so now it's time to look at the missions..

Lost another two members, one random nobody, the other was Brennil! (woops! sorry!)

However, I did survive a UFO ambush, retreat the AVATAR project a few blocks AND my "main" character (I always make myself a favourite character with all customised stuff and who get's all the best loot first) managed to locate and take out The Assassin with a single shotgun blast.

Which was a-mazing! (It has a mod that gives it a 5% chance to insta-kill a target, and it just happened to trigger at that moment).

Other than that, the resistance continues...just managed to unlock an early Psy-lab thanks to one of those "inspiration" moments in the research lab but it's way out of my price/power range at the moment. And the last thing I did before switching off for the night was FINALLY to get some upgraded armour researched.

Ha! I do recognize the main character-personification. I am not far in the game, but somehow I already got attached to April, a soldier who knows how to handle a blade and cuts sectoid and snakes like a knife goes through butter... April gets all the spoils, and somehow the rest is kind of precious cannon fodder.

Ok.. first average mission and I am getting TOTALLY destroyed.

Thought of loading up the last autosave, but the punters keep missing their targets and April is on sick leave. Loaded up again, missing again, ad infinitum ad nauseum.
Loading up the last autosave, moving the punters in different positions with different chances, they keep missing...

Can anybody please shed some light on how the pre-seeding of this game works? if it is calculated before landing that I have to shoot target X-times before I hit, no matter the tactics I use... I'm out.

It depends on the version of the game and whether you have certain mods and/or in-game options enabled.

There was a big discussion about this when the game released that actually involved one of the game's developers, and if I remember correctly, taking the same action at the same time in the same way will always have the same result (to prevent save scumming), but varying your tactics and when you do things in your turn will change the results.

However, the game uses straight-up probability rolls on chance to hit, so lots of players fall into the gambler's fallacy with it. An 80% chance to hit doesn't mean that four out of five shots will connect. There's no pity mechanic to guarantee you a hit eventually. There are other popular strategy games that do do that (like Civilization) but XCOM isn't one of them.

*on Commander+ difficulty. I think there are some hidden bonuses on consecutive failures to hit in Veteran and below.

one step forward (developed some actual armour for my troops finally!) and two steps back (two more dead at the hands of a failed covert op extraction gone wrong, and one kidnapped by one of the Chosen during a landed UFO raid).

ClockworkHouse wrote:

There was a big discussion about this when the game released that actually involved one of the game's developers, and if I remember correctly, taking the same action at the same time in the same way will always have the same result (to prevent save scumming), but varying your tactics and when you do things in your turn will change the results.

However, the game uses straight-up probability rolls on chance to hit, so lots of players fall into the gambler's fallacy with it. An 80% chance to hit doesn't mean that four out of five shots will connect. There's no pity mechanic to guarantee you a hit eventually. There are other popular strategy games that do do that (like Civilization) but XCOM isn't one of them.

Our very own Tykl released a mod for vanilla that re-rolled the RNG. I believe that feature is now baked into WOTC.

DC Malleus wrote:

*on Commander+ difficulty. I think there are some hidden bonuses on consecutive failures to hit in Veteran and below.

Yup -- there IS a pity mechanic where they increase your chance to hit (but I don't believe they show you the increased chance) if you've missed X shots in a row. You can probably find specifics somewhere online. Honestly, though, if you're missing enough shots in a row to get the boost, those were probably not shots you should have taken anyways.

The difficulty curve is such that it's tough-but-manageable in the beginning, gets really hard in the mid-game, and then you eventually end up so far above the power curve that end-game missions will result in the aliens never even getting a shot off.

I'd say if you're losing a lot of guys in the early missions (deaths -- not just injuries), you're probably going to have trouble with the mid-game, but if you can make it through the first few months reasonably intact, you'll be fine. If you ARE losing a bunch of guys in the early game, take a look at what kind of cover you're putting your guys behind. There's a pretty big difference between half and full cover.

Thanks all,

I'm aware of that fact that it is me if I can't get through. But I have some curve getting the ropes.

I'm a newbie, though I played XCOM, this one feels more brutal.

Negative modifiers that I am coping with is

-Gamer with job. I just can't focus as everyday is I would like too
-Old fart. Even with chess I keep on loosing ratings
-Drunk gaming. Without a beer or wine, there's not fun in gaming.. is there?
-No great tactical insights / game mechanics

Above that I had rush-missions till now. This mission has unlimited turns. Happy grenade-blasting and trotting along in the open seems a bit dumb, specially since there seem to be far more enemies than grenades in stock.

Will load this mission from the start.

New campaign for GameClub - Legendary difficulty - The Legacy Pack installed, Lost and Abandoned Enabled; DLC *not* integrated - Turn Timer enabled (I hate mid / late game timed missions), mods enabled (Metal over Flesh, Skirmisher fix / balance, Tier 3 grenade launcher, "Gifted" class, and so, so many cosmetic mods.)

Gatecrasher report:

Squaddies performed admirably in unfavorable terrain. Squad started on a rooftop surrounded on all sides with a wide stretch of open areas and poor cover with elevated terrain past the open area.

The mission started strong by an enemy pod consisting of a sectoid and trooper moving into a defilade position while the squad was still concealed. The sectoid was destroyed by a hail of gunfire and the trooper was eliminated on the following turn when he foolishly decided to run past multiple overwatch positions. The troops then shifted to the lower ground in order to advance on the objective.

The second pod activated quickly after the squad's initial move and consisted of three troopers. A grenade was able to remove all their cover but not damage more than one of them so cover was destroyed. Two of the three were quickly killed. Unfortunately, the 3rd was only wounded and retreated to the final pod.

The final pod was a brutal set of an officer, two fresh troopers, and the wounded trooper. The pod was set around the ADVENT monument and their positioning effectively forced me to split the squad in order to gain ground for flanks. This is a high risk tactic in the early game, especially when you do not have numerical superiority.

All but one of my squaddies was in high cover. Regardless, I knew I was going to take some bad hits and that the trooper in low cover was likely to be killed. Oddly enough, ADVENT largely ignored my squaddie in low cover and focused fire on one of my high squaddies, wounding her. I was able to flank and kill one full health trooper and the wounded trooper.

Next turn saw my wounded squaddie survive a shot and my half cover troop get wounded but I was able to improve positioning for a final end run. Trooper died on the next turn and officer on the following.

All in all the squad did well but Sq. Zenke and Sq. Zachny were particular stand outs. They killed multiple troopers and were untouched. Zenke promoted to a ranger and Zachny to a sharpshooter.

Strategic Layer:

Rolls were poor. I got Shawn Andrich as a scientist for the initial scan and supplies for the next. I would have preferred engineers or rookies but oh well. I started construction on the GTS before the first Dark Event mission pops.

Mission 2:
Reward is Amanda Knowelton as an engineer and it's an ADVENT general assassination mission in the sewers. I take Zenke, Zachny, Jeff Cannata, and Tykl. Cannata and Tykl are real stand out rookies. They don't miss any shots and rack up a respectable kill count. Zachny is my heavy damage dealer against the General, officers, and sectoids and Zenke is the finisher. We mostly accomplished the mission by carefully bounding in pairs and using grenades to demolish cover.

Real man never read the manual, let alone all the spoilers on the Internet.

So...

wot! Time limit mod...

4 extra turns seems just what I need.

restart!

First of the Chosen is down! (meant to update last night but i was too tired).

A rough fight. No losses but everyone is going to be in the medbay for quite some time :D. I've got a mod installed that randomised the loot you get from them, so i'm not 100% sure exactly what the research reward will be, but it was well earned by the team!

Man, I love this game.

The shivers down my spine when this giant blob of flesh grows out of some human, towering and hulking towards my soldiers.

The brutal house of cards you built. Loose one soldier, and it all crashes down...

The fact that I stink at this game probably adds some extra fun. All the wrong turns I take gives me a thorough and meaninfull look at how this game is developed and meant to be. Wonder if all these tactical geniuses see that part of the game

From best mission to worst mission - because my A team are all recovering, I had to send a B team out to deal with a retaliation mission...what a disaster. Four team members dead, one captured (Mox...again) and one managed to retreat in time.

Technically i'm not playing Iron Man mode so I COULD reload the save and try again, but i'm actively trying to resist doing that if I can help it, so i guess I need a new B team!

Yeah, I'm in a similiar place on my run, but I didn't lose the entire B squad. Just 2 members killed, and the rest wounded. I'm playing the vanilla campaign, so there's no "tiredness" but the wounds just take forever to heal. I'm looking at a full month of healing before my A and B squads are up to snuff again. And, I have no money to grab some extra rookies. This means that I'll be scanning to advance time, and hoping that nothing pops up that I have to do. I would literally have no troops to send into battle right now if a raid or retaliation strike were to pop.

pyxistyx wrote:

From best mission to worst mission - because my A team are all recovering, I had to send a B team out to deal with a retaliation mission...what a disaster. Four team members dead, one captured (Mox...again) and one managed to retreat in time.

Technically i'm not playing Iron Man mode so I COULD reload the save and try again, but i'm actively trying to resist doing that if I can help it, so i guess I need a new B team!

That Mox... always gettin’ captured.

i'm thinking of getting him chipped at this point.

I appreciate that when half my units end up dead and the other half are gravely injured that the game has pity on me and rates my performance as "fair".

So I had to research skulljacking to be able to do a mission to be able to frustrate the ADVENT timer. But first I had to built communications to be able to contact the resistance to be able to skulljack to be able to do a mission to be able to frustrate the ADVENT timer.

I reckon'd I might as well fill this time up with some grenade experiment of 5 days.
Click! Consider it done.
Wot? It is still there?
Click!
Still... there?
Click?
FFS!
Clickerdeclickclick

lo and behold!

Engineering is pouring out new types of grenades for two months, while ADVENT is slowly taken over the complete world...

Wow, WotC really makes this a different(and better!) game.

I am still baffled by the thin line between getting completely destroyed or having an excellent result. I having loads of the first one and need big reloads, while I am playing one notch above easy. If I was the resistance, I would have let me in cryostasis as commander. Me with my skullplug helping the enemies would surely be benificial for the resistance!

SallyNasty wrote:

Wow, WotC really makes this a different(and better!) game.

In what way? I admit I'm a bit underwhelmed by what I played last night.