GWJ Strategy Club Game: Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children

Edit: Temporary thread title change.

jdzappa wrote:

Note: The GWJ Strategy Club will be playing Troubleshooter until December 31, 2022. If you want to play along with us and get credit, post in this thread!

If you're new to the club, please check out the main thread.

Ok this game has been talked about everywhere but I'd like to get it all in one place. Feels like more people are finally trying it and better to consolidate tips and discussion.

Here we go... starting with Aaron's intro in the Games without a thread thread, which sold me on it.

Aaron D. wrote:


Troubleshooter. It's anime-XCOM w/ FFT character building & VN storytelling.

And it's legit dreamy.

Another indie out of Korea that just went 1.0 a few weeks back, it's the team's first release. It's drawing influence from a number of places and it's pulled off with an infectious upstart, whipsmart confidence.

Mechanically it's lifted straight out of modern XCOM but with enough new spins & layers of depth that it feels familiar yet fresh. On the map there's overlapping layers of synergy, enough to make the mind reel. Buff & debuff possibilities can seem limitless (seriously, there's over 600 Mastery types that you can equip each character with).

Quick example. Fighting indoors and my partner says, "Hey, there's a fuse box over there. You should flip it since we're outnumbered here." So I do it and the room falls into darkness, giving everyone (including my team) a vision, movement & hit-chance debuff. Then he goes, "You got some flashbangs, right?" Well flashbangs daze everyone in the aoe. BUT...if those poor saps also have the darkness debuff, the combo of darkness & daze makes them start panicking and shooting both enemies & allies randomly. Bonus. BUUUT...only 3 of the 4 baddies proc'd panic debuff because when I triggered the flash...the last one had a Sunglasses modifier (Mastery) equipped. You know, just in case that 1 in a million situation arose. Guess it was his lucky day. (ed. It wasn't.) Bonkers.

And that's not even getting into the environmental synergies much like the Divinity: Original Sin mechanics. Yeah so you see someone standing in a pool of oil. Looks like a fireball should warm them up right nice. But here it's like a dozen layers deeper. What time of day is it outside? Is there a breeze in the air? How hot or cold is it? You can capitalize on all these factors and many more.


Combat in Troubleshooter is super melee-focused. There are guns. And there's magic projectiles. But it's equally balanced with crazy-cool h2h fighting disciplines. From the traditional martial arts style to the more wacky break dancing variety. (Hey, it's anime.) The combo of h2h + magic disciplines take the XCOM blueprint and make it feel incredibly invigorated in practice.

Story is really great so far. You play a newly-graduated Troubleshooter in the near future. You part of a civilian paramilitary group that works adjacent with more traditional police forces in the country. Your team have Judge Dread jury/executioner rights and a baller Persona-like fashion style. As someone else put it, "a civilian militia of superhero punk rock kids called Troubleshooters." I can already see the story tension rising as the Troubleshooters start clashing with the FedPD as the latter are sectioning off neighborhoods and whole cities due to escalating crime. Then there's that whole rising cult thing with these weirdos who worship spoons [sic].

Besides the wealth of writing & character development, out of combat you're also building your character's stat loadouts Final Fantasy Tactics style. Seriously, there's more tables, stats and combo possibilities than I've seen in a long time. They just went all in on the fine customization of character job systems. When you start feeding skills into other skills to make even bigger, better & more badass skills, you start to appreciate the madness that went into these systems.

Presentation is great. AA budget that's well realized. Combat maps have tons of environmental detail. Storytelling is a combo of 3D environmental shots (w/ quite creative cinematography, oddly enough) and VN type stills. Both done really well. Music is baller. Nice mix of big, dumb anime hair-metal and smooth jazz, intersperses with more serious notes. And THANKFULLY (seriously, this would have been a deal-breaker), no gross anime tropes. Everyone is tastefully dressed. Males & females are equally strong in character. Fresh.


When I started to recognize how special this production was the big takeaway for me was how fun it was to be experiencing an XCOM-adjacent gameplay loop that wasn't all grim & serious like the source material. The over-the-top flashy anime, both on and off the field. The interesting characters and heavy focus on story in between combat. The whole production just had so much energy & life behind it.

It's so crazy that we're in a season of riches with the recent launches of XCOM: Chimera Squad and Gears Tactics. Yet here comes this little $25 indie out of S. Korea that completely steals the show. Made by a team of 6 people it's gem that just epitomizes heart and verve. There's a bit of a cult following behind it, it'll probably go largely unnoticed all told. But for me I'm just glad I heard about it. It's most fun XCOM has been in years.

99% to hit success!

Praise from kazooka also. It's stylish like Persona, but not too difficult. Dyni and Robear interested too. Lots of people hooked from Aaron's praise.

Posts from 2020 peppered in that thread.

Then last August, Sundown chimed in:

Sundown wrote:

I’ve sunk about 25 hours into Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children, and I think is probably the best thread for dropping some thoughts. It’s basically Anime XCOM made by a new South Korean studio, and there are a whole lot of systems to tangle with. If you’re not familiar with it, I wrote about it in the What Did You Play This Weekend Thread here, and Aaron D did an outstanding write up earlier in this thread here.

It’s been 20 hours of game time since I wrote about it previously, but I think I finally have a handle on everything that’s going on. There’s a lot of systems. There’s different passive abilities that you can equip, plus limits on how many you can equip based on a pool of points and your class, and if you get 4 passives in a set they get buffed (like my main character now has guaranteed critical hits on counters, and I put him way out there where he can counter a whole lot of people who come in to melee range). I won’t dive into everything since it’s exhausting, but most of the systems at least seem to have a purpose. I still haven’t managed to craft any new equipment, though.

I will mention the accuracy rolls though, since those are really detailed. By this point, any time I attack, I can see what the accuracy and damage and critical modifiers are and what goes into them. And there are usually several pluses and minuses for accuracy, including the attack type, the enemy dodge stats, any accuracy modifiers you have, dodge modifiers they have, time of day, weather (fog and rain are bad), distance from the enemy, cover, and probably something else I’m not thinking of. Most games in this genre probably consider stat modifiers and cover, but not all games factor in weather and time of day, nor would they have passive abilities you can choose to help during those specific factors (like a Cat Eye passive that lets you see farther in the dark).

The other interesting thing is the story. Now, it’s not really good yet nor is it super compelling, but they’re trying to do something, at least. You’re playing as a sort of paramilitary peacekeepers who are thrust into a rough area in a city state, and there’s a lot of gang warfare and religious cultists and wild beasts around. Which is fine, most everyone is an enemy, and we fight people. But the game keeps changing perspectives; I’ve fought as the gangs or as the beasts a handful of times now against other factions, usually only flipping back over to the protagonists halfway through the ongoing battle to clean up. So for instance, I’ve played as an enemy gang fighting another gang, then in the same mission switched back to the protagonists, then and beat down the guys I had been playing as. They’re going for something here, but it isn’t quite clear what the end goal of this is yet, nor are they necessarily making me care about the different gangs just yet. There are lots of named characters with portraits are are floating around and are mysteriously talking about things that haven’t really been revealed, and I assume this will all get covered more later. But considering most TRPGs (and I think it’s as least as much a RPG as it is a tactics game) tend to have uninspiring stories, this at least has me intrigued.

There’s one other thing I have to call out. It’s the long missions. They’re not all long, but some have takes about 1.5-2 hours based on how large the maps are and how many enemies there are. Even in common missions, there are a bunch of level 1 and 2 enemies basically as cannon fodder, and so I usually sic the police support units we get on them just to save the bigger enemies for my team so they can get the better experience. But the support units could probably be removed and the enemy count reduced by about 40% in these maps with nothing lost. Not a bummer just yet since it’s only happened a couple of times, but it’s something I’m keeping an eye on. But on the positive side of the huge battles, there have been some really cool three way battles, and while watching all the NPCs spend their turns duking it out can be kind of tedious, it also does a good job of selling the chaos of the situation.

I guess the main thing I’m looking at for this game now is will the multitude of mechanics justify themselves at the end. Like, will all the the time spent tweaking passive abilities and classes be necessary to finish the game, or is it something that can be made to be absolutely gamebreaking if I play my cards right. Or maybe both! All that customization and complexity is kind of the calling card here, and so if it ends up being extraneous it’ll be disappointing. But I really like the promise that Troubleshooters is showing.

And then followed up with some more awesome stuff:

Sundown wrote:

I’m now around the 45 hour mark of Troubleshoooters: Abandoned Children and recently finished a chapter, so I think it’s a good time to put in a report.

So last time, my main question was ‘is the game going to justify the complexity it’s throwing at you with all the mechanics,’ to which I think the answer is a resounding yes. After my last post, I started running into tricky enemies, like those that cut the damage you did by half, or some with block greater than 100% meaning you could only do chip damage, or just huge robots with a ton of health and armor. And I imagine there are ways to just muddle your way through, but I started tweaking my passives to account for these, like doing bleed damage and guaranteed counter-counter attacks (oh yes, you can counter enemy counter attacks, and can even counter multiple enemies at once under highly specific circumstances) that do criticals, to do more burns and residual damage, or even start breaking through blocks to get around these new barriers.

I’m on normal, and I have lost a couple of missions and had to restart checkpoints by playing too sloppy. It demands you tweak your setups and play to your strengths, and it does so in a way that I think is actually a little rare in these sorts of games. And it makes you earn it, with the ridiculous number of enemies it throws at you. Missions are long, so unless you’re ready to have your healers run all over the place, you’d better take good advantage of what you have, else you risk getting ground down. Like having the protagonist set up to block as many attacks as possible, then putting him out in a choke point where he can draw enemies to him, critical-counter everything, and also hit anyone who tries to run past him without engaging. It’s one of the most effective and crucial ways to reduce the large volume of enemies without using your turns. It just takes smart placement, and maybe some smoke grenades. It does get him knocked out more than everyone else, though.

Also, there's no permadeath in this game. If a named character gets knocked out, their motivation takes a hit which impacts their stats somehow. It can be filled back up by buying a drink or a salad for pennies, so it's never been an issue in the least.

I’m also impressed by the variety of missions. There’s lot of wiping out the enemies, of course, but there’s some where you go in and knock out the leaders, some where you play escort, some where you evacuate some allies from a giant trainwreck of a fight (which was one of the more white knuckle scenarios), some where you play defense and protecting specific zones, some where you are preventing enemies from escaping, some where you fight your way to one side of the map and then back again in a time limit, etc. And frequently missions will change on a dime, as more enemies move in after you clear the map the first time.

For instance, I recently did a mission where we were supposed to fight some giant rabbits in a lake, and surrounded them from all sides to wipe them out; but then a bunch of poachers came in with some high defense robots from all the exits and now we were trapped in the middle trying to fight our way out of an enemy that was now surrounding us. I split up my team into 3 groups to try to fend off the four groups that were coming after me. I sent my sniper and a bunch of the supporting police units to clog up one of the points of attack, but that was where half of the enemies came crashing down on and my units were starting to get overwhelmed by superior enemy units. If they had broken through, the rest of my named characters would have had a hard time since they were already spread out and busy engaging their own foes. I was able to stall with the overwhelmed team by getting them behind the meager cover available and dropping a smoke grenade on myself and just dodge tanked my way through an onslaught until my sniper could drop back to where she wasn’t getting attacked. At that point, she started one shotting enemies, and finally I could make a dent in the overwhelming forces (she had a setup where if she was behind cover and attacked without moving, she would get her next turn fairly quickly). Really was a thrilling battle, and there have been a number of missions where scrambling and luck were both needed to get through.

And the story is fine. We’ve found out who the titular abandoned children are, and while their story will probably be important to the end of the game, it’s definitely the B-plot for now; the main thrust is our main character’s growth and struggles as a leader of his own Troubleshooter team. It’s fine, and the characters are charming enough.

I still really like this one.

After that some concern from Veloxi and me about saving. Yes, it auto-saves all the time during missions, after turns, so you can pick back up very quickly. Some missions might take over an hour so this is good for everyone.

Then from this year... more praise, abridged:

PWAlessi wrote:

Holy sh*t, it's awesome!
Very good if you like Xcom likes and systems. Lots of systems.

Sundown mentions he put 120 hours into it.

Difficulty apparently can be easy in the main story, but there are challenge missions to try.

Conference Call 799 has a few minutes on the game as well.

Then the XCom Like Games That Are NotStupid Hard thread has some talk too.

IUMogg recommends after just 10 hours.

Sundown reiterates it's not too difficult for story only.

Granath jumps in and says 70 hours and still going strong.

A few other mentions in the What are You Playing this Weekend thread. But I think that covers most of it.

From Steam, I found what appears to be a decent systems guide. Just seems like an intro for the stuff the game is going to throw at you as tutorial but you can reference. I've only hit the first 3 sections myself early on.

EDIT: Here's a much better Troubleshooter Encyclopedia

And now we're all up to speed...

I discovered the game because of Sundown’s GOTY write up

Sundown wrote:

1. Troubleshooters: Abandoned Children


If you’ve heard of this game, it’s probably that this is Anime XCOM. Which is sort of true, since it has the tactical grid, action points, and a cartoony style with some nice painted scenes reminiscent of a visual novel or something. But after you’ve dug into it (and I put more than 120 hours into it between the main campaign and the free DLC chapter), it becomes clear that what this actually is is one of the crunchiest Tactical RPGs around. And what’s extra impressive is that it was a first time effort by a tiny South Korean studio, who is constantly putting out bug fixes, UI improvements, content enhancements, and all sorts of updates. And despite the anime influence, there are no gross anime tropes to be found.

So to try to explain, there’s a ton of menus, and most are are about tweaking your characters in some form or fashion. The weapons and armor drop like loot, you can mix and match your attacks and abilities, choose certain character buffs, forge equipment, change each character to a couple of different classes, etc. But the real detail comes in the form of masteries. Basically just passive abilities, but you can equip a number of different masteries to each character across multiple categories, but with caps in place so you have to make some difficult choices. And there are hundreds of masteries that you can get or craft (which is it’s own huge system). This is the sort of game where you can spend a good 30 minute session reviewing your team, and optimizing everything without ever even sniffing the combat. And I did that more than once, since every few levels you open up new slots or your max cap increases and you earn or unlock new masteries, so the options are constantly increasing. Mid to late game, there are a lot of tradeoffs that have to be made as each character can get more and more powerful in specific directions.

But all those details and choices are just filler or busywork if it isn’t needed for something, and the tactical encounters shine. They throw a lot of enemies at you, and you had better be ready for them, by having useful builds, taking advantage of terrain, setting up overwatch or forestallment traps (basically a melee overwatch that hits anyone running by), use the items, etc. One of the more interesting things is that the enemies have access to the same masteries as you and will absolutely use them, and so they will do things to cut the damage they take in half, reduce your accuracy, buff their own stats, heal up, revive themselves after being knocked out, etc. And so your team and your tactics are frequently changing to account for the new threats that are being thrown at you.

One example is my main character, Albus, could cause a buffed version of bleeding, and does extra damage to enemies who are bleeding, reduces their ability to block, etc. So, I had him set up to hit anyone who comes close to him, often killing outright, but if not he causes them to bleed, so he gets his next turn he does huge damage and reduces their ability to block (later enemies have over 100% block, so you have to find a way around this). Or, he has a two-hit attack that can be used every 3 turns, so I would have him attack an enemy twice; the first hit gets blocked but does chip damage and causes bleed, and the second hit would get a ton of buffs and outright kill the enemy. This was invaluable against bosses or high-rank enemies that tend to have some really good damage reduction masteries, but was also next to useless against robots that don't bleed. Or take the case of my sniper, who has a mastery that gives automatic conceal if she attacks behind cover, and has a second mastery that reduces her turn clock when concealed, thus letting her take more turns than everyone else. Oh, and this game has a turn order that is impacted by speed, and you can and should absolutely be manipulating that turn order with interrupts and other tools at your disposal.

There are also a large variety of mission types; there’s defeat all the enemies, of course, but there’s objectives to defend locations, knock out leaders, escort allies out of battlezones, rescuing civilians, accomplishing objectives across a map on a time limit, escape missions, ones where you split your team and have them fight for "training," and probably a few more I’m not thinking about. And there have been some good reversal missions, where it started out as I was surrounding a group of enemies in the middle of a lake, but when I took them out, new enemies spawned in and were surrounding US, and now we had to figure out how to fight our way out with very little cover and constantly shifting fronts. Or the one time I walked into a sniper killzone, where like 5 snipers would all get free attacks against anyone who was targeted in their range. Or that rescue mission which was a three way fight between us and a couple of rival gangs, where it was all against all as we tried to extract some allied units against overwhelming numbers. I’ll also give the game credit: the challenge grows as the game goes along; you actually have to take full advantage of all the crazy builds you’ve been working on all game by the end to make it through a good number of the fights.

The story is fine. Abandoned Children is kind of a weird title, but it makes sense in context, and they are somewhat involved in the plot, but most of the story is just about our hero Albus as he grows his Troubleshooting company and grows as a leader. The story ends with a lot of loose ends out there, but an achievement popped saying I completed Season 1, and from the announcements they are/will be working on season 2. Not sure if it will be DLC add on, or a new standalone game. Either way, I’m there for it early. And the game gets constant support, and the dev team interacts on the steam forums pretty heavily (they respond to every steam review, for example). There seems to be a patch every couple of weeks even a couple of years after the game came out. Even as I was playing it, there was an improvement to the UI at home base (where there are a lot of menus), and extra dialogue subtitles were put in place for the ambient voice lines that take place during battles, where before there was just voice lines in Korean with no translation. Like I said, constant support.

I can’t finish this without mentioning the jank. It’s made by a small first time studio, and it needs some polish, even with the updates. The menus in particular are very complex, and navigating them takes time even with experience. The game has a ton of systems that aren't totally clear at first, and I used google quite a few times to clear up questions I had. And there are some systems (like the enthusiasm system) had basically no impact of the game, and could have been excised entirely. Some streamlining should be in order for the future seasons. And the translation is perfectly fine, but not professional; there are the occasional typos, grammar issues, etc. But these are all pretty ignorable at the end of the day.

It’s a highly ambitious game that absolutely goes for it by cramming a huge number of systems into one game, and pretty much nails it as far as I'm concerned. I came into this game excited since I like TRPGs, and even after dropping more than 100 hours into it, it still feels like I barely spent any time at all. And for that, I make it my Game of the Year.

Tagging the thread to see where it goes.

Video reviews - no one I usually follow but in case you want to see some random Youtuber's opinions.

Got through a few more missions and hired my first teammate last night and then did one more mission.

Albus went down for the first time but it was the first time I ran into an Epic enemy and I really underestimated him. Should have opened with AOE to clear the normal enemies and then could have focused him. And maybe should have waited for the cop allies to get closer and help. But that's how weak my strategy brain was working at 130am last night haha.

Counting the minutes until I can squeeze in another mission at lunch.

Tactics games like this aren't generally my jam, but i might be willing to support a new dev for a $15 sale price. Is there a difficulty slider or something, so I could play on "just let me finish the game without thinking too much" mode?

Anyone try this on the Steamdeck yet?

I bought it - and I have a Steamdeck but I can't tell you if it works until tonight.

And if you want to see other folks opinions

but littered in are just rants by twits - as with all forums I guess.

"Pretty sure Steamdeck will struggle with this game, this game needs a pretty hefty CPU because the engine used isn't very good. The Steamdeck's crappy Zen2 CPU is about on par with the Ryzen 3 3200G, which is a crap CPU. "

So it is clear from the opening statement that they haven't played it but they are sure it will suck because the Deck is crappy, everything is crappy,etc.


Yeah it has story, easy, normal, hard, cruel. And then some optional difficultly settings.

EvilDead wrote:

Anyone try this on the Steamdeck yet?

I bought it for the Steam Deck and it works great as far as I can tell, but I have low standards and impress easy. Haven't gotten very far in the game yet though.

farley3k wrote:

rants by twits - as with all forums I guess.


Wait, it has multiplayer?!?!

Nimcosi wrote:

Wait, it has multiplayer?!?!

No it's listed as single player on Steam?

It does have online mode. Similar to Persona 5 you can see the % of players that gave answers to dialog questions during the game. I'm not sure if there's anything else like leaderboards or friend stat comparisons? I've just seen the % stuff so far.

EDIT: See below. Apparently friend list trading opens up once you have access to shopping district.

Stele wrote:
Nimcosi wrote:

Wait, it has multiplayer?!?!

No it's listed as single player on Steam?

It does have online mode. Similar to Persona 5 you can see the % of players that gave answers to dialog questions during the game. I'm not sure if there's anything else like leaderboards or friend stat comparisons? I've just seen the % stuff so far.

I always play offline because I play on a laptop and if I close the lid, it loses connection and dumps out of the game.

Rezzy wrote:
EvilDead wrote:

Anyone try this on the Steamdeck yet?

I bought it for the Steam Deck and it works great as far as I can tell, but I have low standards and impress easy. Haven't gotten very far in the game yet though.

OK, thanks. Let us know if you run into any hiccups. I was mostly concerned about interface stuff.

EvilDead wrote:
Rezzy wrote:
EvilDead wrote:

Anyone try this on the Steamdeck yet?

I bought it for the Steam Deck and it works great as far as I can tell, but I have low standards and impress easy. Haven't gotten very far in the game yet though.

OK, thanks. Let us know if you run into any hiccups. I was mostly concerned about interface stuff.

There is a lot of small type in the game which is small even on a laptop screen. I can't imagine it on a Steamdeck.

PWAlessi wrote:

There is a lot of small type in the game which is small even on a laptop screen. I can't imagine it on a Steamdeck.

Thanks for the heads up. I'm keeping my eye out for strategy games that work well.

Got back to the prologue mission last night to finish from the flashback point. Some nice story beats there.

Did another mission and finished up chapter 1 I guess? Bookshelf opened up case files to replay old story missions for fun.

After 10 missions was able to add another jurisdiction. So that should be free money coming in every 5 missions. For this I kept the starting jurisdiction on the bonus that improved all other residences (same row) by 10%. So by the time I had the minimum 10 missions for one of the other residences it was also high enough status that I could add it.

Vendor finally showed up in the bar at some point 7 or 8 missions in so I got to sell off gear. Then there's another NPC that identifies gear. This reminds me of some loot games, except you can use the gear with some basic stats before identifying. But when you identify it, it gets extra stats. I had a green or blue jacket that I identified and it became a red 4 star piece of gear with the extra stats. So it seems like this is worth doing, as money permits.

I rented the warehouse room in the bar but so far nothing there. It hinted at crafting and I see Albus has crafting skills in his profile. I guess it will unlock at some story point.

I also completed 2 mastery sets on Albus already. They share a couple of masteries so that made it easy since I was only level 11 or 12 when I finished the second one. It gave me a hint that the last one was one I could craft. But I looked up a Steam guide to find exactly which one. Don't have time to randomly craft every possible researchable one.

I also have the mastery for bonus XP when a higher level ally gets XP equipped on both characters right now. It seems to work when you get those one mission team ups that are higher level than you. I definitely gained a couple levels while this gunner was mowing down enemies for me one mission. Can't recall the name right now.

Loving things so far. Still feels like training wheels in places but that's probably good with so many
systems. I'm definitely ready for the next thing though. Or at least a 3rd party member. Maybe I should focus on case/story missions and come back to the generic ones later.

FYI if anyone wants some motivation to start/finish a run... strategy game group is voting for Oct-Dec game right now, and Troubleshooter is on the list. Vote, and play!

Hmmmmm, this has been sitting on my wishlist for ages, and I've just been waiting for the right push to pick it up. Maybe it's time, that is a hell of a sales pitch at the top of the thread.

I've put a few hours in to this and I'm a bit overwhelmed by how many mechanics they're throwing at me. Hopefully it will come into focus a bit more as I proceed. I do like how they've taken the xcom model and smoothed away the most frustrating parts.

100% thought this was a misplaced thread about advice on what to do if you lose your kids.

Stele wrote:

Loving things so far. Still feels like training wheels in places but that's probably good with so many
systems. I'm definitely ready for the next thing though. Or at least a 3rd party member. Maybe I should focus on case/story missions and come back to the generic ones later.

Well that happened quick. After the next story mission got a quest suggestion from teammate again, and that mission got 3rd teammate.

And either right before or after that, crafting opened up in the warehouse. It looks like it might be useful at some point, but would have to break down a lot of materials first, that I've been selling. Hm. So far loot has been good enough that I don't feel pressure to buy or craft. But I've been very diligent about finding and opening boxes.

Then after another mission, the vendor in the bar introduced me to the shopping district. Now you can move there from the bar. It looks like it has every function that the bar has, for running missions, looking at databases, a crafting table out in the open. Probably don't actually need the bar warehouse if you just wait for this area. But rent was cheap anyway. Also looks like another storage area in the shopping district even, if you somehow collect too much junk.

And now, side quests have begun! There was a request to meet another troubleshooter that had trained with your apprentice company before. And he challenged me to a fight. Won that, and then it opened up 2 more sidequests from the vendors. The dialogue was funny, both missions are in that troubleshooter's districts, but apparently he's not doing his job much or even at all? So I get side quests to do during normal missions now. One looks like very good loot rewards for weapons. So going to try those next before continuing back on story.

And lastly, yes apparently there is some multiplayer! In that shopping district there were other players running around, and a friends list. If the help text can be believed, you can trade loot with other friends that have the game. So maybe this will be fun to have several people playing at once. Or maybe those of you (Aaron, sundown, IUMogg?) who have put in dozens of hours already can dump your trash loot to feed us low level new players haha.

So got specialized classes unlocked finally. From the Troubleshooter Encyclopedia, I see that it happens when your character level is 15 and class level is 10. So yeah, I hit 15 with Albus and #2 during the last mission. But I've had their starter class maxed at 16 for 3 or 4 missions, so I was wondering. Teammate #3 is still only 11 or 12, so a few more levels to go.

Should be nice to try out some new skills tonight.

Although I haven't changed much from the starter 3 skills for anyone yet. They have solid coverage with 1 melee, 1 ranged, 1 AoE attack. And even though some of the starting class skills look good, I hate to give up one of my options. Haven't looked at any build guides or anything yet, since there's not a ton of choice. Hopefully I'm not missing some great starting class build.

New class added an extra skill slot for the middle category. So got to try out some new skills last night. Unlocked mastery set on 3rd character finally.

Did a couple more side quests although one was for a drop and I didn't get the drop. But then back to story missions to try and get to next new character. Didn't quite make it last night, although had another cool guest character who I hope joins later.

Out of town for a few days so progress stopped for now. Will be thinking about the game all week though.

EvilDead wrote:
PWAlessi wrote:

There is a lot of small type in the game which is small even on a laptop screen. I can't imagine it on a Steamdeck.

Thanks for the heads up. I'm keeping my eye out for strategy games that work well.

It is pretty small. And obviously not built with a controller in mind. Menus are hard to navigate, selection is finicky. Still it is fun so I will see if I can stand the annoyances

*adding a bit after playing this weekend more*

It works much, much better on a TV with a controller paired with the Deck. It was very easy to control and the menus were easy to read.

Now it is just about the annoyance of the systems. I am really struggling to figure out the masteries - when I can equip them, how to learn them, etc.

Anyone know a good video about it?

I'm here with the Strategy Club nerds...
Anyway, jumped in and did the scenario this evening, so I could get a feel for the game. I like it so far. Natural feeling controls (mostly familiar from similar games) and I like the initial taste of the writing style.

I never would have self-selected this game. So it's extra fun to enjoy the intro mission as I have no expectations. This is a big part of what's appealing about the themed game clubs. Enjoying a game you wouldn't have given a glance otherwise.

Shawnosaurus wrote:

I'm here with the Strategy Club nerds...

Me too...

Downloaded; Installed; Played through the tutorial missions and got my office space.

Likes (so far):
- Plays a lot like X-Com
- skills look very comprehensive. I predict it'll be possible to tailor each character extensively. Like the "combo" concept.
- seems to have an extensive equipment list. Crafting capability later, maybe?

Dislikes (so far):
- very Anime. Music and voice acting, while well done, are already beginning to grate on me
- story exposition drags. I guess it's the console influence, but it would nice to have more than half-a-dozen words between clicks.

I'll keep digging in. Now that I've found more camera controls (raise and lower camera height is nice), I'll be able to be more tactical than I've been.