Amazon has whacked our affiliate account. Hosting Donations/Commitments $2063 of $1920 (Sept 13/18). In Hand $1466 (Lump sum payments minus paypal graft). Paypal Donation Link Here

X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

If it's a video game it goes here.

Moderators: LawBeefaroni, Arcanis, $iljanus

Post Reply
User avatar
Sepiche
Posts: 7892
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: Olathe, KS
Sepiche’s avatar
Online

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Sepiche » Tue May 07, 2019 11:49 am

Blackhawk wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:42 am
See, somehow I'm missing how you can attack them before they even have a chance to respond. Normally, as soon as I have the chance to try and shoot the enemy, they jump to a cutscene and run to cover. Apparently I'm doing that wrong. I'll look into the videos.
Any troops that are concealed won't be seen by enemies until you get within a few tiles. That lets you spot them, get in position, and attack them before they can see you. There are also a lot of fun tricks you can do with rangers who can re-conceal themselves after being spotted with the right skill... they make excellent spotters for snipers among other things.

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Tue May 07, 2019 12:00 pm

Alert range, yeah, but as soon as I fire my first shot they usually all run for cover. Maybe I'm just attacking too late in my turn.

In I go. Any quick tips about priority research/building?
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Tue May 07, 2019 12:04 pm

Sepiche wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:49 am
Blackhawk wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:42 am
See, somehow I'm missing how you can attack them before they even have a chance to respond. Normally, as soon as I have the chance to try and shoot the enemy, they jump to a cutscene and run to cover. Apparently I'm doing that wrong. I'll look into the videos.
Any troops that are concealed won't be seen by enemies until you get within a few tiles. That lets you spot them, get in position, and attack them before they can see you. There are also a lot of fun tricks you can do with rangers who can re-conceal themselves after being spotted with the right skill... they make excellent spotters for snipers among other things.
I never used the stealth ranger stuff, but when WOTC replaced them with the Reaper I became all about the stealth gameplay.

When you in concealment, it should be obvious where you can move without being spotted. In that situation it is all about starting things off with a bang. Generally I do this in the literal sense with a grenade or some environment explosive. After that it is all about flanking and finishing. Knowing the tools you have and how to use them to best effect. You want to guarantee the kill and that's what grenades are for. 100% chance to hit is hard to argue with.

If you don't have concealment or a stealth scout, you are much less likely to get a clean first shot. In that case you want to trigger the pod (game lingo for a linked group of usually 3-4 enemies) on your terms with the very first move of your very first character to move so you have everyone available to put the targets down before they ever get to retaliate. Obviously that's hard to do if you don't know where the enemies are. Experience helps a lot with this and there's only one way to get it. I will generally use all of my characters first moves trying to find an enemy before anyone takes their second action. The downside is that you probably lose the opportunity to flank and fire. Don't explore more with your second action because then you are going to take fire. Reload/overwatch and try again next turn.
-Coop

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Tue May 07, 2019 12:17 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:42 am
See, somehow I'm missing how you can attack them before they even have a chance to respond. Normally, as soon as I have the chance to try and shoot the enemy, they jump to a cutscene and run to cover. Apparently I'm doing that wrong. I'll look into the videos.

I don't have WotC, just the base game. I do have a few of those installed, though, and I will read up on the others.
A lot of the mods have WotC prefix because a) they work with the expansion and b) to distinguish from the same mod for the base game. i.e. they existed for the base game first, so just use those.

They absolutely run for cover, the trick is to be ready for this and either blow up the cover (early game) or be in position to punish them from a different angle.

Grenades are your friends, especially in the early game when hit percentages are lower. Don't be afraid to use up a soldier's AP just removing cover so another soldier has a free shot. You don't even have to worry about maximizing damage with your explosives, cover removal is enough in most cases.

Seriously, just watch Ronar play his first 2 missions and you'll get a good feel for what needs to be done in the early game, then watch some of his mid game missions when you start to get more tactical options besides grenade/shoot (when your soldiers level up a bit, plus new gear).

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Tue May 07, 2019 12:26 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 12:00 pm
In I go. Any quick tips about priority research/building?
Anything I said here would be WOTC skewed. It changes things. I always prioritize offense over defense. Screw armor research, gimme better guns. I wait for most alien research until it is instant which happens after you collect a certain number of corpses. The exception is mutons because you want alien grenades.
-Coop

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Tue May 07, 2019 1:43 pm

I can't even remember the tech tree at all.

When you know the game well, bigger guns means things die faster, meaning less things attacking you. Personally I'd recommend getting at least 1 armor upgrade as a newer player, just for survivability. When I was learning the ropes on higher difficulty levels, I even used the vest item for the extra hp, as your soldiers start with 1 less hp for every difficulty level above normal. It could often mean the difference between living or dying. Of course it means no grenade for that soldier, so I tried to balance it out. Mostly, it's a waste, but not as big a waste as the internet might lead you to believe. I've even seen some of the better players used the vest item early on.

A lot of what Coop and I tell you will be more applicable to higher difficulty levels and ironman. If you're playing normal and/or non-ironman, just do what you like and save scum like a boss if you need to.

Oh, you *want* greys (whatever they're called) to use their psionics on you. Typically you can kill them before the mind controlled dude can do any damage, and they can only kill you with their guns. You want to avoid that. There are tricks to force them to use psionics and avoid shooting, but I can't for the life of me remember what they are. I think dropping a grenade on them will interrupt their mind control too, so while mind control is scary, it's not nearly as bad as it seems, plus they didn't crit you with their pistol, killing you, which is what should really make you afraid.

User avatar
Paingod
Posts: 10211
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:58 am

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Paingod » Tue May 07, 2019 1:51 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:42 am
See, somehow I'm missing how you can attack them before they even have a chance to respond. Normally, as soon as I have the chance to try and shoot the enemy, they jump to a cutscene and run to cover. Apparently I'm doing that wrong. I'll look into the videos.
There are three ways this can happen.
  • You're doing an ambush. Enemies haven't seen you yet and your squad is in cover. You get to set up your squad and trigger the ambush.
  • An enemy squad wandered into your squad while it was on Overwatch. Your squad will shoot at them as soon as you see them, and they'll scatter - getting shot at as they do.
  • You have a forward observer in stealth and are using snipers to shoot from beyond enemy visibility. This can be accomplished with a Reaper (WotC) or Ranger (with Phantom).
coopasonic wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 12:26 pm
Blackhawk wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 12:00 pm
In I go. Any quick tips about priority research/building?
I always prioritize offense over defense. Screw armor research, gimme better guns. I wait for most alien research until it is instant which happens after you collect a certain number of corpses. The exception is mutons because you want alien grenades.
I'd go with this, too. In general, survival is more about killing things before they get a chance to hit you than it is about living through getting hit. That doesn't mean armor isn't a nice thing - but you'll want magnetic weapons as quickly as you can get them, and then lasers before you chase power armor.
Last edited by Paingod on Tue May 07, 2019 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
More than ever, now is the time to stand by the causes you believe in; donate and support to keep America great.
Reproductive Rights, Environmental Defense, Civil Liberties, LGBTQ Awareness, Immigration Rights
Currently playing: Project Zomboid, BattleTech

User avatar
Jaymon
Posts: 1477
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:51 pm

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Jaymon » Tue May 07, 2019 6:24 pm

Hey Blackhawk, maybe this will help some.

Most missions you start stealthed. Try and keep that going. Don't run long distances on one go, you still need to be conservative so you don't accidentally stumble into one of them red spots and break stealth.

When you find the pod of aliens, set up your squad. Get several of your peeps within range, and set them to overwatch. Then use sniper or grenade or whatever to attack. The first attack gets to happen, and then you lose stealth and the pod breaks, the aliens get a free move.
But, since you have some of your peeps on overwatch, they get to shoot and the aliens as soon as they start to move. So thats how you can destroy a whole pod in one go.
Bunnies like beer because its made from hops.

User avatar
dbt1949
Posts: 20556
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:34 am
Location: Hogeye Arkansas

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by dbt1949 » Tue May 07, 2019 7:06 pm

Of course this stuff mainly works in missions that are timed or you use a mod to turn the timers off.
Ye Olde Farte
Double Ought Forty
aka dbt1949

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Tue May 07, 2019 7:51 pm

I'm using a mod that extends timers somewhat, but doesn't disable them.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 33713
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Kraken » Tue May 07, 2019 11:22 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 7:51 pm
I'm using a mod that extends timers somewhat, but doesn't disable them.
That was enough for me (extending missions by 4 turns, except for the story ones). Turn limits are part of the core game design, so losing them entirely feels too much like cheating. Tweaking them a little? Fair game! :horse:

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Wed May 08, 2019 12:05 am

I like a careful approach in tactical games. Timers that make you sprint blindly toward the objective suck the fun out for me. But in some games the timers serve a purpose, so yeah - reduced, not removed.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
Daveman
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:06 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Daveman » Wed May 08, 2019 8:36 am

It's been awhile since I played and I forget the name, but I used a mod where the timer was frozen so long as you stayed hidden, you then had a slightly shortened timer once spotted. I appreciated it as I was playing on Ironman. Gave you time to setup your initial ambush but you still had to be careful and adjust as you went.

One of my most memorable missions was where I screwed up. The mission was to capture or kill a VIP who was located roughly halfway to the extraction point. I had moved way out to one flank while approaching the target, hoping to spring the ambush while I was closer to the extraction point. Then I slipped up and dropped from a roof right next to some civilians that I hadn't seen.

The rest of the mission was this intense running gunfight as I scrambled to get my team to the extraction point in time. Nearly everyone was wounded, but I got them all out. Fortunately, the VIP was still in LOS from the extraction point and I had one rocket left so I was able to kill him before the end too.

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Wed May 08, 2019 1:29 pm

Four of me, one sectoid.

Me: grenade sectoid's cover, miss, miss, miss.
Sectoid: Panic one of me.
Me: flashbang panic, miss, miss, miss
Sectoid: raise zombie
Me: miss, miss, miss, miss
Sectoid: One-shot squad member

Me: reload, try strategy that requires foreknowledge of the enemy position.

That's one of the things that I remember not liking, one of puzzle elements I mentioned.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Wed May 08, 2019 1:36 pm

Apparently I misunderstood how concealment worked. A game that seems to rely on ambushes when ambushes are impossible after the first encounter.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 1:40 pm

And that's where the expression "that's xcom, baby" comes from. You can do everything in your power to put things in your favour and still get screwed.

If you watch some players they will literally grenade a flanked alien for 4 damage instead of take a 75% 6-8 damage shot because the 4 damage grenade can't miss, especially in the early game where soldier aim is low and no one has skills from their tree yet, and especially if there is no backup plan (i.e. other soldiers with AP).

I like to gamble so I often take the shot anyway, but on ironman a 25% chance of losing a soldier is too high.

On the plus side you can recover from even late game soldier losses so while it does suck, is painful and demoralising, it's not as bad as it seems.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 1:44 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:36 pm
Apparently I misunderstood how concealment worked. A game that seems to rely on ambushes when ambushes are impossible after the first encounter.
I did mention that stealth is a crutch. So much so that the stealth hero class is my least favorite hero class. I often found I was taking literally any other class instead. That said, I did start using them when I built them for damage instead of stealth. Being able to blow up vehicles for huge damage has won me more than 1 mission.

Others have their own opinions on stealth.

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Wed May 08, 2019 1:49 pm

I've replayed this encounter several times now, successfully a couple of times, just trying to understand the mechanics. The only thing that really seems to work reliably is when I know exactly what square I can move to before the enemy activates, then setting up one square short of that. If I do it, I can take out the single trooper and sectoid. If I do not, I lose at least one soldier.

I've watched some Ronar guides. His strategy seems to be the same: he knows where they enemies are going to be from experience, and sets up with that foreknowledge.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:29 pm
Four of me, one sectoid.

Me: grenade sectoid's cover, miss, miss, miss.
Sectoid: Panic one of me.
Me: flashbang panic, miss, miss, miss
Sectoid: raise zombie
Me: miss, miss, miss, miss
Sectoid: One-shot squad member

Me: reload, try strategy that requires foreknowledge of the enemy position.

That's one of the things that I remember not liking, one of puzzle elements I mentioned.
What difficulty are you playing on? Were you shooting from the other side of town. Yeah, a little sarcastic, but that many misses is kind of nuts unless it was super long range. Now I am seriously considering making some videos just to show you that I am not full of shit.
-Coop

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 2:22 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:49 pm
I've watched some Ronar guides. His strategy seems to be the same: he knows where they enemies are going to be from experience, and sets up with that foreknowledge.
He shouldn't know exactly where they are going to be, but he may have an idea.

Back to the video thought, I am not sure I could convince myself to play without WOTC. I love all of the changes WOTC brings and the thought of going back scares me a little.
-Coop

User avatar
NickAragua
Posts: 4310
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by NickAragua » Wed May 08, 2019 2:34 pm

I actually don't like overwatch ambushes. From what I understand, overwatch shots take an accuracy penalty, which means that the shot that's 75% normally turns into a 55% or so. I use overwatch either as a "filler" action for when my guy is already in high cover and I don't want to move my team up this turn, as a way to cover a squad member's retreat, or in a couple of fairly specific cases ("Long Watch" on snipers with a stealthy spotter up front, and there are a couple of skills that let people take multiple overwatch shots).

In my experience, it's much better to pop an alien pod either earlier on your turn or make them pop on their turn, then you have a whole turn to flank or remove cover via explosives. When all you have is rookies, it is an absolute waste of time to shoot at targets in cover, as you'll just miss. Later on, you'll upgrade your guns and troopers, then you have a chance at hitting an alien sitting in low cover from high ground.

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 2:38 pm

overwatch shots on an ambush don't suffer the overwatch penalty.

It's still a risk because you are ceding control to the enemy. If you don't kill them all they get to retaliate. If they can flank you, you are losing someone.

I almost never use an overwatch ambush unless I have a specialist with super aim and the repeating overwatch ability and a sniper with extra rounds and the overwatch arc skill ready and I am not worried about the enemy ability to wreck me (meaning basic troopers).
-Coop

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Wed May 08, 2019 3:00 pm

I'm realizing a few things:

1. I keep wanting to play it like a tactical game with firefights and adjusting strategies on the fly. I've played a lot of games like this - Fallout Tactics, Jagged Alliance (various), Silent Storm, XCOM EU/EW, many RPGs. This isn't that game. It looks like that game, but it isn't.

2. I loved EU/EW, and I played the hell out of it, multiple times through. For some reason, though, I just can't wrap my head around what this game wants me to do. This is likely largely becasue of #1. It looks so much like that kind of game that my brain won't agree to treat it as if it isn't.

3. This game seems to rely heavily on foreknowledge, either gained from previous runs or by trial-and-error-and-reload. I really dislike that in a game. It feels like cheesy mechanics rather than tactics.

4. I looked back and am realizing that I've had almost this exact same conversation in the past, several years ago when I first tried it and started hitting the same walls.

It just throws me that XCOM EU/EW was such a great match for what I like in a game, and this one is, apparently, such a bad match, while looking like the same game on the surface. I really, really loved EU/EW, and I really want to like this as much. I will play some more, but I'm beginning to fear that I'm wasting peoples' time. If so, I apologize.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
TheMix
Posts: 7189
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:19 pm
Location: Broomfield, Colorado
TheMix’s avatar
Online

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by TheMix » Wed May 08, 2019 3:09 pm

No need for apologies. :)

I've been reading along out of curiosity. And one thing I can say is that you have put way more thought into it than I ever did. To me it does feel like the same game as XCOM EU/EW, just with improvements. Obviously something feels off for you, hence the analyzing. That's a bummer.
Isgrimnur - Facebook makes you hate your friends and family. LinkedIn makes you hate you co-workers. NextDoor makes you hate your neighbors.

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 3:09 pm

I wish I could understand the difference between this and Enemy Unknown for you. I loved EU just the same as I love XCOM2, as well as every other tactical combat game you mentioned. I really don't feel like XCOM2 is any different, but I also can't really go back and experience it like it is new either. I loved it just the same on day one with very little foreknowledge.
-Coop

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Wed May 08, 2019 3:20 pm

I wish I knew, too. It might give me some extra insight into myself that I always enjoy.

I do know one thing that stands out as different. They bumped the difficulty up significantly. They've said outright that they did so. That tends to push people into playing an optimal strategy rather than playing a thematic strategy (IE - it leads to the gameplay equivalent of min-maxing.) It's the difference between "you might die if you don't play smart" and "you will die if you don't play right." Smart vs right is a big part of it, I think.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 3:26 pm

I went through and re-read all my posts from my first play-through which was on Veteran and I steam-rolled it. One thing of note is that I was playing EU Long War when 2 came out, so I was already playing a ramped up difficulty. Still, from memory the only spoiler I had about the enemies was the Viper. He is a complete pain in the ass, still. He needs to die first and my Ranger usually gets that job. Also screw dodge.

Also, early on I would definitely use save-scumming as a learning tool. I still do it at the highest difficulties, but at lower difficulties, when I want a faster campaign, I stick with Ironman.
-Coop

User avatar
TheMix
Posts: 7189
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:19 pm
Location: Broomfield, Colorado
TheMix’s avatar
Online

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by TheMix » Wed May 08, 2019 3:26 pm

What about turning the difficulty down? I only played on the "regular" default difficulty. And it's been a while, so I don't remember. But is there an easier setting that would let you play it more like you want to? It sounds like you want to be able to respond to an ever-changing flowing situation, instead of having to know all the specifics ahead of time, implement the "perfect" plan, and then have to also have the RNG go your way. I felt that it was somewhere between those two options, but I can definitely see how it could feel more like the latter (which could be off-putting).
Isgrimnur - Facebook makes you hate your friends and family. LinkedIn makes you hate you co-workers. NextDoor makes you hate your neighbors.

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 3:27 pm

Default is Veteran. There is Rookie difficulty below that.
-Coop

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 39229
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Smoove_B » Wed May 08, 2019 4:18 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:20 pm
I wish I knew, too. It might give me some extra insight into myself that I always enjoy.
I've tried both XCOM games and I can't get into either one of them. I think for the second one, I couldn't even get out of the tutorial - on easy. I figured I was doing something wrong. Sure enough, in reading these comments I'd been slowly advancing my team, thinking I'd be adjusting to emerging scenarios. Instead, it felt like i was constantly being ambushed because I didn't anticipate an enemy was always going to appear at [Spot X]. It's been an interesting read too as I couldn't figure out exactly why I didn't like either game - both should have been clear winners for me.

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 4:28 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:18 pm
Instead, it felt like i was constantly being ambushed because I didn't anticipate an enemy was always going to appear at [Spot X].
I think people are getting the wrong idea. To be clear, the enemy doesn't always appear at Spot X. The maps are randomly generated within parameters and so are the enemy spawns. There are a few fixed maps (like the final mission), but the number is very small. In fact if you skip the tutorial the final missions may be the only fixed map... Maybe the two DLC missions as well...
-Coop

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 5:45 pm

Something that always, always needs to be addressed is that the random generator seed is generated at the beginning of a mission, and is modified based on the mission entropy, which translates into player actions. You could save a mission on turn one, finish the mission, then replicate the mission again by reloading and taking the exact same actions every turn for every soldier. All your shots will hit or miss exactly the same, the ai will shoot/mind control/run for cover exactly the same. This is not the same thing as being linear. You could change ALL outcomes by moving a different soldier first (i.e. same actions, different order), even if every other action taken is exactly the same.

So what happens is that people save scum (not you necessarily Blackhawk) when they miss a 95% shot, only to miss it again, and again, and again, 20+ times and then lose their minds because probability says 95% can't (well, incredibly improbably) be missed that many times. The problem is that they took 1 shot and are just replaying the same shot. This can be changed by literally moving soldiers in a different order, or reloading, or any action at all (that has some sort of in game impact. You can't just look through inventory or something).

This is a key aspect of the game and something that people who use a lot of saves have trouble getting their heads around. This may in fact be part of what you're experiencing Blackhawk.

It can also be used to your advantage. 25% chance? Save, then take the shot. Miss? Reload, do something different, take the shot. Miss? Reload, do something different, take the shot. Suddenly, you hit! Magic.
Last edited by GreenGoo on Wed May 08, 2019 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 5:46 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:28 pm
Smoove_B wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:18 pm
Instead, it felt like i was constantly being ambushed because I didn't anticipate an enemy was always going to appear at [Spot X].
I think people are getting the wrong idea. To be clear, the enemy doesn't always appear at Spot X. The maps are randomly generated within parameters and so are the enemy spawns. There are a few fixed maps (like the final mission), but the number is very small. In fact if you skip the tutorial the final missions may be the only fixed map... Maybe the two DLC missions as well...
+1.

This is easily verifiable when you have stealth and simply watch the ai move around.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 5:51 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:49 pm
I've watched some Ronar guides. His strategy seems to be the same: he knows where they enemies are going to be from experience, and sets up with that foreknowledge.
As coop points out, there is no "foreknowledge" in this respect. There are only a certain number of "pods" and those pods only contain so many aliens. This is fixed based on the difficulty level and the progression of the campaign. Other than that, the pods are randomly spawned around the map and the contents of the pods is semi-random as well.
Blackhawk wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:00 pm
3. This game seems to rely heavily on foreknowledge, either gained from previous runs or by trial-and-error-and-reload. I really dislike that in a game. It feels like cheesy mechanics rather than tactics.
Absolutely not true. However, the game has very specific behavioural rules that people exploit that may appear like foreknowledge. It's more like "I can park my knight right beside this bishop on any of the cardinal directions because I know the bishop can't hurt me unless I'm on the diagonal from it". That's not foreknowledge about where the Bishop is or what the bishop will decide to do this turn.

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 39229
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Smoove_B » Wed May 08, 2019 5:57 pm

Maybe I still don't understand, but when I was banging my head against the wall trying to play, it felt like I was puzzling out an optimization routine. It never felt like I was using tactical positioning to put myself in the best spot to deal with whatever my forward observer could see. I wanted this to play like Jagged Alliance, but with aliens. It never felt that way.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 6:04 pm

Ronar complains about the gamey aspect of Xcom 2, and this I believe is referencing the same puzzley aspects that Coop refers to. The game is designed in such a way as to be difficult, but winnable.

In a lot of ways it's like Dark Souls or others of that ilk. You can go in thinking you are in control and free to do whatever you want to beat a boss, but the reality is that you need to understand the boss' moveset and work to exploit opportunities to punish it while avoiding getting 1 shotted. You might want to stand at close range because that's what you like to do, but this particular boss makes that nearly impossible, and ignoring that and trying over and over again results in frustration and sadness.

So Xcom 2 is not a free for all, it's understanding how the combat system works, understanding what the aliens are capable of, and then working inside that context. I can't for the life of me remember how Xcom 1 worked. I feel like it was the same, but easier/less punishing. Meaning you could be a little looser with your tactics. In order to make Xcom 2 harder, which was a major demand of the Xcom fanbase, they made things a bit more tightly controlled.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 6:05 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:57 pm
Maybe I still don't understand, but when I was banging my head against the wall trying to play, it felt like I was puzzling out an optimization routine. It never felt like I was using tactical positioning to put myself in the best spot to deal with whatever my forward observer could see. I wanted this to play like Jagged Alliance, but with aliens. It never felt that way.
It's tough to define. I'd say it's both. You could absolutely describe it as an optimization routine, but then so is chess. I think this is the case for any game that's turn based, but perhaps Xcom 2 is a particularly gregarious example of it.

That said, you're using tactics as defined by the game engine, not as defined by the real world. All games have game mechanics that need to be exploited (in a non-cheating sense) to succeed. Xcom 2's are a little more tightly defined because, I think, the goal was to make things hard, but doable. This is why, if you follow along in the Xcom community, there are at least 2 schools of thought, one that thinks Xcom 2 is too hard, and one that thinks it's too easy. Both are right, because one is trying to shoe-horn in what they think should work, while the other is doing what they know will work.

Again, just like a Souls-like boss, it's a very difficult task until you get it, then you're left scratching your head as to why you ever had trouble in the first place. Some games require you to adapt to it to succeed, and some games allow enormous freedom while still allowing progression.

Honestly I think Xcom was exactly the same, but less punishing, which is why some people never noticed, and others said it was too easy and demanded Xcom 2 be more challenging.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40393
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 08, 2019 6:19 pm

I should point out that I played through Xcom 2 at least once, using my own ideas as to what should work, never leaving a soldier out of cover, always having soldiers on overwatch etc. I did ok. Then I returned to the game and learned what the impossible/ironman winners were doing. Suddenly I realized all those overwatches were a waste. They were overwatching for something that was never going to happen. I'm not saying overwatch is a waste, I'm saying knowing when overwatch is worthwhile and when it is a waste is a huge difference in succeeding in the game.

So the game definitely can be played as a generic tactical squad based game with some success on normal, at least. At the higher levels, it's going to be rougher, and with timers on, almost impossible.

I should also mention that I think Blackhawk's definition for what constitutes a tactical squad based game is a false dichotomy. They all have their own rules, they all have exploitable (in a gaming sense, not a cheating sense) mechanics, and what works and what doesn't is defined by the game engine. Xcom 2 is no different. It's more puzzle-y in the same way that Souls-like are more puzzle-y. You still need tactics, but you need tactics AND understanding specific to the game.

User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 15774
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish
coopasonic’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by coopasonic » Wed May 08, 2019 7:41 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:57 pm
Maybe I still don't understand, but when I was banging my head against the wall trying to play, it felt like I was puzzling out an optimization routine. It never felt like I was using tactical positioning to put myself in the best spot to deal with whatever my forward observer could see. I wanted this to play like Jagged Alliance, but with aliens. It never felt that way.
There are a couple of layers of optimization. How do I approach the mission for best chance of success and once engaged with an enemy how do I eliminate the threat and preserve my squad. The latter is what I consider to be the puzzle to be solved. Given the enemy health and the weapons and tools you have, how do you apply those tools using the action points available to guarantee the enemy health hits zero before you are out of actions.
-Coop

User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 26263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana
Contact:
Blackhawk’s avatar
Offline

Re: X-Com 2 confirmed...trailer

Post by Blackhawk » Wed May 08, 2019 7:58 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:45 pm
This is a key aspect of the game and something that people who use a lot of saves have trouble getting their heads around. This may in fact be part of what you're experiencing Blackhawk.
Nah, that's not it. I won't reload over and over to do the same thing. I reload to try alternative approaches. This also isn't the first game I've played that defines the outcomes of rolls in advance.
Smoove_B wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:57 pm
Maybe I still don't understand, but when I was banging my head against the wall trying to play, it felt like I was puzzling out an optimization routine. It never felt like I was using tactical positioning to put myself in the best spot to deal with whatever my forward observer could see. I wanted this to play like Jagged Alliance, but with aliens. It never felt that way.
That's an excellent way of saying what I'm feeling with it.
Both are right, because one is trying to shoe-horn in what they think should work, while the other is doing what they know will work.
Another way to look at that is that one is playing the theme, and the other is playing the mechanics and 'coloring inside the lines' as defined by the developers. Most games like this let you play the theme. You can play the optimal game and take advantage of the mechanics and AI, but it isn't the only effective option. Figuring out how the devs intended you to approach the game and then playing that way without much room for variation is much less interesting to me.

It's kind of like the difference between an MMO or RPG that lets you play however you like - race/class/skill combinations, etc - while making some more effective than others, and an MMO or RPG that is balanced so that only the most optimized builds can succeed. One allows room for imagination, the other is about following the plan as efficiently as possible.
[This space left intentionally blank.]

Post Reply