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XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:06 am

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:02 am
This thread makes me want to give XCOM 2 another chance. I played EU/EW multiple times, but 2 just annoyed the crap out of me the first time I tried it due to 'gotchas.' I may need to go back and try again.
Depending on the nature of those gotchas, there is probably a mod to help.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:34 am

It's been a while. I seem to remember that cover had been made irrelevant, as it seemed like every time I went into cover, it either got destroyed, or there was a gas cloud, or mind control, or the character got yanked out of the cover. It was almost like the game was punishing me for using cover (IE - punishing me for using tactics.) I seem to remember setting up cautious approaches with angles and sight, and as soon as an enemy appeared, one of my squad would get dragged through a wall and restrained halfway across the map, turning a tactical approach into a free-for-all. Stealth and scouting never worked, as I'd be completely hidden, and as soon as I uncovered an enemy, it would act - usually killing the 'in stealth' scout before I even got to react. Snipers who I kept back to provide support would be dragged into melee range and destroyed. It made unit placement meaningless, and made specializing characters pointless.

It led to having to get wiped, memorize where the encounters were, then be ready to cheese it the next time. In the first game, as long as you had a solid plan, used cover, and were smart, you'd be able to (with effort and some failures), succeed. With 2, it seemed like they replaced that with trial-and-error followed by cheesy tactics that required you to already know what was around each corner. It felt... gimmicky rather than tactical, and rewarded cheesing the mechanics while punishing playing smart.

I think the clincher was one mission where, without warning, without any idea of what was going on or telegraphing, this alien appeared out of nowhere that was borderline unbeatable. I must have replayed that thing a dozen times, and it'd just teleport around my cover and one-shot all of my squad while preventing the rest from reacting in any way by unloading all of their weapons. By the time I did any damage to it, half of my squad was dead. I spent hours on that fight, and never did discover the counter.

It was the difference between hard-but-fun (XCOM) and hard-but-frustrating (XCOM 2.)

Like I said, though, it's been a while. I probably have some details wrong.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:44 am

NickAragua wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:59 am
In XCOM Enemy Unknown, the heavy's rockets had a 90% chance to hit, which was frustrating as all hell when they did miss.

But I've never seen a limited-use explosive miss in XCOM 2. Unless I butterfinger the throw myself.
I can probably give you a link to the exact time it happens in a YouTube video, if you care enough to see for yourself.

I feel like I've experienced the missed rockets and/or grenades, but since it was to my benefit I chalked it up to a bug and moved on without looking a gift horse in the mouth.

I can't be sure though.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:52 am

Oh, and I forgot about the wounds. It seemed like every time any soldier got hit for any amount, they'd be out of commission for multiple missions. I was almost always running with a squad of recruits, as the only way to keep soldiers was to avoid any and all damage. By the time I'd get a few soldiers through the recovery process, they'd been completely crippled by negative conditions and were useless. It seemed like unless you knew where every enemy was, and took them out the second they appeared, you were screwed.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:06 pm

Running around the internet reading about the game. I think I see what the problem is.

XCOM was about tactical firefights, about positioning, setting up positions and fields of fire.

XCOM 2 is about 'alpha strikes' where you have to wipe all the enemies out as soon as they appear, every time. It requires a gonzo offense as the only viable strategy.

And I just don't enjoy strategy games where you have to constantly push, push, push rather than taking a measured, cautious approach.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by NickAragua » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:11 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:52 am
Oh, and I forgot about the wounds. It seemed like every time any soldier got hit for any amount, they'd be out of commission for multiple missions. I was almost always running with a squad of recruits, as the only way to keep soldiers was to avoid any and all damage. By the time I'd get a few soldiers through the recovery process, they'd been completely crippled by negative conditions and were useless. It seemed like unless you knew where every enemy was, and took them out the second they appeared, you were screwed.
Yeah, XCom 2, especially with the expansion, "encourages" you to run multiple squads at the same time. The good part is that there are ways other than missions of ranking your guys up - you can send them on resistance ring ops and put them through squaddie training.

I actually always play through with the tutorial enabled, because the very first mission ("destroy the statue") is incredibly difficult - all you have is rookies with one grenade each, against a full force of Advent guys. The tutorial makes you waste some time, but at least you get a squaddie when you hit the first non-scripted mission.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by NickAragua » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:13 pm

In most cases it's possible to be cautious. In fact, you kind of have to be, or else you're going to pull three pods of aliens and get clobbered. The only thing that makes caution risky is the time limit on missions, but there's a mod to get rid of or extend those.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by dbt1949 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:14 pm

My problem is that I don't like "timed" games. Like Blackhawk Iike to take my time and think things thru. I think almost every mission has a "timer" in the upper right corner.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:25 pm

I'm pretty sure I played with an 'extended timers' mod. I hate timed missions in games. They force a rushed strategy on you that I don't enjoy. I'm not an aggressive player in strategy games. Hell, I moved away from RTS games when they started designing them to force aggressive strategies and prevent defensive play.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:43 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:34 am
I think the clincher was one mission where, without warning, without any idea of what was going on or telegraphing, this alien appeared out of nowhere that was borderline unbeatable. I must have replayed that thing a dozen times, and it'd just teleport around my cover and one-shot all of my squad while preventing the rest from reacting in any way by unloading all of their weapons. By the time I did any damage to it, half of my squad was dead. I spent hours on that fight, and never did discover the counter.
For the record, the counter is a flashbang. When you flashbang her she stops splitting and teleporting and she is really pretty easy at that point. Her weapon disable is only bad if your guys are grouped together and nobody has an autoloader. Note that I say her, but I don't know why. Codex doesn't sound very feminine.

War of the Chosen "fixes" stealth scouting with the Reaper hero class which has a very low detection radius and good movement. Their gun is mostly crap as they are more focused on explosive capabilities with the limited use claymore and the sometimes handy remote start.

Alpha strike is important but only with certain enemies, like vipers and MECs. They have to be priorities but they are generally easy to take down. There are some later on as well, like the Andromedon. You can't let his initial form attack you particularly if you have your soldiers grouped together (don't do that). The Shell is less of a problem. I would also say alpha strike is really only necessary at higher difficulty levels.

It's a tactical puzzle game but you have to learn and play by the puzzle's rules. I don't find 2 significantly different from 1, but then again it has been a LONG time since I have played EU.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:45 pm

It sounds like the counter to the Codex is 'know what the counter to the Codex is before you start the mission.'
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Paingod » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:24 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:43 pm
Note that I say her, but I don't know why. Codex doesn't sound very feminine.
The Codex does have a distinctly feminine form, so "she" seems acceptable.

For the majority of the game, you should typically have a Flashbang in someone's inventory. Flashbangs can stop a lot of enemies from using their special abilities. Not all, but most. A huge value when you run into a lot of nasty things.

From the XCOM2 Wiki:
  • Removes Overwatch from enemies.
  • Kills Psi-reanimated corpses if used on the caster animating them. Releases friendly mind-controlled soldiers if caster is in blast radius and affected by it. The Warlock (in WOTC) is immune to flash bang grenades.
  • Grenadier's Volatile Mix adds 2 damage to the grenade
  • Flashbangs apply the Disoriented debuff to any enemy units caught in the blast radius.
  • Prevents use of most special abilities - Stun Lancers will not use their blades, Officers will not use grenades, Mutons cannot even counter-attack in melee, if Disoriented. Psionic aliens cannot use any Psi during Disorientation either, resorting to using their primary weapon for the duration. Also, a disoriented Codex can neither teleport nor clone itself.
  • An Andromedon can still use its Acid Bomb even when disoriented
  • A Shieldbearer can still use its Energy Shield ability even when disoriented
  • An already Disoriented unit that enters Overwatch will not have that Overwatch removed by another Flashbang
  • Also causes any friendly solder caught in a Snake hold to be released
  • Ineffective on robots
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:29 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:06 pm
Running around the internet reading about the game. I think I see what the problem is.

XCOM was about tactical firefights, about positioning, setting up positions and fields of fire.

XCOM 2 is about 'alpha strikes' where you have to wipe all the enemies out as soon as they appear, every time. It requires a gonzo offense as the only viable strategy.

And I just don't enjoy strategy games where you have to constantly push, push, push rather than taking a measured, cautious approach.
The actual problem and reason for the changes for Xcom 2 is that people found Xcom too easy. I wasn't one of those people, but I suspect with my recent Xcom 2 experience, I would be today.

The timers are so you *can't* overwatch crawl across the map and win. The timers don't exist on every mission because they want you to be able to overwatch crawl, sometimes, but when it's the same, effective tactic mission after mission, they needed to do something. I hate the timers too, and that's why they are a great addition to the game, and very much needed to keep the missions from becoming repetitive. As Coop mentions earlier, they can almost always be handled, even on Legendary, but they do require aggressive play. If that's not your style (and I get that it's not for everyone) then Xcom 2 is probably not the tactical game you're looking for. Lord knows it took me some major, painful rewiring of my thinking to start getting more success. Of course you can turn timers off or double them without mods so you can always do that if want. Doing that doesn't change anything as far as achievements go or whatnot. There's no reason not to do it if the other option is you stop playing the game if you don't do it.

I haven't played the first Xcom (not the original) in a long time, but the reason you need to alpha strike is because the aliens beat the crap out of you if you let them have a turn. That's almost certainly true in the first Xcom as well. Letting the aliens get a 35% shot on your guy in full cover is suicide. Maybe not this shot, but eventually. That sort of math applied to the first Xcom too. I spent many, many missions setting up firing zones (not great) and flanking (better) with guys in full cover in Xcom 1 and that's why I was only mediocre at it.

Since returning to Xcom 2, I have learned that sometimes it's better to leave your guys out of cover if it gives you a positioning advantage, because the position lets you kill everything that turn, whereas cowering behind cover gives the aliens a 35% chance on their turn to seriously wound or kill him. Whether he dies this turn or mission doesn't matter, because if you keep doing that he's going to die eventually, because some Alien somewhere on some mission is going to make that shot, and it might even be a crit. Ouch. I was the kind of guy who kept his guys in high cover even when everyone was stealthed. Sure that's *safe*, but it's slow (see timers), and not needed 99% of the time. I no longer do that and I'm having far more success by understanding the mechanics of the game and how the AI works (it still surprises me sometimes, so I have more to learn).

In short your points are mostly valid, but the game is what it is, so to speak. Adjust to meet the expectations of the game or don't and be frustrated. That's not a criticism, it's just reality. Barring using mods to bend Xcom 2 to your will, which is totally possible. I have never tried the Long War series of mods, but by all accounts they are highly recommended and change the game in many fundamental ways. It might help (but I don't actually know). There are a zillion others.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by NickAragua » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:33 pm

I've been able to beat up codexes without a flashbang. The trick is to make sure you've killed everyone else first.

Which is, to say, the first time I encountered one, my guys got massacred.

XCom 1 was pretty tough too, and you could easily get yourself into an unrecoverable situation by losing too many high-end veterans. XCom 2 mitigates that somewhat at least by giving you the ability to train up guys outside of combat. Really, there's no Firaxis XCom game where you don't get clobbered the first time you encounter a new type of enemy. Because you don't know all their tricks yet, unless you're the living avatar of the tactical combat god or read up ahead of time on the internet.

Except for the Lost, those guys are dumb. Just go easy on the grenades around them.

Once you do encounter a few Codexes, here's a list of their characteristics that I'm aware of.
Spoiler:
+ Bullshit teleport with a very long range
+ Medium damage weapon
+ Area attack that disables primary weapons on all affected units and follows up with nasty psionic damage after a turn on anything in it
+ Clones self when taking any damage
- Cloning cuts health by 1/2 for both source and copy.
- Will not clone at 1 health
- Clones subject to "maximum amount of enemy primary weapons fire" restriction
- No armor

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:35 pm

Yeah, I am generally carrying one as a cure for mind control when you can't otherwise get to the Sectoid.

I'll admit I am also a bit confused by Nick calling Gatecrasher incredibly difficult. There are two dangerous enemies on that mission, they are both very predictable and you can take your time. Don't get flanked and save your grenades for the commander.

I've learned that Ronar is a lot more helpful in learning the game than ChristopherOdd, here's his "Anyone can beat Legendary" playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... G4LzfU9EOj

Now he is playing WotC which does change things up a lot, pretty much all in a good way, but most of it applies to vanilla.

He doesn't do anything obviously different or brilliant but he generally explains *why* he makes the choices he does and they work. The lessons can all be applied to the lower difficulties though some of it may be overkill.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:36 pm

edit: damn it, beaten to the punch.
Paingod wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:24 pm
For the majority of the game, you should typically have a Flashbang in someone's inventory. Flashbangs can stop a lot of enemies from using their special abilities. Not all, but most. A huge value when you run into a lot of nasty things.
I actually responded to this from coop's post but realized I was many posts behind and maybe I was missing context so I deleted it until I got caught up.

My opinion is that you want aliens to use their abilities most of the time. When they use their abilities, no one dies. When they shoot at you, you increase the chance of dying. Even grenades, especially late game, are a better option than having a muton crit you with a plasma rifle. You don't want to take away their ability to throw grenades. In fact you want them to choose that option if possible. Of course the best option is to kill everything before it gets a turn, but that's not always possible.

Short of mind control (which is a real danger in the early game from sectoids) you want aliens to use their abilities. Early game you *want* a sectoid to use it's psionic ability to rez a zombie, or panic someone. You're going to kill the sectoid next turn anyway before the zombie can do anything, and if you don't, you get extra experience from killing the zombie anyway. Psionic bombs don't kill people. Plasma rifles from flanking positions kill people.

When the warlock does nothing but summon, you have a field day because you already know how to handle those summons, and most of his summons are weaker than normal aliens. Assuming he isn't summoning them onto you in the middle of fighting 3 pods that is.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:36 pm

FWIW, getting shot in XCOM EW/EU ( I never played the original) wasn't suicide. You didn't lose the operative for a month for taking two points of damage, and end up with a guy who was emotionally scarred to the point of uselessness as a result. There was a damage 'buffer' from the armor that allowed you take a few hits.

IE - exchanging fire was a viable tactic.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:40 pm

NickAragua wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:33 pm
I've been able to beat up codexes without a flashbang. The trick is to make sure you've killed everyone else first.
Make the first attack a big one so it only splits once. Also I don't think she splits on ambush damage.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:43 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:35 pm

I've learned that Ronar is a lot more helpful in learning the game than ChristopherOdd, here's his "Anyone can beat Legendary" playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... G4LzfU9EOj
This was the youtube channel that significantly improved my play to the point that I stopped watching it once I got a handle on my Legendary game. He's no wacky jacky (a pubg player who is a great instructor) but ronar does tell you what and why he's doing most things, including on the strategic layer.

I just can't stand him though. I'm trying to finish watching his playthrough in case I missed anything but mostly to see it through to the end, but god damn he's annoying to listen to. He's a strong player who makes mistakes because he's careless but it doesn't matter because he kills everything without losing a guy anyway, and that's true whether he alpha strikes or has to take 2 turns to do it. 3 turns is an eternity to be fighting anything in this game.

He's also twenty something going on a nerdy 15. I have nothing against nerds or teenagers, but the combination is a little too much for me when he's not actually teaching you anything. And he spends an awful lot of time not teaching you anything, but addressing his channel and streamer fans.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:57 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:36 pm
FWIW, getting shot in XCOM EW/EU ( I never played the original) wasn't suicide. You didn't lose the operative for a month for taking two points of damage, and end up with a guy who was emotionally scarred to the point of uselessness as a result. There was a damage 'buffer' from the armor that allowed you take a few hits.

IE - exchanging fire was a viable tactic.
Maybe. But then you don't lose anyone for a month for taking 2 damage in Xcom 2 either.

Once you get predator armor you can start brute forcing things (i.e. repeatedly exchange fire). I've even intentionally put a high hp guy out front to draw fire and tank the enemy. It's just a bad idea. It's a bad idea in Xcom 1 and it's a bad idea in 2.

The fatigue mechanic was added so that people didn't just play their A team over and over. They've also made it easy to get a large roster. Instead of starting with 8 soldiers, you start with something like 16, with an early scan to add 2-4 more rookies. Soldiers as rewards are also all over the place. You can buy them on the black market, rescue them during a mission, get them as a reward from a covert op.

I get that people get attached to their soldiers. I do too. The changes are to encourage diversity in your roster. Jag doesn't like that, so he turned the fatigue mechanic off. That's his right and I'm glad he's found a way to be happy with the game. I was already building a diverse roster before the fatigue mechanic was added, so it has been less painful for me.

The negative traits are just another way to keep things interesting and force you out of your comfort zone. You don't like it because you think it sucks (and that's fair). It's in the game for you to not like and work around. I get that it's frustrating, especially if you have a strong need to use the same soldiers over and over again while ignoring everyone else.

By the time you have power armor and plasma, you can get hit multiple times and still make it through the mission, although you better pray it's not a crit, or an andromedon (mid game) or Sectopod (mid-late) as those guys will crush you if you let them hit you. They aren't there to be in a shooty war with. They are there to kill your guys if you let them do anything. They are *intentionally* extra dangerous so you can't sit back and shoot it out with them, because the game is a war in name only. You're a special ops team doing surgical strikes. Getting shot at means you've failed practically by definition.

Again, your points are valid, but you're looking at the game from a perspective that just isn't valid, if it ever was. Games shouldn't force you to play a certain way, but at the same time they can't make the mechanics too easy for most of their players to accommodate those who prefer it to play another way. I mean, they can, if they make their game flexible enough, but that's not always feasible.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:00 pm

Putting this in it's own post because I don't want you to miss it.

Oh, this might help with your concerns! There is an option in the game called Second Wave which I believe doubles everyone's (yours, the aliens) hit points. That would make the game more shooty and less alpha strikey. Maybe try that? I haven't tried it so it kind of slipped my mind.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by dbt1949 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:13 pm

I find that leaving everyone out in the open before you overwatch gives everybody a good shot. Usually Advent is on patrol or incoming and doesn't get the first shot so you do.
Of course if they are ready to go I don't use that method.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:57 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:57 pm
Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:36 pm
FWIW, getting shot in XCOM EW/EU ( I never played the original) wasn't suicide. You didn't lose the operative for a month for taking two points of damage, and end up with a guy who was emotionally scarred to the point of uselessness as a result. There was a damage 'buffer' from the armor that allowed you take a few hits.

IE - exchanging fire was a viable tactic.
Maybe. But then you don't lose anyone for a month for taking 2 damage in Xcom 2 either.
Like I said, it's been a while and I'm certain I'm getting the details wrong. What I do remember is tiny, tiny hits causing me to lose my few active veterans for multiple missions, only to have some of them come back with traits that made them useless in the field. I was never able to build up a B squad and a C squad because I was never able to get any characters up more than a few levels before they were broken.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:15 pm

It's entirely possible my initial experience was similar and I've forgotten all about it after several hundred hours of repeat play. It's a totally different game when there aren't really any surprises left, just variations on the same old thing I've been doing for the past couple of years.

Anyway, traits shouldn't "break" soldiers. First, they are removable with an infirmary and 5 days. Second, many of them are completely playable.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:17 pm

I'm not sure how the game is balanced around wounds and healing. I'm fairly sure the algorithm changes depending on what stage of the game you're on and how many hp your soldiers have. I would normally suspect it's percentage based but that doesn't appear to be the case.

In any event, 2 hp is 50% of a Legendary rookie's hp. it's 40% of a Commander rookie's hp. It's a 3rd of a Commander squaddie's hp. That's not insignificant. That's 1 shout away from dying. Considering the first shot could have killed the soldier but didn't, those wounds are a godsend, not a problem.

I could see an argument for later in the game when armor is giving hp, that no wounds exist until the extra hp from the armor is chewed through, or if you don't like that idea, maybe split any damage between the soldier and the armor until the armor is gone, then 100% to the soldier. I like that idea. It would mean small hits would be superficial wounds at worst.

Still though, the game is balanced around people being wounded. Sure, you can be out a whole month if you're taken down to 1 hp. You can also only be out for 2-3 days when you have a staffed infirmary later in the game. Fatigue is the big equalizer in the game now, not injuries. Maybe for the first month wounds are an issue, or maybe even 2 (but not really), but there is no way to increase fatigue recovery outside of a Templar covert order that spends speeds recovery by 20%.

That you aren't happy with how long it takes an injured soldier to recover is perfectly fine. You're not even alone. I bet you could find 100 posts to the same effect out there somewhere. It exists in the game to create additional challenges on the strategic layer for the player though. "I don't like this challenge" is a perfectly fine opinion. Perhaps it makes the game less fun for you. I know there are many who feel differently and who would be upset if it was removed. It's a difficult position for the developer to be in. There are quite a few settings you can change in game to alter the game's behaviour that don't require mods or editing config files. It's not like they haven't tried to please as many as possible. I am unsure how doubling everyone's HP affects wound recovery. Instinctually I would assume that more HP would allow greater wounds without dying which would make recovery even longer, but I'm not sure, and it doesn't have to work that way.

Again, the problem is that the game is literally too easy for many people. Like 90% of the stuff added to Xcom 2 and it's DLCs were to increase the challenge over Xcom 1, while still leaving in difficulty settings so you can pick your poison. Many people complain that the rewards from Alien Hunter and SLG are too powerful, and now with the Legacy DLC giving 1 free modded weapon of each type at each difficulty level, the start of the game has been made easier, and many people feel the start of the game is the only challenge left in playing it.

I don't know the details of Long War, but I do know that a significant amount of the changes it implements are designed to make the game harder, not easier. And Long War is one of the best known, popular mods out there.

I don't have an answer for you Blackhawk. The game can be frustrating. When things go south they can go south in a hurry and then cascade from there. As a turn based tactical squad game it has a bunch of weaknesses. But it also has a lot of strengths, and is a lot of fun for many people. The strategic layer is all about getting out from behind the 8 ball. It starts hard and you work to make things easier. That's the nature of the game. What defines "too hard" vs "too easy" vs "just right" is in the eye of the player.
Last edited by GreenGoo on Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:24 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:15 pm
It's entirely possible my initial experience was similar and I've forgotten all about it after several hundred hours of repeat play. It's a totally different game when there aren't really any surprises left, just variations on the same old thing I've been doing for the past couple of years.

Anyway, traits shouldn't "break" soldiers. First, they are removable with an infirmary and 5 days. Second, many of them are completely playable.
10 days on Legendary but I agree, 5 days is peanuts on Commander or below. (note: I've completed Legendary exactly one time, save scumming the whole way. I'm in no way an expert).

As one of my anecdotes noted, I took a negative trait Templar into a mission, and if I had remembered that she had it and what it was, I could have completely disarmed the negative aspects with no effort. But I didn't and I didn't, and it bit me in the ass. I still was able to finish the mission with the VIP and his 2 cohorts rescued and none of my soldiers dead, which isn't me talking about how awesome I am (although I am 8-) ), it's showing that even when you take a negative trait soldier into battle and the trait takes effect at the worst possible time, the game is still winnable. And not just winnable. Decisively winnable. Now that doesn't mean every time it will be, but that's (supposed to be) the nature of Xcom. Random bad things happening is literally a battle cry of the fan base. "That's Xcom, baby" is everyone acknowledging that things will go wrong no matter what you do and that they like it that way.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:30 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:17 pm
Still though, the game is balanced around people being wounded. Sure, you can be out a whole month if you're taken down to 1 hp. You can also only be out for 2-3 days when you have a staffed infirmary later in the game. Fatigue is the big equalizer in the game now, not injuries. Maybe for the first month wounds are an issue, or maybe even 2 (but not really), but there is no way to increase fatigue recovery outside of a Templar covert order that spends recovery by 20%.
Friggin orders. The *only* useful one I got in this playthrough (and it's all over but the cryin) is +2 resistance contacts. NOTHING else of any significance came up.

Also, when I say it is all over but the crying, I mean it is all over except I have two chosen to kill and all the stuff after the shadow chamber to churn through. I had the easiest Avenger Defense mission I have ever seen. There was nothing between the ramp and the target. It was over in 5 turns. It probably would have been three if I brought out my Reaper.

You'll notice I don't say anything about the Alien Rulers. Yeah I don't install that DLC anymore as the rulers suck and the extra gear isn't worth it. Freeze grenade is cool but only really necessary for the Alien Rulers.

This is my favorite game of all time ever (I preferred JA2 in its day, but its day has passed) if I haven't mentioned that recently.
-Coop

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:38 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:30 pm
You'll notice I don't say anything about the Alien Rulers. Yeah I don't install that DLC anymore as the rulers suck and the extra gear isn't worth it. Freeze grenade is cool but only really necessary for the Alien Rulers.
I don't have enough data points yet but I'm starting to think they aren't the scary boogeymen the community views them as. Of course they have been nerfed since release, so I've only seen the "easier" versions.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:41 pm

It's also entirely possible that I didn't have access to the technologies yet that make those things fixable. I don't recall. I do seem to get the feeling that a lot of the secret of enjoying this game is learning how to play from an external source (IE - looking up the strategies) rather than just playing.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:44 pm

You can definitely learn from doing as I am pretty sure I finished it before I started watching YouTube gameplay or reading reddit. It would just be a more punishing process and if you didn't find enjoyment in that then you might never make it through that first game. Now I am going to find the original thread and see what I said back then.
-Coop

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:05 pm

This is for Blackhawk:
coopasonic wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:16 am
That reminds me, the new enemies are GREAT. I love them. I can name them because the name doesn't spoil anything, right? The Andromedon is very cool... and then... whoa, more cool! I'm a little sad that thought I've seen two Gatekeepers, I have yet to *see* the gatekeeper. *Executed* Yeah, exactly. Oh and screw you Codex. Seriously.
Posted 2/8/2016 three days after release, emphasis mine... I mean duh it's mine, but added after the fact.
coopasonic wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:19 pm
18 soldiers saw action
39 missions
11 flawless missions
481 aliens killed
1 soldier lost
69 promotions
8 colonels

Humanity has been saved. You are all welcome.
Game released on 2/5/2016. I successfully completed my first campaign on 2/10/2016.

It looks like I did watch some preview stuff on YouTube so I knew some going in, but not much because I was watching quill18 who is... not a good tactical player.

I finished my second campaign 11 days later.
coopasonic wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:10 pm
I just finished the campaign on Commander(not Ironman):
37 missions
20 flawless missions
447 aliens killed
0 soldiers lost (Untouchables achievement - at this point my most rare achievement ever at 0.75%)
49 promotions
7 colonels
-Coop

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by dbt1949 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:39 pm

There's also a new "category" for soldiers called "tired". Oh, this is realistic I suppose but who needs it?
Also the new category of "bonding". I'm waiting for the new category of "had sex and is rearing to go!"
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:41 pm

How do you think they bond?

Tired encourages you to have more than 6 soldiers.
-Coop

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:42 am

Well that hasn't happened in a while... Guerilla Ops protect the device mission failed in 4 turns. There was a Gatekeeper absolutely annihilating the device each turn, 12-14 damage a shot and 4 pods all right on top of the device. It's good to know I can still fail.
-Coop

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by Paingod » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:53 am

Against that, how could you pass? My goodness.

I think those missions where you have to push and rush to save an object are possibly the most annoying ones. Timers I can usually work around, but the randomness of an object taking damage... :hawk:
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by coopasonic » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:11 pm

All I have to do was engage the Gatekeeper... except that would have meant engaging 11 enemies. I didn't bring a Sci Op or I might have tried it.
-Coop

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:15 pm

Paingod wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:53 am
Against that, how could you pass? My goodness.

I think those missions where you have to push and rush to save an object are possibly the most annoying ones. Timers I can usually work around, but the randomness of an object taking damage... :hawk:
These are very like retaliation missions, in that there are enough aliens on the map to end the mission on the first turn, but the scripting prevents them from attacking all at once, each turn. Sometimes the script breaks (I alluded to that happening in one of my other posts) and then the aliens are freed from their shackles. I'm fairly sure that the Gatekeeper is not supposed to be the ONE alien allowed to attack the object each turn, but someone in Coop's case it was.

I don't actually know how the script works, but it's clear that the aliens are held back for most of the mission until they aren't. I'm not 100% sure what the trigger is for releasing them to their "normal" ai, but it's usually when you get close or active a pod near the object. It seems to me that the script just completely goes off the rails if you start killing aliens from stealth, as with squad sight and scouting, or claymores and such. I don't do that anymore (on missions where the aliens are artificially restrained) unless I'm prepared to kill most of them the next turn. If you start killing aliens around the object without activating the pod, they go nuts. Perhaps this is intentional, I don't know. I know it's a problem that needs to be taken into account though.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:37 pm

Finally got around to playing a little. I think I had been avoiding the game because I was paralyzed about the risks of what I needed to do next, which is go after a Chosen and/or SLG. In any case, I had a rescue the VIP then defend him for 3 turns mission.

This mission type allows you to overwatch creep without penalty, and I had to keep reminding myself to slow down and be more careful, because there is no penalty for doing so.

The game flashed me a view of an alien pod when one of my guys moved, but it was out of sight again when I stopped moving. It was somewhat interesting because the pod was right below the ledge I was standing on, although I was 1 tile back from the edge. It's pretty rare to have an inactive pod and and a visible soldier 2 tiles apart without activating the pod.

I kill the pod and and everyone reloads and overwatches the next turn. Well the Viper King shows up, and when I see his hp (he only has 2 hp bars on Commander I think?) is at about 1/2, I feel a little relief. He also moved into my overwatch trap (I had set it intentionally, but not for him) and just got pounded by gauss weapons across the board. On my turn I run my bladestorm ranger up to him and give him a whack, hoping that I'll get a bladestorm attack before he gets to do anything. I do, and it stuns. I then hit him with a second ranger I had brought along and that was all she wrote. The Viper King's only action was to move into my overwatch trap then die. Huzzah.

The 2 rangers are out of cover and staring down an officer and a purifier. I brought my trusty flash bang with me (I almost always do, I just never use it) and realize that the purifier is going to throw a fire grenade and hit at least 3 of my soldiers. I run my sniper into range and huck the flash bang. I don't put my specialty grenades on my rangers/Templars because I almost always use them to do significant damage, as all 3 can hit aliens in high cover with their melee attacks. Unlike with regular aliens, the grenade from the purifier is much more terrifying than his attack, which misses most of the time and if it hits, it only lights the soldier on fire which can be extinguished next turn with practically zero damage. He still has a chance to light all 3 on fire, but no explosion from the grenade first. The Officer takes a shot at a flanked ranger ( :( ) but misses! Flash bang ftw. The purifier, unable to throw his grenade because of the flash bang, loses his mind and eats his 2 actions moving around to no effect. Both aliens die the next turn.

I tend to stress about the "defend for 3 turns" because the reinforcements always come from different directions and it's difficult if not impossible to have every soldier have LoS to both reinforcement pods at the same time. In this case though it goes like clockwork (I'm pretty sure I'm in a sweet spot in the game where I have tier 2 weapons but the game hasn't upped the alien types yet) and while I do eat a purifier explosion from a bladestorm attack (I intentionally accepted the risk), everything else goes perfectly despite killing 2 other purifiers (1 exploded, 1 did not, neither did damage) and everyone gets to the choppa without incident.

Killing the Viper King was anticlimatic but also a huge relief. For now I want things to go well and not be exciting at all. Exciting means guys are getting hurt and maybe dying. No thanks.

With the warlock having the most knowledge of Xcom activities, I guess I have to go after him first. His rifle is great, but it doesn't have a repeater on it (not that I remember anyway) and the only guys who use rifles are Specialists, who I try to make overwatch execution kings, so it's not a great fit. Oh well, if I can prevent a Avenger defense mission, I will.

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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by dbt1949 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:11 pm

I had a mission to kill one of the Chosen. After working my way in and confronting (her?) she disappears.
I put my robot in missile fire mode and when (he) came upon it, he revealed the assassin in the shadow.
No problem to take her down then.
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Re: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A new war? A new thread!

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:10 pm

I have no idea what missile fire mode is, but good on you. Taking down a Chosen is particularly gratifying in this game.

The rewards aren't half bad either.

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