XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Help us shape the future of the Vortex mod manager by taking our survey
0 of 0

File information

Last updated

Original upload

Created by

fjz

Uploaded by

fjz

Virus scan

Safe to use

242 comments

  1. rfan06
    rfan06
    • member
    • 7 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Hi. Just finished my Brutal Campaign (Patch 26.3a with SW - RF, TR, AA, CC, Recon, PI). Here is my late game feedback, I'll pick up where I left off in November.

    Like many people, the most boring part of LW for me is the late game. I like that the psi training chances are increased significantly. Paired with reduced fatigue and easier captures psi isn't a grind anymore. I think the Nigeria bonus is quite important though, as 14 days in the can is very long. I captured the ethereal in January and my volunteer learned mind control in early February.

    The overseer objective though was not so great for me. Following midgame trend, I was still really starved of elerium and weapon fragments in the late game. I typically aim to unlock firestorms in the December, the first one gets built in mid-late January, then the emps follow closely. At the same time the hyperwave relay is building. In this mod, the biggest hurdle elerium-wise was the elerium generator (now that it costs 120) that I had to build for the relay, which I typically don't have to do. This is because the thermal generators provide 30 less power in total, it's a net-loss of 14 with 4 fission generators. Building it has delayed progress by a month. For fragment-wise it was the emp research. In the end, my first firestorm got built in late February, and I rushed the relay and emps to be built in early March. The game felt really tedious as the resources trickled in. This is even though I raided all but 3 large landeds (the first two and 1 late), and the aliens were sending a lot as I held all the countries. By mid April, I didn't want to play overseer roulette for another few more months so I just savesummed and placed my firestorms to where it will spawn. I had 0 elerium, but 2000+ alloys and 500k+ cash that I couldn't spend on anything.

    I don't normally have fragment shortages at all, even without improved salvage. My elerium shortage is typically not as bad, even though I sell 400+ to fund my early to mid expansion. I didn't sell any in this playthough. Hell, I didn't even build the genetics lab at all because I didn't have the elerium and it would use up power that I didn't have. I think one of the reasons is that you get less elerium from most alien corpses. Also since you face more active enemies at once with chain activations, you kill a bit more with explosives. My suggestion is to be a bit more lenient on these resources.

    I finished the campaign in late April. I have no issues with the temple ship being predictable, I view it as a victory lap so I don't want it to be too difficult. I cheesed the last room with 9 proxy mines and that always makes me laugh! I brought my only corporal medic as a joke and he just sat in the back keeping my volunteer company.

    I brought 3 MEC-7s to the final mission; Jaeger, Archer, Marauder. I only value MECs by their damage output, so I think some MECs are a lot better than others.
    - Pathfinders: Quite weak with the CE bug. Without the bug they are okay at best. If you can shoot again with H&R then I would use this MEC more.
    - Goliath: Didn't build one as I don't like defensive MECs
    - Guardian: Didn't find much use as I never use restorative mist. Only unlocks sentinel at MS so they are quite weak for me.
    - Shogun: Imo a worse version of an archer. Archers are more flexible with double grenades. Sapper is not as useful since proxy mines, grenades, and collateral damage destroy cover very reliably.
    - Valkyrie: Can shoot thrice with RF if standing still. Not useful for me as my MEC's rarely just stand there. They can crit for a lot though, good vs berserkers.
    - Marauder: Can shoot thrice with RF without standing still, then can CCS. A useful MEC that needs a lot of mobility. Terrible aim though. Viable with tier-3 mec-suit since you don't have to constantly worry about them getting wounded.
    - Archers: Very Powerful MEC, proxy mines deal a lot of damage. Also viable with tier-3 mec-suit.
    - Jaegers: Definitely overpowered and needs a nerf. Aim stacking gave my jaeger 122 aim, making the ITZ malice not a problem at all. It is always equipped with a gauss cannon with heat ammo, allowing them to do 20 damage to robotic enemies. 8-heavy floater pods are a joke now as it can one-shot 4 of them right off the bat, then the squad can take care of the rest. It can one-shot the annoying seekers and deal more than half the hp of mectoids and sectopods. Its high aim and damage also allows them to finish off 4 organic enemies reliably. My jaeger had 300+ kills in 37 missions and I wasn't even trying to kill stack. That's more than 8 kills per mission! I leveled it up from corporal in no time at all.

    I still hold the belief that heat ammo is too important. As a result, pulse weapons are weak in comparison to gauss. Gauss on average deals the same damage to enemies that have at least 1 point of dr and the enemies that don't normally don't have much hp. On the other hand, gauss has access to heat while pulse does not. As half of the high threat enemies are robotic (now that heavy floaters are also robotic) dealing 3-4 more damage per shot becomes quite important. This is to the point that I consider the 2 added damage of plasma an equal trade in damage, and that's only if I have at least a MEC with heat. Meanwhile my 2 Mecs can more than make up for lost damage to organics. Therefore my gunners and snipers have mostly stuck to gauss weapons until the endgame, and my mecs always bring gauss cannons except when I want collateral damage on the second mec.

    Bugs:
    - Tactical rigging is bugged with psionic flashbangs, it doesn't get carried to the mission if placed in the 4th slot.
    - Heavy pulse rifle with extended mags can only fire once if two ammo remaining.
    - Virtually guaranteed CTD for whole map activations, particularly when selecting a soldier with squadsight as they see too many enemies.

    Overall I enjoyed the early-mid game, the late-game not so much. I think it would be much better if you reduce the amount of waiting for end-game; such as reducing relay and gollop requirements (resource and power) and build times, and reducing firestorm and emp build times. Because at that point you are ready to play overseer roulette to end the game, which can take months and you don't want all the extra stuff to drag it out. And also increase resources by a bit more. This way the mod improves upon the typical LW end-game experience.
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      All good and valid points! I'll definitely adjust elerium and alloy income, as well as make the Overseer easier to take down. I do agree the endgame tends to drag on a bit too much.

      Yes, Pathfinders are much weaker with the H&R rework. CE will get replaced by something else. I'll also decrease the environmental damage of MEC explosives a bit to make Shoguns more valuable. And an aim nerf to Jaegers sounds good to me.

      Perhaps Incendiary Ammo is too valuable, especially on the big MEC guns, since its bonus is percentage based. I'll restrict it to ballistic only, so you wouldn't want to take it on too many units after you unlock gauss.

      I'll see if I can fix those bugs, but the last one is most likely beyond my abilities.

      Thanks again for the feedback!
    2. rfan06
      rfan06
      • member
      • 7 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Hi. I'm glad that you agree with my analysis. Yeah the Jaeger and Archer definitely needs nerfs, in the end I just stopped bringing other MECs except those two to every mission. The Archer will just blow everything up and the Jaeger will mop up or one-shot anything out of the sky.

      I feel chain activations makes balancing quite difficult; as you need to make it so that handling multiple pods is not impossible while one pod should not be too easy. I fear that if you restrict heat ammo to ballistics then multiple pods of robotics may be too difficult to handle. I think some form of heat is required in the late game. Perhaps buff enhanced beam optics to 2dr for pulse and cap heat damage to at most 4? This way at worst your're trading 2 organic damage for 2 robotic with pulse, and plasma will still be a strict upgrade from pulse. Now it'll be worth it to upgrade my mecs and snipers to pulse while my gunner stays anti-mec. Would you agree?

      As for the CTD's UCross claimed that he has solved this issue, so maybe ask him?
    3. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      It could be that the 70% bonus damage against robotics is too much, and 50% or less would make it more balanced, without having to make Incendiary Ammo ballistic only. I think most of the overpowered-ness comes from MECs with their high base damage. Capping the damage isn't a bad idea, but I'm not capable enough with code to attempt that.

      It might also be a bit tricky to make EBO give extra DR penetration for pulse. I could buff it overall, either more aim or more DR penetration, but then it'll be too much of an "auto-equip" item for the laser weapons. Nerfing Incendiary Ammo in some form or another is probably more effective in balancing the tiers. And being threatened by lots of robots in the late game might not be a bad thing; at least it'll be less boring :)

      I'll ask around for the CTD fix. If not ucross, then szmind should be able to tell me as well.
    4. rfan06
      rfan06
      • member
      • 7 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Good luck with the mod dude. I find this to be a superior experience to LWR, so I don't get why it's so underplayed. Maybe the mod just needs a more eye-catching name.
    5. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Thanks. I have been thinking about the reason it doesn't see many downloads, despite it being around for quite some time. Maybe the name does have something to do with it. I'm open to suggestions lol
  2. rfan06
    rfan06
    • member
    • 7 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Hi. I'm playing on Brutal difficulty patch 26.3a with SW - RF, TR, AA, CC, Recon, PI. I'm in late November just after the alien base assault. Overall I quite enjoy this mod, it is better than my experience with LWR. Here is my feedback.

    What I like:
    - You've addressed the reverse difficulty curve. Early game is easier now. Ballistics rookies can suppress, your troops all get tactical rigging from the start, and early game enemies have less hp. Maybe the laser sights are a bit OP in the beginning, that or I'm just not used to getting 75%+ shots on a drone with rookie assault rifles.
    - Chain activations allow for faster gameplay. But unlike LWR you actually provide enough tools to deal with this, such as large radius rockets and more slots for grenades and consumables.
    - More realistic costs, I can now try items I normally wouldn't build, also allows for greater diversity in loadouts. I like that you don't limit items to one per person.
    - Perks tied to items instead of soldier progression is interesting, allows for more flexibility. But this does make late game soldiers weaker since now the perk takes up an item slot that normally would have been filled by something else. I don't know if you've balanced this for late game.
    - Early Captures are quite viable now as you've upped the sell value substantially, maybe even too much. But 15000 for a berzerker is definitely too much given how often they appear! One mission I captured 3 and that alone funded my Mec-1 suit. Flashbangs make them trivial to capture. It's funny how they've become my primary source of funds and I see them as walking gold-mines.

    What I dislike:
    - My biggest issue is exalt heavies in covert extractions. Since now relays only disorient it is essentially up to rng that you won't get a rocket to your face. They can still shoot accurate rockets even disoriented. In one mission I got obliterated by 2 rockets from out of LOS! Note they can even blue move then shoot an accurate rocket. The bugfix for LW no longer works in this version, so maybe implement a similar fix?
    - Getting motion tracker or battle scanner so late. Early game overwatch crawling is super tedious, it was much more enjoyable when I unlocked the motion tracker.
    - Training roulette can really be quite rng-based. Some key perks can be randomised so they unlock really late in the ranks, such as grenadier on engineers and shock-and-awe on rocketeers. It was really painful leveling these up to MS as I didn't want to keep re-rolling soldiers.
    - I feel like I'm stagnating in progress. Reason is three-fold. (1) High rank soldiers can still be weak since they haven't unlocked their key perks, sometimes even corporals are better than them. (2) Early game armour is no longer a strict progression, my soldiers are still using tac-vests after phalanx and composite after carapace due to the nerfed mobility. Only a handful of troops were able to benefit. (3) Since you've lengthened laser research time it felt I was stuck on ballistics for too long.
    - Mec-1's just require too much babysitting. You get them later in the game since now it costs so much to build. 8 armour is really nothing even with 3dr, especially now you've gated alloy carbide plating much later behind heavy floaters instead of cyberdiscs. Any MEC who cannot employ hit-and-run tactics are too risky to use, right now I've only found use for Jaegers and Pathfinders. I don't find shoguns and archers fun to use as their entire strategy is to run out, grenade/mine, then hide back into heavy cover. Marauders unlock CE too late in the tree imo. Overwatch guardian and valkyrie are just asking for wound times.
    - Gating armoured fighters behind 10 heavy floaters! It's late November and I've only seen a handful of these. Right now the destroyers two-shot my interceptors.
    - Medics are still useless, especially with TR.
    - Starved of weapon fragments even with improved salvage and being mindful of explosives, many projects now require them. Starved of meld and elerium in the late game but I have plenty of alloys (1000+)
    - Heat ammo only available to ballistics. With gauss I can get heat ammo AND I save an equipment slot by quenchguns replacing enhanced beam optics. I'm only getting pulse for supercapacitors. This adds to the stagnation for me.
    - Chem grenade radius is too small, you have to throw it literally right on top of the alien. I've missed too many times and stopped using them. They're quite useless too given that they only remove 1 dr.

    Some observations:
    - I don't know if you've changed the AI but they now spread their terror missions across every continent. As a result I've never lost a country.
    - Floaters double move more than usual now you've removed suppression.
    - Base defense security weapons are surprisingly useless since only ballistics give suppression, for me it's not worth the 1 extra damage and aim. This actually saved me as rng never gives me gunners in base defense and the rookies were my only sources of suppression.
    - Free actions not stacking is quite a disappointment. I cannot free throw then H&R and vice versa. Technician stun is not free after free throw. If my archer can mine then grenade then run away it would make me use them more.

    Bugs:
    - Assaults rapid-fire 3 times even if 2 ammo left. Also, they fire 3 times even when the alien is dead after the 2nd shot.
    - Gunners cannot suppress with 2 ammo left (except gauss). I had extended mags.
    - Cannot shoot again after Pathfinder CE shot
    - Assault rifle and carbine can suppress even if 2 ammo left.
    - Exalt cash sabotage is still old money values

    Overall, good work on the mod! I'll keep playing so maybe I'll have more feedback by then. The amount of dr the mutons are getting is starting to worry me though...


    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Hi rfan06,

      Thanks for the great feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the mod, and it's nice to hear that it compares favorably with LWR. ERaT doesn't see as many downloads, since not many people know it exists. I'll try to address all the points you've brought up as best I can.

      I like items that give a sizable bonus under the right conditions. The vanilla Laser Sight, which gave +4 aim, just felt useless to me. I think giving +5-10 aim is a fair compensation for requiring your troops to get in close to the enemy. If you couldn't kill drones at that distance, their Holo-targeting would mess you up pretty good I'd imagine.

      Yes, it's true that Master Sergeants aren't that much more powerful than lower-level soldiers due to the nature of training roulette. Overall stat growth has been decreased too. But you'll also find that alien stat growth has been nerfed significantly as well, so it should balance out. However, I would like to hear your feedback about late-game balance, since I rarely hear any of it. Anyway, the unintentional upside to this is that, should you lose a Master Sergeant to poor play or bad RNG, it won't be as large of a setback to your campaign :)

      I can certainly decrease the price of Berserker captives. I'm happy to hear you bring along flashbangs for them. I myself always opt for explosive, smoke, or chem grenades, and I was afraid no one would use flashbangs. I nerfed chem grenade's radius because I was afraid they would be overused. Although they only reduce 1 DR, acid now lasts 3-4 turns (from 1-3). It is quite good at neutralizing Mutons because they often suppress when acided, which gets cancelled as soon as they take the 1 damage lol. And on Mechtoids, even 1 DR makes a big difference when you're concentrating fire at them. Still, I wouldn't be opposed to increasing its radius a little bit. Just don't try throwing them against units in the air. I think there's a bug where they simply cannot be affected.

      It may have been a mistake to let Exalt Heavies learn Snapshot at 250 alien research lol. I do agree rockets can ruin an otherwise smooth extraction mission. I'll take out the perk next patch. But their rockets do share the same stat as XCOM's, so I don't think there's anything I can do about that. I'm also not sure why Disorientation wouldn't affect their rocket accuracy or range. So far in my campaign, I have avoided any rocket-related catastrophes, and I find that Alloy SHIVs do very well against their ballistic weaponry.

      I actually don't think overwatch crawling in the early game is strictly necessary, since you get a free move on all your units after revealing a pod. I have even seen a player dash all his soldiers into the FOW from turn 1. My strategy of scouting without the help of Motion Trackers is to keep all my units within a short distance to some full cover, so that they can easily move to safety when a pod gets activated.

      Personally, I like the fact that some of my soldiers are stronger than others at the early stages of the game. It helps to form some fondness or attachment to certain individuals, rather than uniform clones. I also play with Hidden Potential, so even the weakest of soldiers can still become strong if they have some good stat rolls at higher levels. If, for example, an Engineer doesn't learn Grenadier until the final ranks, I'll make him a Close-Encounters specialist or supportive Technician arc-thrower.

      I see you place a premium on mobility over HP. The last player I spoke with was the opposite, and always used heavy armor, even if he ended up with 6 or 7 mobility lol. He got away with it via mass Squadsight from Advanced Scopes, which is the main reason I pushed it to the mid-game in 27.0 (more on him later). I can understand you not liking Phalanx, but why not use Kestrel? It's a lot more protective than Tac Vest, while weighing only 1 more.

      I think LW 1.0 let you upgrade from ballistic much too quickly. It seemed like you used ballistic only for the first 10% of a campaign, then Laser for the next 20%, and Gauss for the next 30%. In ERaT, you can choose to use ballistic, skip Laser, and move on to Gauss. The special ammos let you harass the aliens in new, creative ways in the meantime.

      MEC-1s are definitely not that great at tanking, having less DR than an Alloy SHIV. It may be that MEC classes that don't rely on free actions are weaker. But I don't really see a way to buff Valkyries without making them too similar to Jaegers or Pathfinders. I have had good success in using an Archer to shoot 2 consecutive grenades. Any enemies that don't immediately die, lose cover and get picked off by soldiers. Perhaps once you unlock heavier MEC suits, you'll have better success tanking with them. For now, just keep them alive long enough to be repaired with an Arc Thrower. As for Marauders, I suppose I could make them learn CE one rank sooner.

      Certainly I can lessen the number of Super Floaters required for Armored Fighters. I thought they were quite commonplace by that point in the game.

      I have been told that Medics are rather unremarkable, especially when compared to Infantry or Rocketeers, who make a much bigger impact in battle. But I would challenge anyone who dismisses them to beat a campaign without ever using one. I think they would have a hard time on protracted missions where getting multiple wounds (or even a critical wound) is quite inevitable. And in those circumstances, being able to bring 7 Medikits on a single soldier will be a real blessing. Or maybe I'm just not that good, and other players can get away with equipping a Medikit on just a few soldiers. But then, you'll be weighing down several of your offensive units, rather than a single Medic.

      The reason you find yourself short on fragments is because I increased fragment costs after witnessing the aforementioned heavy armor aficionado bring 3 or 4 rockets on every mission and blast everything sky high. He didn't mind destroying fragments since he still had enough, and had the gall to complain to me that rockets were OP. So in order to discourage that sort of tactic (rather than nerfing rockets), I upped fragment requirements. So far, in my own campaign, which is nearing November, I have 227 fragments saved up, and my main bottleneck has just been cash. I don't really know why you would have such a shortage of everything except alloys.

      Although Gauss gets the 1 DR penetration, Pulse has +1 base damage, so it's better against unarmored targets. And it can get an ammo upgrade with Elerium Batteries, whereas Gauss cannot. As for anti-mechanical properties, EMP Rifle is by far the best counter against robots.

      I haven't made any changes to the AI, unless it's something in one of the included mods. As you've probably noticed, I have made civilians much harder to hit, so terror missions aren't as much of a headache. I don't think it's fair to lose a country to terror missions anyway.

      I wanted Floaters to be more aggressive in flanking and attacking, rather than wasting their turns suppressing. I've buffed their mobility to encourage this, but nerfed their weapon range so that they're not too oppressive.

      Yes, I do think ballistic is more useful than laser on those UN rookies. Still, there's not much I can do about it outside of removing that upgrade, is there?

      No, free actions don't stack, although that's not a design decision. That's just default mechanics. I could say that in the ability descriptions, but it would get wordy. And players will find out for themselves one way or another.

      I'm aware of all those bugs except the Pathfinder one, which was an oversight. Hit and Run disallows a second shot, oops. I don't think it's necessary to tackle the Exalt cash bug or the 2 ammo=3 ammo bug, since it works to the player's advantage, and frequent reloading slows the game down. The Gunner suppression bug can be mitigated by giving their weapons more ammo, but I think it's enough currently.

      Hope to hear from you again! And feel free to drop by the discord channel sometime.
    2. rfan06
      rfan06
      • member
      • 7 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Hi. Thanks for your reply!

      - I think the main problem with exalt heavies is that their rockets follow vanilla mechanics (90% dead accurate rocket). The LW devs stated that it was impossible to change it to the scatter mechanics. Disorient not affecting them just makes it worse. The problem with alloy shivs is that they don't provide safety for your agent on the other side of the map, who can get blown up just like that. Right now my most reliable strategy is to abuse ghost grenades.

      - To the contrary I think flashbangs are absurdly powerful, I always bring 4 on any mission. They make engagements trivial.

      - In LW I only valued chem grenades for their dr reduction. Since all my gunners and snipers bring heat ammo, and engineers bring emp rifle, the 1 extra dr reduction is really useless for me.

      - I play quite safe so I like to minimise risks by overwatch crawling. I think dashing into FOW is quite risky given chain activations.

      - I may be a minority but I don't get attached to my troops haha, I just see them as troops with/without good perks and stats.

      - Yes kestral is fine, it's carapace and phalanx that I don't really use. I like to keep my troops to have at least 10 mobility.

      - I just don't like to constantly worry if my mecs will get shot or not, getting the alloy carbide plating much earlier would really help.

      - Yes I have watched a bit of the heavy armour guy's stream. Although it is a strong strategy it has two drawbacks. (1) The shiv soaks valuable exp and costs resources to repair. (2) Your troops cannot retreat if things get bad. In his observatory council mission his troops were flanked by thin-men left and right. He had no choice but to stay there and waste his rockets, and some of his troops nearly died.

      - I really do think medics need an overhaul. Right now my infantry brings 3 medkits every mission from savior or field medic and that's more than enough for most missions. The only mission I brought a medic was the alien base assault, not even large landeds. But in hindsight that was a mistake, I should have just brought another sentinel infantry with 3 more medkits. My medic just sat in the back doing nothing. That said, I do think infantries are a bit op, they have sentinel opportunist overwatch, light em up, in the zone, AND saviour/field medic!

      - I actually do worse in terror missions now that battle scanners are gated so late in the game. The problem is not aliens shooting the civs, it's the off-screen deaths every turn. Before you can just tag the pods with battle scanners to minimise that.

      - I may have overexagerated. I will get a heavy pulse rifle and the shotgun but that's it. Meanwhile my mecs, gunners and snipers are staying with gauss for heat, and engineer the emp rifle. The ammo conservation project requires obscene amounts of elerium that I don't have, plus the extra ammo is not worth the heat given how many robotic enemies appear in the late game. New tier equipment just doesn't feel like an upgrade for me, I really don't feel like I'm getting noticeably stronger in this mod.
    3. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Shadow Devices are very powerful. I only built two because of the elerium cost. Even then, there have been a few hairy situations that felt nigh-unbeatable if I didn't have them.

      It should be possible to give Exalt Heavies a perk that decreases rocket damage or range, so I could resort to that if they remain too strong.

      I did buff the hell out of Flashbangs, and it does allow you to flank enemies quite easily. I just find it hard to make room for them, since I usually only bring one Engineer, and other soldiers carry either a chem or smoke if they have a spare slot. I like chem because it deals chip damage and lowers aim for several turns, even if the radius is small.

      I like to use heavy armor if the soldier has low health, as the risk of getting one-shot is too great. Often, I pair light armor with Alloy Mesh or Chitin Plating just to ensure I don't lose a guy to an unexpected flanking shot.

      I would be worried if the MEC-1 was super durable right out of the gate. If they didn't need to be repaired, Technician would be rather useless. And I think the player should feel the need to rotate MEC troopers due to wound times. Also, more advanced MEC suits would get easily OP, since their DR increases faster than the weapon damage of most aliens. Once you get those end-game MEC suits with accompanying equipment, you'll feel that you've really come a long way from the uninspired "Prototype" MEC-1.

      I also streamed the council mission in my campaign. You can take a look at it here. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/644990775. I like to use a mix of light and heavy armor, with a variety of classes. I get really unlucky with a suppressed Muton towards the end lol. I have a few more recorded missions, including a base defense and Deluge. Let me know if you're interested in seeing them.

      It's not a problem if you decide to make your Infantry pseudo-Medics. That's why I gave them those perks, after all. I just prefer to take offensive perks on my Infantry, rather than healing ones. I only take one Infantry for their anti-air and DPS potential, so I want them to shoot as well as possible. Gunners and classes with Lock N' Load are better at suppression, while Snipers have higher base damage and greater aim growth. As of 27.0, Infantry loses In The Zone and gains Fire in the Hole. My Medics carry the EMP Rifle, so their lower aim isn't such a drawback. Medics are also the only class besides Engineers that have access to Technician. On my alien base assault, I really needed two Technicians to keep my MEC and Alloy SHIV in fighting condition. Medics also get access to Low Profile, which is a very good perk, and only shared by Snipers and Assaults. And of course they have two exclusive healing perks, Field Surgeon and Revive.

      I agree the off-screen civilian deaths can get a bit annoying. That's why I decreased the amount of country panic generated from each death from 2 to 1. So even if you do poorly, you're not punished too hard.

      If you're at pulse, that means you'll have unlocked most of the critical soldier items already. Until you get plasma weaponry, the most progress you can make is most likely in better MEC suits and gear, flying armor, as well as gene mods and psionic abilities. You probably still have a lot of foundry projects yet to research. ERaT has the same amount of items and upgrade options as LW 1.0, so maybe it's the pacing that feels different. It could be that right now items get unlocked too quickly. In 27.0, you don't get to use rifle Squadsight until psionics, so there is a clearer line between early game and mid-game.
  3. GeoffTheGorilla
    GeoffTheGorilla
    • member
    • 19 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Alright, just finished by second campaign. Going to briefly talk about MECs since I didn't built any last time around. Over the course of the game, my tactics settled on hit-and-run attacks and using LOS blockers akin to SHIVs. That seemed to work best. Call more overly cautious, though even with heavy armor and tanky addons such as repulsor core, I never felt comfortable with having them stand in the open. Against sectoids and thin men, perhaps, but concentrated fire from the most basic of late-game enemies like mutons and upgraded floaters will still chew through their armor in short order. I suppose playing with DR chipping didn't help either! Relative scarcity of healing items made not taking damage a primary concern, too. So, tanky actions were relegated to emergency situations only or when there was a backup plan like ghost grenades or deflection field.

    I was almost afraid to take out MEC-1s into battle because anything more than scratch damage could mean lengthy and extremely expensive repairs as the base cost of that suit is so high. From further developments, the MEC-7 seemed to offer the best balance of protection and mobility. And MEC-6s for support troopers with squadsight. The MEC-4 was useful too, if a little too much on the sluggish side. Can't punch 'em if you can't get close enough, right? Didn't find anything to complain about equipment: including the basic laser lance, everything was up to the task right until the end, and all secondary items had some purpose or niche.

    As stated, hit and run tactics were the name of the game. Which meant...

    Jaeger: High risk, high reward. Always had to make sure those ITZ kill chains went my way. Needs good mobility to move in and out of visual range until they learn squadsight, so light armor is pretty much a requirement. Couldn't use absorption field to offset because it degrades accuracy. Very dicey.

    Guardian: Very viable at Sergeant and up. Being able to serve as a mobile medigel dispenser for other MECs was most welcome.

    Pathfinder: Several free actions perks to choose from. Quite versatile depending on the build.

    Shogun & Archer: ...work best together. One places a free proximity mine, the other a free grenade on top. Failed to see the point of picking any of the generic shooty perks over their specialized ones, though.

    Marauder: Didn't use mine much until I replaced Proximity Detection with CCS. Couldn't wait for them to finally level up to grab one of the free actions perks.

    Goliath: Always a struggle to find the right balance between speed and tankiness. Late-game sprinter/agility was a nice reward for managing to keep them alive. Got a lot of use out of free punches and flamethrower action. Again, the shooty perks seemed pretty pointless to me.

    Valkyrie: Nothing it could do better than a standard infantry, honestly. Spend most of the time in the barracks. Light 'Em Up is good and all, but there never seemed to be any situations where moving up and standing in the open like a doofus for one turn, taking fire from 10 enemies, would have been a wise idea. And I don't want my tactics to revolve around something niche as ghost grenades. Even dense smoke isn't good enough to keep MECs save.

    Well, that should about wrap it up. I continued to use every flavour of SHIV, by the way. Good old Street Sweeper ended up with 65 kills from 52 missions this time around. ;)

    Thanks and take care,
    GtG
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Hey Geoff, thanks for the feedback!

      I think using hit and run tactics with MECs is very sensible. You shouldn't be face-tanking with them all the time. That would take all the skill out the equation wouldn't it? They should be durable enough to attract and withstand fire from lesser enemies, but not so tough that they can stomp around the battlefield with impunity. I'm curious as to what this DR chipping mod you're playing with is though?

      You raise a good point about repair costs with the MEC-1. I should decrease its price a bit. MEC-4 might be good if you put loads of defensive equipment on it and don't expect it to get many kills. Maybe without DR chipping it could be a dependable damage sponge. I'm glad you thought the equipment were well-balanced. I didn't get a chance to try out most of them after designing them, so I was just waiting for someone to give some feedback lol.

      By Absorption Field, you are referring to the Ion Shield Projector right? (That one gives Ion Shield). Cause that's the only MEC item that decreases accuracy. I do think many people who go Archer/Shogun will take maximum advantage of its explosives perks. But since you'll eventually run out of explosives (if the mission is too long or if you spam them a lot), learning some shooting perks is insurance that they remain somewhat useful. As for Valkyries, they might be able to carry their weight as long as they are equipped with a heavy MEC suit and some defensive equipment. Valkyrie/Maurader are the only MECs with Rapid Fire (it fires 3 shots with Killer Instinct no less) which is pretty handy for taking out large targets.

      Again, I am amazed at the illustrious career of the acclaimed Street Sweeper. Maybe I should make that the default name for all SHIVS, hm?
    2. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Yeah, the projector of course, my mistake. Useful small item for Shogun/Archer in particular because they didn't use their gun very often. Can follow your train of thought, however personally I'd still prefer ammo conservation over giving up specialist training. As for Valkyries: I pondered what might make them more palatable for my play style and one thing that came to mind was suppression and danger zone on the perk tree, maybe at LCPL and CPL respectively. I know your aim is to tie basic perks to gear, not people, but that would make them unique among the MECs. DZ for non-free-action grenade/proximity launcher could make for an interesting hybrid build. That's someone I would have brought along on some missions, absolutely.

      https://www.nexusmods.com/xcom/mods/628
      DR chipping was made by JCLewis. Any high damage roll has a chance to remove a bit of base DR; this is cumulative. The idea is to open up with a sniper rifle or LMG, punch through some of that armor, giving your guys with weaker weapons a chance to inflict meaningful damage. It affects all mobs equally; just don't ask me for precise numbers as they're not made transparent ingame. Personal combat armor cannot be repaired in the field and ordinary healing items don't affect DR at all. Only the repair beam (XCOM and drones) will reset a mechanized unit's DR to full. Repulsor core/absorption field greatly reduces the probability of losing armor to begin with. DR loss by acid is temporary as per vanilla.

      What it means in practice is that you'd want to focus-fire on hardened targets with your heavy hitters first, while receiving as little damage as possible in return. Tank only when absolutely necessary, repair when possible and withdraw damaged SHIVs/MECs to the rear when you can't. I quite enjoyed the extra challenge because I couldn't rely on their fire power as much, at least not consistently. Always the calculated risk between damage to the enemy vs. damage to myself vs. retaining their combat effectiveness for later turns. SHIVs/MECs lacking any DR are easy to kill. In essence, tactical decisions had to factor in a lot more parameters when mechanized units were on the field. Might not be to everybody's taste, though.

      Street Sweeper got lucky because I'm a very cautious player as mentioned before. Regardless, there were were some casualties among the SHIVs. At the end I had:

      Street Sweeper
      Heavy Metal II
      Xenobuster II (alloy)
      Titan III (alloy)
      Rainbringer (hover)

      Also lost at least one Goliath and Archer each if I recall correctly.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
    3. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      I think using suppression on MECs isn't to their advantage. They're easily hit, which would cancel suppression, and they don't have access to Holo-Targeting. And they don't have as much ammo as SHIVs to suppress easily. Wouldn't you rather spend the turn dealing damage or using Flush or Demolition Beam?

      The perks that make using Grenade Launcher and Mine Launcher are Grenadier and Fire in the Hole respectively. I didn't want to put the on too many MECs, because I don't want them to be too similar. Archer learns them both, while Marauder and Shogun learns just one of them. Maybe Grenadier would be better on Valkyrie than Marauder?

      I'll check out the DR chipping mod. If it can be adjusted somewhat I'll consider including it in ERaT.
    4. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Point taken! The reason I mentioned DZ over GR/FitH is because it claims to increase the AoE of MEC-mounted launchers and no other MEC has that perk. Well, assuming the description is accurate; I haven't put it to the test.

      Moving GR from Marauder to Valkyrie might be worthwhile. Versatility on the Marauder would still be pretty decent without it, I reckon.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
  4. GeoffTheGorilla
    GeoffTheGorilla
    • member
    • 19 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Think I've encountered a handful of bugs you might want to hear about:

    1) The CCS component of proximity detection seems to be hard-coded to work on SHIVs only. I repeatedly put MECs in situations where it should have triggered (exposed targets running in the open) and it never did, not even once. No such issues with SHIVs most of the time. Replaced it with actual CCS for the Marauder and updated the description accordingly. Still a good pick for a Pathfinder, though.

    2) Arc barricade appears to set DR to 1 instead of adding to it. My Marauder found out the hard way. Also, it's still a default ability according to the Soldier Augmentation screen, though I assume those descriptions might not be readily moddable.

    3) The game doesn't always seem to pick the right model for the pulse pistol when spawning in mobs. Sometimes, there's a full-length pulse rifle hanging from the hip even though the primary weapon may be something else. Switching to it, often when in full cover, can trigger a glitched animation (stretched-out arms pose), and cause the program to freeze or more often crash when attempting to take a shot. Reloading from a save usually helps.

    4) This has to be the most irritating one for me. I've had persistent problems with the Grenadier perk, as in the incorrect composition or quantity showing up during missions. Was unable to find a clear pattern thus far, but 1x PSI/Chem instead of 2x, or an entire set of grenades not being available at all are not uncommon. Thought it might have something to do with the number of small item slots, however that's apparently not the case as far as I could tell. Wish I could be more specific!

    5) Juggernaut is named "shock-absorbent armor".

    6) Having "shredded for x turns" in the target description is often misleading because it seems to call a proc returning the maximum possible duration for a shredder rocket, not taking anything else such as time passed or elerium ammo into account.

    7) ITZ and Dual Shot should be made mutually exclusive when generating a gunner's perk tree if possible, as the latter interferes with the former.

    Thanks and take care,
    GtG
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Hey Geoff, thanks for finding all those bugs! I'll try to address them in the next patch.

      4) I haven't encountered this yet myself. I'll do some more testing with it.
      5) Shock-Absorbent Armor is the original name. I thought I removed the ability from both aliens and XCOM. Where did you encounter it exactly?
      6) What do you suggest it should say instead?
      7) I'm going to revise the ability pools in the next version, so this will no longer be an issue.
    2. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      5) Juggernaut as in the Berserker pod leader. When compared to the LW1.0 files, there's an incorrect string in the localization file.
      6) Shredder rockets (item and ability tooltip) and elerium ammo already have correct descriptions as to the duration, right? I think this should be sufficient and less confusing when reviewing target information. At least it was for me until I figured out what was going on, i.e. enemies losing their debuff next turn despite claims to the contrary. There's also a tiny issue with the effect-on-target popups: hitting someone with a shredder rocket will sometimes result in "Fire Shredder Rocket" instead of "Shredded".

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
  5. GeoffTheGorilla
    GeoffTheGorilla
    • member
    • 19 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Alright, so I’ve finished the campaign with 25.2 on classic difficulty. I tried out a many items as possible with the exception of MECs, as the costs involved were simply prohibitive in terms of elirium and especially meld. There was no way I could have afforded to field at least two upgraded MECs, realistically speaking. This also meant my roster was really hurting for reliable cover destruction at the later stages of the game; a couple of soldiers with telekinetic strike could only do so much. Oh well! XCOM made do without them.

    Instead of a long-winded wall of text, I’m going to briefly comment on several aspects of the mod:

    SOLDIERS
    I think training roulette was a worthwhile addition. It made unusual perk combinations possible and individual soldiers feel more special and memorable, each with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. An infantry who just happened to carry an (inaccurate) rocket for emergencies, an ITZ gunner with sprinter plus rapid fire aggression...it was interesting. I made an effort to keep most of the roster on the same-ish level given that the increased amount of XP needed to rank up meant it would take significantly more time to replace fallen A-grade soldiers. To be fair though, I think even CPLs are actually pretty competent in the field given good equipment. I sometimes brought one or two along on difficult late-game missions when their perks were in demand, and wouldn’t say they were a liability. Though next time around commander’s choice will be enabled because there’s no point to assaults with 11 mobility and other such nonsense.

    ITEMS
    Didn’t find any real issues here. Attaching basic perks (such as suppression) to items instead of soldiers makes a lot of sense, I think. Aside from the logical aspect, I was much less reliant on particular individuals, like how you’d be compelled to take Mr. Bulletwizard on a mission in vanilla LW. Though, one exception were rocketeers with Shock & Awe...with reveal mod, I needed all the rockets I could get and honestly, picking two regular rocketeers over, say, a S&A one along with somebody else wasn’t always justifiable. Yes, I tried to level them up, but sometimes S&A was on the last or second to last tier thanks to TR. Ghost grenades and mimic beacons I did build, but ended up never using for some reason.

    GUNS
    I went on the final mission with a combination of ballistic (compact shotgun), beam laser (EMP) gauss, pulse laser and plasma. Aside from ballistic and beam lasers, there still was a place for lower-tier weapons in my playthrough. If that was your intention, mission accomplished! I retained quenchgun gauss for rapid fire sidearms, and heavier weaponry for mayhem suppression, shredding and anti-MEC duties. The EMP rifle turned out to be a crucial bit of gear as well. Never leave base without one! Elirium battery pulse lasers filled the niche of high-capacity sidearms and long-range rifle fire from squadsight support troops in the back. Plasma was employed primarily when maximum damage output was crucial, generally speaking. On classic difficulty at least, I could have feasibly completed the game with just gauss and special ammo types. Machine pistol-type sidearms could have been a more popular choice with rapid fire since I rarely found the +1 damage worth the mobility penalty. Well, other than for people who can shoot more than once per turn.

    PSI
    Inspiration as the base ability makes sense and it is universally useful. I even put it on a couple of soldiers I had no intention of PSI-levelling up any further. Did miss distortion matrix a little bit, but the guys from the DLC mission still had it for the mission I needed it on. Neural feedback didn’t always trigger when excepted, though. What are the prerequisites, perhaps there was something missing in terms of range, will or LoS?

    SHIV
    They were fine (if somewhat too fragile by late game despite repulsor core) once I learned to use them as support firing platforms and utilize LoS blockers to reduce incoming damage. Street Sweeper, XCOM’s very first SHIV, was alive and kicking to the end with 48 kills in 33 missions. Hover SHIVs were a bit of a disappointment because the flying bonus didn’t seem to offer much in the way of reducing CtH. It’s just like clay pigeon shooting for aliens, apparently.

    ENEMIES
    I made three tweaks for my own enjoyment: taking away disruptive cameo from regular seekers in early game, nerfing superfloater HP after discovering they can come in packs of eight, and reducing the sectoid commander’s defense. My reservations concerning covert extractions were detailed in an earlier post. Everything else was left as is. However, I was a bit puzzled that late-game but basic sectoids had the ability to reliably (as in seemingly always) mindfray troops despite them having high to very will. Is this working as intended? Difficulty-wise, reveal mod was brutal at times especially with large UFOs or small maps containing a large number of enemies, however it did force me to learn how to take on 45-55 ETs without suffering casualties. The Temple Ship was probably the biggest letdown, all that story build-up for a pretty horribly designed map with nothing but low cover and problematic sight lines, populated by a handful of scattered enemies. The average landed supply barge was a lot tougher and also less frustrating.

    AIRGAME
    Still loathe it, sorry! The worst aspect of XCOM for me, hands down.

    RESEARCH
    Again, I was starved for elirium and meld for most of the campaign and thus MECs were an unattainable proposition. Would not have bothered with alien cybernetics either had it not been a requirement for future tech. Drone capture, given the very limited and situational utility (no repairs), probably shouldn’t be gated behind EMP weapons...way too far down the line to be worthwhile. I coupled it to drone autopsy for my next playthrough.

    I think this should about wrap it up. Shifting some focus from individual soldier’s perks to items, no useless/trash items and a good variety of starting gear is right down my alley, actually! Coming from JA2, something like a skill as basic as suppression being a fixed perk was quite peculiar to me. Anyway, thanks for making the mod available to the public. Don’t think I would’ve enjoyed a vanilla LW run as much.

    Thanks and take care,
    GtG
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Hey Geoff, thanks for the great feedback!

      It's too bad you weren't able to utilize MECs. They are your most reliable tanks, unless you somehow build a dedicated psionic biotank. I was able to build 2 MECs in my playthrough with some left over for gene mods. If you're able to collect around 30 meld per can, it shouldn't take too long to save up for a MEC-1. The upgraded MEC suits don't require nearly as much resources or cash; the cost is all up-front. How much meld were you raking in?

      There isn't as much of a power gap between low-level and high-level troops, mostly because some key perks like Disabling Charge, HEI Ammo, or Concealment aren't acquired by leveling up. Also, there is less stat progression for soldiers overall. So while it is harder to train up a Master Sergeant, it is also less of a tactical setback to lose one. But you still feel bad about it lol.

      Yes, there will be some perks that you will be tempted to take every time. It's hard to nerf a perk like Shock & Awe so that it's in line with most other perks in desirability, unless I nerf rockets or something. I haven't a found a good use for Mimic Beacon. I guess it's there for people who like setting up ambushes with explosives? Shadow Device is pretty good when you charge your Rangers or Assaults forward with no support and need them to not die right away, or when your KSM-equipped MEC doesn't have anywhere to hide after punching a Berserker face in.

      I'm happy to hear you kept using the Compact Shotgun even into the final mission! I really felt like it was needlessly weak in the LW, since it should be a weapon that gives you an edge for getting up close and personal. It was my intention to create two weapon developmental paths, ballistic and beam, so that you can skip one of them. But since the two techs have distinct advantages, it makes sense that you would build both as long as you could afford the added research time. That's a lot more interesting than just having everybody kitted out in plasma, although I expected players to do that after having captured enough aliens.

      I took out Distortion Field because it didn't take any strategy to use, and cluttered up the battlefield visually. You can still get it via the Lorentz Engine (MEC/SHIV item), but since you didn't go MECs you probably didn't have a good reason to use it. I have a hard time myself trying to get Neural Feedback to work most of the time. I wish I could make it trigger more reliably. It's just too awkward to use as a defensive ability, so I think I'll remove it from the game.

      Thanks for trying out those fancy Hover SHIVs. I'll give them a buff next patch

      Seekers could probably use a small DR nerf so that they're more manageable. How much HP did you cut from Super Floaters, and how much defense from Sectoid Commanders? Despite all their defense, I still felt that Sectoid Commanders were much easier to kill compared to LW 1.0. At least they are when you have a MEC with a Grenade Launcher lol. Sectoids were given more Will growth to help keep them relevant in the late-game, when they get one-shot by most weapons and their plasma pistols hardly scratch XCOM armor. Maybe I can tone it down a bit.
      Did you find the temple ship too easy? What about the final boss fight? There's not much I can do about it aside from tweaking alien stats. The lack of good cover basically forces you to alpha-strike the aliens or risk taking damage. Flying snipers can be used to great effect, but it can result in the mission being a bit of a yawn-fest.

      Air game is still a numbers game for sure. Dump in more cash and you can expect better results on average. Some people like using Squadron Unleashed for a more hands-on approach, but I've never bothered.

      You raise a good point about Drone Capture requiring EMP Weapons. It's something I hadn't noticed. It would explain why I never captured a Drone when I played through LW years ago lol. I didn't experience an elerium shortage myself, but maybe that's because I didn't research Elerium Batteries. Still, I think most projects that require loads of Elerium are entirely optional, so they can be given a backseat to MECs.

      I'm glad you had a fun time with the mod, Geoff. I do hope others can have an equally positive experience.
    2. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Some of the shortage was self-inflicted due to ignorance. Early on, I invested heavily in genmods, figuring acquiring more meld wouldn’t be a big issue. Of course, then the aliens became resource-starved and the fights too rough to reliably meld-rush...all said and done, I was lucky to recover more than 10-15 units per mission. Quite a few items and various projects required small amounts of meld, not much, but it added up. The advanced surgery project was also a complete bust, seeing as it appeared to shave off maybe a couple of days, I guess? Training field surgeons and meld-healing critically wounded troops as needed would have been a much more efficient use of resources. Aerospace and late-game projects such as power armor were my main elirium sinks, though in retrospect I still think the battery upgrade was good value for money. Those upgraded pulse rifles alone were fantastic for people with rapid reactions.

      My reasoning for the changes was that, for starters, both seekers and superfloaters have great mobility and like to flank your troops on their activation move. Smoke doesn’t do much against being exposed and hunkering or dashing back generally isn’t an option as there are other alien types to keep in check at the same time, so it basically comes down to having to kill them off as quickly as possible. Seekers can show up before tactical scanners are ready and the flying bonus is a tough nut to crack for low-level soldiers with basic weapons; suppression isn’t so effective either when everything has disruptive cameo. Big superfloater pods with lots of HP also were a bit over the top for my liking: too many to focus fire on (ignoring other active aliens) and then they’ll just flank or blast your cover with grenades. Hardened, flying, robotic and immune to flash/stun/red fog/psi. Just didn’t enjoy that very much. 7 base HP before upgrades appeared to be more balanced, still a priority target but not too strong.

      I don’t think you have to tone down sectoids, since inspiration is now the base psi ability, though it of course doesn’t stack in case of repeated attacks. Those buggers were plenty annoying, but manageable. I was however curious about their odds against my troops, seeing as the hit percentage didn’t pop up, so it must have been 100% in each instance I’m assuming? As for sectoid commanders, I decided to reduce their defense before upgrades and low profile to 20 because the odds on a close-range flank shot were worse than I would have preferred. Explosives weren’t always an option.

      Of course, all these changes are just my personal preferences and not necessarily must-have tweaks! I largely played the mod as intended and only adjusted those aspects which got on my nerves.

      Regarding the temple mission...well, it was my first time on this map as I didn’t want to spoil it for myself by looking it up on the wiki, so my expectations were somewhat high after the lengthy story build-up. For a lack of a better term, most of the difficulty felt artificial: it wasn’t so much the enemies (however they weren’t a cakewalk), rather the shortcomings of the map design. The alien bases as well as the crashed battleship largely consist of low cover also, but the few tiles of hard cover are at least strategically placed and usable. Here, even a significant portion of the low cover seemed to be awkward at best or designed to screw you over. Issues with LoS and elevation changes appeared to be more commonplace as well. The final room was hard because of rift since I didn’t want to yellow-dash my squad into the fog of war on the opening move and figured dense smoke, distortion matrix and deflection shield would be sufficient protection for the first turn. Guess it wasn’t! Very frustrating map overall for me and a disappointing climax to the story. Should have been the worthy finale of the campaign, instead it simply felt hollow. Clearing out a large UFO map or landed destroyer gave a sense of accomplishment, this one not so much.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
    3. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Seekers are definitely a difficulty spike when they first appear, maybe even more so than Cyberdiscs. I want them to be an enemy that elicits fear and apprehension, an OH s*** factor, if you will. Super Floaters are kind of the same deal. I just nerfed them a little bit this patch.

      I agree the temple ship could have been a lot more interesting. It's hard to make a fight challenging yet fair. I haven't gotten there yet in ERaT, so I was interested in how you dealt with it. As long as it's beatable, I don't have too many expectations for it.
    4. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Well, superfloaters in particular were quite a menace, certainly up there with sectoid commanders and ethereals on the "kill it right NOW" list. You really don't want to leave them alive for another turn, that's for sure!

      I have to go from memory here, but I think the team consisted of two SHIVs (alloy, hover), one technician for repairs with EMP, one ranger, one LMG gunner in flying armor, five rockets spread across three people (rocketeer, engineer, infantry), another pair of engineers and two combat medics. No assault as you can see, which was a bit of a handicap truth be told. It went something like this by chronological order:

      * The sectoids did nothing but hide and overwatch-camp.
      * One cyberdisk/drone pod was obliterated by blaster launcher (I delayed the final mission until construction was finished) and rifle fire. The other disk was EMP'd, leaving the drones to do as they pleased as our left fire team was out of position, then shredded and dispatched next turn.
      * Chryssalids didn't really stand a chance. We also mind-controlled one floater to help with the cleanup.
      * Liberal use of grenades dealt with the thin men.
      * The left muton/berserker pod was flashbanged as our opening move. The right one fell to a well-placed shredder rocket, some rifle fire and our ITZ gunner. Some had to move up and stand in the open because there's no LoS from the bottom of the stairs, naturally...
      * Once again, the EMP rifle was a valuable asset. The second sectopod was destroyed immediately via shredding and volume of fire.
      * The muton elites gave us some pause because of very awkward LoS and lack of good cover to engage from. There is hard cover in the pit, but unless they decide to come down there, it's not much use it seems because one can't get eyes on. A flying sniper would have made this less of a hassle, like you said.
      * After that unfortunate encounter with rift, whoever was left on their feet fired all the ordnance or tried to get in some accurate shots. The final kill went to that flying ITZ gunner.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
    5. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      It's pretty impressive that you managed to kill one of those sectopods in one turn. I thought it would take too long for people to destroy them.

      Sounds to me like you had a pretty easy time with most of the enemies. If you had a MEC or two, it would have been even more of a cakewalk lol. I guess I'll have to play it myself to see how much I need to buff them.
    6. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Well, I didn’t want to make it sound easier than it was and please remember this was on classic difficulty. We got in a couple of lucky damage rolls for instance; the other sectopod was more of a problem. And the final room we of course didn’t quite clear out in two turns. Though realistically speaking, if you take a veteran squad trained and equipped to handle late-game large UFOs with reveal mod, how tough could about four enemies at a time in comparison really be? And creating massive bullet sponges would make the engagement feel even more gamey and unsatisfying, I fear. For instance, I recently finished watching rngmal’s LW Season II on YouTube where he managed to get in about 25 points of damage per turn on the Über Ethereal (lots of deflection), only to have it regenerate 20 HP. Now that’s fun.

      My point is that I personally wouldn’t worry much about balance changes in this particular case. Had the design parameters been further along the lines of an alien base assault in terms of enemy quantity and distribution, the difficulty would have been fine. As it stands, it’s just, well, poorly designed. Nothing you could really do about it.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
  6. Durandal7777
    Durandal7777
    • member
    • 206 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Quick feedback.

    I/I. Started in USA (We have ways). DW, AAngles, no CC, PI, Red Fog, TR. Retired on 26 Jun.

    Bugs (I think):

    _ Rocketeer can only equip SMG. Cannot change to carbine/AR. Tried ballistic only, never got upgrades.
    _ PFC same as above. They are stuck with Carbine/AR.
    _ Salvage team pop up on Exalt mission (I think related to Szmind mini mod)

    I remember these two were set on false per default:

    bCallFriendsEndOfTurn=true
    bCallFriendsOnPodReveal=true

    They were not in 25.5. I kept default but chain activation with so few HP/Armor was a slaughterhouse: 16 deaths and 8 Shivs destroyed, 1 Alloy. Never got to Sergeant rank !

    Seekers are still very hard if more than 4 due to DR. Ballistics until Incendiary ammo are hit for 1 or 2. Carbine and smg for 0.

    Air game was fine but phoenix cannons seems a downgrade to me from Avalanche.

    In June got a death streak: landed scout (Trap) with 26 enemies, 7 mutons, 1 CybD. Evacuated with 2.

    Next: Swarming abduction: 8 Seekers, 1 muton, some drones (now 0 damage from carbine/smg), sectoids. No cooldown on mind merge so they simply spam it or Psi panic or Mind fray. PFCs got no chance. Squadwipe.

    Next: Exalt extraction. First move chain activation of 12 enemies. 2 Heavies. Heavy one shot my medic and that's it.

    If the mod is tuned like LWR (chain activation) I cannot see how to play it. Anyone with a malus on def (-1,-2, -3) is good as dead on sight (at least on Impossible)

    A six men squad of PFC/LCPl/CPl can tackle 2/3 Floaters but if they come in 8 or 10 you need a lot of luck to coming out alive.

    Maybe I just need to get good. It was years I did not lose an LW campaign so early =(.
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Hey Durandal. Yeah, that weapon thing is a bug. I'll fix it in the next version.

      Chain activation is now on by default. It does make the game more challenging, but I think it's beatable with the exception of some very difficult missions, like the occasional trap UFO. In the early game, liberal use of explosives and suppression should help you buy time and manage the aliens.

      Seekers are pretty dangerous. Always have a soldier or SHIV with Tactical Sensor, and try to keep a rocket on hand if you come across a group of them. Otherwise, Infantry with battle rifles are probably your best bet against them. You should be able deal damage to drones with carbines, since they only have 0.5 DR initially.

      Phoenix Cannons are really good if you set them on Aggressive. But against armored UFOs Avalanche or Stingrays are better.

      You can check out my gameplay of ERaT here https://www.twitch.tv/don_dingle/videos?filter=all&sort=time

      Quisatzleto also streams it on Challenge difficulty. You'll notice we have quite different styles of playing it. https://www.twitch.tv/quisatzleto/videos
    2. Durandal7777
      Durandal7777
      • member
      • 206 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Ok.
      I'll bring difficulty back to Brutal then.

      I'll take out DLC missions as well and flagging Commander's choice as well in Second wave.

      Need to adapt the gameplay then and heavily rely on explosives in the early game.

      Thank for the links.
    3. Durandal7777
      Durandal7777
      • member
      • 206 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Well … tried again but overwhelmed another time: squadwipe on 8 seekers (I got a tactical sensors but they managed to flanked and kill the soldier with it).

      Really hard with so few HP and Armor and normal SHIV just a piece of junk with no tank abilities.

      Mod won.

      Have fun to those who really like an extreme challenge =) I-m back to LWR.
    4. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Ah, that's quite a shame. 8 Seekers is pretty rough for any early game squad. Sometimes if the player is lucky they'll strangle instead of going for a flanking shot. That's only if they're coming out of stealth, of course.

      Regular SHIV is not much of tank, more of a firing support platform. Alloy SHIV stands up a lot better to repeated fire.

      I've got to hand it to Xwynns. Even after losing countless campaigns to LWR, he's still at it. The guy's a real trooper.

      ERaT is a lot easier than normal LW in many aspects. Less HP on early enemies, innate suppression on rifles, lighter equipment, more item slots, etc. I would even say some parts of it are too easy, if one judges from Quisatzleto's streams.
    5. Durandal7777
      Durandal7777
      • member
      • 206 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Xwynns and quisatza are professional in their playthrough. My skills are just average.

      Anyway I think I noticed a bug when brawling to those seekers:

      _ Ranger with Executioner perk and a Strike Rifle. I hit the seeker to bring it under 50% so could use the perk but when I checked the hit chance again from 79% went to 29% =(. I was hoping 100%.

      Maybe this mod need a bit of luck early game then you acquire the tools to stay alive. LWR early game gives you some more time: you can finish a mission with some heavy injuries but still you are in.

      I recommend adding Virtual Reality to your mod pack and some kind of automatic recruitment. At the end of second month either you have your A and B team up to Temple ship or you are pretty much screwed. PFCs will stay in barracks doing nothing.

      Transferring perks on items is a good approach but you need at least some basic specialization on your soldiers.

      The chain activation in ERaT requires your shots hit the mark in a narrow window (2/3 turns) or the aliens just charge in and flank.

      Best regards =).
    6. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      I wouldn't really call Quisatz professional. He just likes to find the optimal way of playing the game, even if it's not that fun. He also makes some mistakes occasionally, but that's okay.

      There is a bug sometimes where the displayed hit percentage is much lower than the actual hit percentage. Tabbing through your soldiers or the enemies fixes this, or you can just take the shot, and you'll see the real value pop up. So that explains the 29%.

      Sometimes you'll run into some pods that are much stronger than average, and you might need to retreat. I would classify 8 Seekers as such. But even if you lose people (unless you were in the mid to late game and they were really high level) I don't think that automatically means the end of a campaign.

      Virtual Reality Training is convenient, but it makes OTS projects too easily accessible. So you'll just have to take a few rookies with you every now and then. Thankfully, with so little fatigue, you don't need nearly as many soldiers as regular LW.

      I think specialization is fine, up to a point. For example, I don't want to force the player to use engineers to deal with mechanicals, or scouts to detect Seekers, like how they do in LWR. If those critical units are wounded, you'd be at a huge disadvantage. So by giving that role to items, it ensures that the player is never left with a glaring weakness in their capabilities.
  7. quisatz
    quisatz
    • member
    • 68 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Final mission on the ironman level challenge. at 16:30 Polish time.

    https://www.twitch.tv/quisatzleto

    T- 92min
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Nicely done. Looks like I may have to decrease defense on the Uber Ethereal, especially since I decreased soldier aim progression.
  8. GeoffTheGorilla
    GeoffTheGorilla
    • member
    • 19 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Quick bug report: attempting to use mayhem suppression on a minigun-equipped SHIV repeatedly crashed my game. Had to revert to 25.2 to finish the mission. Haven't done any further testing, though.

    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = None
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = XComMutatorLoader_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = XComLZMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = XComLZMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = XComBombMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = XComBombMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = XComMeldSpawnMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = XComMeldSpawnMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = XComPodSpawnMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = XComPodSpawnMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = XComSpawnAlienMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = XComSpawnAlienMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = SightlineMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = SightlineMutator_0
    [2542.34] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = RevealModMutator_0
    [2542.35] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = RevealModMutator_0
    [2542.35] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = ERTacticalMutator_0
    [2542.35] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Current = ERTacticalMutator_0
    [2542.35] ScriptLog: XComMutator: Next = None
    [2545.19] Log: === Critical error: ===
    Fatal error!

    Address = 0x142e626 (filename not found) [in E:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\XCom-Enemy-Unknown\XEW\Binaries\Win32\XComEW.exe]

    Thanks and take care,
    GtG
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Thanks for pointing it out, Geoff. It will be fixed in the next patch.
    2. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Great, thanks!

      since you've asked about feedback earlier: I'm now in Oct 2016 and made an effort to try out as many items as possible, including foundry projects. So far, nothing stuck out as useless or particularly under-powered. Some, such as the EMP rifle, even turned out to be much more valuable than anticipated. Overall, I'd say the game as a whole seems pretty even right now, though with one exception:

      EXALT extractions! Sorry for the harsh words, however I honestly feel the balancing of those is completely off the mark, like not even on this planet. Now, as I've said before, I'm not a XCOM veteran or anything, but I'm no stranger to squad-level tactical combat either, having played a ton of Jagged Alliance 2 1.13 (among other games). It's not the spike in difficulty (which is fine) or EXALT getting disoriented instead of disabled in this version, but many variables seem down to dumb luck than actual skill. While I get you're supposed to pull off a fighting retreat, the sheer number of enemies is excessive (basically swarming). Not only does Revealmod pretty much guarantee that everyone will be after you the moment the first target is spotted, it also starts the constant stream of fresh drop-ins. Many of the maps are so small, the squad can barely move out of the drop zone without spotting anybody, and sight lines tend to be of the not-so-great variety.

      If you didn't assign a crazy-high mobility assault op with Run & Gun, or end up with bad relay placement, chances are you're already screwed to begin with. And the op, regardless of skill, really is too squishy to do more than finish off one or two soft targets of opportunity. I've found that even the best four-man team on hand (elite ranger, two Shock & Awe rocketeers and a squadsight heavy infantry) cannot reliably get a handle on the situation. They simply cannot kill off or render enemies combat-ineffective with Red Fog quickly enough to avoid yet another pin-point rocket to the face from (supposedly disoriented!) somebody they couldn't target or even see. Which is never recoverable. And where are they supposed to fall back to if they can't get out the spawn without making contact?

      I really dislike to restart missions, yet I usually find myself asking "What the heck was I supposed to do different?" instead of "Welp, I sure screwed up here." for regular operations. For me, a landed supply barge is challenging but doable if I'm on the ball, whereas extractions are just a frustrating exercise in RNG. Having to absolutely take a particular combination of soldiers, equipment or skills with little variation honestly also isn't very fun nor interesting. It wouldn't be so bad if you had more than effectively four people to work with, or say like half the number of enemies. Or taking away their stupid rockets.

      Well, rant over! Sorry and take care,
      GtG
    3. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Exalt missions can get hairy pretty quick. Have you tried fielding Alloy SHIVs? They are very good at tanking shots, since Exalt weapons deal less damage than plasma, and its 3.5 DR makes it quite durable. Just remember to not fire with Alloy SHIVs after moving to the extraction zone, since this prevents them from getting extracted (LW bug).

      I don't know why Exalt heavies are able to shoot rockets accurately after getting disoriented. That's definitely not working as intended. But since Xcom improves faster than Exalt, the missions do get easier over time imo. It is actually possible to wipe out all the exalt before the operative even makes a move. If it remains a problem, I could always decrease their starting HP.
    4. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Okay, thanks for the advice. A lot is probably down to my relative inexperience compared to XCOM veterans, but I still think some poor design decisions went into the EXALT missions (and the "grenade/rocket when disabled bug" from vanilla EW doesn't help). I suppose the rockets add an element of danger in theory, though what's the point if most people are going to reload anyway when it happens? Could be more interesting if EXALT Heavies had some sort of unique AoE debuff stemming from their cooperation with the aliens...would still make them a priority target without the cheapness.

      Anyway, don't worry about it too much. If it ends up too frustrating still, I'm going to give the EXALT squad size minimod a try and perhaps up FLASH_BOMB_TURNS_AFFECTING by a turn. Nothing wrong with tweaking singleplayer games to one's liking.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
    5. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Yeah, I know what you mean. It never feels fair to lose soldiers that way. Maybe Exalt heavies would be better off not having rockets at all.

      I also agree that people should feel free to change the game to their liking. That's how I started off creating this mod :)
    6. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Two additional slots and +1 on the flash duration seems to have done the trick for me. At least I'm not dreading covert extractions anymore. ;)

      PS: The SHIV auto-repair module has an incorrect description; something about returning fire.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
    7. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Well, maybe I could increase the stun duration to 2 turns. How did you manage to bring extra soldiers on exalt missions though?

      Thanks for pointing out the text error. It can get hard to keep track of all the changes sometimes :)
    8. GeoffTheGorilla
      GeoffTheGorilla
      • member
      • 19 posts
      • 0 kudos
      It's from the 'Assorted Long War Gameplay Modifications' package.

      Thanks and take care,
      GtG
  9. Durandal7777
    Durandal7777
    • member
    • 206 posts
    • 0 kudos
    Nice to see this mod is under heavy development again.

    Finishing last (21th campaign) in LWR and giving ERaT another go. On Impossible this time.

    Glad to see quisatz going for Challenge so there will be some feedback on extreme difficulty edge.

    Two mods, same game but still totally different gameplay. At the moment there's nothing on PC game market that can even compare to Xcom 1. Enemy within. Long war and variants.
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Glad to hear it dude. The more people there are playing this mod and giving feedback, the more I'm able to implement changes. I think LW hit all the right notes. I don't have the slightest inclination to even try out XCOM2.
  10. GeoffTheGorilla
    GeoffTheGorilla
    • member
    • 19 posts
    • 0 kudos
    So, I've played about 10-12 hours into the campaign and have been enjoying it thus far. Many things differ from what I remember from Beaglerush's LW series, though for the better overall. With a good selection of starting gear and items, early game feels more like "career soldiers challenged and somewhat overwhelmed by an enemy they've never fought before" instead of "we're sending you raw recruits straight out of boot camp to defend Earth". I like how you can specialize them to a certain degree. Battle rifle, marksman's scope plus extended mags are decent shooters when steadied, and I've also had good success with high-mobility flankers carrying a carbine, compact shotgun and laser sight.

    One thing, though: isn't there supposed to be a grace period for chryssalid zombies? My squad was rushed by a pod of them and suffered one man down, who reanimated the very next turn with full AP and killed another nearby panicked soldier my medic was tending to. Seemed a bit unfair to me, to be honest.

    Anyway, nice work!

    Thanks and take care,
    GtG
    1. fjz
      fjz
      • member
      • 112 posts
      • 1 kudos
      Hey Geoff, glad you like the mod. I did try to give players the right tools to play how they want. Some like to stay put in heavy armor and take pot shots, some like to spam grenades, and others like flanking or leap-frogging with suppression.

      I haven't changed anything about Chryssalid spawning, but from what you've said that does seem unfair. I'll see if I can fix that in a future patch.

      Don't forget we have a discord where more people can join in the discussion about balance and gameplay. Although it's pretty quiet most the time, it really just takes 1 or 2 active players to liven things up. And of course, I'm always curious to hear player feedback. Good luck on the campaign!
    2. Durandal7777
      Durandal7777
      • member
      • 206 posts
      • 0 kudos
      Nice to see this mod is under heavy development again.

      Finishing last (21th campaign) in LWR and giving ERaT another go. On Impossible this time.

      Glad to see quisatz going for Challenge so there will be some feedback on extreme difficulty edge.

      Two mods, same game but still totally different gameplay. At the moment there's nothing on PC game market that can even compare to Xcom 1. Enemy within. Long war and variants.