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Posts posted by Sorbicol

  1. For troops you mean? You just build the troop on the army screen of the planet and they come with transports. Note, I had to ask someone this as well, and never got to the point of actually invading during my war, so I might be missing some nuance there.

    There was a timed mission that required me to be orbiting a specific planet with a transport ship. However I had no idea how to build a transport ship when I couldn't find the option in the ship designer. I assumed it was some tech that I hadn't researched or something!

  2. I was doing a small bit of trading and was completely unable to get what I wanted, then I realised that it was actually because the ethics of the other species essentially prohibited them wanting to give me it in any circumstance.

    (it was to allow civilian ships in their borders, but their collectivist nature made that effectively impossible)

    Oh it does a good job of explaining why some trades are complete non-starters. However when you are in an alliance......

  3. I think I'm enjoying the game so far, but I'm finding that my general lack of experience with non-Civ 4X games is really holding me back. I'm trying to get through the tutorial and it's not going great. I just can't seem to get my resource production under way. I have to spend energy to get minerals, which puts me under the limits to complete the mission, so it never seems like I'm building a sustainable foundation. Any advice? Feel free to suggest super basic stuff as I am pretty new to these kinds of games.

    Well the first thing I would say is that it doesn't really matter. The resource collection seems completely out of whack to me about 6 hours in. I've run out of storage for Energy and Influence, but I am constantly lacking minerals, as its minerals you have to use to build stuff. It's screaming out for a galactic market place like in Endless Legend so that you buy stuff with other stuff.

    The game gives you more than enough time to learn how it all fits together. The victory conditions, such as they are, do not mean you have to optimise everything you do towards a victory condition from the off. You can go at your own pace. It lends the game a sense of scale and exploration that I've not encountered before I have to say.

    I do which someone could create an AI that can recognise mutually beneficial trades though. Seriously, why does every AI in existence have to demand a ridiculous trade in their favour to give you something you can both benefit from?!?

  4. Also played a couple of hours last night 2 or 3 and my glorious race of Space Felines (descended from my pets. Intelligent, greedy and liking their creature comforts) have headed out into the great expanse.

    Coming from a 4x background rather than a great strategy one so far to me at least the game feels like a pretty good amalgamation of the two genres. It is definitely very 4x focused in the early stages, while at the same time having a sense of scope I've never gotten from MoO2, Endless Space, Galactic Civilsations etc etc. The victory conditions for this game are clearly very secondary to the experience of just playing it, and once you've got yourself into that mindset I think it's just a little bit wonderful. It has a sense of exploration that I've not felt in any other 4x, and it has a galactic sense of scope too.

    It has a hell of a lot going on it - far more than more traditional 4x games - which I'm still getting to grips with. The "tutorial", while helpful, is actually paradox's version of Microsoft's Paperclip and is just as annoying if you ask for the full tutorial help version (blessedly this can be switched or toned down) and it's sometimes not that easy to keep track of quite everything that's going on. Sometimes there are so many pop ups on the screen you can't be sure you've captured them all, let alone have any idea how important they might be.

    However, so far I'm mightily impressed. Very early stages though. I must be in an empty part of the galaxy having only met one other race so far (who are religious fanatics who hate any other life form apart from their own) so sooner or later I'm going to be going to war with them, slathering them in catnip and throwing them to the masses for their entertainment.

  5. For those who have been following this game, how does it look in terms of accessibility for people who are terrible at learning strategy games? I've been interested in getting into games like Crusader Kings since hearing the Thumbs talk about the adventures of Ragnar a few years ago, but when I tried to play myself, I just struggled to get started. Does Stellaris seem any better at teaching new players how to play it?

    So far all previous attempts to play a Paradox strategy title (namely CK2) had me bounce off the interface so hard I'm currently accelerating past Jupiter. Possibly.

    However I've pre-ordered Stellaris after watching the increasingly seminal "All Hail Blorg" series of you tube videos paradox have done leading up to release. That has taught me a great deal about playing the game - I hope. The interface certainly looks a lot more user friendly, and the systems felt fairly intuitive. I'll let you know what it's really like once I've got it downloaded and installed.

  6. Maybe it is deliberate, I'm beginning to see easy late game in most strategy games as essential part of the experience and same for that here. Could be completely accidental but given the expertise of Firaxis team maybe they fully intended it.

    I mean if I were to design Xcom (or any strategy games really), I certainly would have made a deliberate choice to over power the players in the late game. Being overpowered within the game's context is such a good way to reward all the early decisions, a game without any of that just seem so... stressful and choir to play?

    I think my problem with the early game is that the punishment to reward relationship with the tatical environment (my word that sounded pretentious!) is heavily stacked against you. As I have said before early game you can often be in a situation where you have all 4 squad members in high cover, on overwatch, before the start of the alien turn. By the end of it you can have all your soldiers dead, dying or unconscious without being able to do anything about it. Stun lancers are a particular issue I think - sometimes they do nothing, other times they roll 'unconscious' every time and in an instant you have no chance of achieving the mission objectives.

    When the game is doing that it just isn't fun. At least, not for me personally. I'm also talking about Commander level, not veteran which is considerably easier.

    I'm an XCOM:EU veteran with about 100 hours in the long war mod too. if I have a bad mission in either of those I always feel it's a consequence of a mistake I've made - not because I've been shafted by the RNG. That's what drives me insane about XCOM 2 despite how much I love it and readily recognise it's a much better game than XCOM:EU.

    All that said the strategic layer in this game is so forgiving you can happily lose multiple missions and squads and still progress, so maybe it's just a case of readjusting my thinking for XCOM 2 and rolling with it better than I am at the moment.

  7. I stopped playing this game about 80% of the way through the campaign because my team was just stomping everything. So I felt like I wasn't really getting the intended experience.

    Actually, now that I type it out, maybe they designed for that? Thinking I would enjoy the end of the game that way? I dunno.


    I might start again on a harder difficulty or something when I have the time.


    Commander level is a bugger at the start to be honest. YOu are basically playing a numbers game against the RNG that you are only ever going to lose. At times it makes the game commit the fatal sin of just not being fun. It really needs some slight rebalancing and it still needs some very major bug fixing too (I am sick of being able to see people and flank them through ceilings. Not walls, just ceilings......... and the final mission bugs are game crippling)


    The game does have an inverse difficulty curve though - much harder at the start than it is once you have the 3rd tier weapons and armour unlocked.It's not so much a deliberate design choice I think as it is a consequence of the game mechanisms they settled on. 

  8. The tactical game is much harder. The strategic level however is so forgiving you wait to do any of the plot missions until you've got 3rd tier armour and weapons. I should know, it's pretty much been my current campaign. I've had 2 squad wipes this campaign (you really need to be able to abort 'escort/capture the VIP missions if you lose the VIP) and I'm still fighting.

  9. I'm still playing just struggling with a number of game killing bugs. I've got one commander level ironman play through save file, stuck on the final mission after a restart lost me all my armour bonuse and passive psi abilities, and 2 other commander ironman playthroughs that downgraded themselves to veteran half way through (nothing to do with me!)

    I am playing a lot of Cities:Skylines though, and I fully expect Stellaris to chew up my gaming time from next month.

  10. Completely and utterly lost my rag with this game tonight. Not only has my first ironman play-through ended in failure due to a bug if you have to restart the final mission (essentially you lose all your armour bonuses and passive Psi abilities if you have to restart) my second attempted campaign has completely crashed and burned thanks to a episode of 3 stun lancers having 3 turns in one move. I went from a full squad in full health to all 5 of them being unconscious in one turn. Oh, and at least 2 instances where the experimental ammo I'd built in the proving grounds didn't materialise in my inventory.


    I'm remarkably impressed my PC is still in one piece to be honest. I think I might be done with the game now until there has been more serious patching done. 

  11. I've just had my Arse handed to me in the final mission on an ironman play through thanks to having no idea just what the range of the sectopod mega cannon is. 'What's it firing it over there for?' I wondered "It's nowhere near my flanking troops".

    Cue my 3 flanking troops getting eveserated. It could really do a better job of explaining the range of that weapon.

  12. Yeah corpses and equipment are sold for supplies not Intel (understandably, but unfortunately!)

    As for the final mission - without wanting to spoil it it's worth trying to save your heavy weapons for the bit at the end. You'll be fine with just one psi trooper, just make sure they've got domination, void rift and solace. They'll need them. Solace works on the trooper too, so if someone attempts to mind controll them it won't work. Handy to know. It's also worth having someone with squad sight as its a big map and sometimes half the problem is getting close enough to target your objective.

    That's probably as much as can be said without massive spoilers. If you have a specialist with haywire and a very high hack skill (I.e they've picked up a few of those 'raise hack skill by 20' options) then that'll help enormously too. A lot of times that mission all you are trying to do is give the aliens something to target that isn't your squad.

    Edit: Proving ground results for experimental ammo, grenades and heavy weapons are randomised. This play through I've had 3 AP rounds, 1 talon and 1 venom (which I lost) I'm too fed up now to be bothered getting any more!

    Edit edit: if you look on the steam community page for XCOM 2 a very nice chap has made an excel spreadsheet listing out what corpse are used for and what can be sold (after they've been researched) I think there are only about 3 corpse types that are reusable. So mostly, just sell them. Worthing noting that in the later stages of the game you won't need all the alloys and crystals you get either. Those can be sold for a lot of money if you need cash fast.

  13. Landed UFO are basically beefed up supply raid with a timer.  A tip... you don't have to hack the alien distress beacon, you can destroy it (despite the game warning you about friendly fire) to end the timer.


    Also there is this bug where swapping out PCS (aim/dodge/will) will permanently boost that stats by 1.  Which is actually ok for most campaigns but if you end up with continent bonus that let you swap PCS and gun mods without destroying them, it basically breaks the game so beware.


    If I'd know that the mission I've just aborted I could have waltzed through. There is still so much this game doesn't bother to explain at times!

  14. Finally feels like I'm making some progress. I investigated the Alien Forge, destroyed a random facility, killed an Avatar (man, I hope those guys don't become as popular as the Codex did after the first encounter), and am about to investigate Codex brain coordinates.


    I took my Psi Operative lady along with me on a mission for the first time today, and quickly realized how freaking badass she is. I was able to defeat the Avatar despite triggering a bunch of new enemies while skulljacking the Codex, largely because I mindcontrolled an Andromedon and used it to distract the other enemies. Towards the end of the mission the Andromedon was annihilated by a Sectopod, though, and the empty, non-mindcontrolled suit almost fucked me over. Luckily I had people on overwatch to deal with the situation. As an icing on the cake, my Psi operative finished off the badly damaged Sectopod with a Void Rift that also caused the only remaining enemy to be mindcontrolled, thus ending the mission.


    I feel like Domination will become more and more crucial as the enemies get tougher and tougher, to a point that I think that I should have two Psi operatives in my squad. I wish I had built the Psi Lab earlier, and trained two operatives in parallel.


    I almost never do optional hacking. Should I be doing it more? I tried it once recently because I had nothing else to do that turn, and gained control of a random enemy (a sectopod that I didn't even have visual on before, so that was nice). How are the hacking rewards on average?

    I reckon early rush to Psi Troopers would be a lot more viable if your troopers don't spend as much time in the infirmary as mine seem to do  :wacko: They are very powerful options throughout the game and next time, I intend to get them up and running much much earlier


    Hacking at the start of the game is very questionable. It's rarely worth the risk. However once you have 3rd tier gremlins it all becomes much more beneficial, and the "permanently upgrade this specialist's hacking ability by 20" option is the reason why you should do this. Get one of your specialists a few of those and any map with Sectopod in it you'll walk as you'll have an 80%+ chance of hacking it each time. Massively overpowered late game. Assuming you can keep them alive that long.


    I'm currently on a Commander Ironman play-through and the first I've just let run. I struggled badly at the start with some really harsh RNG rolls (i.e. one missed shot at 90%+ leading to total squad wipes the next alien turn) Lost lots of equipment which to be repurchased, finally ground out some degree of stability once I'd got all the 2nd tier weapons unlocked, only to have a brutal "rescue the VIP mission" on a massive map, only 8 turns, and all 3 alien pods apparently grouped themselves in the final area of the map where the extraction point was. Lost 2 guys dead, 3 guys who failed to get out (one unconscious, the other two ran out of time) and got away with the VIP and my last guy running an overwatch gauntlet. So brutal and it left me with no-one ranked higher than Sergeant. Since then I've been rebuilding again with the doom counter one away from tripping, and the two facilities at least 2 sectors away with a distinct lack of intel left.


    I have to say the strategic layer to this game is so much more forgiving than XCOM:EU's ever was. I would never had won that given the failures I've had in this game! Makes for one hell of an epic campaign though. 

  15. BTW, am I the only one who actually enjoyed CiV at launch?

    No, I loved it. I was never a fan of the stack of doom and the idea that Civs were tailored to specific victory conditions made so much sense to me. I'm quite prepared to admit that Civ IV was a much better game at the time (probably fairly equal since the release of Brave New World) but I found it so much more intuitive to play and keep track of what it was I was trying to do in the game.

    The other thing that really needs to mentioned is the UI. Still the most elegant, easy to use and informative interface I've ever come across. For that Shafer and his team deserve no end of credit.

  16. I thought EL's combat was actually pretty weak, but that probably has a lot to do with the fact that AI didn't upgrade and balance between tiers was kinda odd.

    Like, I prefer CiV's combat over EL's.

    Oh I don't think it was perfect - let's be honest unless you package a dedicated combat AI into a game like these, it's never going to handle 1upt as well as it can handle a stack - but the idea of limited army numbers that then spill out to the map with combat is initiated - it's handled very well I thought.

  17. That was easily one of the best 3MAs we've had in ages. Thoroughly enjoyed the discussion, it's nice to hear that even Soren and Jon can't figure out a way to fix the last game slog (although I thought the differences made to the cultural victory in Brave New World went a long way towards addressing it - provided you were aiming for a cultural victory of course.

    I would also mention that Endless Legend's approach to solving the Stack O'Doom v 1upt issue is by far the most elegant I've come across. Civ 6 could learn a hell of a lot from that I think.