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Posts posted by Sorbicol

  1. Fine for me - I get the odd stutter here and there but nothing that's ever caused me any cause for concern - pre or post patch.

    Going to state the obvious here but have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling the mods? I use a couple and they've all been fine.

  2. Got this over the weekend and really enjoying it so far. It needs a sense of humour rather badly, but mechanically it's fine and really scratching that aRPG itch for me

  3. I'm okay with the sword not being a guaranteed hit, but there should be some sort of parry ability from other melee attacks.

    The problem with the sword is that very often the gun had a higher to hit %, which made thinking about using it stupid in a lot of situations.

    I don't think the sword needs to be 100% to hit all the time either, but it needs to be something that pays off much better than it currently does.

  4. For me Iron Man on XCOM 2 is more of a play style than a difficulty choice (although it certainly doesn't make the game any easier!)

    I say that because unlike XCOM:EU the game here is so much more forgiving than XCOM:EU's ever was. Hell, the game even gives you an evacuation button on the tactical game in case everything is going south and you need to get out. That all plays into being able to go back to the Avenger, lick your wounds and move on. In XCOM:EU it would be 'squad wipe, panic explosion and game over'.

  5. Oh man great discussion

    For Specialists, I tend to give them all haywire and not worry too much about revive. To be honest once mechs turn up haywire is useful per mission, while revive is only useful if anyone needs reviving. In my games it's not that common for stun lancers to knock people unconcious, and bleeds are similarly not that common (alas your guys are more likely just to be dead)

    After that though it's pick and choose. Anyone who get medic protocol has to have field medic. Without it you can't remote heal and that's, tactically at least, a real Arse. Of the final level I don't think I've given anyone anything other than Restoration though. I keep one out and out hacker build (combat protocol & scan) for retaliation and 'recover Intel' missions.

    My rangers I dither with. I love blade storm and reaper (most kills with that currently at 7 aliens in one turn. OK 3 of them were psi zombies but she was having so much fun I didn't want to stop her) but can totally see the advantage of rapid fire as well. I'm not sure shadowstep is that useful because it doesn't trigger the OW (unlike lightening reflexes, which I have had from the AWC) and if you can't flank the OW alien then I find it of limited use. Phantoms great if a little one shot. I tend to find that being able to conceal again is only useful for about a turn before that ranger gets exposed again, or has to run so far away from the combat zone they aren't any use.

    Out of interest is there an ammo type from the proving grounds that shreds? Or is it just AP which bypasses it?

  6. Started up a CommIronman run this evening, and decided to activate a few mods. I was tempted to do some content mods like the SMGs, but ultimately decided I still wanted to play it straight for another run.

    Stop Wasting My Time - Fucking brill, makes me wonder why the little dramatic pauses were ever there in the first place

    Evac All Button - Fucking brill

    Overwatch All Button - Fucking brill

    Bob Ross Voice Pack - Meh, mildly amusing for a mission, but I'll probably turn it off next time I play, it's just kinda weird and distracting.

    I already like how much more desperate each fight feels. I'm the worst at enforcing Ironman type play on myself, so even with the risk of a corrupt save, it's still a better way to play to stop me from trying to save soldiers and force me to play carefully to deal with the consequences of my actions.

    I'm exactly the same. I'm doing the final mission at the moment on my Commander play through and yeah, it's tough. Save scumming ahoy at the moment.

    As for the mods - I've been using the SMG mod and to be honest it doesn't make that much difference I don't think. The extra movement doesn't pay off well for the lose of damage from the SMG. Mind you I'm probably just playing my rangers all wrong.

    The evac all, overwatch all and Stop wasting my time mods though - surely these are going to patched into the game soon?

  7. Yeah I can only speak for veteran. Didn't even know the drops were less common on higher difficulties.

    Last night I did a supply raid. It gave me 8 cores......

    I think it might need smoothing out a little!!

  8. might I recommend picking up vulture asap to get swimmin in cores+weapon upgrades


    I think that might depend on what level you are playing on? My current Commander campaign even with Vulture I've only had about 4 drops in the last 8 or 9 missions, and only one of those had one core. You definitely get more at the start which tails off later in the game. And yes, I have Vulture - it was my second unlock after the squad size increase. 

  9. Oh man, I don't know how random the hack bonuses are, but I saw the absolute best one I had ever seen in the next to last mission (which, it could be scripted being that's when it showed up, and it showed up on a mission objective device?) It was a permanent increase of +20 to the soldier's hack score. If that can randomly show up, holy shit.


    Yes I had that on my first play through. Happened to the same specialist twice. By the end of the game he was blithely hacking sectopods and turrets with abandon.

  10. I actually disagree with Tom there. Both Firaxis XCOM games counter the snowball effect with the number and types and increasing power of the aliens you face. In every game of XCOM I've played, taking your eye off the ball during the tactical game, whether because you get impatient, take too much of a risk or just have the RNG mission from hell (hello Nuffle) the game will slap you down here regardless of the power or level of your squad.

    That said I do I like the sound of some of his 'solutions' more stealth based missions (which I think the concealment ability would allow) or missions which only allow certain classes (I always thought there was a mission type in XCOM:EW where you only controlled the agent sent to counter those EXALT missions for example) would certainly give the game more variety. I would imagine it would need a fair bit of balancing though.

    Edit: Posted this link in the 3MA forum but thought I'd post it here too.

    Great interview RPS have done with Jake Solomon. Worth a read.

  11. I'm leaning more and more towards buying this game. What is the current performance situation? I understood that the game was quite buggy and glitchy upon launch. Has there been any significant patches yet?

    Also, how brutal is the between-missions gameplay (basebuilding, upgrades, etc.)? I.e. is your campaign totally fucked if you make a couple of mistakes early on?

    With regard to the performance issues I'm afraid the answer is 'it depends'. It works fine of my rig (i5, 8GB RAM, GTX770) but I don't think that's much of a guide. Unfortunately the game is buggy - I've had several gameplay issues. However it's not stopping me playing the game and I personally am prepared to put up with it. It has made me very wary of starting a game in ironman mode though.

    As for the game itself I personally find the strategic layer (I.e. When not in combat) to be significantly more relaxed, forgiving and less constrained than in the first game. However your first play through expect to spend most of your time it in not having a clue what's going on and feeling distinctly overwhelmed. It throws a lot of information at you and does nothing at all to explain what it all means.

    Try not to let that get to you. You'll have it all figured out mid game and if you are an experienced XCOM player playing on Veteran you should still have time to formulate your strategy and get to the end of the game.

  12. No, there are definitely cases where you can move a guy through a space that by both the rules as they are explained and the UI presented to you should be perfectly safe, only to be inexplicably spotted by a pod that has been in full view of multiple squad members since the start of the turn. I'm not saying I know for sure that's what happened to the podcasters you were listening to, but it is entirely possible.

    This has happened to me as well on several occasions. I'm also having a problem with the movement square "snapping" to a different square just as I'm pressing move. Been driving me insane this evening

  13. To be fair to both Rob and David I think that point they were making at the start of the podcast - that the strategic level is a mess, which game almost wilfully goes out of its way not to explain is a perfectly valid comment. It is a horribly obtuse game the first time you play it - nothing is explained, the relative importance of the resources is unknown to the player, and if you follow the tutorial mission(s) it prolongs that state of ignorance quite some way into the game. It's something (once they've fixed all the performance issues and bugs) you'd hope Firaxis will go back at and look at again

    Where I, and from the comments in this thread pretty much everyone else agrees is that after a couple of hours it all becomes very clear, and how balancing those resources against the tasks you need to complete on the strategic layer, along side making sure that your soldiers are competing in the arms race is what makes the strategic layer vastly more engaging and entertaining than what XCOM1 managed.

    XCOM2 is not a bad game. It's a brilliant one that improves on the reboot in every department. Yeah it's got some technical issues that I really hope are sorted sooner rather than later (looks like Firaxis are on the case with that) but I guess my ultimate issue wasn't that David and Rob thought what they did - hey, everyone is entitled to think what they want and it sure as hell doesn't have to align with my opinions! - but that I just couldn't see where their conclusions were coming from. Especially David saying the XCOM2 was a step backwards from XCOM1 and was 'a bad game'.

  14. That's in Synapse. We're talking Cortex here, a whole different ball game [smug pun very much intended]


    Yes alright Mr Smug McSmugsson, wrong game. If and when XCOM 2 lets it's viper like grip loose on me I might get around to playing this. 

  15. I had to do that mission where the UFO catches you the other day, and it was brutal.


    I know it looks like I did well but it took me many, many, many attempts to get through this.

    My first campaign attempt (on Commander) ended on that mission for me. In 7 attempts I never got past the 3rd turn without most of squad either dead or unconscious.

    I restarted on veteran having realised that just because I had 300 hours of XCOM 1 and 100 hours of the Long War under my belt I knew nothing about playing XCOM2.

    My current commander play through is going OK (I think). But haven't had that mission. Yet.

  16. Looks like 3MA will have to return to XCOM soon. Everybody seems pissed by this episode.

    I myself haven't played XCOM2 and can't feel your pain. Here's an idea: how about XCOMEW Long War episode?

    If you go back and listen again I think both Fraser and Jonathan give a much more balanced appreciation of both what XCOM 2 is doing and what XCOM 1s flaws were. I think the issue is that some of the stuff David Heron and Rob are saying is just so far out of kilter with what would appear to be everyone else's experiences with both games that they stand out a lot more.

    I too would love an episode which looks at the evolution of the Firaxis XCOM games and the influence of The Long War mod (which at the end of the day is probably one of the greatest game mods ever made - and I include the likes of Counter-Strike and Fall from Heaven in that statement) on XCOM 2. Because I've just started a new campaign on Commander level and boy can you feel the influence of LW at that level!

    I would also dearly love that conversation to include Jake Solomon or Garth from Firaxis as well - or whoever else the lead designer is. We had that for both XCOM:EW (Jake and Garth) and for XCOM:EW (Ananda Gupta) - in fact over the last couple of months this seems to be something 3MA doesn't do any more - have those conversations with lead designers - for any of the games they are reviewing unless it's one of Bruce's more obscure wargaming titles. Now as unlikely as it is I'll ever play one of those games I usually listen to the podcast because it's fascinating listening to the designer talking about how they came to their decisions. I distinctly remember both Jake and Garth saying how pleased they were to be on the podcast too - how they all considered it to be gold standard and that everyone at Firaxis listened to it. Or words to that effect.

    Now I completely appreciate that Rob and Troy and Bruce are all very busy individuals, and that 3MA is very much a labour of love for all of them, but is it really that hard to get hold of those people any more? The last time I remember you guys getting a designer on to talk about their game (which wasn't a war game) was probably Will and David talking about Beyond Earth.

    Does nobody want to talk to you guys any more?

  17. skulljacking also says it has a 70% success rate, like skullmining, but ive never missed with it and im not sure you can

    If it's plot related "skull jacking" I don't think you can miss either. Let's just say I had a few issues with one of those skull jacks and I ended up needed several missions to finally get the objective. I didn't miss a single one.

  18. I've just had to restart the penultimate mission (the first of the "this is it" missions you can't go back from) because one of my squad got stuck behind a dead Alien. Couldn't move him anywhere :( S**t like that just drives you insane no matter how good a game it is. I hope someone at Firaxis is taking notes! I completely agree with Badfinger there, there is no way I would currently contemplate playing this game in Ironman mode. 


    The other thing I don't like is the Aesthetic choices in the late game - mainly the look and feel of the 3rd tier weapons and armour. They are took shiny and "perfect" looking for an organization based out of a re-purposed alien craft that is supposedly still eking an existence from whatever it can steal / scavenge or recover from what's left over, while being hunted down by a vastly superior force. I know it's petty but the industrial cobbled together look of the second tier weapons and armour (especially the fantastic looking EXO suits!) fits the feel of the game so much better.


    I know it doesn't matter the great scheme of things, but if I were any good at modding at all I think that's one of the primary things I would change. 

  19. Wow. It's not often I listen to a 3MA podcast and profoundly disagree with the main conclusions of the panel (well, most of the panel) while agreeing with the vast majority of the observations made during the episode! At times I seriously wondered if we'd all been playing the same game or i have some weird copy that seemed to be using the same mechanics but had totally different outcomes.


    The thing that made my jaw drop was David Heron's statement that "everything in this game apart from Armour and the Support Class is a step backwards from XCOM 1" - I have never heard anything on 3MA that I've disagreed with more. Having said that, I completely agree with Rob and David's comments that the strategic layer in those early stages of the game is a mess and almost willfully goes out of its way not to explain it's mechanics to the players. However after 30 hours of playing (One failed attempt at Commander difficultly where I kept getting absolutely trashed in a plot mission just after I'd unlocked the second tier weapons, and one on Veteran that's progressing fine despite the myriad mistakes I've made throughout this play-through) and in the end I concluded that although the game really doesn't explain anything to the player it's really not that hard once you've got into the mid game to work out both what you should be doing, and how you should be doing it. Considering how many games spoonfeed their players these days in exactly how to play the game I'm surprised at the amount of negative comments about it to be honest - yes, at first it's a mess, it actively hampers the player and it's really not well explained at all (both on the strategic layer and the tactical layer) on the other hand it's really not that hard to figure out once you've played it into the midgame or so, and more crucially (and the part that worries me more than a little so far) the game is more than forgiving enough to let you get away with it for a very long time indeed.


    Now I think that's an improvement on XCOM 1 (Firaxis XCOM1, not the microprose original) in that it allows choice. XCOM 1 greatest failing was always that the Strategic layer was about working out the optimal path - and you had to work out that optimal path because if you didn't you'd fail, especially on Classic or Impossible. There was only one way to complete the base build and approach the high level game - get your satellites up, build an uplink and a generator and then the OTC once you had a soldier at the right promotion level. After that it was a rush to capture a outsider, and get laser weapons and armour researched so you could hit the alien base before the global panic levels got away from you. that was it. Once you'd got through the alien base successfully you'd only fail if you;d really cock things up on the tactical level and suffer a couple of squad wipes. But really that was it - get through that gate of assualting the alien base and winning and then you were just on that long victory march everyone was talking about. Enemy Within tried to shake that up by seemingly adding choice in what to build at the start of the game, but really it didn't becasuue it never adjusted the economy of the game to allow you to build that much stuff. And of course if your steamvents were on the bottom level you'd just restart your game anyway.


    XCOM 2 I think does away with all that and clearly is trying to allow you to choose how to proceed - or at least allowing variations on how you build that "optimal" path. Whether it's building a conventional squad or rushing Psyonics, how you expand your network is up to you (that avatar doomsday counter not with standing - why it rushes up so fast and then goes incredibly slowly is really a strange design decision) - both in the methods you have to build and upgrade the rooms you can construct - and more importantly I don't think it really matters all that much how you do it. What it is doing is taking Sid Meier's "ever turn should end with an interesting choice" maxim and cranking it up to 11 - both in what you can do on the map and what you can do with the Avenger. It's a shame that (in my experience) it really doesn't last into the later stages of the game, but it is much more a Firaxis game now than XCOM 1 ever was, and it extends into the tactical layer as well.


    Because the Tactical game is a massive improvement on XCOM 1 on every single level. It really is. It does away with the optimal (there's that word again) gameplay style of "creep forward in overwatch" and forces you to make decisions. It's no fluke that the best missions in XCOM:EW are the Newfoundland Cryssalid infestation, and the mission on the dam to rescue the french woman, both of which force you against a timer.  To their great credit Firaxis recognised that from the outset and have designed the tactical levels of XCOM 2 accordingly. My favourite mission type is the "snatch the Advent VIP and escape" mission which are almost cinematic in how they play out. How I'd love a replay function in the game that allowed those missions to be played out in realtime once you'd finished - desperate dashes to the evac point with overwatch shots coming in from all directions, blowing out the sides of buildings to give yourself an escape route, noble last stands of single soldiers to allow their squadmates to get out - I've had them all and they are all completely brilliant experiences. How on earth anyone can think that is step backwards from XCOM 1 I genuinely do not understand.  Again it doesn't explain the little things that make a huge difference which meant I really struggled at the start (like flashbangs breaking Sectoid mind control abilities, or that pressing Control and right clicking allows you to dictate the path of your soldier through the map - man I wish I'd known that much earlier in the game) but like the strategic layer you work it out eventually.  


    Yeah it's got it's problems - stun lancers are just a little overpowered arriving so early in the game, especially with vipers appearing to be able to grab people through multiple solid walls, and it's bugs for me make playing it in Ironman mode unthinkable (I've had far too many instances where Soldier turns have ended when they've just moved once - usually when I'm flanking someone ready to shoot them - and when buildings collapse I've had soldiers falling down and getting stuck in the map unable to move. Not good when it's an evac map) but everything else is just a massive improvement on the Firaxis original. The soldier synergies are so much better as well, and they level really well with the enemies you face on the later stages of the game.


    I guess it just goes to show just how different people can have different experiences from the same outlet. But seriously this game is fantastic. I completely agree that it needs some serious patching and a much much better tutorial, but it's not hard to see past all that the longer you play it and the more you get used to it and how it's working.


    I love it. I can easily see it becoming my favourite game. ever. 

  20. Listening now. Wow. I will definitely be waiting for a patch. Hell, I might wait for a sale.

    Seriously sounds like kind of a mess.

    ETA: The fact that this stuff has not come up in reviews just makes you wonder yet again about how in bed the review platforms are with the companies. If what the guys are saying is true, they ought to be ashamed.

    I'll post a proper reply in the thread for the episode, but all I'll say now is that I don't think I've ever listened to a 3MA where I've disagreed more profoundly against the main conclusions of the panel (or at least some of the panel) while agreeing with the observations about the game. David Heron's statements that 'apart from armour and the support class everything else is a step backwards from XCOM: Enemy Unknown' and 'XCOM 2 is a bad game' are just....... Man I don't even know what to write. I cannot understand where those opinions come from. Did he play the same game as the rest of us?!?

  21. I barely had enough Trooper corpses to build the first tier of armor as I had sold them off as well. That likely could have been a run killer for me.

    That actually happen to me this play through. I never managed to build the mid tier armour having sold all my troopers, just went straight to the 3rd level. It really meant I went aggressive mid game, my entire strategy became "kill them before they can get a shot off". Turns out that's a pretty viable strategy at that stage of the game.