Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

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JoeShmo
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by JoeShmo » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:08 pm

I think people are forgetting the point of the OP's post:

"Veteran difficulty
Extremely Light / Normal readiness"

There's a distinct culture around LW that it needs to be hard as balls, we get that, but people need to also remember that there are difficulty settings for a reason. Even if LW is suppose to be "hard" ....if you are playing on Easy / Veteran ...you shouldn't be running into situations where you need to tactically retreat in order to avoid being overwhelmed by reinforcements. An Easy campaign should be one in which you can make constant mistakes and still win, since ...you know, it's Easy.

I think there is a mindset, and disconnect between really experienced players, that everything needs to be in a tight range around your high tactical sense and need for challenge. This leads to design where there is no room for a casual experience and/or difficulty sliders mean very little. Just looking at the ini files alone for LW2 shows a very crass flexibility in difficulty options, where Easy is merely a 10-25% less intensive experience than the next 3 difficulties....which all share exactly the same modifiers. It may just be the fault of experience, in that you just become unable to contemplate how a new person should experience the content, because you haven't been a new player for years. Like trying to have a cross country runner understand the hardships of learning to walk as a baby for the first time; it's just been way too many years, and an entirely different set of lifestyle choices / experience to go backwards like that.

The problem, is that we need that empathy and mindfulness for game design, otherwise there is literally no point in giving players options to choose their challenge threshold, like a game of Dark Souls. And if that is the case, it needs to be made clear upfront, and designed with that in mind ( removing difficulty options ).

In regards to the OP's experience in particular, I have to mirror concern about reinforcement spam of that caliber in such a low difficulty and infiltration setting. If we were talking Commander difficulty / 50% infiltration progress, that would make much more sense.

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Devon_v
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Devon_v » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:34 pm

Reinforcements show up when you break concealment. ADVENT calls them in to deal with you. This happens no matter what the mission parameters are. Extremely Light is the forces stationed on site. If they spot you, they will call for help. Unlike vanilla, that help will actually be sufficient to hurt you, and they will not drop a "please murder us here!" flare in advance.

If you are spotted, the mission may well be blown right then and there. You have to consider if the objective can still be completed at an acceptable risk. If not, you need to get the hell out of Dodge.

With good infiltration (100% is bare minimum, never launch at that point unless you must) and the Jammer ability on your officer you should have seven turns from breaking concealment to get out without any additional forces. Your aim needs to be to complete the mission in that time frame.

Edit:
This not XCOM 2. It is Long War 2. Take and hold is not the objective unless the mission explicitly says it is. Stand and fight is rarely the best idea. You are always massively outgunned. This was supposed to be true in vanilla, but only the narrative delivers on that. XCOM is vastly more powerful than ADVENT and can level anything they send at them. In LW2 you are not the superior force. Stealth is your greatest ally, and that's why Pavonis went through all the trouble of gutting the systems Firaxis put in place to make stealth fail.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Tuhalu » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:57 am

Devon_v wrote:With good infiltration (100% is bare minimum, never launch at that point unless you must) and the Jammer ability on your officer you should have seven turns from breaking concealment to get out without any additional forces. Your aim needs to be to complete the mission in that time frame.
I just did a mission on Veteran with Extremely Light and Vulnerable target to hack a data vault and extract. I dashed for 2 turns to get near the objective. I broke concealment on the third turn, just 1 turn away from the device and wiped out the first pod in 1 turn. On turn 5 I had reinforcements on the ground. The second pod turned up on turn 6 and I had additonal reinforcements incoming on turn, but I used Jammer to delay them to turn 7. On turn 8 I had another set of reinforcements drop.

Luckily I was just able to get out town with pods of reinforcements breathing down my neck. This doesn't sound like "seven turns from breaking concealment" to me.

Note: No rapid response Dark Event was in play.

If I understand the numbers under the hood and the modifier for this mission, then with bad luck I might get reinforcements 6 turns after breaking concealment. I got the reinforcement message 1 turn after breaking concealment and just 4 turns into the mission!

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by dstar3k » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:04 am

JoeShmo wrote:I think people are forgetting the point of the OP's post:

"Veteran difficulty
Extremely Light / Normal readiness"

There's a distinct culture around LW that it needs to be hard as balls, we get that, but people need to also remember that there are difficulty settings for a reason. Even if LW is suppose to be "hard" ....if you are playing on Easy / Veteran ...you shouldn't be running into situations where you need to tactically retreat in order to avoid being overwhelmed by reinforcements. An Easy campaign should be one in which you can make constant mistakes and still win, since ...you know, it's Easy.
Er... Veteran is 'Easy'? I thought it was 'Normal', with Rookie being 'Easy'.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Manifest » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:05 am

Valaska wrote: And a timer forcing you to rush forward in missions in a game about strategy and tactics is defeating the purpose :>
The timer does not conflict with strategy and decision making more than any other element of the game. It has nothing to do with time or rushing, you imply it prevents you from thinking or strategizing correctly, but it's a turn-based game, you can think as long as you want.

It does not interfere with strategizing any more than any other element of the game like cover preventing you from taking shots, or enemy armor preventing you from making a killing blow. The "time" restriction only prevents you from moving backwards or staying still too many times. It makes the game harder, removing it makes it easier, it does not prevent you from thinking.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by ConradKurze » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:12 am

dstar3k wrote:
JoeShmo wrote:I think people are forgetting the point of the OP's post:

"Veteran difficulty
Extremely Light / Normal readiness"

There's a distinct culture around LW that it needs to be hard as balls, we get that, but people need to also remember that there are difficulty settings for a reason. Even if LW is suppose to be "hard" ....if you are playing on Easy / Veteran ...you shouldn't be running into situations where you need to tactically retreat in order to avoid being overwhelmed by reinforcements. An Easy campaign should be one in which you can make constant mistakes and still win, since ...you know, it's Easy.
Er... Veteran is 'Easy'? I thought it was 'Normal', with Rookie being 'Easy'.
Well Veteran in vanilla is easy, Rookie is just super easy.

The problem I'd say with the difficulty settings on LW2 are that Veteran LW2 feels somewhere in between Command or Legend vanilla X2. So the second easiest difficulty setting is harder than vanilla's penultimate difficulty. There needs to be more middle ground, not just straight up making the game harder than vanilla on pretty much every difficulty setting.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Hazelnut » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:09 am

Balor wrote:I have one of these missions also 5 turns of reinforcements on a light/extremely light with pods of 5 mobs.

Is this as designed or a bug?

I assumed it was a bug and exploited the mission to complete it or it would have most likely been a full wipe.

If this is not a bug is the idea here for this mission you do not complete it and just try to evac out?

It's designed, I also thought bug the first time it happened to me. Its a trap set by Advent. You need to get out and survive once you realise whats happening, however my reaction to reinfs is often to go hard on the existing contact which is death if its a trap.

On an unrelated note, now I know about the RNF timers and that they start when losing concealment, I don't have an issue with it. No timer, but you can't dawdle either.. now I know, it's fine I just never let that happen.

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JoeShmo
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by JoeShmo » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:40 am

dstar3k wrote:
JoeShmo wrote:I think people are forgetting the point of the OP's post:

"Veteran difficulty
Extremely Light / Normal readiness"

There's a distinct culture around LW that it needs to be hard as balls, we get that, but people need to also remember that there are difficulty settings for a reason. Even if LW is suppose to be "hard" ....if you are playing on Easy / Veteran ...you shouldn't be running into situations where you need to tactically retreat in order to avoid being overwhelmed by reinforcements. An Easy campaign should be one in which you can make constant mistakes and still win, since ...you know, it's Easy.
Er... Veteran is 'Easy'? I thought it was 'Normal', with Rookie being 'Easy'.
I was trying to distinguish between the difficulties by using normal difficulty nomenclature for part of it, hence Easy / Veteran ( instead of Rookie / Veteran or Easy / Normal ) Further down in my post ( that you didn't quote ) I go on to talk about Veteran, which I figured was a self explanatory difference, but if not then my bad.

On the point about distinguishing though, it was because while "Rookie" is considered the entry level of difficulty for this game in particular, it doesn't outright represent a clear representation of difficulty, unless you actually consider "rookie" to mean someone who has no idea what they are doing ( and/or understand military terms ). If that was the case..then Rookie would be extremely forgiving ( which it should ), but its not. I'm over-explaining it ..but that was the jist of my thought process.

Also, I'm use to the difficulty settings references in the ini's for Xcom 1 ..which uses a mix of names for each one. Old habits.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Fictitious1267 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:27 am

I think there is an issue here when you carefully set up a line of soldiers, suppress and flash the enemy in front of you, and just randomly get an entire pod flanking every single one of your guys. That's too much bad luck in one turn to overcome, if you're already engaging a pod.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Aleosiss » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:03 pm

Fictitious1267 wrote:I think there is an issue here when you carefully set up a line of soldiers, suppress and flash the enemy in front of you, and just randomly get an entire pod flanking every single one of your guys. That's too much bad luck in one turn to overcome, if you're already engaging a pod.
That's not bad luck. That's the result of better AI. The LW AI specifically has a routine where a pod is sent off to the side to flank your position and then engage.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Alketi » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:14 pm

JoeShmo wrote:I think people are forgetting the point of the OP's post:

"Veteran difficulty
Extremely Light / Normal readiness"

In regards to the OP's experience in particular, I have to mirror concern about reinforcement spam of that caliber in such a low difficulty and infiltration setting. If we were talking Commander difficulty / 50% infiltration progress, that would make much more sense.
I can't quote it all, but thanks for the thoughtful response Joe. I agree with all of it. I'm the OP.

To summarize, my main issues in this mission were:

1. Being placed on a rooftop as a starting position, and being revealed on turn #1 in a BLUE move, by a drone.
2. Not understanding that reinforcements are essentially endless on all skill levels, limited only by the turn timer.

Suggestions for Pavonis:

Should the reinforcement mechanic, on a timed mission, be endless on all skill levels? Probably not. Perhaps on regular missions reinforcement waves can be capped at something like the following:

Rookie: 1 pod
Veteran: 1
Commander: 2
Legend: Endless

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Devon_v » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:29 pm

But if they weren't endless, you could win without evac. You are not supposed to be able to win without evac.

You're enemy combatants, why would they not drop the hammer on you just because you killed two squads of troops? They have an endless clone army, they have literally no reason not to use overwhelming force at all times when reacting to XCOM incursions.

ADVENT operates somewhat like the US Marine Corp. They may not be able to be everywhere, but when stuff goes down, they can be anywhere in short order.


Regarding timer legnths, regional vigilance might play a role in that. It's a hidden value that represents how much attention you've drawn to the region. I try not to drag out operations in a region precisely because vigilance is what triggers force increases and retaliations, so if you've been fighting in a region for months without liberating it it might be accelerating the reinforcement schedules.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Arcalane » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:37 pm

Devon_v wrote:With good infiltration (100% is bare minimum, never launch at that point unless you must) and the Jammer ability on your officer you should have seven turns from breaking concealment to get out without any additional forces. Your aim needs to be to complete the mission in that time frame.
On the one hand, some of the numbers in the files certainly seem to support that idea. On the other hand, people's reports are clearly contradicting those facts.

I want to say that these numbers are accurate for Rookie difficulty and maybe not so much any other, but it's been so long since I've done missions that permit reinforcements (the last few have been Faceless Hunts, Troop Movements, and an HQ Assault) that I can't say for sure.

~~
Alketi wrote: Suggestions for Pavonis:

Should the reinforcement mechanic, on a timed mission, be endless on all skill levels? Probably not. Perhaps on regular missions reinforcement waves can be capped at something like the following:

Rookie: 1 pod
Veteran: 1
Commander: 2
Legend: Endless
I feel like this is the 'easy out' solution. Ultimately - in my opinion - what would work better is a proportionate response.

That is to say, the more aggressive and dangerous you are, the faster and stronger the response is. For every lethal explosive used, for every ADVENT or Alien unit killed, the faster and greater the degree of reinforcements they send. If you are mostly using nonlethal techniques, ADVENT might retaliate in kind by reinforcing with drones and lancers. On the other hand if you just nuked a pod into the stone age and levelled a food court with plasma grenades, they're going to start teleporting muton shock trooper squads ontop of you. If you take those guys out in one turn, you get optional boss fight mode. :P

I think this would also make things more forgiving in terms of soldier skill/experience and player luck, without taking away that "they're coming out of the walls!" element of Endless Reinforcements.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by GavinRuneblade » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:09 pm

Alketi wrote:
JoeShmo wrote: Suggestions for Pavonis:

Should the reinforcement mechanic, on a timed mission, be endless on all skill levels? Probably not. Perhaps on regular missions reinforcement waves can be capped at something like the following:

Rookie: 1 pod
Veteran: 1
Commander: 2
Legend: Endless
Personally I think endless is fine but turns between reinforcements and speed at which the reinforcements increase in power are the real issue.

I think game difficulty (rookie vs veteran vs legendary), mission strength (e.g. Extremely light vs swarming), and region advent strength, should change how strong the reinforcement pods are. And mission strength and infiltration should influence how many turns between reinforcements.

I think the mechanic feels odd when the same number and strength of troops reinforce an extremely light 200% infiltrated mission in a region with advent strength 2 as a swarming 15% mission with advent strength 6.

Poobah
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Poobah » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:41 pm

8wayz wrote: Please note that with reinforcements there is also a so-called "doom counter" - after a good amount of turns once they have been activated, above 20 at least, reinforcements start showing up every single turn in 8-unit pod. This is a soft limit to non-timed missions, probably due to Beaglerush.
JoeShmo wrote:I think people are forgetting the point of the OP's post:

"Veteran difficulty
Extremely Light / Normal readiness"

There's a distinct culture around LW that it needs to be hard as balls, we get that, but people need to also remember that there are difficulty settings for a reason. Even if LW is suppose to be "hard" ....if you are playing on Easy / Veteran ...you shouldn't be running into situations where you need to tactically retreat in order to avoid being overwhelmed by reinforcements. An Easy campaign should be one in which you can make constant mistakes and still win, since ...you know, it's Easy.

I think there is a mindset, and disconnect between really experienced players, that everything needs to be in a tight range around your high tactical sense and need for challenge. This leads to design where there is no room for a casual experience and/or difficulty sliders mean very little. Just looking at the ini files alone for LW2 shows a very crass flexibility in difficulty options, where Easy is merely a 10-25% less intensive experience than the next 3 difficulties....which all share exactly the same modifiers. It may just be the fault of experience, in that you just become unable to contemplate how a new person should experience the content, because you haven't been a new player for years. Like trying to have a cross country runner understand the hardships of learning to walk as a baby for the first time; it's just been way too many years, and an entirely different set of lifestyle choices / experience to go backwards like that.

The problem, is that we need that empathy and mindfulness for game design, otherwise there is literally no point in giving players options to choose their challenge threshold, like a game of Dark Souls. And if that is the case, it needs to be made clear upfront, and designed with that in mind ( removing difficulty options ).

In regards to the OP's experience in particular, I have to mirror concern about reinforcement spam of that caliber in such a low difficulty and infiltration setting. If we were talking Commander difficulty / 50% infiltration progress, that would make much more sense.
Devon_v wrote: This not XCOM 2. It is Long War 2. Take and hold is not the objective unless the mission explicitly says it is. Stand and fight is rarely the best idea. You are always massively outgunned.
Highlighting mine.

@Devon_v - I can't help but feel that you miss the point thatJoeShmo made in his post, and I think it's a very important one that I think you are dismissing far too quickly - it's very easy to get lost in the groupthink of an elite group of high skill, high knowledge players when it comes to making balance decisions. With regards to the first post I quote I think that's a hideous problem if the reinforcement mechanic (or any mechanic) in any difficulty bar impossible is balanced around Beaglerush's skill level and play style then that's just a massive loss of perspective. I'm doing ok in my Veteran campaign but I'm a LW1 veteran, and I've taken a lot of time to read up extensively about LW2's mechanics and watched a bunch of videos from JoINrbs and Xwynns' in which I've learned a ton that I'd have no opportunity to learn because they were involved in the development of the mod and actually understand the design - what I mentioned earlier about high knowledge players - and I think this is probably the area in which LW2 fails hardest.

The game is balanced around the assumption that players understand the mechanics and systems in play, as well as the fundamental idea that XCOM is a "massively outgunned" guerilla resistance but really doesn't communicate any of this very well at all. Many of the mechanics in particular, like the reinforcement mechanic discussed here, are very different to vanilla XCOM2 and are pretty much unexplained until you run afoul of them and lose a mission which results in a very negative play experience. I suspect this is especially true for players who didn't do LW1 and maybe heard about LW2 from the extensive media coverage or from Firaxis' own coverage/endorsement and aren't expecting the Dark Souls learning experience. LW2 is also incredibly snowbally in terms of how punishing it is for going through this "learning experience" and you can quickly brick a campaign as you suffer wounds, deaths and captured soldiers with each new "lesson" and I can only see this driving players to either quitting or just save scumming every single turn.

I'm very appreciative that pretty much the entire development team is spending time on this forum regularly answering questions and helping people understand the new and changed game mechanics, systems, and ideas that LW2 has brought to the game but I think that more extensive documentation would lead to a much more friendly experience for new players. I love LW2 and want more people to be able to enjoy it more fully (myself included, there are still a bunch of things I don't understand) so I hope you can understand that my criticisms come from a place of love.

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8wayz
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by 8wayz » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:48 pm

@ Devon

Those reinforcement counters probably need a good look.

I had a "Hack device on an Advent train" mission, where on Commander the timer is set to 8 turns.

I broke concealment on turn 4. On turn 7, after clearing 2 pods and engaging a third trying to stay alive, I saw the warning for reinforcements. I went straight ahead and hacked the objective.

On turn 8 the first reinforcement pod came in and also the warning for impending reinforcements stayed.

On turn 9 (the very next turn) another pod came in. The next reinforcements came on turn 12 I guess.

I escaped on turn 13.

Oh, and I had to restart the mission twice to be sure that it is not a bug. Hacking the objective automatically triggered another, separate pod of reinforcements on the very next turn.

The main issue is that you have not one, but several triggers for reinforcements, that are independent one from another. Some missions have a mandatory call for reinforcements on the next turn once you hack the objective. Others have the "Doom Counter" built-in.

On my first Tower Assault mission I had to endure 8-unit pods each turn with a 5-soldier team, before restarting the mission.

The players either need a clear indication what triggers reinforcements, or more consistent timers on each wave.

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Valaska
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Valaska » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:16 pm

8wayz wrote:@ Devon

Those reinforcement counters probably need a good look.

I had a "Hack device on an Advent train" mission, where on Commander the timer is set to 8 turns.

I broke concealment on turn 4. On turn 7, after clearing 2 pods and engaging a third trying to stay alive, I saw the warning for reinforcements. I went straight ahead and hacked the objective.

On turn 8 the first reinforcement pod came in and also the warning for impending reinforcements stayed.

On turn 9 (the very next turn) another pod came in. The next reinforcements came on turn 12 I guess.

I escaped on turn 13.

Oh, and I had to restart the mission twice to be sure that it is not a bug. Hacking the objective automatically triggered another, separate pod of reinforcements on the very next turn.

The main issue is that you have not one, but several triggers for reinforcements, that are independent one from another. Some missions have a mandatory call for reinforcements on the next turn once you hack the objective. Others have the "Doom Counter" built-in.

On my first Tower Assault mission I had to endure 8-unit pods each turn with a 5-soldier team, before restarting the mission.

The players either need a clear indication what triggers reinforcements, or more consistent timers on each wave.
Yeah so I went on a solo Reaper Shinobi extract VIP, killed 9 aliens in one turn, cleaned out the pod the next turn... RIght beside the truck, then I ran up to the door, waited to get my blue run back, hacked and boom instant reinforcements with no warning warped it. I got out with both using command on the VIP but my Shinobi took a little damage.

Was kind of annoying that it happened like that, more reinforcements were on their way but I used jammer.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by JoeShmo » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:02 pm

Devon_v wrote:But if they weren't endless, you could win without evac. You are not supposed to be able to win without evac.

You're enemy combatants, why would they not drop the hammer on you just because you killed two squads of troops? They have an endless clone army, they have literally no reason not to use overwhelming force at all times when reacting to XCOM incursions.

ADVENT operates somewhat like the US Marine Corp. They may not be able to be everywhere, but when stuff goes down, they can be anywhere in short order.


Regarding timer legnths, regional vigilance might play a role in that. It's a hidden value that represents how much attention you've drawn to the region. I try not to drag out operations in a region precisely because vigilance is what triggers force increases and retaliations, so if you've been fighting in a region for months without liberating it it might be accelerating the reinforcement schedules.
I'm not sure why a player shouldn't be able to with without an evac, it happens in real life guerilla warfare all the time.
And how does an enemy force reinforce their small outpost if you have the entire landscape surrounded with your own havens' , troops, etc ?

I believe though you are missing a few critical points about the game, one being that there are multiple sliders in the strategy element that influence difficulty of a mission. If you have a high infiltration, coverage of havens / missions, base game difficulty set low, etc. you're basically suppressing the Advent's ability to counterattack. Should the player not be able to stack the deck in their favor with rigorous work, preparation, and victories? I don't see why Advent should have a static, always infinite, presence in every mission; including ones that have been "stripped" of their prescience and difficulty initially. That doesn't reward players if it doesn't matter what you do.

And the benefits of jumping those hoops to get 100%+ infiltration, etc. should not be going from "impossible" to "almost impossible"; otherwise what point does it have for the player to participate in that gameplay?

I think, as others have chimed in, that it's not about removing reinforcements or anything that makes LW2 interesting, it's making it scale properly to the given difficulty of the game / mission. Something that is clearly not balanced with that in mind currently.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Devon_v » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:08 pm

I'm not on the dev team, so you don't have to worry about my opinion influencing design. :) I was a tester for LW1.

What I'm saying is, and I saw this a lot in LW1, is that people tend to approach Long War as "FiraxiCOM with extra stuff". They try to use the same tactics, try to abuse the same imbalances, and that's not how Long War plays. It's a new game, and needs to be approached as such. A lot of people are getting caught up on the reinforcement mechanics because they were basically meaningless in X2, just camp the flare and get free XP. They are not something to be abused, nor anything you want to fight in LW. Similarly, despite the narrative, every vanilla mission basically boils down to "kill everything", and you are expected to do so. If you try to stealth in vanilla the AI actually cheats to stop you. Long War doesn't expect you to kill everything. Some missions you aren't expected to kill anything. Combat is secondary to the objective, which is the only thing that should be played to. When you try to use the vanilla approach and go in guns blazing you will lose, because that's not the game design. It's kinda like playing Super Mario Bros. in the belief that jumping in pits is how you score points. Any game will seem impossible if you're doing the wrong thing.

Long War is also based on the original UFO/XCOM, and on older games that don't hold your hand and give you a million do overs. The campaign is meant to be in a constant state of danger. A bad move is always supposed to be potentially devastating. If that's not the experience one is looking for, there are plenty of mods that add content alone. Almost everything in LW2 is in the standalone mods if you just want to blast ayys for catharsis.

As far as the anti-Beaglerush maneuver, that actually has nothing to do with skill or difficulty and is purely a means of preventing the ultimate cheese strategy Beagle frequently demonstrated on his live streams of LW1. Basically you advance your squad one tile a turn and overwatch until you win. Even dropping standard reinforcement pods every single turn would not stop this. That's why the T+20 doom pods are there, to say no to cheese strats. No one should ever see them during normal play. (If you do see them, it's probably a bug)

As far as mission difficulty it's important to realize that "Extremely Light" is the forces on the ground at that moment. You know how many guys are there if you go in at 0%? Well they're all still in the area, you just waited for the perfect moment to strike when they weren't right next to the objective. But once you go loud you better believe they're going to rush over and try to stop you. ADVENT strength similarly is a measure of overall standing forces. They have teleporters. The pod that reinforces could have come from the other side of the planet.

The key is not to think you can win. That's not the objective. The objective is to do the thing and get out. The time to stand and fight is on the timerless, reinforcementless missions.

Another possible trap is assuming that because you can get seven troops in under the deadline you should. Most missions I run with 1-3 troops. The only time more than 6 get involved is when it's a straight up fight. Most of my objective-based missions end with no wounds, no casualties, and most importantly, no kills. 200% infiltrated Covert SMG Shinobis are stealth gods. Remember also that Long War changed the XP rules. Kills are not important. Roughly 80% of all XP comes from the mission objective. A squad that was never seen levels up almost as fast as one that kills everything, and they don't take wounds, and they never get reinforcements dropped on their heads.


What hoops do you feel need to be jumped to get 150+% infiltration? Just send a Shinobi or two and it basically happens automatically.

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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by nightwyrm » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:22 pm

Reading this thread and then the other thread saying stealth makes "destroy relay" missions too easy, I'm feeling that certain LW2 missions have become very binary in terms of difficulty. Either you're able to stealth all the way to the objective and able to complete it and evac without much risk, or you messed up (due to bad map, pod count or placement, civvies, whatever) and broke concealment too early and now the mission is impossible due to pods converging on you and/or endless reinforcements. There really isn't much middle ground here where you get the Vanilla experience of successfully fighting a few pods on your way to completing the objective.

Maybe this is the intended gameplay.

Doglywolf
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Doglywolf » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:30 pm

There's several dozen RPG's that have permanent death. Final Fantasy Tactics, Shining Force, Fire Emblem, Shin Megami Tensei, Massive Chalice, State of Decay, several others that are escaping my mind atm. None of which have timers :>
Haha you basically just listed all my favorite Games!

But I like True Concealment - I lower all timers expect UFO Raid by 2 turns to counter balance it a bit. SO blowing cover before at least 2 turns of progress screws me, everything else is just bonus and i feel it fits the game better.
Does it make it easier? Sure because you have a few more turns. Does it impact the difficulty of the actual fighting when it breaks out? Not at all. Once the fighting starts, and it very often does, you just have a few more tactical options, which to me personally at least , makes the game a lot more fun. Im still trying to rush out but i can take that extra turn or 2 to try to kill a couple extra guys or grab that loot now and that make a world of difference , feels to me like how the game should be played and lets you set up epic ambushes , again exactly like a group like Xcom would do it.

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JoeShmo
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by JoeShmo » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:47 pm

Devon_v wrote:I'm not on the dev team, so you don't have to worry about my opinion influencing design. :) I was a tester for LW1.

What I'm saying is, and I saw this a lot in LW1, is that people tend to approach Long War as "FiraxiCOM with extra stuff". They try to use the same tactics, try to abuse the same imbalances, and that's not how Long War plays. It's a new game, and needs to be approached as such. A lot of people are getting caught up on the reinforcement mechanics because they were basically meaningless in X2, just camp the flare and get free XP. They are not something to be abused, nor anything you want to fight in LW. Similarly, despite the narrative, every vanilla mission basically boils down to "kill everything", and you are expected to do so. If you try to stealth in vanilla the AI actually cheats to stop you. Long War doesn't expect you to kill everything. Some missions you aren't expected to kill anything. Combat is secondary to the objective, which is the only thing that should be played to. When you try to use the vanilla approach and go in guns blazing you will lose, because that's not the game design. It's kinda like playing Super Mario Bros. in the belief that jumping in pits is how you score points. Any game will seem impossible if you're doing the wrong thing.

Long War is also based on the original UFO/XCOM, and on older games that don't hold your hand and give you a million do overs. The campaign is meant to be in a constant state of danger. A bad move is always supposed to be potentially devastating. If that's not the experience one is looking for, there are plenty of mods that add content alone. Almost everything in LW2 is in the standalone mods if you just want to blast ayys for catharsis.

As far as the anti-Beaglerush maneuver, that actually has nothing to do with skill or difficulty and is purely a means of preventing the ultimate cheese strategy Beagle frequently demonstrated on his live streams of LW1. Basically you advance your squad one tile a turn and overwatch until you win. Even dropping standard reinforcement pods every single turn would not stop this. That's why the T+20 doom pods are there, to say no to cheese strats. No one should ever see them during normal play. (If you do see them, it's probably a bug)

As far as mission difficulty it's important to realize that "Extremely Light" is the forces on the ground at that moment. You know how many guys are there if you go in at 0%? Well they're all still in the area, you just waited for the perfect moment to strike when they weren't right next to the objective. But once you go loud you better believe they're going to rush over and try to stop you. ADVENT strength similarly is a measure of overall standing forces. They have teleporters. The pod that reinforces could have come from the other side of the planet.

The key is not to think you can win. That's not the objective. The objective is to do the thing and get out. The time to stand and fight is on the timerless, reinforcementless missions.

Another possible trap is assuming that because you can get seven troops in under the deadline you should. Most missions I run with 1-3 troops. The only time more than 6 get involved is when it's a straight up fight. Most of my objective-based missions end with no wounds, no casualties, and most importantly, no kills. 200% infiltrated Covert SMG Shinobis are stealth gods. Remember also that Long War changed the XP rules. Kills are not important. Roughly 80% of all XP comes from the mission objective. A squad that was never seen levels up almost as fast as one that kills everything, and they don't take wounds, and they never get reinforcements dropped on their heads.


What hoops do you feel need to be jumped to get 150+% infiltration? Just send a Shinobi or two and it basically happens automatically.

This is rather ironic is it not though? Going from "rabbit hopping in overwatch" to "stealth past everything". Neither one is really making the game interesting once the tedium of it has run its initial course. But neither one is actually harming the game, because they're both strategic. All that's happening is that the designed ( intended ) gameplay has changed, but the tunnel vision gameplay is still the same.

It's like saying shooting fish in a barrel is boring and "cheesy" ...but then changing the rules so that you have to stealth past said barrel of fish without being seen to win.

I don't see how the interaction with the barrel of fish improves, or how they climb out of said barrel.
It seems counterproductive to go through all this effort to increase enemy AI, create new pod setups, set new trap triggers, etc. to make them more formidable ....only to incentivize players to avoid engaging them altogether, and penalize the players that choose to not.

Why even have mission timers if the intent is not to engage an endless stream of enemies? That endless stream should itself be the deterrent no? If you need to evac a mission before 15 turns or you will get overwhelmed and fail ..then why not just have it like vanilla, where you have a 15 turn limit with non infinite spawning enemy? You either sit there and clear them all out and risk running the timer out, or you avoid fights to finish on time. This has been the case in Both Xcoms ..and I never saw the problem with it, or the added urgency it created.

I just don't see the added value of replacing a timer ...with a different timer. Its redundant.
And for a game that's called "Long War" ...that touts increasing time to finish the game ...it seems to want you to get through the game as quick as possible.

Timerless, Reinforcelss missions in this context feel like "Turret Sections" in FPS games. They're there just to satiate a little unbridled fun...and you will rarely encounter them. When really the whole game should allow for that, if you choose. I just don't like the idea of restricting choice in general, or designing things based on "what ifs" on playsessions that don't affect you personally at all. If someone wants to turtle their way through missions, I don't see the harm in it; nor would I in players that just want to quickly stealth through every mission. And if we are not allowed to play the game differently than someone else ( or the creators intend ) then why allow modding at all?

But we're getting offtopic here. The point being that the missions themselves, and difficulty sliders, don't match up.

Kremblin89
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Kremblin89 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:25 am

Is there a way to stop the reinforcements? Even on Rookie they are impossible to defend against... I had a mission to rescue 2 VIP's, and on the turn after I got to them a pod with 3-4 advent and a sectoid warp in right on top of them and shoot both. Also the random pods dropping in right behind your troops usually kill 1-2 of my troops because they always drop in a flank position and can shoot before you start your turn, giving you no chance to get to cover ><

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Arcalane
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Arcalane » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:26 am

The Jammer officer skill delays them, giving you an extra turn before they appear, but that's it. Once they're coming in they're coming in.

Hazelnut
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Re: Reinforcement spam has completely ruined LW2 for me

Post by Hazelnut » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:41 pm

JoeShmo wrote: And for a game that's called "Long War" ...that touts increasing time to finish the game ...it seems to want you to get through the game as quick as possible.
This. This is what I am starting to feel. In November, trying to liberate a second region. Have most tech except plasma. Been a lot of fun.

I have 3 squads af varying experience and some random lower ranks. Unfortunately for most missions if I don't field my top squad with the best gear I die. For the other squads, enemies are individually so hard to kill now with DE's that if I have full 10 troops I can maybe kill 4-5 per turn. Usually I have 5-7 troops so can only reliably kill 2-3 per turn. I thought that the infiltration mechanic would be loads better than the fatigue mechanic to have the player manage a large roster, but yet again for anything other than stealth or very light full 200% infil missions I only have one squad who can cope.

I have a HQ mission they're 15 days into infil for, a blacksite and an avatar site so they are going to be busy for a while. Meanwhile I have to ignore most other missions because without GSGT/MSGT level troops I get bogged down in bullet sponges.

Doom clock has 2 pips left, so my not so long war is going to end pretty soon I suspect. Shame was enjoying it.

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