Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Plockets
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by Plockets » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:40 am

stefan3iii wrote:10) Allow me to bring Haven Advisers on retaliation missions. Technically you can already do this, it just requires a ridiculous amount of clicking and micromanagment.
I think this is on the list of things to do, as a complaint/suggestion I made about it was elevated here.

JoINrbs
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by JoINrbs » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:49 am

LordYanaek wrote:If i remove those Extract VIP it's 10 failures out of 51 missions for approximately 80% success.

But don't forget we are talking about a top player.
don't forget that that top player is streaming and chatting with viewers, playing 6+ hours nonstop, and sometimes drunk, either ;) .

JoINrbs
Long War 2 Crew
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by JoINrbs » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:55 am

stefan3iii wrote:Making stealth deep and compelling seems like you'd be building an entire side game within Xcom. I mean if Pavonis can pull it off, that'd be amazing, but I'm pretty skeptical that it's feasible. FYI, check out Invisible INC for an amazing tactical stealth game.
eh, more like you'd be incorporating it properly in the main game of xcom. making sure the soldiers on stealth missions were relevant to the narrative as a whole by incentivizing them being taken on combat missions too (maybe remove all experience gain from stealth missions?), making sure that it didn't break strategic pressures being relied on for the rest of the game (soldier hours per mission, infiltration time required to beat mission), balancing it appropriately (kill additive multipliers for detection radii, kill tier one officer perks which were extremely strong for it, kill squaddies who were extremely strong at it), etc.

i like your suggestions and think they'd result in a fun game, but a design goal of LW2 is for squad sizes 1-12 to be playable and engaging. it's fine if the 1 and 2 sized squads are much rarer than they are right now, but they will still need to be balanced and recognized by other mechanics for the game to feel fully rounded with regard to this design goal.

i actually quite enjoy stealth missions in their current state. it was a lot of fun to essentially invent them and to play many different versions of the game with a variety of different pressures on them. when i started doing them there was still vanilla code that locked pods onto your soldiers if they passed the halfway point of the map while still stealthed, so i was dashing guys all over the map to lead pods around on wild goose chases. a huge amount of work has gone into balancing them since then and made them a more sensible part of the game - green and yellow alert actions, schedules with solo drones, large nerfs to stealth perks, etc.

so, several months worth of incorporating these into the game has already happened, and they're considerably improved for them. there is still some more balancing work to do and possibly a little bit of mechanical support still required. it'd be better if you just worked out what sorts of things were necessary and asked for them than suggested that they just entirely went away, because they're already a gigantic and fairly well incorporated part of the game.

stefan3iii
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by stefan3iii » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:11 am

JoINrbs wrote:
stefan3iii wrote:Making stealth deep and compelling seems like you'd be building an entire side game within Xcom. I mean if Pavonis can pull it off, that'd be amazing, but I'm pretty skeptical that it's feasible. FYI, check out Invisible INC for an amazing tactical stealth game.
it'd be better if you just worked out what sorts of things were necessary and asked for them than suggested that they just entirely went away, because they're already a gigantic and fairly well incorporated part of the game.
I actually don't want stealth to disappear, I enjoyed it at first, figuring out how to do stealth missions, and sometimes they can be quite intense. I just want stealth to be 10-20% of the missions, rather than the majority of them. It's just the frequency of them makes them become tedious.

I also miss doing combat missions with timers, and it happens that all the timer missions are the ones that are easily stealthed.

Bu6613man
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by Bu6613man » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:49 pm

stefan3iii wrote:
JoINrbs wrote:
stefan3iii wrote:Making stealth deep and compelling seems like you'd be building an entire side game within Xcom. I mean if Pavonis can pull it off, that'd be amazing, but I'm pretty skeptical that it's feasible. FYI, check out Invisible INC for an amazing tactical stealth game.
it'd be better if you just worked out what sorts of things were necessary and asked for them than suggested that they just entirely went away, because they're already a gigantic and fairly well incorporated part of the game.
I actually don't want stealth to disappear, I enjoyed it at first, figuring out how to do stealth missions, and sometimes they can be quite intense. I just want stealth to be 10-20% of the missions, rather than the majority of them. It's just the frequency of them makes them become tedious.

I also miss doing combat missions with timers, and it happens that all the timer missions are the ones that are easily stealthed.
I think stealthing a majority of your missions under the current conditions of the game is not only less fun, abut also less beneficial in the long run. In my most recent campaign, I've been trying to implement new strategies, and so I'm in early May, and I've only run 2 or 3 stealth missions. If I can bring a squad on a mission, I do. I've been relying on Assaults, Technicals, and Shinobis to do a lot of my killing/risk prevention at these low levels, and it has been by far the most fun I've ever had with LW2.

Plus, I've gotten tons of loot, lots of experience on the soldiers I'm going to need to be strong in the mid-game. I didn't have to build a GTS first, just to crank out a bunch of Shinobis. Nor are my shinobi and specialist way higher level than everything else. I've lost a few soldiers, but since I'm producing more soldiers, I have a tolerance for losses.

I think you need to see missions as a resource, more than just an opportunity. Stealthing a mission might make a mission safer (although in my experience, once you've played a bunch they approach a parity of risk.) However, you leave so much on the table when you stealth a mission, that you have to do other risky things to keep up.

dstar3k
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by dstar3k » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:13 pm

RantingRodent wrote:I don't have anywhere near the Long War 2 experience of many others around here, but I'd like to at least seed this idea I've developed after a considerable amount of my own play time as well as watching Xavier's series. I'm curious about what more experienced players think of this.

Maybe part of the solution to the over-effectiveness of small squad operations is to rebalance infiltration times so that 4-5 soldier squads actually have the shortest base infiltration time of all, and squads of 3, 2, or 1 have increasing base infiltration times instead of decreasing. Squads larger than 5 have increased infiltration time to help balance out their increased effectiveness; sometimes you get a nice long time to infiltrate with a large squad and steamroll Advent with it. I think the solo/duo stealth operations would benefit by being gated by a similar mechanism.
I just realized there's an even easier way to do this: increase the time for soldiers 1, 2, and 3, and reduce the time for soldiers 4 and 5 such that there's only a small difference in infiltration time, and at 6 you're back to baseline LW2.

IOW, the first three soldiers don't have _increasing_ infiltration times, it's just that taking the extra two soldiers doesn't cost you that much, such that usually you can still hit your goal for the infiltration (100%, 200%, whatever you're aiming for) with a 5 soldier squad.

Or maybe I'm talking nonsense. I'm just trying to distract myself from the fact that yesterday was the worst day of my life (future days included), and today is not as bad only by virtue of the fact that it's a different day and I'm still in shock.

stefan3iii
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by stefan3iii » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:20 pm

Bu6613man wrote:
stefan3iii wrote:
JoINrbs wrote: it'd be better if you just worked out what sorts of things were necessary and asked for them than suggested that they just entirely went away, because they're already a gigantic and fairly well incorporated part of the game.
I actually don't want stealth to disappear, I enjoyed it at first, figuring out how to do stealth missions, and sometimes they can be quite intense. I just want stealth to be 10-20% of the missions, rather than the majority of them. It's just the frequency of them makes them become tedious.

I also miss doing combat missions with timers, and it happens that all the timer missions are the ones that are easily stealthed.
I think stealthing a majority of your missions under the current conditions of the game is not only less fun, abut also less beneficial in the long run. In my most recent campaign, I've been trying to implement new strategies, and so I'm in early May, and I've only run 2 or 3 stealth missions. If I can bring a squad on a mission, I do. I've been relying on Assaults, Technicals, and Shinobis to do a lot of my killing/risk prevention at these low levels, and it has been by far the most fun I've ever had with LW2.

Plus, I've gotten tons of loot, lots of experience on the soldiers I'm going to need to be strong in the mid-game. I didn't have to build a GTS first, just to crank out a bunch of Shinobis. Nor are my shinobi and specialist way higher level than everything else. I've lost a few soldiers, but since I'm producing more soldiers, I have a tolerance for losses.

I think you need to see missions as a resource, more than just an opportunity. Stealthing a mission might make a mission safer (although in my experience, once you've played a bunch they approach a parity of risk.) However, you leave so much on the table when you stealth a mission, that you have to do other risky things to keep up.
May is right around the time when you start stealthing most guerilla ops, because your regions are hitting 4 advent strength, so you're doing troop ambushes, and if all your rebels are on intel gathering, then you'll have way more missions in your 3 regions than your barracks can handle.

LordYanaek
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by LordYanaek » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:26 pm

dstar3k wrote:IOW, the first three soldiers don't have _increasing_ infiltration times, it's just that taking the extra two soldiers doesn't cost you that much, such that usually you can still hit your goal for the infiltration (100%, 200%, whatever you're aiming for) with a 5 soldier squad.
A bigger squad won't prevent you from stealthing thought, it will just spread the stealth XP between more soldiers. It may help avoid stealth being a necessity but as long as players think they get everything with less risk they will attempt to stealth. Fixing stealth overuse probably requires making fight more attractive. This can probably be done by a small and easy increase in rewards (even just more elerium cores balanced by higher cores cost for many things XCom wants to build/research) and a maybe not so easy improvement of the UI to let you know what you missed.
Bu6613man wrote: I think stealthing a majority of your missions under the current conditions of the game is not only less fun, abut also less beneficial in the long run.
You're probably right, but players have almost no way to realize it because the mission result screen just says "Success. 0 Death" (provided you were actually successful)
stefan3iii wrote: May is right around the time when you start stealthing most guerilla ops, because your regions are hitting 4 advent strength, so you're doing troop ambushes, and if all your rebels are on intel gathering, then you'll have way more missions in your 3 regions than your barracks can handle.
We are actually not supposed to try every mission, but we are conditioned by XCom EW and XCom2 to do so and each time we get a pop-up to say "mission detected" we feel like we have to attempt it. Actually we are supposed to choose the best missions and ignore the rest. Ignoring a mission doesn't even piss the spokesman while actually failing one does, it's a good indication that we shouldn't do them all.
I wish there was an option to "dismiss" a mission from the popup to avoid geoscape clutter thought, that might be a nice QoL feature (currently if you ignore a mission, it will stay there until it disappears naturally).

However, i think the initial pool of recruits should be slightly larger because 3 (on commander) or 2 (on legend) is really not much and since you are unlikely to gain more for quite some time in the early game, you can't really increase the size of your barracks to attempt more missions without stealthing. We are not supposed to attempt all of them, but maybe a few more than currently. By may you are unlikely to have many recruits available so your barracks is almost the same size as at the start of the game (a few new guys, a few dead ones) wich is probably why stealth tends to spike at that time with other missions being available.

At the end, we have a huge pool of recruits and no use for them apart from suicide missions, that's another issue.

stefan3iii
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by stefan3iii » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:53 pm

LordYanaek wrote: We are actually not supposed to try every mission, but we are conditioned by XCom EW and XCom2 to do so and each time we get a pop-up to say "mission detected" we feel like we have to attempt it. Actually we are supposed to choose the best missions and ignore the rest. Ignoring a mission doesn't even piss the spokesman while actually failing one does, it's a good indication that we shouldn't do them all.
I have no idea if we're supposed to do these missions, but we can, and they reward us with ~30 intel and a lead, or advance the liberation chain. In a strategy game I'm trying to win, so I'm going to do the thing that wins. There is no question that this is a good strategy, 30 intel is better than no intel.

I'm not stealthing because I'm afraid of fighting in missions, I'm stealthing them because I don't have enough soldiers and equipment to do it the combat way, and would just skip them otherwise.

dstar3k
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by dstar3k » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:38 pm

LordYanaek wrote:
dstar3k wrote:IOW, the first three soldiers don't have _increasing_ infiltration times, it's just that taking the extra two soldiers doesn't cost you that much, such that usually you can still hit your goal for the infiltration (100%, 200%, whatever you're aiming for) with a 5 soldier squad.
A bigger squad won't prevent you from stealthing thought, it will just spread the stealth XP between more soldiers. It may help avoid stealth being a necessity but as long as players think they get everything with less risk they will attempt to stealth. Fixing stealth overuse probably requires making fight more attractive. This can probably be done by a small and easy increase in rewards (even just more elerium cores balanced by higher cores cost for many things XCom wants to build/research) and a maybe not so easy improvement of the UI to let you know what you missed.
A lot of times, I stealth because I don't have time to take a large enough squad to fight; it doesn't matter how attractive fighting is if you can't take the soldiers to do it.

LordYanaek
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by LordYanaek » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:02 pm

stefan3iii wrote: I have no idea if we're supposed to do these missions, but we can, and they reward us with ~30 intel and a lead, or advance the liberation chain. In a strategy game I'm trying to win, so I'm going to do the thing that wins.
I'm not trying to argue it's a bad strategic decision :) I'm just pointing what i think is the developers idea (as far as i understand of course, i'm not in direct contact).
There is even a mechanism to punish too many concurrent infiltrations by increasing evac timer, however this is currently quite negligible (1 additional turn if you have 7 or more infiltrations) and probably not widely known.
This is another point that could be used to change the situation if players are just running stealth to push the number of missions they take simultaneously more than what they should. Having several steps ending with longer delay would seriously dissuade players from running tons of stealth missions (those that require the fastest evac) simultaneously. However it would ideally require a warning. Maybe there is already one, i don't know as i never had 7 missions at once, but a pop-up to explain that with so many missions Firebrand will have a hard time responding quickly would definitely be useful.

RantingRodent
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by RantingRodent » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:04 pm

LordYanaek wrote:There is even a mechanism to punish too many concurrent infiltrations by increasing evac timer, however this is currently quite negligible (1 additional turn if you have 7 or more infiltrations) and probably not widely known.
This is another point that could be used to change the situation if players are just running stealth to push the number of missions they take simultaneously more than what they should. Having several steps ending with longer delay would seriously dissuade players from running tons of stealth missions (those that require the fastest evac) simultaneously. However it would ideally require a warning. Maybe there is already one, i don't know as i never had 7 missions at once, but a pop-up to explain that with so many missions Firebrand will have a hard time responding quickly would definitely be useful.
The overall problem with the mechanism, I think, is that by the time you are running this many squads at once, evac delays are not a major problem; jailbreaks and VIP extracts have fixed evacs so it's not really a factor there, your primary combat missions are ones you plan not to evac from at all, and while this would be a problem for other stealth operations, it's kind of a weak control valve that mostly just makes train hacks much harder to pull off.

LordYanaek
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by LordYanaek » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:24 pm

It's not the most powerful lever but tweaking several controls is likely to give smoother results than hitting hard on one button and i just realized it's an option nobody seemed to have considered so far so i wanted to bring it on the table.
Train (and every other) hacks are among the most obvious cheese stealth anyway. Extractions can't be so easily cheesed with stealth (look at JoINrbs failed missions, the proportion of stealth extractions is quite large).

Ignoring suicide (this would require different fixes if the developers want to fix it) pure stealth is mostly valid on hack and for jailbreaks (and for the latest having a guard pod in the room next to the cell would certainly make stealthing the entire mission much harder). Using this control could leave room for stealth (it doesn't directly affect stealth in every mission) but by reducing the number of missions you can reasonably attempt simultaneously, you would consider larger squads more often. If you have 9 soldiers and you can stealth 3 missions, you'll probably do 3 stealth missions even if you have enough time to infiltrate a 6 men squad because it gives you more rewards (the obvious rewards). With those 9 soldiers, if you know you can only run 2 stealth missions without making them (and maybe other missions already started) harder, you might consider doing one 3-men stealth and one 6-guys "let's kill some ayys" mission.

It's certainly not something that will solve the "issue" on it's own but it can help.

Owlish
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by Owlish » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:30 pm

In my personal experience i mostly do stealth missions, when i don't have enough soldiers (or decent gear for them at later months) to do a proper fighting mission. Even in my veteran run playtrough i had 2 teams that were able to fight alines with decent effectivnes. Any more fighting missions simultaneously were problematic, since i didnt have enough soldiers early on, or enough gear in later months.

This seems to be a recurring trend - most people here on forums talk about inability to field multiple fighting squads, almost regardless of difficulty level.

RantingRodent
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by RantingRodent » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:14 pm

Owlish wrote:In my personal experience i mostly do stealth missions, when i don't have enough soldiers (or decent gear for them at later months) to do a proper fighting mission. Even in my veteran run playtrough i had 2 teams that were able to fight alines with decent effectivnes. Any more fighting missions simultaneously were problematic, since i didnt have enough soldiers early on, or enough gear in later months.

This seems to be a recurring trend - most people here on forums talk about inability to field multiple fighting squads, almost regardless of difficulty level.
I think this is tied to the issue of 4-5 soldier squad combat effectiveness, though? The reason people can't field more than 2 combat squads is that their combat squads tend to take 7-8 soldiers on each mission. If 4-5 were a more useful number, then it would be much easier to at least get to 3 active squads, which would make a significant difference in the total number of combat missions over the course of a campaign.

chrisb
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by chrisb » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:38 pm

RantingRodent wrote:
Owlish wrote:In my personal experience i mostly do stealth missions, when i don't have enough soldiers (or decent gear for them at later months) to do a proper fighting mission. Even in my veteran run playtrough i had 2 teams that were able to fight alines with decent effectivnes. Any more fighting missions simultaneously were problematic, since i didnt have enough soldiers early on, or enough gear in later months.

This seems to be a recurring trend - most people here on forums talk about inability to field multiple fighting squads, almost regardless of difficulty level.
I think this is tied to the issue of 4-5 soldier squad combat effectiveness, though? The reason people can't field more than 2 combat squads is that their combat squads tend to take 7-8 soldiers on each mission. If 4-5 were a more useful number, then it would be much easier to at least get to 3 active squads, which would make a significant difference in the total number of combat missions over the course of a campaign.
Honestly I'm not sure why 4 is part of the discussion. It's too weak to put up a fight for any length of time. 5 still feels very gimped and risky. 6 is a lot easier to balance around, and is already quite easy to field most of the time.

In the early game, 5-6 should mostly dominate, and it does if you play it that way. I find it more effective and necessary to building up those bigger squads. By mid-game, you absolutely need at least 2 8-man squads, which are more realistically 12-man squads with training/wounds accounted for. Retals are a constant pressure in mid-game, they basically tie up half your barracks from July onward. Your also having to farm troop columns as your only reliable source of cash/corpses, which is mostly 6 man teams, 8 for high alert/lower infil. If your lucky, you have enough troops to field a 3rd team, but mostly you can't because of wounds/deaths/training.

One thing that might help is to stop it with the rookies as rewards as the game progresses. A rookie in august is fodder for suicide missions. Your only other source of soldiers is the black market, and that is rather limited.

I think to support any more of a fighting force you would simply need to have more soldiers in the game. Once you start factoring in deaths/wounds/training, there's not enough left to field multiple squads on mission, and handle retals effectively.

RantingRodent
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by RantingRodent » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:20 am

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the intent is that a squad of 5 (or 4 if you've got excellent composition and stats) should be able to tackle Extremely Light and Very Light missions if approached very carefully. That's the impression I've picked up based on comments made by testers, anyway.

The fact that these squads are too risky to be effective with the current balance is not really a subject of debate, but I think the goal is that they are riskier than a larger squad but not so risky that you'll never run missions with them. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the impression I have now.

LordYanaek
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by LordYanaek » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:13 pm

chrisb wrote: One thing that might help is to stop it with the rookies as rewards as the game progresses. A rookie in august is fodder for suicide missions. Your only other source of soldiers is the black market, and that is rather limited.

I think to support any more of a fighting force you would simply need to have more soldiers in the game. Once you start factoring in deaths/wounds/training, there's not enough left to field multiple squads on mission, and handle retals effectively.
Spot on! I also think it's one of the main reasons stealth operations become so utterly dominant for guerilla ops by may-june.
The early roster probably didn't grew because you had almost no recruits early. Now your recruitment pool has filled-up but soon it will be too late to get new rookies. You'll get a few through the GTS training time but not enough to get several decent mid-sized squads to deploy beside your 2 large squads. In addition you must get some guys as advisors for your havens and you now have (hopefully) quite a bunch of them.

Starting recruit pool (not barracks) should probably be larger so you can recruit some guys in the first months and develop them and as you said at some point you shouldn't get rookies anymore.

Another option would be to have some GTS upgrades/tactics that increase the rank of the soldiers when they come out of training so instead of rookies you get LCpl and then Cpl. They should probably stay under the Black Market rank but be somewhat higher to allow the addition of new squads as XCom becomes larger.

Another other option that was already suggested (but i can't remember who suggested this) would be to have an officer perk that makes low level soldiers gain much more XP so they reach a useful rank faster.

Thrombozyt
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by Thrombozyt » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:39 pm

Just had an idea to encourage fighting:
1) Double production costs of all weapons & armors.
2) Provide weapons (& maybe armors) in loot drops.

Smash & Grab missions (coming in 1.3.) would provide a higher drop chance for weapons and in the caches would also be weapons & armor. It would massively play to the theme of guerilla to actually capture weapons from the enemy and use them for yourself.

chrisb
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by chrisb » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:44 pm

LordYanaek wrote:
chrisb wrote: One thing that might help is to stop it with the rookies as rewards as the game progresses. A rookie in august is fodder for suicide missions. Your only other source of soldiers is the black market, and that is rather limited.

I think to support any more of a fighting force you would simply need to have more soldiers in the game. Once you start factoring in deaths/wounds/training, there's not enough left to field multiple squads on mission, and handle retals effectively.
Spot on! I also think it's one of the main reasons stealth operations become so utterly dominant for guerilla ops by may-june.
The early roster probably didn't grew because you had almost no recruits early. Now your recruitment pool has filled-up but soon it will be too late to get new rookies. You'll get a few through the GTS training time but not enough to get several decent mid-sized squads to deploy beside your 2 large squads. In addition you must get some guys as advisors for your havens and you now have (hopefully) quite a bunch of them.

Starting recruit pool (not barracks) should probably be larger so you can recruit some guys in the first months and develop them and as you said at some point you shouldn't get rookies anymore.

Another option would be to have some GTS upgrades/tactics that increase the rank of the soldiers when they come out of training so instead of rookies you get LCpl and then Cpl. They should probably stay under the Black Market rank but be somewhat higher to allow the addition of new squads as XCom becomes larger.

Another other option that was already suggested (but i can't remember who suggested this) would be to have an officer perk that makes low level soldiers gain much more XP so they reach a useful rank faster.
There was a mod for LW1 that worked sort of along these lines. It gave daily xp to soldiers in your barracks based on OTS upgrades up to a configurable rank. As the mid/late game progressed rookies would at least be coming online as CPLs. I didn't really like it that much, mostly because it gave you a near infinite source of CPLs which made it easy to negate fatigue.

I think I would actually advocate for an increased barracks. 20+2 doesn't leave much margin of error. Your mostly relying on jailbreaks, which may not give you any. The BM can help a little. I think recruiting from havens is the most lackluster source. Your not typically recruiting in early game because you want intel/missions and get rebels faster from jailbreaks. And once you are recruiting in havens you don't want rookies anymore.

Not sure what the exact right balance is here, maybe a 10-15% bump in barracks somewhere would certainly make getting a 3rd squad viable.

JulianSkies
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Re: Changing infiltration math to balance small squad ops

Post by JulianSkies » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:31 am

chrisb wrote:
LordYanaek wrote:
chrisb wrote: One thing that might help is to stop it with the rookies as rewards as the game progresses. A rookie in august is fodder for suicide missions. Your only other source of soldiers is the black market, and that is rather limited.

I think to support any more of a fighting force you would simply need to have more soldiers in the game. Once you start factoring in deaths/wounds/training, there's not enough left to field multiple squads on mission, and handle retals effectively.
Spot on! I also think it's one of the main reasons stealth operations become so utterly dominant for guerilla ops by may-june.
The early roster probably didn't grew because you had almost no recruits early. Now your recruitment pool has filled-up but soon it will be too late to get new rookies. You'll get a few through the GTS training time but not enough to get several decent mid-sized squads to deploy beside your 2 large squads. In addition you must get some guys as advisors for your havens and you now have (hopefully) quite a bunch of them.

Starting recruit pool (not barracks) should probably be larger so you can recruit some guys in the first months and develop them and as you said at some point you shouldn't get rookies anymore.

Another option would be to have some GTS upgrades/tactics that increase the rank of the soldiers when they come out of training so instead of rookies you get LCpl and then Cpl. They should probably stay under the Black Market rank but be somewhat higher to allow the addition of new squads as XCom becomes larger.

Another other option that was already suggested (but i can't remember who suggested this) would be to have an officer perk that makes low level soldiers gain much more XP so they reach a useful rank faster.
There was a mod for LW1 that worked sort of along these lines. It gave daily xp to soldiers in your barracks based on OTS upgrades up to a configurable rank. As the mid/late game progressed rookies would at least be coming online as CPLs. I didn't really like it that much, mostly because it gave you a near infinite source of CPLs which made it easy to negate fatigue.

I think I would actually advocate for an increased barracks. 20+2 doesn't leave much margin of error. Your mostly relying on jailbreaks, which may not give you any. The BM can help a little. I think recruiting from havens is the most lackluster source. Your not typically recruiting in early game because you want intel/missions and get rebels faster from jailbreaks. And once you are recruiting in havens you don't want rookies anymore.

Not sure what the exact right balance is here, maybe a 10-15% bump in barracks somewhere would certainly make getting a 3rd squad viable.
There exists a kinda similar mod for vanilla called "F.N.G." (for reasons you can figure out why) that caused every rookie trained in the GTS to train to a certain minimum level instead. Unlocking ranks was, however, based on the number of soldiers you've lost over time.
I'm sure something similar to do that could be feasible too.

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