But now overwatch is kind of weak. There are a few builds that kind of work, but in general its a bonus you get when enemies patrol into you. The main issue is that not something you can easily strategize around and that, by nature, any strategy that takes targeting out of your hands will tend to be weaker than those that do not. Actively killing aliens is stronger than letting them kill themselves.
Additionally the builds that do work come online late, interact poorly with the current skillset of units, and have significant pitfalls. This kind of ties into the old ranger debate, because people seem to love the ol' shoot twice hit-nothing ranger and i am trying to find a way to modify it in a manner that doesn't suffer these problems. Though i am not going to do it; I am not sure that simply removing the overwatch tree isn't the proper answer.
In terms of mechanics: Overwatch(not suppression) seems to have four primary skills:
- Cool Under Pressure
- Rapid Reaction/Sentinel/Guardian: (These are essentially the same skill just in different forms)
- Ever Vigilant
- Covering Fire
(Long War 1 had 4: Covering Fire, Opportunist, Ready for Anything, Sentinel, all of which equal to or better than their counterparts here. The opportunist bonus is better than CUP at any aim above 33.3. RFA lets you shoot and OW. CV negated cover (iirc) when it went off)
Ever Vigilant and covering fire is probably the most interesting combination because it allows you to easily generate your own flanks and then overwatch. Ensuring that any offensive action will result in an attack. However, at its best, the combination of EV and CV is slightly worse than a run & gun activation because you still have the 70% or 60%(dashing enemy) aim penalty to attack and you can't crit without CUP as well.
The bonus is that you can do it every turn... but at the same time this is still kind of weak. Flanking consistently in this manner means you're going to have to have the defense in order to take advanced positions. And in order to get one low aim exposed rifle shot against an enemy we need to spend 3 perks. Which means that there is very little space left for either the offensive or defensive perks that the soldier will need to be properly competitive as a killer while also moving.
The end result seems to be, to me, that the optimal overwatch "spec" is to take CUP and RR/Sentinel and ignore everything else. For a ranger this is an issue because CUP is on the same tier as Aggression. And RR is on the same tier as Rapid Fire. So uhhh. Yea, that seems reasonable. Giving up the ability to do very high damage in a directed manner for the ability to maybe take 3 anti-synergistic* relatively low aim shots
Specialists have a similar problem. The overwatch feats are also on their strongest/most important tiers. Medical protocol justifies savior and field medic. Ever Vigilant has hard anti-synergy with every aspect of a specialists kit. Sentinel kind of requires CUP in order to justify... but Combat protocol is a near essential early game option. A specialist who takes CUP and Sentinel loses either medical protocol and savior OR the hard utility of combat protocol early. This makes them inefficient lategame as a medic and inefficient early game as guaranteed drone killer... But at the same time, the other things on the tree aren't so powerful that you would not consistently trade them were they on other tiers.
I am mainly posting to get a sense of what people think of the overwatch perks and what they would do to shuffle them around on specialists/rangers. My current full changelist that i am working on is in the spoilers and does a few extra things (it also is not completed, nothing is yet done to assaults, nor shinobi, nor rangers, nor specialists. Shinobi for one will be losing all of the +defense perks in the middle of the tree in favor of more dodge and may also be having some stealth swaps) which is mainly to boost some of the ammo, remove 2 action attacks from the AWC (and swap deadeye for precision shot, making precision shot a 1 action attack and giving deadeye back to sharps)
- Spoiler: show
*Overwatch itself has anti-synergy with Bring-Em-On (because the shots are end of turn this will necessitate lower bonuses from these), Close and Personal(can't choose which target to shoot, hard to ensure you're close enough), executioner and locked on (because you cannot easily control who gets the overwatch shot when you shoot).