Apparently they're adding a new mission type, smash and grab, that awards materiel and looks like it's aimed to be a mid sized mission given the infiltration timer on it, but it's still a choice between sweep or steal and run.
JulianSkies wrote:Apparently they're adding a new mission type, smash and grab, that awards materiel and looks like it's aimed to be a mid sized mission given the infiltration timer on it, but it's still a choice between sweep or steal and run.
I mean it's nice, but at the end of the day is that one mission type going to increase the middle ground to meaningfully dominate the game instead of stealth vs full man squads? If it only gives us about 10% of all missions are actually truly meaningful 5-6 man missions, then I'm not convinced that's enough, and I bet I will still get sick of doing yolo shinobi vs 10 man raids most of the time.
It is surprising that giving the complicated nature of LW2 that it manages to do as well as it does, but I think it might take a number of versions to swing the pendulum away from the current meta of stealthing the crap out of anything that isn't corpse based, then maxing men on anything that is corpse based as the best (only) solution.
I fear this game is not quite the game I want at the end of the day - I want the meat of the game (the majority of the missions) based around 5-6 man tactics because I liked that feel of xcom 2. It's an interesting number in that it gives you enough taste of variety but doesn't allow you to bring everything you want. Not james bond operative vs full on civ5 invasion style missions. I think more than adding one mission type is necessary, just middle man groups need to be viable and rewarding on a great number of missions to make it the majority of missions.
I get that the story is we're a guerilla-tactics from the-shadows-type of xcom, not a broadly funded government organization. But I think the flexibility of squad size has actually derailed itself because the solution is found on the extremes (low or max). Partially it has to do with vicious infiltration times on higher difficulties, partially it has to do with vicious levels of advent strength. I even remember on Rookie on my first play through I was super surprised to run into an 8 man pod above 100% infiltration on a rescue VIP mission, thinking that 5 men was enough to do that sort of thing and I actually got rekt. Now I know better, I just send 1 shinobi and who cares if it fails, I'll probably lose no men at all even if I lose the vip.
I would prefer that 5-6 man be meaningfully challenging and rewarding and the majority of missions, with some stealth missions sprinkled in for variety and epic sized battles reserved for lib or story objectives. Instead I feel like I'm Dr. Shinobi or Mr. 0% infiltration.
JoeShmo wrote:I can't help but feel that a great deal of issues some players are having in LW2 are being attributed to "intended gameplay" that is not apparent to the player. "learning what to use" or "how to play" is fundamentally different than "who do you use" and "how many to use" on each mission. The latter is not a learning experience, it's an insight into poor / misplaced design. And I would wager that when the best / first answer to many mission issues is "I just stealth by" or "You need to ___ instead", the intended gameplay is obstructing normal / fluid gameflow.
What Firaxis did for Soldier customization, LW2 did for Mission customization. Instead of you having "generic" missions that can be won any way you choose, you can only win them in LW2 under very narrow circumstances / rules. They made a variety of different mission types / rules ( like classes ) ..but you still have to abide by those layouts, not your own creativity.
Some are entirely fine with that, and that's entirely fine for them. But it certainly does objectively reduce intuitive choices, as well as customization / variety.
I've recently looked at the original X-COM / UFO Defence (1994), but not played it yet. It is more general purpose but the complexity of the game is a barrier to learning and playing it. As well, I've studied and played a number of tactical board games from before then of a broad range of complexity and I've seen the different ways they all solved the problems that XCOM faces.
I think Firaxis went too far in moving away from a complex detailed general system to a structured simple game-oriented system. So many of the perks are very specific and completely unrealistic in a real-world context. And learning one means there's two you can't learn, an artificial choice. I served for many years in the Canadian Forces and I know how people get trained and learn weapons and tactics. And people can be flexible and reactive. They put together what seems to work. If what they are using now doesn't work, they mostly adapt in a short amount of time. Not only after spending a month in the AWC.
I agree with you that in trying to make a better insurgency wargame and mostly succeeding with the infiltration system, Pavonis have now produced a similar constraint on operations. To not fail missions and lose troops and suffer other bad effects, you have to determine how you're supposed to fight the battles and do it that way. And right now with some battles having a too-short time limit and others the only source of needed resources, that becomes either stealth or massive assaults.
Pavonis in both LW1 and LW2 also continued the trend in overstructuring with the soldiers. You like the flexibility X-COM (1994) gave to gearing soldiers and forming squads. You can kind of do that in the recent XCOM's and LW's but now you're not just gearing soldiers, you're slotting them into classes that will never change and having to select skills in a very constrained manner. And to change those skills will take a facility you don't have at start and can take up to a month or more. And can only retrain 1 or 2 soldiers at the same time.
You make a mistake in setting up a squad in X-COM (1994) and after a miserable or failed battle, you could sit down in real time and figure out what to change and at least address the problems in gearing and squad composition in quick measure and only have to wait longer for new equipment and some retraining. In recent XCOM's, especially LW2, you might need new troops of other classes and spend months training the new troops or retraining the old. And hopefully you didn't just find a new way to get things wrong.
Therlun wrote:I like LW2, it changes vanilla XCom2 a lot in many interesting ways. Greatly escalating enemy strength and the current timers don't work well together however. Heavily discouraging fighting while at the same time multiplying the number of missions the player -has- to do are at odds with each other, resulting in the split into extremes. Missions are either all stealth or all slow map creep.
trihero wrote:I would prefer that 5-6 man be meaningfully challenging and rewarding and the majority of missions, with some stealth missions sprinkled in for variety and epic sized battles reserved for lib or story objectives. Instead I feel like I'm Dr. Shinobi or Mr. 0% infiltration.
I can't completely redesign LW2 to fix it the way I think it should be done. Even to design and introduce a mod with 4 more general soldier classes to replace its 8 and make the game even start and play with them would be a significant project that I don't have the time to do. I can and will tinker with some gameplay details with INI edits and mods. Like Extract Corpses, Elerium Grounds, and Guerilla Job. And others affecting infiltration and ADVENT mission forces if necessary.
JoeShmo wrote:In the early xcom games ...you needed to "play" your soldier a certain way to get benefits, like working out IRL. People started making their own "classes" because of this, because you had to make an active effort to improve your soldiers, unlike in modern Xcom games. But now that soldiers just level up with generic group xp ...it's rather thoughtless improvement.
This is a similar issue to how most games handle technology: an industrialized system of gathering and dispersing points. I hate it. There's more to this in real life. People learn by doing. Knowledge is discovered and designs are refined by testing and using. That's not quite true in XCOM.
But some mods make this a bit better. I suggest checking out Dynamic Stats Development and Squad Cohesion.
ChaoticTabris wrote:I would say the reinforcements are fine. But if you get Rapid Response early own you might as well restart. I literally got reinforcements every other turn with Rapid Response in a Destroy The Relay mission.
I have the bad habit of just ignoring dark events when they occur since you can't really do anything about them in the initial portion of the game. I did realize that rapid response was active and it ruined another campaign that was going rather well.
In the same mission, the drone had to move all 19 tiles and go past all 5 of my other soldiers for no other reason than to reveal my concealed Shinobi. It could be satisfied in revealing the main group but had to the reveal my Shinobi so that it would activate a second pod. It is like the AI wants to punish you for even attempting to challenge a rapid response mission.
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