XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

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Bal
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Bal » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:42 am

They're capped at laser tech, so once you get past that, or even really just equal to it, it's a total curb stomp.

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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:56 am

Are you guys still talking base game or Long War now?
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Thad » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:11 am

Enemy Within, no Long War.

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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:42 pm

Long War started pissing me off at first because there's no way a 50% chance to hit is an actual coin toss in practice. Nor does 75% seem to mean that three out of four times you'll hit. Fucking RTH. And that's even with an accuracy boost turned on in the secondary options at game creation (seriously fuck RTH). I had guys dying because it'd take six tries on 55% to land one shot and then I'd low roll the damage when I finally did hit.

But it got better once I realized I was being railroaded hard into flanking. I dumped regular armour for tac vests (and luckily I started in Nigeria, because I figured, hey, here's a bonus that'll be good all game), made sure I have plenty of run-and-gun assault dudes and arranged my guys better, placing suppression/distraction guys up the middle, while faster units flank. Plus more emphasis on scouting. So that's alright.

So we'll see how this goes. I AM already worried that the game might be a bit too long this way. Already feels a bit grindy. But I guess I'll play it out, even if I wind up taking breaks.
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby beatbandito » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:15 pm

Aliens hitting 20% while you consistently miss 90% is just the way current gen Xcom rolls. Long war does a good job of evening out those numbers between player and computer, but I think the flanking mechanics are way more important. I used cover and flanking mods on top of both LWs, and I think it's the game at its best. Long, drawn-out alleyway shootouts while you work to either flank or destroy the enemy's cover for a nearly guaranteed kill before they do.
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby TA » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:15 am

One thing to keep in mind, at least with original XCom, which I don't think EW fixes and which I doubt Long War is able to touch, is that Thin Men are fucked and can get fucked. No joke.

Me and a buddy tried fucking around with the .inis not long after we both beat XCom right after launch. We noticed that Thin Men had an inherent +10 bonus to accuracy, and their Light Plasma Rifles had another inherent +10 bonus to accuracy, so they were 20 Accuracy higher than normal already. So to try to tone them down a bit, we got rid of both of those bonuses. They still, in exhaustive testing, hit nearly 100% of the time anyway. Beyond just .ini and difficulty boosts, and beyond displayed accuracy in such as multiplayer, Thin Men just have a massive accuracy bonus hardcoded into them. They're fucked, and they can just get fucked.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:34 pm

I am pretty far into Long War.

- May 2017. Full control of NA, EU, and Africa, fighting for Asia, which has a very heavy alien presence now.
- Survived base defence mission gloriously
- Base is pretty well built and close to final form
- Roster is deep and I can field multiple A teams and B teams (On paper I can field 8 full teams of 8 if everyone is healthy and non-fatigued, at least 3 of which would be full MSGT and most of the rest are at GSGT/TSGT, though my MSGTs are disproportionately Assaults and Snipers - really trying to get more Medics and Rocketeers to MSGT because their final abilities are so crucial late game).
- Using Pulse Weapons with Plasma long since researched and one or two built (Reflex Cannon, Particle Cannons, Starting to get Plasma Cannons for air)
- Armour is a mix of Corsair/Banshee (Banshee for scouts/meds/snipers, Corsair for everyone else)
- MECs are midgame Vindicators but I am trying to upgrade to endgame MECs, which I have researched
- Building my third Firestorm, with two JUST coming online in the past weeks.
- Cleared two bases (Egypt, China), can assault a third (India), but waiting for a good time when wound recovery/fatigue/item repairs aren't an issue. There is also a fourth base for after India (Australia).

Resources are a desperate bottleneck and have been for months - base missions help, but I'm running out of those and really need to be able to splash larger UFOs and get EMP weapons online. Trying to focus on the air war, which has always been the weakest part of my game. Biggest thing I've shot down is still only a Destroyer - No Harvesters/Abductors/Terror Ships/Assault Carriers/Battleships. Never have more than one or two dodge modules thanks to Cyberdiscs appearing so infrequently. Second focus for resources after the air war is endgame MECs, and third is squad plasma weapons. For my squad I'm focusing on PSI and Officer development since that costs nothing but time. A few gene mods here or there where they pay off (bioelectric on all scouts, for instance).

I am having way too much fun with punchbot MECs though. I had an amazing moment with my best punchbot guy - a tanky assault who'd been shot up so many time he eventually got chopped - a while ago on a terror mission where double chryssalid pods triggered and they all swarmed him. So I shredder rocketed him.

"DO IT! JUST DOOOO IT! FIRE IT NOW!"

The guy survived as critically injured and I managed to kill the pile of lids, and after looonnng sick bay time he's back to punching more aliens than ever. It was so great that as a reward I dev console'd him the Steadfast perk like a dirty filthy cheater, because narrative (he had it before he was chopped to be a MEC too).
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:21 pm

So... is there no cap to the aliens capabilities in Long War?

Because it's Jan 2018 and I am trying to get to the endgame (plotwise I've shot down the overseer, now I need to build the Gollop Chamber) and have endgame armour and weapons, mostly MSGTs, some advanced psi soldiers and most of my officer promotions done, and the aliens keep escalating and getting harder. I can handle them for now, but I'm seeing like 100 hp colossi and I'm like... uh... do I have a cap and the Aliens don't?

The air war is especially hard. I've obtained like ten fusion cores and had a blaster launcher forever and am trying to outfit my firestorms with lances as well as get more firestorms in the air (I only have 2-3 per continent and only control three of five continents. I'm about to take Asia if I can catch a breath to go destroy the last alien base, but I have basically nothing at all in South America because I'm already spread too thin - luckily neither do the Aliens). Interceptors (even fully upgraded and armed with plasma cannons) are completely useless against everything now, even scouts, and even lance-armed firestorms get damaged pretty severely taking down anything bigger than a destroyer and most of them requires either 3+ ships getting damaged (usually one lance-armed firestorm and a couple with plasma cannons) or else generous use of dodge modules of which I only have a few at any given moment (I recently blew three to shoot down a battleship which was coming for what would have been my third base invasion this game which was a huge expenditure of a preciously short resource and put all but one of my fighters at the base in the shop, but did net two more fusion cores). The aliens have also stopped fielding almost anything other than really large ships in the past two months.

I've shot down harvesters and researchers in an attempt to slow them, but still they progress.

Like I said, I'm handling it for now, and it's alright, but there's no further stage I can advance to. My plan was to continue my XP grinding for my top psi troops and backup MEC pilots and to completely clean up earth before going for the mothership, but should I be rushing for the endgame before the aliens become impossible or something?
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:23 am

Effective 206 Will still not enough to get above 0% Chance to Mind Control an Ethereal?!

Bleah, dis gon be hard.

(I want a couple Psych Rift guys on my endgame A team. I have close to everything else, pretty much, other than some psi XP/So That Others May Live grinding and finalizing the last couple slots on the endgame A team)
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:16 pm

227* was enough to get there after a couple mindfrays. Taking a really high mind officer so that the whole squad had 124 base Will helped me to have the extra guys to mindfray with so my highest psi could push through for the mind control.

*95 Base will + Vortex Armour, Neuroregulator, Mind Shield, Combat Drugs, Mind Merge with one of my 124 Will guys, and then Psi Inspiration stacked on top.
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:39 am

Almost done with Long War. My A team is ready to go assault the temple ship, but I am stretching a few game weeks more to groom my B team a bit, because after I play through the endgame once with the A team, I want to see how the B team would have fared, since they're a significant downgrade in several key aspects (mainly psi, but also raw stats) and would have a harder time for sure. I dunno how hard the temple ship assault is in Long War, but my A team might just wind up Rifting their way through it, since they have that many psi masters. If it turns out that makes things way too easy, then the B team will give me a bit more of a challenge.

More thoughts on Long War once I'm actually done, but overall Long War was way *too* long for me. Especially the incredibly protracted and tedious endgame.
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Re: XCom: Flooding the Market with Dead Poisonlizard Salarymen

Postby Mongrel » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:08 pm

Our long planetary nightmare is over



As predicted the B team run was a bit more fun since I couldn't just 5x rift my way out of trouble (which also made me rather sloppy and cavalier about the A team run). Not much in XCOM is more broken than a concealment scout with high mind and rift. HELLO HOW ARE YOU, MY EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL FRIENDS.

Anyway, ultimately Long War is too long. It was a great deal of fun for a long time, but I hit the "end"game about halfway through my playthrough, whereupon I had to spend an eternity of grinding for scanty resources to get equipped and ready for the final mission. It was an incredibly boring slog.

Basically, I got to early/mid 2017 (like May? June? maybe July?) and had a brief strong ground/tactical advantage around that time, which is when I first got plasma weapons. I had just done the Exalt HQ missions, which was quite rough for me, and was recovering from that, and so didn't quite feel ready to go - I had no flying armour, no decent MECs, not much in the way of a MEC pilot group built up yet, and only mid-tier psi (one of the reasons I focused very heavily on psi was that it was free other than the training time). By the time I got some flyering armour and a pair of Vindicators (and MEC gear), I was back to parity and was doing worse than ever in the air, so I decided to go all the way to a maxed endgame squad with full psi, etc.

Part of why this was feasible was that was that once I finally got the hyperwave decoder up, I was able to always spot and take out landed research ships. But this had the side effect of making my game excruciatingly boring because by this point in the game (mid-late 2017), research ships were always assault carriers. So the assault carrier/battleship map went from a strange and cool and unique thing, to a horrible slog I had to march through twice a month. I hate that map so much now.

On top of that, around then the aliens stopped sending smaller UFOs to attack me (even their fucking scouts were battleships most of the time) and also got a big boost in air power, so by mid-2017, the only effective ships I could field were fusion-lance armed firestorms (which were of course another huge resource drain - I'm just lucky I had a couple fusion lances at all!), anything else would just get shot up with little to no damage dealt. Simultaneously, the council ran out of fun missions to send me on.

So from about mid 2017 to October 2018, almost all of my missions were crashed/landed battleships, terror missions, and bomb disposal runs. It was a very rare treat to play a crashed fighter mission or something. There were still abductions, but those were snoozy cakewalks.

Part of this is the LW devs fault, since they put through a lot of resource nerfs and other nerfs when they changed from v14 to v15 which were perhaps a little too heavily based on broken streamer runs. The meld starvation is real and insane and meld is needed for EVERYTHING. But there were other serious bottlenecks too. Not that you should be able to build everything (unless you go REALLylong, which I did, because I'm a filthy completionist type), but it was impractical to even pursue 1-2 focused priorities.

Part of this is Firaxis' fault, since the original game was so short that there really wasn't any material for the LW devs to build a late-game with.

Part of this was completely my own fault:

1) I thought only MSGTs could be promoted to officers, so my Officer development was ridiculously delayed. Durrr.

2) I also kept putting off the Hyperwave decoder because I first had the chance to build it when I was using laser weapons well past their best-before date and my air-war wasn't in a great place either. I feared that I wouldn't be able to take out the overseer ship (probably correct at the time), and figured I would lose the chance until I raided another base (my misunderstanding). Had I built it, it would have helped my severe resource bottleneck at the time (due to increased ship detection) and allowed me to develop from midgame to early lategame much faster. I wound up not building it until I was in the process of switching from pulse weapons (I mostly skipped gauss) to plasma. If I hadn't been starved in both midgame AND lategame, I might've had the meld to have Vindicators by the early endgame instead of Valiants and that plus a few strong psi might've made me feel confident enough to hit the Temple ship.

3) Also, I forgot about the advanced repair project in the foundry for over two years, :3 so my pilots were slower to gain experience.

All that bitching aside, it's a great mod.

The AI work the LW devs did is amazing. The aliens acted intelligently and tactically to continually provide a real challenge and their progression is spot on. At times they even pursued complex tactics which you'd normally expect from a human player and the threat assessment by individual aliens was quite good. At no point has fighting the aliens ever been a cakewalk and you always have to think and plan carefully. If LW had added nothing but this, that would have already represented a massive and impressive achievement. It's something very few games manage and something I really, really appreciate and continue to appreciate.

The tech tree and human development are also really good, with nice tensions forcing real choices. At first I hated that some things are only strong at certain parts of the game only to later become dead ends. Like how SHIVs are vital early but are garbage by midgame, or how strong infantry can wreck midgame but are completely outclassed by lategame, or how Engineers gradually become eclised as support classes until they become completely redundant. But I realized this is actually great for replayability and gives you different power curves to follow - do you go after a strong midgame or do you skip that stuff and risk losing in the midgame to have a stronger lategame?

I do wish assault carrier/battleship maps had had at least one variant (the way there were at least two base maps) - instead of feeling special and exciting, they became The Worst. In spite of that, overall, the reuse of resources and the LW map repurposing keeps the game fresh for a very long time. It's really neat to see the council maps used as terror maps, or vice versa and play them in a whole different way. The inclusion of the airbase defence map from multiplayer was brilliant, but it was a shame I only ever got the mission once - I would have actually liked to play it much more often!

And of course the LW devs just plain do a great job replicating the aspects of the old game Firaxis glossed over. Managing a larger pool of recruits, the officer system, the different base management, all these things were amazing improvements. The expanded perk trees also add a lot there, since you have real variant builds and several viable options. For instance, most of my snipers were conventional snap shot ITZ murder machines, but I had a few built to use reflex rifles and disabling shot as close-quarters urban/interior snipers, which was a really neat alternative. Or the three different medic builds, conventional pure support, combat medic (generally only took paramedic and saviour and the rest were shooty abilities), and a weirdo pseudo-engie grenadier medic, with the free smoke grenade perk (which also allows you to throw two nades in one turn), bombard, and packmaster.

I know one of the core devs and he mentioned that he agrees that lategame XCOM1 LW is terrible, but as I mentioned, they don't have much to work with to mod in the first place. They're hoping to have a *real* lategame for LW 2, since there's so much more material to work with.

In general I had a little bit of fun again towards the very end, because I didn't want to risk my A team OR B team guys, so I was mostly doing missions with mediocre also-rans, or even barrel-scrapings. Plus, my remaining MEC pilots were heavily rationed as well. Definitely upped the challenge in a fun and meaningful way.

Also, I wish I'd realized sooner how much fun it is to bait Berserkers into following you into proximity mines.
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