Solid Copy: XCOM Patched To Fix SHIVs

By Adam Smith on November 5th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

SHIVs, which are like Wall-E’s angrier siblings, have been causing some problems. Sometimes the engineers forget to put a gun on them and, worse still, on occasion the mechanised Muton-mashers stubbornly refuse to leave XCOM HQ. The next patch, which is due soon, should fix all that, as well as issues with the visibility of certain UFO roofs, Interceptor-related hanging and a correction to the use of snapshot during overwatch. Full notes below, including difficulty tweaks. Has anyone found a mod of choice, either for balance or general changes? I installed Warspace (not face) at the weekend but haven’t had much chance to play with it yet.

Major Fixes

• Abductor roof visibility problems resolved

• Interception game hang issues resolved
If two interceptors are sent after UFO
If Skyranger is returning from combat after an Interceptor was already deployed

• SHIV inaccessible issues resolved

• AI Alien Activity Hang resolution

• Multiplayer connectivity optimization

Other Fixes

• TempleShip optimization: All Soldiers properly spawn when restarting the mission after clearing the second room of TempleShip

• Snapshot penalty should no longer apply when Overwatching without first moving.

• Easy Difficulty is now easier.

Does easy need to be easier? Perhaps to act as an extended tutorial for people who find the very idea of turn-based gaming novel? If XCOM can convince some of those people to fight the good fight, all is well. We need all the rookies we can find.

Personally, I’d prefer normal to be a bit harder and classic to be a bit easier myself, but then what do I know of easy mode? I’ve never even looked at it.

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147 Comments »

  1. Lobotomist says:

    Fixed to work on Win XP ?

    • lordcooper says:

      It’s 2012!

      • Lobotomist says:

        I dont care. I have ton of software installed on PC. Switching to another system would cost me days of work reinstalling everything. And why should I ? So that one single game that even uses DX9 would work ? Because they failed to include one single DLL file in instalation ?

        I get it that they dont want to support XP. Its ok with me. But why not make it like Dishonored ? It works on Xp , they just say they do not support it.

        Regardless. It would take 10 minutes of work for fireaxis to fix this.

        • John Connor says:

          You can upgrade over the top of XP, you know…

          • mike2R says:

            To Vista yes, to Win 7 no. Or if you can could someone please tell me how?

            I’d like to do it, but I can’t face having to redownload however many hundreds of gigabytes of computer games it is I’ve bought from online sellers over my crappy “broadband”.

          • John Connor says:

            make a partition on your disk, put them all there or on another disk, reinstall windows on the windows partition, copy them back to your steam folder

          • Victuz says:

            The only way to have upgrade XP to 7 I know of (and the one I used) is to have 2 hard drives (C: and D: for example) or a single one separated into two partitions. Than keep XP on the original hard drive and install 7 on the secondary one. This way when the computer starts you’ll either select xp or 7 to run and all the files will still be there.

            Keep in mind using some applications in 7 might cause an error to pop up (cause registry and stuff) and ex equo for xp.

            But yeah that’s the only way I know of. On the other hand if you straight up upgrade from xp will create a “windows.old” folder that should have all the files from the original installation.
            It’s a massive pain to deal with though just because it’s massive :p

          • Lobotomist says:

            When I say lot of programs to reinstall , i am not talking just steam games. I really envy you thinking this. What you have PC dedicated exclusively to steam games ? ;)

            There is no other way (except making dual boot) than having to reinstall most of aplications.

            And someone here mentioned upgrade function – dont do it. It will majorly screw your system.

            As for fix. Yes there is a fix. Its just one DLL file that is missing.

            I just wonder why Fireaxis can not include this DLL in patch. So that we dont have to use potentially malicios files.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            What are you on about? I just upgraded to Windows 8 on top of my WinXP without losing any files or doing any extra work.

          • Lobotomist says:

            You upgraded windows XP to Win 8 , and your installed programs keep working ? We are not talking dual boot here , right ?

            I find this very hard to believe.

          • Ich Will says:

            @Lobotomist – I used the “one click upgrade” (no dual booting) just over a year ago and it worked almost perfectly for me! I’m a DP and I have a variety of software packages that I use to do my job, video editors – some virtually propriety for certain cameras – sound editors, 3d modelling and animation software – a quick count shows 24 software packages in my quick launch bar!

            Now I’m not going to claim it was a perfect transition, but I was able to resume work within an hour of clicking upgrade and I was massively impressed! I did have to sort out a few kinks over the next couple of weeks, but nothing major.

            The thought occurs to me – no matter how much pain it will be for you to upgrade, one day the desire for something which requires the upgrade – be it a game or work related or general pc related software. When that day arrives, you will still have to go through the upgrade and unless you believe you can last to the next version of windows, given that windows 8 is freshly released you have the choice of it or windows 7, it could be an idea to get the pain out the way early. Your choice of course and I respect that you stuch with XP for so long, but just wanted to give you some food for thought :)

          • Stromko says:

            Yeah you don’t use very many programs if you’re not finding any applications that just no longer work. It’s been true of every new version of Windows, and when I went from Windows XP to Windows 7 I encountered many problems.

            I would recommend getting another hard drive and installing Windows 7 to that. It’s getting to the point where a lot of developers simply won’t bother supporting Windows XP now. It’s not about DX10/11, which have yet to prove themselves actually useful imo, and more about reducing QA costs. On the other hand, a lot of great old games, and some indie developers, don’t jive with Windows 7. I wish I still had an XP install, and I’ve been using 7 for more than a year.

            Windows 8 is balls unless you just really want to use a touchscreen monitor. We can probably afford to wait for whatever comes after Windows 8, assuming they go back to making real operating systems instead of trying to catch up with the iPad.

          • Arglebargle says:

            @Ich Will.
            When I worked at a recording studio, they had a computer dedicated to each iteration of the windows OS; one for Win 95, Win98, XP. Each version had at least one software or hardware component that just wouldn’t work on anything else, and that were still considered valuable.

            I keep my Windows on a smaller OS specific hard drive, and all games live on a dedicated game hard drive.

        • Diziet Sma says:

          Does that mean it’s ten minutes of work for anybody to fix? If so I’m not sure I see the problem.

        • c-Row says:

          You really should upgrade to Win7 and get yourself a copy of Just Cause 2 while you’re at it as well.

          • Stromko says:

            Wait for a sale, though. I enjoy that sort of game, I’ve put double digit hours into just about all the GTA’s and Saints Rows, but getting 6 hours logged playing Just Cause 2 felt like I was just putting in work to justify the expense. Your mileage may vary, as the grappling hook and paraglider are very awesome, but there isn’t much else worth recommending it for anymore.

        • hoof says:

          There is a fix around to make it work on XP, btw.

        • Lemming says:

          If you never wanted to have to change an operating system, perhaps you should have stayed away from computers. Sometimes, it happens. Suck it up.

          ‘Lose days’. Honestly. o_O reinstall your software as and when you require it again, you don’t just sit there for (4-5 hours max, lets be honest), ages watching the loading bar.

          • phuzz says:

            Ninite. You go to the website, tick the box next to each piece of software you use, and download one installer which will download and install the latest version of every single price of software you ticked.
            It’s bloody marvellous. Probably cuts about 30 mins of searching for software, and downloading individual installers off the time of a new build.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Praemonitus, praemunitus. Even on a limited budget, I’ve managed to build a system over the last four years that’s ready to upgrade to whatever latest version of Windows I choose. Anybody using XP should be doing something similar, unless you’re one of those diehards who still think XP will remain viable through the remainder of this decade — in that case good luck to ya son.

        • El_Emmental says:

          hm, refusing a good opportunity to do a clean install ?! Are you really using a PC for gaming ?

          Getting all your softwares a clean, up-to-date install, making sure all your drivers are up-to-date, checking if there isn’t a better alternative while you’re at it – any non-insane person would catch that opportunity immediately, unless (s)he has not a single minute available for non-work activities.

          And we’re not talking about moving to Vista to get Direct X 10, this is Windows 7, a very stable Windows that earned its “the new Windows XP (after the SP2)” nickname.

        • PoulWrist says:

          You realise you can back stuff up ? :p and most games don’t require any installation, they can just be run regardless of what you’ve been doing. In steam you can rightclick a game and choose to back it up, then you can later import the backup and not have to download it again. You can also just copy the thing out and then when installing, stop the install and put all the files back and ask it to verify installation… fixed.

        • Smashbox says:

          Why should you?

          Because progress keeps on marching along and you can’t expect to use an OS from 2001 forever.

        • Beelzebud says:

          Frankly no one else really cares about people still clinging to an 11 year old OS that isn’t even supported by the company that made it anymore. Upgrade or deal with the side effects. It’s no one’s fault but your own.

    • Axyl says:

      Yeah, sorry dude. It’s your choice to use a decade old OS. Don’t expect companies to support what is basically an antique as far as the computing world is concerned.

      Choose to keep up, or choose to make your own life harder.

    • jalf says:

      Not gonna happen. There’s nothing to “fix”, any more than you might “fix” that WoW doesn’t have a singleplayer mode, or that Shepard is unable to engage reapers in melee combat in ME3, or that Super Mario games don’t work on Playstation.

      It’s just how the game is designed. They looked at XP, and decided “are the additional sales worth the additional effort”, and decided “no”.

      It sucks for the (few) people who are still on XP, no doubt about that, but it’s hardly unexpected. The OS is 11 years old, and is on extended support (which has had to be extended further a couple of times). From this point on, it’s only going to go one way: more and more games are going to ditch XP support. *none* are going to go “oh, I guess we’ll add XP support after all” *after* releasing the game.

    • roy7 says:

      You can make it run on XP following these steps:

      http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2964408

      I did it myself, wasn’t hard. The reason it doesn’t run on XP is a file access API call that was only added in Vista. However Microsoft did provide a library for XP so it’ll work on XP too. If XCOM linked in that library, it’d support XP just fine. Nothing special needed. The patch link is from another game developer who added the library into a kernal32.dll you can swap into place by editing 2 bytes in the .exe file. I’ve done all of my XCom playing on XP using that fix. Maybe they’ll add it to the core game eventually. Don’t even need to “support” XP, just add the library and leave people to their own devices. (I”ve never had 1 crash on XP, it runs fine.)

    • ec928 says:

      They should completely ignore inane requests like this. Rather have my money and developers’ efforts spent on new features than maintaining code for obsolete O/S’s.

  2. lordcooper says:

    Agreed on the difficulty settings. Normal is pretty much a stroll in the park (admittedly a stroll where two or three people die) whereas classic just wipes the floor with my corpse. Bloody fantastic game, but something between those two would be great.

    • Metonymy says:

      I haven’t had much time to play yet, but one thing that I didn’t like is how limited your options in base construction. If you don’t make satellites early and often, you can lose countries in the first 3 months. You can never pick which reward you want, since you have to pick abduction missions that don’t cause serious panic problems. There’s too much randomness in the non-tactical game. But to clarify, still enjoying it immensely.

      • Strangerator says:

        On normal, you should be able to eventually get a satellite over every country and be rolling in cash by the end. I wound up having extra slots at my base that I didn’t really even need.

        On classic ironman, I have had to sometimes let nations go. In fact, all of Europe is gone. Everyone else has satellite coverage. So I think the idea on classic is to maybe not worry about one continent. I started in asia to get the cheap OTS upgrades very early, and am not regretting it.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          Nah, I’ve beaten classic without losing any countries. You have to choose buildings and place sats well, and certain starting locations are far less viable, but it can be done.

          Impossible, I’m not sure it can be. Panic simply increases too quickly.

          Overall the entire strategic level of the game is kind of sad. Once you get satellites over every country that’s still in, that entire side of the game shuts off, except for the odd terror site (which is mandatory).

    • Drake Sigar says:

      I think the strategic base construction layer is way too hard, but the combat is just about right (although cheap sometimes).

    • AmateurScience says:

      For me, normal played like a total power fantasy, six elite soldiers handing out a beating to the alien scum whilst high fiving each other (presumably scoffing doritos and mountain dew between headshots).

      Classic was an underfunded, understaffed last ditch rear-guard lets-just-hope-everything-holds-together-for-one-last-desperate-strike-at-the-alien-mothership sort of thing.

      I loved them both, but they’re almost different games.

    • Aerothorn says:

      It was my understanding that Normal Iron Man is intended as the bridge between them. I played my first game on that and it was very satisfying (I also lost 16 people).

    • noom says:

      On first attempt I felt that Classic was too hard. Probably didn’t help that I went straight from my Normal non-Ironman first playthrough straight onto Classic Ironman. It was a complete disaster. Made a second attempt at Classic Ironman, and things went a little better this time but fell apart again about midgame. For my third attempt at Classic, I turned off Ironman, and things actually went far better. In fact I only “cheated” to reload the game once, when I lost a couple of experienced soldiers to stumbling round a corner into a pack of chrysalids. Since then I’ve started a 3rd Classic Ironman game, and that’s mostly been going fine. Although I have just had a slight wobble when the game threw an invasion event at me, then followed that up with an abduction mission on that tiny building site map (my heavy pushed forwards about 4 squares and revealed 5 mutons and 6 floaters at once) before my skyranger had even returned to base, and then, about 3 ingame hours later, gave me a council summons offering a Support Major that I desperately needed, although all but 2 of my non-squaddie ranked soldiers were now wounded and out of action. Probably should’ve just passed on that last one. Nearly got the guy out but the last god-damned thin man poisoned him about two moves from the extraction zone. And with three soldiers dead everybody kept losing their shit Nicolas Cage style.

      Rambled far more than I meant too there. Point is, I think Classic’s pretty well balanced. You just need to know exactly what you’re doing. Most important thing I think is to expand your satellite coverage as agressively as possible.

    • Danarchist says:

      There is a mod out there that is supposed to bridge the gap between normal and classic difficulty, but in my experience it makes the game slightly harder than classic. The funny thing is I have had this same complaint (normal too easy-classic melts my face) but with the exception of the expected DudeBro “play on classic-ironman n00b” response it does not seem to draw much attention.

      In general I think the first month or two of the game forcing you to concentrate on satellites–>up-links–>more satellites is a tad lame, but it is what it is.

  3. GameStunts says:

    I ran into that SHIV problem, I made a floating SHIV and when deployed it didn’t have a smegging gun, and it couldn’t seem to enter flight mode.

    Would be nice to replay the game with some of these changes, will also look at the Warspace (not face) mod. Thanks Adam :)

    • Stromko says:

      I was able to get through the game without any SHIV problems, but my brother wasn’t so lucky. SHIV without a weapon, sure, but then on later missions he was getting a SHIV that turned into an unarmed soldier in basic armor. I think this was during the ultimate mission, too, couldn’t have made it very easy. :)

    • S Jay says:

      Are SHIVs worth the effort anyways? They are better than a rookie, but seem to be worse than anything else.

      • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        They take a lot of damage, and they’re much easier to replace than trained soldiers. And they move farther. So they’re useful for scouting, or distracting enemies from your men.

  4. rustybroomhandle says:

    Here’s hoping they fix the weird mob teleporting thing. I had two groups of mutons appear right on top of my squad. Pretty much instantly made my classic ironman game fall apart after that near wipe.

    • Squirly says:

      Strictly speaking what happened there is the mutons used their dash move to land right in the middle of your guys – they suffer from the same interface issues that the player struggles with in that they can’t cancel a move half-way if they run into you. So they finish their move, do the ‘encounter’ cinematic and then scatter into cover.

      It’s annoying, sure, but not REALLY a bug, if we want to be lenient.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        So you are saying 6 mutons all dashed into the middle of my squad from off screen all at the same time? It’s a bug. And well known to be one. Grargh, feel my rage, muton lover!

      • AmateurScience says:

        It’s something that happens when the AI pathfinding can’t get to you (say if they’ve spawned on one of the larger crashed UFO’s roof and you’re inside). If it can’t find a path to you, after a few turns it will just magically warp the mobs right next to you, causing extreme ring-twitching and/or swearing. It’s happened to me a once or twice now, definitely a bug.

      • Sorbicol says:

        I think there are two different issues here. In classic I think the game cycles squads of aliens through spawn point until your squad sees them unfortunately the game seems to include spawn points you can already see in this, hence the occasional game breaking warping of mutons right into the middle of your squad. Definite bug and on of he major reasons why I had to turn off ironman mode on classic.

        The other issues is plan annoying but like you it’s not a “bug” as such – when aliens call for reinforcements, if there are other aliens close enough the. They will rush in from the fog of war. If during. That move they come into your line of sight, they then get an extra free move (I think) from the “reveal” cutscene. It’s bit hard to tell though as I’m never sure how far they’ve moved before you see them. My issues in that situation is that overwatch doesn’t seem to work, which again is vey annoying and probably a bug…..

      • Jehuty says:

        It’s definitely a bug. They appear somewhere very close to your squad and move to cover positions, and sometimes open fire. Worse, they don’t always seem to trigger overwatch. They can even (and I’ve experienced this myself, with a pack of muton elites) crawl out of a square already occupied by one of your soldiers.

        It seems to happen a lot when you spot a group of aliens, their alerted cutscene plays and they fall back into the fog of war, and you don’t go after them for a few turns. There are other ways to fall victim to this bug though. Apparently using the sniper’s battle scanner (another perk I’ve never taken, guess I have a pretty rigid playstyle with class choices) is another good way to get it to happen.

      • jalf says:

        And the Sectopod which went from being at the edge of my vision (in front of me) to suddenly standing behind me did the same?

        I’ve also had it happen with a squad of mutons, which got, well, interesting. one teleports *right* in front of my guys in a narrow corridor in a ufo. One of my guys take a reaction shot, misses and blows a hole in the UFO, through which… the rest of the muton squad *and* a squad of chrysalids see me. Had a bit of an Alien/”they’re coming out of the goddamn walls” kind of vibe… ;)

        No, strictly speaking, what happens is that the aliens just get teleported from one location to another. It’s a bug.

        I think there are two different issues here. In classic I think the game cycles squads of aliens through spawn point until your squad sees them

        I doubt it. You can spot groups of aliens before they do their “we’ve been spotted” thing, so I’m pretty sure they don’t “spawn”. They’re there, and they patrol.

        • JarinArenos says:

          This is actually how it happens on all modes, not just classic. Undiscovered enemies don’t actually move or patrol; they just teleport between 2-3 fixed locations until you observe them and collapse the waveform. Unfortunately, schrodinger’s patrol route regularly fails to check whether you can see a location when teleporting enemies into it, which often results in large numbers of enemies appearing magically in the middle of your formation.

          Or in one particularly amusing instance, a sectopod landing right on top of my support who was running around rescuing civilians. One turn, nothing, next turn… O HAI THAR. (Little known fact, apparently sectopods are related to WoW’s Devilsaurs and gain some of their sneaking talent)

          • JarinArenos says:

            As an addendum… to view this in action, just make heavy use of ghost-armor scouting and battle scanners for a few missions, as these don’t trigger enemy discovery, and you can see the enemies teleporting between their patrol locations.

            Less obviously, this is also the cause of “Hey, I heard something over there…” *ambushed from the opposite direction*

          • MrMud says:

            It would be fascinating to know what prompted Firaxis to go with this implementation. I mean on its face it is so incredibly dumb that there has to have been some really harsh tradeoff that forced them into this decision.

          • Tomba says:

            @ MrMud
            They did it because they couldn’t be bothered making a map generator, one of the key features of XCOM games. To make it a little bit random, they figured this was the easiest way to surprise the player once in a while.

          • iucounu says:

            They say they started with procedural generation, but couldn’t get it to reliably generate interesting battlefields. I don’t think they couldn’t be bothered to solve that problem – they tried, but failed.

          • MrMud says:

            I mean the warping patrols, not the lack of random terrain

      • Captain Joyless says:

        Agree it’s not a bug, but it’s not a “move” either.

        Mobs teleport. End of story. They animate them as if moving from spawn location to spawn location, but in reality they teleport them without moving in between. (Because there is certainly more than 1 turn’s move between spawn points, yet units have no problem teleporting between them in 1 turn.)

        Woe to the person who is accidentally standing on a cyberdisc or muton/berserker pack spawn. I’ve had it happen and it’s not pretty.

    • sophof says:

      I had that happen to me yesterday :(
      The game had bugged out on me twice already that mission, once not giving me ANY vision on an enemy I flanked and the other time not giving me a flank and instead giving the alien full cover. Both times the moves were ‘desperation moves’ that needed to hit, so I was in a pickle. I had 3 soldiers left, of which 2 wounded, but I was now in a good position to kill the 3 remaining aliens. Then a Muton squad spawned right on top of me (maybe 5 squares away) and got its ‘free’ move as well. I suddenly had 6 targets and nowhere to run, good job game.

      I ragequit…

      In classic ironman I have learned to hate the free move the aliens get. Didn’t bother me so much in my normal/ironman, but now it very often happens that my squad is in a good position, on overwatch, fighting a group. Then a new group wanders into range and draws some overwatch fire. After that they essentially get another turn to run into cover or flank me, it is basically cheating at that point imo.

      Also, nations stopping their funding at the end of the first month is a bit weird, there is not a chance in hell I could have stopped it…

      • AmateurScience says:

        There is nothing more heartbreaking/annoying than uncovering an alien squad with the last move of your turn, Chrysallids can cover half the map if that happens :(

        I hope someone can mod that out, but I imagine for it to be fair the AI would need to patrol from cover to cover instead of in the open, and I have no idea if AI routines are moddable/if that would be possible.

        • Highstorm says:

          I hate that “feature” so much. It absolutely feels like cheating, and it means I can never get the drop or a flank on unsuspecting aliens. It also means you have to carefully manage each battle and are frequently halted from advancing on the current targets, as revealing more of the map stands a high risk of bolstering their numbers.

          I too can’t wait for a mod to remove it from the game.

          • s1gny_m says:

            Yes. One big question for me: why don’t they have an option so that the aliens just hang out in cover from the beginning? This would be more balanced, in that you wouldn’t just tear them apart in the open every time, but through careful planning you’d also be able to flank them, rather than giving them guaranteed cover.

            (Or better yet, why not have the aliens actually move and attack, rather than just waiting around in the fog?)

  5. caddyB says:

    When nobody in the world played it on Easy, they figured it wasn’t easy enough.

    • killuminati says:

      Guess you are right!
      I’ve never played any XCOM game before and I’ve started this one on normal.
      I find it a nice starting point if you do know nothing about Xcom and in my game, that’s still the first one, using some savings (yes I know it feels like cheating but then.. the system cheats as hell with weird dice rolls, enemy shooting trough walls and teleporting mobs… and BTW I want to see the end of the game and start again a new round), even if I reckon that I could have had a better start, not following the tutorial advice, I’m near the last mission (I guess) with top equipment for my squad, with psi powered operatives and I think I could finish it ok.

      So in the end, the Normal start is challenging for a new player, while not stressing too much over any misteps you could take.
      Easy? I’ve never took into consideration of playing it.. never..

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      My 10 year old son is playing it on easy and seems to be OK considering it’s his first go on turn based strategy games – he’s certainly finding it a challenge though.

      At the moment he says he’s stuck. He’s got further than me in my game (damn the young and all that time they have). so I’m not sure exactly where he’s stuck, but he says he can’t shoot one particular UFO down no matter how hard he tries – it always out runs him.

    • JarinArenos says:

      Some people just have difficulty with this sort of game. I know someone who was getting very frustrated on an easy playthrough, just from the innate cheatyness of the AI’s activity. An easier easy mode would not go amiss.

      Remember, not everyone is a gamer. Let’s be inclusive about our hobby, eh?

      • Captain Joyless says:

        I would prefer to be exclusive. Because I am a jerk.

        Yet that does not make my preferences less valid than yours.

        • Grygus says:

          You have a hobby that is expensive to provide for. Even exclusive games are helped by the higher income generated by more inclusive games, so if your preference would negatively impact your own hobby, it could be considered less valid, in the sense that the industry as a whole, and even yourself, are best served by ignoring your preference, so long as “inclusive” includes you.

    • Jay says:

      I’ve heard some complaints that easy can be more of a pain than normal due to resource shortages. As you’re fighting fewer aliens, weapon fragments are much harder to come by, things like that.

  6. MrMud says:

    So no fix to the AI spawning bug eh?
    Guess I will continue not playing my Iron-man game

  7. atticus says:

    Warspace-mod looks nice, but after one playthrough on Classic, this game really feels ‘done’ for me. Unless they find some way of removing the storyline altoghether, I doubt I’ll replay it again. I’ve seen all the game has to offer, and as it is now the only variation from game to game will be which countries are lost from the cause through the course of the game.

    Highly entertaining game while I was playing it, but ultimately very forgettable once I was done.

    • trillex says:

      One can hope that they reintroduce the strategy/simulation gameplay to the game. Then it’d be near perfection.

      • MrMud says:

        Considering the take they are going with for the first DLC, that is never going to happen.

        • Stromko says:

          I hope the other bits of DLC aren’t just more plot / cinematics and a canned mission chain. They seem to think the appeal of XCOM is as some sort of RPG, and they can just add a new ‘Quest’ and NPC to interest us, but the RPG elements are way too simplistic for that to really work.

          I’d rather pay for more spontaneity, more variety, more differentiation between playthroughs.

    • S Jay says:

      I did not realize this before, but it is true: the story makes the game replay value sink. I wish there was a “no story” mode :)

    • Atrocious says:

      I started the Warspace mod yesterday and it plays really nice! Looks like he changed the right things to make it a more interesting game. Before that mod I had finished the game on Classic mode and had no big problems because of autosave and reload. Thus, I want to finish the game on Classic Ironman, without savegame abuse. However, in the vanilla game there is just too much unfairness with the hit chances between my men and the aliens. Where my men miss all the time, the aliens land critical hits. So I had a few squad wipes in vanilla Classic Ironman. Now with the mod, the aliens do not always land critical hits when you are in cover. It makes the game more balanced but keeps the unshackled AI and it even removes the AI per turn limit: When you act stupid, you can get swarmed. I’m looking forward to get the improved armours, with additional item slots. Also having the stun gun instead of pistol is nice.

  8. Jehuty says:

    A fine start, particularly fixing the abductor roof so people can actually see through it. What a pain in the arse that was. Now if only they can fix the wonky flanking and line of sight, and the bug that teleports aliens into the center of your squad, and the bug that renders sectopods and other large nasties immune to blast damage on random occasions, and how all the aliens decide to reveal themselves in one go on certain maps, and the disappearing saves.

    Fun game for the most part, but I just can’t bring myself to play ironman when there are so many ways for it to go massively wrong.

    Edit: also, who on earth picks Snapshot over Squad Sight?

    • MrMud says:

      Apparently there are some crazy people that do…

    • Metonymy says:

      It’s possible to design a mobile sniper around “in the zone,” where you follow the assaults towards the front line, and then kill several small enemies. They have to be within your own vision radius, and there are still noticeable accuracy penalties on things that are adjacent, but it’s better than the standard sniper build if every enemy is behind walls.

      The skill basically turns a sniper into a ‘rookie,’ in the sense that they can now move and shoot, plus you retain all the little sniper perks, like better accuracy on stuff on the edge of your vision, high damage/crit, perfect cover from everything, perfect overwatch shots, and vision grenade. I definitely take a mobile sniper over a second support. (But usually I just take 4 assaults)

      The main reason why I don’t like this strategy, is that you need to use a heavy to break open enemy cover to get frequent use out of “in the zone,” and I hate explosives, since they destroy alien equipment. I hate the heavy because he is useless if he isn’t already sitting in the correct spot.

      • FhnuZoag says:

        I think it’s probably more useful on the higher levels. On the higher levels, explosives don’t usually kill aliens.

    • killuminati says:

      I got one sniper with snapshot.. well let’s say that I’ve been preatty happe when she died! Not only is sub par in relation to squadsight, but the penalty is so huge it is almost totally worthless!

      And about all the enemies revealing themselves all at once.. it just happened to me yesterday night, on a terror mission and I tought I was screwed, since the mission was going well but then 6 enemies entered all at once, packed togheter the stage…
      Well.. those poor bastards entered the stage right in front of the sight of my sniper with in the zone… they were out of cover and guess what?? Six shoots.. six crits.. six enemies down (the sniper had plasma rifle and improved magazines for ammo). One of the best moment in my way too long videogames history… untill several seconds later.. when a berserked entered the stage.. destroyng a bus while runnig “into” it.. almost reaching my sniper.. but the poor alien had 1 life point left after the terrible impact with the bus.. and ran right into the sight of my assault in overwatch a couple of tiles from it!

      All this happened in a couple of minutes and damn.. the game just repayed itself for that!

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      Snapshot can be just as good, if not better, than squadsight – as long as the right tactics are used.

      A snapshot sniper can be devastating in the right conditions.

      I had one of each and the snapshot sniper I think ended up with more kills.

      • tur1n says:

        For me, 2 squadsight snipers are what got me through classic ironman.

        Cover doesn’t help much against mutons with (big) plasma rifles. You only want to take shots at those guys when they can’t retaliate.
        So you have to kill them outright, or shoot them from out of sight. And killing them outright is usually not an option, as it either drains your resources (heavy rocket) or you have to charge at them to get into a flanking position. And by doing that, you discover a new pack. They get to reposition after the initial dicovery AND move at the start of the next turn. So those guys you just moved out of cover to flank the mutons? They now get flanked themselves and, subsequently, killed.

        That’s my experience anyway. Curious how other people dealt with those situation. But for me, I can’t imagine doing classic difficulty without 2-3 squadsight snipers.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          I would use 1-2 of every class depending on who was injured (I barely had anyone die).

          Mostly I would say take the missions slowly. You aren’t going to average 6 turns a mission like on normal ironman. More like 12. Use overwatch a lot, and only move forward with your first move of a turn. Stay in full cover, and try to orchestrate the place of combat so you have natural flanking opportunities.

          Anyway that is how I got through rather than using some particular tactic or other. I think I was completely missing each class on at least one mission. Except maybe Assaults as I had a million of them.

      • Moraven says:

        Nades to clear cover, squadsight to kill.

    • c-Row says:

      Those who play on “Easy” of course.

    • NathanH says:

      I thought squadsight was obviously superior, but then kept finding that I was only rarely getting maps where the sniper could pick a position that game them a good line of fire. Also, there is no way to check your line of fire so you’ve no confidence that your sniper is actually going to be able to shoot something from your chosen position. When you can get them up on a roof they tend to have a useful line of fire, but every time I send a sniper onto the roof something kills them, so I stopped doing that.

      So I started using snapshot because it at least gave the sniper the chance to fire. This allowed the sniper to level up, but wasn’t particularly effective, so I now just don’t use snipers.

      • Atrocious says:

        I found my high level Squadview sniper with plasma rifle to be THE most valuable asset in the later game on classic difficulty. He put out massive amount of damage and with the Double Tap ability he could do that twice in a round.

        Now I keep trying to get a more mobile sniper with Snapshot and In The Zone. I think they can also be very useful, albeit more vulnerable. So far I haven’t been able to train an awesome sniper with these abilities, because I play Classic Ironman and just keep losing the game.

    • darkChozo says:

      Snapshot is more helpful when the game throws Snipers at you. They can at least be better than raw Recruits, and if you have like three non-Snipers then you can have a mobile sniper along for the ride that isn’t totally useless. Even with squad sight, it’s pretty hard to get a good vantage point on most of the level before you get the Skeleton/Archangel armors, so being able to move around is nice.

      Otherwise, I’d pretty much only take a snapshot sniper if I didn’t have much else and/or for the Battle Scanners. Plus, even if they take the snapshot penalty they’re still probably as accurate as a Heavy.

    • Mirdini says:

      Only reason I’ve found to get snapshot over squad sight is early terror missions – Chryssalids are never in cover, so your sniper just gets to unload full clip after full clip into them if they’re geared up enough to kill ‘em with in the zone.

      That doesn’t make up for the obvious superiority of squad sight in every other situation though (particularly once you get Archangel armor).

  9. Waldkoenig says:

    Just wanted to say that this game is my GOTY 2012. Just fucking awesome. And one of the best remakes of a “good old game”. Suck on this, Jagged Alliance:BIA!

  10. Morlock says:

    WARSPACE

  11. CaspianRoach says:

    Wait, why would anybody use SHIVs?

    • Morlock says:

      They can’t be mind-controlled and are good, disposable scouts with decent weapons.

      • CaspianRoach says:

        They also don’t have a rocket launcher or a medkit or an arc thrower or run&gun+rapid fire or a sniper rifle. They’re like a support soldier without any skills. And they don’t level up. The only possible use I can think of for them is terror missions, because they’re timed and you don’t have many turns to do a proper sweep of every corner but even then they can barely kill even one chrysalid on their own.

        • killuminati says:

          The SHIV saved my entire squad.. running in the face of the Overseer tall aline who minds control almost everyone in the map.. and blasted his face out of existence.. for a useless-stupid piece of scrap metal he did preatty good!

        • Unrein says:

          The Plasma Hover SHIV called to say you’re a dick.

        • mwoody says:

          Also, don’t forget that SHIVs are themselves half-cover. For certain areas where cover is scarce or destroyed, it can make a difficult breach possible.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          They need to be better compared to soldiers to be worth using.

          • JarinArenos says:

            They’re better than a rookie, and they’re disposable. I tend to toss one into my lineup to handle things like scouting, flanking, and running-up-in-the-ethereal’s-face-and-blowing-it-off.

    • lordcooper says:

      Shivs can often be better than newbie soldiers. If your main squad gets wiped, bringing a few SHIVs along while training up new soldiers can be pretty useful.

    • NathanH says:

      SHIVs are not going to be part of your strongest squad, but they are a high-health unit that you will not care about losing, and because they can’t use cover they are usually the preferred target of the aliens, making them an extremely useful thing to bring along on missions with low-level soldiers you’re trying to level up. Also, this combined with their mobile cover ability makes them useful when you get a map with a cover-free zone you need to advance through.

    • Moraven says:

      I wish you could have 6+Shiv slot. While they took up 4 slots in the original you still had enough space for a full squad. Oh the memories of exiting a Skyranger and getting shot by 3 floaters in overwatch. Sucks when you had no tank and your captain was in front.

      I got my foundry seemingly late (I had the ability to get like 4 SHIV upgrades) not knowing basic SHIVs just cost cash and no resources. They work great as a expendable scout and half cover. Plus If they get shot at or perish I think they have no ill effect on your squad to cause panic. And they do not panic themselves.

      Next game I will get the foundry right away and see how effective they are early.

  12. Belsameth says:

    Normal a bit harder?
    *weeps*

  13. Lemming says:

    I assume the SHIV problem is the building of them and being unable to even deploy them, as that’s the problem I had. Finished the game now anyway. It doesn’t have the replay value of the original, so this is a bit late for me, really.

    • pupsikaso says:

      The other issue with SHIVs was that you take them to battle with you, but they can only move and have absolutely no other abilities. They cannot shoot, they cannot overwatch, and if it’s hover they cannot fly either. Hopefully they fixed THAT for existing saves, cause I can’t even continue my game with this bug.

  14. Shar_ds says:

    Wow, I might actually be able to play this game again… my normal/ironman game is currently in hibernation as my save is at the end of a mission that, as soon as I complete, the game gets stuck with my interceptor just sat there on the map screen with no other options (i.e. Point 2)….

    Odds on it actually fixing my save and not just working for new play throughs?

  15. Dariune says:

    Going quite heavily against the grain here I think but I cant imagine any amount of fixes, DLC or updates making me want to play through the game again. It was fun. But it wasn’t great. And I cant think of anything I could have done differently to influence the course of the game.

    The second play through would just be a chore I reckon.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Yeah, the game in it’s original form is just not really replayable at all. Surprising, since UFO’s strength was that you can keep playing it over and over again and everytime there’s something different.

      But there are mods to make XCOM more replayable. Try the one that Adam linked for starters.

      • Wisq says:

        The mods simply aren’t enough. There’s just too much that can’t be changed, and too much bullshit in general.

        Why am I limited to 6 team members, when the enemy can attack me with as many as they want (on classic and higher)? Why do I have to position my guys carefully and keep them in cover, but the enemy gets to drop Thin Men all over me on high ground + overwatch and get me immediately flanked and pinned down? Why can I only sell specific items rather than my surplus of combat items I no longer need?

        With all actions depending on percents, it basically plays like Blood Bowl, where everything is going fine until a series of bad rolls screws you over. The difference is, in Blood Bowl, that means maybe losing a game, maybe losing a couple of good players — maybe even losing the rest of the season, if it cripples your team badly enough — but there’s always a path to recovery. In XCOM, that means squad wipe, downward spiral, etc.

        Even in the original X-COM, they gave you squad sizes large enough that you could spare room for plasma fodder, or mix a few rookies in with a squad of pros, or see a mission going south with enough guys to spare that you can pull the rest out. They give you small UFOs mixed in with the big ones so you can train up your new rookies. They make all ground missions optional — shooting down UFOs is Job One, collecting them is just a bonus, bases can be put off indefinitely, ignoring a terror mission will piss off a country but they usually need real alien infiltration to stop funding you, and you can survive on manufacturing even if almost nobody is funding you.

        So yeah, as i see it, XCOM is just the latest in a series of games that attempt to recreate X-COM without actually understanding what it did right in the first place.

    • JarinArenos says:

      Same here, I’m afraid. I finished an ironman playthrough, then another run to beat it with a “perfect” squad, and I’m done. Without a major overhaul (complete change to enemy spawning/pathing) and huge balance changes (not to mention voices/maps/strategy improvements), I’m not likely to reinstall the game. That warspace mod looks like it does a lot of what should have been in the release game, but it’s not enough to tempt me back.

  16. Yosharian says:

    This mod looks AMAAAZING but I don’t get ‘Second Wave’, is it included with this mod, do i have to install it separately?

    • pupsikaso says:

      Second Wave is part of the original game. It’s simply been “disabled” before the game launched (supposedly because it is unfinished and a little buggy). You don’t have to install anything other than the mod.

  17. Crius says:

    From that list, the Roof Fix is actually my most wanted. ’nuff said.

    • TimEatsApples says:

      Yeah, never mind the SHIVs – I stopped playing Classic Ironman because I wiped twice on that map after accidentally sending one of my soldiers out into the open instead of behind cover. Hope the roof fix makes it a bit more navigable.

  18. Tilaton says:

    Aaargh! I really thought the patch was out when I saw the headline… I hate hearing about incoming patch that comes out at some point, maybe today maybe couple of weeks from now. :0(

  19. pupsikaso says:

    Woah, that mod you linked is like a wishlist come true. Why does it always seem like the designers that make the original game are a bunch of cocks and it takes modders to make the game good?

    And finally they fixed the SHIV’s, holey crap. I had to put the game on hold for like what… almost a month now cause I couldn’t continue my game without my SHIVs and I sure as heck not starting all over again because of a game bug. This is 2012 ffs…

  20. wodin says:

    I want a WH40K mod please..a total overhaul mod though..instead of countries, planets etc etc..

    Oh and Space Hulk missions..

  21. Rhygadon says:

    I played for 5 hours in one day, and haven’t been able to play since. (Timing may have coincided with the first patch, I’m not sure.) XCOM game crashes within two minutes of startup, every time, no matter what I do. I can load a game, or just let the intro animations play my hands off the computer: either way, it crashes. Validating via Steam redownloads the exe, to no avail. Win7, everything else runs flawlessly. I’ve seen (small numbers of) others reporting similar problems, and no reports of solutions from 2K.

    I really hope this is fixed in the patch. Too busy with RL to go through the endless shuffle of game support (reinstall Steam, reinstall drivers, reinstall Windows …) for something that’s obviously a game-specific problem. But it would sure be nice to be able to play the game.

  22. Nick says:

    Wait.. people use SHIVS?

  23. Bluerps says:

    I wonder if we’ll get an RPS verdict about the game. I think most of RPS has played it, and that seems to be the main prerequisite for that. On the other hand, the game has been out for some time now, and they already did a verdict for Dishonored (which came out at the same time) weeks ago…

    Still, I hope they do one, because I enjoy reading these discussions.

  24. Bobtree says:

    “Soon” is meaningless. You’ve just announced a future announcement.

    Firaxis shipped a buggy game with bad problems and a $5 DLC to change armor colors.

    XCOM is really not up to par. I hope the patch is good, but it needs much more than this.

    • JarinArenos says:

      Pretty much this. Horribly early beta game released, then bad DLC shoved at us. I thought better of Firaxis… hell, even EA has been doing this sort of crap less.

  25. shagen454 says:

    Even with the bugs I think this is the best game I have played since Amnesia came out and that was a long time ago now.

    But, like everyone said – I think it may warrant a second playthrough – since you will be well trained from day one, but it still ain’t Alpha Centauri.

    Fuck guys. I feel like I am the only one always saying this – but Alpha Centauri is one of the most incredible games. It is so highly re-playable that I have been playing it for fucking 15 years.

    Firaxis… you are an amazing developer. You remade a classic very well. Now re-make a classic that you made; (get fucking Brian Reynolds and the rights back) forget the cinematic shit and keep it 2D, work on the motherfucking gameplay.

    • darkChozo says:

      Unfortunately, the Alpha Centauri brand is owned by EA now, and Firaxis, being owned by 2K, is unlikely to be able to make a sequel anytime soon. It’s completely terrible, the original was so great.

      Also, it’s like 2.50 USD on GOG right now in their EA sale, so anyone who hasn’t played it (and/or has lost their original CD, ie. me) should really pick it up.

      • Moraven says:

        I just saw EA release a mobile Theme Park game…like all the mobile games its F2P facebook style…sigh. What happened to full game purchase and cheat codes to help you get through it faster. :(

      • pupsikaso says:

        What’s so good about Alpha Centauri? Wasn’t it just civilization in space?

  26. Strangerator says:

    “Interception game hang issues resolved…
    If two interceptors are sent after UFO”

    I CAN SEND MORE THAN ONE?!?!

    After thinking about this, they probably mean if the first one gets shot down/aborts. Or am I missing a way to dispatch multiple aircraft at the same time?

    • Atrocious says:

      I was wondering about the same thing. I think they talk about sending one interceptor after another has been shot down, but I’d be happy if told otherwise.

      • dglenny says:

        You can indeed send more than one. I know this because that bug is what ate my first Ironman game.

        You need two interceptors in the same operational area, then you simply send one, then the next. It is not intuitive at all, and will crash your game if you do it now. So, uh, maybe wait.

  27. Strangerator says:

    “Has anyone found a mod of choice, either for balance or general changes?”

    I found a mod to re-enable the “second wave” options. I’m playing my first classic ironman game with randomized soldier starting stats… randomized soldier level-up stats… and randomized funding levels per country.

    The random funding levels are nice, it makes you re-evaluate who you want to please, so you have to analyze costs/benefits anew, instead of following a pre-defined strategy that you always use on the strategy map.

    The real fun starts on the battlefield. Or maybe I should say, in the barracks. With random starting stats, you may actually want to dismiss a few rookies for exceptionally poor aim or will (they even have slight variations in hit points). If the game sticks you with 4 horribly aiming rookies on the first mission, don’t forget your grenades!

    I had a rookie come in with an Aim of 80, and he ranked up to a heavy. By the time I got him Bullet Swarm (instead of my usual choice of Holo-targeting) he was one of my best sharpshooters (and I think he’s still alive). Then there was my support Deacon who made major with a total Aim of 125 (with SCOPE and light plasma). Alas, he met his end in the alien base.

    Screen your snipers… a sniper with poor aim is pretty worthless, although I am thinking of taking one of them the “gunslinger” route. Once you get the “all rookies become squaddies” perk, the screening process becomes much easier.

  28. michaelfeb16 says:

    I’d like them to consider fixing Eyefinity resolutions.

  29. plumbob says:

    When does the patch that adds an ending come out?

    • Ich Will says:

      You haven’t finished the game have you, because if you had, you’d be asking for a patch which took away the ending and allowed you to keep playing!

  30. Keele60 says:

    And what about fixed game trouble, like lagging/raming so hard even if I have this config :

    windows 7 intégral 64bits
    Proc AMD FX 4100 4cpu 3.6GHz
    Ram 8Mo
    DirectX 11
    Carte graphique GeForce GTX 460

    No answer of the staff since one month !

  31. ZOLtan says:

    So the new patch downloaded automatically through STEAM and now the game is messed up. Can anyone help with the following?
    Now my FULLSCREEN mode gives me errors… The mission loads and the mission runs, but everything is black. I can make out the wall and cover details, but I can’t see a thing. If I ALT-TAB to windows, and ALT-TAB back in, all the visuals appear again… until I scroll the screen. “Dead” Patches appear and so I have to do the afore mentioned action again. A solution is to switch to windowed mode, but this really sucks. Its like the refresh rate or something is now screwed… Help Please

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