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  1. #521
    Network Hub Makariel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    Especially council missions early on. Bomb Disposal ends with at least three or four Thin Men dropping all around you on overwatch. I love XCOM but this is just bad game design.
    No it's not, it's just that the difficulty is aptly named. How could it be any more descriptive for what you get when starting the game on "impossible"?

    edit: it's actually not that bad on impossible, since you can always reload a save. Even I managed to finish Enemy Within on impossible (thanks to my MECs). It's ironman impossible which is a kick in the nuts every time you try to get up.
    Last edited by Makariel; 24-01-2014 at 04:42 PM.
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  2. #522
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squiz View Post
    "Still"? I just played through the mission again on Classic and I researched Beam Weapons as soon as possible. I barely managed to get the research done before the mission turned up. If you've got Laser Rifles it becomes a lot more manageable. It also helps if you know where the enemies spawn and can position your guys for reaction shots before picking up the VIP.
    As I said, I just skipped the mission in my marathon run, as I had basic 4 guys with basic weapons. I could do it, I suppose, but I didn't like the risk and I didn't feel like looking up the thin men drop locations. The fact that there is no single good squadsight location is not helping at all.

  3. #523
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    I don't really remember this mission. Perhaps it's one where the VIP died on the way back to the Skyranger in my game; I had several of those.
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  4. #524
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    Portent's not too bad, but you pretty much need to know where all the initial thin men are, and where they are likely to spawn once you move the civilian. Having said that I've always done it with a heavy, and that's probably a requirement to get past the initial Thinmen positioned between the two buildings.

    General advice I'd say is your first move is all your squad up the drain pipe on the left of the start area, and don't reveal the area between the buildings until you have a heavy within rocket range of the front right side of the second building. I also tend to flush our the thin men in the alley between with a blind grenade as well from the rooftops. In general Thinmen will leap up to high ground when spotted making it possible to herd them all into the same rocket radius.

    Once the initial thin men are dealt with, it's a case of get everyone into cross fire overwatch positions and move the civilian very slowly and only move him forward when there are no alive aliens, as the drops are triggered whenever the civilian gets within so many tiles of the Skyranger.

  5. #525
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sihoiba View Post
    Portent's not too bad, but you pretty much need to know where all the initial thin men are, and where they are likely to spawn once you move the civilian. Having said that I've always done it with a heavy, and that's probably a requirement to get past the initial Thinmen positioned between the two buildings.

    General advice I'd say is your first move is all your squad up the drain pipe on the left of the start area, and don't reveal the area between the buildings until you have a heavy within rocket range of the front right side of the second building. I also tend to flush our the thin men in the alley between with a blind grenade as well from the rooftops. In general Thinmen will leap up to high ground when spotted making it possible to herd them all into the same rocket radius.

    Once the initial thin men are dealt with, it's a case of get everyone into cross fire overwatch positions and move the civilian very slowly and only move him forward when there are no alive aliens, as the drops are triggered whenever the civilian gets within so many tiles of the Skyranger.
    Indeed. I finished it a few days ago with only one casualty (lucky shot from the thin men as he was in high cover and full health). The secret is advancing slowly and retreating when enemies are triggered.

  6. #526
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    I got to playing quite a bit of XCOM yesterday, and finally got through the mission just fine. I had a tense moment at the end where the second to last Thin Man critically injured my only sniper, and I had only three turns to get the escort out and finish off the last one. Cue all my shots missing except the last possible one. Fun stuff.

    OK, XCOM, I get it. I can't keep supports alive, so you're just going to stop giving them to me. I have a bizarre surfeit of heavies and assaults, one sniper, and the only support I've seen is the first one you get automatically (rest in peace). At least I have a couple of mechs to vary things.

  7. #527
    Activated Node plat0nic's Avatar
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    New x-com...awesome. I remember the original x-com. One of the best games around at the time. That and Master of Orion. circa 1993??

  8. #528
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    I've not actually attempted portent with default rookies, I've always played it with 'Not Created Equal' and 'Hidden Potential' turned on so I'm curious if that's likely to have made it much easier (as I'll inevitable have a couple of troupers with much better accuracy to make those critical shots).

  9. #529
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sihoiba View Post
    I've not actually attempted portent with default rookies, I've always played it with 'Not Created Equal' and 'Hidden Potential' turned on so I'm curious if that's likely to have made it much easier (as I'll inevitable have a couple of troupers with much better accuracy to make those critical shots).
    DISCLAIMER: Me too. I can't play without those options now.

  10. #530
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Aha! Finally got the Portent missions. Sweet!

    I've given the relevant individuals all a special colored armor and dubbed them my Irregulars.

    Turns out I'm still underwhelmed by the endgame. As best I can tell, if you make it to the hyperwave relay and get the ethereal device ... you can loaf, build up your forces (slowly because the missions aren't frequent enough), not worry about losing any new countries from the project, and rake in the cash. This happened in my first game too. It's rather ... anti-climactic. I pulled off a really nice finish so far for my Classic game but ... there's basically nothing stopping me from custom tooling my forces at this point, all the more disappointing because I know how easy the final mission is. :\

    The middle of the game was tough--that's where I lost some support, lost some troops, nearly lost some missions entirely ... and then the game got easier and easier.
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  11. #531
    Network Hub PeteC's Avatar
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    Just started the expansion. Do the second wave options really add much, gameplay wise? Bear in mind I'm crap at the game so making the game any harder doesn't interest me.

  12. #532
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteC View Post
    Just started the expansion. Do the second wave options really add much, gameplay wise? Bear in mind I'm crap at the game so making the game any harder doesn't interest me.
    nah, its just what it says on the box: a second wave. so if youve done it once, go for a second play through with extra options?
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  13. #533
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteC View Post
    Just started the expansion. Do the second wave options really add much, gameplay wise? Bear in mind I'm crap at the game so making the game any harder doesn't interest me.
    They mostly just mix things up a bit, certain combinations do make things easier* while others make them harder.

    Having said that I find Not Created Equal and Hidden potential a great set of options for adding a bit of variety to the tactical play as it can result in some interesting variance in soldier stats, and certainly make you care more about losing soldiers.

    Training Roulette really does mix up the game play, it makes solder rewards much more useful, and encourages you to try out different tactics (Like being able to suppress with a sniper)

    *I'm pretty sure the combination of the one that randomises Abduction missing rewards and county monetary rewards are why I was able to complete Classic Ironman without losing a single country.

  14. #534
    Network Hub PeteC's Avatar
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    Interesting. Thanks for the info. I'll give them a go and see how I get on.

  15. #535
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Turns out I'm still underwhelmed by the endgame. As best I can tell, if you make it to the hyperwave relay and get the ethereal device ... you can loaf, build up your forces (slowly because the missions aren't frequent enough), not worry about losing any new countries from the project, and rake in the cash. This happened in my first game too. It's rather ... anti-climactic. I pulled off a really nice finish so far for my Classic game but ... there's basically nothing stopping me from custom tooling my forces at this point, all the more disappointing because I know how easy the final mission is. :\
    I like the endgame in terms of atmosphere. I find the end mission a bit contemplative sad and nostalgic. I do appreciate how anti-climatic the end boss is.

    But from a gameplay perspective, yeah, the last stretch is quite boring, especially with the lack of abduction and terror missions (I often just leave two countries or so without satellites to alleviate that). There is some hope they will give endgame some love in the next expansion. What's that? Of course there will be next expansion, why wouldn't there be one.

  16. #536
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteC View Post
    Just started the expansion. Do the second wave options really add much, gameplay wise? Bear in mind I'm crap at the game so making the game any harder doesn't interest me.
    They work exactly how they are described. Most actually do make the game harder, even if in subtle ways (Not Created Equally makes it necessary to spend much more money on rookies, for example). Probably the most interesting gameplay-wise is Training Roulette, because it creates all kinds of unique soldiers.

  17. #537
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    I like the endgame in terms of atmosphere. I find the end mission a bit contemplative sad and nostalgic. I do appreciate how anti-climatic the end boss is.

    But from a gameplay perspective, yeah, the last stretch is quite boring, especially with the lack of abduction and terror missions (I often just leave two countries or so without satellites to alleviate that). There is some hope they will give endgame some love in the next expansion. What's that? Of course there will be next expansion, why wouldn't there be one.
    I liked the narrative of the final mission, too. I wouldn't have minded the drop in difficulty, either, if the lead-up had been more frantic. The sudden drop-off in difficulty leading up to the final mission takes away the feeling of frenzy and inevitability. I wouldn't have minded stepping into that final battle struggling and desperate only to find it, as you say, contemplative and sad. I feel like the effect of that change in pacing and tone for the final mission is dampened somewhat by just how overpowered a successful mid-game makes you in the final stretch.
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  18. #538
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I liked the narrative of the final mission, too. I wouldn't have minded the drop in difficulty, either, if the lead-up had been more frantic. The sudden drop-off in difficulty leading up to the final mission takes away the feeling of frenzy and inevitability. I wouldn't have minded stepping into that final battle struggling and desperate only to find it, as you say, contemplative and sad. I feel like the effect of that change in pacing and tone for the final mission is dampened somewhat by just how overpowered a successful mid-game makes you in the final stretch.
    Interesting observation. It made me think of the Cydonia mission of the original. Every time I finally managed to get to it, it felt like I was taking a desperate measure to deal with the invasion as the alien forces always seem unstoppable, you're just dealing with them and surviving the whole game (maybe because I'm not very good at it). You are forced on this suicide mission because it's the only way out.
    While in Xcom once you pass the breaking point every time aliens attack you don't have to worry as you're so powerful that you can deal with anything they throw at you.

  19. #539
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    This is the oddest force composition I've ever had. 5 or 6 assaults, 1 sniper and 2 mechs. It rather lacks the variety I would prefer. Come on, rookies, show some varation. It keeps taunting me with other classes as rewards for abductions, in nations with very low panic.

  20. #540
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    The sudden drop-off in difficulty leading up to the final mission takes away the feeling of frenzy and inevitability. I wouldn't have minded stepping into that final battle struggling and desperate
    Actually, this gives me an idea. I completely forgot we can change difficulty mid-game. Thus, if I replay XCOM at some point, I will ramp the difficulty up to Impossible somewhere in the midgame (perhaps after alien base or so). Early game Impossible is just ridiculous, but late game it will simply result in more alien squads and no 2-sectopod limit per mission. I will still have to leave 1-2 countries without a satellite, just ufo missions are horribly boring.

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