Firaxis “Working Furiously” On XCOM 2 Fixes: “We Didn’t Know It Would Be This Way At Launch”

XCOM 2 [official site]’s technical problems are “the first thing we talk about about when we come in in the morning”, claims lead designer Jake Solomon. “We take it incredibly seriously. Me and all the leads, that’s what we work on all day and that’s what we’re committed to right now.”

While very well-received critically, XCOM 2 has run poorly for a significant number of players, this correspondent included (though it ran well for our reviewer Adam). Speaking to RPS yesterday, project lead Solomon stated that Firaxis were unaware this would be the case when they shipped the game. “I can honestly say that we didn’t know it would be this way at launch.”

While a small hotfix, released yesterday, did not address the major framerate issues, larger fixes are “coming soon”. Solomon also revealed that the post-animation pauses some have criticised XCOM 2 for are being worked on.

While he did not name an exact cause for the performance issues, he did reveal that “maybe it was our optimism about our new deferred renderer and MSAA – a lot of little things like that.”

One of the reasons the problems were not known about prior to launch was that “it’s not across the board, the issues are kind of myriad… sporadic.” This is indeed the case – again, our reviewer had no serious performance problems, and quite a few of our readers say the game’s been fine for them too.

“Maybe this is damning on me, but I’m sitting here talking to you now on the laptop I use to play it on,” explained Solomon, “and I didn’t see these issues. We didn’t catch this stuff in compatibility testing. We’re fully, fully accountable for the product in people’s hands, so we certainly take responsibility for it.”

“To people who are suffering them, if they’re frustrated, I’m as frustrated and more. We will continue to update the game, and we do have some workarounds – heck, you guys even posted some workarounds – but we definitely have fixes coming soon.”

“I can’t say dates, but I would say that we’re working very furiously. We already have a lot of those issues in our sights.”

Addressing the issue of whether the sometimes long pauses after certain events and animatinos in the game are down to bugs or a design decision, Solomon agreed that “some, particularly the Sectoid reanimate animation, take too damn long, I totally agree. And in fact we’re going to change that. I am personally looking into that stuff right now, any gameplay pauses. Camera pauses after kills and stuff like that, I am evaluating all those things to make sure that’s not egregious.

“And that stuff’s on me. I do a lot of the camera rules in terms of it moving and staying and pausing and so on. Taking into account the flyovers and making sure the player has all the context they need for their actions. If things can be sped up they certainly will.”

Our full interview with Jake Solomon, in which he also discusses the thinking behind the game’s divisive difficulty, the tactical intricacies of the game and the legacy of the original X-COM series, will be published soon.

For more on XCOM 2, visit our XCOM 2 guide hub.

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151 Comments

  1. Greg Wild says:

    Good to see an honest response – though it suggests that Take 2/Firaxis really need to budget for a wider spread of QA hardware.

    • shadow9d9 says:

      Honest? Are you joking? You bought it hook, line, and sinker. Poor Take Two. They have no money or experience…they couldn’t have known!

      • ElementalAlchemist says:

        Seems somewhat disingenuous to say they had no idea. You could see alls sorts of framerate hitches, the freeze in the Skyranger on mission load, animation glitches/bugs, etc. in their official streams, right up to the one the day before launch. Also in the various streams by Youtubers like Beaglerush. Granted in the latter case it was a slightly older build, but that just demonstrates that the issues had been around for a long time. I seriously doubt they were unaware of it.

      • Asurmen says:

        Can’t fix what they can’t find. He isn’t saying they didn’t expect bugs, it’s that they didn’t find them.

        • shadow9d9 says:

          Sigh. There will never be true honesty, because people just believe whatever they are fed.

          • Asurmen says:

            Well, seeing as we have zero proof to suggest they’re lying, and the balance of probabilities says they can’t replicate all playing enviroments, I’m siding with him than random internet poster. No offense.

            This is hardly like it’s Arkham Knight all over again.

          • shadow9d9 says:

            The guy above you just posted proof… Their own official streaming exhibited these bugs.

            Besides, to assume that a corporation, in an industry rife with such lies and releasing things in this state, why would you EVER assume they were being truthful? When does that ever actually happen?

          • shadow9d9 says:

            Is the new rule that if something isn’t AS bad as Arkham, then it is acceptable? Great job lowering the bar to zero!

          • Asurmen says:

            A stream of a pre-release build is more or less irrelevant to the discussion.

            I’m assuming because your argument of a flawless release doesn’t match the reality of software development. Bugs happen. They will slip through.

            There’s a difference between something not being AS bad, and something being nowhere near as bad. This release isn’t anywhere near as bad as AK.

          • crazyd says:

            It really depends on your system. I see far more frame drops in XCOM 2 than I ever did in Arkham Knight.

          • Blad the impaler says:

            That’s so true.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Yes, let’s all work ourselves up into a blind e-rage instead of remembering that human beings can make mistakes and giving them a chance to fix them.

        • shadow9d9 says:

          A studio that has been around for decades and a publisher with unlimited money.. Poor guys, they just released ab uggy mess by mistake! Let’s all white knight for them!

          This is why you’ll never get honesty. 1. People believe everything they read. 2. People feel the need to defend their bad choices(buying games at release, supporting bad practices such as this).

          Take Two doesn’t need to do much because internet white knights and rabid fans will defend them for them.

          Yep, it was all just an accident. They just appeared at the last second! Let’s ignore what the poster said before about the streams from them containing these very bugs!

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            I believe if you screw up, you’re allowed to apologize and make it right. Crazy, I know.

            Give yourself a stroke raging about it for all I care. It still isn’t that big of a deal.

          • Tokai says:

            There you go again with that “Unlimited Money” shitposting. Do you not even understand basic economics?

          • Shadow says:

            Take a chill pill.

            Whatever their speech, they have acknowledged the bugs and performance issues and are working on fixing them in a reasonable timeframe. That’s all I need to know.

            Honesty and apologies are nice and welcome, but ultimately just gravy.

          • Shuck says:

            “Poor guys, they just released ab uggy [sic] mess by mistake!”
            Gosh, you’re so right – they could only have done it deliberately! Professionals don’t make mistakes! It can only be part of some nefarious plan where they release a game with bugs in it to decrease their review scores, take a reputation hit and to have the added headache of trying to fix the game once it’s already released. Yep, that makes so much sense! And any problems with the totally-not-finished pre-release build proves it! I’m convinced!

          • Synesthesia says:

            You are really really invested in this! Maybe take a breather. Or, maybe just leave.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Yeah I am sure you are absolutely perfect in you professional/educational life. No mistakes at all! I mean I don’t know you, maybe you are Jonas Salk, but this type of whining post always comes across as an angry 18 year old with no actual experience with the real world, and in particular no experience with software development.

            XCOM2 mostly works pretty well. It is not “broken”. It absolutely needs patching, so does 95% of software upon release.

          • Orful Biggun says:

            I agree with the other commenters replying directly to you. You’re all over this comment section trolling your negative hate and vile naysaying, completely oblivious to any kind of objectivity. Get a grip and go do something else for a while, some of us were glad to read this and are willing to give them time to get it worked out.

            In terms of what was said in the article, my own home has been sort of a test case for XCOM 2. My son has a newer, faster, better computer (upgraded components across the board) than I do yet HE is the one having (some) issues with the game – whereas I have had none at all, the game runs almost perfectly for me.

            I trust them to straighten this stuff out and don’t really understand why it’s so hard to have a little patience. If we were sitting here six months after launch with the same issues unfixed, and this RPS article was about some new upcoming DLC or whatever, then oh yeah, break out the pitchforks, I’m right there with you. But as it is? Take a chill pill.

          • Trimdeezy says:

            It’s fascinating to me, if not sad; how once behind a keyboard, some people are just unable to state their opinion without being inflammatory and belittling others they’ve never met.

            I, along with many others, don’t appreciate being called gullible. The RPS community is a good one.

            It’s a video game. Leave your arrogance at the door.

            Now back on topic, it’s a damn good video game. I’m blessed by pretty jarring frame loss – and though I know I don’t have top of the line? Three 780s (which… SLI seems to be irrelevant now a days) and an i7 SHOULD be able to handle something beyond FXAA. I was definitely disappointed at the level of optimization (or lack thereof) for my particular rig. Regardless of what they did or didn’t know? I’m stoked that they’re working on it.

            Why? Becuase when I turn down to FXAA? It runs pretty darn smoothly. Not as smooth as it should, but certainly playable.

            And when XCom2 is playable? It’s one of my favorite turn based strategy games of all time. For me, they knocked it out of the park. Mods are icing and I can only imagine what kind of DLC awe can look forward to.

            As of now? I can play XCom2, sans-MSAA, and have a great time.

            If they can iron out the chop in the next month or so? The hiccups (to me at least, I’m sure there are others that have it far worse than I do) will be nothing but a footnote.

            Glad they’re working on it. I really appreciate the love the poured into this one – maybe they should of put a little more into optimization, sure, but they’re working on that now. Im fine with giving them the benefit of the doubt…

          • yurusei says:

            “Poor guys, they just released ab uggy mess by mistake!”

            There’s an error in your sentence. It’s “a buggy mess”, not “ab uggy mess”. But that’s alright, we won’t be angry with you, because we all believe in second chances amirite?

        • Orful Biggun says:

          Apparently some people are very good at “work[ing oneself] up into a blind e-rage” and, as that’s all they know how to do, fall back on that just about every time.

          One would have to have a pretty easy life, with very little to worry about, to get so incredibly incensed about game issues that the devs have acknowledged and are trying to fix. Shame we can’t turn that energy into something useful.

          • LexW1 says:

            On the direct contrary, people who tend to get really angry about this sort of thing usually do so because they have pretty difficult, limited lives, and the one thing that makes them happy, that they’ve invested what they have in, is failing to make them happy.

            People who have the lives you describe just go into their garden or play a different game or go to the cinema or whatever, because they plenty of money, big houses, etc.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        It’s easy – a percentage of the player base has a huge backlog. So instead of getting the game at launch like planned they’ll wait for 50% discount or GOTY.
        That “mostly positive” translates to sales I’m sure and they are sorry.

      • Greg Wild says:

        It’s still pretty honest. They didn’t invest enough in testing across a wide range of hardware, they got burned from it, and are now paying the price. It’s not like they’re trying to downplay the performance issues are having. That would have been dishonest.

        • LexW1 says:

          What price are they paying Greg? Record sales?

          That doesn’t seem to be a terrible price. Sure, people might be angry with them, but guess what, we bought their game, didn’t we? Even after the grey blob of a game that was Civ:BE.

          I’m glad to hear they’re fixing it, though I note they did try to minimize the problems earlier, they don’t seem to be here. My main concern is that they’re going to give us a token fix in about a month, that improves performance in certain situations, but not much else, and then essentially leave the problem to fix itself by computers getting faster. They wouldn’t be the first devs to launch a game with poor performance and then do that. Indeed, Firaxis have done it before – the original Civ V barely chugged along on PCs around the recommended spec (i.e. not far above it), but it was turn-based so everyone let it off – and by the time the first full expansion came along, most people had upgraded enough that it was no longer an issue.

          We’ll see. If they fix the problems in a month or two, all is forgiven, frankly, because it is a good game.

      • Maxwell_Edison says:

        Though I’d generally agree with the ‘devs-are-satan’ argument,
        I can’t help but think someone who gave us great day-one modding support would have malicious intent when it comes to optimization.

      • Premium User Badge

        keefybabe says:

        Yeah, plus Civ:Beyond Earth was bummed when it came out too. Ah the modern system of release broken, fix later.

        I’ll buy XCOM 2. But later… when it works properly.

  2. Frank V. says:

    Has anyone nailed down which platforms, video cards or whatever are affected? I have an AMD build (processor and GPU) and the performance issues are very clearly present. I imagine, however, if this was a case of AMD vs NVIDIA, that would have been noted somewhere by now. It seems those that have NVIDIA are seeing issues as well. So, what did Firaxis test on? The same machine configs throughout the studio? Same video cards? I doubt that.

    I trust they will fix it to one degree or another but I struggle how they could have not seen the issues prior to release. But then again, my main review sources — RPS, Polygon and TB — didn’t report major performance issues. So, maybe the performance issues are not as obvious.

    • EighthNote says:

      I have an NVIDIA card, and I’m getting the same stuttering and framerate problems. Glad to hear they are working on a fix though.

    • twixter says:

      I have an all AMD system – FX8300 and a 390x – and during actual gameplay I consistently stay over 50 fps. But I also get massive frame drops during cutscenes and mission loading in the Avenger.

      • Frank V. says:

        My build is older; the GPU is a 7950. With RPS’s settings tips, I get close to 48 in game most times. But even in game, I’ve seen drops below 30. The Avenger is a joke framerate wise. My average rate is around 25 with dips below 20. I’ve never seen that on my card.

      • HopperUK says:

        I’m on an nVidia 660Ti and I haven’t seen any hiccups at all. It really does seem weird in who gets struck down.

        • vocatus says:

          i5-6600 paired to a Zotac GTX 970 and 8 GB of DDR4 here, and getting absolutely horrible performance. Can’t wait for that patch, I really want to play it!

      • Luciferian says:

        I have an i5 and a GTX 970, and before the recent patch I was getting smooth performance everywhere except the Skyranger. After the patch, I am having a lot more stuttering in-game.

    • WladTapas says:

      My PC is getting old (AMD Phenom II X4, GeForce 650 Ti, 4 GB RAM), but the tactical gameplay works just fine with medium-ish settings. It’s the Avenger cutscenes that stutter badly. Loading times could also be faster, but that’s to be expected with this rig.

    • TwwIX says:

      I upgraded from a GTX 660 to a GTX 970 SC primarily for this game yet it still runs like muddy ass and i am suffering from the same issues. Meanwhile i can max out every other recent game title that i own. From GTA 5, Dying Light to the recent Tomb Raider game that came with the card. Obvious piss poor optimization is obvious.

      “We didn’t know”

      How fucking stupid do you think i am? They’re lucky that i got this rushed title from a third party, otherwise i would have already requested refund from Steam. A negative review will have to suffice. Luckily i am not the only one calling out their bullshit.

      Triple “A” gaming for PC is really in a rut. It started with Ubisoft and their string of rushed pieces of shit over these past few years followed Warner Bros. and Avalanche’s broken disappointments.

      They can all go fuck themselves as far as i am concerned. Because you’ve certainly fucked me enough as a consumer. It would only be prudent to return the favor.

      • Luciferian says:

        Would it still be as big of a deal to you if they fixed it within a few weeks of release? Or is having a flawless piece of software on day one just that important to you?

        I definitely get where you’re coming from, especially with Ubisoft. I personally hate EA because there is a memory leak issue built into their Frostbyte Engine that has made every single game written with it unplayable for me since Battlefield 3, and they still haven’t fixed it! Now THAT is a pattern of neglect and callousness toward their user base.

        This seems more like business as usual for PC gaming. When I started PC gaming in the early 90’s this kind of stuff happened to really great games all the time, and hopefully it would get patched. Sometimes it never did. My point is that you can pretty much expect the first month or so after the release of any game to be a bit rocky. In the case of some publishers like EA, they literally do not care and they just pump out the same exact game every year with the same exact issue that makes their product totally useless for thousands of their customers.

        Just playing this game, however, I can tell that a lot of effort and thought went into making it a great experience. Yes, mistakes were made. As long as they get fixed in a reasonable amount of time, I’m not going to hold that against them. One of the most common alternatives throughout the history of PC gaming is never having it fixed at all, so this really isn’t that bad.

        • LexW1 says:

          Strawmen are unhelpful.

          He didn’t ask for flawless.

          He asked for normally well-optimized.

          He compared it to games from other studios, which all run extremely well, and which I believe actually have HIGHER recommended specs than XCOM 2. This is the big issue here – if a game says it’s recommended specs are XX, then if you have XX+, you can know that you will be able to run the game on high/ultra at a good resolution (1080+) without fiddling. It’s pretty reliable! You won’t have to turn off even basic AA or AO.

          But that’s not the case here. The game barely runs on the min spec. It’s laughable. You have to turn off everything and drop resolutions to get 20-30fps. Normally min spec would mean that you’d need to do that to get like, 60fps. At recommended spec and even above, we have a similar issue – people are having to turn things off that they shouldn’t, just to get 25-45fps (with bounces way lower).

          So that’s a serious fuck-up. Hopefully it’s some sort of coding issue they can fix. If not, they essentially mislead a lot of people (it hardly matters if it was due to incompetence or malice – the former is more likely but almost equally damning). I’ve heard claims that it’s because 30fps was the target framerate, but if so, they never communicated that to anyone during development. Had they done so, the response would have been pretty different.

    • Orful Biggun says:

      It’s definitely not AMD vs. Nvidea, both my son and I have Nvidea cards, his stuff is much newer, and yet HE is the one having problems, not me (runs perfectly for me). Here’s our system breakdown in terms of those parts:

      Me | Him
      Core i5-3570 | Core i5-6500 Skylake
      GTX 760 | GTX 980

      Both of us have 16 MB of Corsair Vengeance RAM.

      His box can run Fallout 4 at max settings without issues, but as I said, he’s the one with XCOM 2 issues, not me.

      Go figure. But I’m optimistic that they’ll figure some things out that will help.

      • vocatus says:

        16 MB of RAM? I’m surprised your system will even boot

        • Orful Biggun says:

          Lol um … yeah, it’s a big on the sluggish side sometimes …

          /dang un-editable posts grumble grump
          /Both of us have 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM.

    • Frank says:

      Runs okay on an i7 with a GTX 970 and all the RAMs.

      However, the loading times are egregious (both to and from combat) and there are several combat bugs. One: an enemy’s entire move and attack sometimes skips. Another: if I use the first action to hack and then jam “R” while waiting for my gizmobot to return, instead of reloading her gun, my hacker throws a grenade. This sort of thing is why I will never play Ironman.

  3. shadow9d9 says:

    Yes, “we didn’t know there’d be bugs even though we’ve been a studio forever” sounds legit.

    • Llewyn says:

      It also sounds nothing like anything Solomon’s said.

    • Person of Interest says:

      My charitable interpretation is that they “honestly […] didn’t know” the bugs would be so widespread, widely reported, and prominently displayed on their Steam store page. Maybe they saw some problems on the PC they used for their official streaming as ElementalAlchemist mentioned, and some sporadic things here and there, but couldn’t reliably reproduce it on their compatibility testing hardware. So they crossed their fingers (or looked the other way) and released it.

      There’s nothing commendable about this PR announcement, apart from how effectively it’s mollified many of the commenters here. Hold the congratulations until after they actually fix it.

  4. drewski says:

    Pretty remarkable that their compatibility testing didn’t pick up anything if what he says is true. Sounds like they might not have spread their system net wide enough.

    • Premium User Badge

      caff says:

      This. How on earth could they not see these issues. Crap like the “unstable caps lock skip loading times” and stuttering animations smack of a development project rushed out the door.

      It’s clearly an amazing game but I won’t play it again until these things are sorted out.

    • Schnallinsky says:

      personally i believe he’s just not completely honest here. they knew about the bugs, just underestimated how many people would be affected. and they couldn’t work out the fixes fast enough or had more important bugs to fix.
      but as long as only a few machines were affected, it’s good enough for an after-launch patch. i mean, they’ve got a shipping date and postponing the launch isn’t cheap.

      i guess in the end it was a business decision:

      a) ship on schedule and let the press team deal with a handful of disgruntled gamers until a patch is out: fans will buy it anyway, there will be a bit of negative press, some might postpone until it’s patched

      b) vs. postpone the shipping date, which means a lot of advertising dollars go to hell, a lot more gamers will be disgruntled because they’re kept waiting and, well, you can only *try* to fix bugs, some are just elusive so you can’t really put a time estimate on it.

      was it the right decision to just launch? as an unaffected user – yes, i think so. i also think it was the right decision from their perspective.

  5. colw00t says:

    Put me into the “runs pretty much fine” camp. Aside from a little stutter at map-load, everything runs fine.

    I do think there’s probably some fine-tuning to be done on the “animation pauses” thing. Probably the idea is to pause slightly here and there to give time for camera moves and so that it’s very clear what’s going on every time, but the pauses are a little long for my taste.

    • Shadow says:

      The “runs pretty much fine” camp is ambiguous, as people have different framerate and graphics preferences/tolerances. Unwarranted 30-40fps might be fine to some, but quite annoying to others.

    • Richard Parker says:

      I’m another in that camp, although I feel for those who are having crippling performance issues.

      I do find that timely, honest customer statements like Solomon’s go a long way. Some people will always be mad, but lots of rationale people get lathered up when their issues are met with radio silence.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’m in the “Runs pretty much fine” camp too, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. I let the Nvidia GeForce Experience thing adjust my settings, which I don’t always follow, but I usually try it as a first shot with a new game. It turned off all anti-aliasing, and many other settings are set pretty low.

      So yeah… I’m seeing few glitches and the frame rate is smooth, but this is on a computer where I can normally run games at fairly high graphics settings (i7-4790, 16 gigs RAM, GTX 750 Ti). My screen res is 1920×1200 which isn’t a very heavy lift for a GPU.

      The graphics in this game just don’t look high-poly and sophisticated enough to require settings as low as I’m having to use. XCOM EU/EW looks about the same, and it runs smooth as silk at high settings. In addition to poor bug-squashing, they simply didn’t spend enough time optimizing performance before release.

      • Frank V. says:

        Exactly! “Runs well” (or not) is a relative statement. I know XCOM:EU / XCOM:EW was never super well optimized nor did it achieve a frame rate comparable to other graphically similar games. But, the old XCOM games run at 60fps consistent on maxed out settings at 1080p for me. XCOM 2, I’m afraid, is never consistant at 60 even on the lowest settings*.

        *I’ve not done anything stupid like reduce my resolution.

        • Wisq says:

          I guess I’m a bit confused as to why everyone is demanding a perfect 60fps from a turn-based strategy game.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Because they are silly people who would rather complain about numbers than enjoy the games they are playing. I honestly haven’t looked at a framerate once when I wasn’t playing an FPS.

          • Shadow says:

            Why is genre at all relevant? This isn’t about player performance but fluidity in animation, which is part of graphical quality and valued by a good number of gamers. The minimum refresh rate for any modern monitor is 60Hz (refresh rate determines maximum visible framerate), so it’s not at all outrageous to expect to attain at least that much smoothness.

            Generally, all this “who needs 60fps?” questioning tends to come from people coming from a console background, where 30fps is largely the norm, or those who have fallen for similarly pro-console propaganda (“30 is more cinematic!”). That, or people used to game on budget PCs/laptops which can seldom attain framerates in the vicinity of 60. If you’re used to gaming on 60+, less than that isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but you don’t really go back if you can help it.

            When framerate drops considerably, like XCOM 2’s does at times (particularly without any .ini tinkering), you don’t need a numerical counter to tell you. It’s quite perceptible to many, and it negatively affects the experience. Good for you if it doesn’t impair yours.

          • carewolf says:

            Because the stupid strategy game has stupid things like 3D-cut scenes, and 3D-transitions, with especially the later looking absolutely terrible at 1-5fps on a GTX980. If it didn’t inject 3D graphics all the time, it wouldn’t be a problem, or if they had prerendered the transitions instead of just shipping not working crap.

        • colw00t says:

          XCOM 2 is also doing vastly more complicated things with its level geometry than XCOM 1, so it’s going to need more horsepower to run even if it looks the same, which it doesn’t.

          I couldn’t tell you what framerate it runs at on my machine, because it doesn’t stutter or stall, aside from the aformentioned minor one on level load, and that’s all I care about on a turn based game. The framerate is sufficient that it looks smooth to me and any more than that is simply masturbation.

      • FievelKnowsBest says:

        This needs 360 controller support. It’s a damn shame that the last one had it that looked basically identical UI wise and all. The Steam Controller blows. It’s just a thumb trackpad…

  6. Horg says:

    I knew it would be like this at launch and I don’t even work there….

    Firaxis. Firaxis never changes.

  7. C0llic says:

    As much as the performance issues are very real, I think Firaxis has done a better job of stamping out general gameplay bugs than they did with EU (at least from what I’ve noticed). Just my two cents. Good to see them to respond to this anyway.

  8. jalf says:

    ITT, lots of angry entitled gamers with no experience with large scale software development.

    Seriously, you’re surprised that something like this can happen? That software runs perfectly fine on one set of test machines, but craps out on others?

    It has nothing to do with incompetence or not caring or being lazy. It’s a fact of life.

    It’s not even some weird, strange, outlandish coincidence. It’s not that they *just so* happened to get lucky and only buy hardware that was able to run the game well. The causality works directly opposite: they tested on a certain set of machines, and initially it ran like crap on those machines, so they fixed the issues they found, which resulted in a game that ran well enough on their test machines, but you can never tell how the game runs on the machines you don’t test on, and there just so happens to be billions of those out there.

    You can never “spread your net wide enough”. There are always weird cases out there that, even though the hardware is seemingly similar, for some reason just makes a particular application behave wildly different.

    There isn’t a magical wand you can just wave to make that go away.

    But of course, once you know the issues exist, you can usually pinpoint them and fix them.

    That’s just how software development works.

    Sure, you can always do more QA, you can always buy more hardware to test on, you can always spend longer beta testing, but at some point you just have to pull the trigger and say “ok, it runs well enough on all the systems we currently test on. Hopefully that’s representative for how it’ll run in the wild. Let’s find out”.

    • shadow9d9 says:

      Yes, those darn elitists for wanting games made by experienced and wealthy developers of “AAA” games to provide stable experiences from day 1! They are just entitled! They should accept bugfests! Those poor, poor corporations shoveling out crap that is bug ridden need these white knighters to defend them!

      Because, in an age when you have unlimited money, early access for gamers to aid in finding bugs worldwide, and modifying an existing game for a sequel with some changes.. it is impossible for them to have released something in a good state!

      Thanks again internet dude for sticking up for them!

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        “internet dude”

        Irony so massive that LIGO just detected gravitational waves off of it.

      • Tokai says:

        “Unlimited Money”

        Are you high, or brain-damaged?

        Contrary to what whiny children believe, AAA developers are NOT, in fact, billionaires and they have to weigh the costs of doing things just like every other human being.

        It is not cost-effective to purchase an entire warehouse full of different computers all of different specs to make sure the game works fine on every single one.

      • Shuck says:

        “wealthy developers of “AAA” games”
        “unlimited money”
        I’d love to live in whatever alternate universe you inhabit – it sounds like a great place to develop games. Unfortunately I live in this one, where I’d like to laugh at you, but the sad state of my game developer bank account prevents much mirth.

      • DavishBliff says:

        My dude, I promise it’s going to be okay. Step outside for a walk or something.

      • vocatus says:

        You’re really excited about using the word “wealthy” in all your replies.

      • mattlevonian says:

        It’s funny how willfully ignorant you are about the entire development process.

        For one, “wealthy developers” and “unlimited money”? The studio has to budget out their resources strategically and stick to a schedule in order to make a profit and keep making games. We see studios go over budget and over schedule time and time again, and what does it yield? A glorious masterpiece? No. You can keep dumping money into the development process, but you’re never going to get a perfect game.

        Next, “early access for gamers to aid in finding bugs worldwide”… because as we’ve seen gamers are GREAT at providing detailed bug reports with images and video as well as steps for reproducing the bug. They definitely wouldn’t post “mechanic X is broken, plz fix”.

        But my favorite is: “modifying an existing game for a sequel with some changes”. This is just so off the mark that I actually made an account in order to post this reply. Just because a game has some similar mechanics to its predecessor doesn’t mean you can just tweak the code a little bit and pop in some new assets. They had to rip out huge chunks of the engine to redesign the graphics and networking code, among other things. Then on top of that they had to build a new game which, while it may LOOK like the previous XCOM, is a totally different piece of software. XCOM 2 isn’t just a mod of XCOM 1, and to think so betrays an ignorance so staggering that after this I’m going to get off the Internet and rethink my view of humanity.

        • DAmm says:

          Firaxis and 2K made a sh*t load of money off XCOM: EU and then even more on EW (which was a DLC, cost at most 1/4 as much as EU, but still ended up with the full 40$ price tag)

          Fact.

    • tafoya77n says:

      Finally someone else who understands how rediculus the demands some people make are.

      There is a difference between something that would be nice if they could get right and what is okay to be expected of a company.
      100% perfect performance on every possible system configuration is not one of those things that can be expected right away.

      • klops says:

        There is a difference between using working arguments and making imaginary adversaries whose imaginary demands you can dismerit. Say one person “who expects XCOM 2 to have 100% perfect performance on every possible system configuration right away”.

        It’s a good game but do you think RPS, for example, posted and mentioned the performance problems (after the review) if they were minimal and completely ok?

    • Thurgret says:

      It isn’t entitled to expect a purchased product to work properly. It is entirely reasonable and, I’d say, responsible to complain when a product fails to work as advertised, and to expect it to be repaired or refunded, and quite reasonable to complain further – and, yes, publicly, so others can be warned – if the seller fails to provide that fix promptly. The refund issue is still a mess for PC gamers, although there have been recent steps forward.

    • Reapy says:

      It’s really funny the expectation people have for software. People forget that it’s actually kind of hard to bring all these things together at once.

      They also expect that because it is a larger studio it should somehow be better when in actually when you have 50+ people contributing code and art assets it is even harder to get it all working together perfectly.

      Software is hard. Sorry.

      • Cederic says:

        It is hard. That’s why when I spend the money I’ve earned by doing hard work writing it, I want value for that money.

        If you want to sell software, make sure it works. Is that really too much to expect?
        If you want people to give you their money, give them something they want in return. Is that too much to expect?

        There’s a lot of software out there. Enough of it works that it’s easy to avoid the broken stuff. Don’t be surprised when people expect software they’re actually paying for to work.

    • Pherman881 says:

      Pretty much what jalf said. I worked QA for a large scale developer for over 2 years. To make a game can be(and often is) a clusterf*ck. There are meetings going on all day long addressing bugs. There is constant correspondence between the QA Dept and the Dev Team regarding bugs. There are regressions done on every build to make sure the old bugs that were once fixed, were indeed still fixed in whatever current build is being worked on by the studio. Yet, still, no matter how perfect that game gets before launch day approaches, everyone who works on that game knows there is a possibility that once its released; -things go boom-. Fact is, most (most) people who make games are quite brilliant, but that doesn’t mean that everything they produce will be flawless. And not even for reasons brought on by themselves. A lot of the time they are trying to meet unreasonable deadlines set by their publisher (or whoever funded the game), who for all intents and purposes doesn’t really care about whatever game they are paying for to be developed outside of the stock value in their news ticker. That is not the fault of the developer. In any event, making games, funding games, marketing games: its an inherently convoluted process. That may be an unsatisfying reality, but its a reality nonetheless.

      Also I do believe Jake when he says “We didn’t know it would be this way at launch” because I have no reason not to. I have seen something as simple as a driver update completely bork a perfectly fine build, so I know it can happen. But I wouldn’t take that to mean “We thought there were no problems whatsoever.” I can almost guarantee they have at least one of these issues sitting in their bug database from before launch. I don’t believe that is what he said, but it seems that is what people are hearing when they read this article.

      All of that having been said: Arkham Knight on PC was a travesty, and I wont even pretend to know who brought the monkey wrench to that party.

  9. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I think I & other people have ragged on them a little too harshly. It is a state, but compared with Just Cause 3 for example which is in a worse state than Arkham City and basically hasn’t been patched since launch while Avalanche work on fucking premium dlc. At least Firaxis care and the bugs generally aren’t show stoppers, Just Cause 3 is unplayable.

    • shadow9d9 says:

      “At least Firaxis care”

      Proof aside from wishful thinking? They CHOSE to release the game in this state. That is evidence that they don’t care.

      • Sandepande says:

        Do you really think that 2K would give Firaxis “unlimited money” to get a 100% working release? Silly. Nobody does that. And even though Firaxis is an old studio, is the team doing XCOM 2 that old and experienced? With the new engine? Not likely. And at some point they must ship. They can’t keep the game unreleased forever.

      • klops says:

        That’s a good point. XCOM 2’s state means that:
        1. Either they did know that many people will have problems with it.
        2. Their QA is bad.

        • Asurmen says:

          Or neither.

        • Sandepande says:

          They probably figured that it would work better than it did, or at least well enough. Firaxis mught also be less proficient technology-wise than we’d like to believe.

  10. SuicideKing says:

    After the patch, when the game starts, it pushes system RAM use to 6GB and after a mission that had gone up to 8GB. Checked in task manager and XCOM 2 itself was using about 5.89 GB (and I was looking in the base view).

    I kind of suspected it had a memory leak before as well, now I’m not even sure what’s happening. System doesn’t crash but everything starts stuttering a lot.

    • Horg says:

      High RAM allocation is not indicative of a memory leak. A memory leak is caused when an application allocates resources in such a way as to prevent RAM from being freed up when it is no longer in use. I’ve played some long sessions since launch and haven’t experienced any slowdown over time, which would indicate a memory leak.

      • SuicideKing says:

        I know, but RAM allocation would steadily increase with time. Now it starts high and keeps climbing. Again, with the new behaviour it looks like it just takes whatever it can.

  11. Sunjammer says:

    Performance is shit on my box but it’s also literally the last thing I want them to fix before they can get the actual turn-to-turn gameplay to function as intended. Unless crazy rule-breaking shit is intended. I can deal with a low uneven framerate, I can’t deal with units getting free turns, teleporting across the map, shooting through ceilings at things they can’t see, or utter confusion about the order events should take place (ffs, a unit on overwatch should shoot the charging melee attacker before the attacker gets its attack in).

    • Sandepande says:

      Maybe the melee charger has the ability to not trigger reaction shots?

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Overwatch also doesn’t trigger while you are concealed until you are spotted, so it could be because of that.

        One of my grenadiers was given Phantom from the AWC and it is actually kind of a pain in the ass.

    • Dominare says:

      Just like the first game, you need vision of the enemy AND the tile its moving to in order for standard overwatch shots to activate. This means that if your unit is around a corner on overwatch and an enemy melee unit charges around that corner to attack you, your overwatch will not trigger. Not a bug, just the mechanics.

    • Sunjammer says:

      link to youtube.com Tell me this isn’t fucked up.

      • LogicalDash says:

        Looks like one of the many situations where the displayed position of combatants differs from the actual one. The game logic runs in another thread from the Unreal engine and needs to report any and all changes to the state. Sometimes it reports the wrong thing.

        Not really a rules bug, but makes the game pretty hard to play.

  12. jonfitt says:

    To those who are really mad that a game has performance issues at launch, welcome! I hope you will continue in your new hobby of PC gaming and won’t let your initial experience here sully the whole thing.

    A pro-tip for the future if this kind of thing annoys you would be to always hold off purchasing at launch and check for the initial feedback. If you can hold off even further you’ll find that all these things are almost always fixed, and the game is usually cheaper too!

    • klops says:

      I’m not “really mad”. I just don’t like a game I bought being published with that many performance problems and overall bugs/glitches/etc. I also dislike the “we didn’t know” bullshit.

      Bad launches (bug and performance wise) are quite a common thing with games. I wonder why customers and especially media should not complain about them. In my mind they should complain about them a lot more – even while some games are released in even worse state.

      XCOM 2 and its performance problems and bugs aren’t the end of the world. It’s a good game. I just wished it would work better and they had paid more attention or spend more time finishing it.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      lol

  13. Faults says:

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or despair at people getting buttmad at Firaxis for performance issues in a turn-based strategy game. I mean goddamn, the game runs at something like 10fps on my Macbook Pro and it’s still 100% playable.
    Although honestly, using MSAA in a custom deferred renderer and expecting good performance is a bit like asking a drunk man to wear high heels for the first time in his life and expecting good performance.

    • aoanla says:

      But, and this is the annoying thing about the whole discussion getting sidetracked by one class of bugs: there’s tons of non-rendering bugs too. It seems that hacking rewards and penalties have a lot of implementation bugs (concealment not being applied to your Gremlin, for example; or the damage from feedback effect sometimes being applied on every subsequent hack in the mission, even ones by a different soldier), for example.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Is the Gremlin concealment a bug or not? It makes sense that the aliens would see this flying robot with glowing blue arms whizzing about but at the same time I haven’t found any consistency with how it is spotted.

        • aoanla says:

          Well, the interaction with hacking concealment seems to be – normally, when a specialist starts concealed (as with any other soldier), then they aren’t spotted if they’re in cover and outside the (concealed) detection range of aliens. If they gain concealment from a hacking reward, it seems that aliens can suddenly spot their Gremlin (even if the specialist theirself is in cover, outside of concealed detection range), and will count as “not surprised” when they properly see soldiers for the first time (that is, they’ll not take a “move to get into cover”, but will move as normal aliens when not activated for the first time).
          It seems that this is caused by the Gremlin, as the Specialist doesn’t lose concealment, and the alien AI doesn’t actually know what to do, it just knows that it’s been activated.

    • AyeBraine says:

      It’s interesting becaue I think XCOM was kind of a unique turn-based strategy, in that it had flow. Firaxis really put tons of blood, sweat and tears into animations, animation sequencing, camera work and other things nobody really does in TBSs. XCOM became a wonderful magic box where cartoonish but palpable action figures enacted glorious battles in Hollywood action shots. I am not a hardcore TBS player (though I have about 1000 hours in XCOM), but I’ve never seen such fluid visuals and UI in a TBS game.

      This is why people, including me, got such a sore reaction to. Protracted. Emphasis. Pauses. In a dev video concerning mods, Solomon said that he intentionally insisted on generous pauses to telegraph every game event clearly and unambiguously. This got out of hand, and in the end he himself admitted that the “Stop Wasting My Time” mod looks snappier and more fluid than vanilla timing.

      All in all, XCOM 2 is quite unique. Other TBSs can provide much more numbers, but XCOM provides the cinematic flow. I am sure it’s one of the reasons people find it so difficult to put the game down.

    • Premium User Badge

      Alfy says:

      It runs about the same way on my Mac, and I don’t call that “playable”. The stutters literally hurt my eyes. I’m not a “gimme 60 fps or gimme death” kind of guy, but the state of this release is an absolute shame. Especially on Macs, as unlike PCs, configurations are pretty similar on all machines.

  14. froz says:

    “And that stuff’s on me. I do a lot of the camera rules in terms of it moving and staying and pausing and so on. Taking into account the flyovers and making sure the player has all the context they need for their actions. If things can be sped up they certainly will.”

    Sorry to say that, but you did really bad job. As much as I like the game, this aspect is just terrible. In turn based strategy game you have to allow player to spend as much time as he wants to on thinking, but then you have to allow him to do all the actions quickly. Turn based in general means slow, so you want to make it react to player input as quickly as possible. Every decent strategy game have settings to speed up (or turn off) animations, for example. I’m not saying this would fit XCOM, but you certainly do not want to add 10s of seconds of pauses each turn.

  15. Dushky says:

    Let’s break performance down, it’s a new fairly pretty game that does require some modicum of specs to run well. No it’s not perfect, no game is ever perfectly optimised on PC to run on a wide range of hardware, best in recent memory to ME is MGS V Phantom Pain. However, before you chirp developers, make sure your hardware lives up to what is required before you complain about not getting super pretty gfx with decent performance.

    I’m using a gaming laptop about 3 years old (lenovo y510p) and I’m getting good playability (>30fps) with high/ultra graphic settings (some tweaks here on MSAA being off and the other high performance hitters).

    Being a turn based tactical game, 60fps isn’t necessary, although is nice, my rig isn’t good enough to maintain that on max (boo hoo for me). I don’t cry, I change my settings to get the best with what I have and what I’m happy with like everyone else should.

    Now let’s break some basic stats down I found for XCOM2 and through Steam (Using steam hardware survery from 2016 January
    link to store.steampowered.com)

    Recommended (emphasis on recommended, so if you want high performance and pretty visuals) specs for XCOM 2:

    3GHz Quad Core – looking at steam hardware survey , you can see that 48.97% of people are using processors with 2 cores. SO already almost half the people have failed to meet recommended specs based on cores alone. Additionally, only 30% of the cpus (INTEL) are 3.0ghz or higher, AMD it’s about 10-15%. So most people fail to meet specs based on CPU, no wonder it’s not running amazing.

    8 GB RAM – 31.52% of reviewed people have 8gb ram, 16% have 12gb or more, so again, most people fail to meet specs for ram.

    2GB ATI Radeon HD 7970, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 or better – Most popular VRAM is 1gb 33.44%, 2gb is 22.86%, more than that combined is like 10-12%, most people fail to meet this spec, most popular card is the GTX 970, which satisfies the spec although only about 4% of steam users own this card.

    Other stuff, most popular gaming resolution is 1920 x 1080, however, most people do not have gfx cards capable of mainting higher performance and settings on this resolution.

    In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say most people are running and trying to play a game above their hardwares cabability and crying that it’s not performing well. Sorry this isn’t hearthstone or league or dota (I play all those games, they are awesome, very low specs needed though).

    If you want to run games on high resolutions (1080P+) on high settings with high fps, spend money on a good rig, otherwise don’t complain when your cheap/old hardware doesnt run it as buttery smooth as you want.

    For reference XCOM Enemy Unknown recommended specs:

    2 GHz Dual Core (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Athlon X2 2.7 GHz)
    4 GB RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 9000 series / ATI Radeon HD 3000 series or greater

    Oh look at that, that satisfies most peoples hardware based on steam hardware survey, no wonder people didn’t complain there.

    • Dushky says:

      For the record I’m not defending them or any other companies.

      Thinks like ASS Creed Unity and Arkham knight must and should never happen again (thank f##k for refunds), however I get pissed off when people complain and cry and moan about stuff that’s their own damn fault or due to their own ignorance and negligence.

      Yes some people may have high end hardware and it still doesn’t run well, that’s when developers need to up their game.

      I can only speak on my experience, I have a i7-4700mq 2.4ghz (it does turboboost higher), 16gb ram and a gtx 755m. So I don’t satisfy recommended specs, so I can’t expect to get max settings and great performance, I can’t game on 1080p, I’m realistic with my hardware and what I can expect.

      The game itself is good and fun, performance isn’t great, but neither is my hardware. Deal with it or upgrade your hardware as I plan to upgrade mine in the future after the new gen gfx cards come out.

      • klops says:

        You’ve never heard anyone with a good computer having performance problems with XCOM 2?

        Try this, at first:
        link to rockpapershotgun.com

      • Horg says:

        ”Yes some people may have high end hardware and it still doesn’t run well, that’s when developers need to up their game.”

        This would be one of those times. Additionally, Firaxis have a track record of releasing games which are either very buggy or poorly optimised. This is not an isolated incident. Sometimes they don’t really do enough to fix their product (see XCOM EU/EW which is still a very buggy game and will never be patched again). I would hate to see XCOM2 left in the same state XCOM was, so people should be putting pressure on Firaxis to fix it.

    • carewolf says:

      Stop defending them. The game runs bad on hardware well above the requirements, even if you reduce the resolution to only 1080p and graphic settings to minimum.

  16. typographie says:

    I find it strange and surprising that they simply didn’t know the game would have performance problems. I appreciate that some people have more serious issues than others, but I don’t entirely believe the game at max settings is running as it should for anyone.

    That said, I don’t claim to know that much about what goes into an effort like this, so maybe there’s a sensible reason that it was missed. At any rate, this is a fairly rare act of honesty on the part of a developer and at least a verbal commitment to improving things. At the end of the day the game mostly works alright; it’s not exactly an Arkham Knight situation.

  17. Amplituhedron says:

    Guys check ths out.

    Created an account to post this. Worked wonders for me.

    • Amplituhedron says:

      Sry here is the link :)

      link to steamcommunity.com

      • Amplituhedron says:

        Seriously guys this is the holy grail of ini tweaks. Can’t believe it exists and nobody is paying any attention.

        link to steamcommunity.com

        • Amplituhedron says:

          Stop ignoring this incredible steam thread. Very strong chance it will completely solve your xcom2 performance issues!!!

          XCOM2 now has better performance for me XCOM EU ever did! you heard that right! I stumbled upon a complete fix for all this woe!

          Have you tried something like this before and it hardly did anything? Me too! This is the first time I’ve ever made an ini tweak that completely changed a game for me. It is absolutely incredible. You really need to stop ignoring it and give it a try. Very simple just edit the ini file in notepad ++. The author claims it dramatically increases performance on any unreal engine game, and from the results I’ve gotten in XCOM2 I believe it! This is like the greatest tweak of all time and I can’t beg you guys to pay attention!!! Stop writing stupid articles about performance tweaks that do nothing. This works! Just give it a try! Maybe I and the rest of the people on the steam thread have the only computers in the world that it works for but Im willing to be that it will fix xcom2 for you as well.

          • Premium User Badge

            Alfy says:

            You’re really pumped about this, aren’t you? Of course, the original thread would have been taken more seriously is it hadn’t been titled “*IMPORTANT* REAL…”. Seriously, who starts a title like that?

            Anyways, I had tried that before (for EU, if I’m not mistaken), and it did nothing for me. I’m not saying it will not work for someone else, just saying it’s not quote the panacea you’re making it to be.

          • Amplituhedron says:

            Why not give it a try with Xcom2? It is absolutely a panacea for me. I know that the majority of people posting here care more about how the original thread is titled than actually fixing Xcom2’s performance, they would rather cry about lazy devs than play xcom without a hitch. I think it is embarrassing for this community that this fix is not being payed attention to.

  18. TwwIX says:

    I don’t even have to turn on AA nor Vsync to suffer from performance issues on my GTX 970 SC.

    This game was not optimized at all. It stutters all the time and suffers from memory leaks that eventually lead to crashes. This game released in an abysmal technical state that rivals WB’s Arkham Knight.

  19. watergun says:

    They need to review their QC team.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Cross says:

    I don’t really know what to think of this. On one hand, it’s hard to believe they honestly didn’t catch any of these issues, especially considering how many showed up on Fraxis’ own stream, and even some that carried over from Enemy Unknown. On the other hand, i am inclined to give Firaxis the benefit of the doubt, because they have done a lot to earn the trust of their fans, and it seems hopeless to squander that to deliberately sneak a few bugs out unsolved.

  21. Joshua Northey says:

    Funnily enough on my relatively robust PC it works fine for me. A few glitches here and there, and the slow loading and pauses between actions, but relatively few bugs. Once a dead alien corpse didn’t despawn. And a couple times the alien was clearly at a different actual location than their displayed location. But mostly not much problems.

    Funnily enough I did have a CTD twice on the ending cinematic, so I just watched it on youtube instead.

  22. ddaymace says:

    Glad they are working on it. I’ve been holding off on purchasing until the technical issues are straightened out; I can’t be the only one.

  23. zaphod42 says:

    Personally I’m not really upset, the game runs even if not super well, and they’re working on patches and I’m sure it’ll get better.

    That said, as a software programmer myself, I have to point out

    “I can honestly say that we didn’t know it would be this way at launch.”

    That is NO excuse. In fact that is REALLY BAD. That is admitting your testing is massively lacking and you are engaging in very sloppy engineering practices.

    • Premium User Badge

      Alfy says:

      I don’t believe much of what they are saying here. To put it bluntly, there are too many bugs and the games runs too poorly on too large a number of systems to make it believable they did not see this coming. They might have underestimated the number of people with confirmations that would have the problems, but that is not quite the same.

      Also, to all tha apologists out there: it is not the customer’s job to lower its expectations that a product will work as intended. No matter how difficult software development can be (and my degree is in compsci, so I have some inkling, thank you very much), if a company sells a product at full price, it is absolutely normal to expect that product to work as advertised.

  24. RoShamPoe says:

    I want to preface this by saying I really love the game. I’ve put a bunch of hours into it and I think it’s probably my favorite game I’ve played this year. And I have about 100 hours in Fallout 4.

    It’s a really tall order to ask me to believe that the devs didn’t know about the issues with this game. They are RAMPANT. Admittedly, they’re mostly minor, at least in my experience. But I challenge anyone to document for an hour and come out with less than a dozen bugs or performance issues. Framerate stuttering on high end pcs, clipping, characters falling through roofs for no reason, aliens shoot through walls, etc. ad nauseam.

    So I get and appreciate the anger. I also don’t think you should chastise someone with a “waiting to buy the game until it’s fixed,” whenever the hell that will be. Can you imagine telling someone that about another product? I mean, I expect my car to be tip top when I buy it. Or my macaroni and cheese to have the cheese packet in the box when I buy that. (a cheaper example)

    Xcom 2 is a finished game, and a great one. But it’s not a polished experience. And you know what? Most games lately do not seem to come out polished. But I don’t think we should dump on the people that expect or want that.

  25. Amplituhedron says:

    Try this: link to steamcommunity.com

    I’ve been playing games a long time never seen a tweak work this well. Can’t believe it exists.

    • froz says:

      What was the link again? It’s not like you already posted 4 times about it under this article, right?

      • Amplituhedron says:

        Then why is everyone still complaining when I post the solution.

        • Amplituhedron says:

          I wish I could edit or delete my awkward posts, but I am very proud to have posted it here 3 times.

          Completely fixed all performance issues for me and the majority of users on the steam thread with diverse systems. I’ve tweaked a lot of games and nothing has ever come close to this. I just want to get through to you guys. Sounds too good to be true I know, but if you would like to play xcom2 without any performance issues I recommend giving it a try.

          Personally I feel like that link is the greatest steam thread of all time!

  26. aircool says:

    The game seems to run smoother if Steam is running in offline mode. Strange, but you never know…

  27. Emeraude says:

    Ok, so, I’m totally not invested in that game – it’s Steam exclusive, I’ll probably never play it – and I know it’s my cynical paranoid side murmuring ugly things at the back of my head, but when I read “I can honestly say that we didn’t know it would be this way at launch”, my first thought is “what, you mean generally you do know about it beforehand?”…

    • Emeraude says:

      By which I guess I mean I should expect a company to not launch a product with severe identified issues knowingly that’s the lowest level of consumer trust you can extend before things break apart.

      The very fact that they find the need to say this hints to me of a market where consumer trust is reaching its lowest levels.

  28. NephilimNexus says:

    Translation:

    “Dammit, we were hoping that by releasing the SDK with the game that the modding community would fix all of our problems and finish making our broken game for us within the first week.

    It works for Bethesda, right?”

  29. TheRedDuke says:

    Just in case any of the game Devs ever read this thread, just wanted to say that despite all the utter children in these comments, and the very real fact that the game as some significant technical issues, you guys have done an amazing job and created an incredibly fun game. I’m really looking forward to the inevitable future patches for both bug fixes and balance, but really, great job.

    As a programmer I know all to well how incredibly hard QA can be, even with a dedicated team, and how all to often the only feed-back you’ll get is negative feedback. Especially after you’ve live, eat, and breath a big project for long periods of time, that sucks.

    So good job. Thanks for taking ownership of the issues and I’m looking forward to the patches and especially the future content for this really, really awesome game.

    • timespike says:

      I’ve got to agree. Bugs can be polished out, and the core design of the game is really solid. Plus, as I’ve said in another post, I get a VERY strong impression that Jake Solomon is a good guy after having seen and heard multiple interviews with him. He seems humble, genuine, and sincerely committed to making a good product.

    • Thurgret says:

      I’ve posted this once already, and it’s already tiresome, but people are being responsible consumers, not “utter children”.

  30. Curundir says:

    Getting a strong apologetic vibe from a lot of posts here, stating that the game is perfectly fine. But seriously, you only need to watch some streams on Twitch, or a few episodes on Youtube, to get a good insight in the amount of bugs. The low fps and the stuttering are minor issues, compared to the gameplay bugs that I have seen. From memory, some examples of bugs present after the recent hotfix:
    – destroying a floor sometimes leaves enemies levitating in thin air, where they still get high ground bonuses,
    – overwatch shots can sometimes be taken through the floor the shooting soldier is standing on. The shot should not have been possible in the first place, but after such a shot, the soldier can fall trough the undamaged floor and start teleporting without animations for the rest of the mission,
    – DOT effects sometimes proc only part of their effect, or don’t proc at all,
    – when using a grenade with an AOE effect, the AOE sometimes ends up on the floor above where the grenade was thrown,
    – enemies standing in the indicated AOE area of a grenade do not highlight and will subsequently not be affected by the grenade at all…
    – enemies will teleport in without animations, surprising your squad and messing up your overwatch
    – shooting an untriggered pack with explosives will not trigger the pack – even though they just suffered major damage and sometimes fell down a few floors,
    – on some really bugged out missions, taking a shot results in 10 seconds where nothing happens, after which the game tries to catch up with you by overloading you with information (animations don’t play)

    On top of that, there are weird graphical glitches. And the low fps and stuttering that were mentioned in this article. Saying that the game actually “runs fine” and that expecting anything else from a new release makes you a weird and unlovable sulky loner, while the issues are so blatantly staring you in the face, is… Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” at it’s very best. If you ask me there is some gaming industry PR trying to spin this thread – and possibly countless others.

    • Unsheep says:

      To me the seemingly frequent game crashes are the worst, from what I’ve seen they occur on a regular basis even for people with expensive gaming rigs. I think the game would be unplayable on my “medium” PC.

  31. dirtrobot says:

    Of course they knew, they likely had a list of everything wrong a week before the game shipped. Ask anyone who has worked on a video game, the list of C bugs, the bugs you don’t fix before you ship because you have no time/money hangs over your head like the sword of Damocles.

    What’s even more irritating is how the press glossed over all of this for a massively inflated review score. Thank god for user reviews so I could steer clear of yet another Firaxis bugfest (trends indicate it should be relatively better after 2 DLC packs or expansions).

    Know why they didn’t fix them? Because they knew gamers would buy it anyway. Sick of buggy games? DON’T BUY THEM.

    • Unsheep says:

      Sadly, we have a journalism culture today where media folk have their own favourite developers, whom they wish to support.

      The result is that they only mention faults in certain games when the consumers bring them up, rarely beforehand, by which time alot of people have already bought these games.

      What makes it hypocritical is that developers who are not part of media’s “in” group will have their games condemned for similar, and even lesser, faults.

      Regular journalists are encouraged to adopt various Code of Ethics, to be ‘as accurate, fair and complete as possible’ (NPR).
      We could need the same set of principles in games media as well.

      • dirtrobot says:

        It’s a shame gamergate is too busy attacking females (and other ‘inferiors’) instead of actually addressing issues like this BS.

        Seriously if this game had been called Z-Com it would have been laughed out of the review columns with a stinking 40/100 or less.

        The amazing bit is the apologists/stockholm syndrome sufferers on this thread. “Hey guys, don’t get mad, the game barely runs on my system and there’s tons of bugs but seriously it only cost 80 dollars so we really shouldn’t expect /100%/ perfect performance and it’s fun, when it runs, after it loads for 5 minutes.”

        Get a backbone ffs.

  32. timespike says:

    I think there’s probably a chance this game got pushed out before it was strictly ready (or at the very least, it should have been tested more) but:

    1. I do trust Jake Solomon’s good faith. I’ve seen and heard him on a number of videos and podcasts, and he seems like a genuinely good dude. Certainly not infallible (which he himself is quick to indicate) but decent and genuine.
    2. The game IS still pretty darn good, even with the bugs.
    3. They will fix it – Firaxis has a pretty solid record of supporting and improving their products going back a long, long time.

    • Unsheep says:

      I think people are more angry with the media than with Firaxis. Our media channels are the gateway between producer and consumer, as they have access to these games before the public does, and so most consumers are depending on reviewers to do a good job. In this case much of media has done a poor job.

      You simply can’t score a game with these kind of technical issues 9/10, its ludicrous, and yet here we are: IGN 9.3/10, GameSpot 9/10, Polygon 9/10, PC Gamer 94%, GamesRadar 4.5/5, GameInformer 9.5/10.

      The most fair reviews comes from Dan Ryckert at GiantBomb with his 3/5 rating and Destructiod with 7/10. These are fair ratings considering the large number of technical issues, a few of them being rather serious.

  33. Premium User Badge

    cpt_freakout says:

    “If things can be sped up they certainly will.”

    Just press Caps Lock a bunch of times, Mr. Solomon!

  34. dirtrobot says:

    It’s no surprise they’re PC exclusive because the consoles charge devs a TON of money PER patch beyond the first. Yet it’s a HUGE market too AND it’s standardized hardware!

    ‘Guys, no consoles for xcom2.’ is indicative of something seriously wrong on the development side of things. I don’t get what is up with Firaxis. They have sold TONS of games yet they seem to have the technical chops of a second rate indie dev using Unity every single game.

    • Minglefingler says:

      It’s pc only because the last one didn’t sell well on consoles.
      link to pcgamesn.com Are you really saying that they decided not to release on console because they’ve been planning to release a broken game since before last June? Because that’s when they announced pc exclusivity and the decision would certainly have been taken a while before the announcement. Maybe I had my tin foil hat off for a bit too long when I was adjusting my comb over but that seems a bit far fetched to me.

      • dirtrobot says:

        No I am not accusing them of intentionally planning to sell a broken game, so keep that strawman argument detecting tinfoil hat on.

        And my argument still stands, how are they so technically inept that they can’t ship an unreal game on all platforms when they already did so once? And ta-da look at how terrible their only launch platform version is.

        • Minglefingler says:

          It’s hardly a strawman when you say that the game is pc exclusive and draw attention to the cost of console patches. The implication here is that they knew the game was going to be buggy and decided not to release on console to avoid the cost of patching. You say that they can’t release a properly working unreal game on all platforms but there’s no evidence to suport this. We have one version to judge and yes this one does need work but who’s to say that console versions wouldn’t have performed well on release? We can’t say that as we have nothing to base it on except for assumptions.Fair enough if you think that they’re technically inept but I don’t see how the lack of Playstation or Xbox versions supports that arguement, especially when you look at the sales figures for the last game.

          • dirtrobot says:

            Well honestly it wouldn’t be hard for a dev team to look at the state of the game a year back (that would put them around 3-4 months from content complete/beta) and be like oh shit, if we ship on consoles we will probably suck up a lot of patch fees. Nevermind optimize for ps4/xbone when you’re already pushing high end video cards (which are WELL beyond consoles now). Games usually don’t suddenly deteriorate into buggy mush in beta, by that point the publisher knows damn well know what’s going to be cut and what needs to ship and which bugs you don’t have time to fix. The publisher usually controls the bug priority lists or will usually override some key issues in order to force a ship. Again, I never stated they did this as a PLAN, they probably got overridden by the publisher.

  35. scut says:

    It doesn’t run so great on my gaming rig, I had to tweak the INI and crank the settings way back. Most modern games I can play at full or nearly full detail. Performance patches will be very welcome.

    That said, XCOM 2 is still the best game out, and I doubt anything will come along this year that is a better game in my eyes. It could run twice as bad on my PC and I’d still be in love with what Firaxis have delivered.

  36. DAmm says:

    I think it’s important to remember the very skillful and effective communication plan that led to the release. Teaser videos, gameplay videos, prominent youtubers invited to play a preview version for 3 mission and later given a pre-release build. All this was perfectly planed, timings were perfect – we all watched those videos and everyone here (RPS staff included) was increasingly stoked about this game up to the release date – proof that this PR plan worked wonders.

    So IMHO someone at Firaxis and/or 2K (probably above Jake Solomon’s pay grade!) decided there was too much to lose to postpone the game and lose the benefit of this great PR momentum.
    Actually, nearly all studios make this decision (only a rare few – Blizzard or Valve for ex. – go to the trouble of getting a “99%” perfect game before shipping)
    Others have mentioned Arkham or Just Cause 3 shipping in an awful buggy state – unfortunately this more and more becoming the norm.

    Because we love XCOM, we believe Firaxis is different, but they are not. Looking back, XCOM: EU and EW were buggy as sh*t on release. Why are we surprised?

    So a) thank god for Steam reviews and b) there is nothing to do but stop buying games on Day 1. Once companies see that releasing shitty games does not pay, they will stop!

  37. Booker says:

    I’m glad they are working on a patch, but I think this reaction is a bit silly. You could see the sluggish gameplay on countless youtube videos. I thought the recordings might be at fault, but no, it really was the game. So they absolutely had to know, even if Firaxis has only 2 PCs in their studio, where the oldest and slowest graphics card is a GTX 980 Ti…

    My PC is above the recommended specs and I’m playing Witcher 3 on Ultra with it. And yet XCOM 2 has like 15-20 FPS on the Avenger ant farm view and on Squad loadout screens before missions start. It’s ridiculous. Especially given how this game looks. It should have 150 FPS looking the way it does, not 25. Tactics view gives me 40-60. The GPU is definitely glowing on 100% load all the time. Crazy!
    Also all these many bugs. How could anyone not notice them? All my friends and myself noticed all of these bugs right away. They are impossible to overlook.

    I know of no person who has played it, who didn’t have their game crash when they encountered Chrysalids for the first time. Since Firaxis has hotfixed it, that’s one bug they must have noticed themselves.

    There are so often boxes that don’t have text in them above the heads of the soldiers/enemies…

    Pretty much everything with the Viper is somehow glitched. I had it several times that a Ranger with Bladestorm was tongue-grabbed and after killing the Viper, the ranger stayed in the bound animation for the rest of the mission. At least it was looking really funny if that Ranger climbed up a ladder or something in this state…

    Lots of texts are the same. Some of the normal and advanced PCS descriptions say the same stat effect… It’s not necessarily something major, but you see some minor bug pretty much all the time!

    The interface itself is problematic too. Sometimes buttons on the geoscape overlap and it’s really hard to reach the one I want. Even something like scrolling through lists can be weird, because sometimes boxes act like the mouse cursor is no longer over the list you want to scroll. It’s possible to land in gaps in lists and then I have to move the mouse cursor again before scrolling works again.
    Come to think of it, it’s horrible that there are so many texts that scroll on their own and reading everything required waiting for texts to scroll to the part you need. What the hell? They reused way too much of that stuff from the previous game.

    They released it at least 3 months too early! There is so much left to fix and polish. I gladly even apologize if they actually end up patching all that stuff, but how am I supposed to know? They didn’t fix XCOM EW all that well either. They definitely abandoned that game at some point. EW too has a nice list of well-known bugs that were never fixed.