With just over one week to go until Phoenix Point launches, the developers have explained what they've been polishing and tweaking since the last build for backers. It sounds good! Some changes reduce frustration, such as making Haven attacks less frequent so commanders have more time to explore, while others sound just plain desirable, like a "complete rework" of faction weapon stats. Phoenix Point has always seemed fascinating, as you might expect from X-Com co-creator Julian Gollop directing a new tactical worldwar about defending Earth from an ever-mutating menace, so I'm glad to look now and nod "Ah yes, almost here, just a bit of polish, that's just lovely, good."
"Now that the final research options and story mission content has been added, most of the work we're doing now is balancing, polishing and bug-fixing, along with finalising the cinematics, and getting the last few pieces of recorded dialogue added," Snapshot Games said in the latest monthly development update on Saturday. They also detailed a few tweaks they've made in response to player feedback.
Faction weapons now "feel more like an upgrade than just a slight variation" and ones requiring research are "much more powerful." Haven attacks are less frequent so it's "easier to explore without having to return to defend Havens too often." Aircraft now have pathfinding and can handle refuelling by themselves so they need less micromanaging. Missile and other launchers now have some inaccuracy so high explosives are less of a surgical tool on the battlefield. Soldiers can no longer fumble ranged weapons, only melee. And soldier stamina loss is now based on mission length, so your dudes won't be pure shagged after a five-minute walk on the beach to shoot a baby crab in the face.
I've been waiting for the full launch of Phoenix Point rather than buying into the betas but reading the post does make me enthusiastically murmur "Yes, quite, that sounds very sensible." I just want it to be good.
That full launch is coming on December 3rd, two-and-a-half years after a crowdfunding campaign helped get it going. It's coming initially to the Epic Games Store and Xbox Game Pass, with Steam and GOG releases expected in late 2020 or early 2021.
Given that Epic's Store ruffles a few feathers, Snapshot say they'll give Epic keys to backers and preorderers at launch then their choice of a Steam or GOG key too when it finally launches there. Julian Gollop also said these early adopters will get the first year of paid DLC for free.
Snaphot have also been making a series of videos explaining Phoenix Point to people who know XCOM. Here's the latest, from a few weeks ago, poking around the Geoscape map: