PAX 2013: XCOM: Enemy Within Hands-On Preview

PAX 2013: XCOM: Enemy Within Hands-On Preview

The new resource, Meld, doesn't let you play too cautiously.

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Piff Paff! Where's the Terror from the Deep remake? and we want multiple bases and skyrangers and aliens attacking Xcom bases!

It sounds just like a game I'd want to buy if I can get a demo to run. I has a sad because my hardware is so old, so I'll have to content myself with opening the original box that I bought some years ago, getting that sucker installed and giving a whirl on DOSBox when I have some time.

KaZuYa:
Piff Paff! Where's the Terror from the Deep remake? and we want multiple bases and skyrangers and aliens attacking Xcom bases!

1. Nowhere because it wasn't good.
2. No, we don't - those bases would only serve two purposes anyway: Make cash and scan areas. Guess what saterlites do?
3. Well, I would settle for a good reason why we got only one, too.
4. No, we don't (unless it is a story-mission)

Well this looks interesting. Sounds like the mechtoids are going to be a pain in the ass, especially with that meld thing.

I want this game so bad...

November cannot possibly come soon enough.

But can we apply this stuff to an existing game or do we have to start all over! Because seriously, I hate building my game up in games like this only to be forced to restart just to access new content. Like what they did with the last DLC, which I got to finally experience because I got XCOM: Enemy Unknown for free with a pre-order on The Bureau, along with Spec Ops: The Line.

otakon17:
But can we apply this stuff to an existing game or do we have to start all over! Because seriously, I hate building my game up in games like this only to be forced to restart just to access new content. Like what they did with the last DLC, which I got to finally experience because I got XCOM: Enemy Unknown for free with a pre-order on The Bureau, along with Spec Ops: The Line.

I'd guess that even if you could, you wouldn't want to, due to missing all that amazing meld.

I kinda wish that they'd offer more than 2 choices for each tier. But that's just me.

I wish they would stop trying to block community mods also

I just hope they took the time to fix the issues with Enemy Unknown and actually amped up the gameplay a bit. Not just adding mech units, but also "fix" issues with the gameplay, like no inventory management at all which basically took away any kind of tension because you had infinite ammo, oh look my plasma rifle is out of ammo, click reload, all good now! The sometimes GODAWFUL camera that screws you over and as soon as you see an enemy it sees you... you can NEVER surprise them. The 6 squad member limit with literally a few dozen people jerking off back at base, the one thing I would take away from the Bureau is to be able to send those people out on secondary missions, with a risk of injury/death for them (seriously the Bureau? They just succeed? Not even a risk for failure?). Oh and also add some proper escalation for enemies, I could be up against 6 Elites and not give a crap but enter a Sectopod and I'd be scrambling in panic because of the way it worked in the early days of release (basically getting stuck in bombard mode). Mod support, add it, nuff said.

The hilariously useless combat vehicle from the first one that REPLACED one of your soldiers rather than being an addition to the team for example is something they desperately need to rethink, when I first saw that, I was like "Oh how cool, I'll have to respec one of my soldiers into a tech guy to keep the thing going but it will be worth it in the long run, wait this hunk of junk IS a team member? LOL! Scrap it, not needed!."

The biggest fix however should be the visuals. If I had a penny, not even a nickel, a penny for every time someone shot through cover, through a wall, through something solid, through an ally or whatever. I would still be able to afford a nice burger. Fix that shit, it infuriated me that when I thought someone was safe behind a wall, in full cover I'd be getting shot at through several walls or through solid rock without the wall taking damage or getting destroyed.

I am however not interested in the Meld missions. You basically took the worst mission of them all and then made a game around it... genius... I hated the bomb missions because they were so boring, whilst simultaneously agitating you. Not to mention the scripted the tent-pole mission structure of the narrative, and I guarantee you Enemy Within is the same, basically limiting the time you have to gather resources or the types of missions you can do.

Imagine playing 80 bomb disposal missions in a row... yeah I'd rather play Interceptor too.

Very nice. It would definitely make subsequent playthroughs much more interesting. I love the idea of having a mech heading the attack, and the other guys having superpowers.
I wonder if mechs/mutations would prevent psionics.

Bindal:

KaZuYa:
Piff Paff! Where's the Terror from the Deep remake? and we want multiple bases and skyrangers and aliens attacking Xcom bases!

1. Nowhere because it wasn't good.
2. No, we don't - those bases would only serve two purposes anyway: Make cash and scan areas. Guess what saterlites do?
3. Well, I would settle for a good reason why we got only one, too.
4. No, we don't (unless it is a story-mission)

Seconded.

I did not give up on the S.H.I.V. in fact it was my most used unit by the end of the game, massive health, great flight fuel, massive damage and immunity to psychic attacks they tore through many enemies and made the most powerful abilities of the aliens useless.

1337mokro:

-snip-

Imagine playing 80 bomb disposal missions in a row... yeah I'd rather play Interceptor too.

The way I interpreted it, the meld is just another objective to do. I imagine you could still stay competitive without large amounts of meld/cybernetics (I believe Heavys (and maybe another class) got the option to deal more damage to mechanical enemies). It's another resource to manage and gather (similar to trying to get alien weapons without them exploding into fragments).
I also liked the bomb missions because they changed the pace and forced me to think in a different way. I was so used to turtling (from original and early EU), and I was able to use skills in different ways. It also made me rethink my team comp because of the different mission structure (in other words, showing me that running two assaults wasn't terrible).
And Interceptor wasn't that bad...now Enforcer on the other hand was god awful.

Doom972:

Bindal:

KaZuYa:
Piff Paff! Where's the Terror from the Deep remake? and we want multiple bases and skyrangers and aliens attacking Xcom bases!

1. Nowhere because it wasn't good.
2. No, we don't - those bases would only serve two purposes anyway: Make cash and scan areas. Guess what saterlites do?
3. Well, I would settle for a good reason why we got only one, too.
4. No, we don't (unless it is a story-mission)

Seconded.

Thirded (sp?). Especially because the new ant-farm base structure wouldn't lend itself to well to fights.
Having to search six floors (two of which are only engineering/research labs) with only elevators as ways between floor doesn't seem fun to me.
And a more well done TftD (and balanced) could be fun, if only because of new enemy variety and environments.
The one thing I really want is larger soldier pools (eight maybe, sixteen seems too high) to account for new mech/cybyernetic soldier options. Some larger scale fights could be fun with the EU systems.

nuba km:
I did not give up on the S.H.I.V. in fact it was my most used unit by the end of the game, massive health, great flight fuel, massive damage and immunity to psychic attacks they tore through many enemies and made the most powerful abilities of the aliens useless.

I usually had one with me on most missions, if I had to use a unit to make a suicide run to finish an entrenched enemy, they came in handy. You could replace them and no exp was lost.

Doom972:
Very nice. It would definitely make subsequent playthroughs much more interesting. I love the idea of having a mech heading the attack, and the other guys having superpowers.
I wonder if mechs/mutations would prevent psionics.

Bindal:

KaZuYa:
Piff Paff! Where's the Terror from the Deep remake? and we want multiple bases and skyrangers and aliens attacking Xcom bases!

1. Nowhere because it wasn't good.
2. No, we don't - those bases would only serve two purposes anyway: Make cash and scan areas. Guess what saterlites do?
3. Well, I would settle for a good reason why we got only one, too.
4. No, we don't (unless it is a story-mission)

Seconded.

Fourth'd, kinda.

Base defense missions would be kind of cool, but they would have to implement it very carefully. After all, it would make sense that the aliens would try seek out those attempting to disrupt their invasion.

Bindal:
Thirded (sp?). Especially because the new ant-farm base structure wouldn't lend itself to well to fights.
Having to search six floors (two of which are only engineering/research labs) with only elevators as ways between floor doesn't seem fun to me.
And a more well done TftD (and balanced) could be fun, if only because of new enemy variety and environments.
The one thing I really want is larger soldier pools (eight maybe, sixteen seems too high) to account for new mech/cybyernetic soldier options. Some larger scale fights could be fun with the EU systems.

They could do it in a way that you're defending the base from the outside or something, if that defense fails then it has a defense one inside on one level. Once that gets overrun then that would be it.

TftD would seem kinda silly to a lot of people, I'd like the variance that it would add. But to a lot of people, to whom this is their first Xcom game, I doubt it would sit well.

Eight people would be good, I can get behind that.

Dunno why people are so anti base defense, I mean the new XCOM:EU is just a seriously watered down version of the original and most of the complaints people have are about things they removed. I wish they just revamped the old game but they were to scared people wouldn't like it, they did and i'm bloody convinced if they had left in everything it would of sold just as well if not better.

can't wait to see how the Gene Mods and the MECs change up the dynamics. The thing is, aside from the SHIV the player actually lacked any true juggernaut units. Sure, the Heavies had their launchers and heavy machine guns, but they were NOWHERE near as powerful as the aliens' bruisers. New weapons and maps are also much appreciated. I think some stuff that would be cool would be desert stages, heavy jungles, swamp, aquatic, mountainous, tundra, etc.

Bindal:

KaZuYa:
Piff Paff! Where's the Terror from the Deep remake? and we want multiple bases and skyrangers and aliens attacking Xcom bases!

1. Nowhere because it wasn't good.
2. No, we don't - those bases would only serve two purposes anyway: Make cash and scan areas. Guess what saterlites do?
3. Well, I would settle for a good reason why we got only one, too.
4. No, we don't (unless it is a story-mission)

WE actually do. Even if those bases are just cosmetic, it would at least make sense to have more than one vitally important last stand for mankind base around. Also the one thing they NEED to fix 100% was the awful interception section. My goodness was that boring and pointless.

KaZuYa:
Dunno why people are so anti base defense, I mean the new XCOM:EU is just a seriously watered down version of the original and most of the complaints people have are about things they removed. I wish they just revamped the old game but they were to scared people wouldn't like it, they did and i'm bloody convinced if they had left in everything it would of sold just as well if not better.

Actually, it's pretty safe to bet that it would've sold horrible because the old game, as much as you want to praise it, wasn't that good to begin with. It was complicated as heck, but it wasn't very complex, the AI was cheating where it could.
And Firaxis cut a lot of things for that reason. Or because people never really bothered with it. Like the addional bases. I filled mine always with living quarters, general stores and workshops and had exactly ONE hangar (or two if I was building the Avenger there) and had maybe 10 soldiers on stand-by should the aliens decide to do the most annoying thing the game had - attack the base.

Bindal:

KaZuYa:
Dunno why people are so anti base defense, I mean the new XCOM:EU is just a seriously watered down version of the original and most of the complaints people have are about things they removed. I wish they just revamped the old game but they were to scared people wouldn't like it, they did and i'm bloody convinced if they had left in everything it would of sold just as well if not better.

Actually, it's pretty safe to bet that it would've sold horrible because the old game, as much as you want to praise it, wasn't that good to begin with. It was complicated as heck, but it wasn't very complex, the AI was cheating where it could.
And Firaxis cut a lot of things for that reason. Or because people never really bothered with it. Like the addional bases. I filled mine always with living quarters, general stores and workshops and had exactly ONE hangar (or two if I was building the Avenger there) and had maybe 10 soldiers on stand-by should the aliens decide to do the most annoying thing the game had - attack the base.

As a person who actually played Enemy unknown FIRST and then got to the original, I vehemently disagree. While some of the "complicated" stuff was needless (Fuel and ammo management) the new game had quite a bit of unnecessary streamlining. Disregarding the roleplaying aspects in being able to place your base where ever you want on the map (which to me atleast, was cool) having multiple skyrangers with travel time to missions around the globe added to the immersion and really fit the theme well. In the new one, you're presented with this artificial choice between 3 locations, despite your progress or resources at the time. In the original xcom you could work to the point where you actually COULD protect the world, for a time atleast.

As for the base defence, it was a very important part of the difficulty curve in the original. In all iterations of XCOM, the start of the game is by far the hardest point, and it only goes downhill from there. (With maybe a little difficulty spike in the final confrontation) Base defence missions excisted to present challenge, after you've progressed far enough for vast majority of the missions to be cakewalks. In Enemy unknown, this is not the case, and once you get a couple of characters to max rank, theres literally no losing.

I liked enemy unknown, but the RNG was bullshit. I missed/hit 50% of the time when I clearly had a 80% chance to hit (give or take 2%). Seriously, I counted them. Just release a patch to sort that and I'll be happy.

Dominic Crossman:
I liked enemy unknown, but the RNG was bullshit. I missed/hit 50% of the time when I clearly had a 80% chance to hit (give or take 2%). Seriously, I counted them. Just release a patch to sort that and I'll be happy.

Supposedly the game pregenerates a list of seeds, which are used to predetermine whether hits will be successes or not. You can LITERALLY be screwed over before you even begin a mission. From what I hear it was an save scumming coutnermeasure. A pretty shitty one if you ask me.

Syzygy23:

Dominic Crossman:
I liked enemy unknown, but the RNG was bullshit. I missed/hit 50% of the time when I clearly had a 80% chance to hit (give or take 2%). Seriously, I counted them. Just release a patch to sort that and I'll be happy.

Supposedly the game pre generates a list of seeds, which are used to predetermine whether hits will be successes or not. You can LITERALLY be screwed over before you even begin a mission. From what I hear it was an save scumming countermeasure. A pretty shitty one if you ask me.

I realised this after missed every shot, including a marine with double shot ability in a 6-person squad all with above 50% chance of hitting the target, don't reload saves normally but I called bs on this occasion. Every shot was exactly the same and I ended up losing all marines and eventually the game cus it was my best squad, was not happy.

A Weakgeek:
As for the base defence, it was a very important part of the difficulty curve in the original. In all iterations of XCOM, the start of the game is by far the hardest point, and it only goes downhill from there. (With maybe a little difficulty spike in the final confrontation) Base defence missions excisted to present challenge, after you've progressed far enough for vast majority of the missions to be cakewalks. In Enemy unknown, this is not the case, and once you get a couple of characters to max rank, theres literally no losing.

Base defense was very easy because you could literally bottleneck the enemy in a single room if you planned your layout right (that is hangars in the top, then the elevator and lower half everything else), making a base defense trivial in the worst of things.
Not just that, but it gave you a heck of resources you then could sell or use. Base defense are my PRIMARY INCOME OF CASH near the end, next to "Laser Cannon Factory #1", "Laser Cannon Factory #2" and "Laser Cannon Factory #3".
Base defenses were nothing but a waste of time for me.

Bindal:

A Weakgeek:
As for the base defence, it was a very important part of the difficulty curve in the original. In all iterations of XCOM, the start of the game is by far the hardest point, and it only goes downhill from there. (With maybe a little difficulty spike in the final confrontation) Base defence missions excisted to present challenge, after you've progressed far enough for vast majority of the missions to be cakewalks. In Enemy unknown, this is not the case, and once you get a couple of characters to max rank, theres literally no losing.

Base defense was very easy because you could literally bottleneck the enemy in a single room if you planned your layout right (that is hangars in the top, then the elevator and lower half everything else), making a base defense trivial in the worst of things.
Not just that, but it gave you a heck of resources you then could sell or use. Base defense are my PRIMARY INCOME OF CASH near the end, next to "Laser Cannon Factory #1", "Laser Cannon Factory #2" and "Laser Cannon Factory #3".
Base defenses were nothing but a waste of time for me.

This. Heck if you were like me and bought the huge ass strategy guide for X-Com: UFO defense it flat out told you that the initial base was built like crap intentionally to make Base Defense hard and how you should really build it. It also told you nice things like "Just make a ton of laser cannons and sell them and you never worry about money" and "The AI cheats as the aliens can see X-Com soldiers for up to three turns after they've been spotted, even if they move out of LoS"

Great
One more thing I really hope is ability to send small squadron of Interceptors after enemy ship(s) (3-5 maybe)
To counter that, aliens could deploy some drones.
Just something to think about :D

Bindal:

KaZuYa:
Piff Paff! Where's the Terror from the Deep remake? and we I want multiple bases and skyrangers and aliens attacking Xcom bases!

1. Nowhere because it wasn't good.
2. No, we I don't - those bases would only serve two purposes anyway: Make cash and scan areas. Guess what saterlites do?
3. Well, I would settle for a good reason why we got only one, too.
4. No, we I don't (unless it is a story-mission)

Neither of your voices represent the masses. No one should be throwing around "we" here.

As for Terror of the Deep, I'd be interested in seeing that, though this also interests me, multiple bases would be questionable unless they had definite purposes, more Sky Rangers would be a good addition (Seriously, why can't I send out 3 Squads at once to stop Abduction Sites? Why do my troops just sit back at base doing nothing while one team goes out at once?) And I think that base assaults could be pretty interesting if done correctly. After all, if you're being attacked, suddenly you have to worry about the security of your base, and what might happen if a Satellite Uplink is sabotaged. It could be a good idea if pulled off correctly.

As for the topic itself, I'm somewhat hesitant on this expansion. While the Mechs and Genetic Modifications seem cool, some of the other changes I heard that they were planning to implement (Example: Squad Sight Snipers now have 0% Critical Chance unless using Headshot), I'm more iffy on. I'm also not liking this idea of Meld. It expiring for no reason makes it seem more gamey, and while I understand the idea of attempting to make players take more risks, I feel like this is just going to artificially make the game more difficult by making you continually trip ambushes you don't want to trip but have to. Also, I'd rather them focus on some of the more glaring bugs. Last I checked, the spawning of aliens can still be off with them coming in from areas you've already checked, and have had numerous other smaller problems. I don't know what it is, but it almost feels as though the quality of my game has degraded with time, with a higher frequency of bugs occurring the more I play.

Syzygy23:

Dominic Crossman:
I liked enemy unknown, but the RNG was bullshit. I missed/hit 50% of the time when I clearly had a 80% chance to hit (give or take 2%). Seriously, I counted them. Just release a patch to sort that and I'll be happy.

Supposedly the game pregenerates a list of seeds, which are used to predetermine whether hits will be successes or not. You can LITERALLY be screwed over before you even begin a mission. From what I hear it was an save scumming coutnermeasure. A pretty shitty one if you ask me.

There's no supposed. I believe the developers themselves confirmed it a while ago, and even then its a simple check to perform. It's not set up before the mission, however, far as I've seen. I wouldn't have nearly the kind of knowledge though to make a solid claim on it.

There really isn't any other way to manage or prevent save-scumming though, aside from making the game auto-save on a single file (same as your normal save) every action. It can be manipulated slightly though, as the chances are locked to your actions. If you move five spaces to half-cover, and fire at an alien with a 90% chance to hit and miss, for instance, if you repeat that same action you will miss again and again. However, if you move six spaces to half cover (right next to it) and fire at the same alien with the same 90% to hit, you'll likely hit. Hell, enemy behavior pretty much falls into this as well, considering often times they'll repeat the same exact things if you do.

It seems to go off a list, that alters itself based on actions taken by the player. It can't predict everything the player will do right before the mission, so it sets all the actions possible for the next turn or two in stone, as the mission goes on.

cursedseishi:
There's no supposed. I believe the developers themselves confirmed it a while ago, and even then its a simple check to perform. It's not set up before the mission, however, far as I've seen. I wouldn't have nearly the kind of knowledge though to make a solid claim on it.

There really isn't any other way to manage or prevent save-scumming though, aside from making the game auto-save on a single file (same as your normal save) every action. It can be manipulated slightly though, as the chances are locked to your actions. If you move five spaces to half-cover, and fire at an alien with a 90% chance to hit and miss, for instance, if you repeat that same action you will miss again and again. However, if you move six spaces to half cover (right next to it) and fire at the same alien with the same 90% to hit, you'll likely hit. Hell, enemy behavior pretty much falls into this as well, considering often times they'll repeat the same exact things if you do.

It seems to go off a list, that alters itself based on actions taken by the player. It can't predict everything the player will do right before the mission, so it sets all the actions possible for the next turn or two in stone, as the mission goes on.

Actually, your example is wrong, if I remember correctly. In that scenario, you'd miss both shots.

If memory serves, the way it works is once the mission starts, the game generates a list of random numbers, and every player action consumes one of those numbers. If the action in question requires a dice roll to decide it's outcome, it checks the number it's set to consume and compares it to its own success value and decides the outcome there

Two things:

One, the reason they did not include Base Defence was because it would make no sense if the entire base wasn't defending. And EU was built around playing like 4-6 soldiers, not the entire 20 or so would be at the base.

Two, the way the numbers worked was they were randomly generated and were consumed every time you used an ability that required a roll. But that meant if you 90% missed, you could take a 10% shot with the shitty marine, meaning your 90% soldier would then (hopefully) hit.

And as for you "being screwed before starting", just remember the enemies use the same number pool.

Do want! Super keen for mechs. Maybe I'll finally win a classic ironman run.

 

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