Free DLC Invades XCOM, Abducts Free Time

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Free DLC Invades XCOM, Abducts Free Time

image

Free DLC pack Second Wave adds a dozen new gameplay options to XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Christmas may have passed, but the gifts keep rolling in. Packaged as a free game update, a new DLC pack lands today for the popular strategy game XCOM. Available for all platforms, Second Wave extends the already highly-replayable title with a host of new features and mods, most aimed at making the game more difficult.

Modders found out about the existence of features that were cut for lack of time time a few months back. Since then, it seems that Firaxis has had time polish them off and send them out to gamers waiting eager-eyed for fresh punishments like more critical hits and marathon mode.

For those who already have a few campaigns under their belt and are looking for a new challenge, Second Wave will give you a good excuse to ignore your mundane responsibilities and save the world one more time. Even players who don't take advantage of the update should still be able to appreciate the free update on principle.

XCOM designer Jake Solomon openly admitted to Joystiq of a naked conspiracy to abduct your free time. "One of the values we offer people who play our games is [that] we really want to reduce the dollar cost per hour spent on our games. We want to consider ourselves to be one of the greatest game values that there is."

The following is a complete list of new modes:

Damage Roulette: Weapons have a wider range of damage.
New Economy: Randomized council member funding.
Not Created Equally: Rookies will have random starting stats.
Hidden Potential: As a soldier is promoted, stats increase randomly.
Red Fog: Combat wounds will degrade the soldier's mission stats.
Absolutely Critical: A flanking shot guarantees a critical hit.
The Greater Good: Psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien.
Marathon: The game takes considerably longer to complete.
Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases.
High Stakes: Random rewards for stopping alien abductions.
Diminishing Returns: Increased cost of satellite construction.
More Than Human: The psionic gift is extremely rare.

Permalink

Sweet! I was just about to start a new game.

I approve of the article title.

And of the update as well. Thats nice too.

... Almost all of those make me feel like playing the game less than I do. Most of them remove consistency which just makes the game less about tactics and more about randomised statistics.

Statistics are good in games where you can get XP and such to improve chances, but this game randomly picks them for you. So my team may suck just because the game decided to scramble their abilities rather than through any action I take.

Is it me or do some of these modes seem a little anal?

Goddarn it - I just finished a playthrough and wanted to take a break by playing the originals (...yeah, that sort of break) until I either finished those or get the Slingshot DLC.

Some of that does sound interesting (e.g. Marathon), but some isn't really my thing. Thankfully, we can pick and choose.

Well, it was obvious that this would come sooner or later from official side into the game. They said they had to cut it due time-restrains but adding it later is nowerdays very easy to do. Plus allowed them to work on it a bit more (trying to balance it better, ect).
I just wouldn't call it "DLC" - for once, it would be "ODC" (On Disc Content. Free one, at least - not that paying for it looked like a realistic option in the first place), second it isn't really new content but just addional settings. So, wouldn't it be just an update with re-enabling features?

Hm, reading the title I was hoping for something.... a little more substantial.

Soooooo nothing that lets me pick the nationality of recruits?

I started the game nearly 200 times to get a female British sniper after the first mission.

I shit you not.

Apparently, Firaxis had the time to add yet another four modifiers into the game with the addional time.

Total Loss - Lose all gear from soldiers who die in combat.
War Wariness - Overall funding levels drop inexorably with every month that passes.
E-115 - Elerium stores will degrade over time.
Alternate Sources - The power requirements of all facilities are increased.

Those, however, you only seem to unlock once you finish the game on impossible at least once (while most you finish on any except easy)

Daystar Clarion:
Soooooo nothing that lets me pick the nationality of recruits?

I started the game nearly 200 times to get a female British sniper after the first mission.

I shit you not.

Really? I got one right out the gate...

And here goes at least one month of productivity.

Daystar Clarion:
Soooooo nothing that lets me pick the nationality of recruits?

I started the game nearly 200 times to get a female British sniper after the first mission.

I shit you not.

I get that.

I had a female British sniper. Even her last name was Perkins by default, which is about as British as you can get. Every time I would give her an order I'd say "Ms. Perkins, would you please..." in a terrible fake British accent. Also, she two-shot the final boss on the first round of combat (Double Tap, both crits), which was pretty damn sweet...

Daystar Clarion:
Soooooo nothing that lets me pick the nationality of recruits?

I started the game nearly 200 times to get a female British sniper after the first mission.

I shit you not.

I'd love to be able to control it too. Luckily, I usually get one Israeli recruit per playthrough.

OT: Looks nice, but I don't think I'll get to use it much since I haven't been able to beat it on Classic Ironman yet.

Clearly they were just waiting for the best day to release the DLC, which just so happens to be the day my copy gets delivered =D

Daystar Clarion:
Soooooo nothing that lets me pick the nationality of recruits?

I started the game nearly 200 times to get a female British sniper after the first mission.

I shit you not.

oh i'm sorry, i can't hear you over the two british women snipers I have destroying everything in their path.

(one I got right off the bat and the other after the first council report.)

OT: awesome free is awesome, i'll have to check these out in the next week

Alright! I was hoping the Second Wave options would be made official, how fortunate that I just finished my first campaign ;)

(seriously, I got this on release and have only just finished my first campaign at 50 hours. On normal. I'm a bit slow)

Cool, i love randomness.....(No sarcasm intended)

Legion:
... Almost all of those make me feel like playing the game less than I do. Most of them remove consistency which just makes the game less about tactics and more about randomized statistics.

Another view is that your tactics have to adjust to the situation, rather then "I know for a fact this grenade will kill that group because it always does 5 damage and never misses". Once you have a handle on overwatch and aggro mechanics, there's very predictable and safe ways to clear almost all the maps (in Impossible you can certainly still get overwhelmed with a string of misses and the health differences, but it's a lot more manageable then most might expect due to how static the mechanics are)

Also, knowing as soon as you recruit a soldier what their exact potential is eliminates the joy of a soldier developing into someone exceptional (or outright firing any soldier with less then 50 will/etc) - Compared to having to leverage soldier strengths in UFO Defense[1], I found their interchangeability in the new version a bit disheartening. Turning the RNG to your advantage is a whole extra level of potential strategy that makes you come up with interesting/different plans then you would otherwise need. Of course it's not for everyone, but I tend to view most of these options as creating variety rather then difficulty.

[1] Caveat, the hidden Will stat in older X-Coms was terrible because it could nullify your whole squad, though it was manageable and occasionally hilarious

The Psionic Gift isn't already rare? I'm no expert at XCOM, but in two of my three playthroughs I only ever found one Psionic. Of course, in another I found 5. Best team ever!

This will be interesting. A good reason to get back into XCOM again, to see how these affect gameplay.

iam still waiting for more technologies.
while this game is a fun little time waster it has little in the replay department.
you can replay it as many times as you want but you cant do anything different because
the technologies are all linear progression, cant do anything unique or specific
like say have a melee soldier or have some interesting equipment.

besides the end game gear and arc thrower its all the exact same stuff anyway.

and honestly this game has too much "bullshit" built within it for me to say its worth
the time you need to invest in a playthrough.

Legion:
... Almost all of those make me feel like playing the game less than I do. Most of them remove consistency which just makes the game less about tactics and more about randomised statistics.

Statistics are good in games where you can get XP and such to improve chances, but this game randomly picks them for you. So my team may suck just because the game decided to scramble their abilities rather than through any action I take.

The flanking critical option would seem to disagree, as does the panic-based funding levels.
From what I understand these options are all, optional . . . you can choose the ones you want and not choose the ones you don't want. Want flanking to matter, pick it, don't want random stats for your guys, don't pick it.

Some soldiers may suck, some may be better, that's what gives them character.

Sweet, I was gonna have to download a mod for those, but now they're in the default game so I don't need to! :D

A marathon mode in a Firaxis game? Who would have thought?

Still, I got this during the Holiday Steam sale and have yet to start it up. Free DLC never hurts the incentive, even if they don't get unlocked the first time around.

Legion:
... Almost all of those make me feel like playing the game less than I do. Most of them remove consistency which just makes the game less about tactics and more about randomised statistics.

Statistics are good in games where you can get XP and such to improve chances, but this game randomly picks them for you. So my team may suck just because the game decided to scramble their abilities rather than through any action I take.

These modes are mostly for people who are crazy and liked how ridiculous the original system's bullshit random number generator was. Nostalgia can be very powerful.

Damage Roulette: Weapons have a wider range of damage.

i dont like that, i mean, when you can do from 2 to 894 damage its really silly to get a 2 hp hit from a portable nuke or something (im talking about games in general). i like defined damage.

Not Created Equally: Rookies will have random starting stats.

this is a great idea in my opinion. makes your customization harder.

Hidden Potential: As a soldier is promoted, stats increase randomly.

dont think thats a good idea where one of the main components is getting stats increased.

Red Fog: Combat wounds will degrade the soldier's mission stats.

No, just no, no loosing exp due to damage taken.

Marathon: The game takes considerably longer to complete.

I love you!

Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases.

isnt thats how its supposed to work?

Strazdas:

Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases.

isnt thats how its supposed to work?

not really. the way it work before second wave is that when a country panick, they leave and cut the founding. But with that, a country that give 100$ for exemple at 1 panick, will give only 50$ at panick 4 (i dont have the actual numbers it's just an exemple)

Strazdas:

Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases.

isnt thats how its supposed to work?

No, right now it is 'all or nothing': either a country is in the council and paying full price (if you got a saterlite there) or they aren't covered/left the council and pay jack.

With this, you gain less money the higher the Panic-level is (I assume that Level 1 and 2 are still full payout, tho. Level 3 could be only 80% and Level 4 60% - this is just guessing, not confirmed)

I think hidden potential is my favorite modifier for now.

high accuracy heavies, mo'fockers!

Has anyone else noticed that most of these are features from the original? That ought to please some people :)

cathou:
snip

Bindal:
snip

Thanks for the explanation you two. Yeah the way it worked before wasn't very good, this is definitely a good change.

I'm having a lot of fun trying to beat classic+impossible (and usually spectacularly crashing and burning within the first two months), so this is very welcome. Thanks Firaxis! Will play with Not Created Equally, Hidden Potential and Red Fog.

Daystar Clarion:
Soooooo nothing that lets me pick the nationality of recruits?

I started the game nearly 200 times to get a female British sniper after the first mission.

I shit you not.

At least you're lucky to even have that option. Before buying the game, I had a little power fantasy of building an all-Polish squad, but apparently Poland is not on the list of available nationalities. I'm not entirely sure how they chose available non-council nationalities - maybe nationalities of dev team members? - but come on, the European base location is in Poland, they could have at least made that concession.

Free DLC Patch Invades XCOM, Abducts Free Time

Why do we keep having to invent new terms for things we already have words for? This isn't some new content pack, it's just a small patch that adds a couple of options to the game. Diablo 2, for example, didn't have any DLC, it had a bunch of patches and an expansion. What exactly is gained by lumping a whole pile of functionally different things under a single generic term? All it does is reduce clarity since announcing DLC doesn't give you any idea if it's a minor patch like this, or a major expansion full of new content.

Kahani:
Free DLC Patch Invades XCOM, Abducts Free Time

Why do we keep having to invent new terms for things we already have words for?

Because it's two different things. Well, three - a patch is just there to fix and improve existing things. This thing adds stuff that isn't there (or rather, enables it). I would qualify it as an update: It contains mostly fixes but it is there to add a few new features. No real content, tho.
And DLC is basically a smaller version of an expansion pack, which you usually can only access within a running session of the current game (while expansion packs not uncommonly might even feature an own .exe)

IanDavis:

The Greater Good: Psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien.

Heh, the Greater Good.

The Greater Good: Psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien.

Don't you already HAVE to interrogate a psionic alien? As far as I remember I got the Psi Labs after capturing an ethereal and interrogating him. Are there other ways?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here