- PC Only
- Procedurally generated levels
- New mobile command center
- Super-customizable soldiers ( You said what?)
- ...and more!
OK NOW BACK TO THE OLD THREAD
New and Improved!
WTF is XCOM: Enemy Unknown Within?
This is a straight-up, re-imagining/modernization of the original XCOM from our friends at Firaxis. We're going from this:
Because of <reasons> I'm not familiar with 20 year old strategy games. What was XCOM, and why is this a big deal?
In 1994, Microprose released the original XCOM: UFO Defense. This game mixed real-time strategy with turn-based strategy. The RTS part, called the Geoscape, took place on a global scale. You started with one base (with the ability to build more) somewhere on the planet. You had to manage your resources, which included buying or manufacturing weapons, ammo, armor, outfitting your air force and troops, and directing research and manufacturing focuses. The money for all of this (including paying everybody's salary) could come from selling your supplies or manufactured goods, but mainly from the funding council of countries. If a country was happy with your performance, you'd receive more money from them the next month. If they were displeased (or infiltrated by the aliens) they would cut off their funding. Actually putting soldiers on the ground for a specific mission (UFO crash, etc.) triggered the turn-based portion of the game, called the battlescape. Missions in the battlescape started with your squad on the landing craft, ready to take on the alien menace. By directing your soldiers, you either killed the enemy or led your soldiers to their (permanent) deaths.
The point being the game was deep, hard, and brutal. High casualties and squad-wipes were not only normal, but expected. It has remain well-played to this day. In fact, you should really
go read @Fishman
's recently finished LP of the original right now
. It's one of the best LPs in the history of forever.
UFO Defense had some sequels which some people have strong opinions about. There were other attempts to clone or revive the series, most of which failed in a spectacular manner. This is the first time that a dedicated, high-budget team has attempted to bring the classic into the modern age.
How is this all made possible? Jake Solomon, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER tells us.Things that are different from the original XCOM: UFO Defense:
* Squad sizes
. You start with a squad size of 4, but can upgrade to 6. Robotic tank-type units called SHIVs can be built as well, which take up one soldier slot. They can do a variety of things and allow your soldiers to take cover behind them.
. There's no base defense OH SNAP!
, and you can only have one base. Where you build your base matters. You get a different bonus based on the continent you build in. However, you can expand your coverage by putting up more satellites to watch the planet, and can build interception bases so your fighters don't have to fly all the way around the world to catch a UFO. Also, the way you interact with your base is new. Called the Ant Farm
you see the base as a side-view and can watch your crew between missions while you dictate manufacturing and research.
. Most of the game is still procedurally generated missions, but there are some "tent-pole" plot missions that occur at certain points that include cutscenes or set-piece battles. Most of the game is still random in terms of missions, challenges, where/when UFOs appear and what enemies you see. National governments may also give missions or requests (ex: Send us 10 lasers for 5 scientists).
. Fog of war still exists, but "Time Units" from the original have been streamlined into a "Move-action" system, where action can be shooting, reloading, moving again, or setting up in overwatch to shoot enemies on their turn. Ammo management is kind of gone; the game assumes you've brought as much normal ammo as you need, but you must spend a turn to reload. Special weapons like rocket launchers still have limited ammo. Also, the squad starts each mission already disembarked from the Skyranger. Soldiers take cover where appropriate.
. Still customizable, still nameable. They start as rookies, but after gaining experience they reveal a specialization. Assault, Support, Sniper, Heavy. As they continue to gain experience, they earn perks and abilities. Wounded soldiers will recover but may suffer permanent penalties as a result. Repeated missions will result in tired soldiers, you'll need more than one team. Be sure you get very attached to your soldiers. Your love will help them go on!DLC
Players who pre-ordered the game (too late!
) also received free access to the first DLC - the Elite Soldier Pack
, which retails for $5 and includes the following features:
* Classic X-COM Soldier: A new recruit inspired by the original X-COM: UFO Defense, a blond soldier with the flattop hairstyle from the original X-COM. (shown on the right in the picture above)
* Soldier Deco Packs: Several aesthetic upgrades to upgrades to armor suits, including the Hyperion and Reaper soldier armor kits.
* Complete Color Customization: A variety of colors and tints for all armor sets to customize their squad's look. OMG SO PRETTY
(seriously, worth $5)
The second DLC, theSlingshot Content Pack
, was released late in 2012.
In this new set of linked Council missions, gamers will meet an enigmatic Triad operative, divert an alien ship’s course, and do battle with the aliens in the skies over China. The Slingshot Content Pack includes three new maps tied to the Council missions, a new playable squad character with a unique story and voice and new character customization options.
was a free DLC/game update released in early 2013. Besides some bug fixes, it introduced 16 optional game mechanics that can be toggled off and on for each playthrough of the game, adding a large amount of replayability.XCOM: Enemy Within ExpansionXCOM: Enemy Within
is the upcoming expansion pack for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The US Release date is 11-12-13 (I KNOW, WITTY AMIRITE?).
Similar to other expansions for Firaxis games (see: Civ V), XCOM: EW is not a "new campaign", but a set of significant changes/enhancements to the original game. The expansion introduces new mechanics both at the tactical layer (MEC and Gene Mod troops, new meld resource in missions, new mission types) and the strategic layer (introduction of new concurrent enemy faction, new resource to manage, new tactics for reducing panic).
A longer feature list:
New Soldier Abilities: Construct the Genetics Lab to physically enhance your operatives’ abilities including augmentations to the chest, brain, eyes, skin, and legs or build the Cybernetics Lab to enable the construction of the new Mechanized Exoskeletal Cybersuit, or MEC. The new MEC Trooper class has specialized abilities and each suit can be upgraded with new weapons including the flamethrower and grenade launcher.
Trailers and Other General Moving Visual Stimuli:
New Weapons and Equipment: Give your operatives an extra tactical edge with new projects from your engineering team and the Foundry.
New Enemy Threats: Adopt new tactics to counter the threats from two new alien types and a deadly new organization known as EXALT.
New Strategic Resource: A valuable new alien resource, known as Meld, has been discovered. Secure it on the battlefield and use it carefully back at base to unlock new research and upgrades.
New Tactical Challenges and Maps: Cloak-and-dagger and intelligence operations provide new tactical challenges on over 40 new battlefields.
New Multiplayer maps, units, and abilities: Create your custom squad from a wider array of options and dominate your opponent in intense, one-on-one, turn-based matches.
"Last Stand" EU Trailer from E3:
"War Machines" EW Trailer:
"Security Breach" EW Trailer:
HEY YOU - want to send fellow Penny Arcadians to their horrific deaths as members of your XCOM squads?
collected a list of forumers to kill
recruit, and compiled them into an .ini list for the game to pull from.
Since XCOM tends to spawn interest in having PA forumers volunteer to be in other player's games, I figured I'd try to automate the process as long as we had access to the DefaultNamesList. So if you're interested in having your forum handle show up in other people's games, I put together a form
to do just that. The result spreadsheet is here
, but I'll write some code to automatically generate a DefaultNamesList from that spreadsheet and share that, too.
ENEMY WITHIN UPDATE:
Ahh, they added Polish names. These are like Russian names, so I'll need to change the code a bit and regenerate. In the meantime, you can drop this file
into C:\Users\<YOUR USER>\Documents\My Games\XCOM - Enemy Within\XComGame\Config
(if using Windows 7)
to use custom names.
There are two files available:
: these only include names submitted up to roughly the end of October. If you want to use the whole list, you should be able to generate your own off of the spreadsheet above)Their Pick uses their selected nationalities.
Proportional Distribution assigns nationalities randomly, but with the restriction that there is an equal distribution across all nations.
Put the DefaultNameList.ini file in your Documents\...\X-Com\config folder. That would allow you to modify your settings without ever removing the default file in the steamapps folder
Be sure to report on the exploits of fellow forumers! For example, Lanrutcon died twice in defense of humanity in the first 12 hours.
That's him in the pink.
Name your soldier after a developer, and they magically get awesome
(and achievements are disabled...)
PC KB layout
GET A CONTROLLER, SERIOUSLY
How Cover Works: A Tutorial
The hottest (video) ticket in-thread these days is for the Ironman Impossible
videos of one BeagleRush
. Follow along as he narrates his pain in real time. As a bonus, you will definitely learn something about the tactics needed to win the harder difficulties.Season OneSeason Two
A bit of an introduction into the three special "Council Mission" types:Escort MissionAbduction MissionBomb Disposal
For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity.
Is there any reason to try the mission since I'll probably lose then both even if I do well?
I feel like I should just ignore it and keep my troops fresh for whatever is next
have yet to finish a game so take that with a grain of chryssalid-droppings.
I started in North America, and only lost a total of two countries... Mexico and Canada. Every time Big Sky flew back to base, I got the impression of Fortress America standing alone on the continent, repelling borders from poutine-eating Chrysalids from the north and Thin Men coyote infiltrators from the south.
I generally play with only one Colonel in any given mission, so I can spread out training. Because Marathon drastically increases wound recovery time, this policy was barely necessary for most of the game, because there were a lot of folks in sickbay and a good number of deaths (16, including two colonels). I was really impressed with my Training Roulette results this game; I had some fantastic overwatch combos, such as the Rapid Reaction/Cover Fire Assault, "Wolverine" Adams (who ended up being the Volunteer), and a Support with Bullet Swarm, Sentinel, and Opportunist, who could fire and then go into overwatch and take two shots (amazing in Terror missions).
Marathon runs appear to swim in MELD, because you do far more missions before you garner enough research to really use it. For this reason, South America's bonus is much more important than it is in non-Marathon... you can get those delicious gene upgrades much, much faster. By the endgame, I had two tier-3 MECs and four soldiers with full-body genetic engineering.
I thought about just running the Temple Ship with the Volunteer and five Hover SHIVs
I'm not terribly interested in Impossible difficulty, and third party mods aren't really my thing (honestly Long War sounds more like a pain than anything... not ripping on those of you who like it, but it really isn't my cup of tea), so I think I'm going to put the game down for awhile and focus on other things. I hope that Firaxis comes out with a sequel or a comprehensive endgame DLC in the near future.
Should I just start over from scratch or pick-up where I left off? I'll post my progress when I get home, but I really don't remember anything about where I was. No wait, I had just made the key?
Otherwise you have to just skip some missions.
but you really need to slow down on the fatigued troop come April and only use them to get levels or to make a mission doable.
in May you need to stop with the fancy shit and start building teams that have the opportunity to rest to full inbetween missions (provided noone gets shot in the face) as well as build a bench for substitutes. you may still take a rookie on a downed small UFO.
and you really, imho, need to be able to say "nah fuck that" to a landed medium UFO if an EXALT mission is queued up and you are running short on mens.
Also shivs don't fatigue and are invaluable. My jaw dropped when I saw the stacks of hp that an alloy shiv gets
At the very least it should reduce over time as they get used to it.
See, I'm perfectly happy to eat a loss if I genuinely fuck up somehow, but what tends to happen is something bullshit happens, I restart the whole mission (so as not to taint myself with knowledge of where the pod spawns are going to be) and then retry the mission and do everything flawlessly. Then I feel kind of like I've cheated anyway. But really, I don't feel like I had much choice when a single move revealed this particular alien clown-car:
The Chrysalids I was expecting to encounter. The floaters to the top of the screen were behind the north-most pickup truck (with about three tiles of space for the four floaters to fit in), and the ones on the right spawned off the edge of the map. After I restarted I had the same off-map floaters; they appear, do their reveal animation and then vanish, but don't be fooled, they're still in the game. They popped out from under the bridge a turn later to flank me.
Anyone else had this?
It's supposed to be because the soldiers are exposed to alien chemicals and so forth but they still get fatigue from fighting exalt
I might have to go the route of doing the complicated third party patches and just dealing with the ones that remain.
Heh. Well sometimes mod makers have really strange ideas. This wouldn't be the first one.
You remembered to move that one folder from the XCOM game files to the openXCOM game files, right?
I tried an automatic and manual installation.
I rechecked the installation instructions.
I tried a steam installation and a separate openxcom installation.
After trying the steam installation I deleted and reinstalled the steam version to get fresh files.
I used the universal patch. I did everything man.
Instant Appcrash on startup.
I don't think it is going to work for me.
Xcom itself works fine so I might just have to do the old way.
I don't suppose any of you remember the old way do you? Because I sure don't. I looked up 1994's third party patches and, well, there's a lot, and now I'm lost.
If I had the money I'd just buy enemy within and side step it until 1.1 comes out to see if the new one works.
But I wont have the $ for that for a while.
So after losing more countries, I'm down to basically Africa. I need to retake countries, but I can't without my funding. I'm not in the mood of restarting yet again when I have gotten so far. So I edited the .ini again and upped the abduction amount to 800.
The cash injection helped me build some satellites and some accessories, but I still haven't been able to retake a country (for some reason my satellite over Nigeria "disappeared" without being shot down). But I am working on it.
Meanwhile, I found EXALT's base and promptly kicked their asses. It was a difficult fight because those rocket launchers hurt like hell (12-15 hp x 9 hexes). Through some reload voodoo I manage to complete it without major losses, so they won't trouble me any further
Btw in Long War, does anyone know how to research the Outsider Shard to progress the game? I captured an outsider, got the little movie playing, can see an Outsider Shard in my Gray Market tab, but no research Outsider tab in my research area. The game does insist that I still need to capture a live alien, so that might be the problem?
I'm essentially at the point where I can't imagine restarting because I've spent so much time getting to what is essentially midgame
Origin: KafkaAU B-Net: Kafka#1778
Yes pretty sure you need to capture a live alien, outsider doesn't count.
Origin: KafkaAU B-Net: Kafka#1778
The main issue I have with Long War is that the aliens can win remarkably early, putting you in a never ending death spiral of no recovery, but you don't actually lose the game until every country is gone. So it has the problem where the player thinks the situation is redeemable, when in reality it's absolutely completely gone and there is no hope. Long War literally by design becomes impossible to win if you do the classic "Delay out the game" ala Enemy Within and Enemy Unknown. In fact, you become so overwhelmed by ridiculous numbers of enemies by the end of LW, that you are (by design) supposed to try to win as efficiently as possible (in an ironic twist given the mods name).
One of the things I don't like about Long War and this is something Xenonauts also gets horrifically wrong (and EW just by linear design) is that if you do anything else early on in the game except rush to beam weapons for interceptors (Which I think requires you to go alien weapon fragments, beam lasers, improved beam lasers or whatever) you lose. You just straight up lose because if you don't stop the aliens in the air early on, it's over red rover because they will begin to seriously out tech you and then EXALT will wreck your shit.
This is one of the big differences between XCOM: EW and Long War, in that the Interception game in LW is paramount and more important than tactical battles. If you lose too many UFOs you won't maintain satellites, the aliens will tech up faster (alien "tech" is determined by successful UFO operations!) and eventually they will simply break you in half. I'm already seeing this in an LP from Northernlion, where he's not shot down any UFOs at all but has won 90% of his ground missions (except for Newfoundland, which was a bloody massacre). This doesn't even matter though, because he's getting so badly hammered in the air he can't even keep a single interceptor up for more than a month and the aliens are beginning to outpace his tech rapidly. He's got no real idea that he's badly lost the game and it's only a matter of time until the end finally comes.
I think the mod needs to have a lot better balance between the air and tactical missions. LW is a deceptive mod, because even on say impossible, it's substantially easier than EW in those first three months.
But once Long War has enough of coddling you the massacre for anyone not sufficiently prepared is horrendous. The problem is that it means just like EW, you need to play the geoscape portion a specific way or lose badly in the air, which will inevitably mean even the best tactical mission luck/progress is just going to count for nothing when you meet 20 aliens in your landing zone. Or heaven forbid, greet 15 grenade and rocket happy EXALT agents.
Aliens successfully shooting down your satellites techs them faster.
Basically, any successful UFO operation they do that you don't stop makes them considerably more powerful, so you never want to give them the chance in the first place. TBH, the only way I found this out was watching some LW LPs (I only get to play LW myself sporadically when I have access to my friends PC version of XCOM together) and see them get smacked down badly in June/July when their bad choices from April onwards finally come to roost. By bad choices I mean "Not realize that the game in LW is stacked towards the early game air war".
Okay. This makes very little sense.
In OldCom, the aliens kicking your ass got them points, but points only mattered for overall gamestate, and (in theory, there were some...glitches. Mostly in the player's favor.) if they stomped you a new mudhole, they'd ease up the next month, giving you a chance for a comeback. EW, the aliens have a timetable. They go faster if some things happen, slower when others kick in, but generally it's set so you aren't going to be facing worse aliens with no gear.
Generally, I mean.
It doesn't even make narrative sense!
It's just shit design from every angle I can see.
Why I fear the ocean.
Where is there a huge penalty in LW? Missing UFOs. Hence why just about every main strategy I see for LW is "Get advanced lasers ASAP to shoot down UFOs". It's also where I think there is a big flaw with it, because it feels really linear and "If you don't know to do this, you're going to be in a really bad spot". If you can't shoot down UFOs and they keep getting your satellites constantly (which lets them do shit unrestricted to tech up), you run out of materials like power cores, flight computers, alloys and such that let you fight the ridiculously high health + perked up later aliens. It's basically a really delayed fail state.
And yes, you can definitely call that shitty design.
I'm not sure if it is better or worse than EWs irrelevant air war mechanics however. In EW, interceptors are barely a relevant part of the game once you get laser cannons and plasma interceptors handle nearly everything, then you get firestorms and the aliens might as well go home at that point. As far as I know, there is much more urgency and importance to getting aircraft weapons and upgrades in LW than there is in EW. You can't ignore it and let the aliens do whatever they want. Stealth Satellites is at least a really great upgrade to get in EW as opposed to an "olol I have money to waste, why not?" mechanic in EW.
Worth noting that LW is also balanced with the idea that you can get countries back that you lose through assaulting alien bases. So there is much more scope for recovery in LW, but alien bases require a really badass squad to actually take.
I really like the general theme of the strategy layer changes though. It makes going back to vanilla's stupid 'lets ignore two of these missions for no explainable reason' and yo-yo panic levels really tough.
Like, dudes, there's a pretty good tactical game right over there, why don't you put the focus on that instead?
I'm looking at the Long War tech tree (there's a jpg in the XEW install directory) and wondering if you could also rush to Gauss weapons instead. You'd have to research alien materials and experimental warfare first, but it might be an alternative to always rushing alien weaponry and beam lasers instead. I have no idea how good gauss weapons actually are though or whether they're even a step up from lasers or just a step sideways.
Just about everything techs them up faster, but not shooting down satellites. But what do you do in LW if the enemy decides that its going to run the majority of missions outside of your airpsace or shoots down your satellites and you can't put them up again? A: Get fucked
This is from the wiki on the subject and its pretty enlightening.
Losing a mission basically loses you the game in LW, because leaving a solider behind gives a big research boost. Send a squad of 6+ soldiers to an early grave and you're done.
Not damaging a UFO almost loses you the game, since they will run an anti-sat operation(which you probably can't stop) and losing a sat means you can't intercept UFO's (so they all escape undamaged gaining research), not taking down a landed UFO loses you the game.
They don't gain research for shooting down an interceptor.
They don't gain research for shooting down a satellite.
They do gain a little research for each non-air raid UFO that escapes undamaged.
They have a chance to gain a little research if a UFO escapes lightly damaged.
They gain a good bit of research if a landed UFO on a research mission is not defeated.
Just did my first Alien Base Assault in Long War and holy batman, that was a long mission!
Think it took me 2 hours, but it was worth it. Egypt is once again back in the fold and I became a whole lot richer in salvage and meld. The extra resources went to producing some new pulse rifles and other stuff.
To top it off, I encountered a medium unknown satellite scouting UFO. Thought it would be another "can't shoot it down" moment, but my new tech (Wingpoint Sparrowhawks) came to good use! 2 Fighters later (without too much damage) and the UFO crashed into the savanna intact.
Time to raid that sucker, so I can research it.
In regards to the upcoming changes to beta 14 of LW, I find the "Skeleton Key is used on every assault" to be too much. First of all, capturing an alien is damn near impossible due to a max of 55% chance to capture it. At the end of Long War (Elite everything), you can pretty much forget about it unless you are extremely lucky. So I think it is better that the Skeleton Key isn't consumed by usage as it would make retaking bases damn annoying (especially when you are looking at a 2 hour mission every time).