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[XCOM] You can't parry a shotgun. The Resistance is Live!



  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    I got way too fancy on the Blacksite mission and ran into packs on three consecutive turns. Mutons, officers, lancers, I got flanked badly, and I wasn't able to fall back due to the turret behind me. I lost everyone.

    No wait, I had five Grenadiers, I just blew the shit out of everything, and everyone made it back home alive.

    I love how they break the game enough that a bad player like me can recover from making terrible life choices.

    Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel.
  • Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    I purposefully don't allow myself to take more than 2 of any given class, I feel like some crazy camping shenanigans would be possible with four sharpshooters and two phantom+conceal rangers though.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Mimic Beacon only helped me against 1 attack each in the final mission but I'm glad I threw them because they ate huge crits.

    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    Best Sectopod encounter so far wa
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    What I want in a mod, and I might even make something myself one day if I can be arsed, is one that makes the enemy less effective, but more numerous. It seems like as the game goes on you're always fighting more-or-less the same amount of enemies, they just get better. All of the ADVENT propaganda shows legions of regular old troopers, but by the mid-game you're facing almost nothing but advanced troopers, stun lancers and shield-bearers. I don't want to go from fighting three crappy ADVENT to fighting three upgraded ADVENT, I want to go from fighting three crappy ADVENT to fighting five or six of the same crappy 4HP troopers from the start of the game. Not only would this let you feel like you're actually getting more powerful as the game progresses, but it also solves a lot of the issues with explosives. Even on a particularly grenade-happy mission I typically only use 4 or 5 of them, but if you're facing two dozen crappy minions you're not going to be able to blow up everything; you're going to have to save them for when they really count.

    I can't remember the name of it but I know there's a mod on the workshop that doubles the number of non-leader enemies in every pod. So an Officer and 2 Lancers becomes and Officer and 4 Lancers.

    I'm playing with one that adds two more squad size upgrades to the GTS so it's going in as soon as I can field 8 dudes.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • General_ArmchairGeneral_Armchair Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Theory crafting is <<<<<<<<<<<< to actual experience with new changes. Theory crafting can't handle exceptions to theory crafted rules because you never actually get a chance to expose yourself to those exceptions, so the theory just doesn't include them.

    I'll point out this is wrong on multiple levels, because the primary problem XCOM 2 has is a maths one. A really really big gaping problem in maths and you can write down, with maths, every problem this game has and solve it, with maths. Let's compare something simple, like smoke grenade vs. mimic beacon. Assuming the smoke grenade gives you +20 defense in a 9 tile range (I actually don't know, because I've never used one or even seen anyone use one), how does this compare to the mimic beacon?

    The beacon, for 12 HP, 50 resources and a 2 faceless corpses, guarantees wasting 6 alien actions. They tend to move to get nearer to the beacon and they will always shoot at it. By wasting 6 alien actions, which might include some nasty abilities like tongue grab. On the other hand, the smoke grenade doesn't change the games core AI, it might waste the aliens shot and you need to work that out (mathematically), how much it reduces. Assuming the smoke grenade comes out in the same circumstances as a beacon, which are 3 aliens left alive and a vulnerable soldier in low cover that might die, we can work this out easily:

    Each alien does 6 damage with an 8 damage crit (10%), with a 70% aim bonus.

    Mimic Beacon: Always takes all 3 shots. Can be put anywhere including high cover (so it gets the 40% aim debuff).

    (0.3 * 6) + (0.1 * 8) = 2.6 damage per shot. So on average, that Mimic Beacon will survive and absorb all three shots, taking 7.8 damage that round from all three aliens.

    Smoke Grenade at +20 defense (It might be higher, I don't know) has the exact same maths in this scenario (turning low cover into high cover), but your soldier dies because on average, they probably have 6 health or so and that's lower than the expected (average) damage of the three aliens shooting at him. This is even assuming the aliens bother shooting at your soldier in the smoke grenade - something they don't have to do unlike the mimic beacon.

    Do you need hours and hours of playtesting to know this is broken and that the Mimic Beacon, as a defensive option, is utterly better? Unless you're particularly bad at game design, you don't. You really honestly don't and so your argument doesn't hold. You should be able to write out something like "If this always takes the entire aliens turn of actions and this doesn't, the option that does is better". You don't need hours of actual experience to realize this, it should be utterly obvious from 18+ years of actually playing turn based games. Likewise, you can do similar kinds of things to prove why grenade spam is far better than ever trying to engage in a firefight with aliens etc. Altering action economy follows, if you change the game so you need to shoot more, I mean seriously. Do you need me to prove that shooting more is better than shooting less and when aliens need to be shot at more, all the skills that let you shoot more become far more valuable compared to their comparative options. Do you actually need that?

    Stating that "Theorycrafting <<<<<<< Actual play experience" isn't true, because "Actual play experience <<<<<<<<<<< Solid Core Maths". For example, XCOM 2 unless you dig into its maths doesn't tell you how much its cheating to massage the players experience on lower difficulties (as an example). So your actual play experience is inherently lying to you quite a lot, such as commander difficulty where I was amazed to learn it's silently turning 40% chances to hit into 70%+ chances to hit after a couple of misses (it gives you a cumulative +15 aim bonus per miss over a certain %). Even so, you shouldn't need hours of playtesting to know in a game like XCOM with its core design there are four main balance constraints:

    1) Enemy aim
    2) Enemy action economy
    3) XCOM aim
    4) XCOM action economy

    I'll give another example of 4. The sword should have an inherent advantage over the shotgun, because it's much better at 4. You can gold move and attack, while still choosing where you end up so you're not out of cover. It should be an excellent example of having better action economy, letting you move twice and still attacking that turn. Yet if you do the basic maths, you find that the sword rapidly drops off in damage compared to the shotgun, which even at a blue move in distance tiles wise still has an impressive amount of accuracy/critical damage. This turns into 100% reliable damage with an incredible crit chance if you can move next to (or within only a handful of tiles) of the same enemy, but you can still be in cover and attack with sword like accuracy safely. This greatly devalues the sword, but Beagle smartly changed this by making the shotgun drop off in accuracy/crit much faster. It means that the shotgun doesn't have so much mobility in choosing more ideal spots to attack from (so no more mid range sniping with it). This did seem to drop the "100% accuracy" thing the shotgun had going on as well, which just coincidentally boosts the sword, because one of the reasons the shotgun outpaces the sword is at the same point blank distance, the sword doesn't have 100% accuracy or the crit bonus.

    Likewise, the more you punish the sword the less you need playtesting to tell you the obvious from the maths. If you have a game with a bunch of enemy types and some them can do something about the sword uniquely, while none of them can do anything about a shotgun, you've automatically made a problem. For example some enemies counter melee attacks directly, which really ruin whoever was trying to use slash as an abilities day. This isn't something that effects a shotgun at point blank whatsoever. Basically, if you design something and then uniquely punish that aspect over something else, it's pretty obvious how many players will gravitate to the stronger option. Even before release, people were saying that things like the sword needed to get a boost by having more aim (100% hit chance) or damage (to compensate for missing/keep up with the shotguns) and so on. You can easily work out what approach will work well with the core maths, because if they scale reasonably well with damage, they both become viable options and stay that way. Countering melee attacks while aliens can't do anything about a shotgun to the face, is either an accepted part of the game where you say "The player just has to learn this" or a significant disadvantage to the sword.

    And so you don't need much actual play experience and can just assume if X aliens turn up Y times, how much does that devalue Z sword skills? You can solve that with maths too, because if they're common you shouldn't need tons of play experience to realize you've just heavily affected the sword. It should be obvious.

    And a lot of the problems in XCOM 2? They're really spectacularly obvious problems, but it's also the case that Firaxis were still balancing and changing the game right up until release. Legendary was only finally "balanced" within a week (two weeks?) of the game coming out. So it feels a lot like things were thrown at a wall at the last second to see what stuck in a lot of ways. The mimic beacon AI feels like something that was implemented very recently, because it causes a tremendous amount of issues (like with aliens trying to psi-zombie raise it).
    Frei wrote: »
    I'm saying his insistence on being in love with his own ideas and needing to tell everyone that he "predicted" things is maybe just a little satire-worthy. It's just a little Trump-ish. No big deal.

    You're comparing me talking about some things in a video game to a man who actively says Mexicans are rapists, is a huge racist, says ridiculously offensive things about women constantly and is actively hateful?


    Just, wow.

    How does this post not have more likes? It's not an opinion thing, it's literally objective fact that mimic beacons Break the game right open. Not only have you done the math, but you showed your work.

    Did you just trigger a bunch of people by shattering their false notion that all tactical choices are equal or something?

    General_Armchair on
    3DS Friend Code:
    Armchair: 4098-3704-2012
  • MegaMekMegaMek Is a girl, actually. Registered User regular
    No one cares.

    My thoughts on Mother Nature? Hurt her every chance you get.
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    So this Commander run I've gotten the AWC first accidentally and decided to run with it.

    My recommendation is to not get AWC first. =P

    GTS is definitely the best thing to get first. The additional squaddies on early missions are just too valuable. Also, you end up not having the Engineers to staff the AWC that soon in the game anyway, since you want to be Excavating as much as possible instead. Derp.

    Oh well, it's not XCOM if you don't live with your terrible decisions!

    a.k.a. Antaeus or Nubmonger

    -A digital receiver in an analog world.
This discussion has been closed.