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Author Topic: XCOM 2  (Read 18282 times)
Tebonas
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Reply #315 on: March 16, 2016, 12:27:14 AM

Thats a bug? I always thought this was a feature - using the Rangers to close up chokepoints.

A little service announcement for the people using and discarding mods regularily - they don't always uninstall cleanly and things can linger around in the configs of the base game. So if you are done experimenting using a new clean install of the basic game might be in order. It certainly was on my PC.
Samprimary
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Reply #316 on: March 16, 2016, 07:24:53 AM

I love using swords now and again, though.

Bladestorm is sometimes a life-saver.


Who doesn't enjoy a clutch swordening? Sadly, they are embarrassingly underpowered. Part of the issue is that the same character carrying swords is also carrying the most brutal point blank weapon.
Threash
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Reply #317 on: March 16, 2016, 07:31:34 AM

Yeah, sword spec is basically just trading 2 really good shotgun shots per mission for bladestorm and the ability to shotgun someone after a yellow move every 3 turns.  Always pick rapid fire even if you go blade master.

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Samprimary
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Reply #318 on: March 16, 2016, 08:12:55 AM

interestingly, swordery being bunk makes rangers very efficient to maximize. Just do all the non-sword things and you have the best (non psi) class in the game.

Why? Because they're damage powerhouses that can spring-attack, they have access to the two concealment abilities and can scout pods, and they are massively efficient to upgrade; shotgun upgrades require no specialized research and you don't have to invest in their secondary weapon slot upgrades at all.

As a bonus, not picking bladestorm ever will prevent you from ever gibbing your own men on your own move
Threash
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Reply #319 on: March 16, 2016, 10:05:05 AM

I don't think it's that simple. All the way down the tree the choices are about equally valid, until untouchable which is clearly far superior to deep cover and rapid fire which is way better than reaper.  Shadow step and run and gun over shadow strike and conceal are a very hard choice.

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Hoax
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Reply #320 on: March 16, 2016, 10:28:41 AM

Has nobody put out a class ability shuffle mod yet?

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Samprimary
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Reply #321 on: March 16, 2016, 11:44:53 AM

I don't think it's that simple. All the way down the tree the choices are about equally valid, until untouchable which is clearly far superior to deep cover and rapid fire which is way better than reaper.  Shadow step and run and gun over shadow strike and conceal are a very hard choice.

Though I'm not totally set to start the legendary ironman run, i'm pretty close, and so far I think this is the straight best way to run a ranger, and it really seems like the choices are all but completely lopsided

Phantom over Blademaster absolutely always concealment is OP, and swords are bad, do not trade away OP skills to try to make bad things marginally less bad

Shadowstep over Shadowstrike in any circumstance EXCEPT when you're unlucky enough to get lightning reflexes as an AWC bonus

Run and Gun over Conceal is the only difficult choice concealment is OP, but a 1x per mission conceal repeat is probably not worth trading away the Assault-esque double move and attack clutch, but at the same time Run and Gun's cooldown is ... significant. I think Run and Gun gets the nod

Implacable over Bladestorm absolutely always spring attacks are amazing, and swords are bad. additionally, bladestorm is bad, so it is a compoundingly bad skill choice

Untouchable over Deep Cover absolutely always this one is the most immediately obvious disparity

Rapid Fire over Reaper absolutely always rapid fire is insanely awesome, and swords are bad even before they start putting in damage cuts on the subsequent hits

« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 11:55:58 AM by Samprimary »
Threash
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Reply #322 on: March 16, 2016, 11:47:44 AM

I thought "do all the non sword things" meant you were just going straight down the left tree, my bad.

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Merusk
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Reply #323 on: March 16, 2016, 01:14:34 PM

Yeah, swords were OP at the start on Normal difficulty but became near-useless by your third blacksite, only gaining a few bumps when you got upgraded weapons. You'd put yourself right adjacent to an enemy, out of cover and with no moves left for a marginal chance at a kill. Just not worth it.

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Samprimary
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Reply #324 on: March 19, 2016, 05:38:16 PM

also the interface functionality to allow you to select which tile you want your ranger to run to to sword from is so nonintuitive and hidden that I think a majority of players might not even know you can do it.
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Reply #325 on: March 20, 2016, 12:06:35 AM

I think you guys are crazy.  Swords were awesome to the end of the game, and literally saved my Ironman game from wiping on the last mission.  Managed to accidentally uncover several huge spawns while fighting another spawn, in a terrible position.  My blademaster with reaper proceeded to kill no less than 6 high level aliens in a very clutch (and I'll admit lucky, but still) move.  Comboed with some other fire, I reduced them down enough to survive the counter fire and take them all out the turn after.

I specced my other ranger opposite of blademaster, and they just couldn't keep up with the pure killing power he had.  He just ripped missions to shreds once I leveled him the whole way up.  Though I kept forgetting not to try and cut mutons.   awesome, for real

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Threash
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Reply #326 on: March 20, 2016, 08:35:34 AM

For pure killing power run n gun, blademaster and bladestorm are way more offensive than their counter parts, but conceal rangers are for exploring without triggering pods.

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Teleku
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Reply #327 on: March 20, 2016, 08:40:38 AM

Well, I did always take implacable over bladestorm since I figured the odds of some guy running by me in melee range were probably low.  It fits the style of blademaster though.  Run up to a guy, chop his head off, then escape.

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Threash
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Reply #328 on: March 20, 2016, 09:05:04 AM

Bladestorm is for chrysalids really. Edit: also bladestorm ranger on a reinforcement flare is so much joy to behold.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 09:39:57 AM by Threash »

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Samprimary
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Reply #329 on: March 20, 2016, 10:11:20 AM

I specced my other ranger opposite of blademaster, and they just couldn't keep up with the pure killing power he had. 

I'm not exactly sure how this situation came about, because a proper shotgun spec can do two to three times as much damage as you could ever get using swords.

Shotguns already do a tier above the damage of equal level swords; swords also can't crit, get crit or aim bonuses, don't get close range bonus to hit, don't apply specialty ammo bonuses, and don't get to utilize Rapid Fire. As a final insult, the Ranger specific GTS perk's +3 damage applies to their primary weapon ... but not their swords. Shotguns additionally match sword accuracy upwards of six tiles away from their target.
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Reply #330 on: March 20, 2016, 10:29:48 AM

If you go to sword something and miss, or not do enough damage to kill your target you are in a gigantic world of trouble. If you park behind cover nearby and try to shotgun them and fail, you are in far less trouble.

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Threash
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Reply #331 on: March 20, 2016, 10:37:21 AM

It is extremely lame that sword attacks can miss, you could dodge a sword attack but nobody is ever going to just miss.

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Samprimary
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Reply #332 on: March 20, 2016, 11:03:31 AM

If you go to sword something and miss, or not do enough damage to kill your target you are in a gigantic world of trouble. If you park behind cover nearby and try to shotgun them and fail, you are in far less trouble.

additionally, the less far forward you have to go, the more you are properly managing the activation of pods. even to just use the sword is a huge gamble that does not have benefits in most situations that match the risks you are putting yourself through.

I find it interesting, balance-wise, that you could remove their swords entirely and they would still be the most overall valuable class in the game, though.
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Reply #333 on: March 20, 2016, 11:19:54 AM

I dunno how to really fix swords to make them properly viable for higher difficulties outside of making them never ever miss and raising their damage or giving them more useful properties.

One weird thing I could think of would be giving rangers an ability that requires them to sprint, but gives them a sword hit on every enemy they pass next to on the way to their ultimate destination. It would certainly make the burn effect of the last sword upgrade less useless. It would also be anime as hell.

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Reply #334 on: March 20, 2016, 02:19:52 PM

I wanted to love swords so much, but after playing a bit and watching a ton of ChristopherOdd streams, it's clear that swords just cannot keep up.

I normally run with two rangers in my group, and they're very good destroying everything - it's tough to beat 15+ damage crits to the face. At this point, I occasionally use the sword for fun.

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lamaros
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Reply #335 on: March 20, 2016, 05:30:59 PM

I dunno how to really fix swords to make them properly viable for higher difficulties outside of making them never ever miss and raising their damage or giving them more useful properties.

One weird thing I could think of would be giving rangers an ability that requires them to sprint, but gives them a sword hit on every enemy they pass next to on the way to their ultimate destination. It would certainly make the burn effect of the last sword upgrade less useless. It would also be anime as hell.

The upgrades to swords currently scale less than the other weapons, and that's before you consider ammo and other weapon bonuses.

I've just modded swords so the upgrades boost them a lot more.

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Threash
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Reply #336 on: March 20, 2016, 07:46:46 PM

That's because swords are a secondary weapon and they did not get as much love as pistols to make a viable tree out of them.  I mean the ranger default perk is "you get to use your secondary weapon", that's it.  I think two viable changes would be to make sword not able to miss at all and make blue move sword attacks not end your turn, also a colonel level perk that can compete with rapid fire is a must.

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Samprimary
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Reply #337 on: March 21, 2016, 10:21:10 AM

Rapid fire is already such a ridiculous skill that it's hard to compete with it.

Recently got it on a Sharpshooter who was already perfectly hybridized between pistols and rifles. Coupled with a psi agent, he can move every turn and then plant two rifle shots into any target he wants. If you're good enough with mobility, it's as good as Rupture, or better.

/edit - it is also worth noting that a properly specced sharpshooter can, at MINIMAL harm to their offensive rifle abilities, have a combination of abilities that allow them to fire their pistol 5 times into the same target. Pistols surprised me with their full game.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 10:31:50 AM by Samprimary »
Samprimary
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Reply #338 on: March 23, 2016, 12:59:20 PM

Ok. I'm ready to go on legend ironman.


Grenadiers are the actual support class of the game as well as being expendable lowbies, since any squaddie can carry and use two grenades and will never miss with them, and neither suppression nor holotargeting require a hit. Early to midgame they are the most valuable to churn through. The GTS will be put to work churning out an endless supply of them. They will be positioned to die first if necessary. They do not need the weapon upgrades and accessories. The ones that survive to officerhood will, of course, be very valuable, but since they're so good as squaddies they work best as the first casualties.

Specialists are extremely sub-par because the Grenadiers have all of the actually good support abilities and their overwatch-centric lategame talents are the biggest meh in the game. Build each one as a hybrid medic/robot hacker/overwatch support. Despite being the worst individual class in the game, the game has a built-in series of ways to punish you for not keeping at least one in rotation. You end up having to carry one into most missions as tower bonus scanners, remote timed objective hackers, and as medics and robot disablers. They must also carry the skulljack and skullmine for you. Give them stocks.

Sharpshooters are the best individual non-psi class but they are not the most valuable non-psi class overall. Rangers are. While sharpshooters have very, very excellent utility and put out blistering amounts of reliable damage, they start slow and have a hard time growing in ability commensurate with the toughness of the aliens, and are very, very patchy early to midgame because they cannot compensate very well for their heavy squadsight aim penalties. Your first two or three sharpshooters are very important to protect, because after a certain point they are not worth trying to level up from scratch. Additionally, they are really risky pics for timed escape missions.

Rangers are almost as cool as Sharpshooters individually, with the added bonus of not having a weak low-rank game (so you can replace them over the course of a game much easier) they are blisteringly high damage, good in every mission type, and they are very easy and cheap to upgrade, so they will be the all-round powerhouses all the way up to the final mission. They are also at the highest risk of dying relative to their utility, unlike Sharpshooters, who are easier to protect and who have really good Oh Shit buttons. Leave Grenadiers to be the opportunity close-range targets wherever possible. The GTS will be put to work producing Ranger replacements as needed so that there are plenty in reserve.

Psi Operatives are, of course, the best class, but they have a huge opportunity cost to invest in and your production of their ranks is capped at two. Do not build the psi lab until you can immediately turn it into a two-bay lab and have an engineer to spend on it full time. The psi-ops themselves should not be fielded until they have achieved Magus rank and you have the get-out-of-death-free card and an amp upgrade. Once the game starts throwing end-level creatures at you, though, they become invaluable.
lamaros
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Reply #339 on: March 23, 2016, 02:44:40 PM

Specialists are great. The have unlimited range Los attacks that always hit and ignore armor, doing more to non robotics. I'd ignore the medic skills entirely.

Sharpshooters are the most situational class and can be ignored on many missions. They really aren't great and you can easily do the game without any if you wanted to. I'd not bring any really early game unless you're all over legend already, apart from the camping missions and the destroy target one.

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Khaldun
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Reply #340 on: March 23, 2016, 02:57:01 PM

Sharpshooters don't have the value they had in the first XCom because you aren't creeping along trying to trigger pods and handle them from a distance in the same way, plus I find that by midgame they really cannot take down much with one shot, which was pretty much the only thing that compensated for the lack of mobility.
Polysorbate80
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Reply #341 on: March 23, 2016, 04:41:29 PM

I prefer the specialist medical skills in general--being able to heal twice in a round, and revive the unconscious, does a lot more for me than a little zap of damage or a scan.  Haywire is the only hacker side ability I really ever use.
Khaldun
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Reply #342 on: March 23, 2016, 05:01:00 PM

In the late game specialists can do a ton of damage to the robotics units with hacker-side abilities but I find that their takeover abilities are less reliable than the psi units on the living--and you only need one or two catspaws to really create havoc. And you can use the ammo and EMP grenades to do the same damage if you like to robotic units.
Threash
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Reply #343 on: March 23, 2016, 05:35:43 PM

If I need that much healing i'm pretty screwed anyways because that soldier is going to be out a couple months, the guaranteed damage from combat protocol has saved my ass more times than i can count.  Getting shot means you are fucking up, getting more tools to prevent that from happening is always more beneficial than patching up after the fact.  If healing had an effect on wound timers it would be different.

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Reply #344 on: March 24, 2016, 04:46:50 AM

Specialists have some of the best skills for mitigating fuckups and RNG fuckery in the game. Attack Protocol is fantastic when you have something nearly dead and you 100% no-option NEED that fucker to be dead at the end of the round. Hacking robots isn't as insanely OP as dominate but is still hilarious and insanely useful, aid protocol is good for having non-shadowstep soldiers eat up overwatch fire (or if the stupid terrain destruction causes cover to unexpectedly disappear for someone between a round), and the "heal/cure everyone" skill is really good for long-haul missions or when you're unfortunate enough to have multiple people get dinged with poison/acid/fire/etc.

As for damage output...yeah, I'd almost always rather have another ranger. Close-range shotgun crits pretty much outstrip the damage potential of everyone else. Sniping focused sharpshooters feel really weak late-game even with AP rounds- it's just that outside of killzone they end up just being "that guy who can do okay damage to one target he can see every round". Whereas a ranger can one-shot or nearly one-shot all but the heaviest units every round.

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Khaldun
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Reply #345 on: March 24, 2016, 06:18:34 AM

I think to me the problem with specialists is that even a specialist who has a very high hacking skill is still going in the endgame to miss on hacks with surprising frequency and the consequences for missing a control hack are pretty brutal. Whereas "missing" a dominate just is painful because you only get one per mission, but if you stick to mutons, berserkers, and even andromedans you'll never miss or miss very infrequently. The main thing with specialists is that they can really pull your fat out of the fire on timed missions--opening the door on a van with a VIP in it, retrieving a timed information target, etc. from a distance can really be important.

What I'd do to tweak classes:

Make specialist control and hacking less likely to RNGfail. Make skullmining never miss, though it can fail sometimes. (Missing on one is just as bad as missing with a sword.)
Make swords never miss altogether.

I'm not sure what I'd do for sharpshooter. I find killzone pretty useful but it would be more useful if the likelihood of an instakill went up and if it were a little less quirky in how it interpreted whether a target was in the cone or not. Maybe if specialists could use their drones to scout and that counted for squadsight while not breaking concealment, sharpshooters could be used more often to trigger a pod into running into an ambush.

I think grenadiers are basically ok, though they have a long "valley" where they don't catch up on upgrades--their upgrades seem to me to always take effect very late in the game, at a point where they're irrelevant.
Tebonas
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Reply #346 on: March 24, 2016, 07:10:42 AM

Mods might take care of that for you.

Make specialist control and hacking less likely to RNGfail. Make skullmining never miss, though it can fail sometimes. (Missing on one is just as bad as missing with a sword.)
Hacking Rebalanced mitigiates some of that:

http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197995710050/myworkshopfiles/?appid=268500

Quote
Make swords never miss altogether.
Here you go:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=617795921
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 07:12:45 AM by Tebonas »
Polysorbate80
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Reply #347 on: March 24, 2016, 07:14:09 AM

Chances for controlling mechanical units are bad, but shutown is fairly reliable.  Not as much fun as a pet, but telling the sectopod to sit down and be quiet for a couple rounds is usually good enough to deal with it.

Combat protocol is good early for wounded enemies, but late game I'd rather deal with the severly wounded by running in a ranger, blasting the enemy to death, and letting implacable/untouchable skate them off to relative safety.  I give them the health regen vests too.

Wounded soldiers:  yes, you'll need a replacement for the next few weeks, but you'd need that anyway if they died.  At least this way you'll get the experienced soldier back eventually too.  And wounds are inevitable.  I had a ranger get sectoid-panicked, run back between two other soldiers, and drop her grenade the other day.  Killed the wounded ranger and wounded the others.  Surprised me since I hadn't seen the "shoot your squadmates" behavior in xcom 2 yet; I kinda thought they'd got rid of that shit.
Samprimary
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Reply #348 on: March 24, 2016, 12:29:55 PM

Whereas "missing" a dominate just is painful because you only get one per mission, but if you stick to mutons, berserkers, and even andromedans you'll never miss or miss very infrequently.

It's not too bad a failed Dominate comes back after a cooldown so you can try again.
Samprimary
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Reply #349 on: March 24, 2016, 02:36:42 PM

I think to me the problem with specialists is that even a specialist who has a very high hacking skill is still going in the endgame to miss on hacks with surprising frequency and the consequences for missing a control hack are pretty brutal. Whereas "missing" a dominate just is painful because you only get one per mission, but if you stick to mutons, berserkers, and even andromedans you'll never miss or miss very infrequently. The main thing with specialists is that they can really pull your fat out of the fire on timed missions--opening the door on a van with a VIP in it, retrieving a timed information target, etc. from a distance can really be important.

What I'd do to tweak classes:

Make specialist control and hacking less likely to RNGfail. Make skullmining never miss, though it can fail sometimes. (Missing on one is just as bad as missing with a sword.)
Make swords never miss altogether.

I'm not sure what I'd do for sharpshooter. I find killzone pretty useful but it would be more useful if the likelihood of an instakill went up and if it were a little less quirky in how it interpreted whether a target was in the cone or not. Maybe if specialists could use their drones to scout and that counted for squadsight while not breaking concealment, sharpshooters could be used more often to trigger a pod into running into an ambush.

I think grenadiers are basically ok, though they have a long "valley" where they don't catch up on upgrades--their upgrades seem to me to always take effect very late in the game, at a point where they're irrelevant.


any tweak to the classes has to recognize these factors, all independently:

- specialists are a bit shafted because it is the grenadiers who have all the good support abilities. they still remain vital because of baked-in situational mission necessities. this is a-ok by me, but they really don't feel very good at support-y stuff. they should have suppression and holotargeting.
- you can't 'fix' rangers by fixing swords because even if rangers didn't have swords they would remain THE MOST VALUABLE normal class; enhancing their swordplay just unbalances them more
- sharpshooters scale ability issues become unmanageable to level up from squaddie after a certain point; their accuracy growth needs to be scaled down and START HIGH. they are difficult to balance though because if you know how to use them, they become insane. insane, jerry
- grenadiers are way too good at early levels so they make the best fodder. ironically outside of this artificial disposability they do well in terms of their class growth so the survivors are much more valuable than, say, specialists
- you MUST recognize the strengths and interplays that psionics brings to the table. for instance, a sharpshooter paired with a psionic is the most insane combo in the game.
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