I think I'm going to play the game. Anything I should know?

#1 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

I heard the discussions on the bombcast so I know satellites will be important and I know its possible to screw yourself several hours into the game. I've played the FFT series and the Disgaea series so I know a bit about strategy and class building. Anything else I should know.

#2 Posted by Atlas (2447 posts) -

Be patient: you rush, you die. That applies to the ground game and the metagame.

#3 Edited by mnzy (2914 posts) -

I feel like figuring out this stuff is the actual fun part of the game. Knowing too much about its mechanics could hurt the experience. 
That's why I didn't enjoy the late game, because I was pretty much untouchable.

#4 Posted by ThePickle (4182 posts) -

You will probably have to abandon your first playthrough.

#5 Posted by pyrodactyl (2043 posts) -

Start on normal, be patient and should be fine. Put squadsight on your sniper, most usefull ability in the game.

#6 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

Make sure you are focused on building satellites. It will net you income, engineers/scientists, and help keep panic in check.

#7 Posted by Spoonman671 (4641 posts) -

Always be dashing!

#8 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3645 posts) -

@pyrodactyl said:

Put squadsight on your sniper, most usefull ability in the game.

I'll second this. I roll with 2 sniper's with squadsight, a heavy an assault and a medic, works awesome

#9 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

@Spoonman671 said:

Always be dashing!

Ignore this comment. does not have your best interests in mind.

#10 Posted by Hungry (165 posts) -

@addictedtopinescent said:

@pyrodactyl said:

Put squadsight on your sniper, most usefull ability in the game.

I'll second this. I roll with 2 sniper's with squadsight, a heavy an assault and a medic, works awesome

Third. Two assaults are godlike as well. One sniper, two medics (with supression and SCOPE as their second item), one heavy, and two assaults made my Classic Ironman feel like little baby mode.

#11 Posted by Pr1mus (3914 posts) -

You can build satellites even if you don't have the uplink or nexus to deploy them. Don't wait for the uplink/nexus to finish construction to start building additional satellites. I learned this only hours into the game.

#12 Posted by Mercer (204 posts) -

@Kerned said:

@Spoonman671 said:

Always be dashing!

Ignore this comment. does not have your best interests in mind.

no he means always be stylish and fashionable...In other words, all your dudes should have THE HAIR

#13 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

@Mercer: Ok, well I can't argue with that. Words to live by.

#14 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

I suggest watching a video series on youtube done by this guy. It's funny to watch and you learn a lot about how the game works.

#15 Posted by Milkman (16802 posts) -

ALWAYS SAVE. I lost an hour of progress this weekend because I forgot to save and got cocky.

#16 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

Squadsight. Don't reload saves unless you really have to, it's more fun that way. Start on Classic, otherwise the caution implied by this thread is a little overkill, and aim for early satellites. And try not to let the camera bug get to you.

Have fun, it's a great game. The only way I weaned myself off playing was by attempting Impossible Ironman 20 times, which made me kind of hate XCOM and life in general.

#17 Posted by Hichael (161 posts) -

So I actually haven't played the game either, what's the online stuff like?

#18 Posted by JackG100 (405 posts) -

Play the original games instead. Graphics are worse, games are better. Just save at every turn!

#19 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

You should know that it's a videogame.

#20 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

Nobody learns the dance on their first try.

People always say "go slow" or "play defensively".

That's true. As somebody who has beaten Impossible Ironman, that is very true.

They never mention the next part.

When you have your chance, take it. Seize opportunity by the throat and choke it into submission. You don't win by making conservative shots from across the map.

#21 Posted by Electric_Zen (99 posts) -

@murisan said:

You should know that it's a videogame.

Spoiler tag, dude.

#22 Posted by ki11tank (682 posts) -

good stuff, i got the game on lightning deal this weekend.

don't rush, but take advantage of ops, squad sight, satellites are key, SAVE often... check...

#23 Edited by Funkydupe (3320 posts) -

@Terramagi: You've completed it on Impossible Ironman? Well done!

#24 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@crusader8463: That's a fantastic LP. Thanks, man.

#25 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

@murisan: Just doing my part to spread the word of Beagle. Pass it on!

#26 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

So always be building satellites then? I saw the quicklook and feel fairly confident in my ability to kill dudes based on how I saw them play the game. The way the crew talked about getting screwed by % marks on their actions showed to me that they're not using to having 85% fail while the enemy hits their 35% all day long. The only thing that can probably hurt me is not knowing the economy and upgrade system before playing the game (I wont look that up) since I've heard people talk about losing countries and not having money to build stuff.

I'm hoping the game has some kind of buff/debuff equivalent in your unit abilities as that is always how I approach these kinds of games. I'm assuming that it basically plays like the Japanese tactical rpgs I've beat.

#27 Posted by Metric_Outlaw (1172 posts) -

If you are easily discouraged and upset play on easy. Then after you play a decent chunk and learn the basics then you jump right into normal or what evs. If you enjoy having your worked get destroyed though then start off with normal.

#28 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Save often and be sure to use different people. You want a wide variety of soldiers in order for you to have a wide array if classes. Having great snipers and medics is key to success. Be sure to have a bench of trained soldiers. You never know how many people you'll lose in a mission.

#29 Posted by Chumm (241 posts) -

Most of it is worth figuring out on your own and is fairly intuitive, here are the bits that are not intuitive and can be frustrating to miss:

In combat missions:

  • Your cover gives you its full effect unless an enemy is all the way to your side. So if an enemy is 6 squares to your left and 1 square to your front, even though by all visible logic you should not have any cover at all, you'll still receive the full bonus for the cover. The same is true for you when you try to flank enemies, you need to move all the way parallel to where they're standing in order to actually defeat their cover and get a bonus.
  • You only gain cover if you are pushed up against it. So if an enemy has line of sight to you through two windows and over a pickup truck bed, so long as you're not standing up against cover, it's the same as standing out in the open.
  • When you "discover" enemies, as you saw in the quick look, they get a free move and scatter into cover. The same is true when enemies discover you. The important bit is when enemies discover you in this manner, they'll take that free move into cover but will not fire or use any special abilities that round. For that reason it is never necessary to end your turn in cover if you know that you're moving to a safe spot and no enemies have been activated.
  • To have such a "safe spot," always move your farthest with your first move. That way, if you don't discover any enemies, you can safely have the rest of your squad follow the first mover's footsteps. This is actually safer than moving everyone into cover, because you might move someone to cover in such a way that they discover a group of enemies and activate them, allowing the enemies to engage you on their turn.

On the strategic overview between missions:

  • When you're presented with a choice of 2-3 countries for an abduction mission, note that every country in the continents you don't pick will have an increase in panic following the mission. For that reason, it's usually best to note which countries you're being presented with, then check your panic levels on those continents to decide where you can take the hit (you can back out of the mission select and return to it with no penalty).
  • Countries will only leave XCOM at the end of the month, so take any panic reducing moves you can right before the end of the month to save countries that are on the brink. The exception to this is terror missions, if you fail a terror mission that country immediately withdraws from XCOM.
  • Abduction missions will not occur in countries that have satellite coverage. Because of this, if you complete satellite coverage of a continent, it can no longer gain any panic, as the only thing that causes panic to go up are abduction missions or terror missions.
  • The major story missions result in a significant reduction in panic worldwide. The one that matters most is the first alien base mission. You might have heard some of the GB crew holding off on doing that mission for as long as possible, but if you have several countries on the brink of leaving XCOM, a successful alien base mission can bring them all back down. Further, that mission will not introduce any alien types you have not seen, so actually the longer you put it off, the harder it is. It is possible to beat the alien base with starting equipment, having upgraded nothing but gained a few levels on your soldiers.
  • The more scientists you have, the faster you research stuff, but this benefit is only applied every 5 scientists. So 10 scientists research just as fast as 14, but add 1 more and suddenly you cut your research time in half. This can be important when deciding what missions to take for rewards.
  • The more buildings you make, the more engineers are required. So if you see 15 engineers required to make a satellite uplink, the next one will take 20 or more, depending on how many other buildings you've made. Unlike scientists, too few engineers doesn't just slow you down, it makes it impossible to build things at all. Similar to scientists though, the more engineers you have the cheaper it is to buy gear, and again the bonus is applied every 5 engineers.
  • This may have just been me being a dumbass, but the Alloy Cannon is a shotgun, not a ship weapon, if you find yourself wondering when the hell the next shotgun is going to appear.

Sorry... that was a lot, but those are the things that I felt were not explained at all and didn't necessarily feel intuitive, and I think are largely the reason people find themselves restarting their first couple runs or just quitting entirely.

#30 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

You will have the greatest time going in blind and learning from your mistakes and trying to make the best out of your poor decisions as you learn.

#31 Posted by Coolarman (738 posts) -

Build uplinks and satellites as often as you can. I think I am going to start over because i didn't build enough satellites and the countries are all mad at me.

#32 Posted by endaround (2145 posts) -

@golguin: This isn't really like most JSRPGs. The maps are much bigger (well except for some Fire Emlbem maprs), enemies are unknown, and the class breakdown isn't as severe. The closet JSRPG maybe Valkyria Chronicles.

#33 Posted by HappyCheeze (97 posts) -

You can always sell stuff on the gray market for quick cash. PROTIP: Not everything is researchable, meaning its vender junk. So always check after every mission to see if you anything to sell.

#34 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

@Chumm said:

Most of it is worth figuring out on your own and is fairly intuitive, here are the bits that are not intuitive and can be frustrating to miss:

In combat missions:

  • Your cover gives you its full effect unless an enemy is all the way to your side. So if an enemy is 6 squares to your left and 1 square to your front, even though by all visible logic you should not have any cover at all, you'll still receive the full bonus for the cover. The same is true for you when you try to flank enemies, you need to move all the way parallel to where they're standing in order to actually defeat their cover and get a bonus.
  • You only gain cover if you are pushed up against it. So if an enemy has line of sight to you through two windows and over a pickup truck bed, so long as you're not standing up against cover, it's the same as standing out in the open.
  • When you "discover" enemies, as you saw in the quick look, they get a free move and scatter into cover. The same is true when enemies discover you. The important bit is when enemies discover you in this manner, they'll take that free move into cover but will not fire or use any special abilities that round. For that reason it is never necessary to end your turn in cover if you know that you're moving to a safe spot and no enemies have been activated.
  • To have such a "safe spot," always move your farthest with your first move. That way, if you don't discover any enemies, you can safely have the rest of your squad follow the first mover's footsteps. This is actually safer than moving everyone into cover, because you might move someone to cover in such a way that they discover a group of enemies and activate them, allowing the enemies to engage you on their turn.

On the strategic overview between missions:

  • When you're presented with a choice of 2-3 countries for an abduction mission, note that every country in the continents you don't pick will have an increase in panic following the mission. For that reason, it's usually best to note which countries you're being presented with, then check your panic levels on those continents to decide where you can take the hit (you can back out of the mission select and return to it with no penalty).
  • Countries will only leave XCOM at the end of the month, so take any panic reducing moves you can right before the end of the month to save countries that are on the brink. The exception to this is terror missions, if you fail a terror mission that country immediately withdraws from XCOM.
  • Abduction missions will not occur in countries that have satellite coverage. Because of this, if you complete satellite coverage of a continent, it can no longer gain any panic, as the only thing that causes panic to go up are abduction missions or terror missions.
  • The major story missions result in a significant reduction in panic worldwide. The one that matters most is the first alien base mission. You might have heard some of the GB crew holding off on doing that mission for as long as possible, but if you have several countries on the brink of leaving XCOM, a successful alien base mission can bring them all back down. Further, that mission will not introduce any alien types you have not seen, so actually the longer you put it off, the harder it is. It is possible to beat the alien base with starting equipment, having upgraded nothing but gained a few levels on your soldiers.
  • The more scientists you have, the faster you research stuff, but this benefit is only applied every 5 scientists. So 10 scientists research just as fast as 14, but add 1 more and suddenly you cut your research time in half. This can be important when deciding what missions to take for rewards.
  • The more buildings you make, the more engineers are required. So if you see 15 engineers required to make a satellite uplink, the next one will take 20 or more, depending on how many other buildings you've made. Unlike scientists, too few engineers doesn't just slow you down, it makes it impossible to build things at all. Similar to scientists though, the more engineers you have the cheaper it is to buy gear, and again the bonus is applied every 5 engineers.
  • This may have just been me being a dumbass, but the Alloy Cannon is a shotgun, not a ship weapon, if you find yourself wondering when the hell the next shotgun is going to appear.

Sorry... that was a lot, but those are the things that I felt were not explained at all and didn't necessarily feel intuitive, and I think are largely the reason people find themselves restarting their first couple runs or just quitting entirely.

I'll keep that stuff in mind.

#35 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

Difficulty is extremely frontloaded, as even on impossible the game gets relatively easy near the end and is extremely random at the beginning (though its pretty easy throughout on normal). It's mostly about controlling the randomness, if you're not playing on Ironman this isn't much of an issue as you can just alternate shots if you have horrendous luck or what have you, or at worst just replay a level. You should be aware there are a very large number of technical issues with this game even though its maybe the most basic modern game to design imaginable and you're undoubtedly going to run into some of the jankiness. The game is addictive and fun and I'd give it about an 8/10; can't really hold a candle to old tactical RPG classics but maybe it could if there was actually a compelling storyline or comparitively good upgrade trees for each unit or what have you (most of the time its one ability is either vastly or at least mostly superior to the other). I do think the base management minigame is excellent in a simplistic Firaxis way. Would be interesting to see Paradox Interactive make an XCOM game.

#36 Posted by MackDaddicus (56 posts) -

Play on classic ironman, embrace defeat, grow strong. Use grenades and explosives if you have to, even though you get chewed out for it. Also, snapshot is for suckers.

#37 Posted by Mogoping (90 posts) -

Everything you know and love will come and go...

#38 Edited by Mercer (204 posts) -

Don't wait too, too long to do the first base assault...I can hear something VERY BIG stomping around in the fog and i'm scared guys

#39 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

Game installed. I'm officially in.

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