What is your preferred XCOM difficulty level?

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#1 Posted by BeachThunder (12096 posts) -


#2 Posted by BeachThunder (12096 posts) -

As a reference, these are the differences between difficulties:

Easy

  1. Base global panic starts at 0
  2. Most alien activity only raises panic by 1 in left unchecked
  3. Your soldiers have 1 bonus hitpoint
  4. Aliens are dumber, and there aren't as many of them
  5. Soldiers cost $10

Normal

  1. Base global panic starts at 0
  2. Most minor alien activity raises panic by 1 in left unchecked with some events doing up to 3
  3. Your soldiers have no bonus hitpoints
  4. Aliens have their AI mostly unshackled
  5. Soldiers cost $10

Classic

  1. Base global panic starts at 8 (1 per location)
  2. If unchecked alien activity causes at least 1 panic, but will often cause 2 or 3
  3. Your soldiers have -1 hitpoint
  4. All aliens receive bonuses hit hitpoints, accuracy, critical change and / or damage.
  5. Alien AI is unshackled
  6. You receive no officer training school
  7. There are even more aliens per map
  8. Soldiers cost $15

Impossible

  1. Base global panic starts at 16 (2 per location)
  2. If unchecked alien activity causes at least 2 panic, but will often cause even more
  3. Your soldiers have -2 hitpoints
  4. All aliens receive bonuses hit hitpoints, accuracy, critical change and / or damage.
  5. Alien AI is unshackled
  6. You receive no officer training school
  7. There are even more aliens per map
  8. Soldiers cost $15
#3 Posted by huser (1088 posts) -

To try things out in games like this I like going in easy. Feel out what I like and determine if what I normally like doing works at all. Then bump difficulty to max. Same way I played Mass Effect weirdly enough.

#4 Posted by Yorkin (142 posts) -

Do numbers 4 and 7 change between Classic and Impossible?

#5 Posted by Sackmanjones (4742 posts) -

Got my ass handed to me on classic. Normal has been decent but it's starting to ramp up so ill go with that

#6 Edited by MstrMnyBgs (124 posts) -

I tried on classic, and the terror missions were near impossible at the early stage with the low-ranking/poor geared soldiers. Not only do the chryssalids pose a problem at that early stage, but the zombies they create have a lot of HP and they also create more chryssalids in like 2-3 turns. So eventually it became a non-stop chryssalid factory.

After that I switched to normal, and have only lost about 3 guys in 10+ hours of play. So I wish there was a difficulty between normal and classic.

#7 Posted by hangedtoaster (156 posts) -

I won't lie, I'm one of the people who has been playing on easy. I don't have that much experience with turn based strategy games and I've never played an XCOM game. This is just my first playthrough and I do intend on bumping the difficulty level up after this game. I'm slowly learning the in's and outs of tbs. I learned the hardway, when Lieutenant Sanchez got his face rocked off, when I had positioned him poorly at the doorway of a ufo

#8 Posted by killacam (1285 posts) -

ironman on normal... so tense

#9 Posted by BoG (5191 posts) -

I've just started my second playthrough, classic ironman. I'm almost certain that my soldiers have 0 accuracy in classic mode.

#10 Posted by Tweeg (5 posts) -

@MstrMnyBgs said:

After that I switched to normal, and have only lost about 3 guys in 10+ hours of play. So I wish there was a difficulty between normal and classic.

I feel the same way. I Normal is just a little too easy. I'm thinking of starting one on normal and immediately tearing down the officer training school.

#11 Posted by TheHT (11526 posts) -

Oh god, unshackled AI?!

I haven't played much of this sort of game, so far normal's working out OK. Lots of Very Difficult missions popping up though. And since they're in high panic countries I have to go on them.

#12 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Normal, because I want to remain sane.

#13 Posted by Tennmuerti (8141 posts) -

Classic.

But not classic ironman yet, i'm not a masochist :P

#14 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

I was doing Ironman Normal for the first 20-30 hours I played the game, but I got sick and tired of BS rolls killing hours of work so I restarted and am just doing normal. I only reload when BS rolls cause me to lose a ton of work on a guy but otherwise I just let the rolls lay where they do.

#15 Posted by SilverBulletKY (165 posts) -

@crusader8463 said:

I was doing Ironman Normal for the first 20-30 hours I played the game, but I got sick and tired of BS rolls killing hours of work so I restarted and am just doing normal. I only reload when BS rolls cause me to lose a ton of work on a guy but otherwise I just let the rolls lay where they do.

So you think you should just score a hit every time then? That's the whole point of the game. You might have not played the first one though.

#16 Posted by CoverlessTech (748 posts) -

Normal, but it's way to easy personally. My team are super soldiers that just roll through everything and there is no panic at all anywhere. I probably spent a little to much time grinding them up and getting full satellite coverage and the best gear before moving the story to far.

The ramp was a little difficult and I lost Brazil early on but since then it's all been super easy. Going to either star over on Classic or just bump the difficulty up.

#17 Posted by Happenstance (462 posts) -

I was going to start on Normal but Ryan scared me so much that I went with Easy.

#18 Posted by KirePDX (69 posts) -

Damnit, I now feel ashamed for playing on Normal and thinking I was doing well. There goes that sense of confidence I had.

I'm far enough in that I feel like I need to change the difficulty instead of restarting.

#19 Posted by Cyrus_Saren (536 posts) -

Normal so far. That's what I started on and it's been tough for me since I don't think I managed things very well.

#20 Posted by EtherealSlayer (82 posts) -

Started on Classic Ironman. In six games I was only able to get to month 4 before everything fell apart. On Normal Ironman now and the game seems pretty easy, but I am still having fun.

#21 Posted by Bio2hazard (144 posts) -

Playing on Classic Ironman. Lost 2 campaigns, but this 3rd one seems like I might beat the game!

#22 Posted by Chaser324 (6651 posts) -

@MstrMnyBgs said:

I wish there was a difficulty between normal and classic.

I agree. I've been mostly playing on Classic Ironman, and while initially it isn't too bad, eventually I'll always just get smashed. However, dropping down to Normal feels almost too easy in comparison.

Moderator
#23 Posted by Iodine (549 posts) -

Normal because I already have chemical depression

#24 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I'm gonna play on Easy. I don't play these types of games, so I'm for sure going to suck at it.

#25 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

@SilverBulletKY said:

@crusader8463 said:

I was doing Ironman Normal for the first 20-30 hours I played the game, but I got sick and tired of BS rolls killing hours of work so I restarted and am just doing normal. I only reload when BS rolls cause me to lose a ton of work on a guy but otherwise I just let the rolls lay where they do.

So you think you should just score a hit every time then? That's the whole point of the game. You might have not played the first one though.

No, I'm sick when 4 point blank shots with 95% hit miss in a row while every single enemy shot from literally across the entire map hit for full damage and crit. If it happened once or twice that would be fine, but not that badly. I also find your attempt at trying to belittle me by implying that I never played the original very pathetic.

#26 Edited by HH (611 posts) -

i'm playing normal / ironman, and loving it, deaths, panic n'all.

also, i yell bullshit almost every time i die in every game i play, but i know it's not actually bullshit. fuck all that dirty reloading.

#27 Posted by BeachThunder (12096 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

@MstrMnyBgs said:

I wish there was a difficulty between normal and classic.

I agree. I've been mostly playing on Classic Ironman, and while initially it isn't too bad, eventually I'll always just get smashed. However, dropping down to Normal feels almost too easy in comparison.

It would be nice to customise difficulty levels, as in, being able to choose various aspects from each difficulty; having no officer training school in higher difficulty seems a bit silly.

#28 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11918 posts) -

I beat the game on normal, and it's a bit too easy. I then went ahead and started a game on Classic... The jump in difficulty is pretty dramatic, and I feel like the game would be better served either making Normal harder, or making a difficulty between Normal and Classic.

#29 Posted by mason (263 posts) -

Normal was a bit too lenient for me. Classic suits me, but sometimes it's really fucked.

12+ missions in, I have several captains, and yet I still haven't unlocked a 5th team member slot (never seem to have the right combo of money, power or space for the training school). I'm still making do with ballistic weapons. The encounters seem to get more difficult over time, even if I don't advance the story. So my tactical skills can only take me so far. I need to unlock better tech, but it's slow going.

I did drop it temporarily to normal difficulty once, but failure was NOT an option and that mission was near impossible given my situation. It was my first terror mission full of crysalids hiding in a populated area that was hard to reach. A perfect zombie->crysalid factory. With only soldiers with regular ballistics, and no healthy assault class remaining (now my preferred class for crysalids) I just got overrun with zombies within a few turns.

At least I learned my lesson about being prepared for the worst. Haven't reloaded or gone back to normal since.

#30 Posted by BoG (5191 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

I beat the game on normal, and it's a bit too easy. I then went ahead and started a game on Classic... The jump in difficulty is pretty dramatic, and I feel like the game would be better served either making Normal harder, or making a difficulty between Normal and Classic.

This is how I feel. I've had more trouble with the first few missions in Classic difficulty than I did with the final few missions in Normal. I'm slowly getting the hang of it, though.

#31 Posted by J12088 (455 posts) -

Normal ironman. Difficulty is right for me and I'm having fun. If this game is anything like civ the higher difficulties will just annoy me.

#32 Edited by Scrawnto (2456 posts) -

@crusader8463: To be fair, there is a 1 in 160,000 chance of that happening (0.000625% to be exact). That sounds small, but this game has certainly sold more copies than that, and there have likely been multiple chances for such situations for each. It's nearly a certainty that it would have happened to a number of people (or one person multiple times, even). Just bad luck that it happened to be you. Two misses out of four at 95% to hit for each has a much higher chance of 1.35375%, and one miss has a likelihood of 17.1475%. Actual BS would be if they fudged your rolls upwards as you missed multiple times in a row so that kind of streak couldn't happen. Is that what they should have done?

(Edit: By the way that last question isn't sarcasm. I know a bunch of DMs for tabletop games will cheat the numbers a bit to make the players feel better or keep them from dying in a silly way.)

#33 Posted by konig_kei (647 posts) -

Started on normal, felt basses ripping everything up until the alien base assault thing. My best units so close to finishing then BAM 3 mutons that all my attacks missed for 2 turns and sectoid commander took one of my unit and flanked my guys. Fun game.

#34 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

I have no previous X-COM experience but still went with classic ironman. I'm treating it like a roguelike right now, I'm on my sixth game and for the first time the dice have rolled in my favor at all... Brazil, no, I just gave you guys a satellite!

#35 Posted by JasonR86 (9744 posts) -

I've been playing on Normal. This is my first X-Com game and, seeing as how I'm really bad at strategy games, I figured it wouldn't do me any good to play on anything harder. That said, I'm doing pretty well. I'm a few missions past the first council report and have only lost 3 soldiers and got a grade of A.

#36 Posted by Zaccheus (1797 posts) -

I started with easy on ironman. I wanted to play with ironman, since it just brings in tension that wouldn't be there otherwise (even if you don't load you always know it's an option), but I didn't want to get fucked immediately. I have been doing pretty well I'm currently building the hyperwave beacon thingimabib and have lost one soldier.

I feel like my double tap plasma sniper is a bit OP thought. I just leave it in the back and when enemies come she usually wipes two of the out immediately. I'm guessing that on a harder difficulties I wouldn't have 95% hit chance and more aliens would have enough hit points to survive a shot. It's still getting harder and combined with ironman I feel like it's the perfect difficulty for my first run.

#37 Edited by Moonshadow101 (572 posts) -

This is the sort of game where I'd really prefer if there was some way to set the difficulty for different parts of the game separately. I like the extra tension in the combat on Classic, but I find the added amounts of panic in the out-of-combat portion to be annoying. In fact, the added pressure in that particular part of the game is really hurting my experience in Classic difficulty, even if the actual missions are much more fun. I'm probably going to end up throwing away my current classic campaign and starting an Ironman/Normal one instead.

#38 Posted by hidys (1029 posts) -

Easy because I suck.

#39 Posted by Lost_Remnant (112 posts) -

I went with normal and no ironman. I've never played any of the XCOM games so I'm not experienced with the punishing difficulty of the series and want my first time through to be manageable. I am thinking about starting over and at least doing Normal Ironman though, since I get the Fire Emblem paranoia of "oh god if he dies, he dies for good!" and sometimes reload. Man, this game is so much fucking fun though. I got this a couple of days after Dishonored and mind you it was one my most anticipated games of the year but now I think almost exclusively about XCOM. Dishonored is great but something about this game really gets its hooks into me and isn't letting go. So, so much damn fun.

#40 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

After losing the Battle for Earth on Ironman Classic twice within two days, I opted for Ironman Normal, and so far it's been pretty much perfect for me - all my hard earned strategies for Classic are paying off double on Normal - right now I'm ontop of the world - though knowing XCOM, things will get much more dire quickly - just hoping I'll be ready for it.

On classic mode, I couldn't stand how unfairly accurate enemies are - and the whole shooting through cover thing... nah - Classic doesn't work for me, it's just the unfair kind of difficulty (revving up passive combat stats to ridiculous levels and extra punitive metagame rules), rather than more aggressive tactical and strategical AI with a moderate stats advantage (if at all, I'd rather go for 'more' enemies).

Ironman is awesome all around though. Puts me on the edge of my seat, even if nothing actually happens. A real nailbiter - this one.

#41 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@BeachThunder said:

@Chaser324 said:

@MstrMnyBgs said:

I wish there was a difficulty between normal and classic.

I agree. I've been mostly playing on Classic Ironman, and while initially it isn't too bad, eventually I'll always just get smashed. However, dropping down to Normal feels almost too easy in comparison.

It would be nice to customise difficulty levels, as in, being able to choose various aspects from each difficulty; having no officer training school in higher difficulty seems a bit silly.

You can build it, but really everything's so super thight on Classic, the margin for error is close to zero. And you'll have to be willing to let things go. A lot of things. Because if you waste your ressources on lost causes, the fight's already lost. On classic, you can't save everyone.

I'd totally dig Classic difficulty, if it wasn't for the aiming shennanigans going on in that mode. My veteran snipers were getting outgunned by pretty much any alien unit in the field - that's not right. Dunno if I'll give Classic Ironman another go, when I beat Normal Ironman - because it's kinda bogus difficulty.

And yes - I'd love more indepth difficulty customization too.

#42 Posted by Ursus_Veritas (383 posts) -

I'm on Normal, which I'm finding just right for me - good enough that I feel great when an Op goes well and the squad gets through okay, but encounters always feel dangerous enough, like their on the knifepoint of suddenly having a large amount of excrement hit the proverbial fan. I never thought I'd try Ironman mode, but so far I might as well have been on it considering I've not reloaded - even after things went bad in the first Terror mission and I lost two of my troops, a Sergeant and Lieutenant, to those bastard Chrysalids. 
 
I think so far the only time I'm going to consider reloading a save is if my Sniper, Major Dominick 'Eyes' Cordier of South Africa, dies. He's been with me for 10 missions, every one since the tutorial, and racked up 25 kills so far. I consider him my unofficial second in Command of XCOM, and I may just suffer a psychotic break if he bites it!

#43 Posted by Dapupeteer (10 posts) -

im ironmaning on impossible already on my 25th restart i think i have a problem

#44 Posted by Metric_Outlaw (1172 posts) -

I played through about half the game on normal. I got to a point where it stopped being fun and just got ridiculously difficult. I started over and am pretty close to the end on easy. I have found the game infinitely more enjoyable this way.

#45 Posted by Yalbit (68 posts) -

Knowing that this is a game I'm going to play through a few times I started out on easy to get a feel for things, and because I read that even easy was difficult. I'm finding easy to be just that so I'm aiming to play on normal the next time and hopefully work up to the hardest.

#46 Posted by HH (611 posts) -

i'm coasting on normal right now, stepping it up to classic as soon as i get to the end. ironman all the way. sweet game.

#47 Posted by Tennmuerti (8141 posts) -

After finishing a classic game last week, I just started a new one again classic but this time with ironman.

#48 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3067 posts) -

I haven't played the game, but Classic seems like my first choice.

#49 Posted by ElCapitan (402 posts) -

@Yorkin: It's just more than the bump from Normal to Classic.

#50 Posted by Pixeldemon (244 posts) -

Playing Normal Ironman. I think that re-loading completely destroys the tension and difficulty of the game. You are supposed to lose veteran squad-mates sometimes, that is where most of the game's difficulty comes from.

Once I beat this game I will attempt Classic ironman (and probably end up playing it as a rogue-like for a while)

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