What is your preferred XCOM difficulty level?

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#51 Posted by BonOrbitz (2182 posts) -

Normal for me because I've heard how hard this series can get. The difficulty is starting to ramp up for me now, so I can't imagine what the harder modes are like.

#52 Posted by Kidavenger (3526 posts) -

Still on my first playthrough, other than the first few missions, normal is too easy, I'm at the point now that I kill the majority of aliens before they ever get a shot off and I've only had 3 guys die on me in 70ish missions (I must be really close to the end).

#53 Posted by Disconnect (68 posts) -

Playing Iron Man on Normal and I got a regular game going on Classic. Until the LoS stuff and enemies teleporting around is fixed I'm sticking with that. Having my dudes being shot through a wall or a closed door on Classic Iron Man would just end up with me smashing my computer to bits.

And yeah, Normal is a little bit too easy. Especially if you have any clue what you are doing when planning the early stages of your base/infrastructure.

#54 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

I started on Classic despite never having played an XCOM game and being bad at Civ. Most of my playing time has been spent trying to decide whether that was a mistake or not. Oh, and having lots of fun. 

I started out getting decimated, but I accepted any losses as long as they weren't total wipeouts or down to mis-clicks as I got used to the controls. After a while I got a pretty decent regular squad together and we were powering through stuff admirably - only problem was the strategy layer, where there was lots of panic and I never had any money. Then, I did the alien base and lost all my best vets. Back into the hell of long range, one shot crit deaths I fell. It was around that time, taking on my first intact landed UFO, when I said to myself 'OK, seriously this game is too hard, that's bullshit' in response to 6 mutons and multiple sectoid commanders slaughtering me. Then, somehow, I came through that mission on the first try with 2 survivors and one person stabilised on the brink of death. Now, I finally have a couple more satellites in the air and I just came through a Terror mission without a SCRATCH on anybody ('poor' rating for civilians rescued, but Brazil can phone someone who cares about that). But who knows what'll happen next mission?

Long story short, I constantly feel like I'm hanging on by my fingernails, so Classic is probably the perfect, 'pure' XCOM experience for me.

#55 Edited by mr_bear (2 posts) -

hey guys,

i'm playing on classic ironman and I've just got to the very last mission in the game, and it seems a lot of people are having trouble so I thought I'd share a few things i've learnt:

first off, no matter what difficulty you pick, enable ironman mode - it makes the game so much better, and second remember you're trying to win the game, not get star ratings from the council. this is technically my seventh attempt (often died very early!) but it's my fourth serious playthrough. I wanted to restart on 'normal' a few times but i'm glad i didn't - it's actually the early-mid game that's the worst by far - surviving the first 2 or 3 months is a nightmare, I lost three countries during the early game, I think I got rated 'A' once, mostly 'B' and 'C', one 'D'. I researched laser weapons pretty early but used them for most of the game, I focused on getting armour more than anything, and didn't get plasma weapons until the mid-late game. i don't think i skipped any terror missions, but i had to let several UFOs get away when important troops were recovering - better to get a bad grade than lose more men. (I think your council report grade gets knocked down a notch for each mission you skip or fail). I only got all my men slaughtered once, a sectoid commander plus mutons in one of those open plan UFOs, although luckily they weren't my best men, and I always tried to have a few extra troops for redundancy. I did lose some prize guys in unfortunate circumstances - but it's ironman so you gotta just take it on the chin! :) sometimes you just have to retreat, no shame in that. i've ended up with everything researched, loads of maxed out troops and several maxed out psi-troopers, who really help in combat.

It took me several games to understand the cover and line-of-sight system. I know now it's actually really simple, but I just didn't fully get it until my latest game. I found sticking to the tree-line in UFO missions really helps - don't just change the UFO, the trees provides better cover. I also changed my team combination *really* successfully this time to 2 heavies and 2 support (plus a sniper and assault), because having two people able to throw down area-of-affect missiles saved my skin against chrsylids and robots every time, and having two medics often saved my men from dying. you can often take down a cyberdisc/sectopod plus the annoying drones in a single turn by starting with a rocket and then focusing them down (get the double damage vs robots perk). I also got all the officer training facility upgrades as soon as I could afford them, much earlier than most research, which was pretty underfunded throughout the game. finally I spam overwatch relentlessly, sometimes it makes progress annoyingly slow, but I often have three or four of my guys in overwatch when i hear enemies approach, I try to let the enemies come to me. sometimes when i'm backed into a corner I avoid moving to 'ideal' positions that I know would expose more of the map, cos if there are more enemies around the corner then it could be game over, especially if they're crysilids...

this is such a brilliant remake, I don't really play games anymore but i'm really glad i bought this, it's awesome!! also I absolutely love the cutscenes, especially the one after you've shot down your first UFO - it totally adds to the atmosphere. this game has actually had me on the edge of my seat so many times, really really great game.

have fun!

#56 Posted by seannao (225 posts) -

I'm just getting into classic and because I don't know what I'm really doing I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose at least 3 nations before the base assault, which is kind of "okay" since I keep trying to pick the highest-funding panic-nations first. Not sure how it's going to play out, but it's a lot more "fun" than normal so far, having had over 10 casualties within the first two months.

I hear X-com offers great death insurance to families, so, I need as many of you to sign up as possible. I'm kinda new to the whole "commanding thing"

#57 Posted by Sbaitso (524 posts) -

Normal, Ironman has been going nicely for me. I think I would like this game less if I knew I could just do a mission over again.

#58 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

Normal. While classic does provide a decent challenge, the fact that 90% of your downfalls and shortcomings don't come from how you planned a scenario, but from bad dice rolls and hidden perks on enemies is a real bummer. It's a real kick in the pants to set up a situation that looks like it will work, only to have it collapse due to pure chance.

On normal, the dice rolls are still crazy but the perks on enemies is lower so it seems like more even ground for most of the game. I'd really love a mode that has 0 natural dice perks for you and the computer, but still has all the roaming patrols and smarter AI that classic has.

#59 Edited by mr_bear (2 posts) -

dice rolls are the chances to hit, right? i think you might be hoping for too much luck, you've got to overcompensate by being cautious - you can't just run fowards, hide behind something and expect your first shot to take down an enemy. that's why i spam overwatch, it gives you free shots without breaking cover, and by retreating you can force enemies to move fowards in order to see you. i've had 92% shots miss, and 20% shots hit, but I've never felt the chances favoured either side, and i stick to full cover except when bearing down on an enemy with the entire squad. i've also noticed that range doesn't really matter, with a few exceptions, like when you're close enough to shotgun someone in the face, you're as accurate from far away as you are from medium range. that's useful to know if you want to be able retreat a wounded soldier.

#60 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

@mr_bear said:

dice rolls are the chances to hit, right? i think you might be hoping for too much luck, you've got to overcompensate by being cautious - you can't just run fowards, hide behind something and expect your first shot to take down an enemy. that's why i spam overwatch, it gives you free shots without breaking cover, and by retreating you can force enemies to move fowards in order to see you. i've had 92% shots miss, and 20% shots hit, but I've never felt the chances favoured either side, and i stick to full cover except when bearing down on an enemy with the entire squad. i've also noticed that range doesn't really matter, with a few exceptions, like when you're close enough to shotgun someone in the face, you're as accurate from far away as you are from medium range. that's useful to know if you want to be able retreat a wounded soldier.

On the contrary, you can expect that, depending on where you're actually taking your shot. In the midgame, rushing foreward to move into a rear flank of the target you want to kill becomes a very viable option. It's more when you have your squad bunkered up at an entrance in a breach position, pop the door, and all the overwatch shots miss by miles, or when floating snipers with 95% to hit with doubletap still miss. And on classic, the hit percentage for the AI is dramatically higher. I've had quite a few squad wipes where Sectoids take out entire squads with pistols from 15 squares away when my hit percentage from the same distance is 10% or lower. It's annoying.

#61 Posted by Yanngc33 (4496 posts) -

Normal. First Xcom game, not usually very good at strategy games. I just want to take it easy and have fun.

#62 Posted by Helios1337 (325 posts) -

Completed it successfully on normal then attempted Classic with Ironman mode and got my ass kicked. I like how the world is in more of a panic on Classic with a variety of aliens dumped on you right away. But the amount of critical hits the aliens land is insane considering your soldiers can't hit a damn thing. The aliens getting a bonus move when discovered becomes even more annoying on Classic.

#63 Posted by MikkaQ (10276 posts) -

With normal I find the combat easy, but the high level menu stuff basically impossible to comprehend (like what to build when), so I feel like bumping it up wouldn't make it any more fun for me.

#64 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

If unfamiliar with strategy games of this type: Normal

If familiar but prefer not to have the deck stacked against you: Normal Ironman

Familiar and want a challenge that has potential for outright failure if you make too many mistakes: Classic Ironman

I don't think anyone should start on easy. Only do that after trying normal and finding it's too much for you.

#65 Posted by bernlin2000 (2 posts) -

Started and finished the game on Easy...but not before getting hit by what I imagine is the classic X-COM problem: I was screwing up the strategy element badly and simply didn't have enough money to upgrade so many things. I blame this on the fact that the game emphasizes engineers over scientists: research is king in the Civilization series, but follow a similar strategy in XCOM is a good way to have access to all these wonderful weapons and armor...but no money to actually buy them. The tutorial didn't explain (or I wasn't paying attention) that satettlies are your biggest source of cash. Also, I never even touched the gray market until late in my second Easy campaign: more scrub mistakes.

Now I'm starting my third campaign on Normal Ironman, and I hope to do classic next (although probably not Ironman, from the way people in this forum describe it...i don't need to ruin my keyboard beating my head against it). Overall...a very fun, addictive game that reminds me of both Civ IV (the strategy aspect) and Mass Effect 2 (the tactical element). The reality is those games are actually inspired by XCOM itself which is pretty amazing.

#66 Posted by bernlin2000 (2 posts) -

@HerbieBug said:

If unfamiliar with strategy games of this type: Normal

If familiar but prefer not to have the deck stacked against you: Normal Ironman

Familiar and want a challenge that has potential for outright failure if you make too many mistakes: Classic Ironman

I don't think anyone should start on easy. Only do that after trying normal and finding it's too much for you.

I would have to disagree: being a total noob to the series (although having a lot of experience with other strategy and tactical games) I fared pretty poorly, even on Easy the first time. The second time wasn't too bad, but I still found myself having to reload saves occasionally to prevent half my squad from dying. Sure, some of that was probably my fault, but a lot of times it felt unfair (the chrysalids' movement speed is very overwhelming when you first encounter them oftentimes...plus the zombification on citizen-saving missions is devastating early on). I think I would recommend Easy Ironman as the best way to start off: you get that classic feeling of not being able to turn back without it feeling like the aliens are always ahead of the game (which is suppose to change eventually).

#67 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

I take back my Classic vote.

Impossible is the shit.

Once you get past the first 2 months, anyways.

#68 Posted by Crocio (542 posts) -

Started the game with classic iron-man. Game got way too easy after you get to the end-game weaponry so I completed all optional stuff in that mode, got the ending, la-la-la. Just started impossible iron man, and I like the difficulty and overall tactics as well. You play much more defensively, as in, breaking line-of-sight. Either way, impossible is for-sure more fun, requires more thought.

#69 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -

I played the game on Normal, and it was fun and cool, and I re-loaded my save a tonne o times.
 
Playing Classic IronMan mode now is kickin the absolute fuck out o me. I am on attempt number 12, and I'm about as far as meeting the Muton Berserkers. Every time though, I get ambushed somewhere, miss all my shots and I lose the whole game. Not sure why I keep goin back!
 
Hot tip I am just learning to exploit: ROCKETS AND GRENADES DON'T MISS.
...Actually rockets do miss 10% of the time, but hey it's usually a good bet.

#70 Posted by MFJubes (18 posts) -

Normal until I beat the Alien Base. It gets kinda easy after that.

#71 Posted by ShaggE (6399 posts) -

Played Normal, but I don't like that the AI is restricted. So it's Classic and up from here on out.

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