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What game are you playing right now? #3

Discussion in 'Playground' started by Splunge, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Ich dien ★ SPS Account Holder

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    After playing through the then free Shadowrun Returns: The dead man’s switch, I currently play Shadowrun: Dragonfall and find more and more reasons to dislike Berlin... :rolleyes:
     
  2. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Played through Bombshell a while back. It's an isometric shooter, sort of in the same vein as the Alien / Zombie shooter. Though that comparison only goes as far as saying that Doom 3 is like Doom 1&2; same genre, but different approaches.

    Whereas Alien Shooter takes the Painkiller / Serious Sam approach to combat, Bombshell goes more the Doom 3 approach and doesn't throw nearly as many enemies at you. The ones that you do encounter, typically are more dangerous in small groups than those large groups of monsters in Alien Shooter.

    Like Alien Shooter, you gain experience when killing enemies, and when completing quests / progress plot. You can put those points into very incremental upgrades to health and armour, or invest those in points in making some special powers stronger. These special powers are unlocked during the course of the game, and include punching stuff, dashing, a shield, and a sword. Some of these are useful, like dashing to go faster, or the sword to quickly cut up some enemies, but the shield and the punch don't seem very useful.

    Aside from those things, you unlock more upgrades for your weapons as you level up, though you'll have to buy them after they're unlocked. There are quite a few weapons, and they can be upgraded in different ways (affecting the secondary fire, typically). You'll find the weapons at pre-determined places during the game, so I suppose it's actually possible you'd miss some of them if you don't explore thoroughly. I missed one, though that was due to a bug, where the game thought I'd picked up the weapon, except I couldn't select it, nor was it visible in the upgrade screen.

    I'd have reloaded an earlier save, but the game works with checkpoints, and the game had checkpointed me after I'd supposedly picked up the weapon. I suppose I could've restarted the level, but I didn't feel like replaying the whole level. I'm not too fond of the checkpoint system, especially when I accidentally triggered the end of the level, even though I'd intended to explore the level more thoroughly first. And I'd been checkpointed in the new level, so bye-bye previous level.

    Not that it really matters that much, but I'd definitely have preferred a normal save system. Even the weapon that I'd not gotten due to that bug didn't matter much, as the weapons seem a bit poorly balanced. Most notably, the starting weapon you get has regenerating ammo, and, if you chose the upgrade path I did, it kills almost anything in one shot. Mini-boss? Single shot it. It's a rail gun, so you can one-shot multiple enemies with one shot as well. Instinctively I tried to switch to the rocket launcher for one of the boss fights, but that does actually significantly less damage than the starting weapon, and will run out of ammo.

    So I used just that one weapon for most of the game. The only limitation I ran into with that weapon was when I encountered an enemy with a shield, that, with typical video game logic, could reflect my shots back at me. Took me a few times to realise that the instant death was actually caused by myself. Similarly, I killed myself a few times by throwing grenades, which, after an upgrade, will split into four bomblets that roll around the screen trying to find an enemy. When upgraded, it can kill most enemies with a single bomblet, but you want to make sure that all four exploded, and there is not one stuck on some scenery, just waiting to explode. Because if that happens when you are close, it can kill you in one shot as well.

    You can zoom the isometric camera in and out, but, as is often my gripe with camera angles, you can't zoom out very far. It's not like the game can't handle it, either, because in certain areas the game will helpfully zoom out to let you see the pretty scenery. Perhaps it's to hide that the AI can't handle it. Though certainly I've been shot at often enough from off screen, which is always a bit annoying.

    Also, whoever thought that platforming in an isometric game was a good idea, needs to go back to video game design 101, I think. I've jumped off platforms, only to discover that the platform I thought I was jumping to was not actually part of the level. Or wondering for half of the jumps if I need to press up or left to get to the other platform, because up is not up on the screen. And you'd think you could dash across some gaps, especially since the dash becomes a teleport after a few upgrades. It can work, but only if the platform you're dashing towards is at exactly the same level or lower, because if it's a pixel higher, you'll stop dead at the edge, then plummet to your doom. That time I dashed onto some scenery and got launched out of the level was pretty cool, though.

    All in all, it's not a bad game, but it's definitely not a good game, either. To compare it to Alien Shooter 2 again, I've played through that game at least ten times, though the main game for Alien Shooter 2 is not that long. But I doubt I'll play Bombshell again. It's just not as fun, and there are too many little gripes with the game.

    The music is, in my opinion, great, though. I got the game on a discount (90% even), and I'd say the soundtrack alone is worth that, to me. I'd enjoyed it for months before I actually got around to playing the game, and I'm enjoying it still.
     
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  3. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Played through Xenonauts recently, which was great fun.

    It's apparently a sort of remake of X-COM (the original), but I've never played that, so I don't have any idea how it compares. Aside from that, the game gives me a bit of the Jagged Alliance feel. At least the turn-based combat feels that way.

    The gameplay is split up between a world map, where you manage you base, track and intercept UFOs, and build new bases. You also set up the equipment for your soldiers, research alien technology, and build new weapons, aircraft, etc.
    The other half of the gameplay is to go down to the UFO crashsites and fight any remaining aliens. This is the part that feels a bit like JA2 to me.

    For me, the turn-based ground combat probably took up around 95% of my play time. But, interestingly, it's actually largely optional. You can go down to the crashsites, and you'll get more cash from it, as well as necessary materials for research, and later also for engineering. But for the research you really only need to go to one type of each UFO that you encounter, it's not really necessary to go to a second or third scout ship crashsite.

    In theory, you could just airstrike the rest, and save yourself a lot of time. On the other hand, you get more money for going to the crashsite, and you'll get alien materials that you'd otherwise not get. And, of course, you can level up your soldiers.

    It's apparently a typical X-COM thing to lose many soldiers, and it was apparently largely unavoidable in the original game. It will happen in Xenonauts as well, and your soldiers are quite fragile at the start of the game. Later on it can still happen, but it will be a somewhat rarer occasion, as your soldiers will better armoured and will have better weapons with which it will take less shots to kill an alien. Though you'll also encounter psionic aliens, that can mind control you, or have your soldiers panic, or go berserk. Especially the latter I found to be dangerous, when most of your soldiers can one shot each other, and which is kind of annoying if it happens to your best soldiers.

    All in all, I liked the ground combat, and the base management is not that bad either. Even intercepting the UFOs with your own aircrafts can be quite rewarding. Again there is an auto-resolve button here, and, when you have sufficient overkill, it generally pays to use the auto-resolve. On the other hand, I've won some airfights for which the auto-resolve chances were pretty abysmal. It's a pretty fun mini game to do, and with some skill, you can strafe around a UFO without taking a hit yourself.

    And despite the fact that you typically spend by far the most of your time doing ground combat, resources should be allocated as much as possible to gaining and maintaining air superiority. If you don't shoot down enough UFOs, countries will get withdraw funding and might eventually fall to alien control completely. Also, if you don't shoot down the UFOs, there will be nothing for your soldiers to go to.

    So for my game, I prioritised air superiority, and most of my soldiers had to do with basic weapons and no armour until at least the first few months in the game. Even if research unlocked stuff for my soldiers, I had no money to build the stuff for them, because all my money went into getting enough coverage of the globe to not have nations drop out, and to build more aircrafts to maintain air superiority.

    It makes for interesting strategy. And the overall mix makes a fun game.

    There are some little gripes, though. Mostly, it's that certain types of missions can just not occur at all. There are terror missions, where a lot of aliens try to kill a lot of civilians and you have to stop them, and occasionally they may set up a base somewhere. The alien base gives you a research option that will increase your own research and engineering efficiency with 50%, which is a great boost. There's another option that will allow you to build a receiver of sorts with which you can see what aliens are aboard a UFO, and what their mission is.

    Unfortunately, in my game I only got one alien base, and that didn't have the communications array that would give me the option to know the aliens aboard a UFO and their mission. So I never had that option during my game, which would have been nice, because sometimes you don't want to deal with your guys getting mind controlled all the time, so if I'd known, I'd have airstriked the crashsite.

    Aside from that, once you have air superiority and coverage, you will never see these special type of missions (alien base, terror mission, your own base being assaulted), because you shoot down all the UFOs before they have the chance to do any of that. And randomly letting UFOs run around in the hopes that they'll eventually trigger one of these missions, will mostly just reduce your funding.

    I also have some gripes with the game mechanic for psionics. It would have been nice if the guys with the best stats would have had some better chance of resisting these types of attacks. There is one stat that kind of governs this, but it only works as a dice roll, where you roll between 1 and the value of this bravery stat. The alien does the same, and if your roll is higher, you resist it. But that means that you 100 bravery (maxed stat) soldier still has a good chance to fail his roll against a psionic alien with a 80 stat.
     
  4. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    It's weird, I love JA2, but never really enjoyed X-Com that much. Lacks personality to me, just a bunch of faceless nobodies. There is nothing that brings a smile to my face more than Ivan going "zdorvaaa!" after blowing a hole in the wall, followed by "sheetbek, I use all de ammuneeshun for veppun!" Also JA2 tactical combat is second to none, imo.

    Right now though been playing Overwatch, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and an enormous amount of Monster Hunter: World.
    Upcoming games I have my eye on: Pathfinder: Kingmaker which looks like another isometric BG type game, Soul Calibur VI and Doom: Eternal.
     
  5. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I can see where you're coming from. While playing Xenonauts, I've thought several times that the combat in JA2 was more polished. The combat feels like it has more depth om JA2. The biggest difference is perhaps that JA2 has stealth mechanics, something that I tend to use a lot in JA2, usually prefering to attack at night. Unfortunately, in Xenonauts, night combat is typically something to be avoided. Your soldiers will suffer penalties to their vision range, and possibly to accuracy, but the aliens do not, or at least to a lesser degree.

    And yes, in JA2, the mercs just ooze personality. It would have been nice if the soldiers had had some kind of personality, but I understand that they're just randomly generated items. I've seen some guys playing ironman on the highest difficulty, and a squad wipe can definitely occur, so I understand that giving everyone of the soldiers some unique voice and personality might not make the most sense. But still, it is one of those things that stick out.

    I also played XCOM: Enemy Unknown recently, and interestingly, they made some efforts to make the player invested in the soldiers. You can customise their names, their appearance, their voice, the game helpfully zooms in on your soldiers when they take some actions. Unfortunately, especially in the base game, it all falls flat on its face, as there is only a generic american voice to choose from, but, most importantly, all your soldiers have the same stats. They can have different classes, which will have different progression in stats, but every soldier with the same class will be pretty much identical to another soldier with that class. At least in some of the DLC / expansions they made random stats an option, which actually helps much more than all the rest to make the soldiers unique. Also they added different languages, which definitely helps.

    Though both XCOM: EU and Xenonauts were based on the same X-Com games, they took radically different routes to get there. Where Xenonauts is closer to the original, XCOM changed it more into an action based game. Strangely, the way the combat works in XCOM:EU, it reminds me more of some kind of battle chess, rather than something like JA2.

    You get two actions per turn, and each class has different abilities that you can use. While in Xenonauts you also definitely want to take out the aliens you discover as soon as possible, in XCOM this is even more pronounced. In part that's because your guys will have pretty poor hitpoints to start with, and it's entirely possible to get one shotted, soldiers that do get hit tend to spend a lot of time in the medbay afterwards (if the damage exceeded their armour, but since you don't really have armour in the beginning...). In Xenonauts, the damage system works differently, and you might just shrug off that plasma blast if you're wearing the better armours, and if you do get hit, as soon as your hitpoints (after using a medkit) stay above 50%, you can start the next mission without issues.

    The other part of the game in XCOM:EU is base management. The number one goal at the start of the game is to get more satellite coverage, similar to wanting to get more radar coverage in Xenonauts. For getting satellite coverage, you'll need satellites, which cost money, and also you need satellite uplinks, which is a building you need to build. Here's where the base management gets rather convoluted, and almost impossible to plan for. For building satellite uplinks, you need money, but you also need power and engineers to build it. Increasing amounts of engineers as you build more satellite uplinks. Engineers which you can only get as a reward for some missions (that you might not get, or might not be able to choose if you want to avoid countries leaving the council, resulting in loss of income and other bonuses), or at the end of the month, but only from those countries that have satellite coverage.

    There's so many different resources to handle for the base management, it gets insanely convoluted when you try to plan for what to build, what to research, and what to manufacture, and in what order.

    XCOM:EU can be pretty buggy at times as well. Lines of sight are often not what you'd think they should be, and I've had cases where enemies just were invisible from any angle, until they moved to a different place. I've had to restart the final mission one time as well, because some script didn't trigger, and the doors to the next section didn't open. Or one time a cyberdisc just teleported into the middle of my group. They explode on death, so while it's not too much trouble to take it out in one turn, it needs to be managed carefully.

    On the whole, I had quite a lot of fun with Enemy Unknown, though I think I prefer Xenonauts in the end.
     
  6. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Been playing quite a few different games lately, though not quite finishing most of them.

    After XCOM:EU, I played a bit of Metro 2033, I think I got pretty far, too, nearly to the library. Then I quit, though. It's a pretty good game, good atmosphere, good combat mechanic, nice weapons. It's been a while since I read the book, but I'm pretty sure Artjom wasn't shooting quite that many mutants and random guys in the book. In the end, though, the game tends to have a few too many instances in which you're beset by infinitely spawning enemies, and have try to find your way through the map, even though it is not clear where you're supposed to go. Of course, you also have manage with limited ammo. I got a bit tired of that, so I quit. Maybe I'll come back to it later.

    After that, I played some The Bureau - XCOM Declassified, another game loosely based on X-COM. It's a kind of tactical shooter, where you have two guys tagging along that you can give orders on who to shoot, and where to move. Kind of like Mass Effect, I guess, if you'd tone down the level up mechanics severely. And set in the 50s. The story is apparently some kind of prequel to the other X-COM games, or perhaps an alternate timeline kind of thing, I'm not invested enough in the X-COM lore to know what is different and what isn't. Not that other XCOM games can decide which timeline is the main one, either, I suppose. Anyway, I stopped playing that as well, because the combat mechanic is kind of tedious. It's easy to spot when you'll have an encounter by the generously spread chest high walls, and most encounters I needed to do a few times in order to get through it. Or to know how far to progress before triggering another spawn. Or just being lucky. The way your character latches onto cover is annoying sometimes, because sometimes I'm just trying to run somewhere when he decides that this wall you're passing is one he needs to stick to. Really, I'd have enjoyed it more if it was a regular shooter, like Stalker or Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

    In between, I also played some Silent Storm, a game with enough Jagged Alliance vibe to make me stick to it. Unfortunately, your characters don't have anywhere near as much personality as in JA, which is not surprising, but would've been nice. You can switch team members back at the base, before going out on a (series of) mission(s), though you have one main guy that you'll always have to take with you. They improve their skills as they use them, and with enough skill improvements, they also level up to get some more abilities. The game lacks polish, though, and it shines pretty clearly in the way you level up. Leveling up is scaled, and eventually, everyone will end up the same level, though with different skill levels. The gap in skill levels becomes pretty huge when you compare the guys that were always at the base, which lag a level or two behind your main guy, but will end up having much higher skill levels than your main guy. It gets to the point that I rescued some NPC, which joined my team, was two levels below most people in my team, but was (as a civilian engineer) a better shot than even my sniper.

    Silent Storm is set in WW2, and starts out pretty normal, with lots and lots of WW2 era guns. It gets a bit silly later on, though, when you encounter plasma / laser rifles, and armoured suits. Also, you'd better hope you prepared for those armoured suits, because most weapons can't even touch them. Also, I seem to have bypassed 2/3 of the game somehow, and have unlocked the final mission, even though (from discussions I've read about the game), I seem to have completely missed a large amount of locations and missions.

    In the end, I stopped playing the game, mostly because I didn't quite want to do the final mission yet, and also because many missions just take a long ass time to play out.

    After all that, I decided to play through the Witcher series, and got as far as half way through the second game before I got distracted by something else again.

    In this case, another play through of Saints Row 2. With the Gentlemen of the Row mod this time, so I can have infinite ammo for all weapon types, which is nice. As usual, a lot of fun to play, and with different rewards for some activities, there's actually a reason to do some of them this time around.

    Currently, I'm playing FTL again, unlocking some more ships. I'm not too fond of the randomness of this Rogue-like game, so I work around that by copying the autosaves to another location, as a round-about savegame system. Also editing those saves to make my life easier, because I don't want to have to try too many times because the random number generator didn't go my way.
     
  7. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Currently playing Bard's Tale 1 Remastered. Have to say, I like a lot of the changes from the original.
     
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  8. wrangler Gems: 1/31
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    Recently finished Baldur's Gate/TotSC with the Baldurdash fixpack and textupdate. Now playing Baldur's Gate 2 SoA/ToB with Baldurdash fixpack and textupdate, and Icewind Dale. First playthrough on all.
     
  9. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    BG2 and IWD are both awesome games. You’re in for treat.
     
  10. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Can you elaborate more Beren? I have had my eye on it for a while now and would love to hear an experienced gamers opinion.
     
  11. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    The leveling is much faster (ergo much less grinding to do), the area gets automatically mapped out for you, you can save anywhere, you have 7 party slots, and there's a lot of GUI improvements which are more than welcome. There are still too many elements that bother me personally, such as random bonuses when you level up and the messy random encounter system, but overall, it's a much more enjoyable experience.
     
  12. Yulaw9460 Gems: 9/31
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    Well, I just booted up a fresh Meetra Surik in Star Wars: KOTOR TSL. I just got to Telos.
     
  13. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    There was an automap in the Apple IIGS version of Bard's Tale I that I played around 30 years ago (can't believe it has been that long), you had 6 party slots plus a "special slot" for summons or the occasional creature you meet in a dungeon, and you got a random stat increase upon each level up until your character had all 18's.
    In Bard's Tale II and the IIe version of BT3, you had 7 party slots, but if you filled all of them you could not summon or recruit any creatures. In some quests it was necessary to recruit a creature, but I only recall two in BT2 (the intro dungeon where you needed the Winged Creature and another one that warns you that you can only take four party members to beat the puzzle and get the segment of the Destiny Wand. I haven't played BT2 in over a decade, I can't recall which dungeon).
    In the Apple IIGS version you could save anywhere outside of combat. Just hit <COMMAND>-<S> (aka <OPEN APPLE>-<S> ) or choose "Save" or "Save As" from the File menu (GS/OS looks like a colored Mac OS 6, while System 6 has some elements that make it look like Mac OS 7.0 or at least Mac OS 6.5 (not to be confused with 6.0.5 which might have existed, although I only remember seeing 6.0.7 or 6.0.8).

    So none of this sounds new to me. Sounds like the good old Bard's Tale I played as a kid.
     
  14. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    The Apple version already had some of the features I mentioned, yes.
     
  15. wrangler Gems: 1/31
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    Mostly IWD the last week, just started Lower Dorn's Deep, but have HoW and TotL to go through to finish it.
     
  16. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Playing another game of Xenonauts. Though the ground combat can get samey after a while, it does change as the game progresses. Not only will your soldiers get better stats, be able to walk more, carry more, shoot more accurately, but the tactics you can use and need to use will change as your equipment improves.

    As I mentioned in my previous post on Xenonauts, it's typically more important to get more coverage of the globe, and to get better airplanes (which you'll need to research first), which will suck up all the money for the first few months. In this second run, I also didn't have any better weapons, and definitely no armour until a couple of months into the game.

    Initially, your dropship for troop deployments can only hold 8 guys, and I've found it most effective to load it up with some heavy weapons guys, a few snipers, and a few shield guys. Other layouts could have been with shotguns, but you need to be close to shoot something with a shotgun, and without armour, I prefer to have the additional protection of a shield instead of going for the extra damage of a shotgun. After all, with few action points, it's hard to run up to a guy and then still have the action points to shoot it. Plus, it's not at all certain you'll actually kill it with that shot, especially not with basic weapons, and without cover you're likely to die if someone else doesn't shoot it first.

    So at first, the UFOs you're going to are small (though the map size more or less remains the same throughout the entire game), and you'll have to creep through the map, dividing your guys into two or three groups, always making sure you're in cover, and preferably with some action points left so you can take a reaction shot if an alien happens to wander into your field of view.

    After the next level of dropships became available, I put my main team so far on it, plus two extra guys that can fit on that level of dropships. I put a second team on the older dropship, my B-team, as it were.

    When I finally could produce some upgraded weapons and armour, I handed them out to the A-team, which eventually means that the tactics used by either team start to vary. Not much at first, but at least with better weapons it's easier to take on the aliens that continually get tougher, and more of them on the bigger UFOs, as well. The B-team, with still the basic weapons, starts to need to move in bigger groups, to make sure that anything they encounter, they can kill in one or two turns. Heavy weapons guys start to get more important as well, as it can be hard to kill some of the aliens reliably with the basic weapons.

    Some aliens regenerate each turn, and as they get tougher, they regenerate more as well. Other enemies just start to get really high damage thresholds, and may just shrug off your shots completely. Still, money and resources (including getting enough engineers to build stuff) can be pretty tight around this time, especially if still producing aircrafts all of the time.

    By now, though, I'm pretty much in the end game. Like the first game, it's now just waves and waves of the same big UFOs, though not big enough to hold that final alien that is required for the plot to progress. I guess I should start airstriking some more, as both my A- and B-teams are fully kitted out with the best armour and weapons, and I have all the aircraft I need for total air superiority.

    The weapon layout is quite different now, with 4 out of 12 guys on the dropship carrying heavy weapons, and an armour that makes their use a lot easier (significantly less action points to shoot, no heavy weapon penalty when moving in the same turn), and the rest are carrying shotguns wearing armour with jumpjets for increased mobility and 360 degree vision for easy exploration.

    I've found that these weapons are the only ones that can reliably kill an alien in a single shot. The sniper rifle may kill an alien in one shot, but damage is pretty random, and it's usually more likely that you'll not kill it in one shot. Plus, the bigger UFOs take up a significant portion of the map, and a lot of fighting tends to be done in close quarters, where the shotgun shines, and the sniper rifle takes an accuracy penalty.

    The pistol (used together with the shield, essential protection early on) does pretty decent damage, but again, will not normally kill something reliably. Same with the normal rifle, which does as much damage as the pistol per shot, but does have better range and the possibility of burst fire. The burst can kill something reliably, but only at short range, and if you're at short range, the shotgun will do it just as well, but with less action point cost.

    Frankly, I've never used the normal rifle in my current playthrough, other weapons just work better than it does. Well, I suppose it's a jack of all trades, master of none.
     
  17. WickedPrince Gems: 5/31
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    I've started runs on two games lately, alternating depending on my mood. The main one is a second run at Dragon Age: Inquisition now that I have all the DLCs for it after a sale last year. I'm playing a female Qunari warrior doing "sword and board" defender and discovering how poor a choice Iron Bull was as the warrior for my party during my first play through. His two-handed weapon skills plus his Reaver specialization don't make him a very good tank; though with him, Sera, and Vivianne as my team they always kept me falling off my chair with their hilarious party banter. This time I'm trying to use Solas for the second mage slot since I prefer a 1 warrior, 1 rogue, 2 mage party - and Vivianne with her Battlemage spec with the games only healing spells is an absolute must IMHO. But I'm finding Solas is a very boring companion. His banters with Sera are interesting: he once lead a revolution that "freed" the elves from a tyrannical group of elven magi so he's totally one of those "kill the people in charge and take over yourself types", and Sera just wants the people in charge to behave themselves, she has no interest in being in charge. In fact she enjoys sowing chaos but at the same time she has the best interests of the common people at heart. Solas and Vivianne complain about each others Magical backgrounds: he's a more or less self-trained "apostate" and she's a Mage Circle hard-liner who finds comfort in being part of an organization even if that organization itself is under the thumbs of others. I am also thinking of trying a second run as an elven mage so I can try a different mix of companions and see how the other warriors interact with Sera and Vivianne or perhaps, Varric and Vivianne.

    The other game I'm playing is a self-enforced Iron-Man run through XCOM2 - without any of the dlcs though since I can't quite see paying close to $100 for DLCs for a game I paid $10 for (I decided to skip the big sale on the game over the past weekend: I'm in a bit of a financial bind and even at 70% off including being forced to buy a second copy of the main game it wasn't worth it imho). Cripes have I been losing Rangers though: I haven't been able to get a single one to second rank without them dying before they can rank up. Every time I get the "ping" telling me they made 2nd rank the enemy focus-fires on them until they are dead or going to be on the injured list for a very long time.
     
  18. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    From what I know of the XCOM 2 DLCs, one is purely cosmetic, another is, in terms of combat, rather bullshit, though Shen's last gift would be interesting, seeing as it effectively adds the MECs from XCOM again. War of the Chosen I'm not that familiar with, but I'm not sure you'd want to try it on an ironman run, since it seems to add difficulty.
     
  19. WickedPrince Gems: 5/31
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    Two of the DLCs are purely cosmetic which is weird that THEY were not on sale during the sale except as part of the package that required purchasing an additional copy of the core game for $15 after discount: the two DLCs were only $12 total but the net savings of the full package was $2.5 over what you'd pay if you only picked up the DLCs while they were on sale. I was thinking I was just going to get the package that included Shen's Last Gift and the other story-oriented DLCs that add additional classes and was considering War of the Chosen but it was twice the cost I paid for the core game; and only really added a fairly short story while "greatly" increasing the difficulty of the main game. IMHO the main game is plenty difficult enough even with somebody who is not a tactical moron and in the "moderate" difficulty mode. I tried a harder mode but the randomization of maps and enemy composition left me stuck with an incompletable mission. There are supposed to be a variety of indie mods but from what I've seen of them many of them just greatly enhance your party abilities: like nearly doubling party weapon damage: without compensating the enemies who are admittedly VERY tough. And IMHO although the new classes look interesting: being essentially hybrids of the basic classes: but how much do they add to the game when there are 4+1 base classes; each of the base four with very different build potentials; when you can only take at most 6 people on a mission? Do you really need 8 possible classes when you can only use 6 of them at most? My personal preference is to run with two "field medic" Specialists to improve the chances of getting everybody back alive rather than the massive death-rates I see on youtube videos of the game.
     
  20. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Really, the first mod I'd look up for XCOM2 would be a mod that would allow random stats at recruitment and level up, like the second wave options for XCOM:EU. And one that would set a different random seed on reload, because I really dislike that Firaxis always seems to assume that by default we would want everything to be the same on a reload. That is not what I reloaded the game for, Firaxis.

    As for DLCs, I'd only get it once it's on GoG, and on a good discount. Max €10 for main game + all DLC. And probably not even then. XCOM:EW was entertaining in its own way, but it just doesn't hit that JA2 button for me.

    If you want to see a playthrough of XCOM 2 (or even XCOM), JadeStarLP has a good and informative let's play of both games. I believe he only had a single death in the XCOM2 LP, and none in the XCOM:EW LP.
     
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