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Gollop on X-COM Remake

Eurogamer.net talks with XCOM: Enemy Unknown producer Jake Solomon and original X-COM designer Julian Gollop about how the new installment in the series lives up to its forebears. "I think Firaxis has done a great job," Julian Gollop told them. "The game is addictive and absorbing, not to mention quite challenging on the classic difficulty setting."

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35. Re: Gollop on X-COM Remake Nov 28, 2012, 18:49 Creston
 
Mikus_Aurelius wrote on Nov 28, 2012, 17:50:
Creston wrote on Nov 28, 2012, 10:39:
It's just too bad that the challenge comes from the AI cheating and purely random shit happening to you that you can't do anything about. It's not a difficulty where the AI simply plays smarter than you do; it just cheats instead.
Creston

I honestly don't understand this complaint about this or any other game. I'm not saying it's invalid. But basically, an enemy that has 30% chance to crit on normal has a 40% chance to crit on classic. Is this "cheating?" Why are the enemy statistics on one difficult level considered "fair" and on another "cheating?" The game is asymmetric, it's not like their sectoids are better than your sectoids. I'm happy to entertain a fuller explanation of this complaint, but for now I guess I just don't get it.

My soldiers crit based off the weapon. On Normal, the aliens crit based off their weapon (which is plasma for all of them, but still). Why do they, on Classic, suddenly Crit +10%? I can sort of see the aim bonus for certain enemies (and most certainly fucking not for lumbering brutes like a Muton) like perhaps a sectoid, or a thin man. but a CRIT bonus? That's just horseshit. What, does it know exactly how to fire the weapon so that it hurts more?

Having to give an AI shitty bonuses like that is cheating. It's the same as in an RTS where at higher difficulty levels, the AI doesn't get any smarter, it just starts getting a 25% discount on its creation costs and time, or an FPS dev who implement a higher difficulty level by just making the enemy hit you for 50% more damage, while you hit them for 50% less damage. It's pure fucking laziness.

And it's stupid that it's in Xcom, because Classic is already harder than normal because

A) You get more opponents (which is how difficulty should be done) and
B) The AI isn't gimped like it is on normal and easy.

So why the stupid bonus? Why not just add a few more enemies to the map, and simply turn off the "5 NPC limit" on classic? (which most mods actually do, which makes terror missions truly terrifying. After five turns there will only be like 5 civilians left.)



I've been playing games a long time. I've gotten over the fact that game AI will never scale infinitely, and instead strategy games will challenge me by presenting opponents that are stronger instead of more intelligent. Certainly this has been the case in every strategy game I've ever played on a computer, except maybe Chess. Again, are there games I'm missing with smarter and smarter AI to challenge the best players?

Galciv II still has the best AI I've ever seen in a strategic game. And as far as I know, it doesn't cheat. Playing that on the top 2 difficulty levels is basically asking to get your ass handed to you on a silver platter.


My personal criticism of the game is that it needs much more operational pressure in the mid and late game. The first couple months of classic feel about right, but after you get a decent income, and eventually full satellite coverage, the aliens never really do anything to break your momentum. The tactical game similarly becomes trivial once you have mid level soldiers and gear. If I survive the first month, I generally finish the game with maybe 1-2 more casualties total.

Which is a side-effect of the entire "strategy" game just revolving around getting satellites in the air. Nothing else matters. So once you have every country provided with a sat, the threat is basically over, because the only thing the "strategy" game had to challenge you with was the rampant panic. And the only counter is satellites.

And the aliens "upgrading" right as you do feels so gimmicky. If they have Muton Elites, why aren't those being used in the earlier missions? Why is it that if I storm the Alien base with a squad full of under-equipped rookies, the Aliens have 3 sectoids and a Crysallid for protection, while if you go in with 6 guys with full plasma and arch-angel armor, they have Elites, mechas, and everything else?

Again, I still love the game, and Warspace does make it a lot better. It's just annoying that I have to use Warspace to get around the crappy design decisions (especially because mods are such a bitch to get to run.)

Creston
 
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