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31. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 09:56 Creston
Tim Collins wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 08:15:
Maybe its just me but this game is tough as shit on normal. I jumped into this game on normal while having no clue what to do. Now that I totally get it and the patch came out, its still tough. Maybe its the game being easy but it always seems like everything starts crashin down on me. I don't wanna switch to easy mode, can anybody spit some tips on progression and decision making in the game.

I will assume you can get through a combat mission, but are having trouble with the strategy part? The absolutely most vital thing to do is to:

A) Gain Engineers (so you can build more and cheaper satellites)
B) Build Satellites and Satellite Uplinks.

Without satellites, panic is going to run haywire and nations are going to start bailing on your by the end of the second month (assholes.) Satellites are also what get you funding, as well as more engineers and money.

So here's my current route through a game:

- Start in Africa. Building your base elsewhere is just stupid, seriously. Africa's 30% funding bonus is worth more than all other bonuses combined. I have no idea what the fuck they were thinking when they made these bonuses.

Play the first two combat missions. For the first abduction, choose the mission which offers 4 engineers as a reward (those guys are worth more than gold.) After this you should be able to build a workshop. Build one. Put it on the right hand side of the base somewhere. From the engineering screen, click on "Build items", click on the airplane icon, then select satellites. Build two. Yes, they are horribly expensive, you're gonna have to eat that cost, unfortunately. (They get cheaper the more engineers you have, which is why Engineers are worth gold.)

- As soon as it becomes available, build a Satellite Uplink, and put it right beside the other Uplink on the left side. Always, always, ALWAYS put Uplinks beside and below each other. It's a 50% straight upgrade in their efficiency if you do. (it allows you to control 3 satellites rather than 2.)

- Build 2 medkits for your team. Don't build like 18 of them or something crazy like that. Only build what you need.

- If you get another abduction mission, either choose the engineers reward one, or the $200 reward one. Either one is a good reward for you to get at this point. Never, ever EVER choose a mission with scientists as a reward, unless that mission is in a country with 5 panic. Scientists are, quite frankly, pretty useless. You will have plenty of time to research everything, no matter how slow it goes.

- Excavate the rest of the first floor.

- Five days before the end of the first month, check the situation room and see how panic is going. If a country is in yellow, it's worth sending a satellite to it to quell the panic. However, if this country is on another continent, you will make your life tough because you have no interceptors there. If you can afford the 80$ to station 2 interceptors there, do so and put the satellite there. If you can't, launch the satellite to a country in Africa.

There are some people who advocate keeping satellites in reserve until a country is about to explode with panic, but I always launch my full availability right before the end of the month, because it will get me more money and more engineers. With that more money and more engineers, I can build more satellites the next month.

I'm sure it works to keep them in check until the last moment, but with my way you just get money much faster and can speed everything up by months.

- After doing a downed UFO mission, go to the situation room and check the Gray Market. Every item you have that is (Broken), can be safely sold for quite substantial cash.

- In month 2, build another workshop, right next to the one you already built. Once that's complete, you will hopefully have 30 engineers or more, which will allow you to build another Satellite Uplink. With the extra cash on hand, you should also be able to build 2 or 3 more satellites. However, before you can do so, you will need more power. If you have an easy Steam vent available (as in, right beside the third floor elevator) go straight for the steam vent to build a Thermo generator. If you don't have one of those, just build a normal power generator on the right hand side of the first level.

- Manage your panic by taking missions in the highest panicking country. If that gets you scientists as a reward, such are the vagaries of life...

- As money allows, excavate floor # 2, starting with the left side where you are building your Satellite uplinks.

- At the end of month 2, you should have 2 or 3 satellites in reserve. Send them to the most panicking continent. Don't spread them out, as you won't be able to afford the Interceptors for multiple continents (unless you got really lucky with money somehow.) Make sure you order interceptors at the same time as you are sending out satellites, and make sure to send them out about 5 days before the council comes to talk to you, as it takes them some days to get there.

- For every month after, basically repeat. Add a workshop to get more engineers, add more power if required (build on level 2 underneath your power generator for a bonus, or if you have Thermo available, next to your thermo.) Build another Uplink, or even 2 if you can afford them, and more satellites. Remember to keep the 80 bucks for the interceptors in mind when you deploy satellites to a new continent.

By the end of month 4 you will probably have every country covered with satellites, though if you want you can extend that to month 5. (it really depends on how your panic is going.)

If you failed to save one country, don't sweat it. You need to have 8 countries bail on you before the mission fails. If you are in danger of losing multiple countries, try to have them all bail from the same continent. (I find south america to be rather worthless as they give you virtually no money, and their bonus is so inconsequential that not having it makes no difference whatsoever to your entire game. Autopsies and Interrogations typically will take 1-3 days, and will quickly scale down to 1 day by the time you have a few scientists.)

- Research is up to you, but I've noticed that if you go the alien materials / nanotech vest / carapace armor route first, a lot of countries will start asking for 2 nanotech vests for a reward of $57. Since it costs $24 to make 2 of them, that's pure profit right there. So it's a recommended research path if you want more money.

However, doing this will mean you will be facing your first terror mission (and the Cryssalids) with conventional weaponry. I didn't find it to be much of a problem, but one of the damn things did gank my LT...

An alternative research path is to go straight for beam weapons so you can hopefully bust out a few laser rifles before that terror mission, which will make a difference. On the flipside, the first time I did that, I had put so much money into my satellites that I didn't actually have enough left to BUILD the laser rifles once I had researched them

Anyway, hope it helps a little. I'm on my third game, and this build sequence works pretty well. Satellites and Engineers are king. Ignore science labs.

As for the containment facility etc, worry about that when you have the world's panic level under control. As far as I can tell, at least on Normal, there's no arbitrary fail date set like on Impossible, so you can take as long as you want to research crap. I took 11 months to finally assault the alien base, had everything researched, and the game was perfectly content to throw the occasional UFO my way and not really worry about anything.


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