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XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned

2K Games and Firaxis now offer sales of the Elite Soldier Pack for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a set of customization tools originally offered as a preorder incentive for the strategy remake. This is accompanied by news they are also working on two DLC packs for the game, though they only have details on one of them, and this does not include key points like pricing or a release date. Here is what we know:

The Slingshot Content Pack, the first of two add-on content packs for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, will be available soon. In this new set of linked Council missions, gamers will meet an enigmatic Triad operative, divert an alien ship’s course, and do battle with the aliens in the skies over China. The Slingshot Content Pack includes three new maps tied to the Council missions, a new playable squad character with a unique story and voice and new character customization options. The release date and pricing of the Slingshot Content Pack will be announced soon.

The Elite Soldier Pack, originally free for those who pre-ordered XCOM: Enemy Unknown or purchased the game at launch, is now available for purchase for $4.99 (PlayStation®Network) / 400 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network) / $4.99 (Windows PC). The Elite Soldier Pack provides the ultimate tools for soldier customization in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, including:

  • Classic X-COM soldier: Players will instantly receive a new recruit in their barracks inspired by the original X-COM: UFO Defense. The iconic soldier with the blonde, flattop hairstyle will return fully modernized.
  • Soldier Deco packs: Players can customize their soldier with several aesthetic upgrades to armor suits, including the new Hyperion and Reaper soldier armor kits.
  • Complete color customization: A variety of colors and tints for all armor sets in the game allow players complete control to customize their squad’s look.

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47. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Nov 30, 2012, 16:32 Primalchrome
 
1. save often in tactical view and reload to not lose important member of squad

HORRIBLE advice. What's the point playing the game with this approach? You need to feel your mistakes and correct your tactical approach if you're losing squaddies. In Normal, I lost one squaddie.....to friendly fire (not panicked). In Classic and higher, you should *expect* to lose squad members.
 
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46. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 27, 2012, 01:25 Paranoid Jack
 
Creston wrote on Oct 25, 2012, 08:22:
Paranoid Jack wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 23:39:
Slashman wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 21:20:
If you ain't playin' on Ironman, then you ain't playin'!

I'd love to play Ironman but I'm worried the first time I lose a high ranking soldier to an alien shooting through full cover half way across the map I am going to scream so hard I'll have a brain aneurysm and fall over dead.

That only happens with any frequency on Classic and Impossible. It really just doesn't happen on Normal. They'll still make some crazy shots, but when they do you just giggle, because you know the alien had a 15% shot and took it, and made it. I sometimes do that myself because it'll be the only option left, and when I make it I just cackle with glee.

I don't mind the aliens trying the RNG and sometimes winning. What I mind in classic is that they just get a standard +40 to hit and +30 to critical. That's not a "difficulty level", that's a lazy developer's cheat.

Creston

I've been playing on Normal from the start and have been killed through full cover more than a dozen times. The one that was most outlandish was a shot length wise through a bread van (which is full cover) and side ways through a car (which is half cover) while my trooper was in full smoke. The kicker? The alien had no line of site even without the smoke. It was as if the AI was not seeing the van.

They added some kind of randomness on top of the to hit percentages. And that part of the calculation is just nuts. How else can a trooper standing one tile away miss an alien with a shotgun while having a 98% chance to hit. I know they want it to be hard like the original but even with the camera as it is its not hard to see when the alien has no LOS but has been given some crazy bonus to hit and literally can't miss even through full cover terrain that should block the shot. I hope they change the way the game handles those calculation in the sequel.

As far as my troops making the crazy shots... as they've leveled I have seen more shots ignoring LOS or just shooting through full cover. I rarely take any pleasure in the cheap shots because it just makes the game feel a bit off for me. Seems a lot of tactical games have issues with LOS. Maybe we will never play a game that is near perfect in that regard. Though I hate to give up hope.

Over all its not a huge problem for me. I'm still enjoying the game but wishing they would have made a few design choices a bit differently like relying more on good AI tactics to make the game a challenge and less on stacking the deck in favor of the aliens.
 
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45. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 26, 2012, 04:15 Jerykk
 
Creston, is that strat you wrote up for Normal or Classic? Because the metagame on Classic is pretty ridiculous. Over half of the countries are at high panic levels after the first month. I'm on my fifth Classic Ironman playthrough and the metagame destroys me every time. Well, that and the ridiculous enemy crits.

Also, your recommendation of Africa for the base... I did the math and even with the 30% boost to monthly income, you'd still make less money than you would in Europe (assuming you have satellites in all its countries). Unless there's something I'm missing.
 
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44. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 25, 2012, 08:22 Creston
 
Paranoid Jack wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 23:39:
Slashman wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 21:20:
If you ain't playin' on Ironman, then you ain't playin'!

I'd love to play Ironman but I'm worried the first time I lose a high ranking soldier to an alien shooting through full cover half way across the map I am going to scream so hard I'll have a brain aneurysm and fall over dead.

That only happens with any frequency on Classic and Impossible. It really just doesn't happen on Normal. They'll still make some crazy shots, but when they do you just giggle, because you know the alien had a 15% shot and took it, and made it. I sometimes do that myself because it'll be the only option left, and when I make it I just cackle with glee.

I don't mind the aliens trying the RNG and sometimes winning. What I mind in classic is that they just get a standard +40 to hit and +30 to critical. That's not a "difficulty level", that's a lazy developer's cheat.

Creston
 
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43. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 25, 2012, 08:20 Creston
 
Flatline wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 19:37:
When you get the ability to make SHIVs, don't bother with the normal shiv- make an alloy shiv. It's way more worth it.

Am I the only one that doesn't like SHIVs? Really the only bonus they have versus a normal soldier is that they don't panic, but shit, by the time you can build an allow SHIV your guys will be colonels in Titan Armor anyway, and for them to panic is beyond rare. (in fact, for them to DIE is beyond rare.)

Creston
 
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42. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 23:52 nin
 
I'm worried the first time I lose a high ranking soldier to an alien shooting through full cover half way across the map I am going to scream so hard I'll have a brain aneurysm and fall over dead.

Welcome to XCOM. They got that part of the remake right.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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41. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 23:39 Paranoid Jack
 
Slashman wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 21:20:
If you ain't playin' on Ironman, then you ain't playin'!

I'd love to play Ironman but I'm worried the first time I lose a high ranking soldier to an alien shooting through full cover half way across the map I am going to scream so hard I'll have a brain aneurysm and fall over dead.
 
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40. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 21:20 Slashman
 
If you ain't playin' on Ironman, then you ain't playin'!  
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39. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 19:37 Flatline
 
Tim Collins wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 12:53:
Creston that is the best damn info EVER....seriously i was in awe reading your strat. I knew they goofed...good call on waiting to do the containment thing.'

JSP thank you also.

I'll elaborate a little more myself. Never build spares of anything if you can help it except for satellites, and then only build what you can launch during that month. Unless a country asks for it, you can't sell anything you build off (one of the big complaints IMHO). Since the only thing you exhaust is alien grenades until you research that in the foundry, you'll only ever need say 2 medkits.

I'll take that to an even further extreme. I'll go to deploy and when I get to the squad selection screen I kit out and then anything I feel I'm missing I'll actually cancel the deployment, rush over to engineering, and buy precisely what I need, since foolishly enough making gear is instantaneous.

The assault soldier's ability to get a reaction attack if an enemy moves within 4 squares is effing GOLD. My two assault specialists have somewhere like 40 kills each, and are alive because of that very ability.

Squadsight for your sniper post-patch is way, WAY better than move & shoot (I've lost maybe a dozen opportunities to kill aliens without move & shoot, but my sniper has like 70+ kills, mostly due to squadsight).

Asia, if you can, is a GREAT place to fill out mid-game if you have the opportunity. Why? 50% cost reduction in the officer school AND 50% cost reduction in the foundry = a LOT of money saved.

Once you can build an Elerium Generator, your power needs are pretty much over.

When you get the ability to make SHIVs, don't bother with the normal shiv- make an alloy shiv. It's way more worth it.
 
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38. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 19:25 Flatline
 
JSP wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 09:23:
Tactical
1. save often in tactical view and reload to not lose important member of squad

Wuss.
 
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37. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 18:04 Prez
 
InBlack wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 09:16:
Agreed. Its a damn ripoff. The main reason being its NOT just cosmetics.

I colour code my soldiers so I can easily differentiate between my troops on the ground.

Red - Heavy
Blue - Assault
Yellor - Sniper
White - Medics (obviously)

Same here, though my color sequence is different. My snipers are black because they are badass ninjas. With sniper rifles. Yeah.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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36. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 17:45 Turglar
 
JSP wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 09:23:
Tactical
1. save often in tactical view and reload to not lose important member of squad

Fail.
 
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35. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 14:09 Creston
 
Tim Collins wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 12:53:
Creston that is the best damn info EVER....seriously i was in awe reading your strat. I knew they goofed...good call on waiting to do the containment thing.'

JSP thank you also.

Glad to help man, hope the strategy works for you (it should, though in my current game I've had a few close calls with regards to panic. I saved two countries with a satellite on the actual day of the council calling-and thus them bailing-itself.)

Like I said though, it's no biggie if you can't save a continent. It feels good to save everything, but eh. I always save South America for last. If I can save it, great. If not... *shrug*

Some must be sacrificed if all are to be saved.

Creston
 
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34. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 12:53 Tim Collins
 
Creston that is the best damn info EVER....seriously i was in awe reading your strat. I knew they goofed...good call on waiting to do the containment thing.'

JSP thank you also.

This comment was edited on Oct 24, 2012, 12:59.
 
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33. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 12:51 J
 
avianflu wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 10:40:
That was 200% wrong.
I can hear Alanis Morissette singing
 
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32. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 10:40 avianflu
 
jimnms wrote on Oct 24, 2012, 08:34:
Am I the only one that finds DLC like this puts me off wanting to buy the game?

Yup, for this game, count me in that group with you. Same thing with Borderlands 2.

It is particularly annoying with XCOM that you cannot color code your troops without the DLC. That was 200% wrong.
 
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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.

Creston


 
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30. Re: More Big Picture Details Oct 24, 2012, 09:42 HorrorScope
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Oct 23, 2012, 22:03:
It took me a while to figure out that the terrible performance I was getting was related to SLI, which more than halved my framerate. I tried the new drivers released today but they didn't help.

It's hard to know who to blame for situations like this but I hold nVidia and Firaxis equally to blame. If a game doesn't support SLI properly then it should disable it - I shouldn't have to do that manually.

I would hold Firaxis to that. Nvidia has released drivers, developers should be programming to those released drivers and make sure their apps/features work correctly with the drivers already released and not count on the card mfg to make updated drivers for the game. This has always been backwards and never understood. SLI has worked in drivers for years now.
 
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29. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 09:36 Mingus
 
Frankly, I would have preferred another patch.

I just experienced the 'ole "game hangs during the alien activity phase" bug the other day with the new patch.
 
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28. Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned Oct 24, 2012, 09:23 JSP
 
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.

Tim Collins, it is important to
Strategic
1. launch satellites at the end of month, aim for having at least five by June
2. sell all damaged alien hardware salvage from UFOs, sell alien cadavers with at most five in reserve
3. upgrade to full six members in squad as soon as possible
4. wait until the last moment of panic for one nation then do the first alien base raid, upon success it will cut panic by 2 or three across the globe
5. invest in firestorm and eventually plasma cannon for it - it one shots normal UFO scouts and even makes short work of battleship class
6. battleship ufo has alien artifact to construct blaster launcher, the most powerful weapon for heavies

Tactical
1. save often in tactical view and reload to not lose important member of squad
2. use SHIVs to counter psychic aliens and in terror missions
3. use overwatch a lot
4. at least have one support be the designate medic
5. Specialize assault to be the close combat veteran, usually one side of skill tree comprise of such abilities
6. lure enemies out, if they dig in, draw back and find another path around them while covering your rear
7. shooting % on first action point seems to be higher than if you move once to get in position
8. two snipers with higher upgrades definitely help, have at least one with double tap with squad sight
9. be very patient and advance each member in cover of each other
10. sectopods - sniper with disabling shot that nullifies its main cannon is useful
11. chrysalids - remember that they do not benefit from cover bonuses

I am by no means any expert, but I was able to beat normal with full satellite coverage and three psychics.
 
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