Things XCOM Ironman mode has taught me

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Cai85
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02 Feb 2015, 10:45 pm

So, I've been playing XCOM: Enemy Within on Classic/Ironman recently. This list wasn't originally meant to be serious, but it actually did remind me of a few life lessons I don't really keep in the front of my mind. It is, in my mind, ultimately a positive list. Ironman means essentially only one save file allowed with regular autosaves, which means once a choice is made, that's it. (For those who play, I'm also running Not Created Equal/Hidden Potential.)

1) Have a plan. Running in like Leeroy Jenkins is likely to just end in a dead squad.
2) That plan will go wrong.
3) A 90% chance means you have a 10% chance of failure.
4) Cultivate your soldiers. You keep them alive and they'll improve as well.
5) Sometimes that soldier you're counting on will be unavailable.
6) Sometimes that soldier you're counting on will fail you.
7) Yet sometimes that soldier you're counting on will pull through.
8) That soldier you didn't really care for at first? They can become one of your greatest assets.
9) Actions have consequences.
10) But you can make plans to mitigate those consequences.
11) Backup plans aren't just a good idea most of the time, they're necessary.
12) Bad things will happen, missions will be failed, but you can still come through at the end if you keep going.
13) Sure, there's luck, but there's skill in making the best use of the good luck and negating the worst of the bad luck.
14) There's something deeply satisfying about being told you did a good job, especially when you finish a mission without any injuries.
15) You will lose people on the journey.
16) You will find awesome on the journey, too.
17) Sectopods are an immediate threat, they can one shot almost anyone.
18) Never give up.

Others are welcome to add to the list.



staremaster
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03 Feb 2015, 8:31 am

I have not yet played Enemy Within, but I played the original X-COM to death, and I very much agree with your "lessons learned".
Not many strategy/tactics games will allow the player to lose half of their attacking force in a single turn. And not necessarily because of player incompetence either; just plain old bad luck.



Dantac
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18 Feb 2015, 11:48 am

The original Xcom is insanely better than the garbage re-make/re-launch that was last released.

It makes you wonder why they didn't just take the original and used the new one's graphics and cinematics and have a great product. /sadness.



Misery
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18 Feb 2015, 12:31 pm

I thought the new one was pretty darn good, myself. It gives me the tactical challenge and depth that I want, and the idea that "every decision matters" is a good concept that shows itself very frequently in the game.

Alot of people complain because "oh the RNG is so bad! It says I have a 95% chance to hit but I still miss, I CALL SHENANIGANS!!!111" and stuff like that, but that's dumb. RNG in that game makes sense just fine. Or, it makes sense to me anyway. I find it easy to tell where the advantageous spots on the battlefield are that'll give me the highest probability of my actions succeeding. ...though it still bugs me when people say that. It's like they dont understand that just because it gives a 95% chance doesnt mean the 5% chance isnt what'll happen. I tend to think people just get frustrated too easily.

For those that dont care for that one though and want an experience more like the original, look up a game called Xenonauts instead. I believe that was the correct name anyway. That being a PC game, specifically.



Cai85
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18 Feb 2015, 10:38 pm

RNG can mess with you all the time, but I think it's mostly a matter of making your own luck, so to speak.

Back when I started playing, I used to think RNG got me all the time. Here's the thing: I was doing stupid stuff like leaving my men at lower elevation with half cover against thin men (translation: Thin men having a roughly 75% chance to hit and do one-shot kill damage in the early game), running out into the open and hoping that 90% shot hit, that kind of thing. Then when I started being deliberate, and always having backup plans, I could have situations where I'd have 2 90+% shots, or a grenade, and suddenly my KIA rate went down because my men wouldn't take unneeded risks.

That being said, my memorial wall is still quite depressing. Most of the time though, it wasn't RNG that killed me as much as it was poor tactical decisions. My dumbest was when I fired a rocket through a corridor with my men in it. It veered off and did 6 damage to half my soldiers, losing me my covert operative on that mission.



Dude2976
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19 Feb 2015, 4:25 am

Yeah I started playing Xcom with the long war mod and let me tell ya it is brutal, super fun and makes you celebrate every victory!