Why There's No Multiple Bases in XCOM - Firaxis Q&A

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Why There's No Multiple Bases in XCOM - Firaxis Q&A

The reasons why Firaxis lead designer Ananda Gupta only had one base may surprise you.

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I dunno. I got a bad feeling from the way Gupta kept mentioning the "narrative".

Ohh well, hope its good.

Good to know the story is getting in the way of the gampeplay.

Why, to manage another base, does the player need to physically BE there? Why couldn't it just be assumed you were managing the base remotely from HQ?

We all know the real reason there aren't multiple bases; it's so those stupid goddamn "pick one of three" missions show up and you automatically gain a bad reputation with two of the three for it. Can we AT LEAST get more than one Sky Ranger? Why is there only one? Oh right, it's for those "pick one of three" missions. Great.

The more and more I played the game the more and more glaring the issues became and I just stopped eventually. More to the point, the story was TERRIBLE in almost every way. I can't believe they're having trouble justifying alien invasions in the narrative like it even matters.

Yeah that seems to boil down to a "Just because, ok?" answer. I had plenty of fun with EU and am hoping this brings more fun sure, but it didn't feel like the restriction to one base/Skyranger made anything better in any way; in fact it just raised questions. Questions that are now being answered with 'Just Cause'.

your a team defending the earth from aliens; what more narrative context do you need? if more then one base make the gameplay more interesting then they should allow more then one base.

Reincarnatedwolfgod:
your a team defending the earth from aliens; what more narrative context do you need? if more then one base make the gameplay more interesting then they should allow more then one base.

Somehow, I have the feeling it wouldn't. It didn't make the original any more interesting, either. Heck, I didn't ever bother calling them "Bases", but "Scanner/Laser Cannon Factory", because that's all they did.

Weaver:

We all know the real reason there aren't multiple bases; it's so those stupid goddamn "pick one of three" missions show up and you automatically gain a bad reputation with two of the three for it. Can we AT LEAST get more than one Sky Ranger? Why is there only one? Oh right, it's for those "pick one of three" missions. Great.

Nailed it. Everything about that remake seems like the original wasn't quite understood. Major point in the original - picking and choosing missions. However in the original it was an emergent, fluid thing. Maybe your team was all in sickbay from a nasty terror mission or you'd just managed to shoot down 7 UFOs. Either way, there was no chance of you doing some missions and you had to let them go. In the remake this becomes a very, very forced "Pick one of three".

More examples include the whole 2 stage moving. I've lost count of the number of times I ran forward to what looked like a good cover position only to reveal more aliens and get flanked. Now I'm stuck. If I move again I can't shoot. If I shoot I stay flanked. In the original that could be solved by moving a couple squares to better cover and shooting. Hell, the way aliens revealed and the flanking mechanics ran counter to each other. I SHOULD flank aliens for maximum damage, but if I do I risk getting swarmed by all the spawns I activate.

Oh, and I don't know if anyone else can confirm this, but I swear in hard mode my actual hit rate is 1/2 the reported chance to hit. Like, if my sniper takes 4 shots of 50% to hit, only 1 will hit.

I didn't play the OG XCOM, however Intercepting is a very fun part of the current XCOM (I usually try and build out my interceptor fleet first).

I'm okay with there not being multiple accessible bases. Interesting to note that there actually are other bases represented on the Holo-Globe in all continents, that's where your interceptors are, a player just can't access them unless it's their HQ.

In terms of dreamy design BS, Outposts would be awesome.

Another thing is that we really wanted the player to feel immersed in the base and, we succeeded with that to a certain extent but we really wanted to players to click on the hologlobe and advance time. Well, okay, does every base need a hologlobe? And if all the bases are going to have redundant essential elements like the hologlobe, like the situation room and so forth then they start to look kind of the same as one another.

It's funny. That's exactly one of the game design choices that made me less immersed in the game.

Because having multiple bases means they're more expendable, but still there's nothing like a tense base defense mission or worrying if you should spend your money on offense or defense.

----

Also they added intercepting ONLY because it was in the original game? Again it's something they made less interesting. Yes, you have the instant abilities you can use now, but there was a subtler gameplay element in the original: You could choose to shoot down a ship above water or ground. Shooting it over water meant there was no ground mission to be done, which was good if you were out of skyrangers but bad if you had the choice of sending troops there. So sometimes you could wait and see if they'd fly over water or ground before starting the interception. Not to mention interceptions at multiple places at the same time.

Phishfood:

Weaver:

Oh, and I don't know if anyone else can confirm this, but I swear in hard mode my actual hit rate is 1/2 the reported chance to hit. Like, if my sniper takes 4 shots of 50% to hit, only 1 will hit.

Oh, and I don't know if anyone else can confirm this, but I swear in hard mode my actual hit rate is 1/2 the reported chance to hit. Like, if my sniper takes 4 shots of 50% to hit, only 1 will hit.

Nah, confirmation bias.

Weaver:
Good to know the story is getting in the way of the gampeplay.

We all know the real reason there aren't multiple bases; it's so those stupid goddamn "pick one of three" missions show up and you automatically gain a bad reputation with two of the three for it. Can we AT LEAST get more than one Sky Ranger? Why is there only one? Oh right, it's for those "pick one of three" missions. Great.

It doesn't seem like it would be that game breaking to implement additional sky rangers, normally you can barely keep a single squad outfitted, having to manage a second would naturally draw resources from others areas making the game harder BUT would also allow you to respond to more threats. See Firaxis give and take, risk and reward, CHOICES

fwiffo:
I dunno. I got a bad feeling from the way Gupta kept mentioning the "narrative".

Oh well, hope its good.

That more or less sums it up. The original X-COM was a simulation; any 'narrative' the game had existed entirely in the mind of the player, but for some backstory discovered via research.

And so for the new game to have a narrative, the simulation aspects had to be pared down. Otherwise, as mentioned above, you might have situations where an 'A or B' choice comes up and the player might be able to do both or neither depending on the situation. In a strategy game, that simply means that they are on top of things or in deep trouble. In a narrative-based game, it means the story branches have to get branchier in order to cover all the possibilities.

dunam:
Yes, you have the instant abilities you can use now, but there was a subtler gameplay element in the original: You could choose to shoot down a ship above water or ground. Shooting it over water meant there was no ground mission to be done, which was good if you were out of skyrangers but bad if you had the choice of sending troops there. So sometimes you could wait and see if they'd fly over water or ground before starting the interception. Not to mention interceptions at multiple places at the same time.

Don't forget coordinating interceptors from multiple bases in order to team up to take down a Battleship or Mothership and swapping them in and out depending on damage. Or even not intercepting and using the Skyranger to capture ships with all their goodies intact.

Wait Intercepting was there only because of the original?
That explains why options were so... lacking
But aircraft intercepting makes sense, dammit.
Only thing is that they are using planes instead of drones
Drones would make more sense- there are limits what human body can survive
Drones on the other hand are more sturdy
Also sending only one aircraft against UFO makes little sense
It would be awesome if
Small Scout=2Raven(Avalanche)/Raven(Laser)
Large Scout=2Raven(Laser)/Raven(Plasma)
Supply ship=2Raven(Plasma)/Firestorm(Plasma)
Abductor=2Firestorm(Plasma)/Firestorm(Fusion Lance)
Battleship=2Firestorm(Fusion Lance)
That means, while it would be possible to intercept Battleship with only one Firestorm, Battleship would have high chance to take down one Firestorm as well
2 Heavily armed Firestorms could take down any UFO

Weaver:
Good to know the story is getting in the way of the gampeplay.

Why, to manage another base, does the player need to physically BE there? Why couldn't it just be assumed you were managing the base remotely from HQ?

We all know the real reason there aren't multiple bases; it's so those stupid goddamn "pick one of three" missions show up and you automatically gain a bad reputation with two of the three for it. Can we AT LEAST get more than one Sky Ranger? Why is there only one? Oh right, it's for those "pick one of three" missions. Great.

The more and more I played the game the more and more glaring the issues became and I just stopped eventually. More to the point, the story was TERRIBLE in almost every way. I can't believe they're having trouble justifying alien invasions in the narrative like it even matters.

Only one Skyranger is something that really bugged me too
They could at least give us ability to upgrade it to Avenger (thus allowing to respond to 2 attacks)

Guys, try out Xenonauts. It not only keeps the good things of xcom, like multiple bases, managing equipment of soldiers (although less tedious than in the original) and stuff, but even improves things.
As i mentioned above overall things are less tedious and air battles are amazing. You now fight alien ships with squadrons of up to 3 ships and the fighting takes place in real time in a 2d plane, were you have to order your ships around smartly to flank the enemy and and attack them, while not being in range of their weapons.

Really I think there just trying to hide the fact that they dislike having multiple bases or base attack in their game.

I hated the original x com its easily the worst game I ever played, but I really like the new version and love the changes it made, the one thing that I would like to see Is better intercepting, although it's still better than the original.

my suspicion is more that it was "streamlined" for console hardware and audiences.

don't get me wrong, it's still a magnificent game. but to think that it could have been so much more..

I can live with one base, but couldn't we have multiple Skyrangers in the base?

Souplex:
I can live with one base, but couldn't we have multiple Skyrangers in the base?

The way they chose to build the game, I think, theres just no reason to.
Air combat is such a nothing in the new xcom.

So it makes more sense on a narrative level that an organization defending the whole world does so from 1 singular base?

Why don't they replace satelites with outposts?
You can still have your scripted "narrative" no one cares about that way while opening up interesting gameplay elements like -oh I don't know- reacting to more than 1 mission, building up defenses and placing secondary production facilities.

Seriously, I don't think anyone gave a shit about the xcom story of all things.
That thing was flat as cardboard. It was all about the challenge, the gameplay.
I would be content if the next xcom had no story at all but deep gameplay on multiple levels.
They barely scratched the surface in enemy unknown in that regard.

loa:
Seriously, I don't think anyone gave a shit about the xcom story of all things.
That thing was flat as cardboard. It was all about the challenge, the gameplay.
I would be content if the next xcom had no story at all but deep gameplay on multiple levels.
They barely scratched the surface in enemy unknown in that regard.

Still better than the story of the original, where the Aliens invaded because and the gameplay was most effective with "ROOKIE ZERKRUSH!"

Single base? So the aliens never bother to attack the Very thing that is a threat to them?
Single Interceptor run? So as the big saucer happily goes across the globe yet there can only be one interceptor at a time?
Single Sky Ranger? Part of managing is to figure out when to hold back teams in reserve or to do a big push. Why are the aliens not shooting down our One Sky Ranger then as they come in on final approach?
Narrative? So get wrapped up into the story, when was this supposed happen? I see and hear some lines of text. I have some goals - objectives and that is about it.

The original game came out in 1994 so when I make comparisons, I feel like I am only getting about half the game.

So in then 1994 edition, Aliens did not wait around, they were on the move. The screen went black, you had to Listen for clues, was that metal they were walking on, yes that was definitely a door opening nearby, etc You had to pay attention to the screen when it would blink on. When one of your troops had line of sight, the screen blinked on and you quickly tried to find land marks before it goes dark again. After that you take what you know and guesstimate where the baddies are now.

There were many breath holding moments of a room breech, going around a corner, or checking the next floor of a building, as you can't get a clear scouting vision over there and BAM! There is a baddie there and it takes a corner cover shot from over watch.

I do appreciate a new edition of Xcom being released but I think like with the Civilization series, they need to offer mod support. I think it could greatly benefit from the gaming community, take a fresh approach, new ideas and such.

Jburton9:
So in then 1994 edition, Aliens did not wait around, they were on the move. The screen went black, you had to Listen for clues, was that metal they were walking on, yes that was definitely a door opening nearby, etc You had to pay attention to the screen when it would blink on. When one of your troops had line of sight, the screen blinked on and you quickly tried to find land marks before it goes dark again. After that you take what you know and guesstimate where the baddies are now.

The black screen was the most annoying thing EVER in any turnbased game. Why the heck can't I still see the battlefield? There is NO good reason to.

Amaror:
Guys, try out Xenonauts. It not only keeps the good things of xcom, like multiple bases, managing equipment of soldiers (although less tedious than in the original) and stuff, but even improves things.
As i mentioned above overall things are less tedious and air battles are amazing. You now fight alien ships with squadrons of up to 3 ships and the fighting takes place in real time in a 2d plane, were you have to order your ships around smartly to flank the enemy and and attack them, while not being in range of their weapons.

Absolutely. I feel like I've been a broken record in the last couple of weeks, mentioning this game constantly.

My game's starting to get nuts - 6 UFOs popping up at once is now a regular occurrence so I'm having to really carefully manage my squadrons of interceptors to bring as many down as possible. I've got two bases that operate dropships and the soldiers are constantly having to hit multiple crash sites one after the other before being allowed back to base to rest. No wonder they look haggard and exhausted in the equip screen.

I still have love for XCOM2012 but the more I've been thinking about it the more I've been realising that I just prefer the way Xenonauts does things. In every respect.

Teoes:

Amaror:
Guys, try out Xenonauts. It not only keeps the good things of xcom, like multiple bases, managing equipment of soldiers (although less tedious than in the original) and stuff, but even improves things.
As i mentioned above overall things are less tedious and air battles are amazing. You now fight alien ships with squadrons of up to 3 ships and the fighting takes place in real time in a 2d plane, were you have to order your ships around smartly to flank the enemy and and attack them, while not being in range of their weapons.

Absolutely. I feel like I've been a broken record in the last couple of weeks, mentioning this game constantly.

My game's starting to get nuts - 6 UFOs popping up at once is now a regular occurrence so I'm having to really carefully manage my squadrons of interceptors to bring as many down as possible. I've got two bases that operate dropships and the soldiers are constantly having to hit multiple crash sites one after the other before being allowed back to base to rest. No wonder they look haggard and exhausted in the equip screen.

I still have love for XCOM2012 but the more I've been thinking about it the more I've been realising that I just prefer the way Xenonauts does things. In every respect.

My thought exactly. I had not played it since the alpha, i bought it even before the kickstarter started, back when Total Biscuit mentioned them. It's just amazing how far this game has come since.
It's also kinda sad, thinking about it, because xcom 2012 doesn't even get the advantage of being a finished game. At least on pc the game is still incredibly broken. I would have bought the dlc otherwise, but considering how broken they released the main game and that they didn't fix it in a whole YEAR. No way, i am supporting someone that treats his consumers as badly as this.

I don't miss the ability to make multiple bases. The satellites and interceptor bases on each continent make up for them.

As for the ability to have multiple Skyrangers: The real reason people want this is because of the abduction missions, in which you have to choose one of 3 countries (usually on different continents). So if they just removed the need to choose a country and have the other two's panic levels rise, people wouldn't care about having just one.

This thread sums up my feelings on Generation 1 of Pokemon. I don't hate Red and Blue. I grew up playing Red and Blue as well. But when you deny everything about the newer games because 'it's not Red and Blue', that's when I start to have an issue. It's when you smack down everything about the new games just because they're different that I start getting irate.

Let me explain you a thing. XCOM: Enemy Unknown was not meant to be X-COM: UFO Defense with 3D graphics. It was meant to emulate the feel of the game: under pressure strategically due to a lack of money and resources (at first, but waning off later so you start feeling you can do it), under pressure tactically because even your best units can die at any time to an unlucky plasma bolt or nuclear football. But that's what you seem to be expecting out of it, even when that's explained directly to you. And it's still a pretty fun game on the tactical layer - heck, even more so because you can't just have your rookies facecheck everything.[1]

I thought the narrative of Enemy Unknown was tacked-on and unnecessary as well, but they left in the ability to create your own emergent stories in battle. I didn't like trying to juggle three invasions at once, but it added more to the strategic layer that persisted even after you started getting somewhere. But it's still a good game, and right now, it just feels like you guys are hating for the sake of hating. And if you've gotten to that point, allow me to point out that nothing is stopping you from playing UFO Defense again.

Heck, it's even available on Steam with an in-built DOSBox, and if your computer can't run DOSBox without crashing, then OpenXcom is a thing. Please stop being elitist about things that change things you like.

[1] Vitriol for criticising UFO Defense even slightly in 3...

themilo504:

I hated the original x com its easily the worst game I ever played, but I really like the new version and love the changes it made, the one thing that I would like to see Is better intercepting, although it's still better than the original.

leet_x1337:

Let me explain you a thing. XCOM: Enemy Unknown was not meant to be X-COM: UFO Defense with 3D graphics. It was meant to emulate the feel of the game: under pressure strategically due to a lack of money and resources (at first, but waning off later so you start feeling you can do it), under pressure tactically because even your best units can die at any time to an unlucky plasma bolt or nuclear football.

-SNIP-

Please stop being elitist about things that change things you like.

First of all, let me say that I love these posts, even if I don't share your opinion. It's always nice to know when something appeals to someone.

1337_xleet, you make some very good points, but trust me, you're the one being elitist here. People are voicing their opinion, clearly opinions that you don't share. That should be fine. I don't think people would have taken the time to post here at all if they didn't like anything about the new game.
I do take out the old game and play it from time to time and I'll doubt I do the same with new X-COM, just because it's built to be so much less replayable. That doesn't mean I regret buying it or didn't like the experience. But I would have loved that with some good modern game design choices they would have made a better version than the old one and replaced it as a game that I take out of the old games gaming folder once in a while.

I think the most crucial game design choices stem from lack of experience with gaming or lack of experience with game design. It's something that I noted in my own habits when trying to imagine a game: the narrative structure of the new xcom game makes it easy to imagine how the player will experience the game, whereas the open simulation structure of the old xcom... well, it will certainly overwhelm a player. But the very same thing that makes the experience predictable makes it so much less replayable. I just wish more games were made that are worth replaying, the way old sid meier games were (sword of the samurai, pirates gold, civilization, colonization). Nowadays you find that kind of experience only in multiplayer games.
Well, and maybe, dwarf fortress.

image
Xenonauts wants you!

Thanks for pointing out that game.

All i read in that article was, "Well, we could have. BUt then we'd have to do more work, so we didn't."

Own it, man. If you cant do something or wont, give us the straight and simple. Or give me your job and quit bitchin. I could use your money and do a better job than you.

I can understand the single base (after all, in the original X-COM, multiple bases just ended up being satellites with interceptors (something you can technicly still do) or production facilities that broke the game. You gained extremely little from making a whole second base designed around doing the same stuff as the first. I don't get the remove of base attacks tho. The original's AI actually made sense narrative wise. If you kicked their ass at any point, they would send scout ships to where they think your base is so they could try and get revenge. Eventually the scouts would give up, but if they found your base, they sent a battleship. If you defeat them when they attack, they decide "Yeah, this is WAY to costly and difficult, lets try some other time" of course, if you REALLY kicked their ass, then they would send all hell upon you and keep sending battleships until they had none left. They also NEVER sent scouts again unless you made a new base.

It made sense in the narrative, and was bloody awesome, even if it was nightmarish hard to defend a base.

Bindal:

loa:
Seriously, I don't think anyone gave a shit about the xcom story of all things.
That thing was flat as cardboard. It was all about the challenge, the gameplay.
I would be content if the next xcom had no story at all but deep gameplay on multiple levels.
They barely scratched the surface in enemy unknown in that regard.

Still better than the story of the original, where the Aliens invaded because and the gameplay was most effective with "ROOKIE ZERKRUSH!"

No idea what people are on about with that. If you threw rookies at them, you ended up with less elites, reduced morale for everyone and massive recruitment bills. The only time it was useful is if you all equiped them with stun rods in order to capture aliens. Even then, it required a lot of tactics because at medium to long range, it didn't matter how much rookies you had, they were going to be slaughtered if you tried charging them.

And the original had no story because it felt more like a sim. It really felt like you were humanities last defence. The AI of the aliens was also genius in a lot of ways, having them respond logically without even telling you. Not in combat of course, they were dumber then the bricks they kept blowing up.

so why dont you just make it an on-rails game if narrative is so important? because honestly i never gave a shit about horny doct and old fool, they could die for all i care, just because you gave someone a name doesnt mean you will be connected to them. I feel more for my troops than for those 2, also for the matter, if you want to focus on the narrative make it made sense: so we are killing and shooting down aliens, yet they dont give a **** to the only ones that are actually hurting them (contrary to the original where they will come to get your ass), or hell why would xcom keep just 1 skyranger for 4 troops to help save the world? i wonder what they told france when they chose to go to south africa, cause they gave them engeeniers:

"sorry we cant buy another skyranger, and we will let you die because we like engis more than science boys, take care kisses."

yeah thats good solid narrative there.
i could go on, but its clearly they just wanted a stream-lined, pretty looking game, nothing more.

Keep in mind. Narrative is about more than the plot. Narrative includes the whole theme of the game. The game is about the Nietzschean dilemma of becoming the monster- the comments indicate that as well as the gameplay. You discover new, horrific things about the aliens as the game goes on- and are required to "test" your own soldiers- whose equipment and armor gets less human and less comprehensible as the game goes on, to the point where a soldier in Titan armor with a Plasma Rifle is barely the same person as the person with the assault rifle and body armor. The psi-soldiers are changed completely and wind up capable of doing morally reprehensible things- including violating the free will of your enemies, arguably the greatest crime against sentience possible.

You also wind up doing morally questionable things to the aliens- it's more or less stated that you torture them to death. You also wind up butchering sentient beings- either for cybernetic parts, or for the capacity to produce interceptor parts.

Multiple bases would undermine the dilemma involved- it undermines the necessity of making the choice between becoming the monster and potentially falling at its hands by reducing the world's pressure on you to find a solution and end the crisis quickly, and by reducing the pressure on you to take the low road.

It also undermines the strategic level/base-side gameplay. If you allow the players to respond to two missions, then you have to ask: Do they play both missions, one after another, or do they play one and calculate the outcome of the other?

If they play both, then that detracts from the amount of time they spend on the base screen per amount of time they spend on the tactical gameplay. This stands the risks of making the strategic gameplay feel 'tacked on' to the tactical gameplay- and they want to make them equal partners. They would then have to either lengthen the time between abductions, or take the risk.

If they calculate the outcome of the other, then that requires them to sustain essentially a full second team of uber-level people, something that's not really possible, particularly on the higher difficulties. Again, it would require a more or less complete rethink of the game. If it's difficult or impossible to win the autocalculated battles, then people will not do it, and so it would be the same as not having it; if it's easy to win the autocalculated battles, then that induces players to put the mission they want most to do on the autocalc list for higher difficulties.

With respect to the complexity of the interceptions, the interceptors have a strategic value rather than a tactical one. The interceptions are intended to be strategic decisions- do you sacrifice or remove from service an interceptor for the sake of resources? Do you sacrifice strategic resources to increase the chance of success in the interception? Giving tactical options for the interceptions removes the deliberate feeling of helplessness that they were designed to induce. You're supposed to feel powerless when intercepting a UFO except for your ability to throw strategic resources at the problem, to help emphasize how foreign, odd, and advanced the aliens are. It's supposed to be a supremely important moment when you launch an interception- a high-stakes game of choice on par with the abductions.

In short, it was not laziness that made them make these decisions- it was a calculated, informed choice with respect to the design of the game. You can certainly disagree with it, but I think it's wrong to try to say they were lazy, or ill-informed choices.

Cool, now I don't suppose they could explain why the most elite soldiers in the entire planet can't consistently shoot a man-sized target that's five feet in front of them.

reachforthesky:
Cool, now I don't suppose they could explain why the most elite soldiers in the entire planet can't consistently shoot a man-sized target that's five feet in front of them.

XD, fair point. The attempt to be consistent creates some weird outcomes a lot of times- like not being able to hit someone on the other side of a doorway you're pressed up against. You could justify that with a Watsonian or Doylist explanation.

Watsonian (in-lore) explanations:

1. The alien dodges (mostly thin men/sectoids)
2. It's a hit, but their armor fully absorbed the hit. (mostly mutons, ethereals, etc)
3. Your soldier was nervous and fired before they aimed (mostly explains rookie/early on misses)
4. Your soldier was close enough that the alien was able to push the weapon aside before your guy fired. (explains the five-foot problem)

Etc.

Doylist (gameplay explanations):
1. Having differences between the effects of distance on weapons creates incentives to have variety on your team and make choices based on the tactical situation (e.g., shotguns increase in accuracy as you get closer a hell of a lot more than any other weapon, whereas the Sniper Rifle actually gets more accurate at higher distances, and the assault rifle is indifferent, largely, to distance.)

2. It creates a feeling of nervousness on the part of the player to never be able to rely on a sure thing- particularly early on where your weapons can fail to kill even Sectoids if you're unlucky or playing with that Second Wave feature active, incentivizing caution.

3. Trying to add "chunky salsa"-like rules to enhance realism could have come at the cost of some of the more organic possibilities of gameplay- blowing up walls to clear LOS for snipers, setting cars on fire to flush aliens out of cover, destroying cover with suppression/low chance shots, etc.

Rainbow_Dashtruction:

Bindal:

loa:
Seriously, I don't think anyone gave a shit about the xcom story of all things.
That thing was flat as cardboard. It was all about the challenge, the gameplay.
I would be content if the next xcom had no story at all but deep gameplay on multiple levels.
They barely scratched the surface in enemy unknown in that regard.

Still better than the story of the original, where the Aliens invaded because and the gameplay was most effective with "ROOKIE ZERKRUSH!"

No idea what people are on about with that. If you threw rookies at them, you ended up with less elites, reduced morale for everyone and massive recruitment bills. The only time it was useful is if you all equiped them with stun rods in order to capture aliens. Even then, it required a lot of tactics because at medium to long range, it didn't matter how much rookies you had, they were going to be slaughtered if you tried charging them.

Nope, always works. Morale is pretty much a non-issue as maybe two or three guys panic, out of 14. Money is not an issue thanks to your near-infinite money created by Laser Cannons you're constantly going to produce. And elites aren't a problem because they weren't that much more useful than Rookies, either as they deal the same damage, can shoot exactly as often and also die just as easily.

In fact, it's the only way I ever play and it is incredible successful. I've even seen an LP, where the guy not only did nothing BUT that, basically - he also had only one base and placed it in the worst possible location (south pole). Still, he managed to nearly win and lost solely due the fact that his "only one base at southpole"-tactic caused him to be a bit slow on the capturing. (And the fact that he was unable to consider using Stun Launchers in a base so he could try capturing a commander)

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