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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    So I managed to pick up XCOM 2 with all its dlc on one of the sales awhile back and am finally getting around to installing and playing it. Looking for recommendations on whether I should do a vanilla playthrough or jump straight into the DLC. Or something in between? If it helps, I when I played EU/EW I skipped straight to EW because people said it was mostly a few extra mechanics and no real story changes. I also did 100% achievements on EW, but my preferred difficult was around classic. I didn't care much for ironman mode.

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    So I managed to pick up XCOM 2 with all its dlc on one of the sales awhile back and am finally getting around to installing and playing it. Looking for recommendations on whether I should do a vanilla playthrough or jump straight into the DLC. Or something in between? If it helps, I when I played EU/EW I skipped straight to EW because people said it was mostly a few extra mechanics and no real story changes. I also did 100% achievements on EW, but my preferred difficult was around classic. I didn't care much for ironman mode.
    Jump in with the full expansions. It's a tad harder gameplay, but there's nothing that can't be handled if you're already playing on classic. You might want to decheck the integration of the Alien Rulers pack with WotC, though (or just remove it entirely) - the Alien Rulers are kinda bad. The integration removes the unique mission to see how they came about, but once you've done that, or seen someone else do that, you can live without the Rulers entirely. Without the integration, you can activate the rulers at any time by completing their mission, and only after doing it will they appear randomly and wreck your missions. With the integration, they are guarding certain facilities that are optional, but once you clear the facility that ruler can appear in any mission. Also, they are super powerful and get an action every time one of your operatives does a thing. ANY thing, that uses up an action bar.
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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Be aware that if you play War of the Chosen and select the optional "Lost and Abandoned" story missions (which are sort of tutorialesque for the new things added in the expansion, namely the Lost, the new resistance factions, and the Chosen) you'll get stuck with your first Chosen being the Assassin, and she's a real pain in the butt. She has stealth (invisibility). It's a cool story, and you get more of the soldiers who are voiced by Star Trek: The Next Generation actors if you play it, but the Assassin is arguably the hardest of the Chosen to deal with early on.
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by tonberrian View Post
    Jump in with the full expansions. It's a tad harder gameplay, but there's nothing that can't be handled if you're already playing on classic. You might want to decheck the integration of the Alien Rulers pack with WotC, though (or just remove it entirely) - the Alien Rulers are kinda bad. The integration removes the unique mission to see how they came about, but once you've done that, or seen someone else do that, you can live without the Rulers entirely. Without the integration, you can activate the rulers at any time by completing their mission, and only after doing it will they appear randomly and wreck your missions. With the integration, they are guarding certain facilities that are optional, but once you clear the facility that ruler can appear in any mission. Also, they are super powerful and get an action every time one of your operatives does a thing. ANY thing, that uses up an action bar.
    That's what I was leaning towards. Thanks for the tip. The gaining actions as I use troops sounds... annoying. A 'kill this on this turn or lose 1-2 soldiers' annoying.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Be aware that if you play War of the Chosen and select the optional "Lost and Abandoned" story missions (which are sort of tutorialesque for the new things added in the expansion, namely the Lost, the new resistance factions, and the Chosen) you'll get stuck with your first Chosen being the Assassin, and she's a real pain in the butt. She has stealth (invisibility). It's a cool story, and you get more of the soldiers who are voiced by Star Trek: The Next Generation actors if you play it, but the Assassin is arguably the hardest of the Chosen to deal with early on.
    Hmm.... that's some choice. Less Star Trek or what I'm guessing is equivalent to an invisible sectopod... Who am I kidding, Star Trek the whole way.

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    The assassin is the worst of the chosen, but she's still manageable on Classic. Just. Don't engage multiple pods and a chosen simultaneously.
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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    I went in pretty blind with the full expansion, integration on the alien leaders (I cannot FATHOM why taking OUT story missions was a good idea, I was very confused) and the story mode and I throughly enjoyed it.

    Also, the assassin lady is a really horrid piece of... work and I was very glad to get shot of her. Literally, in the (brittle) face, with a shotgun.

    That nice sniper man, though, I liked him so much I killed him last.



    (And didn't even despoil the body...)

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Not really stated, but it's the matter of how many mechanics you're wanting to throw on your plate.

    WotC gives you: New enemy types, a new mission source, new tilesets, the concept of sitreps, the lost and all they mean, strategic-level adversaries (the chosen mess with you) with more ticking clocks), soldier bonds, negative traits, the Resistance HQ, edit - oh and advanced progression paths and new soldier classes
    The vanilla DLCs give you: Boss enemies, optional missions, new weapon types, customization, Johnny-5 murder edition
    Legacy DLC gives you: cosmetics, 1 weapon of each type with pre-installed mods, answers. answers to the most important mystery of what happened between the games

    edit 2- there's something different in wotc than xcom 2: cheese or die. They give you much more in terms of potential power while throwing increasing levels of madness at you. The Prince Archon though, he's literally satan
    Last edited by MCerberus; 2019-08-03 at 04:27 PM.
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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    Hmm.... that's some choice. Less Star Trek or what I'm guessing is equivalent to an invisible sectopod... Who am I kidding, Star Trek the whole way.
    You can still get the Star Trek actor voice lines by customizing the special soldiers, they're just the default for the Lost and Abandoned mission.
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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    That nice sniper man, though, I liked him so much I killed him last.

    (And didn't even despoil the body...)
    Yeah, the Hunter is the kinda guy that I'd totally offer to join the crew if only the game allowed it. And he seems like he'd be half-way amenable to it too, at least some of the times you meet. Guy's got some loyalty-conflict issues going on for sure

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Driderman View Post
    Yeah, the Hunter is the kinda guy that I'd totally offer to join the crew if only the game allowed it. And he seems like he'd be half-way amenable to it too, at least some of the times you meet. Guy's got some loyalty-conflict issues going on for sure
    The assassin's got a kind of Klingon Honor thing going on. Plus the hunter's the only one not even concerned about "the true war"

    Speaking of which, who's predicting Firaxis is going to kick that plot can down the road and have XCom 3 an unrelated water-themed game?
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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

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    I thought the ending of WotC very unambiguously set up a Terror from the Deep spiritual reboot? If we don't go in the water, that would be them derailing the plot. Again.


    It really is a bit of a shame that the point in time at which the whole XCOM concept is strongest atmospherically - present day - can't really be revisited over and over. You always end up having to either go full sci fi or rebooting the entire thing. XCOM 2 was effectively a reboot of XCOM:EU, too - which I don't blame Firaxis for at all, precisely because you kind of need the present day (or close to present day) appeal.

    I kinda wish we didn't have the whole "psychic portal into alien installation" thing going. In the very first game, XCOM took the long trip on a space ship to Mars, and you could do it entirely without bringing some sort of psychic superbeing who then takes all the glory in the ending cutscene. Psi was OP, but it was completely optional. In the end even the alien mother brain is just made of meat that goes all smushy if you shoot it with good old fashioned human-made lead. We didn't really need all that Star Wars crap. XCOM is strongest when it's Independence Day.

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
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    I thought the ending of WotC very unambiguously set up a Terror from the Deep spiritual reboot? If we don't go in the water, that would be them derailing the plot. Again.
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    Oh that's right. That means the plot that meant to be Xcom 2 isn't showing up until xcom 4. By the time The Greater Foe (tm) shows up Xcom is going to have its own battlefleet factories on the moon guarded by trained C'thulus.

    Although it would be fun to have Xcom curb-stomp the expeditionary force and then have a 3-way hyperspace war against mystery foe and what's left of the elders
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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Whelp, that was a fun little binge.

    A few incoherent thoughts:

    1. I'm glad I jumped in with WOTC. The chosen were great, I loved the way they added to fights. I can see how they would have been overwhelming to anyone brand new to xcom though. Hunter is definitely an auto-recruit if the game would let me. However, I don't seem to find Assassin as annoying as the rest of you (as a character). She did get immunity to explosions as one of her starting strengths. Which was horse excrement.

    2. I was not sold on the ranger's melee attack at the beginning. Oh how wrong I was. The bonus damage to sectoids in the early game was nice but I still managed to miss too much. In my first VIP run, I had to cut the same sectoid three times for the bugger to die. Then I discovered mutons can block it the hard way... Then I got the hunter's axes and it was amazing. When I was fighting assassin my Ranger was soloing an add as it spawned or wiping the floor with her. Then I got the katana and Reaper. And it was amazing. In one lost mission, Ben killed about 15 enemies by himself. By the last level, I had 19 mobility on him and was zipping around dropping people like flies. Easy MVP of the game.

    3. I love the extra XCOM abilities. It's a great mechanic. The fatigue mechanic is annoying but great flavor, I can see how it helps the game. The variety and types of mission were great. A big improvement. The combonitation of all of them makes me want to a 'written let's play'. Alas I don't have the time, or probably the talent. But it really helps write the stories as you go.

    4. I should have gone for Psions a looooot earlier; I thought it was like EU/EW and I'd have to test my soldiers etc. The animations and powers felt soooo much more satisfying in this.

    That's it for now. I might drop off some more thoughts after I've caught up on all the work I DIDN'T do this weekend. Sadly they don't accept saving the world as an excuse. Bosses these days...

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    Whelp, that was a fun little binge.

    A few incoherent thoughts:

    1. I'm glad I jumped in with WOTC. The chosen were great, I loved the way they added to fights. I can see how they would have been overwhelming to anyone brand new to xcom though. Hunter is definitely an auto-recruit if the game would let me. However, I don't seem to find Assassin as annoying as the rest of you (as a character). She did get immunity to explosions as one of her starting strengths. Which was horse excrement.

    2. I was not sold on the ranger's melee attack at the beginning. Oh how wrong I was. The bonus damage to sectoids in the early game was nice but I still managed to miss too much. In my first VIP run, I had to cut the same sectoid three times for the bugger to die. Then I discovered mutons can block it the hard way... Then I got the hunter's axes and it was amazing. When I was fighting assassin my Ranger was soloing an add as it spawned or wiping the floor with her. Then I got the katana and Reaper. And it was amazing. In one lost mission, Ben killed about 15 enemies by himself. By the last level, I had 19 mobility on him and was zipping around dropping people like flies. Easy MVP of the game.

    3. I love the extra XCOM abilities. It's a great mechanic. The fatigue mechanic is annoying but great flavor, I can see how it helps the game. The variety and types of mission were great. A big improvement. The combonitation of all of them makes me want to a 'written let's play'. Alas I don't have the time, or probably the talent. But it really helps write the stories as you go.

    4. I should have gone for Psions a looooot earlier; I thought it was like EU/EW and I'd have to test my soldiers etc. The animations and powers felt soooo much more satisfying in this.

    That's it for now. I might drop off some more thoughts after I've caught up on all the work I DIDN'T do this weekend. Sadly they don't accept saving the world as an excuse. Bosses these days...
    1) The Assassin's Shadowstep is only a problem if you ignore the fact that overwatch is useless against it. If you remember to assault rather than overwatch futilely she's not that bad.

    2) High mobility Ranger with Bladestorm can be a real terror.

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Driderman View Post
    1) The Assassin's Shadowstep is only a problem if you ignore the fact that overwatch is useless against it. If you remember to assault rather than overwatch futilely she's not that bad.

    2) High mobility Ranger with Bladestorm can be a real terror.
    I wasn't having problems with relying verwatch spamming. It was more denial of the classic XCOM tool of grenades to do reliable damage in the early game and to strip armor. If 1-2 soldiers missed, or worse my 1 armor shredder, I struggled to get her in one turn. Once I got armor shred on my Reaper and a grenadier with a decent aim stat, she was easy. Conversely, the warlock was pretty trivial the whole game as he got both weakness to explosion and extra damage per attack that turn, so I could pretty reliably 2-3 shot him.

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    I went in pretty blind with the full expansion, integration on the alien leaders (I cannot FATHOM why taking OUT story missions was a good idea, I was very confused) and the story mode and I throughly enjoyed it.[/SIZE]
    The missions are meant to be long, and Fatigue is a thing that gradually goes down the longer a mission goes. Just try to go from start to finish of Shen's Last Gift in War of the Chosen.
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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by PallElendro View Post
    The missions are meant to be long, and Fatigue is a thing that gradually goes down the longer a mission goes. Just try to go from start to finish of Shen's Last Gift in War of the Chosen.
    I watched the missions on youtube when I found they, y'know, existed, and I am none the wiser as to why integrated mode took them away (I mean, integrated would suggest they fit it more seemlessly not LESS). It's just a bizarre move.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-08-13 at 07:57 PM.

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    Default Re: XCOM 2: Vanilla or WotC

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    I watched the missions on youtube when I found they, y'know, existed, and I am none the wiser as to why integrated mode took them away (I mean, integrated would suggest they fit it more seemlessly not LESS). It's just a bizarre move.
    I'm going to guess early progression they didn't want to put more scanning time and adding fatigue-heavy story missions when early game gives you your first couple of faction missions. Unless you go flawless you're going to have manpower issues, especially fielding anything about squaddie. Where in the calendar for the first couple of months for snekpocalypse?
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