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343iCommunity Plays XCom 2!

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;)

 

Great episode as always RSR, personally I didn't notice any reductions in visual quality. Audio sounds great.

 

 

Please keep it up!   

Edited by Haloween Follower
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As of today's mission, I'm happy to report that I seem to have finally figured out a way to resolve the issues I was having with encoding videos to an acceptable standard! From here on, I should be able to bring you videos which have both high-quality audio, and full 1080p/60FPS video! And what better way to celebrate this than by joining me as we pay a visit to an ADVENT facility?

 

 

 

The result flatters me a bit here, in hindsight. There were silly decisions more than once where I simply wasn't paying attention, such as moving our sniper onto the roof without checking that the object there would actually count as cover and moving against the last building in the open without considering that there might be hostiles inside who could patrol out. I have to admit, the first part of the video really got under my skin, and I think it shows: it's really unusual to go that long without sighting an enemy pod, and so I was definitely getting a bit nervous at approaching the 20 minute mark when we finally saw our first pod.

 

Things like engaging the Muton pod weren't exactly bad decisions, but they were very sloppily executed: accidentally activating the captain pod because I didn't check that the move was safe before putting Blue into half cover (a blind move that's not even into full cover!) could, and frankly should, have turned out much, much worse for us than they did. Certainly it's very rare to give an enemy pod a full turn of actions and come out unscathed. Even more unforgivably, I rushed my actions and didn't stop to take stock of the situation and work out the best course of action, as we had a mimic beacon unused throughout the whole mission and two distinct situations where it would have been of use. Couple that with my terrible positioning of our sniper throughout meaning that we fought most of our engagements basically a man down, and it's fair to say that we got out unscathed very much in spite of how I played, rather than because of it.

 

That said, there are a few positives to take from the mission. Dancing back and forth to take out the turrets safely may have been slow, but it was effective, and controlling my impatience there is a big step up from our first facility raid, where my recklessness very nearly got Morrigan killed. I'm also really happy with how I dealt with the Codex, and of course, I'm still happy to be proven wrong about Keko's hilariously broken Overwatch abilities, which at this point are nothing short of ridiculous. So provided I can actually keep my head for the next mission, and continue to learn from my mistakes and sloppy play, we'll hopefully have a more convincing display when we take on next episode's mission!

 

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Picking up where we left off last time, today's mission is a chance for some payback, as with the Avenger having only recently survived being shot down and faced with a desperate ground assault, we're heading to the site of a landed UFO to repay the aliens with interest. Will we cope with most of our regular team taking a well-deserved rest? Will Drizzy survive? Will Red make a hilariously stupid mistake right at the very end which will screw things up for weeks to come? Join me for today's episode and find out!

 

 

 

Well, that was embarrassing. Even worse is the fact that we'd otherwise come off a pretty good mission, too: while I genuinely thought we'd had it when the second pod appeared, I feel like I handled the situation pretty well, and while activating the first pod when and where I did was definitely rash, the second pod was just plain bad luck. Beyond that, I feel the mission generally went quite well: we were mostly fighting enemies who had high cover over limited sightlines, and although we did get a little lucky with the Codex and Sectoid, we still made fairly sound decisions in the run-up to that, and they definitely would have turned out worse otherwise.

 

As for my mistake at the black market: I actually have a mod which is supposed to show what tradeable items can be used for to prevent this exact scenario. Obviously with hindsight I realise what a colossally stupid decision that was (and it may very well come back to bit us in coming weeks), but again that's a case of being provided with misleading information, rather than just a bad decision. I'm still going back and forth on whether or not to just use the command console to undo that, as I haven't actually spent any of those supplies or done another mission yet and so it feels fair to me in that I'd basically be correcting a UI error rather than reversing a decision, but on the other hand, leaving it as is would probably make for better drama in upcoming episodes and perhaps even provide some incentive to rush straight for T3 armour. I'll probably decide this before the next video.

 

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Good to see we are in a decent spot after we had gotten so far in the Avatar Project. As for the Black Market, always check the research first!

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This is a really fun idea! The models in this look really good! How did you get these?

 

Thanks, Stolt! XCom 2 is integrated with the Steam Workshop, which is basically a hub for game mods: among the other things which have been uploaded, some modders have posted things like armour items and weapon models from the Halo series, which I've then downloaded for use in-game. You can find a collection of all the mods I'm using here, as well as in the description of every new video!

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It's been too long since our last episode: so in order to try and get caught up a little bit with the intended schedule, I'm hoping to put out three videos this week. With that in mind, let's start with the first one!

 

 

 

For all there were a few tense moments toward the end, by and large I'm really happy with this one, especially given that the problems arose from a misleading UI rather than merely poor decisions - and even then, I felt like I dealt with the situation well enough.

 

A few words on the black market mix-up. I normally don't like using the command console for games - doing it once makes it so much easier to just start dipping in and doing it whenever - but in this situation I feel it's justified, because my decisions last week were based on a not simply unclear but outright misleading UI element, which itself is a mod because XCom 2 is really poor at communicating a lot of information. While doing something like running a soldier into the darkness and accidentally revealing a pod is very much my own fault (I know there could be something there and I'm choosing to take a risk), in this case I feel it's a problem with the way the game communicates information, so I feel justified in doing it on this occasion.

 

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Praying to the RNG god RSR? 

 

I think that's a Class A heresy. :'( 

 

 

Apart from that blunder, great job as always! E.X.O Suit hype!

 

And I love the Horus Heresy reference!  ;)   

Edited by Haloween Follower
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Today's mission is what I think may be the first time we've had an objective repeated, as we move into an ADVENT-occupied village in order to destroy an alien device transmitting valuable data for the Avatar project. This episode, in a first for this series, includes not one, but two snipers: surely with so much accurate firepower on hand, nothing can go wrong?

 

 

 

It's pretty common, when I go back post recording to edit a video, for me to reconsider the decisions I'm making and think about how there's a better option, or I'm being rash, or just generally making poor decisions, but this is the first time it's actually been painful to watch. Put simply? There is nothing about this video which is good, and it is in fact pretty much a textbook case of how not to play XCom. Things start badly enough when I fail to do basic things like transfer over Shotty's axe to T, and it only gets worse when I completely fail to even check for specialised armours: both of these come back to bite us later, when T having the throwing axe would have enabled him to kill both the ADVENT Officer and Trooper and thus mean the Mimic Beacon would have survived another round of fire, and of course having a grapple on hand would have made sniping much easier, not to mention what we could have done in terms of cover-busting with just a single rocket.

 

And then of course there are a few outright moronic tactical decisions, too. Rushing T into a position where he revealed another pod was incredibly stupid at a time when we were already struggling to deal with what was on-screen, forgetting we had battle scanners for turn after turn was ridiculous, and of course we could have easily ended things turns earlier, and much more safely, if I'd bothered to just take out the Shieldbearer with T's Run and Gun - especially as he wouldn't have been flanked since I could have just Shadowfalled the Trooper on his other flank anyway. I do try to put a brave face on it at the end, but the truth of how the mission went is plain for all to see, and I'm frankly embarrassed to have played this poorly. Let's hope that things pick up in time for the next mission...

 

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Following on from the shambles of Operation Winter God last time, in today's episode we're moving to protect a resistance encampment from an ADVENT retaliation. Surely things can't go worse than last time, right? Right...?

 

 

 

Right. Barring one very, very silly mistake where my brain fell our during deployment of the Mimic Beacon, this mission went off really well. Retaliation missions are generally one of my least favourite mission types, and so it's very nice to have one that just goes smoothly, even if we did have a few weird moments in terms of line-of-sight. I still don't really understand what happened with that ADVENT Captain - I'm guessing it's something to do with the ladder adjacent to him, but even so, it feels strange. In any case, we saved basically everyone (I actually can't remember ever saving this many civilians before aside form one map where it glitched out and just didn't load any enemies), and that's a great feeling!

 

It's also nice to have a squad member who's really on fire throughout a mission: in what is quickly becoming a staple of this series, I derided a piece of equipment only for it to immediately prove its worth over the course of the mission, and for it to trigger twice was just the icing on the cake and made what could have been a couple of very nasty situations much easier. Let's hope this continues going forward!

 

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In what's fast becoming a somewhat unhealthy tradition for this series, I once again need to apologise for the delay in uploading this part: I've been running into issues with encoding the first segment, for some reason, and while it seems to have worked itself out now for a while I was running into huge issues with it refusing to record at over 360p. Let's hope that the issue doesn't recur in the future: in the meantime, here's the long-awaited Part 18!

 

 

 

Another mission that I'm generally pretty happy with. While the newest patch has caused a few problems (I thought, for example, that I'd just misclicked when shooting the Codex instead of the Shieldbearer, but rewatching the footage during editing confirmed that I seemingly did have the right target selected and it was either a UI glitch or a mechanical error) for the most part everything went quite well. This episode also marks the introduction of Archons, which are the first of the really high-threat aliens, and although I'm confident that we won't be able to deal with them so easily in the future it always feels good to kill something new before it has a chance to show why you should fear it.

 

Upcoming Dark Events are a little nasty here. We've seen on a couple of occasions now how disruptive enemy reinforcement pods can be if they arrive in the wrong place or time, but Faceless are incredibly dangerous and so that's an event I can't allow to complete. On the plus side: very soon we're going to have access to both the Shadow Chamber and the Advanced Warfare Centre, which will allow us to start advancing the story and drastically improve our soldiers respectively!

 

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Today's episode begins with a deployment into an ADVENT-controlled trainyard to hack an enemy computer and prevent a dangerous dark event, so- wait, what? Haven't we done this one already? Didn't this nearly end in complete disaster...?

 

 

 

Given how badly this mission went last time we did it, basically any other outcome would represent a step up, and fortunately that's what happened here. While this mission generally went by the numbers, it's always nice to see little risks paying off: I'm never quite sure about bringing along snipers to timed missions, given their general immobility, but Gambol made three really vital kills this mission and that's always great to see. Little bit of a shame about the lack of overwatch crits from Bulwark this mission, and also a surprise to see the number of outright misses (especially the double miss from T), but I suppose that's the nature of RNG rolls - and of course, it's far better that they happen on a mission where we have plenty of options for redundancy than one in which it's do-or-die.

 

It's also good to be making progress on the world map, too. I wasn't sure whether to just continue after we'd unlocked the new site, but I think continuing until we'd built the Shadow Chamber was the right decision - certainly, it means the video is a much better length than it otherwise would have been, given how short this week's mission was, and means we can start with a slightly more exciting mission next time. Roll on story progression next time!

 

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From one of our shortest missions last time, in today's episode we're moving to what may well be our longest to date as we investigate the co-ordinates retrieved from the original ADVENT blacksite, heading into the wilderness of South Africa to investigate the mysterious 'Forge' facility. Will it have some sort of monitor? Will it allow us to place vehicles and weapons as we see fit? Has Halo in XCom finally gone too far!? Join me, and find out!

 

 

 

Another mess of a mission - though in contrast to the disaster of Operation Winter God, I feel like this one didn't actually go as badly as the results would normally suggest. Obviously XCom involves a bit of luck, but in today's mission I feel as though we really were unusually unlucky. There's more than a few poor decisions on display, and even a few instances where I rush through things without really considering all the options (I could, for instance, have finished off the spare ADVENT Trooper who subsequently joined the Archon pod very easily just by having Slik demolish the car next to him instead of hunkering down), but we were generally very unfortunate with enemies joining new pods rather than continuing to fight us - and of course, there were a couple of spots where enemy pods were perfectly-positioned to cause trouble for us, which there isn't a whole lot we could have done to counteract. Plus, of course, it's very rare that a Meme Beacon goes completely to waste.

 

Overall: a somewhat embarrassing display, but with a few mitigating factors, and at the end of the day we *did* get the job done without anyone dying, and even the injuries aren't as bad as they could have been. I won't be getting complacent anytime soon, though: let's hope this is just another minor blip, and that I'll bring a better game to the next mission!

 

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Following on from what was admittedly a pretty poor display during the last mission, for today's operation we're going to be trying something a little different by using some our our lesser-known squad members! Will their relative lack of experience count against them, or will it prove that the 'A' team really is only a team?

 

 

 

I wasn't altogether certain about this squad composition, but it actually seemed to work out pretty well. Taking lower-ranked soldiers is always a bit of a gamble, especially if you deliberately forgo your highest-rankers in order to make room for them as it's very easy to get into a bad situation and struggle to adapt with characters and skills which are outside of your comfort zone, but generally we coped pretty well here. Obviously the very first engagement was a bit of a mess, but after that I think we generally played pretty well overall - certainly it's nice to end a mission without anyone taking fire!

 

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Maestro happy with his kill. I imagine a massive grin under that helmet. 

 

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Edited by Halo6 Follower
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Maestro happy with his kill. I imagine a massive grin under that helmet. 

 

Xcom Maestro shot mech.png

 

Xcom Maestro shot mech happy.png

 

 

That's only because I whiffed a shot earlier. It wouldn't be me if I didn't miss at least once per mission.

 

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Following on from their success in last week's mission, last week's soldiers have earned the right to another day in the limelight as we continue with the same squad on today's mission! Will they be able to repeat the success of last time, or was their previous success nothing more than beginner's luck?

 

 

 

A somewhat frustrating mission, made worse by some absolutely bizarre luck - for both sides. It's not often that ADVENT forces get multiple shots off without hitting anything, especially against characters who're flanked or completely in the open, but we had more than our share of misfortune as well. Finding both enemy pods at once was bad enough, but what really cemented this mission as an exercise in frustration were the hovering turret - something I've never seen before - and the accidental pod activation at the very end, which happens far too often for my liking and almost never ends well. While obviously the mission didn't really go as planned, by and large this mission was so unusually unlucky that I'm not going to beat myself up over its outcome too much, as there isn't really a whole lot I would have done differently in hindsight, especially with most of what went wrong being the result of apparent glitches or misleading UI rather than just poor decisions.

 

Overall, given that the game seemed to be actively messing with me rather than just playing by the normal rules, I actually think things went quite well. That said, I'm quite happy to do without the extra challenges next time!

 

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Trust me. You're going to like this one.

 

 

 

One of the things I really love about XCom is the sheer tension of every decision: I know I say it a lot, but you really are never more than one bad decision, one moment of bad luck away from complete disaster, and Morrigan revealing that pod is a perfect example of it. For a good few seconds, I honestly thought that was it, and that someone was going to get killed, because any two of those pods would have had the potential to cause us problems, so facing all of them together when we had just three soldiers and one on round of overwatch left to work with (one of whom was down to a single action anyway!) was frankly pretty nightmarish.

 

That said: for all XCom can be brutal and cruel, sometimes it's weirdly merciful, too. Yes, it was a horrible bit of luck to reveal the enemy pods when we did - but of note is the fact that T and Boss had exactly enough range, to take the actions which allowed us to save everyone: had that Sectoid been one tile further back, had Boss been lagging one tile more, Morrigan would have been coming home in a box and we'd have been taking a round of flanking fire from the Muton and Shieldbearer - and possibly ended up with most of our weapons disabled for the next round, too. It's also brilliant that here, we're seeing literally an entire campaign's worth of decisions and planning come to fruition: T's extra melee damage perk which had been useless until now suddenly justified itself by giving us the guaranteed Sectoid kill, Boss' Covering Fire gremlin giving us the extra shot we needed to bring down all four enemies in Bulwark's sight, Bulwark's overwatch build and Advanced Warfare talent ensuring we put out just enough firepower to finish everything off, Morrigan's throwing axe and Big Ty's shredder ammunition, even the decision to upgrade to visit the black market and so get tier three weapons just before the mission: all things that I wasn't sure would be the right decision at the time I made them, but which came together perfectly to turn an impossible situation into what may be the single best moment of my XCom career.

 

Now I just need to live up to that next week!

 

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What a fantastic episode, Red! Well played.

This one is now my favourite episode, just because of your terrible luck with that Andromedon pod and Keko's shooting.

I knew all of that Overwatch stuff would be useful at some point!

 

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Still riding high on the success of last week's mission, this week we're finally getting around to actually raiding that facility in East Asia which has been sitting there since all the way back in Part 11!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M1qL6mTUyI

 

 

Another good mission here, with not much to spoil it save for one stupid misclick which revealed Morrigan's position. It's also really nice to set the Avatar counter back so much: I was expecting a point or two, not four! I'm starting to feel pretty confident about our chances of winning now: we're generally handling most situations pretty well now, and in a few more videos we should hopefully have completed the next few story objectives.

 

That said: for all this was a very good mission, we'll be facing Chryssalids next, and it's my sincerest hope that we complete the mission without a demonstration of exactly why they terrify me so much. Wish me luck and I'll see you then!

 

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Another great episode Red!

At 54:28, at the very bottom of the screen, can you can see the Viper flip out her tongue, or am I crazy? Either way, it's spooky. Chryssalid hype! ;) Would Boss and Keko's Covering Fire Ability help out with them?

 

Hopefully no-one gets Adam Warlock'd (There's an obscure reference for you)

 

Edited by Halo6 Follower

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In today's mission, we're heading into a resistance outpost in the New Arctic to protect it from not just roaming ADVENT death squads, but the most terrifying of the alien forces: Chryssalids! Also making their debut this episode is our newest squad member, Hayley "Jackdaw" B167: will she survive her trial by fire?

 

 

 

Normally here I'd talk about a mission being disappointingly anticlimactic when it goes as quickly and smoothly as this one after how much of a nightmare I was expecting it to be, but on this occasion I'm just plain relieved. Put simply, Chryssalids are, more than literally any other enemy, something that you absolutely CANNOT screw around with. They can hide undetected below ground, attack from the darkness without needing to be 'activated' with an incredibly long movement distance, get a free attack against whoever activates them when they're buried below ground, have a high-damage poison attack with vicious damage over time and which not only prevents soldiers from bleeding out upon death but causes their corpse to spawn MORE Chryssalids, and have a surprisingly large health pool combined with a good Dodge chance as well as immunity to flanking.

 

For once, I'm really glad that there's no drama in this one - though it's always nice to complete a mission so quickly (four turns and fifteen minutes!), and we did have a few cool moments with Overwatch. In any case, here's hoping for a return to our regularly scheduled chaos next time!

 

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One of the first episodes I've legimately watched the whole way through. Great plays on your end Red! When I first saw those Cryssalids, I was genuinely concerned the game would "Game of Thrones" my character on the first go. Awesome episode!

Also, Jackdaw got some great shots in. 

 

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