The Let's Play Archive


by Jade Star

Part 34: Operation Flying Fire

Operation Flying Fire

Not the mission I hoped this update would be; I get a supply raid opportunity before being able to manufacture plasma lances so the Madagascar plot mission will have to wait a little while longer. Truthfully there isn't anything super special about this one other than it's the first mission where I don't bring the SPARK in a long long time. I also make Guava happy with Faceoff so now he can shut up about it for the rest of the LP.

The rest of the LP, you hear me Guava?

Grenadier Colonel rank skills:
Saturation Fire vs Rupture

Saturation Fire will target every enemy in a cone and take a shot at them, with the added possibility of destroying cover. It's kind of a mix in mechanics between the cone of fire you get with Killzone, and the 'shoot everything you see' of Faceoff. It uses a lot of ammo but combined with an accurate grenadier and/or holo-targeting this skill can put out a lot of damage or at least holo-mark a number of targets at once and leave them out in the open to be cleaned up by the rest of the squad.

Rupture deals a critical hit and applied a status effect where all future shots against the ruptured target deal an additional +3 damage. This is great against high HP enemies like Gatekeepers, Archons, and Sectopods. Combines well with Holo-Targeting and Shredder as a lead off attack versus a large high HP armored target, potentially leaving the enemies giant robotic crab more easily targeted and taking large sums of damage.

Winner: It's close, but I'd give it to Rupture. Saturation fire is great for dealing with numerous smaller threats while Rupture is great for dealing with a giant robotic crab. The final consideration for me is that by Colonel level there are already many other ways with dealing with a large number of average threats; grenades, Suppression, Killzone, Faceoff, Stasis, hacking mechanicals, etc. while Rupture does something wholly unique which I think gives it the edge. Either skill may suffer a mission where the circumstances aren't ideal for it's use, but that applies equally to both of them I feel.

As a general note since there isn't a whole lot to say about a routine late game supply raid mission, let me at least say this following my thoughts on the above skill choice; Jake and the team did a much better job at balancing the skill choices in XCom 2 than they did in the first game. In the first game there were many level ups where the choice was automatic because one ability either sucked completely (Flush, Snapshot, etc) or where one skill choice was so much better than the other (Rapid Fire, Bullet Swarm, etc). There were even a couple of times where both skill choices pretty much sucked (Support skill choices that only affected their smoke grenades). Now having said that and hopefully jogging your memory on those times and maybe even the times I called it out in the previous thread let me say that Jake and his team did much better this time around. There have not been many instances where I have felt like saying skill A is always the best pick here because skill B is garbage. Blast Padding vs. Shredder is about the only one I can think of, because blast padding really does kind of suck and you get so much mileage out of shredder. Other pretty mild skills would be Aim (hunker down gives +20 aim on the next turn) and Deep Cover (Hunker Down after sprint). But I just scanned the wiki to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything and those were the only three skills I can really give any amount of shit for being bad choices. Everything else, even with how much I hate gunslinger builds, have good choices for a soldier if you choose to operate your soldier in a certain way. I may not particularly fancy Phantom Rangers (coming around on it though, I've enjoyed the use I've gotten out of Talow) or Gunslingers (Duke's doing better than I thought it'd go, but still would rather have a Sniper and just use an Assault Ranger for the close up stuff instead) but I can't fault the skill tree for making those class choices suck. They're pretty well balanced and accomplish a combat role that Jake and the team set to flesh out. So in a LP full of 'Jake, fix your game' I'd like to take a moment to say 'Jake, you did a good job on this one'.

...Okay moment over. Now go fix your game, Jake.