The Three Player Types Who Will Love XCOM's New DLC

XCOM: Enemy Unknown--Second Wave is upon us. Which player types will benefit most from this free add-on, and are you one of them?

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January 8, 2013, marks the release of the second bit of downloadable content for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, called Second Wave. The first DLC, Slingshot, added three new missions in addition to other tweaks that brought some variety to combat scenarios, but was easily disregarded given how little it actually impacted the experience at large. Second Wave is a very different kind of add-on; it doesn’t offer new missions, but rather, it allows you to tweak various aspects of the game in ways that give it a notably different feel, and in some cases, make it much more challenging.

Just what kind of XCOM fan is Second Wave for? Let’s take a look at the three types of players most likely to enjoy this free slice of downloadable content.

The Nostalgic

Sure, you like XCOM: Enemy Unknown well enough, but you also fondly recall the good-old days of UFO Defense and wish you could make XCOM even XCOM-ier, if you will. You miss the randomness of the older games. If you’re one of these folks and long for the thrill of the unexpected, some options are just for you, and all but one of them are available whether you have beaten the game or not.

New Economy: Randomized council member funding.

Not Created Equally: Rookies will have random starting stats.

Hidden Potential: As a soldier is promoted, stats increase randomly.

Damage Roulette: Weapons have a wider range of damage.

High Stakes: Random rewards for stopping alien abductions. (Only available once you have completed the game.)

All of these options are meant to give you those “holy s***” moments that can be either super-frustrating or highly satisfying. XCOM: Enemy Unknown becomes even more dynamic and procedural, and you may become even more attached to your soldiers because they are even more individual.

Ironman in Training

You like the idea of Classic and Ironman modes, but you feel like they’re a little more unforgiving than you’d like. You wish there were ways to manipulate the difficulty level without biting off more than you can chew. If you fit that description, then you’ll enjoy several of Second Wave’s optional tweaks. You must have completed the game at least once to access these options.

Diminishing Returns: Increased cost of satellite construction. Every time you build a satellite, the next satellite’s cost goes up. Lead designer Jake Solomon originally wanted to include a similar mechanic in the original game, but couldn’t find a good way to explain it within the narrative.

Absolutely Critical: A flanking shot guarantees a critical hit. This option makes combat a little dicier, because a flanking alien is sure to kill you. On the other hand, you’ll kill any alien you flank, so you need to be extra careful with positioning when activating Absolutely Critical.

More Than Human: The psionic gift is extremely rare.

Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases--but if the panic level is zero, you get a funding bonus.

The Greater Good: Psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien.

Red Fog: Combat wounds will degrade the soldier’s mission stats.

The Masochist

Impossible mode is for pansies. If every turn doesn’t hold the possibility of crushing defeat, then you feel that you aren’t truly living.

If this sounds like you, then four modifications that you unlock after you beat the game on impossible difficulty are right up your alley. Separately or together, they practically turn the game into a roguelike, in which you don’t expect to win as much you just want to see how long you can survive.

War Weariness: The funding levels of the entire world drop with every month that passes.

E-115: Elerium gets a really short half life, so it disappears from your inventory if you don’t use it.

Total Loss: If your soldiers die, everything they were carrying is lost.

Alternate Sources: Power requirements of all facilities increase dramatically.

Maybe you fall in a fourth class of player, The Addicted, in which case you can extend each game of XCOM: Enemy Unknown with Marathon, which makes the game take much longer to complete, and is unlocked once you have beaten the game at least once. Of course, almost anyone interested in Second Wave fits into that player class, so you’ll probably find at least a few of these updates intriguing in some manner. The options can be activated from a separate Second Wave menu. One nice touch: the game knows if you have already completed it, so you don’t need to complete it again to unlock the majority of these toggles.

Still not sure if Second Wave is for you? Consider this: it’s free. And it seems fairly certain that these options in various combinations could greatly change the feel and flow of a game of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Whether you play on the PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360, XCOM’s newest DLC is available on Tuesday, January 8.

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Discussion

106 comments
Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

I guess Patch 5 came out about an hour ago. Not sure what patch number, or what it contains yet, but honk your horns and tell the world. Okay, don't know the size of the patch either, conflicting reports, but I guess there seems to be a patch ready to download on Steam. Well, the game ain't SimCity.

Today is March 15, 2013.


Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

New patch for PC to try out - Beta patch for teleport bug. Over at XCOM forum (2K) and General XCOM Discussion. Try it, others are to see if it fixes such bug.

(patch 4 then I guess).

Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

Kevin is getting out his violin to play a serenade for all of you players. Of couse I  just think the aliens should win the game most of the time, and humans can fix their computers and consoles - well, again you got sold on those for some reason a lot of PC players just can not understand.


graveghost
graveghost

Boring and and disappointing. There are a multitude of better tweeks they could of spent their time on. Doesn't Firaxis or 2K Game even read what people are saying in the official XCom forum. I think this is just a big slap in the face. Insulting.

2Apunisher
2Apunisher

Disappointing, Silent Storms mechanism takes big time

Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

You'll have to type the name "Sid Meier" into one of your Squaddies to get him into the game. Another note, the player (in football I guess) that beat a Firaxis employee in multi-player (I forget which one) is I think spelled "Chris Kluwe" to put him as a hero into the game. Can be looked up to find out the spelling and such.

XP is not supported, so the way mentioned to get the game to run in XP is not a sure bet although a person can try, but on some computers with XP it will not run the videos or whatever in the game. The game is made for Vista or Windows 7.

(unless a patch comes out later supporting XP ??)

jlwood830
jlwood830

I can't find Second Chance on XLive. Am I missing something?

Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

Oh, and the latest thought of as a bug. The game slows down and shows like an action-slow-down cam of the action going on. It does not do it all the time, but it is not a bug, but part of the game. Now, back to the game because it works well on my computer system, and it is not all that new of a video card or monitor, but play it more, to really get the feel of the atmosphere of the game. (sirens and all).

Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

It's the third patch and it is downloaded on Steam while you look around. (or downloaded when you get there to download the 3rd patch of the game.


CruiserCaptain
CruiserCaptain

So where do we find this Free DLC? I just checked PSN (1-11-13)  and found no sign of it on the XCOM: EU page. Does it come as a "patch" dlc since it's free and therefore would just download and install next time I fire up the game? Or was it delayed?

Lucasdxx
Lucasdxx

Personally I don't understand the appeal of this add-on, the game has enough difficulty options as is, this is just redundant for most gamers that play the game.At least they have the decency to distribute it free.

On the other hand one or two new soldier classes, a couple of new maps and tweaking of the UFO attacks to make them more challenging would have made for much more enticing replayability.

bnarmz
bnarmz

A nice patch would be more maps, customize body types ( skinny/fat/short/tall), a skirmish and/or survival mode, co-op, a mission/map editor, and more CUT SCENES !! Wouldn't mind paying good money for that....should be the next thing to work on, imo. Easy replayability.

Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

And also the letter sent to Mrs. Jake Soloman at Firaxis headquarters with the dog tags about her late deceased husband sent from the airforce base in Nebraska. (Ah, she did not appreciate that, so he can keep the letter and dog tags at the Firaxis Headquarters and out of the house. Well, so much for a sense of humor.)


Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

The player means the camera glitch when they have a second controller plugged into their console and the camera slews?? And the so-called other bugs are not really that much of a bug, just makes the game harder just when the player thinks they should have the LOS they really do not have?? Numerous other things like trying to play the game with a video card or drivers or monitors that can not start it up?? Try "-windowed" to launch the game with, because there are many resolutions of the monitor the game can be played in. Now to some players there are still some other bugs, to other players they are just part of the game. That does not mean that their are not bugs in the game yet, but Firaxis has fixed those before with a game unlike some other so-called programmed games. Yet the 3rd patch is suppose to minimize some of those so-called bugs.

tgwolf
tgwolf

NO STOP, let me...1) M-content slaves, 2) M-content addicts, and finally 3) players who like sci fi and relatively good innovation but who didn't realize that it was rated M until too late.

sodiumpentathol
sodiumpentathol

This game could've been so much better if only they had used more than 2 lousy APs, and added an ability to sneak up on your enemies. Tactical wise it's too preset and random as it is. No amount of DLC can change this.

suplax
suplax

I've already finished the game but... i would still be more happy about a DLC with more Specialization for soldiers , more ranks , skills , weapons , armors , more soldiers customization...

HapiJoel
HapiJoel

I've been too sucked into Far Cry 3 to play this, will have to get back into it this weekend and see if its fixed the line of sight bugs on the Cargo ship levels...such a pain

frostmare9999
frostmare9999

no matter what you do to this game it just feel the same. What;s missing is the random enemy placements and there lack of motions since u have to come to them make the action happen. The original xom was more fun. The funding system is a failure big time . its a good game but its missing many elements factors and there still not getting it right. just make the original xcom with more conent. HD, new guns , more enemies and u would have a really fun game to play.

ZakMcKracken
ZakMcKracken

This game is still missing something. Not quite sure what it is but I don't think this addon has it.

hochstreck
hochstreck

Options to randomize certain aspects of the game, as well as making the game harder, are really nice to have. In my book this add-on is amazing!

LingeringRegime
LingeringRegime

It would be nice if there was a random character generator.  Not just names, but costume color, cosutme type, hairstyles, etc. 

bnarmz
bnarmz

All I want is more maps and/or a skirmish mode. The tweaking of differculty is ok but I'll prefer new scenery and a mode where I can just fight thru random maps with random amounts of enemies.

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

A nudge of an apology for selling out to weak consoles.

GreyViper
GreyViper

So its a mod right, because to be honest what the new XCOM is lacking is new combat maps and more content.

Blade_Runner22
Blade_Runner22

It's all good and well but the one thing I don't understand is why wait until the very last lines to tell the reader that this thing is for free? especially once it's been established as a DLC

Visitor_basic
Visitor_basic

A player can still play the game the old way, or pick one or more of the options to play the game with.

aermeus
aermeus

I will eventually buy xcom...but out of curiosity, have they patched/fixed a lot of the bug issues?  INdividuals i know who played it complained about quite a few bugs, particularly camera issues.

Pablo_Heroin
Pablo_Heroin

Its called a "patch", one that enables some features that were unfinished few months ago and fixes few bugs. Most of that stuff could be used before anyway, with single mod Im able to set my own cofiguration.

with_teeth26
with_teeth26

I like the idea of Randomization, I've been looking for a reason to return to this game, I think these options will provide it. 

Janpieterzun
Janpieterzun

I won't lie, I've played the original, and at first i didn't like Enemy unknown. It grew on me to the point of it being an addiction now. I've even managed to sneak my laptop at work to get a combat mission in here and there. I want more of this game.

 

WCK619
WCK619

"Diminishing Returns: Increased cost of satellite construction. Every time you build a satellite, the next satellite’s cost goes up. Lead designer Jake Solomon originally wanted to include a similar mechanic in the original game, but couldn’t find a good way to explain it within the narrative."

 

What narrative? XCOM:EU had barely any narrative to speak of.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Expand the experience with new content like skyrim.

CruiserCaptain
CruiserCaptain

@sodiumpentathol 

You can sneak with the Ghost Armour. Granted I thinkit last for a turn, but I know if you use it at the right time it hides the trooper wearing it for a turn, enough to ensure they won't get hit if they are close and would normally be seen.

Soniczero1993
Soniczero1993

@frostmare9999  You can't remake the original X-COM. It's not under the same company anymore after all the years of juggling the IP. You can't expect Firaxis to know the original X-COM right down to the coding, they did what they could and came up with what we have now.

You can always play the other X-COM if you think this one is so bad. The shooter one that is, because it's obvious you can't be pleased at this point.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

 @Blade_Runner22 It's also mentioned in the deck :) "XCOM: Enemy Unknown--Second Wave is upon us. Which player types will benefit most from this free add-on, and are you one of them?"

xaviermf
xaviermf

 @Blade_Runner22 Sorry mate, but it's stated very clearly at the beginning ("Which player types will benefit most from this FREE add-on, and are you one of them?"). It's even repeated right below the first picture.

Dirk_McHardpeck
Dirk_McHardpeck

 @aermeus The only camera issues I've experienced are during the combat "cutscenes". They don't impact any gameplay so if that's the issue you're referring to they probably aren't rushing to fix it but it also shouldn't deter you from buying it either.

frostmare9999
frostmare9999

@Soniczero1993 @frostmare9999  nope just commenting is all, nothing more. I knew it was not made from the same company. just stating a opinion and yet its obvious people have an anwser for every comment that is posted to right?

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

 @Sefrix  @FlashCharge I believe he's talking about the Dragonborn expansion, which adds new enemies, spells, an entire new area, and dragon riding. Also, a near-invulnerable killer that stalks you when you're out in the wilderness and have reached level cap.