LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

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LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by Hjarr » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:12 am

So in this thread I want to specifically talk about the balance of choices on the perk trees. This is not an overall balance thread like the other. Try to keep discussion related to specific perk tree changes you'd like to see. For quick reference of all skills look here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... li=1#gid=0

This is gonna be really specific and I'm only gonna go up to Major level skills since I haven't had good experience yet with further levels. All my balance talk is in perspective of L/I vanilla X2 (all DLC).


Corporal Perks: Covert, Low Profile, Blademaster

Problem: Blademaster Sword +2 dmg perk overshadows both other perks.
"Covert, Enemies have 20% smaller detection radius against you". This just a terrible perk. No one will ever take this. Low Profile is at least decent but still overshadowed by Sword dmg.
Suggestion: Have Low Profile also give +25 dodge to make it competitive. Covert should in addition to 20% smaller detection radius give a +10 aim for both Primary and Sword for attacking from concealment. This is trading dmg for more reliability.

Sergeant Perks: Hunter's Instincts, Lone Wolf, Shadowstrike
Problem: Hunter's Instinct overshadows the others as dmg upgrades usually do.
Since it's really really easy to flank in X2 (suicidal AI) unlike the first XCom, Hunter's Instinct becomes an instant choice. Although I hate to say it, +3 dmg for flanking shots is a little bit too much.
Suggestion: Make Hunter's Instinct +2 dmg. Lone Wolf being so specific should be more powerful but not by much. Give +10 dodge as well to Lone Wolf. Shadowstrike is alright I guess.
Suggestion2: Remove Hunter's Instinct. Move Shadow Strike to the first column which is supposed to be concealment abilities. Give a new sword ability Strike (make up something better). Attack an enemy with the sword within a blue move, uses only 1 Movement point.
Suggestion3: Remove Hunter's Instinct. Replace with Implacable but for Sword kills only. Move columns.

Lieutenant Perks: Death From Above, Evasive, Cutthroat
I think these are all finely balanced.

Captain Perks: Conceal, Hard Target, Bladestorm
Finely balanced again.

Major Perks: Shadowstep, Deadshot, Infighter
Finely balanced. Although these perks seem to be worse than even Corporal level perks. Intended?

Before going on to Specialist I think this is the class that needs a lot of attention.

Corporal Perks: Medical Protocol, Suppression, Combat Protocol
Problem: Medical Protocol is basically 2 perks in one. Gain a free medikit. Gain ability for Gremlin to heal.
Problem2: Suppression is pretty bad due to the nature of X2 and enemies running suppression most of the time with you essentially using 2 ammo for an overwatch shot.
Suggestion: Gremlin heal given as a base ability to Specialist. Medical Protocol now gives you a medkit. And an extra medkit if a medkit is equipped. So with this perk you will always have one medkit leaving you to equip a grenade or 3 medkits if you equip a medkit just like vanilla X2. With these changes all 3 choices become balanced.
Suggestion for Suppression: Give the old LW suppression. Meaning no overwatch penalty and a crit chance if the enemy tries to run suppression. Imo this should be given for all suppression abilites on X2.

Sergeant Perks: Flashbanger, Covering Fire, Smoker

BIG PROBLEM: Here you are given a choice between Revival Protocol and Haywire in X2 vanilla. Revive is really needed at this stage of the game facing nothing but stun lancers. I think the same should apply here. In Perk Pack you get Revive at Captain which is way way too late. You're past the stun lancer face of the game at that point.
Suggestion: Give a choice of Revival Protocol and 2 other perks. My 2 perk suggestions are
Hacker: 10% increased hack chance against robotic enemies
Cleanse Protocol: Remove poison, acid, fire at a small area. Cures allies and/or removes those effects from the ground.

If you really want to keep it like it is here's my take on the Perk Pack version.
Problem: Covering Fire is just terrible. Always was always will be. Especially X2 where enemies will always move.
Suggestion: Have covering Fire be an additional overwatch shot. So if you overwatch you get a shot at movement and at enemy action.
Suggestion: Replace Covering Fire with a supportive skill. Reload Protocol, Gremlin reloads any other soldier's weapon.

Lieutenant Perks: Field Medic, Scanning Protocol, Interference
Interference will obviously never be taken. My suggestion is to replace it with Flasher (gain a Flashbang).

Captain Perks: Revival Protocol, Airdrop, Threat Assesment
Revival Protocol is the obvious choice here. But I think it's obvious Revival Protocol should be moved to be an earlier perk and have something else compete here.

Major Perks: Field Surgeon, Cool Under Pressure, Trojan
Well balanced.


Corporal Perks: Close Combat Specialist, Close and Personal, Formidable
Finely balanced.

Sergeant Perks: Trench Gun, Deadshot, Slug Shot
Deadshot seems a bit weak here and will never be taken. This is an ability right? At least up the numbers to 20%. Give it a 4 turn cooldown.

Lieutenant Perks: Killer Instinct, Blademaster, Killer Instinct
Well balanced

Captain Perks: Extra Conditioning, Aggression, Will to Survive
Will to Survive is maybe slightly too weak considering the competing perks. Decrease enemy crit chance by 10% as well? Or give that -1 damage against melee attacks as well.

Major Perks: Hit and Run, Rapid Fire, Close Encounters
Classic LW choice. Well balanced.

I hope you will comment on my Ranger remake thread as well whether you like it or hate it :D
I also think Ranger would become a more interesting class if it was barred from using Shotgun. Would be a huge nerf but more interesting. You'd need to balance it out with more effective perks.

Corporal Perks: Walk Fire, Steady Weapon, Cool Under Pressure
Problem: Steady Weapon really loses here. Never shall be taken.
Suggestion: Replace with Lightning Hands (free pistol shot, 3 turn cooldown).

Sergeant Perks: Aggression, Will to Survive, Suppression
Well balanced. Except Suppression will never be taken as long as you can choose shotgun for Ranger.

Lieutenant Perks: Center Mass, Clutch Shot, Covering Fire
Problem: Covering Fire sucks. Give an additional overwatch shot against shooting.

Captain Perks: Grazing Fire, Fan Fire, Ever Vigilant
Problem: Ever Vigilant is too weak, when are you ever going to double move when not in Concealment?
Suggestion: Change it to "if you end your turn at a movement, you are granted overwatch". With this you can shoot > move. Might be too strong so a -10 hit modifier maybe?

Major Perks: Bring Em' On, Gunslinger, Tactical Sense
Well balanced.


Corporal Perks: Heavy Ordinance, Steady Weapon, Formidable
Problem: Heavy Ordinance is a Lieutenant level perk on vanilla X2, and for a reason. It's way too good here.
Problem2: Steady Weapon has no place on a Grenadier, makes no sense, has no worth.
Suggestion1: Replace Heavy Ordinance with extra environmental damage from Launch Grenade. That might also be too good. Replace with something lame like the other perks.
Suggestion2: Make Steady Weapon instead increase the range of your Launch Grenade ability for next turn. Call it whatever.

Sergeant Perks: Boosted Cores, Suppression, Smoker
It's allright balanced but not very interesting. Also.
Slight problem: You'll usually carry a shotgun on Grenadier as well so Suppression is not a skill you will take.
Suggestion: Replace Suppression with Flare/Red Smoke Grenade. All enemies in the Red Smoke Area have -15 defense.
Suggestion2: Replace with Stim Smoke (make a better name) (green or violet smoke), all allies in the smoke have +15 Crit Chance, +15 will and take 1 less damage from all attacks

Lieutenant Perks: Will to Survive, Center Mass, Flashbanger
Will to Survive is competing with a Flashbang. No contest, Flashbang wins.
Problem: Your Grenadier is never gonna be the front line man so Will to Survive is somewhat pointless
Problem2: Center Mass is not gonna be taken. Flashbang is so strong.
Suggestion: Move Heavy Ordinance here instead of Will to Survive like vanilla X2. Heavy Ordinance and Flashbang are competitive, you have a choice of taking 3 different kinds of grenades with Flashbanger or 1 grenade +2 same kind of special grenades (acid/fire etc.). I'm not sure what 3rd perk is competitive with those though. Possibly another additional Smoke Grenade perk (Smoker) here to synergize with later Dense Smoke.

Captain Perks: Biggest Booms, Locked On, Dense Smoke
I'm not sure if Biggest Booms always gives +2dmg? Or only +2 on critical hits? I'm assuming it's +2 and can crit.
Anyway, Locked On should really be an early perk or even better not a Grenadier perk at all.
Problem: Locked On sucks in comparison to the other 2.
Suggestion: Move Sting Grenades here. Imo you should have to choose between Dense Smoke and Sting Grenades(great ability btw). You shouldn't be able to have both great Smokes and great Flashbangs. Even if you're not willing to do this, Locked On needs to be replaced.

Major Perks: Traverse Fire, Tactical Sense, Sting Grenades
Traverse Fire, just no. Shoot, lob nade. Especially when competing with kinda lame perks this is way off and so much better than other classes have as Major perks. How about making it so you have a movement after Launch Grenade?
Suggestion: Change Traverse Fire to Launch Nade > move. Move Sting Grenades to Captain rank and replace with Sprinter.
Suggestion2: Just redo these 3 perks. Tactical Sense is also really terrible since the Grenadier is usually not a front line man.

Colonel Perks: Salvo, Resilience, Rapid Deployment
I have to address this. I think with Salvo is where X2 gets to the silly sector just like vanilla X2. Having 2 guaranteed damage shots that destroy cover and armor with impossible range (upgraded launcher) while having 5 soldiers still move after that just gets slightly retarded. I'd like if LW Perk Pack moved away from that kind of silliness. Your view might differ.
Suggestion: Make Resilience instead give immunity to critical hits. Rapid Deployment is fine. Replace Salvo with Rapid Fire or something. Just replace it.

Firstly I'd like to say that I feel Gunner is by far the weakest class.
I think giving Gunner LW style Suppression is essential. Critting and no OW penalty. This is very important since the AI likes to run suppression a lot in X2. Also give him Shredder at base.
Just a question as well, does Gunner get 1 Armor at base? He should at least.

Corporal Perks: Shredder, Holo-Targeting, Steady Hands
Few things. Steady Hands is a pretty weird perk for X2 since you're about always supposed to move. Secondly, like I said I'd like to see Shredder at base so the Gunner is always good at least against armored units and not just deadweight.
Suggestion: Make Steady Hands instead give the same bonuses after a turn where you didn't shoot. That way you can actually dash him in front of the line to tank as well. Replace Shredder with Blast Padding (+1 armor). Reduce Holo-Targeting bonus to +10 since Shredder is no more competing with it.
Suggestion2: Everything as per suggestion1. But replace Steady Hands with "overwatch/suppression is not canceled by taking damage".

Sergeant Perks: Locked On, Will to Survive, Demolition
Good balance.
Lieutenant Perks: Chain Shot, Cool Under Pressure, Walk Fire
Good balance.
Captain Perks: Hail of Bullets, Tactical Sense, Danger Zone
Good balance.
Major Perks: Traverse Fire, Resilience, Lockdown
Traverse Fire is a stupid name. But it's a skill that belongs to a Gunner class. New name please.
Problem: Resilience is not even remotely competitive with Traverse Fire and Lockdown. Make it an immunity to crits and even then it's not good enough. Immunity to crits and +1 armor would make someone take it if they have a valuable Gunner they don't want to lose.

Gunner Overview:
Looking at this the Gunner perks are pretty well balanced against each other. But the Gunner is itself not well balanced against the rest of the team. Things that make Gunner bad are, low ammo, low movement values and poor hit% compared to other guys just shotgunning, meleeing or nading everything. He can contribute very little since Advent just runs suppression and Gunner misses at 45% hit rate. Also Gunner is constantly having to reload and then having to dash next turn to keep up with the crew. He's always fighting from the back.
Suggestions: Giving Shredder at base and then old LW suppression would really help him. If you also have his Suppression to cut out certain ability ranges (grenades, poison spit etc.) like old LW class that would in itself bring Gunner back as a competitive class.

I also have a small modification that would boost Gunner significantly. It's either this rework or suppressing ability length, probably not both or it would be too powerful.

My area suppression rework:
Suppression should in my opinion be an area suppression, almost like we have now except targeted on an area instead of an enemy so you can actually catch 2 enemies there at times. Uses 1 ammo but everyone who walks through the area gets an overwatch shot (uses 1 ammo) at him. This does not stop suppression. Overwatch shots are taken as long as there's ammo left.

First, let me propose a change to Steady Hands for a quality of life improvement. Steady Hands: If you overwatch and do not shoot at anything that turn, gain +20 aim on your next shot. Bonus is lost if you move or are wounded.

Yes, it's slightly better than the regular but it would make the game so much faster to just tap Y on whole team and not having to put your sniper on Steady Weapon. Have it give +10 aim for all I care, just don't make me choose the sniper and press the Steady Weapon every turn.

Corporal Perks: Precision Shot, Return Fire, Snap Shot
Problem: Return Fire is terrible in comparison. Your Sniper will only get shot at if he takes Snap Shot and is a moving sniper. But Snapshot is on the same rank as Return Fire so you can't have both.
Suggestion: Mark Target, give an opponent -20 defense even from squadsight range. Uses 1 movement point. 3 turn cooldown.
Suggestion2: Wound Shot, on hit the opponent gets Bleed. They take 1dmg per turn and their movement is halved.

Sergeant Perks: Damn Good Ground, Lightning Hands, Deadeye
Good balance.

Lieutenant Perks: Death From Above, Quickdraw, Executioner
Good balance.

Captain Perks: Long Watch, Faceoff, Aim
I'm not sure if Aim is too weak. Then again I haven't played a Snapshot sniper so it might be decent.

Major Perks: Steady Hands, Clutch Shot, Kubikiri
I'm assuming Kubikiri does not work against Rulers. Why do regular hits do half damage?
Suggestion: Change Kubikiri to do normal damage in case of no critical

If you made it this far


Now go buy some ice cream and celebrate.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by Hjarr » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:31 am

Bumping this thread in case the devs missed it. I hope you guys have at least read it through.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by dskpnk » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:31 pm

I have not read all your post but i have to disagree from the begining of your post (so i may not read more as obviously you didn't really test things your speaking about) :

"Covert, Enemies have 20% smaller detection radius against you". This just a terrible perk. No one will ever take this

For me it's best perk ever, maybe even a little bit OP with the Ghost armor, i can blow an afvent factory on commander with ony one sneak build, and i hacked the advent radio tower with only one guy.

+ get a great long range sniper build coupled to this sneak, and you have killing machine.

Love this perk !


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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by Hjarr » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:44 pm

When would you ever need 20% better concealment? You can do the snipe tactics just fine with the regular concealment.

Also doing factory with just one dude. Why? You're missing a ton of xp on that mission.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by warbrand2 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:44 pm

Hjarr wrote:When would you ever need 20% better concealment? You can do the snipe tactics just fine with the regular concealment.

Also doing factory with just one dude. Why? You're missing a ton of xp on that mission.

that 20% concealment is a freaking lifesaver I can tell you that. I have a stealth built scout in my main A group, he rarely enters battle and his job is simple. Hit the objective with out being spotted let the main group take the hits.

Though said guy is able to re-stealth 2 times, (no clue why).

Also soloing a mission, while yes is an XP killer, some times you just need to get in and out with out being spotted, save your health and end a mission with out risking your teams. Or be like me and forget to hire new soldiers and end up wiht A and B team wounded and C team having 2 guys with them having to stop a Advent project breakthrough that will cause you to lose if it makes it. yeah best mission I ever played 2 men low level vs mutons, mechs, and heavy death. save scumming barely got me out of it with both at 1 HP each.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by Hjarr » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:46 pm

Why do you need a concealment guy to "hit the objective"? Do you run out of time a lot or something? You can use the specialist to remote hack the objective. Much more handy.
Are you playing on Legend difficulty btw? Since that's where my feedback is based on.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by dskpnk » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:11 am

Technically radio tower is the pre last mission, who cares about XP at this states, killing this mission with only one guys was fun and kind of self challenge, sometimes not getting hurt is much better than XP (i play legendary/iron man/full LW/8 squad max) and any mistakes can lead to a squad wipe.
For factory, it's simple safety and i made it only one time just for the challenge (and if you have shitty squad cause your main sodiers are wounded, you can goes with a big pack of rookies pretty safe if you have this dude)
Aslo terror missions with this dude are awsome (be sure to scan enemy's before to not agro a faceless)
You can do the sniper tactic with other variant of shinobi build ofc but this version is a perfect objectives takers, i even think my next playthrought it will have a little bit of hacking (i use not created equally)

I can't play without this full sneak build now he was too usefull and made too many epic moves, it's a hero !

To be honest i won't read all the post and debate each point, but you obviously never try this perk to tell it's useless.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by Hjarr » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:32 am

dskpnk wrote: To be honest i won't read all the post and debate each point, but you obviously never try this perk to tell it's useless.
Actually I did try it and it's almost useless by itself, and especially in comparison to having more sword dmg. And you are so far proving my point that it is useless. You talk about doing "challenges" and "epic stuff" meaning that you are using something suboptimal to get through. Sure it's a challenge and epic to get through the game with just 4 snipers but I don't think anyone would argue there are better options out there.

There's nothing wrong with imposing challenges on oneself but what I'm looking for is to actually achieve a balance where you don't have purely worse options to choose from solely for "challenge". But that each option is equally good.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by dskpnk » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:43 am

What are you speaking about 4 snipers bullshit ?

Why this dude would need +2 sword damages ? He barrely never fight and when he did, he mostly use his smg cause he is too low on HP.

Looks like you don't understand each classes have subclasses and not only goes for dmg version.

Just my point of view, but it's a big NO for your suggestions (and i lied, i read more, i disagree most of what i read, i won't debate cause after two players told you is perk is not useless you still blocked on your swords damages).

I am doinf my 3rd run full long war now to try new composition and new variant of classes, i don't even now how it's possible you are able to rebalance the LW perks with one uncompleted run and your classes not caped.

Cya !

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by Hjarr » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:54 am

You are using 6 soldiers as base right? So it's a lot easier for you. That's probably why you can make statements like "he barely fights". You woulnd't be making silly statements like that if you played L/I with the regular soldier count of 4.

When did I ever say I did one uncompleted run? I've done a little less than 10 with the LW Perk Pack. I've been wiped a couple of times by the Berserker Queen and some runs I'm winning so I don't feel like going through the pointless end game.

But it's allright, if you don't want to defend your point of view that's cool.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by dskpnk » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:21 am

Not really i use 4 base squad and have a mod allowing squad update III & IV in tactical center.

As i try to be as close as possible to EW:LW, 8 slots seems legit way to play LW. And actually LW legendary looks like being really well balanced this way, so not sure about this, but for me long war is designed for 8 soldiers squad, need to ask LW devs but it's a good compromise between challenge and fun.

Why :

- Legendary is fucking harsh with LW enemies and i don't think it's possible with only 6 (or that the reason why you can only goes for damage builds)
- LW bring like 15 possible classes (not counting psy op & spark) going with only 6 removes you too many gameplay possibilities. I even think using a mod adding more enemies to use more soldiers.

I am not gonna debate about perks cause as i said, actually i don't fell like i tested enought to tell i can balance things (+i didn't feel big mistakes in the balance). I was just forced to react your post as i see a terrible mistake in the first lines.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by Hjarr » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:27 pm

So you use 2 extra soldiers compared to me. I also play with LW Aliens pack. That explains a lot why you can keep taking perks like Covert to just mess around. 2 Extra damage for swords means you can one hit Sectoids. That's huge. One extra tile for concealment means, basically nothing.

It's not really too hard. I use the Leaders as well. If you leave the Alien Leader mission unmarked when you start the game they appear on around the 5th-7th mission. That's what makes it hard. The alien pack actually makes the early game easier cause you are facing droids that usually are only a small nuisance compared to regular troopers.

I really don't get how you can think having 1 tile more concealment is equally good with having an almost guaranteed ability to being able to take out a Sectoid.

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Re: LW Perk Pack perk tree balance (specific)

Post by boy_cad » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:01 am

Sergeant Perks: Trench Gun, Deadshot, Slug Shot
Deadshot seems a bit weak here and will never be taken. This is an ability right? At least up the numbers to 20%. Give it a 4 turn cooldown."

I cant find a way to use Slug Shot. :geek: Also, theres a "Deadeye to Headshot" mod on Nexus which might be the sort of change you are looking for to Deadshot. here: http://www.nexusmods.com/xcom2/mods/331/?

edit: also, the descriptions of the new PCS modules could tell us more about exactly how they work. Im thinking of the body shield PCS that Im looking at in my game now.

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