I'm completely overwhelmed by X-Com 2 (War of the Chosen)


#1

Someone help me. I just started X-Com 2 (War of the Chosen) and even though I’m already 7 hours in I feel like I’m still super early and haven’t done much. I just finished the first Advent mission where I stole the vial for some context.

So far I feel like I’m not doing anything correct. The evil red timers keep going up and everyone is yelling at me. But is it supposed to be like this? Should I be doing more? Because I can’t tell if I’m supposed to feel this way. I also can’t figure out if I’m supposed to not have any scientists or engineers beyond the default. Research takes forever because of this.

I put a decent amount of time into the last X-Com and I didn’t experience this. I sort of got what it wanted me to be doing, but I’m not getting this here.

Can I get some guidance here? What should I be doing?


#2

The strategic layer can feel pretty out of control at the start, but you’re probably doing fine.
Just focus on:

  • Ranking up your soldiers so you can buy squad size upgrades and increase your rep with the resistance factions
  • Contacting regions and building towers so you can get useful continent bonuses
  • Researching critical upgrades for your squad

You can put off continuing the story basically indefinitely, although having a shadow chamber is nice.

If you’re worried about the Avatar Project countdown, don’t forget that there’s a healthy overtime clock if the bar does fill up, and you’ll have plenty of time to use Covert Ops to reduce it, or destroy facilities if you need to.


#3

I had a similar experience when I played a few months ago. I felt overwhelmed by all the missions available and timers when I started. I’ve since beaten it, and I’m sure other people have better worded tips but here is what I wish I knew:

Build the Resistance Ring ASAP, if you haven’t already. This will allow you to go on a mission to save the Skirmisher, recruit the third faction (Templars), and more importantly, grant you access to Covert Missions.

Covert Missions will help you with many of the scary timers. Prioritize covert missions that will reduce Avatar Progress or counteract any Chosen actions.

Other than that choose missions that will reward you with resources you need most. I found early on that Engineers and Scientists were the most valuable reward.


#4

Engineers are gold, scientists are silver and ranked soldiers are bronze when it comes to mission rewards. Mid to late game, your need for those may change but in early game you wanna snag those guys whenever possible. If you don’t see them offered as mission rewards then check out the black market every month.

That feeling of not doing enough doesn’t go away for the majority of the campaign because of the amount of stuff you’ll juggle. So, don’t worry too much about it.

Story missions (like the black site) can be held off, but keep in mind that as time marches on, the game will introduce more difficult enemies regardless of the missions you’ve done. If memory serves me correctly, the story missions are often longer and a little more packed with enemies than the average mission. Basically, you don’t want to wait so long that you’re dealing with gatekeepers on the early story missions. Seven hours in with the black site completed sounds like a good place to be.

I’ve found that it’s critical to level squads evenly, more so than it was in Enemy Unknown. It’s just too easy for a favored soldier to go down in seemingly rout missions. In those early hours, train up a B and C squad. The guerilla tactics school makes this easier to manage by allowing you to turn rookies into whatever class you want, one-by-one. I also used the covert operations via the resistance ring to train up low level soldiers, but keep in mind that this method runs the risk of having low level soldiers get ambushed.

Try to build your resistance network towards countries that have operating advent facilities. Unlock the country and then wait until the situation becomes a little dire to clear out the facility. That’ll wipe a block off and keep you out of the final countdown until you’re able to course correct.

The neat thing about the expansion is that all this nonsense is happening while the chosen are ganking you every other mission. IMO, it’s worth getting rid of that dang assassin once you’re able. You have to unlock that mission through the resistance ring/covert missions and those missions require soldiers of a certain rank, so if you’re able to complete the chain of covert ops then I think it’s a good indication that you’re ready.


#5

Should I be getting these by now? As I mentioned I basically just finished the first Advent blacksite mission, and recaptured Mox and I’m contacting the various regions. So far none of the missions have seemed to mention engineers/scientists as rewards. I can’t tell if I’m just missing it or if that stuff just hasn’t triggered yet.


#6

Hey, I love XCOM and thank you for giving me this opportunity to nerd out about XCOM.

Yes, it feels very overwhelming initially, especially when Bradford won’t shut up. To some degree it’s part of the experience, but WotC added a bunch of extra voice lines too and it sometimes feels like 3 people are talking at you constantly on the geoscape. The end-of-month report guy can also just be really mean and judgmental because you gained like one bar of avatar progress, even if you aced every mission and blew up 300 advent supply raids. Sadly the only way past it is to play the game enough that you get confident about your decision-making, because it will very rarely outright tell you that you’re making the right play when you are.

If you’ve gotten literally no engineers before the blacksite, which I’ve had happen to me once (there’s no reason to rush the blacksite, btw – a lot of players will leave it for much later, because it’s a guaranteed -2 avatar points) you’re kinda playing from behind, but if you’re not on the maximum difficulty, it’s salvageable. It’s pretty random whether you’ll get a lot or none or just enough initially; over the course of the game it’ll even out, but it means every campaign feels a little bit different.

“Playing from behind” is, to me, part of the XCOM feeling in general, and I think this is intentional design: you’re an outnumbered guerrilla force against a global occupation army. In the lategame that kind of turns into triumphantly stomping on Advent with all of your overpowered toys, but early on, you’ll always feel like you’re just barely pulling through.

Especially with War of the Chosen it’s expected that you’ll focus on some of the available options and neglect others, because there is a lot of options now – some people just never get psionics, or sometimes a research breakthrough pops that makes your mag weapons as good as the third tier of weapons and so deprioritizes that research, you can just never use the squad bond system (or start using it much later than I did), etc. The roughest possible priority list is: make sure you don’t lose via Avatar (get enough resistance contacts to hit facilities/get resistance orders and covert ops that lower the doom timer) -> make sure you’re more or less up to date with the enemy tech curve (huge power spikes in the tactical game are when you get mimic beacons, mag weapons, plasma grenades – I prioritize those very highly) -> pursue the plot stuff.

Might post more later cos golly gosh do I love talking about XCOM.

EDIT: The game doesn’t make it clear, but you don’t lose instantly if a Chosen gets pushed to max knowledge; it just means you get an Avenger Defense mission and only failing that mission results in a game over. Obviously it’s really good to take out the Chosen (their loot is great), but with so many things to keep track of, if you’re gonna have to neglect something, you can neglect that.


#7

Totally agree with unhaunting. If none of the missions are offering you scientists or engineers, then that’s RNGesus hair flipping you, nothing you can do about it. If the black market is available, check it out and see if they’re purchasable, otherwise just go with whatever reward is most helpful to you.

The resistance ring may offer them as rewards as well? I haven’t played in a minute so don’t quote me on it, but if it does then those missions will appear at random. Either way, WotC positioned the resistance ring as a priority facility.


#8

I just picked the whole package up on Xbox One, and I ended up doing a restart because I both did not prioritize things well (guerilla tactics school is really important), and I had no luck with getting engineers. My current playthrough, I’m gearing up for blacksite, and I have 4 or 5 engineers, plus 3 scientists. Makes a big difference, it seems.