XCOM 2 War of the Chosen: New Details About Bonding, Heroes, Fatigue & More

XCOM 2 War of the Chosen: New Details About Bonding, Heroes, Fatigue & More

January 4, 2020 100 By Bertrand Dibbert


Hi, this is Tapcat and welcome to the second
half of my coverage of the latest information dropped by XCOM 2’s creative lead, Jake Solomon. Yesterday, we covered all of the changes to
our enemies and today we’ll focus on the changes to the heroes of the game plus a few odds
and ends that don’t fit well in either category. Let’s start with something quick and simple. The SPARK units are getting an upgrade. They’ll be tougher, get a MUCH needed accuracy
boost, and you’ll now be able to add weapon upgrades to their guns. So let’s talk about the heroes. Just in case you need a reminder, we’re looking
at the Skirmishers, Templars, and Reapers. We’ll get access to one early on but opening
the door to the others promises be a lot tougher. The Reaper is a new type of stealth unit. Unlike rangers, he’ll have a chance to stay
concealed after attacking. They also bring a new kind of attack where
they’ll throw a claymore mine and then shoot it at which point it will presumably explode
to damage the enemy. Let’s set aside the fact that real claymore
mines can be triggered with a remote control in the here and now without XCOM’s advanced
technology and that needing to shoot it is like something out of a bad remake of Tombstone,
I’m sure it will LOOK cool and somehow this activity is guaranteed to keep you concealed from enemies even though you’ve attacked Even better. if you’ve picked the right ability then doing
this can even put you back into concealment if you’re revealed to begin with. That sounds bonkers to me, but hey I’ll take
it Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Self,
who cares about Stealth? What did it ever do for me?” Well listen my child and you shall hear of
the midnight ride of the RePEER. When the repear is concealed he’ll move 50%
faster and enemies have a detection radius of exactly one tile. Go anywhere on the map at warp speed, it’s
good for scouting, flanking enemies, or getting to a pesky mission objective just before the
timer runs out. (not that I know anything about that) If that’s not enough, one of his high level
abilities is Banish which will fire every bullet still in his gun at any one target. That may not be quite as good as it sounds
because most of the bullet sponges have enough armor to significantly weaken the effect but
think of Archons, Berserkers, Andromedons in their 2nd phase and tell me that doesn’t
make you smile just a little. Next up is the Skirmisher. They have a wrist-mounted grapple that pull
enemies to them so you can finally become the viper that you’ve hated all this time. Conversely, you can use the grapple to pull
yourself toward them and finish them off with a melee attack. Their high level ability that was revealed
is Battle Lord, which turns your skirmisher into the equivalent of an alien ruler in some ways. Any alien that take an action within his sight
will allow you to take an action in turn. There’s too many specifics about how this
will work that we don’t know but if we can actually move and fire throughout their turn,
then this could be VERY interesting. The Templars, sadly, are mostly a mystery
to us to far. They are psionic specialists and I think it’s
a safe bet that you won’t need to build a psionics lab to get one or level him up and
that’s a welcome change. Maybe to make up for the fact that we weren’t
told much overall, two of their high level abilities were revealed. One, templars can create a clone of themselves
although we don’t know how long they’ll last. Two, they can call down lightning on every
enemy in the area around them. If any of those bolts prove lethal, the templar’s
focus will be fully restored. I haven’t seen an official explanation of
focus, but it seems to be the Templar’s version of ammunition or at least mana. It worth pointing out that each of the three
hero classes also have specialized equipment. Custom rifles for the Reapers and Skirmishers,
we already talked about the Skirmisher’s ripjack that acts as a super-grappling hook, and the
Templars have Shard gauntlets. Not surprisingly, there’s no other details
on these but it’s safe to assume some kind of buffs to damage, crit chance, or SOMETHING
that puts them a notch above ordinary weapons. That’s the extent of our intel on the hero
classes so far but we haven’t talked about how to get them. It turns out that we’ll buy them from a pool
of ability points that are earned during combat. Each time you perform certain maneuvers like
flanking or killing from a higher elevation than the target you’ll have a chance to earn
a point. I’m going to say right now that I love this
idea because it literally builds in a reward structure for players who employ tactics that
are generally sound to begin with. And IF this is spelled out in the game (and
we don’t know that yet) it could really help newer players learn some fundamental tactics
and get traction in the game. But these ability points can also be used
to purchase abilities for your existing soldiers. The Advanced Warfare Center is out and a new
Training Center Facility is in. Instead of each soldier being randomly assigned
one hidden ability, there will now be a pool of 4 you can choose from and it will be up
to you whether to buy abilities for each soldier, you can even buy all 4 on one soldier if you
want. Just be aware that some abilities are more
expensive than others so get out there and flank the crap out of those aliens to fill
your ability points piggy bank ASAP. Final note on this topic, I’m thrilled with
the change. As a player, I’m far more interested in having
to weigh costs versus benefits and make hard choices than I am in taking whatever result
random chance hands me. and that’s basically what the AWC was doing Now, I mentioned that you have to buy heroes,
but let’s talk about who you buy them from. The resistance factions will be visible in
a variety of ways. Well visible, and audible. When we’re on the world map, we’ll hear “Resistance
Radio” commenting on our actions and putting their own spin on it and apparently the ADVENT
speaker will also chime in at times. But that’s basically fluff and the resistance
goes deeper than that. Cultivating a relationship with the factions
sounds like it will be well worth doing. We’ll be able to acquire perks along the lines
of getting instant kills every time you hit a Lost, reducing the progress on the avatar
project by one bar each month, having Advent units defect to your side, and more. We’ll only get to take so many of these but
the ones we know about so far sound good to me There will also be missions when Resistance
Soldiers will fight on the map and be on your side, but they’ll have their own turn. And going back to the idea of making tough
choices, each faction will have different perks so you have to figure out where to put
the bulk of your time and resources and whose favor you want to go after the most because you probably won’t get far trying to court
all three at once. The resistance factions will also play a major
role in hunting down the Chosen. If you want to track down a Chosen to it’s
citadel, you’ll have to spend points with its rival resistance faction to do it. Wait? Rival resistance faction? That’s right, it’s not an accident that there
are 3 chosen and 3 resistance factions. Each faction will have a grudge match going
with a particular Chosen that will be randomly assigned at the start of the campaign and
they’ll be able to show you the location of that citadel, but only if you perform Covert
Actions for them first. We’ll talk more about the covert ops later,
but if you do enough for them then you can finally get the chance to take out that Chosen
and my guess is that long before the game is over, these guys will be more annoying
that a caltrops in your shoe and killing one will be sweeter than candy. Interestingly, Jake Solomon predicted that
it would probably be common for players to NOT get around to killing all 3 prior to the
final mission. If that happens, you’ll find the survivors
waiting for you at some point before you start the end-game missions at the Radio Tower. Well, as of today, Mr. Solomon certainly knows
a lot more about War of the Chosen than I do but I’ll tell you what. If it’s possible to put all of the Chosen
6 feet under before the final assault on the alien base then old Tapcat is going to make
it my mission to blow each of them away to whatever alien hell they crawled out of in
the first place and I’ll be smiling when I do it. No brag, Jake, just fact. (laughter) And killing Chosen won’t just be emotionally
satisfying, you’ll get their weapons too. The Hunter’s sniper rifle has a number of
upgrade slots and takes just one action to fire And, yes, the Assassins swords and the Warlock’s
rifle are also ours for the taking and will probably we well worth claiming. I promised to talk more about Covert Actions,
so let’s do that. They were a very cool idea in XCOM Enemy Within
but the reality of sending a soldier into combat armed with a BB gun and wearing armor
roughly as protective as a hospital gown to square off against aliens armed with plasma
rifles and deadeye marksmanship that would make a special forces sniper green with envy
was a bit of a miss. This time around, you’ll send a pair of soldiers
with an option to send a third or give up the extra firepower for an engineer or scientist. There’s even options that include equipment
or intel to help them get out of a jam if something goes wrong but we don’t know specifics
yet. If things DO go wrong and you didn’t take
the right precautions, you could be looking at having your squad captured. If you’re lucky, though, it could trigger
a mission where you control them on a map and try to escape from ADVENT and Lost enemies. These Covert Actions are how we’ll blunt the
progress of the Chosen in their attempts to mess with the resistance and how we’ll interact
with the resistance ourselves for the most part And it sounds like we’ll want to do more of
them than we can possibly get to so prioritizing will again be key. In fact, there’s even another new facility
called the Resistance Ring that helps run the Covert Actions faster. And, seriously, another new facility? Either the Avenger is getting more slots to
build in or we’re definitely going to see at least one other existing facility retired. You heard it here first! In the real world, we like some of our co-workers
a whole lot more than others and XCOM 2 is headed down that same path. Every soldier will be randomly assigned a
compatibility score with every other soldier ranging from low to very high. When we send soldiers on either tactical or
covert missions together their relationship will have the chance to deepen. At the end of a mission, there could be a
level-up between the two and the camera will zoom in on the two having a beer together
or something similar and Bradford will declare that the two can form a bond. At that point, you can level them up with
no further effort. But after the first level, it will take time
in the Training Center to move it forward. And what, you may ask will these levels get
you? Well, at the first level it could involve
one soldier giving up one action on a turn so that the other can take an extra. At the third level, you can do that twice
as well as employ a new ability called Dual Strike. This is setup so that when one of the soldiers
fires at an enemy, the other will too and it won’t cost them an action. It wasn’t clear whether this is an activated
ability with a cooldown or if that’s an always-on passive so we’ll have to see just how good
that really is. Another benefit that can come from bonding
is that if one runs to the other, it cleanses them of all negative mental effects and that
should include the Daze effect that the Chosen will be using. And, finally, Bondmates will complete Covert
Actions faster. And then we come to Will. Up until now, Will has played a small role in
XCOM 2 and represented your resistance to panic and psionic attempts to manipulate or
control you. Now, it will be integrated with a new fatigue
system. From now on, we’ll need to rotate soldiers
out of combat missions to rest or be punished fairly severely. For starters, a tired soldier’s Will is going
to drop and if they’re hurt or exposed to enough enemies then it will drop even faster. Low Will is going to make them vulnerable
to stuns, panic, and Mind Control. If that’s not enough, tired soldiers that
go on combat missions can acquire negative traits like refusing to go on Overwatch when
you tell them to and simply firing instead. A second example is that they might become
obsessed with keeping their rifle loaded so after moving for his 1st action, he might then immediately reload for his 2nd So you could literally lose control over your own soldier if you overwork him. At least some of the negative traits are simpler to deal with. They might be afraid of a particular enemy
type and hunker down when they see them or maybe go berzerk. Traits like this only trigger once a mission
and can be cured in the infirmary but I assume that means even more downtime in addition
to the rest that they already needed. If you’re still with me then hang in there,
because we’re in the home stretch! Research has been tweaked to include Breakthroughs
and Inspirations Breakthroughs are random events. We’ll occasionally be offered a chance at
a new technology that offers a random perk like bonus damage to a certain weapon type
or halving the cost of a particular facility. But like an unrepentant car dealer, this will
be a one-time offer and no longer available once you walk away. Inspirations are offered in a similar way
but we’ll be offered a standard tech at some kind of discount so that it will take less
time to research. My first impression on this is simple, pick
your spots for accepting these and stay focused when pursuing truly critical research. There are techs like magnetic weapons and
Plated Armor that you need to get to ASAP and if you spend all your time chasing rainbows
instead simply because they’re on sale, then you’ll lose more and more soldiers on the
battlefield in a version of XCOM 2 that demands more able bodies than ever before. New equipment is coming in the form of a Lost
Lure that can direct the Lost to attack a given area. And, again, I’m wondering if it will be a
viable strategy to purposely use explosives to bring the Lost in and then use them against
ADVENT. Or at least take advantage of their presence
when they show up on their own. If so, it will inspire the same kind of joy
usually reserved for enraging berserkers until they attack the ADVENT troops escorting them. Another new toy is the Sustaining Sphere. This will prevent a soldier from dying and
bring them back with one health the following turn With everything we’ve talked about, would
it surprise you to know that campaigns will now be longer? The estimate is that they’ll run 10-15 missions
more than they currently do so get ready for the game to become even more of a marathon,
especially on Legend. There’s also a completely new Challenge Mode. Apparently, your forces would be pre-selected
and could include both humans and aliens. It’s completely separate from the campaign
and these would be one-off mission that are somehow scored competitively and will give
us a chance to compete against others to appear on a leaderboard. I really don’t know what to make of this,
but we’ll see how it looks once we know more. All right, if you’ve made it this far then
hopefully you found the video interesting. If so, please give it a like to help other
people find it. I’ll continue to cover War of the Chosen up
through the release so if you want to see more then by all means subscribe to the channel. That’s all for now. Thanks for watching, I hope we see you next
time.