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Thread: Help me understand Panic

  1. #1
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    Help me understand Panic

    Could someone please explain to me how panic is supposed to work?

    I have an issue with it. At times, it makes sense, and it fits well with the game. But I feel as if every turn on a new impossible playthrough I have 1 or 2 squaddies going into panic mode. Would be nice if sectoids had a lower chance to cause panic, because, while they are shooting plasma at you, they're also about the size of your boot. It gets a little out of hand, in my opinion, to only be able to use half your squad on average because the other two guys watched a bullet go past them.

    But that's not even my real issue.
    My real issue is with panic rolling twice in one turn.

    I'm a few turns in on a mission, my assault is in critical condition, my medic stabilizes her. The heavy a few feet away panics and hunkers down. I save here, just to have a spot to fall back to. I can recover from this with no real issue, only two packs are pulled and everyone besides the heavy is in hard cover. Move the recruit of the team, open a door, and kill one of the last sectoids, and move on from that turn.

    Later in the mission, I misclicked with the heavy, having him end up just standing dumbly in the middle of a hallway, when I meant to open a door. He dies, so I decide to reload, after all it was a misclick, not a judgement mistake.
    I reload the earlier save to him panicking and killing the recruit with his LMG.

    How and why is that possible, and is it intended?
    I couldn't change any action, what I did before saving was find a decent spot to move the recruit, and after loading she's lining the carpet with a pool of blood from the heavies bullets. I'm just trying to adjust to the difficulty bump from impossible, but the actual game mechanics seem to be off here.

  2. #2
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    That is the way the original game played and probably worse than this re-imaging after twenty years to make this XCOM game.

    http://www.gamespot.com/x-com-ufo-de...3/platform/pc/

    You are fighting aliens from outer space.
    (it's crapper time on this planet for everyone).

  3. #3
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    If you stepped on a snake that can kill in one strike, you wouldn't you say "meh, it's only the size of my boot" would you?

  4. #4
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    When in deadly danger;
    When beset by doubt;
    Run in little circles;
    Wave your arms and shout.


    I think that pretty much sums it up, right?

  5. #5
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    Sectoids only cause panic if they hit you with their guns, either through killing one unit and causing the squad mates to panic, or through wounding a unit and making him freak. Obvious, right? Well, if you're making the adjustment from classic to impossible, the first thing you need to understand is your priority is to not get shot at, period. Obviously there'll be times where you can't avoid it, but you want to avoid it as much as possible. That's the first step towards overcoming panic. Hunkering down is suddenly massively useful in impossible. Hunkering down in full cover is your best chance to secure a position while remaining unlikely to be hit.

    The second thing to keep in mind panic wise, is that if one of your units are visible to the aliens, they may as well all be visible, because if one is, they'll shoot at him/her anyway. Hiding everyone else doesn't help that person. So, if you have everyone seeing the aliens at once, if panic does ensue, at least your units won't friendly fire since there'll be an alien in their LOS.

    Anyway, if you think this is bad, wait until you come across Thin Men, and they're spitting poison on your hunkered guys in full cover causing everyone to panic insanely.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by CelticBloodFireDeath View Post
    Anyway, if you think this is bad, wait until you come across Thin Men, and they're spitting poison on your hunkered guys in full cover causing everyone to panic insanely.
    ^ This. Here's what happened to me just now:

    One of the large abductor UFO missions in month 3. I only have 2 quality veterans, a heavy and a sniper, the rest are squaddies. I aim to move straight to one of the large sets of doors but upon activating 3 Thin Men outside the front of the ship, quickly change plan.

    I rush my high-ranking heavy out to the side of the abductor, to get him out of line of sight, and unfortunately dash straight into 3 chrysalids. My squaddie heavy fires a rocket injuring the chrysalids and my heavy, and between the rest of my squad I just about finish off the chrysalids, saving my heavy.

    The Thin Men play a little defensively and I somehow survive with everyone alive. Then the next enemy turn, the poison arrives and hits my squaddie heavy.

    He panics but only hunkers down. That's fine. The rest of my squad continue battling the Thin Men.

    Then the next turn he loses 1 hp thanks to the poison, panics again, and shoots my assault. She survives, but...

    This somehow sets off my high-ranking heavy. He panics and uses his excellent aim and heavy laser to target the one unit who just 2 minutes ago saved his butt and also happens to be the one unit I did not put in carapace, my high-ranking sniper...

    Shoots him dead.

    ...

    Now, if you really wanted to stretch to explain it, you could say that the rocket he endured must have scrambled his brains or something. But REALLY? Would you fire an aimed shot at your ally like that?

    However, I did not get my panties in a bunch this time, I just accepted it and played on. I was tempted to evacuate right away but tentatively pushed forward to see how I could do and what would you know, we made it through the ship without any further casualties. Although I only have this heavy as a decent ranked unit now, I do have The New Guy and a TON of satellites to go up this month, so the campaign is still on track.

    I used to be against this but y'know, now I'm starting to think it is kinda ok. It IS unrealistic, and takes some getting used to, but it is a punishment for being hit and for not playing around panic. For instance, I think it would be a good idea to get anyone poisoned isolated away from the rest of the squad. That way, nobody can see him frothing at the mouth and gibbering in tongues about the "Sectoid conspiracy" and convincing your other guys that mutiny would be a great idea.

  7. #7
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    The worst thing about panic on impossible, besides Thin Men poison apparently sending people insane, is the fact that guys in the 70s and 80s of will still actually panic frequently when faced with even regular mutons. I was playing this I/I game and wanted had two starting squad members embark on, and survive every mission, so I just wanted to keep them in the squad for a bit of an extra challenge. One was my Heavy who was the first one to reach Major so she had no Iron Will bonus at all. She only reached 65 will. She'd literally just wet herself anytime she rocketed any type of muton unless it was the killing blow. Never did a mind shield ever have as much significance to me as when I finally got to hook her brain up to one.

    The other was a Sniper who reached about 79 I think it was, and I'd say about 3 in every 4 times he'd peg a berserker in the head, he'd panic. When you lose a turn of your double tap sniper to panic, things can really get complicated.

  8. #8
    Well it certainly gives the game a bit more challenge. I think I'm going to start prioritizing Will a bit more highly when assessing new rookies/squaddies in the barracks on 'Not Created Equal'.

    And Mind Shield, yes.

  9. #9
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    Some things to remember about panic which may help you a little more than some of these "deal with it" comments

    1. Panic is more likely in wounded units.
    2. Panic is more likely in lower rank units like rookies.
    3. Panic is more likely when the squad leader dies (their name is marked by a star on their rank I believe)
    4. Certain abilities seem more likely to cause panic- Thinman gas is a common perpetrator.

    Things to remember about how panic works.

    1. A panicking unit in the open will often run to cover.
    2. A panicking unit in cover will usually take a shot at the nearest enemy (sometimes they will pick a random enemy if multiple contacts are there)
    3. A panicking unit in cover who has no aliens in sight will shoot at a friendly.
    4. A panicking unit in cover will sometimes hunker.

    The single dumbest thing about panic is firing at friendly units- let me explain why this is. The way the game mechanics work is that the closer a unit is to another, the better the chance to hit. In addition, playing safe (i.e. in I/I mode) means you will generally not have all your units in range of an enemy at any one time, as there is a high chance of one of them being hit regardless of cover. So when playing I/I correctly, you are punished for getting a bad roll against you by having half your team lose control and then shoot eachother because they were left somewhere safe deliberately by you: the player.

    How to improve panic-

    1. Make firing at enemies and friendlies 50% less likely. Panic is bad enough by causing you to lose control of your unit for a turn- it shouldn't be an insta-win button for the enemy also.
    or
    2. Provide a morale indicator which shows which squad members are on the edge- this was in the OG and provided another layer of strategy while you managed panicky soldiers and buffed morale by killing enemies.
    or
    3. Increase the number of actions available to a panicking soldier (running into the open/ suppressing fire/ using a medkit/ firing off all ammo into the sky and requiring a reload etc.)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamsterminator View Post
    2. Provide a morale indicator which shows which squad members are on the edge- this was in the OG and provided another layer of strategy while you managed panicky soldiers and buffed morale by killing enemies.
    This is something i would like to see.

  11. #11
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    The problem is that panic event trigger a new panick check that means usually a panic chain reaction in early game, for example if a soldier is wounded and panic is checked on all soldiers and fall in panic one of them, he does his panic action and then rest of soldiers will be checked again (this time with high odds to fall in panic cause one is panicked and/or shoted a friend) and if another falls in panic then rest of them will be checked again (also with higher odds than before).

    And for the original game, I like much more those way of work for panic events, the berserker action shots randomly at enviroment and could hit accidentaly a friend, not aiming friend's head at 50 centimeters. The Moral+Bravery+Rank mechanic was better and the panic only was cjecked one time in one turn. Also aliens could panic.

    Bravery in Original Game
    Morale and Panic in original game

  12. #12
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    Ive been experienceing a glitch lately where if I ever save and exit to come finish a mission later, when I return any soldier who previously panicked suddenly panics again. Even if the initial panic happened ages ago it still happens, its incredibly annoying. While I usually finish a mission in one sitting sometomes you just have to save and come back later, and now whenever I do that half my soldiers go crazy. I cant figure out the cause though, Im on console so patch 4 isnt the issue. And its never occured on any other playthroughs, perhaps all the second wave options that I have on are causing some glitch in the coding.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaultDweller View Post
    Ive been experienceing a glitch lately where if I ever save and exit to come finish a mission later, when I return any soldier who previously panicked suddenly panics again. Even if the initial panic happened ages ago it still happens, its incredibly annoying. While I usually finish a mission in one sitting sometomes you just have to save and come back later, and now whenever I do that half my soldiers go crazy. I cant figure out the cause though, Im on console so patch 4 isnt the issue. And its never occured on any other playthroughs, perhaps all the second wave options that I have on are causing some glitch in the coding.
    I have this too. Happens with ironman restarts, and is a pain in the backside.

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