Differences from Long War 2 (LWOTC)

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New Enemies

The Chosen

LWOTC features revamped versions of the three Chosen from WOTC:

They now act like bosses and do not appear on regular Guerilla Ops or most other mission types (because they are much more difficult than they were in WOTC). They can only be found on very specific missions: all types of Retaliations, Chosen Avenger Assault and Chosen Citadel Assault.


Spectres in LWOTC behave very similarly to their WOTC counterparts, however they now use their Horror ability more often (when taking a flanking shot or using Shadowbind aren't viable options), although it no longer causes will loss, but is more likely to panic its target.

ADVENT Purifiers

ADVENT Purifiers in LWOTC are similar to their WOTC version, but with a few notable changes, such as the addition of a pistol in case they can't get close enough to use their flamethrower, the removal of their Incendiary Grenade/Bomb, and flamethrowers being able to go through most cover and having guaranteed damage. Overall, they are much more difficult than they were in WOTC, because the Burning status effect is much more punishing (disables nearly all non-melee abilities and can't be removed via Hunker Down). The Disorient status effect no longer disables their flamethrower, but it is still a very powerful tool against them, as it allows your soldiers to maintain a safe distance from Purifiers (whose base mobility is rather low).

ADVENT Priests

ADVENT Priests in LWOTC were reworked in some ways compared to how they appeared in WOTC. Killing a Priest that is using Holy Warrior will no longer automatically kill the target of the buff. Tier 2 Priests are now immune to negative mental effects, and Tier 3 Priests now provide immunity to negative mental effects to themselves as well as their allies as an aura around them. Additionally, their chance to Sustain is now 100%, but goes down by 25%/17%/10% per point of overkill damage (for T1/T2/T3 Priests - this means that you need to deal 4/6/10 overkill damage to guarantee they die without Sustaining).

The Lost

The Lost are now much more threatening individually than they were in WOTC; they can climb up walls and Headshots are disabled on all difficulties except Rookie. The following types of The Lost appear in LWOTC:

  • Lost
  • Lost Dasher
  • Lost Brute
  • Lost Grappler

Changed Enemies


  • Muton's Beam Rifle no longer has 1 armor pierce in order to match the lack of this stat on Muton Centurions' and Muton Elites' weapons.
  • Muton's Beam Rifle base damage is now 5-7, down from 5-9, which makes it less likely for earlygame XCOM soldiers to die in a single hit.
  • Mutons' melee attacks now have a 3 turn cooldown, which means they can no longer be permanently locked in place with correct use of the perk Combatives.


  • Sectopod Blaster now deals 9-13 damage, down from 9-16.
  • Sectopods' AI was improved and they will no longer use Lightning Field when no valid targets are nearby.
  • Sectopods' HP changed from 35/60/80/100 to 35/60/80/90 (i.e. their HP remains the same on all but Legend difficulty, where it got reduced by 10).


  • Naja should no longer shoot at XCOM via Squadsight as a Yellow Alert action, which is especially relevant on Intel Retaliations where all enemies start on Yellow Alert.

Advent Vanguard


  • Gatekeeper closed state defense lowered from 25 to 20
  • Gatekeeper gateway ability radii lowered from 10.5 to 8.

Advent General

  • Advent General damage reduced from 5-10 to 5-8 and T2 damage reduced from 7-13 to 6-10.



  • Rebels (Resistance Personnel) have generally better stats and perks. Additionally, they now gain an HP bonus when Combat Armor and Powered Armor are researched.
  • Rebels can now carry up to Coil-tier weapons (up from a maximum of Magnetic-tier). In order for them to have a chance to appear with Coil-tier weapons, the following needs to be researched: Coilguns, Advanced Coilguns, and Plasma Rifle.


  • All retaliation types (Intel Retaliation, Supply Retaliation, Recruit Retaliation, Full Retaliation, Invasion) are now guaranteed to feature a Chosen. All Chosen are significantly different and more difficult than they were in WOTC.
  • Default alert level (which is directly tied to the enemy count) for all retaliations is slightly increased.
  • Defend Full Retaliations (one of the two types of Full Retaliations) now feature weaker reinforcement drops at the start of the mission, but scale in power more quickly. This makes Defend more in line with the Terror (enemies already present on the map, no reinforcements) type of Full Retaliation, where it's nearly impossible to save every rebel.
  • The Recruit job retaliation ("Recruit Mini-retal", "Recruit Raid") now requires at least 6 rebels on the Recruit job to spawn. Faceless in the haven count as 2 rebels each for this requirement, which isn't true (and, contrary to popular belief, wasn't even in LW2) for every other retaliation type. It's worth noting that having 3 or more rebels (total, across jobs) working jobs other than Hiding can still trigger Full Retaliations if the haven has 5 or more rebels present.

Haven Management

  • There is now a "recovery" mechanic for low rebel count havens, implemented to counteract the higher average amount of rebel deaths per retaliation (as a direct result of the revamped Chosen). The Recruit job becomes significantly more effective and is guaranteed to provide a rebel instead of a rookie while the total amount of rebels in a given haven is lower than 6.


  • Rendezvous missions now have a Force Level of (FL * 0.67) - 1, from (FL / 2) - 2. This typically results in a higher FL, which is better suited to the now more powerful rebels.
  • Rendezvous missions can now appear with aliens on the map in addition to typical ADVENT forces and Faceless. This allows for an easier access to a wide variety of alien corpses.


Main Tree Perks

  • Locked On and Executioner grant +20 aim and critical chance, up from +10 of each.
  • Bring 'Em On now properly applies to explosives.
  • Needle Grenades now grants +1 bonus damage against unarmored targets. This also works against targets that were initially armored but had their armor removed via shredding.
  • Boosted Cores now properly applies to damage over time effects, such as burning or poison.
  • Kubikuri is now replaced with Disabling Shot.
  • Full Override options are now reworked. The first option stuns the target for three turns (changed from taking control of it for the rest of the mission). The second option remains the same for most enemies (permanent control), although it is now significantly harder to master (permanently take control of) a Sectopod.
  • Rescue Protocol now also grants 15 dodge and 5 mobility in addition to a movement action.
  • Lockdown now grants +20 aim, theoretically up from +15, but in reality the effect applied twice in LW2 due to a bug, making this effectively a change from +30 to +20.
  • Mayhem's description remains unchanged, with the same 25% damage bonus, but similarly to Lockdown, in LWOTC this effect only applies once, not twice, making this effectively a change from +50% to +25%.
  • Deadeye can now be used with only 1 action remaining (but is still turn-ending) if the Sharpshooter has taken Snap Shot.
  • Lone Wolf now provides a +3 aim and defense bonus for each tile away from the nearest ally (starting from 4 tiles away, ending at 7 tiles away) instead of either being active or inactive, and its maximum effect is now +12 defense and aim, up from +10 of each.
  • Hit and Run and Hunter's Instincts have swapped places on the Shinobi perk tree.
  • Bladestorm no longer triggers on the owning unit's turn.
  • Chain Lightning no longer targets all visible enemies, instead it now chain jumps to nearby enemies (within 6 tiles), up to 4 times.
  • Walk Fire now reduces damage by 34% instead of 50%


  • Fleche's distance-based damage bonus is now capped at +5. This doesn't affect its combat effectiveness in most cases (as +5 damage already requires a 20-tile move), but prevents exploits such as having a Shinobi at the other side of the map use the Icarus Jump ability granted by the Icarus Armor to obtain an excessive damage bonus after jumping (the distance is always calculated from the soldier's starting position at the beginning of the turn).
  • Fleche now calculates Grazes properly, dividing the final damage (including the distance bonus) by 2, where previously the distance bonus was applied after the Graze penalty, resulting in higher damage.
  • Fleche distance bonus no longer increases the damage of the Burning status effect (which is relevant for Tier 3 Swords).

Basic Perks

  • All soldiers now gain a new perk Get Up which allows reviving an unconscious unit for 2 actions. Reviving the unit always disorients them. Serves as an additional method to bring soldiers back without requiring revival protocol
  • All soldiers now gain a new perk Stock Strike which stuns a mind controlled ally and deals 30% max hp. Serves as an addtional method to control your soldiers from hurting you.

Perks from Equipment

  • Shieldwall (W.A.R. Suit ability) now grants 5 armor, up from 3.

XCOM Row Perks

As the Advanced Warfare Center was removed in WOTC and replaced with the Training Center (and Infirmary), all non-Psionic, non-SPARK soldiers can now gain Ability Points (AP) upon ranking up (in addition to a shared pool of XCOM Ability Points, which are granted only upon completing very specific and difficult objectives, such as defeating Chosen) and have a specialized "XCOM" row of perks, separated into 4 tiers:

  • 2 Tier 1 Perks for 10 AP each
  • 2 Tier 2 Perks for 20 AP each
  • 2 Tier 3 Perks for 30 AP each
  • 1 Tier 4 Perk for 40 AP

All of these perks can be acquired as soon as the Training Center facility is operational (assuming sufficient AP). There are no rank requirements for any tiers; you can get a Tier 4 ability on a Squaddie, although you will need to spend a lot of the shared XCOM AP.

It's worth noting that these perks are generally much more synergistic with the soldier class than they were in LW2 - for example, classes that don't usually rely on grenades will no longer obtain grenade-related perks.

Pistol Perks

Similarly to LW2, most soldiers can equip pistols and learn Pistol Perks, but the perks now cost AP and are acquired in the same way as XCOM row perks. They appear 1 row below the XCOM row, which makes it necessary to scroll down the perks screen to see them.

Psi Perks

Psi Perk Tree

New Psi Perk Tree

New Psi Perks

Psi Operatives' revamped perk tree features 3 new abilities that allow for greater variety in builds:

Changed Psi Perks

  • Insanity's mind control chance was severely reduced. The most common result is now panic; the disorient chance was also lowered.
  • Soul Steal now grants temporary ablative HP for 3 turns regardless of whether the soldier was at full HP. Additionally, it heals for 100% of damage dealt, up from 50%, but increases the cooldown of Soulfire from 2 to 3 turns.
  • Fuse is now a free action instead of taking 1 action, but has a 5 turn cooldown, up from no cooldown.
  • Stasis can no longer be used on multiple-tile-large units (such as Gatekeepers and Sectopods). It also can't affect Chosen, but can now target XCOM, as if the soldier had Stasis Shield.
  • Void Rift now also ruptures targets and has a higher chance to additionally cast Insanity on them.

Removed Psi Perks


  • Rupture from the same source (such as Plasma-tier weapons) can no longer apply multiple times on the same target. Rupture from different sources, such as the Rupture perk and from Plasma weaponry, can stack on the same target.
  • Stun/Burn chance of the Tier 2/Tier 3 Swords is now 5%/10% respectively, down from 25%/50%.
  • SMGs lose 1 bonus mobility but now has higher close range bonuses and 3 ammo from 2. This makes it better as a weapon in exchange for slightly less mobility.
  • Autopistols are now a pistol type and can be used by anyone. They have a shorter range and lower base damage than a regular pistol but is more effective on critical hits.
  • Chosen Weapons have been redesigned and now act as a sidegrade to plasma tech than purely a better weapon. Their damage is equivalent to that of Coil tech but in exchange gain unique perks.
  • Sawed-Off Shotguns, Grenade Launchers, and Knives each now have a 3rd tier:
    • Plasma Shorty: highest damage Sawed-Off Shotgun; basic Sawed-Off Shotgun and Mag Shorty damage was lowered to compensate for this.
    • Beam Grenade Launcher: in addition to the Advanced Grenade Launcher's +2 range bonus, it has Blaster Launcher-like targeting, which allows launched grenades to avoid various obstacles.
    • Advanced Vibroblade: deals more damage and features a higher critical chance than the Vibroblade.


  • Redscreen Rounds can no longer apply multiple times on the same target, but now inflict -30 hack defense, up from -25. This typically makes it significantly more difficult to guarantee hacking high hack defense enemies, such as Sectopods.
  • EMP grenades now always disorient robotic units.
  • EMP grenades now require Advent Turret wrecks from Drone and MEC wrecks.
  • Bluescreen rounds now has a 50% chance to disorient robotic units.
  • The ultrasonic lure can no longer be obtained.
  • Incendiary Grenades now require Advent Purifier corpses from Advent Officer corpses.
  • Acid grenades now require Spectre corpses from Archon corpses.

Overwatch Rules

These changes only apply if the Revert Overwatch Rules Change mod is disabled:

  • Overwatch now triggers as soon as the unit moves, which makes it no longer possible to perform 1-tile moves to avoid overwatch. The implementation right now is not perfect and this change may not always function correctly, depending on factors like line of sight, although typically overwatch should now more consistently trigger as targets move or step into range.
  • This change makes it easier to trigger overwatch while in cover, but overwatch shots now ignore 25 cover defense.

Not Created Equal

  • Not Created Equal (NCE - a feature of LW2/LWOTC that randomizes the starting stats of soldiers) can no longer affect soldiers' starting defense (this feature can be turned back on via XComLW_Toolbox.ini in the Config folder of LWOTC), it will always be set to 0. This was done because managing soldiers with different Defense stats during combat proved too frustrating.
  • With the addition of the fatigue mechanic from WOTC, average will stat has been increased to 30 from 25 to accommadate.
  • A soldier's Combat Intelligence (a WOTC mechanic which affects how many Ability Points a soldier can obtain per rank, and eventually spend on additional perks from their XCOM row once the Training Center facility is operational) is now a part of NCE. It can be listed as Very Low, Low, Average, High, and Very High. Very Low grants 4 AP per rank (except Squaddie) and each level above Very Low grants 1 additional AP per rank.
  • The Psi and Combat Intelligence stats are now linked together - a high Combat Intelligence automatically means the soldier has a high Psi stat as well. It is no longer possible to have "useless" stats (because non-Psionic soldiers can't make use of the Psi stat, and Psionic soldiers can't make use of Combat Intelligence due to their lack of an XCOM row of perks).
  • The following Combat Intelligence levels correspond to the respective Psi values:
    • Very Low : 5-9
    • Low : 10-14
    • Average : 15-25
    • High : 26-31
    • Very High : 32-35


  • Supply Raids, Troop Columns, UFOs now additionally grant enemy stat bonuses as well as increasing enemy count based on underinfiltration (0-24%, 25-49%, 50-74%,75-99%). Underinfiltration was meant to be a risk reward system where you take on more enemies and other negative modifiers in order to complete a mission but high level players abused this mechanic and launched at 0% infiltration to gain more corpses becoming more of a benefit than the intended drawback. Enemies now gain a flat Aim and Defense bonus with an HP multiplier, these bonuses increases with lower infiltration.
  • Quality of Life Change: Liberation 1/Find a UFO/Find a Facility Lead missions are all now shown explicitly, being able to tell what the mission is at a glance from lw2's vagueness tagging these missions with a "Find a lead" descriptor.


The heroes have gone under a significant rework and play very differently than the base game but still serve a similar role


Reaper still serves a similar role as a scout and marksman for the team. Shadow no longer has charges and instead gains a 4 turn cooldown but has been significantly reworked. All actions will reveal the reaper (except primary weapon kills with Silent Killer) and automatically reveals after 2 turns but never reveals when using their new secondary Throwing Knives which can further be improved by perks.


Skirmisher serves a similar role in being mid-frontline infantry focused primarily on combat but also some side support. Most of the skirmisher's kit is like their base counterpart but instead of having standard shots being non-turn ending, they now get Hit and Run which grants vastly more flexibility on how to utilize their actions and changes the focus of being a stationary trooper firing off many shots to hit and run tactics.


Templar serves a similar role as a melee focused damage dealer or using special psionic abilities but they now have an additional role they can serve. Templar now carries a Ballistic Shields as their secondary which allows them to take damage better than any ally. Focus no longer grants any bonuses when holding them to discourage hoarding focus and never using them in addition to easier focus generation. Rend no longer requires a kill to grant focus but instead only requiring the attack to be made allowing for easier focus gain and allows for more liberal use of powerful abilities that cost focus. Additionally there are several perks that also grant focus to make this task even easier.

Tactical Changes

  • Poison now always lasts two turns (note exiting the cloud refreshes the duration making it last three turns). Buff to poison,venomm rounds, and gas grenades as poison always had a chance to disappear immediately and have no effect.
  • Enemies that enter yellow/red alert (cautious/active) now gain a bonus to detection radii.
  • Missions that extend mission timers (sitreps or map size) will also reduce reinforcement accordingly, this should help on missions that are generally longer than other missions without adding any additional difficulty.
  • There is now a blue circle around units with close combat specialist as an indicator to where it can trigger.
  • Burning can no longer be cured by hunkering down.

Bond Mechanics

The teamwork ability (acquired at bond level 1) no longer grants a free action and can be used anywhere; instead it grants a free move and requires line of sight to the bond mate. At bond level 2 Teamwork is replaced by Advanced Teamwork which grants an unrestricted free action and still requires line of sight to the bond mate.


  • Soldiers now grow fatigued when continuously participating in missions. A point of will is loss every three turns or every two turns when sent out while tired. They enter a tired state when their will reaches about 67% of their max will and require 7-12 days to recover. A soldier will automatically be shaken after participating in a mission while tired and must recover for 20-24 days
  • Killing a civilian will decrease your will by 2.
  • Will loss from miscellaneous actions such as seeing enemies or taking damage has been removed.
  • Most random panic events has been removed and/or is restricted to shattered (classic panic state where unit hunkers).

Tech Tree

  • Proving Ground Projects to manufacture weapon mods now only require 1 of the respective mod to start from 3.