Talk:Soldier Skills & Equipment Guide (EU2012)

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Very thorough information, but please keep it with a Neutral Point of View, because there's a lot that I disagree with (not the stats or the explanations) like your personal premise that Lethality is the most important issue regarding perk selection, or that you should choose Bullet Swarm over Holo-Targeting at the beginning, when to me Holo-Targeting is crucial to help rookies (and the whole squad) get kills and promotions. Some other things are incorrect/missing (Mayhem also increases damage from explosives) or it's just a matter of personal playstyle - I love Snap Shot snipers because of their ability to move and fire, it works great on the big UFOs and city maps with a lot of buildings but I also have a Sniper with Squad Sight for some maps. I think it would be much more useful to have a Guide about when/how to use each perk and let the player decide. Otherwise it's just a matter of personal opinion and that won't be much useful. My suggestion would be to have this content either reworked or moved to another page. And there's also the matter of what this Beginner Guide should have besides perk selection. Hobbes 07:33, 21 October 2012 (EDT)

Certainly has room for improvement on the NPOV side, but I think that's fine as starting point for an article. It can be reworked. However, I recommend adding a suffix to the page, otherwise it could be a beginner guide for any one of the many games if you came in here through a Google search or via another page. -NKF 07:37, 21 October 2012 (EDT)
I like the stats analysis very much (I haven't had time to do it myself so it's a great read) I just think it needs a more neutral analysis. Some perks are essential like Field Medic, Revive and Savior to have Support Medic right away, I think that one everybody should agree, but as for the rest it's really a matter of playstyle. Hobbes 07:49, 21 October 2012 (EDT)

The one question I have is, what difficulty level(s) were you playing when you came to these conclusions. For me, certain abilities that were previously useless made more sense when switching to Classic and Impossible. ~ Drakalu 13:50, 23 October 2012 (EDT)

Multiple PoVs

While this is a great guide, I feel that this guide is good only for a specific play style-IE, an aggressive one. If you want to be aggressive then that's all well and good, but many people would prefer a more subtle or defensive approach, approaches which are almost completely disregarded in this guide. Perhaps if we had multiple guides, one for each style (I believe this is already in place-isn't there an entire page dedicated to listing all the different guides for the original?) I don't think I would be a good example, but if everyone would like I could make a guide for my style, which is three supports-one a rifleman, two field medics, a heavy, and an assualt (the second field medic can be switched out for a Squadsight sniper) -Krikit386

That's exactly my point above. Before the game was released I thought that the most important perks were those that expanded your 2 Actions, i.e. Snap Shot allows for Move and Fire with the Sniper Rifle, Bullet Swarm allows the Heavy to shoot twice, etc. After I started playing the game I realized that they are important (the same way that Lethality is) but you need to think about their general effect on the squad's abilities and their uses. Example: lots of people go for Squad Sight instead of Snap Shot. I like to have both, because Snap Shot is great for Abduction missions where most of the time you'll need to move to take the shot. Squad Sight also works for me on those occasions but Snap Shot fits more my style. Another example: UFO missions, I usually take Squad Sight but sometimes I'll switch to the Snap Shot sniper since he's the one more capable of using the Battle Scanner (since you'll usually keep your Squad Sight sniper behind), and you really need the Scanner to avoid unfriendly confrontations. Hobbes 10:14, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
I've started rewriting the content to make it NPOV but I only got to the Heavy and Holo-Targeting/Bullet Swarm analysis. Before I continue can everyone please check the page and give some feedback on the part I've rewritten? Hobbes 11:08, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
Great work as ever, Hobbes. Apart from the NPOV improvements, I wonder if the article needs more context at the start though. Or if it needs renaming. It's called a Beginner Guide to the (whole) game but seems to focusing on only one important aspect, how to pick upgrades. Spike 11:38, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
I agree, I think a Beginner's Guide should have more tips for overall game play, rather than focusing on Skill choices. I really like this page, I had already thought of something similar that expanded the text on the Classes page. I think it needs to be renamed and possibly we could move it individual pages for each class to better split up all this information. Hobbes 12:16, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
Maybe add in those overall tips. As it stands, this is more of intermediate article rather than a beginner article. It has a lot of analysis which sounds like disputation between experts. So if it's a true beginner article it needs to be simplified I think. Probably just rename it and keep it as it is. Spike 12:21, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
Meanwhile the original poster just placed again his personal opinion regarding Holo-Targeting, so I've clarified things (I hope) about what NPOV means. My only problem is the size of this article but I think it could be a great guide to help choosing abilities. Hobbes 13:38, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
Hey everyone, the original author here. Sorry about the NPOV, I have a hard time scrubbing it from my style when I am dealing with something I care about. a couple things though. 1. I wasn't really intending to make a begineers guide, I was making a guide that hopefully could be useful to anyone, the begineers guide just had a big red empty spot that I plopped this into. 2. Matters of opinion I try to be honest about, but alot of things are not opinions even if they might seem like it. For example, the bulletswarm vs. holotargetting. I went back and editted your changes hobbes, sorry, I also threw in the probability curve that I was too lazy to add the first time. Or at least a part of it. Showing why the choice is a false dichotomy. Bullet swarm is more likely in a given sequence to produce more hits, period, at least for all the series I ran. 3. I would love for people to chime in about the less mathematically oriented choice and have a divsification of playstyles. I am working on a team composition guide and a guide to the geoscape, but the geoscape especially is not my specialization, I am a tactics and optimization man, and hopefully y'all can throw in. Ps apologies if I stepped on some toes, I don't have any real wiki experience. -Sodiumazide
Hey, no problem :) I wasn't not questioning the math, although at the end of the stats part you wrote something like: it's highly unlikely that all 4 soldiers will shoot at the alien, which is correct, but IMO, in that case the stats that show that 5 soldiers firing at the same time have better odds than 4 don't really prove anything. The more gung-ho style of writing isn't really a problem (plenty of articles here are written in a more lighter tone) it's really that people will have different opinions. Bullet vs Holo is one example but I'm sure there are plenty more where the choices will be polarized, like Snap Shot vs Squad Sight, which is very good because then you can contrast arguments. To me the correct NPOV is to think 'explain how it works and give the same space to both arguments' (which is easier said than done). About the guide, as Spike said, right now this is an intermediate guide, which is great to have, although we needed something simpler - it could have suggestions for class builds or an initial strategy, but it should be definitely K.I.S.S.
Here's one example from this wiki for such a guide: Starting_Your_Shadowy_Paramilitary_Organization Hobbes 15:16, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
I was trying to explain why Holo-Targeting is a false choice and why Bullet Swarm will in similar circumstances perform better. The problem is that an extra roll of the die is worth more than a small bonus and that the heavy himself has more valuable hits on a given probability curve. So while giving space for both sides is certainly important, it is also important to distinguish where there is only one side, despite being two choices. --Sodiumazide 15:26, 22 October 2012 (EDT)
Actually- I can think of one case where Holotargetting IS a better choice, despite not having the numbers advantage: When you have to move to your target. In your example, the heavy started with vision on the enemy unit, and was given the choice to fire twice. As mentioned in your support section: "mobility is victory". Since firing rockets also consumes both turns, you have a VERY immobile unit, which doesn't alway play well, doublely so in panic missions. --Theoselk 17:40, 23 October 2012 (EDT)

OK, thanks for explaining where the article came from. Maybe a good idea would be to do what we previously had for EU 1994, where there were multiple strategy guides. Multiple strategy guides gives space for more divergent points of view and means we can slightly relax NPOV on those articles where they are flagged as subjective. They also tend to be more advanced in their thinking and factual argument, like this one is - less Keep It Simple Stupid and more analytical.

So we could add a main page link called Strategy Guides and then make this article the first Strategy Guide listed. The current article is better described as a strategy guide than a beginner guide. So I would suggest

  • add Strategy Guides link on the main page, beneath Beginner Guide
  • rename this page to something else, perhaps Sodiumazide's Strategy Guide? - without any redirect from Beginner Guide
  • create the Strategy Guides page with a link to this first Strategy Guide page

Does that make sense for everyone? Spike 17:49, 22 October 2012 (EDT)

I am cool with that. Probably better that way anyhoo. --Sodiumazide 21:41, 22 October 2012 (EDT)

Points by PartisanGerm

I'm glad I was able to spur on some activity for this guide! This is the first time I have felt passionate enough about a topic in a wiki where I am compelled to add my two cents. At first, I just wanted to correct all the spelling, grammar, and give some spacing.... but I do wish to defend the arguments made in the guide. I happen to agree completely with almost everything that Sodiumzide wrote, I either already discovered the efficiency of certain abilities or had a hunch some were more effective than others. There are definitely a few begging for dispute as has been discussed:

  • The Purpose and Style of the Guide

I don't think the guide is really gearing for aggressive action, so much as base tactical viability and efficiency. Quite simply, any skill that needs to be triggered is a skill that is potentially unused and not paying for itself (for some turns, or maps with buildings etc.) However, any skill that can literally be used for almost any situation (such as Rapid Fire and Bullet Swarm) are worth more than just the 'extra action' they effectively give. Sure, there are going to be instances when you miss both shots, but the probability to get at least one shot off

Also, I think the name of the guide should be modified to something more accurate like "Abilities Analyzed" or "Promotions Perused". The guide functions great as both a foundation for new players to play smart without experience and thinking about how abilities are used, as well as

The writing style is personal and informal, and that's another reason why I enjoyed reading it and wanted to enhance it. Yes, I would like to make it a bit more 'official-like', but not because the information appears to be an individual opinion. The end results expressed with this guide have a core in logic and logistics, not simply a preferred game play style.

  • Heavy: Bullet Swarm vs. Holo-Targeting

Both of these abilities are very useful in a wide range of situations. However, I think Bullet Swarm proves to be more versatile and of guaranteed benefit no matter the results of using it.

  • Holo-Targeting is wasted on enemies that are finished with the attack it is targeted with; Bullet Swarm lets you shoot at another enemy or make a move after a kill.
  • Holo-Targeting allows other units a slightly better chance to hit, but it does not help the Heavy himself to hit; Bullet Swarm
  • Holo-Targeting gives the possibility of more reliable hits; Bullet Swarm always gives you the option to move/attack, attack/attack.
  • Late game enemies with a lot of health could benefit from more chance to his as well as more attacks, but usually the other classes already have good Aim.
  • Sniper: Snap Shot vs. Squadsight

There is room for Snap Shot to be useful, when you're looking to be moving forward or into building with your Sniper. However, the aim cost of this ability almost negates the benefit and Sniper is literally the only class that wasn't designed for breaching (with the exception of Battle Scanner). I happen to think that Gunslinger gives Sniper all the mobile power he can reasonably make use of. The Sniper is made to be just that, shooting with high accuracy and power from afar. Getting your Sniper into just the right position so that he has line of sight to his targets is exactly what Squadsight allows for, and is just one of the tactics you're meant to be considering. Pulling enemies into his sight by tactical retreat is the other option.

  • Support: Medic vs. Smoke Specialization

Unlike the other classes, which have a distinct preference for their roles, the Support works perfectly well tricked out as a Medic or a defensive/offensive assistant. The guide already says this, but could do with expansion on developing the two roles of Support.

  • Medic really is a required unit, since you're practically guaranteed to have some of your troops shot at some point or another.
  • Combat Support is certainly useful for preventing damage, but it is no guarantee. Having a second Medic instead of a Combat Support is up to preference.

--PartisanGerm 16:45, 14 November 2012 (EST)

For the past two weeks I've been playing Classic Ironman non-stop and a few builds are starting to become my regulars but I think it would be better to have the main points for each choice as bullet for easier reading.
I currently have a Colonel Heavy with Holo-Targeting, Rapid Reaction, Danger Zone, Suppression and Mayhem - it's a killer build against Mutons/Chryssalids/Floaters/etc - you can suppress whole groups of aliens, get 2 Overwatch shots if they try to move and still help with your soldiers aim. Until now I had focused on HEAT Rounds and Rocketeer by the medium/late game to deal with Sectopods and Cyberdiscs but I switched that role to my Assaults with Alloy Cannons. A killer combination is two Heavies, one of each build working together to take down targets.
The main difference between Holo-Targeting is about the Heavy playing more of a Support/Ambush role or being a frontline unit. Both can work very well depending on the circumstances.
Right now Snap Shot is useless due to the feature that allows you to switch weapons after moving and hitting Overwatch with the Sniper's pistol, unless you choose not to use it. Hobbes 17:25, 14 November 2012 (EST)
Agreed on the bullet format -- frankly the first two skill breakdown in PG's post look better than the current content of the guide.
While I am nowhere near willing to give up my Heavies with Shredder Rockets, HEAT Ammo, and Rocketeer in my Ironman Classic game, we should definitely make a move to point out synergies like the above. There are still some choices that are more or less no-brainers -- mostly for snipers -- but suggested builds would be really nice additions beyond just the individual skill suggestions. Some of that is implied in the text already but could be made more clear. --Merlin the Tuna 17:42, 14 November 2012 (EST)
As the page is refined and improved, a section with suggestions on various builds and synergies is definitely the way to go, as it would help balance the views a little. I might also suggest breaking down the equipment to cover a the primary/secondary arms, armour and item slot.
IIRC, I rewrote the first two skills in a more NPOV style - I didn't do the rest because of lack of time and to get feedback. Hobbes 17:00, 16 November 2012 (EST)
Hobbes, the trick with the sniper's pistol/sniper switch appears to only be a feature that can be done on the PC version. In the console versions, unless I'm missing something, once a soldier has ended their move such as by way of an overwatch, you can't tab back to them. NKF 18:14, 14 November 2012 (EST)
NKF, you don't use tab for this. I don't know how the console controls work but on the PC, as long as there are still other soldiers with APs left, if I put the game cursor on a soldier without any action points left over, I can click and select it and perform actions that don't cost action points such as switch weapons, open doors, disable bomb nodes, etc. This feature/bug works great for Bomb Disposal missions also, where you can dash and still disable a node as long as it isn't the last unit with action points left Hobbes 17:00, 16 November 2012 (EST)
I meant tabbing or scroll through the soldiers like the 'next soldier' button in the original. In the console version, you only get the cursor for free-aim actions like moving, grenades and rockets. The cursor cannot otherwise be used for selecting soldiers. Instead you use the controllers shoulder buttons to tab backwards or forwards between each soldier. Once a soldier's move has ended by setting overwatch for example, you cannot re-select that soldier until the next turn. One of the limitations of the console version I guess. NKF 19:11, 16 November 2012 (EST)
One thing often forgotten about holo-targeting is that it takes effect even on a miss. While Bullet Swarm is certainly handy, it's basically worthless when you've got a 2% hit chance.--(name here) 12:52, 16 November 2012 (EST)

Fact Checks

New content said that:

  • Flying enemies count as uncovered for In The Zone. Pretty sure this is untrue, flying enemies count as low cover from Evasion.
  • In The Zone Works on Overwatch - this would be a major plus if it allowed unlimited overwatch shots, but I'm under the impression that it doesn't.
  • Combat Drugs smoke grenades give no defense bonus.

Any of this true? Binkyuk 05:29, 20 November 2012 (EST)

Most times I use ITZ is to get rid of flying pests like Drones & Floaters. It doesn't work on Overwatch.
I'm pretty sure Combat Drugs still give the Defense bonus - why would it be removed? Hobbes 09:16, 20 November 2012 (EST)
[1] courtesy of Moyang. No smoke defense. I was surprised. Binkyuk 13:21, 20 November 2012 (EST)
Yup, just checked on my own game as well... that might explain a past *accident* ;) Hobbes 14:26, 20 November 2012 (EST)
You can check 'facts' from official forum discussions. --Moyang 12:45, 20 November 2012 (EST)
Unfortunately I can find all sorts of 'facts' on that forum, for example while searching for ITZ I "learned" that Damn Good Ground doesn't work with Archangel armor. A search showed the Combat Drugs bug, but nothing conclusive for ITZ, but nvm. No need to get offended. Binkyuk 13:16, 20 November 2012 (EST)
ITZ does works on overwatch. Although it does not give the action back on the turn, you get bonus action in next turn, think it as having better version of bullet swarm(when it is triggered). And I don't think ITZ pistol is a bug, game says 'You can't trigger ITZ only once with pistol' when you use pistol - it is just another bad tooltip. --Moyang 16:13, 20 November 2012 (EST)
Are Combat Drugs +Aim, +Will, or both? I generally don't have them and haven't remembered to check when I could. I'm not clear whether we're dealing with a bad skill description, a bug, or simple misreads.--Merlin the Tuna 14:46, 20 November 2012 (EST)
It gives Aim, Will, and Critical chance, and no defense. --Moyang 16:09, 20 November 2012 (EST)

Page Name

I think it's too long and since it's a guide to classes, it could be just called Guide to Classes or something smaller. Any other suggestions? Hobbes 09:42, 20 November 2012 (EST)

Soldier Skills and Equipment sounds like a fairly accurate name for the page as is. If anything I'd suggest a refactor in to separate pages for each class with a factual information section and a Guide section. That would solve the length issue and would make it match the Aliens section (which has a list of aliens with short description (which should probably be shorter than it is now) and link to page with longer description and Tactical Advice). Binkyuk 12:33, 20 November 2012 (EST)
Oh, the *name* is too long. I'm an idiot. Yeah, though I'd still advocate what I said above anyway, which would make this whole page and it's horrible name go away. Binkyuk 13:26, 20 November 2012 (EST)
Splitting this into individual class pages would be great. The entire EU2012 guide section could use similar restructuring -- that this appears to be nested under that barely-readable "Survival Guide" is all kinds of weird.--Merlin the Tuna 14:49, 20 November 2012 (EST)
Done. Pretty painless, since basically everything was separated by class anyway. Binkyuk 08:31, 21 November 2012 (EST)
This model is not the best - there's tons of repeated information in both the Classes and the individual pages and meanwhile we don't have the Guide to Abilities and Equipment anymore. Hobbes 08:44, 21 November 2012 (EST)
Not sure what you mean. The abilities and equipment guides are on the individual class pages under Tactical Advice. Can rename the Tactical Advice to Abilities & Equipment Guide if you like, I just called it that to match the alien page convention. The repeated information on the classes summary page is imported from the class pages, so while it's displayed twice there's only one source so it can't get out of step. The only content that's gone is the Introduction section of this page, which tbh wasn't that useful anyway; everything else is in there. Binkyuk 08:58, 21 November 2012 (EST)
The individual class pages are merely a repeat of their abilities table and descriptions on the Classes page plus the info from the guide. And the previous format is better than this one since it centralizes all the advice/discussion for players in one Guide that is accessible from the Main EU2012 page rather than splitting all the info through individual pages. Hobbes 09:10, 21 November 2012 (EST)
Hmm, I'm a bit surprised you consider the monolithic guide format better than the distributed advice format. One thing that particularly annoyed me browsing this guide is that I'd have to constantly switch to the Classes or Abilities page to look at what the abilities being discussed actually *do*, which is solved by having them together. Binkyuk 09:23, 21 November 2012 (EST)
Well, this page has evolved quite a bit... originally it was supposed to be a Beginner's Guide for everything but it got focused on Classes. At the beginning I also thought that the Classes should have their individual page but like Kokkan mentioned before, there's no point in having information repeated across several pages as long as everything is properly linked and organized.
We can try the idea of having all this info centralized into Class pages - although it's better to discuss it first with everyone before implementing such big changes into the page/wiki structure. Hobbes 10:00, 21 November 2012 (EST)