Psionic (Long War)
Psi powers have been significantly overhauled in Long War. Psi talent is now trained, not discovered, so with enough time and attempts, every soldier can be a psionic (barring some exceptions). There are many more powers distributed among more levels.
Nearby allies are healed for 1 health each turn, and has a 100% chance to remove acid effects (after b15f2). This does not repair damage to body armor or other hp-granting items. Imposes +24 hours postmission fatigue for psi soldiers. (Passive ability)
Causes damage to psi attackers and puts all of their psi attacks on cooldown. Does not reduce the attacks' chance of success. Protects the psion and nearby allies who pass a will check. Imposes +24 hours fatigue after missions.
Causes the target to lose grip on reality, causing -25 aim/stack, -25 will/stack, a reduced area-of-effect attack range, reduced mobility, and doing one base damage. Robotic units are immune. Lasts 3 turns. 2 turn cooldown. Imposes +24 hours fatigue after missions.
Nearby allies in cover receive +10 Defense. Imposes +6 hours postmission fatigue for psi soldiers. (Passive ability)
Removes Mindfray and panic from all allies within 3 tiles, and strengthen their Will by +30 for 3 turns, 4 turn cooldown. Imposes +6 hours fatigue after missions.
Cause target to panic on its following turn, if the target's Will is overcome. The duration is (caster Will / 50) turns; fractional results have a chance to be rounded up, the chance is proportional to the distance to the next integer. Robotic enemies are immune, 2 turn cooldown. Imposes +6 hours fatigue after missions.
Merge minds with the target, granting the target +25% critical chance, bonus will, and temporary health (for aliens) or damage reduction (for humans: DR=caster_will/60). Imposes +6 hours postmission fatigue for psi soldiers.
Project a bolt of pure psi force that destroys cover but does not harm units. 4 turn cooldown. Imposes 12 hours additional post-mission fatigue.
Ignite fires at the target location. Does not cause injuries. Imposes +12 hours postmission fatigue for psi soldiers.
Create an immobile telekinetic field that lasts through the enemy turn. The field distorts and deflects incoming attacks, granting +40 Defense to allies within the field, 4 turn cooldown. Imposes +12 hours fatigue after missions.
Difficult psi technique that, if successful, grants control of the target for 3 turns. Does not work on robotic enemies. 5 turn cooldown. Imposes +12 hours fatigue after missions.
Devastate an area with a storm of psi energy. The rift does more damage against targets with low Will, and reduced damage against targets with high Will, 4 turn cooldown. Imposes +12 hours fatigue after missions.
Unlocking Psi powers
By default, only Mindfray and Neural Feedback are available. Unlocking further powers is accomplished by performing autopsies and interrogations. One exception is Rift, which requires an in-battle accomplishment.
Psi-powers are more effective based on the will score of the caster. For instance, Mind Merge will add (will/60) damage reduction to the target.
Psionic soldiers also gain 1-6 extra will per psi level (1 + rand(6)).
After Xenopsionics is researched, soldiers will begin accruing Psi XP by going on missions. Reaching a threshold of Psi XP is required to undergo additional Psi Training ('extra' Psi XP will not roll over for the next level, and will cap at the next requirement. Every round of training takes approximately 5-10 days (this is halved with Nigeria's Old Path starting bonus), and its length and success chance is affected by the tester's will score. After they reach the cap, putting them back in the Psi Lab for another round of training is required. You can see the current Psi XP level and cap in their Barracks profile.
Psi Ranks and XP gain
In Long War Psi XP is awarded passively only after a successful mission. Thus, the more missions a soldiers completes, the faster they will unveil the mystery behind their psionic powers. Each Psi ability from the same Psi Rank provides the same passive gain. The experience gain is cumulative across all abilities learned. A soldier gains a new Psi Rank for 5 completed missions, unless the Neuroregulator (an EXALT loot item) is used. Thus, to achieve the final rank of Master it should require approximately 30 missions per soldier.
The success rate of the training depends on the soldier's will and the level. If the target will for the level is equal to the soldier's will, the chance is 45% (65% with Mexico's starting bonus Legacy of Uxmal). It increases asymptotically to 100% at infinite will and drops to 0% at 0 will.
The target will values are:
- Level 1 Awakened: 50
- Level 2 Sensitive: 60
- Level 3 Talent: 70
- Level 4 Adept: 80
- Level 5 Psion: 95
- Level 6 Master: 120
Effects on Fatigue
A psi-trained soldier takes longer to recover from post-battle fatigue. The increase is dependent upon powers learned as follows:
- Level 1 Awakened: +24 hours
- Level 2 Sensitive: +30 hours
- Level 3 Talent: +36 hours
- Level 4 Adept: +48 hours
- Level 5 Psion: +60 hours
- Level 6 Master: +72 hours
Note the Egypt's starting bonus Gift of Osiris halves this additional fatigue.
In-game application of powers
- Only one power from Psi rank can be chosen. Note that some powers cannot be cast on the same target (i.e.: an Inspired soldier cannot be Merged with). Be mindful that several powers are passive abilities.
- In order to unlock most powers, it is necessary to complete some research or achieve some feats in-game.
|1||None||If successful, deals 1 damage to the target and applies a 'Hallucinations' status effect that reduces the victim's will, aim, and mobility. Because of the greatly reduced damage (thankfully, since Sectoids now use it from day one) this is more of a debuff than a damage ability.|
|None||Causes damage to the psi attacker (much less than in vanilla) and puts all their psi attacks on cool down. Is always on and also provides protection to nearby allies. Damage scales with will difference between psi attacker and psi defender.|
|Thin Man Interrogation||Like the Elite EXALT Medic's ability, provides +1 HP regeneration and cures acid to all ally units within 3 tiles of the Psionic soldier. It triggers only if an ally is wounded beyond bonus armor HP.|
|2||Sectoid Interrogation||Psi Inspiration removes all harmful mental effects (panic, hallucination, fallen comrades penalty) from everyone inside the AOE as well as grants +30 Will for the next 4 turns. Unlike in vanilla, Psi Inspiration is not centered around the user but can instead can be targeted much like a rocket.|
|Muton Interrogation||Works the same as the vanilla MEC ability, that is, provides +10 defense to all units within 4 tiles of the Psionic soldier. It is always on. However, watch out for grenade-bait formations.|
|3||Sectoid Commander Autopsy||Merge minds with the target, granting the target temporarily increased health for aliens and damage reduction for XCOM operatives based on user's Will. It also grants increased critical hit chance and a will bonus, which also scales with the mind merge caster's will. Mind merge can't be applied to psionically active targets such as soldiers with Psi Inspiration buff or those who are already mind merged. Especially effective in combination with Pulse Laser weapons and SCOPEs, which can both provide critical hit chance boosts as well.|
|Berserker Interrogation||Cause target to panic, if the target's Will check is failed. Robotic enemies are immune with the exception of the Mechtoids. 2 turn cooldown. Note that panic has been changed a little in Long War so units will either hunker down or run, and never go berserk and take a shot. This makes Psi Panic considerably better than vanilla since it's now a reliable two turn disable.|
|4||Sectoid Commander Interrogation||A cover-destroying, free-aimed psionic attack. AoE trigger field about the size of a grenade's blast, any destructible item that is even partially in the field is entirely destroyed (ie; getting a part of a log destroys the entire log, barely clipping a wall will destroy as much as if directly hit with a rocket). Does not cause HP damage.|
|Muton Elite Interrogation||Create non-damaging fire upon targeted area, which non-robotic aliens cannot cross.|
|Ethereal Autopsy||Same as vanilla: +40 defense in a wide radius, centered on the caster, reveals Seekers. As with Distortion Field, beware of grenades and other area attacks.|
|5||Ethereal Interrogation||Same as vanilla, but more difficult due to lack of Iron Will in the OTS. Also: alien weapons are no longer dropped intact if killed while under Mind Control.|
|6||Ethereal Mind Control||A highly damaging area effect attack. The secret to creating Rifts can only be found by Mind Controlling an Ethereal in battle; this must be done for every soldier that you wish to learn Rift.|
- Neural Feedback vs Regen Biofield vs Mind Fray
Mindfray could be a great tool to limit effectiveness of a single dangerous foe and decrease the threat of their aoe abilities. It also exposes the target for further psionic attacks. Neural Feedback on a high will soldier can do significant damage to psionic enemies and protect the squad from falling victim to further psionic abilities. Regen Biofield is another passive ability focused on curing acid and heal non-armor HP.
- Distortion Field vs Psi Inspiration
Distortion Field is a passive ability that applies +10 defense to soldiers other than the psion in the area. Psi Inspiration is a great defensive buff, which eliminates negative will effects, but could also be a great tactical reactive tool to bring panicking soldiers back under your control.
- Psi Panic vs Mind Merge
Psi Panic is an excellent way to disable key aliens when (read: not "if") you get overwhelmed, while Mind Merge can both protect the soldier from harm and improve his chances to both resist and deploy psionic powers.
- Telekinetic Field vs Pyrokinesis vs Psychokinetic Strike
Three very strategic abilities, soldier class will be the primary decider, followed by playstyle. TK Field lasts one round and needs to be used, but is vastly more powerful than Distortion field; good for mid-range and/or high-move soldiers, so they can cast it to whoever else needs it. Keep in mind that it is centered on the caster, and that anyone not in the field should still be behind it: TK Field has an unfortunate habit of thusly drawing fire to any soldiers not under it's active protection, so have them at least in high cover or out of alien LoS.
PK Strike can turn any soldier in to an ersatz Sapper Engineer, or can be used when you don't want to blow a unreliable rocket or grenade on some cover (and/or don't want to risk killing the alien for either capture or artifacts). It's for when some cover needs to be destroyed right now. It's range is line of sight (and you can cheese it a bit around corners/cover that the soldier shouldn't be able to see around). In programming terms: any game asset 'prop' that is in the AoE bubble is entirely destroyed, even if it is only clipping into it, with the exception of walls, which will be destroyed to the rough equivalent as if they had received a direct rocket hit.
Pyrokinesis is adapted from the MEC's Flamethrower: it casts a non-damaging fire (that gradually destroys cover/objects: usually at the end of the next Alien Activity) upon a targeted area, and functions as a ground-denial ability: like normal flames from explosions, organic enemies (and non-fire-immune XCOM soldiers) cannot cross it, so it can be used to either block a choke point from enemy movement (ie: force Chryssalids and Berserkers to either stop or take a detour), deny high cover spots from enemies (block flanks, or keep EXALT from lining up in a Transmitter/Encoder capture area), or lock an alien from moving (be wary of any with jumping/flying abilities): in effect, a weak-willed Psionic's alternative to Psi Panic (though keep in mind it doesn't keep enemies from firing).
- Regen Double Dip MC
If you Mind Control an alien with health regeneration, keep in mind that it will heal at the end of your turn, be released (and take actions), then heal again at the end of it's turn.
- Suit up for the Rift
To use Rift in battle, there are 4 requirements a soldier must meet:
- Gain sufficient PsiXP
- Have previously mind controlled an Ethereal
- Successfully completed the training for Rift in the Psi Lab
- And lastly, the soldier must wear Vortex Armor into battle. Otherwise, the icon for this ultimate attack will not appear, even if all other requirements are met.
Mind Controlling an Ethereal
Base Ethereal will is 135 on normal/classic, 155 on brutal, and 160 on impossible (they gain +15 will with their regen upgrade).
Ethereals gain +55 will at max research (1200 days in, the first +15 increase is at 420 days).
Ethereal pod leaders can also gain another +70 will.
In order for MC to have a 50% chance of succeeding your Psionic soldier must have 30 more will (buffs included) than the target.
|Long War: Soldiers|