Friday, March 10, 2017

Are Archons Overpowered/Underpriced in XCOM 2 Multiplayer or What?

This is old news, but archons are overpowered/underpriced and I hope Firaxis addresses this imbalance (though not getting my hopes up). This reddit post posits that in XCOM 2 Multiplayer, the more archons you have on your team, the greater your chances are of winning.. and so far that appears to be pretty accurate. Here are a few reasons why (summarized from the link):
  • Archons have a lot of hit points (18, only 2 less than a berserker)
  • Archons have high aim (compounded with an extra aim bonus when they fly to an elevated position) and a powerful weapon that does 7-8 damage and shreads armor
  • Archons have high mobility and can easily get to the high ground/flank you, especially if their battle frenzy ability activates when they get wounded.
  • Archons have great defensive stats. They have built-in defense (100), high will (100), a high dodge stat (25), can't be flanked, and don't need cover
  • Archons only cost 2000 points. That's less than the cost of any XCOM unit for an arguably superior unit
The post lays all of this out in more detail, but anecdotally, I always get my butt kicked by archon squads. Not that I don't usually get my butt kicked by other XCOM 2 players but the butt-kicking is especially pronounced against archons. I have plenty of embarrassing vidcaps of my team getting wasted by archons but I've posted one of the more interesting matches here (3 archons, 2 mecs, 1 codex):

After getting demolished a couple of times by archons, I decided to just incorporate more archons into my team. Like Kevin Durant always says, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Update: Maybe Archons aren't so overpowered at all. They're still really good, but seems like the really good players are know how to use all the abilities of XCOM soldiers enough to counter Archons. So now I think more Archons doesn't necessarily mean more wins, as I experienced when my mostly-Archon teams got crushed by opponents who made use of gunslingers and grenediers. Perhaps gunslingers are the new underpriced units now? Or maybe snipers need to come down in price since they're clearly inferior to the gunslingers variant.

Update 2: The X-Com 2 community decided to try to fix the problem of spamming by setting some rules... a gentlemen's agreement if you will, that goes like this: For units that cost 1500 and above, you can only have one on your team. For anything below 1500, you can have up to two of that type of unit. The jury's still out whether you can have two X-Com soldiers of the same class, like a heavy gunner and a demolition expert on one team.

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