XCOM: Enemy Within encourages less conservative play

XCOM: Enemy Within lead designer Ananda Gupta explains how obtaining the new "meld" currency is designed to encourage more risky play, as conservative players won't gain as much from exploring the map.

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The XCOM: Enemy Unknown expansion Enemy Within introduces plenty of ways to upgrade your forces, but from the sounds of it, you're going to need them. Aside from the genetic mods and mech suits, the new currency named "meld" is designed to make you take more risks in combat.

Meld canisters are hidden throughout each map, and a countdown timer begins when the mission starts. If you don't find it in time, it explodes, forcing the player to choose between approaching cautiously and potentially losing the meld, or pushing hard and increasing chances of finding it.

"For players who have settled into a very conservative play style in which they maximize their soldiers' safety and they only use the best cover, that will hinder you from recovering the most Meld," lead designer Ananda Gupta told The Escapist. He notes that two canisters are hidden in semi-random patterns in each map: one in an easier spot to reach, and one that is much tougher. Conservative players will still be able to get a little, so harder difficulties that require caution won't miss out completely.

Enemy Within will also be making a host of small usability tweaks based on player feedback. As detailed to Polygon, those include easier inventory management, and the ability to create your multiplayer squads offline.

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  • reply
    August 21, 2013 12:45 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, XCOM: Enemy Within encourages less conservative play.

    XCOM: Enemy Within lead designer Ananda Gupta explains how obtaining the new "meld" currency is designed to encourage more risky play, as conservative players won't gain as much from exploring the map.

    • reply
      August 21, 2013 10:05 PM

      As a player who always steers towards "SimBase" syndrome and is exactly the sort of conservative player this is referring to, I don't know if I really like this change. On the other hand, maybe it will convince me to try something different...

      • reply
        August 22, 2013 12:57 AM

        Me too. I got so attached to my soldiers that I'd be hunkered down for much of the mission... Position, end turn, position, overwatch, end turn, repeat. I still had a ball.
        When I did try some riskier moves that put my troops in danger the results were oftentimes spectacularly entertaining.

    • reply
      August 22, 2013 1:57 AM

      pretty cool idea to incentivize taking it more risks

    • reply
      August 22, 2013 2:54 AM

      I think this is the right direction if they can pull it off. There really was no downside to being as conservative as possible (except for the civilian rescue missions I guess). So easy just crawling up the map with 3 snipers on overwatch.