Borderlands 2 & XCom: Reasons to Never Go Outside Again

So as the title says it, having a blast with both Borderlands 2 and XCom: Enemy Unknown and trying my best not to get addicted. Borderlands 2 released their most recent dlc: Captain Scarlet: And Her Pirate Booty. I haven't had much of a chance to play it as i've been saving it to play with my gf exclusively. 
In the meanwhile, I've been trying the new Mechromancer class which I believe is the older Tiny Tina from the normal storyline. You may notice how her left arm is robotic and there is a very interesting Echo recording on how that came to be. 

The class, to say the least is amazingly easy to solo. Even with a 60 second cooldown which I thought was too long, it is an incredibly powerful skill; it stays on the field for a good 20-30 seconds, flies, has tons of life (i'm lvl 22 and it has only died twice) and has good dps. It also is really adept at shooting down the annoying Rakks and Buzzards with it's lightning wave.. and gets even stronger with it's laser beam skill: The Stare. Its like having a second person to play with almost all the time, that draws agro better and doesn't die. If you hate pugging but find solo too difficult at times, this may be your class! Countless parts in which I had massive problems with my other classes, the Mechromancer passed it without breaking a sweat.

About 10 years ago, the game looked like this; notice how aliens will be camping RIGHT outside the dropship to get cheap kills.

I played the original XCom: Terror From the Deep (TFtD), which was apparently the worst and the hardest. This (XCom: Enemy Unknown) is an incredibly addictive game; I thought Heroes of Might and Magic where I was going "one more turn" was bad. Or with Skyrim in which it takes forever to log out, b/c there is just one more thing you need to do, put away or explore. You know what hooks you in this game? The missions seem so short.. that in your head, it takes 5-10 minutes, but in reality, it takes about 20-25.. and when you scan and build and research and do all the micromanagement there is in the game.. what you also think takes mere minutes.. whoops, its 2.5 hours later than when you promised to turn it off.

There are many sites and forums with helpful tips on this newest (and best! I say best b/c I can actually complete a mission without having a single agent die) iteration of XCom and I would have posted some links, but I can't find any. So here are a few of mine:

1. Whenever you can, build satellites. Players say to save them for the end of the month and launch them in unhappy countries to prevent them from leaving... not so sure about that.

2. Get medkits. I never bought or used medkits before in TFtD. Mostly because I didn't know how to use them and the alien's weapons were so powerful, they crumpled and died anyways from one shot. Get your support (i'd recommend 2) leveled up so they can carry 3 medkits with them. Alive units means they get more powerful AND less wounded time.

3. Assault classes and Run&Gun skill. Don't underestimate this skill. I normally have 2 assault class units with me which run into rooms and guarantee me two dead aliens. The ability to run extremely far distances and STILL shoot, with 100% chance to hit AND possibly do critical damage, is really effective.

Fast forward 10 years later.. look ma! I'm gorgeous!!!
In my first playthough, I thought Priority missions were .. a priority and tried to complete them right away such as the one with researching the Arc Thrower which is used to capture aliens. I learnt in my second playthrough that the game will wait for you and give you other missions if you choose not to do it right away. There are 2 findings to this though: 1. Although you have more time to research, build and get stronger, you're doing more missions where you have to choose between 3 different countries when there are alien abduction missions. This results in 1 happy country but 2 unhappy countries. I've found in my 2nd playthrough, I have alot more unhappy countries. 2. The enemies get stronger as you get stronger. I may have played the same amount in real hours in my 2nd playthough, but nowhere as far into the story as my first and i'm facing against incredibly strong aliens I never saw in the first. So its my belief, the game can tell when you are getting stronger and adjusts the difficulty accordingly (which I like).

Its on my wishlist that there is some kind of sandbox mode for this game; I feel although I can avoid the main storyline, eventually you'll get to a point where you have to complete it, otherwise the aliens may get too strong or too many countries will abandon XCom. Unfortunately, that is the thing about the game, without there being a story, sandbox mode may lose it's meaning.

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