These are all Dark Events added by War of the Chosen. It retains all the old ones, but the effective odds of seeing any given one are lower; you”ve gone from rolling 3 out of 15 Dark Events to 3 out of 37Dark Events. Ignoring for the moment that I know for a fact the game makes use of hidden caveats like “don”t allow this Dark Event before such-and-such Force Level”, that means any given Dark Event has had its odds of appearing slashed to roughly 40% of its original chance in War of the Chosen.
You are watching: Xcom 2 how to stop dark events
You might also notice these icons have different proportions and whatnot from the base game ones. The base game images were pulled directly from XCOM 2″s files; War of the Chosen has custom encryption, so these images are derived from screenshots instead. In-game, they use the same proportions as base-game Dark Events.Though it absolutely is the case that the art style approach is radically different. Probably due to being a bit rushed, a lot of the War of the Chosen Dark Event graphics are composites made from unit graphics set against a simple background and with a preexisting icon slapped in. Others are directly recycled from images that exist in the base game. Only a few of them have proper lighting and non-simplistic background imagery like the base game Dark Event graphics. I suspect a number of these were, in fact, placeholder graphics intended to be replaced before release.In any event, the Dark Event system itself hasn”t substantially changed in War of the Chosen. The only new wrinkle is that at high Knowledge levels the Chosen are allowed to initiate a fourthDark Event once per month, with this Dark Event not being possible to block with a Guerrilla Op. These Chosen-generated Dark Events also don”t linger in the pool the way Dark Events normally do; if a Chosen initiates a Dark Event, it will go through that monthif you don”t stop it, either by finishing off the Chosen or by using a Covert Op to block their monthly action.Otherwise, though, it”s the same system, just with a lot more options. More options is appreciated; I like the idea of Dark Events very much, but in the base game they tend to be repetitive across runs. In War of the Chosen, it”s much more likely that a given run will have a relatively unique-feeling set of Dark Events generated, simply because there”s enough you can”t possibly run through the entire “deck” within a single run. (… unless you deliberately stall for a longtime, I guess)
ADVENT Return FireIf a shot on an ADVENT Priest or Officer misses, that soldier will immediately return fire.Note that while ADVENT Priests and Officers technically have limited ammo, you”re extremely unlikely to ever have a given one live long enough to burn through their ammo supply, making it a bit of a moot point that you theoretically ought to be able to set up a safe miss by draining their ammo first. I suppose you could Dominate a Codex and Psi Bomb them first?…Officers in particular are fairly good abusers of this, as they have a strong preference for putting themselves behind High Cover, at a fair distance from your squad, such that it”s extremely difficult to flank them and often not feasible to blast their Cover with a grenade, sometimes even if you have a Grenadier on hand. There are a number of ways to work around this and it generally won”t be a threat if it activates late in a run, but in the mid-early game this can be pretty unpleasant, making it so it”s risky to lob a series of low-odds shots at an Officer while you find yourself with no better options that turn.Priests are more situational abusers of it. If they successfully Mind Control one of your soldiers, they”re suddenly a really high priority target and they may be in a position that”s difficult for you to readily kill them in. On the other hand, they”re much more aggressive about approaching your squad, making them more readily counter-flankable than Officers, and if they elect to use Stasis or Holy Warrior instead… whatever. There”s also ways to wipe Mind Control that don”t involve taking shots at them, such as lobbing a Flashbang, or just having a level two Bond going on. Furthermore, basic Priests can”t Mind Control, so in the earliest portion of the game there”s no possibility of a Return Fire Mind Controlling Priest putting you into a nasty situation of needing to take risky shots to get back your soldier.Overall, either way it doesn”t actually tend to crop up much, and can generally be played around if it doesn”t show up in a fairly specific portion of the game. I tend to just let it through, personally.Legendary”s tweaks to pod numbers and whatnot make it notably more likely to actually crop up, as you”re much less able to consistently force favorable situations. So… maybe consider blocking it on Legendary, if nothing else in the pool is clearly uglier to deal with.Minor mechanics oddity: the opportunistic attacks a SPARK performs via Hunter Protocol can trigger ADVENT Return Fire. A Hunter Protocol SPARK may unexpectedly die if you bring it along low on health while ADVENT Return Fire is up.Surprisingly, this is anotherDark Event that times out even with Grim Horizon on. That”s sad, since Grim Horizon making it permanent would”ve encouraged adjusting your skill picks and whatnot to try to maximize your ability to deal with Priests and Officers without risking misses. As-is, it”s still depressingly likely to time out without ever mattering.
ADVENT Lightning ReflexesAdvanced and Elite ADVENT Troopers get Lightning Reflexes, automatically dodging the first reaction shot at them per turn.I don”t get why ADVENT Lightning Reflexes is using the icon for LightningHands, given XCOM 2 has a perfectly serviceable icon for Lightning Reflexes.Regardless, this isusuallynot a big deal if you remember to accommodateitsexistence. Dark Events can”t even activate in the first month, which is where you”re most dependent on Overwatch ambushes; later in the game, you just need to not go “hey, might as well set up an Overwatch ambush” on ADVENT Troopers while ADVENT Lightning Reflexes is active, as your team is usually plenty well-equipped for dealing with Troopers without the help of an Overwatch ambush.Part of the reason it”s not that big a deal overall is that Overwatch ambushes aren”t actually that desirable. First of all, your squad will, if they can see all members of a pod, preferentially target the pod leader as part of the ambush; this is undesirable in the early game, as pod leaders in the very early game are less reliably threatening than their subordinates. A Sectoid pod leader can often be ignored for a turn or two, because them going for a Mindspin or Psi Zombie can be canceled out by killing them or Flashbanging them, and they very strongly prefer that to actually shooting your soldiers; meanwhile, the ADVENT Troopers following in their wake have no option beyond trying to shoot your soldiers dead, and even just injuring your soldiers has longer-term consequences, even if you immediately burn a Medikit on healing them.Meanwhile, the Sectoid can absorb a lotof punishment. On Legendary, a Sectoid has 10 HP, vs an ADVENT Trooper having 4 HP; that means a Sectoid will tend to take three shotsto kill, which at the beginning of the game is three-quarters of your entire squad! Meanwhile, the ADVENT Troopers will die in one hit, maybetwo if the soldier attacking them is a Rookie, Specialist, Reaper, or Skirmisher. Which means a Sectoid with two ADVENT Troopers is best handled by killing the two ADVENT Troopers on the first turn, directing any leftover firepower at the Sectoid, and then finishing the Sectoid on the following turn. An Overwatch ambush, meanwhile, will probablyresult in your squad killing the Sectoid, and almost certainly leave both of the Troopers alive to try to kill your squad.This is probably the most extreme example, but beginning-of-game pod leaders all have this going on to some extent or another. Priests prefer to Stasis or Holy Warrior over shooting your soldiers. Officers are prone to moving to good High Cover and then Marking a target, which if they”re alone and then you kill them means they did literally nothing. Vipers, once they show up, have a strong preference for going for a tongue grab, and while that”s damage it”s still less damage than being shot does. Etc. And they”re all much tougher than ADVENT Troopers, too.This all means Overwatch ambushes become something of a trap choice as you climb difficulties; on Regular, all these factors apply, but pod leaders are vastly less durable, and even ADVENT Troopers have lost a hit point such that literally any soldier hitting them is a kill. Even a Sharpshooter firing on them with their Pistol has a 50% chance of killing a fresh Regular ADVENT Trooper! Which means an Overwatch ambush will often kill the entire pod, potentially leaving you with a soldier still in Overwatch even, such as if the initial hit on the pod leader was a crit that thus one-hit-killed them. Whereas on Legendary, you get the situation outlined above; Overwatch ambushing getting your squad shot at unnecessarily,Later on, it starts being normal for pod leaders to be the enemy you do, in fact, want most urgently dead, but some of the major examples don”t use Cover and so ambushing them has no particular advantage outside Specialists and Guardians, and most classes increasingly pick up abilities that they can”t leverage if they”re not the initiator, like Rapid Fire on Rangers, Salvo and Hail of Bullets and Saturation Fire and Rupture… Kill Zone on Sharpshooters, Guardian+Threat Assessment on Specialists, and Waylay on Skirmishers are the only skills that meaningfullytilt those classes towardOverwatch ambushes at higher levels. In the late game, you”re often better off performing partial ambushes, where only one or two soldiers actually go into Overwatch. Andromedons are one of the few exceptions, being a highly durable and lethal Cover-using enemy, and it can still make more sense to not ambush them and instead use abilities to smash Cover etc.War of the Chosen itself has also subtly discouraged Overwatch ambushes, though I suspect the developers didn”t realize they were doing this. All three Resistance classes are badat Overwatch ambushes; Skirmishers can only participate at full value by being the initial shooter (Prior to Waylay), Reapers can”t directly participate in the initial Overwatch ambush at all (They can toss a Claymore and someone else toss a grenade to blow it up, but that”s it prior to Banish), and Templar can technically participatebut should basically never do so; they”re better kept in reserve to Rend something after everybody else has done their thing. This means anytime you”re fielding a Resistance class, Overwatch ambushes are less worth considering.Taken altogether, this means as your skills develop and you meet greater challenges you”re realistically going to be using Overwatch ambushes less and less, and so not particularly care about Troopers getting Lightning Reflexes -especially since they can”t be pod leaders past the very early game, and so usually won”t get targeted even when you do perform an Overwatch ambush!As such, in practice it primarily makes them less prone to getting killed as they wander in at the edge of your vision. That matters, but catching enemies with Overwatch that way is primarily a bonus, not an essential to survival. And of course if a mission is light on Troopers, it won”t necessarily matter at all…Grim Horizon makes it a lot more notable, for the usual reason: it will almost certainly crop up several times over the course of a run, virtually no possibility of timing out without having a chance to be relevant. If you”re prone to using Reaper scouting to set up Overwatch pseudo-ambushes (That is, stopping just out of sight of enemies and Overwatching), this is especially noteworthy, since they”ll eat a certain amount of shots with no way for you to have played smarter to avoid the issue, unlike how you can just…notOverwatch ambush.It”s still not terriblyimpactful even with Grim Horizon on, but you”ll at least see it in action more than without Grim Horizon on.Also to be clear, bizarrely it is the case that basic ADVENT Troopers are unaffected by ADVENT Lightning Reflexes. This is largely a technicality as below Legendary basic ADVENT Troopers will almost completely disappear before ADVENT Lightning Reflexes has a chance to activate, but on Legendary the transition takes long enough it”s completely possible for ADVENT Lightning Reflexes to be your first Dark Event that activates, do nothing for a mission or two, and then suddenly it actually matters. Surprise!I assume somebody missed basic ADVENT Troopers when assigning affected units, because it seems a weird thing to pick deliberately.It”s also buggily unreliable even when it does apply. I”ve had cases where an ADVENT Advanced or Elite Trooper got caught by Overwatch fire, even though only one unit attempted to fire on them, and where an informational mod nonetheless indicated they were, in fact, currently benefiting from ADVENT Lightning Reflexes. Oops.
Collateral DamageADVENT Troopers, Purifiers, and Officers have a 33% chance of carrying a second grenade.This is cute, but the AI is pretty reluctant to use its grenades and if you”re playing properly it”s rare for an enemy to live long enough to chuck two grenades anyway.Indeed, I”ve only oncehad it matter in real play, as even when I”vetriedto bait ADVENT into chucking two grenades while Collateral Damage is in effect, they”ve not gone for it. I”ve confirmed it applies via Double Agent and Domination, but for real-life monthsI honestly wasn”t sure it did anything.
In any event, theoretically this should be… moderately threatening? ADVENT Trooper grenades are weaker per target than them shooting, and have no possibility of critting, but usually they”ll chuck it to catch multiple targets and often smash Cover in the process. There”s the potential to do some damage and open the way for some other enemy”s follow-up attack to kill.On the other hand, that”s just an odds thing in most situations. On the upper two difficulties most enemies have a 10% crit rate even againsttargets in Cover, and it”s pretty rare for you to be able to realistically arrange a situation in which they have a 0% hit chance on all available targets. And remember that crit chance is effectively higher the lower the accuracy; an enemy with base Aim of 75 and 10 crit will crit exactly 2/3rds of the time they hit when getting a flank…… and against a target in High Cover they”ll have a 35% chance to hit and so crit nearly a thirdof their shots with only 10 base crit.So… sure, an ADVENT Trooper could chuck a second grenade and some other enemy follow up and crit-kill them, but even without the grenade you could lose someone out of nowhere to a crit-hit.Late in the game your troops will default to at least one point of Armor, so the Shred component gains a bit more relevancy?Grim Horizon theoretically should give it more opportunities to matter, but I”ve had it pop early in a Grim Horizon run and not ever matter. I dunno, maybe if you had Grim Horizon andBeta Strike on it could matter?In practice, this is essentially a dud Dark Event that”s extremely safe to let through, with very few Dark Events being less threatening.Not helping is that it”s only achanceof passing out a bonus grenade to a given unit, and not even a particularly high one…
ADVENT Sealed ArmorAll ADVENT soldiers are immune to Poison, Burn, and Freeze.Note that this does notblock Acid, in spite of there being four icons in the inset. I think it might actually cause the AI to thinkit”s immune to Acid, as I”ve seen affected enemies run right through Acid clouds where they usually avoid doing so, but it definitelydoesn”t provide protection. This is particularly surprising and strange given Sealed Armor provides immunity to Freeze, which nothing is fully immune to normally, where Andromedons, Codices, and Spectres are all examples of enemies who are naturally immune to Acid.This can be unpleasant if you”ve got Alien Hunters and are used to the Freeze Bomb being a very reliable means of putting threats on pause and all, and does diminish the utility of all Experimental Grenades, but is usually not too big a deal. Most ADVENT soldiers aren”t particularly great targets for setting on fire,and while Poison is pretty nice against all of them except Purifiers (By virtue of being immune in the first place) not Poisoning them really isn”t a huge loss.In the mid-late game it can be a noticeable dip in Sharpshooter performance, since Poison/Burn immunity means Venom/Dragon Rounds doesn”t provide that +1 damage to Pistol shots, which is proportionately a lot if eg talking Mag Pistols with 3-4 base damage. Such damage loss will hurt anyone, of course, but Pistol-focused Sharpshooters feel it a bit more keenly than most.Overall, though, this is a cool idea but one whose impact is a bit limited, in part because ADVENT soldiers are generally easier to kill than analogous Aliens. You don”t usually need to rely on status effects to manage them when it”s so trivial to make them dead. It”s only in the early game that they can be pretty difficult to kill, as in so early ADVENT Sealed Armor has no possibility of activating below Legendary and it”s virtually impossible for you to have any tools for inflicting these statuses. (Even on Legendary)Caveat: if you”re playing with Beta Strike, all of these tools become vastlymore relevant, and doing stuff like Gas Grenading a pod to cripple it actually is the kind of tactic that”s staple in Beta Strike, because it”s reallydifficult to reliably wipe out pods in one turn in Beta Strike. As such, if you”re playing with Beta Strike on, consider this a higher priority to block.Grim Horizon of course gives it greater relevancy in the usual manner; more opportunities to at some point have an effect that actually matters, instead of risking timing out without accomplishing anything. Grim Horizon+Beta Strike? Block it. Unless there”s something a lotworse competing with it, block it.Still, without Beta Strike, even Grim Horizon doesn”t do thatmuch to make it more relevant. Just don”t forget it exists and eg waste a Frost Bomb on an ADVENT Priest because you were trying to undo Mind Control.And to be clear, unlike a lot of these Dark Events, this isuniversal to allADVENT soldiers, 100% reliably. It”s not a chance to provide immunity.
CounterattackADVENT soldiers have a 50% chance of immediately entering Overwatch when their pod is activated.Meh.If something like this existed in the prior game, it would be moderately threatening. Overwatch was difficult to remove in that game, with death and a couple specialized abilities being your only options, and one of those abilities was risky to leverage if more than one enemy was in Overwatch at the same time, while the other special ability was godawful.In XCOM 2, though, you not only have picked up the option of Flashbanging things to remove Overwatch en mass, but critically damageclears Overwatch now. This makes it very trivial to remove Overwatch before any of your soldiers needs to move, and indeed you don”t necessarily need to adjust your plans any to account for enemies Overwatching; you may have been planning to launch a grenade at the group anyway, for example.This means that unless you”re doing some weird gimmick run, like a mono-Templar run or something, this rarely matters at all, and even when it does matter it usually only requires a slight tweak to your turnly plans.Also note that while I frame this as “immediate” activation, what they actually do is perform their normal pod-activation move and then tack on Overwatch at the end. Among other points this means a soldier activating a pod by virtue of meleeing a member isn”t risking being shot by Counterattack Overwatch fire.All that said, this can be pretty nasty if it”s up when the UFO-derived Avenger Defense mission kicks off, since the final portion of that is a mad dash back to the Avenger”s ramp while reinforcements rain down every single turn. If your team is light on tools for dishing out damage without ending the turn, you may be forced to just risk running gauntlets of Overwatch fire and accept injuries or even casualties. This is an especially concerning possibility if they happen to both occur early, so that your squad is low-level and poorly-equipped. Fortunately, most players will probably never have that happen, since it requires either two Dark Events go off fairly early or that Counterattack triggers andhitting the Blacksite triggers a UFO, with the Blacksite having been hit early. This is a fairly unlikely combination of events.As usual, Grim Horizon makes this moderately more meaningful, simply because getting it in the early game or midgame means it will have more opportunities to try to matter. This in particular makes it a lot more likely to end up applying in an AvengerDefense mission where it”s a bit nasty, though outside that it”s still pretty meh.
Stiletto RoundsADVENT soldiers have a chance of carrying Stiletto Rounds, which has a 50% chance to inflict Bleeding on a successful hit.Bleeding is unusually difficult to protect against for a damage-over-time effect, not being protected against by Fortress, Hazmat Vests, or carrying a Medikit; only robots are safe from it. As such, if StilettoRounds triggers, you should consider bringing Medikits to cure it if somebody takes a hit and starts Bleeding.