What determines mission difficulty?



  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown missions get more difficult as I advance in the game - at least in absolute terms. I was wondering if the mission difficulty does or does not depends on

    • Elapsed time (ingame)
    • Plot progress
    • Research progress
    • other factors

    Anyone has any insight into this?



  • I do not know the exact equation but I am currently gathering data on a normal play-through. I suspect according to my data so far that mission difficulty is strongly affected by the country's current panic level increased by the other countries panic levels on the same continent. I do not yet know if rewards increase the difficulty.

    Small differences can be seen in missions under otherwise similar circumstances, for example the first abduction missions had every country at panic 1 and average continent panic at 1. Here I was given the option of an easy mission or a moderate mission, indicating some sort of random variable in the Difficulty calculation.

    So far it seems that if an abduction awards a soldier then the mission will be more difficult than a similar mission under the same circumstances but it could also be random.




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