The Second Wave is a DLC add-on that enables players to unlock advanced gameplay options that add more challenge and replayability to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Players will have to start a new game to access these modifiers.
The following Second Wave features become available by default:
- Damage Roulette: Weapons have a wider range of damage.
- New Economy: Randomized council member funding.
- Not Created Equally: Rookies will have random starting stats.
- Hidden Potential: As a soldier is promoted, stats increase randomly.
If the player has finished the game on Normal Mode, these four additional Second Wave features will be Unlocked:
- Red Fog: Combat wounds will degrade the soldier’s mission stats.
- Absolutely Critical: A flanking shot guarantees a critical hit.
- The Greater Good: Psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien.
- Marathon: The game takes considerably longer to complete.
- Choosing this option significantly increases the length of research and construction time.
If the player has finished the game on Classic Mode, these four additional Second Wave features will be unlocked:
- Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases.
- High Stakes: Random rewards for stopping alien abductions.
- Diminishing Returns: Increased cost of satellite construction.
- More Than Human: The psionic gift is extremely rare.
If the player has finished the game on Impossible Mode, these four additional Second Wave features will be unlocked:
- War Weariness: Council funding goes down over time.
- E-115: Elerium degrades over time.
- Total Loss: Lose all soldier gear upon death.
- Alternate Sources: The power source cost to build facilities increases dramatically.
This expansion allows Second Wave options to be accessed and viewed (but not changed) mid-game from the pause menu and adds five new Second Wave features (the first three are available by default, the fourth becomes avaliable after completing the game on Normal and the fifth after completing the game on Classic):
- Aiming Angles: Units receive aim bonus the closer to flanking an enemy they are.
- Save Scum: Loading a saved game will reset the random number seed, so taking an identical action may yield different results.
- Training Roulette: Each soldier's training tree will be mostly randomly generated. Does not apply to MEC Troopers.
- After a Soldier reaches Squaddie rank (receiving a Class and their first ability), future ranks will primarily grant randomized abilities from a pool of the all the Class abilities minus any skills that are dependent on a specific weapons (which remain Class locked).
- Ability Pool: Aggression, Tactical Sense, Lightning Reflexes, Flush, Bring Em On, Close Combat Specialist, Extra Conditioning, Resilience, Bullet Swarm, Holo-Targeting, HEAT Ammo, Rapid Reaction, Grenadier, Will to Survive, Damn Good Ground, Gunslinger, Battle Scanner, Executioner, Opportunist, Low Profile, Sprinter, Covering Fire, Field Medic, Rifle Suppression, Revive, Deep Pockets, Savior, Sentinel
- The randomized perks are defined and saved when the soldier becomes a Squaddie and not as each rank is reached; this prevents any save/reload abuse to alter what random perks are received.
- Mind Hates Matter: Psionic soldiers can't become gene modded or vice-versa.
- Itchy Trigger Tentacle: Non-cover aliens have a 50% chance of firing at your soldiers upon being spotted.
- If triggered these Robotic units (Mechtoids, Cyberdiscs, and Sectopods) will fire in place of entering Overwatch as normal.
- A spotted soldier will finish their move before the alien(s) fire, meaning any cover bonuses will be in effect (Notably, Low Profile, Will to Survive, Damn Good Ground, and the effect of Distortion Field).
- ↑ IGN.com - XCOM Getting 'Second Wave' DLC for Free EuroGamer.net - Free XCOM: Enemy Unknown Second Wave DLC makes it even harder joystiq.com - XCOM's 'Second Wave' DLC available today, adds new gameplay options
- ↑ http://www.2kgames.com/blog/xcom-enemy-unknown-3rd-patch-is-live
- ↑ http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread.php?150041-Do-quot-Second-Wave-quot-Settings-Even-Exist-Doesn-t-Look-Like-It