[WOTC] Mechatronic Warfare: Total SPARK Overhaul
Last revision: 18 Dec at 06:44 2018 UTC
MW is a total overhaul to the SPARK class and everything involving it. MW has three primary objectives: turn the SPARK into a unit that feels and plays uniquely from the other classes, make SPARKs economically viable whether you build one or ten of them, and unify the dozen piecemeal rebalancing mods scattered around the Workshop into one big megamod.
The general philosophy behind MW is that SPARKs cost way too much for what they bring to the table. In addition, making even a single SPARK almost doubled your upgrade costs because of the huge cost to upgrade their weapon and armour. Not only that, but you are discouraged from making too many SPARKs because there’s only a single repair slot, and Repair is far up the skill tree. Mechatronic Warfare solves all of these issues.
In vanilla, the SPARK is a cross between a Grenadier, a Specialist, and meatshield. Being a tank is really the only unique thing the SPARK brought to the table, and it does it decently enough. Until it sees a Sectopod. Then it’s a dead tank.
Every single SPARK ability has been removed from the tree except for Overdrive, Adaptive Aim, Rainmaker, and Sacrifice. The tree instead boasts 15 all-new abilities and 5 reworked abilities that are loosely based on removed skills.
In perhaps the biggest change of this mod, at Squaddie the SPARK has access to not only Overdrive, robotic immunity, Arsenal, and Hack, but also the reworked Repair ability and a new one, Reboot. Their autocannons also have shredding by default, and the robot immunities include Bulwark’s cover effect, without the armour point.
Repair now heals only four HP, but the amount of charges scale with the tech of your BIT (2/3/4). It can also remove acid and reset shredded armour back to full. Repair is also upgraded by the new skills Heavyduty Repair and Rapid Repair.
Reboot is similar to Sustain in that it shields the user from all damage when their health hits zero and can only trigger once per mission, but it has a twist. After coming out of Reboot, the SPARK will be hit with immense debuffs to aim, mobility, and hack. The debuffs can be completely negated with the Redundant Systems ability.
As for the branches/subclasses, there are three rows of abilities:
- Behemoth: A frontline support unit there to draw fire and punish the enemy for targeting the SPARK.
- Trailblazer: A close range melee unit able to deal devastating damage with a variety of different attacks.
- Arbalest: A backline support unit that focuses on hacking, sniping, and battlefield support.
I won’t go into any more detail on the rest of the tree here, because it would take forever. Rest assured, the changes and additions are extensive. You can see a few of the abilities in action in the trailer above.
The Build SPARK project has been split into three; Build Squire SPARK, Build Cavalier SPARK, and Rebuild SPARK. The first creates a new SPARK at squaddie rank (for much less than the original project), the second is unlocked with the Andromedon Autopsy and creates a new SPARK at captain rank, and the last will take a destroyed SPARK’s datacore and insert it into a new chassis to recover that unit’s XP and customization.
SPARK equipment is now upgraded along with squad equipment. The Autocannon upgrades with Grenadier Cannon schematics, the BIT with Specialist Gremlin schematics, and the Chassis with the medium armour schematics. These merges can be disabled if you prefer in the config files, which should be done if you are using mods that eliminate the squad-wide upgrades.
SPARKs can now Bond with other soldiers, equip PCS, and earn Ability Points. They don’t have any randomly rolled abilities, though – partly because that doesn’t make any sense on a robot and partly because there’s already so much to choose from on the tree. Finally, their autocannons will now benefit from the Cannon Breakthrough research.
In the beginning of the campaign, Engineering will only be capable of repairing one SPARK at once. But once the Advent MEC Breakdown is researched, the Repair Bay can be expanded to two slots with a new Proving Ground project.
SPARKs also get an ammo slot to make their weapon more useful, so any mods that give SPARKs ammo slots are not needed. If you want to use those mods, you can disable MW’s ammo slot in the configs.
Almost everything in this mod, such as resource costs, ability cooldowns and damage, and much more can be adjusted in the config files. The configs can be found here:
I WILL NOT BE FIXING ANY BUGS THAT RESULT FROM MID-CAMPAIGN INSTALLS.
MW can technically be installed mid-campaign and some of it will work fine, but you could suffer from any or all of these issues:
– only SPARKs built after the installation will have the new skill tree
– schematic merges may not work
– new proving ground projects may not show up
– SPARK bondmates might be a little bugged
MW is recommended to be used along with Robots on Covert Actions because the restriction is just stupid. It also combos well with the ability of SPARKs to bond in MW.
MW is completely compatible with Metal Over Flesh, although MW and MOF combined would make SPARKs unstoppable. It is also compatible with mods that don’t touch the SPARK, such as MEC Troopers and RPG Overhaul. Mods like the Pugilist Class or the Brawn Spark Classes are also completely compatible, because they add new classes. Mods like Richard’s Spark, that override the main SPARK class, are not compatible.
MW requires New Promotion Screen By Default UNLESS you are using RPG Overhaul, which will do the same thing.
Because this mod requires the X2WOTCCommunityHighlander, it is essentially impossible to port to vanilla XCOM 2. I’m sorry about that, but there’s nothing I can do. WOTC makes this mod possible in a lot of ways that aren’t immediately obvious.
I would like to thank several people for making this mod possible.
- Vhs, for creating some of the perk icons used and the awesome Reboot animation
- Lago for balance testing this mod and helping arrange the perk tree
- Xylithxlm, Robojumper, RealityMachina, Shiremct, -bg-, and Udaya for providing debugging help
- The entire X2WOTCCommunityHighlander team, for creating the essential tool that makes this mod possible
- Firaxis, for both making the SPARK so useless that this mod was needed, and for creating XCOM 2 which we all enjoy so much
I’d also like to acknowledge the mods that helped inspire me to start on this 6 month journey.
- A Better Barracks, for having a balance discussion in their forums which sparked (no pun intended) the philosophy behind this mod, and especially Lago for posting a 1000-word autopsy of the SPARK in that discussion
- Trainable SPARKs and Normalize SPARKs, for creating the Breakthrough modification system and giving SPARKs the ability to Bond
- Metal Over Flesh, for creating the datacore/corpse revival system
- LW Mecs as Sparks, SPARK Pugilist Class, and Bigger SPARK Punches for inspiring some of the abilities in the mod
One last thing, please put all bug reports in the discussion thread below and reserve the comments section for balance discussions, general feedback, and questions. Thank you!