XCOM 2
XCOM 2 > General Discussions > Topic Details
This topic has been locked
Holy Athena Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:13pm
Spark seems.. useless?
Maybe its just me, but even on normal difficulty he seems really useless. Just got done with a playthrough using him. My hit % was about roughly a solid 30-35% for the whole campaign with him. (This is including towards the end when I'd only shoot if he was a 70% or higher chance) and that didn't alter the RNG rolling low.

I outfitted him to be the guardian, forget what its called, but the left side of the skill tree that's supposed to help him tank shots, and be your front line tank so to speak. His skills are mediocre at best, and his hit chance is so low its a joke tbh.

1 extra armor? eh.. Allies can use you as a full cover? ehh... All of this is pretty meh when you realize Spark can be taken out with ease with 2-3 direct hits. (even fully upgraded late game).

Literally no reason ever to have Spark in your line up. Ever. Any other class can fill that role, and do it far better.

Grenadier, with the heavy launcher upgrade. You now have 2 more ways to shred armor over the fully upgraded Spark. Your soldier has better stats, and they can take cover, and take advantage of the terrain better. That's nto to mention they can also carry items.

Sniper as well, can do more than Spark and be more helpful, again items, get an AP round on your sniper, no worries about armor anymore either, and you rhigh chance to hit + high crit chance if you mod out your weapon will allow you to shred enemies apart far more reliably than Spark.

How about the Specialist, Spark sucks at hacking and it doesn't upgrade well in comparison from my experience. Specialist can heal, carry more items, equip specialized ammo again, upgrade their weapon, and again over all more viable.

Even a Ranger... but you get my point now.

Seems like they wanted Spark to be a "Jack of all Trades, Master of none" But atm, he's "Master of none, ♥♥♥♥♥♥ at everything else".
< >
Showing 1-15 of 161 comments
Medusahead Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:23pm 
He is extremely useful in the early/mid game. He has a tonne of health, armour and can't be flanked. His weapon shreds armour, he has extremely high mobilty enabling him to get to high ground without the use of ladders. His rockets have a huge radius and do a lot of damage, His overdrive ability allows him to move/attack 3 times in one turn, you can use him as cover and he can self destruct with no movement cost and takes no dmg the first time you use it.

Additionally you can use him even if he gets injured in a mission. If you're getting 30% shots with sparks it means you're not making effective use of flanking. Sparks is hands down the best flanker as he doesn't use cover meaning you can run out in the open to flank a target. The only thing which is better is a colonel ranger.

sparks is immensly useful during the early/mid game but not so useful late game.
Last edited by Medusahead; Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:25pm
Holy Athena Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:48pm 
I have to disagree.

A 3 rank Ranger can flank easier, and higher chance to kill for me.

He doesn't have " a ton of health" as he'll go down in 2-3 hits without issue, about the same as any other soldier.

his extreme mobility is the only thing going for him, but is bumped down to the meh status when you realize it's all really not that much of a benefit to begin with as another soldier would have not erquired that to get the same job done.

His overdrive, while nice, insitutes an accuracy penalty after every shot. First shot even on a flank will be roughtly 80-70% after that its 60-50% or even lower making it essentially a glorified "Run n Gun". The ranger gets.

You need to also read, not skim. I didn't say I only get 30% chance with him.

Flanking with spark will also net him the full focus of the enemy generally resulting in him going down the next turn.

Everything you said sounds great until you put it into reality.
Mountain King Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:57pm 
I downloaded a mod that lets you add weapon attachments for the spark weapons. That and going on the more offensive half of the tree moving to flank enemies with overdrive with no aim penalty makes my sparks murder machines. I tried the tanky side and it just proved that taking hits in this game is not worth it.
talemore Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:58pm 
I was playing on rookie and spark almost died on the lost tower mission since every single enemy in the game focus on the guy with less amount of dodge. Statwise SPARK is no different from a grenadier, combined with overdrive the amount of damage a SPARK can do is equal to a grenadier. The final perk options is nova and sacrifice. In theory a SPARK with nova can do more damage than any class, the issue is that you need an entire squad of these androids to gain a positive outcome of using a move that harm the user.

I've only tested sacrifice and it was useful on soaking up all the damage from one acid blob and one anima created by one andromedon and one gatekeeper. The main issue is that I wouldn't been in this situation to begin with if it wasn't for the cause that I'm forced to be within this circle to be able to use the perk and by reason the anima has an equal size of the sacrifice bubble.
The shieldbearer is an example of a unit who can shield his team and he don't hurt himself or put the team in danger by forcing them into a grenade radius.
Holy Athena Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:58pm 
Originally posted by Metaldj88:
I downloaded a mod that lets you add weapon attachments for the spark weapons. That and going on the more offensive half of the tree moving to flank enemies with overdrive with no aim penalty makes my sparks murder machines. I tried the tanky side and it just proved that taking hits in this game is not worth it.

That seems to be what the problem is. The left side of the tree is completely useless. You have to use your spark as a full on 100% killing machine, or not at all.
Holy Athena Jul 8, 2016 @ 2:01pm 
Originally posted by talemore:
I was playing on rookie and spark almost died on the lost tower mission since every single enemy in the game focus on the guy with less amount of dodge. Statwise SPARK is no different from a grenadier, combined with overdrive the amount of damage a SPARK can do is equal to a grenadier. The final perk options is nova and sacrifice. In theory a SPARK with nova can do more damage than any class, the issue is that you need an entire squad of these androids to gain a positive outcome of using a move that harm the user.

I've only tested sacrifice and it was useful on soaking up all the damage from one acid blob and one anima created by one andromedon and one gatekeeper. The main issue is that I wouldn't been in this situation to begin with if it wasn't for the cause that I'm forced to be within this circle to be able to use the perk and by reason the anima has an equal size of the sacrifice bubble.
The shieldbearer is an example of a unit who can shield his team and he don't hurt himself or put the team in danger by forcing them into a grenade radius.

That's pretty much what I found as well. And unlike Medusa said, they aren't useful mid game either as you can get Psi operative by then pretty easily, and they out strip Sparks by a long shot in terms of reliability, time vs resources required, and survivability. They also can train and upgrade outside of battle, and get all the jazz normal soldiers get.

Why use a Spark when you can have a Psi Operative, or do the same job you need that Spark to do as any other soldier class with less headache?
drake_hound (Banned) Jul 8, 2016 @ 2:27pm 
Originally posted by Holy Athena:
Originally posted by talemore:
I was playing on rookie and spark almost died on the lost tower mission since every single enemy in the game focus on the guy with less amount of dodge. Statwise SPARK is no different from a grenadier, combined with overdrive the amount of damage a SPARK can do is equal to a grenadier. The final perk options is nova and sacrifice. In theory a SPARK with nova can do more damage than any class, the issue is that you need an entire squad of these androids to gain a positive outcome of using a move that harm the user.

I've only tested sacrifice and it was useful on soaking up all the damage from one acid blob and one anima created by one andromedon and one gatekeeper. The main issue is that I wouldn't been in this situation to begin with if it wasn't for the cause that I'm forced to be within this circle to be able to use the perk and by reason the anima has an equal size of the sacrifice bubble.
The shieldbearer is an example of a unit who can shield his team and he don't hurt himself or put the team in danger by forcing them into a grenade radius.

That's pretty much what I found as well. And unlike Medusa said, they aren't useful mid game either as you can get Psi operative by then pretty easily, and they out strip Sparks by a long shot in terms of reliability, time vs resources required, and survivability. They also can train and upgrade outside of battle, and get all the jazz normal soldiers get.

Why use a Spark when you can have a Psi Operative, or do the same job you need that Spark to do as any other soldier class with less headache?

This also my testing analysis. It isn´t that I don´t love the Spark (I love robots and mecha)
It just somehow seem to fragile, damage wise I do not have a issue with them. (if they hit)
But unlike grenadiers which you can PCS perception and Scopes. Spark simply doesn´t get there.

Spark is infact too overbalanced, for a tank it just doesn´t do what it suppose too.
Look am not asking for exploitive tanks like MEC that gather LOW hp and can survive 13 shots
But I am not asking a spark to be killed in 2 criticals. or 1 critical and 1 normal hit.
Normal soldiers fine, it happens. cause they can take cover.
But a Spark is always either in the open or hiding behind cover (in that case you can´t use it´s offensive to the fullest)

I just think the spark isn´t bad or terrible, but sadly too overbalanced. that it took some fun away. especially for it´s intended goal of tanking.
Sines Jul 8, 2016 @ 2:42pm 
I haven't had much chance to try out the SPARK yet, but so far, I feel that while it's not bad, it's more of a Grenadier variant class than a 'special' class. Compared to the Psi-Op, the SPARK brings very little that a Grenadier doesn't (It's tanking skills would be unique, but nobody seems to think it really has any tanking capability). Now, this would be fine, if it weren't for the fact that the SPARK isn't actually a Grenadier variant.

A Psi-op can equip all the items you've gotten for your specialist or other classes, except for his Psi-Amp. Armor, Rifles, Items are all re-used. Further, basic armor, rifles and plasma grenades are all squad items, and you'll just have some spares hanging around. As I understand it, every piece of gear of the SPARKs is unique. You can't re-use it except on other SPARKs. So even if you get a SPARK for free through the story mission, you'll still end up sinking more resources on them than you would on a Psi-Op.

Further, the SPARK starts off at bottom rank. However, you require a fairly high amount of resources to get him, either 2 Elerium Cores (and change) or completing a difficult mission that I'd only recommend be done once you have Mag Rifles at the very least. The Psi-Op shows up late, but it's okay because he trains himself. SPARKs only redeeming feature in this sense is that they can be fielded when not at full health, so they can shrug off minor injuries in a way that humans can't. But given their inability to take cover, and that you may be intending to use them as Tanks, this isn't a terribly sustainable process.

I'll be trying out SPARKs from purchase of Magnetic Weapons until the bitter end for this playthrough, just to give them a fair shot. But if they're as good as their on-paper stats look... then I'm not impressed.

Personally, what I'd be inclined to do to make them better is to upgrade their first talent choice. Besides the benefits provided already, the Armor talent would give +1 armor per tech tier, and the Overdrive Talent would reduce cooldown by -1 per tech tier. This way, you could really define whether you want them to be tanks or offensive early on, but without giving those early talent picks a huge boost. Or, alternatively, they'd provide a huge boost because you just built a new SPARK when you have access to T3 tech, and the talent would give that big boost to initial power to help you level them up.
easytarget Jul 8, 2016 @ 2:46pm 
That's because he is, I'd never waste a slot on the bucket of bolts.
Sines Jul 8, 2016 @ 2:54pm 
Originally posted by drake_hound:
I just think the spark isn´t bad or terrible, but sadly too overbalanced. that it took some fun away. especially for it´s intended goal of tanking.

This is really my biggest problem. As an offensive unit, it possesses capabilities in line with Rangers or Grenadiers. That's fine, but it's not all that unique. But a Tank is something this game doesn't have. And frankly, it should. This game is way too focused on that initial alpha strike. Soldiers are too fragile and heal times are too long. The risky strategy that has a chance of getting everyone out without harm is easily the best. And that's before the simple fact that timers means fights need to end quick.

In fact, I find the best way to start any campaign is to restart the first mission until you can get through it with no injuries and 4 promotions. If you can manage that, you can very strongly steam-roll the rest of the missions that much.

Now adding a tank class won't change that, but by having a unit that could reliably and safely soak up hits might at least open up the option to not rush a fight. Besides what I suggested above for providing stronger armor from a left-side talent pick, what about allowing the SPARKs memory core to be transferred between units? You could build a backup SPARK body, and the rank could be preserved between new bodies (using the BIT as a lore justification in case of full destruction). If not destroyed, they can still use the spare body to enter the next mission unharmed while the original is repaired. If they are destroyed, well, you can get your high ranking character back again for a relatively low price.

A soldier that can die without actually dying, or who can go into combat with full HP even if only partially healed, would make for an excellent tank. It fits into the game worlds lore in a way that wouldn't work with an EW MEC Trooper, and allows the SPARK to fulfill a unique function that nobody else could. Even without making them that much more powerful, that simple option to transfer XP into a new healthy body, would mean that their deaths wouldn't be nearly as impactful, which is exactly what you'd want out of a Tank.
Last edited by Sines; Jul 8, 2016 @ 3:04pm
dennis.danilov Jul 8, 2016 @ 2:54pm 
Sparks should take cover like the Andromedon, thoughts?
Holy Athena Jul 8, 2016 @ 3:24pm 
Originally posted by Sines:
Originally posted by drake_hound:
I just think the spark isn´t bad or terrible, but sadly too overbalanced. that it took some fun away. especially for it´s intended goal of tanking.

This is really my biggest problem. As an offensive unit, it possesses capabilities in line with Rangers or Grenadiers. That's fine, but it's not all that unique. But a Tank is something this game doesn't have. And frankly, it should. This game is way too focused on that initial alpha strike. Soldiers are too fragile and heal times are too long. The risky strategy that has a chance of getting everyone out without harm is easily the best. And that's before the simple fact that timers means fights need to end quick.

In fact, I find the best way to start any campaign is to restart the first mission until you can get through it with no injuries and 4 promotions. If you can manage that, you can very strongly steam-roll the rest of the missions that much.

Now adding a tank class won't change that, but by having a unit that could reliably and safely soak up hits might at least open up the option to not rush a fight. Besides what I suggested above for providing stronger armor from a left-side talent pick, what about allowing the SPARKs memory core to be transferred between units? You could build a backup SPARK body, and the rank could be preserved between new bodies (using the BIT as a lore justification in case of full destruction). If not destroyed, they can still use the spare body to enter the next mission unharmed while the original is repaired. If they are destroyed, well, you can get your high ranking character back again for a relatively low price.

A soldier that can die without actually dying, or who can go into combat with full HP even if only partially healed, would make for an excellent tank. It fits into the game worlds lore in a way that wouldn't work with an EW MEC Trooper, and allows the SPARK to fulfill a unique function that nobody else could. Even without making them that much more powerful, that simple option to transfer XP into a new healthy body, would mean that their deaths wouldn't be nearly as impactful, which is exactly what you'd want out of a Tank.

I like this, and I feel it would make Sparks useful. First buff the left talent tree so it can actually be a tank.

Secondly, the "core" of a spark can be put into others to retain its experience. This could easily be done via a unique module for the Spark. Like how Soldiers have the PCS, each Spark can have their own unique PCS that copies their experience talents you've chosen, and this PCS can then be exchanged between Spark units.

If a Spark dies on the battlefield, it acts like a dead soldier. To keep the Sparks experience/talents you need to go up to it, and remove the PCS (Like you do for fallen soldiers to retain their weapons, etc.).



grsspirit Jul 8, 2016 @ 3:42pm 
I Just got to say look at the mods for the Sparks and I think more will be coming out. If you have AWC perk mods Rapid Fire with Overdrive is fun. Oh also there are mods that mod the Sparks guns giving them slots or different damage or you can change them in the ini files.
talemore Jul 8, 2016 @ 4:31pm 
Shieldbearer is better:
Grenadier armor 4+ shield 3 =7 for one hit
SPARK armor 4+ sacrifice 2 = 6 for one hit
Stray Inu Jul 8, 2016 @ 5:37pm 
Sparks? useless? Don't know how you guys are playing the game, but I'm at commander difficulty and He is a great tank, survives two shots just fine, Blows up cover and shreds armor, he is mid close range accuracy, At 3 squares away 83%, Hight advantage increasess that sa well. I use the free spark from the story till the end. Yes, other classes are better, because they are OP, I disabled both grenadier and Specialist, adding Anarchist class mod, in between teh two but much weaker. Just because you guys want the game to win by itself shouldn't b a reason for complaint. Learn flanking shots and hight advantage, And it is a stealth game, the tanking of the spark is for emergencies. My spark never died in a fight, came down to two health at one point, guess what? I made it retreat to a safe spot while the rest cleaned up. Benefits for spark: High cover, Sacrifice gives addtional armor and defence(the enemy miss more), TArget anywhere on map AOE, Heavy weapons, Very good shredding (gatekeeper killer here), Decent close range accuracy, and fights in missions even when injured. I see a great class.
< >
Showing 1-15 of 161 comments
Per page: 15 30 50

XCOM 2 > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:13pm
Posts: 161