Posted on October 21, 2012, Ross Lincoln Xcom Second Wave Mod Adds Advance Campaign Options
Some rather neat tweaks have been discovered hidden in the XCOM: Enemy Unknown files. Originally intended to be included as executable features in the final version of the game, the Second Wave options allowed commanders to improve and customize their games, and would have become available after the first completed playthrough. However, the feature was scrapped due to other developmental priorities. 2K hints they may be officially added at some point, but it doesn’t sound like a huge priority for them. Luckily, over at the Xcom Nexus Mod forums, an enterprising modder has figured out how to enable them; he has released a mod called Second Wave that will do just that.
Once you install it, you’ll still have to beat the game once before they’ll become available. You can grab it here. Note, however, that the mod isn’t compatible with the Balance mod, because they both alter the same .exe file.
The tweaks can provide you with the following options:
Damage Roulette: Weapons have a much wider range of damage
New Economy: The funding offered by individual council members is randomized
Not Created Equally: Rookies will have random starting stats
The Greater Good: The secret of psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien
High Stakes: The rewards granted for stopping alien abductions are randomized
Diminishing Returns: The cost of satellites increases per construction
The Blitz: Aliens target a larger set of cities during abduction attacks
More Than Human: The psionic gift is extremely rare
Identified, Still pending:
Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases
Hidden Potential: As a soldier is promoted, his or her stats increase randomly
Absolutely Critical: A flanking shot guarantees a critical hit
Red Fog: Any wounds taken in combat will degrade a soldier’s stats for that mission
Marathon: The game takes considerably longer to complete
Of course, if you’re just starting out, you should have a look at Game Front’s helpful beginner’s guide.