I understand that it sucks if your favorite soldier got one shotted behind heavy cover from across the map. But this kind of randomness happens in many other games too.
Sports games are a very popular genre...and one that is heavily dependent on random numbers. Shoot a basket, throw a pass, kick a goal...success depends on a dice roll. Do people complain endlessly in sport game forums about how the randomness sucks all the fun out of the game?
There are plenty of other examples of popular games that are heavily dependent on luck, even other strategy games. Combat in many strategy games is a dice roll.
None. Really. You didn't name a single one. In a sports games if you have a ball, a skill (numbers, not player skill) and nobody between sportsman A and B - your pass will be successful 100 times out of 100. In XCom if you have you, enemy and an 80% shot you will miss at least half the time.
In XCom it's pure luck. And the higher the difficulty is - the more it matters. I have NEVER, not even ONCE seen my sniper miss a 90+% shot on normal. 95% missed 4 times in a single match in Impossible Ironman.
Luck is too much of a factor in this game. Like, DnD or Savage Worlds if we're talking about dices. You always have a modificator that makes that dice roll better. Like if you have a difficulty of d4 and you only have a 1d10.... but that's usually 1d10+2 at least =) which makes your otherwise 40% success - 60%.
^ now that really is a bad luck. Cuz I have very good time with FFT, or Tactics Ogre (which is concidered hard) or Jeanne D'Arc, or, say, Agarest... Jagged Alliance 2 as well... no other tactic games rely on pure luck that much.
Come on, even FTL or Dungeons of Dredmor - ROGUELIKE genre games - where more fair =)
There's only one game that I think of that relies on luck more than XCom. It's Binding of Isaac. And even then I'm not sure if it does...
Guderian emphasized it, but it was a doctrine of the Prussian army long before the Second World War: MASS NOT DRIBLETS! How Guderian actually phrased it was: "Don't spit on them, boot them. How does this translate into game play? Shooters must work as a team; that means overlapping arcs of fire. For the most part, at least three units have opportunity fire on one enemy. Luck is trying to hit with one unit. If you have three chances, you odds go up enormously. The game is as deep as you make it.
Basically people struggle when the outcome precedes the action.
95% chance to hit sounds like pretty good odds but it isn't true because in actuality you had a 95% when the last action was taken and a new seed value was generated. The computer already knows the player are going to miss no matter how many times they reload. It's just waiting for them to figure it out.
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices --William James