Except the game code was disassembled
and it's not cheating. It's also been statistically analyzed
. Humans are garbage about understanding what randomness means (otherwise nobody would buy lottery tickets), and focus on the outliers only. So if you have 90% chance to hit and miss twice in a row, you're screaming "CHEATING!" when in fact it's not even that
unlikely relatively speaking, but that's all you notice. Emotionally, you expect your guys to hit and the enemy to miss, and it seems "wrong" when that doesn't happen. Some games fake randomness to disallow things like a 90% hit chance from missing twice in a row in order to appease players, which may be a good idea from a rage-quit perspective, however it does reinforce the wrong idea of how randomness works.
Also, you can absolutely "gid gud" by learning to use better tactics. They won't always work, but in the long run you will be much better off. Your mistakes are your own more often than not, such as relying on that 90% chance to hit with no backup plan.
Sorry, I'm still not convinced. On both accounts.
Firstly, you can't "git gud" in a game, where you are not in control of your actions. You can make the best of the situation, but that is not the same. For me there simply is no correlation whasover between getting good and games that are based on chance as opposed to your skill.
Secondly, it's all well and good to be a math wizard and make some experiments. Unfortunetly these do not provide definitive anwsers wheter the game is really fair to the player. There is a lot of stuff to consider in that game.
Save scumming is not an option during the mission itself - the game has already decided on all outcomes, at least a few turn's ahead. I know - I tested that myself. If you did not hit an enemy standing behind that cover in 2 turns time, then even reloading and playing those 2 turns again won't change that outcome. XCom doesn't want you to make that shot, it made all the calculations beforehand.That in itself might sound fair... except it's not. On the one hand - save scumming bad. On the other - where is my free-will, why the game fates all my mission outcomes?
But that's not all. It's not just 2 or 3 shots missed in a row. Some articles point out that the game is indeed fair and it's the players memory that's faulty, cause they only remember the missed shots. But why is that? Because you have to consider how much is at stake on those 3 missed shots.
You still can win the mission alright, but at what cost? You are constantly losing funds, half of your squad is smothered (and new ones take very long to train again), or for every mission you won, you lost at least 2 others somewhere else on the globe. While the game relentlessy throws stronger aliens at you. In other words - you are overwhelmed, slowly spiralling towards destruction, and to top it all - you missed "a couple of sure shots". Unlucky? Yes. Unfair? Also yes. The penalties in XCom:EU are much to punishing, considering how many factors are out of the players hands.
Despite all I said, I still like the game a lot. Even bought it a second time. But no one is gonna convince me that the game is fair. Especially since the computer knows his own calculations, and can plan ahead to screw me, while the only thing I can do is risk it.
Thridly, you said "Humans are garbage about understanding what randomness means". The first article you quoted writes "Computers are terrible at generating randomness". Which is it then?