The laser weapons are a stepping stone between magnetic and beam research, adding some visual flair with their red streaks of burning light. By bulking out the research tree, they're also likely to extend campaign length, as well as providing a reward in the long slog between higher level weapon tiers.
To long-time XCOM fans, Long War is a legendary series of mods that alter the already excellent base game into something far deeper and more intense. Beginning from 2012's XCOM 1, The Long War adds tougher enemies, additional classes, a more detailed tech tree, frequent enemy retaliation, and greater risks in every mission you go on. The point of Long War is to make players weigh the risks versus the reward of each mission they take, because each one could mean a complete wipeout of the strike team. Most times, it feels like you're inching your way to victory.
Most of the specific changes will be detailed in in-game text. Many game mechanics have changed, so read perk, tech and item descriptions closely! They may not do what you expect from vanilla.Perk trees for all classes are in the file Long_War_3_perk_tree.jpg in your XEW directory, or here.Tech tree is in the file Long_War_3_tech_tree.png in your XEW directory, or here.A Long War wiki is hosted on UFOpeadia, here. (It needs contributions!) (Art in this section by Dana Henderson/lfish) 153554b96e