US Population during Wasteland 2?

Discussing the story & setting of Wasteland 2. Beware spoilers. Please avoid spoilers in thread titles.

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Dandare
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US Population during Wasteland 2?

Post by Dandare » October 31st, 2017, 8:53 am

Hello community!

I have just joined but I also joined to partially ask this question (which depraves me of sleep to be honest):

How big is US population during Wasteland 2 timeline?

I guess that depending on assumptions of magnitude and after-effects of world ending war which kicks off the whole dystopia we can conclude really a lot of different conclusions here. I've read before some of the Sci-fi authors stating that actual all out nuclear war would kill anyway between 1/3 to 2/3 US population as a result of initial and second phase (aka aftermath) genocide but that is a bit anti-climactic small percentage which I believe to absolutely not be the case in storyline. Same time the absolute annihilation of let's say 99,999% of population also makes not much sense due to making basically even possible tribal groups to emerge (which does happen) a very unlikely thing. Heck! The humanity would have not much chance to recover at all and 3rd phase changes like possible lethal mutations (those dead end corners) or lack of certain sexes in certain regions which might remain secluded for years would most possibly lead to almost assured extinction.

So while bumping in-between all the possibilities I've decided to ask You guys for help on this (surely more known to some of you as I am still a scrub after single Wasteland 2 playthrough) question.

Basically I would like to know:
What is overall population?
Are there possibly some remaining big (let's say several thousands, or possibly tens of) communities remaining due to their location?
Is it possible that population is big enough to be seen forming a larger (once again few k's) factions?

I think it might be fun topic and I can't wait to see your replies ^_^

If we reach some fine conclusions I guess I might use them for some constructive project later on ;). Personally I believe in something like 2-5% survival rate which would make US population probably something around 5517080 and 13792700 considering US population in 1998. It might seem big but in fact considering the territory (which is in many regions still uninhabitable I admit) it still not so much. Same time it is big enough to produce (within few generations) an organised societies of possibly over 1mil population. Although story wise I feel I've high-balled the number a lot (please do not bash). Maybe since this numbers work well for my imagination? Please do not judge me too harsh for that XD.

But what You think?

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Drool
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Re: US Population during Wasteland 2?

Post by Drool » October 31st, 2017, 5:01 pm

2-5% isn't bad for overall survival, probably. It's just an aggregate survival rate across the US ignores that plenty of areas would have effectively 0%. DC's going to be a glowing crater. Wyoming will probably be mostly untouched.
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Dandare
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Re: US Population during Wasteland 2?

Post by Dandare » November 6th, 2017, 3:49 am

Drool wrote: ↑
October 31st, 2017, 5:01 pm
2-5% isn't bad for overall survival, probably. It's just an aggregate survival rate across the US ignores that plenty of areas would have effectively 0%. DC's going to be a glowing crater. Wyoming will probably be mostly untouched.
Thank You ^^

And yes, I imagine there would be regions untouched (more or less) by initial blast. Those regions though would have some massive death toll on second phase due to various reasons such as civil panic, uprisings, lack of basic resources and/or contamination of their sources and definitely initial radiation clouds.

So in such scenario even if for example Wyoming is untouched initially we can assume that in 1 generation it's population might decrease (let's roughly assume) about anything between 30% to 70%. Which... is still very good result for post apocalypse if you ask me! I mean 30% to 70% might survive it and considering it was nearly half a million during 1998 it would mean that even in grim scenarios we will have about at least 150 000 people still alive after about 50 years there unless something very weird was about to happen (or Wyoming actually got hit for whatever reason)

Considering basic human psychology at first this number would either remain or diminish slowly as the population might have real hard time with providing enough resources in changed landscape and economy. But after let's say 2-3 generations (about 100-150 years) pass I would assume the after war psychology would kick in and as soon as it will be feasibly possible people would start to repopulate thus inflating those numbers in upcoming years.

Such regions bear possibility of establishing new organised structures with own government and organisation. Also given a history they might be likely to 'unite' between each-other as long as it would be to mutual benefit (in fact more likely than smaller tribes which would rather think of imminent benefits than long term ones - thus bandits groups are in fact such likely scenario in dystopia.)

I am in fact content to think of such mini-government bodies being possibility in probably even past Wasteland 2 timeline, but what you guys think? Does it sound like something logical?

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Zombra
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Re: US Population during Wasteland 2?

Post by Zombra » November 6th, 2017, 8:30 am

Something to bear in mind is that science fiction doesn't have to obey hard-nosed realism. The whole point of the post-apocalypse genre is that government no longer exists, asking questions about what happens when "society" effectively only has influence within the range of a rifle shot. In the absence of higher authority, how might people behave? Saying "Well the US government or something like it would logically reform within X number of years" may be realistic, but it's not interesting to the questions the fiction wants to ask, so canonically it won't happen, and there's nothing wrong with that.
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Re: US Population during Wasteland 2?

Post by Dandare » November 16th, 2017, 7:31 am

Thanks for answer Zombra ^_^

And yes I admit a bit of silliness or writers freedoms is most of the times only preferable choice to any hard-nosed realism. Still the certain amount of thinking over the real life possibilities including all the outlandish scenarios is always fun thing to delve into~

Hmm... the rifle range society however is something not long term though. I mean: two things would go against it.

Many people would travel for resources needed for survival.
Remaining bigger societies would try to secure all their most needed resources as long as it's possible.

In fact we see it in Wasteland 2 in abundance and pseudo governments of small scale are ever so present (and depending on which playthrough I am to consider either fun to cooperate with or fun to hunt down XD)

In fact I am not really all that much into large government formation in post-apocalypse. Not only since it (as you seem to agree) somewhat breaks a bit whole 'savage dystopia narrative' but since I find it unlikely. Societies would be after apocalypse, so I assume their guard to be hell up and no trust to be present for outsiders. Same time inherently large communities will be scarce and possibly cut off from others for a long time. All this goes against any sudden expansions which would lead to any large unification. More likely quite several communities would form different societies.

The whole 'government after apocalypse' idea is definitely big separate interesting topic. From all I know I do not even imagine it to be like US government or any modern day government in civilized country I guess. There are however many other possibilities and to be honest we had seen many in game (maybe not big enough to be called true government but surely with some potential).

Still though I wonder about my initial estimation of survival being close to the existing one in Wasteland 2.

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