Highpool in WL1

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

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CaptainPatch
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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by CaptainPatch » January 14th, 2014, 9:09 pm

Even if the child didn't understand just how dangerous rabies is, with the passing years going into adulthood, it would be inevitable that he would come to understand just why it is that an animal with rabies NEEDS to be killed. Holding a grudge against the Rangers while still being an uneducated, unknowing child is understandable. But to continue to hold that grudge when it finally sinks in that they only did what needed to be done is irrational and probably psychotic.
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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Drool » January 14th, 2014, 9:13 pm

Yeah, Highpool has really gotten weird. Honestly, the reactions here make more sense if it was 50 or 100 years after the first, when stories have had time to evolve and morph. I mean, Mr. Law and Order Candidate (who had never heard of Jackie) would have been alive back then. And from the looks of things, would have been an adult back then.
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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Revolucas » January 17th, 2014, 4:18 pm

Jackie is the one behind everything.

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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by CaptainPatch » January 17th, 2014, 9:40 pm

Isn't she lying in a grave in the Ranger cemetery?
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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Revolucas » January 17th, 2014, 10:02 pm

Or so we are made to believe.

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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by CaptainPatch » January 18th, 2014, 12:07 am

Revolucas wrote:Or so we are made to believe.
Could just as easily suggests that nearly ALL of the graves contain empty caskets. Do we really want to go that route? To start up a new generation of Wasteland conspiracy theories?
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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Revolucas » January 18th, 2014, 12:19 am

They already changed some of them in a single patch didn't they? Placeholder. :lol:

Jackie knew about Rex,
she witnessed the murder of Bobby,
she watched the Rangers wither under the leadership of Vargas,
She grew tired of Vargas's disregard towards the pleas of Highpool and other Wasteland denizens.
Tired of being treated like a item mule and getting dragged through the hot desert without a canteen
She wants revenge :twisted:

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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Priest4hire » January 18th, 2014, 1:24 am

I think the main thing with Highpool is that it was underwritten. Remember the intro in the manual, and how it ends? "Because they had such success in constructing a new community, they felt compelled to help other survivors rebuild and live in peace." Yeah. They put in a scenario involving killing a bunch of kids and spawning the Red Ryder, but nothing for rescuing a girl from the cave. There's a quest to repair the water filtration, but no effort to set up any sort of desperate need. And it seems pretty clear that killing Bobby was the idea. The only reason you don't have to is that it's a regular combat scenario and the game has the option to run.

If it was supposed to be gritty, it fails. Gritty requires the scenario not be horribly contrived to the point of being silly.

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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Drool » January 18th, 2014, 9:20 pm

Priest4hire wrote:They put in a scenario involving killing a bunch of kids and spawning the Red Ryder
That's entirely the player's fault if it happens. If you kill Rex, yeah, Bobby spawns and you can run from him. However, the juvies that start the Red Ryder branch appear when you fall in the creek, and that combat only happens if you initiate it. Otherwise, they'll just stand there.
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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by CaptainPatch » January 18th, 2014, 11:50 pm

Meh. I can see your point with the juvies. But the encounter with Bobby was entrapment, pure and simple. The _game_ triggered the Combat sequence, which sort of STRONGLY suggests that you need to defend yourself. And everybody knows, "The best Defense is a strong Offense." After all, you can't tell just what weapon Bobby is using until you loot his cold, dead body. So very understandably, once Combat triggers, players start blazing away at the only target available. It isn't until subsequent play-throughs that you understand that Bobby doesn't pose much of a threat.
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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Priest4hire » January 19th, 2014, 2:44 am

Drool wrote:That's entirely the player's fault if it happens. If you kill Rex, yeah, Bobby spawns and you can run from him. However, the juvies that start the Red Ryder branch appear when you fall in the creek, and that combat only happens if you initiate it. Otherwise, they'll just stand there.
Indeed. Wasn't trying to suggest otherwise. But it's interesting. Wasteland had a mechanism that allowed changing a location based on player actions. I can't remember offhand if it was the first RPG to do so, but it was certainly not common at the time. Not a map change at least. And they use it for the Red Ryder thing. Now I'm assuming this probably took at least some programming. And surely something you put more than normal effort into is something you're going to want your audience to experience. No one likes to waste their time. So... why use it for that? I'd have used it for the water purification quest. To make it feel like you're spreading some of that peace and prosperity stuff the manual references.

Richard Garriott has on numerous occasions talked about what inspired him to make Ultima IV. Ultima III was the first game he got direct feedback from customers on, and he was taken aback by the way the game was being played. For example, there was a town of clerics and people would slaughter them for easy XP. He observed that CRPGs of that era were built on a setup where you'd be told there was some bad guy you needed to kill. This ultimate evil would be evil in name only, as he or she would have no actual role in the game. Meanwhile, the PCs would commit any number of atrocities in their supposedly heroic quest to save the day.

That makes me wonder. Wasteland apparently was in development for some time, and it's not like Ultima IV changed the CRPG world instantly. Killing everything that yielded XP was still the norm for most CRPGs. So did the developers figure that players would do just that in Highpool? To me at least, it felt like no consideration was given to the idea of not killing Bobby. A player coming off games like The Bard's Tale would be conditioned to respond to entering combat mode by killing, with extreme prejudice, whatever's in front of him. So is that why so much more effort was put into responding to the player killing things? If so, it's pretty cynical.

I just finished the engine quest to remind myself how it went, and even it was pretty unimpressive. Just a few lines of dialog and some loot. And it felt more like a reward for figuring out a puzzle than for doing a good deed. Maybe the idea was to guilt trip the players on the assumption they would kill Bobby and the juvies. To show that bad deeds lead to consequences. Still, the lack of any proper 'good' options, and of any real effort to allow the players to behave like Rangers make the whole thing feel pretty flat. Then again, it's a product of its time, so I can cut it some slack. (Still, Ultima IV did it better, IMHO.)

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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by Revolucas » January 20th, 2014, 9:41 pm

I just realized that Sergins (whatever his name is) Says "A dog and his boy, together forever." I really think it should be corrected to say "A boy and his dog." Not just because it makes no sense the dog has ownership of the boy, but because of the rather kinky tale of survival, A Boy and his Dog (1975).

A boy loves his dog.

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Re: Highpool in WL1

Post by RGR-1138 » April 7th, 2016, 2:07 am

In light of the games of the time - "Ultima 3" and "The Bard's Tale" - the Bobby encounter makes a bit more sense, at least so far as understanding what it grew from. Maybe the whole point was to make players stop and think for a bit about that "combat mode" behavior pattern ("Guh, what? Combat mode? KILL!!").

Also, is anyone else reminded, just a little bit, of the Vietnam bar scene in "Watchmen"?

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