Update 35: We’re Still Listening

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by rjshae » September 13th, 2013, 1:32 pm

Great, thanks for the update! Your compromise solution on the grid movement sounds sensible, and I like the fact that you're continuing to look for ways to make the game a better experience. The additional animation poses sound like a good idea, assuming we can still fire from those postures. The prone position will be really nice for a sniper on a ridge, while the crouch is just good in general for a static firefight. The audio sample was a nice piece of mood sampling; a distinctive, southwestern sound with an almost spaghetti western flavor. Cool! :)

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Felixg91 » September 13th, 2013, 1:53 pm

Prone stance for snipers only is a good suggestion but how complicated is it to implement that just for snipers?

Crouch would look good during combat and sneakin.

The music is really good, it fits very well. It reminds me of the Stephen Kings "The Stand" for some reason, a different kind of apocalypse...but good mood music.

I do not think action points are a weakness in games, they work well and are a holdover from a couple of the pen and paper RPG and tactical games I have played, Dragonquest and Runequest I believe both used action points and they worked well and were enjoyable, Fallouts used them as well and I loved Fallouts 1 and 2.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by meganothing » September 13th, 2013, 2:01 pm

Gillsing wrote:Whether it's 1.5 or 1.414 I'm pretty sure that it will be the computer's job to tell me how many APs it'll cost to move to a given position.
Then consider this: You want to run in the direction of a melee enemy, you want to make sure he can't reach you on his turn and also you still have enough AP for one shot. If you depend on the computer telling you this, you have to select the enemy, see how far he can go. Then select your PC, select move and then move the target pointer around until you find the right spot. If you decide against this plan, two more keystrokes to cancel.

If you can count squares because of the simpler 1.5, you could find the right spot just by looking at the scene. No mouse-move, no keystrokes at all.

------------------------------

@ tomatpaburk, dflatline: You are right about skeletal animation, so I take back it would allow lots more character models instead.

Yes, stances could hypothetically be quite tactical, but since stances have to follow some realistic expectations, we can make good guesses about the possibilities. We can expect going in and out of a stance costs time and probably a stance is bad in melee. Obvious benefit: harder to hit, maybe bonus on targeting. There can't be that much more without throwing verisimilitude(sp?) out of the window.

So most of the time it is a time/safety trade off. You are slower because standing up costs AP, but you are harder to hit. Which is most of the time a very trivial decision that yes, you want to be more difficult to hit. The only one interested in wringing out every ounce of his movement AP is the melee guy. If on the other hand inXile makes the benefit of crouching so small that it becomes interesting even for a shooter guy to consider running one more square then the trade-off isn't between running or crouching, but between saving two keystrokes or crouching.

I'm not saying that there won't be situations where thinking about crouching/prone is tactical. I just expect the ratio between tactical decision and obvious decision with crouching/prone in a typical game rather low.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Zombra » September 13th, 2013, 2:11 pm

meganothing wrote:I'm not saying that there won't be situations where thinking about crouching/prone is tactical. I just expect the ratio between tactical decision and obvious decision with crouching/prone in a typical game rather low.
Yeah. Good post meganothing.

When I play games like Jagged Alliance or Afterlight or whatever, with stances with AP costs and so forth, I pretty much always have my guys crouching, all the time, whenever the option is available, because it's overwhelmingly the smarter choice, but there's a lot of management involved in doing so. I'm not making interesting decisions; I'm just clicking a lot to make sure my guys crouch at the end of their turn, or in a real-time game, setting them all to crouch mode at the beginning of a map. VERY OCCASIONALLY, I'll choose to have a guy run an extra square instead for whatever reason ... but big picture, it doesn't come up often enough to justify the extra clicking, clicking, clicking.

So in this instance I am arguing for streamlining or "dumbing down", because even though I might want to lift my thumb off that button 1% of the time, I'm getting really sore from holding it down the other 99% of the time. Give my thumb a rest and just wire the switch to stay on permanently.
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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by paradox-fi » September 13th, 2013, 2:42 pm

I'm glad diagonal movement is in. And 1.5 AP cost is good, it's better than 1 or 2, and (compared to 1.41) easier to calculate ("if I move to this square and shoot, I still have enough AP left to move to that square").

Also, using 1.41 wouldn't give the exact numbers anyway. For example, with 1.41, moving from [0,0] to [6,3] (six squares east, three squares north) would cost (1 + 1 + 1 + 1.41 + 1.41 + 1.41 =) 7.23 AP, whereas with direct line it would be (sqrt(6^2 + 3^2) =) 6.71 AP.

Lack of stances is definitely not a deal breaker to me, but I hope the idea hasn't been scrapped for good yet. I think it would be a great addition to the tactics of the combat. I second the proposed idea to leave prone out, but keep crouching in (or bring it in, as it propably isn't in yet).

(Sorry about the number of parentheses).

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by rjshae » September 13th, 2013, 5:02 pm

kungfujoe wrote:
Brother None wrote:
  • Moving diagonally in the calculation costs 1.5 times as much as a straight movement. Do note that your speed attribute changes the AP cost used as movement for all characters, so the calculation is never very simple.
I know this is a really picky math point, but with a square-based grid, shouldn't diagonals cost sqrt(2) as many action points? Since that's about 1.4, the 1.5 multiplier results in a small penalty for going diagonally. With this penalty removed, the result is a movement system that's arguably MORE flexible than a hex grid, because instead of getting 6 directions to move, you get 8 directions, with AP costs equivalent to proper euclidean distance.
The reason that 1.5 is typically used is that it works out reasonably well when you're using integer counters such action points. Every two diagonals moved is an even multiple of 3. If you switched to 1.4, you'd have a fraction left over that probably couldn't really be spent on much else.

Edit: oops, sorry... I see this has already been answered.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by KithKanan » September 13th, 2013, 7:21 pm

meganothing wrote:
Gillsing wrote:Whether it's 1.5 or 1.414 I'm pretty sure that it will be the computer's job to tell me how many APs it'll cost to move to a given position.
Then consider this: You want to run in the direction of a melee enemy, you want to make sure he can't reach you on his turn and also you still have enough AP for one shot. If you depend on the computer telling you this, you have to select the enemy, see how far he can go. Then select your PC, select move and then move the target pointer around until you find the right spot. If you decide against this plan, two more keystrokes to cancel.

If you can count squares because of the simpler 1.5, you could find the right spot just by looking at the scene. No mouse-move, no keystrokes at all.
Except that in WL2 there's already not a 1:1 mapping of action points to squares, the AP cost of movement varies based on the Speed attribute.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Zombra » September 13th, 2013, 8:26 pm

I would have no problem with Action Points blurring into ridiculously extended fractions. The AP meter would show 08, but you could have 8.03262 left, with the fraction carrying over to your next turn.

Whether and how that information would be presented to the player, I don't know. Haven't thought it through that far yet.
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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Woolfe » September 13th, 2013, 10:22 pm

Zombra wrote:I would have no problem with Action Points blurring into ridiculously extended fractions. The AP meter would show 08, but you could have 8.03262 left, with the fraction carrying over to your next turn.

Whether and how that information would be presented to the player, I don't know. Haven't thought it through that far yet.
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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Brother None » September 13th, 2013, 11:45 pm

It's a matter of balance. The engine doesn't have any problem with complex calculations obviously, but the system should have some level of "making sense", so you don't have the float over every possible step but can more intuitively feel out the distances for quick decision. Testing will find the right balance there.
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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by snakeoil » September 14th, 2013, 2:20 am

thinking about the prone thing, things get clearer and clearer the more i think about it. it doesnt make sense from a tactical and practical viewpoint, actually it makes things more complicated without any real benefit. it would look cool to have a sniper on a roof, proned and ready to pick off enemies one by one, but how often will you be able to use this feature? one, two times? in ground combat it would make very little sense as crouching would do exactly the same job. just imagine some oil barrel behind which your sniperdude lies on the ground sniping enemies, now if he would be just crouched behind the barrel would that make a huge difference? the other thing is even if the map zooms out and you would use your sniperguy to shoot a long distance shot (if inxile includes this kinda feature) would it make a difference if he was crouched or prone? remember this is a fucking game not reality.
of course it doesnt make sense to shoot a M95 standing, a very cool feature would be a "selfmade" stand that would be flipped out to allow the sniper to use his rifle standing or crouched. this would also fit the post apo setting.
i understand people who think that more stances offer more tactical depth, but actually flanking, clever use of cover, weapons and most importantly balancing are worth a lot more if executed brilliantly (i expect nothing less). things do not need to be overcomplicated to be fun and its not necessarily old school crpg to strangle the player with useless features that add nothing but cost a lot (or was it?).
i also think that crouching should be the standard combat position and it would be really great to have your party automatically running to cover positions crouching behind it once YOU start a battle. if someone else starts the battle your party will obviously be surprised (or not) and starts it standing. remember, this is not a military tactical game but a post apocalyptic game where you can recruit npcs with any background to fight in your party. you cannot expect them to act like highly trained combat professionals. their behaviour will be to safe their own butt first and then help the team (there are always heroic exceptions).
all this would feel more natural and not as wooden as some über-trained special forces red enigma unit. so cut prone and use the time to create something that makes sense and feels good.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by GodComplex » September 14th, 2013, 2:34 am

Thinking back, I really love how Silent Storm did stances, where every class had different ways of holding weapons, like a sniper actually sitting down if they were crouched or how a soldier would fire a machine gun from one arm. That level of detail gave a neat feeling to the experience, but at the same time, that was a tactical game, where the battles could last 2 hours and combat was the entire point of the game. I expect battles to last minutes on average, and by the time you've set up your formation, the enemy may have already closed in on you.

As per rules of a gunfight, "if your stance is good, you're not moving fast enough or making effective use of cover."
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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Woolfe » September 14th, 2013, 4:52 am

Definitely.

I am sure we had a thread about this previously.

My opinion is that all movement in combat should be by default the crouched "trying not to get hit" hugging cover type movement, and anything else should be an override.

I think Prone makes sense in specifc circumstances, and I think crawling on your belly also makes sense.

But

I am unsure how it sits with me yet. I think I will need to play, and feel it out, before I can make a decision.
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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by skin » September 14th, 2013, 6:03 am

As a compromise, perhaps you can enable crouching and forget about the prone position?

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by SDF121 » September 14th, 2013, 6:24 am

If we're going to talk about stances, I've always enjoyed the type of system featured in the Company of Heroes series. If your men engage the enemy on open grounds, they take a prone position. If you position them behind some cover they immediately begin to crouch. If under suppressive fire, they will go prone and crawl. I was never a fan of the system in Fallout Tactics where you had to manually select your characters stance. If there is going to be a stances in Wasteland 2, I would much rather have a more streamlined system in place than one which will only slow down the pace of combat.


Company of Heroes 2 Cover and Flanking Tutorial
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hopTN1HnIY0
Last edited by SDF121 on September 14th, 2013, 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by tomatpaburk » September 14th, 2013, 6:37 am

I hear that some people feel that prone/crouch dont have any real reasons to be in the game, for a number of different reasons. (that the gameplay effects are to simple, and would either be used all the time or never used)

I can think of a number things that it could add to the game, and different effects that they could have. For example that some weapons could only be fired if in the right stance, (unless you have insane amounts of str) here are some examples.
  • Crouch Positive effects:
    Slight bonues in ranged attack chance. Slightly harder for enemies to hit with ranged attacks (when outside a certain minimum range). Slight bonus to Sneak.

    Crouch Negative effects:
    Costs AP to go into stance. Movement costs slightly more AP. Slight decrease in melee attack. Slightly easier for enemies to hit with melee attacks. Slight decrease to thrown weapon range.

    Crouch extra effect:
    In order to fire grenade-launchers, one needs to be in this stance (unless you have a lot of str or special trait to negate this)
  • Prone Positive effects:
    Bigger bonus in ranged attack chance. Even harder for enemies to hit with ranged attacks (when outside a certain minimum range). Bigger bonus to Sneak.

    Prone Negative effects:
    Costs More AP to go into stance. Movement costs even more AP. Can not make melee attacks. Very easy for enemies to hit with melee attacks. Thrown weapon range is severely decreased.

    Prone extra effect:
    Must be in this stance in order to fire heavy weapons such as machine guns, or 50cal snipers (unless you have a lot of str or special trait to negate this)
These are just effects of the top of my head. As far as prone goes, I see another very vital effect it could serve. If you have a ranger in cover and he is 1 wound away from dying. Going prone behind cover would effectively hide him from sight, making it impossible to target him. Forcing enemies to either flank or rush his position. Giving you time to consolidate or send someone to heal him.

I always found the lastest X:COM very irritating in this regard. If you had a operative who took to much dmg in a fight, you "had" to run him to the edge of the screen since hunkering down didnt actually help. They where as easy as ever to hit effectively making it a bad tactical choise. If a person panicked and hunkered down, they where effectively dead, since the option to move them away from combat was gone.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Yuri » September 14th, 2013, 7:32 am

Woolfe wrote:My opinion is that all movement in combat should be by default the crouched "trying not to get hit" hugging cover type movement, and anything else should be an override.
Nice idea but it's kinda late for this, as most of animation outside of cover already done in standing positions.
Funny thing is I don't remember conversations like this when Fallout came out. Almost nobody cared how realistic are two guys raining termonuclear death on each other with about ten meters between them looked :lol:
think Prone makes sense in specifc circumstances, and I think crawling on your belly also makes sense.
On the battlefield it make sense when you have real distances. Like ARMA games. In W2, where effective range of a sniper around 20-30 meters at best, crawling will only make you look stupid :D
If there is going to be a cover system in Wasteland 2, I would much rather have a more streamlined system in place than one which will only slow down the pace of combat.
It is in the game and it is streamlined. Did you not watched last video?
tomatpaburk wrote:These are just effects of the top of my head.
It's good and all but we don't know what are we going to sacrifice to be able to use it. For example if it was a choice between this and Fallout-style death animations... Fuck both of them, prone and crouch 8-)

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Gillsing » September 14th, 2013, 8:07 am

meganothing wrote:Then consider this: You want to run in the direction of a melee enemy, you want to make sure he can't reach you on his turn and also you still have enough AP for one shot. If you depend on the computer telling you this, you have to select the enemy, see how far he can go. Then select your PC, select move and then move the target pointer around until you find the right spot. If you decide against this plan, two more keystrokes to cancel.

If you can count squares because of the simpler 1.5, you could find the right spot just by looking at the scene. No mouse-move, no keystrokes at all.
I did not consider that. But I don't think we'll be able to select our enemies to see how far they can move. And I don't think we should be able to count their APs and find out either. In fact, I would like all enemies to gain 1D3-2 temporary APs for each turn, just to make it difficult to know for sure how far they'll be able to move or how many times they might be able to attack. Bring some more chaos to carefully calculated tactics. Not so much that tactics become pointless, but enough to make extreme micromanaging less effective.
Zombra wrote:I would have no problem with Action Points blurring into ridiculously extended fractions. The AP meter would show 08, but you could have 8.03262 left, with the fraction carrying over to your next turn.

Whether and how that information would be presented to the player, I don't know. Haven't thought it through that far yet.
Sounds like an excellent idea that could make 1D3-2 extra APs unnecessary. :)
paradox-fi wrote:Also, using 1.41 wouldn't give the exact numbers anyway. For example, with 1.41, moving from [0,0] to [6,3] (six squares east, three squares north) would cost (1 + 1 + 1 + 1.41 + 1.41 + 1.41 =) 7.23 AP, whereas with direct line it would be (sqrt(6^2 + 3^2) =) 6.71 AP.
I did consider this, but I wasn't sure if pathfinding that accounts for obstacles would be too tricky to pull off without bugs. If it's easy enough I would definitely prefer the more exact distances. For weapon ranges as well, letting the squares remain only as positions taken up by characters and other objects.

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Clawdius » September 14th, 2013, 8:16 am

Hexes are a strategy standby for one primary reason, they normalize movement over longer distances quite effectively. Given that Wasteland 2 isn't going for a strict 1ap : 1square movement system and is using stats to determine movement cost that benefit isn't that helpful to the system. Going with the 1.5x cost for diagonal movement solves the issue of strictly diagonal movement being the most cost effective in a free diagonal system, so really in the end that's almost a purely aesthetic decision. Aesthetically squares are going to do a better job of lining up with terrain and keep you from having odd situations dealing with determining partial cover at some angles on a hex grid.

As for the crouching and prone conversations, prone is great when you're sniping from a concealed location, or getting into position to do so. I think that crouching would be a huge benefit to a number of strategies and allow for sneaking using cover to keep line of sight rolls down when positioning troops before a battle. Without crouching, the cover system seems a lot less effective from a logic standpoint. Suspension of disbelief is going to be a bit iffy when a guy standing by some rubble is really hard to hit, if he is standing instead of crouching. I feel like InXile has made the best decisions to get maximum return on the time investiture for the features we know of. I am sure they'll make the right choice in the end, and since crouching won't have as many clipping issues as going prone with regards to cover I'm personally hoping that is what they decide to do.

To be honest, going prone in the wasteland seems like a bad idea anyway, whether it's grenades, attack dogs, or an enemy with a pitchfork there are too many possible situations where laying down on the job works out to be a terrible position to be in with regards to reaction times. Also, given the text based nature of the game, it would be easy to have the notion of going prone in the wasteland brought up and summarily dismissed when the player is walking by some rangers receiving training. Would you really want to be laying down when a Slicerdicer charges you?

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Re: Update 35: We’re Still Listening

Post by Woolfe » September 14th, 2013, 8:51 am

Yuri wrote:
Woolfe wrote:My opinion is that all movement in combat should be by default the crouched "trying not to get hit" hugging cover type movement, and anything else should be an override.
Nice idea but it's kinda late for this, as most of animation outside of cover already done in standing positions.
Funny thing is I don't remember conversations like this when Fallout came out. Almost nobody cared how realistic are two guys raining termonuclear death on each other with about ten meters between them looked :lol:
I can't remember the thread, but we blathered on about something like this real early in the dev cycle.

I don't think it will bother me, but it would be nice.
think Prone makes sense in specifc circumstances, and I think crawling on your belly also makes sense.
On the battlefield it make sense when you have real distances. Like ARMA games. In W2, where effective range of a sniper around 20-30 meters at best, crawling will only make you look stupid :D
Depends on whether the crawling keeps you in cover
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