Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

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RGR-1138
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Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by RGR-1138 » April 2nd, 2016, 2:10 am

So after giving my box a much-needed Windows 7 64-bit upgrade, I've finally been able to dive into this game. (Playing the Vanilla Game, by the way. The DC doesn't seem to run as well, plus there were changes right away I didn't like, so...) Learning curve has been *quite* steep in more ways than one (that's what we wanted, right?), but this time I'm cruising along pretty nicely, haven't really had to reload...

Until arriving in the Rail Nomads Camp, dashing off to save the drowning boy... and realizing that this TURN-BASED game just suddenly decided to throw something real-time at me. So, I run off to help Ralphy, and here's my thought process:

1) Rope! Wait, there *is* no rope. Haven't seen it for trade, haven't seen it laying around...
2) Totem poles? Right-click to Examine them... no useful info (unlike *every other* object in the game)
3) I mouse over the water; the pointer isn't X-ed out, can I just wade out to him? Guys... not... going... into... water...

Aaaaaand he's dead.
Great. Thank you, game!

So, experiment time. We have Angie hit the totem pole with her giant wrench; "ineffective", the game says.
<sigh> Okaaay, what am I doing wrong? <Google-search> OHHHH, Brute Force. Okay...

Reload my quicksave. (By the way, when a game gives you THREE quicksave slots, that says something, doesn't it?)
Brute Force the totem poles. Rrrrrrrrrr-CRASH! Right on his head, and he's dead again. <hears devs laughing>
Reload *again*. THIS time, I kick down the CORRECT totem pole... and it kinda doesn't matter, because now I'm ticked at this game.

So much for my No-/Low-Reload Run! All because of a cheap, stupid, artificial "gotcha" moment which calls for one VERY specific solution, when there should really be 5 or so. Or at least have the kid tread water for another minute longer; he drowns in about 30 seconds, maybe less. Whose bright idea was it to throw real-time elements into a *turn-based* game that makes liberal use of *descriptive text*? (See Shadowrun: Hong Kong, and the revamped Matrix.) Ill-advised gear shift, much? Either give us more solutions, or give us more time to hit upon the single correct one. As it stands, it's a "gotcha" most likely to be solved by trial, error, and reload. (Though I'm sure *some* of you got it on the first try, and will be all too happy to brag. Good for you.)

Yes, I know the quick-save system gives me infinite do-overs, but I don't like save-scumming, or feeling forced/encouraged to save-scum, especially in role-playing games where you're supposed to live with the consequences. Fallout 1 did this correctly; I just finished a playthrough with ZERO reloads, doing my best not to meta-game (something I like to call "role-playing"), and not everything went my way - in fact, I missed some very key Speech checks, and by the end ALL of my companions were dead (Ian was killed at the Raider camp, the rest in various parts of the Cathedral), and my experience was *richer* for it. MAN, I love that game!

I also love Fallout 1 because it *didn't* throw any poorly-designed 30-second "lightning round" garbage at me. That sort of thing leads to trial-and-error, which leads to save-scumming, which leads to meta-gaming, and I *hate* that in role-playing games. I should be making decisions that would come naturally to my character(s), not making decisions based my *own* fore-knowledge or meta-knowledge. And if your role-playing game only works best with meta-knowledge, it fails a little bit (though not as hard as Baldur's Gate 2. Yeah, I said it! You practically need a *script* to make a playthrough of BG2 anything other than a complete mess, at least before you move on to Spellhold).

Speaking of meta-knowledge - yes, I just got done talking about how much I hate it, but Wasteland 2 has forced my hand - question: if I go along with what happened the first time, and thus Ralphy drowns, what do I lose out on? Are there any compelling reasons NOT to just roll with it? (Again, if a game has 3 quicksave slots, it makes me wonder...)

TL;DR: keep your borderline-QTEs *out* of my turn-based, descriptive-text-heavy role-playing game!
Thank you.

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by madmaxthc » April 2nd, 2016, 12:12 pm

I understand where you're coming from... but consider nothing made by humans is perfect...
Even a great game has its defect, and I got upset in the same way to some games. There are so many players, with different taste, you can't create "the perfect game" in each and everybody's mind.

In the end, go back to it when you've calmed down, and decide if the defects are minor for your experience or just make it not fun for you.

Happy Playing ;)
Max

P.S.: Ralphy is quite a fun deputy to have around... if he dies I think you only miss one or two minor quests, not sure... but you'll also miss all his comments as you go around the wastes... :D

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by Talien » April 2nd, 2016, 7:12 pm

As far as I know Ralphy is the only NPC with toaster repair (he starts with 5) so if you don't plan on putting points into it for one of your own characters then you may want to keep him alive. Other than that, no, you don't really miss much.

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by RGR-1138 » April 2nd, 2016, 7:48 pm

Even a great game has its defects? True, especially a *big* one like Wasteland 2. As for Ralphy, well... what happens happens. Good to know I won't get punished *that* hard for failing to click *exactly* the right tchotchky in *exactly* the right way within 10 seconds or less.

Anyway, it's a great excuse to fiddle with the graphics settings some more, tweak my Rangers and start over. Now that I know choosing Highpool first is the *fun* way to play, starting over isn't so daunting anymore. :)

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by RGR-1138 » April 4th, 2016, 12:30 am

So I just got to Rail Nomads again, and... yeah, that little episode still feels a little weird. In *almost* every other situation, examining something/using Perception yields a clue of some kind; that's the reward for bothering to look closely, right? All you get when examining the totem poles is "Hey, isn't it weird that they're made of bones?" Not even a "Gosh, this thing doesn't look stable"; after all, the clock is ticking and I'm looking for useful info, not "Hey, it's made of bones, THAT'S weird." So again, I'm racing there to click the correct tchotchky in the correct way thanks to meta-knowledge. And the rest of the Rail Nomads area doesn't seem much better... I thought about skipping the place entirely, until I remembered (having forgotten) there's some lead to follow up regarding Ace's death.

I dunno. Hopefully things get better... or if they don't, I'll just skip it. We'll see.

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by Patient Roller » April 4th, 2016, 9:40 am

I agree and relate completely. :) I believe Ralphy drowned on my first try, and I chopped the totem pole on his head on the second. There's another pretty dodgy sequence with him later, too. Rail Nomads was my least favourite place in the whole game - it's too big for one area, almost no one there is likable, and they don't even have a doctor.

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by kilobug » April 4th, 2016, 10:39 am

I personally like RNC area a lot, and the Ralphy character too, but I agree this "saving Ralphy" thing is very troubling at first, it took me several attempts to did it, and while the "tension" of having to act quickly in itself is a bit refreshing, the time is just too short and the puzzle too weird (crashing a huge totem pole into the water near a drowning character ? that's more likely to actually kill him). It would have been better if there were several solutions (possibility to jump and swim to rescue him with a stat check, possibility to throw him a rope if you had one, ...) than just this pole thing.

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by IHaveHugeNick » April 4th, 2016, 12:28 pm

Yeah, I hate when game developers make me reload.

I'm sitting at home, playing a game, relaxing, drinking coffee, then suddenly BLAM. A six-man squad of InExile Special Forces, armed with automatic weapons, breaks down the door screaming RELOAD MOTHERUFUCKER!
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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by RGR-1138 » April 4th, 2016, 5:01 pm

You mean I'm not alone!? Huzzah!

And with those poles, when you *do* get the idea to use them to rescue Ralphy, which one do you try first? The one you SEE first, right? The one *closest* to you, the big one that's right there when you need a solution *now*. Guess which one kills him?

It's almost as if it's *deliberately* designed to be an "lol, F U!" trap that springs *twice*. Either somebody didn't spend enough time hammering out the design of this quest, or there are some *mean* Dungeon Masters at inXile. Now, I'm LOVING the game otherwise - don't get me wrong - but stuff like this just stands out to me, and not in a good way.

With that, I'm actually considering planning my party around acquiring Ralphy, just so my black-thumb can drop Toaster Repair and take Blunt Weapons instead; the sight of a crowbar is like a siren's song... :D

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by Drool » April 5th, 2016, 12:54 pm

I dunno, every time I've run into that one, I picked the right one. It's the one that looks like it's the correct one to save him.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by RGR-1138 » April 5th, 2016, 7:28 pm

Drool wrote:I dunno, every time I've run into that one, I picked the right one. It's the one that looks like it's the correct one to save him.
Well, good for you. <golf-claps>

I bet you also knew how to fit your stillsuit desert-fashion without being told.
Could it be... we've FOUND the Kwisatz Haderach!? Quick, where's Sting when you need 'im? :D

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by Drool » April 8th, 2016, 12:09 pm

Eh. It's just the first pole looks like it's too high, and the second pole looks like it'll land right in front of him.
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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by Talien » April 10th, 2016, 10:12 am

Patient Roller wrote:I agree and relate completely. :) I believe Ralphy drowned on my first try, and I chopped the totem pole on his head on the second. There's another pretty dodgy sequence with him later, too. Rail Nomads was my least favourite place in the whole game - it's too big for one area, almost no one there is likable, and they don't even have a doctor.
Yeah, if it wasn't for Scotchmo I think that area would have been almost a chore to play through. It doesn't help that dealing with the Atcheson-Topekan war is part of the main quest so you can't just skip the place.

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Re: Kinda ticked about saving Ralphy...

Post by Gillsing » October 11th, 2016, 11:48 am

Oh, you guys were so lucky, getting to kill Ralphy with a totem pole. In my first game Angie critically failed her 25%+ chance of Brute Forcing that large totem pole, and my surgeon didn't have any items that could heal that cracked fibula. So Ralphy just drowned all on his own. After a reload I checked the smaller totem pole and discovered that it had a 75%+ chance of success for Brute Force. So I went with that one, never getting to see what would've happened if Angie had actually managed to knock the large one down. I'll have to save scum that some time.

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