Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

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undecaf
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » July 16th, 2017, 9:57 pm

One the pet peeves I had with WL2 was (a rather minor one but still) that my choices for nationality and religion, whilst being nice touches to allow such choices (and I hope they aren't going away), didn't affect anything in the game that I would've noticed. Even despite that there was quite a lot of religion going on and even some nationality stuff. (And of course it was a bummer that I couldn't make a party of Finnish ex presidents...)

There's some room for increasing the level of characterbuild efficiency right there.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Gizmo » July 17th, 2017, 1:08 am

It seems to me that things like religion, nationality, and any other moderately exclusive personal knowledge could be represented in dialogs and other interactions, similarly to the etiquettes in Shadowrun... Where the ex gang member PC could perceive additional options when speaking with a gang member; dialog or actions not available to any PC who didn't understand gangs.

There was a choice in one of the Shadowrun video games where the PC had the option of casually stealing a wine bottle from an apartment they were in... but which one? Having had the Socialite etiquette at the time would have meant they'd have recognized which was the most expensive brand.

It's mostly little things, but they could be peppered throughout the game and slightly alter even the most common dialogs for having varied PCs. In this case I don't mean that the player picks etiquettes as in Shadowrun, but rather that any major commonalties—or eccentricities could result in a few specific interactions or dialog choices. For example, smokers could occasionally bum cigarettes from strangers, or offer advice on rolling them... speak to people that would otherwise not talk to them candidly... Or perhaps know why their fugitive had sixty fake $1 bills sealed in a sandwich bag under his bed...and how that could be useful against him. That kind of thing... Nothing that radically benefits the PC or changes the plot; but just another way for the game to be customized to the player's PC(s).

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » July 17th, 2017, 1:31 am

That is pretty much what I was going for. Certainly some of it can carry more weight in how a quest goes or how certain NPC's view the PC in question, but mostly just little bits interactivity&reactivity here and there for flavor and situational intrigue.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Remo » July 17th, 2017, 2:18 am

I don't see how you can make that happen. Shadowrun had 6 common sense etiquette's that were well defined in that setting (e.g. Academic vs Security) Meanwhile WL2 have about ~20 Religion/Ethnic options and defining what an Atheist, Bone smoking, African woman will say in future post-apoc USA WL2 setting.. *Alert* can easily become a minefield :twisted:

JA2 had nationality, it was used to give a little more flavor to the characters bios and some cheesy one liners in accents (possible minefield alert nowdays). It along with few other characteristic affected team compatibility (which was comprised from mercs lifted from all over the world), due to Racism, Sexism and other negative responses e.g. Shadow hate Russians so his moral dropped if pared with Russian mercs.

XCOM2 recently added something similar, only I believe they used instead a more vague compatibility stat (that can be improved if worked together), and focused on the positive i.e. team members could eventually bond and get various bonuses as well as few other stuff like posters that would show up around your base, which at first seem silly but then again it would help create an emotional attachment and have that much more impact when you loose someone.. Permadeath is at it best when you care about your characters and not just annoyed at having to grind a couple of mission until another nameless stat filler can be put in its place.

The real question what if any of that would work for Wl3

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » July 17th, 2017, 3:09 am

Remo wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 2:18 am
I don't see how you can make that happen.
Why don't you? It's extra work for sure, but by no means impossible.

Pillars of Eternity does something similiar with its character creation options (race/class/background/stats and possibly others I can't recall right now).

Flavor and utility dialogs based on how you built your character.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Remo » July 17th, 2017, 5:48 am

Pillars of Eternity certainly had a lot more ways to personalize your character in ways that could affect your conversation options than Shadowrun, with each one also utilize more than in Shadowrun (and that without counting things like scripted interaction.) Still these options were often more focused and well defined within the setting than religion/nationality in WL2, with their unique characteristics and history playing part in various events. I mean what does Russian nationality even mean after 100 year in post-apoc USA? IMO unlike JA2/XCOM2/PoE it doesn't make sense here.

Don't get me wrong, I would love if they can pony up to the level of Pillars of Eternity in this, but I doubt they can with long list of religion/ nationality we seen in WL2 (nor I am certain that they will even consider this as a priority given WL2 different focus than Torment.) If they can make it, I think that something more concise and specific to their setting will work much better than RL religion/nationality seen in WL2.

edited.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » July 17th, 2017, 6:32 am

Don't make this out to be a bigger deal than it actually is.

This' mostly about not more than little bits and pieces sprinkled here and there. PoE was an example that it can be done, not that it should be copied. Also, nationality might mean a great deal to some and nothing to others, same with religion.

A "fellow russ" might sell you snake squeezins from under the counter for the national pride, and another might tell you to fuck off for trying to pigeonhole people when the opposite should be in peoples minds, a third one might just ask who cares.
A clergyman in some settlement might ask if you've found chrst yet and mock you if you have a different god than his, or stop talking to you as a lost cause if you are an ahteist.
And none of this needs to be longer than him-me-him-me back and forth. Or it might be a floating text comment from someone you pass by.

This is not a big deal worth arguing over. If InXile opts for it and manages it, I'll be very happy. If they don't for what ever reason, too bad and that's that.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Remo » July 17th, 2017, 7:50 am

undecaf wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 6:32 am
A clergyman in some settlement might ask if you've found chrst yet and mock you if you have a different god than his, or stop talking to you as a lost cause if you are an ahteist.
I like it. But generally the idea is to give each choice at least a couple of unique flavor options. And WL2 list include: Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Indigenous, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, None, and Sikh. And I am not sure how you can do that unless you curve out RL religious enclaves along the lines of NY's ethnic ones like little Russia, little Italy, Chinatown, Brooklyn etc.

IMO its better to use local or new religions/cults, because to me the 'Children of the Citadel' and 'Servants of the Mushroom Cloud' are much more relevant to the setting than any of the above.
undecaf wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 6:32 am
A "fellow russ" might sell you snake squeezins from under the counter for the national pride, and another might tell you to fuck off for trying to pigeonhole people when the opposite should be in peoples minds, a third one might just ask who cares.
Again, lets ignore for a moment that after hundreds of years, at least two generations, of people born and bread in post-apoc USA melting pot with no outside contact, these people would still cling to old world and its dated stereotypes. You are still left with: African, American, Arabic, Asian, European, Indian, Latino, and Native American. Now how would WL2 joke go about African, Arabic and Native American in bar ?


Overall the common theme in post-apoc setting is that almost all knowledge of the old world has been lost or greatly distorted**. So I would love to see what you are suggesting but not with WL2 list of religions/nations.

** Take FO4 for example (what can I say like to poke Gizmo chip on the topic :twisted: ), which is set some 200 years after the great war, this can be encountered through conversation with various minor characters e.g. a "baseball" enthusiast and self appointed expert, who absolutely have no idea what baseball was.. here is video of the conversation and all possible variation and companion banter.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » July 17th, 2017, 12:24 pm

It really doesn't matter if the lists are copied from WL2 or not. The basic ideas was (is) to give these previously flavor-only character creation options some gameplay weight and reactivity. That's all. They just happened to be nationality, religion and cigarette brand in WL2 so that was used as the example. And I just happened to like how they are grounded to reality; that the setting was not quite complete post-apoc fantasy; so I stuck with them.

By all means come with new stuff if you feel like it. The base principle is what really matters, anyway.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Remo » July 17th, 2017, 5:39 pm

undecaf wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 12:24 pm
The base principle is what really matters, anyway.
I completely agree. But still feel that the above was necessary to outline the challenges that (I believe) we would have, and hopefully delay the inevitable rant about dumbing down or something.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Drool » July 17th, 2017, 9:52 pm

undecaf wrote:
July 16th, 2017, 9:57 pm
One the pet peeves I had with WL2 was (a rather minor one but still) that my choices for nationality and religion, whilst being nice touches to allow such choices (and I hope they aren't going away), didn't affect anything in the game that I would've noticed.
Likely a holdover from 1 where you could pick your nationality (and it didn't do anything there either). It would be nice if it had an impact. I think the dialog system is part of why it doesn't: the whole party talks instead of the highlighted character.

I remember being pretty disappointed when my Native American sniper didn't get any special choices talking to Vulture's Cry.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » July 17th, 2017, 10:42 pm

Drool wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 9:52 pm
undecaf wrote:
July 16th, 2017, 9:57 pm
One the pet peeves I had with WL2 was (a rather minor one but still) that my choices for nationality and religion, whilst being nice touches to allow such choices (and I hope they aren't going away), didn't affect anything in the game that I would've noticed.
Likely a holdover from 1 where you could pick your nationality (and it didn't do anything there either). It would be nice if it had an impact. I think the dialog system is part of why it doesn't: the whole party talks instead of the highlighted character.

I remember being pretty disappointed when my Native American sniper didn't get any special choices talking to Vulture's Cry.
Yeah, I had thought about it possibly being in part dialog system related; and I had pretty much the same experience with Vulture's Cry.

Anyway, now's their chance to correct it. New dialog system and all.
Remo wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 5:39 pm

and hopefully delay the inevitable rant about dumbing down or something.
I don't really consider this a feature big enough to call its omission dumbing down (it kinda would be, but it's not that big of a deal, just a nice touch/good to have). And anyway, it can't be dumbed down much from where it is after WL2.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Remo » July 18th, 2017, 6:28 am

Drool wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 9:52 pm
I think the dialog system is part of why it doesn't: the whole party talks instead of the highlighted character.
Good point. All the above examples were of non-party RPGs where the protagonist handled the conversation (with the exceptions of companions sometimes being able to interject and special mechanics like PoE's scripted interactions where sometime you could select other characters for the check).

Since we can pick team with member of all nationalities, this would defeat the purpose of this mechanic.. and I am not sure how to address that.

EDIT: alternatively these stats can be used for party comparability mechanic mentioned above in games like JA2 or more recent XCOM2 expansion.
undecaf wrote:
July 17th, 2017, 10:42 pm
I don't really consider this a feature big enough to call its omission dumbing down (it kinda would be, but it's not that big of a deal, just a nice touch/good to have). And anyway, it can't be dumbed down much from where it is after WL2.
Call me a cynic/pessimist but in my experience someone always does. If they hadn't brought this holdover from WL1, someone would fold this cherry into grand argument about WL2 raping their childhoods game, and same will happen if now they dare change/remove in way that will seem less on the surface.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Stuurminator » July 18th, 2017, 11:12 am

Remo wrote:
July 18th, 2017, 6:28 am
Since we can pick team with member of all nationalities, this would defeat the purpose of this mechanic.. and I am not sure how to address that.
Does there need to be a purpose? Sure, it would be nice if it factored into the gameplay, but I think people would appreciate the chance to have their Native American ranger object to Vulture's Cry calling them a tourist, or their Christian ranger call out Mayweather on his hypocrisy, even if the NPCs just brush it off with one extra line. It would give me a nice feeling to see that acknowledged, even if each ethnicity/religion only was acknowledged once or twice a game and for no meaningful result.

Not all reactivity needs to be game-changing. Even things like Honeydew Lewis raising an eyebrow at an all-female party will get a smile out of players.

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