Some thoughts on random encounters

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Godfather101
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Godfather101 » February 7th, 2018, 9:55 pm

I like pop culture references.
The more the better.
But its just a thing on the side, not THAT important for me, but i like them alot.

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Gizmo
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Gizmo » February 7th, 2018, 11:02 pm

Timeless ones perhaps; it's so easy to date the title with references to fads and careless anachronisms.

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Doni » February 8th, 2018, 4:27 pm

The good ol' random encounters discussion.. I feel these discussions are usually about adding replay value, because traditional random encounters are overweeningly disliked by everyone except the old guard, who look back fondly to wasteland1 in a time when all encounters in RPGs were random encounters.
Kattekwaad wrote:
January 26th, 2017, 2:26 pm
The 1 thing I had against WL2 was that if you didn't milk all of the XP out of a mission/area in the main story line, it wasn't easy to make up the difference with decent roaming/farming. This forced the obsessiveness in me to go lock-pick/hack/whatever little thing in a map just so I don't lose out on XP.
There are many ways to make encounters, each with its own pros and cons that cater to differently to various play styles. Trying to find the right formula and balance it is all part of a tangled web the designers weave. For example, if it was easy to make up the difference with decent roaming/farming, then it would make these tasks less rewarding and associated non-combat abilities less useful.
crimsoncorporation wrote:
January 26th, 2017, 4:02 pm
Wasteland 2 was overall a great experience, but it did have a few tedious elements.

Random encounters were one of those. Not because of the combat, because I do generally enjoy the combat. But the random encounters were just way too repetitive. After a while they are more of a chore than part of the enjoyment. (and skipping them is an option, but does cost experience)
Personally, I don't care for traditional random encounters at all, generally prefering event driven encounter in handcrafted location with emphasis on story. But I think wasteland2, random encounters fit the setting, made the world feel more populated/alive, could offer a nice break and wasn't too distracting (you could skip them easily, and with no exp cost, as there was enough exp to go around)

But I agree, they could get way too repetitive, because they weren't the focus but the good ol' way to pad game time cheaply.
crimsoncorporation wrote:
January 26th, 2017, 4:02 pm
An easy fix for this would be to let users easily create and share random encounters. It's really one of the most obvious choices for user generated content, and it would be quite easy to control parameters like difficulty, with a point system for example (for example if a Slicer Dicer is worth 10 points, then a RSM sniper is worth 3 or whatever).
Interesting. Assuming that modability is a priority for them.
crimsoncorporation wrote:
January 26th, 2017, 4:02 pm
Another thought: I'd like it if a successful random encounter would make one in the same area less likely for a while, and maybe some sort of management system around that. This could measure how secure the Desert Rangers keep certain areas, and could have reactive effects on the attitude of the people living there. [which might make more sense in Arizona, and less so in California & Colorado, where the Desert Rangers aren't established.]
I like this idea. Kind like a light strategic layer on top, with different encounters types for each area, decreasing the encounter rate slightly every time Desert Rangers achieve goals, and visual sense of progression. (although I am not sure everyone these sort of things in RPGs)

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Drool » February 9th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Zombra wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 4:50 pm
Note that a reference to earlier stuff within a series is not the same as a pop culture reference. In fact I expect a sequel to refer to previous installments. The Serpioid callback wasn't a pop culture reference; it was a Wasteland reference. Well and good.
Fair enough.

We can think of it a sliding scale between Wasteland ("Don't touch that jukebox, I wanna hear RATT again!") and Fallout 2 (damn near every 10 seconds).

That said, WL2 had a pop culture reference that literally made me laugh out loud: the description of the broken glass junk item was something to the effect of "You don't know why Annie Lennox found this so inspirational". Also, Matthias playing Culture Club for the Rangers was pretty good.
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Godfather101 » February 10th, 2018, 2:44 am

Drool wrote:
February 9th, 2018, 5:43 pm
That said, WL2 had a pop culture reference that literally made me laugh out loud: the description of the broken glass junk item was something to the effect of "You don't know why Annie Lennox found this so inspirational". Also, Matthias playing Culture Club for the Rangers was pretty good.
Yeah and thats the neat little stuff that i like a lot.
Perhaps it shouldn't force it in the face of the player (or you should be able to avoid it easily) but i like those little pop culture references.
Either a random encounter or a description.
I like those things.

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Gizmo » February 10th, 2018, 5:45 am

Drool wrote:
February 9th, 2018, 5:43 pm
That said, WL2 had a pop culture reference that literally made me laugh out loud: the description of the broken glass junk item was something to the effect of "You don't know why Annie Lennox found this so inspirational". Also, Matthias playing Culture Club for the Rangers was pretty good.
The second one would seem well in-keeping with an 80's world style; while the first one (a 90's tune*) can be seen as at least plausible for a Wasteland sequel, because WL1 was made in 1988, and the Annie Lennox song, Broken Glass was released just four years after it... As Wasteland 2 should have been.

*Who knows though... The song had a video based on an 80's movie; when was it really written?

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by HolyBanish » February 17th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Well i did read all of the threads over and i do think random encounters is important to WL3 since it allows you to grind for XP and get some levels that way and collect some weapons or random loot that drops from mobs in area but i personally think the random encounters should be revamped in some way, like.. if you are going to start a new game for example.. then the surrounding mobs should be like low level raiders or wild dogs so you can get some levels and perks tuned in for something big you had to tackle on, i just i don't like time based story lines like AG Center or Highpool since it forces you to compete and fail everything like lockpicking the pick at like level 1 or else, the player's freedom should be available to play away, and when you are ready, tackle the challenges on later levels if you can and i realize that i might be talking bit off-topic but i think the mid-game or late-game should be changed as well, maybe add more loot drops from any enemies you encounter, i just don't like getting one weapon or useless loot per random encounter fights if you had to farm for plasma axes or hammers from CotC mobs, and oh i think personally they should add in end game random encounters that will have the end game weaponry and armor like Minigun, Pseudo Chitin Armor and more from death elite squads in one area that is protected by Level Six Radiation walls.

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Grohal » February 18th, 2018, 1:24 am

HolyBanish wrote:
February 17th, 2018, 10:44 pm
Well i did read all of the threads over and i do think random encounters is important to WL3 since it allows you to grind for XP and get some levels that way and collect some weapons or random loot that drops from mobs in area but i personally think the random encounters should be revamped in some way, like.. if you are going to start a new game for example.. then the surrounding mobs should be like low level raiders or wild dogs so you can get some levels and perks tuned in for something big you had to tackle on, i just i don't like time based story lines like AG Center or Highpool since it forces you to compete and fail everything like lockpicking the pick at like level 1 or else, the player's freedom should be available to play away, and when you are ready, tackle the challenges on later levels if you can and i realize that i might be talking bit off-topic but i think the mid-game or late-game should be changed as well, maybe add more loot drops from any enemies you encounter, i just don't like getting one weapon or useless loot per random encounter fights if you had to farm for plasma axes or hammers from CotC mobs, and oh i think personally they should add in end game random encounters that will have the end game weaponry and armor like Minigun, Pseudo Chitin Armor and more from death elite squads in one area that is protected by Level Six Radiation walls.
All that - but no more radiation walls or the like. It is time to get back to the "go whereever you want and be ready to pay the price" like in Wasteland 1. Better make some locations you can enter but not proceed far into without gasmasks or likewise equipment.
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Doni » February 18th, 2018, 5:36 am

I love WL2 implementation of random encounters, for me it is a good and balanced implementation of what is generally a pointless padding that becomes increasingly annoying chore.
HolyBanish wrote:
February 17th, 2018, 10:44 pm
it allows you to grind for XP and get some levels that way and collect some weapons or random loot that drops from mobs in area but i personally think the random encounters should be revamped in some way, like.. if you are going to start a new game for example.. then the surrounding mobs should be like low level raiders or wild dogs so you can get some levels and perks tuned in for something big you had to tackle on,
I understand that some people find that XP grinding offers more freedom in how to approach the plot. But to me its boring and repetitive task, that lessens the effect of quest rewards (and non-combat skills and approaches in particular), and leads to balance issue that create the need for scaling. I feel that lends much better to arcadish whack'em.

As for equipment farming, I believe that WL2 encounters are purposefully designed todo the opposite, its bullet sink that push toward greater things than be the wasteland janitor, and gives MUCH more value to the outdoors skill. And as for mobs level scaling, particularly if you want free roaming, just no (see oblivion.)
Drool wrote:
February 9th, 2018, 5:43 pm
We can think of it a sliding scale between Wasteland ("Don't touch that jukebox, I wanna hear RATT again!") and Fallout 2 (damn near every 10 seconds).
Sure, but the whole reference is beside the point. What, where, and how much of it is something that you decide after the whole, system is fleshed out.

Btw how far along are they in development?

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Drool » February 18th, 2018, 2:08 pm

Grohal wrote:
February 18th, 2018, 1:24 am
All that - but no more radiation walls or the like. It is time to get back to the "go whereever you want and be ready to pay the price" like in Wasteland 1.
Agreed. Hollywood was especially bad with it being just a big square of radiation. And, the more I think about it, making the radiation suits a party-wide "slot" was a bad idea. That, combined with the radiation walls being near instant death turned radiation into a binary switch. If your suits were "good enough", you were immune; if they weren't, you were dead. There was no risk/reward in that system. Contrast with WL1:

In WL1, radiation was just radiation. There was a blob of it south of Darwin, but everywhere else it was generally localized around dumps or reactors or the like, not just random bands to be a gate. Furthermore, radiation suits were armor that each character had to wear. In the later game, it became a question of if you wanted the higher protection of better armor, or immunity to radiation. Also, you could risk walking through radiation if you wanted. It hurt you, and it prevented healing, but if you desperately wanted to get to Darwin without taking the long way, you could brave that southern field.

In one game, it was a hazard that had to be negotiated and felt like something that belonged in the world. In the other, it was a gamey mechanic that felt like a completely artificial hard gate to progress.
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Grohal » February 18th, 2018, 9:55 pm

Drool wrote:
February 18th, 2018, 2:08 pm
Grohal wrote:
February 18th, 2018, 1:24 am
All that - but no more radiation walls or the like. It is time to get back to the "go whereever you want and be ready to pay the price" like in Wasteland 1.
Agreed. Hollywood was especially bad with it being just a big square of radiation. And, the more I think about it, making the radiation suits a party-wide "slot" was a bad idea. That, combined with the radiation walls being near instant death turned radiation into a binary switch. If your suits were "good enough", you were immune; if they weren't, you were dead. There was no risk/reward in that system. Contrast with WL1:

In WL1, radiation was just radiation. There was a blob of it south of Darwin, but everywhere else it was generally localized around dumps or reactors or the like, not just random bands to be a gate. Furthermore, radiation suits were armor that each character had to wear. In the later game, it became a question of if you wanted the higher protection of better armor, or immunity to radiation. Also, you could risk walking through radiation if you wanted. It hurt you, and it prevented healing, but if you desperately wanted to get to Darwin without taking the long way, you could brave that southern field.

In one game, it was a hazard that had to be negotiated and felt like something that belonged in the world. In the other, it was a gamey mechanic that felt like a completely artificial hard gate to progress.
Agreed. Plus if we make radiation suits, gasmasks and other enviroment protection stuff not party wide but separate for each character this would give me another c&c like, do I go in NOW with just my three rangers protected against gas and hope they can handle whatever lurks there or do I come back later when more partymember have protection gear. Also the "a radiation suit stops no bullets, and a piece of metal stops no gas"-dilemma. I would really like to see more of such stuff. Could well be in sidequests/locations, but do some of that.
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Doni » February 19th, 2018, 12:16 am

Drool wrote:
February 18th, 2018, 2:08 pm
turned radiation into a binary switch.
Indeed, it was a plot device for progression purposes, which they represented in more natural way than some guard telling you to stay away. No matter how we call it, there will always be something like that to some extent, even if they purposefully structured it as "freeroam" (aren't they past the design stage already?)

As for WL1 radiation mechanics, these were discussed many times in the past. And I don't see what it adds to the topic of random encounters per se, it's a general mechanic to limit party members due to environmental hazards, an idea which can be expanded to slots for fluffy ears warmer and thermal underwear for some really COLD areas. (you could do both better, in way that is easier to balance and effect more than just early game)

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Grohal » February 19th, 2018, 2:22 am

What I would like to see return is also resting with surprise attacks, like in nearly all old-school-RPGs.
Also you could, beside turning a wheel for how long you want to rest, some easy to make checks like
"weapon maintance" which could either reverse wear and tear or if you don't want to bring equipment that wears down give you a buff for the first or first few encounters the next day, like reducing jam chance and a slightly better to hit, on the cost of a missed hour of sleep.
"how many guards (and who in which otder) for how long" which gives you the possibility to wake the others if attacked.
and so on...

I always found such encounters exciting and they add some deepth imo.

Especially in a cold enviroment a "fatigue" mechanic would make some sense, which requires regular rest.

Of course I know not everyone is a fan of this, but still... :D
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Woolfe » February 19th, 2018, 9:00 am

Grohal wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 2:22 am
What I would like to see return is also resting with surprise attacks, like in nearly all old-school-RPGs.
Also you could, beside turning a wheel for how long you want to rest, some easy to make checks like
"weapon maintance" which could either reverse wear and tear or if you don't want to bring equipment that wears down give you a buff for the first or first few encounters the next day, like reducing jam chance and a slightly better to hit, on the cost of a missed hour of sleep.
"how many guards (and who in which otder) for how long" which gives you the possibility to wake the others if attacked.
and so on...

I always found such encounters exciting and they add some deepth imo.

Especially in a cold enviroment a "fatigue" mechanic would make some sense, which requires regular rest.

Of course I know not everyone is a fan of this, but still... :D
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I always liked the idea that your skill in weapons should apply to things like weapon maintenance etc. So the higher the skill, the more likely you are to keep it running smoothly. Etc

Fatigue would be interesting, so long as it wasn't "overused" would provide just enough influence to affect you.

Would work well with negative traits if you had them as well. Insomnia and such....

Sigh...
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Gizmo » February 19th, 2018, 9:28 am

Woolfe wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 9:00 am
I always liked the idea that your skill in weapons should apply to things like weapon maintenance etc. So the higher the skill, the more likely you are to keep it running smoothly. Etc
Should work for enemies as well. In the Disciples series, enemies grow stronger with every combat they survive; but if attacked too soon after, they start the fight still injured from the last one. It would be nice if the wandering (or encamped) enemies did not just appear in the world to attack the player characters; and might start the encounters with abused, or newly acquired equipment.
Fatigue would be interesting, so long as it wasn't "overused" would provide just enough influence to affect you.
Shoes, and minimal camping equipment; both that can eventually wear out. Better shoes could protect the feet, and improve travel time; blankets and raincoats could lessen getting sick due to exposure; when traveling cross country.

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Woolfe » February 19th, 2018, 10:31 am

Gizmo wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 9:28 am
Woolfe wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 9:00 am
Fatigue would be interesting, so long as it wasn't "overused" would provide just enough influence to affect you.
Shoes, and minimal camping equipment; both that can eventually wear out. Better shoes could protect the feet, and improve travel time; blankets and raincoats could lessen getting sick due to exposure; when traveling cross country.
Indeed, however you are then verging on the "micro managing" side of things, versus amorphous skill that does it all for you.

There is a fine balance between the two extremes, and finding it is always a bit trial and error.

In a way you can assume the Exposure bit is covered by the Outdoorsman type skill. Ie if you have a higher skill, you just manage things like bankets and raincoats etc. Same again with weapon skills, you know to keep your weapons dry as best as possible etc.
Shoes and what not... You could probably safely ignore as too much management. Or you include them under the Outdoorsman type skill as well.
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by demeisen » February 19th, 2018, 3:06 pm

Grohal wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 2:22 am
What I would like to see return is also resting with surprise attacks, like in nearly all old-school-RPGs.

Of course I know not everyone is a fan of this, but still... :D
I'd be a fan of it. I liked mechanics which make for no guarantee of being able to totally recuperate when out in the field away from safety, so you have to manage your risk. It lends the game more of a "survival" feel.

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by HolyBanish » February 19th, 2018, 9:19 pm

well some good posts happened when i was gone so.. i did have the time to think it over.. well the random encounters are bit hard to put up but i think it should be based on Fallout 2 percents like you would normally get 25% chance to get mobs, or farmer or a merchant.. special encounters should be appearing in certain areas like behind the radiation wall like shrines or loot caches right? but add bit more wacky encounters like you encounter a UFO or like in Fallout 2, oh man Fallout 2's system was so harsh when you get Enclave troops that plasma melt you or start firing these pew pew lasers at you as well, that is bit hard to avoid normally you had to travel south into main town on the map cells

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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Grohal » February 20th, 2018, 5:09 am

demeisen wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 3:06 pm
Grohal wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 2:22 am
What I would like to see return is also resting with surprise attacks, like in nearly all old-school-RPGs.

Of course I know not everyone is a fan of this, but still... :D
I'd be a fan of it. I liked mechanics which make for no guarantee of being able to totally recuperate when out in the field away from safety, so you have to manage your risk. It lends the game more of a "survival" feel.
The survival aspect is exactly my thought behind this. If InXile is afraid to "force" such mechanics on the player, then maybe this could be handled in a "survival mode" like some of the newer Fallouts have.
A direct drink and food mechanic would be a bit to much for a group I think, though. But a bit of "party/resource management" in a post apocalyptic world would really be appreciated. Glad some others see it likewise. :D
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Re: Some thoughts on random encounters

Post by Woolfe » February 20th, 2018, 6:12 am

Grohal wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 5:09 am
demeisen wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 3:06 pm
Grohal wrote:
February 19th, 2018, 2:22 am
What I would like to see return is also resting with surprise attacks, like in nearly all old-school-RPGs.

Of course I know not everyone is a fan of this, but still... :D
I'd be a fan of it. I liked mechanics which make for no guarantee of being able to totally recuperate when out in the field away from safety, so you have to manage your risk. It lends the game more of a "survival" feel.
The survival aspect is exactly my thought behind this. If InXile is afraid to "force" such mechanics on the player, then maybe this could be handled in a "survival mode" like some of the newer Fallouts have.
A direct drink and food mechanic would be a bit to much for a group I think, though. But a bit of "party/resource management" in a post apocalyptic world would really be appreciated. Glad some others see it likewise. :D
Yeah the direct management is what I want to avoid as well, I don't want to be hunting around for rats on a stick or making mushroom soup.. but having more abstract party based elements like fatigue, supplies etc are definitely stuff I would like to see.

I remember a big discussion around it in WL2 regarding having skills like outdoorsman affecting the time period the party could go without replenishing supplies, or across a desert etc.
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