Of Combat and Character Systems

Discussion about the upcoming Wasteland 3!

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Grohal
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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Grohal » July 20th, 2018, 6:44 am

sear wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 5:36 am
The basic combat system in Wasteland 3 is similar to Wasteland 2, i.e. it's grid-based and cover-based, but we have been making a ton of little tweaks and additions from there. I hear that some of you feel combat in Wasteland 2 got a little stale over the course of the game, but things are looking to be a lot more dynamic this time around.
It is not about how it looks, it is more about how it plays. :mrgreen:
But glad you are working on some changes, maybe once you think you have the system to go with, I like to see InXile throwing a battlemap with some premade chars and weapons on us backers for feedback. No need for quests and other "deep" RPG-stuff for that aspect of the game.
Best not do this only 6 months pre-release, just saying. ;)
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sear
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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by sear » July 20th, 2018, 9:18 am

My use of "looks" there was obviously not referring to graphics alone. ;)

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Grohal
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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Grohal » July 20th, 2018, 1:38 pm

sear wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 9:18 am
My use of "looks" there was obviously not referring to graphics alone. ;)
Thanks for clarification. I am no native english speaker, so maybe sometimes I take things too literally. :mrgreen:
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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by bobthebear » July 22nd, 2018, 3:23 am

Glad to hear it man, appreciate you listening and letting us know.
Ain't nothing wrong with a bit of grid & cover-based combat! I just hope to be pushed to use it in more interesting ways this time around - in terms of the enemy AI, the way cover works, and the (hopefully) more unique skills that characters and enemies have.
Looking forward to it!

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Grizwald714 » August 5th, 2018, 12:26 am

One thing I hope that is improved is when using tall cover u can still see if front of u. For example standing at the corner of a building or behind a pillar most of the time in wasteland 2 u can’t shoot at an enemy in front of you because it says you lack line of sight even though you would think you should be able to see them.

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Highwayman667 » October 10th, 2018, 8:12 am

sear wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 5:36 am
The basic combat system in Wasteland 3 is similar to Wasteland 2, i.e. it's grid-based and cover-based, but we have been making a ton of little tweaks and additions from there. I hear that some of you feel combat in Wasteland 2 got a little stale over the course of the game, but things are looking to be a lot more dynamic this time around.
I think a good lesson to be learned would come from the Divinity series, in regards to using the environment to maximize results in combat. Maybe I can throw some TNT next to a wall and have the crumble fall over a raider... killing him :D !

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Gillsing » November 20th, 2018, 7:01 am

Lakstoties wrote:
August 2nd, 2017, 12:32 pm
You just feel robbed. I mean, what else is a player suppose to feel when an enemy gets practically two turns before you and drops two 200 HP characters with a SINGLE PISTOL shot each... Before you even get a chance to act?
200 HP sounds a bit low at first, but maybe not so bad when I think about it. I've seen two of those synth gunslingers in a random CotC encounter, and I didn't even know they were there until they started shooting from sniper distance. Managed to kill my best combat Ranger because taking almost all HP in one shot and then doing a lot of damage in the next shot was instant death. Meanwhile Rangers with less HP just went down on the first shot and started bleeding, waiting for Rose to resuscitate them with her Surgeon skill. A bit of a curiosity there, how more HP isn't always a good thing. My surviving Rangers still managed to take those synths out, by carefully using covers while advancing upon their positions. But I wasn't interested in saving the game with that Ranger dead.

Also saw one in Whittier, and I had that one expertly hacked by Rose, so that its cheesy weapon could be turned on the enemies. Unlike Dugan's robots, the synths seem quite easy to hack if you can get close enough without dying. Maybe that's some kind of balancing? I guess I'll know more when I've finished the game, as I'm bound to fight more of them.

Lakstoties wrote:
August 2nd, 2017, 3:50 pm
And since I'm right at it with my current playthrough... A prime example of magic numbers and other "difficulty" tweaks gone bad... The Culver City Brothel. Average Party level 27 (I've been taking my time to do every quest imaginable). Kevlar suits and Power Armor. Augs, .45's, Ion Beamers, and Brawlers. Ready to fight...?

Inside. People in religious wear with at least 325 HP, 8 Armor, Pistols that do at least 66 damage, Shotguns that do at least 100, and god knows how much armor penetration.
For this scenario I used my Thick-Skinned Ranger. The only one with Power Armor, because heavy armor should be backed up with the Thick-Skinned quirk and the Hardened perk, and preferably also Self Defense (Bladed Weapons 3) and Reinforced Plating (Weaponsmithing 8). You want to get your Armor value to six points higher than the Penetration value of your enemies' weapons. That makes your Ranger invulnerable, so only the psycho lobber nun is able to damage that Ranger. And this time she went down with the first swing of the mighty Plasma Hammer, taken from the cold, dead hands of a random CotC basher. The rest of the Rangers and their many followers mostly hid behind the wall.

To see the Penetration of an enemy's weapon you can hover with your mouse over their portrait in the initiative queue. Or look at the damage their weapon does, and then look up which weapon does that exact damage and see what Penetration that weapon has. God's Militia has mostly Penetration 5-6, though some nuns drop Uzis, and those are supposed to only have Penetration 3, which Power Armor alone would reduce to zero damage. But a Wasteland Hawk with Penetration 6 is still going to do 40% of its damage to an ordinary Ranger in a Power Armor, and the shotguns with Penetration 5 are going to do 30% to that same Ranger. But Armor 12 (Power Armor + Thick-Skinned + Hardened) just laughs as the bullets tickle and the guns make funny noises. I'm looking forward to Armor 15 laughing like that at Penetration 9 weapons. Armor 13 (Power Armor + Thick-Skinned + Hardened + Self Defense) already laughs at the Plasma Knives that synth cutters play around with. And also Proton Axes. Ho ho ho. No need for a machine gun. Just slice them open with the Shu Model Combat Knife and watch them slowly bleed to death.

Oh, and those Armor 6 Kevlar Suits? 40% damage from Uzis, 80% from shotguns, and 100% from a Wasteland Hawk. My Thick-Skinned Ranger keeps a Kevlar Suit as a backup armor for fights with random CotC groups, since those have a lot of pulse gunners, and that Ranger can bring up the total Armor value to 10. But the other Rangers would only suffer the Combat Speed penalty without gaining much protection, since pretty much all attacks at that point have Penetration 6 or higher, making the Kevlar Suit as protective as tissue paper. Still wearing Kevlar Vests though. Because they look cool, and some light armor is needed to activate the Tinkerer perk.

Lakstoties wrote:
August 2nd, 2017, 3:50 pm
All get a turn after the first shot from me before I get a get to act again.
It's not very important for this fight, but your Rangers must have had terrible Combat Initiative if all those pistol-packing priests and nuns with guns got to act first once combat started. I suppose it's too late for that to matter now, but if inXile keeps the same CLASSIC system in Wasteland 3, be aware that Combat Initiative is king of combat. It's not just how early someone gets to act, but also how often. I found this out by trying to make a scout character with high Speed for quickly running out of danger, and high Awareness to increase the range of vision. But that character turned out to be a monster on the battlefield, because high mobility and frequent combat turns means death to the enemies.

Anyhow, it seems to me that many of your issues stem from not knowing how the system works, which is understandable, since it's not explained in the manual. I guess inXile expects players to either don't worry their pretty little heads with such complicated stuff, or go online and research how things in the game actually work.

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Lakstoties » November 20th, 2018, 8:01 am

Gillsing wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 7:01 am
Anyhow, it seems to me that many of your issues stem from not knowing how the system works, which is understandable, since it's not explained in the manual. I guess inXile expects players to either don't worry their pretty little heads with such complicated stuff, or go online and research how things in the game actually work.
That is definitely a contributing factor. But... Your explanation of what it takes to handle that situation showcases the major issues with the system. The mechanics betray the theme and intent of the setting. Why am I having to completely min-max to take out what should be regular humans in regular clothing? When you have to wear upper tier armor to get what "normal humans" in the area have standing around, something isn't right.

It feels like the combat system workings were obscured intentionally because it seems to operate upon ridiculous principles after a certain point. If you are walking in the best gear and weaponry you can find, and plain clothed duders with small caliber machine pistols can kick your ass completely, then you start getting a little frustrated. When you systematically clear one area to get everything you can to prep for the next area and you run into issues like that... You're just left confused and annoyed. When I saw the stats on some of these people, I was honestly thinking I accidentally skipped past some side section of game that I needed to do for the XP and gear before getting to this point.

So the presentation of the system was not existent, but even once you present it... I'm just left thinking... "Really?"

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Gillsing » November 20th, 2018, 10:00 am

It's a computer game. It is wholly natural for it to "operate upon ridiculous principles". If it wasn't, chances are that our poor Rangers would be lying in pools of their own blood before saving the world. So rather than be confused and annoyed by how much body armor God's Militia can fit under their cloth, just accept and adapt. The Guardians in the first game were also ridiculously tough, and they were the original 'nuns with guns'.

I wouldn't be surprised if you skipped some stuff to reach Culver City Brothel at only level 27. My Rangers were around that level when they reached Los Angeles, and aside from stomping numerous random encounters, they did most of the Rodia and Angel Oracle stuff before going to that brothel. Not that it mattered, as the only thing that mattered for them was Armor 12 and the HP to survive a grenade, in case any had been lobbed.

What someone without a Thick-Skinned Ranger could have done would be to expend some precious RPG-7, or saturate the lobby with much more available Sabot Rockets (from Hollidays' replenishing store at a 50% discount - my team bought dozens when stocking up on 7.62 mm ammo before going to LA). Your team could have done that too, and as long as a few survive the initial assault inside the brothel, surely they could've responded with one Sabot Rocket each, for hundreds of points of damage that ignores Armor 6-8?

My demolitions Ranger also has the Improvised Explosives perk, and between Fletcher's Hideout and the Los Angeles Aqueduct there are more grenades than I might have time to throw. I have of course been very stingy with such rare resources, but I'm clearly going to have to step up my explosives game if I'm going to get rid of all that stuff before the game is over.

But sure, in the end I agree that everything in the game could've been handled better. It's far from ideal that weapons are tiered in vastly increasing damage classes, and that Rangers level up from 'nothing' to 'best in the wastes', and so on. But when the whole world is crazy, no one is crazy. My Rangers are getting away with ridiculous shit, and if reality called, it would be a real bummer for them. Even if they get shot so badly that they're bleeding to death they can be brought up in just a turn, and then be just fine with some patching up. Magical medic packs that take less time to use than it takes to swing a Plasma Hammer or fire a rifle!

As if the power to save and reload wasn't enough, all that magical healing makes it rather difficult to kill them. I chose to reload the Whittier ambush numerous times, but that was only to keep Jamie the Robot alive. (Eventually I realised that I could shoot him with the Lariat and unlike the Night Terror he wouldn't go hostile.) Even when my Rangers got shot down they weren't in any real danger. Everyone has a basic trauma kit, and enough stored skill points to instantly learn how to use it.

Original Wasteland had no magical healing kits. Though Rangers healed with time, so once they'd survived a fight they could wait until everyone was fully restored. Or pay loads of money to a doctor. My point is that if you look at all the ridiculous stuff that goes on in the games we play, it seems a bit arbitrary to react so strongly to a bunch of hostile NPCs who aren't even that magical. The worst part of that brothel is that it's so cramped, and I am forced by the gameplay mechanics to enter with my entire team and their followers, even though I would have wanted to just enter with my Thick-Skinned Ranger. Or... maybe not. Maybe the whole team needed to enter to gain XP? Yeah... I guess that had to be that way.

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Lakstoties » November 20th, 2018, 1:37 pm

Gillsing wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 10:00 am
I wouldn't be surprised if you skipped some stuff to reach Culver City Brothel at only level 27.
I thought I was thorough. I was literally scanning the desert looking for anything else before heading out and I systematically cleared a number of areas.
What someone without a Thick-Skinned Ranger could have done would be to expend some precious RPG-7, or saturate the lobby with much more available Sabot Rockets (from Hollidays' replenishing store at a 50% discount - my team bought dozens when stocking up on 7.62 mm ammo before going to LA).
I just look upon this as situation where the answer to the issue, highlights the problem behind the issue. If I'm having to use RPGs or Sabot Rockets on personnel because somehow the regular human looking enemies are that ridiculously tough, then I see it as a number of critical design failures have been allowed to propagate some serious systemic problems. Mechanically by itself, there isn't an issue with the power scaling. But within the context and theme of the game... it's a serious cognitive dissonance and mismatching of aesthetics and mechanics.

I'm just of the mentality that if I'm going to use rocketry and explosives to take out individuals... They had better be super mutants, robots, and/or powered armor duders. Yes, it is a computer game, but there still the suspension of disbelief you don't want to strain that intensely.

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Drool » November 20th, 2018, 2:31 pm

Part of the problem was the incredibly basic mechanics for armor and penetration. It was not a well designed system.
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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Gillsing » November 20th, 2018, 5:39 pm

I agree that it's not a well designed system, but...
Lakstoties wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 1:37 pm
I just look upon this as situation where the answer to the issue, highlights the problem behind the issue. If I'm having to use RPGs or Sabot Rockets on personnel because somehow the regular human looking enemies are that ridiculously tough, then I see it as a number of critical design failures have been allowed to propagate some serious systemic problems. Mechanically by itself, there isn't an issue with the power scaling. But within the context and theme of the game... it's a serious cognitive dissonance and mismatching of aesthetics and mechanics.

I'm just of the mentality that if I'm going to use rocketry and explosives to take out individuals... They had better be super mutants, robots, and/or powered armor duders. Yes, it is a computer game, but there still the suspension of disbelief you don't want to strain that intensely.
The Rangers in Ranger Citadel, even the ones outside, ought to have already highlighted this issue. They're super tough, with ten times the HP of the rookies, and unbelievably high Armor and ridiculously powerful weapons. Yet they don't look like super mutants or duders in power armor. Sure, you don't have to fight them, so maybe their epic numbers don't create any serious cognitive dissonance for that reason. But they're still there to be seen, from the very beginning. And I don't see that as more than the usual RPG power scaling. From your describing your stats and weapons and comparing them to those of the enemies I'm getting the feeling that it's a problem for you only because you're used to being on the more powerful side of the comparison. Suddenly some enemies are tougher than you expected, and it's someone else's fault. Who let those guys into your power fantasy?!

Shouldn't there be people out there who are better than your Rangers at some point though? And how would they be better other than by having more points, better weapons and better armor? (Spectrum Assault Vests under those habits, plus the Hardened perk all around!) But they can't be regular humans? Your Rangers have apparently quadrupled their points from their first level, but enemies aren't allowed to have more points than your Rangers unless they're super mutants or duders wearing power armor? Because if your Rangers aren't the best humans out there, it 'intensely strains your suspension of disbelief'?

Personally I think it seems completely within the context and theme of the game for some hotshots to be shown up by some tougher toughs. In the first Wasteland the Guardian Citadel was easily accessible early on, so I went there and got my Rangers killed. And every time I returned with better weapons and armor, they were still just as impossibly tough. So I stopped going there to test my mettle, and by the time my Rangers were powerful enough to go there, I had forgotten all about that place, and I had to get my Rangers stuck at Base Cochise before I remembered that there was another place they hadn't fully investigated. But I guess the Guardians had more style and authority than some equally fanatic guys and gals just raiding a brothel. How dare that criminal scum be better at fighting than your upstanding servants of justice? How very dare they?

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Re: Of Combat and Character Systems

Post by Kionashi » November 27th, 2018, 4:25 pm

sear wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 5:36 am
The basic combat system in Wasteland 3 is similar to Wasteland 2, i.e. it's grid-based and cover-based, but we have been making a ton of little tweaks and additions from there. I hear that some of you feel combat in Wasteland 2 got a little stale over the course of the game, but things are looking to be a lot more dynamic this time around.
Glad to read that, I hope you guys consider the suggestion on managing the difficulty like in Pillars of eternity instead of buffing the enemies, just add more enemies in higher difficulties so the game can have consistent damage output on weapons.

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