Wait. Is this a single-character game??

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Grohal
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Grohal » October 20th, 2016, 11:16 am

Yeah, I also haven't given up hope yet. I would definately PREFER if it would stay the wastelandish 4+3. There are enough other RPGs that deliver other sizes.
Isn't it nice to be at least a bit unique - and please don't let that be a better suitcase with tires that can be used as cover in firefights and be mounted with a BFG. That's nothing rememberable in long terms.
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by NickAragua » October 20th, 2016, 11:29 am

TL;DR: I'd prefer a 4+3 setup from a meta game viewpoint, but it's not a deal breaker for me if it's some other setup.

The implication from the base-building kickstarter post is that it's one player created guy plus NPCs. It's also possible that it'll be like Pillars of Eternity. In PoE, you could go through with an entirely player created party. Just go down to the bartender and drop a couple grand and presto, you get an extra player character. In fact, I used a secondary PC to re-visit some of the dungeons and pick locks that I couldn't pick before (I focused her entirely on lockpicking). You would miss out on a lot of interesting NPC dialogue, but you could do it. This is a pretty easy question to put to rest, but, it's possible that the design for this isn't finalized, so the devs are reluctant to talk about it.

For those who think there is no gameplay distinction between NPCs and PCs, there are actually a few.
1. First of all, NPCs all tend to have crappy stat and skill allocations. Int 5? Charisma higher than 1? Skill Points in Barter and three different kinds of weapons? Give me a break.
2. NPCs routinely go berserk and run off on their own in combat unless you have a 'leadership' guy nearby. So the difference between 1+6 and 4+3 is that with 4+3 you have 4 guys who are reliable and 3 guys who you treat as meat shields and/or mobile organic mine defusers because you can't rely on them to perform any critical task.
3. NPCs will occasionally switch teams on you. Granted, that's more of a story element than anything else but imagine walking into that final fight in WL2 with four guys like Lexicanum and Rose.

Personally, I'll be happy to play the game either way. More NPCs in party gives more opportunity for story moments, but more PCs means that you have less unreliable guys with crappy stats.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Jozape » October 20th, 2016, 12:07 pm

Amaror wrote:And, no, this isn't really a game that's designed to be replayed a lot.
We don't know that. Wasteland 3's design goals -- which may not be set in stone -- haven't been completely publicised and inXile has never claimed that the game won't be designed "to be replayed a lot". We don't even know if the game will be designed around a single character or not yet.
The main draw of it is it's story and that story is experienced pretty much completely after finishing it once.
The story may be the primary draw for some players, but for some players the most attractive draw of a role-playing game is exactly that: role-playing. I don't how Wasteland 2 really plays, but Wasteland allowed a tremendous amount of freedom in character creation, party formation, and world interaction and exploration with such characters and parties. This is true for many of Interplay's and by extension inXile's role-playing games: Fallout 1 and 2, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2*, Planescape: Torment, and presumably The Bard's Tales and the Icewind Dales, though I haven't played any of The Bard's Tales or Icewind Dale's for more than a few hours each to certainly judge them. The freedom offered in these games encourages players like me to replay them repeatedly as different characters. You may think that Planescape: Torment is rigid and there is not much to gain from it after reaching the end condition once, but playing an "evil" TNO is a very different experience in comparison to a "good" or "neutral" TNO. Obviously, you could -- and should -- play a more complicated character than one based on a overly simplistic good and evil scale if you want to get more from Planescape: Torment!

Based on what I've read about Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, I doubt that the opportunities for role-playing are not similar to Interplay's role-playing games. Some advertising for one of them -- I believe it was the Wasteland 2: Director's Cut -- even suggested that replayability could be high because the chances of any two players experiencing the same game were "zero". Mind yourself that's advertising. ;) I would be surprised if Wasteland 3 did not have similar goals though, and even if the game is designed around a single character, much of what I've said would still be applicable to Wasteland 3.

*Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 were admittedly developed primarily by BioWare and only secondarily by Black Isle, but Interplay still had a role in development and obviously publishing.
That's also not really an incentive to replay it multiple times when you experienced the most enjoyable parts of it allready. Sure you have some very enjoyable choices here and there, but they don't change all that much when replaying it.
That claim assumes too much of the player. Not every player experiences every bit of the game before reaching the end condition, intentionally or not. Content can be gated based on decisions made by the player and the story doesn't have to be rigid. Not every player is going to play or play a character with the goal of experiencing everything before the end condition. Many different characters or character combinations may be played. The end condition may not even be a goal for every player or player character.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Drool » October 20th, 2016, 12:22 pm

kilobug wrote:Baldur's Gate or PoE games all qualify as party-based game to me, because you've full control of the party during combat, can equip them freely, and handle their leveling.
Yeah, no. Throwing around equipment isn't what makes it a party-based game. If the primary character dies and the game ends, it's not a party-based game. It's a single character game because that's the only character that matters.

SSI Gold Box, Might and Magic 1-6, Bard's Tale 1-3, Wasteland 1 and 2... those are party-based games. The game ends when the party dies. Lone Protagonist games end when said protagonist dies, regardless of how much control you have over the other people.
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by kilobug » October 20th, 2016, 1:14 pm

Drool wrote:
kilobug wrote:Baldur's Gate or PoE games all qualify as party-based game to me, because you've full control of the party during combat, can equip them freely, and handle their leveling.
Yeah, no. Throwing around equipment isn't what makes it a party-based game. If the primary character dies and the game ends, it's not a party-based game. It's a single character game because that's the only character that matters.

SSI Gold Box, Might and Magic 1-6, Bard's Tale 1-3, Wasteland 1 and 2... those are party-based games. The game ends when the party dies. Lone Protagonist games end when said protagonist dies, regardless of how much control you have over the other people.
That's a very reductive way of seeing things, IMHO. Whatever the game ends or not when the "primary" character dies is a pretty much irrelevant detail in the grand scheme of things, focusing on that to qualify "party-based" or not is letting the tree hide the forest. And it's not even that simple, because not all games deal with death identically - some games don't allow death at all (like Shadowrun games, or fantasy games in which resurrection is easy), some will end if any important character dies, not just "primary" or "party". So you're mapping a mostly binary concept (party-based or not) into a non-binary (at least 4 known options: no real death, death of any character ends the game, death of "primary" ends the game, only death of whole party ends the game), remotely connected detail... just doesn't make sense.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Amaror » October 20th, 2016, 1:17 pm

Jozape wrote: snip
For the record I was talking about Wasteland 2 as a comparison to Wasteland 3. And as I know how Wasteland 2 turned out I can attend to that I don't think Wasteland 2 was designed to be replayed many times.
It has choices and a few different paths to take in specific quests, but they are all limited to specific quests. You might want to play a few quests differently but the majority of the rest of the game will play the same.
Sure you can do some major roleplaying with it and think about your characters motivation for each and every choice and dialogue option, but that's not what most people do.
Most people play rpgs for the story. And they will play through it once, maybe twice if it has some particular meaningfull choices, but that's it. Calling it "A game that is meant to be replayed many times" is stretching it faaar in my opinion.
I have personally only replayed 4 roleplaying games as far as I can remember. Witcher 2, because it has a massive meaningfull choice in the beginning causing you to play the second chapter of the game in an entirely new area. Witcher 3, because it's just a freaking amazing game. Dragon Age Origins, because it's gameplay in incredibly fun and because there are tons of little choices you can find by selecting very specific dialogue choices that I was finding new ones even after having played through the game twice before. And even Fable, just because it had a neat little moral choice system for the time and because it was a quick little romb that didn't take too much time.
Wasteland 2 just doesn't have that. It doesn't have entire areas that are locked behind certain choices, it's not as amazing as Witcher 3 (Though what is really), it doesn't have hidden dialogue choices since you can pretty much exhaust all dialogue choices in the first go and it's not a quick little romb to play through. It's freaking long.
It's still a very good game in my opinion, I wouldn't be on here discussing it if it were bad. But it's not a roleplaying game that encourages multiple playthroughs in my opinion. At least not for people that are not the most hardcore of roleplayers.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by dorkboy » October 20th, 2016, 2:11 pm

@Amaror
Sounds to me like your argument is missing a couple of aspects - such as exploration (noticing more details) and experimenting with character builds and game mechanics. It is quite possible that the people who primarily play RPGs for the story aren't as interested in those things, but that doesn't mean that there aren't people who are. ;)

On a side note; this seems woefully off-topic (though not uninteresting, if you ask me).
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Amaror » October 20th, 2016, 3:10 pm

dorkboy wrote:@Amaror
Sounds to me like your argument is missing a couple of aspects - such as exploration (noticing more details) and experimenting with character builds and game mechanics. It is quite possible that the people who primarily play RPGs for the story aren't as interested in those things, but that doesn't mean that there aren't people who are. ;)

On a side note; this seems woefully off-topic (though not uninteresting, if you ask me).
Hmm? Exploration is fun in Wasteland 2, but how do you think you "find more details" in new playthroughs? It's pretty obvious were you can and can't go and not exactly hard to just go everywhere, look at everything that was detected by detection and move on. I don't think it's all that easy in an isometric game to miss enough on your first playthrough to warrant an entire new 50+ hour run through the game just to find that one or two toasters you missed behind the tree because the tab key wouldn't highlight it that one time.

Though you are right it's pretty offtopic. This will be the last thing I say on it.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by dorkboy » October 20th, 2016, 3:38 pm

@Amaror
Noticing, not finding. I am not talking about merely vacuum cleaning up all the stuff that's obviously there, but noticing the details that aren't obvious. Of course, if you're expecting everything to be obvious then you're going to assume you've seen everything there is once you've seen the obvious things.
Just because that doesn't matter to you doesn't mean it's not something that can contribute to the replay value of a game for other people, and as such be a conscious part of the overall design process. Do you want a rich experience or do you want a tight experience, you know?

And I do think they intended for the branching (or "branching") choices to provide replay value*,
but that doesn't mean that the execution was necessarily 100%.
(*I'm fairly confident one could find developer interviews/statements to that effect, if one so desired..)
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Drool » October 20th, 2016, 3:46 pm

kilobug wrote:That's a very reductive way of seeing things, IMHO. Whatever the game ends or not when the "primary" character dies is a pretty much irrelevant detail in the grand scheme of things
That's like saying the number of doors a car has is an irrelevant detail in the grand scheme of if its a coupe or a sedan. It's pretty much the single most important thing for that definition.
So you're mapping a mostly binary concept (party-based or not) into a non-binary (at least 4 known options: no real death, death of any character ends the game, death of "primary" ends the game, only death of whole party ends the game), remotely connected detail... just doesn't make sense.
No, I'm mapping a binary concept to a binary definition. We're defining party-based. Not "party including" or "party friendly" or "massive horde game".
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by paultakeda » October 20th, 2016, 3:58 pm

I'm at a loss at kilobug's "reductive" reasoning. This is literally the defining aspect of party-based versus Chosen One RPGs. Wow.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Jozape » October 20th, 2016, 4:48 pm

Drool wrote:Yeah, no. Throwing around equipment isn't what makes it a party-based game. If the primary character dies and the game ends, it's not a party-based game. It's a single character game because that's the only character that matters.

SSI Gold Box, Might and Magic 1-6, Bard's Tale 1-3, Wasteland 1 and 2... those are party-based games. The game ends when the party dies.
You have to grant that some of those games do have significant party-based elements though. In Baldur's Gate the player could still use other party members to such a degree that they could activate dialogues with other NPCs.
kilobug wrote:That's a very reductive way of seeing things, IMHO. Whatever the game ends or not when the "primary" character dies is a pretty much irrelevant detail in the grand scheme of things, focusing on that to qualify "party-based" or not is letting the tree hide the forest. And it's not even that simple, because not all games deal with death identically - some games don't allow death at all (like Shadowrun games, or fantasy games in which resurrection is easy), some will end if any important character dies, not just "primary" or "party". So you're mapping a mostly binary concept (party-based or not) into a non-binary (at least 4 known options: no real death, death of any character ends the game, death of "primary" ends the game, only death of whole party ends the game), remotely connected detail... just doesn't make sense.
That's true, so I wouldn't consider death of a specific party character triggering an end game scenario a necessary condition for a game to be disqualified from being party-based. The only time a game end scenario is observed in Dragon Age: Origins, for example, is when the party dies; however, I don't consider it party-based because the Warden is the only player created character, is the only character with a playable origin, must be present in the party in all but a few specific scenarios, is the only character that can be controlled in dialogues in all but a few specific scenarios, etc.

That said, I would still consider it a sufficient condition because it places too much emphasis on one character for my tastes. Such focus has severe repercussions for how the game is played, especially in combat.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by paultakeda » October 20th, 2016, 7:08 pm

kilobug wrote:That's a very reductive way of seeing things, IMHO. Whatever the game ends or not when the "primary" character dies is a pretty much irrelevant detail in the grand scheme of things, focusing on that to qualify "party-based" or not is letting the tree hide the forest. And it's not even that simple, because not all games deal with death identically - some games don't allow death at all (like Shadowrun games, or fantasy games in which resurrection is easy), some will end if any important character dies, not just "primary" or "party". So you're mapping a mostly binary concept (party-based or not) into a non-binary (at least 4 known options: no real death, death of any character ends the game, death of "primary" ends the game, only death of whole party ends the game), remotely connected detail... just doesn't make sense.
That's true, so I wouldn't consider death of a specific party character triggering an end game scenario a necessary condition for a game to be disqualified from being party-based. The only time a game end scenario is observed in Dragon Age: Origins, for example, is when the party dies; however, I don't consider it party-based because the Warden is the only player created character, is the only character with a playable origin, must be present in the party in all but a few specific scenarios, is the only character that can be controlled in dialogues in all but a few specific scenarios, etc.

That said, I would still consider it a sufficient condition because it places too much emphasis on one character for my tastes. Such focus has severe repercussions for how the game is played, especially in combat.[/quote]

DA:O combat is very specific: no one dies unless the party wipes. If at least one party member is standing at the end of combat the other members just get up and brush the dust from their clothes. Therefore, death only occurs in a party wipe, and because it is a party wipe the Chosen One died and so the game ends. It therefore still meets the criteria as a Chosen One game versus a party-based game even if you ignore everything else.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by marceror » October 20th, 2016, 7:22 pm

Zombra wrote:
Grohal wrote:I cannot understand why something is changed that was part of the essence of Wasteland in part one and two: 4+3. I never saw any complains about this, at least nothing comes to my mind in that case.
Yeah, it's just baffling to me that they might make such a fundamental change to the format. I mean, I get it why there were drastic changes between Wasteland and Wasteland 2. I get it! I really do!
I'm not baffled by this at all. WL and WL2 were not designed as console games -- WL2 not initially, at least. WL3 is envisioned as a console game for day 1, and smaller parties with less "micromanagement" required to create several of party members is just par for the course.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Jozape » October 20th, 2016, 8:50 pm

paultakeda wrote:DA:O combat is very specific: no one dies unless the party wipes. If at least one party member is standing at the end of combat the other members just get up and brush the dust from their clothes. Therefore, death only occurs in a party wipe, and because it is a party wipe the Chosen One died and so the game ends. It therefore still meets the criteria as a Chosen One game versus a party-based game even if you ignore everything else.
Okay, technically the player "loses" when the party is unconscious. It seems silly to me to assume that only the Warden is killed in these scenarios, but whatever floats your boat.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Zombra » October 20th, 2016, 11:02 pm

I'm glad this thread is staying active, but guys ... is it really maniacally important to shut down anyone whose definition of "party-based" differs from your own? There is no dictionary definition or so-called "literal" interpretation. I wish it was an industry term with a clear and commonly accepted meaning, but ... it isn't.

To some, Baldur's Gate (for example) had a party of characters - which it did - meaning it's party-based. To others, there is only one real Player Character and the "party" are NPC spear carriers, meaning Baldur's Gate is not truly party-based. Both views have a point.

What's important is not defining the buzzword, as I doubt that all CRPG enthusiasts will ever agree on a common definition. What's important is getting past the buzzword to the real answer about Wasteland 3. How many fully created PCs will the game support? How many pregenerated CNPCs? And if multiple PCs will be supported, will one of them be "the special one", or will they be equally disposable (if PC #1 dies, can the game continue?) and equally able to participate (i.e. can they all initiate dialogue or will it just be Ranger Shepard doing all the talking)?
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by paultakeda » October 21st, 2016, 10:15 am

Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with a Chosen One RPG. I am a huge fan of Mass Effect, but its success further corrupted DA:O and caused a loss of diversity -- kinda like how Hollywood more than likely learned the wrong lesson from the success of Deadpool.

With that said, I see Wasteland as a series is party-based in that no one character is important. Any can die but the adventure continues as what is important is that the party, even if down to one ranger, survives to carry on.

I also fully support and would advocate that a Wasteland spinoff with a Chosen One plot be made as well as an FPS battle arena, because this world is fun (yeah, yeah, Borderlands already kinda took the FPS market for post-apocs but no, I want a Wasteland one).

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Volourn » October 21st, 2016, 11:50 am

It's this simply. I thought WL2 was brought back to 'revive the classics' and screw the 'masses' so why do that just to do away with the whole traditional WL set up. WL2's party set up works and should be stuck with. Now, we can debate what the number should be (I'd prefer 6+4) but 4+3 or 3+3 or whatever. But, the basic system of creating a party of rangers + npcs is the way it should be. If I wanted to play a FO game I'd play FO type game. This is WL3. This is one of the fundamental differences between the two.

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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by Drool » October 21st, 2016, 1:22 pm

paultakeda wrote:With that said, I see Wasteland as a series is party-based in that no one character is important. Any can die but the adventure continues as what is important is that the party, even if down to one ranger, survives to carry on.
Now we just need to bring back being able to roll up new characters mid game...
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Re: Wait. Is this a single-character game??

Post by marceror » October 21st, 2016, 2:47 pm

  • In Baldur's Gate you create the player character, and meet additional party members along the way.
  • In Planescape Torment you don't create your character at all, you simply determine which attribute to pump up and which of 3 classes to level up in.
  • In Icewind Dale 1 and 2 you create your party 100% from the ground up.
These details sort of define what these games are.

In Wasteland, you create the core of your party, and have a smaller number of followers join. If Wasteland 3 isn't that, than it isn't really Wasteland 3. It's perhaps what Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance is to the Baldur's Gate series. Maybe that's too dramatic of an analogy, but certainly we'd be losing a core, critical aspect of Wasteland, rendering the "3" of questionable applicability.

And this is exactly why I'm not backing WL3 yet. inXile is providing some nice ancillary details, but neglecting to spell out what the core mechanics of the game are planned to be. For me, I need to know the core stuff first and foremost, since without that I can't be certain what I'm being asked to drop my cash on. I'm certainly not dropping another thousand dollars if I can't even get a direct answer to basic questions.

"Party based"? That's too vague, at least for my needs.

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