Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Gizmo » May 22nd, 2017, 10:31 pm

Drool wrote:
May 22nd, 2017, 10:17 pm
That's a strength the MSPE saving throw system had above others and above raw percentile.
It sounds interesting, but how is that above percentile?

—Oh... You mean (as you say) raw base rolls; as opposed to weighted percentile (where the PC's skill influences the outcome).

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Woolfe » May 23rd, 2017, 3:14 am

Gizmo wrote:
May 22nd, 2017, 10:31 pm
Drool wrote:
May 22nd, 2017, 10:17 pm
That's a strength the MSPE saving throw system had above others and above raw percentile.
It sounds interesting, but how is that above percentile?

—Oh... You mean (as you say) raw base rolls; as opposed to weighted percentile (where the PC's skill influences the outcome).
Percentile doesn't really matter.

So long as the system works, and can be worked out with a little bit of thinking.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by paultakeda » May 23rd, 2017, 8:39 am

Gizmo wrote:
May 22nd, 2017, 12:54 pm
There is a wonderful scene in Michael Crichton's 'The Great Train Robbery', where an expert lockpicker must run to an office door, copy a key, then escape before the guard returns back from the loo. In RPG terms this means that the PC has very little time to get it right, and it's no job for a novice; yet success is not assured. For example sake, we could have that the doors were all locked; even the expert might have to attempt the lock more than once; and could have problems (picks could break).

What's neat about this is that the job is not impossible for the novice; just very unlikely to get it done in the time allotted. In the other systems I've seen, this wouldn't even be an option.
As Drool mentions, the WL-MSPE saving throw system is a great example of how to implement this. With percentiles, you know success is impossible with 0% and success is guaranteed with 100%. Not a fan of percentiles if 0 and 100 are included. However, if it was a straight percentile, then even a novice had a 1% chance to succeed, unless you allow for decimals. WL-MSPE can be percentile based; you would just need to prepare the table that provides the percentages needed to make a saving throw. Personally, I'd rather just have the engine run 2d6 repeatedly and show the rolls in the text box, but sure, have a percentage to-hit table with maybe 5 decimal places (I wonder how many would be needed to account for 2d6 double rolls).

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Gizmo » May 23rd, 2017, 11:36 am

paultakeda wrote:
May 23rd, 2017, 8:39 am
Not a fan of percentiles if 0 and 100 are included.
Fallout made this impossible.
(But only for a few skills it seems; the minimum chance was always 5%; and the maximum chance was never more than 95%.)

Skill level could be above 100%, but this was used for applied penalties. For example, shooting an opponent's eye was done at the skill-level—minus 60%; but could be even higher if attempted with lower ambient light.

___

I prefer (weighted) percentile over anything else I've played. The base roll compasses any affecting minutia of the situation; stuff we don't know, don't technically need to know, and/or whatever we want to imagine. (Think: rusty lock that has been picked more than once over the decades...and is tough to open with the key.) The weight is any relevant modifiers, and the base skill of the character. This creates a range, a window for success, and that window is larger for the expert, and smaller for the novice. Personally, I prefer it that in some cases the window is non-existent for the novice; as in the case where the penalties outweigh the novice's base skill. (Think: Hardened Security Door, with a custom lock.)

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Drool » May 23rd, 2017, 10:11 pm

Gizmo wrote:
May 23rd, 2017, 11:36 am
The weight is any relevant modifiers, and the base skill of the character. This creates a range, a window for success, and that window is larger for the expert, and smaller for the novice.
...which can be done with any system. That's just penalties and bonuses.
Personally, I prefer it that in some cases the window is non-existent for the novice; as in the case where the penalties outweigh the novice's base skill. (Think: Hardened Security Door, with a custom lock.)
Sometimes, people get lucky.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Gizmo » May 24th, 2017, 12:40 am

Drool wrote:
May 23rd, 2017, 10:11 pm
...which can be done with any system. That's just penalties and bonuses.
Not with any system; in the later FO games by Bethesda, the PC can't even try to succeed, unless it's already guaranteed that they will.
Sometimes, people get lucky.
I have—personally. When I was about six years old, I reached up to our apartment building's pool-supply locker and tried to open the combination lock. This was done over my head with my back to the lock; because that's the only way I could reach it. I spun the dial at random several times, and pulled... and it opened. That's the only time it ever opened for me. That was pure luck, and it could be that the dial wasn't cleared when the pool-man locked it; and opened easily, or it could be that I actually just spun the dial to the correct position all three times, and it opened.

In RPG terms, for weighted percentile, both of these cases would be the complete novice rolling a very low number —like actually getting the 5%.

There is a big difference though with my example from the earlier post. A security lock would have additional features to make it almost un-pickable; perhaps entirely unpickable. Such a lock would require an expert to even enable a chance at success.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Drool » May 24th, 2017, 1:03 pm

Gizmo wrote:
May 24th, 2017, 12:40 am
Not with any system; in the later FO games by Bethesda, the PC can't even try to succeed, unless it's already guaranteed that they will.
Yes, with any system. They just chose not to. D6 D&D did it, Rollmaster did it, D6 Star Wars did it, GURPS did it, D20 D&D did it, whatever the hell 4th edition was did it, White Wolf's weird D10 dot system did it, Call of Cthulhu's system did it...

CRPGs still have RPG mechanics rolling around in the background. Generally, they're probably based either on a 3D6 saving throw system or a D100 percentile system. They can all give you modifiers, they just may not choose to do so. As for Fallout, that started in New Vegas where it was pass/fail and hard gated locks. Conversely, Kingdoms of Amalur also uses stupid minigames for lock picking and trap dispelling, but increased character skill just makes it easier/gives you autosuccess chances. But your level 1 character with no effective lockpick skill can try that Very Hard Master Locked chest.
There is a big difference though with my example from the earlier post. A security lock would have additional features to make it almost un-pickable; perhaps entirely unpickable. Such a lock would require an expert to even enable a chance at success.
First, if a lock is unpickable, then everyone should have no chance of picking the lock. That's what "unpickable" means.

Otherwise, there is no reason whatsoever that a complete novice can't luck into it. Picture the super safe from Ocean's Eleven where there's all those failsafes to foil safecrackers. It would be a Master level safe. Attempting to crack it would require exquisite skill. But if I walked up and randomly guessed the combination, the safe wouldn't refuse to open because I'm not a good enough safecracker. It's a one in a jillion chance, but I want to make that roll.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by paultakeda » May 24th, 2017, 3:05 pm

No thresholds. That should be an absolute rule. You always need to roll the dice, so no 0%, no 100%.

Iterative double rolls in WL-MSPE are, at its heart, a percentage system (with decimal places). The difference is running the RNG once or over and over again, the benefits of one of the other from a statistical/computational standpoint are beyond me. What isn't is that I would LOVE to see the text box window show the following during combat:

PAULTAKEDA takes aim with his AK-74 at the Scorpitron and fires off a controlled burst.
TO-HIT: 75
BASE + MOD: 40
ROLL 1: 3 + 3 = 46
ROLL 2: 5 + 5 = 10 > 56
ROLL 3: 4 + 4 = 8 + 56 = 64
ROLL 4: 6 + 6 = 12 + 64 = 76
PAULTAKEDA defies the odds and hits!

Now what are the actual odds of rolling 2d6 to get to 35 (75-40 means only having to roll to 35) where doubles that aren't snake-eyes (automatic fail) allow for a successive roll? A percentage can be assigned here, and you can have a flat table to run a single d100.000 on it.

Certainly, if no text is shown at all, then whatever, use a d100.000. But it sure would be nice if we had the saving throw roll back.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Gizmo » May 24th, 2017, 3:44 pm

Drool wrote:
May 24th, 2017, 1:03 pm
Kingdoms of Amalur also uses stupid minigames for lock picking and trap dispelling, but increased character skill just makes it easier/gives you autosuccess chances.
If it's not meant as a roleplaying game, then I'm not actually against mini-games. My contention with minigames, is that it's the player doing the task, and not the PC. In an RPG the PC might be an expert, and hamstrung by the player's inability to win at the mini-game, or vice versa... and the inept PC gets a free pass from the adept player. :evil:
Drool wrote:
May 24th, 2017, 1:03 pm
Generally, they're probably based either on a 3D6 saving throw system or a D100 percentile system.
There is no appreciable difference; as they are all rolling under (or over) a certain number... It's just that some have more numbers, and so the result is more granular. (3-18, 1-10, 1-100, ..., ...)

But when you are using less numbers, (D4 just for instance), your modifiers are a lot more restricted, and have greater (perhaps more than wanted) effect. It's like using a 5" chisel on stone rather than a ½" one.
There is a big difference though with my example from the earlier post. A security lock would have additional features to make it almost un-pickable; perhaps entirely unpickable. Such a lock would require an expert to even enable a chance at success.
First, if a lock is unpickable, then everyone should have no chance of picking the lock. That's what "unpickable" means.

Otherwise, there is no reason whatsoever that a complete novice can't luck into it.
Not so. Being an expert means understanding (and visualizing) how the lock works on the inside.
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Someone who does not understand this is wiggling the picks at random, and some locks can't be picked by that alone. If your character doesn't know how to pick such a lock, their chance might be less than 1%. Cheap locks in the hardware stores might only have three cylinders in them, and yeah, people can wiggle them open. In New Orleans there was a big problem with FEMA trailers having the exact same key open several trailers; because there were so many here, and so few cylinder positions. But that's very different from a custom lock built lock designed with anti-picking in mind. No lock is pick proof (meaning unopenable; with or without picks), but not everyone has an equal (or even an existent) chance at success with all locks. Even an expert can get stumped by something they don't understand ~yet.

*And with that... Consider a percentile based game where the lock-picker encounters a tough custom lock with a -45% modifier to pick; but his skill is only 40%. But then he returns to it much later, when his improved skills give him a 10% chance of success despite the penalty.

**Even if the game always raised the chance to a minimum of 1%, the PC could be there for hours trying to pick that lock; or get captured in half that time, never having opened it. In Fallout, you could jam the lock, and no longer be able to pick at it.

***This brings up another peeve: Unlimited time for lock picking. If the PC for all practical purposes has unlimited time, and reasonable resources, few if any locks should indefinitely keep them out or in. There is a wooden shack in New Vegas, out in the middle of nowhere. It has a locked door, and the PC very likely has a minigun and a few grenades. It shouldn't matter if they can't pick the lock. They should be able to enter the shack eventually. The real use of lock picking, is to be able to do it quickly, quietly, and reliably. IMO a high demolition skill should have been usable to open safes, and locked doors; but with far greater risk to being detected, and to potentially destroying the interior.

****It would have been cool in NV, if the PC could just cut the lock off a door or container, if it was a cheap one, and they had tools for it. :twisted:
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Zombra » May 27th, 2017, 12:05 am

Wasteland 2 lost a couple big fundamentals of the series: danger everywhere and healing over time.

I say bring back wandering encounters on ALL maps, and add heal-over-time back into the game. (Wasteland 2 had it and removed it. I complained, but it made sense because there was no danger in just standing around, because in turn there were no wandering encounters.)
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » May 27th, 2017, 12:23 am

Zombra wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 12:05 am
Wasteland 2 lost a couple big fundamentals of the series: danger everywhere and healing over time.

I say bring back wandering encounters on ALL maps, and add heal-over-time back into the game. (Wasteland 2 had it and removed it. I complained, but it made sense because there was no danger in just standing around, because in turn there were no wandering encounters.)
Very much agreed.

And since it's a winter setting, maybe even throw in a weather/resistance feature that makes "simply standing around" for prolonged periods of time a health hazard that emulates the cold making you stiff, lowering stats and skills and eventually starting to gradually eat HP (magnitude depending on characterbuild and choice of clothing).
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Woolfe » May 27th, 2017, 5:59 am

Zombra wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 12:05 am
Wasteland 2 lost a couple big fundamentals of the series: danger everywhere and healing over time.

I say bring back wandering encounters on ALL maps, and add heal-over-time back into the game. (Wasteland 2 had it and removed it. I complained, but it made sense because there was no danger in just standing around, because in turn there were no wandering encounters.)
Yes please.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Gizmo » May 27th, 2017, 9:52 am

It could be neat if the game tracked** a few NPC parties (virtually) wandering around, and did a skills check to see if one group spots the other first. If an enemy sees the Rangers first, that could setup an ambush. If the Ranger's spot them first, they could do the same, or avoid them, or confront them. They don't all have to be wandering enemies; and perhaps two or more of them could make noise when they encounter each other, and decide to fight. The rangers could then encounter an active battle; and pick sides, or just watch.

**As opposed to fixed encounters that either happen or don't when the rangers come near. The roaming encounters could chance upon the idle party.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Crosmando » May 27th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Zombra wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 12:05 am
Wasteland 2 lost a couple big fundamentals of the series: danger everywhere and healing over time.

I say bring back wandering encounters on ALL maps, and add heal-over-time back into the game. (Wasteland 2 had it and removed it. I complained, but it made sense because there was no danger in just standing around, because in turn there were no wandering encounters.)
HoT is still bad design though. And why not bring back some form of random encounters (within maps)?
undecaf wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 12:23 am
And since it's a winter setting, maybe even throw in a weather/resistance feature that makes "simply standing around" for prolonged periods of time a health hazard that emulates the cold making you stiff, lowering stats and skills and eventually starting to gradually eat HP (magnitude depending on characterbuild and choice of clothing).
Then ppl would just keep clicking to move rangers in a circle as they healed.

Using Wasteland 1 (which fundamentally is a completely different game to WL2) as an excuse to push casualization is pretty disingenuous.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Zombra » May 27th, 2017, 11:36 pm

Crosmando wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 2:27 pm
Using Wasteland 1 (which fundamentally is a completely different game to WL2) as an excuse to push casualization is pretty disingenuous.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » May 28th, 2017, 4:49 am

Crosmando wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 2:27 pm
undecaf wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 12:23 am
And since it's a winter setting, maybe even throw in a weather/resistance feature that makes "simply standing around" for prolonged periods of time a health hazard that emulates the cold making you stiff, lowering stats and skills and eventually starting to gradually eat HP (magnitude depending on characterbuild and choice of clothing).
Then ppl would just keep clicking to move rangers in a circle as they healed.
Let them. There are clear incentives not to do so, but if people still insist on going through all the trouble in order to exploit and/or break the system, let them.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Remo » May 29th, 2017, 2:00 am

Zombra wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 12:05 am
Wasteland 2 lost a couple big fundamentals of the series: danger everywhere and healing over time.

I say bring back wandering encounters on ALL maps, and add heal-over-time back into the game. (Wasteland 2 had it and removed it. I complained, but it made sense because there was no danger in just standing around, because in turn there were no wandering encounters.)
No. They should design tactically interesting combat encounters, with interesting terrain (e.g. using different weather to affect visibility, traps, height variations, objects as cover or hazards), and flavor elements (maybe dead bodies and loot specific to that encounter) that make it feel like its part of the world. Not some random generic spawn in the middle of the map that is designed to be a "quest hub", where it make no sense, offer no real challenge, and often can pose balance issues and make revisiting maps tedious.

Also what is good about W2 mechanic is that encounters can be avoided, thus allowing people to invest skill points to avoid the inevitable late game grind.

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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by undecaf » May 29th, 2017, 11:59 am

Remo wrote:
May 29th, 2017, 2:00 am
No. They should design tactically interesting combat encounters, with interesting terrain (e.g. using different weather to affect visibility, traps, height variations, objects as cover or hazards), and flavor elements (maybe dead bodies and loot specific to that encounter) that make it feel like its part of the world.
They absolutely should do that. But that's not really mutually exclusive to smaller random encounters. Not every battle needs to be a meticulously designed set piece.

These samller encounters might happen at overland map, or during hub-map, and possibly even during combat (that's some surprise if all of a sudden in the middle of a gunfight a pack of roaming monsters or crazies appears and flanks your opponent, giving you a nice edge... or perhaps they appear behind you...). The enemy or enemy group could be drawn randomly from a terrain specific pool at any time, spawned past the edge of the screen and set up to move towards where the player is at the time of spawning (so it might be a few "rats", a squad of synths or a lone stranded slicer dicer alike; the player might also well miss them at first if he is on the move to the opposite direction, and meet them later when coming back).

This kind of stuff lets the world feel more dynamic and alive and less "planned" or "set up" for you (and thus also feel less gamey).

As for the possible grind they pose... There could be a system where the enemies detect your level and try to keep their distance from you if below enough, unless you decidedly provoke and engage them (they might try to flee or they might fight to the bitter end depending on who/what they are, and fighting also might be more costly to you than beneficial as it often is with lower level enemy grind). It could even be done so that you stop gaining experience from fights that are sufficiently enough below your level, so unless you just want more puny loot, you might be better off not fighting them.

Or something along those lines and thereabouts.
Last edited by undecaf on May 29th, 2017, 1:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Zombra » May 29th, 2017, 12:42 pm

"Set piece fights only" is REALLY not appropriate for Wasteland. Even disregarding the first game, it's not appropriate for a sequel to Wasteland 2.
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Re: Your pet peeves & possible improvements for WL3

Post by Grohal » May 30th, 2017, 1:38 am

Zombra wrote:
May 29th, 2017, 12:42 pm
"Set piece fights only" is REALLY not appropriate for Wasteland. Even disregarding the first game, it's not appropriate for a sequel to Wasteland 2.
Zombra wrote:
May 27th, 2017, 12:05 am
Wasteland 2 lost a couple big fundamentals of the series: danger everywhere and healing over time.

I say bring back wandering encounters on ALL maps, and add heal-over-time back into the game. (Wasteland 2 had it and removed it. I complained, but it made sense because there was no danger in just standing around, because in turn there were no wandering encounters.)
Agreed - on all accounts. :)
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