Really Disappointed

Discussion about the upcoming Wasteland 3!

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Crosmando
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Really Disappointed

Post by Crosmando » December 6th, 2016, 11:00 am

I haven't been following the WL3 crowdfunding or anything to with Inxile or these forums as I've been busy. I only just got reminded of WL3 when browsing RPGCodex today, and I have to say as a fan of both WL, WL2 and Inxile as a company, I'm extremely disappointed with the decision to forego complete party creation and only have one PC. I guess the big shadow hanging over this series is whether it was going to be a Wasteland series or if it was going to be more like Fallout series had Bethsoft not got hold of the license, and I guess that decision has been decisively answered now. I'll still play the game of course, but I'm glad now I didn't pledge to the crowdfunding campaign (though I'll probably buy it at launch).

For me, creating my entire party of rangers at the start is what Wasteland is, I can only guess that we'll be left with a more story-driven approach where we are basically given pre-written companions in order to finish the game. If you guys want to make Van Buren that's fine I guess too, it's your game, but I think it's a betrayal of Wasteland and a step in the wrong direction because you're afraid of potential players who are frightened off by the prospect of creating an entire party at the beginning (if so I think you're completely underestimating your audience). I thought InXile was "one of us", that you loved old/traditional CRPGs with all their warts and all, and wouldn't be afraid to keep using traditional systems (like full party creation) even if it ticked off more "modern" gamers. I mean will we even be able to create our own companions like the Tavern in Pillars of Eternity?

I can only dread at what other design decisions are waiting for us in the end product (simplified character system etc), as well as what Bard's Tale 4 will turn out like, now that a precedent has been set.

EDIT: for grammar etc
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by sear » December 6th, 2016, 11:11 am

You may be misunderstanding our plans for Wasteland 3. Please see here: posting.php?mode=quote&f=50&p=177038
sear wrote:Hey guys, thanks for voicing your thoughts. However, you are reading too much into that interview. In Wasteland 3, we're still building on Wasteland 2's party-based system and giving you the ability to create and customize Rangers. The main difference is we're planning for you to start out as a single character, before forming a full party out of created characters and companions.
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paultakeda wrote:And if that single character dies but one or more of the party created later do not, does the game end?
You can still continue playing if that character dies.

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Crosmando » December 6th, 2016, 11:23 am

OH right, now I feel a bit stupid. When will that happen, at the first town or something? Can you create characters for all the empty slots at that stage?
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Zombra » December 6th, 2016, 12:34 pm

Don't feel stupid, Crosmando - all the press releases and interviews up to this point have implied a "Chosen One" type game. It took two months and pulling Godzilla's teeth with a pair of tweezers for them to state clearly (in that one forum post and nowhere else) that the player can create more than one character.

As for further details, we still have no idea. I keep waiting for someone to confirm a 4+3=7 character party ... and waiting ...
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Woolfe » December 6th, 2016, 7:29 pm

Hey Cros :-)

And yep several of us got a little antsi about it all :o
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Ranger1 » December 6th, 2016, 9:11 pm

Perhaps the thread title should be changed to "Really Relieved"

:P

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Kattekwaad » January 26th, 2017, 1:48 pm

Zombra wrote:Don't feel stupid, Crosmando - all the press releases and interviews up to this point have implied a "Chosen One" type game. It took two months and pulling Godzilla's teeth with a pair of tweezers for them to state clearly (in that one forum post and nowhere else) that the player can create more than one character.

As for further details, we still have no idea. I keep waiting for someone to confirm a 4+3=7 character party ... and waiting ...
OMG he said "Chosen One"

Now I need to dig out fallout 2 again...bad Zombra...bad!

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Remo » July 3rd, 2017, 3:49 am

Zombra wrote:
December 6th, 2016, 12:34 pm
Don't feel stupid, Crosmando - all the press releases and interviews up to this point have implied a "Chosen One" type game. It took two months and pulling Godzilla's teeth with a pair of tweezers for them to state clearly (in that one forum post and nowhere else) that the player can create more than one character.
I am not sure I understand the distinction.. In Pillars of Eternity you can create more than one character using the guild hall, but it is still very much a "Chosen One" type game. In fact in POE you can create all your party members whereas in WL2 you can do so only for your core team.. Come to think of it the only difference between the two types is the fail state:
* Its game over if your Hero dies vs
* Its game over if your Four Heroes die

Anyway, Given Wl2 ending and WL3 setting, I like the idea that we start with a single Ranger.

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Zombra » July 3rd, 2017, 1:09 pm

PoE is a Chosen One game. Player-created spear carriers notwithstanding, PC #1 is the only character that matters.

The Wasteland games to date, and all proper party RPGs, are built on an "ensemble cast" structure. The difference may seem unimportant to you, but ask any writer or director and you'll get a dissertation on the crucial effect this decision has on the fundamental nature of a story. For Wasteland 3 to be a Chosen One game would be a bigger departure for the series than if they set it in outer space.
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by sear » July 3rd, 2017, 1:47 pm

There's story reasons for why the game starts with a smaller party. However, we're not currently planning a "chosen one" story, and the game's plot doesn't revolve around a single player character.

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Zombra » July 3rd, 2017, 3:12 pm

As long as PC #1 can die, he isn't automatically the "spokesman", and the game doesn't assume anything else about any one PC doing things instead of someone else, I'm down. It's fine with me to start off with just one and then meet the rest of the ensemble later.

In my dream world there might even be four different opening vignettes for the four different PCs: one survivor makes it to Colorado, two more are already there and break out of jail together, and a fourth is fighting giant mutant storks until one grabs him and drops him in the starter hub, then they all meet up.
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Remo » July 3rd, 2017, 6:33 pm

Zombra wrote:
July 3rd, 2017, 1:09 pm
PoE is a Chosen One game. Player-created spear carriers notwithstanding, PC #1 is the only character that matters.
It really depends on your definition of 'Chosen One game'. Your comment implied that it has something todo with the amount of Player Characters that you can control/create, however, there many games in which you control one PC which are not meanwhile PoE is such a game because in its narrtive you become one. No?
Zombra wrote:
July 3rd, 2017, 1:09 pm
The Wasteland games to date, and all proper party RPGs, are built on an "ensemble cast" structure. The difference may seem unimportant to you, but ask any writer or director and you'll get a dissertation on the crucial effect this decision has on the fundamental nature of a story.
From player perspective, these seem awfully the same.. Instead of having the main character as the focus of the story you have the team, said Character/Team is always the center of all the situations, and nothing can happen without them..

* In fallout 1, your player just happens to be caught up in the game's events, and ended up "saving the world"
* In Wasteland 2, you start with a team of recruits who just happened to be caught in the game's events, and ended up "saving the world"

Btw in Fallout 2, you play as the Chosen one, although as far as the narrative goes no one is falling on their sword for you because of that, instead you'd be treated as delusional, insane, or just as a plain backwards tribal if you even suggest that you are.. And the outcome of the game isn't predetermined but depends on your choice.

Anyway point is that many of the nuances may fall short of us mare players. Personally, I’m open to most plot lines, assuming they’re handled in a compelling way. But I prefer how fallout and other games handle party dynamics and banter, WL2 Team/NPC often seem dull and lack character.

Edit:
Zombra wrote:
July 3rd, 2017, 3:12 pm
As long as PC #1 can die, he isn't automatically the "spokesman", and the game doesn't assume anything else about any one PC doing things instead of someone else, I'm down.
I wonder how they will handle that. We wont have Vargas to lead us and the design doc says that we are going to take command of the new base, but we are going to be away on missions.. so who will be in command of the rangers in Colorado?

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Zombra » July 3rd, 2017, 9:46 pm

Remo, you're mistaking the story role of a "Chosen One" with the game design implications of having a single PC who is the only one who matters. It's not about whether the natives worship you or whether you're destined to slay the dragon, it's about a lone protagonist + companions vs. a group of characters who are equally important. When we talk about a "chosen one game" here we're talking about the game structure, not story themes.

Search "chosen" on the forum and I bet you'll get a thousand hits explaining and debating the difference, I hope I don't have to deconstruct it all over again.
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Drool » July 3rd, 2017, 10:27 pm

Zombra wrote:
July 3rd, 2017, 9:46 pm
Remo, you're mistaking the story role of a "Chosen One" with the game design implications of having a single PC who is the only one who matters. It's not about whether the natives worship you or whether you're destined to slay the dragon, it's about a lone protagonist + companions vs. a group of characters who are equally important.
Briefly, when many of us talk about a "chosen one" game, it all boils down to one question:

What happens when that character dies?

If the game ends, it's a "chosen one" game. That's your Fallouts and Baldur's Gates and so on.

If the game keeps right on going because it doesn't matter, it's a "party-based" game. That's your Wastelands and Bard's Tales and SSI games.

It's worth noting that "chosen one game" isn't (necessarily) used as a pejorative. It's just a convenient phrase to use in contrast to an old school party based game. Like Zombra said, there was a huge row about this in the past and we used these terms to draw a line between the "party" of PoE or Fallout and the party of Wasteland.
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Remo » July 4th, 2017, 3:35 am

So essentially what I said before, it's game over if your protagonist dies vs it's game over if your team dies. So basically anyone can choose to play this game as a "chosen one game" by designating his favorite character as his primary and electing not let him/her die..

Sure there are more differences but it they seem to be exaggerated a bit as part of the whole the real Fallout 3 vs true Wasteland crowds. And btw the term "chosen one" reminds me of a certain fantasy trope --Where you are predestined to save the world.. Coming from humble beginning you raise to be the best in everything, kill the bad guy, save the girl and ride to the sun set-- so it does seem to be used as a pejorative in this context.

Anyway as I don't care much about the party composition (4PC+3NPC, 1PC+5NPC or whatever) But I want them to make me care about the individuals in the party and through out the game make them feel more than cardboard cutouts with pretty photos.

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Zombra » July 4th, 2017, 10:05 am

There's nothing wrong with liking Bioware games, but that kind of treatment is inappropriate here.
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Remo » July 4th, 2017, 11:34 am

Bioware games? Given its recent games, I assume this yet another pejorative to assert your vague preference :roll: I was actually talking about most classic cRPGs, these had half less than the amount of companions that were packed into WL2 but had more character.. Meanwhile I felt that WL2 companions lacked in dialogue and reactivity, and overall failed to instill any sense of attachment or emotion with me, they were their skill sets.

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Zombra » July 4th, 2017, 11:48 am

Not intended as a perjorative, just looking at obvious examples of games that focus on "deep, carable" prewritten party members. Bioware does that stuff really well, but not all RPGs should do that and Wasteland is one series of RPGs that should not do that. If you want to give examples of "most RPGs" that also do that, go for it - but they are going to fall into the single-protagonist "chosen one"* model, not the true party-based "ensemble" model.

It's OK if you don't like party-based games, but it's not OK if you try to turn a party-based series into a chosen one series.

*the structural model, not (necessarily) the story trope.
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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Remo » July 4th, 2017, 5:50 pm

You seem to be jumping to extremes. Explain how focusing more on quality rather than quantity of the available NPC, offer a little more background and interaction through out the game, will magically turn this from multiple PC series into a single PC series.

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Re: Really Disappointed

Post by Zombra » July 4th, 2017, 6:58 pm

It won't, and I have no problem with companions being slightly more fleshed out. I do have a problem with the idea of the series shifting focus from player-created PCs with funny sidekicks to deep stories about fascinating companions and oh yeah your PCs are there too. If that's not what you're suggesting, then we're cool. Since you're new to the idea that chosen one games and ensemble games are different, I can't tell where your target is between the extremes, but RPGs can definitely go too far in making companions interesting.
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