"A Dumbening Shall Come"

Discussion about the upcoming Wasteland 3!

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kilobug
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by kilobug » January 26th, 2017, 6:26 am

undecaf wrote:It's fun to have lot of skills, even if there was some overlap between a few (like medic/surgeon or mech.repair/toaster repair).
What could be done, both from a "realism" pov and having more interesting skill system is to get some link between related skills, which could be (some of which has already been proposed elsewhere) stuff like :

- having related skill give a small bonus, so if you have "safecracking", you'll get a small bonus to "lock picking" checks ;

- having a default system, if you don't have "safecracking" but have "lock picking", you can attempt a "safecracking" task with half your "lock picking" skill ;

- point spending synergy : if you've "lock picking" above your current "safecracking" level, buying "safecracking" levels costs slightly less.

Sure that doesn't go into "streamlining", but that can make a rich skill system even more interesting IMHO.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Grohal » January 26th, 2017, 7:57 am

kilobug wrote:
undecaf wrote:It's fun to have lot of skills, even if there was some overlap between a few (like medic/surgeon or mech.repair/toaster repair).
What could be done, both from a "realism" pov and having more interesting skill system is to get some link between related skills, which could be (some of which has already been proposed elsewhere) stuff like :

- having related skill give a small bonus, so if you have "safecracking", you'll get a small bonus to "lock picking" checks ;

- having a default system, if you don't have "safecracking" but have "lock picking", you can attempt a "safecracking" task with half your "lock picking" skill ;

- point spending synergy : if you've "lock picking" above your current "safecracking" level, buying "safecracking" levels costs slightly less.

Sure that doesn't go into "streamlining", but that can make a rich skill system even more interesting IMHO.
I can live when the "higher" skill like safecracking to lockpicking or surgeon to field medic/first aid gives a small bonus, as this makes some sense. But not vice versa, everyone can do some lock picking with some wire and enough patience, if the lock is primitive enough. But safecracking is another thing, taking way more fine motor skills, fine hearing and so on. And i wouldn't let a first aider perform brain surgery on me.

On the other hand: it is better to have "to much" interacting of skills with each other and attributes than none at all. :mrgreen:
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Lix » January 31st, 2017, 6:14 pm

I posted the full interview in the external news thread, but this part is pertinent here:
How important do you think visual fidelity actually is? It seems to be a big focus for your next three games?

Fargo: [There is] a new generation of people, that’s why we need to improve the visuals. They aren’t going to be all nostalgic about it, they aren’t going to give us a pass; we better show some better stuff because all they are going to know is Witcher or Dark Souls. They will allow a certain amount of variation – visually speaking – but the closer the gap the more we are likely to get the audience to want these things. We want to sell the most units, and why do we want to sell more units? So that we can make more products! This was one thing that happened with our crowd early on, where we asked what was important and they said, “Well we want a lot of attributes, conversations and depth, etc,” and they’ll put visuals at the bottom. But as soon as we ship the game, the first thing they complain about is any visual problems, and the graphics. It’s always there, even if people won’t really admit it.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » January 31st, 2017, 8:25 pm

Ugh, well quoted Lix. It's nice being talked about like "we" are one person with a single voice. :roll: Time to update my sig.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Grampybone » February 1st, 2017, 12:36 am

sear wrote:This kind of brings to mind interesting higher-level topics about RPGs and character systems in general.

Do you prefer games with more character stats, skills, attributes, etc. even knowing that some of those may be less comparatively valuable, or redundant with each other? Or do you like it when games have perhaps a smaller set of those, but those stats, skills and so on are more unique and more consistently useful?
Without context, it's hard to answer, but I'll try by using examples.

I didn't find Wasteland 2 utilised all the skills and abilities to their full potential, felt more of a tease, due to not having the option to play main story in more ways than one, namey combat always being predominant if not obligatory.

So my 2 cents in short, if you can make Fallout 1 and 2 complex system, then YES, million times yes! But if Kickstarter funding doesn't allow it, then please don't tease us with possibilities, rather it's simple and fully utilised with gameplay.

Thank you for your attention and for making my favourite games a reality again.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Lix » February 1st, 2017, 8:43 am

Bonus:

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That interview clearly wasn't aimed at their core audience... or maybe it was?

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by sear » February 1st, 2017, 9:35 am

Lix wrote:I posted the full interview in the external news thread, but this part is pertinent here:
What Brian is talking about specifically is our experience in Wasteland 2, where graphics and polish were sacrificed to other elements to what was perhaps too great an extent. We had good intentions with that, but when the game released, one of the first and most predominant critiques of it was that the graphics weren't as good as they could have been, and that came from both press, new players, and backers alike. This also likely did affect sales, and I can tell you that our sales figures absolutely do affect the polish and detail of our games.

Are we suddenly going to make games that are mechanically shallow? Of course not. Brian isn't saying we're going to flip that scale and put gameplay on the bottom of our list. But we do want to make a better game that is more visually refined, and has more tightly and smartly built systems and scope. With the Director's Cut we made some of those strides - we improved the graphics and added gameplay depth. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive goals.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » February 1st, 2017, 9:59 am

I don't disagree sear, but when Brian is directly talking about setting priorities (whether to "put visuals at the bottom" or not), it's hard not to think in those terms, and hard not to think that he is thinking in those terms.

Good graphics? Great! All else equal, nobody hates good graphics. But it stings to be called a hypocrite* when some of us really do care about gameplay a thousand times more than visuals. We never complained about W2's graphics, and it certainly wasn't ever the "first thing" we commented on.

*Not in so many words, but Brian is calling the core fans hypocrites here. I don't mind the occasional ugly truth bomb, but ... it's not true.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Dork Mage » February 1st, 2017, 4:42 pm

The most comments concerning WL2 for the initial release was for fixing weapon (im)balance and scripting bugs. If graphic improvements came along for the ride (Unity engine upgrade) then great. But comments were NOT for improving graphics, they were for game play improvements.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Woolfe » February 1st, 2017, 5:38 pm

I liked the Graphics, and yeah people complained, but so what. Did it actually hurt sales?

The game looked good. It wasn't brilliant, but if people are expecting AAA graphics in that sort of game, then they are fooling themselves.

Don't fuck with Wasteland because of it.

Do something NEW, if you want to go down that path.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Drool » February 1st, 2017, 11:22 pm

Only complaints I remember were generally about the potato-faced models for our Rangers, or for how descriptions didn't match portraits/portraits being reused all over the place. Beyond that, I don't really remember any visual complaints.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by SagaDC » February 2nd, 2017, 12:05 am

Drool wrote:Only complaints I remember were generally about the potato-faced models for our Rangers, or for how descriptions didn't match portraits/portraits being reused all over the place. Beyond that, I don't really remember any visual complaints.
Don't forget all those folks who kept complaining that the Arizona desert landscape was "too brown". ;)

But seriously, I do actually remember at least a few folks who were heavily nitpicking at graphical designs. Especially for some of the early Alpha footage.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gabriel77Dan » February 6th, 2017, 12:37 pm

The problem is never graphics for me. It is art design. You can have an absolutely gorgeous game when it comes to graphical impressiveness but if nothing in it stands out then it just looks boring. I can go outside right now and walk through the woods. It looks nice and all as it is real life but it is just trees and trees and then more fucking trees.

Deus Ex is ugly as sin when it comes to graphics but god damn if it isn't beautiful when it comes to its art design.
Fargo and company can sink as much money they want to into making it as graphically impressive as they can but even if that sinks its hooks into a more casual newer audience that are graphic obsessed it doesn't mean that the game will have longevity. Wasteland 2 didn't, not for me at least. There were enough problems in the other aspects that the boring art design and generic believable colour palette makes me uninterested in it. If it at least looked good then I might put up with other things cause it'd have some sort of charm to it.

And I get it, InXile is a company and it is out to make money so that they can earn a living. I get that. So go ahead and make a living. But if it is necessary for you to improve your graphics so you can sell more products so you can afford to fund more games where you have to "improve" your gameplay to sell more products so you can fund more games where you have to improve your... Well, you get the point... If that is necessary for you to do InXile? Then you're going to suck the soul out of the IP's you hold and be left with really pretty hollow shells.

I bet you'd save a bunch of money if you went for a simplistic stylized approach like TellTale's TWD (I just mean in concept, not that Wasteland should turn into a comic book art design). It too isn't graphically impressive. It just has fucking sweet art design.

I just keep being reminded of way back when Herve canceled Van Buren and wanted to focus on FBOS cause consoles is where the money was at. Whatever. If money is such a damn issue then maybe ya'll shouldn't sink so fucking much of it into catering to new gamers who are graphic snobs.

[edit]

I'm being a bit extreme here of course, the end is not nigh. I'm just worried that this kind of shift of focus is going to be a slippery slope. That with each game more and more compromises will have to be made all the while assuring us that it won't fuck with what they've promised us.

So let's just say I'm skeptical about all of this.

Oh and does anyone know if InXile is actually going to do anything with Van Buren?

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Woolfe » February 6th, 2017, 3:42 pm

Gabriel77Dan wrote: I'm being a bit extreme here of course, the end is not nigh. I'm just worried that this kind of shift of focus is going to be a slippery slope. That with each game more and more compromises will have to be made all the while assuring us that it won't fuck with what they've promised us.
This... this is my concern as well.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Luckmann » February 7th, 2017, 4:13 am

Grohal wrote:
SagaDC wrote:I will admit to being disappointed that there were several "micromanagement" elements that got cut out of Wasteland 2. The three-part armor system, different ammo types, the various non-combat skills like salvaging and bullet swaging. All of those were things that I thought could have added more depth to the game.

To be honest, I was kind of hoping that stuff like that would be making it into Wasteland 3.
I found a video from the 3 part armor when in was still in WL2, this and also the different ammo types were sorely missed by me too. Guess you don't need AP bullets if you have one weapon type specially for hard armored targets (energy) or RPG and grenades which just seem to ignore armor.
I already wrote in another threat that the combat was already quite a labor, because most battles were pure boredom and we need MORE possibilites not less to pull of the victory. I really lack imagination here to see how this could be dumbed down further...
So I hope they just want to make combat faster, but also more challenging with more skills that make a difference between trained ranger and riff-raff gang members with superior numbers.
The worst thing is that if the trailer is any indication, you can forget about any meaningful combat positioning, too. It was already hard as balls to actually pull of any kind of meaningful positioning in WL2, because combat started as soon as the enemy came into range, and there was no way to give simultaneous orders to your squad, because there was no way to pause. If you wanted to position, you basically had to try to twitch-game movement, and forget about opening fire at the same time.

WL2 combat was pretty much the opposite of complex, and reducing it even further for mass appeal and "streamlining" is just.. sad. It just seems like inXile is going in the Bioware direction, not the direction people originally funded their games wanted them to go. While that is their choice, it's pretty mangy to do so while still trying to sell yourself off as making classic CRPG:s and they can't expect their original supporters to stick around and support it.

But what do I know? I'm just a grognard, I guess.
Gabriel77Dan wrote:[...]

[...] That with each game more and more compromises will have to be made all the while assuring us that it won't fuck with what they've promised us.

[...]
Which, of course, it always does. Any such assurances are simply lies, and transparent ones at that. I've never seen a developer say "this won't affect development" or "this is not changing our commitment to <insert issue here>" without it turning out that they're lying through their teeth.
“The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.”

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Grohal » February 7th, 2017, 4:31 am

Well, there is a simple solution, Luckman.
Once I start no longer enjoying the games InXile do, I stop buying (and of course backing) them - (Bioware lost me with Dragon Age 2 and the Mass Effect series. And I don't think they will ever win me back with what they do. It is just not for me any longer).

I enjoyed Wastleand 2, mostly because of the setting, despite all its flaws. And yes it has many.
I enjoy the Beta of Torment and think this will be a game I will enjoy too.
Can't say much about Bards Tale IV, because this seems to be done in absolute silence.
For Wasteland 3 InXile just released the vision document, I wouldn't call this case lost already. Mosts things sound good.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gabriel77Dan » February 7th, 2017, 5:30 am

Grohal wrote: For Wasteland 3 InXile just released the vision document, I wouldn't call this case lost already. Mosts things sound good.
They did? Where?

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Grohal » February 7th, 2017, 6:00 am

Gabriel77Dan wrote:
Grohal wrote: For Wasteland 3 InXile just released the vision document, I wouldn't call this case lost already. Mosts things sound good.
They did? Where?
viewtopic.php?f=22&p=180024#p180024
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gillsing » February 9th, 2017, 6:04 pm

sear wrote:Do you prefer games with more character stats, skills, attributes, etc. even knowing that some of those may be less comparatively valuable, or redundant with each other? Or do you like it when games have perhaps a smaller set of those, but those stats, skills and so on are more unique and more consistently useful?
I definitely prefer fewer stats and skills, and having them be worth the space/effort. It's disappointing when developers design games with more stuff than they can handle. Just ends up with a bunch of unnecessary clutter and a few stats, weapons and/or tactics that trump all others. Don't put more on your plate than you're going to eat.
Chris Keenan, Official XBox Magazine #145 Interview, 11-16-2016 wrote:"A turn-based combat system can sometimes slow things down unnecessarily. I think that was something that with Wasteland we could definitely improve on and make it feel a little more snappy. There's going to be less of a micro-management aspect with your party. In Wasteland 2 you tended to have seven party members with six or seven different weapon skills you could choose, and we're going to try and condense those down. We want to make sure that the focus is on the strategy of the combat, not on the micro-managing of your statistics in combat and the weapons."
The combat micromanagement in Wasteland 2 doesn't have a lot to do with stats or weapons. It's all about the crucial positioning, to avoid taking damage, and improve chances to inflict damage. In Wasteland 1 positioning was usually not very important, so turn-based combat could be handled quickly and conveniently. When every Ranger has to be moved around manually, suddenly every little fight takes a lot of time. And I don't see how that can be fixed, other than reducing the amount of combat. Reducing the number of combat skills and weapons is fine by me, but meaningless to the micromanagement. As for the strategy of combat, that's where all the micromanagement comes into play, isn't it? Certainly is for me. Position, position, position. Are the Rangers in Wasteland 3 going to auto-position themselves? Surely not?

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gizmo » February 9th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Chris Keenan, Official XBox Magazine #145 Interview, 11-16-2016 wrote:"A turn-based combat system can sometimes slow things down unnecessarily. I think that was something that with Wasteland we could definitely improve on and make it feel a little more snappy. There's going to be less of a micro-management aspect with your party.
Excessive micromanagement to me is playing SSI Gold-Box games with dual class Fighter-Mage characters... PCs that cannot cast spells with equipped armor; and who do the quick-change act every other turn. :lol: It is a really disheartening perspective to hold that WL2 needed to be more snappy ~more snappy for whom? (More snappy for a targeted demographic that isn't us). Turn based combat systems are not benefited by being more snappy. The reason for being Turn Based is not about making snappy choices, it's about scrutinizing one's available options ~and it appears that those options are going to be made snappier. :( Streamlined Options == Less Options

(This could become the same mistake as in FO:Tactics all over again. Please don't consider making Wasteland 3 Continuous Turn; or even approach that with some optional snappier combat ~default mode. Remember the lesson from Arcanum.)

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