"A Dumbening Shall Come"

Discussion about the upcoming Wasteland 3!

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Grohal
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Grohal » February 10th, 2017, 12:45 am

Gizmo wrote:...

(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.)
Oh yeah, I remember - that both games had awful combat systems. I haven't played neither til the end because of that. Which is, at least for Arcanum, a shame - from what I hear. But man, was this combat shitty.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gizmo » February 10th, 2017, 8:10 am

Arcanum and FO:Tactics both had a decent turn based mode, but they also both had a ~snappier combat mode that was selected by default. Arcanum seemed to have balance problems. Tactics arguably had better combat that FO1 or FO2 ~but you'd never know it unless you changed the default combat mode; and who does that? It's the tyranny of the default.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by undecaf » February 15th, 2017, 5:52 am

Gizmo wrote: 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.)
I agree.

But I'm wondering what exactly does Chris mean by "more snappy". That the pace is forced to be quicker through some unnecessary and shitty design changes for the impatient and console market, or that the player is allowed to - as per situation calling for it; e.g. low level trashmobs - increase his own pace (by queuing up actions without needing to take what happens on screen much into account)?
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » February 15th, 2017, 1:28 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?
It's time to take a closer look at this. Taking steps this time so my browser doesn't eat my post :?

tl;dr: More stats, always.

Long version:

Why do I play RPGs? Why not just play a strategy game, or a combat game, or an action game?

Because more than in any other type of game, an RPG lets me choose HOW I want to approach problems, and more than that, they let me choose WHO I AM as I approach those problems. This means more than which faction I align with or which gun I pick. It's the combination of all available factors, and the more factors there are, the more freedom I can exercise; the more I can make the story my own.

When we look at avatar customization, it is obvious that 3 hats and 3 coats to choose from is OK, but 15 hats and 15 coats is way better. Instead of 9 possible Rangers we have over 200. Who wouldn't be happy about that? This doesn't directly correspond to character stats, because once you draw a hat, you are done, but adding another statistic to the character sheet requires integration into all the appropriate game systems and story beats; but it is a good thing to keep in mind that the power to make a character really "your own" is a good thing.

To me this means I might want to give a character a few points in Acrobatics, even if it rarely comes up in game, or if it's redundant with Sleight of Hand on stage in Scott's Bar. It's still cool to me to know that he's good at that, and when it does come up, it makes that character all the more special.

I am completely, 100% okay with some things not being as useful as others. I don't play RPGs to build the optimal killing machine, to "beat" the game as easily as possible. Don't get me wrong; I know that many people do. That's what Supreme Jerk difficulty is for. But me, I enjoy building a character, or party, with strengths and weaknesses, including "suboptimal" choices that give a character some, well, character.

On the subject of the party - a party-based game is especially ripe for letting players mess around with weird builds. I definitely don't need a team of four Rangers who all have no weaknesses, balanced so perfectly that the game may as well play itself. What if I make three decent fighters and one weak guy who's an expert at Cryptography? That's still a fine party; those other three guys can pick up the slack in combat. Guess which guy I'm going to remember after I'm done playing the game? But in a game with only 10 skills, all essential, this great character cannot exist.

Now, if Cryptography never comes up once over 40 hours, I'll be disappointed. There must be some opportunity for every obscure skill to shine, or don't bother including it. But if I can crack a few codes over the course of the game and see some stuff that no one else will see, I'll still be happy I invested in that dude - happier than I could ever be with any cookie cutter tough guy.

Read this comic and maybe you'll see what I mean.

The same goes for frequently used but weaker stuff like weapon skills. I thought ARs were boring in Wasteland 2 so I didn't use them. I loved the weaknesses of the other weapon types, trying to set up that perfect situation to use an SMG, getting into pistol range, figuring out how a heavy weapons guy could pull his weight ... way more fun than hanging back with a team of AR experts and shredding everything, because again, things seem to shine more brightly when they shine less often. (Not saying heavy weapons didn't suck way worse than they should have, but it was still fun lugging one around.)

During Wasteland 2's development, I advocated for all the area designers to make sure they integrated a toaster somewhere into their zone. They did - and the result was completely uninspiring. Far from the items of mystery they should have been, broken toasters became just another rote treasure chest, devoid of meaning and usually with no context whatsoever. Alarms felt similarly quota-driven, only there to give some exercise to the characters with that skill.

This time around I suggest the opposite approach. Have the writers come up with all the ideas first - the weirder and more obscure the better - then have the area designers implement it all, then build the skill list using as many of those concepts as possible. Even if only one writer comes up with a couple uses for Forgery, include the Forgery skill anyway - it'll be so cool when we finally get to use it!
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by crimsoncorporation » February 15th, 2017, 2:47 pm

Couldn't agree more with your post. Didn't read the comic though.

Zombra wrote:I thought ARs were boring in Wasteland 2 so I didn't use them.
This is precisely what I don't get about many complaints about the AR thing... sure it's preferable if the game is a little more balanced (and maybe use a lack of ammo to nerf certain weapon types), but if it's within your power to make the game more enjoyable without certain items, why not give yourself that challenge.

Likewise I have a hard time comprehending people who complain about game design that apparently encourages save scumming. Maybe don't do it if it bugs you so much?

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » February 15th, 2017, 3:18 pm

crimsoncorporation wrote:Likewise I have a hard time comprehending people who complain about game design that apparently encourages save scumming. Maybe don't do it if it bugs you so much?
lol :lol: , you got me. Different thread.

Thanks for the support on this issue though.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gizmo » February 15th, 2017, 3:27 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 was going to post a few paragraphs, but whe I read Zombra's post... it was essentially the same sentiments, almost verbatim.

Yes I prefer skill options over a lack of them, even when they not each applicable every eight minutes in game... I would appreciate situations like Skynet [seen in Fallout 2], where having the excessively high level of science skill allowed that specific PC to acquire the better brain, where any other PC could not; having used those skill points in other areas. IRRC, there are very few science checks in the game that need nearly that high a skill level.

Fallout 2's Dr. Troy NPC optional interactions are also a good example IMO. Where if the PC happens to have a Doctor skill of 75% or better, they can introduce themselves as a fellow physician in a special dialog. Most rarely advance the Doctor skill that much, because they assume that First Aid is the same, and (unlike Doctor) can be improved with skill magazines.

The Traps skill in Fallout 1 & 2, meant that some (but not all) PCs could detect traps ~if they happened to be there. Even though traps in both games were rather rare, It's a feature of that PC to be able to detect them, and avoid them. In the Bishop household, it meant the PC can avoid getting caught by opening the trapped safe [it blowing up in their face and alerting the guards]. This meant that some PCs avoided death or conflict by having chosen to optionally develop that skill.

I didn't like Toaster repair in WL2... But it was because of what toasters became in the game, a gambling encounter for wasting a skill for a chance at extra loot; this rather than [very] occasionally having toasters in the environment, and offering opportunities ~not only for being able to fix one [think NPC gratitude], but for having the skill be a generic tinker's repair skill.(Not computer or automotive repair, but...eye-glass repair/ hair-dryer repair/toy repair/button-switch repair/ low-grade booby trap disabling... etc) NPCs could have had many uses for a drifting tinker.

Wasteland [1] had 35 skills; several of them pretty specific, and changed the options in certain situations for those characters that had them ~vs. those who did not... That's a feature build of the PC. Not all options in a game have to be of constant and continual use to be useful. They can be useful for having changed the outcome just once, because a certain person had studied or trained in the skill and had an informed opinion on the spot, when it matttered.

*I wonder if Dr. Joyce Brothers found Boxing trivia to be all that useful in her daily life; until having studied it for gameshow, she won the equivalent of $582,739 (adjusted for 2016) dollars. What's wrong with having additional specialty dialog and interactive options in an RPG? (When RPGs are meant to be played repeatedly over many years, and only divulging all content after many different PCs have been played.)
RPG's [like Bethesda's ~if you can call them that] that put it all out on the table at once, for one PC are basically hamstringing their re-playability as far as content goes, because you've seen it all when you're done. Their games never say 'no' [only 'not yet']. You cannot have a PC [afaik] that has avenues cut off due to prior choice & commitments that influenced the narrative. This is terrible RPG design IMO ~though it's great for selling to a majority demographic that don't really like RPGs, but relentlessly out seek empowerment fantasy.

___
You mentioned redundant skills above, and two skills in Fallout are often cited as ~presumed redundant; they are First Aid & Doctor. Bethesda actually merged the two in FO3. Image

First Aid was for sports-medicine and to bandage minor injuries. You had three uses per day, at 25XP for successful use.
Doctor was for correcting critical injuries [crippled PCs, that could not otherwise be healed of the condition], also three uses per day, at 50XP per successful use.

This meant that the PC had exactly six healing attempts per day, but only three chances to correct crippling injuries. They had to to prioritize who got what treatment [and whose injury was worth the the risk of multiple failed attempts]. By [hamfistedly] merging these into a catch-all medical skill, Bethesda lost the severity of crippling injuries in the series; lost the PC's ability to heal without stimpaks, and reduced their Medical skill to simply being a health point multiplier for stimpacks ~and made it suddenly possible to heal concussions and broken legs with a shot. Image

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Grohal » February 16th, 2017, 1:55 am

Zombra wrote:
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?
It's time to take a closer look at this. Taking steps this time so my browser doesn't eat my post :?

tl;dr: More stats, always.

...
Very good, Zombra. I agree on most.
I only disagree on alarms: some alarms really made some sense (like in the temple of titan) and didn't feel like being there only for skill using. :)

But else yeah - let me give my chars some depth even if in some situations one char is completly useless. I role-play humans not terminators. :mrgreen:
Gizmo wrote:...
___
You mentioned redundant skills above, and two skills in Fallout are often cited as ~presumed redundant; they are First Aid & Doctor. Bethesda actually merged the two in FO3. Image

First Aid was for sports-medicine and to bandage minor injuries. You had three uses per day, at 25XP for successful use.
Doctor was for correcting critical injuries [crippled PCs, that could not otherwise be healed of the condition], also three uses per day, at 50XP per successful use.

This meant that the PC had exactly six healing attempts per day, but only three chances to correct crippling injuries. They had to to prioritize who got what treatment [and whose injury was worth the the risk of multiple failed attempts]. By [hamfistedly] merging these into a catch-all medical skill, Bethesda lost the severity of crippling injuries in the series; lost the PC's ability to heal without stimpaks, and reduced their Medical skill to simply being a health point multiplier for stimpacks ~and made it suddenly possible to heal concussions and broken legs with a shot. Image
Exactly Gizmo. That's exactly the kind of dumbing down I don't want. Else I could stay with Bethesda's version of Fallout...
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » February 16th, 2017, 12:02 pm

Zombra wrote:I might want to give a character a few points in Acrobatics, even if it rarely comes up in game, or if it's redundant with Sleight of Hand on stage in Scott's Bar. It's still cool to me to know that he's good at that, and when it does come up, it makes that character all the more special.
Forgive me for quoting myself, but there's another angle to this I wanted to touch on.

"Role-playing" is a funny thing, and means many things to many people. In a game, what it means to me most is conceptualizing a character (or characters), and portraying that character to the limit of the game's ability to acknowledge him. What I can't realize on the screen happens in my head, and it's fun to play that way, but I feel that the ultimate goal of the RPG genre is to actualize the player's character concepts completely - making everything I imagine about my characters impactful on the game experience.

If I imagine my character is a failed housepainter who's neurotic about sharing, that's interesting and fun in my head. But if an NPC shows up who wants his money back for the terrible paint job on his house, or a Willpower roll is needed for me to move things out of that character's inventory to another's, my role-playing "headcanon" has turned into a meaningful game experience.

Obviously, one can't expect an infinite level of detail in a "AA" RPG, but the idea extends to fundamental stuff like basic stats as well. If I imagine a character to be lucky but stupid, I can crank his LK stat and sell down his INT. Even if LK is considered a "dump stat" by power gamers and the character is "suboptimal", I am still happy because I'm that much closer to realizing the concept and I can see the impact (positive or negative!) of that decision every time I get new skill points or try to use a skill that LK impacts (which in Wasteland 2 is a lot of them).

The point is that it's better to have more skills, more stats etc. so I can realize my character concepts better - but also to make sure that these numbers have a visible effect, even a slight or occasional one, on the game itself. I enjoyed choosing preferred cigarette brands for each PC in Wasteland 2, for example, but saw no impact on the resulting gameplay, making this an addition I could have done without.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gizmo » February 16th, 2017, 3:33 pm

Zombra wrote:"Role-playing" is a funny thing, and means many things to many people. In a game, what it means to me most is conceptualizing a character (or characters), and portraying that character to the limit of the game's ability to acknowledge him. What I can't realize on the screen happens in my head, and it's fun to play that way, but I feel that the ultimate goal of the RPG genre is to actualize the player's character concepts completely - making everything I imagine about my characters impactful on the game experience.
Alas, not everyone has the same faculty [or preference] when it comes to filling in the blanks; for some, if it isn't shown ~it doesn't exist. :(

I remember a fellow from gradeschool, who I saw several years later on a city bus, and we talked about Jurassic Park (I had just seen it). He enthusiastically asked me how it was, and I said it was fantastic, but that the book was better. This utterly shocked him; and then it shocked me, for he said, "How can a book be better than a movie? Movies move and have sound! Books just sit there, words on a page". It had never occurred to me that a book could be seen as [lifeless] text on a page; but so it is, for some. And I bet it's the same way for RPGs that assume [narrative] effort on the part of the player; providing more for nailing down less. I was surprised to learn of players that discounted the Witcher and other RPGs [as lazy] for referring to places that aren't actually [and don't NEED to be] shown in the game... That includes Geralt's uneventful trip to Vizema ~before the hellhound attack.

Some-how./somewhere the term 'roleplaying' took on quite a tangent meaning in the recent past, and to some it came to mean an alternate-self. :? As in "What if I were a wizard?", and later RPGs began to foster that by intending a reactive stream-of-consciousness sort of gameplay ~as a wizard, or as a warrior; and the RPGs began to slide away from the roleplaying of characters, becoming job simulators. IE. 'role' as in "barbarian/thief" instead of 'role' as in "Conan"; or generic 'Wizard' instead of Merlin (or whatever character the player wanted to develop through the system ~and stick to). It is rarely "What would Merlin [the character] choose to do", and is now more often, "What can I do, as a wizard?". :(

Once long long ago in a time far far away, an introvert could roleplay a Steve Martin or Robin Williams ~like PC doing stand up. The point of it being ~what would that character do to a heckler --not what would the player do if heckled. This, if transposed to the modern RPG... would probably be setup to present the player with a first person stage looking down at an audience, instead of presenting the view from the audience, and getting to see character reactions befitting the PC's personality and skill.

Modern RPG's often treat each PC as nothing but a cosmetic skin for a player; when they should be treating each like separate blades on a Swiss Army Knife. Each one different, and with its own specialized utility; (that includes single character games, where the other paths are basically beyond their ken).

These two characters [below] are not two peas in a pod, and should not result in the same path, dialog, and opportunities from an RPG:
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If I imagine my character is a failed housepainter who's neurotic about sharing...
For one moment, I thought this was going off to a whole other place. :roll:
The point is that it's better to have more skills, more stats etc. so I can realize my character concepts better - but also to make sure that these numbers have a visible effect, even a slight or occasional one, on the game itself. I enjoyed choosing preferred cigarette brands for each PC in Wasteland 2, for example, but saw no impact on the resulting gameplay, making this an addition I could have done without.
NPCs in Wasteland2 probably could have bummed a smoke, if the PC had their brand, or appreciated the offer of one in conversation; with or without added dialog paths... had they chose to support it.

More skills are better in my book, and in this age of DLC, the studio could include whatever skills they wished, and support them later in the new content, or even add new skills, and retroactively patch in opportunities to use them in the base game.

In Fallout2 the NPC's could lend their skill, if higher than the PC's, but they could also be killed off; so the PC should [and did] at least have had the option to have learned the skill themselves. [Note that in Fallout, all PCs do have all the skills at base level. Other RPGs the PC might only have those they choose.]
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Dork Mage » February 16th, 2017, 5:03 pm

Just a note: In WL2, in one (and I believe at least a second) instance, having the correct brand of cigarette or having cigarettes yield a benefit to the PC in an exchange with a NPC.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gizmo » February 16th, 2017, 6:21 pm

Dork Mage wrote:Just a note: In WL2, in one (and I believe at least a second) instance, having the correct brand of cigarette or having cigarettes yield a benefit to the PC in an exchange with a NPC.
That is cool. I wondered about that, but didn't know; and assumed not.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » February 16th, 2017, 8:02 pm

Wonderful post, Gizmo - thanks again for the support.

And thank you Dork Mage :) valuable information.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Drool » February 16th, 2017, 10:26 pm

Gizmo wrote:I didn't like Toaster repair in WL2...
Yeah, that was a case of Missing the Point. Toaster Repair in WL1 was a useless joke skill. The first toaster contained trash items (fruit, VISA cards) and a Plasma Coupler. While the coupler was needed to beat the game, it was also found in two other locations (they super-annoying safe in Sleeper One and lying on the ground outside Base Cochise). Basically, the toaster was a way to skip an annoying puzzle or (maybe) a couple fights. Toasters beyond the first held trash and duplicate Citadel keys. But the point is, there was nothing that couldn't be obtained otherwise.

The other problem with Toaster Repair in WL2 is connected to the lack of skills in general: no learn by doing. Because skill points were so rare, and because skill points where the only way to raise a skill, you used them very sparingly. A joke or largely useless skill would be a titanic waste. Thus, there couldn't just be two or three toasters in the game, there had to be a dozen.

I know I keep harping on the skill system, but so many problems in the game trace back to it. I really, really hope inXile does a complete overhaul, bringing the game closer to its roots. There's no reason for Toaster Repair to be "Safecracking MkII". I mean, it doesn't even make sense in WL2! I could see a plasma coupler being in a toaster (I dunno, maybe they're small). But a can of spray paint? A gigantic (sigh) dildo?


Oh, hey, while we're at it, could we dial back the lame sex jokes? Dildos, used condoms, hemorrhoid cream... I felt like I was playing FO2.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Crosmando » March 25th, 2017, 5:25 am

Regarding the above conversation about skills, I don't think anyone actualls argues for skills that aren't consistently useful, that's more an issue of content, but in a party-based RPG without classes you need a large selection of skills because along with with attributes that's the only character customization (apart from cosmetic stuff) you get.

Also, on another note, it would be cool if WL3 had some "abilities", say if you raised "Hand-to-Hand Combat" high enough you get special abilities like tripping over enemies in fights, disarming, etc. Also if you raise Electronics/Computers high enough you get a permanent robot minion you can name who helps you in battle.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by sear » March 25th, 2017, 8:06 am

Crosmando wrote:
March 25th, 2017, 5:25 am
Also, on another note, it would be cool if WL3 had some "abilities", say if you raised "Hand-to-Hand Combat" high enough you get special abilities like tripping over enemies in fights, disarming, etc. Also if you raise Electronics/Computers high enough you get a permanent robot minion you can name who helps you in battle.
Combat abilities are something we are currently looking at. The vision document goes into some detail on this.

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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » March 25th, 2017, 12:43 pm

sear wrote:
March 25th, 2017, 8:06 am
Crosmando wrote:
March 25th, 2017, 5:25 am
Also, on another note, it would be cool if WL3 had some "abilities", say if you raised "Hand-to-Hand Combat" high enough you get special abilities like tripping over enemies in fights, disarming, etc. Also if you raise Electronics/Computers high enough you get a permanent robot minion you can name who helps you in battle.
Combat abilities are something we are currently looking at. The vision document goes into some detail on this.
Convenience quote of the relevant section:
Wasteland 3 Vision Document wrote: Combat Abilities are special attacks, techniques, and benefits that are tied to your characters' skills and perks, as well as to their equipment. Maybe one character is especially good with melee weapons and can learn to kneecap enemies to knock them flat on their backs. Another might be an expert spotter who can mark targets so the rest of the team gets an accuracy boost. And maybe one character really, really likes to attach portable flamethrowers to their arms. These strategies, and many more, will help you outwit and outflank your enemies, allowing you to dominate the battlefield through smarter tactics and respond to different situations in clever ways.
I didn't notice before that Combat Abilities and Perks are referred to as two different things, which is a little surprising.

I reread a lot of the thread today (glad you're still reading it sear :)); in particular the sections about "many skills vs. a few solid ones". Thinking about Combat Abilities, Perks, and Skills reminded me of another important thing to consider while designing these systems:

Should the party be able to do everything?

To me the answer is a resounding NO.

Let's take a look at a couple other quotes in the Vision Document:
Wasteland 3 Vision Document wrote:Wasteland 3 will offer a complex, overhauled character creation system with a variety of new choices, allowing you to create a Ranger squad suited to your preferred play-style, or one that complements your co-op partner's build.
--
As you progress through the game, you will be able to tinker with your Rangers to your own specifications, customizing them for your preferred style of gameplay.
This sounds great, but is meaningless if every party can pretty much do it all. A team well-suited to all situations is not "customized" for a specific playstyle.

This is another reason to have lots of Skills: choice and consequence in character/party building. Now I realize that a party of 7 PCs can cover a lot of ground, and I don't want to suggest a smaller party. But it was a shame that by the end of Wasteland 2, not only did I have every single Skill covered, I was throwing away skill points.

(Mission reactivity is a good reason to replay Wasteland 2 ... but without a substantially different party ... eh.)

Perks fared much better: each PC didn't get very many, and while they could have been better balanced, there were quite a lot of them. It was not possible to get every Perk for your party of Rangers. Some decisions were far too easy, but they were still decisions. This is the paradigm to shoot for with Skills, Perks, and Combat Abilities in Wasteland 3.

"My Rangers can expect to master 3 Skills each by the endgame, but there are 35 skills and I only have 7 Rangers. How do I want to play the game and which Skills are important to me? Which am I willing to sacrifice?" In a good RPG these are the kind of questions a player will ask himself. Especially that last one.
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Gizmo » March 25th, 2017, 5:01 pm

Alas... It would seem that the modern game developer either assumes (or prioritizes) a modern consumer as one who will only play it once, and/or will take offense if they come to find out that none of their party has the means or the aptitude to exploit or explore a situation that is not really meant for them. As players they assume [wrongly] that everything in the game is their plaything, and owed them; when in fact [at least ideally] this is not the case with any RPG [that deserves the title].

Ideally the game should adopt an attitude of "From my cold dead hands ~you will!" with respect to dishing out content. Dishing it out only when the specific PCs are capable of accessing it; due to their specific attributes, skills, reputation, and ethics. In RPGs, the PC is paramount, and each is like a colored lens, that reveals its own channel of information in the big picture. They are each like keys that fit different locks on doors to different paths; (and preferably with more doors available than party members).
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No single PC should see it all; and in party based games, that should include content locked off by the company one keeps; ie. them not letting the party into the thieves hide-out with paladins and two sheriffs in tow.

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Grohal
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Grohal » March 26th, 2017, 1:38 am

Zombra wrote:
March 25th, 2017, 12:43 pm
...
Should the party be able to do everything?

To me the answer is a resounding NO.

Let's take a look at a couple other quotes in the Vision Document:
Wasteland 3 Vision Document wrote:Wasteland 3 will offer a complex, overhauled character creation system with a variety of new choices, allowing you to create a Ranger squad suited to your preferred play-style, or one that complements your co-op partner's build.
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As you progress through the game, you will be able to tinker with your Rangers to your own specifications, customizing them for your preferred style of gameplay.
This sounds great, but is meaningless if every party can pretty much do it all. A team well-suited to all situations is not "customized" for a specific playstyle.

This is another reason to have lots of Skills: choice and consequence in character/party building. Now I realize that a party of 7 PCs can cover a lot of ground, and I don't want to suggest a smaller party. But it was a shame that by the end of Wasteland 2, not only did I have every single Skill covered, I was throwing away skill points.

(Mission reactivity is a good reason to replay Wasteland 2 ... but without a substantially different party ... eh.)

Perks fared much better: each PC didn't get very many, and while they could have been better balanced, there were quite a lot of them. It was not possible to get every Perk for your party of Rangers. Some decisions were far too easy, but they were still decisions. This is the paradigm to shoot for with Skills, Perks, and Combat Abilities in Wasteland 3.

"My Rangers can expect to master 3 Skills each by the endgame, but there are 35 skills and I only have 7 Rangers. How do I want to play the game and which Skills are important to me? Which am I willing to sacrifice?" In a good RPG these are the kind of questions a player will ask himself. Especially that last one.
This is hard to avoid, as you can switch NPCs (most likely at least) so I guess if you swap the members of your team you always have all skills covered - not at one time of course.
But then, I would like that - as I always sticked to the same NPCs in Wasteland 2.
Hell is no place, hell is a condition.

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Zombra
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Re: "A Dumbening Shall Come"

Post by Zombra » March 26th, 2017, 2:49 am

Grohal wrote:
March 26th, 2017, 1:38 am
Zombra wrote:
March 25th, 2017, 12:43 pm
...
Should the party be able to do everything?
To me the answer is a resounding NO.

This is hard to avoid, as you can switch NPCs (most likely at least) so I guess if you swap the members of your team you always have all skills covered - not at one time of course.
But then, I would like that - as I always sticked to the same NPCs in Wasteland 2.

Good point. To me this is just one more reason to do away with the "catch 'em all" approach to companion architecture. Building an army of Rangers is a better excuse than most games have for accumulating a harem of NPCs that never desert you, but ... it's better when every NPC eventually has a reason to leave the party to make room for new blood.
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