Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Discussion about the upcoming Wasteland 3!

Moderator: Ranger Team Alpha

Doni
Initiate
Posts: 24
Joined: February 8th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Doni » February 27th, 2018, 6:11 pm

Lakstoties wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 8:11 am
[..]
Thanks for your thoughts. It looks like you your very passionate about this and put a lot of thought into this, hopefully it will steer some discussion by people more knowledgeable than me on the topic.
Drool wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 2:51 pm
Lakstoties wrote:
February 26th, 2018, 5:46 pm
While I don't know about MSPE...
Just play the original.

One of the nice things was that Attributes were tied to skills, the game just didn't announce it from the rooftops. But you'll notice it right quick when comparing a rifleman with low Dexterity to one with high Dexterity, even if their skills are identical. There was also a nice mix of skill checks and attribute checks.
Is it something like the underrail skill system?

User avatar
Zombra
Global Moderator
Posts: 6184
Joined: March 8th, 2012, 10:50 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Zombra » February 27th, 2018, 9:55 pm

Lakstoties wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 12:06 pm
I'd argue against a stat that just grants skill points.
Personally, I enjoyed the variety this choice offered in character development. I had Rangers with 10 INT, 1 INT, and in between. It was interesting to have a guy with great physical stats but only a few skills and a slow, weak "skill monkey" in the same group. Making all characters automatically have the same number of points would be a step backwards in my opinion. If you want your guys to all be the same, you can assign them all the same INT.
Image

User avatar
Woolfe
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5789
Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:42 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Woolfe » February 27th, 2018, 10:09 pm

Yeah the whole INT and Skill points issue has been hashed out a lot.

No one wants everyone the same, but the current Skill point with Int is flawed in that it favours high INT builds over others.
It's not too late. Make it Eight!

User avatar
Lakstoties
Novice
Posts: 34
Joined: August 2nd, 2017, 7:17 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Lakstoties » February 27th, 2018, 10:23 pm

Zombra wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 9:55 pm
Lakstoties wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 12:06 pm
I'd argue against a stat that just grants skill points.
Personally, I enjoyed the variety this choice offered in character development. I had Rangers with 10 INT, 1 INT, and in between. It was interesting to have a guy with great physical stats but only a few skills and a slow, weak "skill monkey" in the same group. Making all characters automatically have the same number of points would be a step backwards in my opinion. If you want your guys to all be the same, you can assign them all the same INT.
You miss the key part. Everyone gets the same skills points per level, but skill point to skill boost conversion differs based on the stats of the character. For example, each character gets 10 skill points per level. Character A has a high strength, so when they use a skill point on a strength based skill they get a bonus to the boost in that skill. But, Character A has a low intelligence, so if they use a skill point on an intelligence based skill, they get a far below average skill boost. Character would still have variety, but have equal progression.

User avatar
Zombra
Global Moderator
Posts: 6184
Joined: March 8th, 2012, 10:50 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Zombra » February 28th, 2018, 12:32 am

Lakstoties wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 10:23 pm
You miss the key part. Everyone gets the same skills points per level, but skill point to skill boost conversion differs based on the stats of the character. For example, each character gets 10 skill points per level. Character A has a high strength, so when they use a skill point on a strength based skill they get a bonus to the boost in that skill. But, Character A has a low intelligence, so if they use a skill point on an intelligence based skill, they get a far below average skill boost. Character would still have variety, but have equal progression.
Ehh, not really. Under this system variety would be reduced as "character classes" emerged. Your knife thrower (Coordination) and lockpicking (Coordination) guy would always be the same guy. Your blunt weapons (Strength) and brute force (Strength) guy would always be the same guy. And so forth.

And I don't necessarily want my characters to have equal progression. Again, that just makes them all more the same. If I can design one character to advance faster in his specialty, and another to advance slowly along several skills, OR one who advances fast in several skills (at the cost of other stats), OR one who has just one skill with mediocre advancement speed (in exchange for better physical stats), this gives me far more build options and more interesting decisions to make. I don't just want to pick 3 skills for every character and have them all advance at exactly the same rate. Boring.
Image

Doni
Initiate
Posts: 24
Joined: February 8th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Doni » February 28th, 2018, 5:02 am

There are "character classes" in every system, with min/max builds derived from its specific mechanics (in WL2 there were only 4 correct settings for intelligence which was the starting point for everything else.) And what you described can be also easily achieved in system where attributes are tied to skills ( i.e. "design one character to advance faster in his specialty, and another to advance slowly along several skills, OR one who advances fast in several skills" ) The main difference I see is that in one intelligence is king while in the other all attributes are.

Anyway, I don't have strong opinion yet on the topic. I did played underail, where attributes were tied to skills, and liked the system a lot. But feel like it might be less suited for a faster party game with much less skills like wasteland. (btw we already have strength tied to melee in WL2)
Last edited by Doni on February 28th, 2018, 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Grohal
Master
Posts: 1002
Joined: April 26th, 2013, 9:51 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Grohal » February 28th, 2018, 6:22 am

Doni wrote:
February 28th, 2018, 5:02 am
...

Anyway, I don't have strong opinion yet on the topic. I did played underail, where attributes were tied to skills, and liked the system a lot. But feel like it might be less suited for a faster party game with much less skills like wasteland. (btw we already have strength tied to melee in WL2)
Attributes tied to skills (and vice versa) has a lot of fans here (me included). So they would get more thumbs up than thumbs down IF they would do that. I guess because 1. it has proven to work in other RPG-systems and 2. it is immersive.
Hell is no place, hell is a condition.

User avatar
Lakstoties
Novice
Posts: 34
Joined: August 2nd, 2017, 7:17 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Lakstoties » February 28th, 2018, 7:34 am

Zombra wrote:
February 28th, 2018, 12:32 am
Ehh, not really. Under this system variety would be reduced as "character classes" emerged. Your knife thrower (Coordination) and lockpicking (Coordination) guy would always be the same guy. Your blunt weapons (Strength) and brute force (Strength) guy would always be the same guy. And so forth.
I'd argue that was happening in Wasteland 2 anyway, because you were usually busy giving the skill money a huge set of skills and some other stuff was relegated to stray skill points other people had collected.
And I don't necessarily want my characters to have equal progression. Again, that just makes them all more the same. If I can design one character to advance faster in his specialty, and another to advance slowly along several skills, OR one who advances fast in several skills (at the cost of other stats), OR one who has just one skill with mediocre advancement speed (in exchange for better physical stats), this gives me far more build options and more interesting decisions to make. I don't just want to pick 3 skills for every character and have them all advance at exactly the same rate. Boring.
Well, I define equal progression as equal progression delta, the same rate of change rather the than same change. But, what you are describing is something I've run into and designed systems to handle. You have skills pull from multiple stats for base values (this prevents the single win stat situation) and tie the number of points you get to spend on a category of skills based on those stats when you "buy points" for that category. You allow everyone to buy skills points the same, but the value they get and how they use those points differentiates the characters. And if you move away from a strict level progression to a modular progression system, you could very well have characters that advance different aspects of themselves differently from others. For example, your heavy could just buy more HP and special abilities, and forget about skills because they got what they need. While another character can just focus on filling up their skill tree. It is fully possible. And I'd REALLY like that a lot.

Trouble is, I just don't think anything derived from the Wasteland 2 is going to be remotely capable of supporting that.

User avatar
Zombra
Global Moderator
Posts: 6184
Joined: March 8th, 2012, 10:50 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Zombra » February 28th, 2018, 9:18 am

Nice post, Lakstoties. Your modular system sounds very cool. I'd like to leave level-based systems behind someday. Point-based and learn-by-doing systems are much more interesting to me also. But yeah I don't think we're going to see that here ... so assuming that we're sticking to something close to WL2, I would hate to see skill advancement rates made more homogenized. I hope the devs are reading this though, you have interesting ideas :)
Image

Doni
Initiate
Posts: 24
Joined: February 8th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Doni » February 28th, 2018, 1:31 pm

Grohal wrote:
February 28th, 2018, 6:22 am
Attributes tied to skills (and vice versa) has a lot of fans here (me included). So they would get more thumbs up than thumbs down IF they would do that. I guess because 1. it has proven to work in other RPG-systems and 2. it is immersive.
What do you have in mind? And does any of these RPG-systems are party-based with easily accessible reference ?
Lakstoties wrote:
February 28th, 2018, 7:34 am
Trouble is, I just don't think anything derived from the Wasteland 2 is going to be remotely capable of supporting that.
At this stage of development its good chance that they locked down most things, they might tweak some formulas but they aren't going to overhaul what you can do in their game world. So this here is likely just theoretical musing, to flex your design muscles until we get some more solid info about the game.

Doni
Initiate
Posts: 24
Joined: February 8th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Doni » March 1st, 2018, 5:31 am

To clarify and expand upon my previous comment. I am asking if there is anything we can use from said games to build upon WL2 (which is what sear said they are doing)

Overall each system has its pros and cons, for example an attributes tied to skills system will add an extra layer of complication for the player, both in making viable character builds and rounding the party. As well as choices made early during character generation will be more pronounce effect later with less flexibility to change, which might be more of an issue when you start with a core party.

Additionally to ballance everything might be very difficult, you'd need to expand/redo the wasteland skill list changing the game drastically to make each attribute/skill directly meaningful to how we play the game (we already had some with not too useful skills in WL2, with much simpler system). And at the end of that road you may not recognize the result as a wasteland game at all.

So maybe the best solution is somewhere on the spectrum in between.

User avatar
sear
Developer
Posts: 2656
Joined: March 21st, 2012, 8:30 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by sear » March 1st, 2018, 7:09 am

Doni wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 5:31 am
To clarify and expand upon my previous comment. I am asking if there is anything we can use from said games to build upon WL2 (which is what sear said they are doing)

Overall each system has its pros and cons, for example an attributes tied to skills system will add an extra layer of complication for the player, both in making viable character builds and rounding the party. As well as choices made early during character generation will be more pronounce effect later with less flexibility to change, which might be more of an issue when you start with a core party.

Additionally to ballance everything might be very difficult, you'd need to expand/redo the wasteland skill list changing the game drastically to make each attribute/skill directly meaningful to how we play the game (we already had some with not too useful skills in WL2, with much simpler system). And at the end of that road you may not recognize the result as a wasteland game at all.

So maybe the best solution is somewhere on the spectrum in between.
Some good observations here. No approach is simple, and no character system change can be implemented without tweaks and trade-offs elsewhere.

Starting Wasteland 3 from Wasteland 2 has a lot of benefits. In part, that's because it's going to be familiar to existing players if we keep the approach they're familiar with. It's also simply a good starting point to tweak from. The amazing benefit of working on a sequel to a game is that in a lot of ways, you can treat the previous one kind of like a big playtest. We can see what worked there, where we'd like to improve, and adjust accordingly.

User avatar
Lakstoties
Novice
Posts: 34
Joined: August 2nd, 2017, 7:17 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Lakstoties » March 1st, 2018, 9:18 am

sear wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 7:09 am
Some good observations here. No approach is simple, and no character system change can be implemented without tweaks and trade-offs elsewhere.

Starting Wasteland 3 from Wasteland 2 has a lot of benefits. In part, that's because it's going to be familiar to existing players if we keep the approach they're familiar with. It's also simply a good starting point to tweak from. The amazing benefit of working on a sequel to a game is that in a lot of ways, you can treat the previous one kind of like a big playtest. We can see what worked there, where we'd like to improve, and adjust accordingly.
All I would warn is to not let history be the primary justification for anything moving forward. It's real tempting, especially when you are starting out from history.

User avatar
Grohal
Master
Posts: 1002
Joined: April 26th, 2013, 9:51 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Grohal » March 1st, 2018, 10:39 am

Doni wrote:
February 28th, 2018, 1:31 pm
Grohal wrote:
February 28th, 2018, 6:22 am
Attributes tied to skills (and vice versa) has a lot of fans here (me included). So they would get more thumbs up than thumbs down IF they would do that. I guess because 1. it has proven to work in other RPG-systems and 2. it is immersive.
What do you have in mind? And does any of these RPG-systems are party-based with easily accessible reference ?

...
Well the original Wasteland foremost (partybased), but of course also Fallout (also partybased, even if you only control your own character). The original Wasteland has this feature hidden, Fallout is pretty plain with this.
We had this in other threads already I think: Stronger chars should have an easier time bashing doors in, nimble chars should have an easier time lockpicking and so on.
Hell is no place, hell is a condition.

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3556
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Gizmo » March 1st, 2018, 12:45 pm

Realms of Arkania does this too. A strong PC in the front will open doors easier; while a tracker in the back row, has a harder time of it, because of the PCs in front—stepping on the tracks.

Executor_
Scholar
Posts: 180
Joined: August 11th, 2014, 5:38 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Executor_ » March 1st, 2018, 2:35 pm

I've put a lot of thought into how to better balance Wasteland 2 while working on my pet project to rewrite the game. Assuming one intends to keep the bulk of the WL2 system, the following is what I think the key issues are and how best to resolve them (numbers I used obviously subject to balance testing).

PROBLEMS
  • massive power creep in enemies and weapons
    • CAUSE: constant cycle of large hitpoint increases necessitating higher damage weapons
  • breaks verisimilitude when on Supreme Jerk difficulty an enemy does 4x the damage a PC would with the same weapon
    • CAUSE: no way to scale difficulty except by giving enemies large damage bonuses, PCs damage penalties
  • broken economy
    • CAUSE: too much cash after the early game, no money sinks
  • melee vs ranged balance heavily tilted in favor of ranged weapons
    • CAUSE: ranged doesn't have enough drawbacks; ammo cheap and plentiful, Sturdy Magazine mod available early on eliminates jam chance
  • skill usage unrewarding
    • CAUSE: too many interactable objects (safes, chests, dig sites) with lousy loot inside
  • large disparity in usefulness of perks
    • CAUSE: all perks cost the same amount
SOLUTIONS
  • equipment durability
    • accuracy, jam chance, armor, etc. affected as item deteriorates
    • most items drop/found in poor condition; reduced sell value
    • repairs remove money from the game
    • scarcity ensures continued interest in game: player should always have more items they want to buy than they have the money for
    • Weaponsmithing/Mechanical Repair skills can also be used to fix items, but only up to 70%
  • armor reduces damage even if armor pen > armor value
    • armor condition degrades quickly as you take hits
    • light armor reduces chance to be crit, heavy armor reduces chance to be crit as well as crit damage multiplier
  • ranged weapons have no innate damage or armor pen, determined by ammo caliber
    • different calibers have different effects
      • eg. 7.62mm more armor pen but less damage than 5.56mm (more likely to go clean thru target, while 5.56mm more likely to break up and tumble damaging internal organs)
    • lots of different ammo types per caliber, ie. FMJ, JHP, armor-piercing, tracer, match
    • multiple levels of ammo quality: poor, good, pristine
      • pristine is basically still shrink-wrapped from pre-war; poor has been exposed to the elements for a few decades
      • poor has large penalty to jam chance (+5%); good has minor penalty (+2%); pristine has none
      • good would be 3x the cost of poor, pristine 10x as much as poor; pristine not intended to be employed often
  • higher tier weapons would have better chance to hit, higher crit chance, better action point efficiency, lower jam chances
    • downside of higher tier items would be increased repair costs, dramatically so for the highest tiers
    • not all weapons of the same type (eg. assault rifles) have the same mod slots
    • unique weapons made more powerful, but way more expensive to repair since require custom parts
  • far fewer interactable objects;
    • some would have much higher skill requirements than normal for the region (probably requiring the player to come back later) but would have exceptionally good loot
    • 1/3 as many interactable objects; rarer but more meaningful
    • still some with crappy loot, like dig sites, but with a larger quantity of items inside; low durability and ammo of poor quality
    • items stored in safes would be in much better shape
  • total health fairly static throughout the game; characters start with large amount of health but gain very little per level
    • eg. base: 140 hp + 10 hp per Strength
      • thereafter, gain 1+(Str/10) hp per level
    • handguns do 50 dmg, rifles 100 damage per hit
    • early on, little or no armor, low hit chances: hits uncommon but only a few required to kill
    • later on, better armor, improved aim: hits more frequent but for less damage each
  • much more dramatic impact of attributes; force hard choices, in WL2 Awareness is by far the most important stat
    • Charisma
      • bonuses to buying/selling goods based on average party Charisma
        • ignoring skills/perks, avg 1 Charisma party would pay triple for items, receive only ~30% for their items
        • avg 10 Charisma party would pay 20% extra for items and receive 80% of the value of sold items
        • max Charisma party would naturally be terrible at combat, but being decked out in top-notch gear would compensate somewhat
        • a low Charisma party might not be able to afford repairs/buy good ammo and have to live off of scavenged armor and weapons
      • recruitable NPCs based on average party Charisma
        • much higher requirements for recruiting NPCs; low Charisma party might only be able to get a Ralphy, end up playing most of the game with empty CNPC slots
        • recruitable NPCs with good stats/high starting level/low rogue chances would need much higher party Charisma
    • Luck
      • applies a multiplier to jam chance; so Luck 10 might only have half the normal jam chance
      • Luck 10 would give +20% crit chance, +1.0 to crit damage multiplier
        • also give -20% enemy crit chance, -1.0 to enemy crit damage multiplier
        • so a Luck 1 character would be much less likely to crit a Luck 10 enemy, and any crit would do much less damage
        • if both attacker and target same Luck score, the bonuses cancel out
      • gives Cheat Death effect: damage from an otherwise fatal attack reduced so character survives
        • chance to occur: 60% * (Luck/10)
        • can only trigger once every 10 or so rounds
    • Coordination
      • ranged aim goes up by +2% per point
      • ranged weapon skills give less total chance to hit
    • Intelligence
      • linear increase in skill point gain, ie. +0.3 SP/level per point of Int; rather than the WL2 stepped system at 1/4/8/10
  • perks cost multiple points
    • characters would get 2 perk points per level
    • a really valuable combat perk might cost 10 points, while a situational non-combat one would only be 3 points
  • NPCs operate by same rules as PCs: they have attributes/skills/perks, can have modded weapons, can precision strike
    • stats generated randomly when map first loaded
      • map designer sets default level for each mob
      • default level adjusted based on difficulty, eg. for Supreme Jerk, level adjustment might be a random range from -3 to +10, while Rookie might be -2 to +1
      • after level determined, attribute/skill/perk point total calculated, points are then assigned
      • preferentially picks weapon skills based on the weapons they have equipped
      • NPCs don't only spend points on combat skills/perks, ~40% on non-combat ones like a PC would
    • one NPC per group possibly promoted to miniboss status, gains 1 or more bonuses:
      1. good armor, weapon, mods
      2. extra levels
      3. min-maxed combat stats
      4. high Charisma and Leadership skill; all NPCs focus fire single target
    • animals, synths would probably need custom rules
  • difficulty no longer affects damage output of PCs/NPCs
    • now would only impact vendor prices, the level range for NPCs (noted above), and the chance of minibosses appearing in NPC groups
Last edited by Executor_ on March 2nd, 2018, 3:17 am, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Zombra
Global Moderator
Posts: 6184
Joined: March 8th, 2012, 10:50 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Zombra » March 1st, 2018, 2:46 pm

Wow, some great ideas there Executor_.

I particularly support the idea of a shallow power curve. I found dramatic "tiers" of weapons in WL2 unsatisfying as my characters became more defined by what they carried than what they were, and character level became more important than build decisions.

I also support a much harsher economy. I wish to remind inXile that in Wasteland 1988, random encounters happened constantly and never dropped loot. There was never any question of finding enough ammunition to offset the cost of an encounter. We should never be encouraged to "farm" random encounters to build up money to buy tons of ammo. Also, random encounters were much harder to avoid. I like the Outdoorsman skill in WL2 but the avoidance chance should never be anywhere close to 100%. Lastly, in W1, stores had finite stock that didn't replenish! Once you bought all the ammo, that was it - you had to manage what was available and then move on.

These factors combined to make Wasteland feel much more dangerous ... with truly limited resources in each area and across the world (once the planet is out of ammo, that's it. No more shooting ever), there was a wonderful sense of long-term pressure to get your objective accomplished and move on to the next. This pressure also makes exploration more satisfying as the expectation of "clear cutting" every map is no longer a foregone conclusion. Even if there's enough ammo in the world to beat the game 3 times over, the sense that it's irreplaceable is great for the atmosphere.
Image

User avatar
Woolfe
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5789
Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:42 pm

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Woolfe » March 1st, 2018, 3:04 pm

Indeed some good ideas from Executor_. BUT I will throw in one thing I absolutely despise the weapon durability stuff from most games. It is dumb.

Any durability system needs to make some sense as opposed to the thing just magically degrades and then breaks when it hits 0.
It's not too late. Make it Eight!

User avatar
Lakstoties
Novice
Posts: 34
Joined: August 2nd, 2017, 7:17 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Lakstoties » March 1st, 2018, 3:17 pm

Executor_ wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 2:35 pm
I've put a lot of thought into how to better balance Wasteland 2 while working on my pet project to rewrite the game. Assuming one intends to keep the bulk of the WL2 system, the following is what I think the key issues are and how best to resolve them (numbers I used obviously subject to balance testing).
Nicely done. Most of that would have solved a good portion of my major "Fuck this game!" issues with Wasteland 2 right there. A lot of material worth considering.
Woolfe wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 3:04 pm
Indeed some good ideas from Executor_. BUT I will throw in one thing I absolutely despise the weapon durability stuff from most games. It is dumb.

Any durability system needs to make some sense as opposed to the thing just magically degrades and then breaks when it hits 0.
I'm with you there. Instead of breaking, when a weapon reaches 0 durability, I'd just have the malfunctions increase exponentially at that point, and allow the weapon to go into the negative durability. Once it has a negative durability, it starts rolling a chance to have a severe issue that requires a Gunsmith skill appropriate to the malfunction to fix. It lets the player play with fire(arms) a bit and throws in that press your luck aspect that can be fun to run.

User avatar
undecaf
Explorer
Posts: 398
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 5:48 am

Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by undecaf » March 1st, 2018, 8:03 pm

far fewer interactable objects;
This I disagree with. Fewer containers perhaps, but interactable objects altogether should come in higher numbers, higher variety and higher versatility. Not every interaction need a priceless outcome.
"A human being in his last extremity IS a bag of shit."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests