Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Discussion about the upcoming Wasteland 3!

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

Post by Lix » March 2nd, 2018, 1:33 am

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

Post by undecaf » March 2nd, 2018, 2:15 am

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

Post by Executor_ » March 2nd, 2018, 3:22 am

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 didn't mention it, but weapons would only degrade as they were fired; equipment wouldn't deteriorate simply due to wandering around the game world. Numbers might be something along the lines of 20% chance per attack for a weapon to take 1-4% durability damage. SMGs/HMGs would be only 3-5% chance per shot as they're intended as burst weapons. Melee weapons would be more likely to take durability damage when attacking heavy armor-wearing enemies vs. light-armored ones.

The main intent of durability is to leech money out of the game, though. Either directly, by spending money to repair your gear at vendors, or indirectly, by having to break down the weapons/armor you find to fix your gear using your skills. Players get bored when they have lots of money with nothing to spend it on, so keeping them in a constant state of poverty is a good thing.
undecaf wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 8:03 pm
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.
You'd spend half a minute or more attempting skill checks till you were finally successful, and all you'd get is some ammo, maybe a medkit or two, a grey item, and once in a while a crappy weapon. Most chests/safes were like that, and it was rare to find one that had hand-placed loot rather than a random drop list tied to region tier. There needs to be more variety: some containers have lots of loot, some very little, rather than almost all having 2-4 basic items. Player shouldn't be able to predict prior to opening what to expect.

Frankly, out of the main container-opening skills, I only found Toaster Repair to actually be fun. There might only be one toaster every couple maps, but they always had something special inside. Oftentimes you would also need to find the right NPC to turn the item in to, and only then receive your unique trinket/weapon/etc.

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

Post by Doni » March 2nd, 2018, 6:12 am

Grohal wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 10:39 am
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.
This brings me to another point, I like designs which communicate all necessary information for me to make good decisions. I already mentioned Underrail, which I feel has a more interesting attribute/skill system than fallout (Blasphemy! I know :twisted:), which done this very well with its skill info for example you can see exactly what affects it. EDIT: Obviously this is vital for party-base games in assessing the suitability of all party members, which bring me back to the point of additional complexity, and that the more you have to monitor finer and finer levels of detail the larger the burden it is. And I think that in this regard WL2 did a fantastic job.

I haven't played the original Wasteland (and don't intend to, so don't try to convert me), but after looking at its skill list sorted by attribute, I have to wonder how balanced it was and whether each skill had significant impact on gameplay (Bureaucracy ?)
Executor_ wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 3:22 am
You'd spend half a minute or more attempting skill checks till you were finally successful, and all you'd get is some ammo, maybe a medkit or two, a grey item, and once in a while a crappy weapon. Most chests/safes were like that, and it was rare to find one that had hand-placed loot rather than a random drop list tied to region tier. There needs to be more variety: some containers have lots of loot, some very little, rather than almost all having 2-4 basic items. Player shouldn't be able to predict prior to opening what to expect.
I pretty sure that there were harder skill chests (and other) on most maps, which were easily accessible only to those who invested in relevant skills (which could be hard early on, especial for those playing on harder difficulty with 'delayed gratification' quirks for example)

Also this point is tied to economy. Usually those who min-max everything, particularly on easier difficulties and savescummers, soon swim in everything, and obviously to them some ammo and a medkit is minor pittance, while to others it can be a life saver.
Last edited by Doni on March 2nd, 2018, 8:35 am, edited 4 times in total.

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

Post by Zombra » March 2nd, 2018, 8:30 am

The amount of containers in WL2 was fine; it was good for the skill monkeys to have something to do frequently. The problem was another issue with their design that I hope I don't need to start talking about here :)
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Drool » March 2nd, 2018, 3:54 pm

sear wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 7:09 am
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.
Man. Where was this insight during the systems creation of Wasteland 2?
Zombra wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 2:46 pm
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.
To be fair, that's kinda how it was in the original too. And, frankly, that does sorta make sense when dealing with a modern world with guns and high tech armor and such. Steroid Ninja might be able to break me in half, but if I'm wearing an Iron Man suit and wielding a railgun, I'm probably gonna win. That said, the tiers could have been a bit smoother.


As for weapon degradation: please no. Modern weapons can shoot thousands of rounds just fine. Any degradation with even a passing familiarity with realism would be a non issue without adding a ton of extremely annoying, micromanagement mechanics like oiling and servicing. Just give each weapon a flat jam rate. Let the rate be adjusted up or down via the appropriate skill and Luck, and place a hard 1% floor on the jam rate. Done.
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Zombra » March 2nd, 2018, 4:41 pm

Drool wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 3:54 pm
Zombra wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 2:46 pm
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.
To be fair, that's kinda how it was in the original too. And, frankly, that does sorta make sense when dealing with a modern world with guns and high tech armor and such. Steroid Ninja might be able to break me in half, but if I'm wearing an Iron Man suit and wielding a railgun, I'm probably gonna win. That said, the tiers could have been a bit smoother.
This is all true. The curve was very steep in Wasteland 1988. And an extremely dramatic power shift from makeshift clubs through iron age contrivances to military artifacts and ultimately sci-fi marvels is indeed "realistic" for such a story.

But ... I will sacrifice series faith and realism for better gameplay. I just don't enjoy steep curves like that. They devalue my input, both in character design and tactical acumen. If a tier 4 weapon always beats a tier 3 weapon regardless of skill, cunning, or strategy, the contest loses its thrill, win or lose. It's simply more fun when better gear gives you an edge, but only that. One zebra's opinion.
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by demeisen » March 2nd, 2018, 6:50 pm

Zombra wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 4:41 pm
If a tier 4 weapon always beats a tier 3 weapon regardless of skill, cunning, or strategy, the contest loses its thrill, win or lose. It's simply more fun when better gear gives you an edge, but only that. One zebra's opinion.
I'm inclined to agree, for the reasons you give.

Random idea: I wonder if they could vary this along a different axis than max damage per round. E.g, perhaps a tier 1 weapon is a beat to hell old assault rifle, jams a lot, inaccurate because of how roughly it's been treated, so hard to hit things with - but if you do, the round does the damage it does. You'd expect there to be a lot of that kind of junk around in a post-apoc world, rusted old stuff. Maybe the higher tiers are the same type of weapon, just a rare instance in pristine condition, with better accuracy, less chance of jamming, a bit better range, and it can actually accept a scope because the mounting rails haven't been rusted to bits. So you can have a tier 1 M16, and a tier 3 M16. It doesn't have to be a different weapon type.

I'm not sure it totally works out if that's the only dimension involved, but point is, the tier doesn't have to simply measure damage per bullet. It did feel a little weird in WL2 that some tier 1-2 weapons are actually fairly good IRL, and the usefulness curve did feel a bit steep.

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

Post by Woolfe » March 2nd, 2018, 8:27 pm

Drool wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 3:54 pm
As for weapon degradation: please no. Modern weapons can shoot thousands of rounds just fine. Any degradation with even a passing familiarity with realism would be a non issue without adding a ton of extremely annoying, micromanagement mechanics like oiling and servicing. Just give each weapon a flat jam rate. Let the rate be adjusted up or down via the appropriate skill and Luck, and place a hard 1% floor on the jam rate. Done.
These are my sentiments exactly. Your character has skills that should be able to manage this stuff. I know the idea was a gameplay way to reduce available funds. But most equipment degradation systems SUCK, and are annoying make work.

Surely there is another way to reduce funds.

The simplest I can think of is have the "Rangers" support levels etc be somewhat dependent on you providing wealth to them in order to improve facilities etc.

Gives players agency in that they could have lots of cash and great gear or give ti all to the Ranger command, or somethign in between.
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Gizmo » March 2nd, 2018, 11:16 pm

There was Neo-Geo game called SuperSpy... and the Bowie-knife would degrade, and eventually break after several stabs with it. :lol:

I would not be opposed to critical weapon failures, and combat damage to weapons; especially of shot out of the wielder's hands, or dropped during an explosion; but as for falling apart under expected use... I am not a fan.

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

Post by Zombra » March 3rd, 2018, 1:25 am

I'm reminded of horror games where you have to put a new battery in your flashlight every 3 minutes. Is this some kind of satanic flashlight that's a million times worse than a real one? Why am I using this crap? I feel the same about a gun that breaks after you fire it a few times.
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Grohal » March 3rd, 2018, 3:51 am

Zombra wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 4:41 pm
... If a tier 4 weapon always beats a tier 3 weapon regardless of skill, cunning, or strategy, the contest loses its thrill, win or lose. It's simply more fun when better gear gives you an edge, but only that. One zebra's opinion.
That could easily be avoided (even if it is not very realistic). If higher tier weapons require a higher skill with those weapons.
Last edited by Grohal on March 3rd, 2018, 7:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Doni » March 3rd, 2018, 6:34 am

Zombra wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 4:41 pm
But ... I will sacrifice series faith and realism for better gameplay. I just don't enjoy steep curves like that. They devalue my input, both in character design and tactical acumen. If a tier 4 weapon always beats a tier 3 weapon regardless of skill, cunning, or strategy, the contest loses its thrill, win or lose. It's simply more fun when better gear gives you an edge, but only that. One zebra's opinion.
Keep in mind that there are other things that contribute to encounter difficulty beside weapon damage. The further you go the tougher enemies you encounter with higher stats, different gear type and settings, so you don't lack for opportunities to test yourself. And while earlier poorly equipped enemies become significantly easier this servers as tool to propel your onward and gives a sense of progression.

Also some consider supreme jerk --where enemy weapons do 200% damage and yours do only 50%-- as the ultimate test of their character design and tactical acumen..
Drool wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 3:54 pm
As for weapon degradation: please no. Modern weapons can shoot thousands of rounds just fine. Any degradation with even a passing familiarity with realism would be a non issue without adding a ton of extremely annoying, micromanagement mechanics like oiling and servicing. Just give each weapon a flat jam rate. Let the rate be adjusted up or down via the appropriate skill and Luck, and place a hard 1% floor on the jam rate. Done.
In this case I agree, gameplay > realism, as most degradation mechanics are extremely annoying.

On side note from realism stand point: While modern weapons can last centuries in storage (in oil barrel for example) and remain functional for a long time with proper care. Most guns you can expect to find in the waste after two hundred years wouldn't be precision-made from quality materials in modern facilities, wouldn't be properly maintained and likely suffer fatigue from extensive use.. even with care such weapons would be prone to jams and even sudden breakdown from accumulated stress (despite appearing to function properly to the naked eye.) Same can be said of melee weapons, and certainly of bullets which would be worse for wear MUUUCH sooner especially when stored in the hot/cold conditions of the desert.

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

Post by Zombra » March 3rd, 2018, 9:37 am

Grohal wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 3:51 am
That could easily be avoided (even if it is not very realistic). If higher tier weapons require a higher skill with those weapons.
I don't see it. Putting an arbitrary gate on the next huge jump doesn't do away with the problems created by huge jumps.
Doni wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 6:34 am
Keep in mind that there are other things that contribute to encounter difficulty beside weapon damage. The further you go the tougher enemies you encounter with higher stats, different gear type and settings, so you don't lack for opportunities to test yourself. And while earlier poorly equipped enemies become significantly easier this servers as tool to propel your onward and gives a sense of progression.
Well, sure. I didn't mean to imply that weapon damage was the only thing in the game. :) However I do feel that "tiering up" in Wasteland 1 & 2 is disproportionately significant to a character's effectiveness. As to motivation, I would rather be motivated by story concerns and supply management. Expecting a player to say "It's not fun fighting rats any more so I guess I'll wander somewhere else" is pretty weak design. And we all know it's fun at first to trash enemies that used to be massively threatening, but that becomes busy work real fast. Think about games like say Jagged Alliance or Risen as counterexamples ... even when you outgear enemies in these games, you can't just mash the attack button or laugh off ambushes. I prefer to have to pay attention in every lethal conflict and a shallow curve makes that happen.
Doni wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 6:34 am
Also some consider supreme jerk --where enemy weapons do 200% damage and yours do only 50%-- as the ultimate test of their character design and tactical acumen..
That's an interesting point. I'll have to think about this.
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Grohal » March 3rd, 2018, 11:39 am

Zombra wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 9:37 am
Grohal wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 3:51 am
That could easily be avoided (even if it is not very realistic). If higher tier weapons require a higher skill with those weapons.
I don't see it. Putting an arbitrary gate on the next huge jump doesn't do away with the problems created by huge jumps.

...
At least it would not beat skill, because you'd have to have a certain level of skill to even use the higher tier weapon.
Cunning and strategy, well that's another thing. IF they improve combat by giving more options/items that can give an edge in a battle it would be necessary to reward cunning and strategy. In Wasteland 2 most battles were 08/15 and you always did they same things (I rarely used aimed shots or whatever they were called and had little problems even on SJ).
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by demeisen » March 3rd, 2018, 8:38 pm

Zombra wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 9:37 am
Doni wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 6:34 am
Also some consider supreme jerk --where enemy weapons do 200% damage and yours do only 50%-- as the ultimate test of their character design and tactical acumen..
That's an interesting point. I'll have to think about this.
For what it's worth, my thoughts about that SJ damage scaling.

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

Post by Doni » March 4th, 2018, 6:22 am

There are many ways to offer challenge, such as enemy placement, however unless you scale all encounters to party, eventually you will surpass the early foes around you (via gear/level). So you always need some sort of campaign content scaling and way to adjust difficulty to players of varying skills, I don't know exactly what scheme WL2 used or the numbers behind it, only that this certain to change in WL3 due to the addition of multiplayer.

I just don't think that more distinguished higher level equipment necessarily means less challenge, because (A) This doesn't always work to your advantage.. and has the potential to be more resourceful utilizing other tools. (B) Sometimes it's nice feel of being a tougher bastard and not to have to be bogged down by pesky "rats" on supply run to areas you cleared.
Zombra wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 9:37 am
Think about games like say Jagged Alliance or Risen as counterexamples ... even when you outgear enemies in these games, you can't just mash the attack button or laugh off ambushes. I prefer to have to pay attention in every lethal conflict and a shallow curve makes that happen.
I love JA2 1.13 but in hindsight it has many flaws. Sure every encounter could be lethal but most of the time you spent on repetitive bunny hopping, like with original X-COM final alien peekaboo game. And the campaign progression was TERRIBLE, first the game threw you into the deep end with Drassen, which is almost impossible without game-y tactic and/or the power of hindsight; then you end up in constant grind until mid game when you manage to field several fully equipped fire teams with support, do one major battle and abandon the game..

Also does every encounter need to be a boss fight? If you don't, you can give a chance for lady luck to create some interesting (unexpected) situations instead of setting up frustration driven rant about player skill being eroded.

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

Post by Lakstoties » March 4th, 2018, 9:22 am

From experience... If you want to add fair challenge, just add a little bit of tactics to the enemies. Tactical prowess can enable even the weakest enemies to be devastating to more powerful enemies.

For example, you encounter a group of bandits. You initially see five low power guys taking cover, shooting you from a safe distance. As you close in, previous unknown bandits who were hiding starting shooting at your flanks. Then after the battle goes on a while, bandits who were sneaking around behind you, start firing.

Now, these enemies wouldn't be spawned in, they would actually have to travel from the initial setup point to these positions. To keep it fair and to encourage the players to invest in such skills, a high Perception would allow you to spot them, and Outdoorsman would allow you to notice odd tracks where they've pulled this stunt before.

Add tactics first before ever considering scaling the power level. I always remember the tale of the Leaping Wizards to showcase how simple tactics can flip the tables: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G5PjlCMlGw

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

Post by undecaf » March 4th, 2018, 9:50 am

Executor_ wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 3:22 am

You'd spend half a minute or more attempting skill checks till you were finally successful, and all you'd get is some ammo, maybe a medkit or two, a grey item, and once in a while a crappy weapon.
I don't count time or profit margins when I play, the game isn't going anywhere or spoil like dated milk. That few seconds could be considered "wasted" (I don't think that, but some obviously do) for not rewarding the player with the Aztec gold treasure is of no consequence in the big picture. And I know I'm more likely to remember the game fondly if I can use my characterbuilds more with the environment than less (even if it's not always as rewarding as it could).

I did agree with the idea of "less containers, so less trash loot", but the interactions themselves - containers or not - through various skilltests is what I am after.
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Re: Don't do the same mistake like in W2DC

Post by Zombra » March 4th, 2018, 11:48 am

Doni wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 6:22 am
Also does every encounter need to be a boss fight?
Every encounter should make me sit up in my chair and pay attention. If I'm watching TV and pressing AAADDD[Enter] (or the Wasteland 3 equivalent), something is wrong. A steep power curve creates more situations like this.
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