W3 Replayability

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Grohal
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Grohal » June 15th, 2018, 8:02 am

I don*t think levelcaps should exist. Make leveling slower or whatever that's ok.
And IF someone wants to get max-level, thus getting god-like, before starting the main quest at all through grinding the 3 rats on the first map over and over and over again - let them. To each his own. :mrgreen:
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 15th, 2018, 9:44 am

sear wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 5:51 am
Gizmo wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 4:12 am
Level caps are to protect the game from godlike characters that the developers won't support encounters for.
This is how I see it. In an ideal situation you probably wouldn't even be able to reach the level cap under normal gameplay conditions. For example, Fallout 1 has a level cap of 21 and I don't think I ever got much past 17 or 18, even on longer playthroughs where I did a lot of random encounters.
If that's the case, then there's still no reason for a level cap. If you're not going to hit it anyway there's no reason for it to exist.

But if you are worried that people will get that high and trivialize the rest of the game, do like I said: make the xp slope much steeper past the "tipping point". Make the cap soft instead of hard. A character who stops earning xp, even devalued xp, is effectively "dead" in my mind. Please don't "kill" my characters for being high earners :)
sear wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 5:51 am
Can you guys let me know if you are talking about initial runs through the game, or are you hitting the cap on replays with an exported squad?
Memorably, I had an INT/CHA "skill monkey" character who hit level 50 several zones before the end game.* Honestly don't remember if other characters hit the cap, but I feel like they did. I didn't treat CHA as a dump stat like a lot of players, so I may be weird, but I hope the game wasn't tuned on the assumption that I would. I only played the game once, on Ranger difficulty.

*This reminds me of my rant about evenly splitting combat xp. Don't do it! All characters should get some xp for every combat (being a target at all is risky), but those who contribute more should earn more. My "skill monkey" ran and hid in the corner every fight, but levelled up right alongside my warriors, plus got a ton of xp for opening safes etc. Remember, Wasteland 1 rewarded xp per kill, and that made fights more engaging. I think bonus xp should be awarded for: (1) dealing damage (per point inflicted), (2) finishing off a target, (3) being attacked (whether you are hurt or not - either way you are "soaking" incoming damage for the party).
Gizmo wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 7:00 am
Woolfe wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 6:57 am
Oh and Gizmo, you are going off track again.
When do I ever?
:lol:
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 15th, 2018, 3:39 pm

sear wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 5:51 am
The same was true of Wasteland 2 for me. I don't think I ever got past 45 or so, even in completionist playthroughs. Can you guys let me know if you are talking about initial runs through the game, or are you hitting the cap on replays with an exported squad?
Doesn't matter. You put NG+ into the game and then left the cap in place. The furthest I ever got with an NG+ team was halfway through the Ag Center, and that was new content. The lack of leveling just makes everything feel pointless.

By way of comparison, I also played with a hacked team that had 10s in every attribute and every skill and the game continued to be engaging even though levels there didn't really matter. They didn't really improve my Rangers, but they gave feedback. It felt like I was improving, because I was leveling (as an aside, can we please bring back ranks instead of levels?) even if the skill points were superfluous.

On both my Vanilla and DC playthroughs, I was around 48 or 49 at the end, with at least one person 50. I also never used Charisma as a dump stat.
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Zombra
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 15th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Drool wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 3:39 pm
(As an aside, can we please bring back ranks instead of levels?)
Eh? Rank is right there on the character sheet, isn't it? Not to derail.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 15th, 2018, 6:41 pm

Zombra wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 5:49 pm
Drool wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 3:39 pm
(As an aside, can we please bring back ranks instead of levels?)
Eh? Rank is right there on the character sheet, isn't it? Not to derail.
I don't seem to remember that. But either way, there were also levels instead of just the ranks.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Woolfe » June 15th, 2018, 7:37 pm

Drool wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 6:41 pm
Zombra wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 5:49 pm
Drool wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 3:39 pm
(As an aside, can we please bring back ranks instead of levels?)
Eh? Rank is right there on the character sheet, isn't it? Not to derail.
I don't seem to remember that. But either way, there were also levels instead of just the ranks.
Yeah I never really liked the level=rank thing... I kinda preferred the 2 being separate personally. Though it would have been nice for the Rank to mean something significant.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Mole204 » June 15th, 2018, 9:43 pm

I'm also against level caps. Why have them? To limit the player's ability to do things? To punish them for succeeding at the game? And after what's likely dozens of hours over weeks of playing at something purchased and paid for. So much for brand loyalty, there. Just let the numbers mount. Put in the effort, get the rewards. Wl1 didn't have level caps, and that was fun. We needed more Romulan Commanders in wl2 anyway.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 16th, 2018, 1:04 am

Mole204 wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 9:43 pm
I'm also against level caps. Why have them? To limit the player's ability to do things? To punish them for succeeding at the game?
Not at all. Level caps are closer to being like establishing the fence in one's yard, in the sense that you can safely let your pets (or kids) loose in your yard, for them to have adventures at will— but within known limits. Level caps keep the PCs safely in the yard.

If a game is setup to handle PCs in the 1-8 level range, then the PCs should not themselves exceed that range—by much, or need higher level enemies for it to be a challenge; the game should end by then, and be close to ending by the time any PC approaches the level caps. Games become pointless and absurd when the PC gets powerful enough to brutalize the whole world, and when each PC can one-shot kill everything singlehanded. There is no point to the game facilitating the experience after that.

The games could of course be setup to handle PCs in the 1-80 level range—but why should they have to do that if they don't want to, and if they are fairly convinced that most players will never get to level 10 in their game? Supporting high level edge cases like that can involve a lot of extra work that might be for naught. In a fantasy game with spell casters that could mean supporting spell levels (with spell effects) far in excess of what most players would ever achieve access to; it could go largely unused—or worse... only used by the opponents, rarely for most of the players.

The problem is not level caps; that's a safety kludge. The problem is not ending the game before it then has to support edge-case higher level PCs that go beyond what was intended to be supported. Imagine an amusement park with rides that require the passenger to be —this— tall to ride... and later, they start finding guests in their park that have grown too tall (or too wide ;) ) to enter the rides. They would have to reengineer the park to support new rides for taller guests; rides with new minimum (and maximum) height requirements. How many extra tall guests might they reasonably expect? Probably not enough to afford modifying or building the new rides.
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*Bit of trivia... The developers of 'Eye Of The Beholder' didn't even include the ending cinematic in their PC version of the game, because they didn't think most PC players would reach the end of the game to see it. :lol: (EoB is infamous for dropping the player back to the OS with a text note describing what happens at the end.)

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 16th, 2018, 1:41 pm

Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 1:04 am
If a game is setup to handle PCs in the 1-8 level range, then the PCs should not themselves exceed that range—by much, or need higher level enemies for it to be a challenge; the game should end by then, and be close to ending by the time any PC approaches the level caps. Games become pointless and absurd when the PC gets powerful enough to brutalize the whole world, and when each PC can one-shot kill everything singlehanded.
Wasn't an issue in Wasteland because your abilities and survivability were more controlled by your equipment than your levels. A party full of Supreme Jerks wearing Leather Jackets and wielding Pistols will still die horribly.
There is no point to the game facilitating the experience after that.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 16th, 2018, 2:12 pm

Drool wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 1:41 pm
Wasn't an issue in Wasteland because your abilities and survivability were more controlled by your equipment than your levels. A party full of Supreme Jerks wearing Leather Jackets and wielding Pistols will still die horribly.
That's a great thing about the game. 8-)
There is no point to the game facilitating the experience after that.
Your opinion is not crown law.
Seriously... what possible incentive should the game have to continue the farce? Once this happens, the game begins losing its fascination and esteem from the player; along the lines of, 'Familiarity breeds contempt'.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 16th, 2018, 5:21 pm

Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 2:12 pm
Seriously... what possible incentive should the game have to continue the farce? Once this happens, the game begins losing its fascination and esteem from the player; along the lines of, 'Familiarity breeds contempt'.
And yet, many games have "god mode" cheat codes, and every game with modding capabilities has people modding in super-weapons and armor. Some people like playing a game by annihilating everything in their path. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean nobody else does. Who are you to tell someone how to enjoy their game?
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 16th, 2018, 5:22 pm

Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 2:12 pm
Seriously... what possible incentive should the game have to continue the farce?
So you're saying that once I hit level 50 in Wasteland 2, I should have quit?
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 16th, 2018, 8:49 pm

Drool wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 5:21 pm
And yet, many games have "god mode" cheat codes, and every game with modding capabilities has people modding in super-weapons and armor.
Think about that. It's modding in unfamiliar changes, to spark a new interest.
Some people like playing a game by annihilating everything in their path. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean nobody else does. Who are you to tell someone how to enjoy their game?
And yet—so what? (To these three points). As I said, what's the game's incentive to continue the farce? One of the most impressive things in Fallout (for me*), was that if the player lolly-gagged about and did not save the vault, then the game quit—having no need to follow the adventures of a PC that abandoned the vault. Yes it was an option to do for the PC, but the game need not further depict the the tangent, and could simply end with the death of the vault. 8-)

*I was very disappointed to find out that Tim Cain was one of those in the studio that would have preferred undoing that. :cry:
Zombra wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 5:22 pm
Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 2:12 pm
Seriously... what possible incentive should the game have to continue the farce?
So you're saying that once I hit level 50 in Wasteland 2, I should have quit?
How close was that to the end? Personally I think that if you get to a point where the player avoids the final encounter—wanders off for weeks, in the middle of a tense confrontation... the game should end badly for them not showing up, rather than them be able to saunter in weeks late to pick up where they left off. That's like the PC chasing a pickpocket into a neighborhood, and then stopping off at the pub to hunt gossip, or to rest for the night... then leave the next day, expecting to find the thief waiting on the corner to resume the chase. Shame on any RPG that allows that. :evil:

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 17th, 2018, 1:09 am

Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 8:49 pm
Zombra wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 5:22 pm
Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 2:12 pm
Seriously... what possible incentive should the game have to continue the farce?
So you're saying that once I hit level 50 in Wasteland 2, I should have quit?
How close was that to the end?
Several entire zones before the end. I didn't avoid anything; I didn't run from the main story; I was simply thorough, frequently chose not to run like a coward from random encounters, and had a build that earned a lot of xp.
Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 8:49 pm
Personally I think that if you get to a point where the player avoids the final encounter—wanders off for weeks, in the middle of a tense confrontation... the game should end badly for them not showing up, rather than them be able to saunter in weeks late to pick up where they left off. That's like the PC chasing a pickpocket into a neighborhood, and then stopping off at the pub to hunt gossip, or to rest for the night... then leave the next day, expecting to find the thief waiting on the corner to resume the chase. Shame on any RPG that allows that. :evil:
The concept of timed missions is a huge separate can of worms and beyond the scope of this thread.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 17th, 2018, 2:35 am

Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 1:09 am
Several entire zones before the end. I didn't avoid anything; I didn't run from the main story; I was simply thorough, frequently chose not to run like a coward from random encounters, and had a build that earned a lot of xp.
If you hit the level cap that early, my guess is that they didn't account for grinders reaping in the the total XP in the game, and from random encounters.

I like the way the Disciples series handles enemy encounters. If your party runs (and there is often reason to), then the enemies get XP for defeating them; just like they do from any combat that they survive.

This automatically handles attempts at picking them off, and removes any need for level scaling, because the enemies can level themselves up from that XP; (every time their opponents run). The game is turn based, but they can chase after you after the fight, and when they catch the PCs they might be far more powerful than they were the time before; some of them complete with new abilities from their advancement.

**Needless to say, I wouldn't mind if the enemies in WL3 got XP and could level up in the same way.
Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 1:09 am
The concept of timed missions is a huge separate can of worms and beyond the scope of this thread.
It's just a timer, but it's off topic.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 17th, 2018, 9:10 am

Gizmo wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 2:35 am
they didn't account for grinders reaping in the the total XP in the game, and from random encounters.
For the last time, I didn't "grind" anything. I wasn't trying to max out my level, I wasn't farming, there was absolutely no intent to overlevel the system. I just played the game, and then suddenly, with no warning, I stopped receiving rewards.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 17th, 2018, 11:18 am

Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 9:10 am
Gizmo wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 2:35 am
they didn't account for grinders reaping in the the total XP in the game, and from random encounters.
For the last time, I didn't "grind" anything. I wasn't trying to max out my level, I wasn't farming, there was absolutely no intent to overlevel the system. I just played the game, and then suddenly, with no warning, I stopped receiving rewards.
For the last time?

What it means is that they apparently didn't account for anyone playing it—thoroughly, and you gained XP fast enough to hit the cap too early; or perhaps they just didn't care, or it didn't occur to them this would happen.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 17th, 2018, 11:44 am

Gizmo wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 11:18 am
What it means is that they apparently didn't account for anyone playing it—thoroughly, and you gained XP fast enough to hit the cap too early; or perhaps they just didn't care, or it didn't occur to them this would happen.
Correct. It doesn't sound like they didn't care, more like they didn't test enough - sear appears surprised that this happened in a first playthrough. Of course the whole issue could be avoided by not having a brick wall in the first place.

In any case, I don't need to be corralled by a hard level cap. "Limited advancement" is not a great bullet point on the box of an RPG. Diminishing returns is a simple enough solution to keep power levels from spiraling out of control.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 17th, 2018, 11:49 am

For the record... I misread your post and thought you meant Wasteland 1.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 17th, 2018, 11:52 am

Gizmo wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 11:49 am
For the record... I misread your post and thought you meant Wasteland 1.
Haha, no. I never reached Supreme Jerk in Wasteland 1, never got anywhere close, never had a desire to.
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