too much party management

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urgrue
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Re: too much party management

Post by urgrue » March 8th, 2012, 12:03 pm

Well there are two sides to this: general gameplay and combat.
On the combat side, I prefer a party, in the sense that I control everyone. AIs never do a good job and I like the tactical element it brings to control more than one character.
On the non-combat side, the main issue with not using predefined characters is that it (usually) means, they will have no personality, proper dialogues, relationships, drama, etc. I like how wasteland did it with the NPCs. You can't roll yourself a Christina or VAX (usually). Also, personally I like to have one main character that I identify with. I don't like to role-play them all and imagine their relationships in my head...

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Quarex
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Re: too much party management

Post by Quarex » March 8th, 2012, 3:48 pm

Urgrue, I see what you are saying, but all you would really have to do to eliminate the problem of "personality-free predefined characters" with no relationships or drama is to have characters you create be able to pick (if you want, anyway) from a handful of pre-determined characters--who are fleshed out because they will appear in the game if you do not have them in your party. I mean, whether you look at it in a Jagged Alliance 2 or a Baldur's Gate sense, it really makes no difference if you yourself create the character that then acts like La Malice or Steroid or Minsc or Keldorn or if you find that character while adventuring in the world.

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Re: too much party management

Post by BaronBatty » March 12th, 2012, 12:28 pm

What would be cool is if the characters you create got assigned some back story that tied in with the game world somehow. So, say a character grew up in a particular town, when visiting that town the NPC's would interact differently with him/her, or allow for a different option to solve a problem there, or could cause you to have to seek an alternative solution to an otherwise easy problem (character could be an outcast, for example). It would be fun to create a character, but have their background pulled from a pool of pre-made stories. That way, you still have control over the character, but not what happened to their past. This could add some interesting replay value too, since you could have a bunch of backgrounds but you're only getting 4 of them in a game (if your party size is the same as Wasteland was).

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Roger Wilco
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Re: too much party management

Post by Roger Wilco » March 12th, 2012, 10:14 pm

Party time!

I want a varied party to explore the skills.

Don't skimp on the party management.

My girl likes to party all the time!

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Re: too much party management

Post by PeauDouce » March 14th, 2012, 8:36 am

I understand that people that love Wasteland want to have what they thought was good in it, as I've never played the game (exept for the last hour) I begin that by recognizing that if it's called wasteland 2 it's probably for a reason that could justify some link between the two games. I thereby let legitimacy to others.

Still, I will give my point of view about parties in games in general.
1)Boring
You have to do a lot of management that quickly seems unecessary to me. I mean, most of the time your just reapetting the exact same strategy (i.e. pressing the same buttons in the same order); that for hours. For the hour I've passed on it, the combat in Wasteland seemed quite obvious and strait to the point (even if too frequent), which appeared good. What was good in fallout is that I felt almost every combat to be an unique situation, no "farming feeling" even if it was the exact same encounter. I think this is strongly linked to controlling only one character as even if you would do mostly the same thing, when you turn came you would think about what you were going to do, and by that you would be very attentive of the results.
2)Unpersonnal
The point has already been exposed, call it egocentricity but when put in a fictionnal universe that you can affect, the feeling that there is a "you" here is somewhat important.
3)No emotionnal implication with your companions
Well, if I decide what you do you're not that much more than a robot to me. Strange thing to have a personnality only in non combat situations. Plus I love to hate people for shooting at me, plus I love to love people for doing something unexpected (even if predictible).

EDIT: Surprise me, I like good things in general.

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Kide
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Re: too much party management

Post by Kide » March 14th, 2012, 9:10 am

Well, I have never played the originaly Wasteland, though I suppose I would need to try and find it somewhere.

But I do have to disagree with the first poster. I definitly love to control every member of the party. I even met fallout 1 and 2 only a few years ago, but my favorite games originally were baldur's gate 2 and arcanum. I absolutly loved how the party control worked in baldur's gate 2 and would love that feeling the most. Icewindale did not feel as invonving as baldursgate because you created all the charachters, but still the combat system in these games were absolutly great in my opinion. I still liked Arcanum just as mutch as baldur's gate, but the battle system was definitly worse for me in it. Ok... it might be more realistic in a way that you do not control what your other party members do, but in a way it is a lot more frustrating not to be able to control it, and also makes the game feel a bit less strategit, whitch is an element that I love.

Nevertheless I would be fine with any of these things, as long as there are multiply members in the party, just been missing this kind of game for a very very long time.

But as said, would love it to have the same kind of mechanism as baldurs gate 2 had, to me it's battles felt the most rewarding. And the NPC system that it had I liked the best as well, as of only creating one person etc more than icewind dales system. In arcanum I loved the possibility of choosing a charachter backround for example, so would love to see it back too.

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Re: too much party management

Post by Hoverdog » March 14th, 2012, 10:31 am

There is no such thing as "too much party management". A tactical combat with a part of AT LEAST six characters one of the things I long for the most these days, with no real rpgs and the supposed JA2 remake being a disgusting, tasteless rape on the franchise. Fallout combat was I think mediocre at best (I found infinity engine battles better even though they were RT+pause), and lack of control over party members was a major contributor to the fact (t's also one of the causes why Arcanum combat sucks). Also, what was the last rpg game you could control more than four characters? ToEE? Even indies like Knights of the Chalice and Vogel's games restricted you to 4 party members. I call veto on less than proper six Rangers.
The second case mentioned is complete party creation vs joinable npcs. I think both systems are good; they have their pros and cons. The second one was definitely prevalent during the last couple of years, since the success of BG2 I think. It would be nice to have the other system for a change. Plus it was used in the first Wasteland. Oh, and also I call bullshit on the claim that a fully created party is soulless and lacks any personality. Have you ever played Wizardry 8? You could choose from a variety of "characters" there for each member, and believe me, the party felt much more alive and interesting than the same cast of archetypes whining about their emo problems and/or providing "romances" aimed for lonery teenagers.

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Re: too much party management

Post by DNSDies » March 14th, 2012, 10:44 am

I think party customizing is good, but management shouldn't be a chore.

Streamline the process, give the player access to tools and information to help them build their team.

One thing I liked in FF6 was that even though you had over a dozen character, you could walk into any shop and hover over and item, and you'd see your characters showing exactly who could use it, and if it was stronger, weaker, or equal to what they had on.

I HATE muddling through huge piles of equipment and items without any filters or ability to see the difference between two sets of items at a glance.

Party management should be fun, not an exercise in tedium and frustration.

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Kide
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Re: too much party management

Post by Kide » March 14th, 2012, 11:30 am

Hoverdog, you are right that there can be deapth in the completly your own created party as well. I have played wizardry 8 and loved it for many reasons (for it's dialogue options etc, though constant battles everywhere were really getting tiresome). And it certanly had a lot more deapth in the charachters than for example icewind dale... But still if I am able to choose if I would rather have joinable NPC's or my own creations only, I would definitly wish to have a choise from the NPC from the world, that you would need to find etc. But both would be ok for me. Maybe some possibly charachter models or sets that could be attached to the certan people you would creat would help here... Like I think someone mentioned earlier. It might be ok to creat a charachter and then have for example 2 choices of voices and actions fro this charachter.... like if you wish to have him/her be your childhood friend, there would be 2 options for that kind of charachter of how they would act in the real world.... That might work or be a nice kind of difference that you can choose to have....

Hmmh.... But still definitly strategit combat, for me baldursgate 2 never felt a chore in any way what so ever.

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Shaewaros
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Re: too much party management

Post by Shaewaros » March 14th, 2012, 12:20 pm

Disagree. Loved Baldur's Gate's party management, hopefully a relatively similar system will be present in this title.

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Re: too much party management

Post by Jp1138 » March 15th, 2012, 2:30 am

I agree with BaronBatty in giving the created characters some background. Maybe a system like that in Megatraveller or System Shock 2 could be used, where you create the past of the character at the same time than the stats, giving you some crontrol over it.

In any case, I think having a created party is important for this game.

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Re: too much party management

Post by PeauDouce » March 15th, 2012, 8:36 am

I've understood that it would be turn based, which could limit the "what the fuck is going on" feeling I had on Baldur's Gate.

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Re: too much party management

Post by Tharkon » March 15th, 2012, 8:43 am

Aleanthus wrote:Too much Party-Management was the thing that broke Baldurs Gate for me.
Let the player be the hero, not some combined will of several persons. The way it worked in Fallout was perfect.
Dont put the tactics and strategy aspect before the actual rolleplay aspect of the game.

I agree completely and talk about this in my thread to.
I'm all up for a party-based tactical-RPG. I Don't want Fallout here neither, It wouldn't be fair to the core fans.

But that doesn't mean you are the one that's supposed to manage everyone in detail.
Let the AI-personality of each character manage itself!


There must be some form of "general orders" that can be coded and that you can give as a leader. But beyond that I wouldn't like to see to much micromanagement of every individuals actions.

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Tharkon
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Re: too much party management

Post by Tharkon » March 15th, 2012, 8:45 am

urgrue wrote:Well there are two sides to this: general gameplay and combat.
On the combat side, I prefer a party, in the sense that I control everyone. AIs never do a good job and I like the tactical element it brings to control more than one character.
On the non-combat side, the main issue with not using predefined characters is that it (usually) means, they will have no personality, proper dialogues, relationships, drama, etc. I like how wasteland did it with the NPCs. You can't roll yourself a Christina or VAX (usually). Also, personally I like to have one main character that I identify with. I don't like to role-play them all and imagine their relationships in my head...

Yeah but then again the enemy AI is just as bad...or hopefully good.
I think people are to inclined and used to having to save their party members, reloading if they die and getting to frustrated on lucky shots and stuff like this.

There is real potential in avoiding this and being able to recruit far more actively and broadly. Perhaps even temporary. Hiring body guards for a long trip between two towns - and really not giving a fuck if they die or not.

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Vryheid
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Re: too much party management

Post by Vryheid » March 15th, 2012, 9:21 am

Aleanthus wrote:Too much Party-Management was the thing that broke Baldurs Gate for me.
Let the player be the hero, not some combined will of several persons. The way it worked in Fallout was perfect.
Dont put the tactics and strategy aspect before the actual rolleplay aspect of the game.
I disagree. The way the companion combat AI worked in Fallout was frustrating and unenjoyable. Party members were suicidal and always got in the way. They didn't use the weapons you wanted to, they never attacked from an intelligent angle, and they never stayed in a tactical position during combat. You could never give them any burst weapons because they were too stupid to not hit your other party members with splash fire. Only a few party members in Fallout 2 even qualified as usable (Vic, Cassidy, Sulik, and maybe Skynet), the rest basically crippled your team due to their poor stats or inability to spam rifle shots effectively. Fallout 1 was even worse about it, all of the followers were permanently stuck with crappy HP and could only use low tier weapons. Tycho was the only NPC in that game who was remotely effective in combat near the end. Most players were better off ignoring party members altogether.

There was nothing wrong with Wasteland having you be the "combined will of several persons". It is not a limiting factor to giving characters personality. Outside of combat, sure, NPCs should be making their own decisions and having their own personalities. Inside combat I want full control over every member of my team. Gameplay must always come first when it comes to making core design decisions like this. We can do our roleplay once the battle has ended.

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oldmanpaco
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Re: too much party management

Post by oldmanpaco » March 15th, 2012, 11:10 am

Next thing people are going to want is pooled inventory.

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Re: too much party management

Post by geezer » March 15th, 2012, 11:12 am

While I thought Fallout was a great game I have to agree that the companion system was flawed. I believe Brian Fargo has already committed to a party-based game. So most of this debate is moot. I do think party based games have more tactical possibilities and allow you to fight a greater number of challenging foes for longer, more interesting battles. As far as whether the characters should be rolled at the start of the game or added to the party as you progress I think that is a false dichotomy. There is no reason not to have both. That is how I play Baldur's Gate 2 nowadays. I roll part of the party and pickup the rest from the joinable NPCs that I prefer. The advantages of joinable NPCs can be seen in Planescape: Torment. How would that game have been without Annah or Fall from Grace. They were memorable characters. It might be possible to "roll" complex characters like that at the start, but I think it's better to pick them up in-game.

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Hoodlum
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Re: too much party management

Post by Hoodlum » March 15th, 2012, 11:47 am

It's pretty hard choice if you ask me.

Generally I think that there should be recruitable NPCs, but also there would be an option if you want full control over them or just basic (like movement/inventory etc.). So the companions would have storylines, unique character and so on.

Well, in the end - you'll never satisfy everyone with this aspect of the game.

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Re: too much party management

Post by Jasede » March 15th, 2012, 12:49 pm

I am disagreeing 1000%.

You should have to make your own party. They might have backgrounds - but only in the form of character traits, such as perks or the Darklands character creation. They should be your willing slaves with no personality other than what you pour into them.

NPCs are fine, but again, we don't want this whole Bioware "Please solve my problems and fall in love with me" crud.

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Aradael
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Re: too much party management

Post by Aradael » March 15th, 2012, 1:15 pm

The problems mentioned in party combat in Fallout are entirely AI related. AI has come light-years since then, they just have to use a better AI script to avoid those derpy moments NPCs have. Personally I'd like to see something like Dragon Quest 9 used, a selection between Full Control or a list of AI behavioral settings to use during combat.

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