Page 1 of 1

Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
by Bazy
A. Backround
Played through the beta a number of times with different setups, mostly Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Heavy Weapon, and sometimes a tank melee. Usually on the wasteland difficulty. As far as I know the only differences between difficulty levels are the amount of damage done/taken which I don't find compelling as I don't like when players and NPC play by different rule sets or are health sponges.

I took a lot of notes and had a lot to go through so did not go into as much detail as I probably should have.

I do want to mention up front how absolutely wonderful both the drawings and the descriptions for the Perks were. I found myself going through them just to read the descriptions and look at the drawings of the robots. Much better than Fallout ever did.

B. Gameplay
1. Skills: It really feels like you must specialize. Any attempt to have more than one skill set seems like it will just make you suck at all of them. this includes the combat skills. 10 points in your weapon can give you +30% to hit. This is MASSIVE. You severely gimp yourself if you choose to take anything other than combat stats. This really punishes players in combat for trying to have a character that does something besides kill stuff.

2a. Alphastrike gameplay: It's too early to be sure but it seems that Alphastrike will be far and away the best "strategy" for every fight. In other words, kill all of the enemy force in the first round... maybe two to mop up the stragglers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it really limits play-styles that are not about simply maximizing damage.

It also appears that 95% of the time you will simply be doing the same thing over and over.... using your basic attack at the highest percentile target.

I would suggest thinking about making death and loss of characters integral in the game. Replacing losses seems like a natural fit in the theme of the game. Currently by level 3 I already feel like a God compared to the guys that a day ago nearly destroyed the entire Ranger contingent.

Alternatively let Players be able to Mod the game.

2b. AI Abilities: The best RPGs put the player characters on an equal footing with the NPC Characters. That is the NPC's have all the same abilities that the player does. However, one thing that is sorely missing on the part of the AI is medics and reviving people. Despite having med boxes all over the place I didn't even see any NPC using a health pack or stims (See Underrail / Xcom 2 / Age of Decadence / Dungeon Rats for good examples of this). Nor did I see anyone use a rocket launcher/grenade or try to blow up the barrel of oiI was stupidly standing next to without being punished. Nor did I see an NPC use Ambush or Defend or Prepare. It really sucks that I feel like I'm playing by a different ruleset than my enemy.

This made the enemies seem like they will be coming in three types: 1) Dumb Melee that blindly charge at you one at a time; 2) Dumb Ranged that shoot at targets in cover or will shoot at the massively armored tank character I have that I want them to shoot; and 3) Dumb Big Giant Robot that will telegraph death ray/explosion. I hope this is not the case and that there is much more variety and strategic gameplay. Xcom 2 was amazing at this such that a lot of the fun was figuring out how to match your tools to each fight that presented itself. Here so far it seems like you grab the closest cover and shoot the highest percentage shot you can. Rinse and Repeat.

Alternatively let Players be able to Mod the game.

2c. Companion level scaling: I can't be sure but from the beta it seems recruits will scale to your level. I really hope this is not the case (or at least have the option not to be the case). First because it trivializes weapon and armor modding. You can simply just create toons that only do that and keep them in the base. If they scale with the player then everyone will have these professions for free simply by creating a toon that only specialized in those professions.

Second, it trivializes death. One of the great things about Xcom 2 was the risk and having to adjust to losing team members. If recruits scale to your level... Then the impact of death is de minimus. It also just dumb that your players what went through all the trials and tribulations to level up are magically matched by some new recruit that just showed up without having seen any combat.

Alternatively let Players be able to Mod the game.

3. Getting set up to attack: This is a frustrating experience trying to get all of the team members "in position" prior to starting combat. I'm assuming it's not really expected due to the difficulty of doing so... trying to move each character someone close to cover before firing a first shot to start combat.

The game also punishes you at times for doing so. For example, Bellamy will die if you don't start combat soon enough. Which is fine... but that comes at a cost of not realistically being able to set up for fights like you would like to be able to.

4. Multiple Shots: It felt good that weapons fired multiple rounds such that the chance of doing at least some damage per attack was much higher. However, there were times where I would have liked a single shot option for less AP.

5. One round left: There were times (though I'm not sure how it happened) where I only had one round left in the magazine and the resulting attack understandable only fired that single round. Ideally I would have reloaded first. This is not a complaint, I like that magazine ammo was something I had to manage and pay attention to.

6. 1 AP Remaining: Edit: Deleted. I was wrong about this. Having 1 AP works fine. Thanks Grimage.

7. Cigarettes are bad for your health: I tried out a pack of cigarettes to check out the buff and apparently it resulted in my character slowly losing the vast majority of her health without any kind of UI feedback showing the effect. The gameplay issue is why did it take almost all of my health for a minimal buff?

8. Armor/Penetration: Nothing specific to say here... good luck balancing it. Seems like a very all or nothing mechanic. I have a suspicion that all of the real baddies are gonna have very high penetration or energy weapons making armor OP against weak enemies and worthless against the ones that matter.

On the flip side penetration seems... I don't want to say strong, but seems like it will be a necessity against the difficult mobs. It is incredibly punishing for having penetration lower than armor.

9. Special Attacks: Build up way too slowly (and was not really explained anywhere that I noticed... especially regarding the "strike" stat). I didn't get a single special attack off on any of my playthroughs without cheating. And even when I did... it didn't seem that great (Assault Rifle version).

C. User Interface
1. Flanking angles off: Many angles in which I thought I was flanking an enemy I was apparently not. I had to rely on percentages because the flanking angles did not align with the visuals. One example is posted in the link below:

https://ibb.co/KmNWp0k

2. Sight lines: Some of these are very odd. The most egregious was next to Bellamy. I ran up to him with my sniper to get a good high point for the fight... seemed like the smart thing to do... only to find that the sight was completly blocked even though the visuals showed that it was clear and the enemy was able to shoot at Bellamy and kill him... and he was able to see and talk to people down the hill. This was just nonsensical and really made it seem like that game was a linear experience with one way to play... and punished creativity.

3. Keybindings Reset: Occurs everytime you restart the game. Very frustrating.

4. Hotkeys: Nothing was hotkeyd

5. Cover UI: While you can see whether you are moving to full or partial cover, I couldn't figure out a way to see what covered I was already in. I had to guess based on the visual.

There is also nothing in the game that tells me what cover actually does. Is it 5% evasion? 25%? Something else entirely?

6. Bashing locks/containers: I could not figure out a way to do this other than removing the weapons for the character. Even if there was a free weapon slot I couldn't swap to fists really quick just to bash something.

7. Subtitles while exploring: Overhearing NPCs talking without subtitles made it hard to know what they said at times while you were exploring the world.

8. Pet effect: Nothing in the UI shows benefits of the current pet.

9. Combat log: RPG with no combat log is odd.

10. Dialogue history: RPG with no dialogue history is odd. Similarly, when responding to NPCs there is no way to see they last thing they said to help with context... or review the conversation after the fact. This is a standard RPG stuff that is missing.

11. Missing character backrounds/quirks: There is nowhere that I noticed to see these after you are done with character creation. They should be listed somewhere along with character perks/stats/abilities and the benefit it provides.

12. Recruit stats: Not being able to see the full extent of recruit stats/backround etc. is odd.

13. Debuff descriptions: many don't describe what is going on. Bleed for example, no duration is listed.

14. Buy/Sell UI: As others have mentioned buying and selling is very tedious right now and lacks the most basics features. No sell junk option. You must drag each item individually to sell, you can't just click on them. No confirmation of the price of selling an individual item. When you try to sell multiple items the default should be to sell all of it... right now it assumes you only want to sell half of your stack of junk. Comparing items to currently equipped gear to what your toon currently has is much more difficult that it should be.

15. Difficulty settings: please be specific about the difficulty differences and not just some vague description.

16. Friendly fire: Please allow us to turn on/off friendly fire when selecting difficulty as opposed to changing it in the options menu.

17. Luck?: I would randomly get bonus AP points and I could not figure out why as there was no real feedback explaining what happened. The best I could tell there was a luck based proc that gave everyone in the party one extra AP, but still not really sure. Also, what is a mega ultra lucky crit? None of that is explained.

18. Initiative: Assuming this is being taken out as it I couldn't figure out if it did anything and in light of the sticky post saying that this game is not based on initiative.

19. Sneaking I could not reliably get the red detection circle to show up on mobs. Most times when I tried it automatically initiated combat. It worked fine on the first level/tutorial with the warbot, but not after.

D. Animations
1. Character Sliding: Whenever you character start moving they tend to slide across the ground very quickly for quite a distance. They also tend to accelerate to full speed instantly.This results in a very jarring experience, especially when just trying to move short distances.

2. Missed shots: Very very often if a character missing a shot they animation would show them essentially just shooting the cover they were standing behind. This was super jarring and felt awful.

E. Character visuals:
1. No Sunglasses: Where are they? Along with the other character customization options that are very limited. The starting armor is all pretty similar (and super bulky) and has clipping issues. Also disappointing that none if it matters since it is cover up by whatever ugly armor we pick up.
Also I'm not a fan of the armor we choose having a bunch of ammo belts and utility items. If it's not something I can use in the game, it should not be represented on the character model.

2. Mutant: I can have green skin... where is my mutant background/quirk? (PLEASE LET US MOD THIS KIND OF STUFF IN)

F. Continuity/Narrative/Roleplay
1. Bookworm description: The background for bookworm is too specific. The Ag center should not be mentioned as it pigeonholes roleplayers into a background where the character has to be from the Ag center. It would be better if the description was not so specific (or if the game allowed these to be easily modded).

2. Rushing the character: Please be careful about putting a character in a situation where they story requires they should be rushed. I want to take my time and do side quests and loot things realistically. However, I cannot justify stopping to pick up scrap if there is a guy on top of a dam firing rockets at people.

Similarly, when I first got my base I wanted to explore the base... but as soon as I got there I was told there was a hostage situation. How can I justify checking out my new place when people are in danger? What you should have done is give the player the base and said "take your time, get back to me when you are settled and ready to get to work." And only then should you have told the player about the potential hostage situation.

In contrast, the quests from the Patriarch were done perfectly. He has a task for you to take care of his family. But the character doesn't feel rushed to get it done RIGHT NOW above all else. This was perfectly implemented. And it also brought back the KOTOR style decision of which planet you wanted to explore first. (Edit I now see quests have levels attached to them... so we may not have as much freedom as I thought).

3. Close ups: I know some people like this feature, but I do not. I don't think the character models are particularly good when viewed up close, and the lighting is strangely bright. It was also immersion breaking to have Jarret not even face my direction when talking to me. And then blood was splattered on the "camera"? This broke the 4th wall and took me out of the experience.

4. Forced narrative: Why did I have to ask Jarret questions? I just wanted to shoot him. Usually the game had an "attack" option, but this was noticeably lacking here.

5. Contradictory narrative: I told Bell that I would come back for her. Yet when I reached the Major my only option was to say that Bell would "be along shortly." What?

6. Contradictory narrative: There was a time where I killed all the dorsey in the first round of the first fight, before the warbot arrived. Meaning a bunch of the Rangers survived... yet they seemed to just disappear without explanation. My head canon is that they died with the Major getting up the dam I guess. But she didn't say anything about it.

7. Area looting: Please list the name of the mobs over their corresponding "bag" in the UI when area looting. I don't necessary want to loot every mob and knowing which one I'm about to rummage through would increase immersion/roleplay.

8. Psychic Narrative: When leaving the dam to meet the Patriarch the game asked for confirmation that you want to go to "Ranger HQ." This has not yet been established to be Ranger HQ in the game.

9. Lack of a Carry limit: Another missing RPG mechanic. Dragging around multiple weapons and tons of junk is not fun nor immersive or realistic. This also leads to the "I must loot everything that exists" gameplay. At the very least make this an optional mechanic for people to tailor the experience.

Or allow modders to do it.

10. Nonsensical loot: Colorado Dollars in an abandoned 20th century bunker stretches credibility. This is where world building can shine and putting the games modern currency in the wrong places detracts from that.

Also, why am I killing an enemy with a gun... but all he drops is a moldy sock?

or let modders handle it.

11. Custom Ranger backgrounds: How can a recruit in Colorado have the Desert Cat background? Mannerites being from LA and coming to Colorado also a bit of a stretch.

13. Questionable narrative: Still not convinced that the Patriarch needed our help. Maybe this is a plot point later on but still seems odd to me that this guys with tons of resources needs our help to round up his family.

14. Inconsistent Narrative: If I chose to kill the prisoner that the Patriarch had my heavy gun carrying characters someone found a pistol? Where did it come from? Please tell me where it is so I can use it in battle or sell it.

15. Fence Generator: The fence that you go through to go up the dam has a generator... outside the fence.... with a bright string of lights showing you they are connected as if it wasn't obvious enough. WTF is this? I feel like I'm playing a children's game.

Remove the nonsensical generator. If you want the player to disarm whatever is powering the fence, just have them use the skill on the fence itself. I get it is a tutorial starting zone but you don't need to treat players like they are 5 years old.

G. Attributes
Coordination: Right now it seems like Coordination is God Tier because of the AP it gives. No other attribute comes close. For example your baseline AP is 6. If you are a sniper you get one shot per round. If you max coordination you get 12 AP and can do 2 shots per round. This is a 100% increase in damage. For Assault Rifles you can go from 1 shot in the first round to 3 shots... 200% increase in damage. No other attribute even comes close to that. It also feels good to be able to do more in combat. Being AP limited feels bad for characters that don't invest in coordination.

Awareness: is a clear second place for gun users simply because hit rating is so important.

Luck: Seems to be a dump stat. Overall too random to be worth anything. However, may end up being necessary depending on how important penetration is.

Strength: Seems to be a dump stat unless melee toon. Alphastrike or lose. Even if a player is downed they can be revived.

Speed: Seems to be a dump stat. Moving isn't worth the AP cost regardless and there isn't much need to move around the battlefield outside the first setup. Even if you do want to move around you are better off getting more AP from Coordination. Initiative is not a thing. Evasion isn't bad but this game promotes offense over defense.

Intelligence: Dump stat. 5 skill points for maxing this out is a joke. The crit is ok but Coordination and Awareness give better offensive stats.

Charisma: Dump stat unless you are set on having a leadership character. But in my experience they are too hard to use properly and keep everyone in range. They completely gimp themselves in combat and are not worth bringing compared to another combat toon.

Overall I had a hard time making any gun user that wasn't full Coordination then whatever left in Awareness. My melee tank similarly went Coordination/Strength. I recall the stats in WL2 being much more synergistic and requiring a better balance.

H. Misc
1. Robot dialogue: The dialogue from the robots when you first get to Ranger HQ was excellent even if it relied on a modern day meme/slang.

2. City banter: Repeats far too quickly. I got sick of listening to that couple having the exact same argument in the city while I'm trying to sell my junk.

3. Perk Dialogue/Artwork Wonderful.

I. Bugs?
1. Having both two dump chump buff and debuff at the same time because I left and started combat again was odd. Shouldn't one take priority over the other?

2. Two pump chump description: It is listed in character selection as 25% / -15% hit chance.... but in game it is critical chance.

J. Modding
Please add some level of modding to the game. It is so very critical. Even just simple basic things like editing weapon stats/backrounds. Allowing player to extract files and place edited versions in an override folder would be amazing and seems like the minimum for a modern day RPG.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 21st, 2020, 8:05 am
by Grimage
Very nice feedback, congrats!
Thank you for nailing several inconsistencies, they were under our nose, yet, you were the only one to uncover them.

A few comments though :

B1. Skills: In normal difficulty (2/4), the combat seemed very easy with unoptimized characters and 1-3 in weapon skill. It's hard to tell for the entirety of the game, but i guess having 3 skills raised at the same time with one of them being a weapon should be ok.
By the way, the amount of checks for all the other skills was huge, imo. I changed my idea of team to mandatory include lockpicking and explosive, for example.
You seem to orient your team towards combat only, on the contrary, i plan to keep my weapon skills low, or on par with the other skills, and guess it will be pretty ok. I don' plan to play in higher difficulties though, i admit.

B2c. At ranger HQ, the recruits all have the same xp (1100), it's not linked to your level. I don't know if their XP will automaticly raise when you're gone, or bump if you unlock specific story step, but it doesn't seem to scale exactly.
I can hardly imagine how it could work in this game not to have some sort of level scaling.
- From the mission levels, your characters will probably have to level 20+. That's a lot.
- There don't seem to have a way to grind levels. So hard to catch up...
- The skill checks are fixed "You need 3 in lockpicking to unlock this". The further you advance in the story, the harder they will be. If you have too much losses, your new recruits (lvl1) won't be able to match the skill levels required.
- At level 1, in this system, you can't have a maxed skill. It is based on progression. It's not very permissive for new recruits late in the game.
- Incapacitated characters can be very easily raised up, and can hardly die. The game is built so you can't really loose one of your teammates. This goes against your philosophy in the first place.

Although i like the game philosophy you propose, i don't think this game is built up around it, nor that it can be modified at this state to suit the idea. It would require a different progression system, more horizontal than vertical, that this game simply doesn't have.

B3. Getting set up to attack: Yes, the game is definitely lacking here. The player should be able to force turn based for a preparation round, or maybe having auto placement of the team like the AI does, going to cover, or defining rôles for that auto placement (front liner, sniper in far cover, flanker...)

B4. Well, problem is they changed the skills, so now smgs and assault rifles are in the "auto" skill. It's in the game philosophy that you'll shoot auto with auto weapons :/

B6. 1 AP Remaining: No, no, prepare and defend give bonuses starting at 1AP. Prepare will give you 1AP next turn, and Defend 5% evasion.

B9. Special Attacks: Yes, they build reaaaally slowly. As far as i understood it, Charisma seems to improve the rate at which they fill up. Watch for "strike rate +x%". Even with CHA 10, it's only +25%... This should at least pop once per encounter imo.

Watch out, you put "B" two times in the titles.

C1. Flanking angles off: To flank, you have to be one step further across the imaginary line of the cover. The leaning "doesn't count". Most of the time it means getting exposed. In the end, it often means you can't get cover at the same cover your target is.
In your example, here is how it works : cover/no cover

C6. Bashing locks/containers:
Actually, you can use any weapon to break containers, use the attack button.

C18. Initiative:
Yes, it's hard to get some info about this. From what i guessed, initiative gives you a chance to have a first round before the enemy, much like in D&D. But i'm very much in the dark too, here.

C19. Sneaking:
In my experience, it works, but the detection delay is so short you'd better have excellent reflexes as a player to be able to do anything viable. It's only use i can see right now is for short range weapons. You click on the enemy to attack, and then your character gets close and shoot, hoping to do it before the detection time ends.

Attributes : I don't have strong opinions on them atm.
About INT, since it's no more skill points/level, maybe it could be 1sp/Int point rather than 1sp/2 Int points. I don't know.
About CHA, the xp bonus isn't negligeable since levelling is quite rewarding (3sp, 1ap, 1/2pp, con...). My Cha 10 bookworm character was level 4 when arriving at the ranger HQ when my other char and recruits were 3. In the end it will make quite a difference. But yeah, one will probably have 0-1 character with reasonnable CHA, and crappy CHA for the others.

For the most part, I agree with you, though.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 21st, 2020, 2:43 pm
by Drool
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
It really feels like you must specialize.
Unfortunate, but not surprising. Wasteland 2 was largely the same. However, I do like the skill compression they did to make it a little less annoying. Alarm Disarm and Computer Science combined to (sigh) Nerd Stuff. Shotguns and Pistols combined, AR and SMG combined, Melee combined, Speech skills reduced by a third. Of course, they added Armor Modding which goes against that trend.
The cost should be that it ends your turn.
They should also have bloody hotkeys. Or be expanded out from the button they're currently hiding behind.
8. Armor/Penetration: Nothing specific to say here... good luck balancing it.
Fingers crossed. Armor was an absolute mess in 2 and was in a crying need of a completely overhaul.
9. Special Attacks: Build up way too slowly
I wondered about this. If it was because this is Beta or because my weapon skills were only 3 (perhaps raises faster with higher skill?). Not sure. It only took about 3 or 4 hits in the Alpha.
I would randomly get bonus AP points and I could not figure out why as there was no real feedback explaining what happened. The best I could tell there was a luck based proc that gave everyone in the party one extra AP, but still not really sure.
From Luck's description, I would assume it's a random proc, yeah.
9. Lack of a Carry limit: Another missing RPG mechanic. Dragging around multiple weapons and tons of junk is not fun nor immersive or realistic.
I assume the shared inventory killed it. From an in character perspective, you're riding around in the Kodiak, so it could be managing storage for you.
Colorado Dollars in an abandoned 20th century bunker stretches credibility.
I was just happy that they ditched "scrap" as the basis for the economy.
3. Perk Dialogue/Artwork Wonderful.
Little too aping Vaultboy for my taste. They tried Creepy Dolls in WL2:DC, and now they're doing Laurel and Hardy robots.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 21st, 2020, 3:40 pm
by pnellesen
Good post, covers a lot of the things that bugged me as well.

Several things I noticed that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere (unless I'm blind, which is a distinct possibility):

1. It wasn't always clear which weapon/armor types the different mods went with at a glance - would be nice to get that info when mousing over it.
2. Would like to be able to zoom out farther (I whined about this in WL2 as well ;) )
3. I noticed that if I was in a shop and dragged/dropped an item from the shop into my inventory, I wasn't charged for it if I didn't have one in my inventory already - I seem to recall that I WAS charged if I was adding it to an already existing stack.

Not being able to see your team moving on the region map was disappointing as well (others have mentioned that).

Otherwise, I thought it was pretty solid, and am really looking forward to spending many hours dispensing Ranger justice and goodwill throughout the frozen wastes of Colorado soon :)

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 21st, 2020, 7:31 pm
by Bazy
...i guess having 3 skills raised at the same time with one of them being a weapon should be ok.
Probably. All I'm saying is that you take a heavy hit to your combat abilities in order to be good at other skills, and vice versa. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It is an RPG. Making choices is good.
Although i like the game philosophy you propose, i don't think this game is built up around it, nor that it can be modified at this state to suit the idea. It would require a different progression system, more horizontal than vertical, that this game simply doesn't have.
Agreed.
B6. 1 AP Remaining: No, no, prepare and defend give bonuses starting at 1AP. Prepare will give you 1AP next turn, and Defend 5% evasion.
You are correct. Thank you. Thought I had checked that.
B9. Special Attacks: ...Charisma seems to improve the rate at which they fill up... Even with CHA 10, it's only +25%... This should at least pop once per encounter imo.
I noticed that when I tested a +10 CHA toon. It was super fast. Much more than the percentage would make you thinkg.
Watch out, you put "B" two times in the titles.
Fixed.
To flank, you have to be one step further across the imaginary line of the cover. The leaning "doesn't count". Most of the time it means getting exposed. In the end, it often means you can't get cover at the same cover your target is.
In your example, here is how it works : cover/no cover
Great image. Thank you. Game could use something like that. Much different than Xcom 2.
Bashing locks/containers: Actually, you can use any weapon to break containers, use the attack button.
Yes but I want to use my fists in order to save ammo.
Sneaking: In my experience, it works, but the detection delay is so short you'd better have excellent reflexes as a player to be able to do anything viable. It's only use i can see right now is for short range weapons. You click on the enemy to attack, and then your character gets close and shoot, hoping to do it before the detection time ends.
Agreed, and it seems that there were narrative triggers that occurred outside of the detection range. So even if you tried to sneak up on someone you ended up forcing a dialogue to occur well before the detection circle.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 21st, 2020, 9:17 pm
by Stuurminator
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
1. Skills: It really feels like you must specialize. Any attempt to have more than one skill set seems like it will just make you suck at all of them. this includes the combat skills. 10 points in your weapon can give you +30% to hit. This is MASSIVE. You severely gimp yourself if you choose to take anything other than combat stats. This really punishes players in combat for trying to have a character that does something besides kill stuff.

2a. Alphastrike gameplay: It's too early to be sure but it seems that Alphastrike will be far and away the best "strategy" for every fight. In other words, kill all of the enemy force in the first round... maybe two to mop up the stragglers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it really limits play-styles that are not about simply maximizing damage.
Having a dedicated tank (I recommend the Bop Bag quirk) goes a long way towards alleviating the need for alpha strikes, and I suspect alleviating the need for alpha strikes will go a long way towards alleviating the need for ultraspecialization. Playing on Ranger difficulty, I got through most fights without real trouble even though my original two rangers had multiple skills (with only one combat skill each) and a not-particularly-optimized attribute spread.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
2b. AI Abilities: The best RPGs put the player characters on an equal footing with the NPC Characters. That is the NPC's have all the same abilities that the player does. However, one thing that is sorely missing on the part of the AI is medics and reviving people. Despite having med boxes all over the place I didn't even see any NPC using a health pack or stims (See Underrail / Xcom 2 / Age of Decadence / Dungeon Rats for good examples of this). Nor did I see anyone use a rocket launcher/grenade or try to blow up the barrel of oiI was stupidly standing next to without being punished. Nor did I see an NPC use Ambush or Defend or Prepare. It really sucks that I feel like I'm playing by a different ruleset than my enemy.
I did see some enemies using Ambush, but like in Wasteland 2, they seemed to do it rarely and without rhyme or reason. It seems like we'll be getting the same sort of enemy tactics in WL3 as we got in WL2. It's a shame - I'd really like to see enemies using things like the Defend or Prepare action, let alone everything else you mentioned.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
8. Armor/Penetration: Nothing specific to say here... good luck balancing it. Seems like a very all or nothing mechanic. I have a suspicion that all of the real baddies are gonna have very high penetration or energy weapons making armor OP against weak enemies and worthless against the ones that matter.

On the flip side penetration seems... I don't want to say strong, but seems like it will be a necessity against the difficult mobs. It is incredibly punishing for having penetration lower than armor.
This is the same way it worked in WL2, so I figure this is the way they want it. Though, the targeted shots in DC at least allowed us to grind down their armour; unfortunately, while we can technically replicate this with the new precision strike system, we can't do so reliably.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
10. Dialogue history: RPG with no dialogue history is odd. Similarly, when responding to NPCs there is no way to see they last thing they said to help with context... or review the conversation after the fact. This is a standard RPG stuff that is missing.
I agree with this 100%. I'd like the combat log back too, for that matter, but I think it's too late in development to do that.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
1. Bookworm description: The background for bookworm is too specific. The Ag center should not be mentioned as it pigeonholes roleplayers into a background where the character has to be from the Ag center. It would be better if the description was not so specific (or if the game allowed these to be easily modded).

11. Custom Ranger backgrounds: How can a recruit in Colorado have the Desert Cat background? Mannerites being from LA and coming to Colorado also a bit of a stretch.
This is ignored easily enough - after all, when choosing your character's quirks in WL2DC, did you really figure they had the backstory described in the quirk description? Still, it would be nice if these descriptions could be adjusted to be a bit more general.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
10. Nonsensical loot: Colorado Dollars in an abandoned 20th century bunker stretches credibility. This is where world building can shine and putting the games modern currency in the wrong places detracts from that.
If you mean the Ranger HQ, they mention that it's had a number of inhabitants before you over the years. This one I don't have a problem with.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
13. Questionable narrative: Still not convinced that the Patriarch needed our help. Maybe this is a plot point later on but still seems odd to me that this guys with tons of resources needs our help to round up his family.
I strongly suspect this is a plot point. IIRC, you can even ask him (or maybe it was his underlings?) why he needs to bring in outside help, and the answer is something along the lines of "you don't have a stake in local politics". My guess is he's either more corrupt than he's letting on, and he hopes you won't figure that out; or his grasp on power is much more fragile than he's letting on, and he hopes you won't figure that out. Either way, I think there's a hidden reason why he's putting his trust in a foreign agent.

He also gets really defensive if you mention his shaky hands (you might not have seen this if you didn't invest in First Aid), which implies his authority is at least partially reliant on the illusion of power.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
Coordination: Right now it seems like Coordination is God Tier because of the AP it gives. No other attribute comes close. For example your baseline AP is 6. If you are a sniper you get one shot per round. If you max coordination you get 12 AP and can do 2 shots per round. This is a 100% increase in damage. For Assault Rifles you can go from 1 shot in the first round to 3 shots... 200% increase in damage. No other attribute even comes close to that. It also feels good to be able to do more in combat. Being AP limited feels bad for characters that don't invest in coordination.
Just a tip: Have you tried the Death Wish quirk yet? If you want AP that badly and you're already all in on the alpha strike gameplay, it might be a lot of fun for you.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 22nd, 2020, 8:52 am
by Bazy
Having a dedicated tankgoes a long way towards alleviating the need for alpha strikes, and I suspect alleviating the need for alpha strikes will go a long way towards alleviating the need for ultraspecialization.
I was thinking the same thing and tried to have a tank character soak everything. He was comically able to soak everything they threw at him, however I could not reliably get him to tank all of the shots. Which is a good thing because I don't want AI that is stupid enough to focus on my tank.

This is all speculation as the beta was pretty straightforward with generic enemies.
I recommend the Bop Bag quirk
Agreed, armor was pretty broken against the generic mobs without much penetration. Even on non tank-characters with 6-8 armor.

wrote: 10. Nonsensical loot: Colorado Dollars in an abandoned 20th century bunker stretches credibility. This is where world building can shine and putting the games modern currency in the wrong places detracts from that.
If you mean the Ranger HQ, they mention that it's had a number of inhabitants before you over the years. This one I don't have a problem with.
Ok... but in a post-apocalyptic world with scarce resources why the hell are people just leaving money laying around? It's just a dumb contrivance. I want stuff to feel scarce and take part in this world and earn my way through it. Not have things just laying around for me to collect.
I strongly suspect this is a plot point. IIRC, you can even ask him (or maybe it was his underlings?) why he needs to bring in outside help, and the answer is something along the lines of "you don't have a stake in local politics". My guess is he's either more corrupt than he's letting on, and he hopes you won't figure that out; or his grasp on power is much more fragile than he's letting on, and he hopes you won't figure that out. Either way, I think there's a hidden reason why he's putting his trust in a foreign agent.

He also gets really defensive if you mention his shaky hands (you might not have seen this if you didn't invest in First Aid), which implies his authority is at least partially reliant on the illusion of power.
I didn't pick up on much of that, not that is seems terribly convincing. I don't understand what the Ranger's can do that he can't. Nor can I see how rounding up his three kids could possibly be worth providing all the "food and supplies" that Arizona could possibly need. It's just way too good to be true. I get that the Rangers are desperate... but they just seem to going about it rather obliviously.

Combined with how badly they handled the ambush at the dam it seems the Ranger's are just kinda dumb.
Have you tried the Death Wish quirk yet? If you want AP that badly and you're already all in on the alpha strike gameplay, it might be a lot of fun for you.
I didn't like Deathwish as much as I thought I would. I was already maxing out Coordination to get 12 AP a turn. Having 3 more AP doesn't give you another shot, and not being able to wear armor seems like a pretty big drawback. Another big problem is that your max AP seems to be two more than your base AP. So even if fire twice in the first round and use your 12 AP you are only able to save 2 for the next round... so you never really end up getting another shot out of it.

In contrast, Serial Killer gave a lot more AP. It was rather absurd with heavy guns getting constant +3 AP with each kill and I could often get at least +6 or +9 AP per turn. Though like a lot of things, I feel like it's going to be amazing against weak enemies that feed you AP, but not very good against opponent's that actually do stuff.

The most consistent, and probably the best is Sadomasochistic. +50% is just dumb. The extra damage taken is whatever because reviving Ranger's is easy.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 22nd, 2020, 10:23 am
by frozyx
Very good summery and i agree with pretty much everything. I am gonna stress a few bullet points that i feel are most imporant (to me at least):
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
2b. AI Abilities: The best RPGs put the player characters on an equal footing with the NPC Characters. That is the NPC's have all the same abilities that the player does. However, one thing that is sorely missing on the part of the AI is medics and reviving people. Despite having med boxes all over the place I didn't even see any NPC using a health pack or stims (See Underrail / Xcom 2 / Age of Decadence / Dungeon Rats for good examples of this). Nor did I see anyone use a rocket launcher/grenade or try to blow up the barrel of oiI was stupidly standing next to without being punished. Nor did I see an NPC use Ambush or Defend or Prepare. It really sucks that I feel like I'm playing by a different ruleset than my enemy.

This made the enemies seem like they will be coming in three types: 1) Dumb Melee that blindly charge at you one at a time; 2) Dumb Ranged that shoot at targets in cover or will shoot at the massively armored tank character I have that I want them to shoot; and 3) Dumb Big Giant Robot that will telegraph death ray/explosion. I hope this is not the case and that there is much more variety and strategic gameplay. Xcom 2 was amazing at this such that a lot of the fun was figuring out how to match your tools to each fight that presented itself. Here so far it seems like you grab the closest cover and shoot the highest percentage shot you can. Rinse and Repeat.
I loved AoD and Dungeon Rats for its challenging and rewarding complex combat system, that made you want to outplay the opponents that acted pretty rational too. To be fair, it wasnt in WL2 too (and not in WL1 anyways), but with the current game also being very combat centered, i feel the Enemy AI is just not good or 'deep' enough.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
3. Getting set up to attack: This is a frustrating experience trying to get all of the team members "in position" prior to starting combat. I'm assuming it's not really expected due to the difficulty of doing so... trying to move each character someone close to cover before firing a first shot to start combat.

The game also punishes you at times for doing so. For example, Bellamy will die if you don't start combat soon enough. Which is fine... but that comes at a cost of not realistically being able to set up for fights like you would like to be able to.
Agree. But its not only that. Combat in general is very fiddly. With the perspective and the limited zoom its hard for me to have an overview about whats going on and setting up my ppl (clicking, choosing etc.) takes quite some time not only at the start. but also mid combat.

Back to topic: one huge issue i have with beginning combat is the random positioing and setup of my group at the start. I believe the bad formation my rangers use to move is one of the reasons. It could be less annoying if you could setup a much closer formation among your 6 party members, that leads to a more reasonable starting setup. Example: it can get really messy when i enter a building and initiate combat right away. My sniper might just ran into the enemies while my melee is still outside and his path blocked by the others. Make a much more pragmatic formation or maybe even let the player choose a setup.
Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
8. Armor/Penetration: Nothing specific to say here... good luck balancing it. Seems like a very all or nothing mechanic. I have a suspicion that all of the real baddies are gonna have very high penetration or energy weapons making armor OP against weak enemies and worthless against the ones that matter.

On the flip side penetration seems... I don't want to say strong, but seems like it will be a necessity against the difficult mobs. It is incredibly punishing for having penetration lower than armor.
Nothing new. As someone else also posted: it was a mess in WL2 and it could be a mess again. Main problem is that its not really intuitive. Esp. when you are trying to choose the right armor to protect yourself. I am probably not the only one remembering to strip all armor before entering Whittier in WL2. I am honestly not super excited to keep going like that ...

To bring up sth else regarding combat: WEAPON RANGE. Similar issue in WL2, your attack range is so low, its simply not intuitive. I spend A LOT of time trying to figure out where to move my rangers so they could actually attack. And from the looks they seem so close that you really wonder how they cannot reach the enemy with their rifle. Its crazy and i will probably never understand that or get a feel for it. Maybe physical laws changed with the nuclear bombing that bullets dont fly more than 30 meters anymore ...

Bazy wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 11:35 pm
10. Nonsensical loot: Colorado Dollars in an abandoned 20th century bunker stretches credibility. This is where world building can shine and putting the games modern currency in the wrong places detracts from that.

Also, why am I killing an enemy with a gun... but all he drops is a moldy sock?
Well, also an issue since WL2. Its not only the drops from enemies, but i also quite simply dont like how loot is gathered in general. Basically loot boxes EVERYWHERE. MAybe one of the design goals is/was to keep the player busy with opening 5328 loot boxes that are placed all over the world, basically every 10 meter you walk. But then, i wouldnt expect from a post-apocalyptic world, where everytjing is scarce, to find crates and boxes everywhere. In the streets, the bushes, basically every room you enter. A few bullets there, a few med kits here, some mods over there. How does that make sense? Imo, ammunition (and weapons, mods etc.) belongs into a (guarded or secured or hidden) armory or storage room. And every important site should have one of these. And the rest drops from enemies that are using them - and thats it. Maybe its just me, but i really never liked the loot box overkill ...

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 22nd, 2020, 11:19 am
by Bazy
Its not only the drops from enemies, but i also quite simply dont like how loot is gathered in general. Basically loot boxes EVERYWHERE. MAybe one of the design goals is/was to keep the player busy with opening 5328 loot boxes that are placed all over the world, basically every 10 meter you walk. But then, i wouldnt expect from a post-apocalyptic world, where everytjing is scarce, to find crates and boxes everywhere. In the streets, the bushes, basically every room you enter. A few bullets there, a few med kits here, some mods over there. How does that make sense? Imo, ammunition (and weapons, mods etc.) belongs into a (guarded or secured or hidden) armory or storage room. And every important site should have one of these. And the rest drops from enemies that are using them - and thats it. Maybe its just me, but i really never liked the loot box overkill ...
Well said. It seems like such a contrivance that so many lootable items are just scattered around levels for no realistic reason.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am
by Grimage
Weapon range : Well, to be fair, in every tactical RPG you will have some sort of range shrink. It is needed to make a playable tactical situation with, most of the time, a top down view. Devs can't render miles of battlefield, or it would be unbearable for the player to scroll through. It is also necessary to mix different fighting styles, like melee and ranged, in the same space.

Loot boxes : Interesting. Thinking about this, i would prefer fewer stashes but more logically placed and hold too. Also, more drop from the fighters, as you said. It is sad to look a sock on a fully armored and armed opponent. At least make us loot broken weapons/armors that we can sell as junk or use for modding.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 22nd, 2020, 2:05 pm
by Drool
Grimage wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am
Weapon range : Well, to be fair, in every tactical RPG you will have some sort of range shrink. It is needed to make a playable tactical situation with, most of the time, a top down view.
Yes, but it still feels awfully limited, especially with sniper rifles. Worse, some floor tiles are colored so it's pretty much impossible to see if it's a square where you can move and attack or just move. If they're going to color code like that, they need to jack up the alpha on the overlay.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 23rd, 2020, 10:40 am
by Kalam0na
Grimage wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am
Weapon range : Well, to be fair, in every tactical RPG you will have some sort of range shrink. It is needed to make a playable tactical situation with, most of the time, a top down view. Devs can't render miles of battlefield, or it would be unbearable for the player to scroll through. It is also necessary to mix different fighting styles, like melee and ranged, in the same space.
So not true. Do you remember Jagged Alliance 2? The weapon range was way bigger than your optimal shooting range but you still had a chance to be lucky. (but the penalty was really big)
Btw, I always kinda felt the whole melee forced as unless it's a close counter situation it's absolutely rubbish.

I didn't like the looting in WL2 too much bc it was random. Early game on Ranger or S.Jerk diff I had to savescum a lot just to get enough ammo for my weapons and later to get access to the best (not named) weapon or only lootable weapon mods. When you arrived in California you had a chance to have a random enc. where your damage output was not enough unless you "tricked" the system the same way. (The DC version was more balanced but i remember my first time when I tried to save the cows from M's men with my Arizona weapons.)

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 23rd, 2020, 11:37 am
by Grimage
Kalam0na wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 10:40 am
So not true. Do you remember Jagged Alliance 2? The weapon range was way bigger than your optimal shooting range but you still had a chance to be lucky. (but the penalty was really big)
I not only remember JA2, I also ESPECIALLY thought about JA2 saying that. In this game, real weapon ranges are divided by 10 to suit the scale of tactical game. Being able to shoot beyond the optimal range is out of topic. Weapon ranges were shrinked anyway, optimal or max ones.
Was your original point that there should be an optimal range and a max range? I may have misunderstood you, and that would be interesting, but maybe out of the scope of the game right now :(
Kalam0na wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 10:40 am
Btw, I always kinda felt the whole melee forced as unless it's a close counter situation it's absolutely rubbish.
To some extent, yes. Balance has its reasons, Wasteland is a post apoc world with uneven terrain, a lot of creatures and humans fighting with claws, teeth and melee weapons, and not all ranged weapons are top notch. (Playing devil's advocate here ;) )
Kalam0na wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 10:40 am
I didn't like the looting in WL2 too much bc it was random.
Yep, loot randomness generally feels bad. It was mentionned on another topic too that containers are ubiquituous and placed with much nonsense. A few well protected stashs (guarded, locked, trapped and the like) and better approvisonned would be more interesting and feel more rewarding/logical.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 23rd, 2020, 2:26 pm
by Kalam0na
I not only remember JA2, I also ESPECIALLY thought about JA2 saying that. In this game, real weapon ranges are divided by 10 to suit the scale of tactical game. Being able to shoot beyond the optimal range is out of topic. Weapon ranges were shrinked anyway, optimal or max ones.
Was your original point that there should be an optimal range and a max range? I may have misunderstood you, and that would be interesting, but maybe out of the scope of the game right now :(
Yeah, so in WL2 there was a max range and was an optimal range. For example an AK had penalty in close counter (let's say 0-5m), an optimal range between 5-20m and a max range of 30m so you had some penalty in the 20-30m distance as well. (I don't remember the exact numbers, ofc.) A scope increased your max range and a very good scope late-game your optimal and max range. Now first of all I think that 30m max range is a joke, it's just too small. It could be use an optimal range instead which could be based on the character's Awareness. For example, with Awareness 6 with an AK (assault) you would have a penalty in the 0-5m range which could be lessened with a perk, an optimal range of up to 25m and over 25m your chances to hit something would be lowered with every meter. With Awareness 10 the optimal range would be between 5-45m. In this case the max range wouldn't be needed just simple decrease the hit chance. (Like optimal range +0-10%: -1% per meter; opt range +10-20%: -5% per meter; opt range +20-35%: -8% per meter; opt range +35% -10% per meter) And if you want make it simple just use the same base values for the same weapon types. (But ofc use different base stats for a pistol and a sniper, etc) Maybe it sounds complicated but with a bit of planning and thinking it would be doable. In this scenario a proper cover-system would be beneficial, ie. you couldn't see and aim somebody behind a stone wall unless you blast the wall with an rpg. What I describe this way sounds like how Fallout Tactics worked just it could be polished the edges a bit. (But I think F:Tactic's mechanic was better than WL2's, except the known 'missed shot from a machine gun rip your body close to you' bug.)
I know these are just dreams because the game is almost finished and this is base game-mechanics what we are talking about, just I hoped they will polish the WL2 system and so far , based on this Beta only, there were improvements but downgrades as well.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 23rd, 2020, 2:33 pm
by bnf
Grimage wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am
Weapon range : Well, to be fair, in every tactical RPG you will have some sort of range shrink. It is needed to make a playable tactical situation with, most of the time, a top down view. Devs can't render miles of battlefield, or it would be unbearable for the player to scroll through. It is also necessary to mix different fighting styles, like melee and ranged, in the same space.
That's very true, but I don't think WL3 struck that balance between realism and gameplay well. It feels like if you're using a pistol, you need to get close enough to tickle your target to be in range.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 24th, 2020, 12:26 am
by frozyx
Grimage wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am
Weapon range : Well, to be fair, in every tactical RPG you will have some sort of range shrink. It is needed to make a playable tactical situation with, most of the time, a top down view. Devs can't render miles of battlefield, or it would be unbearable for the player to scroll through. It is also necessary to mix different fighting styles, like melee and ranged, in the same space.
I mean, just look at this:

Image

There is my guy with a rifle who can't even shoot someone who is halfway across the room. How intuitive is that? Thus, i have to disagree on the tactical side, b/c i don't think this opens up tactical options. Instead i am restricted to either run at him (out of / away from cover) or use Ambush and hope it will work out good. I also don't agree about the max size of battlefields. I played a lot of Battletech, with weapons firing at targets that are 2 screen sizes away. Its not an issue there, neither from a balancing perspective, nor by the user friendliness. And i doubt that it would be in WL3, if you handle it with the right damage and hitchance modifiers and a good UI.

Actually, its so painful to go through all your chars in order to find out where they have to move, just to be in range of any target, before deciding which character goes to what tile and have fairly efficient attack (where everybody can actually attack, as the tiles for your 6 rangers are limited). It's simply not fun and a whole lot of fiddling around. ANd if you don't do it, it just feels unsatisfying to have 1 or 2 chars at the end of a turn, that are not being able to attack b/c you couldn't get them into range.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 25th, 2020, 9:59 pm
by Stuurminator
Bazy wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 8:52 am
wrote: 10. Nonsensical loot: Colorado Dollars in an abandoned 20th century bunker stretches credibility. This is where world building can shine and putting the games modern currency in the wrong places detracts from that.
If you mean the Ranger HQ, they mention that it's had a number of inhabitants before you over the years. This one I don't have a problem with.
Ok... but in a post-apocalyptic world with scarce resources why the hell are people just leaving money laying around? It's just a dumb contrivance. I want stuff to feel scarce and take part in this world and earn my way through it. Not have things just laying around for me to collect.
You're not wrong, but this was true in Wasteland 2 as well, in addition to many, many other RPGs (including post-apocalyptic ones).
Bazy wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 8:52 am
I strongly suspect this is a plot point. IIRC, you can even ask him (or maybe it was his underlings?) why he needs to bring in outside help, and the answer is something along the lines of "you don't have a stake in local politics". My guess is he's either more corrupt than he's letting on, and he hopes you won't figure that out; or his grasp on power is much more fragile than he's letting on, and he hopes you won't figure that out. Either way, I think there's a hidden reason why he's putting his trust in a foreign agent.

He also gets really defensive if you mention his shaky hands (you might not have seen this if you didn't invest in First Aid), which implies his authority is at least partially reliant on the illusion of power.
I didn't pick up on much of that, not that is seems terribly convincing. I don't understand what the Ranger's can do that he can't. Nor can I see how rounding up his three kids could possibly be worth providing all the "food and supplies" that Arizona could possibly need. It's just way too good to be true. I get that the Rangers are desperate... but they just seem to going about it rather obliviously.
I managed to get that conversation, if you're interested.

I don't know why the Patriarch thinks the Rangers can get the job done, unless they have a much better reputation than what we've seen in the game or he's trying to establish a power base outside of Colorado. The Rangers, on the other hand, are probably banking on the Patriarch's reputation. Presumably, he has enough food to keep the rangers fed and has a reputation as someone who doesn't renege on deals. Then again, maybe the other reason he asked the Rangers for help was because he's planning to betray you and word is less likely to spread since you're not around here. I guess we'll have to see.

Re: Beta Feedback (Long)(Spoilers)

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 2:08 am
by Bazy
I managed to get that conversation, if you're interested.
Thank you. That makes it a lot more sensible for me.