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Simple improvements

Posted: February 14th, 2021, 10:56 am
by Acheron18
I really like the game but there are some (in my opinion) unfortunate mistakes in game design. Fixing these should be quite simple and would make the game much more enjoyable. I'm sure others have mentioned these but I wanted to add my five cents.

- Allow us to have a full party of custom rangers. Being forced to have two story characters makes it very hard to optimize a party, which for some of us is half the fun. This would be mitigated if we could fully respec characters, including story characters, but I would like the option of creating all six party members myself. This would also make sense considering how little impact the story characters have on the actual story.

- Let us remove armor and weapon mods. Being unable to remove mods is just terrible gameplay design. It makes you not use any mods because you never know when you might find a better piece of gear. It's also insanely unrealistic. I usually argue that games don't need to be realistic but being unable to remove a magazine or a scope is just plain stupid.

- Have skill books adjust the cost of subsequent skill levels. Being forced to hoard skill books in order not to waste skill points is never fun.

- Make the cybernetics slot separate from the trinket slot. Being forced to choose between an implant and a trinket makes cybernetics feel almost useless, especially at the high cost. I really don't think being able to equip both would feel over-powered.

If other players agree that these changes would be good, please post your support.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: February 14th, 2021, 4:45 pm
by demeisen
Let us remove armor and weapon mods.
Agreed, and it makes in-world sense for most of them. You can remove a silencer, unscrew a barrel extension, remove the magazine, etc. If they really wanted to get fancy, they could have a per-mod flag indicating whether it can be removed, in case that doesn't make sense for some of them.

Removal aside, the mod system is cool though and in general it feels like a nice improvement over WL2. They add flavor and interest to the weapons, and it seems like there's more variety to mods than in WL2, which I'm enjoying. I think the best mods should be either unique items, or extremely rare, so that you don't end up with, say, a +10 range mod on every single ranged weapon you own. But yeah... would be nice if we could remove them, and it would mean less meta-gaming by trying to save the best mods for the best weapons.
Have skill books adjust the cost of subsequent skill levels.
Hmm.... maybe? I see the point of the suggestion, but there's another side too. The current system forces you to either use the books inefficiently, or decide how far you intend to take the skill for a given character - which might be less than the full 10 sometimes. So it's a kind of choices-vs-consequences tradeoff, with a dash of delayed gratification mixed in, and a bit traditional at this point from prior games. I wouldn't be super upset if it got changed or anything, so I can't say I feel real strongly about it though.
Make the cybernetics slot separate from the trinket slot.
I'm not far enough along to know how cybernetics work yet, but I'm tentatively inclined to agree. It might take some re-balancing to do something like that though.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: February 15th, 2021, 6:46 am
by BlueSpark
Acheron18 wrote: February 14th, 2021, 10:56 amThis would also make sense considering how little impact the story characters have on the actual story.
To be fair, the custom rangers you create have even less impact on the story as they have no personality. I think recruiting actual characters from the game-world, who trigger some extra dialog when meeting other characters, is a cool concept. But I agree that the fact the player has to tailor their party of 4 around the skills of those followers is quite bothersome. I believe a (possibly only one-time) respec option for followers would combine the best of both worlds.
Acheron18 wrote: February 14th, 2021, 10:56 amLet us remove armor and weapon mods. Being unable to remove mods is just terrible gameplay design.
I disagree with that blanket statement. It all depends on the availability of the mods: If you can find a reasonable (and theoretically infinite if you don't mind farming for them) number of each mod over the course of the game, I think making them non-removable enhances the loot economy as finding a mod gets you excited instead of just "Well, that's fine, but I already have 4 of those I can reuse whenever I want...". However, the fact that there are several unique mods currently in the game and others so rare that you can't realistically expect to find more than 2 or 3 during a playthrough stand contrary to that game design approach.

If InXile were to make all mods removable, they'd need to significantly lower their drop rates. In that case, having a bunch of unique mods would make a lot of sense.
Acheron18 wrote: February 14th, 2021, 10:56 amHave skill books adjust the cost of subsequent skill levels. Being forced to hoard skill books in order not to waste skill points is never fun.
demeisen makes a good point here regarding the trade-off of using a skill book earlier than skill level 9 on a character. But personally, I do find it frustrating having to wait until the late-game stage to use them in order not to waste any value, so I wouldn't mind seeing your suggestion implemented.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: February 15th, 2021, 8:21 am
by demeisen
BlueSpark wrote: February 15th, 2021, 6:46 am I think making them non-removable enhances the loot economy as finding a mod gets you excited
That's a good point. I've only seen maybe 20% of the game so far, but one thing I'm enjoying over WL2 at least in the early game is the relatively scarcity of good equipment, and also a scarcity of ammo, which I've had to buy several times to augment what I've found while exploring. Totally agreed that's a feel that should be preserved, given the post-apoc world. OTOH, since you can "overwrite" mods now, it seems like your weapons-mod character clearly knows how to remove them from an in-world perspective, and there is this problem where you become afraid to ever use a good mod because you might want it on a different weapon later.

Maybe there's a way to combine the best of both, such as your idea of making mod drops even rarer, but then let you swap them from weapon to weapon so that you feel like you can use them without needing meta-gaming knowledge. I think it's a more fun game world when you have to make hard choices, and can't simply equip all your characters with the best mods. There should be scarcity and difficult choices.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: February 20th, 2021, 2:40 pm
by Drool
Acheron18 wrote: February 14th, 2021, 10:56 am- Allow us to have a full party of custom rangers. Being forced to have two story characters makes it very hard to optimize a party
Throwback to the original. I like that it's a combination of PCs and NPCs in the party.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: February 26th, 2021, 6:18 am
by sear
Thanks for the feedback! I definitely appreciate hearing it, and just wanted to give a few replies. When designing gameplay systems there's often infinite possible paths we could take, it's easy to look at a game and imagine how it could be different, but sometimes the reasons for a decision aren't always clear from the outside in.

- Entirely Custom Squads: There's a strong desire from the narrative end of the game for players to use the companions, as they're a major part of the story and some of the side quests. On a pure gameplay end I think this could be interesting, but there are also some technical difficulties that make this not as straightforward as it sounds. That said, there are some patch features coming up that may indirectly address this issue for you.

- Removable Weapon/Armor Mods: I know it doesn't make sense from a pure realism standpoint, but there were strong economic arguments in favor of making mods consumables instead of something you can remove, and we felt it was more fun to find and install mods than do the busywork of having to remove and transfer them between weapons.

- Skill Books: The way it works right now is intentional, as we wanted it to be an active choice when you use the skill books. Although most players are likely to use skill books immediately after finding them, for people who want to optimize every skill point, there's a trade-off between using one early for an immediate benefit, vs. holding on and getting more bang for your buck.

- Removable Cyborg Mods: The current system in the game is there to have players decide between stronger, permanent bonuses and abilities vs. extra flexibility from trinkets. We went through a number of designs and iterations for how cyborg mods would work and this is what we felt was most true to our gameplay goals, but I'm sure you could take any other number of approaches.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 1st, 2021, 1:53 am
by BlueSpark
sear wrote: February 26th, 2021, 6:18 am- Removable Weapon/Armor Mods: I know it doesn't make sense from a pure realism standpoint, but there were strong economic arguments in favor of making mods consumables instead of something you can remove, and we felt it was more fun to find and install mods than do the busywork of having to remove and transfer them between weapons.
As much as I appreciate this approach (as I've said before), I do think it's frustrating that some mods in the game are unique and a few others so rare that they might as well be considered unique. Feeling like you absolutely have to hold onto these until you reach end-game gear (knowing that you'll never get another chance to use them again if you 'waste' them) doesn't feel great. Perhaps add them as a rare loot drop for some of the strongest enemies in the game?

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 1st, 2021, 10:00 am
by demeisen
BlueSpark wrote: March 1st, 2021, 1:53 am Feeling like you absolutely have to hold onto these until you reach end-game gear (knowing that you'll never get another chance to use them again if you 'waste' them) doesn't feel great. Perhaps add them as a rare loot drop for some of the strongest enemies in the game?
I just finished a "blind" first playthrough on Ranger (and really loved the game). My experience was that I ended up not using the unique mods at all. They were still sitting in my inventory at the closing credits. Without metagaming knowledge, I was always afraid I'd find a better weapon just around the corner. I suppose I could have slapped them on for the very end of the game when it was clear things were wrapping up, but at that point it hardly seemed worth it.

I guess I'm closely aligned with BlueSpark's views on this. I very much appreciate the idea of unique mods, and item scarcity in general. I felt that WL2 went overboard in giving me far too much good stuff. WL3 had that balance down better, but I feel like the non-removable mods turned finding a great mod into a frustrating experience, since I wouldn't be able to use it for the bulk of the game even if I did have enough metagame knowledge to know when I had the "best" weapon to put it on. OTOH, as BlueSpark said too, removing mods would require making the non-unique ones rarer, or maybe having a fixed number per game world.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 8th, 2021, 1:09 am
by beastguy
I agree that removable mod feature shall be added. And there will be chance to destroy mod if remove, may be 50:50 or depend on the weapon or armor mod skill.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 9th, 2021, 12:25 am
by BlueSpark
beastguy wrote: March 8th, 2021, 1:09 am And there will be chance to destroy mod if remove, may be 50:50 or depend on the weapon or armor mod skill.
This is honestly something I hated about Wasteland 2 (in part because it encourages save scumming, but also as a gameplay mechanic in general), so I personally hope they don't. If mods are to be made removable, I say make it guaranteed to succeed.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 10th, 2021, 11:16 am
by LittleSparrow89
A really simple quality of life improvement is an un-equip all button. It's very tedious having to remove all armor, weapons, and items manually from a ranger when removing them from a squad

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 10th, 2021, 6:37 pm
by demeisen
BlueSpark wrote: March 9th, 2021, 12:25 am If mods are to be made removable, I say make it guaranteed to succeed.
Agreed. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind an in-game cost, such as having to pay money for vague hand-wavy reasons. Even a steep price might be OK. You wouldn't want to choose frivolously, but you could still use a good mod on an early game weapon without wasting it for the remainder of the game, or conversely, waiting for most of the game before you get to use it, provided you still remember you have it.

I'm about half way through my second play through (SJ) and for the most part, I think the gameplay is quite nice and based on good choices and solidly fun combat mechanics. The mod mechanic, though, I'm not really digging.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 18th, 2021, 12:20 am
by Wagner235
- Removable Weapon/Armor Mods: I know it doesn't make sense from a pure realism standpoint, but there were strong economic arguments in favor of making mods consumables instead of something you can remove, and we felt it was more fun to find and install mods than do the busywork of having to remove and transfer them between weapons.
Oh nice, here we go again, Blizzard direction: "You think you do, but you don't".
We do appreciate your opinion, bud why the hell would you tell us how to have fun?
This idea of permanent mods is NOT fun and if you still do not believe, than google it. You will be surprised that lots of people hate this mechanics.
Hell, check mods section for Fallout NV and you will see that one of the most popular mod there, is the one which allows you to manually add and remove same upgrades.
Just make their drop less frequent, or increase its price, for god's sake.
Thank you.
Btw, game is great.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 18th, 2021, 1:31 am
by BlueSpark
Wagner235 wrote: March 18th, 2021, 12:20 amWe do appreciate your opinion, bud why the hell would you tell us how to have fun?
sear clearly stated "we felt it was more fun." Nowhere did it say "It will be more fun to the player." How more explicit do you wish them to be? It's an obvious impossibility for a developer to implement something like this in a manner that will satisfy all players. So they had to make a call one way or the other. And they picked what they perceived as more fun.

For the record, I slightly prefer the idea of non-removable over removable mods. Although both have their ups and downs, and the current implementation could still be improved with certain tweaks.
Wagner235 wrote: March 18th, 2021, 12:20 amThis idea of permanent mods is NOT fun and if you still do not believe, than google it. You will be surprised that lots of people hate this mechanics.
Hell, check mods section for Fallout NV and you will see that one of the most popular mod there, is the one which allows you to manually add and remove same upgrades.
I'm sure you've heard of the concept of the vocal minority. I'm not claiming to know for sure whether it applies here, but neither do you. Only a fraction of the playerbase of any given game ever post about it online (except perhaps for some niche games with hardcore audiences).

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: March 18th, 2021, 1:49 pm
by Wagner235
I will be adding my thoughts while I slowly playing this game.

Another one is with the hair. Is there is a conspiracy nowadays with hair in videogames (hello Outerworlds).
When you creating your custom ranger and trying to put hat, than for some reason you become bald. Yeah, I know it is to avoid clipping, but in games like this it is better to have some minor clips than to cut your hair completely.
You even have a female ranger with hat AND hair on the main screen of the game.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: April 7th, 2021, 11:14 am
by Pvt Kobold
Wagner235 wrote: March 18th, 2021, 1:49 pm I will be adding my thoughts while I slowly playing this game.

Another one is with the hair. Is there is a conspiracy nowadays with hair in videogames (hello Outerworlds).
When you creating your custom ranger and trying to put hat, than for some reason you become bald. Yeah, I know it is to avoid clipping, but in games like this it is better to have some minor clips than to cut your hair completely.
You even have a female ranger with hat AND hair on the main screen of the game.
Yeah I wish rangers in hats had some hair showing, a friend of mine was saying how she likes the cowboy hats but doesn’t want to be bald by wearing it.

Re: Simple improvements

Posted: April 7th, 2021, 3:00 pm
by LittleSparrow89
sear wrote: February 26th, 2021, 6:18 am
- Removable Weapon/Armor Mods: I know it doesn't make sense from a pure realism standpoint, but there were strong economic arguments in favor of making mods consumables instead of something you can remove, and we felt it was more fun to find and install mods than do the busywork of having to remove and transfer them between
I am having the opposite experience actually. I much prefer the W2 system where the Weaponsmithing skill determines the probability of being able to recover the mod. Not being able to remove and change mods just made me not want to use them so I ended up just carrying around like 20 mods until the late game. Whenever I would use a mod I'd end up getting a superior weapon not long after which basically means it was a waste. I think this should be a settings option although I understand it would require a lot due to balancing issues and would therefore have to be something that couldn't be toggled once the game starts