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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #28: Progress Report, Weapon Design

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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #28: Progress Report, Weapon Design

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 23 April 2013, 01:21:39

Tags: inXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

The monthly Wasteland 2 Kickstarter update is here, with a progress report on the state of the game's development. Check it out:

You've heard plenty about Torment over the last month (pretty amazing, huh?!?!) and now it’s time to bring back the good ol' Wasteland 2 update! The main reason you haven’t heard from us for a while is because our development team is knee-deep in production to get to our end of April milestone. When we exit pre-production, we have paper design for most everything, it’s just a matter of spending the hours, days, and weeks to build, code, and craft the levels and systems you will ultimately play. It tends to be extremely time intensive, but it is one of the most exciting times of the project as you really get a sense of the game as a whole. A few key production milestones that we've hit:
  • All 14 major areas have been blocked out with the base level geometry. And yes, this is revealing we will have 14 major areas.
  • We have maps loading (from scene to scene) so we've stitched together all areas to form a cohesive flow.
  • 95% of all conversation encounters are placed and working. That means you can talk to just about everyone and go through their various states of reactivity based on how you deal with the conversation.
  • Our core AI system is built and fully functional. These tools allow the designers to build, modify and tune many of the AI behaviors we need for the game (outside of special cases).
  • Our inventory system is fully functional. **We will detail this further in an update within the next month**
For comparison, Fallout had 12 locations (major and minor) on its world map, while the huge Fallout 2 had 23 locations.

The update also features an introduction to Wasteland 2's weapon design by inXile's combat designer, Devin Morrow. It appears that Wasteland 2 is going for a more balanced approach than the original game. I quote:

In the original Wasteland and many other RPG’s, there is a clear weapon progression. As you worked your way through the game, weapons like the handgun became less effective in favor of the larger weapons. While this makes some sense it does limit the ability of a player to choose their favorite weapon type for thematic or role playing purposes. It’s hard to play the part of a wasteland gunslinger when you had to ditch your trusty M1911A1 pistol for an AK-97 because the damage just wasn’t cutting it anymore. In Wasteland 2, we want to give back a little more control to the player over how their characters are built and how they progress. This is something we have heard the community echo many times in conversation and on the forums, so it’s nice to know we are on the right track.​

With that in mind, Wasteland 2’s weapons are divided into a number of classes, each with their own progression. We’ve created a system where if you invest into pistols, you can use them from start to finish and be effective throughout. The same thing goes for sniper rifles, sub machine guns, blunt weapons, bladed weapons, brawling weapons, anti-tank, demolitions, energy weapons, and rifles (list subject to change™). We even took this a step further and allowed more specific, thematic progression within the classes. For instance, we have a range of revolvers from starting equipment up to end-game death dealers that are all part of the handgun class/skill. The same is true for semi-automatic pistols if they are more to your taste. Do you like bolt-action or semi-automatic sniper rifles? One-handed or two-handed melee weapons? How about rockets or grenade launchers? Not to worry, we have something for all of you!​

That’s not to say that each of these weapons will be as effective as the others in every combat situation. A core design tenet that spans all systems we’re creating has been one of “the trade-off”. We applied this to the weapons system by creating a defined role for each class. Most of these roles you will pick up on quickly. SMGs aren’t as accurate as rifles, don’t shoot as far, and don’t hit as hard or penetrate armor as easily. They do however put out a respectable amount of lead, have the advantage of using pistol rounds which are in greater supply, and require less Action Points to move with. A fast character can be devastating with a SMG, quickly closing in and unloading on an enemy where the accuracy penalty is drastically reduced. On a lightly armored enemy, the damage per action point will be much higher with a SMG versus a rifle (of the same approximate level). Anti-Tank weapons fire and reload slowly, will reduce your character’s speed in combat and are expensive to use, but will do massive damage to a large area. Just make sure you don’t have rangers standing behind your rocket-propelled grenade or the back blast might take them out too.​

To keep things fun and allow a little flexibility to the system, we have incorporated weapons within each category that blur the lines between different roles. The perfect example of this is the D18 (totally not the Glock 18) automatic pistol. While not as effective at being a SMG as an SMG, it does allow the player heavily invested in handgun skills a little more flexibility in roles. Some other examples are the shotgun shell firing revolver and the .55 caliber WW2 anti-tank rifle.​

Besides that, there's also an update on the W.A.S.T.E. crowdsourcing program, which is now entering its fourth phase, and a clarification about the game's DRM/DLC situation (or lack thereof) which is probably intended to quell concerns sparked by the recent Kickstarter drama.

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