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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #40: Beta Released!
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 12 December 2013, 07:40:16Tags: InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2
It's finally here! Today's Wasteland 2 Kickstarter update announces the release of the game's beta, and describes in detail which of its areas still lack polish. I'll quote the more important bits:
Because this beta doesn't include all the Arizona maps, this portion of the game will feel a bit more linear than the full experience will, particularly with the first maps being narrower locations rather than proper hubs. The final game will have a more open feel where you can poke around and check the defenses of higher level areas and perhaps snatch an item or two. So fear not, as there will be more strange areas to discover in the final, and we will be dropping more in throughout this beta phase. In addition, we’ll be adding more quests to each map as well.
A number of skills are not implemented in the backer beta, namely, Silent Move, Salvaging, Animal Whisperer, the backer informational skill and, quite ironically, Combat Shooting (ironic if you are familiar with Wasteland 1). You’ll run into a few situations where you could use those skills and we’ll work to balance and roll them out later, but the vast majority of skills are in so you'll be able to try most possible solutions. The character system is complete but not necessarily fully balanced, many XP rewards and upgrade values will still be tweaked.
The beta is launching only for Windows PC initially. We’ll look into launching Mac and Linux versions soon, but they will need more testing before we feel secure in doing so.
As you may remember, we spent quite a bit of time iterating (based on your feedback) the main gameplay HUD, and that process made it better. We have not had that same luxury yet with the inventory UI and character creation, so we expect a lot of comments and you can expect many changes. There’s inconsistency with fonts and colors etc. and the bottom line is that we are not happy with it yet. So please give us your feedback on it, we’ll be looking to polish it up as we did the main game HUD.
The game is also still pretty rife with typographical errors. Report them as you see them!
We all know that the heart and soul of a good RPG is having the player’s actions have consequence, and this is a major focus for us. We have a team of programmers that handle all the scripting for the maps, and most of their efforts at this point involve making pass after pass, adding in more depth to what we already have. This is a combination of adding more places to use skills, more ways to work around situations, and a greater degree of meaningful effect based on what the player has chosen to do. We also need add a greater connectivity between the maps, so your decisions have ripple effects in other areas of the Wasteland.
This will be the greatest area of focus as we analyze your play and listen to your ideas. So PLEASE share your clever ideas so we can turn up the charm and depth.
Along these lines, it probably isn't a good idea to use the shovel on Ace’s grave.
Combat and World Economy
This area is fairly robust, but there has been little work in regards to balancing the difficulty, so expect some areas to be quite hard while others may be too easy. In these types of games the balancing can swing wildly from day to day with just a few variable changes. Just tweaking the amount of ammo that can be found can greatly change the experience. The enemies you’ll meet in the beta are pretty early-game, which makes fights a little more straight-forward, as their AI is simpler than some of the later-game enemies. There are not very many merchants right now, and their inventory is not particularly balanced. Basically the world economy has not been balanced yet. The currency and item drops and their trade value will likely seem off to you, as it’s far from final.
We are also missing quite a few SFX in combat and we need to better message how much the player can actually do. Again we will be keen to get feedback on this area of the game. In general we like that the game is a bit hard, but only so long as the player can learn from the battles and conquer them armed with that knowledge.
The code for handling the camera is also not final, and again your feedback will help us to dial it in and give enough user options to make it work for everyone. We still intend to integrate destructible objects to add greater realism and visual payoff into the scenes.
Those of you who backed Wasteland 2 at the $55 tier or higher can grab their beta Steam key over at Ranger Center. If you haven't, well, there are all sorts of livestreams taking place as we speak. Feel free to discuss the beta in this thread, but we recommend you take any spoilers to our dedicated beta release thread.