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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #52: Progress Report - Good News & Bad News

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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #52: Progress Report - Good News & Bad News

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 1 July 2014, 21:30:12

Tags: Chris Keenan; inXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

The Wasteland 2 Early Access version may not be receiving any more updates, but inXile's internal build continues to receive significant improvements. The game's latest Kickstarter update by Project Lead Chris Keenan is a hefty progress report detailing them. I quote:

Quite a few things have been improved since the last beta build went out. We've done a huge pass overhauling the game's balance and loot drops. You’ll encounter a greater variance in loot drops now along with many new weapons being added, but we also made loot tables more set and less random. To aid that, we've added foot lockers in the Ranger Citadel in Arizona and Santa Fe Springs (Ranger HQ) in Los Angeles so you can store some of that precious loot.

Along with specific dropsets you'll now actually get items from repairing toasters. Many of these items are unique and can potentially be turned in to different NPCs throughout the world for even greater rewards. Additionally we're upgrading the usage of containers, with safes now having better loot than normal crates, while normal crates are now split into specific types: ammo, weapon, medic, general crates, or smaller junk crates. Many of these will be visually distinct which means that if you're scouting it out and see the crate behind some enemies or traps you can figure out if it's worth it for you to get to it.

Combat is also going through multiple balance passes, for example fixing the currently broken way jamming works. It will be much less frequent in the final game for general weapons. Some weapons will still have high jam rates, but these weapons tend to have a nice little bonus to offset the frustration of the jam (increased damage, reduced scrap cost…). Improving your training in weapon skills or creating some weapon mods can also reduce the jam rate so there are ways to get around high jam rates. Have we mentioned that we enjoy the idea of the trade-off?

We've also put in backer shrines, statues, locations, weapons, artifacts and NPCs. The statues are custom modelled and can appear on any gameplay map, while the shrines are in hard-to-reach world map areas and huge rewards (an attribute point per ranger) when discovered. Exploration is paid-off for those willing to veer off the main path.

Oh yeah, the citizens in the Wasteland have been busy putting up quite a few traps for your journey. Perception and Demolitions will definitely come in handy so train up! Opening a safe without getting hurt can sometimes require Perception to see the trap, Demolitions to disarm it and Safe Crack to open it. Alarm Disarm has similarly been getting more usage.

Energy weapons are back in as we finalize our particle and sound effect passes. Weaponsmithing has seen improvements, with new mods available. Silent Move has been out of the beta for a while, and it is in fact permanently cut. It became too easy to break game triggers, which would in turn-break the game. The plan we put together to find and fix all issues was already colossal with a game of this size and scope.

Traits/perks as well as aimed shots are two more features we have been strongly considering, but won't be in the final game. We love both systems and agree with the feedback that it would add a lot, however we also believe that badly balanced or overly simple versions would not be in the best interest of the game. Take aimed shots: to do it right means it would have a real tactical impact, AI reactions to its usage, and a carefully balanced pro-cons system, rather than just "decrease to-hit chance to increase critical chance".

A cool tweak has been made to Computer Science. This skill allows for the hacking of robots, turning them to your side. The difficulty of this depends not just on the robot's level but also on its remaining CON. The lower the remaining CON, the easier it is to hack. This creates an interesting trade-off where you can decide to bring down a robot's health to hack him but this leaves you with a less useful ally. It’s incredibly fun to beat a skill check and watch from the sidelines as your slicer dicer obliterates the remaining robots.

We've been upgrading UI art for things like the examine window, while also adding elements that improve the experience: for example the vendor side of the barter screen will now look like the player's side and allow for sorting. Additionally we added a Distribute button on looting, this button automatically gives weapons to the character with the highest skill for that weapon, ammo to characters with weapons of that type equipped, healing items to medics, and spreads junk over whoever has the most inventory space left. You can still loot all or manually move certain items to specific characters.

Optimization has been forging ahead by leaps and bounds: the install size on the disc has already been cut by at least 20%, we've done a texture pass that both improves the look and tones down unnecessarily large textures. And we’re significantly cutting into the game's memory usage. Good things across the board!
They're not all good, Chris! The full update has more information about the game's production status. Apparently, its final budget has turned out to be double the amount of money raised in the Kickstarter. Also, the game is officially "going gold" later this month, although work on it will continue afterwards to provide the now-standard Day One Patch. "Significant post-release support" is also planned, although there are no concrete plans for an expansion pack yet.

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