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KickStarter ATOM RPG - Wasteland Soviet style! - now with Dead City update

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Atomboy, Oct 1, 2016.

?

Will you back?

Poll closed Nov 28, 2017.
  1. I will consider it!

    39 vote(s)
    54.9%
  2. No! I would never!..

    9 vote(s)
    12.7%
  3. kingcomrade

    23 vote(s)
    32.4%
  1. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Invictus
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2
    So you are not confident in the Atom team abilities to “fix” the game to YOUR liking and yet this is your 3 playthrough... some Celerity shit right here I think
     
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  2. Sloul Learned

    Sloul
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    I think you don't have the full picture, but I guess you're the kind of person who only think binary. I was refering to the perk design.
    I can see the strengths or ATOM and its weakness, and among its weakness, some design decisions which seem to be consistent since its first playable version.
     
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  3. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Invictus
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Yeah dont really care about the whole picture; you doubt the abilities of the very same you are supposed to encourage because you dont think they are capable of “fixing” things to your liking... isn’t that what you posted?
    You sound like one of those “I am right everybody else is wrong” kind of retards, if you are so knowledgeable why dont your start your own game or do something positive for a change? How about suggestions rather than retarded innuendos about the capacity of the Atom team?
     
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  4. Sloul Learned

    Sloul
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    Game developer is not my job.
    I did post many suggestions on their forums. K
    I am simply posting my latest observations, if you want to read some more positivity, you can go through my previous messages on their forums.
    I'd rather use the time of pre release to formulate some of my observations than to wait until release.
    But please, keep on ranting.
     
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  5. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Arcane

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
    Joined:
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
     
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  6. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Invictus
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Nah... into the Ignore list you go so bye and do tell more of your 4th and 5th playthrough, I am sure the devs are just waiting for your imput
    Ta-ta
     
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  7. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
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    2,106
    Well, I think the time has come to throw in my support for this great looking game. It's clear that the developers are making steady progress, I love the setting and atmosphere I've seen, there seems to be a great deal of passion being put in by AtomTeam, and I just plain like Atomboy. Purchased!

    I think I might even break my usual rule of not playing early access single-player games. I'll start a character I wouldn't normally play or something.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  8. Sloul Learned

    Sloul
    Joined:
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    Ok, I'm 20 hours in my 3rd playthrough (for a grand total of 48 hours spent in ATOM world's), and I am ready to deliver my feedback on version 0.8
    The best format I could come up to do this would be a video comment showcasing everything i am going to discuss, but time is a luxury i do not possess.
    And ofc, this post is going to be full of spoilers.

    The last time I checked with ATOM was a couple months ago, possibly 6, and at the time, the game was beat-able in about 12 hours. The length of the game is thus twice as it was before (or about).
    The notable additions to the game since i last played are:
    - the many perks (distinctions)
    - the followers
    - the capital with NPC
    - another big city with NPC
    - the crafting system
    - some new shiny armors and weapons
    - the ''stronghold''
    + Otradanoye got some ''new content''.

    Basically, on paper, everything is really juicy. In practical, some items of this list are... kinda... ''old''.
    The reason I mentioned I was a bit skeptical about the dev being capable of achieving some stuff is this:

    - The world is level-scaling capitalist scum.
    You are level 1? Well good, because the cultists that you are about to meet are naked, they will attack you with a brick in their hand.
    You are level 1 and lost in the forest? Good because the wolves are 16 Hp.
    And you want to shop at the store? Well... this part is less attractive for you dear level 1, because the shop only sells one rusty marakov pistol.
    BUT now! look at you! You're level 16! Great, the wolves are now 68 HP, the cultists are much more numerous and equiped with armors, helmets, firearms (although rusty). AND THE SHOPS! Dear, what a marvel, you're now able to buy the pricest weapons and armors.
    Thus, there is no ecosystem in trade, the world pretty much evolves with the level of the player.
    Fallout to name the prime reference of ATOM, didn't do this mistake. The hub Armor Combat and Super Hammer were there from the start of the game. The only thing dictating the capacity of the player to procure those items wouldn't be his level, but his money.
    The plastic of ATOM is really crying authenticity, but its inner soul is sometimes telling a different story.

    - The item slots of the loose
    In Fallout 1 and 2, you could equip 2 items. Those items are initially your capacity at using your fists or your legs in combat. Which means, you can equip a pistol on your leg quickslot, but then, you cannot use your legs to kick someone if you are using that pistol. You would need to go back into your inventory to deposit the gun or else to drop it on the ground to use your legs.
    That's nonsensical, and imo, a limitation of the time.
    ATOM is new and fresh. It could be somewhat progressive in its approach. But in many aspects, it's older than the oldies. And it really likes to throw its references to the player (Planescape Torment, Fallout, possibly Wasteland...).

    - The Perks and Perk tree
    For that one I should really have brought some screenshots.
    Ok, so the devs are toying with the perks, throwing some % here, and some x there. Just to get their feet in this system and to later adjust it.
    But atm... one can really wonder wtf is going on.
    Where to start. As I mentioned earlier, the perks (aka distinctions here), although there are 3 sort of different distinctions in ATOM. But anyway.
    The starting perks bring minimal properties to the player in the form of ''you get +1 there but -1 there'', but ill not spend more time explaining the issue, i already did in the past:
    This game guide otherwise does it perfectly: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1413991946

    But I'd like to talk about something new: The perk tree, because this thing is new to me.
    I am R.E.A.L.L.Y glad that perks are a thing in ATOM. Even as it is, it gives it, something ''kewl''.
    But, again, Fallout did it correctly, as well as Underrail, as well as many other games, and I am a bit astonished that ATOM devs didn't go the... prestigious way and instead went with a tree.
    So basicall you got branchs of perks, evolving in trees and if one perk interest you, you need to pick every other perks in the path.
    Thus, lowering the kind of versatility that your imagination might have brought and forcing you to pick what you need to unlock ''that'' specific perk.
    Just as a reminder, in Fallout, some perks were not accessible to every player. Which means, you couldn't just pick whatever you wanted: you had to have specific stats to unlock them.
    Thus, the decision between having 7 or 8 in perception was a major deal, because at a later time it could unlock SNIPER (the funniest perk of Fallout for sure).
    The guy behind Underrail understood that as well. Stats are not just going to bring +1 damage, +2% treshold. They lock or unlock specific perks that change the whole process you can build up your character.
    That's far superior from having a tree which force you into a role.
    But, it's not just that: There is a trait which makes poison to heal you instead of hurting you. I would rate this kind of perk ''Mutation'' (there is mutation ingame and some guys can do crazy thing), but in the perk tree of ATOM, the first perk you need to pick in order to unlock this is: +10 in First Aid.
    So basically, the game is telling us: Because you are better in First Aid, when you get level xx (awesome), ''yo'', you can heal with poison.
    It kills the charm of me/you thinking about your char having mutated, and instead, present a completely irrational bs, because it decided to have skill-tree system for its perks.

    Should I keep on? No because, there is really, some funny things in this tree.
    There is a special melee tree. When evolving upon this tree, you get and increase in the melee damage you can make.
    The increase is 50%.
    And, there is a universal branch which tells you ''Double damage''.
    So you have to choose between one universal branch which affects melee, unarmed, ranged damage to do Double Damage, and one branch which will increase your melee damage by half.
    Ok, sure. This is pre-alpha, and the devs are possibly at this time brainstorming everything...
    But still, ''wtf''.


    - The stronghold.
    Do you remember this stuff?
    From BG 2, from Pillars of Eternity if you played it...
    This shallow thing (BG2 still handled it ''ok''), that was just there to satisfy the people who wanted a house?
    But which could really harm any feeling of RP because everything was so... stupid... so robotic...
    Well, welcome to ATOM RPG stronghold, keeping up with the tradition.
    There is a guy, and... he knows somewhere that we can make a ''town'', and maybe people will join.
    But we should keep it secret because we are part of ATOM, but yo, people will join anyway.
    And dude... was he correct, because as soon as we get there, there are already traders bumping upon this otherwise unknown location, spreading the words, and the random guy from the wasteland already knocking at the door to offer his services.
    BUT NOPE. The dude is not random at all, he can make ammo.
    He is not like ''yeah maybe i can go to the capital and become rich because i am skilled'', not man. Lol. Are you serious? Are you capitalist too or what?
    No, i tell you. He comes to you. Because your ''town'' is desert, and he heard some traders... and you know... well think of something!
    And so... you have this ''technician'' guy who is sitting on a chair and you give him 2000 gold for a kitchen, 4000 for a cat on a table, 6000 for your special dressroom, 8000 for a ken and barbie etc.
    And he will take 1 day, or 2 days, or 3 days, or maspjfas
    f\8as5f84as48f4 4g684g684g8g4s6g4sdfg4sdgsdg6sd4gsd6g4
    AND then, suddenly, your sense awake, and you remember that you were previously playing a RPG.
    Not just any RPG, a russian post-apo euro-jank RPG.
    You know, this kind of game that makes you erect.



    I think I had a bunch of other things to write, but time is really not on my side. This is big text already.
    The idea is not to be un-supportive of ATOM, despite what I wrote I like this game a lot, mostly for its ambiance. But at this point, it's really for me what's saving it.
    I would also like to say that the very beginning of the game is where it is at its best (at least for me).
     
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  9. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Atomboy this needs to be changed. Why any RPG developer thinks this is acceptable game design is beyond me. A huge aspect of RPGs is the sense of progression the player feels as they navigate the world. Level scaling completely obliterates this sense of progression. I'm actually somewhat shocked that this is present in your game.

    Please, sir. For love of the RPG gods.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  10. LJ40 Savant

    LJ40
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    Atomboy Please please please PLEASE no level scaling.
     
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  11. Feyd Rautha Cipher Patron

    Feyd Rautha
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    Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    So this game is inspired by the Bethesda Falllouts? :decline:
     
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  12. Sinatar Arbiter

    Sinatar
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
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    Level scaling?

    Stop huffing drain cleaner. Seriously, what in the actual fuck would possess you to pull that horseshit? This is literally the worst possible design decision you could ever make in an RPG. There is nothing worse.
     
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  13. Atomboy Atom Team Developer

    Atomboy
    Joined:
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    The constant activity in this thread has awoken me from my slumber!

    Here we go!

    Are you the man himself, or just sharing? We really appreciate this let's play series, bumping it from all our accounts as a new one pops up! Thanks.

    Thanks for the kind words and for the support, man! We really hope you'll like it! There is very little wrong bug-wise with the current build, so you will get the whole experience as it is. Still, if something looks messed up - Steam us, and we'll fix it ASAP! Our Steam forum is very responsive.
     
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  14. Atomboy Atom Team Developer

    Atomboy
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    Sloul, I'll be addressing your whole post later on, since it contains a lot of helpful stuff and pretty interesting findings. I can tell you already, that we will be taking at least several of your recommendations into consideration. But first, I really need to address the scaling problem!

    Guys, the wolf HP growth thing, and the merchants selling junk to 1 lvl characters may sound bad... But there is no global scaling in the game. Especially, there is no level scaling (the levels and stats of creatures and people never grow). Let me tell you how it actually works in the current version of the game. It's actually one of the F2-inspired things we have left in the current game mechanics. There is a certain percentage, let's call it the Scaling% which starts at 10% and goes to like 70% as you grow in level. This Scaling% is tied to certain encounters and items. Let's take merchants for example: there is always a chance for a merchant to have outstanding wares, like the greatest armor / weapon in game. However, this chance is 4-5 times lower when you're level one. It is, however, still possible to get the best item in stock early on. You won't have the money, but still, it always has at least a 10% chance to show up. It grows to a higher% when you're extra high level. That is how trading scales.

    Now to battle scaling. There is no such scaling on fixed locations. People you see in all the cities, villages, bunkers, factories, etc will always be the same level, with the same loot, same HP, and fixed relative difficulty.

    Scaling% only has effect on SOME random encounters. But look at how it works in those!

    Say, you stumble upon an encounter with a 8 HP weak rat.
    Behind the scenes, that rat always has a chance to call upon some friends before the encounter actually starts, and each friend that comes to aid the rat has a buddy calling ability too, and so on. This chance is tied to the Scaling%.

    A lvl 1 character will usually meet just the 8 hp rat. A lvl 20 character will usually meet the same 8 hp rat with a few strong rats in tow. But the 8 hp rat itself never gets overwritten by a more powerful rat! But there is also a chance of around 10% a lvl 1 player meets 10 tough rats he cannot possibly fight, as well as a 20 lvl character meeting a single weak enemy. The chance to face tougher enemies grows with your level, but it doesn't start at 0%. There is always a chance to get into a tight spot. Also, there is no HP scaling. We simply have 4 types for each kind of enemy. Like weak wolves that have 16-20 hp, medium wolves that get to have 20-40 hp, strong wolves that can have up to 80, etc. These are sometimes added to encounters, and the chance of them being added depends on your level, but it's always a chance. Like, remember how you could meet 3-4 raiders around Klamath, but sometimes there'd be 10 of them fighting 5 geckos and 4 plants and savages running around and also there's a cave with a bunch of scorpions? It's the same math in ATOM.
    People in random encounters also don't level or hp scale. But their weapons sometimes scale. Every enemy you meet in a random encounter has a chance to have a good weapon. This chance is 10% at lvl 1 and grows with your level. But it always leaves a chance of you meeting a well armed enemy on lvl 1, and a naked enemy with a brick on level 99. We also take note of enemy types, so comparing us to Beth is utterly unfair :( A rat will always be a rat, even if you're lvl 99. And a naked cultist might have a rifle instead of a brick if you're lvl 99, but he will never get power armor or a high tech sci-fi weapon.

    TL;DR Scaling only affects some merchants and enemy equipment / quantity in random encounters, but even then it works in like 3 out of 5 times. (At least it's supposed to). The fixed game world locations are completely free of it. Even now we are making new mid-game locations with fixed enemy levels / equipment which will be completely impossible for weak players. Damn, we'll even have our version of death valley :D If you notice anything contradicting this - you can safely report it as a bug.

    And mind you, this is just the state of things at the moment. We are always reworking that percentage, and there is a huge chance that even this meager amount of scaling will become entirely optional in the full game (e.g. you get to turn it off with a button). Since ATOM is a very open game, we cannot fully predict the capabilities of our players. Just look at the letsplays! Some struggle on the first location. Some become ultimate power gods and destroy everything around them. Random encounter scaling% is a method we are currently using to make the game hard even for the toughest munchkin. Doesn't mean that this method is final and we're not taking in new suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  15. TemplarGR Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Bethestard

    TemplarGR
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    Any idea when this game is going to be officially released?

    By the way, i read something about level scaling... While the idea of level scaling is bad in general, i think there is a place for level scaling in huge open world games, especially 3D ones, for *partial* level scaling (that is, the Skyrim way, NOT the Oblivion way, small ranges of possible levels depending on the enemy/item).. In such games, save scumming is ruining the immersion (and let's be real, without level scaling, you are going to die a lot unless the RPG is crypto-linear ala Icewind Dale/Baldur's Gate 2).

    On the other hand, i don't get the impression that Atom is a huge open world rpg with plenty of freedom. I may be wrong of course, i never played it. But if it is essentially limited like the original Fallouts, the approach Interplay took with geographical scaling is better. Easier to implement and finetune.
     
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  16. Atomboy Atom Team Developer

    Atomboy
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    Okay! Now, when I addressed the scaling thing (in case you're not into word salad, the quick explanation is: only random encounters and chances of getting good weapons from merchants scale, but not all the time, and if you truly and honestly never met a merchant offering you mid-to-high tier weapons on level 1, or a weak enemy on level 20, it's most probably a bug) I can get into the meat of your post!
    Honestly now, I can still remember that day, when my party was clearing out some old mansion in Pillars. I was killing some skeletons or goblins or some such thing, when suddenly I had this thought: Oh god... I think it's not just some dungeon I'm clearing for quest reasons... I think the game wants me to have a stronghold! Nooo! God! No! I let the terrible premise slide and now this?! Seriously. Nothing can throw me out of a game quicker than having some kind of a ruin and then a guy comes over and I can now buy a bathroom. But the majority of our players wanted this. Exactly this, exactly like you put it. No extra twists. A house or settlement, a guy to buy furniture from, neighbors, merchants, beet garden.
    For better or for worse, we feel a very strong wish to satisfy our players. Sure, everyone and their grandma says that to gather street cred, but we actually try doing it. And oh boy, sometimes, it doesn't look pretty, sometimes it reeks of plastic and copypasta. Still, if a random player comes into one of our social network communities and asks us to make X, and if we see the overwhelming majority of our active players support his idea, we're gonna make X happen. Even though we all have previous game dev experience, we still can't quite get into the master\pay-pig relationship with our players. We like them a whole lot, and we're too thankful for their constant support to say "no" to an overused or boring idea, if it at least somewhat fits into the game world, and if they want it bad enough. However, we did everything to make the settlement completely optional. I for one never take on that quest when I'm playing.
    The same thing is going on with the tree. Personally, I always played games like Fallout because of the Jack of all trades aspect, no classes, no races, only stat reqs and the ability to shape any kind of character, from smooth-talking sniper, to lucky, smooth-talking traveling karate master, to smooth talking cowboy or even a smooth-talking ninja-thief! Some of the guys on the team love RPing a certain strict build, like starting as a Bard and spending the next 500 hours of the game as a bard. Some, like it both ways. But, the overwhelming majority of the players wanted specialization. They wanted strict build making. Hence, the tree structure where you can only go several paths in one playthrough, not all of them. Why? I don't know. But that's the feedback we got from our biggest communities on VK and Steam.
    However, with that said, while the tree structure most probably won't go anywhere, it's fruits are not ripe and ready yet! All of the numbers, placements and even names and descriptions you see now are purely a test, just like you guessed. We are gathering feedback like crazy, and we'll change the whole structure a lot before we're through. For example the things you wrote about the mutation perk, and the double damage branch are already being discussed in our dev chat. 300 lines of text discussing how to improve that, and it keeps on going as I write this message. Nowadays it really is nothing but a draft.
    Last but not least, the stuff you wrote under the "- The item slots of the loose" header is really helpful. We are constantly making changes to the UI and you stated what a lot of players stated before. We have an idea of changing it, in a few monthly updates.
    All in all, a very helpful and thorough analysis. Thank you very much for spending time on it! It sure wasn't spent in vain!
     
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  17. Sloul Learned

    Sloul
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    And thank you for your game comrade.
    Well, the level scaling is actually pretty heavy, even with the % it makes the world evolve with the character level (on a big scale imo), while it could evolve based on the events taking place in the world.
    And yes, at level 1, all shop items were crap, i can testify. And I can always buy the next tier of weapons with leveling up. And it's very consistent, and the stores are entirely different depending on the level you are browsing them.
    Just try it out, start at level 1 check all stores, then get level 5, 10, 15 and repeat.
    I noticed that there isn't level scaling in location, which is sometimes quite weird, as you meet wolves with 68 hp in the forest, and when you get to Peregon there is a quest involving wolves back to 16 hp.
    Imo, it kills the idea of authenticity. Every critter should play somewhat in the same class and the player should learn to be cautious where he goes.
    I'll certainly pick the option without level scaling.

    I am quite shocked about the revelation that your community base is behind the choice for a perk tree. Maybe if there were more branching it could work? But that would involve more perks and thus more brainstorming and more work. zzzZZZzzZZZZ

    I'd like to play a game with a nice stronghold, it's just that, the rpg side is always almost forgotten. Why don't you try to make it a real location? With real events. Npcs, dialogues, politics, etc.
    I don't know how you manage your resources and time for this game, but if you would treat your stronghold as a real location, think of something clever, you could make it ''the rpg that finally implements a rpg stronghold''. I mean, even BG2 stronghold was meh and it's still possibly the best that there is.


    I wish all the best to the team and to the game. I'll certainly spend further time in it despite my grudges.
     
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  18. Atomboy Atom Team Developer

    Atomboy
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    Hey! Hmmm. Well, that certainly makes one think! Perhaps the random is too random in some occasions, because we just made a level 1 character, made a run for Krasnoznamenny, and got what's on the screenshots below, including two top-tier guns, some nice ammo, a molotov, good armor, etc.
    As for the battles, they already take a great % to chance of happening depending on the physical place on the map. For example if you go far east in the start, you will meet people you're not capable of fighting on level 1. There, the scaling% only affects whether you will meet 1 guy who will kill you on the spot or 3-5 guys who will do the same. And as you level up, the monsters near the most civilized places in game will always be mostly weak with some occasional packs of leveled enemies. The non-leveled wolves are still being tweaked, so that too will change.
    As for the tree, yeah, they kinda went for it. Who knows. Might be Skyrim's fault, might be something else more obscure. As for the stronghold, the location isn't quite finished yet, we might liven it up a bit, as long as it doesn't complicate things for those who wanted it just simple.

    Now for the trading random:

    This is a trader on lvl 1 in Krasnoznamenny


    [​IMG]

    Another trader on lvl 1

    [​IMG]


    And here's a random caravan met on LVL 1. The first two we met were selling junk, but the third one turned out to carry top items!

    [​IMG]


    All players should get this type of random. The only reason not to get this is beyond me... A curse from the God of Random is the most logical version!

    Thanks again for your critique! We'll look into that stuff. But it should work really seamlessly.

    P.S. ran it with the testing squad, guys sent us 3 saves with exact results.

    P.P.S. forgot to add - what's your luck?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  19. Atomboy Atom Team Developer

    Atomboy
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    391
    We actually use a mixture of those. You get to meet stronger enemies purely by chance that grows with the level, but also according to the physical location on the map you're in. What we have now is far, far less intrusive than even Skyrim, if we're talking purely Beth games. It works only in random encs and in merchant inventories.
    While it's not huge yet, ATOM is 100% open world, every location is on the map and open from the first minutes of the game. You will have the ability to do a run of the whole game by simply running to the plot locations and forcing your way through them. Every place can be visited anytime, and you can do anything you want. Killing everyone in the world and botching all the quests you get will still leave you with an ability to finish the game. You'll even get a special partner! We'll be releasing the game in a few months, around the end of 2018 if all goes as planned.
     
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  20. Tancred Educated

    Tancred
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2016
    Messages:
    52
    Atomboy , while you're here I wanted to bring up a little quality of life suggestion for trading. How about a button in the trading screen UI that automatically balances out trades with rubles, so we don't have to scroll down for ages every time to find the rubles and manually add them?

    ie, I want to buy a gun from a trader, I move it to his trade window, move some stuff I want to trade for it to my trade window, then press the button and the correct amount of rubles from either the trader or myself to balance the transaction is placed into the trade windows.

    I'm pretty sure STALKER did this, so you can see firsthand what I mean if I'm not describing it very well.
     
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  21. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Messages:
    8,428
    Get rid of scaling, completely. just make encounters harder depending on the area of the map and the players luck. As long as you can avoid them or run from them that problem solves itself.
     
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  22. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Arcane

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    7,806
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    Just sharing.
     
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  23. Sloul Learned

    Sloul
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
    Messages:
    139
    It was a 5.
     
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  24. dmonin Arcane Patron Developer

    dmonin
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2017
    Messages:
    98
    Make the Codex Great Again!
     
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  25. Doktor Best Arcane

    Doktor Best
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,988
    Levelscaling? Drop that shit please. I was looking forward to this game.
     
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