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Wasteland Balance feedback


inXile Entertainment
May 3, 2011
Any of you guys have feedback on how we might want to tweak attributes, skills and weapons? We are looking at getting into doing some big balance passes on the game and want to collect as much feedback as you might have (that said, we already have hundreds of such reports in our bug tracker - but more doesn't hurt).

We don't want to over-complicate things at this stage, but if you have any weapon types you feel are under-utilized, think that armor could be made more effective in a certain way, a certain attribute that needs buffing, a certain encounter that is too easy, hard or could be spiced up, etc. then please let us know.

(Split from the release thread, apparently)
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The Real Fanboy
Nov 3, 2013
Divinity: Original Sin 2
I am not as technical versed as some users who can probably come up with some better solution for stats, but my 3 main gripes would be
Bad stats for Npcs; if they have a particular "build" like Angela it is rare, most have odd stats amd skills which make little Sense as al "complete" complementar char
Shotguns are way more efective for the enemy than for user characters; they seem to have much better damage type and better positioning. If Shotguns had proximity based damage (ie 50 damage at long range, 100 at médium, double at short range, with penetration values to match) they would be much more effective and realistic
Having the option to recruit characters you turn down the first time

Dr Skeleton

Nov 9, 2014
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Armor does too little compared to how expensive and heavy it is. The way energy weapons work forces players to wear only light armor in the late game. I'm not a fan of how EW work in general, they're either deadly or do nothing, maybe just give best AP of all weapons?

Heavy weapons - they use the same ammo as assault rifles, just much less efficiently, they weigh a ton, can't receive mods (this is especially painful)... they need a buff. SMGs could use help too (more shots per burst?) now they're just ARs with shorter range and less damage unless you're at point blank range.

Attributes have too many "dead spots" - intelligence is probably the best example, it makes sense only on 1/4/8 or 10, anything in between does basically nothing. I don't like the fact that attributes don't affects skills (so 1 strength is as good at brute force as 10), but that can't be changed without a major overhaul of the whole character system.

Some skill checks are crazy high, I've had a guy with points only in blunt weapons, heavy weapons and brute force and he couldn't pass most brute force checks in the game without excessive savescumming, every random wooden plank was somewhere around 20% success 30% crit fail. I just stopped using it and blew things up with dynamite when necessary.

Companions' stats/skills are kinda weird and bad in many cases. Lexcanium, the smartest man in the world, has only 7 intelligence and alarm disarming (?), but he's terrible at fighting with his robotic arm. Wolfe just has horrible attributes in general.

a certain encounter that is too easy
Final battle is way too easy. It's a big fight and that's great, but it could use a few more powerful enemies, rather than just hordes of weak ones.
The first part of it could also use some work, there are too many people for what is essentially a narrow corridor, they just end up killing each other with friendly fire and blocking the way for the player.


When I think about WL2's balance, it feels like everything has been said; so you've got more than enough feedback to work in my opinion. Still, there are a few things that are specially annoying to me and I'd like to make sure you report them:

- The armor system needs a lot of work. It's incredible how useless they are.
- Assault Rifles feel too damn overpowered compared to the rest of the skill-based weapons.
- Barter skill is completely useless.
- Status effects should feel more punishing, and rebalancing it would be a nice opportunity to make the Surgeon skill more useful.
- Explosives and missile launchers should be less abundant and more expensive considering that none of them is tied to any skill, the player can use them when it's impossible to open a lock and are extremely powerful in combat.
- Supreme Jerk difficulty level should make the game feel harsher and unforgiving to resemble a full old-skool experience.

I don't have any word on the attribute system since I haven't gotten into investigating it, but it seems that there are a lot of complains about it.


Mar 10, 2011
Wall o' text.

- Level 10 skills still having high failure chances A) Makes the player investment feel worthless and B) Promotes save scumming. Nobody wants to throw tons of points into a skill just to have it go tits up more than half the time. When I played through Arizona solo I already realized you don't even need 90% of the skills in the game. If I still have an opportunity to fail something I've invested a ton into, I just ask myself what's the fucking point, because an investment into weaponry certainly would not have failed. And if you think I'm complaining here you just need to look at the fact that the dialogue skill usages aren't rolls of the dice, but instead operate on a graduated/binary system completely divorced from the rest of the game's structure.

- Armor makes no sense. Others have touched upon this a lot.

- AP usage across the entire game is completely out of whack. Lemme explain. Crouching uses 2-AP. Standing back up uses 2-AP. This makes crouching a heavy investment (4-AP total, taking into account that you crouch and then at some point uncrouch). Moving into cover and acquiring better cover/aim-bonus than crouching requires no inherent AP and neither does leaving cover. Meaning cover comes at a premium in terms of AP usage, even if technically speaking you are couching behind cover. Right now, I feel like when you use crouch you basically stay crouched, because to stand back up is frequently enough AP usage to really mitigate what you can do next. So, instead, I pretty much never crouch, because the superior option is to either find cover (obviously, I suppose), or to just run backwards and reset. Crouch should be a standby between mobility, but right now I feel like it staples you with its AP-usage. The fact crouch gives the same bonuses whether you're out in the open or behind a heap of technically "non game-cover" trash is just silly. Crouch in and of itself feels like a mechanic developed when there wasn't cover-blobs to stick yourself to. Most games implement crouch in a literal sense - you crouch behind stuff. WL2's crouch feels insanely out of place to me, in the same sense that if the new XCOM had crouch I'd be scratching my head. It doesn't fit the actual design of literally all the mechanics that surround it. This is especially glaring when you get into fights where there is cover all around you, but none of it is "game cover" and thus cannot be used, and obviously "crouching behind it" does nothing.

As others have noted, weapon balance is terrible, but I'll just talk about the AP aspect. I can't name them off the top of my head, but it always felt like some weapons were utterly useless based on their high AP use vs. their actual damage output. There's a lot of value in being able to use a weapon twice on a turn. Not just because you can shoot the same target twice, but that you can shoot anything twice. For example, if you have two enemies, and one is 1HP and the other is 50HP, a weapon that can only shoot once can only kill one guy or damage the other guy, leaving both guys alive. A low-AP usage weapon can kill the low-HP enemy and damage the other enemy. Not only this, but more shots down range = more chances to mitigate misses and more chances to crit. And I think that imbalance gets magnified by the fact that seemingly every weapon type has low AP and high AP usages -- and it's pretty clear the former is superior in almost all battles.

Most weapons having the same variants of AP usage is probably one of the bigger reasons for weapon imbalance. Take SMGs for example. SMGs are terrible (aside from poor damage output). SMG's don't feel like SMG's. You can't run anywhere and shoot them anymore than you could with assault rifles. If the FAMAS takes 5-AP to burst, and the PPSh takes 5-AP to burst, why would I ever use the PPSh...? Shouldn't the benefit of an SMG be its mobility, a la firing from the hip, i.e., being able to run a good distance and still use the gun? I mean, at this point you're getting into complicated shit like having mechanics that truly separate weapons from each other, but those don't exist in WL2, so all weapons exist in the exact same way - they shoot, and they sometimes burst shoot, and the only condition applied is how much AP is being used. But as it turns out AP usage for all weapons is essentially the same, which makes all weapons essentially the same. And people wonder why everyone defaults to assault rifles...? Yeesh.

I could write an essay on the AP shit, mostly tied to the fact that it falls somewhere between an actual AP design (a la JA2, X-Com), and the sudden arrival of the 2-AP system (a la XCOM), and in doing so kinda messes up a lot of the balance in general. But I'll point out smaller things that just kinda nag at me:

Crouching/standing up takes 2-AP each, as said.

However, playing Tetris with the entire party's inventory costs nothing.

You can heave a medpack fifty yards over a rock formation and have it cost nothing.

Items can be teleported to party members across multiple walls and indoor mazes for no AP cost.

Switching weapons costs no AP. I frequently ran around with the same weapon in both weapon-slots simply for the ease of use. That is, when one jammed, I'd just switch to the other. If I needed a grenade or pistol, I just equipped them out of my inventory, or out of a party member's inventory, free of charge. A weapon jam eats up two turns of action, so why not just throw this here bazooka a hundred yards and equip that instead (and not have it be skill-based to use, although other heavy weapons are) because whyyyyyyyyyy I don't fucking know. This loosey-goosey bullshit is silly as fuck, but I feel like the only one bothered by this so whatever. I will say this, it really hams up the notion that any of the characters are unique.

Really, I'd almost go so far as to suggest there shouldn't even be individual inventories aside from what equipment you're actually using, and instead have it be a party inventory with its total weight-usage based on the combined strength of the party. Literally the exact same thing it is now but with less hassle.

Also, not a balance thing, but am I the only one who thinks the 'encumbered' graphic looks like a bug from Bug's Life? I can't stop seeing little antennae and the orbs of an insect body structure.

Kakita Tatsumaru

Barely Literate
Nov 13, 2014
-Chance: Add to the original initiative of the combat.
-Strength: Free starting levels in smart ass every two points in it.
-Intelligence: Put a +1 skill points at the 6 range. Free starting levels in smart ass every two points in it.
-Charisma: Xp bonus affect combat xp too. Free starting levels in kiss as every two points in it.

-Up chances of success so that it is never under 90% if your skill level is the same as the challenge.
-No magic 0% chances of success. Find a more roleplay way to block path.

-No magic "you can not enter" like in the prison with it's stupids turrets and invisible mines.

-Should mitigate damage even when penetrated depending on their value.

-change headshot effect to autocrit instead of x2 damages (needed for other weapon balancing)
-buff melee weapons (both blunt and slicing) criticals damages multiplier by x1 (so x2 becomes x3).
-energy weapons: make them completely ignore armors (well, the part I wish to add to armor).
-pistols need very low Ap usage from 2 to 3 at max.
-heavy weapons: gatling like weapons should have an optional aoe shot and a better armor penetration.
-Shotguns should do x2 damages at point blank range (1~2 distance).
-buff sniping rifle critical damage multiplier by x1 (so x2 becomes x3)

Morkar Left

Just copypasting from another thread:

Relate skills to attributes and let the skills only go as high as the attribute score (Int 8, Computer Science max of 8).

Attributes should give a %-bonus to the related skill(s) checks; average gives none, above average (6+) gives 2% bonus per point, max 10 % at attribute score of 10. Worse than average scores should give penalties on attribute scores similar to the boni. Luck should reduce the chance for critical failures instead of giving attribute boni in this system.

Injuries and the like should stay in effect and only get cured by surgeon or doctors. Currently it never effects anything in my game. Maybe let it be like it is for easy difficulty. (Btw nomad rails camp should have a doc. It's more convenient and makes sense. With all the amputations going on they should have master surgeons. Maybe only usable for free when you have enough influence).

Crouching should give a penalty when you're in melee similar to giving a bonus for shooting.

Increase the overall max range of weapons, at least for handweapons.

Heavy guns should have its own weapon modifications or they should be a bit more powerful.

Throwing precision should be dependent on the demolition skill with %-chances not hitting the exact spot you want.

Energy weapons could be changed, but I'm not sure in this regard.


Jun 3, 2005
Throwing precision should be dependent on the demolition skill with %-chances not hitting the exact spot you want.
This doesn't make any sense at all because you don't need to know anything about how to make bombs to throw a grenade. Should be based on stats instead, and the scatter inaccuracy should be based on range thrown. It's trivially easy to throw something to land in the right tile when it's all of 2 meters away from you, not so easy when you're flinging it a good 20 or 30 meters.

Switching weapons costs no AP. I frequently ran around with the same weapon in both weapon-slots simply for the ease of use. That is, when one jammed, I'd just switch to the other. If I needed a grenade or pistol, I just equipped them out of my inventory, or out of a party member's inventory, free of charge. A weapon jam eats up two turns of action
Should really also add some distinguishments to the type of weapon failure. A revolver, for instance, shouldn't "jam" unless the entire gun is seriously fucked. It should just fail to fire, with the solution being to simply pull the trigger. This makes them one of the more reliable weapons in real life, whereas in the game, there's absolutely no way to reduce their jamming while a more complex weapon which realistically WOULD jam can be made totally reliable.


ass hater
Jun 13, 2011
Good points have been raised so far. I want to add two things - first, Coordination is clearly the dump stat. You raise (actually lower) it to the minimum amount needed to get an additional AP and then put points into attributes that more efficiently raise your combat stats. The second is that it's ludicrous that attributes don't affect skill success (or even critical) chances. You'd think that a strong character would have a natural advantage in using Brute Force or a character with high Coordination would be able to defuse bombs more easily. Tying attributes to skills is one way to help make Coordination more effective.

Also I just want to add that I don't think Luck gets enough love here. Luck is great in this game and I really underestimated how nice it is to have when I created my characters. Scotchmo, one of the luckier NPCs, very frequently gets additional AP and critical hits. His otherwise crummy stats sell him short - he's a very decent character because of his Luck.

Rpgsaurus Rex

"Disarm Trap, Open Lock: The Game"

I'm hard-wired to open the chests I see. It's how RPGs work: you see a chest, you open it. In WL2, however: 1) there are TOO many freaking chests to 'disarm trap, open lock' esp. in the second half of the game, the loot is mostly random and mostly either trash or pocket money. 2) Disarm Trap, Open Lock both maxed out and there are still more than enough locks at 21%. Better yet, most of them are still filled with trash so you spend a good minute or two on inevitable save-reload or open/repair to find... random trash.

Skill usefulness is extremely lopsided. There's like, one (!) time where you need Animal Whisperer with the net reward of... 200 cash? This is a travesty.

Pistols are crap. SMGs are crap (unless you're maxing out LUCK, I guess - sure, but who the hell would do that going into the game blind and hoping that a weapon class won't suck balls with a normal build). Shotguns are meh. Assault Rifles are the best at everything, including range. Exception: an energy weapon that you will get pretty early on in exchange for some random trinket that outclasses any other weapon in the game, by far - yes, even the most late-late game energy weapons to buy from the endgame stores. There's the 'SMGs and shotguns are good up close!' argument but with good enough mods and skill you'll be at 95% with rifles at point blank range anyway.


Nov 8, 2012
I don't know if its too late but some ideas to curb down a little of assault rifle ownage:

Change ammunition types on some rifles. The M 16 shouldn't use 5.56 mm, it should use 7.62 mm to make it difficult to use at the initial fights as the ammo is expensive and doesn't drop until getting to the Canyon of Titan and a M4 carbine option should available on Ranger Citadel to not totally screw assault rifles at the start.

Tweak the prices of bullets, assault rifle bullets should cost some 30% or maybe more. Assault rifles should be luxury weapons, just too expensive to burst fire everything or having a whole team with them, so you would need a cheaper backup weapon what would solve one of the problems non assault rifle users have of every other weapon requiring a backup weapon while assault rifles don't. Bullet spraying like crazy should be something left for SMGs.

Assault rifles penalty at close range be increased and the area of effect of this penalty should be increased, doubled or tripled even. It should be in such a way that while fighting enemies at close range, a assault rifle user shouldn't be able to just back away and use burst fire at all on melee enemies (biggest strength of assault rifle).

Some melee enemies like Pod people and Honey badgers are way too slow and just moving targets, increasing their speed or initiative a bit would help (just enough to make them a threat and not turning them on killer bunnies) .
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