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Game News The New World Update #24: The Wasteland

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Tags: Iron Tower Studio; The New World; Vince D. Weller

The latest monthly development update for The New World introduces another one of the game's locations. This time it's the area known as the Wasteland, which is no land at all but rather the name given to the colony ship's former Mission Control sector. Formerly the seat of the ship's commanding authorities, it was utterly ruined during the mutiny and is now a foreboding multi-level dungeon. In addition to the hostile scavengers, traps, and forgotten caches of advanced technology you'd expect to find in such a place, the Wasteland is also home to at least one semi-mythical mutated creature. But I'll let you read about all of that yourself:

The desolation known as the Wasteland, a span of decks torn apart by the unfathomably destructive weapons of Old Earth, was called Mission Control in better times. This was the Ship Authority's domain, an impregnable stronghold and the seat of power.

The mutineers’ attack was months in the making, a decisive, disabling strike at the electronic heart of their world. It should have been over in less than an hour, but such things rarely go as planned. The Ship Authority was made of harder stuff than anticipated and the first assault was driven back.

In the following months of attack and counterattack, the mutineers’ failure to quickly secure the complex cost them much in lost lives and spent firepower. When forced to surrender ground, both sides adopted a policy of destroying anything not of immediate use, so as to deny it to the enemy.

Though the mutineers were able to ultimately capture and hold key positions across several decks, the complex had been gutted and irreplaceable resources lost. Too late they would discover that during the protracted struggle over Mission Control, Ship Authority loyalists in the Habitat had firmly entrenched their position, preparing to fight to the last man and woman. And child, should it prove necessary.

Weakened and shocked by the brutality of Mission Control’s demise, the mutineers weren’t eager to unleash the same horrors on the Habitat. A truce was offered under the pretext that the Ship Authority was finished anyway and there was no reason to waste lives trying to speed up the inevitable. Yet the same inferno that purged the old order also forged the new. The Protectors of the Mission were destined to reclaim everything their predecessors had lost. They would take it all in the end, whatever the cost.

***

Decades later, deteriorating conditions at home began to drive explorers and treasure seekers farther and farther afield, until a lucky group wandered into the fringes of that fabled battlefield. When the first news trickled back of decks littered with the technological marvels of Old Earth, the scavengers swarmed like maggots devouring a carcass.

Inside of a month, the first two decks were swept clean, but moving deeper into the seemingly bottomless ruins was a more daunting challenge. The entire zone was unpowered and bitterly cold; portable lamps provided the only light. Fused doors and warped bulkheads made a maze of the original corridors and descending to the lower levels, now accessible only through jagged holes in the decking, was a treacherous proposition. Add in the traps left by the long-dead defenders of Mission Control, or by ‘prospectors’ hoping to dissuade the competition, and more often than not it was a one-way trip.

Once the easy pickings had been gathered up and sold, the less principled scavs decided it was easier, and healthier, to let someone else take the risks. And so a new tradition was born: ambushing the suckers returning to the 'surface' with their relics.

Yet those who survived the dangers of both the Wasteland and their murderous colleagues returned with accounts of more than just mummified soldiers and half-melted energy rifles. They told tantalizing stories of security doors with still charged and fully operational turrets, of functioning retinal scanners blocking access to forbidden vaults, and of the Holy Grail itself: the Admin Center, the very brain of the Ship, sealed from within at the height of the Mutiny and never breached. They also spoke of cadavers seemingly unharmed but drained of blood, of mysterious floating lights more terrifying even than the darkness of the void, and of Beelzebub himself. Called Ol’ Bub for short, this terrifying beast was said to dwell deep within the ruined complex, and to feed on any weary prospector foolish enough to let his guard slip.

***

With the Wasteland our goal is to create a proper, thematically-fitting 'dungeon' with the following features:

1. The focus is on exploration not combat. Navigating the dungeon, finding a way past the obstacles and into the deeper levels is more important than killing monsters and clearing levels.

2. Non-linear with multiple directions and goals. While the Admin Center is the top prize, there are lesser 'prizes' located in different parts of the complex. None of these locations will be easy to get to, because the lore says that many prospectors tried to find these places for years, so you can’t just waltz in, but unlike AoD’s Abyss which had a single path to the central chamber and required a very specific build, there will be multiple ways supporting different stats and skillsets.

3. You’ll be frequently stopped by some obstacles (such as a retinal scanner, for example, or poisonous gas, or tough enemies, humans or otherwise) and would have to leave and return later when you acquire what you need. In other words, you won’t blast though the entire 'dungeon' in one go.

4. Every dungeon needs some enemies and they will come in two varieties: humans (rival prospectors, thugs looking for easy money, the Regulators if you piss them off) and creatures. While every RPG and every dungeon need some 'monsters' we believe that in this setting less is more, so the entire game will have 5-6 mutated creatures and we won’t throw them at you the way we did in Dungeon Rats but handle it very differently and hopefully more memorably.

5. If you do manage to find a way into the Admin Center, it will affect the endings (extra options, pre-req. for a different ending, etc.)
See the full update for more details about the legendary Beelzebub, and for a few pieces of concept art of the Wasteland.
 

Goral

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I get more disappointed with this game with every monthly update.
And why is that? What don't you like? The setting is definitely interesting and unique (for a computer game), characters and factions seem to be convincing and judging by recent updates it should have enough variety to not get bored. Whether they will actually deliver on all that is another matter.
 

MurkyShadow

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I'm intrigued by the concept. I get a bit of a Robert A. Heinlein vibe.
There are already pictures of mission control forming in my head.
I'm curious to see how it shapes up, in respect of visuals
and atmosphere.
 

Daedalos

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Really great update, Vince. I especially like the concept art, the implant corpse is great and that last one has a very wasteland 2-esque feel to it, from the guy standing there and his reflection of the shadows. I suppose that's rather intentional.

I'm very excited to see how the concept art areas will look and transfer into the final game. Good stuff, keep it up!

I like the idea of a mega dungeon, that you can't just steamroll on the first try, or even on the first visit. Locking certain special encounters or sidequests behind certain types of skills and characters is the way to go for me.
I like revisiting old areas I've been to that remind me, that there is still something very interesting to do in this area. Something that might even affect the main quest in a big way and give me more insights or a possibly alternate ending/quest line.

Remember what MCA said, make the side quests very interesting and tie in with the main quest, but don't let them outshine it.

It does require a way to make backtracking not shitty, so I hope you keep that in mind, when designing the areas, especially in terms of fast travel, and how to implement that to counter tedious backtracking.

I also like the approach to not just littering the dungeon (and the game itself) with trash mobs, but have each enemy be really meaningful and memerable. Part of what made the Od Nua dungeon from Pillars of Eternity annoying, was all the trash mobs throughout, while the dungeon itself was pretty good and interesting moments.
 
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HeatEXTEND

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Terrible name, doesn't fit at all.

I would have just called it mission control.
Sounds an awful lot like mission cunt-roll, get that leisure suit larry shit outta here.

I sorta agree though, maybe have the scavengers refer to it as the wasteland or something.
 

Zed

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noone really calls places The Wasteland, The Abyss, The Pit, The Hole, The Mountain, The Sea etc. either these locations have a local history and end up being named after some person or some peculiar trait of the region. like if it's full of salt (or has been) it could be called Salt Valley even though noone would actually see any salt, and there's barely any valley to speak of. either something like that, or the locals are ironic jokesters so they call the place something like Greenland (even though there's no vegetation).
 
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Grab the Codex by the pussy
Vault Dweller said:
While every RPG and every dungeon need some 'monsters' we believe that in this setting less is more, so the entire game will have 5-6 mutated creatures and we won’t throw them at you the way we did in Dungeon Rats but handle it very differently and hopefully more memorably.
Learning from Dungeon Rats' mistakes.
 

Fenix

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noone really calls places The Wasteland, The Abyss, The Pit, The Hole, The Mountain, The Sea etc. either these locations have a local history and end up being named after some person or some peculiar trait of the region. like if it's full of salt (or has been) it could be called Salt Valley even though noone would actually see any salt, and there's barely any valley to speak of. either something like that, or the locals are ironic jokesters so they call the place something like Greenland (even though there's no vegetation).

Can agree with that.
 

Vault Dweller

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Terrible name, doesn't fit at all.
Doesn't fit what? The first concept art?

noone really calls places The Wasteland, The Abyss, The Pit, The Hole, The Mountain, The Sea etc. ...
You mean like Hell's Kitchen, Dead Man's Hollow, Puddletown, Sleepy Hollow, No Man's Land, Mount Slaughter, Wideopen, Nowhere, etc?

How large is the ship?
40km long, 6km wide.

if:
When forced to surrender ground, both sides adopted a policy of destroying anything not of immediate use, so as to deny it to the enemy.
then, how come:
When the first news trickled back of decks littered with the technological marvels of Old Earth
?
Meaning bodies (bits of armor and implants) and weapons (damaged, of course, but with salvageable power cells). So literally littered with technological marvels. Oh, look, a spinal implant, lemme get the ribs out of the way first...
 

Saduj

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If those giant barnacle things in the last picture are killable, I'll waste all my ammo killing every last one. I fucking hate barnacles.
 

Zed

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noone really calls places The Wasteland, The Abyss, The Pit, The Hole, The Mountain, The Sea etc. ...
You mean like Hell's Kitchen, Dead Man's Hollow, Puddletown, Sleepy Hollow, No Man's Land, Mount Slaughter, Wideopen, Nowhere, etc?
Nope! I meant like the ones I wrote.
Your examples are far better and imaginative names. I guess the exception is No Man's Land, which is almost as trite as The Wasteland as a name for, well, a wasteland (but is much more colorful and "fiction realistic", as an aside). And people are imaginative – they don't call places The Wasteland, The Void, The Abyss etc in real life. That's my point – it's the lowest of fantasy shtick when it comes to naming places.
It won't make the game better or worse but it will make the locations more memorable.
 
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HeatEXTEND

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noone really calls places The Wasteland, The Abyss, The Pit, The Hole, The Mountain, The Sea etc. ...
You mean like Hell's Kitchen, Dead Man's Hollow, Puddletown, Sleepy Hollow, No Man's Land, Mount Slaughter, Wideopen, Nowhere, etc?
Nope! I meant like the ones I wrote.
Your examples are far better and imaginative names. I guess the exception is No Man's Land, which is almost as trite as The Wasteland as a name for, well, a wasteland (but is much more colorful and "fiction realistic", as an aside). And people are imaginative – they don't call places The Wasteland, The Void, The Abyss etc in real life. That's my point – it's the lowest of fantasy shtick when it comes to naming places.
It won't make the game better or worse but it will make the locations more memorable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_Hole
:dealwithit:
 

Tigranes

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Yeah. I usually agree with the view that our placenames are usually a lot weirder and more banal than we would imagine, but it just strikes me as weird why you'd choose to call it the Wasteland specifically. Is it realistic? Maybe, but there are many other realistic options that are not so superboring. Does it give the right kinds of connotations for your setting? Not really, the specific word having already been occupied by so many other games and genres. Does it sound cool? The opposite.
 

Vault Dweller

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I'm not going for 'cool' here. Wasteland the word has been around since 1630 as a good, short description of a barren, desolate area with a hint of warning (nothing can survive there), which is precisely what this location is. I doubt the locals would still call it Mission Control because there's nothing left of it, so the wasteland is as good and clear name as any. The fact that it's mentioned in the Bible quite a few times is a bonus.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Perhaps Vault Dweller came up with the name "Wasteland" primarily based on the way he envisioned the place's appearance in his head:

H9XedDP.jpg


Wide open spaces on flat platforms, high ceilings almost as if it's open to the sky.
 

Daedalos

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Out of curiosity, Vince, who does your concept art? The guy is very very talented, and has he done other projects not from Iron Tower?
 

Zed

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noone really calls places The Wasteland, The Abyss, The Pit, The Hole, The Mountain, The Sea etc. ...
You mean like Hell's Kitchen, Dead Man's Hollow, Puddletown, Sleepy Hollow, No Man's Land, Mount Slaughter, Wideopen, Nowhere, etc?
Nope! I meant like the ones I wrote.
Your examples are far better and imaginative names. I guess the exception is No Man's Land, which is almost as trite as The Wasteland as a name for, well, a wasteland (but is much more colorful and "fiction realistic", as an aside). And people are imaginative – they don't call places The Wasteland, The Void, The Abyss etc in real life. That's my point – it's the lowest of fantasy shtick when it comes to naming places.
It won't make the game better or worse but it will make the locations more memorable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_Hole
:dealwithit:
the devil's hole vs. the hole. damn it's practically the same!
 

Abu Antar

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Terrible name, doesn't fit at all.
Doesn't fit what? The first concept art?

noone really calls places The Wasteland, The Abyss, The Pit, The Hole, The Mountain, The Sea etc. ...
You mean like Hell's Kitchen, Dead Man's Hollow, Puddletown, Sleepy Hollow, No Man's Land, Mount Slaughter, Wideopen, Nowhere, etc?

How large is the ship?
40km long, 6km wide.

if:
When forced to surrender ground, both sides adopted a policy of destroying anything not of immediate use, so as to deny it to the enemy.
then, how come:
When the first news trickled back of decks littered with the technological marvels of Old Earth
?
Meaning bodies (bits of armor and implants) and weapons (damaged, of course, but with salvageable power cells). So literally littered with technological marvels. Oh, look, a spinal implant, lemme get the ribs out of the way first...
How much of the ship does the Wasteland cover and where is the seat of power now? Or is this how there became factions?
 

Vault Dweller

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Not that much as it's a vertical mega-building-like structure (think modern ships' bridge castle). Now three main factions (protectors, brotherhood, and church) within the Habitat are fighting for control. The Ship contains the following areas: the Bridge, ECLSS (life support), Habitat (vertical mega city), Factory mentioned in one of the previous updates, Hydroponics, Cargo Hold, Shuttle Bay, Armory for the future colony, Mission Control (administrative building not ship control) or what's left of it, and the engine room with the reactor and the mutant city.
 

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