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Wasteland Wasteland 2 reception discussion

Wasteland 2 in comparison to Fallout 1&2...

  • Sucks! It is nowhere near as good as Fallout 1&2!

    Votes: 26 17.4%
  • Some things it does better, but some things it does worse, so I cant decide which is better.

    Votes: 22 14.8%
  • W2 is overall a better game.

    Votes: 5 3.4%
  • Fallout 1&2 are better, but I don't think W2 sucks.

    Votes: 67 45.0%
  • You are not sea!!!

    Votes: 29 19.5%

  • Total voters
    149

Mareus

Magister
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
1,404
Location
Atlantis
So, I am around 40 hours into Wasteland 2 and so far I am having a blast. Then I open Metacritic to see how the game is doing and I was surprised to see very mixed reviews. Apparently a lot of people who absolutely loved original Fallout seem to hate Wasteland 2 or consider it an average game at best. So I want to open a discussion about this phenomena that quite frankly baffles me, especially due to the nature of criticism the game is receiving. I will post some of these complaints, then I will give my view on them and hopefully get some intelligent responses.

PS. I have not read what the codex thinks about Wasteland 2, and no I am not going to search for it in another mega-thread. I am addressing some of the issues I have seen on Metacritic that were written by people who claim to be huge Fallout 1&2 fans.

Complaint 1: The combat sucks. There are no aimed shots. X-Com did it better. Jagged Alliance did it better. AI is horrible, because enemies shoot at each other and they don't use cover mechanic effectively.
---
My viewpoint: Yes, all of these things are true or at least partly true, but I feel that the combat is still overall a huge improvement over the original Fallout. Yes, we lost the aimed shots (although you can still aim in the head), but everything else has been improved. Original Fallout did not use any cover mechanic, you could not crouch, you could not attack enemies from roof tops, you could not ambush them, and you could not control your party, etc. Furthermore AI in Fallout was even worse. Not only did the enemies often shoot at each other, but there was no cover mechanic to begin with. Also the inability to control your party members meant you would also become victim of friendly fire. The way I see it, we lost one thing and gained many improvements. Therefore, I fail to see how one can enjoy Fallout combat and absolutely hate the Wasteland 2 combat. Could combat be better? Yes! Is it bad? No. It is at least not as bad as Fallout's combat.


Complaint 2: The attribute and skill system is broken. Only intelligence is useful attribute, there are no perks, skills have been unnecessarily branched into different flavors that do exactly the same thing (for example speech skill being branched into kiss-ass, smart ass, hard-ass), and certain skills are completely useless (like alarm skill or surgeon).
---
My viewpoint: I think Fallout 1&2 had the best attribute and skill system ever created. Competing against such an amazing system is not easy and Wasteland 2 does feel slightly underwhelming in this particular department. That however does not mean that the Fallout system did not have useless skills. Gambling, barter and throwing are just few useless skills that fall to my mind, whereas branching out certain skills in W2 makes a lot of sense from a purely roleplaying perspective. I mean, if someone is good at logical thinking and persuading people with rational arguments (smart ass), that by itself does not mean he will also be good at intimidating (hard ass), or smooth talking (kiss ass). Furthermore, surgeon is perhaps a useless skill if you think its only useful for recovering fallen party members. The thing is that surgeon has many uses in the world where you have to help certain NPCs. Yes, I wish W2 had perks and I wish attributes were connected with the skills like in Fallout games, but I do not think this is a huge problem. Different games will use different systems. Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment for example did not have perks either, while they lack many skills that exist in original Fallout and Wasteland 2. Still they are amazing games and I do not think this particular complaint is enough to significantly lower their score. Therefore I fail to see why this should significantly lower the score when it comes to W2. Furthermore, the statement that only intelligence is a useful attribute is far from truth. It is the most useful attribute, but invest only in intelligence and you will have a combat gimped party that lacks the mobility needed for tactical positioning. Ignore your constitution and strength and you will constantly be over encumbered and lacking much needed health points. Getting the first shot with high awareness and getting critical shots with high luck is not mandatory, but its far from useless. The only attribute that seems somewhat useless is charisma, which I really hope they fix.


Complaint 3: The interface is clunky. You constantly have to click through different skills and on different objects.
---
My viewpoint: After playing games like Skyrim and Dark Souls, I find the ability to use a mouse in my inventory without the need of modding it, very refreshing. Also, having to click on a skill and then an object feels so much better then just pressing "E" and letting the game automatizing the choice for me. Yes, perhaps something could be done about letting us have party based shortcut keys, and perhaps the demolition skill is getting too much use because of too many containers having traps on them, but at best it is a minor problem and really nothing more than nitpicking. Also, I find an inventory with actual slots to be far superior to the way Fallout did it, where you basically had all the items vertically lined up one under another.


Complaint 4: The maps are too big and it takes too long to navigate from one point to another.
---
My viewpoint: Perhaps this is just me, but I prefer having huge maps instead of loading screens. Yes, it may take some time to get from one point to another, but again I fail to see how it would be better to have smaller maps interrupted with constant loading screens. Not only are bigger maps more realistic and add to the feeling of open world, but they help reduce the number of loading screens. The only thing I wish InXile implemented would be a button to quickly access world map travel, so that I don't have to go through a whole map just to access world map.


Complaint 5: Graphics are horrible and wearing different armor does not change how I look.
---
My viewpoint: Graphics are huge improvement over original Fallout games. Sure, you can't see the changes when you wear different armor, but I do not think this is a big problem. Jagged Alliance 2 for example had that exact same problem when it came to wearing armor, Planescape Torment as well, but they are still amazing games. Furthermore, I could nitpick about Fallout how you could not change your skin/hair color, add a biography, choose a religion or customize the visual appearance of the character in any significant way. I could nitpick about the lack of ground elevation, repetitive town design, etc... The fact of the matter is that all of these complaints are just nitpicking. Fallout is an amazing game despite its limitations, and the same applies to W2.


Complaint 6: Fallout had humor, while Wasteland is dull.
---
My viewpoint: I completely disagree. Wasteland has somewhat different tone due to being much more closely related to modern world from 1980's and 1990's, whereas Fallout is connected with the 1950's. Different tone does not mean the game is dull. The humor is subtle just like in Fallout games, and it might not be obvious but it is there. The codex reference made me laugh out loud btw. :)


Complaint 7: Topics instead of dialogue trees.
---
While it is true that topics often make you ask questions that make very little sense, since you already asked every person the same thing 10 times already, and while it is true that dialogue trees in Fallout make the dialogues feel much more focused; the dialogues are far from horrible as some people describe them. Also, nobody is forcing you to ask every person the same thing you asked 10 other people and somehow it is hard for me to condemn the ability to ask anyone about almost anything. So, I see this as a personal preference. If you like focused dialogues, you will probably like Fallout more, but if you like to have the freedom to ask almost anything every single character and always get a different response, then you will like W2 more.


Complaint 8: Bugs.
---
The game has just been released. It will be fixed, just give it some time. Also, I am not aware of any game (literally ANY game) that was released with 0 bugs. Even Fallout which people seem to praise into infinity is to this day plagued with broken quests, save corruptions, crashes, combat freezing up, etc. I am not justifying it, but RPGs are complex beasts and I am being realistic here. I don't think bugs are product of being lazy (at least not in this case) or the developer not caring. I think bugs are the product of the game's complexity and are bound to happen.


The bottom line is this. Most of the things people complain about exist or are even done worse in Fallout. And when people actually make some valid points, they really aren't that big of a deal. Wasteland 2 is different from Fallout in many ways. It has some things that it does better and it has some things it does worse. It is a much bigger game, with all the choices and consequences a true Fallout fan would want. Therefore I really have a difficult time understanding why so many "Fallout 1&2 fans" gave W2 0/10 on Metacritic.
 

Eyeball

Arcane
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
2,541
Better than Fallout 1, which is exceptionally overrated, but worse than FO2.
 

Black

Arcane
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
1,872,743
Btw there's no Fallout1&2.
There's Fallout 1.
And then there's Fallout 2.
THERE'S A BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE
 

FeelTheRads

Arcane
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
13,716
Graphics are huge improvement over original Fallout games.

No.
Sure, you can't see the changes when you wear different armor, but I do not think this is a big problem.
Any plans to change that?
Jagged Alliance 2 for example had that exact same problem when it came to wearing armor, Planescape Torment as well, but they are still amazing games.
2D games where changes in appearance are much more difficult than in a 3D game. Why is W2 a 3D game again?
Also Fallout and plenty other games did it.

Furthermore, I could nitpick about Fallout how you could not change your skin/hair color, add a biography, choose a religion or customize the visual appearance of the character in any significant way.

All irrelevant things.

Skin/hair color: you mean like in W2 where it never matches the portraits? Good addition.

Biography: And this does what for the game?

Religion: What about this?

Surprised you didn't mention the option to chose what the rangers smoke. I certainly missed that in Fallout.

On the other hand, when you put armor on your characters and they still show up wearing g-strings it's jarring and looks dumb.
It's not a matter of "hurr durr my charactur has to have blond hair and slightly tanned skin otherwise i'm not immersed", but a matter of seeing changes that actually affect the game.
 

Mareus

Magister
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
1,404
Location
Atlantis
Graphics are huge improvement over original Fallout games.

No.
They are in my opinion. For example, ground clutter, terrain elevation, fluidity of animations, design diversity, etc. Models look horrible up close, but 99% of the game you are playing with the camera zoomed out. So, it is a huge improvement.

Sure, you can't see the changes when you wear different armor, but I do not think this is a big problem.
Any plans to change that?
I am not sea.

Jagged Alliance 2 for example had that exact same problem when it came to wearing armor, Planescape Torment as well, but they are still amazing games.
2D games where changes in appearance are much more difficult than in a 3D game. Why is W2 a 3D game again?
Also Fallout and plenty other games did it.
Yes, Fallout 1 and 2 did it, but my main point is that many great games did not do it and yet this does not diminish their greatness.


Furthermore, I could nitpick about Fallout how you could not change your skin/hair color, add a biography, choose a religion or customize the visual appearance of the character in any significant way.

All irrelevant things.

Skin/hair color: you mean like in W2 where it never matches the portraits? Good addition.

Biography: And this does what for the game?

Religion: What about this?

Surprised you didn't mention the option to chose what the rangers smoke. I certainly missed that in Fallout.

On the other hand, when you put armor on your characters and they still show up wearing g-strings it's jarring and looks dumb.
It's not a matter of "hurr durr my charactur has to have blond hair and slightly tanned skin otherwise i'm not immersed", but a matter of seeing changes that actually affect the game.
Yes, all of the things I mentioned are irrelevant, but that's the point. I don't think that not showing armor is jarringly stupid. To me it feels exactly as inability to change skin/hair color in Fallout. Would I want InXile to fix this and give us more variation? YES! I just don't understand how this somehow justifies significant score reduction.
 

MrBuzzKill

Arcane
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
663
Thanks for this post. I've been aiming to go into detail about how unwarranted some of the criticisms towards WL2 were, but you've pretty much done it for me. I think the main reason people complain is because they keep mistaking this game for a Fallout sequel.
By the way, is there a thread somewhere where people vote which Fallout game they like better? I want to make sure I'm in the majority. (thanks in advance)
 

Lord Andre

Arcane
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
3,716
Location
Gypsystan
My greatest complaint is that some areas (questlines) are set up in such a way that seems retarded / does not give the player the option to do or point out the most obvious thing that anyone would point out:

Early examples: Turrets and minefield that block the Prison. Why ? Why ? Who was the retarded individual that thought that implementing such an indestructible plot-wall was a good idea. No seriously, I can't understand how much of a retarded retard that guy was.

Titan Canyon: Don't the monks realize that their system would only work if the protection was given after the first checkpoint ? It's peoples fault they didn't get monk protection by fighting through the monk protection to the first checkpoint where they can finally get monk protection ? If monks are stupid how come a 10 int smart-ass can't point out this very important observation to them. It's the first thing anyone would do. "Hey, excuse me, I don't know if anyone else told you but this is why you're protection system sucks:..."

And this kind of story stupidity is present everywhere. I got it, the designers wanted to force bad endings to make a point. No problem, but do it organically. And again, turrets and minefield, the single fact that that part made it into the game means someone should get fired.

Don't get me wrong, I love the combat, the setting, the characters, the VO, the flavour text, the skill system, but area design is inconsistent ranging from good to autistic retardation.

And yes the fucking armor being visible on the chars is important. Again who is this retard making these decisions ? This isn't complex system design this is basic shit. No brainers for fuck's sake.

Rant over. Game is good but there are 1 or 2 persons at inxile who need to get fired.
 

FeelTheRads

Arcane
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
13,716
Have you also considered that maybe W2 isn't that great otherwise to make up for what it's lacking in certain areas, like the other games you mentioned?

To me it feels exactly as inability to change skin/hair color in Fallout.

How would you feel if your character was holding a handgun but would shoot rockets? It's pretty much the same thing.
Unless hair and skin color have any meaning in the game, they can't be compared to that.
 

Mareus

Magister
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
1,404
Location
Atlantis
My greatest complaint is that some areas (questlines) are set up in such a way that seems retarded / does not give the player the option to do or point out the most obvious thing that anyone would point out:

Early examples: Turrets and minefield that block the Prison. Why ? Why ? Who was the retarded individual that thought that implementing such an indestructible plot-wall was a good idea. No seriously, I can't understand how much of a retarded retard that guy was.

Titan Canyon: Don't the monks realize that their system would only work if the protection was given after the first checkpoint ? It's peoples fault they didn't get monk protection by fighting through the monk protection to the first checkpoint where they can finally get monk protection ? If monks are stupid how come a 10 int smart-ass can't point out this very important observation to them. It's the first thing anyone would do. "Hey, excuse me, I don't know if anyone else told you but this is why you're protection system sucks:..."

And this kind of story stupidity is present everywhere. I got it, the designers wanted to force bad endings to make a point. No problem, but do it organically. And again, turrets and minefield, the single fact that that part made it into the game means someone should get fired.

Don't get me wrong, I love the combat, the setting, the characters, the VO, the flavour text, the skill system, but area design is inconsistent ranging from good to autistic retardation.

And yes the fucking armor being visible on the chars is important. Again who is this retard making these decisions ? This isn't complex system design this is basic shit. No brainers for fuck's sake.

Rant over. Game is good but there are 1 or 2 persons at inxile who need to get fired.
You actually make some valid points when it comes to Titan Canyon. The way I understood it was that they are just a bunch of crazy fanatics that don't care about justice. Your argument is sound, but I think enough exposition is given to the player to understand why the cult is behaving so strangely. Namely, while what you say makes sense if you are a ranger, it doesn't make sense to the cultist since they don't give a shit about justice and morals. In a sense they thrive from the chaos by having both the raiders and ordinary folk paying for their protection. Still having an ability to argue about it with smart ass skill would be nice.

When it comes to turrets plot-wall, I really don't understand what the fuss is about. Opening it up probably causes all sorts of bugs and problems, so they decided to limit the player. Perhaps it could have been handled slightly better, so that it does not tease the player to just try and blow up the turrets, but I really don't see it as a big problem considering how much freedom otherwise you have in the game. It is literally 1 such instance in the whole game and like I said, there is probably a good reason for this. but hey, I could be wrong.

I didn't get to the minefield part yet.. so I don't know what that is about.
 

Black

Arcane
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
1,872,743
Why would anyone include a poll in their thread, it instantly invalidates anything in it. It's a tool of "democracy" to silence the sane.:rpgcodex:
 

Mareus

Magister
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
1,404
Location
Atlantis
Have you also considered that maybe W2 isn't that great otherwise to make up for what it's lacking in certain areas, like the other games you mentioned?
No. That thought didn't even cross my mind honestly, because I don't think there is any merit to it.

How would you feel if your character was holding a handgun but would shoot rockets? It's pretty much the same thing.
Unless hair and skin color have any meaning in the game, they can't be compared to that.
I fail to see how the two are analogous. Sorry.
 

Xeon

Augur
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
1,858
Complaint 2: The attribute and skill system is broken. Only intelligence is useful attribute, there are no perks, skills have been unnecessarily branched into different flavors that do exactly the same thing (for example speech skill being branched into kiss-ass, smart ass, hard-ass), and certain skills are completely useless (like alarm skill or surgeon).
Fallout had the ass skills based on attributes. Kiss=Charisma -- Smart=Intelligence -- Hard=Strength IIRC.

Complaint 3: The interface is clunky. You constantly have to click through different skills and on different objects.
I probably wouldn't have mind it the many skills but man there are a lot of opportunities to use them, every 10 seconds, switch to a character with the skill and try your luck, a lot of work for little gain mostly I think.
I wish if you combined some of the skills like lockpicking skills into one skill and healing skill into one skill also. IIRC Fallout had 2 skills but only Doctor was useful, its kinda like that.

Complaint 7:
Topics instead of dialogue trees.
Topics kinda make sense I think for a party based game but after a while it started to feel like a lot of the dialogues feel like info dump, I just sorta started skipping all dialogues unless I encounter a special encounters. I just check the Journal after I finish the dialog to check if I got a new quest or something.
 

Mareus

Magister
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
1,404
Location
Atlantis
Complaint 2: The attribute and skill system is broken. Only intelligence is useful attribute, there are no perks, skills have been unnecessarily branched into different flavors that do exactly the same thing (for example speech skill being branched into kiss-ass, smart ass, hard-ass), and certain skills are completely useless (like alarm skill or surgeon).
Fallout had the ass skills based on attributes. Kiss=Charisma -- Smart=Intelligence -- Hard=Strength IIRC.
Good point.

Complaint 3: The interface is clunky. You constantly have to click through different skills and on different objects.
I probably wouldn't have mind it the many skills but man there are a lot of opportunities to use them, every 10 seconds, switch to a character with the skill and try your luck, a lot of work for little gain mostly I think.
I wish if you combined some of the skills like lockpicking skills into one skill and healing skill into one skill also. IIRC Fallout had 2 skills but only Doctor was useful, its kinda like that.
Yeah. I understand that. Perhaps it could be improved by reducing the number of crates and making party based shortcut keys.


Topics instead of dialogue trees.
Topics kinda make sense I think for a party based game but after a while it started to feel like a lot of the dialogues feel like info dump, I just sorta started skipping all dialogues unless I encounter a special encounters. I just check the Journal after I finish the dialog to check if I got a new quest or something.
I understand. But you really don't need to ask every single person everything. Once you understand that you will enjoy dialogues much more. Sure, you might miss a quest or two from time to time, but more fun for the next playthrough :)
 

Cazzeris

Guest
They decided to let the players choose their ranger's armor at the beginning of the game because that lets your rangers wear what you want instead of depending on how the best available armor looks. This also avoids the situation in where all the rangers are wearing the same armor because there aren't any better ones to choose from.

Certainly, I can see some logic behind this decision; but it also reminds me of how they lazily chose the easiest way to solve every issue in this game.
 

FeelTheRads

Arcane
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
13,716
No. That thought didn't even cross my mind honestly, because I don't think there is any merit to it.

Such an outlandish thought indeed.

I fail to see how the two are analogous. Sorry.

You fail to see how a ranger wearing power armor showing up in g-strings is pretty much the same as a handgun shooting rockets?

And to get back to JA2 and Torment the games you so conveniently chosen for comparison:

Torment: They have pretty much avoided the issue because there are barely any "armors" in the game. In fact only Annah and Fall-From-Grace can change their armor. I don't remember if there are any visual differences, but it doesn't matter because the items look similar so the abstraction is fine.
Also, The Nameless One can wear the Dustman robes, and the change is obvious.

JA2: Again, I don't remember if there are any visual changes when changing armor. Maybe just color because I certainly remember using stuff like camo does change your appearance? And here too the abstraction is fine because most armors have the same overall shape anyway, and you don't have mercs wearing cowboy hats and fishnet stockings.

Neither has the jarring visual issues that W2 has.

So hey, in their great care to offer pointless appearance customization options they just dug a grave for themselves because any inconsistencies will look that much more dumb.
And if they could add all of these options then why not also make it so the armor is visible? Wasting time on useless shit, perhaps?

They decided to let the players choose their ranger's armor at the beginning of the game because that lets your rangers wear what you want instead of depending on how the best available armor looks.

This is an issue? Aside from the "i wanna look beautiful in my gaem" LARPers, that is?
 

Cazzeris

Guest
They decided to let the players choose their ranger's armor at the beginning of the game because that lets your rangers wear what you want instead of depending on how the best available armor looks.

This is an issue? Aside from the "i wanna look beautiful in my gaem" LARPers, that is?

inXile expects you to choose something like this if you want to see your character wearing a power armor:

WL2PowerArmor_zps4a8c5244.png
 

FeelTheRads

Arcane
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
13,716
inXile expects you to choose something like this if you want to see your character wearing a power armor:

What if I expect my character to show what he's really wearing? Or an approximation at least? Because I'm sure you don't start the game in power armor.

If they really did this because of the players who want their characters to look a certain way the whole game and not because of time/monetary constraints then it's actually retarded and not just lazy poorly managed.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
So, I am around 40 hours into Wasteland 2 and so far I am having a blast. Then I open Metacritic to see how the game is doing and I was surprised to see very mixed reviews. Apparently a lot of people who absolutely loved original Fallout seem to hate Wasteland 2 or consider it an average game at best. So I want to open a discussion about this phenomena that quite frankly baffles me, especially due to the nature of criticism the game is receiving. I will post some of these complaints, then I will give my view on them and hopefully get some intelligent responses.
I had a blast too (even though I had my doubts at first), but I could see right away that the game won't appeal to everyone and will get very mixed reactions.

It's very different from Fallout (not that it's a bad thing) thus you can't really compare WL2 different bits and pieces to those of Fallout. For instance, overall, even though WL2 has a shitload of various options, easily beating Fallout in that department, the overall design is much closer to Fallout: Tactics with more dialogues than to Fallout. That alone is bound to rub some people the wrong way. Fallout felt like a game where you explore the setting and can kick some ass if you choose to. WL2 feels like a game where you kick ass (i.e. combat heavy) and can explore the setting if you choose to.
 
Last edited:

Cazzeris

Guest
inXile expects you to choose something like this if you want to see your character wearing a power armor:

What if I expect my character to show what he's really wearing? Or an approximation at least? Because I'm sure you don't start the game in power armor.

You can also get those clothing items in the midgame and wear them when you want to use a power armor.

If they really did this because of the players who want their characters to look a certain way the whole game and not because of time/monetary constraints then it's actually retarded and not just lazy poorly managed.

They did this because there were lots of LARPers who wanted to wear what they wanted instead of hoping that the most useful armor looked as they wanted to. The game lets you choose the aesthetic items you like the most ignoring the fact that some people want their characters to look as the armor they're actually wearing (which is chosen based on its usefulness) without having to get some items apart.

Basically, it's made for those people who just want to choose the clothes/armors aesthetically. I know that it's completely illogical and still prefer the traditional FO system, but I can understand why they implemented it.
 

FeelTheRads

Arcane
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
13,716
Curious, I remember when people wanted the games to show the items they have.
Now it's the other way around and they think they're making an artistic statement of their inner struggles by playing dress-up with game characters.
 

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