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Wasteland Wasteland 2, what gone wrong? [SPOILERS]

DeepOcean

Arcane
Joined
Nov 8, 2012
Messages
7,395
I read some discussion both here and Wasteland 2 forums and I heard anything, from "Wasteland 2 isn't supposed to be Fallout 3", "Wasteland 2 is the sequel to Wasteland 1, what you expected?", "Wasteland 1 was combat heavy too, so it is okay for Wasteland 2 be this way.", "Combat on Fallout 1 was worse than Wasteland 2, so Wasteland 2 is a good game right?"

All those arguments sound nice but don't save the game from being boring as fuck. I know Wasteland 2 is the poster child of the kickstarter revolution and all...but I don't like this game at all. It is funny, I expent a huge amount of hours thinking, "hey, one day this slog will end and I will have fun." well... I didn't.

I don't hate InXile or want them to crash and burn while I watch in joy like I dream to do one day with Bioware and I think Torment can be a genuine good game but Wasteland 2... man it is getting difficult to summon the strengh to even finish this thing.

People say this game is more akin to Fallout Tactics and Icewind Dale than the Fallouts what would be okay as I enjoyed both Icewind Dale and Fallout Tatics, so I would like this game too right?

No... while Icewind Dale and Fallout Tactics don't offer some things Wasteland 2 offer, they have much better content and gameplay.

Okay, I might be injust as I didn't go very far on California yet but I feel that while there will be some interesting things to see, the core gameplay will remain the same and... I feel I'm wasting my time with this game, what is something sad to say but my feeling. I don't feel smug, just tired.

Things like the containers... oh boy... look, you want to make some skills useful, fine... but don't waste my time with BS, okay? If for example, there are some slaves I need to rescue but I need alarm disarm for them to not be killed or I need explosives to disarm a nuclear bomb or I need lockpick to open an alternative rout... those are all legitimate uses for the skills but to disarm containers and open safes over and over and over and over... Wasteland 2 is a huge game, you need to think on the consequences of doing this thousands of times.

I feel that Arizona, in particular, saps the will of anyone that wants to give California a chance, if it was entirely cut from the game(maybe with exception of the Canyon of the Titan), I wouldn't miss it... I see some nice scenarios on California already but fuck no that I'm going through all that crap again to reach this point again to see the alternatives, it's just too much torture.

The combat... while the patch InXile is promising could improve things and I'm really tempted to wait for this patch to see if it makes the combat something salvageable, honestly, the only time I had fun was at first while trying the guns but it soon became clear this combat system simple as it is on a huge game like this was nowhere enough. This game needs talents, aimed shots or anything and I'm not saying it because I'm a fan of Fallout but because it needs something to stop it being boring.

The story... I didn't expect a great narrative but... Arizona is all about three radio towers, there you are... the main plot of Wasteland 2 first half is activating three radio towers, this was to be some excuse to make you start but it should have evolved on something more interesting very quick by the time you reach Highpool and this radio tower BS shouldn't be prolonged to Damonta.

It is infuriating as well how they break your suspension of disbelief all the time saying the Rangers are some fearsome military outfit but they pull out of their ass every single excuse to make a bunch of recruits simply do everything alone while the Rangers just sit in there doing nothing of useful or manage to be killed by trash mobs as it happen on California start. General Vargas even count on it and doesn't get surprised when you manage it.

You can't even throw on Vargas face this bullshit, do California allow a way to quit the rangers? If yes, I'm happy to leave the most incompetent faction of Wasteland 2. I was just laughing when general Vargas call you say... "hey guise... as you are doing something around the prison, can you do us a favor and kill the Red Skorpion Militia leader alone for us, thanks."

They build this Red Skorpion Militia thing as a threat to the rangers and then a bunch of ranger recruits go there and kill their leader... man... that was brilliant story telling. How about this: The evil cyborg dude giving technology and weapons for the Red Skorpion Militia instead to some shitty raider group and some doctor on Ag center and use them to really hurt the rangers. You partcicipate on the fight against them and as a climax you manage to defeat the Red Skorpions at the end of Arizona you discover who the real villain behind the curtains is instead of doing that three radio towers BS?

Man... this game could be so much better and I'm not talking about some dreamy perfect codexian game but a really good game indeed. Anyway, I'm tired of ranting... what changes you guys think would make Wasteland 2 better as game? More thinking on the next InXile kickstarter... to who is disappointed with Wasteland 2, what you think InXile needs to fix on their next kickstarter to win your jew money?
 

mondblut

Arcane
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
22,240
Location
Ingrija
They build this Enclave thing as a threat to the world and then a dumb tribal goes there and kills their leader...

Sounds better? Lrn some genre-savvyness. Also, by the time your group is taking on RSM, they are much higher level than the fucking Angela Deth at the start of the game. That's RPGs for you, deal with it.
 

DeepOcean

Arcane
Joined
Nov 8, 2012
Messages
7,395
Sounds better? Lrn some genre-savvyness. Also, by the time your group is taking on RSM, they are much higher level than the fucking Angela Deth at the start of the game. That's RPGs for you, deal with it.
What makes you think I think Fallout 2 plot is any good? There are other reasons I liked Fallout 2 but the plot wan't one of them and besides... Fallout 2 doesn't nag you saying you belong to a military organization that for some reason doesn't help you at all. They could easily did some excuse to why you are taking the RSM leader like saying the rangers are going to engage most RSM troops while you move for the kill, there is no shortage of excuses to say "hey, it's RPG!", they just choose the most lazy one.
 

Athelas

Arcane
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
4,502
Wait for Wasteland 2: Enhanced Edition.

what changes you guys think would make Wasteland 2 better as game?
An actual focus on core gameplay during development.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,035
Wasteland 2, what gone wrong?
Although Fargo promised to run everything by the players during the KS, he didn't. Thus, instead of getting feedback from day one, they stuck with the 'corporate' development style and didn't show anything until the first video and beta and by then it was too late to change the overall design.
 

imweasel

Guest
I enjoyed the game and think it is good, but the core gameplay (combat) was indeed somewhat lacking. E.g. if the best way to fight against robots with energy weapons is to take off your armor and battle them naked, then something is wrong. Combat could have also been more diverse, crowd control and support skills (other than the medic skill) are practically non-existant.

They could have also presented the game better, because it feels more like a "dystopian western" than a post-apocalyptic game.
 

felipepepe

Codex's Heretic
Patron
Joined
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Messages
17,278
Location
Terra da Garoa
what changes you guys think would make Wasteland 2 better as game?
A vision behind it. It feels like design by checklist, a bunch of stuff throw together because "that's what backers want" / "an RPG should have". And that the departments were working separately on the checklist, without anyone unifying the concepts.

I.e., scrap is the currency of the game, and yet you can't walk 10 feet without running into junk, weapons, rusting cars, containers and even crashed helicopters lying on the ground. What the hell? Not to mention how dumb it is to use it as a currency, since "scrap" can mean pretty much anything and it would weight a lot to carry high amounts - of course, the game cops out by making it weightless. Why not simply make water a currency? It's vital to survival, enemies would have to carry it and there's already a thirst system in-game... or bullets, like in Metro. That's an example of a currency system that adds to the game, instead of just being a quick toggle at the cheklist.

And there are a lot of design choices you can tear apart like that. Not that they are entirely broken, but they feel underused, put together in a hurry without much thought. All together they lead to that "meh" overall experience, that feeling that it could have been so much more...
 
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hiver

Guest
California isnt any better then Arizona, in fact it makes you to go through basically the same shit as you have to do in Arizona. Its just "do it all over again" schlock, thats only superficially different in a few places. And it doesnt have Darwin (nothing special but atleast it works in the most basic way you would expect) or The Canyon (partially fucked up) to make up for it at least a little, while the end game is especially horrendous. - if you go for "leaving the rangers" you get forced killed anyway. :lol:

- there is no alternative stuff in California based on what you do in Arizona, except some superficial forced schlock moments, mostly about companions.

There are many examples of design that are completely broken from any kind of internal logic or our world commons sense and logic angle. And it wasnt that by the time of beta they simply didnt have the time to change stuff. Although the rest VD says is true.
There was plenty of time and plenty of criticism for the things that were shown during the beta.
A completely different game can be easily made with all the same assets and mechanics that are there, even if you dont tweak much of mechanics and leave everything looking as it is.


I don't hate InXile or want them to crash and burn
That`ll come later on. Keep making good suggestions and see.


The combat... while the patch InXile is promising could improve things and I'm really tempted to wait for this patch to see if it makes the combat something salvageable, honestly, the only time I had fun was at first while trying the guns but it soon became clear this combat system simple as it is on a huge game like this was nowhere enough. This game needs talents, aimed shots or anything and I'm not saying it because I'm a fan of Fallout but because it needs something to stop it being boring.
No, the real problem with combat is that their encounter (and environment) design is horrendous. No amount of talents or targeted shots will change any of it. It will just make it worse.

They build this Red Skorpion Militia thing as a threat to the rangers
They dont. They just keep saying it is so but obviously there is no threat of any kind.

How about this: The evil cyborg dude giving technology and weapons for the Red Skorpion Militia instead to some shitty raider group and some doctor on Ag center and use them to really hurt the rangers. You partcicipate on the fight against them and as a climax you manage to defeat the Red Skorpions at the end of Arizona you discover who the real villain behind the curtains is instead of doing that three radio towers BS?
Oh i see, you want to get trolled and banned? Be my guest.

what you think InXile needs to fix on their next kickstarter to win your jew money?
Promise to jump off the building? .. wait, no... that would include the Tides team. Well, nothing basically.
IF Tides turn out ok i will take that as recompense for all the shit i went through, not as a motivation to support them ever again.

Now... if the Tides team would separate from InXile and strike their own way... they would pretty much have my support as long as they work.
 
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undecaf

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
3,517
Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
what changes you guys think would make Wasteland 2 better as game?

I think the things that could be considered the 'first aid' have all been stated several times before, during and after developement, and are known to the devs... Aimed shots to try for status effects respective to the hit locations, perks and traits to beef up the rather dull character building/progression, higher variety and reactivity for random encounters (maybe even so much so as to deaggro certain enemies based on the character builds and levels), NPC morale (I haven't seen anyone trying to run away), some revising of the narrative and interactive elements and pacing, and shit like that. Dunno to what lengths those kinds of things would actually improve the game, or would they just clutter things up, or how doable they are given how things are now, but it's something to think about. None of that is something new or revelationary.
 

Infinitron

I post news
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Jan 28, 2011
Messages
97,461
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
Although Fargo promised to run everything by the players during the KS, he didn't. Thus, instead of getting feedback from day one, they stuck with the 'corporate' development style and didn't show anything until the first video and beta and by then it was too late to change the overall design.

Not sure how much that would have helped. There were too many things that were obvious to Fallout fans that weren't obvious to inXile's staff. Basic, conceptual things that people wouldn't have even bothered mentioning in feedback on forums and such, because of how basic they were.

The real solution would be to hire such a fan as a full-time employee, which they eventually did, but only when the Torment Kickstarter began.
 

Quigs

Magister
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Messages
1,392
Location
Jersey
I got to California and then stopped caring about the game. Having to pay 3 times for a speech skill guarantees you'll either fail 2/3rds of the checks, or all of them. The game also seems to assume that you're going into the game knowing what followers are available to acquire, and what skills they have. As I was unaware, I've seemingly wasted large chunks of skills being worse at things than my new followers.

The real bullshit move in my opinion was hiding all "good" resolutions to conflict behind a random speech skill check. Doesn't matter your intentions or actions, if you can't write and give presidential speeches, you might as well just shoot everyone. The entire rail nomads thread was perhaps the biggest offender.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,035
Not sure how much that would have helped. There were too many things that were obvious to Fallout fans that weren't obvious to inXile's staff. Basic, conceptual things that people wouldn't have even bothered mentioning in feedback on forums and such, because of how basic they were.

The real solution would be to hire such a fan as a full-time employee, which they eventually did, but only when the Torment Kickstarter began.
When it comes to feedback and suggestions, there is a HUGE difference between what one person can contribute and what an army of people can contribute. Look at the interface suggestions. What inXile should have done is presented their ideas on everything (dialogue, skill use, combat system, C&C design, etc) and let the backers Codex tear them apart.
 

Infinitron

I post news
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Messages
97,461
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
When it comes to feedback and suggestions, there is a HUGE difference between what one person can contribute and what an army of people can contribute. Look at the interface suggestions. What inXile should have done is presented their ideas on everything (dialogue, skill use, combat system, C&C design, etc) and let the backers Codex tear them apart.

I think the power of the crowd is good for refining things, perfecting them, but for laying down basic tenets, one person who knows his shit is a more effective solution. Not the only solution, but surely a simpler one.
 

Kem0sabe

Arcane
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
13,093
Location
Azores Islands
They were incompetent, mismanaged, drunk in their own self importance as some kind of saviors of C&c in modern rpgs.

I kept hearing about miracle builds throughout the beta, that would fix everything and add a another map full to the brim of the good shit. That never happened and I'll probably never believe anything they say again unless I pirate it first and test it for myself.
 

Infinitron

I post news
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Messages
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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
They were incompetent, mismanaged

No, that's Double Fine.

Wasteland 2's problems were a consequence of being too conservative, TOO well-managed. They could have gone on a hiring binge. They could have recruited all the experts. They could have spent a year in pre-production. Instead they plugged away with Fargo's team of greenhorns, produced a prototype quickly, and built the company's capabilities gradually. That's why Wasteland 2 can sell half as much as D:OS and still be a great success, and why you're going to get a much better Torment.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,035
I think the power of the crowd is good for refining things, perfecting them, but for laying down basic tenets, one person who knows his shit is a more effective solution. Not the only solution, but surely a simpler one.
Then you'll be relying on this one person exclusively. If this person is a highly skilled and experienced designer, it's all good. If he isn't... All I know is that AoD greatly benefited from this approach. Section8 described our design process as:

- Designer develops strong vision internally
- Designer then seeks criticism and suggestions around that vision.
- Designer and critics argue relative merits - my favorite part :)
- Designer improves his vision accordingly.

After seeing the benefits, I can't imagine doing it differently in the future.
 

Quigs

Magister
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Messages
1,392
Location
Jersey
Then you'll be relying on this one person exclusively. If this person is a highly skilled and experienced designer, it's all good. If he isn't... All I know is that AoD greatly benefited from this approach. Section8 described our design process as:

- Designer develops strong vision internally
- Designer then seeks criticism and suggestions around that vision.
- Designer and critics argue relative merits - my favorite part :)
- Designer improves his vision accordingly.

After seeing the benefits, I can't imagine doing it differently in the future.

Relying heavily on just the one person can lead to greatly polished turds. See just about any shitty episode from the first 2 season of Star Trek : Next Gen for proof. (Thanks, Gene!)
 

Infinitron

I post news
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Messages
97,461
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
Then you'll be relying on this one person exclusively.

You rely on him once, to lay down basic tenets. Such as "Fallout fans want an open world where you can go right to the end boss and say hi, with no plot gating", "Fallout fans don't like maps with tunnels", "Fallout fans want dialogue trees, not keywords". These tenets do not require a great degree of skill - they require fairly basic experience and familiarity with video games and fan communities.

After that, you can go to the community and refine the design of those tenets, sure.

P.S. Of course, I can see where you're coming from, since your own game's basic tenets have been controversial, and nobody's a bigger Fallout fan than you!
 
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hiver

Guest
Infinitron, making strawmans and talking out of his ass again.
As far as i remember BN got involved much sooner and if anyone thinks that some newbie forum moderator is going to influence the whole company and stand up to execs on what they consider important stuff ... they should really smack themselves hard. To say the least.

Not to mention that this imaginary meta comment has no relation to reality which we all can play and see for our selves.

Such as "Fallout fans want an open world where you can go right to the end boss and say hi, with no plot gating", "Fallout fans don't like maps with tunnels", "Fallout fans want dialogue trees, not keywords".
Those are not Fallout fans. Nobody had anything much against keyword dialogue, btw - provided it was made to really work as it should instead of being just a distorted version of dialogue trees.
 

Cazzeris

Guest
It's pretty much what felipepepe said. They delivered a project more focused on just bringing back certain concepts and features instead of trying to make a quality cRPG. Pacing and gameplay are the areas that suffered the most from this philosophy, since nor the game's story or the content's quality try to catch the player's attention to a wide extent; making most playthroughs pretty boring and uninspired. It's unaceptable that I kept asking myself "did the developers were trying to make an actually tactical combat/deep character systems/interesting story?" since this only leaves my opinion about this game to be just decent.

Sadly, I'm starting to doubt that the community helped to the game's quality; since some of the most glaring "weird decisions" are features that people at the inXile forums actually wanted as far as I'm concerned, like floating filling icons appearing while a skill is being used, non-cosmetic armor and a game's balance that makes the player get through opening an insane amount of containers. Also, there's too much butthurt built towards Fallout there in a way that suggesting an aimed shots system is considered wrong to Wasteland's spirit and can damage's the game's soul or something.

At least inXile learned a couple of things during the game's development and are featured at California, like an improved area design from what is seen at Arizona, a more coherent art design and more freedom to the world's exploration. But I can't understand why didn't they cut some shit content like Level Upe Mine or RNC's area design to maintain a better quality overall and focus on having more freedom in things like providing multiple solutions to every problem and actually surprising the player in that aspect. I would've largely preferred a game in which I could create my own faction, repair's the second Radio Tower, destroy the Prison's turrets or one that let me enjoy a full gunporn & complex tactical combat with developed survival systems and multiple options at dialogues. Not because Fallout had them, but because that would've delivered what I was expecting from a good post nuclear RPG in a less gimmicky way than WL2 did with all its companion reactve responses and C&C.

They can still improve the game by working on the enemy's AI and encounter design, bugfixing, polishing some decisions' outcomes, releasing the weapon balance patch/modding tools and trying to offer a better performance, shorter loading times and offering the options to skip the skills' uses animations and speed up running to make the game's pace a little less slow.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,035
You rely on him once, to lay down basic tenets. Such as "Fallout fans want an open world where you can go right to the end boss and say hi, with no plot gating", "Fallout fans don't like maps with tunnels", "Fallout fans want dialogue trees, not keywords". These tenets do not require a great degree of skill - they require fairly basic experience and familiarity with video games and fan communities.
I don't think the issues aren't specific features or elements, like the lack of open world, or the tunnels, or the keywords. WL2 isn't a Fallout sequel, spiritual or otherwise, and keyword systems are pretty awesome (if done right). The issue is the implementation: finding the best way to implement a keyword system, for example.

We're considering to change the dialogue system for our next game. I want to keep the non-combat, dialogue-heavy paths but it's a passive aspect (you either have the needed skill level or you don't), whereas combat is an active aspect where you can do more with less (or less with more). I have a pretty good idea of how to fix it without throwing away the writing and the choices, so when the time comes, I'll present the system and let the Codex tear it apart. If it's a bad idea, the Codex will destroy it and leave nothing. If it's a good idea, the Codex will point out the flaws and make tons of suggestions I would never even think of and make it better.
 

Kem0sabe

Arcane
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
13,093
Location
Azores Islands
No, that's Double Fine.

Wasteland 2's problems were a consequence of being too conservative, TOO well-managed. They could have gone on a hiring binge. They could have recruited all the experts. They could have spent a year in pre-production. Instead they plugged away with Fargo's team of greenhorns, produced a prototype quickly, and built the company's capabilities gradually. That's why Wasteland 2 can sell half as much as D:OS and still be a great success, and why you're going to get a much better Torment.
Of course they were, you had God knows how many public iterations of the Ui, you had doctored screen shots not representative of actual game play released to backers, you had promises California would be everything Arizona was not. So many little things plaguing the development process that added up to a lot of community bad will.

A better run project wouldn't expose itself to this stuff, they would have been more open with the backers.
 

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