Sky_walker Posted September 27, 2014 Share Posted September 27, 2014 (edited) Some time passed since the release of Wasteland 2 so IMHO it's about time to make a summary of what PoE can learn from Wasteland 2. Wasteland 2 was pretty much the first big "old-school RPG resurrected" in this recent flood to come, so I find it very relevant to the Pillars of Eternity and I'd love to see what you guys think. Tell us what you guys liked and disliked in Wasteland 2 and how PoE can take clues from Wasteland 2 on it's future, final release of the game? Any particular points you didn't like a lot in the game and either gladly see "done right" in Pillars of Eternity, or would like to see done well in future? Let me start Beware very long post, for TL;DR read first sentence and then last few of each point. First 5 hours of gameplay matter. They matter a lot. People will post bad reviews online if they won't get engaged in the game during the beginning of a storyline.Wasteland 2 really screwed beginning of the game. It was boring, long, with nothing to spark your interest. Main plot was one of the weakest links, but side-quests didn't do it much of a favor either. Stories do get better somewhere past 12 hours, but most of people will never see that before posting their negative opinion online and/or quitting the game. I wouldn't know any of this not the fact that my internet went down and I got no other games on my hard drive. There's literally nothing in first hours of Wasteland 2 writing that sets it apart from "all the other RPGs" out there. And that directly translates to all these reviews riddled with complains that you see online.PoE really needs to have that "spark" in at least some of the first few main storyline quests. There really needs to be something driving people's interest into the game. Even if you'd have tons of interesting things in last 5 hours of the main plot - it'd be meaningless for good 99% of people who never got there. And let's not forget about the side-quests. Flooding the game with "go there kill that" or "go there fix that" quests doesn't make it better or content rich. It turns game into the grind. Graphics DO matter. When asked people will tell you that they don't, but in the end they will have an impression of a "cheap" game. And graphics isn't just the amount of details game got, but also how "inspiring" locations are and how much "ave" do they bring, how good character animations are, how "alive" does the game world feel.I have well over 20 hours on Wasteland 2 (no idea how much exactly, but still) and so far I haven't seen anything I would call "amazing", anything that would make me want to explore certain location. Everything feels static, dull, repetitive. There's almost no animation in the game world (trees are perfectly still, windmills don't move, none of the NPCs interact with anything around them) and character animations feel very unnatural, almost as if they'd be floating underwater.PoE even in it's current state delivers much better experience on both fronts: Amount of details and how "inspiring" locations are. So I only can hope that game continues in that direction and in first hours of the gameplay people will see some amazing locations I also hope that we will see more elements brining "life" to the game, such as people moving stuff around, attending their every day duties (eg. house wifes washing their clothes by the river, kids catching butterflies, traders traveling between the towns and when in town - people buying stuff from them, etc. - everything that adds to the immersion and makes game world feel "real", not just a static scene you move around). Non-combat characters. I want them, and reading many reviews posted online: it seems like people in general do want them too.Sadly I don't have enough grasp on PoE just yet to comment whatever they're done "right" or "wrong" - I got somewhat mixed-towards-positive feelings at the moment, but in general: Making a game where you absolutely need to have every single character outputting DPS is a very bad game design. So is the fact that non-combat characters can be used relatively rarely and their skills don't really matter do due save&load&save&load cycle.Wasteland 2 is riddled with purely percentage-based skill-checks that literally ask player to reload the game over and over again. I'm not the kind of player who does that in almost any game at all, but Wasteland 2 pretty much forced me to do so (scarity of ammo combined with visible %, fully random loot, overleveled obstacles, critical failures and much more... there's an awful lot of things they designed in a way that's pushing people towards save&load cycle). Combat - Wasteland 2 combat is simple to grasp: You got guns that you shoot at the enemy, explosives that you throw at the enemy, some melee combat and a very basic cover system. That's pretty much all. Sadly this simplicity lead to the creation of something I would call "the most boring combat model in last 5 years or more". Simplicity is the only positive I can find in how Wasteland 2 combat was designed. Everything else about it is just plain wrong. At the beginning of game ammunition is horribly expensive (you sell heavy machine gun for less than 10 bullets?!) and difficult to find (especially if you don't reload to get ammo types you need), tactical challenges are close to none, the only reason to use certain types of weapons is that they use different types of ammo, random encounters are horribly repetitive and happen in more-or-less 4 locations that repeat over and over again, turns are tedious and completely take out any immersion from the game... it all feels like playing Draughts with a 5 year old kid where you know you will win for sure, only question is how long you will have to sit and wait for that.Basically: Wasteland 2 shows what's wrong with Turn-Based combat and adds it's own issues on top if that.Current version of PoE looks like a heaven full of variety, possibilities and abilities. You care about your characters and game flow is much more natural than in turn-based combat. There's basically no comparison. Only problem I have with it is that it's much harder to grasp (for me the hardest part was remembering all of the abilities, what goes where and when....). Opponents - Wasteland 2 is crippled by another problem related to combat - opponents. There's basically 3 types of them: Ranged, Melee, and explosives (throwing dynamite, etc.). Within each of these types there's basically no variety. You always deal with them in exactly the same way. There is absolutely no reason to adapt your tactics from one encounter to another, change your weapons, change formation, do anything differently than you would in a previous encounter. It's always the same: Spread around behind the covers, shoot, move on. Yes, enemies do use different weapons and either come close or stay behind accordingly, but that's pretty much where the variety between different AI models ends.The AI variety between different NPCs, even within the same type, is something I would love to see in every RPG I play. I don't care if game got 3 or 30 types of opponents - I do care how they behave.I would love to see some of the NPCs in enemy groups focusing only on healers (even if it'd mean putting themselves in danger), or trying to stay at the maximum range of their abilities (cowardly caster ), or blindly rushing in the middle of my group hoping to kill a team leader with melee weapon... ideas can go on and on.Wasteland 2 did two things wrong with their AI opponents: they lack variety and they lack in AI department. PoE got "variety" part by far better, but I still would like to see some different AI behaviors. Useless skills - again something that I don't feel knowledgeable enough to judge in PoE, but Wasteland 2 is riddled with skills and attributes that literally have next to no use. Most obvious example is the alarm disarming skill. Through whole my gameplay so far there's been just one place where using that skill was benefitial in any other way than few free XP points. Most of the alarms are either in a middle of enemy groups that you are going to kill or right next to them. And the only effect alarms have is calling in enemy support... which is already dead by the time I get to opening alarm-secured boxes/doors/whatever.Similar thing with "luck" attribute - in theory it affects everything, in practice 1 upgrade to the skill gives much better bonuses than attributes invested in "luck", considering how many skills you get comparing to few attributes - it's a complete waste of points that could be put in other, by far more beneficial, attributes. Sadly you can't really tell that until you are will into the game (at least past lvl 10) so it only adds to the frustration.I'm fine with situational skills, but when "situational" means "useful only once per 5 hours of a game" then something is obviously wrong. Edited September 27, 2014 by Sky_walker 6 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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