Chris Keenan on skills and perma-death

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Wasteland 2 producer Chris Keenan has some comments on the official Wasteland 2 forums on intelligence and skills.<blockquote>We're still working on the details of how skill points are gained in relation to Intelligence, but do feel that the original was limiting in relation to the Intelligence attribute gating what skills you can get. There needs to be some trade off, but I'm not sure it should be so restrictive based on how you roll your character before you get into the world. </blockquote>He also confirms a user's remark that the game will have a comprehensive system of quicksaving/quickloading.<blockquote>Correct. Permadeath will work in a similar way to X-Com. If one of your PC's die in combat, they're gone. We are keeping the same UNC -> Death status effects. It's such a cool system that I haven't seen used as much as I think it should be. At death, they're gone though.

    You'll be able to save under most circumstances. Some instances, like when you're in a dialog make it hard due to our conversation system but generally you can save when you want.</blockquote>
  2. Diospyros

    Diospyros First time out of the vault

    Jul 15, 2008
    I always take claims of "perma-death" in a save whenever you want system with a grain of salt. If a favorite NPC dies in a battle I'm very, very likely to load my last saved game to do the fight over.
  3. ExplodesLikeABloodSausage

    ExplodesLikeABloodSausage lol

    May 11, 2006
    Toaster Repair is back!

    I was ecstatic to see Toaster Repair is a confirmed skill making a return. Can't wait to make my post-apocalyptic bagel (toasted with herb and garlic cream cheese -- yumm)
  4. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Yes? You say that as if it's a contradiction. Perma-death just means PCs/NPCs can be killed in combat, rather than just knocked unconscious like in BioWare games. It makes combat more challenging and means you have to manage injured characters more carefully. Of course you can reload if they die.
  5. Beelzebud

    Beelzebud A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 6, 2008
    I assumed quick load/save was a given, but it's nice to have confirmation. I enjoy a challenge, but I didn't want W2 to be a roguelike.
  6. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    What's the technical difference between quick save/load and slow save/load?
  7. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    I don't think it directly translates into challenge. Depending on the fight, getting party members knocked out can very well result in losing the battle almost immediately in Bioware games. Or you could hold out and still win, slap on a limited availability injury kit and off you go. Whereas only the most hardcore will lose a party member in a RPG and not reload.

    I mean, I've played and enjoyed plenty of games with perma deaths. But the end result is the same; reload if they die, which can get tedious at times. Except maybe in Skyrim, where I don't give a rat's ass about the NPC because of how shallow and commonplace they are, I always did that. In Fallout 1 and 2, New Vegas, Baldur's Gate 2 before rezz spells become ccommonplace. And then there's Fire Emblem where the AI's whole tactic is solely to kill individual NPCs, no matter how suicidal that is. It just ends up being tedious to keep the weaker NPCs alive, but you either need them to progress or like their character enough to want to keep them around.

    Torment did this well. They can die, but you have a number of resurection spells per day right off the bat. So you only needed to reload if you've been playing badly before. Of course, Wasteland 2 being non magical I don,t see how they could implement this system. Incredibly efficient jumper cables maybe?
  8. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    one is a press of a button and the other is a series of clicks and scrolling with more clicks and scrolling thrown in.

    That or quick save is normal and slow save is a throwback to the days when saving could take minutes.

    you never know.
  9. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 14, 2009
    Imagine if it quick saved after a character dies, so you can never reload after a death, now that would make life interesting. Hint, hint, Mr. Fargo... :twisted:
  10. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Right, off you go. That's why it's directly related to challenge. In a BioWare game, I can afford to lose one or two allies in a fight, and move on. If I engage in a tough fight in WL2, barely scrape by, and one guy dies, I then have a decision to make.

    Sure, it can be frustrating as hell. It encourages you to be more tactical and thoughtful. Tedious? Only if you just keep unthinkingly throwing yourself into combat and depending on luck to get you through, never changing your tactic.

    Sure, the non-permadeath systems are more accessible. But that's not a priority for Wasteland 2.
  11. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    Not if the fight is hard, no you can't. Losing two people against the High Dragon or Ser Cauthrien in DA = defeat unless you use ovepowered modded gear or are an exceptionnal player. Mass Effect isin't a real example as squadmates in that series are far less important combat wise than the full party members of DA and the like.

    What kind of decision? You will reload, unless you want one fight to undo hours of work and/or deprieve you of potentially important characters. As I said, only the hardcore will do so, even amongst the Wasteland-funding crowd.

    Depends wildly on how the game plays. If, like in Fire Emblem, the AI is ridiculously obsessed with taking down one single character out of pure spite, then it gets tedious. If you need an NPC in the party that's far weaker than the rest for whatever reason, it can get tedious very fast. And now that you mention it, luck is a factor. How many times did I have to reload due to no real fault of mine when a luckt crit fried Cassidy or Veronica? It's not what you do, it's how you do it.

    They do don't have to care about current industry tropes. I just wouldn't like a strict perma-death policy because it's just as good as a death = reload escort mission in my books. A Planescape-like thing would be best, now the question is how do you implement it.
  12. iridium_ionizer

    iridium_ionizer Mildly Dipped

    Jul 24, 2007
    Hopefully the skill points are not allotted solely upon Intelligence attribute. I know it makes sense as a simple game mechanic (especially if there are few other benefits for a high Int score), but in my experience there are lots of athletic and mechanical skills that would probably be easier to learn for some one with a high Agility score.

    Think of the amazing athlete you knew in school that decided to try a completely new sport and excelled in it. Or think of the mechanically inclined person that can figure out how to fix anything (even without knowing how it works), just by figuring out how it should fit together.
  13. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    They're keeping the original unconscious stage system. I kind of took that as a given, but nice to have confirmation.
  14. TheSHEEEP

    TheSHEEEP It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 22, 2007
    Absolutely. Perma-death has never added anything of real value to a non-ironman-mode party RPG. In ironman, sure, that's great, as that is exactly what you want. In a game where you can reload anyway, it doesn't add anything but unneccessary frustration.

    Something in-between as in the BG series, where characters could die, but you could revive them for a certain price, that would work out. In the more hard fights in BG, I accepted 1-2 party members dying, if it was neccessary. But only because I could revive them after I was done with the quest/dungeon.

    Btw, I'm all for "killable" NPC companions (like Fallout). But not for your main party characters.
  15. TaapLuup

    TaapLuup First time out of the vault

    May 11, 2010
    I loved how Tactics gave you the iron man option and disabled saving during a mission. This gave you the hard decision to reload a 1-4 hour mission or let a team member die. Here's hoping for a similar option in W2.

    As for the Intelligence/Skill Points, it would be neat to see a system developed that gave you a set number of skill points depending on a variety of stats, and when each point was spent in a skill, it would check against a certain stat(s) that correlated to the skill and depending on the stat amount, give you a equated skill bonus.

    (Just in case my thought "leak" above didn't make sense, here's an example using Fallout's SPECIAL and Skills, as I have not had a chance to play Wasteland)

    Lets say your character has a Strength Stat of 8 and an Charisma of 2 and you gain 10 skill points per level (as a standard) Spending 1 point in Speech would only gain you 1% in the given skill, but 1 point into something such as Melee (a strength based skill) should net you 3%

    Almost like certain Stats "Tag" certain skills to help them grow faster/slower depending on their value.
  16. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    If you just spent half an hour with various tactics trying to get past a tough fight, and you finally do -- but at the cost of losing a party member, that's a real decision. Do you want to keep trying until you get past that fight without losing a party member, potentially spending hours, or do you move on now that you've finally beaten the fight and find yourself a new party member elsewhere?

    The fact that that decision is easy for you does not mean that that decision is trivial for everyone else.
  17. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    Depends on how many party members we get in the game. If they're dime a dozen and easily swapable save for some skills perhaps (think Skyrim). If, like in say Fo2, they are all unique and have their distinct personality, I would have a hard time picturing many players leaving a Marcus behind because of a tough fight. Based on my experience and the discussions I've had with players, they will just lower the difficulty, blow through the fight and call it a day. Of course, as I said, the most hardcore will do it ironman-style and suck it up, but I'm fairly certain that's a minority of players, even amongst those who funded Wasteland 2.

    An option for perma-death would be nice, while the wusses among us would maybe prefer a KO option, or a (limited) way to ''ressurect'' dowed teamates. It's not like it would be very hard to implement. I mean, I won't riot if it's only perma-death. I'll just reload while cursing the tediousness from time to time, assuming the game is hard enough to warrant it of course.
  18. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    perma death for NPCs (except when you reload of course) is one of the best things I have read about Wasteland 2 so far. It also opens a hell lot of oportunities for you as well. If you want to get rid of some NPC in your squad you dont like ... or dont need anymore. Either send him in to the fire, or shoot him by your self. Well. Not the best thing for the morale. But well lifes not perfect. Definitely not in the wasteland.

    I see you must be new to roleplaying and/or tactical top down games.

    Its the same reaction like when people say "wait a min? You had to do something liking picking up health packs to regenerate your health in shooters?" :D

    Jagged Alliance 2 proved that it can be very fun and entertaining though, even if there is not some super deep personality or tons of lines behind those characters. God knows it can be difficult sometimes if you have to decide to either start almost the whole mission again or just buying a new mercenary. And there are plenty of them and many have quite difference characters even though they don't have much to to say actually compared to a "role playing game". But the interaction in your team is what makes it really fun, but because some characters will have problems with other mercenaries. Sometimes they might even start to shoot each other if you don't keep them happy or far away from each other.

    Good writing and deep lines help of course. But its not needed if the interaction is done well. If the characters don't feel completely like lifeless puppets (see oblivion or Skyrim yeah)
  19. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Again, you're missing the point here. You're going from your playing style and decision-making process, and moving that to a bigger world.

    There have been plenty of Fallout playthroughs where I reloaded after losing a party member, but also a bunch where I did no such thing and just went on because I was happy to finally get the fight over with. Ditto for other RPGs with permadeath. And I'm not one of the most hardcore players who insists on never reloading, but sometimes, that's just a decision I have to make every time a companion dies - and that decision isn't 'tedious', but a consequence of challenging combat.