Wasteland 2 update: Weapons and assets

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by WorstUsernameEver, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    It's been a while since we got an update on Wasteland 2's development, but luckily for us, the inXile team served us with one just recently. Aside from a brief report on the state of development, it offers a fairly in-depth look at the weapon progression system they've planned, and how it'll differ from the original's title:<blockquote>What sort of weapons are at my disposal?

    Hello everyone my name is Devin Morrow and I am a combat designer here at inXile Entertainment. I have been asked by the powers that be (read: Chris Keenan, our production director) to introduce myself as well as provide to you, our generous fans and backers, a little insight into our current weapons design progress and philosophy.

    This is my first time, so please be gentle.

    In the original Wasteland and many other RPG’s, there is a clear weapon progression. As you worked your way through the game, weapons like the handgun became less effective in favor of the larger weapons. While this makes some sense it does limit the ability of a player to choose their favorite weapon type for thematic or role playing purposes. It’s hard to play the part of a wasteland gunslinger when you had to ditch your trusty M1911A1 pistol for an AK-97 because the damage just wasn’t cutting it anymore. In Wasteland 2, we want to give back a little more control to the player over how their characters are built and how they progress. This is something we have heard the community echo many times in conversation and on the forums, so it’s nice to know we are on the right track.

    With that in mind, Wasteland 2’s weapons are divided into a number of classes, each with their own progression. We’ve created a system where if you invest into pistols, you can use them from start to finish and be effective throughout. The same thing goes for sniper rifles, sub machine guns, blunt weapons, bladed weapons, brawling weapons, anti-tank, demolitions, energy weapons, and rifles (list subject to change™). We even took this a step further and allowed more specific, thematic progression within the classes. For instance, we have a range of revolvers from starting equipment up to end-game death dealers that are all part of the handgun class/skill. The same is true for semi-automatic pistols if they are more to your taste. Do you like bolt-action or semi-automatic sniper rifles? One-handed or two-handed melee weapons? How about rockets or grenade launchers? Not to worry, we have something for all of you!

    That’s not to say that each of these weapons will be as effective as the others in every combat situation. A core design tenet that spans all systems we’re creating has been one of “the trade-off”. We applied this to the weapons system by creating a defined role for each class. Most of these roles you will pick up on quickly. SMGs aren’t as accurate as rifles, don’t shoot as far, and don’t hit as hard or penetrate armor as easily. They do however put out a respectable amount of lead, have the advantage of using pistol rounds which are in greater supply, and require less Action Points to move with. A fast character can be devastating with a SMG, quickly closing in and unloading on an enemy where the accuracy penalty is drastically reduced. On a lightly armored enemy, the damage per action point will be much higher with a SMG versus a rifle (of the same approximate level). Anti-Tank weapons fire and reload slowly, will reduce your character’s speed in combat and are expensive to use, but will do massive damage to a large area. Just make sure you don’t have rangers standing behind your rocket-propelled grenade or the back blast might take them out too.

    To keep things fun and allow a little flexibility to the system, we have incorporated weapons within each category that blur the lines between different roles. The perfect example of this is the D18 (totally not the Glock 18) automatic pistol. While not as effective at being a SMG as an SMG, it does allow the player heavily invested in handgun skills a little more flexibility in roles. Some other examples are the shotgun shell firing revolver and the .55 caliber WW2 anti-tank rifle.

    Before I go I want to thank the community at Ranger Center. The “Weapons you would like to see in Wasteland 2” thread is one of the largest threads in our forums. You have been a great resource of creativity. I also think you’ll all be pretty happy with the weapon lists we have compiled. We have done our best to incorporate as many of the serious, real world fire arms as we could while still leaving room for some of the crazier suggestions as well (I’m looking at you, welded-together double SMGs). I will hopefully be back soon with an update on our weapon and ammo crafting/upgrade/mod systems and other assorted goodies. Until then please keep the flood of ideas and feedback coming, I assure you we are listening.</blockquote>
  2. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Sounds like a whole lot of fun. I like it mainly because I'm all for maximum roleplaying. A bazooka's backblast is a nice touch :)
  3. FearMonkey

    FearMonkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 12, 2011
    Brings new meaning to the term 'friendly fire'. :p
  4. Geech

    Geech It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 2, 2008
    I kind of prefer the progression of categories to be honest. This system sounds too Sawyer-esque, in the bad way. I'm sure it's still a lot of fun, though.
  5. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Why? It seems stupid to invest skill points into a skill you will drop in the sooner future anyway.
  6. FearMonkey

    FearMonkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 12, 2011
    Sounds to me like it'll be similar to Alpha Protocol where if you put points into pistols, it gives you new abilities with those pistols, or increases reload speed, or perhaps reduce AP to take a shot, stuff like that. Say perhaps if you reach the end of the pistol progression, you do more damage because it increases your chances to hit criticals or perhaps the opponents weak spot like the head or heart or whatever. Just spitballin' ideas here, but it sounds cool to me. *shrug*
  7. Geech

    Geech It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 2, 2008
    A progression of categories feels more logical to me. I really, really hate that in New Vegas the laser pistol is clearly inferior to the 10mm, because the laser technology is so much more advanced.

    Raw skill point optimization isn't the only thing I look for in a system. Honestly, it's probably not even one of the things I consider.
  8. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Which doesn't make sense. Something being more advanced doesn't necessarily mean it's automatically more effective at dealing damage.

    For example, the newest incarnations of the M16 are great combat platforms, much more advanced than the old AKMs. Yet the latter do the exact same thing, providing insane reliability and low price in return for sacrificing accuracy and adaptability.

    So you don't really look at mechanics, but like to complain about mechanics?
  9. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    I agree the way Fallout 3/NV do energy weapons progression wise is kinda dumb.

    WL2 on the other hand sounds like there is no energy category, so a more powerful pistol may end up being a laser or plasma weapon. It actually makes more sense to do it that way; the muscle memory is the same, and is really what counts in terms of "skill", so why make a skill distinction based solely on the projectile type?

    Anyway the weapon thread sounds like some good reading, and I'll bet all of this has been touched on there to a degree already. Checking that would probably be the best way of really telling how things will evolve.
  10. Bewitched

    Bewitched aka Vault_13

    Jun 13, 2006
    They gave a link to Unity Store in this update as well. Seems like inXile has approved many new works to be included in Wasteland 2 (46 to be more specific). I have gathered all of them here.

    I've also calculated that they've spent about $710 on everything so far. The most expensive models were about $50, the cheapest ones - $2. They've got some models absolutely for free as well.
  11. bonanza

    bonanza It Wandered In From the Wastes

    May 1, 2006
    nice..nice...I really like what I hear. Reminds me of Fallout 2. Sulik was DEADLY with a 10mm SMG troughout the whole game, because he would run up close to the enemies and unload a storm of bullets into their bodies...bypassing their armor with critical hits. I like to see more of this.

    Making different weapons useful troughout the whole game is a good approach.
  12. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    10mm was already obsolete for Super Mutants (you meet them in random encounters and MB) so it didn't really work 'til the very end.
  13. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I am not sure if that is what he means, as both the AK47 and the M16 rifle family are classified as assault rifles, though with different principles and tasks in mind.

    I think its more about comparing a musket with an todays sniper rifle. And I do agree that it somewhat doesnt make sense that a "standart" hand weapon has the same or more power then a very sophisticated laser/plasma/what-ever-super-duper-technology of weapon.

    A different kind of progression in my eyes is, if you start with your 10mm pistol and move on to a gauss pistol or something similar.

    Offering special armor pearcing amunition could work as well, giving some of the "normal" or "weak" weapons an edge. Could as well be about special skills fo rexample, where the character gets some kind of bonus to accuracy or what ever. Specialisation to speak so.

    But still. I would expect this super modern weapon with awsome technology to actually be yeah well, awesome.
  14. Arden

    Arden Still Mildly Glowing

    Feb 26, 2010
    I always thought the good thing about lasers is not because they do more damage, but because they are far more accurate (no recoil and instant impact) and if they use visible beams you could also adjust the aim on the fly, making it an excellent and precise quick-draw gun. Awesomeness does not have to mean more damage. I don't think that the new HK416 does actually more damage than an M16.
  15. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    actually it does, considering its a more powerfull round :p

    Ah I confused the HK416 with the other HK model 417 which is using the 7,62mm round.

    *But If remember correctly, there are also a few other assault rifles in the HK family that actually use rounds somewhere between 5,56 and 7,62. Though I dont remember the exact names anymore. Though assault rifles for them self, are not really an good example anyway, because as far as amunition and design goes, they pretty much reached the "end" of the evolution, gun powder, bullets and the rifles for them self are today pretty sophisticated, there are of course still improvements, but those are in many cases more adaptions to changes on the battlefield, like using a different cardrige for more power and using new materials like polymer instead of metal etc. which make the weapons more durable. But we probably will not see any huge ground braking changes anymore as far as the typical weapons go.
  16. Ian Worthing

    Ian Worthing First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2012
    What I like is that they're trying something different. I enjoy progression of categories, but I have an opportunity to do that in so many games already.
  17. Geech

    Geech It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 2, 2008

    I don't think you understood my point very well. First of all, the M16 vs the AKM is a bad analogy because you're talking about two firearms that fill fundamentally the same role at roughly the same point in history. As select-fire rifles firing intermediate cartridges loaded from external, high-capacity magazines, you're talking about two different examples of what are essentially modern assault rifles. A modern M4 might be smaller, lighter, more accurate and more versatile than an old AKM, but the principles and philosophies behind it's design have not really changed since the creation of the Russian firearm. It represents a refinement of the existing technology, rather than an entirely new technology. If you stuck a collapsable stock, plastic furniture, and few rails on the AKM, you've made up most of the difference.

    On the other hand, Lasers are a completely new technology compared to gunpowder, one that has allegedly superseded the older tech. As others have pointed out, a more apt real world comparison to that relationship might be modern rifles vs black powder rifles. I think another good one might be bows vs firearms. Bows are still basically adequate weapons, and could have a progression themselves. From recurve, to composite and longbows, up to modern compound bows, a skilled bowman could be quite deadly. However, most people will readily accept that firearms have many advantages over bows, and are inherently superior weapons.

    My problem with laser weapons as depicted in New Vegas is that there really doesn't appear to be a reason for them to exist. Compare the laser pistol to its guns equivalent, the 9mm pistol. This is more fair than the 10mm comparison, since the 10mm isn't really the baseline small gun in New Vegas the way it is in other Fallout games. The 9mm has higher damage, higher raw DPS, and is less expensive than a laser pistol. On top of that, the 9mm ammo costs half as much per round and weighs less than half as much as one "round" of energy cell in hardcore mode. The laser pistol does have some advantages. It's much more accurate, has a higher critical multiplier, and a higher magazine capacity.

    Frankly, between the two weapons, I prefer the traits of the 9mm. Whether you do or not is really beside the point, since laser pistols represent a technology that's more than 100 years newer than the 9mm. That's like comparing the 9mm to a muzzle-loading flintlock pistol. You can still kill someone with a muzzle-loader, but it's just not up to snuff anymore. That's turned on it's head in NV. Not only is the 9mm at least an equally valid choice, it's quite possibly a better choice depending on your play style. If you wanted to widen the guns vs energy comparison, I'm sure you would see similar results over and over. I know that just from my personal play experience, I greatly prefer the traits of the guns even though I really like the aesthetics of the laser weapons.

    The idea that a 9mm could be more effective than a laser pistol just seems completely nonsensical and backwards, but it's something that's required by Sawyers "progression within a skill" philosophy. That's essentially the same philosophy we're seeing described here. It's not really a big deal, but it's something that feels inconsistent with the game's own internal logic, it's not needed, and I really don't like it.

    Compare that to the progression across categories in the original Wasteland. The player might move from handguns to assault rifles and then to energy weapons. This is perfectly logical from a standpoint of world design, and it worked well within the game system, too. Yes, it's true that players would end up "wasting" skill points they had put into handguns, but who cares? It's not at all clear to me that avoiding skills with an "expiration" needs to be one of the goals of system design. If the game is balanced with that sort of progression in mind, there shouldn't be any major problems with it.

    One final note on this topic: you immediately assumed I was discussing per-shot damage, even though that's not what I wrote. I could accept as logical laser weapons that were comparably effective, as long as they had other, meaningful benefits compared with guns that made them an obviously better choice. That's not what exists in New Vegas. For a real life comparison, a Springfield 1903 fires a more powerful cartridge than an M4, but everybody accepts that the M4 is a better rifle for general military issue. That's the sort of thing that might be reasonable with lasers.

    This is clearly not what I wrote. Not valuing raw skill point optimization is not at all the same as not considering mechanics. I feel like you're just being deliberately obtuse here.

    I actually think that progression within a category is more common these days. What other RPGs require you to change skills to continue? Honestly, the last one I can think of is probably the original Fallout, when switching to energy weapons or big guns late in the game made more sense than trying to stick through it with small guns. Even Fallout 2 added enough late game small guns, like the gauss rifle, to make it much less relevant.
  18. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    So... what you're saying is that the sort of progression Mr. Morrow is describing for Wasteland 2 can't work because energy weapons were poorly balanced versus traditional slug-throwers in FNV? I don't really see how that's a legitimate argument. That has zero to do with the progression system.

    Also, lasers are not to guns as assault rifles are to muskets.

    Finally, even the original Fallout did not have a natural progression from small guns to energy weapons or big guns where you effectively wasted your skill points in small guns as you describe. You could easily stick it out with small guns to the end, even without the Gauss gun from Fallout 2. Granted, this is due mostly to the OP nature of armor-bypassing criticals using targeted shots to the eyes combined with the Sniper perk.
  19. bonanza

    bonanza It Wandered In From the Wastes

    May 1, 2006
    you guys are crazy!! :crazy:
  20. Kwiatmen666

    Kwiatmen666 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Aug 28, 2006
    About the whole progression of categories thing...

    I myself hate it because when a developer literally forces me to use a minigun or a bazooka, which usually slow you down and/or don't aim so good, in the later stages of the game it's like they are saying: "so until now you used a pistol and an assault rifle which are pretty light and accurate? well, that's a shame because if you don't take up a heavy, inaccurate minigun that needs ammo in the thousands you don't stand a chance against the last boss and his minions".

    So yeah, I favor the approach similar to the ones in Alpha Protocol and New Vegas. Progression of categories forces you to basically play as the developer wants you to play which, I think, should be avoided in rpgs.