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Useless Weapons and Tiers

For all Wasteland 2 discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby FinaLLancer » May 1st, 2012, 9:36 am

I don't think the problem is with finding new or better weapons within the same tier, but I would like there to be some merit in not using the "Best" weapon in that class. Using Fallout 3 as an example, there are a TON of melee weapons in the game that are nearly useless. There's kitchen knives, combat knives, lead pipes, baseball bats, police batons, sledge hammers, SUPER sledge hammers, and about five or six kinds of swords. And let's not forget the infamous Pool Cue. The problem with this is that these are not better than the other, except for the Shishkebab (the archetypal flaming sword), which is far and away the best melee weapon in the game. It does the best damage, swings almost the fastest, is easy to procure and maintain (since you can make them from fairly common materials); there's almost no downside at all to using it over every other melee weapon. Even a pure melee character run isn't going to use much more than the baseball bat you start with until you can make these, since the rest of the Melee Weapons are similar levels of DPS and availability.
I forget who, but someone else brought up there being a useless pistol in Fallout 3 as well. The .32 pistol and the Chinese pistol were both patently useless. The .32 pistol had decent strength (still less than your starting pistol, mind) and fired quickly, but that advantage was offset by having a small ammo capacity and horrendously slow reload time. The Chinese pistol uses the same ammo type as your starting gun and is worse in every possible way, there is really no reason to even pick them up aside from being worth money. The worst part about both of these is that you're not likely to see a .32 or a Chinese pistol for some time, making it probable you'll never use these weapons.
I could see things like these wanting to be avoided, but I'm okay with there being better weapons in the same class of weapons.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby Kimotei » May 1st, 2012, 10:15 am

Harpo wrote:
1) Damage
2) penetration
3) range
4) accuracy
5) rate of fire
6) weight
7) size (for concealment purposes)
8) accessibility (holstered vs slinged)
9) capacity (mag size)
10) reload times
11) available accessories
12) scarcity of ammo type
13) limitation to certain stances
14) cost

15) Quality

Usually weaponds, tools, armor etc decays linearly down over time, in most rpg games.
Im no gun expert, but I would guess its some what similar with guns as it is with cars: Italiens are the fastest and most expencive, but easily breaks and are expencive to repair. Asian cars are cheeper to repeir, economical to use, but not fast. German cars lasts a long time but are expencive to repair. This could probably be tranclated into guns. Instead of just getting a general 100% to 0% of item shape, it would be way cooler if spesific stuf broke or went wrong. Like after using a new but low quality brand gun for a year, without brushing and oiling it, it would start to lock up from time to time. Ive heard that guns locking up can back fire at your friends, so its a general rule to keep the gun pointing down if it happens. Dont know what else could happen with guns, but just ask a gun expert and youl get a long list im shore!

This would render a new layer of use for guns of the same kind: spare parts, old vs new vs broken, etc.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby CaptainPatch » May 1st, 2012, 10:20 am

FinaLLancer wrote:Using Fallout 3 as an example, there are a TON of melee weapons in the game that are nearly useless.

I'm pretty sure that many of those items are there simply to use to Repair better items in their class. Like using a kitchen knife to repair a Combat Knife.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby Harpo » May 1st, 2012, 10:45 am

FinaLLancer wrote:...but I'm okay with there being better weapons in the same class of weapons.

Yeah. I totally agree with this as well. This is exactly where the fun in item progression could be without spoiling any role playing. Better weapons within each class.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby benk919 » May 1st, 2012, 3:38 pm

One game that does a REALLY good job with this is RE4.

The way weapons work in that game is when you initially get access to a new weapon, it is most likely an upgrade to your current one of the same class, but once both are fully upgraded they are about equal. Each has something unique about it so it is really up to the player which perks and downsides they prefer. Basically with no upgrades, the late game weapons are better, but if all the weapons are fully upgraded, they are all side-grades with their own advantages and disadvantages.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby Fuzi0n » May 1st, 2012, 3:54 pm

If there are completely useless weapons... well then who cares? Just sell the stuff.

And just because your rangers are better equipped doesn't mean that the rest of the survivors in the wasteland must also be equipped with good items. I think having worthless items improves immersion. It would not really make sense to me if the mobs kept dropping very good items that are equal to what I currently have equipped. Good quality items should be rare - this is the wasteland you know.

Maybe you could also see the useless weapons as way to improve the barting/economy system of the game. If the mobs only dropped jewels and junk, well then that would be a little boring. If they only drop good items similiar to what I have equipped, then this might also mess up the economy of the game seeing that they would be rather valuable (unless the shop owner only buys items for 15-20% of their value, which would be ridiculous imo).
This would improve the game for me, seeing that I am a packrat (I LOVE to collect and sell stuff :D). Collecting tons of generic junk items (like in Dragon Age 2) is just boring.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby people » May 1st, 2012, 4:48 pm

Ill say this again: I have no problem with tiers, or with weapons that become outclassed.

What I don't want to see is something like this:

Tier 1- .357 revolver.
Tier 2- .44 Mag revolver
And the only difference between them is that the .44 does more damage.

There is so much more to how firearms work than just tiers. A .44 is useless (or overkill) in most man vs man fights. A .357 should fire faster and have advantages over the .44 especially against multiple enemies.

Lower tiers will generally be lower damage- higher DPS weapons while higher tiers do more damage. Eventually as you progress your .357 will be outclassed. What I don't want to see is you find the .44 and it is a clear choice to switch.

This isn't universal obviously, but the weapon system should be better than iron dagger/ steel dagger/ gold dagger system.

Build a well thought out system, and don't be lazy.

I don't think people are really reading the posts above. Weapons SHOULD be outclassed as you progress, weapons should NOT be outclassed from the start. Or just be outclassed in a lazy and straightforward way
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby CaptainPatch » May 1st, 2012, 6:22 pm

Just what does "tier" mean? Is it a measurement of a single weapon type? (Pistol, SMG, Rifle, etc.) Or is it an approximation of a PC's offensive capability? Or.... something else entirely. Reading through this thread, I get the feeling that "tier" is meaning different things to different people.

What would a "tier-less" system look like? Just umpteen dozens of weapons with a W-I-D-E array of features, many/most of which would be moddable? Resulting in each weapon being somewhat unique in some way.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby Drool » May 1st, 2012, 6:45 pm

Tiers are (generally) artificial constructs by game designers that help tell where weapons fall on a relative power scale. Here's JE Sawyer's breakdown of the New Vegas weapons tiers and the skill levels associated with them:

0 = 1st Tier (9mm Pistol, Laser Pistol, Dynamite)
25 = 2nd Tier (Cowboy Repeater, Laser Rifle, Grenade Rifle)
50 = 3rd Tier (Hunting Rifle, Plasma Defender, Incendiary Grenade)
75 = 4th Tier (Sniper Rifle, Gauss Rifle, Grenade Launcher)
100 = 5th Tier (Anti-Materiel Rifle, Gatling Laser, Fat Man)
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby CaptainPatch » May 1st, 2012, 8:07 pm

9mm Pistol = Laser Pistol = Dynamite = Tier 1? TNT packs the same amount of punch as a 9-mil pistol? I'm not buying it. If that IS true, the classification system is bogus. Or is he saying that a Tier 1 _pistol_ = 9-mil pistol? The Tier 1 _energy weapon_ = Laser Pistol? That the Tier 1 _explosive_ = TNT? In which case there isn't just ONE Tier 1, but rather a Tier 1 for each weapon class.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby Drool » May 1st, 2012, 8:24 pm

Relative power.

9mm pistol: 50 DPS
Laser pistol: 45 DPS
Dynamite: 30 DPS

And it's not a bundle of TNT, it's a single stick of dynamite, which isn't TNT anyway.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby CaptainPatch » May 1st, 2012, 11:49 pm

Drool wrote:9mm pistol: 50 DPS
Laser pistol: 45 DPS
Dynamite: 30 DPS

And it's not a bundle of TNT, it's a single stick of dynamite, which isn't TNT anyway.

Something I never bothered to actually look at before. Always thought dynamite and TNT were synonyms. But it appears that TNT packs a punch 3.5 times as potent.

Still, Dynamite = 30 and a 9-mil = 50? Lessee: I shoot the 9-mil at a cinder block wall, cracks a brick and _possibly_ goes through. Attach a stick of dynamite to the wall and when it detonates it blows a 2-foot wide hole clear through the wall. But dynamite is only 60% as potent? Not buying it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcpHuSTmXCY&feature=related
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby Drool » May 2nd, 2012, 12:21 am

Dynamite is also an area of effect weapon while a pistol hits a specific target.

It's also completely irrelevant. I listed that as an example of what tiers are, not to wade into a discussion about how realistic Fallout: New Vegas was.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby CaptainPatch » May 2nd, 2012, 10:34 am

But if that is an example of "tiers" according to ONE person, then that suggests that all classifications of what goes into which tier is _purely_ subjective. Like comparing apples to oranges, person to person.

Isn't weapon tiering just another form of "Leveling" the game to match the power level of the PC/party? That is, as the PC/party increases his/their levels, likewise the monster and foes they encounter _also_ increase in power level.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby BentSea » May 2nd, 2012, 11:01 am

Not including useless weapons would seriously undermine the idea of half working weapons around, and every enemy dropping everything they own. From a gameplay perspective, for the purposes of world construction it makes sense to have all kinds of junk all over the place.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby Mandemon » May 2nd, 2012, 11:31 am

Yeah, having useless junk around helps immersion. I laughed when my brother was playing Oblivion and encountered a bandit wearing a full set end game armor, glass was it? I told him that the bandit would have gotten more and more easily if he just sold the damn equipment.

Now, if he had low tier equipment, it would make much more sense.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby BentSea » May 2nd, 2012, 11:41 am

Yeah, also, clipping out useless junk is a mechanic that is specifically designed to make a game have a more focused less open design. It works great if you're walking in a straight line from the beginning of the game to the end and just having old stuff lying around has no purpose at all. I'd hate it if I were playing a linear FPS shooter and I had to look at every gun to see if any of them were worth bothering with and 99% of did nothing for me but I had to look anyway because that 1% might be a gun that I want to use instead, it would unfocus the experience.

In a game like this though... they're good for parts, you can sell them, you give extras to characters that don't have the top end gear, whatever. They're immersive and they have more value than just being comparable to your primary weapon.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby SagaDC » May 2nd, 2012, 1:34 pm

Personally, I'm all for having a plethora of weapons. Some may serve a specific purpose, such as providing a nice mid-game energy weapon or nice starting pistol, but I don't mind the ones that are simply tossed in for flavor. Every weapon that's included in the game provides more background detail for the world, and I whole-heartedly approve of this. Then, of course, there are the people who will stick with weapons they like, regardless of whether or not they're still effective for their effective "tier".

Of course, then again, there might be specific trends or types of weapons that have their own special bonuses and penalties. Perhaps all knife-type weapons will be quick and cause bleeding injuries, or perhaps all club-like weapons will have a chance to stun a target or knock it prone. In such a case, there might be numerous sub-categories of the assorted potential weapon-types. Hard to say without further information.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby CaptainPatch » May 3rd, 2012, 12:15 pm

In regards to having multiple weapons of the same type available to the _PC_, I believe that having grown up with weapons in the Wasteland where you need them on almost a daily basis, the PC would know that A is better than B which is better than C, etc. For instance, I couldn't say that the Colt 1911 with 7 shots was harder hitting than the 9-mil with 18 shots. If it _was_ harder hitting then there would be some justification for keeping the 1911. But _I_ the player had no idea which one packed a bigger wallop. All this is to say that, unless it is some kind of weird exotic weapon that hardly anyone has ever seen it, the player should be given some kind of idea of what beats what.
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Re: Useless Weapons and Tiers

Postby SagaDC » May 3rd, 2012, 4:32 pm

CaptainPatch wrote:In regards to having multiple weapons of the same type available to the _PC_, I believe that having grown up with weapons in the Wasteland where you need them on almost a daily basis, the PC would know that A is better than B which is better than C, etc. For instance, I couldn't say that the Colt 1911 with 7 shots was harder hitting than the 9-mil with 18 shots. If it _was_ harder hitting then there would be some justification for keeping the 1911. But _I_ the player had no idea which one packed a bigger wallop. All this is to say that, unless it is some kind of weird exotic weapon that hardly anyone has ever seen it, the player should be given some kind of idea of what beats what.


Well, that all varies depending on the region. Don't forget that the player in Wasteland 2 will be playing the team of Rangers who represent the first Desert Rangers to have ever gone into the wastes of California! It's entirely possible that some weapons may be unfamiliar to them, but still familiar based on the broad strokes of the design.

I'm sure we'll still get to see all of the stats at a glance, though.
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