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Preferred party size in Wasteland 2 [poll added]

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

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How do you want party creation/size to work in Wasteland 2?

Poll ended at April 1st, 2012, 1:11 pm

Four player-created characters, with a cap of 2 or so on extra recruits
88
17%
Four player-created characters, without any recruits
9
2%
Up to four player-created characters, with a cap of 2 or so on extra recruits
231
45%
Up to four player-created characters, without any recruits
11
2%
Six player-created characters, without any recruits
11
2%
Solo character creation with a recruited party of 4-6 (BioWare style)
143
28%
Solo all the way through
15
3%
 
Total votes : 508


Preferred party size in Wasteland 2 [poll added]

Postby Brother None » March 7th, 2012, 1:11 pm

This is a pretty complex question, made up of different elements. As Ben mentioned, Wasteland had a four character creation and then you could recruit into your party, to expand or to replace fallen comrades. There's different points to discuss on how parties work, but let's start with a simple one: what should the makeup of your Wasteland 2 party be?

I included up to four player-created characters, as it came up in the general thread, but I think you gotta realize that such an option might be very hard to balance, and in my opinion this should be a party-based game primarily.

This poll kind of avoids the topic on permanent death within the party or with recruits. I think that's an interesting debate we should have in a different spot, I'll probably put up a poll for it later.

Expand on your choices in the thread, oh and suggest further options if you've got some ideas.
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Re: Preferred part size in Wasteland 2

Postby Jozape » March 7th, 2012, 1:48 pm

Up to 4 PCs, plus 2 or so recruitable NPCs. Or as many PCs as the party cap allows. Also NPCs could fully become PCs after being recruited like they mostly were in BG1. Fans of BioWare style games would probably miss their companion's commentary though.
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Re: Preferred part size in Wasteland 2

Postby Flamekebab » March 7th, 2012, 2:24 pm

I'd kinda prefer 4 PCs with as many recruits as I wanted. I like being able to do silly things like fielding a small army!

But I'm quite happy with 4 PC + 2.
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Re: Preferred part size in Wasteland 2

Postby Brother None » March 7th, 2012, 2:27 pm

Flamekebab wrote:I'd kinda prefer 4 PCs with as many recruits as I wanted. I like being able to do silly things like fielding a small army!


Engine permitting, I'd love if there's situations where you can lead larger groups in bigger fights, with temporary followers. In my P&P sessions, this was always a big thing, the occasional larger-scale battle, occasionally hybriding in tabletop wargame rules and miniatures. But that'd just be an extra to the core system.
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Re: Preferred part size in Wasteland 2

Postby Flamekebab » March 7th, 2012, 2:42 pm

Most of the time I'd be fine with it. But who hasn't wanted to lead an angry mob on occasion?
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Temaperacl » March 7th, 2012, 3:23 pm

Brother None wrote:I included up to four player-created characters, as it came up in the general thread, but I think you gotta realize that such an option might be very hard to balance, and in my opinion this should be a party-based game primarily.

In my opinion, the game should be targeted to a squad of 4 (plus recruits), but you shouldn't be required to create that many if you don't want to. I don't think there should be any scaling or balancing done for smaller squads, though - if you have less than a full squad, the game should be harder, potentially drastically so. (Charging into the hideout? There will be the same number of opponents you face. Puzzle designed for 4 Rangers and you have 1? Either pick up some recruits (at least temporarily), avoid if (if you can), or get creative.)
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Brother None » March 7th, 2012, 3:27 pm

Well said, Temaperacl. That's kind of what I was thinking too, but I don't know if everyone would agree with that. It'd be very unforgiving for people who want to solo, as the party-based games of yore used to be.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Ausir » March 7th, 2012, 3:31 pm

Well, if the XP is divided among party members, soloers would have it harder in the beginning, but they'd also level up quicker.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Lexx » March 7th, 2012, 6:38 pm

Temaperacl wrote:In my opinion, the game should be targeted to a squad of 4 (plus recruits), but you shouldn't be required to create that many if you don't want to. I don't think there should be any scaling or balancing done for smaller squads, though - if you have less than a full squad, the game should be harder, potentially drastically so. (Charging into the hideout? There will be the same number of opponents you face. Puzzle designed for 4 Rangers and you have 1? Either pick up some recruits (at least temporarily), avoid if (if you can), or get creative.)


Yup, pretty much what I've suggested already. I see this as the best option. Though, about creating 4 characters: Alternative of course should be to select (up to) 4 pre-defined characters from the available ranger pool, in case someone cannot bother with creating their own characters.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Gizmo » March 7th, 2012, 8:27 pm

How about no cap on recruits, and no minimum party size? (Well besides the one.)

When I would play Baldur's Gate, or IcewindDale, I'd play multiplayer in order to make three of four PCs. The trade off is just that you may not have enough room for recruits... or maybe a pair of recruits that won't be separated ~and you have to be able to fit two in the party. Also I like the idea that if I one of my PC's dies, I should be able to add a new recruit (not be limited to just two) ~and the trade off could be (perhaps) that if you fill out your party with mercs, they might just turn on you, and outnumber you 5 to 1. :twisted:

** It would also be nice to have locations in the game where you can recruit a new PC. In ToEE for example; at the Inn you could hire NPCs, but you could also access the Guest registry book, and create new (1st level) PCs for the party.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby TailSwallower » March 8th, 2012, 4:22 am

Lexx wrote:Alternative of course should be to select (up to) 4 pre-defined characters from the available ranger pool, in case someone cannot bother with creating their own characters.


It's not even necessarily about not being bothered to make your own - perhaps it'd be more fun trying to make it work with pre-defined characters instead of being able to build 4 characters from scratch who work together like a well-oiled machine.

For instance, JA2 and F:T let you create one character, and the rest you have to choose from pools. In JA2 1.13 you can create up to 6 guys from scratch, giving yourself a perfectly balanced and harmonious team right from the get-go. That's way less fun in my opinion.

So that's what I'd lean towards - 1 character that you can create from scratch (the player's avatar), up to three pre-defined rangers you can take with you, and then room for extra NPCs you come across in the wastes.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Brother None » March 8th, 2012, 6:32 am

Full party creation is kind of a must, in my opinion. Not that you have to, if you want to select from a pool, fine, but it should offer the option. Full party creation and balance has kind of disappeared from modern RPGs, but was wonderful back in the day.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Nark » March 8th, 2012, 8:57 am

1-4 Player created characters + NPC companions would do me just fine.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby rakenan » March 8th, 2012, 10:19 am

Creating a bunch of custom PC's just makes them feel like anonymous stat sheets to me. This is an area where I think Jagged Alliance 2 and the Baldur's Gate series got it perfect - you have one character who is "you," but have very early access to additional recruits to help you out. Regardless of origin, you control all of your characters, created or recruited, in combat. Jagged Alliance was awesome, in large part, because the recruited characters had personalities of their own, and their interactions absolutely made the game. Created characters don't - they are just extensions of the player's will. It's hard to feel invested in a character when he's part of a group of four and you don't have any way to actually differentiate him from the others.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Gizmo » March 8th, 2012, 12:33 pm

rakenan wrote:Creating a bunch of custom PC's just makes them feel like anonymous stat sheets to me. This is an area where I think Jagged Alliance 2 and the Baldur's Gate series got it perfect - you have one character who is "you," but have very early access to additional recruits to help you out.
Not everyone plays RPG's where ANY of the PC's are necessarily "you". In Baldur's Gate, party members were not NPCs (unless they rebelled). In Pool of Radiance you had NPC's in the party if you wanted ~and could not control them in combat... because they were NPCs.

I can understand that in Baldur's Gate, PC characters did not banter with pre-made party members; who would interact with other pre-made party members... but for the most part in that game my PCs each had their portrait and custom voice, and were fine characters as far as I was concerned.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Tanglebones » March 8th, 2012, 2:52 pm

Gizmo wrote:How about no cap on recruits, and no minimum party size? (Well besides the one.)

I chose "Bioware style" because I'd like to be able to create just one PC and still be able to make a full party out of recruits, but I'd also like to see players who want a four party squad of rangers (like the original) get their option too.

rakenan wrote:Creating a bunch of custom PC's just makes them feel like anonymous stat sheets to me.

The reason I like recruits so much is that they come with an option of having an interesting back story and interactions with my character (from finding out about Viconia's troubles adapting to the surface all the way to questioning Veronica about life in the Brotherhood). Of course, if WL2 doesn't include inter-party dialogue, then I'd actually prefer to create my own party (since I'll create them with their own imagined backstory), but I very much prefer to have one "me" encountering all these different personalities.

Also, I think it's really important to have full control over all party members in combat. I like the tactical oportunities that presents, and bad party member AI, where they'll burst into a group of enemies while standing right behind you makes me rage.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Gizmo » March 8th, 2012, 3:32 pm

Tanglebones wrote:Also, I think it's really important to have full control over all party members in combat. I like the tactical oportunities that presents, and bad party member AI, where they'll burst into a group of enemies while standing right behind you makes me rage.
I have a mixed view on this. I like full control of party members ~but there is something to be said about powerful (or useful) NPCs that are not disciplined. IMO Party control should extend to military trained NPCs that know how to follow orders in a battle ~yet some NPC recruits might not follow orders very well or at all ~Like dogs and giant lizards, wanna-be commandos and... Consider Sean Bean's role in the film Ronin.

In the old SSI gold box games you could hire on mercs and they would fight independently (even counter productively), because they were not team players ~but you kept them anyway because they were experienced, and useful ~then you got rid of them when that usefulness faded away.

IMO it would have been neat (though impossible) for the Brotherhood squad in Fallout to have been under player control while attacking the base ~even while Ian was not.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Quarex » March 8th, 2012, 3:59 pm

I should have known there would be a better place to post this.

Tanglebones wrote:The reason I like recruits so much is that they come with an option of having an interesting back story and interactions with my character (from finding out about Viconia's troubles adapting to the surface all the way to questioning Veronica about life in the Brotherhood).

I mentioned to Urgrue in a thread about party composition that you can solve the "personalityless created PC" problem by having "variable NPC recruits" in the game--to explain, I mean that if there are 50 recruitable characters in the game, then 10 of them could have personalities that could double as potential PC personalities, and if you decided to give your characters one of their personality sets, then the NPC version would disappear from the game otherwise. Does that make sense? It seems entirely reasonable to me, but might sound crazy to others. And, of course, you do not HAVE to give your pre-made characters a personality at all; you can have four mute protagonists with no recruitable characters if you want to go that route.

(Oh, and I have a hard time not favoring the option you did not list, "seven characters in the party, between one and four created," ala Wasteland ... though I have not seen a game implement a party that size with great success since Wizardry 8)
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Merin » March 8th, 2012, 5:34 pm

SO many solo RPGs, make 1 PC and recruit a party of pre-made, or just 1 pre-made MC games out there....

Can't those of us who loved making our whole party get a little love anymore? If this is a sequel to Wasteland I really hope that we get the same feel as Wasteland - i.e. make your party AND be able to recruit some pre-made characters.

4 + 2 is what I want. Well, in my dreams, I'd want 5+3 or so, but I'll still be ecstatic with as low as 3+2.

I don't know that I'd still donate it Wasteland went the BioWare route. I certainly won't be donating if the game is a solo MC game - not gonna happen. I'd still be willing to donate if it was make 4 your own party but recruit no one, but it's not my first choice.

So, yeah, 4+2.
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Re: Preferred party size in Wasteland 2

Postby Tanglebones » March 8th, 2012, 7:52 pm

Gizmo wrote:I like full control of party members ~but there is something to be said about powerful (or useful) NPCs that are not disciplined. IMO Party control should extend to military trained NPCs that know how to follow orders in a battle ~yet some NPC recruits might not follow orders very well or at all ~Like dogs and giant lizards, wanna-be commandos and... Consider Sean Bean's role in the film Ronin.

I like this idea in theory, the problem is, I've never seen it implemented well. I still get flashbacks to the original Wasteland, "Ace doesn't want to trade with you." It was traumatizing, I tell ya! :P

Quarex wrote:I mentioned to Urgrue in a thread about party composition that you can solve the "personalityless created PC" problem by having "variable NPC recruits" in the game--to explain, I mean that if there are 50 recruitable characters in the game, then 10 of them could have personalities that could double as potential PC personalities, and if you decided to give your characters one of their personality sets, then the NPC version would disappear from the game otherwise. Does that make sense? It seems entirely reasonable to me, but might sound crazy to others. And, of course, you do not HAVE to give your pre-made characters a personality at all; you can have four mute protagonists with no recruitable characters if you want to go that route.

I understand the mechanic you're describing, and I think it'd have the potential to be pretty cool.
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