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SubRosa
post Nov 27 2014, 04:20 AM
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I finally got around to buying Wasteland 2 from Gog.com. It was a long download, so I didn't have much time to play tonight. My first impressions are good though. It reminds me a lot of Fallout Tactics and Fallout 1, both in the style of play (turn-based, squad-level, tactical combat), and the sarcastic sense of humor. That is no real surprise though, as the original Wasteland is what inspired the Fallout games.

The game is set in the Arizona desert, in the aftermath of WW3. A group of Army Engineers was out in the desert doing engineering stuff when the war started. They took refuge in a prison, which gave them a fortified base. Fast forward to the present, where the descendants of the engineers are the Desert Rangers, bringing justice to the wasteland.

There was a hilarious dig at the Brotherhood of Steel at the very beginning, when an NPC mentions that the early Rangers (the faction you are part of), tended to stay in their base, and practically worshiped old technology, even if they didn't know what it did.

Creating a team took a while, as you not only pick stats, but the appearance, names, etc.. of up to four characters for your group. Here is my team. Venus is the leader, with social skills and an assault rifle. Mars is the muscle, packing an M2 Browning. Hecate is the sniper, and is also the team medic. Mercury is the thief, with lockpicking and safecracking skills and a shotgun. Finally an NPC named Angela Deth joined up at the start of the game.

The big globe in the background is the world map transition marker. Like the early Fallout games, and pretty much every Bioware game, the game is split into a world map where you move from one area to another. When you reach an area of interest you transition to a tactical map, where you actually get to do stuff.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jun 13 2015, 05:36 AM


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mirocu
post Nov 27 2014, 07:33 PM
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Sounds like fun, Subrosa. Isnīt it cool to find older games and you just immediately like them? smile.gif

QUOTE(SubRosa @ Nov 27 2014, 04:20 AM) *

There was a hilarious dig at the Brotherhood of Steel at the very beginning, when an NPC mentions that the early Rangers (the faction you are part of), tended to stay in their base, and practically worshiped old technology

Now why do I feel slightly targeted here...? laugh.gif


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SubRosa
post Nov 27 2014, 07:58 PM
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Wasteland 2 is a brand new game. It just plays like the old games of yore. So far it is been good. Though it seems like you cannot save in combat, which disappoints me.


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mirocu
post Nov 27 2014, 08:09 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Nov 27 2014, 07:58 PM) *

Wasteland 2 is a brand new game. It just plays like the old games of yore.

Oh.

As you were... biggrin.gif


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Acadian
post Nov 27 2014, 08:32 PM
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SubRosa, I envy how delightfully insatiable you are with new games and new characters! biggrin.gif


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SubRosa
post Nov 30 2014, 01:30 AM
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I have had a few days to play it, and I have to say Wasteland 2 is really wowing me! It brings back so many fond memories of playing the early X-Com games (Ufo Defense and Terror From The Deep), and of Fallout Tactics. Like those games, it is a squad-level, turn-based combat game with 3d isometric layout. It is a lot like Fallout 1 and 2 as well, in both the Post-Apocalyptic world, and sarcastic sense of humor. I imagine it plays a lot like the new X-Com game from last year too, though I have not gotten it yet, so cannot say for sure.

One of the writers of Wasteland 2 is Chris Avellone, who also wrote the early Fallout games. He was of course inspired by Wasteland 1, from so many years ago. So Wasteland 2 is a natural progression of these games.

Besides the improved graphics from those old games, Wasteland 2 adds in some really nice aids to combat. The game places an aqua overlay showing how far you can move in a turn and still attack. Then beyond that is an yellow overlay showing how far you can move without attacking. Finally there is a red circle showing the range of your weapon. Likewise the use of cover is much better implemented than it was back in those days, with key spots granting bonuses to evade incoming fire. Cover can also be destroyed by gunfire and explosives. Thinking about what you are doing, using cover, waiting in ambush, and putting the right people in the right places win battles. Charging in blindly gets all your people killed.

Outside of the combat, one thing I really like about this game is that there is usually more than one way to do something. My first mission took me to a Raider camp. The obvious thing to do is just shoot it out. Instead I was able to use my Smart Ass skill to talk my team through without a fight. (Naturally after I had looted everything, my team shot the Raiders anyway... wink.gif) In a cave on the same map was a mutant horny toad which I was able to use my Animal Whisperer skill to make friendly, once again avoiding combat. In fact, I could have completed the entire first mission without firing a shot, if I hadn't been set on killing those Raiders.

Other examples are that if you cannot pick a locked door, you can just break it down. If you cannot disable a mine, you can stand back and throw a bomb at it to blow it up.

Some downsides are that sometimes the camera can be annoying, and it never shows as much of the area around my team as I would like. It also does not zoom down in as near as I would like either. In the old Neverwinter Nights games the camera could go from a really wide view, or zoom down right to your character's face. I wish this camera could do something like that.

Not that you really want to see your character's face too much. There are not many options for changing your appearance. It is basically picking a pre-made face from a list, a hairstyle, a shirt/jacket, and a pair of pants/skirt. Plus a backpack if you want. It is basically the same as Morrowind, with about the same resolution. sad.gif After you create a character you can take a snapshot to use as their picture. This shows up in the hud to select the character, as well as in dialogue options to show what character is talking. They use the same picture for both, shrinking it down to fit into the hud. Unfortunately that also makes it so tiny that it loses almost all the distinguishing characteristics, making it hard to tell one character from another. This pic gives a good example. I have tried some mods that add portraits, but most of them have the same problem. I have found that they only really usable ones are head pics, which you can still make out the features of when they get scaled down tiny.

My other big disappointment is that once combat officially starts, you cannot save. I don't know why, as you could save at any time in all the old X-Com and Fallout games. On the plus side, the game keeps 3 separate quicksaves. Every time you quicksave, it goes to a different slot, overwriting the oldest one. That makes things very convenient.

Nits aside, it is a very fun game. The kind that makes you lose four or five hours to at a time without even realizing it. Lots of good tactical roleplaying!

Here is a small example of combat. This is from one of the early missions, rescuing the town of High Pool (they have a dam) from a band of attacking Raiders known as The Wreckers. This was one of the really big fights in that mission, which is made more complicated by the presence of Townies already shooting it out with the Raiders. The Townies make it extra difficult, because just like followers in Bethesda games, they love to run out into your line of fire. Not to mention shoot you in the back...

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Nov 30 2014, 01:47 AM


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mirocu
post Nov 30 2014, 09:09 PM
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Nice video there. Looked a little complicated but I guess itīs just because Iīm not familiar with it smile.gif


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Acadian
post Nov 30 2014, 09:31 PM
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Thanks, SubRosa. Due to my limited game repertoire, it's interesting to learn about other games from someone who I know speaks TES, D&D and DiabloII. Plus, it's nice to see you enjoying yourself! biggrin.gif


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SubRosa
post Jan 1 2015, 11:53 PM
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My toons finally beat the game!

All in all, Wasteland 2 was a very enjoyable game. It is an outstanding squad-based, turn-based, strategy game. If you like thinking and planning, then this is a game you will like. The world is open, but only to a limited extent. There are not that many places you can really go to. Some of them you have to visit and explore to move the game along. Others are optional. The order you do it is partly up to you. But later game locations are blocked off by high radiation clouds, and you have to do main quest stuff to upgrade your rad suits so that you can survive them. Which was actually a rather elegant solution to scaling the game.

You start out with up to four main characters. Unlike other games where the first character is basically you - or at least the character you see in all the cinematics - that is not the case here. All four of your starting characters are equal in all respects. In addition there are other characters in the world that you can recruit as companions. In total you can have 7 characters under your direct control. I found that I did not much like the companions out in the world. Some were colorful, but they all have a habit of breaking from your control and doing whatever they feel like in combat, which often turns out to be nothing at all. That infuriates me. There is a Leadership skill that is supposed to reduce the chances of that happening, but I never truly saw any difference with it. So after my first get to know the game playing, I didn't bother with any extra companions at all.

I did still recruit all the possible companions I found though. Then I dismissed them. Afterward they appear back at the Ranger Citadel. You can then talk to the recruitment officer in the mess hall, and have them become Desert Rangers. He gives you a bonus to either money or experience for each new recruit you bring in. Naturally I always went with the experience. Even though they become rangers, they are still not part of your team. Though you can can walk up to them and bring them back in your group if you want.

You also get some unofficial team members too. These characters do not show up in your party roster, and you cannot control them in any way. They just tag along with your group until they get killed. There is a guy in the Rail Nomads Camp called The Provost, who uses a pistol, but has low health. So even if you try to keep healing him, he won't last long. There is a robot called Vax you can repair and reprogram in one of the optional areas. There is another Discobot named Jaime you can repair and use as well. He was a cute feller. Though I think he should have been called Travolta, or Bee Gee. wink.gif My favorite is The Night Terror, who is very difficult to get (it takes a high level computer skill), and he does absolutely nothing in combat but stand there. But he has 8,000 hit points. He literally can take anything the game throws at him. There have even been a few times he was a literal lifesaver because the baddies were so intent upon shooting at him, they ignored the rest of the party. In the late game fight vs the first Scorpitron, he literally took about 4,500 points of damage. Without him soaking it all up, I don't think the team would have made it.

The game definitely has its flaws. Mainly in that the balancing of equipment is very poor. For example, it is not until the later game that you can get a Tommy Gun. But its stats are so low, it is useless. That is the case with a lot of late game weapons. It would be like playing Oblivion and not being able to get Iron weapons and armor until level 20, when you already have Ebony.

Energy weapons are also completely borked. The way they are set up, they do more damage to enemies wearing armor greater than the weapon's armor-piercing threshold. They do almost no damage to target's whose armor is beneath the energy weapon's threshold. Naturally that threshold gets higher with the better energy weapons, so they do even less and less damage to everyone! Alternative Armor System fixes energy weapons, and overhauls the armor system over all.

You need the The Wasteland 2 Mod Injector to use it, and most any other mod besides custom portraits. There are a ton of those portrait mods on the Nexus. Creating your own custom portraits is also very easy. You just need a .png file that is 256 x 256 pixels. Name it anything you like, and put it in your My Documents\My Games\Wasteland 2\Custom Portraits folder. Finally, the Wasteland 2 Save And Character Editor is a great tool to tweak your characters. Though it does not do everything (and it has the Kiss Ass and Smart Ass skills reversed).

I find the character editor is helpful because there are too many skills in the game, and not enough points to spread around them. For example, there are three separate persuasion skills, instead of just one, and a barter skill on top of that! Only one skill for all four would have sufficed. Some skills are confusingly named. For example, Demolitions is really trap disarming. It has nothing to do with actually using explosive weapons. In fact, the grenades and rocket launchers are not governed by any skill at all. They always hit exactly where you target them, and always do the same exact damage every time. The Computer Skill is more of an electronics skill, mainly for disarming electronic locks. Though sometimes you really can use it on a computer or robot. On top of them you have a lockpicking skill, and another skill for disarming alarms. Both those could have been folded into a single skill. Perception is a skill as well, which you really need to spot things like mines and traps. You thief character needs a huge array of these skills: Perception, Lockpicking, Alarm Disarming, and Demolitions at the very least. Throw in a weapon and you have 5 skills they need to spend their points in, which is just too much.

What makes things worse, is that many quests can only be completed with the right persuasion skill, at the right level. If you have it at the right minimum level, it automatically works. If not, you cannot succeed. On top of all that, you only get one crack. After that the option will never come up in conversation again, so you cannot come back to try again later after raising your skill. You need the right skill beforehand. That becomes a real pain. Especially since resolving some of these quests are the only way to avoid bloodbaths.

Still, bitching aside, it is a very fun game. And a think some more play-balancing would have solved most of its issues. Finally, I noticed something interesting after finishing the game. It automatically exports all of your characters from that point. Then you can start a new game with the same characters, at the same level, with all their skills already leveled up. That would mitigate the problem of too many skills, if you were willing to play the game over a few times with the same characters.


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mALX
post Jan 2 2015, 12:00 AM
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I saw "Wasteland" and thought this was a Fallout thread! laugh.gif





This post has been edited by mALX: Jan 2 2015, 12:00 AM


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Acadian
post Jan 2 2015, 12:24 AM
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Thanks for the nice summary and evaluation, SubRosa. Sounds like a pretty good game. smile.gif


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SubRosa
post Jan 2 2015, 12:24 AM
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QUOTE(mALX @ Jan 1 2015, 06:00 PM) *

I saw "Wasteland" and thought this was a Fallout thread! laugh.gif

Actually, it sort of is! The original Wasteland game was the first post apocalyptic computer game, and it set the standard for the genre. The first Fallout games were directly inspired by it. If you liked Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, or Fallout Tactics, you will probably like Wasteland 2.

Even FONV has some Wasteland 1 elements. For example, remember the two big statues of the California Ranger and the Desert Ranger shaking hands at the NCR base in the south west corner of the map? The Desert Rangers are who you play in both Wasteland games. The makers of Wasteland 2 even gave a shout back to FONV. Do some of these robots look familiar?

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jan 2 2015, 12:24 AM


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mirocu
post Jan 2 2015, 10:42 AM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Jan 2 2015, 12:24 AM) *

The makers of Wasteland 2 even gave a shout back to FONV. Do some of these robots look familiar?

Heh! Itīs those House robots! laugh.gif


The weapons sounds a bit... off huh.gif I have played another game where you need to plan and use tactics so maybe I would like this game too. Only problem is all the other games I play, plus I have Bioshock 2 on the way.. laugh.gif


Glad to liked the game, SubRosa smile.gif


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It matters not how strait the gate,
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mALX
post Jan 2 2015, 07:16 PM
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Oh, The Mojave Outpost! I loved that place, they could repair your equipment to like 100%!

Urk, those robots are the scariest! Even Victor and Yes Man gave me the creeps! But ED-E - even though he ruined my chances of sneaking anywhere, I did like ED-E.

This Wasteland game, is it made in todays graphics or is it like the Fallout 1 and 2 style graphics? I had a LOT of trouble playing Arena and Daggerfall - really wish they would remake those games using today's graphics engines!



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SubRosa
post Jan 2 2015, 10:56 PM
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It has a fully modern graphics. I run it at 1920 x 1080 resolution, and everything is fully 3d. However, that said you cannot zoom in very close to your characters to really see them well. Here are a few pics of the game from my vid/pic topic.

I got inspired a few nights ago, and rolled a new team of toons - Team TES

Teresa calms the savage beasts

Aela vs. Raider

Aela's technomancy makes short work of the thug

The final member of Team TES of the Desert Rangers is none other than Tadrose Helas, the team weaponsmith and door-kicker-in

Teresa has discovered the Secret of NIMH

So you really don't see your characters that well. But you do see everything from afar, and have a good look at everything around them. Which is good since it is mainly a tactics-based game.


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mirocu
post Jan 3 2015, 12:10 AM
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I just love how it says

Smart Ass
Hard Ass
Kick Ass


rollinglaugh.gif


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SubRosa
post Jan 3 2015, 04:04 AM
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Those are the three persuasion skills. Kiss Ass for being diplomatic, Smart Ass for being snarky and sarcastic, and Hard Ass for... well, I think you get the point.


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SubRosa
post May 15 2015, 06:41 PM
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Heads up Post Apocalyptia. Gog.com has Wasteland 2 on sale for $20. If you like old school isometric RPGs like the original Fallout games, or turn-based, tactical combat games like the X:Com series, you will like Wasteland 2. Buy it. It is well worth the money.


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mALX
post May 17 2015, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Jan 2 2015, 05:56 PM) *

It has a fully modern graphics. I run it at 1920 x 1080 resolution, and everything is fully 3d. However, that said you cannot zoom in very close to your characters to really see them well. Here are a few pics of the game from my vid/pic topic.

I got inspired a few nights ago, and rolled a new team of toons - Team TES

Teresa calms the savage beasts

Aela vs. Raider

Aela's technomancy makes short work of the thug

The final member of Team TES of the Desert Rangers is none other than Tadrose Helas, the team weaponsmith and door-kicker-in

Teresa has discovered the Secret of NIMH

So you really don't see your characters that well. But you do see everything from afar, and have a good look at everything around them. Which is good since it is mainly a tactics-based game.



Teresa! Aela! Even Tadrose! How did I miss this? I can barely see Teresa's picture, only her red hair and pale skin - but Aela and Tadrose look awesome!




QUOTE(mirocu @ Jan 2 2015, 07:10 PM) *

I just love how it says

Smart Ass
Hard Ass
Kick Ass


rollinglaugh.gif



I liked that too, but wasn't the last one "Kiss Ass?"





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SubRosa
post May 17 2015, 04:44 PM
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QUOTE(mALX @ May 17 2015, 10:32 AM) *

QUOTE(SubRosa @ Jan 2 2015, 05:56 PM) *

It has a fully modern graphics. I run it at 1920 x 1080 resolution, and everything is fully 3d. However, that said you cannot zoom in very close to your characters to really see them well. Here are a few pics of the game from my vid/pic topic.

I got inspired a few nights ago, and rolled a new team of toons - Team TES

Teresa calms the savage beasts

Aela vs. Raider

Aela's technomancy makes short work of the thug

The final member of Team TES of the Desert Rangers is none other than Tadrose Helas, the team weaponsmith and door-kicker-in

Teresa has discovered the Secret of NIMH

So you really don't see your characters that well. But you do see everything from afar, and have a good look at everything around them. Which is good since it is mainly a tactics-based game.



Teresa! Aela! Even Tadrose! How did I miss this? I can barely see Teresa's picture, only her red hair and pale skin - but Aela and Tadrose look awesome!




QUOTE(mirocu @ Jan 2 2015, 07:10 PM) *

I just love how it says

Smart Ass
Hard Ass
Kick Ass


rollinglaugh.gif



I liked that too, but wasn't the last one "Kiss Ass?"

biggrin.gif Kick Ass is what you do when persuasion doesn't work!


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