The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 11: Wasteland 2 (In Progress)

Meanwhile for my part:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/TQkOY5G.png)

My vacation's started, the weather's been pretty sh*t, and travelling isn't really in the cards for obvious reasons, so over the last couple of days I burned through the game while re-listening to Mike Duncan's Revolutions podcast (specifically, the French and Haitian ones).

It's janky in a lot of ways, there's some dicey difficulty spikes, the dialogue presentation kinda irks me - it makes me feel more detached from the characters - and the percentage based success for skill checks outside of dialogue encourages save-scumming in the worst kinda way.

Despite all that though, I had a really good time with it. The combat and exploration elements really work for me. Enough so that I kinda feel tempted to start up a new ranger team and see how well I can optimize things now that I remember how the game works, instead of doing a bad job of recreating the Leverage crew. Or maybe I'll go back and find the non-standard ending/game over.

Put in a dozen or so hours this week. Finished the Rail Nomads camp in an unsatisfying way, then made it through the Canyon of Titan to Damonta, though no one ever told me where Damonta was exactly (eg wasn't marked on my map; had to stumble into it). Holding my own against robots. I wish there was a way to delay your turn, even for the cost of action points. (My ideal ambush would be to let them come to me, especially since there's no way to carefully position people outside of combat, but the game doesn't really allow for that.)

Party is level 19-20 now. Everyone's weapons have at least one weapon mod if not multiple. I haven't found anyone that sells weapon mods (as far as I can remember at least).

Congrats on finishing up, ALG! Way to go!

I finally made my way back to this tonight. Sorted out some things at the Ranger Citadel, then went and got hold of some radiation suits. Felt good to get back to it and make a bit of progress.

I’m back in, got distracted...

Just finished Highpool, now checking out Ag Centre. Just got here and immediately found a Johnny Cash song reference lol

Hardek wrote:

I’m back in, got distracted...

Just finished Highpool, now checking out Ag Centre. Just got here and immediately found a Johnny Cash song reference lol

I like how the game splits there. The Ag Centre was a big chunk of gameplay for me. I'd be interested to see what it's like playing the Highpool option instead. Either way, it's a lot of development time spent on something that only half the players will experience.

Finished the game a couple of nights ago. My triumphant rangers have made the Wastelands safe. Well, safer at least.

Overall, I found the game a bit forgettable in the way games that are neither truly great nor terrible are. It was just... fine.

Things I liked:
Nostalgia- Several images and phrases brought back hazy memories from playing the first Wasteland back when I was young. Scorpitron, Snake Vargas, gun wielding nuns, Leather Jerks, Rex and Bobby, Finster's head, and so on. Also had a bit of the feel of the first two Fallout games, which were some of my favorites.

Combat- Didn't have nearly the depth or variety of Original Sin 2, but it was satisfying enough. I appreciate that mostly you were facing off against groups of weak enemies rather than bullet sponges. I can't stand it when games make you shoot a person 10 times for them to drop. If they're a robot or wearing power armor, it's OK, but not some random raider. That ruined Fallout 3 for me.

Inventory- I am starting to come to the opinion that all these games need to dramatically streamline inventory and items. D:OS2 was pretty bad in this area. I felt compelled to lug around tons of useless crap that I never used. Juggling stuff around to get under weight limits just felt like a needless chore. Wasteland 2 wasn't exactly good, but coming off of D:OS2 it seems great in comparison. I appreciate that all junk items were clearly labelled and you could sell them at the push of a button. I also appreciated the "distribute loot" button that tried to divvy up medkits and ammo to the people who could use them. It would have truly sucked without these features.

Didn't like:
Skill checks- I basically save-scummed on every single one of these and it was tedious as hell.

Plot and characters- Not necessarily bad, but without the nostalgia factor they made little impression. Matthias in particular was a boring villain to me. He'd often start some incredibly long radio speech and the voice actor delivered the lines so slowly. I felt compelled to listen though, since that's where most of his development came from.

Nice!

I still haven't gone back to this game since getting to the rail nomads. I think I've given up the ghost on this one, at least for now. It's possible I'll circle back at some point, but with the Wasteland 3 release imminent, for now, it's a punt.

Congrats, gewy! Nice work, and nice write up as well.

I'm with you on inventories. I have packrat tendencies as well, which never helps. I never want to throw something away, and I almost always save consumables for "the next battle where I might need them more." I have found in Wasteland 2, however, that I'm at least using the healing items that I've got with me. That's pretty much a first for me in gaming, and perhaps a sign that I'm leveling up.

I finished AZ and landed in CA. In Damonta, I did the 'boss fight' twice because I didn't figure out the trick before I was almost done (and partially because someone died permanently). It took me ~40ish hours in AZ and I didn't even look for / find Darwin's Village (but I think that's all I missed).

Planning to get back to this now. I think I was making peace in the Rail Nomad's camp when I got distracted...

Nice!

I got distracted from my distractions, that's how distracted I got this round. Sigh.

I explored AZ and cleared out all of the locations inside the radiation walls. There was definitely a difficulty bump, where I went from winning cleanly to dying multiple times per fight. I think I'm on the other side of it now but short again on ammo (since new weapons wanted new ammo). I made it to Hollywood, which is hopefully nearing the end?

I don't crave playing this game, but I enjoy it while I'm playing it. I have been thinking about what I will play next, which will probably be as different from this as possible (which is normal; I spend more time daydreaming about games than playing them these days).

On a whim jumped back into this this evening and played for about an hour. I cleaned up the Wrecking Crew area, and have moved on to the start of the Rail Nomad's Camp. )It took me a few tries to figure out how to save Ralphy.)

It was surprisingly easy to pick up again, felt good to play. I wonder if I might actually be able to finish this...

Rolled credits today! Final party was levels 39-42. Final playtime of ~80 hours. Overall I had a positive impression, but the things that stand out to me (below) are all negatives for some reason *shrugs*.

I didn't like the dialog system. It was never clear when a dialog option had consequences or not. I also dreaded when the conversation keywords list grew to 2 rows because I knew I wouldn't pay attention through them all (especially because they were reiterated by multiple NPCs). I also disliked that there was no way to repeat some conversations (eg typing a relevant keyword manually would say something like 'We already talked about X'. So what?).

I didn't get the outcome I wanted for the Rail Nomad, Hollywood, and Bastion of Faith location quests, which might sound good in theory (ie 'realistic') but instead felt arbitrary; it felt like those quest triggers were more finicky than other quests.

I'm disappointed that I didn't have a chance to continue playing and tie up loose ends at the end of the game, which my ending would have allowed for.

I enjoyed combat and pretty much agree with gewy's comments on it above. The cover system was a little quirky. The final fight doesn't seem possible to win without retrying (related to Sorbicol's comment early in the thread). I really disliked that the 'headshot' statuses applied to enemies were not explicit (eg 'BSOD' has what effect?) and didn't seem to do anything (unless the Leadership status effects (eg Infuriate) cancelled them out?). (Also surprised that none of the game wikis spelled the effects out either.) I would be mildly curious to see if the combat would have felt more tactical without changing anything just by showing the enemy's to hit chances on your characters. In most combats the main question was how to win using cheaper or fewer bullets, not if I would win. For the challenging combats (eg where the player characters can be taken out in 1 or 2 hits) it seemed like luck played a bigger role than tactics, but since those were the exception and not the rule I never felt like I was learning from them.

I'm glad the next club game is shorter

^Congrats on finishing the game and getting your first level up! Most excellent. Great write up, too!

I started in on the Rail Nomad camp area. Spent quite a while exploring what appears to be just about half of the area. Can kind of get a sense there's not going to be a clean ending to this part of the game.

Oh, we picked up Ralphy now too, so we've got temporarily a full party of 7 now.

I've found Damonta and

Spoiler:

am deciding whether bother with the robot threat. They dish out serious damage and I am worried about running low on healing supplies... though the exp is nice.

Currently I only have a 5-ranger party, and it kinda sucks. I might resort to reading a guide and finding where to pick up a few more party members.

Math wrote:

I've found Damonta and

Spoiler:

am deciding whether bother with the robot threat. They dish out serious damage and I am worried about running low on healing supplies... though the exp is nice.

Currently I only have a 5-ranger party, and it kinda sucks. I might resort to reading a guide and finding where to pick up a few more party members.

For party members...

Spoiler:

Did you go to the Rail Nomad camp? You can get Ralphy there. He's pretty moldable into whatever you want.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
Math wrote:

I've found Damonta and

Spoiler:

am deciding whether bother with the robot threat. They dish out serious damage and I am worried about running low on healing supplies... though the exp is nice.

Currently I only have a 5-ranger party, and it kinda sucks. I might resort to reading a guide and finding where to pick up a few more party members.

For party members...

Spoiler:

Did you go to the Rail Nomad camp? You can get Ralphy there. He's pretty moldable into whatever you want.

I hope to get some time in this weekend as well.

So I ended up

Spoiler:

clearing most of the robots from Damonta, but was very, very low on HP at the end. Decided to walk around the worldmap a bit to regen and, unfortunately, came back to a Damonta in which everyone who hadn't been murdered the first time was now definitely dead.
Said "whoops" and peaced out, making my way back to the Ranger Citadel.

I also hack my savefile (which is just raw xml) to make my one companion (Vulture's Cry) not suck so much. I have no regrets.

So I've left Arizona behind me and have arrived in sunny Los Angeles.

Math a couple months ago wrote:

I'm really enjoying this one. Using skills constantly, and with lots of options for the same outcome, feels very good. Combat feels pretty easy but I expect/hope for it to get harder and more tactical. I really like the setting, especially compared to the comedic idiocy that Bethesda's Fallout has embraced.

Some of the initial shine has worn off the game for me after 20 hours.

  • The skillchecks I initially liked have largely degenerated into "Did I specifically spec a character for this skill?"-checks, which are less fun.
  • The combat has become harder but not more tactical. Beyond putting your squad in cover and/or crouching, there isn't much to do besides plink away at enemies as they bum-rush you. Worse is that I find everyone who isn't rolling an Assault or Sniper rifle is effectively useless in combat, with an exception for my melee guy who is a good meat-shield.

However, I do still enjoy the setting and seeing how various quests turn out based on the choices I made.

Nice progress, Math! Interesting comments on the combat. I'm having a good run with combat now, mainly because my sniper kills everything in one shot. I suppose that'll change soon, but good god, she's walking death at the moment.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Nice progress, Math! Interesting comments on the combat. I'm having a good run with combat now, mainly because my sniper kills everything in one shot. I suppose that'll change soon, but good god, she's walking death at the moment.

Same. My dedicated sniper can fire twice a turn (14 AP total) and does the lion's share of the damage. If I had patience to restart from the beginning, I'd go for 2xSnipers and 2xAssaults.

Math wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Nice progress, Math! Interesting comments on the combat. I'm having a good run with combat now, mainly because my sniper kills everything in one shot. I suppose that'll change soon, but good god, she's walking death at the moment.

Same. My dedicated sniper can fire twice a turn (14 AP total) and does the lion's share of the damage. If I had patience to restart from the beginning, I'd go for 2xSnipers and 2xAssaults.

So, if I were designing Wasteland 2, I'd be sure to include a number of close quarters combat encounters that negates the sniper's power. I wonder if we'll see something like that.

Now that I've finished up Banner Saga, I've returned to see if I can complete Wasteland 2 before the end of the year. I moved forward a bit more in the Rail Nomad Camp.

I've lost some of the plot, and what I was thinking with character development, but I'm hopeful it'll sort itself out after a bit. I'm only 18 hours in, with characters at Levels 7-9, so still a lot of game left. I'll need to pick up the pace if I'm to finish by December 31. Onward!

Another hour in last night, and that was enough to get my head around the game again. I made some decent progress in the Rail Nomad Camp and hit Level 10 with three of the main four characters. That's especially good because I think 2 or 3 of them have the "Delayed Gratification" quirk, so now they get +1 skill points on a level up instead of -1 skill points on a level up.

Our sniper in a goddess in combat. She's taking out half of the enemies before they ever get in range. Most of the time she kills things in one shot. The only option the enemies have is to close the range, and we have a few fighters just waiting on ambush mode as they come into range. We're chewing up opponents at this stage of the game. I think quite a bit of it is the result of following that character build guide video when creating the initial party. I'm really liking how everything is working together now.

Having said that, I'm not sure two snipers would work. I doubt we'd have enough ammo to support them.

In it, if a bit late. Made it through the AG Center arc and just arrived at Highpool. Really cool to see some familiar names and anecdotes from the original.

GioClark wrote:

In it, if a bit late. Made it through the AG Center arc and just arrived at Highpool. Really cool to see some familiar names and anecdotes from the original.

Nice! I'm glad to have some company!

I played another hour tonight, got everyone in the main party up to Level 10 and pretty much finished up the Rail Nomad Camp. I don't feel like I did a great job with the quests in here. Everything kind of went sideways at the end. Not sure what I could have done to get a different outcome, but oh well, onward.

Tomorrow I hope to clear up the remaining bits and pieces of this area, then head back to the ranger base. I think I should get to Damonta after this, but I don't believe I know where it is yet.

I'm currently running around LA and collecting cat litter, of all things. Bought some new weapons which doubled my damage-per-AP, so that's nice. My rangers are currently in the mid 20s level-wise.