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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #41: Upcoming Updates

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Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #41: Upcoming Updates

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 11 January 2014, 00:56:00

Tags: Brian Fargo; Chris Avellone; InXile Entertainment; Michael A. Stackpole; Nathan Long; Wasteland 2

The Christmas holidays are over, and the Wasteland 2 development team has gone back to work. In the game's latest Kickstarter update, Brian Fargo himself has written a bit about what they have planned for the game now.

As I said blocker bugs are our first priority but we have a long list of various smaller and larger changes we want to make, many of which were on our lists and were reaffirmed by our community and directly inspired by backer feedback. For example, we’re working on significant improvements to combat. Destructible cover was part of this last update as a first pass with more fine-tuning to come; we will likely add a crouching stance with a variety of tactical applications; we’re going over a lot of the encounter design to more carefully detail tactics-changing factors like ladders or destructible cover; and we’re in the first testing stages to explore adding a special attack system that’ll allow you to invest AP to make specific kinds of attacks based on your weapon types and the skill levels you’ve achieved in those weapons…things like spread shots or steady shots. Keep in mind the combat you see in the beta is only the earliest levels in the game, where enemies are more straightforward and do not have the wide variety of special moves, AoE attacks and more advanced AI of later-game enemies. The enemy AI is quite varied as you get into the later stages, once you’ve sufficiently learned the base controls and rules of the experience.

Additionally, let me give you a peek at some of the things we’ll focus on as we continue production: improving the messaging of the game’s interface and systems significantly; doing several balance passes on everything in the world from economy to combat to the whole character system; overhauling the minimap; fixing font issues; working on the field stripping and weapon modding functionalities; tweaking shotguns so they properly provide spread shots rather than work just as rifles; improving the barter, inventory and character system UIs; fixing pathing; improving the balance and functionality of energy weapons; adding additional satisfying death animations; implementing outfit functionality; adding touches and small scenes to make towns and the world feel more alive and much more. That is just a short list of what is in reality a much longer to-do list, so don’t worry if you don’t see your own suggestion in there: everything our backers put into CenterCode is read by multiple developers so nothing is lost.

One last major thing I wanted to talk about has to do with reactivity and town connectivity. Let me reiterate from our last update, this is our greatest area of focus when we look at videos of people playing the game or read their game impressions on forums or CenterCode. We are constantly adding smaller touches in map passes but also have plans for significant increases in reactivity, both for our existing maps and for the rest of the game. This is another place where backer feedback shines, as we get feedback from people playing through the game and wondering why this one event isn’t a more complex mission or why we don’t add more choices to another. With your help, the game is constantly improving in this field.

As this process goes forward, we are constantly tweaking features, or adding and removing them, but that does not necessarily mean any of those changes are permanent. The “healing over time” mechanic is a good example of this: We initially put it in primarily as a counter-balance to a lack of reliability of healing items from the random loot tables and an unbalanced economy meaning not enough merchants to buy those items from, and it would have caused an unnecessary delay to implement this before beta release. When we put out our first major update the loot system became more balanced, and we pulled healing over time to see how that impacted the experience of our backers. That is the quintessential beta iteration experience, you never quite know how a feature change works out until you have people playing it. Many like the extra challenge it added and the thoughtful use of healing items it now necessitates, but others were unhappy with the way this impacted game balance or felt healing over time was needed because it is a Wasteland 1 feature. We’ll be curious to see how this is impacted by the upcoming overhaul on field medic and surgeon (yes, we know surgeon is confusing as hell) as well as putting in more friendly doctors and merchants for healing supplies. The game is one of scarcity and the mechanics should support that. We will continue to monitor the discussions on these elements and course correct along the way as necessary.

[...] Expect an update to the early beta code in the not too distant future with an additional area and many reactivity changes. This version will NOT be compatible with current save games, so we’ll give due warning when it’s coming. However, there will be plenty of reasons to play the game from the start, as there will be significant changes to existing areas, and tie-ins between all the beta areas that are worth exploring. New content is not just a matter of pasting a new area to the end of the beta, when we unlock that area we also unlock the tie-ins and NPCs and locations it is tied to.
The update is quite long, and it contains various other news in addition to the above. First, for a limited period of time at the end of the month, the beta will be available as a $10 add-on for existing backers of both Wasteland 2 and Torment. That'll either shut up the "what do you mean I don't get early access?!" $50 backer crowd, or make them complain even more. Second, the novellas are finally on their way! Unfortunately, it seems Michael Stackpole's two novellas may end up being cancelled. However, Nathan Long and one Stephen Blackmoore have been contracted to replace him. Stephen's novella, which is about the "Pistol Packing Priests" faction, will be the first to be released. Apparently, it's actually quite good. Meanwhile, Chris Avellone's novella is going to be delayed because he's expanding it into a full-blown novel. Oh, MCA...

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