Rad: Wasteland 2 Expands, Adds Linux Support

By Adam Smith on April 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

When Wasteland 2 first stepped onto the (relatively) unknown Kickstarter platform, I remember how strange it was typing that name into a headline without attaching a radioactive heap of speculation in the paragraph below. That Wasteland 2 might exist one day seemed like A Big Deal. Every now and then, as I’m writing a fresh headline I pause for thought again. Wasteland 2 is playable right now, a single playthrough of the final release will apparently take around fifty hours and Linux support has now been added. It’s important to remember, from time to time, that though the vampires of nostalgia nibble away, some meetings of past and present are as exciting as they are unlikely.

Here are the big changes:

The Titans have been released! A new area is available.

The vendor screen has been completely redesigned!

Tutorials have been added

New Mark Morgan tracks

Large balance pass on weapons and dropsets across the world

Large armor penetration pass on weapons and armor class pass on enemies

Many optimizations and compatibility fixes

Tons of new ambient tracks and in-world sounds added to all AZ levels

Ag Center/Highpool/Prison now unlocked from start

Ag Center and Highpool can both fall now

Reduced loading times across all scenes

HOTFIX: fixed infinite loading issue in certain areas

There are loads of fixes and tweaks as well, including the bleak and existentially troubling “Prison: Don’t trigger cutscene if participants are dead”.

As far as I’m concerned, Wasteland 2 is astoundingly ill-suited to Early Access. That says as much about my approach to RPGs as it does about the game and release strategy though. I’m not one for experimenting and playing through several times, trying to uncover every piece of content and min-maxing my way to power and glory. I tend to place myself in the mindset of whatever sorry stat sheet of a character I create when I’m first exposed to the game, and then live with my decisions. The idea of playing a bit of the game now and the full thing later on doesn’t suit that playstyle. I like the roles that I play to be strangers in strange lands.

That said, I’m finding it very hard to resist a quick trip to the Arizona wastes. Over 40% of the game is now in place.

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32 Comments »

  1. Penguin_Factory says:

    I’m interested in this, but it’s one of those games I have no desire to play until it’s actually finished.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      It will never be “actually finished”. You’re still thinking of the 2000′s model where games get “finished”.

      It’s not about the game, it’s about the process.

      • Bull0 says:

        There’s definitely a lot of truth to this idea with the many systems/sandbox-based games we can see on early access but I really don’t think this game is part of that trend.

      • karthink says:

        At some point InXile will say “This game is now released on Steam”.

        I will maybe wait for one more patch after that. That’s close enough.

    • Keyrock says:

      Same here. This, along with Divinity: Original Sin (I’m a backer of both), I am purposely not playing until the game is fully released.

      • Slazer says:

        Dito for both games. I played about half of the Divinity EA for 8 hours some months ago, and the first hour about 5 times, and I really didn’t enjoy it when I returned last week. But the changes done in the last months are big.

        I like checking out what I’m getting, but I try not to spend more than a couple of hours with EA RPGs to keep the story enjoyment for the full release

        • freakpants says:

          I don’t think EA as an abbreviation for Early Access will catch on. You know, with that “small” company attached to those same two letters…

          • Jito463 says:

            That ‘s why, some time back, I coined the term SEA (Steam Early Access). Let’s see if it catches on, now. :)

    • evileeyore says:

      Ditto. Except replace “interested” with “get a hard-on every time I think about it”.

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    Played it a bit, about 5 hours or so. Stopped because, I want it to be finished before I continue.

    Also, Dam, but those characters are ugly. I hope there’s more options down the line.

  3. Jason Moyer says:

    I think every game is pretty suited to early access, there are just some (such as this one, which I own) that I don’t plan on playing much until final release. However, I still fully appreciate that there are going to be some people serious about the genre playtesting the game and helping with balancing and such rather than the usual QA idiots who get pulled in off the street (and are probably quite nice people who love gaming and are great in every other respect when they aren’t failing missions in Dishonored because a guard told them not to go somewhere).

    • Arren says:

      Oy….. Moyer, you’ve never worked a day of pro QA in your life, have you?

      Those idiots incessantly report bugs, routinely make balancing suggestions, and usually attempt to make some playtesting input.

      Bugs get shrugged off by the publisher (the triumphant doublespeak of “NAB” — Not A Bug & “As-Is”); suggestions are scornfully ignored by supercilious devs. Executives make their proclamations from on high: deadlines move up, features are shoehorned in, promised fixes evanesce into the æther.

      But do go on with your inane stereotyping of the lowest folk on the gaming totem-pole. It’s ever so clever and worthwhile.

      • Bull0 says:

        Broadly speaking when people blame QA you can stop reading/listening – in fact it’s a necessity, since QA blame is as universal as it is dysfunctional. You’d never get anything else done if you gave these people the time of day.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Yeah, I felt uncomfortable saying QA there but my vocabulary failed me. I should have been directing my ire towards focus testing, not QA.

      • Premium User Badge

        xao says:

        “Bugs get shrugged off by the publisher”
        “suggestions are scornfully ignored by supercilious devs”
        “Executives make their proclamations from on high”

        “But do go on with your inane stereotyping”

        Speaking of “clever and worthwhile”…

    • Osi says:

      Firstly- my bonafides, I’m a professional software tester, I have been for 15 years, I’m also a developer.

      Please don’t confuse “play testing” with software testing.
      They are different.

      A person “play testing” finds things they didn’t expect, or errors that the developers have provided to them, or even things they don’t like and report on them.

      A software tester understands the requirements but then breaks the software within the understood requirements, and outside of it. They understand the conceptual (black box) and the actual code level implementation (white box) and they destroy it with vigor using whatever tools and skills they can develop. Sky is the limit. In some circumstances, testers can also actively debug the code itself to understand the call that caused the failure- even being able to communicate the condition specifically to developers. (which is what I had to do for years, both win32 user mode and kernal mode)

      Before play testers even see the product this should have already happened and it should already be good.
      Beta’s are typically “feature complete” not devoid of bugs.
      This is the key takeaway I’ll leave you with.

      • Widthwood says:

        I think he didn’t mean professional testers, he meant playtesting using random sample of people off the street with results being “60% of people get confused by non-linearity of that part so you have to streamline it” etc

  4. DonJefe says:

    I feel the same way. There is just no point in a half-finished RPG. I bought Dead State on Early Access in a fit of boredom and I really shouldn’t have. I won’t make that mistake again.

    • Keyrock says:

      Definitely not a story-driven RPG, anyway. A loot em up like Grim Dawn, which I’ve played since even before the Early Access (because I backed at a high tier), is perfectly suited to Early Access. But yeah, story driven RPGs aren’t something I particularly want to play 20-30% of several times through, then start anew when fully released.

  5. Bull0 says:

    I played heavily for a couple of days last week, and really enjoyed it. I hit a similar point where the game started to get serious and I decided I’d wait for it to be finished before continuing. What is there is already very good quality, though. I’m really optimistic about the final game.

  6. InternetBatman says:

    Isn’t it the California wastes for the beta? Or do I have them reversed?

    Also, if you’re interested in kickstarted rpgs, check out serpent in the staglands:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1649838104/serpent-in-the-staglands/

  7. Caiman says:

    Every game is suited to Early Access. Not every gamer is suited to playing during Early Access, however. There are a certain breed of people who love seeing things take shape, want to explore those early, blemished worlds, and perhaps contribute to the ongoing process in some way. Those that don’t enjoy all that nonsense should do the sensible thing and not buy a game in Early Access, but wait until it’s released.

    • derbefrier says:

      I am one of those who don’t enjoy that nonsense. I like my games served up well done. I have only bought a few early access games though and all but a couple are officially released now. Starbound is one thats not done and the other is Sir, You are being hunted,which i just found out is releasing on the first of the month. Which means I’ll be playing Dark souls 2 but right after that I am gonna kill me some robots.

      • The Random One says:

        I feel likewise. I honestly don’t get how people are so eager to play a game that they’ll do Q&A for free when the best possible outcome is that their game will be interrupted by the end of the alpha content and the worst is that it’ll be interrupted by a save-deleting, computer-screwing bug. But people do want to do that, and when they do the game gets more, better Q&A and more money when devs need it most, so I get a better game when it’s done. More power to them, then.

  8. Whelp says:

    I think it’s silly that I backed this thing years ago for like 30 bucks, yet don’t get early access…

  9. jellydonut says:

    I, too, am refusing to play Early Access, despite being a high-level backer. I want the game to be finished before I crack it open at all.

  10. Enkinan says:

    After last release I finally cracked and tried it out. I ended up with 30 hours into it trying to unearth every last scrap of content I could find, so yeah, I highly enjoyed it.

    I fired the new release up yesterday and started building my party and then backed out and quit. At this point, I know I am going to really enjoy the game and I now feel I have seen enough to wait for final release. If they take too much longer though, I will probably crack again and get back in there.

  11. Deano2099 says:

    Early access is $60 on Steam. $55 was the lowest buy-in for early access in the Kickstarter. Know what the lowest backer level for the Kickstarter was (which was what over half the backers backed at)? $15.

    Now are you starting to wonder how much cheaper it will be on actual release? You should be.

    Honestly all the previews of early access games are bad enough, but a news post about patch notes to a game that isn’t yet finished and you can only play if you pay a massive premium? Pretty much the nadir of games journalism right there.

    [No offense Adam - your writing is good and you made this as interesting as you could but god knows I'd rather not see this sort of coverage on RPS. Especially when there are actual finished indie games coming out that one can play now for a reasonable fee that are not getting any coverage.]

    • briangw says:

      I’m sorry but I disagree with you. How is this any different from a finished game that’s going to have a ton of bugs anyway and still cost 60? At least this one will be heavily playtested and it’s direction is being shaped better than most other big titles.

      Besides, one of the big rules with journalism is to go where the stories are. And Kickstarters are the big stories.

      Oh and not true about their lowest cost to play the game. I did pay 15 to the KS and paid an extra 10 for the beta during one of their promotions.

  12. Crainey says:

    I have the same reluctance to play this kind of game for more than a few hours during early access, for the lack of desire to replay more than a few times. I love Steam Cloud Saving because it means I don’t lose my save game on that game I want to pick-up where I left off — except I have to start all over again and can’t bare to play the same drool again. Same premise here, I think, I don’t particularly enjoy replaying the same story, even in a game like this with more replayability. This is why I hate questing in MMOs.

    I’ve certainly no problem with playing a game that is a bit buggy and less than polished. So I’m kinda hoping somebody posts in big flashy text: IT’S FEATURE COMPLETE, READY TO PLAY! at some point.

  13. Rapzid says:

    I made a much longer post before I detected your sarcasm.