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A Little More Conversation: Wasteland 2

The first footage of Wasteland 2 caused the internet to grumble, even though the game hadn’t inadvertently become a third-person cover shooter. The concerned comments mostly swarmed around the keyword dialogue system and there was sense to the criticism. The keyword system remains but hovering over an available choice will now cause a preview sentence to appear, providing context before a choice is made. inXile have also clarified details about the camera system and HUD.

While the dialogue system in the video was a callback to the original Wasteland, it was also potentially confusing and could have been a hindrance to roleplay, causing characters to go dangerously off message, like a politician with an ounce of human feeling. If conversations worked as displayed, it would be entirely possible to respond to a romantic overture – “your EYES sparkle like sapphires, revealing the gentle soul within” – with a fumbled and accidental threat – “yes, I have been collecting EYES for many years. I take them from my fallen enemies.”

Keywords will mostly be collected through conversation but there are other means:

Keywords are also added to the keyword list through perception skill use and environmental description text. For example, if you use perception to examine an object in the world, your observations might reveal a new keyword. Or, if you explored the level and triggered the descriptor text of some object or feature, it too might unlock a keyword.

The update post, over on the Kickstarter page, goes on to provide a dialogue example. As for the camera, it can rotate freely or in 90 degree increments, but world-spinning can also be disabled and the maps have been designed to allow pre-Foucauldian thinkers to “play the entire game”. A top-down view is also confirmed, discovered by zooming out, during the extremities of which the camera’s position shifts.

If such is your will, I shall not prevent you from the entire, lengthy post.

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Adam Smith

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