Let's Play: Wasteland 2 Beta *SPOILERS AHEAD*

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jungle Japes, Aug 9, 2014.

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  1. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to DE for hooking me up with a WL2 beta key. Now for my end of the bargain. Bear with me, this is my first LP; I'll try to keep it somewhat interesting. So here we go.

    PART 1: Preliminaries
    This section will cover everything up to the start of the game. So if you're not interested in character creation mechanics stuff, skip on ahead.

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    Upon launching the game, I am greeted by a menu screen with some kind of mechascorpion robot death machine in the background, accompanied by suitably dark musical ambiance. After tweaking video options and bumping the difficulty up to "seasoned"(cause I be hard like dat), I press the New Game button. The roboscorpion activates and moves its legs around.


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    I'm then taken to the squad recruitment screen, where I have the option of selecting premade rangers, complete with portrait and short backstory description, or creating my own custom rangers. I experimentally add one of the premades to my squad, and the "Play!" button illuminates. So apparently I can set out with a one man squad; a challenge for another time perhaps.


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    I click the "create custom ranger" button, and am greeted by a very fallout-esque character screen. All base attributes default to 3 on a 10 point scale, with 7 points to distribute; pre-distributed points can be removed and stats taken down to level 1. There are also 12 skill points to distribute amongst a host of skills; skill point cost increases by gradual increments, with 44 points required to take a skill to level 10. You do the math. Mousing over stats or skills populates the info pane with a description, and tooltips appear showing derived statistics for the point value moused over; very informative.


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    There is a "Toaster Repair" skill, the relevance of which is currently unclear.


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    My first custom ranger is quite one-dimensional; strong, fast, not too smart, churlish, skilled with bladed weapons. After customizing a host of aesthetic options, JoJo looks like he's ready to carve up some hapless wastelanders. And, like, do stuff to them.


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    Next up is our fearless leader, Dark Elf. Intelligent, charismatic, skilled in leadership and computer science, less skilled at barter and SMGs.


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    Third ranger is JJ; Skilled heavy gunner and mechanic, less skilled at weapon smithing and toaster repair. Still no idea what that does.


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    And rounding out the squad, we have our token female: Yuki. Skilled sniper, adequate medic, dabbling alarm disarmer.


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    My squad recruited, I am ready to venture into the wasteland and meet a quick and grisly death.


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    After a lengthy cutscene featuring old atomic era footage and some new live action stuff, I have learned that a U.S. Army engineer battalion survived the apocalypse, forced a bunch of convicts out of a prison and took it over. Over time, the convicts became bloodthirsty raiders and the engineers became do-gooder Rangers. The people of the Arizona waste rely on the Rangers for protection.

    The game starts with my squad getting talked at by General Vargas, presumably the leader of the Rangers.

    Don't touch that dial, there's more to follow after these messages from our sponsors!
     
  2. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Smart Ass
    Hard Ass
    Kick Ass

    I say, gotta love the skill names. Going to assume that "Toaster Repair" is "Electronic Repair" or somesuch. You know, if find yourself upon some broken computer terminal in need of hacking.

    Though I'm well aware it was the inspiration for Fallout I never played the original Wasteland and haven't paid close attention this game, but what we have here looks like 3d isometric view, text descriptions of encountered characters, presumably turn-based combat... looks like it has potential to me.

    Keep the updates coming Japes, I'm gonna enjoy this. Hope you find the Red Ryder BB Gun, if there is one.
     
  3. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    After a chat with the general, Echo Squad has its first mission: investigate the murder of a ranger, Captain Ace. This is to be our trial by fire, and success will mean being granted access to the Citadel, the rangers base of operations since leaving the afore-mentioned prison. General Vargas directs us to the radio tower where Ace was done in, suggesting that we find the repeater units he was carrying, as well as the remains of his logbook. Sound simple enough.


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    The general kindly places a waypoint on our map. Just south of my current location IRL.


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    On our way out, we pass an aged woman peddling supplies. She smells of cookies apparently. Even with DE's barter skills netting us a whopping 2% discount, we can't afford any respectable amount of ammo, so hopefully Jojo is handy with that knife of his.


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    That's $6 PER ROUND of 5.56, not per stack of 200. JJ's M2 machine gun fires 8-round bursts of the stuff. That's $48 per burst. Ouch.


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    Some asshole chillin by the gate with his homies asked us to pick up a can laying next to a goat. Jojo picked it up, and the goat headbutted him. Like he needed an excuse. Now the goat is a bifurcated corpse(+1 XP), from which we were able to loot an apple core. Let the scavenging begin!


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    Before heading out, we decided to stop and chat with a ranger babe who was at the funeral of Captain Ace. Her name is Angela Deth. I wonder if her parents gave her that name. She turns out to be a nice info dump, getting us up to speed on our setting(if that doesn't interest you, skip ahead): To sum up, we're in Arizona; To the east is the prison, former base of the Rangers, now home to the Red Skorpions(they don't sound like nice guys); there is a military base nearby which, at some point in the recent past, was inhabited by an AI that decided to send robots out into the waste to kill people, until the rangers went in and ended the menace; the area is entirely surrounded by "radiation clouds", hotspots that we can't traverse. Cpt. Ace was investigating radio broadcasts coming from beyond the clouds: the ramblings of some whacko talking about a future where man and machine become one, and the Rangers are standing in the way of that future. Or something like that. Moving on.


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    As we start to leave, Angela Deth offers to join us. She's keen on finding out whodunnit to her friend Ace. She looks pretty tough, and we can probably use the help. Welcome aboard!


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    We spot an odd looking patch of dirt. Upon examination, it appears something is buried there. Using a shovel we found by Ace's freshly filled grave, we unearth an assortment of junk. Further examination of the area reveals more of these patches, which yield more junk, a few rounds of ammo, a weapon upgrade(under-barrel flashlight, +4% hit chance), and a pair of gloves. Angela has the requisite 2 points in weaponsmithing, so she attaches the upgrade to Yuki's rifle. Making herself useful already. What a gal!


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    As the chat log above indicates, Jojo used a shovel, repeatedly. I'll spare you the screenshots. After offloading the junk at the merchant and making a final sweep of the area, we are ready to move out. We gather our party before venturing forth.


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    Upon leaving the citadel, we see a travel map. Moving the cursor to a location displays a line of travel and amount of water required to reach the destination(I was wondering about that canteen in the inventory screen). Before we can embark, we receive a radio call from Ranger dispatch, reminding us of our mission objectives and briefing us on using the radio. We are admonished to always stay in radio contact with Ranger HQ so we can respond to distress calls and such.


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    Consulting the world map, we see that the location marked by the general is east by northeast from the citadel. We embark in that direction and encounter an impassable ridge. Following the terrain north, we find its northern end. While rounding the ridge, our geiger counter starts going all tick-tickety; not a good sign. We soon discover the reason: level 1 radiation clouds to the north. Without at least level 1 radiation suits, our rangers wouldn't last long in that region. Fortunately, we are now due east of the radio tower, so the clouds shouldn't be an issue for the moment. Upon turning east, we discover an oasis! Everybody tops off their canteens, and we move on.

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    There! In the distance! The radio tower!


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    HQ raises us on the radio and reinforces our mission parameters. Thanks HQ, roger, out.

    There's blood on the ground up ahead. Shit's about to get real.

    IS SHIT REALLY ABOUT TO GET REAL? WILL RANGER TEAM ECHO MAKE IT OUT ALIVE? FIND OUT IN OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT OF LET'S PLAY WASTELAND 2 BETA!!!
     
  4. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    Quite the predicament you've put me in. I don't want to spoil the story for myself but I also hate leaving cogs grey.
     
  5. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Zanza: right click, open in background tab, close tab.

    Aaaaand we're back.
    The blood smear on the ground is where Ace was found dead. A trail of spilt blood leads off into the distance.

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    Ruh-roh. The bloodtrail leads to the radio tower, which is infested with raiders!


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    Spike Alpha tries to make us pay a fee of $15 scrap, which we can ill afford. Angela uses her ass-kissing skill to talk us past him. We'll come back and kill him later, but right now there's a mystery to solve!


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    Examining the radio tower reveals blood mingled with oil. Where Ace's bloodtrail ends an oil trail begins. Was he fighting a robot!?!



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    The trail leads to a severed plastic leg, and up a nearby incline. We take the leg, and the contents of a nearby crate. There's a pistol in there, but none of our team has pistol skill, so we'll just sell it later on.


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    The trail leads us to a dangerous looking cave. We entrepidly plunge into the darkness.


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    It's dark in here. Jojo is scared, but DE holds his hand and tells him everything is gonna be alright. We press on.


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    To the left, a crate holds medical supplies. To the right lurks some kind of giant cave-dwelling toadbeast, guarding what looks like logbook pages, and the robot that belongs to the previously acquired leg. Angela comments on how advanced the robot is; she's never seen anything like it. We'll have to dispatch the toadbeast to continue our investigation. Good. We've been spoiling for a fight.


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    The squad fans out; Yuki takes a knee, improving her aim to a safe 94% hit chance, and fires the opening shot. A SOLID HIT! The toad is inflicted with a bleeding wound, and the encounter begins! (Yes, combat is turn based) Angela makes a smart-ass comment. You gonna take that from her Yuki?


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    The toad rushes towards the squad. It's Yuki's turn; at this range, she suffers a penalty to hit with her 30-06 sniper rifle, but she doesn't have enough AP to stand, move back, and still get a shot off. She settles for a 68% chance and connects with another hit! Atta girl Yuki! Jojo attacks the beast with his knife, but misses. How embarassing. Fortunately, he has enough action points to redeem himself with a good hit. JJ doesn't want to waste valuable bullets on a lowly toadbeast, and having no melee skills to contribute, backs away from the battle. Angela fires on the toad at point-blank range, but she's using an assault rifle and suffers a penalty to hit: miss! She backs up a couple squares and fires again, landing a good hit. Dark Elf fires a burst from his greaser smg, peppering the toad with bullets but failing to secure the kill.


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    The toadbeast retaliates by stealing DE's greaser, presumably with his tongue! The rogue! He uses the rest of his turn to hop towards JJ. Jojo brandishes his dagger and finishes the beast off from behind(naturally)! The corpse yields some bits of junk, and DE retrieves his now slimy greaser.


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    Searching the area reveals 2 of the repeater units we are looking for, a page from Ranger Ace's logbook, and a well-drawn map showing the location of the Rail Nomads Camp.

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    Perhaps we'll check it out when we get a chance.

    Now it's time for some reader input. That's you!
    Do the intrepid rangers of Echo Team dispense some wasteland justice on the filthy raider savages at the radio tower, or press on with more important matters?
     
  6. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    This is most entertaining.

    I choose wasteland justice.
     
  7. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    From the screenshots, this game reminds me of Xcom for some reason. The 3d overland map, the need for radiation suits to survive certain areas, the stances in combat... groovy.

    Oh, and them Raider sons of a bitches are going down!
     
  8. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Justice it is.

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    We radio HQ and update them on our mission status. We are directed to install the repeaters on radio towers at Highpool and the Agricultural Center, and our map is updated.


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    Upon leaving the cave, we do some scouting of the area and turn up a crate with an RPG inside! We'll just put that in JJ's second weapon slot and save it for a rainy day.


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    We encounter a locked gate. Because none of our rangers have the perception ability, there's no way to tell if it is trapped. Maybe we can just shoot it from a distance...


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    We can. Angela fires a single bullet, triggering an explosive trap and blowing the gate wide open. It leads to a couple loot crates. Unfortunately, Dark Elf had to learn the hard way that containers can also be rigged with traps, and lost most of his CON(hit points) in the ensuing blast. Bummer dude. Angela is also peppered for 10 CON. But on the bright side, there was an M14 assault rifle in the crate, a minor improvement over Angela's M1. I'm sure her gratitude made it worth the pain. The rest of the squad votes that Angela should open the next crate while everyone else keeps their distance, since she's level 14 and has way more CON than the rest of us. Luckily, it isn't rigged, and yields a small amount of ammo. Yuki kisses DE's booboo(with a medpack) and makes it all better. -1 medpack, +1 lesson learned.


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    There are three dead-men-walking(raiders) milling about south of the radio tower. After our initial interaction with Spyke Alpha, they seem content to let us do our thing unmolested. Which, in this case, means taking up tactical positions in order to kill them as efficiently as possible. Once we have our spacing, Yuki opens fire on one of the poor bastards, leaving him with only a single CON point. Jojo finishes him off with a well-placed stab


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    Angela, unimpressed with DE's leadership, decides to do her own thing, opening fire without orders and hitting a raider. That shit better not happen again. Yuki fires again, putting the wounded raider down like a sick animal. JJ considers firing on the remaining raider, but, due to a misclick on my part, walks a few paces towards him instead, burning too many APs to be able to fire afterwards. Oh well, save the ammo. DE is too far away for maximum burst effectiveness, so he also opts to conserve ammo and leave the final kill to Jojo.


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    The raider finally gets a turn, firing twice at Jojo from close range, and missing twice! What a noob. Jojo hacks him once, then hacks him again. Critical hit! His severed head sails off in an arc!


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    We now have enough experience to radio HQ and recieve field promotions(level up)! DE receives 4 survival points, and places them in Leadership (can't have people doing their own thing in combat) and computer science. The rest of us aren't endowed with his mental prowess, and only get 3 points. JJ levels up heavy weapons, Jojo levels brute force, and Yuki saves her points for now. Looting the raider corpses turns up mostly junk and one weapon: a machete. It's not an improvement over Jojo's knife, so it goes into the pack for later sale.


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    There is a locked gate between us and the radio tower. It appears to be rigged with an alarm system, which Yuki deflty disables. Jojo then uses his brute force skill to bash the gate open.


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    Spyke and his boys seem to be unaware of what we just did to their buddies, and allow us to take up attack positions.


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    JJ, itching to feed somebody a bullet breakfast, opens fire on Spyke, scoring a hit. Angela puts him down with a double-tap. DE sprays his smg at a feral dog, riddling it with holes and killing it.


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    A raider named Slim closes on and attacks Jojo, but misses. A couple turns later, Jojo hacks Slim's leg off, sending it flying about 15 feet(no pun intended) away. The remaining raider and feral dog are quickly gunned down. Jojo took some damage in the fight, but everyone else is uscathed. We loot the corpses for assorted junk, another machete, and a .38 pistol.




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    Before moving on, we explore the rest of the area and locate another cave. Inside is a statue of a cat; judging by the mutilated vermin around it, the statue bears some religious significance. Interacting with it gives us each +1 Skill Point! Yuki now has enough points to take her sniper skill to level 4. Also in the cave is a broken toaster. After tinkering with it for a bit, JJ is able to loot a can of spray paint from it. Yeah buddy! Gonna paint my name all over the Arizona wasteland.

    Justice dispensed, objectives complete. We're done here. We move back to the area exit and prepare to venture out into the wastes once more.

    Now that you have an idea of how the game plays, we're going to pick up the pace a bit; fewer details about combat and minor gameplay points, more summing up and sticking to the salient points.
     
  9. Philes

    Philes Well-Known Member

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    This looks pretty interesting. I'll have to check this out when it's out for realsies.

    My father was a HUGE fan of the original Wasteland when it came out back in the day...he'll probably eat this up.
     
  10. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    His name's like my name! Really nice LP so far; like DE I don't really have much familiarity with Wasteland beyond knowing that it heavily inspired Fallout and there are Wasteland easter eggs in Fallout games. I'll read on with interest and consider picking it up once the games finished, I've been looking for something new to play.
     
  11. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Coffin Nails cigarette. Gotta love the suggestive subtlety of this game.

    And my walking straight into traps and being unable to keep the hoes in line? Sounds just about right.
     
  12. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Ranger team Echo discusses their next move. The map we found shows a location further north, but that would mean entering the hotzone. We don't have radiation suits, so that would be suicide. According to the world map, there appear to be some ridges between us and Highpool. We plot a route around them and move into the waste. En route to Highpool, we pick up a distress call on the radio. Highpool is under raider attack! We should hurry. Our initial route plan falls through when we encounter radiation clouds blocking a narrow pass; we'll have to head further south. As we move through the valley, we pick up another distress call; this one is from the Ag Center, where the plants have mutated and started killing people! Yikes. HQ raises us on the radio to verify that we received the calls, and tells us that both situations are critical and we'll have to choose which to respond to first. Since we're already en route to Highpool, we stick with that plan.


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    Suddenly, we spot a group of raiders in the distance. We have a choice of engaging them or moving on, but we've already established our policy on letting raiders live: we don't. There are three of them, encountered on an old highway strewn with cars. They go down without much fight. Upon resuming our trek toward Highpool, we spot more raiders. We kill them too.


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    Next, we spot some "infected animals" and decide to fight them as well; they do not go down as quietly as the raiders. Jojo and Angela both get mauled by mutated bunny rabbits! While trying to shoot a giant fly, Yuki "misses" and hits Jojo instead, nearly killing him and inflicting a bleeding wound! She has to use her remaining medpack to patch him up after the fight. He continues bleeding, and DE levels up; he increases his barter and smg skills. Yuki is running low on ammo; probably good for Jojo's health...


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    We've arrived at highpool without further incident; and none too soon, we were running low on water.


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    We find the town under siege by raiders. As we fight the first cluster of them, we hear chatter over the radio; the raiders are lobbing mortars, and Highpool is on the verge of falling. After killing a few raider scum, we find a two bit merchant on the outskirts of town. We offload some junk and pick up some 30-06 ammo and med kits for Yuki.

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    We stop to do a quick B&E on a home, but the owner is inside. She asks us to take care of some Wreckers that are trying to steal her dowry out of the safe in the back room, cause she'll never get a good husband without it. We tell her Jojo is available, but she pretends not to hear. The thugs were pretty beefy and put up a fight, but I think their morale broke when DE greased the ring leader with a vicious burst.


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    We climb the hill towards the heart of town and arrive in time to help some townies gun down some unwelcome guests.


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    Here you see the aftermath of our battle with Jackhammer, the leader of the Wrecker assault force. She has a jackhammer for an arm, hence the name. I forgot to take a screen shot during the battle, because it was such a quick affair; in the Play-of-the-Game(brought to you by Carl's Jr.), JJ lobbed a pipe bomb into a cluster of raiders and gibbed three of them at once. With her henchmen blown to bits, Jackhammer was easy prey. We move on and wait for the townies to lower the lift that will take us to the top of the wall.


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    Here we are riding the lift, and you can see the first bug I've run into yet in this highly polished beta: the big brown circle on the right is part of the lift, but it decided to stay put while the lift was moving.


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    Atop the wall, we are greeted by some inbred shit-stain who has beef with the rangers over a years-old incident; apparently a boy and his dog were killed by rangers. Get over it dude. I consider letting Jojo give him an "attitude adjustment," but he seems to be in charge of the defense, so that probably wouldn't win any diplomacy points with the townies.


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    We learn the location of the Wrecker base. Looks like it's on the old Mexican border. We'll have to pay them a visit later. We also learn the the crisis in Highpool is not yet over; the irrigation system took damage during the fighting, and there is a critical build-up of pressure in the system or something. We make our way to the tunnels. We stop on the way to have JJ repair a water pump to help put out a house fire. +1 coolpoint.

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    We meet Kate Preston in the tunnels, and begin our irrigation station situation investigation. After the death of the mayor in the attack, Kate plans to run against the chinless wonder we met earlier for the job. She is more sympathetic to the Rangers, so it sounds like we'll need to make sure she gets elected. But first, we have to fix the irrigation system. Here we see DE staring blankly at a panel of switches he will have to stay and operate while the rest of us move through the tunnels.
     
  13. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I mentioned it before, but as you can probably tell from the screenshots, Highpool is an old dam.

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    As we work our way through the tunnels, we are accosted by terrible vermin. Giant cock-a-roaches! We give 'em what's for and take a few legs and antennae to sell for scrap.


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    In the bathroom, we find a pile of pig shit. Worth a whole dollar!


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    Monitoring the radio, we pick up an exchange between Ranger HQ and the Ag Center. Things aren't going well there, and they've sunk to begging. Too bad. There's things here in Highpool need doing.


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    Sounds like it's too late for the Ag Center; everyone's dead. In brighter news, we find one of the valves that needs to be opened, bringing us one step closer to being done with these stinking tunnels. This place is one big roach motel.


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    After opening all the necessary valves and throwing the right switches, the pressure is relieved and the irrigation system crisis is resolved. We head back to the surface and observe the mayoral vote; it is deadlocked between Kate and the ranger-hating shit-stain. Kate asks us to sway the townies in her favor before the next vote, but after exploring every inch of Highpool and completing every side quest I can find, she won't initiate another vote; there's no entry for it in the logbook, so chalk it up to the game being in beta. We notice a caged Native American woman named Vulture's Cry in the center of town; she asks us to deal with the juvies who are harassing her before she will talk to us, so we give the kids a pack of coffin nails and they run along to have a smoke. She tells us her story: something about being from beyond the clouds down south, following a path through the clouds in hopes of finding knowledge to take back to her people, being cut off by shifting winds, and winding up here a day before the Wreckers showed up. The townies figured she must be a scout for the raiders, so they locked her up. She offers to join us if we spring her. We oblige. When Sergeant Shit-stain confronts us about it, Yuki uses her smart-ass skill to convince him that we're taking her to the citadel to stand trial. We give Vulture's Cry a sniper rifle, which she seems to know how to use.


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    After installing the repeater unit on the radio tower at the top of the dam, the tower still isn't active. Turns out there was a generator reset switch I overlooked down in the tunnels. We head back down and give the switch a flip.


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    In a crate we had overlooked before, we find a replacement water chip for Vault 13. Should fetch us a few bucks at the shop.


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    Back in town, we spot a manhole cover that leads down into a cave, where we discover the dismembered remains of the Red Scorpions who were supposed to be protecting Highpool. I guess that explains why they didn't show at the battle. In the back of the cave, we find the culprit; another highly advanced robot, like the one that killed Ace. This one has been destroyed by a landmine. DE uses his computer skill to salvage a memory chip from it; maybe we can find a way to read it at some point.


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    In order to foster good relations between Highpool and the Citadel, we agree to locate the Wrecker camp and wipe them out. On the way there, we encounter two more bands of raiders. These guys are Rail Thieves, and are MUCH tougher than the Wreckers. Yuki took some hits and almost bought the farm during one of these fights. But in the end, we all made it out alive. We pick the corpses clean and move on.

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    We arrive at the Wrecker base. We have a fight. We win. We head back to Highpool to share the good news. Shit-stain finally shows some respect, and we decide not to throw him off the wall.


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    Although it is too late for the inhabitants of the Ag Center, we still have a repeater unit to install there.


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    As we enter the lush foliage of the Ag Center, Vulture's Cry expresses her disapproval of this tampering with nature. It seems they were conducting experiments to grow unlimited food, and something went horribly awry. We find Kathy Lawson, the woman from the transmissions we overheard earlier. She is being slowly eaten by a tree, and is NOT happy with the rangers for letting all her people die; who can blame her? Before the tree reduces her to giblets and eyeball-strewn paste, she explains that although everyone is dead, there is still a chance to locate the serum that is capable of curing the infection that is causing the plants to mutate. She seems to think this is a must-do, because their messenger pigeons ate infected spores and flew off to parts unknown, probably spreading the infection.
     
  14. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Going by the sceenshots, the music I found on Youtube and the art direction the game looks atmospheric as all hell, hope that is your experience playing it.

    One thing that nags me a bit is the radiation hot spots that obviously work as a railroading system to allow the game difficulty to scale in a designer controlled fashion (just have this thing for free exploration I guess) but the forking questline shows a lot of promise so far. Hard choices with real consequences tend to be the most memorable.

    Nice find, that water chip. I wonder what more easter eggs this game hides?
     
  15. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    I'm changing up the format a bit here. Clickable thumbnails linked to larger images; for your reading ease and viewing pleasure. And faster scrolling.

    NOTICE: CLICKING THESE THUMBNAILS MAY BE NSFW!

    [​IMG]
    Our foray into the Ag Center begins with battling Supaflies and Pod People. Jojo learned, after being blasted with spore fragments, that pod people explode on death and are best taken down from range. Amongst other loot, we find the serum Miss Lawson was talking about. There are ten doses.

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    Great. More giant bunnies. They go down pretty easy, but they're fast and pack a mean bite.

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    Stepping over bits of obliterated pod people, we enter the Ag Center headshed.

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    Doctor Larsen I presume? He seems to be wounded, and requests medical aid. We step closer...

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    He springs to his feet, draws a pistol, and proceeds to poke Jojo full of holes! The man has gone mad!

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    Jojo is still in one piece... barely. He has lost consciousness and is slowly bleeding out. The same can not be said for the good doctor, who is ALL OVER THE PLACE. Yuki rushes to Jojo's side and uses her fledgling surgeon skills to apply a trauma kit. Looks like he'll live to die another day.

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    Exploring the facility provides some humorous descriptions in the chat log.

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    Welp, so much for installing a repeater on THIS dish. We notify HQ that the dish is trashed and it ain't gonna happen. General V. suggests that we proceed to the location on the map we found on the dead robot. Guess we'll need to pick up some radiation suits back at the Citadel. We scrap the radio system and retrieve a receiver unit. Time to go.

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    En route to the Citadel, we get redirected by HQ; seems Kathy Lawson's fears were well founded. A small town nearby is being overrun by mutated vegitation! We arrive to find the inhabitants in the town jail, having locked themselves in there for safety. We turn them loose, and the sheriff gives us the password to his safe. We kill some pod people and supaflies, deposit the serum into the town water supply, and pick up some hardware from the safe. Gettin shit done!

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    Almost to the Citadel, we are again redirected to squelch another plantsplosion, this time at a farmstead. We arrive to find all the farmers turned to spore people. We kill three of them, but more keep coming. JJ decides that this is the moment he has been waiting for, and takes aim with his RPG...

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    KABOOM! It's super effective! Spore fragments and chunks of beef take flight in all directions! Unfortunately, the cow didn't have the good sense to flee the battlefield, and became collateral damage. Vulture's Cry is NOT pleased, warns against taking innocent life in the future, and threatens to leave the group. I mean... it's a cow. I'm pretty sure she'll get over it.

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    As before, we purify the water supply using a dose of the serum.

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    We discover a safe atop the farmhouse; perfect opportunity for Yuki to employ her newly learned safe-cracking skill. Inside is a pick-axe, which JJ wraps with grip tape (-1 AP cost) and hands to Jojo.

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    After a resupply stop at the Citadel, we head north, now equipped with shoddy radiation suits (+2 rad protection). We have plenty of water, so we decide to wander a bit and see what we can find out there in the waste. Ah ha! In the distance! A shrine! We investigate the snakey sculpture, and are each rewarded with a single attribute point!

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    We bravely venture into some level 1 radiation clouds; the shoddy suits we are wearing prove... adequate, and we take no damage. On the other side, we pick up some interesting radio chatter.

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    After locating an oasis, we do some more exploratory wandering and find a cache hidden away in the desert. Inside is a suit of metal-plated armor and a LAW rocket! Score!

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    We arrive at Rail Nomads Camp, population 44. As we head into town, a young girl runs up and asks us to save her friend Ralphy, who is drowning in the lake. We follow her to the lake, which is heavily polluted with some kind of algae.

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    Angela uses brute force to topple a totem pole made of human bones. Ralphy uses it to return to shore, where we grill him for info on the town. The locals are called Topekans, and appear to be of Native American descent. They have an ongoing feud with the Atchisons, who are to be shot on sight; the totems by the lake are made from their bones. The girl who asked us to help Ralphy is his girlfriend, and an Atchison; ah, forbidden love. He runs off home to his mommy.

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    On the road into town, we find some poor bastard who stepped on a land mine. Yuki tries to perform surgery, but only succeeds in making him scream louder. He asks that we find Master Kekkahbah, leader of the Topekans, and tell him what happened.

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    During our search for this Master Kekkahbah, we blunder into a random house, where a Topekan family is sitting down for a meal of Soylent Green. Yummy.

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    The next home we visit turns out to be Ralphy's. His mother is very grateful, and offers to send him with us to become a ranger. The more the merrier, right? We accept, and Ralphy joins the crew. Ranger Team Echo is now seven deep. He's a little behind the power curve at only level 5 (the rest of us are lvl 8-9), but he's an adequate bludgeoner, and will serve as a meatshield, if nothing else.

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    Maybe this is Master Kekkabah's place? Nope. Home of the local whore. She offers us her body for just $15 scrap. What a steal! The lights go out, and people start putting things places; but with eight people present, who can say who was putting what where, amiright?

    [​IMG]
    Still wandering aimlessly in search of Master K, we run into Ralphy's girl, Jessie. We keep quiet about what happened in the whorehouse; I don't think anyone wants to speak of that ever again. She pleads with him to run away with her, suggesting that they hop on this bicycle over here and ride off into the sunset. We notice an explosive booby trap on the bike, but, tragically, DE doesn't think to employ his explosives skill to disarm it in time, and Jessie gets her dome blasted into next week. Ralphy is devastated, asking that we take him with us since there's nothing for him here now. Heartlessly looting Jessie's headless corpse, we find a sweet-ass sniper rifle! So I guess it's a wash, right?
     
  16. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Alas! I fear that there will be no more updates to this LP. This is around the point where I started running into beta problems. I spent a good deal of my day hitting invisible walls, so to speak, unable to resolve story-critical quests. So I think it's time to call it. I suspect that I may have been better able to progress if I had visited the Ag Center first, but that is in no way certain.

    Some closing thoughts:

    Everything played smoothly up until about the time I made it to the top of the wall in Highpool. If the final release plays as well all the way through, it should be a great deal of fun.

    Maybe I should have bumped the difficulty higher, but I never really got the sense that the lives of my party were in danger. I didn't do any save-scumming, and yet, I never lost a ranger in combat(full disclosure: there was one point where I inadvertently blundered into a level 4 radiation zone, and everyone died). Early on, I definitely felt like I had to be as stingy as possible with ammo; but after a point, I sort of cleared the hump, and found myself overburdened with the stuff. There didn't seem to be a great deal of diversity in combat either, but I'm sure that will be addressed in final release. The combat has the look, and occasionally, the feel of XCOM; but in reality, it is, in some ways, even shallower than that of Fallout 1/2, and doesn't require any tactical genius. Just don't shoot your own guys and you should be ok. Again, I'm sure the combat features will be fleshed out later, but at the moment I would call them sub-par.

    Concerning the openness of the game, I won't lie, it felt like I was on rails most of the time. The exploration factor is pretty minimal, but it is unclear how much of the final content has made it into the beta.

    If anyone has questions concerning areas not covered, feel free to ask.

    Thanks again , DE, for the the hookup. I enjoyed it.
     
  17. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    An exhaustive and highly entertaining review. Five stars.
     
  18. Ruda

    Ruda Active Member

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    Yeah, nice review. I'm really looking forward to this.

    Oh, and put up a NSFW warning. Postimg is apparently fond of greeting its visitors with a bunch of indecent images around the borders of the screen. Wouldn't want to klick on those thumbnails anywhere near work...
     
  19. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Re:

    I wouldn't hold my breath, it's fairly evident they are using the radiation clouds and the practice of doling out gradually stronger radiation suits at convenient times as a railroading device. This allows designers to avoid the issue of lv1 characters stumbling upon deathclaws, but completely kills the exploration factor and frankly makes the overland map sort of redundant.

    Shallow combat doesn't bode well, either. Such a game will have to make up for it in terms of atmosphere and storytelling, and we haven't seen anything amazing in that department here. Having said that I'll probably still end up getting this game, and thanks to Japes' quality LP here I now know where my expectations should be.

    Anytime man, anytime.
     
  20. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Ah, my bad Ruda. I checked the 'adult content' box, so apparently they take that to mean that I want to see other adult content too.

    One final quibble: the screen you see at character generation? Well, that's the last time you'll see it. Thereafter, everything is tabulated in the inventory/character window, so you won't be able to see attributes and skills on the same screen(not that there is currently any relation between the two; if there are minimum attribute requirements for certain skill levels, I didn't encounter them), and certain derived statistics simply aren't shown anywhere. If I didn't mention it before, I will definitely play the final version at some point; looks like it should be a blast when it's finished, but the beta is a long way from a finished product(naturally).

    My other takeaway is this: I definitely won't be playing the PoE beta. Playing an unfinished game has proven quite frustrating. Like being offered a delicious meal, only to have it snatched away after taking a few bites.
     
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