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Wasteland 3 Dev Diary #1 Introduces Modern Combat and Customization Mechanics To Classic RPG Sequel

In anticipation of their upcoming game, Deep Silver released the first dev diary for Wasteland 3. The Wasteland 3 dev diary, as the title suggests, focuses on the new changes made to the character-building systems and how combat works. 

The first new change is the quirk system. Per the host’s description of the Wasteland 3 apocalypse, “nobody came out unscathed. Everyone’s a little crazy in their own way.” This will manifest itself in the form of quirks. Each quirk has a positive and negative element that will influence the way your character performs in combat. For instance, you can be a pyromaniac and deal massive damage with fire based weapons, but you have a fairly high chance of igniting yourself and others. Another that we see briefly is the quirk called “mime,” where your character is silent and stealthier, but has “the combat sturdiness of an entertainer in grease paint.” It will be very interesting to see the entirety of these new quirks, and how they will allow for even more specific character builds. 

Another facet touched upon is character duos. Wasteland 3 gameplay is about teamwork, and although you will likely find plenty of allies out in the field, you can also hire some that are a package deal. Characters whose stats and abilities complement each other, making for better synergy during combat. Although they only touch upon one pair, we do briefly see a few in the background. For instance, the Tech Heads are a pair of science geeks, with stats that match their character archetype. Think Popo and Nana from Ice Climber, but with energy guns instead of hammers. The dev diary also explains that the character duos will have character specific conversations between themselves, which I think is very endearing for these murderous post-apocalyptic ice climbers. 

As for the combat in Wasteland 3, the dev diary shows that there are a number of new and welcome changes to old systems. The first big change to combat is the removal of the initiative system. Previous Wasteland games had a system where the actions for all characters, both enemies and allies, were dependent on their respective initiative level. This meant that there were a number of instances where you might take a turn, then an enemy would take a turn, and you’d realize you could have made a better strategic move if you had known what they would do. Wasteland 3 has done away with that entirely, now having all the allies perform their moves in one group, and the enemies in theirs. This style of turn-based combat is a lot like XCOM: Enemy Unknown, allowing for some significantly better strategy. It also means that the enemy AI can all perform their moves simultaneously, rather than one at a time. Which doesn’t really change gameplay but looks really cool.

The final and probably most dynamic change to combat is the Kodiak. Wasteland 3 seems to take place during a devastating nuclear winter, so bushwhacking through the wasteland on foot is not exactly possible. To travel safely, Wasteland 3 introduces the Kodiak, a massive armored vehicle used not only for transportation but also for combat. The huge machine similar to the Killdozer (RIP to a real one) can be mounted with all kinds of heavy weaponry to turn the tide of any fight. While they do not talk about it in the dev diary, I would not be surprised if the Kodiak also serves as mobile barriers for your team, allowing you to strategically place cover around the battlefield. 

Wasteland 3 is scheduled for release on August 28th, 2020. It will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more information, you can check out Deep Silver’s Wasteland 3 website here

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