So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

For all Torment discussion that does not fit elsewhere. No spoilers allowed.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by acm » March 14th, 2017, 6:35 pm

Varana wrote:That's an effect of the type of protagonist, though, so it's not easily changeable without completely rewriting the story. Nothing in this world can be about you, as you've just popped into existence. The best that could happen are things done by the Changing God in your body - and that was not "you" as in the incarnations of the Nameless One, that was a completely different mind. (And "god, that other guy was a first-rate jerk, why do I constantly have to deal with his assholery???" isn't that great a premise, either. ;) )

I can appreciate the thought behind it - they essentially tried to turn the story of PST on its head. Not re-discovering who you are by confronting the results of your past actions, but discovering who you are by meeting all sorts of people. All those disconnected stories in the world are there to make you think who and what you are and what your values are.
This is the main problem of the story, discover who you are doesn't require any of the back story here, and there are lots of games that did this before (for example decide if you want to be good or evil).

Actually, I was still thinking the story was on a good track, it seemed that your character had an ability to alter past events. It would have been a great story if you were able to shape the world as you want it to be. That would have been awesome and "about you" again, I was looking forward to more Meres. They turned pretty quickly into text dumps for cut content, though.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Varana » March 15th, 2017, 11:26 am

Yeah, the merecasters were quite a disappointment, in the end.
We're in the No Spoilers section, so I'm trying to be vague: I once deliberately killed someone in a mere hoping that they were dead in "real life" afterwards, as well. They weren't. :(
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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Ningauble » March 15th, 2017, 12:06 pm

I never played PST because I figure it was raw hype. <.< I'm expecting it to have clunky combat, unrewarding pickpocket options, and, subplots you can only figure out from reading pages and pages of back story that you find offline. >.>

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by realitymonster » March 15th, 2017, 2:02 pm

Drool wrote:
acm wrote:Opening a smelling sphere. Dying my way through my own traps. Updating my journal. Petrifying a cute animal. Trying to get the blood of someone in order to reach her. Buying my own eyeball. Having a hiccup. Buying baby oil. COAXMETAL. Clutching that clutch. Shadows in a street. Having a skull stolen. Memory crystals. Worshipping the Lady. Using my own severed arm as a club. Trying to read the journal of Grace. Freeing a daemon. Gith quarrels. A fallen angel. A fat weapon. Discovering that the solution to everything is around 15 meters from your starting position. Ravel. Collecting insults. Searching for a piece of armor that the Nameless One can actually wear. Fell. Hell, even Dhall.
Personally, I don't really remember any of these.
Dousing Ignus. Searching my intestines for a trinket. Annah flicking her tail. Feeding a pillar.
These I remember, though. I also remember horrible combat, endless spell animations, a truly awful sequence with Modrons (or whatever), abusing the bugged out Wish scroll, and miles of Philosophy 101 writing.

YMMV, of course.
Because I loved D&D and Baldur's Gate 2, I was totally into Planescape's combat system. But you have to like the long, drawn out battles that come with combat systems like that. ToN's combat system seemed crippled and weak by comparison. There's no real challenge or insight to the way you fight. A lot of other turn based systems are more engaging. (Pillars of Eternity and Wasteland 2, to name recent examples.)

But I have to say that the writing it ToN fell flat to me. There were some good points, but on the whole it wasn't any better than most games these days. I feel like ToN has as much writing as it does because it was supposed to, whereas Planescape had as much writing as it did because that's just how long it took to tell the story.

I dunno. Numenera will just be another game in my library, whereas I'll keep going back to Planescape as long as I can get it running on whatever machine I happen to have at the time. It's a classic in the genre, which is why Numenera exists at all. If another Torment is made, it'll still be on the back of Planescape, not Numenera.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Atnas » March 15th, 2017, 6:17 pm

Not by a longshot close to PS:T, and it manages to have even worse combat somehow. It lacks the depth, warmth and the glimt in the eye PS:T had. I'd give Tides a solid 6/10, I'd praise it if it was an indiegame out of nowhere but I expected a lot more out of a game so long in development and with what I thought was a decent backing.

The writing is alright, but the main story is a bore without any real twists or big reveals (that actually matter). It fails to draw you in and make you care about the outcome. The companions are dull as well, with 1-2 exceptions who are OK. The combat is a horrible and so is the UI.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Drool » March 15th, 2017, 11:52 pm

Lord of Riva wrote:
Drool wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:That is why I've always been confounded by the lack of a Deionarra type character.
and here i thought for a moment you had played PST, guess i was wrong.

Im not agreeing with the opinion that its one of the most important characters for PST or that we need(ed) one for TToN but the name and story is certainly remembered
I did. Perhaps not everyone found her as memorable as you did.

Or maybe I forgot about her since it's been fifteen damn years since I played the thing.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Firkraag » March 16th, 2017, 1:42 am

I missed Deionara completely in my first playthrough.
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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by migelpig » March 16th, 2017, 3:03 am

Firkraag wrote:I missed Deionara completely in my first playthrough.
Good to know I wasn't alone.

I was just happy to get away from the Giant Skeletons and out of the Mortuary.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by eNTi » March 17th, 2017, 2:55 am

I do not remember PST as fondly as many others. It had a lot of technical debt and most of the game seemed to be a glorified sight seeing tour through the planes. Especially the latter half I found myself clicking through the the text more often than not. It was still better than what TTON has to offer for the most part. The only part I liked more in TTON than anything in PST was probably The Bloom.

So in retrospect TTON does live up to PST in many ways many of them not good though.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Aotrs Commander » March 19th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Well, I finished the game, clocking in at 35 hours.

Actually took me much less time to play through Tyranny... But I can only ascribe that to a) the significantly lower amount of combat and b) the significantly lower amount of time futsing around with character stuff like weapons, armour and such. I barely used any actual weapon in the entire game, with on Tybir actually ever using one.

(Probably spent slightly more time re-doing bits in Tyranny, as well...!)

My final thoughts... My only particular critisim is the ending, which I wasn't struck on. I won't elaborate because spoilers, but I didn't feel it was a particulary satisfying one. THAT SAID, it was not a terrible ending, as such (when compared to ME3 or NWN2 and the "rocks fall everyone dies") and many games have ending problems. PS:T, I felt, gave me a more satisfactory (note not necessarily good) set of endings.

Was it as good as PS:T? Not... Not quite, I think. But it gets an A for effort, and can hold it's haed high to stand alongside a lot of my other favourites (PoE, KotR 1/2, BG2, DA:O etc). The most fun I had was defintiely the messing around with strange doofers and the odd entities that populate the world.

If they were to do a sequal (not a direct one, obviously...) but another story in the world, I would be interested, definitely.)

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Ossipago » March 20th, 2017, 1:02 am

I loved the game. It made full use of the Dying Earth setting to deliver a slew of strange concepts, which I found extremely stimulating. The writing was generally of a very high calibre, and even the descriptive text I found to be a cut above almost anything else in the RPG genre (c f Pillars of Eternity where a lot of the descriptive text and worldbuilding is awwwwwfffuuullly boring and should never have made it into a finished game - though it's a good game for other reasons). I liked the reactivity built into the interactions. I replayed Planescape Torment recently and something that bothered me was how there'd often be no recognition that you'd done or learnt something. For example, I'd be well into the Clerk's Ward, having done every quest I could, and still have the exact same conversation with Pox outside the Mortuary, asking who the Dustmen are and what they believe. From what McComb said in one of the streams, this may have been a casualty of technical problems with the engine. Numenera had excellent reactivity - if I'd learnt something related to one character or which might be relevant to a quest, I'd usually have an option to bring it up in conversation in NPC interactions. Consequently, it was very easy for me to look at the situation the Last Castoff was in, think 'How would I deal with this?' or 'What would I want to know if I were in the Castoff's position?' and explore the resultant avenues of inquiry.

It's probably fair to say I was most interested in the setting and writing behind the individual quests, which is where the game was strongest. Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is one of my favourite literary works of all time, and Jack Vance's Dying Earth isn't far off (honourable mention to Michael John Harrison's Viriconium - Harrison is, much like Wolfe, a technical writer par excellence). The thing I most would've wanted that the game didn't give? More! And by that, I don't mean that the game is short - I don't know exactly how long it took me; my recorded gameplay time is just under 43 hours, but I spent quite a bit of time with the game open in the background while I was doing other stuff, so I'd estimate I'm in the mid-30s for game time, which is not short. What I mean is I loved the world and quest writing so much, I'd love to have played a sprawling, Baldur's Gate 2 length game, seeing all of the weirdness that the Ninth World has to offer. But I understand this would be beyond budget and not worth the return on sales. Anyway, the game's flaws don't feel so significant to me.

I can see how they would turn someone else off the game, however. Combat was flawed, for example - not irredeemably bad, but with faults in execution such as the time taken for turns, and poor encounter design. The central storyline was also not great. It didn't feel like the game's primary antagonist related particularly well to the game's purported theme, nor was it well-developed. I think the inadequate attention paid to the Sorrow is probably the biggest failing of the game's writing. An additional area to the game, in which you explore a location related to the Sorrow's origins, would have done a lot to remedy this, even if it wouldn't have fixed the direct role of the Sorrow in the story's central conflict.

The Changing God was interesting and I thought dealt with well. Possibly more could have been done with him, but he's a concept which could be pushed in so many directions, and there's so much that could be done, that it'd be very hard to look at any particular use of him and say that that use exhausted his concept or executed it perfectly.

Some of the flaws other people experienced I did not find - for example, I liked the companions. Again, more could have been done with them, but what is there is not bad. The only one I did not care for too much was Tybir, who was simply too generic. He wasn't done badly, so that failing is no real knock on the game. I also liked the visuals. Sure, more animations would have been nice, particularly combat animations, but I thought the art style and colouring were vivid and evocative.

To summarise my view on Numenera, considered alone: I liked it a hell of a lot, and it's probably my favourite RPG since the Witcher 3, and before that... Vampire Bloodlines? Arcanum? I'd put it comfortably above other relatively recent high quality RPGs like Pillars of Eternity and Fallout New Vegas, which I also enjoyed but didn't resonate on a deep level. The writing with respect to the individual characters and the setting are top-notch, even if the central story lacks in some respects, and earns the game a place in my pantheon of great videogame storytelling experiences.

How do I think it compares to Planescape Torment? Having replayed that game recently: quite well! PST is a more coherent game, from a storytelling perspective, and that gives a good argument that it is better from a literary view, but I didn't think the setting was as fascinatingly varied and exotic, and the quests aside from the central storyline weren't as consistently engaging. Combat in PST was also, rather than being deeply flawed, fundamentally bad and odious. Character wise, PST has an edge, because each companion related thematically to the central storyline, though I found that the common thread of the binding nature of torment and suffering was a little relentlessly dour.

On the whole, I'd say they're closely comparable in the level of enjoyment I derived from them. I suspect my view that they are comparable in terms of overall merit is premised on my affinity for Dying earth science fantasy settings over straight fantasy settings, even ones as strange as Planescape, so take that for what its worth.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by Quantomas » March 20th, 2017, 12:24 pm

Very well said! Possibly the most profound review of Tides of Numenera that has emerged yet.

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Re: So how does it compare to Planescape: Torment?

Post by kaiman » April 10th, 2017, 11:24 am

Having now finished the game, my feeling is that TToN compares quite favourably to PS:T. Gameplay and worldbuilding wise, it's the RPG closest to the PS:T formula that I have played so far, aside from PS:T itself. As such, my expectations in TToN as a spiritual successor have been fulfilled.

One aspect where I think it could have stayed truer to the original was the protagonist. I think the main difference between TNO and TLC, without going into spoiler territory, is that the TNO had been the architect of his own predicament, while the TLC is more or less a victim of the doings of a 3rd party. As such, in PS:T we truly discover our own past and have to make amends. In TToN, we discover someone else's past, and likely end up fixing someone else's problems for them. In a way, I think this makes a huge difference, because in PS:T there are quite a few moments where you go "what did I do!? OMG!" while in TToN all the doing is not your own (or that of your past "incarnations"), and therefore removed from your own person and less painful to uncover.

Despite that, I was more happy with TToN's ending, and I think one reason is that TToN gave the impression that I had a choice after all, whereas in PS:T, no matter what I did as TNO's last incarnation, the actions of my prior selves have already sealed my fate. In PS:T, you're just along for the ride, while in TToN you're fully in control (or at least as much as possible, given the constraints of the medium).

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