Your impressions of the narrative path

For discussing Torment's story as it slowly gets unveiled, as well as discussing the game's setting. Ninth World discussions encouraged. Spoilers allowed.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Rink » June 15th, 2016, 3:26 pm

I agree with you 100%, it wasn't my intention to make quests "longer" through traveltime, it was my intention to point out that the quests could be "harder" if the person/thing you have to look for isn't the next thing you randomly click on in the same area, because then the player gets rewarded without having any intellectual task taking place (like remembering). While a quest shouldn't be measured by length, it should be measured, if the player plays an active part in solving it or if he is a random bystander while the NPCs could have solved the problem themselves by just shouting a little louder than usually, taking a 10 second stroll around the area or ordering a drink in the place they stayed for the last weeks. ;) But it is fine if some quests are like that.
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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by mawz » June 17th, 2016, 2:39 pm

1. What was your personal path through Sagus Cliffs? This shouldn’t include the Labyrinth.

In Reef I decided not to fight and went straight to the Order of the Truth in the Government District. From there I've roamed around solving quests - wherever they took me. From GD I got to know new districts in this order: Underbelly - Circus Minor - Caravanserai - Cliff's Edge. I didn't explore all of the area at once, rather bits by bits every time I came again.

2. What were the high moments in the story for you?

- I enjoyed Reef very much exploring weird objects, I wish there was more interaction and more objects there;
- Underbelly had very good quests;
- Mind labyrinth is a great idea, just wish it would have more options in this first part;
- I loved the psychics bar in the Cliff's Edge and people and quests there;
- I love objects and conversations where you can improve the character and remember your past - it would be great if each time you remember something you could get new features in the mind labyrinth.

3. What were the low ones?

- too little conversation options with PC - I didn't connect to any of the characters - it was all the same to me who tagged along. It would be great to have an option to learn from or teach a PC some new skills - like with Dak'kon and the teachings of Zerthimon or Ignus in Planescape Torment. It also wouldn't hurt to have more humor in the game - Morte was the best PC I ever encountered in any RPG.

- I expected more from the Changing God Chambers - more artifacts, talking to the computer and learning stuff about the environment and yourself (about how you can use tides for example, or how to use the artifacts - which can mix and which cannot... maybe some kind of diary in which the Changing God wrote his thoughts or a recording of some kind...)

- I couldn't solve the ghost's problem - the game always blocked after I tried to kill the Ghost Man and the Th..creatures killed me, so eventually I gave up - and also I couldn't do anything with the apparatus in the egg chamber - I don't know if that is a bug or I just couldn't find a way...

4. Did you feel your goals were sufficiently clear? 5. What did you think those goals were, anyway?

I'll write how I understood the goals, and you write if that were the goals you intended to set:

Two main goals - (1)repair the resonance chamber and (2)deal with the Sorrow.

Repair resonance chamber in order to align yourself to the tides to be the best version of yourself so you can face Sorrow and stop it.

6. Is there a way that you think this information could be conveyed more effectively?

- Through some kind of journal in which all important events are described, not just quests. It would also be good to have all important information which is hard to remember in writing (about the cipher usage and similar)
Last edited by mawz on July 3rd, 2016, 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by mawz » July 3rd, 2016, 4:12 am

I'm back with some more impressions and suggestions:

Second time around I've made different choices and encountered different features:

- I loved it when Denda O'Hur offered to eat my flesh so they could tell me some info, although it would be nice to have more info about me after that. It was also great to have additional conversation options with DoH members and gaining Viscera.

- This time I didn't killed the Nych creature but instead told off the OoT, and the outcome turned out the same - me gaining Whispers knife.

- I've killed Sticha in their lair and I finally realized what those generators are for :), although it would be good to give them some other purpose as well - if you don't kill Sticha, you wonder what else can you do with them. Maybe it would be good to add a quest for sticha that you could reroute energy for them from the lair when you sent them away.

- I bought Liquid Armor and then went to solve the ghost quest - and I finally did it - they could not do me any harm. But after I've solved the quest - the ghost and the Loss-of-Self dialogue stayed the same. And one more thing about Loss-of-Self - I didn't find any way in which Loss would find her own way, so that the granny would be completely satisfied how I completed that quest. It would be good to have that option and get some more bonuses.

More ideas for improvements in the story:

- It would be great if you could add more characters in the story who can teach you something new - improve your esoteries, train you in esoteries or teach you some new ones, improve your skills, upgrade your weapons and armor and similar. There are some where you can improve your might, speed and intellect, but non to improve the things I've mentioned.

- You should change Specter. He's ugly and he's human. It should be like a fuzzy bowl of energy who talks, spins and can changes shapes (maybe as your subconscious changes). There are too many humans in the story already, you should really diversify more. When talking to Specter there is too much text which is not relevant to the story anymore - you should cut some of his text after the Last Castoff speaks to him only to the basics (and maybe leave one thread where you can read all others again). It would also be good that he can teach you some more skills or train you in esoteries.

- It would be great to get more storyline of the Silver Orphans - if they could somehow engage the machines you told them about and do something with them - so you could get new dialogues of Foreman - they have a better purpose now and want to destroy something in the city for example, so you could try to stop them by talking to City officials and negotiating with Silver Orphans.

- it would also be great if we could have an option to do a mayor robbery, murder or similar for Memovira and her men, and an option to join them. I also miss stealing random stuff from anyone.

- There should be romance and sex included.

- And I can't stress enough a need for fun character like Morte who should also be good in fight. I've read somewhere that you already got something in preparation, so I can hardly wait to see what (s)he's like.

All in all I loved the game, and can't wait until it's finished to see new features and the rest of the game :)

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by enzymescience » August 29th, 2016, 8:33 pm

Colin McComb wrote:Hello, assembled humans and other non-human-sentients!

I’m curious about your experience with the narrative path of the game. Any answers you give will be incredibly helpful in fine-tuning the story experience. I promise your critique won’t hurt my feelings, so don’t be afraid to be honest - just don’t, you know, be a jerk about it.

Specifically:
1. What was your personal path through Sagus Cliffs? This shouldn’t include the Labyrinth. :)
2. What were the high moments in the story for you?
3. What were the low ones?
4. Did you feel your goals were sufficiently clear?
5. What did you think those goals were, anyway?
6. Is there a way that you think this information could be conveyed more effectively?

I’m sure it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: We all appreciate your constructive feedback, your suggestions, and… well, you.

Thanks!

-Colin
Fair warning, I'm going to butcher a lot of names. Very memorable characters, but very fantastical names. I'm so sorry.

Questions 1-3:
Played as a female Castoff. The narration of the introduction was... interesting, but it made me feel like the rest of the game was going to be a very pretty Twine game. I still have no idea what the heck was going on in the intro area with the bowl and the memories and the mirror. I thought I was falling from an exploding moon? Why was the floor like that? Who was talking to me from above? Was this just a long form Fallout 3 G.O.A.T.? Why is this broken segment of my mind, of all things, a handsome blue ghost man?

I like to take things slow and explore as much as I can in one area before I move onto the next. Playing around with the numenera in the Reef was really fun, and set the tone really well, I think. They had this... weirdness to them that I don't normally find in video games trying to describe ancient artifacts. That's when I got pulled in, wondering what these weird little contraptions do and why an ancient and powerful civilization would need a ball that drowns out laughter with its own, for instance. I guess I'm a bit too curious, though. After infusing the crystal shard AND managing to dodge the bolt of energy from the giant obelisk, I still went ahead and touched it anyway. I really hope I wasn't the only one who just wanted to see what would happen.

Combat was horribly clunky and bugged, so I just reloaded until I could skip the fight with Quorro. Don't judge. The fight between Aligorn and Callistege seemed really out of left field. I feel like I didn't really have enough time to get to know either character before they pulled the whole 'which parent do you want stay with after the divorce' so I arbitrarily chose Aligorn because Callistege's echoes literally made me dizzy.

Upon entering the city I spent a while exhausting all the dialogue options with the little boy who acts as your guide, and then I was approached by Tybir (who immediately became my favorite companion). Again, the bizarre way they were executing Ris really pulled me into the story. Gruesome, but also really clever and kind of awesome. I managed to convince a Levy to let me onto the stage, where I poked Death-of-Ris and promptly got killed by my own curiosity (again). Yes, I know they warn me about touching Death and how it was a miracle that I survived the first time, but wouldn't it have been even more impressive if I managed to survive it a second time? And how interesting would it be to pit my functionally immortal body against things that would kill normal people?

(For the record, my dominating Tides were Silver, Blue, and Gold.)

I REALLY liked the Dendra O'hur and their bizarre philosophies. What a great way to meet them too--I mean, I'm barely 30 minutes into the game and already someone wants to eat me and gain my strength. I love how jovial Imbitu is about the whole thing. And so nice of them to make me a friendship ornament out of my own entrails! Mallet and Kiyatawa were pretty forgettable though.

So that was my introduction to the Underbelly. The first thing I run into after leaving the Dendra O'hur is a stichus. I was really excited when I saw it wasn't actually hostile. The sticha are really cute. I'm one of those people who gets attached to weird and misunderstood non-human characters. I like how they don't think humans are sentient unless they can communicate with them. It's weird that they get grumpy when you mess with numenera in their old lair even though they've already cleared out though. That was probably the first time where I was like, "Oh yeah, it's still in beta."

Speaking of weird and misunderstood non-human characters, I really liked the ancient foremen. Especially the little crippled one who just wanted kids. :( I convinced him to postpone the birth, at least until his human caretaker died. I would still like to help him create tiny robot life in the future, but I don't think we'll be revisiting Sagus Cliffs after getting airlifted out.

Anyway, I spent the majority of my early game time just in Underbelly and Circus Minor. I don't remember ever leaving these areas until I got the quest to find Matkina... I don't think I needed to either.

The rest of the game, I did almost everything out of order by accident, which made for some really weird interactions. Like after shutting down the Woman Copy Machine, Loss-of-self was still freaking out about the voice in her head because I didn't find Mother Tezbul or whatever. I thought the crashed airship was the edge of the map because I would get the red X cursor near it. Whoops.

There were also more than a few instances in which I was referred to as "he" or "sir", but I expect those will be fixed before full release.

Notes on companions:
Aside from Tybir, they didn't really do anything. Aligorn just grunted whenever I pretended to be the Changing God. Matkina sounded like she would be really interesting but then she didn't do anything except for comment on knowing the Mimavira and asking me to help recruit for the Endless Battle.

I like how Tybir is written, but I might be a little biased because I identify with him in a lot of ways. I think the Depraved Bisexual trope could be toned down a bit though. Like, when you try calling him on the bronze sphere, he's in the middle of an orgy or something? But then when you go to find him in the Canverserai, he's hiding and pretending to be an Aeon Priest. Is he watching porn behind those crates or something? He can't always be at orgies!

Questions 4-6:
The main quest is to fix the resonance chamber, but I didn't think of that as my main goal. My main goal was "Learn as much as I can about the Changing God, and by extension, myself." So for me, I did as many things as I could that would bring up memories of my past lives. Fixing the resonance chamber was just another step towards figuring out my existence.

If I'm piecing this together right... I think the Changing God initially started body-hopping because his daughter got sick and died after the siege. Trying to stay alive long enough until his probability machine could actually replace her properly. As soft as time is in this setting, I don't think there's ever been an actual resurrection. The closest I can think of is Tybir remembering his deaths in the Endless Battle and LCO's miraculous healing powers. But that's just a guess!

As for conveying things more effectively.... I'd like to be able to save my discoveries in my journal, so I can look back on things. Not like a codex, but a way to save past dialogues since asking again about a subject only gets a summarized version. But that's just me.

Thoughts about things mentioned in this thread:
-I like the lack of cutscenes. I'm far too impatient for those and I dislike how they take control out of the players' hands.
-There's nothing wrong with not having harlots and not being grimdark. Sex workers in video games are rarely done right, and the setting doesn't have to be a grimy slum to be dark (and it's still pretty dark regardless).
-More non-human stories would be nice.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by GavinJF » August 30th, 2016, 11:41 am

This is some great feedback, enzymescience. Thank you! We'll pull it apart and talk it over.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by enzymescience » August 30th, 2016, 6:32 pm

Glad I could help! I've been excited for Tides since it was first announced, and the beta did not disappoint. I know I tend to ramble quite a bit, so let me know if I need to clarify anything. I'll definitely be giving the beta another go with a different set of goals, companions, and skills after I give myself some time to look at the game with fresh eyes again.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Serge 13 » September 9th, 2016, 4:09 am

I played the game recently since I noticed that an Early Access backer key was waiting for me. I was really impressed with the writing and I really can't wait to play it. I enjoyed how the companions at the start immediately helped me know where I was. I also liked how they had their own deep characters, neither of them sounded good or bad...just different. I liked the starting point very much. Full of weird devices and things I could interact with and a mysterious looking locked door.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by GavinJF » September 9th, 2016, 6:06 am

Thank you, Serge!

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by spblue » January 8th, 2017, 7:24 pm

This is probably way too late to be submitting such general story feedback, but I just completed the tidal surge beta and I have a comment on the fundamental story...

I love the settings, the characters and even the story, but I felt there was a fundamental issue for me : my motivations. I was never in doubt as to what the game wanted me to do (track the assassin, repair the crystal chamber, etc), but, since this is about role play, the why was missing. Here's what bugs me with the storyline, such as I understand it :
  • You literally gain consciousness in an immortal adult body, with no long term memory
  • Said body is a leftover from someone who takes over bodies and who's been around for millennia
  • That someone is powerful enough to wipe out entire armies at a whim (hum yeah, let's run the other way)
  • He's being chased (and you, by extension) by another powerful being called the Sorrow (hum yeah, let's run the other way)
  • That other being wants to kill your immortal body and will eventually end up being successful
So, realizing all this, WHY IN HELL would I want to involve myself with any more of this? I've met (and remembered past lives of) other castoffs who lived perfectly adequate lives for hundreds of years before the Sorrow caught up with them. Why would I want anything to do with that crystal chamber at all? If it were me, I'd either start establishing a power base in Sagus Cliffs (maybe aim for a council seat?), or I'd start wandering the world and see what's out there. Who knows, maybe settle down with someone somewhere, moving every few years, make little castofflings and watch them grow old until the Sorrow ends up catching me.

In PS:T, this isn't an option, because it's clear that you have one last shot at solving your life's riddles, before the shadows end up destroying what's left of your consciousness.

In BG/BG2, this isn't an option because doing nothing means you'll die in a matter of weeks, killed by children of Bhaal.

In Fallout/F2, everyone you love is going to die if you do nothing.

In Torment: Tides of Numenera though? You could easily leave all this behind and live a long, fulfilling life. This is clearly the option I'd choose. I never feel as if there's any real reason for wanting to chase after the Changing God. The Sorrow doesn't look all that threatening, considering how long other castoffs have been living before it killed them. Matkina has been at it for hundreds of years...

There needs to be a reason for you to choose the hardest path.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Aramintai » January 8th, 2017, 10:51 pm

spblue wrote: There needs to be a reason for you to choose the hardest path.
Eh, wasn't the crystal chamber the only thing that could help you fight against the Sorrow?
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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by anonymous6059 » January 9th, 2017, 3:53 am

spblue wrote: I love the settings, the characters and even the story, but I felt there was a fundamental issue for me : my motivations. I was never in doubt as to what the game wanted me to do (track the assassin, repair the crystal chamber, etc), but, since this is about role play, the why was missing. Here's what bugs me with the storyline, such as I understand it :
  • You literally gain consciousness in an immortal adult body, with no long term memory
  • Said body is a leftover from someone who takes over bodies and who's been around for millennia
  • That someone is powerful enough to wipe out entire armies at a whim (hum yeah, let's run the other way)
  • He's being chased (and you, by extension) by another powerful being called the Sorrow (hum yeah, let's run the other way)
  • That other being wants to kill your immortal body and will eventually end up being successful
So, realizing all this, WHY IN HELL would I want to involve myself with any more of this? I've met (and remembered past lives of) other castoffs who lived perfectly adequate lives for hundreds of years before the Sorrow caught up with them. Why would I want anything to do with that crystal chamber at all? If it were me, I'd either start establishing a power base in Sagus Cliffs (maybe aim for a council seat?), or I'd start wandering the world and see what's out there. Who knows, maybe settle down with someone somewhere, moving every few years, make little castofflings and watch them grow old until the Sorrow ends up catching me.

In PS:T, this isn't an option, because it's clear that you have one last shot at solving your life's riddles, before the shadows end up destroying what's left of your consciousness.

In BG/BG2, this isn't an option because doing nothing means you'll die in a matter of weeks, killed by children of Bhaal.

In Fallout/F2, everyone you love is going to die if you do nothing.

In Torment: Tides of Numenera though? You could easily leave all this behind and live a long, fulfilling life. This is clearly the option I'd choose. I never feel as if there's any real reason for wanting to chase after the Changing God. The Sorrow doesn't look all that threatening, considering how long other castoffs have been living before it killed them. Matkina has been at it for hundreds of years...

There needs to be a reason for you to choose the hardest path.
Trust me you're not alone. This issue has been raised now at least a dozen times.
It is the weakest part of the game and the reason why the vast majority of players will never finish it, it has no passion. You do not feel compelled or motivated into action. I think this happened because they had such a large number of writers on board. Each writer wrote their own story which has no real association with the bigger picture. You end up on a meandering ride across the 9th world that has no apparent destination. In some ways I think this is exactly what Inxile was aiming for though. You have to decide what is worth doing and experiencing. You must discover yourself. Artistically that sounds like a good idea. In practice I'm not so sure it will work. most gamer's will not wait 20 hours into a game to start feeling compelled to continue.
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=15892

To be fair only 1 in 10 gamers actually finish a game nowadays anyway.
https://kotaku.com/5832450/nine-out-of- ... re-playing

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by spblue » January 9th, 2017, 5:06 pm

Aramintai wrote:
spblue wrote: There needs to be a reason for you to choose the hardest path.
Eh, wasn't the crystal chamber the only thing that could help you fight against the Sorrow?
That was pretty much my point. If I were thrown into such a situation, I wouldn't be trying to fight the sorrow at all, I'd just run the other way. The Sorrow doesn't seem all that fast at killing castoffs. A lot of them lived for hundreds of years. Why fight it when you can just run and it won't catch you?

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Firkraag » January 10th, 2017, 1:00 am

But it did got to you, right?

Right at the beginning of the game. At the beginning of your life.

It got as close, as actually infecting your mind with viruses.

Sorrow got much better at finding you.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Aramintai » January 10th, 2017, 2:41 am

spblue wrote:
Aramintai wrote:
spblue wrote: There needs to be a reason for you to choose the hardest path.
Eh, wasn't the crystal chamber the only thing that could help you fight against the Sorrow?
That was pretty much my point. If I were thrown into such a situation, I wouldn't be trying to fight the sorrow at all, I'd just run the other way. The Sorrow doesn't seem all that fast at killing castoffs. A lot of them lived for hundreds of years. Why fight it when you can just run and it won't catch you?
Well, this question was raised even during the first beta, afaik. But devs didn't reveal any solutions to this lack of motivation, perhaps because it goes beyond beta content. What I believe will happen in full version is that after this first beta area is cleared and/or more ingame days pass Sorrow will start interjecting with Last Castoff's quests. Something like it was in PS:T where Shadows started to appear at times to kill you. And these interjections will probably grow exponentially the closer to the end the game is. So I think what we experience in the beta is more relaxed because it is still sort of tutorial area. Still, a few accelerating kicks in the butt from the Sorrow at the beginning, beyond LC's mind, in the real world, would have been nice to have, so that sense of urgency wouldn't go away so quickly.
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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by anonymous6059 » January 10th, 2017, 4:51 am

Aramintai wrote:
spblue wrote:
Aramintai wrote: Eh, wasn't the crystal chamber the only thing that could help you fight against the Sorrow?
That was pretty much my point. If I were thrown into such a situation, I wouldn't be trying to fight the sorrow at all, I'd just run the other way. The Sorrow doesn't seem all that fast at killing castoffs. A lot of them lived for hundreds of years. Why fight it when you can just run and it won't catch you?
Well, this question was raised even during the first beta, afaik. But devs didn't reveal any solutions to this lack of motivation, perhaps because it goes beyond beta content. What I believe will happen in full version is that after this first beta area is cleared and/or more ingame days pass Sorrow will start interjecting with Last Castoff's quests. Something like it was in PS:T where Shadows started to appear at times to kill you. And these interjections will probably grow exponentially the closer to the end the game is. So I think what we experience in the beta is more relaxed because it is still sort of tutorial area. Still, a few accelerating kicks in the butt from the Sorrow at the beginning, beyond LC's mind, in the real world, would have been nice to have, so that sense of urgency wouldn't go away so quickly.
I hope that you are correct. I wonder if every time your body dies you're also forced into combat against the Sorrow and its minions. That would add a lot to the game. However, I don't think that you'll ever really be forced to decide that killing The Sorrow is really important.
Possible Spoiler:
I think that when you fell you get that head of yours really, really hard. You are the Changing God, but that specter is all that remains of your memories. Your body has a instant healing property, but each time your mind is affected. This is where the entropy monster known as The Sorrow comes into play. It really is only trying to neutralize and balance the universe and may simply be a part of your own psyche. One of the main points of the game will be deciding whether you should keep this game up or not. In the end you'll basically have to decide if fighting The Sorrow is something worth doing. Is Immortality really something to be desired.

That is why I'm really voting for more focus and interaction from The Specter every time you visit The fathoms of your mind. One of the main reasons why I repetitively suggest that he is the key to making this game more endearing. I could be wrong, but it won't be long until we find out. This also explains why his name, The Specter, is so nondescript.

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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Aramintai » January 10th, 2017, 7:46 am

anonymous6059 wrote:This also explains why his name, The Specter, is so nondescript.
For me it's pretty obvious that the Specter's gonna be revealed as the original Changing God himself, at least a memory of him, like Good Incarnation was the original in PS:T. And I think he's not telling everything on purpose, but maybe he will start "remembering" things later.

As for the Sorrow I can only add that people in the game saw it in the real world, so it can manifest itself not only in LC's head. Which means there's no reason for it not to start appearing later to kill you in the real world as well. An obvious nod to the Transcendent One from PS:T, I too believe it is intrinsically connected to the Changing God's immortality, so in the end there will probably be an option to get rid of one at the expense of another.
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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Abyssal Winter » March 5th, 2017, 1:14 pm

Colin McComb wrote:Hello, assembled humans and other non-human-sentients!

I’m curious about your experience with the narrative path of the game. Any answers you give will be incredibly helpful in fine-tuning the story experience. I promise your critique won’t hurt my feelings, so don’t be afraid to be honest - just don’t, you know, be a jerk about it.

Specifically:
1. What was your personal path through Sagus Cliffs? This shouldn’t include the Labyrinth. :)
2. What were the high moments in the story for you?
3. What were the low ones?
4. Did you feel your goals were sufficiently clear?
5. What did you think those goals were, anyway?
6. Is there a way that you think this information could be conveyed more effectively?

I’m sure it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: We all appreciate your constructive feedback, your suggestions, and… well, you.

Thanks!

-Colin
1. Circus, Government Square, Underbelly, Caravan etc. I wandered all over too many times to give you a clear route.
2. The Sorrow attacking the refuge, and the sacrifice of the "good" castoff. She was one of the couple of characters that I actually liked. The discovery that the Memovira was the first castoff - nice twist, that one.
3. The ending. The negative effects of the Tides felt contrived to force some sort of emotional decision, except there wasn't enough exposition (not sure if that is the perfect word, but "setup" is what I am trying to convey) in the storyline to make it seem real. The Sorrow is the literal definition of MacGuffin.
4. Goals were clear enough. Motivations were not.
5. Survival from extinction by the Sorrow. I could help the other castoffs of I could be a jerk. My call.
6. The conveyance of the goals was not my real problem with the game.

There are some design issues, and some writing/construction issues. Some of these are personal to me and probably not reflective of everyone's tastes:
1. There is an element of too much "Choose your own adventure" or "read the book" and not enough actual gameplay/problem solving.
2. The Changing God's daughter and her involvement need to be more clearly delineated earlier in the story. Give her a name earlier, or she just becomes a sort of amorphous blob of a plot device. Why do I care about her, again? Make me care.
3. As others have noted, the character models are pretty bland. Personally, I think the portraits are terrible. YMMV.
4. I am not a huge fan of the game mechanics - they are somewhat bland as well. You guys went for turn based combat and it felt like you squandered a real opportunity to do something more strategic and cool with it than what we got.

Planescape relied somewhat on archetypes, then twisted them a bit to keep things a little familiar and a little strange. It worked pretty well. Tides felt like it had way more wackiness and weirdness to it. Occasionally, this was really cool, but too often I felt like I had to force myself through it.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that I did not like the game - I did - but it was not at the level of its predecessor for me. Planescape was not perfect either, but it hit more right notes in storytelling and setting.

Thanks for listening.

eNTi
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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by eNTi » March 6th, 2017, 3:20 am

For me it's just too many stories crammed into a very small space. I had no idea what was going on at the beginning (character creation) and the writing is often times too complicated to follow for a non-native speaker even with moderately good language proficiency. Especially using common words in an unexpected way makes me nauseus. I loose track of what is actually a place, a concept or even sometimes just an npc. The whole game so far feels like a dream sequence. Nothing seems to really matter. I've never felt any urgency or importance in anything I've done so far and I'm at the stage where I just want game to stop throwing more back story and concepts at me. I'm actually glad the game doesn't seem to be very long.

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Grampybone
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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Grampybone » March 6th, 2017, 1:32 pm

Colin McComb wrote:Hello, assembled humans and other non-human-sentients!

I’m curious about your experience with the narrative path of the game. Any answers you give will be incredibly helpful in fine-tuning the story experience. I promise your critique won’t hurt my feelings, so don’t be afraid to be honest - just don’t, you know, be a jerk about it.

Specifically:
1. What was your personal path through Sagus Cliffs? This shouldn’t include the Labyrinth. :)
2. What were the high moments in the story for you?
3. What were the low ones?
4. Did you feel your goals were sufficiently clear?
5. What did you think those goals were, anyway?
6. Is there a way that you think this information could be conveyed more effectively?

I’m sure it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: We all appreciate your constructive feedback, your suggestions, and… well, you.

Thanks!

-Colin
1. What was your personal path through Sagus Cliffs? This shouldn’t include the Labyrinth. :)
I like to explore area thoroughly and talk to everyone before moving to the next area. This has caused me to miss out on a few Tidal Surge opportunities, such as Cultist camp, sulking guy in Fifth Eye etc., because I didn't go to rescue Rhin until later.
For me, I wen't Circus, Govt. Underbelly, Cliff's Edge, and didn't go to Caravanserai until pretty much everything was cleared.

2. What were the high moments in the story for you?
Fifth eye crew is exquisitely memorable and their encounter with Malaise.
Other than that, it's a bit hard to pinpoint, because it's all over the show. Plenty of little charming or sad moments. Like the sad story of Hunched girl in Underbelly and how she dies later really got to me, Genocide's story and his fate, all the women affected by the machine and how each deals with it (little girl with the flute is awesome!).
I found the story of three little kids in Cliff's Edge particularly sad, to the point I've ran across the city talking to people to check if there is anything to be done to help them after the house goes down.
Underbelly constructs are awesome!
Matkina's Mare got me on the edge of my seat, I was so terrified of making the wrong choice and incredibly stoked to have managed in helping her.
Clearly, Rhin is destined for great things, can't wait to see how that plays out.

3. What were the low ones?
I didn't care to have anything to do with the Glaive who crashed the ship, I've made him work the docks because he's just too obnoxious.
I get that he's supposed to be that way, so it's not REALLY a complaint.

4. Did you feel your goals were sufficiently clear?
6. Is there a way that you think this information could be conveyed more effectively?


Perhaps Rhin's rescue should be made more urgent, so people don't miss out on Tidal options. All I knew is that she was hiding, maybe if it was indicated she is also in immediate danger from other people, it would make player rush to her rescue instead of drool in front of the captured machine monster in Circus square.
And I had no clue how to negotiate with Stycha, so by the time I've stolen eggs it was too late. Didn't even notice the Stycha NPC next to the human official who gives the quest. Maybe if they stood closer, as if they're conversing, when player first finds them, to make it obvious that Stycha is also to be talked to.

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Lord of Riva
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Re: Your impressions of the narrative path

Post by Lord of Riva » March 9th, 2017, 9:47 am

not that this is a problem but this is actually a beta topic from march last year

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