A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

For discussing Torment's story, setting, and characters. Ninth World discussions encouraged. Spoilers allowed.

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A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by cyseal » January 23rd, 2016, 4:39 am

I have to say that the writing is superb. It's quite different from Planescape but modern and fresh. I enjoy narration a lot.

Lore questions
Did I get it right that "numeneras" are lost ancient relics and "magic" from civiliations which vanished ?
Will there be character equivalent to Morte?

Gameplay
This is some early stages of Sagus cliffs so there could be more to the gameplay later. I would like
  1. more abilities per character
  2. nano's esoteries could have additional detonation and maybe additional sound after laying on the target (just to give more serious punch to the esoteries because animations are dissolving quite fast)
    ->basically a bit prolongated after-effect when the esotery casts so that represents visually what esotery is doing
  3. more combat encounters for the wider audience of players
Last edited by cyseal on January 23rd, 2016, 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by anonymous6059 » January 23rd, 2016, 6:01 am

cyseal wrote:I have to say that the writing is superb. It's quite different from Planescape but modern and fresh. I enjoy narration a lot.

Lore questions
Did I get it right that "numeneras" are lost ancient relics and "magic" from civiliations which vanished ?
Will there be character equivalent to Morte?
I've only skimmed through a small amount of the video streams but I thought the Spectre was supposed to be like Morte?

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by anonymous6059 » January 23rd, 2016, 6:14 am

cyseal wrote: more combat encounters for the wider audience of players [/list]
I really am starting to feel like they might of made a pretty big error by not adding trash mobs. Sure, it wasn't very good in PST I give you that, but that doesn't mean it was without a purpose. In between reading and learning its a nice break to just kill something in a strategic way of course. That's what I love about Baldur's gate and Pillars of Eternity. Its like those games are tapping all the right spots, really working my brain in multiple ways.

By having only "meaningful" combat that is rare you take away part of what makes the game engaging.

Another thing that I'm slightly worried about is a lack of inventory management. This is not something I love to death but it does make for a interesting mini-game. I don't think its something worth focusing on but you should have enough junk for players to manage from time to time.

I know the designers want to focus on immersion and story but its wouldn't hurt anything by making the other two points a possibility. You could make it where only nanos have increased inventory management. You could make it where trash mobs only exist if you intentionally piss off a few groups.

To me the point should be that the focus is on narration and story, not to exclude the other fundamental areas of Classic CRPGs. I love the idea that you "can" complete the game without fighting, but you should be allowed to fight anyone. Those that you fight who are necessary for the main story should be near impossible to beat and I think you should be able to screw up the main quest enough that you have to revert back to a prior save or even better take some obscure side quest to get things back on track.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Lord of Riva » January 23rd, 2016, 6:44 am

i do not feel there are not enough combats in the game.

I also do think, while the inventory is currently not really good (remember early beta) that there is enough inventory management going on in the game. My inventory is gfull of stuff.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by anonymous6059 » January 23rd, 2016, 8:05 am

Lord of Riva wrote:i do not feel there are not enough combats in the game.

I also do think, while the inventory is currently not really good (remember early beta) that there is enough inventory management going on in the game. My inventory is full of stuff.
Good, very glad to hear it. I was just going off the general vibe and not much else. I'm sure they know what they are doing and thanks for the comment. I understand the game isn't for the mass market *technically* and I think that's half of what makes it so cool, but I'm sure they are hoping to make as much cash as possible though.

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Re: A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by omphaloskepsis » January 23rd, 2016, 12:14 pm

cyseal wrote:Will there be character equivalent to Morte?
In terms of comedy, at least one, written by Chris Avellone. He doesn't appear in the beta, but I've seen some of his dialog and IMO it was really good.

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Re: A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Ostonson » January 26th, 2016, 4:52 am

What I saw in beta was pretty close to Numenera game system, so there will be no more than two special abilities per charachter tier. One from the Focus, and one from the Type. There are 6 tiers. That's cRPG of course and can be somewhere different from tabletop game.

Combat is crucial part of gameplay. If there is no combat beyond few encounters, that you can skip or talk your way through - there will be no gameplay, only text and point and click adventure. That's gameplay as well of course but very limited. If I want to play adventure, I rather go with Grim Fandango and such. In my cRPG I want to have choice to murder anyone on my way, I want to play Glaive for example and do not take 20 points/2 edge in Intelligence as Nano/Jack. That's the choice that matters, from my point of view. That's the choice that did Fallout - great game with sequel. And combat must be good, engaging. This scrapes of combat that is in the beta now isn't so bad, if not to look to abykos' with their bugged phasing. Phasing effect - looks terrible by the way. P:T was bad in a way of combat because combat system and implementation of it in-game was rather sloppy. Trash mobs have nothing to do with P:T bad combat system and gamers impression from it. I think that non-lethal gameplay must be challenging, worth a tought and time, but not simple avoiding combat with the help of some deception skill and lucky rolls.

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Re: A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by -Archangel- » January 28th, 2016, 7:40 am

There will be 13 crisis in the game and each will let you fight or not. Nobody will force you to skip the fight unless you want to.
THey also said there will be smaller battles as well but also if you choose so.

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Re: A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Strangedane » February 15th, 2016, 5:04 am

Forced combat encounters is the absoultely WORST thing an "cRPG" can throw at you.

"So, you're a travelling minstrel who have been beating every challenge using stealth, guile and wits, who have never murdered and have vowed to never do so, even on the pain of death?
Here, have a boss fight in a closed circular room, with no chance of changing anything."

If a GM did that, the players would up and leave.
Why some people accept this sort of shit from cRPG's I'll never understand.

T:PS had trash mobs, and they annoyed me to great end, they served no purpose and posed no threat. They where just loot cannisters in an environment that was otherwise believable.

Baldurs gate overflowed with nonsense encounters, and the follow-up weren't much better.
ToEE at least, delievered what is what it promised.
A multilevel dungeon where everything had a reason to kill you, if you cared to find out what it was.
And even that game had better diplomatic options than any of the BG /NVN games. (disclaimer I never actually finished BG2 or any of the NVN games. I lose interest after killing the 15-20 first "generic loot cannisters".

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Re: A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by morte_rictusgrin » February 17th, 2016, 1:06 pm

Strangedane wrote:
T:PS had trash mobs, and they annoyed me to great end, they served no purpose and posed no threat. They where just loot cannisters in an environment that was otherwise believable.
Oh! ever met two GGs together in undersigil? Helluva threat IMHO.

Well, I like an idea of killing everyone in the way, with it leading nowhere, which will force gamer to be more interested in the plot. But that option to play Ignus should be available for straightforward hardheads as a such desirable "gameplay freedom"

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Tides » February 21st, 2016, 2:44 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:
cyseal wrote: more combat encounters for the wider audience of players [/list]
I really am starting to feel like they might of made a pretty big error by not adding trash mobs. Sure, it wasn't very good in PST I give you that, but that doesn't mean it was without a purpose. In between reading and learning its a nice break to just kill something in a strategic way of course. That's what I love about Baldur's gate and Pillars of Eternity. Its like those games are tapping all the right spots, really working my brain in multiple ways.

By having only "meaningful" combat that is rare you take away part of what makes the game engaging.

Another thing that I'm slightly worried about is a lack of inventory management. This is not something I love to death but it does make for a interesting mini-game. I don't think its something worth focusing on but you should have enough junk for players to manage from time to time.

I know the designers want to focus on immersion and story but its wouldn't hurt anything by making the other two points a possibility. You could make it where only nanos have increased inventory management. You could make it where trash mobs only exist if you intentionally piss off a few groups.

To me the point should be that the focus is on narration and story, not to exclude the other fundamental areas of Classic CRPGs. I love the idea that you "can" complete the game without fighting, but you should be allowed to fight anyone. Those that you fight who are necessary for the main story should be near impossible to beat and I think you should be able to screw up the main quest enough that you have to revert back to a prior save or even better take some obscure side quest to get things back on track.
Torment is supposed to be post-apocalyptic setting so I think there should be random monsters and animals with which you can't talk your way out fighting. I'll be boring if all enemies are intelligent humanoids. There should be respawning enemies too at least in some locations because it does not make sense that one party of adventurers can wipe out all animals/creatures in wilderness.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Firkraag » February 21st, 2016, 4:50 pm

Tides wrote: Torment is supposed to be post-apocalyptic setting
Nope. It simply isn't true.
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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by kilobug » February 22nd, 2016, 12:53 am

Tides wrote:Torment is supposed to be post-apocalyptic setting
Not really, no. It's technically "post apocalyptic" because 8 great civilizations did fall and you can find their remains, but "post-apocalyptic" usually implies that we are just after (a few years/decades at most after) the apocalypse which isn't the case in Numenéra. The wolrd of Numenéra is far after the last apocalypse, and while there are many ruins and leftovers of previous civilization, the world has been partially rebuilt and stable or semi-stable political structures (states, cities, factions, ...) have been rebuilt.
Tides wrote:There should be respawning enemies too at least in some locations because it does not make sense that one party of adventurers can wipe out all animals/creatures in wilderness.
TTON, like the original Torment, is going to be mostly city-based, with few (if any) wilderness areas.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by anonymous6059 » February 22nd, 2016, 7:49 am

Tides wrote: Torment is supposed to be post-apocalyptic setting so I think there should be random monsters and animals with which you can't talk your way out fighting. I'll be boring if all enemies are intelligent humanoids. There should be respawning enemies too at least in some locations because it does not make sense that one party of adventurers can wipe out all animals/creatures in wilderness.
Well, I didn't mean that you could always talk your way out exactly. Want I guess I meant is you can make it through the game in a non-combative way. You could flee, teleport, talk, use a charm, or whatever else to escape. The idea would be to let the player decide how to handle a situation. I still haven't finished my first run of PST but from the looks of things sometimes you just have to make a run for it if you don't wish to fight.

Its also not always really about how intelligent the enemy is either. Sometimes you just have to know what to say in order to coax, manipulate, or coerce your opponent. I'd even say its very rare that you simply rationalize with your attacker. However, sometimes they might not understand your language or simply aren't capable of understanding it. In those situations you'd need be simply run really really fast.

Anyway, the point is that in order to keep the audience engaged you need to challenge them with some combat. I mean what's the point of collecting armor and weapons if you don't fight but once every 10 hours of gameplay? An easy solution would be to make it where a great number of people are real a-holes in the game. Simply saying anything which can be taken as the smallest slight against them could have them throwing down and challenging you to a fight. This way in order to avoid fights all you really need to do is play nice.

I also really enjoy the idea of faction type gang wars. Where if you decide to join Faction-X then as soon as you step on Faction-Y's turf your met with hostility. It'd also be nice if you could be a anarchist and just piss everyone off.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Tides » February 22nd, 2016, 7:52 pm

kilobug wrote:
Tides wrote:Torment is supposed to be post-apocalyptic setting
Not really, no. It's technically "post apocalyptic" because 8 great civilizations did fall and you can find their remains, but "post-apocalyptic" usually implies that we are just after (a few years/decades at most after) the apocalypse which isn't the case in Numenéra. The wolrd of Numenéra is far after the last apocalypse, and while there are many ruins and leftovers of previous civilization, the world has been partially rebuilt and stable or semi-stable political structures (states, cities, factions, ...) have been rebuilt.
Tides wrote:There should be respawning enemies too at least in some locations because it does not make sense that one party of adventurers can wipe out all animals/creatures in wilderness.
TTON, like the original Torment, is going to be mostly city-based, with few (if any) wilderness areas.
It's not a typical post-nuclear setting but it is post-apocalyptic setting nonetheless. Even Planescape Torment has respawning enemies in some areas and Tides is supposed to have at least two or more cities. I don't believe you'll just jump through portals between them when they showed world map with huge wilderness areas. I recall they mentioned some monsters during kickstarter too.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Tides » February 22nd, 2016, 7:58 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:
Tides wrote: Torment is supposed to be post-apocalyptic setting so I think there should be random monsters and animals with which you can't talk your way out fighting. I'll be boring if all enemies are intelligent humanoids. There should be respawning enemies too at least in some locations because it does not make sense that one party of adventurers can wipe out all animals/creatures in wilderness.
Well, I didn't mean that you could always talk your way out exactly. Want I guess I meant is you can make it through the game in a non-combative way. You could flee, teleport, talk, use a charm, or whatever else to escape. The idea would be to let the player decide how to handle a situation. I still haven't finished my first run of PST but from the looks of things sometimes you just have to make a run for it if you don't wish to fight.

Its also not always really about how intelligent the enemy is either. Sometimes you just have to know what to say in order to coax, manipulate, or coerce your opponent. I'd even say its very rare that you simply rationalize with your attacker. However, sometimes they might not understand your language or simply aren't capable of understanding it. In those situations you'd need be simply run really really fast.

Anyway, the point is that in order to keep the audience engaged you need to challenge them with some combat. I mean what's the point of collecting armor and weapons if you don't fight but once every 10 hours of gameplay? An easy solution would be to make it where a great number of people are real a-holes in the game. Simply saying anything which can be taken as the smallest slight against them could have them throwing down and challenging you to a fight. This way in order to avoid fights all you really need to do is play nice.

I also really enjoy the idea of faction type gang wars. Where if you decide to join Faction-X then as soon as you step on Faction-Y's turf your met with hostility. It'd also be nice if you could be a anarchist and just piss everyone off.
Well running away will be probably hard in a turn based system such as this but I agree lack of combat except for the 13 scripted events would be very boring. There should be some animals, robots, mutants and monsters in areas like ruins, sewers, forests etc. They also announced visiting other dimensions there should be hostile creatures there and in Castoff Labirynth as well.

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by kilobug » February 23rd, 2016, 12:31 am

Tides wrote:Even Planescape Torment has respawning enemies in some areas
Yes, but they were clear in the Kickstarter that TTON will be a "no trash mobs" game.
Tides wrote:and Tides is supposed to have at least two or more cities. I don't believe you'll just jump through portals between them when they showed world map with huge wilderness areas.
What I meant by "city-based" is that most of the gameplay will be in urban settings, but yes it'll spawn at least 3 cities.

You'll use an airship to travel from one to another. It's not known yet (at least to me) how you'll travel to other locations, but "by foot" seems unlikely - either you'll join some kind of caravan, or use portals, or ... but there won't be much of foot-based cross-country travel (like in the original PST).

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Firkraag » February 23rd, 2016, 2:12 am

Tides wrote:It's not a typical post-nuclear setting but it is post-apocalyptic setting nonetheless.
It's post-apocalyptic setting in the same way, as early medieval Europe was. Ruins and ancient junk everywhere, new factions, forests with no end, dominance of animal predators, etc.
If you see it from that persepective, then yes - Numenera is 'post-apocalyptic'.

But bear in mind, that there are literally tons of classic fantasy settings, which are as much, as 'post-apocalyptic'. And no one calls them that. Because, it's broadest possible definition of "post-apocalyptic" descriptor. You're free to do that, but others are free to disregard your definition, if they think it's not fitting. What "post-apocalyptic" descriptor usually implies, it's a dystopic future after end of the world as we know it - either one or series of massive extinction events with remnants of humanity attempt to survive and reform society. Some can argue, that 'post-apocalyptic' fantasy settings are already a huge stretch for that sub-genre descriptor.

What we have in Numenera's Ninth World is quasimedieval society, built by colonists from beyond on a uninhabited land, which is littered with ruins of ancient civilzations and their archeological artifacts. There are no reference to any particular massive exctintion event and most of settings inhabitants are not descendants of survivors.

So, there is no connection between any part of game setting, that makes it reasonable to call it post-apocalyptic setting, other than that there's no signs of 20th century civilzation around (and that's unrealistic expectation to find any after one billion of years, I must add) and your own desire to call it that way to promote your idea of spawning mobs in a game, that is already made differently.
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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by anonymous6059 » February 23rd, 2016, 4:38 am

Tides wrote: Well running away will be probably hard in a turn based system such as this but I agree lack of combat except for the 13 scripted events would be very boring. There should be some animals, robots, mutants and monsters in areas like ruins, sewers, forests etc. They also announced visiting other dimensions there should be hostile creatures there and in Castoff Labirynth as well.
It's not difficult to set up a flee option in a turn-based game. In Divinity Original Sin characters can just teleport out of dangerous situations. In Table Top I'm pretty sure you can flee as well. Sure, the enemy might get an attack of opportunity or whatever but its not so difficult to implement. I think the game's going to be great. I don't really mind the lack of combat to awfully. I've enjoyed playing Planescape Torment. I'm just worried that by only having puzzles and reading to do for extended periods will effect my attention span. That's why I don't really hate trash mobs I guess. Its a nice mini-game just like item management is to me. Maybe it could just be a difficulty mode? Make Hard mode have a increase in encounters perhaps.

By the way, does anyone know if this game will even have difficulty modes?

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Re: A look at writing, gameplay and some lore questions

Post by Tides » February 23rd, 2016, 1:42 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:
Tides wrote: Well running away will be probably hard in a turn based system such as this but I agree lack of combat except for the 13 scripted events would be very boring. There should be some animals, robots, mutants and monsters in areas like ruins, sewers, forests etc. They also announced visiting other dimensions there should be hostile creatures there and in Castoff Labirynth as well.
It's not difficult to set up a flee option in a turn-based game. In Divinity Original Sin characters can just teleport out of dangerous situations. In Table Top I'm pretty sure you can flee as well. Sure, the enemy might get an attack of opportunity or whatever but its not so difficult to implement. I think the game's going to be great. I don't really mind the lack of combat to awfully. I've enjoyed playing Planescape Torment. I'm just worried that by only having puzzles and reading to do for extended periods will effect my attention span. That's why I don't really hate trash mobs I guess. Its a nice mini-game just like item management is to me. Maybe it could just be a difficulty mode? Make Hard mode have a increase in encounters perhaps.

By the way, does anyone know if this game will even have difficulty modes?
I thought running away may be hard because combat in this game is more like in tactical rpgs than turnbased jrpgs where you're teleported on a separate screen during combat. Indeed adding difficulty modes with more encounters is a good idea there could also be special modes like Trial of Iron and Path of The Damned from Pillars of Eternity and partly randomly generated enemy placement could be interesting too. Planescape Torment had plenty of combat even if that combat was poorly implemented compared to other Ininity Engine games. For me Numenera would be boring if it's point and click adventure with hardly any combat. In Pillars even the so called trash mobs are quite challenging.

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