A look on writing, gameplay and some lore questions

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

Moderator: Memovira Goons

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9650
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

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

Post by Drool » February 28th, 2016, 12:03 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:I just don't think that's what they have planned. Planescape Torment was full of combat and so was pretty much every Infinity engine game with a decent story.
Everything inXile has said disagrees with you:
Torment 'Four Pillars' Document wrote:One of our goals from the beginning has been to avoid dungeon crawls and so-called trash mobs. Torment will only have a dozen or so Crises, which means we are handcrafting each one to be unique, reactive, and exciting. Whether you choose to fight or not, you will find interesting decisions awaiting you at every turn.
anonymous6059 wrote:Nothing is exclusive about it. If they want to make a spiritual successor to PST then what good is throwing out 1/3 of what the game was about.
...because the combat in P:T was utter garbage?
anonymous6059 wrote:One of the biggest complaints I've seen from the beta is from all the "weapon sickness" . You can find all these weapons in the game, but don't have anyone or anything to use them on. That in itself suggest to me that they do indeed plan on having more uses for weapons.
Cypher, not weapon. Cyphers can be used outside of combat.
anonymous6059 wrote:If you look at some of the reviews written about the game's beta you'll see over and over the exact same concern that I'm talking about.
And I read a review of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon that said it wasn't worth playing because it didn't have multiplayer. Non-target demo complaining that they aren't the demo means little to me.
anonymous6059 wrote:All I'm suggesting is making NPCs bigger jerks looking to pick a fight and to be able to kill anyone. Pretty much exactly how it is in Planescape Torment.
No, you were suggesting turning plot critical NPCs into superheroes to slap the hand of players who try to kill them. My objections to that are what started all of this.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

User avatar
anonymous6059
Adventurer
Posts: 786
Joined: January 5th, 2016, 6:45 pm

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

Post by anonymous6059 » February 28th, 2016, 1:32 pm

Drool wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:All I'm suggesting is making NPCs bigger jerks looking to pick a fight and to be able to kill anyone. Pretty much exactly how it is in Planescape Torment.
No, you were suggesting turning plot critical NPCs into superheroes to slap the hand of players who try to kill them. My objections to that are what started all of this.
No my argument was to try and find a way to add more combat to the game that wouldn't conflict with immersion. You just popped in and started objecting to one specific sentence. I am willing to agree that perhaps that specific point that I made wasn't the best idea. It is one that has been used in games like Baldur's gate though and I'm still not sure why its a bad idea. I'd love to hear what you think would be a better way of solving the problem. Still, making plot critical NPCs really difficult to beat was what you did originally jump in to disagree with. That wasn't the point I was arguing for though, just one way of trying to make it happen. The point is to discuss adding more combat to the game in a way that makes sense. Having more of the NPCs in the game try and engage the PC in combat.

I agree with removing trash mobs.
I agree with only having 12 or so "major" conflicts.
I do not agree with only having 12 opportunities to engage in combat.

I'd like to be able to kill any NPC in the game.
I'd like for more NPCs to try and get into a fight with me.

I'm not sure what is the best way to make that happen.
If you don't agree I'd love to know *why*.

I do not know where you stand on these overall topics. I know that you don't like my specific thought on how to handle fights with plot critical NPCs. I really haven't seen any suggestions from you though. You've only vaguely shown that it is wrong and incorrect. You haven't really shown why or what would be a better way of correcting it. I'd love to know how you think the game play can be enhanced or why you think it's perfect the way that it is now. Its in Beta so I think its very valid to talk about what improvements should be made. That's what I thought having a beta release was all about, feedback, suggestions, and criticisms.

Tides
Initiate
Posts: 11
Joined: February 21st, 2016, 9:18 am

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

Post by Tides » February 28th, 2016, 10:13 pm

kilobug wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:Another example that comes to mind is the tanar'ri, think its the tanar'ri at least, that wander around the hive. They just wander around doing their own thing not messing with you. However, if you continuously try and talk to them or provoke them they'll attack you.
Yes, the Tanar'ri things works pretty well, because the Hive is a place with virtually no law enforcement (the Harmonium avoids it), and because Tanar'ri aren't liked by most people, and because they're the ones actually starting the fight - but it takes lots of conditions for it to work out decently, not sure they'll be met in TTON.
anonymous6059 wrote:Same thing if you decide to kill every person that looks at you funny. That's the best part about role-playing games, well at least good ones, you decide how you want to play it.
Well, the problem is with _computer_ role-playing games. In pen&paper game, sure, do whatever you want - and the GM will handle the (possibly dire) consequences. Kill random people - someone may then blackmail you because they saw you, you might be arrested or otherwise have problems with law enforcement, the brother of someone you killed may hire assassins and send them against you, a mind-reading NPC somewhere in other city may deny you help, whatever.

But in a computer game, it's much harder to give lots of freedom to the player, and yet have the game react in meaningful and interesting ways to what you do. That's part of why I didn't like much the Elder Scrolls games (at least Oblivion and Morrowing, the two I tried), because you've virtually total freedom in them, but basically no consequence of your actions, that's very shallow and empty freedom.

Torment is supposed to be a game with lots of "reactivity", where your choices actually matter and change the way NPCs will react to you, ... in a computer game, making the choices meaningful and deep also means they have to be limited. TTON will not give you complete freedom (it's story-based, not open world), but the freedom you will have, the choice you'll make will matter. That's IMHO what's important - and it doesn't really allow to "kill every person that looks at you funny".

So while I would be fine with more opportunity to pick up fights if you chose to do so (there will be some outside of Crisis, not sure how many), you've to keep in mind that it's not that simple, to be done well it needs lots of work behind it, crafting consequences for your choice.
anonymous6059 wrote:4. Lastly, It would make me happy and keep me from getting bored. I mean what could be more important? ;)
Well, making people happy is definitely important in a game :) But if you need "random fights" to not get bored in a Torment game, it's somewhat worrisome. Take the under-Sigil fights, the Modron Cube, and the hive fights (Tanar'ri/thugs) out of PST and it would still be an amazing game - shorter game, a bit less fun for some players perhaps, but it wouldn't become boring.
I agree about Tenari it probably wouldn't make sense in Nemenera to have hordes of people on the streets that attack you if you're mean to them however there should be some that attack you because of that but not too many. That's why there also should be encounters with enemies outside of conflicts. Check Numenera's bestiary it has many monsters including the ones with low intelligence.
Last edited by Tides on February 28th, 2016, 11:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tides
Initiate
Posts: 11
Joined: February 21st, 2016, 9:18 am

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

Post by Tides » February 28th, 2016, 10:21 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:
Drool wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:All I'm suggesting is making NPCs bigger jerks looking to pick a fight and to be able to kill anyone. Pretty much exactly how it is in Planescape Torment.
No, you were suggesting turning plot critical NPCs into superheroes to slap the hand of players who try to kill them. My objections to that are what started all of this.
No my argument was to try and find a way to add more combat to the game that wouldn't conflict with immersion. You just popped in and started objecting to one specific sentence. I am willing to agree that perhaps that specific point that I made wasn't the best idea. It is one that has been used in games like Baldur's gate though and I'm still not sure why its a bad idea. I'd love to hear what you think would be a better way of solving the problem. Still, making plot critical NPCs really difficult to beat was what you did originally jump in to disagree with. That wasn't the point I was arguing for though, just one way of trying to make it happen. The point is to discuss adding more combat to the game in a way that makes sense. Having more of the NPCs in the game try and engage the PC in combat.

I agree with removing trash mobs.
I agree with only having 12 or so "major" conflicts.
I do not agree with only having 12 opportunities to engage in combat.

I'd like to be able to kill any NPC in the game.
I'd like for more NPCs to try and get into a fight with me.

I'm not sure what is the best way to make that happen.
If you don't agree I'd love to know *why*.

I do not know where you stand on these overall topics. I know that yaou don't like my specific thought on how to handle fights with plot critical NPCs. I really haven't seen any suggestions from you though. You've only vaguely shown that it is wrong and incorrect. You haven't really shown why or what would be a better way of correcting it. I'd love to know how you think the game play can be enhanced or why you think it's perfect the way that it is now. Its in Beta so I think its very valid to talk about what improvements should be made. That's what I thought having a beta release was all about, feedback, suggestions, and criticisms.
I disagree about conflicts and ''trash mobs', combat is an important part of any good RPG. Every NPC wanting to kill you for talking to them is unrealistic and wouldn't be challenging anyway unless large groups of NPCs attack you but such an event does not make sense unless you turn the entire city against you which again is not fun and would require reloading save states. In accordance with the setting(check sourcebooks) there should be proper monsters with whom you can't negotiate or even talk and not just npcs. Baldur's Gate has only a few strong NPC that are hard to kill or you can't kill them because they teleport you away like Drizzt, Elminster and Szass-Tam. NPCs like these can be optional bosses but they aren't a replacement for regular enemies.

kilobug
Adventurer
Posts: 948
Joined: September 21st, 2014, 1:07 am
Location: Paris, France

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

Post by kilobug » February 29th, 2016, 12:41 am

anonymous6059 wrote:I agree with only having 12 or so "major" conflicts.
I do not agree with only having 12 opportunities to engage in combat.
The devs spoke about "mini-crisis" that would be added in addition to the ~12 major crisis to give players additional possibilities to pick up fights. Not sure how much of those there will be it.
anonymous6059 wrote:I'd like to be able to kill any NPC in the game.
That won't happen. As I explained above, there is no way to do that without killing the reactivity of the game and making it much more shallow. Better not be able to do everything, but that what you can do have real consequences, than be able to do whatever and the game only reacting decently to some of your choices.

kilobug
Adventurer
Posts: 948
Joined: September 21st, 2014, 1:07 am
Location: Paris, France

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

Post by kilobug » February 29th, 2016, 12:47 am

Tides wrote:That's why there also should be encounters with enemies outside of conflicts. Check Numenera's bestiary it has many monsters including the ones with low intelligence.
Mindless roaming monsters attacking you for no real plot-related reason is about the definition of "trash mob", something the devs promised there won't be. I would be ok with one or two areas of the game in which it can happen, just for an ambiance issue (to make it feel dangerous), but they really should keep that limited.

Remember, one huge point of TTON will be reactivity and replayability, you can play the game several times and make different decisions and have a different story, if you have to keep fighting mindless monsters frequently, it'll make it tedious to play the game 4-5 times to explore all the Tides and options.

And yes, I do have Numenéra bestiary and know there are "mindless monsters", Numenéra pen&paper is flexible enough so you can play it the way you want. But Tides is story-driven, reactive, no-trash mob take on Numenéra - which is the way I like it to be. Like the way I used to play Planescape pen&paper - sure we did have fights, and they were fun every now and then, but we also have whole evening of game with no fight, and those were among the best.

Tides
Initiate
Posts: 11
Joined: February 21st, 2016, 9:18 am

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

Post by Tides » February 29th, 2016, 1:06 am

kilobug wrote:
Tides wrote:That's why there also should be encounters with enemies outside of conflicts. Check Numenera's bestiary it has many monsters including the ones with low intelligence.
Mindless roaming monsters attacking you for no real plot-related reason is about the definition of "trash mob", something the devs promised there won't be. I would be ok with one or two areas of the game in which it can happen, just for an ambiance issue (to make it feel dangerous), but they really should keep that limited.

Remember, one huge point of TTON will be reactivity and replayability, you can play the game several times and make different decisions and have a different story, if you have to keep fighting mindless monsters frequently, it'll make it tedious to play the game 4-5 times to explore all the Tides and options.

And yes, I do have Numenéra bestiary and know there are "mindless monsters", Numenéra pen&paper is flexible enough so you can play it the way you want. But Tides is story-driven, reactive, no-trash mob take on Numenéra - which is the way I like it to be. Like the way I used to play Planescape pen&paper - sure we did have fights, and they were fun every now and then, but we also have whole evening of game with no fight, and those were among the best.
Seems more like an excuse for laziness to me since it would take more work to create diverse bestiary you know AI, animations and all that stuff. Many RPGs have multiple ways to solve quests yet they have many enemies too. Actually without mobs and enough combat game will be too boring to play multiple times. Frankly only 3 classes is also not enough for me(Game exclusive classes would be nice) for high replayability and in combination with the lack of combat you've recipe for boredom. Let's agree to disagree I have diferent expectation than you but I'm sure without diverse bestiary and combat outside of scripted sequences many people will be too bored to finish it more than one time. Let's don't pretend that just making point and click adventure without combat is ''art''. Numenera game should have the majority of creatures from this setting present and fightable in the game to be interesting no point in using a licensed setting otherwise.

kilobug
Adventurer
Posts: 948
Joined: September 21st, 2014, 1:07 am
Location: Paris, France

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

Post by kilobug » February 29th, 2016, 1:51 am

Tides wrote:Seems more like an excuse for laziness to me since it would take more work to create diverse bestiary you know AI, animations and all that stuff.
The game has a finite budget in time and money, sure. Every $ and man-hour spent in one thing isn't spent on another. But that's not the main issue - the main issue is that a Torment game is about story, it's about weird, it's about dialogues, it's not a dungeon crawler. PsT had a low variety of monsters you could fight too - even if some of those fights were repeatable. They invest the budget elsewhere, and I'm glad they did.
Tides wrote:Many RPGs have multiple ways to solve quests yet they have many enemies too.
TTON reactivity will go beyond just "multiple ways to solve quests". At least I hope so.
Tides wrote:Actually without mobs and enough combat game will be too boring to play multiple times.
I guess tastes matter for that - I would prefer PsT if it had much less combats. And I played IWD and PoE only once, because of too many "trash" combats.
Tides wrote:Frankly only 3 classes is also not enough for me(Game exclusive classes would be nice)
PsT also only had 3 classes, and I never felt it was a problem. Adding more classes into Numenéra would really be betraying the settings spirit. Especially since Numenéra is more like a class-less system. You've your class, sure. But also a descriptor and a focus, which greatly change your character massively. A "charming Jack who brandishes a silver tongue" is like a bard. A "quick Jack who works in back alleys" is more like a thief. And so on. Basically any combination of type and focus makes a class.
Tides wrote:for high replayability and in combination with the lack of combat you've recipe for boredom.
I think you're looking for the wrong game - TTON isn't a dungeon crawler, where fun is mostly in combat and re-playability in varying the character combat-related skills, it's not IWD. TTON is a story-driven game, where re-playability comes from making different choices and approaching problems in different ways, and where combat is just one optional way, and often not the best one, to solve problems the game throws at you.
Tides wrote:Let's agree to disagree I have diferent expectation than you but I'm sure without diverse bestiary and combat outside of scripted sequences many people will be too bored to finish it more than one time.
Sure, but then it's good that TTON doesn't target "many people", but Torment fans who want a story-driven, low-combat game. There are plenty of crawlers and combat-focused games out there, there are much less deeply philosophical, story-driven, deliciously weird, text-loaded games, and that's what TTON is about - like Torment was.
Tides wrote:Let's don't pretend that just making point and click adventure without combat is ''art''.
First, few combats doesn't make a game a point-and-click adventure. A good RPG isn't a point-and-click adventure with combat, that's a very reductive way of seeing it. Then, what a game "art" or not is not about the number of combat. PsT was an artistic masterpiece, not because of combat, but quite despite it - it was an artistic masterpiece because of the weird settings it was in, the deep interaction with NPCs, the philosophical questions it asked, the general ambiance made by the text, the graphical art, the music, the voice-over all combining to make you feel in an outlandish world.
Tides wrote:Numenera game should have the majority of creatures from this setting present and fightable in the game to be interesting no point in using a licensed setting otherwise.
Sorry, but lol. Even a very combat-oriented game like IWD doesn't have the majority of creatures from AD&D present and fightable. A RPG isn't taking a bestiary, implementing all the creatures in it and making you fight them. And reducing Numenéra to a bestiary is really a shame. Numenéra is first of all a world, a settings, full of delicious weirdness, impossible landscapes, interesting NPCs, weird objects whose purpose is defying comprehension. The bestiary is a very tiny part of it. Actually on the corebook the bestiary is a couple of pages in a 300+ pages book, and I'm glad it's this way. And yes, I did buy the bestiary and there are nice weird stuff in it too, but it's definitely not what makes Numenéra great.

User avatar
Lord of Riva
Adventurer
Posts: 964
Joined: October 14th, 2014, 10:18 am

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

Post by Lord of Riva » February 29th, 2016, 3:37 am

im on board with Kilobug on this.

the whole debate is about the genre of the game. Its as if you would ask for turn-based combat in a super mario plattformer or ego-shooter elements in a point and click adventure. From the get go Torment was planned more of a story-driven "adventure" game compared to the classic definition of the crpg stuff. It still has loads of RPG elements in it though.

that was the pitch, and that is what most people expect and even more importantly hope that it is. So this whole idea of introducing trash mobs is completely opposing what the original backers and the dev team wants.

Tides
Initiate
Posts: 11
Joined: February 21st, 2016, 9:18 am

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

Post by Tides » February 29th, 2016, 3:46 am

kilobug wrote:
Tides wrote:Seems more like an excuse for laziness to me since it would take more work to create diverse bestiary you know AI, animations and all that stuff.
The game has a finite budget in time and money, sure. Every $ and man-hour spent in one thing isn't spent on another. But that's not the main issue - the main issue is that a Torment game is about story, it's about weird, it's about dialogues, it's not a dungeon crawler. PsT had a low variety of monsters you could fight too - even if some of those fights were repeatable. They invest the budget elsewhere, and I'm glad they did.
Tides wrote:Many RPGs have multiple ways to solve quests yet they have many enemies too.
TTON reactivity will go beyond just "multiple ways to solve quests". At least I hope so.
Tides wrote:Actually without mobs and enough combat game will be too boring to play multiple times.
I guess tastes matter for that - I would prefer PsT if it had much less combats. And I played IWD and PoE only once, because of too many "trash" combats.
Tides wrote:Frankly only 3 classes is also not enough for me(Game exclusive classes would be nice)
PsT also only had 3 classes, and I never felt it was a problem. Adding more classes into Numenéra would really be betraying the settings spirit. Especially since Numenéra is more like a class-less system. You've your class, sure. But also a descriptor and a focus, which greatly change your character massively. A "charming Jack who brandishes a silver tongue" is like a bard. A "quick Jack who works in back alleys" is more like a thief. And so on. Basically any combination of type and focus makes a class.
Tides wrote:for high replayability and in combination with the lack of combat you've recipe for boredom.
I think you're looking for the wrong game - TTON isn't a dungeon crawler, where fun is mostly in combat and re-playability in varying the character combat-related skills, it's not IWD. TTON is a story-driven game, where re-playability comes from making different choices and approaching problems in different ways, and where combat is just one optional way, and often not the best one, to solve problems the game throws at you.
Tides wrote:Let's agree to disagree I have diferent expectation than you but I'm sure without diverse bestiary and combat outside of scripted sequences many people will be too bored to finish it more than one time.
Sure, but then it's good that TTON doesn't target "many people", but Torment fans who want a story-driven, low-combat game. There are plenty of crawlers and combat-focused games out there, there are much less deeply philosophical, story-driven, deliciously weird, text-loaded games, and that's what TTON is about - like Torment was.
Tides wrote:Let's don't pretend that just making point and click adventure without combat is ''art''.
First, few combats doesn't make a game a point-and-click adventure. A good RPG isn't a point-and-click adventure with combat, that's a very reductive way of seeing it. Then, what a game "art" or not is not about the number of combat. PsT was an artistic masterpiece, not because of combat, but quite despite it - it was an artistic masterpiece because of the weird settings it was in, the deep interaction with NPCs, the philosophical questions it asked, the general ambiance made by the text, the graphical art, the music, the voice-over all combining to make you feel in an outlandish world.
Tides wrote:Numenera game should have the majority of creatures from this setting present and fightable in the game to be interesting no point in using a licensed setting otherwise.
Sorry, but lol. Even a very combat-oriented game like IWD doesn't have the majority of creatures from AD&D present and fightable. A RPG isn't taking a bestiary, implementing all the creatures in it and making you fight them. And reducing Numenéra to a bestiary is really a shame. Numenéra is first of all a world, a settings, full of delicious weirdness, impossible landscapes, interesting NPCs, weird objects whose purpose is defying comprehension. The bestiary is a very tiny part of it. Actually on the corebook the bestiary is a couple of pages in a 300+ pages book, and I'm glad it's this way. And yes, I did buy the bestiary and there are nice weird stuff in it too, but it's definitely not what makes Numenéra great.
Planescape Torment was a half-finshed game many quests and other things were cut so no wonder it didn't have huge bestiary either. BG 1/2 is much superior and polished game than PsT imo. PsT was good but would be much better if they implemented better combat system like in the rest of IE games.
kilobug wrote:TTON reactivity will go beyond just "multiple ways to solve quests". At least I hope so.
Pure speculation and I doubt that there was nothing said about it having some special randomized engine like Sui Generis for example.
Point 'n click based CRPG without combat is just that a point 'n click adventure. Bestiary is the most important part of CRPG setting for me at least. Without diverse and interesting bestiary there won't be real gameplay above a boring point and click. Numenera's bestiary is tiny comared to AD&D's so not implementing all of in the game is pure laziness and a wasted opportunity.

kilobug
Adventurer
Posts: 948
Joined: September 21st, 2014, 1:07 am
Location: Paris, France

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

Post by kilobug » February 29th, 2016, 4:55 am

Tides wrote:Planescape Torment was a half-finshed game many quests and other things were cut so no wonder it didn't have huge bestiary either. BG 1/2 is much superior and polished game than PsT imo. PsT was good but would be much better if they implemented better combat system like in the rest of IE games.
Well, perhaps you prefer BG to PsT, that's of course your right - but for many people (me included), PsT was the best CRPG ever, by far. And TTON was made for people who, like me, think that PsT was a truly exceptional gem. The goal of TTON isn't to make another Baldur's Gate, that was PoE. The goal was to make something that contains all the key ingredients that made PsT be so highly regard by some - and that's not combat.

Now, yes, PsT was a bit rushed - you can feel in the second half of the game, it feels a bit rushed and less full than the Sigil part. I wish they did have enough time and budget to make the Crust/Caceri part as good as the Sigil part. But the issue is not of too small bestiary or anything related to combat - the issue is the lack of amazing places, characters and interactions like in Sigil.
Tides wrote:
kilobug wrote:TTON reactivity will go beyond just "multiple ways to solve quests". At least I hope so.
Pure speculation and I doubt that there was nothing said about it having some special randomized engine like Sui Generis for example.
Randomized ? By Her Serenity the Lady of Pain, no ! Reactivity isn't randonmess. Reactivity is characters and situations in the world reacting to your choices - like reactivity in WL2 would have been in saving AG center or Highpool would have consequences on the Prison map. Or that if you usually break your promises, other NPCs will know it from reputation or because they are mind-reader or whatever and won't trust you. That decision you make, action you perform, have consequences later in the game.
Tides wrote:Point 'n click based CRPG without combat is just that a point 'n click adventure.
Well, perhaps it's a bit of semantic, but what is the main difference between a CRPG and a point and click adventure game ? Not combat, to me. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusades did have "combat", and no one ever said it was a CRPG. The key difference between the two (related) genres is, well, role-playing. In a CRPG you define who your character is, what his personality is like, what major decisions he makes, what abilities and skills he has. In an adventure game, you play a pre-made character, with a fixed set of skills and a defined personality, in a mostly linear scenario. If you can talk your way past the police officer to access the crime scene, or if you can sneak behind him, or if you need to create a diversion is set in the stone. In a CRPG, you can make a character good at talking, or good at sneaking, or ... And if your character will start to flirt with that girl is your decision.

That's where the two genres differ - CRPG has less linearity, more choices you can make on the personality, skills and decisions of your character. Which implies a character sheet, to track the skills and sometimes decisions (ie, alignment system, be it D&D alignment like in PsT, be it reputation like in BG, or the Tides in Torment). Combat is nowhere in that - it's not a fundamental part of a CRPG. It's frequently part of it, yes, like it's often the case of novels, series and movies. But it doesn't have to be part of it.
Tides wrote:Bestiary is the most important part of CRPG setting for me at least.
Then you're looking at the wrong game, sorry. If you want a combat-oriented RPG, look at PoE or at BT4, not at TTON.
Tides wrote:Numenera's bestiary is tiny comared to AD&D's so not implementing all of in the game is pure laziness and a wasted opportunity.
Actually it's much _easier_ to make random mindless combat with a large bestiary (like IWD or Diablo), than to make a meaningful story-driven game like PsT. Laziness is making trash mobs, throwing monsters at the player with no real story, no real reactivity.

fygment
Initiate
Posts: 10
Joined: February 21st, 2016, 9:41 am

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

Post by fygment » February 29th, 2016, 6:16 am

Lord of Riva wrote:im on board with Kilobug on this.

the whole debate is about the genre of the game. Its as if you would ask for turn-based combat in a super mario plattformer or ego-shooter elements in a point and click adventure. From the get go Torment was planned more of a story-driven "adventure" game compared to the classic definition of the crpg stuff. It still has loads of RPG elements in it though.

that was the pitch, and that is what most people expect and even more importantly hope that it is. So this whole idea of introducing trash mobs is completely opposing what the original backers and the dev team wants.
I agree completely. The lack of random or incidental combat encounters is due to neither laziness nor budgetary constraints. It due to the fact that inXile is sticking to their original vision and keeping the promises they made to their backers, and I very much approve.

I understand that for some people more combat would make the game more fun, and that is a perfectly valid perspective. However, that is not the game being made, and it was never intended to be.

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9650
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

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

Post by Drool » February 29th, 2016, 12:49 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:I really haven't seen any suggestions from you though. You've only vaguely shown that it is wrong and incorrect. You haven't really shown why or what would be a better way of correcting it. I'd love to know how you think the game play can be enhanced or why you think it's perfect the way that it is now.
Because I reject your axioms. I reject the supposed need for more combat. It's a somewhat mild objection, based on inXile's stated vision more than any particular attachment to said vision. However, the idea of making plot important NPCs into battlemasters was something I held a strong objection to, which is why I focused on it.

I have no idea if inXile's vision here will work, but I want them to try it without watering it down because a cadre of people on a forum can't fathom going more than 10 minutes without killing something. For this specific game, I think it's a vision worth pursuing. Filling this game with combats would be as out of place as allowing for a pacifist run in Wasteland 2; different games have different needs.

That said, if I'm forced to put forth an idea for mindless combat as some kind of bizarre door fee for participating, I can do that:

Take a page from the Warzone in Might & Magic 4. It's an arena you can go to where you can fight whatever monster or foe you want. For absolutely no reward. No XP, no money, no loot. But you can bash things with a sword. Or tell yourself that you're practicing your tactics, or whatever. Make it as lame and useless as possible. Charge for admittance.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

User avatar
anonymous6059
Adventurer
Posts: 786
Joined: January 5th, 2016, 6:45 pm

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

Post by anonymous6059 » February 29th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Drool wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:I really haven't seen any suggestions from you though. You've only vaguely shown that it is wrong and incorrect. You haven't really shown why or what would be a better way of correcting it. I'd love to know how you think the game play can be enhanced or why you think it's perfect the way that it is now.
Because I reject your axioms. I reject the supposed need for more combat. It's a somewhat mild objection, based on inXile's stated vision more than any particular attachment to said vision. However, the idea of making plot important NPCs into battlemasters was something I held a strong objection to, which is why I focused on it.

I have no idea if inXile's vision here will work, but I want them to try it without watering it down because a cadre of people on a forum can't fathom going more than 10 minutes without killing something. For this specific game, I think it's a vision worth pursuing. Filling this game with combats would be as out of place as allowing for a pacifist run in Wasteland 2; different games have different needs.

That said, if I'm forced to put forth an idea for mindless combat as some kind of bizarre door fee for participating, I can do that:

Take a page from the Warzone in Might & Magic 4. It's an arena you can go to where you can fight whatever monster or foe you want. For absolutely no reward. No XP, no money, no loot. But you can bash things with a sword. Or tell yourself that you're practicing your tactics, or whatever. Make it as lame and useless as possible. Charge for admittance.
Yeah, I've come to realize that this is more of a adventure game then a RPG. I didn't know that. I thought it was going to be more like Planescape Torment. So I was pretty confused by your stance at first, but now I understand. I also went ahead and coughed up another $20 to beta test the game. This way next time I have a great Idea it might be relevant. ;)

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9650
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

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

Post by Drool » March 1st, 2016, 12:33 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:Yeah, I've come to realize that this is more of a adventure game then a RPG. I didn't know that. I thought it was going to be more like Planescape Torment.
I think calling it an adventure game is a needlessly loaded phrase and a somewhat disingenuous pejorative.

As for the second half there, it's a matter of people, apparently, having very different ideas of what Planescape: Torment was. In a... philosophical sense. As I'm understanding it, some people take a very gestalt or holistic view of P:T, and view everything -- from the philosophy and dialogue, to the trash mobs and combat -- as what made the game so memorable and made it great.

Many others (including myself and, it seems, inXile), take a more divided view of the game. It's as if there was two games melded together: the mechanics, the leveling, the combat, the spells, all of that was the Planescape half of the game; the philosophy, the dialogue, the navel gazing, that was all the Torment half. Essentially, it's a view that says P:T was a philosophical game about what the nature of man is, with a clunky combat system bolted on because that's what people expected back in the 90s (or you could argue that it was a D&D property where the writer went way of the reservation and the publisher decided to run with it).

The combat was something you tolerated because the rest of the game was so engrossing and interesting. Personally, I found the combat to be an absolute chore that added nothing to the game, and in fact detracted heavily from it. The awfulness of the combat is one of the reasons I haven't touched the game since I last played it over a decade ago; I have no interest in dealing with that horrible combat system again. Then again, I'm one of five people on the planet who didn't like those stupid spell animations that lasted forever and couldn't be skipped.

My personal feelings on the combat aside, this half-and-half view of the game helps to explain the lack of focus on combat in TToN. They're focusing on the Torment half of the P:T duality. Indeed, it could be argued that by putting Torment first in the title (instead of "Tides of Numenera: Torment"), they're signalling that they're going to primarily focus on the philosophy and letting the mechanics be secondary.

--

As I mentioned before, I don't know if it'll work. It could very well be that this turns into a weird Gone Home-esque visual novel. I don't think it will, but there's no way of knowing until it's finished. That said, I want to see this experiment come to fruition. Their next game is already going to be a polar opposite (assuming they keep it a proper dungeon crawler), so I'm a little curious to see how this RPG-without-much-combat-at-all actually works out. If nothing else, they deserve points for having the gumption for trying.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

User avatar
anonymous6059
Adventurer
Posts: 786
Joined: January 5th, 2016, 6:45 pm

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

Post by anonymous6059 » March 1st, 2016, 7:29 pm

Drool wrote: As I mentioned before, I don't know if it'll work. It could very well be that this turns into a weird Gone Home-esque visual novel. I don't think it will, but there's no way of knowing until it's finished. That said, I want to see this experiment come to fruition. Their next game is already going to be a polar opposite (assuming they keep it a proper dungeon crawler), so I'm a little curious to see how this RPG-without-much-combat-at-all actually works out. If nothing else, they deserve points for having the gumption for trying.
See I thought that it was following the same path that Pillars of Eternity had. They made a game that was pretty much an exact replica of Baldur's gate only better. I'm not saying that the game is perfect. They could of spent more time on it and at least fixed the horrible stronghold. Anyway, so when I decided to throw in on this game I was under the impression that Inxile was basically doing the same thing for Planescape Torment. When I heard that they weren't going to have trash mobs I was like, okay! The combat sucks in PST hope they fix it. I didn't think they were throwing it out almost completely though. I just couldn't see how a RPG could be any good without a decent amount of interesting combat. (decent amount= like every 5-15 mintues)

Now that I've actually started working my way through the beta I'm seeing this as really its own game. I've noticed a few vague parallels to Planescape Torment but that's about it. The lore, writing, and artwork are all amazing don't get me wrong, but this just isn't a remake of PST from what i've seen so far. Personally, I kind of wish that they wouldn't of advertised it as being a Spiritual successor of PST. Maybe the love child of PST, but not its spiritual successor. I know advertising it as such was one hell of a way to get cash though and to be honest the only way to convince people to make this game a possibility. Plus, I really don't know how many people have actually played PST. It doesn't have nice pretty enhanced editions like BG1&2. Its a pretty difficult game to get to run smoothly on a modern computer, trust me mine still has random CTDs and I've spent hours modding it. Oh and Fallen Grace likes to repeat "Fell has a studio here does he not" like every freaking 5 minutes. Most people only *know* about Planescape Torment and what they *know* is only of the writing, lore, and artwork. They don't care for infinity engine games or the combat systems, none of that junk.

However, none of that means I'm upset or feeling tricked in anyway. Its like you said, most people just want the writing, unique isometric artwork, and the deep lore. They don't want it to be a "remake" anyway. Personally, I feel that something truer to PST would of maybe made them more money. The original was aimed at teenagers. The equivalent today would involve Throwing in tons of combat, blood, cool fatalities, oh and it would have to be FULL 3-D VR Supported!!!!! ;) This isn't what Inxile seems to be doing though. It's almost like they are intentionally making this game for those nostalgic adults who think they remember what was great about the game. The game comes off as a homage to what these adults want to have again, their childhood. Then again they don't because they are adults and Inxile knows that. Not sure if that makes and sense or just sounds insulting. :?

Which kind of confuses me because I never really expected for a developers to actually try so hard to deliver what their backers actually want. The game really feels like its all about art for arts sake. Is it going to make a ton of money? I don't think it will personally. Does Inxile seem to care? Again, I'm starting to really think they don't. They seem to actually care almost exclusively about giving the backers what they wanted.... Something that almost kind of scares me. (WHATS YOUR SECRET AGENDA INXILE???!?!?! HUH?!?!?) :twisted:

So yeah I'm off to spend the next 200+ hours exploring the Beta. Game is so good. :o

kilobug
Adventurer
Posts: 948
Joined: September 21st, 2014, 1:07 am
Location: Paris, France

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

Post by kilobug » March 2nd, 2016, 12:59 am

Drool wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:Yeah, I've come to realize that this is more of a adventure game then a RPG. I didn't know that. I thought it was going to be more like Planescape Torment.
I think calling it an adventure game is a needlessly loaded phrase and a somewhat disingenuous pejorative.
I agree with that (I gave a full explanation above or where the key difference between the two genres lies), and with most of your post actually ;)
Drool wrote:Many others (including myself and, it seems, inXile), take a more divided view of the game. It's as if there was two games melded together: the mechanics, the leveling, the combat, the spells, all of that was the Planescape half of the game; the philosophy, the dialogue, the navel gazing, that was all the Torment half.
On a nitpicking note I would say I agree with the core argument, but that the "mechanics, leveling, combat" is more the AD&D half of the game. Planescape itself is a campaign settings that, while using AD&D rules, definitely encourages philosophy, rich dialogues and navel gazing. Toment itself is very "planescapy" it reminds me a lot of the pen&paper Planescape games I DMed. It's not the Torment and the Planescape halves, but the Planescape/Torment and the AD&D halves.
Drool wrote:Personally, I found the combat to be an absolute chore that added nothing to the game, and in fact detracted heavily from it.
I wouldn't go as far - the combat was a bit too repetitive, too many trash mobs, and was sometimes getting in the way of the game, but it wasn't that bad, it was fun to a point. I would have liked PsT to have _less_ combat (especially less repetition of the same combat encounters) but still _some_ combat.
Drool wrote:Then again, I'm one of five people on the planet who didn't like those stupid spell animations that lasted forever and couldn't be skipped.
Well, I loved the spell animations during my first playthrough, but I wish I could turn them off (or have them played only once per spell, the first time I cast it) for subsequents playthrough.

kilobug
Adventurer
Posts: 948
Joined: September 21st, 2014, 1:07 am
Location: Paris, France

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

Post by kilobug » March 2nd, 2016, 1:39 am

anonymous6059 wrote:See I thought that it was following the same path that Pillars of Eternity had. They made a game that was pretty much an exact replica of Baldur's gate only better.
I liked BG much more than PoE - PoE was a nice enough game, I finished it once, will probably finish it once more now that the White March is finished, but it was not BG level to me. It had some nice moments, but the combat was a bit too blurry/fuzzy and too repetitive, and they didn't manage (IMHO) to get the same level of ambiance and captivating the player that BG did. I especially loved the beginning of BG, when you're thrown out in the huge wildnerness alone (well, with Imoen), as a 1st level character. The large overland area, combined with the music and ambient sound and effects (rain, ...) combined with the weakness of a AD&D 1st-level character combined with the story really gave me the feeling of being lost and scared, in a way very few games managed to replicate. But well, not being as good as BG (which is, to me, the second best RPG ever after PsT) doesn't mean PoE isn't good ;)
anonymous6059 wrote:I just couldn't see how a RPG could be any good without a decent amount of interesting combat. (decent amount= like every 5-15 mintues)
You don't have combat every 5-15 minutes in PST, at least the way I play it. You've some areas which are rich in combat (under-Sigil, Modron Maze, ...) but you also have full hours of gameplay without a single battle, and those are the best parts of the game.
anonymous6059 wrote:The lore, writing, and artwork are all amazing don't get me wrong, but this just isn't a remake of PST from what i've seen so far.
Well, it was never supposed to be a "remake", but a "spiritual successor", a spiritual successor shares some key aspects of the original (story-driven, deliciously weird settings, text-heavy, philosophical themes, character-centered narrative, ...) but also differ in some - but we are entering semantics here so I'll stop ;)
anonymous6059 wrote:I know advertising it as such was one hell of a way to get cash though and to be honest the only way to convince people to make this game a possibility. Plus, I really don't know how many people have actually played PST.
Well, there is a big enough crowd that played and loved PST, and wanted a similar game in the sense of what I wrote above, and InXile offered making a game for those people, and enough of us wanted it so much that we gave lots of money to inXile to allow them to make it, and so far they seem to be on the right tracks for fulfilling the desires of the PST fans who untrusted them, so all seems a good love story :)
anonymous6059 wrote:Its a pretty difficult game to get to run smoothly on a modern computer, trust me mine still has random CTDs and I've spent hours modding it.
I advise you to follow GOG's modding guide, http://www.gog.com/news/mod_spotlight_p ... mods_guide works pretty well and is not that hard to follow.
anonymous6059 wrote:The original was aimed at teenagers.
Well, I was a teenager back then (on my late teens, 18-19). And I loved the "low combat", "text heavy" part of the game - but then, I was an odd teenager preferring pen&paper RPGs and reading novels to action games and watching series. But anyway TTON mostly calls for those who were teenagers at the time of PsT and who now are in their 30s ;) If teenagers of today can play and enjoy it too, great for them, but I don't think it's the main traget demographics.
anonymous6059 wrote:The game comes off as a homage to what these adults want to have again, their childhood. Then again they don't because they are adults and Inxile knows that. Not sure if that makes and sense or just sounds insulting. :?
I don't see anything insulting in that, I see no problem with adults wanting to fall back into the wonder and joy of childhood for a couple of hours after a hard day of work ;)
anonymous6059 wrote:Which kind of confuses me because I never really expected for a developers to actually try so hard to deliver what their backers actually want. The game really feels like its all about art for arts sake. Is it going to make a ton of money? I don't think it will personally.
InXile definitely took a risk, and did their best to stick to their artistic vision - but I think you'll be surprised and the game will make money nonetheless. It's still one of the highest Kickstarter-funded game ever, with above $4 millions dollars collected in the KS and one million in slacker backer. And the "Early Access" (despite being a very early beta/late alpha stage) is doing well on Steam, AFAIK.
anonymous6059 wrote:So yeah I'm off to spend the next 200+ hours exploring the Beta. Game is so good. :o
Enjoy :)

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 676
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

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

Post by Firkraag » March 2nd, 2016, 1:04 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:I just couldn't see how a RPG could be any good without a decent amount of interesting combat. (decent amount= like every 5-15 mintues)
Damn! And I'm here really thought, that those Shadowrun Returns games were great with hours and hours of dialogue... :)
anonymous6059 wrote:Its a pretty difficult game to get to run smoothly on a modern computer, trust me mine still has random CTDs and I've spent hours modding it. Oh and Fallen Grace likes to repeat "Fell has a studio here does he not" like every freaking 5 minutes.
That's really weird, actually. I have it okay on my current PC.
anonymous6059 wrote:Plus, I really don't know how many people have actually played PST.
Many people have actually re-played it many many times, some - recently and some people played it recently for the first time, when they heard about it. As for me, after re-playing it for the fourth time, I've decided to not delete it, it doesn't seem to be much of a waste.

I keep telling, that if you think, combat mechanics sucks in narratively driven video game, just max out combat stats with and enjoy your plot all you want, but people don't listen, as if I'm some sort of heathen, that suggests to detract all fun from a game. But after turning enemies' HP sponge into paper thin wall, you can enjoy many games, that are generally considered to be bad at delivery. Or may it just sits well with me, because I prefer power play to hard core challenge, so it's win-win, I get faster to good parts and slash through enemies, as a badass, my character seen as -often, from perspective of NPCs and due to unrealistic death toll combat involves, it is justified.
kilobug wrote:On a nitpicking note I would say I agree with the core argument, but that the "mechanics, leveling, combat" is more the AD&D half of the game. Planescape itself is a campaign settings that, while using AD&D rules, definitely encourages philosophy, rich dialogues and navel gazing. Toment itself is very "planescapy" it reminds me a lot of the pen&paper Planescape games I DMed. It's not the Torment and the Planescape halves, but the Planescape/Torment and the AD&D halves.
I've heard opinion, that Planescape itself, would've been a better on a different game system, rather than AD&D, though, probably, in wouldn't have been possible to implement at the time.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

User avatar
anonymous6059
Adventurer
Posts: 786
Joined: January 5th, 2016, 6:45 pm

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

Post by anonymous6059 » March 2nd, 2016, 1:19 pm

kilobug wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:The lore, writing, and artwork are all amazing don't get me wrong, but this just isn't a remake of PST from what i've seen so far.
Well, it was never supposed to be a "remake", but a "spiritual successor", a spiritual successor shares some key aspects of the original (story-driven, deliciously weird settings, text-heavy, philosophical themes, character-centered narrative, ...) but also differ in some - but we are entering semantics here so I'll stop ;)
I admit that I don't now the exact definition of spiritual successor but I still don't see TToN fitting that bill so far. Poe and BG are both party based RPG that have a isometric point of view with pause based combat. The stories are similar, both take place in a tolkien type setting and I think the story is pretty much Identical to Baldur's gate 2. Torment Tides of Numenera is more of a adventure game then a real RPG. PST was a RPG. One uses Pause based combat and the other turn based. The settings are completely different but equally strange.

To me these games are different enough that I wouldn't use the word "Spiritual Successor" but then again I'm not claiming that I have a definition for the word in my back pocket either. It just doesn't feel like it to me. That doesn't mean I'm complaining though. I'd say its more inspired by PST then actually its successor. Spiritual Successor to me means that it is what could of been if that type of game had continued to of been made since then. This doesn't seem like a direct descendant to me, more of a half-cousin.

Its like they took everything that people liked most of all from PST and made a game that focuses on those things completely. Poe is pretty much exactly like BG just with a few extra bells and whistles. I mean to me just the fact that its not the same combat mechanics pretty much by itself rules out being a "spiritual successor".

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest