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Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting

The Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera sees inXile entertainment soliciting backers to vote on how combat will be handled in their upcoming role-playing game (thanks nin via Polygon). Here's the handy summary:

TL;DR: Weigh in on Turn-Based vs. Real-Time with Pause (or declare your indifference). Voting will close in December.

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been reading all of your commentary and ideas regarding combat. Many good points and suggestions, and mostly civil discourse. Thanks to all who have engaged in the discussion so far!

And now... It is time! Only backers can place a vote. (If you haven’t already and you’d like your voice heard, please register with us to gain access to the backer-only UserVoice forum.) Feel free to also continue to submit comments and ideas to the combat discussion forum. Please remember that this vote is advisory only. Above all, please remember that our goal is to provide the best possible experience for the game, and if the final decision is not your preferred choice, we ask you trust our ability to deliver a solid game.

For more context about what this is about, please see Update 24, where we describe what Turn-Based and Real-Time with Pause might each mean for Torment. We’ll close the voting in December.

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69 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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69. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 25, 2013, 17:33 Orogogus
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 25, 2013, 14:59:
A well designed encounter however, of the sort you're average 15 year old comes up with or that existed in the Gold Box games, can be challenging and memorable, even when, as you say, you've figured out how the system work. Who has played Pool of Radiance yet doesn't remember the troll and ogre encounter in the Slums? Or the encounter with 40+ various kinds of Hobgoblins on Sokol Keep? In the latter, who WASN'T on the edge of their seat fighting a desperate battle that required pulling out all the stop just to have a CHANCE of survival and victory? What about the Kobold King Throne room? I hate to keep harping on the Gold Box games, but as far as turn-based CRPG combat goes, they really are the pinnacle, even 25 years later.

Pool of Radiance was the high point of the series in many ways, unfortunately. All the other Gold Box games were heavy on trash encounters. I mean, the Mulmaster Beholder Corps was something else, but the dungeon it was in had like two dozen random and fixed encounters against a mix of evil priests and Dark Elves. The Dragonlance games at high difficulty were all, "Welp, 40 more Draconians and five or six dragons. Time to get to work," all the time.

The Buck Rogers games were surprisingly neat, though. And I never played the Savage Frontier titles, don't know if they mixed things up there. But from what I remember most of the encounters in Curse, Blades and Darkness were sloggy blah, and the same for the Dragonlance games. Pools of Radiance did a lot with the map and the town that they never really equaled, much less improve upon.
 
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68. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 25, 2013, 14:59 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 05:32:
Basically all turn-based games I've found have to resort to AI cheating to increase the challenge because once a player knows how the rules work, they will beat the computer every time. You can see this in everything from Civ to XCom.

Encounter design, encounter design, encounter design. For some reason, CRPGs of the past 15 years or so have had utterly terrible encounter design. Combat in a system like AD&D is compelling ONLY with properly designed encounters. The truly baffling thing with modern cRPGs is that there are literally 15 year old DMs who can make encounters and dungeons which are light years ahead of what you see in a cRPG. It's almost as if modern designers have never actually played DND, or another similar system. Designing an orc cave in which every room is filled with 5-6 identical orcs is utterly crappy dungeon and encounter design, yet that has been the standard from BG1 on, at least with regard to non-boss/set-piece encounters. A well designed encounter however, of the sort you're average 15 year old comes up with or that existed in the Gold Box games, can be challenging and memorable, even when, as you say, you've figured out how the system work. Who has played Pool of Radiance yet doesn't remember the troll and ogre encounter in the Slums? Or the encounter with 40+ various kinds of Hobgoblins on Sokol Keep? In the latter, who WASN'T on the edge of their seat fighting a desperate battle that required pulling out all the stop just to have a CHANCE of survival and victory? What about the Kobold King Throne room? I hate to keep harping on the Gold Box games, but as far as turn-based CRPG combat goes, they really are the pinnacle, even 25 years later. If those encounters I just mentioned are all things you've never played, then you've really never experienced proper RPG combat, something of which the Infinity Engine games are a very pale comparison -- unsurprising given that the IE was initially going to be used for an RTS, NOT an RPG.
 
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67. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 18:38 HorrorScope
 
Jerykk wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 17:47:
HorrorScope wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 10:39:
Just wondering how many people here have played Drakensang 1 or 2? They are pause based, they are actually quite good, I would have prefered TB, but just saying, I think a lot of people looked right past this franchise.

I played them and thought the combat was terrible, mainly due to the pacing. It's technically real-time but the delay between actions is so long that turn-based would have actually been faster. Seriously, when the delay between basic attacks is 3-5 seconds, why even make it real-time?

As for people defending the Infinity Engine, I don't think it was bad. I just think that the combat in PST was bad. I also think that turn-based is better, for the reasons I mentioned earlier.

BG's, IWD and NWN goes with the 6 second then pause rule. This seems to go by the same rule. So I don't understand, unless you didn't care for it there. I set a pause each round and to me Draken plays out just like the games I mention.

Now me being a wise pc gamer, I use cheat engine and speed up gameplay by 200%, makes the turn base go faster, as well as traveling.

Now even though I feel TB mops the floor with Pause Base, I still have played them and was able to look pass the messiness.
 
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66. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 17:47 Jerykk
 
HorrorScope wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 10:39:
Just wondering how many people here have played Drakensang 1 or 2? They are pause based, they are actually quite good, I would have prefered TB, but just saying, I think a lot of people looked right past this franchise.

I played them and thought the combat was terrible, mainly due to the pacing. It's technically real-time but the delay between actions is so long that turn-based would have actually been faster. Seriously, when the delay between basic attacks is 3-5 seconds, why even make it real-time?

As for people defending the Infinity Engine, I don't think it was bad. I just think that the combat in PST was bad. I also think that turn-based is better, for the reasons I mentioned earlier.
 
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65. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 15:57 HorrorScope
 
Creston wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 11:11:
PHJF wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 08:26:
That the core of that system went on to power the seminal KotOR

And The Witcher.

It was amazing what they were able to do with that engine in Witcher. It was virtually undecipherable.
 
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64. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 11:11 Creston
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 08:26:
That the core of that system went on to power the seminal KotOR

And The Witcher.
 
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63. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 10:43 HorrorScope
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 05:32:
Basically all turn-based games I've found have to resort to AI cheating to increase the challenge because once a player knows how the rules work, they will beat the computer every time. You can see this in everything from Civ to XCom.

There is some truth to that. But pausing in a pause based game is like a cheat for the player, you way outsmart that AI being so precise. That said, this is why I'm liking Blackguards, they keep their engine PnP correct, numbers low etc and it plays out very well. They setup several scenarios that most won't beat first or second time through, in the end making you a better player, perhaps to "see it coming" later on in the game and beat it the first time through. (Only Chap 1 or Early Access has been released so far)
 
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62. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 10:39 HorrorScope
 
Just wondering how many people here have played Drakensang 1 or 2? They are pause based, they are actually quite good, I would have prefered TB, but just saying, I think a lot of people looked right past this franchise.  
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61. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 08:26 PHJF
 
Combat was easily the worst part of PST and any changes they could make to it would be for the better.

The worst part of the best game of all time isn't high slander. And you consider it trash, but there are plenty of people who didn't have any problems with Infinity Engine. It was more or less the perfect fit for faithfully bringing AD&D to single-player PC games, and I absolutely love every product which shipped with it. That the core of that system went on to power the seminal KotOR (and less than seminal NWN's) is evidence enough that I wasn't the only person enjoying it.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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60. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 05:50 Krovven
 
Jerykk wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 05:47:
Finally, are you playing Expeditions with the latest patch? I know that Mexico was a joke in the original release but I thought they patched it to make it significantly harder.

It's on Steam, so I assume it's the latest patch (I only started playing last week after getting it in the Humble Bundle) and just got to Mexico a few days ago. And I loved Arcanum. The only thing that prevented me from completing it was game ending bugs. Encountered the same game-ending bug in the same spot on two game attempts. Never went back to it after that. I never had a problem with the combat.
 
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59. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 05:47 Jerykk
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 05:32:
Jerykk wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 05:05:
Also, why would combat even be a factor in you backing Torment? Combat was easily the worst part of PST and any changes they could make to it would be for the better.

Because I like real-time with pause gameplay and that's what I expected by this being a spiritual sequel to PT. I play some turn-based games (I've even backed Wasteland 2), but I get more enjoyment out of RPGs with real-time with pause. And if they implemented the combat exactly as it was in Planescape Torment I'm sure everyone would be unhappy as well. It can be improved upon and I certainly never would expect them to not improve upon it.

To reiterate...I hope they do both systems, or a mix of the two. People on the turn-based side keep touting "but Torment is a story driven game". That doesn't mean they can't have real-time with pause, or even that turn-based combat makes the story driven game better in any way. The Witcher is real-time with pause and the story certainly didn't suffer because of it.

Currently playing Expeditions Conquistador, which is very good. The turn-based combat I found difficult at first, until I understood all the rules and abilities. Now I'm in Mexico and combat is literally a no lose situation. They need to resort to outnumbering me 12 units to my 6 to even make it a challenge.

Basically all turn-based games I've found have to resort to AI cheating to increase the challenge because once a player knows how the rules work, they will beat the computer every time. You can see this in everything from Civ to XCom.

The problem is that trying to design combat that works in both real-time and turn-based never ends well. See Arcanum for a good example of that. The mechanics and systems involved are too different.

As for AI, RT is no different from TB when it comes to cheating. In Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale or PST or Dragon's Age, the designers inevitably have to challenge you by either throwing hordes of enemies at you or by making ridiculously overpowered enemies. It's not like the AI in RT combat is any better than the AI in turn-based combat.

Finally, are you playing Expeditions with the latest patch? I know that Mexico was a joke in the original release but I thought they patched it to make it significantly harder.
 
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58. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 05:32 Krovven
 
Jerykk wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 05:05:
Also, why would combat even be a factor in you backing Torment? Combat was easily the worst part of PST and any changes they could make to it would be for the better.

Because I like real-time with pause gameplay and that's what I expected by this being a spiritual sequel to PT. I play some turn-based games (I've even backed Wasteland 2), but I get more enjoyment out of RPGs with real-time with pause. And if they implemented the combat exactly as it was in Planescape Torment I'm sure everyone would be unhappy as well. It can be improved upon and I certainly never would expect them to not improve upon it.

To reiterate...I hope they do both systems, or a mix of the two. People on the turn-based side keep touting "but Torment is a story driven game". That doesn't mean they can't have real-time with pause, or even that turn-based combat makes the story driven game better in any way. The Witcher is real-time with pause and the story certainly didn't suffer because of it.

Currently playing Expeditions Conquistador, which is very good. The turn-based combat I found difficult at first, until I understood all the rules and abilities. Now I'm in Mexico and combat is literally a no lose situation. They need to resort to outnumbering me 12 units to my 6 to even make it a challenge.

Basically all turn-based games I've found have to resort to AI cheating to increase the challenge because once a player knows how the rules work, they will beat the computer every time. You can see this in everything from Civ to XCom.

Side-note: Anyone from Firaxis reading this...Civ5 or even a port of Revolution on PS Vita please. Make it happen.

This comment was edited on Nov 23, 2013, 05:44.
 
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57. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 05:05 Jerykk
 
Yea I think it does enhance gameplay. Straight turn-based, while in general I have no problem with it, once you know how everything works combat generally ceases to be a challenge. You know how to deal with each unit and make your moves accordingly. In a real-time with pause situation it is a lot more dynamic and things can happen that aren't necessarily predictable.

Except in real-time with pause, you can always just pause the game if something unpredictable happens. Real-time also means you have ample opportunity to recover from mistakes whereas turn-based means you have to live with the consequences. As such, every decision you make in turn-based combat is far more meaningful than the decisions you make in RT combat.

Also, why would combat even be a factor in you backing Torment? Combat was easily the worst part of PST and any changes they could make to it would be for the better.
 
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56. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 04:38 vrok
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 04:23:
My guess is the only reason they are even putting this up as an option is because it will be easier and save them a lot of time and effort if they can just use the turn-based combat system they have already programmed for Wasteland 2.
That's one of the reasons. The other reason is that combat in PST and the other IE games were a mess and the rule set simply did not support it.

Combat isn't even a big focus in this game. It makes zero sense to go with RTwP all things considering. Leave that to trash mob grinding games like IWD/BG/DAO.
 
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55. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 04:23 Krovven
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:32:
And likewise, I draw issue with your second paragraph. You're correct that you can do all of those things, but does that actually enhance gameplay when you're dealing with combat systems that support only the most rudimentary AI? How does quickly fixing every mistake you make make for more compelling gameplay when the AI can't do the same? One of the chief complaints about the games you listed is that they were piss easy; the same can't be said about the Gold Box games.

Yea I think it does enhance gameplay. Straight turn-based, while in general I have no problem with it, once you know how everything works combat generally ceases to be a challenge. You know how to deal with each unit and make your moves accordingly. In a real-time with pause situation it is a lot more dynamic and things can happen that aren't necessarily predictable.

Planescape Torment is real-time with pause. That's what I expected when I backed the Kickstarter. And looking at the comments on the Kickstarter page, I'm not alone in feeling this way. There really shouldn't be any vote on it at all. But if they want to do Turn-Based, they need to do both.

My guess is the only reason they are even putting this up as an option is because it will be easier and save them a lot of time and effort if they can just use the turn-based combat system they have already programmed for Wasteland 2.

This comment was edited on Nov 23, 2013, 04:31.
 
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54. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 02:25 saluk
 
I voted that I am indifferent. Each system has it's positives and negatives, it's clear from the vote that this is a very evenly divided issue Whichever they choose, I'm sure they will balance it and fit it into the rest of the game so it works as well as possible.

In the abstract, I tend to prefer real-time when controlling one unit, and turn-based when controlling a party. So NVN was just fine, you had your henchmen, but you could focus completely on your own character. The new fallouts improved on the original's combat for me - it always felt a lot slower than it should, especially when on my own, waiting for all of the enemies to take their turns. Baldur's gate just gets hectic for me. I don't really like most RTS for the same reason.

But in the particular, for Torment, it's not really about the combat so much. I think the original game was weakened a bit by being shoehorned into the baldur's gate combat engine. It needs to feel exciting and important, but I also expect to be able to avoid a lot of the combat and not be slogging through 100's of tedious dungeons filled with trolls. RTwP or turn-based will be OK.

I kind of think this is why in this case the designers felt they needed to reach out about it.
 
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53. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 00:52 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 23:27:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:56:
mellis wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:45:
Pfft. At least Project Eternity remains pure and untainted.

By going with realtime with pause...?

Is it RTwP? I thought they had said from the get-go it would be turn-based?

Nope, Project Eternity was confirmed as real-time with pause fairly early on. IIRC, abilities will likewise be on cool downs, similar to what you see in an MMO.
 
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52. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 23:27 Creston
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:56:
mellis wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:45:
Pfft. At least Project Eternity remains pure and untainted.

By going with realtime with pause...?

Is it RTwP? I thought they had said from the get-go it would be turn-based?
 
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51. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 22:08 mellis
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:56:
mellis wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:45:
Pfft. At least Project Eternity remains pure and untainted.

By going with realtime with pause...?

By being true to its spiritual roots....and going with Real-Time with Pause
 
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50. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 21:57 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Task wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 20:09:
And yeah it is entirely possible to do both, as it has been programmed efficiently in other games.

What other games? The track record of selectable real-time/turn-based combat modes is NOT good.
 
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