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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 2.
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49. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 21:56 Scottish Martial Arts
 
mellis wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:45:
Pfft. At least Project Eternity remains pure and untainted.

By going with realtime with pause...?
 
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48. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 21:45 mellis
 
Pfft. At least Project Eternity remains pure and untainted.  
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47. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 21:36 Julio
 
Turn based is definitely the way to go for a real RPG. Plenty of mainstream published games are RTP already.  
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46. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 20:09 Task
 
For bawls sake people. BOTH.

And yeah it is entirely possible to do both, as it has been programmed efficiently in other games.

Too many people of the new generation have been spoiled by non-classic non-turn-based modes in games. Mostly since certain devs didn't bother to add both.

And I thought everyone enjoyed the new XCom game, same turn based as the first ones? How did the turn based detract from the experience?

TL:DR - BOTH
 
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45. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 20:00 HorrorScope
 
mellis wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 19:36:
HorrorScope wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:42:
Krovven wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:04:
Real Time with Pause has worked just fine for some of the best RPG's in PC gaming. Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Dragon's Age, and many more. If you have trouble with pausing before your units have completed their previous actions, that's your problem you need to correct.

LOL, this is all opinion and preference. But I would be ok with pause if all the characters actions are completed at every turn, not fractions of a turn, that is my biggest issue. You pause and each character is in a different part of completing their turn, some can take an order, some can't, some are a 1/10th second away from next order. If they can make that clean, I'd be good with that.

That's just crap though. Every action in sync? Your party might as well be line dancing.

Yeah bend my words. The point is with all the pause based games I play...

-It pauses.
-You look at characters
-See if they have fired off their command or not. (This will be different every single pause for the entire game)
-If you can give them a command, you access the field
-You click the player
-Pick the skill to us
-Do this for every character that is ready for a command this round.
-Un-pause.
-It plays for about 6 seconds
-During that time one characters command fired off right away and picks his butt for the next 5 seconds.
-Another fires off at 3 seconds in
-One seemingly doesn't get their thing off and the command carries over.
-End of round
-Access what happened
-See what characters can take another command, this time it's different than last

Rinse and Repeat until EOG.


Turn Base:
-System has character selected for you, make your move
-Next player auto selected, make your move
-Enemy does their move automatic
-Next Player auto selected make your move
-End of round (Nobody is half way through their animation, no one skips this round due to being in the middle of something else)

To me that is clean, not fighting the UI. Simple to manage, deep tactics.

Using Turn Based you can balance the game perfectly because you know this is how EVERYONE is playing. Not 25% are full on real time, 50% are real-time and pause at harder fights and 25% are always pausing trying to get that Turn Base feeling. Because in these games every time you pause it's like entering a cheat.
 
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44. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 19:46 RaZ0r!
 
Voted Turn-Based all the way baby  
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43. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 19:36 mellis
 
HorrorScope wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:42:
Krovven wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:04:
Real Time with Pause has worked just fine for some of the best RPG's in PC gaming. Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Dragon's Age, and many more. If you have trouble with pausing before your units have completed their previous actions, that's your problem you need to correct.

LOL, this is all opinion and preference. But I would be ok with pause if all the characters actions are completed at every turn, not fractions of a turn, that is my biggest issue. You pause and each character is in a different part of completing their turn, some can take an order, some can't, some are a 1/10th second away from next order. If they can make that clean, I'd be good with that.

That's just crap though. Every action in sync? Your party might as well be line dancing.
 
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42. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 18:42 HorrorScope
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:04:
Real Time with Pause has worked just fine for some of the best RPG's in PC gaming. Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Dragon's Age, and many more. If you have trouble with pausing before your units have completed their previous actions, that's your problem you need to correct.

LOL, this is all opinion and preference. But I would be ok with pause if all the characters actions are completed at every turn, not fractions of a turn, that is my biggest issue. You pause and each character is in a different part of completing their turn, some can take an order, some can't, some are a 1/10th second away from next order. If they can make that clean, I'd be good with that.
 
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41. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 18:32 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:04:
Real Time with Pause has worked just fine for some of the best RPG's in PC gaming. Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Dragon's Age, and many more.

Great games -- well, except for Dragon Age -- to be sure, but the real-time with pause combat system held the IE games back significantly. The mage duels of BG2 were the only encounters where you caught a glimpse of tactical complexity. Imagine what BG2 would have been like with ToEE's combat engine.

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.
 
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40. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 18:04 Krovven
 
Real Time with Pause has worked just fine for some of the best RPG's in PC gaming. Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Dragon's Age, and many more. If you have trouble with pausing before your units have completed their previous actions, that's your problem you need to correct.

Seeing an enemy casting a spell or maybe a Rogue trying to flank one of your characters, pause, choose character and cast interrupt, root or shield bash or whatever...you simply cannot do that in Turn Based. And yes you may even have to have a character stop what their were previously doing to react to something, that's a good thing. You can choose to either let that action play out, or have them react to something else.

The voting is currently within 100 votes of one another for RT+P and TB. Simple solution is to offer an auto-pause after each cycle, just like the above mentioned games offered. You can forget straight Real Time...it's not even remotely close in the voting.

This comment was edited on Nov 22, 2013, 18:13.
 
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39. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 17:54 Cutter
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:53:
PHJF wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:25:
You guys are fuckin nuts. I've played through the Icewind Dales like a million times. Turn based just isn't remotely visceral enough for combat involving small unit counts. There's too much of a sense of detachment and there's no sense of urgency.

So was the new XCOM game insufficiently visceral for you? Did you find yourself detached from the outcomes, feeling no pressure to make the best decisions or else have to watch helplessly as a bad situation becomes near hopeless? A game can be visceral and immersive, or not, regardless of the combat system used; it comes down to how the game is designed, not which system is used. What can be said for certain however is that real-time systems MUST present the user with a limited tactical toolkit lest they run into paralysis by analysis with the action unfolding around them. Personally, I find those moments in a turn-based system in which you watch the enemy turn unfolding, only to uncover you've made a grievous error and are going to pay for it, to be VERY gripping. "Oh shit, how am I gonna get out of this one now? Well it's my turn again: time to figure something out."

Well said, SMA, and spot effing on!
 
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38. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 17:54 Scottish Martial Arts
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 17:16:
...have to watch helplessly as a bad situation becomes near hopeless?

You say that like it's a good thing? Having an AI do something a) I couldn't have prepared for and b) while I'm entirely unable to react isn't what I consider fun. Every encounter in Enemy Unknown started with the enemy interrupting my turn (whose fucking turn is it?) and moving to cover.

You cut out the first part which is important: "to make the best decision possible or...". The tension that such situations build is that you never know for certain what the full consequences of your decisions are going to be, and that likewise you'll have a few seconds where you just have to live with those consequences. You don't have perfect knowledge of the battle, and as a result you can walk into an ambush with what you thought was a sound move. You watch as one guy get's killed and another seriously wounded, kicking yourself saying "why didn't I see that coming?" But then it's your turn again: you're in a bad spot but you can ask yourself, "what do I do to get out of this?" Then you come up with a plan and execute. Some of the plan works, some of it doesn't, the enemy has its say, and suddenly the situation is changed for the next turn, demanding that you make new decisions.

What's compelling about this kind of gameplay is that you analyze the situation, make a decision, than find out what the consequences of that decision are. You now find yourself in a new situation, which needs new analysis, which leads to new decisions, which leads to new consequences, which in turn leads to a new situation. It's a continual loop of analysis and decision making, made all the more rich by the copious tactical options which turn-based games provide, where you never know for certain how things are going to turn out, and thus it's always compelling to hit that end turn button, even if things are so tense you've got every digit crossed in the hope things go according to plan. To my mind that is damn compelling gameplay, almost like the difference between, for example, a horror movie which builds an atmosphere of dread and suspense, rather than just repeatedly showing you some gore.

As for the enemy interrupts to find cover in XCOM, I'm not sure anyone actually liked that or thought it added anything to the game.
 
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37. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 17:16 PHJF
 
...have to watch helplessly as a bad situation becomes near hopeless?

You say that like it's a good thing? Having an AI do something a) I couldn't have prepared for and b) while I'm entirely unable to react isn't what I consider fun. Every encounter in Enemy Unknown started with the enemy interrupting my turn (whose fucking turn is it?) and moving to cover.
 
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36. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 17:04 Scottish Martial Arts
 
dj LiTh wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:59:
I suppose neither of you played Xcom Apocalypse? That game did have many short comings but its combat system was pretty awesome. You could have your standard turn based system which was just the same as any other previous Xcom game (1&2) or you could play Real time /w pause. It gave you the best of both worlds. I remember it to this day for that feature alone, the rest of the game meh.

So yes, it can be done correctly and it can appease both camps if done right.

You might want to replay Apocalypse sometime. It was not as clean a split as you seem to be recalling -- it most certainly felt very different from the first two, even in turn-based mode. Likewise, Apocalypse was a pretty garbage game, and the combat system wasn't helping in that regard.
 
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35. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:59 dj LiTh
 
Zyrxil wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:06:
RTwP vs TB- the ultimate RPG geek clash. Suck it, RT losers! Combat was easily the worst part of Infinity Engine and Electron Engine games. Temple of Elemental Evil combat engine should be the ideal to strive for.

dj LiTh wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 13:37:
They should honestly have both as an option to the player.
Oh yeah, cause that worked out great for Arcanum. Unless you're creating two completely different combat systems, all with its own abilities, then having the option for both will never result in combat that is even remotely balanced or well-designed.

@Zyrxil & Scottish

I suppose neither of you played Xcom Apocalypse? That game did have many short comings but its combat system was pretty awesome. You could have your standard turn based system which was just the same as any other previous Xcom game (1&2) or you could play Real time /w pause. It gave you the best of both worlds. I remember it to this day for that feature alone, the rest of the game meh.

So yes, it can be done correctly and it can appease both camps if done right.
 
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34. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:25:
You guys are fuckin nuts. I've played through the Icewind Dales like a million times. Turn based just isn't remotely visceral enough for combat involving small unit counts. There's too much of a sense of detachment and there's no sense of urgency.

So was the new XCOM game insufficiently visceral for you? Did you find yourself detached from the outcomes, feeling no pressure to make the best decisions or else have to watch helplessly as a bad situation becomes near hopeless? A game can be visceral and immersive, or not, regardless of the combat system used; it comes down to how the game is designed, not which system is used. What can be said for certain however is that real-time systems MUST present the user with a limited tactical toolkit lest they run into paralysis by analysis with the action unfolding around them. Personally, I find those moments in a turn-based system in which you watch the enemy turn unfolding, only to uncover you've made a grievous error and are going to pay for it, to be VERY gripping. "Oh shit, how am I gonna get out of this one now? Well it's my turn again: time to figure something out."
 
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33. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:35 HorrorScope
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:25:
You guys are fuckin nuts. I've played through the Icewind Dales like a million times. Turn based just isn't remotely visceral enough for combat involving small unit counts. There's too much of a sense of detachment and there's no sense of urgency.

We see it different then. I could perhaps like pause better if that everything ended at each round. But in all these games, at the end of the round, some maybe ready for a new order, another maybe 1/2 way through their process, another maybe 90% through. IF these games had it work that "this spell takes 2 turns" that it takes a true 2 turns, not 1.8 turns, 2.2 turns. But they all seem to get stuck in different parts as a round ends, and it's just sloppy imo. If it were cleaner, I could see it. HOWEVER I still then fall back to the person who never pauses, the game has to be balanced for that player and by doing so make the game super easy when you pause a lot to set orders. One you miss turns, the other you never miss a thing.

In terms of sense of urgency... there is always live action RPG's as well.
 
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32. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:25 PHJF
 
You guys are fuckin nuts. I've played through the Icewind Dales like a million times. Turn based just isn't remotely visceral enough for combat involving small unit counts. There's too much of a sense of detachment and there's no sense of urgency.  
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31. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:23 HorrorScope
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:08:
dj LiTh wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 13:37:
They should honestly have both as an option to the player.

I'm guessing you never played Arcanum? Tandem real-time/turn-based combat systems have a TERRIBLE record. Someone else mentioned Fallout: Tactics yet that game's "continuous turn-based" mode was just about unplayable. Trying to create a combat system with two separate modes based on entirely separate design paradigms is a lot like creating an OS with two different modes based on entirely different UI approaches -- you get a schizophrenic mess where the competing requirements of one mode detract from the other, and vice-versa.

Whatever they pick here, Divinity Original Sin has me covered just in case, w/real-time world movement, turn based combat, coop, coop anyone can be anywhere and if one goes into combat they are in turn based combat, while the others can be trading or moving freely around the world. For coops to be in combat together all you have to do is be in close proximity to the ensuing conflict. Also, one person can be in TB battle and on the other-side of the map another player can be in their TB battle. I mean really this is taking care of all the issues properly. No one has taken turn based game play this far prior.

Q/A with DOS developer:
How does pausing work in co-op?
We don’t have pausing. If I pause my game, his character will be standing still, the other guy will roam around freely. Combat is turn-based, so you can leave and come back later, still in combat. This isn’t a game you play with strangers.

Blackguards also shows us again how nice and clean turn based works in combat.

This comment was edited on Nov 22, 2013, 17:07.
 
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30. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:12 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 13:46:
Combat was so inconsequential in Torment that I was fine with just turning it on and watching my guys wade through the enemies in 10 seconds. I mean, when you're playing a character who literally CANNOT DIE, the entire raison d^etre for combat kinda goes out the window anyway. (Something that Prey never understood, apparently.)


TNO couldn't die, but that didn't mean that death was setback free. PST's focus was definitely on its adventure game elements, but I guess I'm unconvinced that the best approach to a game with a non-combat focus is to make combat crappy, easy, and boring. If you really don't want to focus on combat, then why even include it?
 
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