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Torment Kickstarter Update #24: Tides, Combat Systems and Q&A

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Torment Kickstarter Update #24: Tides, Combat Systems and Q&A

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 6 November 2013, 18:51:59

Tags: Colin McComb; inXile Entertainment; Kevin Saunders; Torment: Tides of Numenera

This month's Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter update is long, comprehensive and informative, as usual. I can't copy the entire thing, but I'll quote the interesting parts...as usual.

The first part of the update offers a detailed look at the game's Tides system. After listing the meanings of each one of the Tides, the update explains how they'll actually work in-game:

In the game, the Tides are a background force. Your actions, especially your actions in dialogue, will often increase one or two Tides, moving your character toward dominance in those Tides. Then your dominant Tides determine the Legacy you are building for yourself. The Tides are increased when you have a real choice. For example, although identifying numenera is a Blue thing to do, there's no gameplay reason for players not to do it, so that sort of common action wouldn't increase the Tide. But if identifying a particular device required the PC to complete a quest or spend XP, then that could conceivably increase Blue. (By the same logic, increasing certain skills or abilities might increase certain Tides as well, because it costs you something to do so.)

The Tides don't judge your motivations, but if you voice those motivations, then the Tides can be moved. For example, if you express shock at a murder, your reason for being shocked can change which Tide is affected if you voice it: "How can you do this? He was an innocent victim!" might increase Gold while "What purpose does this death serve?" might increase Indigo. Neither, of course, would increase the Tides as much as equivalent actions (actually attacking or arresting the murderer, for example). Your character is what we call Attuned to the Tides, being both aware of the Tides and affected by them. Most NPCs are unaware of the Tides' existence, though a significant percentage can be affected by them.

Affected NPCs, and the rare Attuned ones like you, will have one or two Dominant Tides as well. If your Dominant Tide(s) match those of an NPC, it can have varying effects. You might be able to understand their motivations and manipulate them better. They may like you more (or less) without knowing why. The difficulty of certain dialogue tasks may decrease (or increase). Most of this is done behind the scenes, but certain skills and abilities can reveal some of this information.

Additionally, special NPCs who are aware of the Tides may recognize your Dominant Tides and try to manipulate you.

And whether they're aware of the Tides or not, your reputation with NPCs can be affected by your Dominant Tides. Assuming you've earned a reputation, Silver would make you like a celebrity, while Blue would make you known for intelligence or wisdom, and so on. This reputation effect might be either cosmetic or logical, opening doors that would be closed for those of other Dominant Tides.

And, as we've often said, the Tides will have an effect on certain items and abilities as well. They may even impact side effects that appear during crafting.

There's more, too, some of which we’ll talk about in the future and some you’ll have to discover in the game.
The update also introduces the two combat systems currently under consideration for the game. While turn-based combat is inXile's favored option, it will ultimately be up to a vote, so don't get too happy:

Back in May, we described our plan to determine our combat system. As we've said from the beginning: we know our goals for combat, and we feel that we can accomplish them with any system. As detailed in our Vision doc, those goals are:
1) Integration of narrative elements.
2) Meaningful player decisions in combat.
3) Meaningful player decisions out of combat (e.g. character build, preparing for combat, etc).
4) Quality encounters (no dungeon crawls or trash mobs).

Our Crisis concept is the manifestation of that vision. It accomplishes all the above goals without defining whether the Crisis plays out in turns or real-time (though we do have a preference; see below). All combats are Crises, so we had to design that concept out and present it before we could have this discussion. But as fun as concepts and prototypes are, there comes a time to decide.

You may be curious as to why we’ve waited this long for the vote and why the options below might not have elaborate details. We originally had planned to have this discussion early next year and to give you greater detail to consider, but we’ve decided to move things sooner, before we had detailed designs.

You see, while we haven’t invested much effort into designing TTON’s combat system yet, we have been mulling it over for many months. Early this year, we had no preference, but as other aspects of the game’s design have solidified, a turn-based combat approach has been gaining momentum within the team. Rather than invest the energy in delving into the design of multiple systems, we wanted to talk with you first to see how you feel about our current preference. The granular control of the turn-based system and the work we’ve done on Wasteland 2 is very much in-line with the Crisis concept.

But we haven’t made a final decision yet—we are still open to feedback, and we very much want to hear what you have to say.

Below, we present the options we're considering for combat, based on the design work we've done so far. Read them carefully, then voice your opinion in this forum. Right now, the forum is for discussion and debate only, but we’ll open it up for voting after everybody's had time to consider our plans and the ideas and comments of other backers.

Understand, the vote is strictly advisory. In any debate, there is always a vocal crowd and a silent majority. The discussion period is for the vocal crowd to sway people to their side, and then the vote ensures everyone's voice is heard equally. The point of all of this is so we can take your ideas and opinions into account as we make the decision we feel is best for the game.​

Besides that, there's also a new Q&A video, in which a rather depilated Colin McComb answers a few backer questions:

Finally, you may have already noticed that inXile have been overhauling their forums over the past few days. There's now an official Torment subforum hosted on the Wasteland 2 forum site, with further improvements to come. Be aware that this is separate from the aforementioned backers-only UserVoice "forum" that will be used to discuss and vote on the combat system.

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