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Game News Torment Kickstarter Update #34: Kevin on the Stretch Goal, Adam on Advancement, Colin on Ossiphagan

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Adam Heine; Colin McComb; InXile Entertainment; Kevin Saunders; Torment: Tides of Numenera

    It's nice to see Torment: Tides of Numenera updates becoming more frequent. In today's Kickstarter update, the Torment Triumvirate - Kevin Saunders, Adam Heine and Colin McComb - are once again in full attendance. Kevin writes about the Gullet stretch goal, which is still $65,000 dollars away with five days remaining until the deadline. Adam writes about Torment's advancement mechanics, and the strategy he's chosen to balance them in a system that allows players to spend experience points on short term benefits. And Colin, as usual, supplies us with yet another massive lore dump, this time about Ossiphagan, a volcanic region of the world which is actually a gigantic abandoned interstellar forge. Since we're a bunch of mechanics nerds here, it's Adam's portion of the update that I'll be quoting:

    Adam here. I'm going to talk about how character advancement will work in Tides of Numenera.

    Before that, I should tell you how it works in Numenera tabletop, because it's not a strictly traditional advancement system. First, as we've often said, you get XP when you solve problems, complete quests, and make discoveries—not for individual kills. Second, XP is spent, not accumulated – like cyphers, XP are a resource not intended for hoarding. Most of the time, you'll have less than 4 XP, because that's how much most character advancement steps cost. Third, you can also spend XP on short-term benefits—on things other than character advancement.

    That last one raises a couple of obvious questions. Why would you spend XP on short-term benefits when you can give your characters lasting benefits like new abilities (or flipped around: what happens if you spend all your XP on short-term benefits and get to the final confrontation with a 1st-Tier character)? Also, if the game has enough XP such that players can spend some on short-term benefits and max their Tier by the end, what's to stop them from spending all their XP on advancement up front, basically maxing out their Tier halfway through the game? How could we balance the game like that without scaling?

    Our answer to these questions is what we are, in Torment, calling Discovery Points (DP). Throughout the game, you will gain both XP (per character) and DP (for the party).

    Experience Points are gained primarily by accomplishing critical path tasks: progressing quests and solving Crises and other major encounters. Each character gains their own XP individually, though usually if the party completes a Crisis or a quest, all party members will gain the XP. (SIDEBAR: Sometimes you can leave a Companion behind and pick them up again later in the game. In these cases, they will gain their own XP outside of your influence (they don't just sit around waiting for you, after all). So if you pick them up again, you will find them close to your level.)

    Each character spends their own XP on character advancement steps, each of which cost 4 XP. These advancement steps include:
    1. Increased Stat Pool
    2. Increased Stat Edge
    3. Increased Maximum Effort Level
    4. Additional Skill Training
    5. Improved paincasting ability (Last Castoff only)
    6. Additional Class Abilities (beyond what you get for your Tier)
    7. Reduced Armor Penalties
    Every four advancement steps, the character will advance to the next Tier. The first five can only be advanced once per Tier, and #5-7 are really optional steps (the Last Castoff's paincasting ability will be improved in other ways in the course of the game).

    Typical character advancement might look like this: (gain 4 XP) add a new Skill, (gain 4 XP) increase Might Edge, (gain 4 XP) increase Maximum Effort Level, (gain 4 XP) distribute 6 new Stat Pool points. Then as soon as the fourth one is done, that character advances to the next Tier—they gain new abilities from their Focus and choose new abilities and Skills from their Type (glaive, jack, or nano). They can also then use XP to purchase any of the advancement steps again toward the next Tier.

    We're planning on balancing the game out to 6th Tier (the maximum Tier in the Corebook), though completionists may still be able to purchase certain advancement steps beyond that if they collect enough XP.

    Discovery Points are primarily gained through (wait for it) discovery: figure out how to communicate with an ancient (and alien) intelligence, access a memory abandoned by the Changing God in your brain, or decipher the tale told by an ancient set of moving cave drawings.

    DP can also be gained by accepting Intrusions. These are opportunities to make an easy encounter more interesting, rewarding the player for dealing with an added complication. For example, say you're taking on the Sorrow directly (it's not a good idea, but let's say that you are). You discover it's weak against fire damage and, with the help of a flamethrowing artifact you found, are actually doing pretty well against it.

    Then an Intrusion occurs. The Sorrow begins to shifts its own molecular make-up so that it's weak against something else but fire barely hurts it. This Intrusion won't always happen: most Intrusions will only trigger when an encounter is already proving easy for you, and many of them have additional conditionals that must be met. Now that this one has triggered, you have a choice: you can spend 1 DP to stop the Intrusion (how that works out narratively depends on each Intrusion, for example maybe you strike a lucky blow, doing little or no damage, but disorienting the Sorrow long enough that it can't finish the shift), or you can let it happen to gain 2 DP.

    DP is gained and used by the whole party, and it is spent on short-term benefits. We haven't finalized what all those benefits will be, but some examples might include:
    • Refusing an Intrusion
    • Making a recovery roll without needing to rest
    • Gaining an extra level of Effort on a task for free
    • Taking extra movement during a Crisis
    • Performing an extra action during a Crisis
    • Retrying a failed action during a Crisis
    • Crafting special items that require a crafting cost
    The goal here is to maintain the mechanics that make Numenera fun, to keep Torment balanced (so we can estimate approximately what power level characters will be in a given Zone), all while doling out frequent and exciting rewards.
    But yeah, that stretch goal - it's not looking too hot right now. Will there be a final day surge, like during a Kickstarter? The backer site now supports pledging any amount of money desired, which might help. You should at least make sure you've registered there and specified your add-ons by the end of the month, because inXile are apparently planning to close off certain add-ons after that.
     
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  2. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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    Noticed a typo: "Since we're a bunch of mechanics nerds here, it's Colin's portion of the update that I'll be quoting:"

    Think you mean "Adam's".

    :mrfussy:
     
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  3. VioletShadow Sensate Patron

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    Love everything in this update but the advancement portion made me all
    :desu:
     
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  4. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    If they don't make that stretch goal, I am going to cry myself to sleep every night.

    Forever....
     
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  5. lurker3000 Arcane

    lurker3000
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    Franky I'm amazed they got people to give them another 450K a year and a half after the original KS.
     
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  6. Transfiguring Roar Arcane Patron

    Transfiguring Roar
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    lurker3000, spot on!

    I pledged all I was going to during the kickstarter. They've made a decent amount of money (way beyond the funding goal...) for this game already with kickstarter and paypal, and, as you said, even post kickstarter. As much as I would like the Gullet to be included, I won't pledge towards it.

    Besides, there are other things to pledge towards that look worthy and are struggling to get funding, such as: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skyshinegames/bedlam
     
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  7. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    I've chosen the 65$ option, i.e. Wasteland 2 + Torment batch. If I were to buy Wasteland 2 the "normal" way on GOG I would have to pay almost as much so in my eyes it was a very good deal. And the Gullet looks very promising so after seeing the teaser I've had no doubt it's worth spending money on.
     
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  8. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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    I think they'll definitely include it. It's been a clever fundraising exercise, which I'm fine with as I want this game to be as good as possible. They chose something they knew we'd be unable to resist, an interesting sounding 'Ziets' area, but my guess is they definitely want it in the game. Even if the target isn't quite reached they can come across as bros and promise to include it anyway. It would be a real downer to say "Sorry, $20k short, we're throwing these ideas in the bin" and I doubt that's the intention.
     
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  9. Transfiguring Roar Arcane Patron

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    I hope you're right, Zorba. :)
     
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  10. Darkzone Arcane

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    Zorba i think that you are right concerning this topic, since InXile could use the extra money, because W2 is not the topseller like DOS was. I think they will use the 200k that Brian and Steve Dengler contributed to even the score. (As an excuse.)
    If we take the size of Torment and assume that the Bloom is around 20% - 40% of the game then we we can conclude that this 250k are for 2%-4% larger game. And if we assume that this, reflects the cost for this percentage and that the cost for the size rises linear. Then the cost of the game would be around from 6.25 Million to 12.5 Million. So i think that they had just the intention to get additional 150k by this action but since that sounds in a way odd, they took the 250k as a goal.

    lurker3000
    You forget the Paypal money from Kickstarter. So currently the after KS money is around 280k.
     
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  11. lurker3000 Arcane

    lurker3000
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    Which is a shame because W2 is a much better game.
     
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  12. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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    Didn't have as good luck with release dates, but the localization screw up was a shame.
     
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  13. Volrath Arcane Patron

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    :nocountryforshitposters:
     
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  14. Athelas Arcane

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    Wasn't September a pretty barren month for game releases? D:OS success' likely has to do with presentation, it not only has better graphics than WL2, but also graphics that look like Diablo 3.
     
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  15. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    There's that too but, I think it got cut off by Shadow of Mordor, whereas there was literally nothing for ages when D:OS came out, so it was #1 steam for a very long time.
     
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  16. throwaway Arbiter

    throwaway
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    Are there any other notable examples of RPGs using an invest as you get XP system?
     
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  17. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

    MicoSelva
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I am with you Jaesun. :(
    Looks like they will not make the stretch goal. Shame.
    But if the game sells, they might make that area as a DLC part of an expansion. It is not much of a stretch to see TToN getting an add-in style expansion, like Tales of the Sword Coast or Night of the Raven (as apposed to add-on, like Throne of Bhaal).
     
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  18. nihil Augur

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    Bloodlines, I think.
     
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  19. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Er, "invest as you get" experience systems are fairly common. What's not common is being able to invest those experience points in short-term benefits instead of character improvements.
     
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  20. nihil Augur

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    Yep, that's an interesting idea. With a limited total of XP in the game, and a mode where everything is saved continuously, that could lead to some fun decision making. I haven't kept up. How will saving work?
     
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  21. t Arcane Patron

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    I'm pretty scared about the way Torment will turn out after what W2 sales turned out to be. Hopefully they don't need that stretch goal money to actually finish the game.
     
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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Relax, dude. Wasteland 2 probably earns in a week enough money to finish that stretch goal. Which makes this entire thing a bit funny, but eh, it's all for the incline.
     
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  23. throwaway Arbiter

    throwaway
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    Do we actually have (bad) numbers?
     
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  24. Morality Games Arcane Patron

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    If Bard's Tale did okay in the long run, I think Wasteland II will be fine.

    Sales are a little bouncy and don't always adhere to clear and fast rules. I expect that a turn-based post apocalyptic game will command more attention post-Fallout 4's release + half its current price.
     
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  25. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    Apart from "it's not the top seller on Steam", I don't think so.
    Although its performance on Steam was compared against that of Original Sin so I suppose some assumptions can be made...
     
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