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Torment So is Tides of Numenera actually worth a damn?

Dwarvophile

Liturgist
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
1,439
"Whay do we do that ? Partly because it's our world". Self indulgence is a terrible quality for a writer. Which explains the game's logorrhoea.
 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
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KA.DINGIR.RA.KI
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
I'm kinda enjoying this but I went in with low expectations and only paid like 12 bucks or so when it was on humblebundle (which also gave me other games in the bundle so the actual price I paid for Numanuma would be something like 2 bucks, if we were to share the bundle's cost equally among all included games).

It has some interesting ideas and very nice mechanics. I like how you have to spend effort to succeed in most checks, I like how combat also requires you to spend effort which leaves you exhausted and leaves you less points for the next non-combat skillcheck. I like how some quests can fail if you take too long. Resting counts as passing one day, so if you have to save some guy from an execution and only have 3 days to do it, resting too often before finishing the quest means he dies and the quest fails. When investigating murders in the undercity, if you rest during that quest another NPC will be murdered until you stop the murderer. Accusing the wrong person of being responsible means the murders will continue and the questgiver will be very angry with you. Some encounters are well-designed, like the one where you go down into an ancient high tech ruin where a rogue AI has taken control of the drones, and you can either destory all the drones in combat or run past them and purge the hostile AI from the terminals. Cool stuff.

But it also suffers from many problems. Dialogues are often overwritten, especially the descriptive parts. The dialogues themselves are fine, the stuff people actually say, but the writers went way overboard in describing gestures and facial expressions. Lots of purple prose, too. Unnecessarily fancy writing where a simpler style would have sufficed, which makes it reek of writers wanting to show off how good they are with words. It detracts from the actual content. PST had lots of writing, but it was never this self-indulgent. A lot of the text in the game feels pointless, like it was just written to increase the wordcount so they can brag about how high it is.

Another major problem with the dialogues is their structure. By now, I know exactly how a dialogue is going to play out as soon as I approach an NPC. I will get questions such as "Who are you?", "What's your story?", "Tell me what you think about X.", etc. When I have asked them all, they will be replaced by "Can you tell me who you are again?", "Can you tell me your story again?", "Can you tell me what you think about X again?". The dialogue window feels like a formulaic checklist, and the fact that you can ask everything twice just adds to that feeling. There are maybe one or two interesting dialogue options that lead to skill checks or a quest in every conversation, but those generic checklist-style options are always there, reminding you that you're not talking to a person - you're going through a dialogue in a game, and it was written after a formula. It's like every writer received a "how to write dialogue" guide and the first few bullet points in that guide said "Make sure to have at least two questions about who the character is, and allow the player to ask the same thing again even when he's already asked it, despite our game having a codex in which all important information is stored so it can be accessed at any time, and you can scroll up in the dialogue window to re-read what you missed". Really, the way each and every dialogue feels like it conforms to some schematic is the worst part about this game's writing.

The combat is interesting in theory, but in practice it suffers from a few design issues. Positioning felt very "floaty" to me for some reason, I think the combat would have benefitted from having some kind of grid rather than free movement. But then, ToEE also had free movement and it had excellent combat, so I dunno. Having to spend effort to win a combat is a damn good idea, as effort is an extremely important resource since it's used in all kinds of skill checks, but it's too easy to restore effort with consumables. And these consumables are comparatively cheap, too. The game would have been much better without these consumables, instead you can only restore effort by resting. That would be more interesting since resting too often can fail you some time sensitive quests. But no, you get plenty of consumables and don't have to worry too much about your effort pools.

Also, whoever changed the cool-looking pre-release companion portraits to the ugly 56% face abominations deserves a kick in the arse.
 

Kyl Von Kull

The Night Tripper
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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
For all of the shit TTON gets here, it’s not a terrible game. I enjoyed it, too. They had some really good ideas, but sadly the execution was often botched, like you mentioned with the easily refilled effort pools (by the late game your pools are so large and you have so much edge that there’s no resource to manage). Also, after you finish the few time limited quests you can rest for free anywhere with no consequences. The crisis system could’ve been awesome if they’d put more thought and effort into it. The whole thing comes off as being unfocused.

I personally didn’t mind the writing, although the game would have benefitted enormously from a no-nonsense editor. For me, the problem was that so much of it reeks of missed opportunities. I still liked it, but it’s obviously much less than it should have been.

The other thing that I disliked was, I think, a problem with the setting. Anything could conceivably happen in Planescape, but there were rules. We knew how the metaphysics worked almost from the get-go and the power of belief played into nearly every part of the story. Numanera doesn’t have that. While you ultimately learn about the tides, the tides themselves are only one small part of the cosmology. In a decaying super sci-fi civilization, anything can do anything for any reason. That detracts from the experience. IMO TTON would’ve been better if 90% of the game took place in the Bloom. Then knowing how and why the Bloom operates would’ve given TTON a much better setting and the Bloom specific themes could’ve been wound much more tightly into the story.
 

Doctor Sbaitso

SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS.
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Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands
I think writing style is as important as the story when I read books. It really bothers me when an author is less than succinct or when I encounter lazily superfluous writing in a book I am reading. I tend to skip ahead, skimming to identify the meaningful. I don't like having to do this with notable book authors.

This game was insufferable.
 

Dwarvophile

Liturgist
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
1,439
when I encounter lazily superfluous writing in a book I am reading. I tend to skip ahead

Why even bother.

I'm the same, I usually finish books, even when they are not so good. I often read the first sentence and pick a few moments, so if I started to read it's for a reason. But it has to be really bad for me to stop reading after first chapter. Maybe it's because I'm a compulsive reader. Maybe, it's because it's important to know what you don't like, and why....

But with games, it's more the contrary : a game has to be really good for me to finish it. I don't have enough spare time to invest in mediocre gaming.
 

HeatEXTEND

Prophet
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Feb 12, 2017
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Yeah I'm the exact opposite. If a book seriously irks me 3-4 times that's it, I'm done with it. Too many good books out there.
With games I'll blow through it when I'm beyond a certain game-time threshold just to get it over with.
Probably something to do with the fact that I borrow all my books from my book-a-holic mom and for every one I read two more become available :shittydog:
 

agris

Arcane
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I think writing style is as important as the story when I read books. It really bothers me when an author is less than succinct or when I encounter lazily superfluous writing in a book I am reading. I tend to skip ahead, skimming to identify the meaningful. I don't like having to do this with notable book authors.

This game was insufferable.
If it's Robert Jordan, cut your losses now and just drop it.
 

Doctor Sbaitso

SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS.
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Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands
I think writing style is as important as the story when I read books. It really bothers me when an author is less than succinct or when I encounter lazily superfluous writing in a book I am reading. I tend to skip ahead, skimming to identify the meaningful. I don't like having to do this with notable book authors.

This game was insufferable.
If it's Robert Jordan, cut your losses now and just drop it.

I did long ago. Now Ursula Leguin can write. Check out the Earthsea series if you haven't and you like fantasy.
 
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MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Messages
5,716
Location
California
It's like every writer received a "how to write dialogue" guide ... allow the player to ask the same thing again even when he's already asked it
There was definitely something along those lines. It was viewed as an embellishment on normal RPG dialogues that let you ask the same question, the same way, and get the same answer, in the same form.
 

ilitarist

Learned
Illiterate Village Idiot
Joined
Oct 17, 2016
Messages
857
So I understand Numenera got some new content last May and it was something underwhelming. Since then - nothing, right?

It might have been a much better game if they'd balance the second half so that there's any possible danger to your mana reserves. Also make the tides influence more noticeable.
 
Joined
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Messages
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doing what you ask requires

first a brain

second money

third will

now you should ask yourself: which one of these things Inxile possess?
 
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Zombra

An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
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Make the Codex Great Again! RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
A major problem with the dialogues is their structure. By now, I know exactly how a dialogue is going to play out as soon as I approach an NPC. I will get questions such as "Who are you?", "What's your story?", "Tell me what you think about X.", etc. When I have asked them all, they will be replaced by "Can you tell me who you are again?", "Can you tell me your story again?", "Can you tell me what you think about X again?". The dialogue window feels like a formulaic checklist, and the fact that you can ask everything twice just adds to that feeling.
To me it's a good compromise between linear garbage and keyword overload.

First thing to remember is that even though all those basic "What's your deal" options are there every time, you don't have to click through them all. ←IMPORTANT These are just things it's always reasonable to say to anybody if you choose to. If you click through 1, 2, 3 and get a formulaic feeling, it's because you're choosing to act that way, not because the game makes you. THREAD LINK

Second thing is, unlike real life, in fiction and especially in RPGs and even more especially in a wacky setting like Numenera, characters can be forgettable. No, it's not realistic or immersive for me to have to ask a guy twice why he's relevant, but the plain fact is I'm just not going to remember sometimes, for a lot of reasons. Numenera characters all look visually the same in the environment. There are a lot of characters in the game and many despite their outlandishness are limited to one quick side quest or even no material plot point at all, so which ones should I actually pay attention to? I may not be playing this game all in one sitting, what if I don't play for a week and need a refresher on some of these jerks? Everything is so goofy in this world it's hard to keep track of everyone's nonsense. Maybe I just plain wasn't paying enough attention the first time and skimmed over something I shouldn't have. Etc. The "Codex" is nice, but it's much more convenient to just let me ask a guy again when I see him than make me go to some encyclopedia screen and look him up.

I appreciate that the "game-y feeling" is something you'd rather get rid of, and I agree that would be nice - if there were something superior in place to deal with the fact that I am playing a game and I can't be expected to keep track of this stuff mentally like I could in real life.
 
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Moth

Learned
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Feb 1, 2016
Messages
103
Location
International Space Station
I discovered that you can't trade or even give away games you've already played in Steam because of T:TON.

Not gonna lie. It's a fun trip. For the first playthrough with no prior exposure. Unfortunately, I've been following this project since it was announced. So I was in for extreme disappointment. If you're able to distance yourself from the promises and build up, or had no connection to begin with, you may be able to stomach it. And enjoy it. It has a fun literary element to it and the writing isn't that shabby, but the flow and execution is painful.

If I want to do a second play-through, it will be to get the one merecaster I missed and to experience the...goo companion.

Speaking of which, how is the goo companion? Anyone bother for a second play-through to discover him after he was patched in?
 

fantadomat

Arcane
Edgy Vatnik Wumao
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
37,174
Location
Bulgaria
doing what you ask requires

first a brain

second money

third will

now you should ask yourself: which one of these things Inxile possess?
The brain to skim money from nostalgia goys and the will to keep getting up every morning and not be ashamed!
 

Theldaran

Liturgist
Joined
Oct 10, 2015
Messages
1,772
On one side of the ring you've got Robert Jordan, who did a thorough job with The Wheel of Time, so thorough you can skip on entire books and characters, because they're nowhere near interesting at all. It screams "padding".

On the other side you've got 50 Shades of Grey, a book written by a girl who couldn't write to save her life. The mediocrity of the book is made evident within minutes of starting reading.

Either case leads to frustration.
 

Tigranes

Arcane
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
10,350
I played a bit on release, and have yet to get back to it to finish it. I think I was at the Bloom.

It's not a terrible game, but I think it was such a chore because everything about the game is, from a pacing perspective, like walking through quicksand. The dialogues are laborious (which isn't just a function of length, but style, etc), compounded by how much wordy preamble is involved even in exploring the maps (click on everything on the map, get 20 pages of background lore), and the combat is often pretty slow-paced as well in terms of animations, UI, etc. You often feel like everything takes 3-4 extra steps than necessary.
 

HeatEXTEND

Prophet
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Nedderlent
like the one where you go down into an ancient high tech ruin where a rogue AI has taken control of the drones, and you can either destory all the drones in combat or run past them and purge the hostile AI from the terminals.

maxresdefault.jpg

:troll:
 
Unwanted

Bladeract

It's Neckbeard Shitlord. Again.
Dumbfuck
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May 19, 2018
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239
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This clip summarizes my experience with the game after failing to remove it from inventory


tldr games are for playing, not reading endless reams of twitter quality writing
 

Darth Canoli

Arcane
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
5,689
Location
Perched on a tree
My feelings about Numenera : It was made by a bunch of hipsters under the influence of LSD.

What could have gone wrong ?

Seriously, botchering a generation of players nostalgia this way is a crime against gaming.
 

PlanHex

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Messages
2,054
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
No. PlanHex likes it though. He bought it for full price and got a mega huge boner.
Stop the lies, I backed the kickstarter for way too much (enough to get a box) and thought it was middling with mostly wasted potential.
I really liked the spooky guy that MRY wrote though.
 

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