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Torment The Tides of Numenera alignment system

What's your impression of the Tides alignment system?

  • Positive

    Votes: 28 41.8%
  • Negative

    Votes: 7 10.4%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 32 47.8%

  • Total voters
    67

Eirikur

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We know that 'Torment: Tides of Numenera' will feature a unique alignment system based on the concept of Tides. For reference, here's a description from the Kickstarter page:

There are unseen forces in the Ninth World, forces that have profound and lasting effects for those attuned to their motions. Like gravity or magnetism, the Tides are invisible, powerful, and with the right tools, perhaps controllable. The Tides represent complicated concepts that aren't entirely definable by language. Those who acknowledge the Tides have given them symbolic colors based on how they appear to correspond with emotional and psychological reactions. For example:

2588931-e35f0fe8a73da61f3e652b553a4ac96d_large.jpg


The colors are important, because a word like "justice" (for example) is too simplistic. The Indigo Tide represents not only justice and fairness; it might also mean a desire for the greater good or an "end justifies the means" mentality. The Gold Tide can represent false philanthropy as well as martyrdom—it's the actions that matter, not the motivations. In the game, the Tides serve as a kind of alignment system—but a more nuanced one, and one that does not judge actions based on whether they are good or evil.

As someone who's always been a bit obsessed with alignments, ideology, and psychological archetypes, I'm very enthusiastic about exploring this new system. Finally we have a truly unique and promising alternative to the outdated AD&D alignments, conventional morality, and simplistic scales of good-evil. Nietzsche would approve.

I find it interesting that two characters who would have been at opposite sides of the AD&D alignment system might have the same alignment based on this Tides system. In example, Darth Vader is arguably a prime example of Lawful Evil, and Han Solo a prime example of Chaotic Good, yet according to the Tides both would likely be Red & Silver.

Let's discuss this new system and whether it accurately covers all the complex characters we know and love. In example, I've contemplated whether there ought to be a green tide representing harmony, balance, and neutrality, but figure these are covered by the introspective blue tide.

To get the discussion started, how would you classify a character such as Tyrion Lannister? He seems to be a bit 'all over the chart', without a particularly dominating tide. Other characters that might be hard to classify would be Geralt of Rivia, and Jaheira from BG2.
 
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Athelas

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As someone who's always been a bit obsessed with alignments, ideology, and psychological archetypes, I'm very enthusiastic about exploring this new system. Finally we have a truly unique and promising alternative to the outdated AD&D alignments, conventional morality, and simplistic scales of good-evil. Nietzsche would approve.
http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Reputation

To get the discussion started, how would you classify a character such as Tyrion Lannister? He seems to be a bit 'all over the chart', without a particularly dominating tide.
You're right, I don't think the tides can cover his character. I propose this classification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue

Jaheira from BG2.
Hey, you were on to something here:
In example, I've contempleted whether there ought to be a green tide representing harmony, balance, and neutrality
Well, you left out incessant nagging, but the rest is close enough.
 
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Bleed the Man

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I don't know what I think of it yet.

In principle, I don't like any type of system that give moral values to any action, but it seems complex enough that if well used i won't have a problem with it, maybe.
 

Eirikur

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Did you just mention a GoT character in a ToN thread?

Gp3B81a.gif

At least now, the presence of Walt Kowalski has purified the thread. The Indigo tide has such a cleansing effect. Just as with Stannis someone else I can think of.
 
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Jools

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In any case, the system doesn't seem to account for "true neutral" aka "0-fucks-given" type of characters.
 

hiver

Guest
Im kinda curious how they mean its like not a judging system... but its a juding system anyway...

it's the actions that matter, not the motivations.

yet all the stuff listed are clearly different underlying motivations.


And i would like to know how this will play into deciding what is my characters legacy, which is the central question.
As far as i see... the tides will decide WHY i did anything i did and judge it as this or that tide and then that will decide what is my legacy.

right?

I already hate it. But i presume this quick survey may not be correct so i voted undecided.
Better then alignments of DnD but not really different. Just packaged in a different way.
 

tuluse

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Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
5 axes > 2 axes

Also alignments based on concepts of what might actually separate real people is better than strange angle vs devil concepts.
 

Jools

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I gave this some more thought, while stuffing my face with spicy noodles.

I'm not a big fan, true, it's not as dichotomic as d&d's LNCGNE system, but still does categorize people, whereas most people, in real life, would belong to different tides, according to the situation. It is rare the case in which someone acts 100% accordingly to one generic categorization: most people change or bend their "policies" in reaction to specific situations and in the light of previous experiences (Geralt, mentioned by the OP, is a good example of this).

I'd like more a system like PoE's, where one just "develops" some personality traits over others, and is then allowed or denied dialogue choices, which imply hte PC's character has changed and the way the PC is perceived by the surrounding world. Then again, most people would just end having a handful of point in every trait, which sort of made it pointless to begin with... The system wasn't a bad idea, but definitively needs refinement.

This tides system, I dunno: to be completely honest it just feels like a cleverly disguised/facelift'd d&d alignment system, but we'll see. What really matters to me, is what kind of influence will it have on the actual gameplay.

Really, golden tide?
Hqgzo2G.gif
 

hiver

Guest
The whole purpose of this system is to influence and decide what legacy you will have.

- how else could there be any kind of definitive answer to that?
 

AMG

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Seems like random terms and emotions arranged into random blocks with random colors attached to the said blocks.
I am willing to bet that in game the impact of the tides system will be about the same as reputations in Pillars. That is negligible.
 

tuluse

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Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
Jools

The game tracks how much of each tide you have. It's not "you're a silver person", it's you have the most silver followed by some red and some blue.
 

Jools

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Jools

The game tracks how much of each tide you have. It's not "you're a silver person", it's you have the most silver followed by some red and some blue.

That's a start. I'm still curious to see how they'll integrate that into the game's world, in terms of influence and reaction.
 

tuluse

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That's a start. I'm still curious to see how they'll integrate that into the game's world, in terms of influence and reaction.
I don't know about most checks, but they said the ending would be based on your two highest tides.
 

LizardWizard

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To get the discussion started, how would you classify a character such as Tyrion Lannister? He seems to be a bit 'all over the chart', without a particularly dominating tide. Other characters that might be hard to classify would be Geralt of Rivia, and Jaheira from BG2.

Depends if you're talking about book Tyrion or not. The show completely whitewashed his character.
 

DosBuster

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It's unique and it's fairly realistic since no one person can be truly "neutral", it also seems they're going for a system in which "The Greater Good" still isn't the best solution both morally and in terms of gameplay.
 

Aenra

Guest
5 axes > 2 axes

Also alignments based on concepts of what might actually separate real people is better than strange angle vs devil concepts.

On the other hand, even with only two 'alignments', we have thus far to see any true variety or differentiation of consequences implemented. If you know of any game where the entire story and gameplay is wholly different based upon your actions..?.. binary as they are..?..

Two-way fluff, five-way flufff :)
More millions, more writers :)
To be seen when played
 

tuluse

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Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
On the other hand, even with only two 'alignments', we have thus far to see any true variety or differentiation of consequences implemented. If you know of any game where the entire story and gameplay is wholly different based upon your actions..?.. binary as they are..?..

Two-way fluff, five-way flufff :)
More millions, more writers :)
To be seen when played
Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas play completely differently based on reputation(s).
 

Aenra

Guest
Yeah..everything changed. Entirely different game. If you had not played it once already, you'd be hard pressed to tell it was the same one. Especially given how hard it was to define yourself as the guy that nukes the town, or the guy that does not. The dilemma almost made me quit playing. Did your siding with the former prisoners alter your game experience in Vegas perhaps? Didn't to me, just logistics. Two less NPCs to sell loot to. Depthless..depth.
I know what you mean, but..depends on the person i guess. Give me interactivity, mechanics, minigames and systems, give me ingame reactivity. If i can do everything i'd be asked for within an RPG, i can make my own alignment/motivation/story up as i go. The inverse did and does not apply. I stand by my argument. Fluff to mask the absence of substance. If a qualitative fluff, always welcome. When on top, in addtion. This is not an adventure game. Or even a movie, let alone a piece of literature. So unless you can provide that level? Still coating. And if you ever do, it will no longer be a RPG. Too strict :)

edit: systems don't motivate doubt, judgement on ethics or mentality. They just are. Anything related to C&Cable context however does. And as long as said context is predefined, it is just that for me. Fluff. I respect more a linearly paced experience (PoE to name a recent one) that does not allow for much deviation, but instead just wants to tell you -the- story. It can that way be more solid, more thick, and as such at least it stands a chance of appearing coherent. C&C within game GUIs.. nah

Maybe they should have spent their time on lesser "angles", so as to flesh them out more, maybe this will be shallower, but giving more "flavour". To be seen
 
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Prime Junta

Guest
On the other hand, even with only two 'alignments', we have thus far to see any true variety or differentiation of consequences implemented. If you know of any game where the entire story and gameplay is wholly different based upon your actions..?.. binary as they are..?..

Mask of the Betrayer should qualify IMO. If it doesn't, what exactly are you expecting...?
 

Alex

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To be honest, the alignment system seems pretty weird to me. I am not sure what exactly they are trying to achieve here, but the color scheme seems a bit iffy. I am not sure I understand how they plan to use it, or for what intent, but right now it seems to be different just for the sake of being different. I don't mean just from D&D's system, but from how we think about people. I mean, what exactly does it mean to be an "indigo person", or a "blue person"? What is the driving concept that somehow unifies those people? Is someone who cares about justice as a virtue indigo? Is someone who cares about justice as an important part of society indigo?

I guess maybe they are going for some kind of weird aspect of the game. Like, the tides are the effect on humanity of some kind of artifact or something. But still, I would be wary of any kind of story where all the characters don't feel quite human. Personally, I think something more like Ultima's virtues would work better if the pointof the alignment system is to measure what your PC holds as important.

By the way, people always lambaste D&D's alignment system. In my opinion, the system works pretty well for what it was designed to do: separate the characters into sides of a cosmic war. The point of alignments in D&D isn't do define human behavior, to say how your character should be portrayed, to foster any kind of philosophical dialogue or anything like that. The point of alignment is to break up fantasy forces, so you know who helps or fights who. And also to determine how some spells and items affect some characters. In fact, the original system didn't have the good/evil differentiation. It was just law against chaos. Of course it has changed over the years, but I think the system works best if you don't give the alignment any kind of behavior. Chaos or order is just your side in the conflict, not a world view.
 

WhiteGuts

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I think the way each "Tide" encompasses the whole spectrum of a trait (for ex : indigo is justice but also the "well intentioned extremist" end of it) is very interesting. I find this representation more appealing than PoE's score based reputation/personality.
 

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