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Torment: Tides of Numenera
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:35 am    Post subject: Torment: Tides of Numenera Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Played the first hour, seems super good so far. "Won" several encounters without swinging a weapon at all. Recruited an orphan.

Any other folks giving this one a try?
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Hadanelith
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Backed it on KS. Played for four hours today. Got some very positive feelings vis a vis dialogue, descriptions, lore entries. In general, I like the skill system, though the game makes save-scumming ludicrously effective and quite easy. Combat is what worries me. I only have had one real combat so far (the first real one), and I was getting my ass kicked. Reloaded and talked my way out instead.
One other frustration: sleeping to heal/refresh runs out timers on quests that the game doesn't really tell you are running. There are two fairly sizable quests in the first city that advance every time you sleep, to purely negative effect. Might be rolling my save back to my entry to the city, and focusing those quests down first, before I empty my pools on other challenges and need to sleep.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lokathor wrote:
Played the first hour, seems super good so far. "Won" several encounters without swinging a weapon at all. Recruited an orphan.

Any other folks giving this one a try?


Nope. Looks like crap, and the Numenrara system wasn't good before they hacked things out to save money....

which is the big crux of the issue. Lots of the promised features from the core development plan (and also the stretch goals people actually paid money for) were unceremoniously dumped. And had to be outed by backers screwing around with the early access version's files, because the company wouldn't talk about abandoned features. After an insincere 'sorry, won't happen again' from the writer of the Master Race Handbook... they did it again, and cut yet more features from the game.

The backgrounds look good, if often randomly weird, but mechanics, UI and animations look like ass.

Plus, frankly, I found Wasteland 2 was a shitty game playing on nostalgia with fuck-all for real effort and gameplay, and this looks like an even worse repeat of that. I bagged on Pillars of Eternity for not being very good, but at least I could see the effort Obsidian put into it. inExile has done a monumentally shitty job at pure exploitation of nostalgia fans. I'm really curious where they extra millions went on this one, especially with core game features (they promised 9 rather than 3 foci, of the 27 in the PnP rules, and cut three companions as well) that just vanished into the ether. Real question is if it was mismanagement and a bad job, or did they just pocket the cash and earmark it for something else?
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tfw still 17-19 years later, and no one has made a game even as good as BGII, much less better.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

To be fair, BG2 isn't a low bar to clear.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
To be fair, BG2 isn't a low bar to clear.


Parts of it are. The heavy handed railroad and lolwut? nature of the main story are pretty abysmal. It simply benefits from the fact that you're allowed to do 80% of the game while completely ignoring the shitty aspects, then do a minor sidequest to a cliche and stupidity ridden attempt at an insane asylum and magic police gone wrong then pick back up to mop up the rest.

Throne of Bhaal, on the other hand... utter shit from its starting point.



The big problem is what Kaelik said. Nearly two decades later and the remains of the RPG industry (including those involved in 'bringing it back' fail miserably at meeting the basics of a twenty year old game. WotC's stupid fight with Atari over licensing rights didn't help anything for a long time, and the D&D shit that did get produced was/is awful.

That they can't keep an edition long enough to actually produce a game as a marketing tie-in while that edition is still relevant is just sad.

Steam had a 'free weekend' for Sword Coast Legends (the 5e attempt at isometric RPGs) by a company you've never heard of (and it failed so badly the studio that developed it also failed and closed shop). I managed the starting area and the wilderness area and gave up. Mechanics, UI, animations, all shit. Interactions were MMO style click through crap with no depth or choices. Bad times.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The over-the-top voice acting kept me from getting too mad about the main plot of the series. Normally I would poke fun at the obligatory British Accent of Evil but at least they shelled out for David Warner. It's probably why I still don't give two shits about full voice acting versus partial. I'm completely OK with having people skip some of the info dumps if that makes it easier to hire a deep cast.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Full Voice Acting has done much to murder the RPG. Sad Not that there aren't other factors, just that is one of them.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I blame Bioware for a lot of those factors, including that one.
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Ikeren
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm playing through PoE, which apparently everyone hates, and I'm enjoying it a fair bit. What are the odds I'll also enjoy Torment?
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No clue, their failings are pretty different. Plus, I wouldn't really say I hate PoE so much as I think it was often kinda bland and mechanically it fell into many of the same old traps other CRPGs fell into and invented a few of its own to boot. The biggest problem with Pillars is that some crucial mechanics are inscrutable if not outright counter-intuitive as presented. For example, action speed and how it interacts with your gear choices is sufficiently complicated and undocumented that many would-be min-maxers simply throw their hands up into the air and run a naked dps protected by armored tanks dichotomy, a practice that works fine with a crack team of hyper specialized mercs but doesn't mesh well the storyline pc builds at all since they mostly lean towards middle-of-the-road builds. It's completely understandable that people go that route instead of building more well-rounded characters though, since you either need to personally do a shit ton of experimentation or take ranks in Obscure Forum Lore to know when you can quit stacking speed boosts because you're already hitting 0 recovery after potions or to understand that two handed weapon users care waaaaay more about armor recovery penalties than arquebus gunners. It's possible to make some nice compromises here and there where the durability gains outweigh the loss to your offense and vice versa but you need to wade through a waist high moat of bullshit to find out where the hell those breakpoints lie, so for most people they may as well not exist.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thats pretty fair. That everything is tweaked to fractions of seconds is part of the problem, and a lot involves minor percentage adjustments.

Counter-intuitive covers most of the weapon choices. People have sat down and done the math and apparently the arquebus and crossbows are actually not a good choice despite armor-as-DR and the big hits from stacking percentage multipliers. Apparently war bows are the best, simply because the recovery time and the reload speed fuck the actual DPS of the bigger weapons sideways. But you have to work out the math of damage vs DR, percentage adjusted recovery times and percentage adjusted reload times (all of which have multiple percentages adjusting them) for five different weapons to work that out. It gets pretty crazy (and you'd expect a modern game this byzantine to have the system display the final results as a DPS score, but it doesn't, just the damage per hit, which is misleading)



Torment, on the other hand, is getting a consistent feedback of: 'combat is awful, never, ever engage in combat.' Not only because it's bad, but because avoiding combat is a single expenditure from one of your pools, while most fights involves multiple expenditures. And longer combats will exhaust you completely. And multiple quests are apparently on hidden timers, so resting can fuck you.

But combat gives you more XP, so... fuck you anyway, I guess.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

Counter-intuitive covers most of the weapon choices. People have sat down and done the math and apparently the arquebus and crossbows are actually not a good choice despite armor-as-DR and the big hits from stacking percentage multipliers. Apparently war bows are the best, simply because the recovery time and the reload speed fuck the actual DPS of the bigger weapons sideways.


Yeah, the big thing to understand is that with enough action recovery bonuses bolted together like Voltron all weapons have the same recovery speed but not the same attack speed or reloading speed. Reloading works under slightly but importantly different rules and those differences are implied but never fully explained. This means that on the far reaches of recovery speed optimization, yes, the best move is to grab a dope war bow or rod like Pretty Pretty's Rib, Rain or Borresaine and spam big shots at damn near the same rate somebody can plink with a hunting bow. That's only with all other things being equal though--you can still be completely boss while rocking a Stormcaller or Persistence hunting bow due to their shit hot special enchantments.

By contrast the best use for gunners is alpha striking with characters who weapon swap or otherwise have another job to do after they take their shot--ciphers who use Penetrating Shot plus Leadspitter just to generate early focus or a Paladin tank blasting a mage with Flames of Devotion before going sword and board are probably the most common examples. I would characterize such things as actually being a pretty legitimate niche for a weapon type to occupy but I'd be waaay more comfortable with that idea if the UI did a better job of spelling out how bad of a deal you're getting with every reload.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've beaten Torment and it's okay. It's not great, I don't hate it. I'd probably rate it at about 6/10, in the same general area as NWN2. The combat is awful, and the two times you are forced into combat are excruciatingly slow as they involve about ten people on screen each of which takes their sweet time to move. I also didn't like the ending and the reveal on Sorrow.

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And there is a bunch of false advertising. Planescape: Torment was called that because TNO's torment and torment of his companions were major themes of the game. Torment: Tides of Numenera is called that because Planescape: Torment had "Torment" in its name. All you get is some word vomit in the end claiming that you totally made people suffer we pinky swear.
The game's tagline is "What does one life matter?", but that theme is absolutely unexplored and is probably a remnant from whatever they had as the original script.

Overall it feels like an Obsidian game circa KotOR 2.

Hadanelith wrote:
One other frustration: sleeping to heal/refresh runs out timers on quests that the game doesn't really tell you are running. There are two fairly sizable quests in the first city that advance every time you sleep, to purely negative effect. Might be rolling my save back to my entry to the city, and focusing those quests down first, before I empty my pools on other challenges and need to sleep.


Thankfully there are very few of those. In Sagus Cliffs it's only Tybir's quest and the murder investigation. Murder investigation starts either when you go to sleep for the first time or when you go into the Underbelly, and isn't reliant on checks, so you probably won't screw it up.

The most lolwut moment of the game is the Nychthemeron quest. In the middle of the Circus Minor are two dudes showing off a captured monster. They'll tell you that if you want to talk to the monster, you'll have to come at night when it calms down. However, it is impossible to come at night. The protagonist is completely incapable of waking up at night. To get night you have to screw up a trivial puzzle in another quest and break a time machine turning the time in Circus Minor into permanent night.

Kaelik wrote:
tfw still 17-19 years later, and no one has made a game even as good as BGII, much less better.


What about Witcher 3?
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
Voss wrote:

Counter-intuitive covers most of the weapon choices. People have sat down and done the math and apparently the arquebus and crossbows are actually not a good choice despite armor-as-DR and the big hits from stacking percentage multipliers. Apparently war bows are the best, simply because the recovery time and the reload speed fuck the actual DPS of the bigger weapons sideways.


Yeah, the big thing to understand is that with enough action recovery bonuses bolted together like Voltron all weapons have the same recovery speed but not the same attack speed or reloading speed. Reloading works under slightly but importantly different rules and those differences are implied but never fully explained. This means that on the far reaches of recovery speed optimization, yes, the best move is to grab a dope war bow or rod like Pretty Pretty's Rib, Rain or Borresaine and spam big shots at damn near the same rate somebody can plink with a hunting bow. That's only with all other things being equal though--you can still be completely boss while rocking a Stormcaller or Persistence hunting bow due to their shit hot special enchantments.

By contrast the best use for gunners is alpha striking with characters who weapon swap or otherwise have another job to do after they take their shot--ciphers who use Penetrating Shot plus Leadspitter just to generate early focus or a Paladin tank blasting a mage with Flames of Devotion before going sword and board are probably the most common examples. I would characterize such things as actually being a pretty legitimate niche for a weapon type to occupy but I'd be waaay more comfortable with that idea if the UI did a better job of spelling out how bad of a deal you're getting with every reload.


Also suffers the 4e problem of having a shit-ton of limited duration status effects, with no pre-buffing. Priests are mandatory to not get CC'd to holy hell, and pretty much every major boss spawns with CC mobs - the boss of Od Nua comes with petrification-throwing adragans, for example.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
Kaelik wrote:
tfw still 17-19 years later, and no one has made a game even as good as BGII, much less better.


What about Witcher 3?


Bored
Really? I get why people like W3, and it is kind of a big deal since its influencing a lot of other games (particularly side quest design, which several designers have mentioned ripping for big games this year-FFXV and ME:Andromeda). But even with the NPC interaction (another pretty good area), it's a completely different kind of game: a twitch based combat game with no party dynamics.

The biggest turn off as far as RPGs go is the set character and the hard limit on making that character your own. Its an interesting world, but you're stuck viewing it through the lens of Mr. Penis and his disturbing obsessive stalking offixation on a trio of women. You don't really get a say in his character.

Had they opened it up to a player built PC with choices of background and type of character, it would have been a lot more relevant to compare to the BGs.


CapnTthePirateG wrote:
Also suffers the 4e problem of having a shit-ton of limited duration status effects, with no pre-buffing. Priests are mandatory to not get CC'd to holy hell, and pretty much every major boss spawns with CC mobs - the boss of Od Nua comes with petrification-throwing adragans, for example.

I've never run a priest in Pillars. Tried, but couldn't stand it. The base chassis is just so fucking terrible, and Durance is a fucking awful, horribly written, pure monster.

Never really felt the need for one either. Combat solution is pretty much burn people down, mitigation is wasting actions. That said I noped out of most of the dragon fights, as they're completely bullshit. (Especially the white march one. Surprise, magically surrounded by enemies that didn't exist before combat music started!)
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

I've never run a priest in Pillars. Tried, but couldn't stand it. The base chassis is just so fucking terrible, and Durance is a fucking awful, horribly written, pure monster.

Never really felt the need for one either. Combat solution is pretty much burn people down, mitigation is wasting actions. That said I noped out of most of the dragon fights, as they're completely bullshit. (Especially the white march one. Surprise, magically surrounded by enemies that didn't exist before combat music started!)


Damn, looks like I'm doing it wrong. I've been using the Storm spells and Shadowflame to paralyze/nuke everyone, seems to be working for me.

I agree most of the regular CC doesn't really last long enough to kill everything though - probably not building people right to just burn down enemies. Is this where the weird action minmaxing comes into play?
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Voss
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't understand. You claimed priests were mandatory, I find them useless. And now you mention the awesome Druid spells and a special wizard spell. What suggests any need for priests?

By useless mitigation I mean I don't find a character on cleanup duty effective at all, especially if they're a poor bastard on a limited resource schedule. If they aren't dealing damage or stun locking enemies I have no use for them. Even my tanks are built to do at least some damage and/or make enemies vulnerable to people that can.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

By far the most optimal character choice in PoE is a wood elf cypher. With a gun (or a bow early on) you get massive nuking capability that no one else in the party can replicate, the Grieving Mother being a useless melee cypher.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm not sure why you think she has to be a melee character
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I consider priests one of the best 3 or 4 classes in the game. They don't have to prepare spells prior to battle in PoE so they aren't really hurt by having so much of their design space committed to narrow application safety nets. You run around raining buffs, afflictions and fire all day and then you just happen to have heals and immunity/suppression effects in your back pocket as well. The resource scheme is annoying when fighting trash mobs but ultimately it's just not that hard to justify your existence when you're packing Devotions for the Faithful, Divine Mark and Pillar of Faith.
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Ikeren
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, pretty much every time I get a character I immediately go and rebuild them.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
I'm not sure why you think she has to be a melee character


Melee ciphers aren't even useless anyway. I mean, yeah, fighting from range is more idiot proof and has better responsiveness during the crucial opening seconds of a fight, but ultimately you do auto attack harder and still have access to the same suite of renewable crowd control and damage effects. At gunpoint I'd still give the nod to the ranged builds but either way you can still glide your way to level 13 and use Defensive Mindweb to become a golden god.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
I don't understand. You claimed priests were mandatory, I find them useless. And now you mention the awesome Druid spells and a special wizard spell. What suggests any need for priests?

By useless mitigation I mean I don't find a character on cleanup duty effective at all, especially if they're a poor bastard on a limited resource schedule. If they aren't dealing damage or stun locking enemies I have no use for them. Even my tanks are built to do at least some damage and/or make enemies vulnerable to people that can.


Priests are mostly necessary because they can prevent you from getting totally fucked over by the above. Having your Druid dominated with a storm up generally results in a bad time, especially when you are bad at pausing like me and the enemies get off CC because I fucked up a pause.

This may be due to me being bad.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How often does that even have a chance of happening? Pretty sure I could count the number of times enemies throw around dominate on one hand.

Even then, by the time you interrupt whatever the priest is already doing, soak the recovery time for that and then go through the casting time for the mitigation spell, you probably don't have much duration left on the CC effect.

As for pausing, I have no idea what to tell you. It's the space bar. Leave your thumb on it. Use auto-pause for the stuff the comes up frequently enough to care.
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