Updated Our Journal (68): Servant of the Tides
tl;dr: Oom’s debut, Content Update, new bonus rewards from Monte Cook Games, and a check-in on backer rewards.
Eric Daily here. Since last we spoke, we put all our focus on the content update for Torment. Over March, April, and the beginning of May, those new elements took great, albeit blobby, shape. As you will discover below, today is the perfect time to share a first look at the new Torment update with you. This one is all about Oom, our Servant of the Tides… and first introduced back in 2013 as “The Toy”.
We have more details on Oom below, but you might be wondering when you get to play this update? Well...
Servant of the Tides Update Out Now!
That's right! The new update is live on Steam right now! Oom, the Voluminous Codex, and a host of improvements, tweaks, fixes, are out today on PC.
- New Companion: Oom. Oom is a new stretch goal character who you will discover on your journey through the Ninth World. Oom features its own companion quest, "Servant of the Tides", its own unique abilities for use in combat and exploration, and interactions with various characters throughout the game.
- Added the Voluminous Codex. This new stretch goal feature unlocks lore and character entries as you explore the game world.
- Added a new user interface element to the Inventory Screen which makes it easier to view companion attitudes toward the Last Castoff.
- Added a new user interface element to the Common Panel which better messages the Last Castoff's current Legacy.
- Players can now advance to Tier 5 and Tier 6, allowing players to spend their Experience Points more in the later game. This also allows the Last Castoff to gain abilities from other character types.
- Various balance improvements to Crisis gameplay throughout the game.
- Various balance improvements to exploration gameplay, especially in the later stages of the game.
- Added zoom in/out key binding to the Options Menu. This allows players without mouse wheels to remap the zoom functions.
- Cypher Sickness initialization is now delayed until after Equipment initialization. This should prevent issues where loading a save file where equipment was preventing a cypher explosion would cause input to freeze up (fix may not be retroactive).
- Remove all non-gameplay Fettles from companions when they're removed from the party. This should prevent certain freezes from occurring.
- Numerous small UI fixes.
- Numerous small quest fixes.
For the full patch notes, please check this page.
This update is now out on Steam, and we’ll be getting it to GOG and other stores as soon as possible. Our strong recommendation is to start a brand-new playthrough to experience these improvements, as the new content is best experienced from the start of the game (and Oom must be added to the party during Sagus Cliffs).
Of course, those of you who have chosen to play Torment on consoles won’t be left out - this update will be coming free to you in the near future as well!
We hope you enjoy Oom and the new features, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for your feedback. In the meantime, we thought we’d give you a bit of insight into the Oom’s creation...
Oom - The Toy
Early during the Kickstarter campaign for Torment, we introduced Oom to you as "The Toy", a new stretch goal companion by design lead Adam Heine and Brian Mitsoda (Dead State, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines). While this companion didn't make it into the initial release of the game, we're bringing it back in our latest update.
Back when we pitched the idea of Oom, it was described as:
The Toy is a changing ball of goo: Is it a pet, an abandoned toy, a dangerous weapon? Whatever it is, it responds to the way you treat it by changing its appearance and abilities to reflect what it perceives as your desires. Its ultimate secrets are... well, you’ll have to find out.
Now that we've received the opportunity to complete Oom, we went back to these ideas, as well as much of the original writing by Brian Mitsoda. We wanted to make sure that Oom was true to the vision proposed early on... but of course, as many of those ideas were thought up prior to us knowing Torment's final game mechanics and storyline, we also wanted to make sure that Oom would integrate well into the game as it is today.
Here is senior writer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie's take on Oom:
Oom is a living artifact from a prior world, and extraordinarily loyal to you. A shape-changer and guardian, it is somehow connected to the Tides, and it grants the Last Castoff a deeper connection to them.
It is also a mystery to be solved. Oom does not speak, and even its thoughts are a strange tangle of alien metaphors. It will drive you to increase your understanding of the Tides, and by doing so, you will learn secrets about its long, long past...
Oom is unlike any of the other companions in Torment. For one, Oom is – to use a technical term – a blob of goop, a piece of the numenera left over from a past civilization that has faded into the darkness of history.
Oom is a shape-changing blob of translucent goop. Here it is attacking an enemy during a Crisis.
If you discover Oom during your game, then it may become a member of your party. Just like the other Torment companions, it has its own quest and storyline you will uncover throughout the game, it can assist you with challenges and in Crisis gameplay, and it will react to the world around you and the characters you meet.
But Oom is different from other companions in more ways than just looks. For starters, Oom's abilities are entirely unique to it, and are designed to be distinctly versatile. Oom's basic attack allows it to splorch (to use another technical term) at enemies, damaging them with gooey globs of itself which can inflict multiple special effects. Its other abilities center around helping its allies. For instance, Oom can coat another member of your party with goop, bestowing improved protection and other benefits. Oom is also great with consumable items and cyphers, as any it uses have their benefits apply to not just Oom, but the Last Castoff as well.
Oom can use Haptic Armor to envelop an ally, protecting them from harm at the expense of its own combat action.
We also suggested as part of the initial "Toy" design that Oom would learn from your actions and change to match, and now we have taken that idea one step farther. Oom is a loyal guardian who flows with the Tides, and your Tidal alignment will allow you to not only shape Oom's appearance, but will also allow you to alter its abilities. Over the course of the game, and as the Last Castoff grows more experienced in using the Tides, you will influence Oom's play-style. To see the details, you’ll have to play the new content for yourself!
Free Numenera Book & MCG Discount!
But the Servant of the Tides Update isn’t the only new thing we have for you. We’ve partnered with Monte Cook Games to offer all of you a free digital Numenera book, Maps of the Ninth World! This book features 30+ maps showing the wider Numenera world, it makes a great supplement to any of your tabletop campaigns or even if you are just curious to explore more of the setting.
To secure your copy, please login to our backer web site and check the "Bonus" tab under your Rewards. Near the bottom of the page, you'll find a coupon code you can use towards Maps of the Ninth World on the Monte Cook Games Store. Add it to your cart, then at checkout, use the coupon code, and you will be able to download the PDF freely. For more instructions on how to use your MCG Store code, please see this page!
But that's not all! In addition to this free book, we're also offering $5 off any Monte Cook Games Store purchase. Once you download your PDF copy of Maps of the Ninth World, check a few pages into its text to find a second coupon code. If you use this coupon when checking out at the Monte Cook Games Store, you will receive a $5 discount. Consider it additional thanks from Brian, Monte, and the teams at inXile and MCG for helping make Torment possible.
For any Torment fan who loves the setting, the end is just the beginning of your journeys in the Ninth World. Between Torment and last summer’s release of Torment: Tides of Numenera - The Explorer’s Guide, players have everything they need for a great tabletop game which takes place in the Sagus Protectorate. If any of you start tabletop campaigns in that setting, please let us know! We would love to hear what the story of the Changing God and the castoffs mean to you!
IMPORTANT NOTE: This special offer ends June 30th, 2017, so please be sure to make use of the instructions above by then! Mark it on your calendars.
Rewards Status Update
A quick note to catch up on the distribution of rewards: with a few exceptions we’ve shipped out game boxes to all our backers. One exception was signed goods: we had to send around bookplates and box flaps to key members of the development team, many of whom are spread across the world, so that has caused some delay.
The good news is that we are almost done, here is Colin McComb adding his signature for the boxes. The next step will be to assemble the signed goods and send them out to eligible backers! These are now with the distributor so we're eager to see these rolling out very soon.
On a related note, production of other rewards continues apace. Signed art prints are shipping out to their respective artists for signing soon and Plaques of Gratitude are in the works as well. We are also working on the remaining digital rewards. The seventh and final Torment novella by Colin McComb is now in its editing stage, and our two remaining Torment-themed comic books are also in process. We'll be sharing those with all of you as soon as we can.
That's all for now, everyone! We are excited to get this update in your hands and we hope you have a great time revisiting the Ninth World!