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A story-driven CRPG set in the world of Monte Cook's Numenera. We are deeply appreciative to all of you who made this possible. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on April 5, 2013.

A story-driven CRPG set in the world of Monte Cook's Numenera. We are deeply appreciative to all of you who made this possible.

Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

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TL;DR: Tides, Q&A with Colin McComb, combat discussion begins!, new Torment forums

Hi Forgotten Ones,

We’re continuing through preproduction on Torment, designing various game systems and continuing to refine the story and character arcs. In a couple weeks, Adam Heine and Colin McComb will be coming out to inXile to meet more of our production team (still hard at work on Wasteland 2) and to discuss various aspects of Torment’s design. I’m looking forward to meeting Adam in person for the first time!

Tides

(Adam Heine) The last time we talked in-depth about the Tides was during our Kickstarter campaign. We figured it was time to update you some on our design.

First a refresher: the Tides are essentially our alignment system. Rather than focus on moral axes, the Tides look at a person's legacy, at what they're remembered for. They are not something people consciously strive for; very few individuals even know they exist. They are more like an invisible force (think magnetism or gravity) driven by people's actions.

There are five Tides, and I want to walk you through each of them and then talk a little about how they're used in the game. As you read, remember that the Tides do not care about motives or morality. Each Tide is embodied by heroes, villains, and folks just trying to do their best. The motivations of these people rarely matter; the Tides describe the legacies they leave behind. The Tides are pushed and pulled by action, not motivation.

If you've played through Planescape: Torment, you'll notice examples from that game that we hope help to illustrate what kind of character would fall under each Tide (though remember, most people are more complex than a single Tide, and your character may embody more than one).

Blue is the Tide of wisdom, enlightenment, and mysticism. It is the Tide of people whose goal is to expand the mind and the spirit (Western culture may compartmentalize these, but in many cultures they're the same thing). They seek wisdom or knowledge, and consider death a loss when it means a person's knowledge is lost forever. Characters who embody the Blue Tide can include both scientists and mystics, philosophers and madmen.

Dak'kon would be Blue in that he strives to *know* himself and the teachings of Zerthimon.

Red is the Tide of passion, emotion, action, and zeal. It is the Tide of people who live in the moment, who want to experience life to its fullest, or who choose to follow their heart wherever it leads them. They consider a life lived in chains to be worse than death (whether those chains are real or self-imposed metaphorical ones is immaterial). Characters who embody the Red Tide can include artists, revolutionaries, zealots, Sensates, and charismatic dictators.

Annah would be Red. She's quick to follow her emotions, whether they're anger, fear, or passion.

Indigo is the Tide of justice, compromise, and the greater good. It is not just about law, but about a broader, more global perspective, rather than an individual one. They consider loss of life tragic, but less so if it serves a better outcome. Characters who embody the Indigo Tide can include rulers, lawmakers, vigilantes, and tyrants. 

Vhailor would be Indigo, because he believes in justice and order so much that he carries on his mission even after his death.

Gold is the Tide of charity, sacrifice, and empathy. It is the Tide of people whose primary goal is to help others, especially at a cost to themselves. It's tempting to consider Gold the "good" Tide, but that's not strictly true (one can be charitable to others for selfish reasons, for example). Gold is similar to the Indigo Tide in that both seek the good of others, but they can easily be in direct opposition concerning how that good is achieved and who should pay the price. Characters who embody the Gold Tide can include saints (both true or false), philanthropists, and even crime bosses who care for their people and their communities.

Fhjull Forked-Tongue would be Gold, even though his acts of charity are forced upon him by a contract he signed with a deva. Remember, his motivations don’t matter—people remember him as the fiend who must perform good works.

Silver is the Tide of admiration, power, and fame. It is the Tide of people who seek to influence the lives of others or who actively seek to be remembered. It can easily be seen as a selfish Tide, but that is a question of motivation that the Tides do not ask. Whether a Silver character is selfish or not is an ethical question dependent on what they use their prestige for. Silver characters desire influence (whether through personal interactions or through the manipulation of the levers of power) and the immortality of being remembered. Characters who embody the Silver Tide are, above all, personalities.

Ignus would be Silver because he is willing to endure great suffering in his relentless pursuit of power.

The Tides and Tough Questions

The table below shows how someone aligned or attuned with that Tide might answer some of life's toughest questions. These are sort of the stereotypical answers for someone who embodies these Tides; there is significant room for variation (Fhjull Forked-Tongue, for example, would never willingly give the answers listed for Gold). As with everything we show you guys, these are just examples. And don’t expect to see questions like these in the game; Torment explores philosophical themes, but isn’t a philosophy class.

How the Tides might respond to various questions
How the Tides might respond to various questions

Tides in Torment

In the game, the Tides are a background force. Your actions, especially your actions in dialogue, will often increase one or two Tides, moving your character toward dominance in those Tides. Then your dominant Tides determine the Legacy you are building for yourself. The Tides are increased when you have a real choice. For example, although identifying numenera is a Blue thing to do, there's no gameplay reason for players not to do it, so that sort of common action wouldn't increase the Tide. But if identifying a particular device required the PC to complete a quest or spend XP, then that could conceivably increase Blue. (By the same logic, increasing certain skills or abilities might increase certain Tides as well, because it costs you something to do so.)

The Tides don't judge your motivations, but if you voice those motivations, then the Tides can be moved. For example, if you express shock at a murder, your reason for being shocked can change which Tide is affected if you voice it: "How can you do this? He was an innocent victim!" might increase Gold while "What purpose does this death serve?" might increase Indigo. Neither, of course, would increase the Tides as much as equivalent actions (actually attacking or arresting the murderer, for example). Your character is what we call Attuned to the Tides, being both aware of the Tides and affected by them. Most NPCs are unaware of the Tides' existence, though a significant percentage can be affected by them.

Affected NPCs, and the rare Attuned ones like you, will have one or two Dominant Tides as well. If your Dominant Tide(s) match those of an NPC, it can have varying effects. You might be able to understand their motivations and manipulate them better. They may like you more (or less) without knowing why. The difficulty of certain dialogue tasks may decrease (or increase). Most of this is done behind the scenes, but certain skills and abilities can reveal some of this information.

Additionally, special NPCs who are aware of the Tides may recognize your Dominant Tides and try to manipulate you.

And whether they're aware of the Tides or not, your reputation with NPCs can be affected by your Dominant Tides. Assuming you've earned a reputation, Silver would make you like a celebrity, while Blue would make you known for intelligence or wisdom, and so on. This reputation effect might be either cosmetic or logical, opening doors that would be closed for those of other Dominant Tides.

And, as we've often said, the Tides will have an effect on certain items and abilities as well. They may even impact side effects that appear during crafting.

There's more, too, some of which we’ll talk about in the future and some you’ll have to discover in the game.

Q&A with Colin

Colin answered a few of your questions recently.

(Coboney): Will you control your companions in combat or will they act on their own? If not under direct control will you be able to set the AI? Will you be able to manage their inventory and equipment?

(Ouroboros): Any legacy for evil diplomats (Deceivers, manipulators)?

(Eireks): If we have the ability to channel pain to others, why can't we channel it to our enemies?

(Christof the Castoff): Will there be a consequence to dying?

Combat

(Adam again) Back in May, we described our plan to determine our combat system. As we've said from the beginning: we know our goals for combat, and we feel that we can accomplish them with any system. As detailed in our Vision doc, those goals are:
1) Integration of narrative elements.
2) Meaningful player decisions in combat.
3) Meaningful player decisions out of combat (e.g. character build, preparing for combat, etc).
4) Quality encounters (no dungeon crawls or trash mobs).

Our Crisis concept is the manifestation of that vision. It accomplishes all the above goals without defining whether the Crisis plays out in turns or real-time (though we do have a preference; see below). All combats are Crises, so we had to design that concept out and present it before we could have this discussion. But as fun as concepts and prototypes are, there comes a time to decide.

You may be curious as to why we’ve waited this long for the vote and why the options below might not have elaborate details. We originally had planned to have this discussion early next year and to give you greater detail to consider, but we’ve decided to move things sooner, before we had detailed designs.

You see, while we haven’t invested much effort into designing TTON’s combat system yet, we have been mulling it over for many months. Early this year, we had no preference, but as other aspects of the game’s design have solidified, a turn-based combat approach has been gaining momentum within the team. Rather than invest the energy in delving into the design of multiple systems, we wanted to talk with you first to see how you feel about our current preference. The granular control of the turn-based system and the work we’ve done on Wasteland 2 is very much in-line with the Crisis concept.

But we haven’t made a final decision yet—we are still open to feedback, and we very much want to hear what you have to say.

Below, we present the options we're considering for combat, based on the design work we've done so far. Read them carefully, then voice your opinion in this forum. Right now, the forum is for discussion and debate only, but we’ll open it up for voting after everybody's had time to consider our plans and the ideas and comments of other backers.

Understand, the vote is strictly advisory. In any debate, there is always a vocal crowd and a silent majority. The discussion period is for the vocal crowd to sway people to their side, and then the vote ensures everyone's voice is heard equally. The point of all of this is so we can take your ideas and opinions into account as we make the decision we feel is best for the game.

So without further ado...

Option #1: Real Time with Pause (RTwP)

This combat system is similar to the systems used in Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and the Neverwinter Nights games.

When combat begins, all characters act simultaneously. You tell your party members what to do and they do it in real-time. PCs will continue basic attacks until their target is dead or you say otherwise. If you tell them to perform special attacks (using esoteries or items, for instance), they will do that and then await further orders.

You can pause the game at any time and issue orders then, or you can issue orders in real-time. Like the Infinity Engine games, actions will still take place in rounds, so faster clicking is no advantage. RTwP is not about reflexes, but about handling character actions simultaneously.

You can also set the game to auto-pause at various events, giving you a chance to respond when the situation changes. Candidates for auto-pause events include: when a party member's target is dead, when a new enemy appears, or when a party member is badly wounded or dead.

The time-based pressure of a Crisis (whether it's a device about to self-destruct, kidnappers getting away with a hostage, enemies trying to kill you, etc.) would be in real time. You can pause the game to examine objects and make plans, but actually carrying out actions will run down the clock.

In our Crisis example, the Red Automata would begin attacking the field and generator immediately, whether or not you did anything (though presumably you'd pause, or have an auto-pause set, so you could react to it quickly). After a set number of seconds or a triggering event, new Red Automata might appear if you aided the Blue Servitor. Elements activating on timed intervals would be in real-time, so you might have to let several seconds of real-time pass before a device charges, for example.

The primary advantages we see in RTwP are:

  • Combat is resolved more quickly, even with a large number of combatants.
  • It is more flexible: the player can pause a lot or a little depending on whether they’re looking for a fast pace or a slow one.

Option #2: Turn-Based (TB)

This combat system is similar to the systems used in Fallout 1, Fallout 2, X-Com Enemy Unknown, and Wasteland 2.

When combat begins, all characters stop moving. On each of your party members' turn, you tell that character what to do and they do it immediately.

Character movement might be regulated through Action Points, like Fallout and Wasteland 2, but this is not set in stone.

If turns are strictly sequential, then each character must complete his turn before you can move on to the next. Alternatively, turns might be more fluid, allowing you to move each member of your party in any order, even jumping back and forth between them, until they are out of actions or you choose to end the turn (e.g. you could move every party member into position first, then have them each attack in turn before ending the round).

In the first, sequential method, the turn order of party members and enemies would be mixed, based on initiative order. In the second, fluid method, initiative would determine which side (party or enemy) acted first, then all members of that side would take their turns together.

Characters cannot act during an enemy's turn unless they have readied an action (e.g. instead of taking an action on their turn, a character readies a counterspell for if/when an enemy casts a spell). Otherwise they wait for their turn to move.

While it's your party's turn, you have freedom to examine objects and characters (giving you more information on how you can interact with them during combat), check out your esotery list or cyphers, look something up in the journal, etc. To speed things up, you can set up default actions for characters to perform until you give them a new order (for example, if your glaive is set to bash an enemy by default, you can press End Turn without giving him a new action and he will automatically bash the enemy; next turn you can tell him to do something else or leave him alone to bash again). The game will warn you if you hit End Turn while one or more party members has done nothing (and they have no default action to perform).

The time-based pressure of a Crisis would be in rounds (where every character gets a turn in each round). The more rounds you take to achieve an objective, the fewer rounds you have to do other things before an event occurs. (It’s important to note that time “running out” doesn’t mean that you lose, just that the situation in the Crisis changes, for better or worse; for example, a bomb goes off or allies arrive). While it's your turn, you have freedom to examine objects and make plans, but carrying out actions will use up, and eventually end, your turn.

In our Crisis example, the Red Automata would begin attacking the field and generator on their turn, after which (or possibly before which) you'd get a turn to perform your actions. After a triggering event or a set number of rounds (not seconds), new Red Automata might appear if you aided the Blue Servitor. Elements activating on timed intervals would be in rounds as well, so you might have to wait one or more rounds (or perform another action in those rounds) before a device charges.

The primary advantages we see in TB are:

  • Combat is more thoughtful, even under intense pressure.
  • TB combat is truer to tabletop RPGs.
  • It allows greater depth of choice: you have time to explore all your options, so we can include more options, and more complicated options, without overwhelming the player.
  • We can adapt Wasteland 2’s combat system, modified to work best for Torment.
  • Companion AI becomes less necessary (you directly control each party member on their turn).

Either Option

Both systems will provide a similar range of abilities. You'll be able to use cyphers, esoteries, and other abilities from both quick slots and menus. You'll have the option of telling each party member what to do or letting a simple AI handle their actions. You can swap out which weapons you're using, interact with objects, start dialogue (conversations within combat will be limited, but allowed), counterattack, counterspell, etc.

The main difference is in how and when actions are carried out, and how that changes the feel of the game.

Final Thoughts

Whichever system we decide on, we will implement it to be as fun and exciting as possible. That was part of our goal with the Crisis concept: to create a fun, tense scenario that could work with either system. So, you aren't voting on whether the system will be good, but on which feel you'd prefer.

With that in mind, PLEASE DO:

  • Read about the Crisis concept and consider which system you think would best suit it.
  • Ask us questions to clarify our design plans.
  • Tell us and other backers why you feel one or the other system would suit Crises or Torment in general.
  • Make suggestions for specific implementations within a given system (e.g. slow motion in RTwP or not? Sequential vs. fluid turn order in TB?).
  • Thoughtfully consider the ideas of your fellow backers.

And please DO NOT:

  • Expect us to have super-detailed answers (we haven't actually designed the full system yet).
  • Argue that one system is always, inherently better than the other (it's neither helpful nor true).
  • Be hateful or insulting of your fellow backers.
  • Forget to vote when we announce it.
  • Insist that we’ve abandoned fun if we don’t pick your favored method.

We're excited about this and will be watching the discussion closely. We'll announce the vote as soon as we feel the major points have been made and the debate has more or less stabilized, and shortly after that, we'll announce our decision.

Are you ready for this? Let's go! We’re looking forward to what you have to say. Please note the forum is open for votes but we're not actually tallying them, we're looking for comments more so than votes, and we'll reset the count when we're looking for a vote on the topic. This forum is available to backers only. If you register at our website, that same login/password connects you to User Voice. You’ll be recognized as a backer and be allowed to access this forum. Adam out.

STASIS and The Strange

We’d like to draw your attention to two Kickstarters that you might find interesting. The first is STASIS, a sci-fi horror adventure game with 2D isometric graphics. Primarily the work of a single developer, Christopher Bischoff, STASIS emphasizes aesthetics and storytelling. You can check out an Alpha demo of the game to see if it’s for you. It just launched on Monday and is off to a good start, but will need more support to make it.

Meanwhile, Numenera creator and Torment contributor Monte Cook has teamed up with tabletop RPG veteran Bruce Cordell in creating The Strange. Using the same RPG mechanics as Numenera (the Cypher System), the game spans multiple worlds, called recursions. These are hosted by an alien data network called The Strange and in each you have a different focus (and thus abilities). There’s no direct relation between The Strange and Torment, but the underlying game system is the same and if you like Numenera you may want to check it out. The Strange funded on its first day and is moving through stretch goals, including some that provide extra books for backers of certain tiers.

Forums & In the News

Thanks to Joby Bednar and Thomas Beekers, we have new Torment: Tides of Numenera forums to better support update discussions, longer-form discussions on various topics, and more casual discussions. You can find the new Torment subforums here. Meanwhile, our UserVoice now includes backer-only forums. It remains the best way to provide specific ideas directly to us, but if you prefer traditional forum formats, we're pleased to have them available for you. Further improvements to come!

Gameranx declared Torment one of the top 20 PC games of 2014. (Though as mentioned during the last week of the Kickstarter, we’re targeting early 2015 for our actual release.)  

Coolest of all, some of our Italian fans got together to create a fan-translated mirror of our Torment tumblr, with some additional content of their own to come. Molte grazie!  

Kevin Saunders
Project Lead

Kris Knives, Colin McComb, and 79 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Corrodias on November 21, 2013

      If you seriously need an answer to those questions, then, okay. What it is: another RPG, being worked on at this time by people within the same company as this. Why you should care: it serves as an illustration of turn-based combat, along with the other, older games listed.

      As for the system... I really don't know which I'd prefer. The greater depth of tactics in TB sounds attractive.

    2. Creator Russ Clarke on November 21, 2013

      What the hell is Wasteland 2 and why should I care? I backed this project as a successor to Planescape Torment, not to some other game that this team happened to make. Torment is a truly great game, part of a series of games defined (in part) by the RTwP mechanic. I'm actually shocked that there is even a discussion of this.

      To be clear: I'm not saying RTwP always beats TB or anything like that. Only that this is a defining quality of the game this project is supposed to be a successor to.

    3. Creator Skyleaf on November 20, 2013

      RTwP please. Although the slow motion option by Shatterbrain is a brilliant idea too.

    4. Creator Preben Dahl on November 20, 2013

      How can the purple tide include JUSTICE alongside compromise and the greater good?

      Justice is often anathema to both of those, as Vhailor in my eyes demonstrates. He's totally incapable of compromise, and if you talk to him about ideas that would logically force him to compromise on his positions, he dies!

    5. Creator Heinrich Bhaal on November 19, 2013

      Real Time with Pause please, because Torment had it too.

    6. Creator Restless on November 19, 2013

      I actually enjoyed DA:O and its RTwP combat system. Am playing P:T at the moment, and it's okay too, have to see how well one can play as a mage. But only just became one, so I'll need more time to adjust. Though hopefully Numenera will have a better interface :P

      Not really sure if TB would be better though, since I haven't really play and TB RPGs. Yet to play the Fallouts...But someone pointed out that TB might be better for the the atmosphere of the game (or that it would also could have been better for P:T).

      Decisions, decisions...

    7. Creator Vernano Veryo on November 16, 2013

      RTWP sounds good, a slow motion option would be cool to try out especially if it is adjustable. Really, whatever works best, but I really enjoyed the RTWP in FLT but that's an entirely different game.

    8. Creator Bert Geens - Weresheep of Sin on November 16, 2013

      Personally really like RTwP, my biggest beef with PS:T's combat was the awful UI it had compared to BG/IWD...

    9. Creator Quantomas on November 13, 2013

      It was low-key. I remember that the final battle was tough, so combat in PST was definitely no pushover, and I *know* that it was RTwP, but I would need to dig a lot deeper to find memories of its combat, whereas memories of the combat in BG, NWN2, Dragon Age, KOTOR, Mass Effect are fully present.

      Maybe that people forget about the combat in PST is because it was low-key compared to the other elements of its design.

      Somehow someone may remember what truly matters.

    10. Creator Torment- The Enduring Exile on November 13, 2013

      @CrayonMerchant it's funny how some people forget Planescape: Torment has RTwP combat.

    11. Creator Victoria on November 12, 2013

      Real Time with Pause please.

    12. Creator CrayonMechant on November 12, 2013

      @Joshua Belote :
      The original Planescape Torment was RTwP, not TB...

    13. Creator Shatterbrain on November 12, 2013

      I'd prefer turn-based. I've always thought RTwP to be sort of a clusterf*** of micromanagement where you spastically tap the space bar to react to things as quickly as possible.

      HOWEVER!

      IF RTwP is decided upon, it would be awesome to have a slow motion option. Think about it, isn't that the logical progression of RTwP? That way you can issue commands with as much time as you need, without having to bring the game to a dead halt over and over.

    14. Creator Torment- The Enduring Exile on November 11, 2013

      @Inxile how soon do you plan on having voting for combat?

    15. Creator TJ Honeycutt on November 11, 2013

      It honestly all depends on the volume of combats - if we're going to see areas like the Modron Cube, under-Sigil, and the Drowned Nations, I would totally vote for Rtwp. If combat is going to be as rudimentary as it was in the original torment (not saying that was a bad thing!) Rtwp would also get my vote, as turn based combat that doesn't really present me with many real choices gets rather stale: does Morte bite the same guy everybody else is already targeting or does he taunt (literally his only real options)? If combat is going to be really dynamic (lots of potential actions) and/or relatively infrequent I would be 100% behind TB combat *especially* because TB combat allows the writing crew to show off their stuff with flavor text appearing throughout the battle that can make things *so* so enjoyable - and that's just not possible with rtwp because that poor flavor text would be getting whipped all over the place.

    16. Creator Trace Lambert on November 11, 2013

      I'm suprised that so many backers of a spiritual sequel to Torment would favor RT, when a game with this kind of lineage is begging to be TB. Check out that list of games: Fallout 1, Fallout 2, X-Com Enemy Unknown. Not that Neverwinter, etc made the wrong choice, but let's make the right one: TB

    17. Creator blake on November 10, 2013

      Although I favor RTwP, I see a lot of the TB people pointing out a valid concern about chaos and the overwhelming feeling in complex battles. I would love to see a solution that makes pausing work to mitigate that. Some people like the way battles are like a separate minigames, and it would be great if they could still have that and people like me could have the dynamism and immersion of real time.
      It seems like RTwP implementing a smart pausing system would be the best way to make everyone happy.

    18. Creator blake on November 10, 2013

      RTwP is my vote. The pseudo real time of baldurs gate isa great way to make battles tactical and considered when need be, and quicker for those battles that don't need it as much. I think an option to pause at the beginning of every round would be good to satisfy the TB folks.
      The BG series are my favorite games, and the way they handled RTwP was a significant part of that.

    19. Creator Josh B on November 10, 2013

      I prefer TB combat. RTwP is just so chaotic for these types of games. The original Torment game was TB, let's stick with the nature of the beast. I really like how TB allows for full tactical planning without having to worry about pausing every few seconds because at the exact same time I'm trying to decide to do something some bad guy is trying to take the head off of one of my toons on the other side of the map. Either way, I'm sure I'll love the game.

    20. Creator Kentauroi on November 10, 2013

      I prefer RTwP over TB combat. In my experience TB combat just leads to combat being prolonged to the point where it just gets tedious, where sometimes one or more turns are spent just moving characters to the positions you want them to be in. It also find it leads to scenarios where you spend many turns trying to set up an advantage, and if the plan fails it takes much longer to abort and reorganize your troops for a new strategy.

    21. Creator Michael Monaghan on November 10, 2013

      I prefer RTwP if there are going to be frequent battles. TB with frequent battles simply drags down the game. But if encounters are designed well and you won't be frequently battling then TB would be preferable. What works for Xcom with those maps doesn't work for Baldur's Gate due to encounter frequency and how things can play out. I would like to see a RTwP and a TB but I would not be completely unhappy with either.

    22. Creator Warren Bennett on November 10, 2013

      I'd prefer turn-based combat. I don't mind Real Time With pause, but I feel that one can execute tactics better with turn-based combat.

    23. Creator David Nemeskey on November 9, 2013

      I believe very much depends on whether the player only controls his own character, such as in Bard's Tale (the new one), or the whole party. In the former case, RTwP seems like the right choice, as it keeps the flow of the game alive. In the latter, I cannot really imagine how it would work, and lean strongly towards TB.

      Then again, a not turn- but time-slice based mechanic would work well in either case. By this I mean that there are no fixed turns, but in the beginning, each character is assigned an action, each of which may take a different number of time units: e.g. attacking with a long sword 5, with a dagger 2, etc., and when that number of time units have elapsed, the action is executed and the player (or the AI) can assign a new action for that character. Of course, there are problems to this method, as well: how do you model combat? Should someone with a dagger really get 2.5 times as many attacks as the guy with the sword? Should they even be allowed to have more attacks, since the sword is longer, and they can most likely only get close to the swordsman after evading his attack?

    24. Creator Daniel Silveira on November 8, 2013

      I, too, think RTwP is often too chaotic and there are times where it's hard to keep everything under control. Turn-based allows tighter control in the battlefield, since you don't have to worry about multiple enemies and allies interrupting and getting in the way of each other's attacks and spells. It's also simpler to keep track of your enemies' actions in turn-based combat, whereas in RTwP you often have to keep an eye on the combat log so you can tell who your foes are targetting.

    25. Creator Azureblaze on November 8, 2013

      RTwP with optional full turn based mode if desired are my thoughts on this.

    26. Creator Walther der Minnesänger on November 8, 2013

      Turn based. I think most agree combat was the original Torment's weakest area, and while I would be very happy to see an improved combat system for the spiritual successor, I didn't donate with the hope of seeing epic battles so much as for the story, the world, the characters, etc.

      If the combat still sucks in ToN, I'll forgive the game if it does justice to the above things.

      As such, when I see a choice between the already-created foundations for a combat system from another game which will save resources and time vs. a RTwP that has to developed from scratch, it's a no brainer. Take the already existing system, customize it for Torment, then use the time and money saved by doing so to create cooler combat encounters and other things that are more important to making the game fun.

    27. Creator Quantomas on November 8, 2013

      Technically, both TB and RTwP are turn-based combat systems. If you look at Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale, the combat is really divided into combat turns and rounds. It's just so that the UI works differently that you target your character's actions (apparently) independently from the turn-based framework and that the animations and movements happen fluidly in real-time. While this might appear as a contradiction to TBS, it is not because a TBS can be designed in such a way that multiple scheduled actions play out synchronously.

      Thus you can:

      * Design the underlying TBS system (e.g. combat turns, rounds, initiative, speed as in IWD) in a way that it equally supports TB and RTwP.

      * Create an UI that lets the player easily switch between both styles.

      There are two key elements for this to work. First, have the combatants' AI select a default action whenever it is their turn. This way the combat can simply run in real-time, and the players can simply intervene and add/change combat commands at their leisure.

      The second key element for this to work to the player's benefit in TB is a progress/initiative bar that informs the player of who gets to act next. Heroes of Might and Magic V is a good example for a well designed initiative bar, in general it shows icons (a small portrait) for each combatant in the order of who acts next, stacked up for two, three or more turns ahead, i.e. you see the order in which your characters and opponents act displayed for multiple turns. If you add a small action icon to each combatant's small portrait in the initiative queue, you see at a glance what is going to happen. The target and combatant's stats are revealed if you click on the portrait.

      This way you can design both modes flexibly:

      * RTwP will simply be the combat with the initiative bar hidden.

      * A switch to TB will bring up the initiative bar to empower the player with detailed information to plan ahead special moves, the use of cyphers, intervene if random events spoil a plan etc.

      The benefits are:

      * Players can select their preferred combat mode. E.g. if they are mainly in for the story, they can set combat difficulty to easy and enjoy fluid action in RTwP. The same is true for combat encounters that feature opponents easy to dispatch.

      * The game's full depth can be explored in the combat theatre (CRISES) in TB mode whenever the player chooses so.

      * Combat initiative can be designed flexibly: the player can be offered a choice between static combat turn order (some players prefer it because of its predictability), an initiative based turn order, or a fully dynamically determined turn order based on combatant speed, special abilities, action duration and so on.

      Nice to have:

      * Copy the memory state of the game internally before a combat encounter, for easy replayability and saving the player the time to hit Quicksave frequently.

    28. Creator Foot Soldier on November 8, 2013

      Just wanted to pop in to say that inXile is being weak...sitting at the fence over TB vs RTwP when they clearly feel TB is the superior way to go.

    29. Creator Dan McQueen on November 8, 2013

      Straight up turn based is best for partied combat systems. There's nothing worse than coming across a Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 style real-time, pause-to-issue-coordinated-commands combat system where you end up having an enemy or ally move into a disadvantageous position just after you're started the incantation for an AoE spell that cannot be refunded. Or you get knocked down and don't know when in the initiative order you will be back on your feet to carry on with the coordinated plan.

    30. Creator asciitraveller on November 8, 2013

      +1 for TB. In RTwP, bad pathfinding causes characters to block and wiggle around each other,
      which would be really unpleasant with timed events and environment interactions where order of execution matters. In TB, only one character moves -- no such problems.

    31. Creator Tilly - Scout of the Obsidian Order on November 7, 2013

      Turn-based would be cool. :) This game sounds more like a Fallout than a BG to me.
      Wouldn't mind if it were real-time pause-based, though.

      S'fine, either way, eh? :3

    32. Creator Keith & Diana on November 7, 2013

      @Robert: Considering your thoughts... if you end up fighting a battle that's easy, RTwP lets you just skip the P and watch it all end quickly, so you can get back to the thoughtfulness? :)

    33. Creator Robert Seddon on November 7, 2013

      I'm trying to unpack this notion of thoughtfulness. Contemplating what one life matters isn't likely to feel much like contemplating what to do with my remaining Action Points, and it also isn't likely to feel much like contemplating when best to pause and issue orders. I don't think there's a unitary notion of thoughtfulness involved such that either combat system is 'more thoughtful' (though I'm sympathetic to the thought that RTwP feels less like stopping for a minigame). Certainly, I expect a contemplative, philosophical game--but this PhD philosopher has done slow research in the library, and he's had rowdy debates in the pub, and he's read Nietzsche on having chaos in one's heart... I don't think thoughtfulness has a constant speed.

    34. Creator Keith & Diana on November 7, 2013

      RTwP is better if a fight is 'something you win to continue the story along its current path'. Turn Based is better if, mid battle, you can have choices appear - an opponent scripted to beg for mercy when he's downed, or a bridge collapsing midway through, etc. It's easier to change gears and make meaningful decisions in Turn Based; it's easier to make a fight exciting if it's realtime.

    35. Creator Marshall Schulte on November 7, 2013

      Whenever I played Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale or Torment, I always felt that the real time with pause combat system was by far the weakest part of the game. Obviously, this meant ID was my least favorite of the three. That's not to say I didn't like it, since with a pause, it does kind of feel turn-based, and the encounters were pretty interesting.

      The problem was that RTwP felt like a compromise between two great combat systems rather than a combat system of its own. Fallout 1 & 2, The Temple of Elemental Evil and X-COM: Enemy Unknown each had super intense combat encounters, while in the RTwP games, with the really hard battles, it usually felt like "Well, am I going to die this time?" Especially against the dragons. Yeesh.

      With a turn-based system, each turn feels impactful, which I imagine would be a way you would like people describing your game as a whole! Please don't compromise with a RTwP system.

    36. Creator Michel Prudon on November 7, 2013

      Turn based for me :)

    37. Creator Matt on November 7, 2013

      Real Time with Pause (RTwP), please. I think some discussion of the type of game we are playing is necessary. Is this an electronic recreation of a tabletop game or an exploration? I'm the kind of guy who wants to complete every fetch quest and every single side quest for every character and companion. I think I made one version of P:T last well over 100 hours (might have been 150, time dims the memory). Certainly, battles are necessary to provide mini-rewards (items, xp, clues) but the meat of the story is told through dialogue with NPCs and companions, as well as character actions. Anything slowing battles down, like TB, just wears me out.

      RTwP make the game flow more smoothly and fantasy fans will be more familiar with it. It also seems so much more intuitive to assign everyone their role and have them perform it automatically, with pauses as needed to correct actions or respond to events. RTwP has the added advantage of not halting the game every time combat happens like TB (or any tabletop game) does. X-Com was a particularly bad offender (possibly because characters might be spread out all over the map). This required me to spend a minute or more on every turn moving around the map, determining what needed to be done, and then telling the dude what to do. A single battle might take me 20+ minutes. Notice that even the description of TB is longer than RTwP!

      Cheers, good gaming,
      ~Matt

    38. Creator undecaf on November 7, 2013

      Why would TB limit the number of companions?

      If anything the number of companions is more a problem in RTwP as you have to oversee the actions ordeals of many simultaneously and the risk of missing something crucial is much higher.

    39. Creator Nina - Order of the Goat on November 7, 2013

      I don't mind either, but if a TB would result in limiting the number of companions you can have then I would definitely vote for RTwP.

    40. Creator Matija Marković on November 7, 2013

      I like RTwP but I think TB would be more suitable for TToN because your choices are more significant and you have to think a lot more in combat. This shouldn't be a chaotic game so the combat should reflect that. With a sequence system it could be possible to have a fast character act three times while a slower one would only act twice. TB is the way to go IMHO.

    41. Creator Silver on November 7, 2013

      Great update, posted something under RTwP.

    42. Creator JDL | Stranded | http://kck.st/1uRFZsE on November 7, 2013

      RTwP. To address the points in the post:
      ---
      The primary advantages we see in TB are:

      1. Combat is more thoughtful, even under intense pressure. -- Pausing allows plenty of time for thought, especially if there is an auto-pause at the start of combat.

      2. TB combat is truer to tabletop RPGs. -- As others have mentioned, this is not inherently a pro or con. Some will like this; others will not.

      3. It allows greater depth of choice: you have time to explore all your options, so we can include more options, and more complicated options, without overwhelming the player. -- Pausing has the same effect.

      4. We can adapt Wasteland 2’s combat system, modified to work best for Torment. -- This is the most (and to me, the only) compelling reason to consider turn-based.

      5. Companion AI becomes less necessary (you directly control each party member on their turn). -- With RTwP, you'd be choosing each party member's actions anyway.

      ---

      I do like the suggestion I read below to auto-pause after each action completes. That lets you reassess the situation each time there is a significant change.

    43. Creator Willie on November 7, 2013

      Turn based all the way, BUT with a fluid (i.e. non-sequential) system. With this I mean that turns are allocated “per team” and the team can move its individual members/objects in any sequence as it sees fit. I feel that this gives even more depth to the crises encounters. The options in pure sequential systems are often too severely limited by the sequence/speed stat and the very nature of each object taking its turn individually; no argument needs to be forwarded for this; it is self-evident. RTwP is too "actiony" for Torment which is a ponderous and slower pace game by nature, hence the TB system. TB system again would be too slow pace for something like Project Eternity which fits with RTwP.

    44. Creator Lorenzo Gaetani on November 7, 2013

      it's very hard to choose between theese two mechanics, i like them both but tend to prefer TB because very often RTwP is too chaotic. I have love wonderful TB games, my preferred is final fantasy tactics advance, in TB i really don't appreciate two things though:
      First, team turn. i hate the team turn TB like xcom, in that game is ok but in a fantasy rpg really not cause with the fuild system (every character move in relation to others based on his speed\initiative or whatever you call it and the actions he do in his turn, more action longer he waits) you have more variety, for example a mage can have powerful skill but he is slow and can't move so often, a ninja\rogue has less damaging skill but with same actions his turn comes earlier
      Second, animations, in TB you play very slowly so i really prefer when animations of movement and skill are nice to see but quick.
      So in the end i prefer TB but this is kickstarter, i'm open to the best mechanics you can come up with, hope my opinion can help you.

    45. Creator Baudolino05 on November 7, 2013

      @Kevin Saunders: thanks for mentioning us in the update. I hope we are going have another interview very soon, maybe about the combat-system ;).

    46. Creator Kelvin Baillie on November 7, 2013

      RTwP for me. I am also of the opinion that there are far too many turn-based games out there. My favourite game of all time is Dragon Age: Origins, with RTwP. Obviously it was more the story than the combat that hooked me, but I know it would not be my favourite game if it had been TB.

      I much prefer the flexibility of RTwP, allowing me to decide how often I need to stop to think strategically. Theres nothing wrong with TB, I've just never found it holding my attention for as long... I guess with the exception of XCOM: Enemy Unknown which has been one of the few TB systems that really held my attention for any real length of time.

    47. Creator Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on November 7, 2013

      Very detailed and informative update. The TL;DR version really doesn't do this post justice.

      Still thinking about to use my 10 votes in the Backer Only combat discussion forum. So many options......

    48. Creator Disposable hero on November 7, 2013

      +1 for TB
      Althought I loved to playe Baldur's Gate series and after Neverwinter night series (not to mention Planescape), the big black point for me was the RTwP. For Baldur, it was just too much chaotic and I was terrified by each battle (I stoped play mage because of the difficulty to keeping him.them alive)...
      As for Neverwinter, oddly I feel combats slow , and just spam actions in the queue, waiting them and crossing finger that my mage won't be stop by a strike coming out of nowhere and my warrior chasing in circle is hown opponent, while I manage my second warrior and priestress (one mechanism that made me see red : each time a combat follows a dialog, enemy have always the upper hand at the beginning of the combat, which is impossible in a TB, excluding initiative)... So no, it was not a great combat experience.

      P : Torment was my best experience in term of combat. Even if it was a RTwP, I didn't't feel stressed or bored... Can't point why exactly.

      Alexander talked about the Temple of elemental evil (and I have also Pool of Radiance 2 in mind) wich are great in term of combat, but to forget in term of bugs..
      As I understand, there will not be much combats against weak opponents, so enjoy each combat, that are not on the edge but almost, with a RTwP, will lead to another chaotics combats.

      So again, +1 to TB :D

      I hope it will help (even if I digress about my personnak experience ^^).

    49. Creator Unnamed on November 7, 2013

      I sincerely hope it will be Real Time with Pause, because for me it breaks immersion the least.