Planescape: Torment

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Heraopx21, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Sicblades

    Sicblades Antediluvian as Feck

    Aug 28, 2008
    Morte is pretty funny at the moment lol. I've been mostly playing at work with my laptop though when my work computer's resources are getting hogged by work, so I have play it a bit more.
  2. Sorrow

    Sorrow So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Feb 9, 2006
    In other games you can start as a wizard/thief or other semi-interesting class combination and avoid the awful experience of playing a warrior in depleted AD&D.
    It would be a lot better if it was TB and had combat rules from Player's Option: Combat & Tactics in.
  3. Starwars

    Starwars Mildly Dipped

    Sep 17, 2006
    For me, it's not so much the combat system itself (though I do consider it rather inferior to turnbased) but it's how the game sets it up. The pacing is way off in Torment, especially how the first half of the game is so much about character interactions, unfolding the story and exploring Sigil (though there is combat to be found as well of course). And then you're basically slapped in the face with a big and linear combat section (I won't spoil the game for anyone who haven't played it, but I think you know what areas I'm talking about).

    Even considering that part of Torment, the game probably still has quite little combat when compared to Baldurs Gate or whatever. But the problem is the pacing and how Torment turns what seems to be its initial design philosophy (very slow-paced, character based etc) on its ass. It's all about the expectations and how the game sets itself up.

    Also, while BG is more combat-heavy overall (I'm not a big fan of the BGs all in all, though I think they're good "adventure D&D games" so to speak), there are some encounters in there which are quite hard and challenging. Some of the combat was fun, despite the lacking combat system, due to the encounter design. I never experienced that in Torment.

    But yeah, Torment is by far my favourite IE game at any rate. The combat is not a big issue when compared to how good the rest of the game is. But those combat-areas still suck.
  4. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    97 Fallout
    98 Fallout 2
    99 Planescape: Torment

    It was a great time to be a CRPG player.

    I didn't mind the combat much, but that might be because I thought having Morte putting Litany of Curses on everything and running around in circles as my party wails on them was the greatest thing ever.

    As for replay value I finished the game 5 times plus a heap of half finished tries.

    ps. Why this is the greatest game ever:

  5. horse

    horse Vault Fossil

    May 31, 2003
    ya, in my last playthrough i took modrom, too. hes a hell of a ranged fighter, that little box.

    ps i dont get your picture.
  6. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    Double spoiler alert.

    [spoiler:8eec0fe8c0]Start of the game.
    End of the game.[/spoiler:8eec0fe8c0]
  7. marko2te

    marko2te Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Sep 24, 2008
    I finished it only once roleplaying myself, choosing options that I would take if I was on Nameless Ones place. The game felt like a truly personal experience, like a second life and after finishing many years ago its still part of me. I tried to play the game again few times trying to roleplay evil or chaotic good character but i quit quite fast and still today havent finished it again, but i consider it my favorite game.

    End of 90ties was truly a great time for games, System Shock 2, Homeworld, Carmageddon, Deus Ex, Grim Fandango, Thief... its was a time when developers weren't afraid of being innovative
  8. Disconnected

    Disconnected First time out of the vault

    Jul 12, 2007
    The nerfed AD&D2ed RT combat of the IE games works because of good set-piece fights, developers exploiting AI retardation, scores of fancy special abilities, the ever-handy "these monsters aren't bright enough for anything other than Rush 'Em" excuse, and because the games don't pretend to be anything more than mindless hack & slash. Basically; it works for the same reasons the Diablo games work.

    Unfortunately Torment mostly doesn't do any of those things, so though the combat system it uses clearly can be a lot of fun, and even is once or twice in Torment, it's mostly just boring as fuck. It's tempting to assume it suffers from a severe case of under-development.
  9. horse

    horse Vault Fossil

    May 31, 2003
    damn. were i the only one wo didnt get that instantly?
  10. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 10, 2008
    Nah, it took a moment for it to register with me (I had to think for a second, "Why is a full party at the morgue?"). So don't feel bad.

    Then again, I may be retarded, so... You should probably feel bad. :D
  11. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    I've heard people say this so many times, the instant I accuse Torment of having no replability or merits in its gameplay they immediately make some sort of typical, poorly conceived comment regarding combat focused games.

    Face it, the majority of games that make this genre what it is are based on elaborate combat melded with a realized game world, while a game with a static game world can be entertaining, the reverse does not apply. Games with shitty gameplay and a realized game world with convincing characters (ie Planescape) are not entertaining in the least.

    Ultima began as a combat based series and gradually moved up to a conglomeration of intensive exploration and NPC interaction, note that this series did not have an extreme element of choice and consequence (before or after IV, which was the only game with a full fledged implementation of the Virtue System), choice and consequence is very much an overused example of what an RPG should contain. It is not required, and its exclusion is not a negative.
    It being poorly implemented may be so, but accusing Baldur's Gate 2 of ripping off Planescape: Torment is like accusing Homer's The Iliad of stealing from Grecian war epics, both PS:T and Baldur's Gate 2 have typical dialog and interactions for their genre. PS:T just managed to implement it a bit more unusually.

    PS:T falters as a "great" game because it advertises a product that melds competent gameplay with an elaborate story, but it fails on the former - there is little eloquence to the game's combat because it moves too quickly, the view is zoomed in too far, spells constantly pause the game for some lame effect, monsters are poorly implemented (and poorly balanced, in the case of many bosses) and the D&D rules were shoddily altered for the Planescape setting (funny considering how the original Planescape module was so combat intensive).

    Baldur's Gate 2 does not feature poor writing or story, nor did it rip off Planescape: Torment in anyway, philosophical musings and quips from characters have been around since the earliest days of the RPG genre, Ultima VI's entire storyline was based around racial injustice and prejudice. I might as well say Planescape: Torment ripped off Ultima VI or even Fallout in that case (for its many reflective dialogs).

    You assert that Planescape's writing would convince one to play it again, this is not the case. Please be fucking aware that you are not reading a book, there is a massive discrepancy between the writing of a book and a video game. Planescape is separated by several instances of imagery and audio output, it's called playing a game for Christ's sake, remember that's what you're doing. Games typically have balance between story and gameplay in this genre, it creates an aesthetically pleasing experience that can be appreciated for its technical and literary mastery as a confluence of many different features.

    Nothing is exciting about replaying Planescape as an evil character when your choices are merely shallow ethical reflections of an oppositely aligned character, they're merely this or that, it's not a complex character study or enchanting plot, it's basic play writing shtick that works in Planescape because that's essentially the only way to write convincing dialog in a top down isometric game. If Planescape: Torment's dialog was truly the reason it must be replayed then it would have more depth in subtlety, however it does not, the dialog is undeniably deep and at times profoundly intelligent, but none of it requires focused thought or deliberation, it is through and through a "tell it like it is" story with similar characters. Thus replaying it would leave you with nothing new if you discovered all aspects of the story, you would simply be reading the same obvious dialog over again.

    Baldur's Gate 2 in the least had a variety of different classes to play as, utilized D&D rules properly, presented a good story that, while not as elaborate as PS:T's, managed to capture the flavor of D&D gaming sessions while maintaining a familiar atmosphere. Not only that, but Baldur's Gate 2 had the polishing that PS:T sorely lacked, it was well balanced, weaponry was varied and interesting, the game was non-linear but allowed the player to easily move about the world without losing his or her place, and most importantly, it was an enjoyable experience from beginning to end that did not falter in the midgame as PS:T did with its introductory segments and third quarter.

    To say that Baldur's Gate 2 is an inferior game because its writing is not on par with Planescape: Torment's is utterly baffling, that would make it an inferior story, but in all technical aspects Baldur's Gate 2 is superior both as a well designed game and as a source of entertainment. There is little fun to be had in an experience that insists on interrupting its only merits with some of the worst combat and exploration I've ever found in a game, something PS:T does far too much to deliver a smooth experience.

    Don't sit with your thumb up your ass, sure Planescape: Torment is somewhat obscure, sure it has a good story and presents an unusual setting, but this esoteric elitism only proves to show you as a gamer who cannot pick out the intricacies of a game that was developed with skill and talent.

    You cannot find a problem with PS:T's combat? Then you obviously cannot see beyond the basics of the game, you cannot see beyond the setting, the story, or what is shown right before you.
    Do not attempt to discredit games just because some of their features are not as fully fleshed out as another game's, it might just be that the features that actually matter are far better in the game that you believe to be so bad.
    I'm certain you're joking with the skill checks comment, "skill checks" are not restricted to dialog, in fact, that is the most elementary use of "skill checks" that you could provide. Baldur's Gate 2 actually implements the use of skills quite seamlessly into the world by allowing you to use them without a predefined situational context.

    There is personal taste and then there is realizing that there are problems in a game which are utterly inexcusable in any way, shape or form, problems which are evident to those that understand how a game works.

    If, for example, one was presented with Planescape: Torment and was told to pick out everything that was wrong with the game, he could easily mention very many things if he knows what he's talking about. Likewise, he can easily mention several good points, however, only the gamers who cannot see beyond the flesh and paint would immediately assert that one game is superior over another using some type of generalization relating to superfluous elements, in this case, Planescape: Torment's story in relation to Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape: Torment's combat in relation to Baldur's Gate 2 based on the assumption that all IE games have combat that is exactly the same, Planescape: Torment's replability in relation to Baldur's Gate 2 in the accusation that one does not present enough variation on character builds.

    What's wrong with this is that many of these generalizations can easily be refuted with a single logical assessment. Planescape: Torment's story does not stand as a major point of superiority over Baldur's Gate 2 simply because a well written story is not the primary objective of a video game, nor is it the most important factor in deciding whether or not that game is good, it is flavor material and as such has little weight. As for the combat, it should be noted that while the Infinity Engine maintains a certain level of similarity between all games, it was vastly improved from PS:T to Baldur's Gate 2, the flow of combat was completely different, rules were altered and Baldur's Gate 2 presented a far better implementation of these rules than PS:T did. As for the accusation that Baldur's Gate 2 does not have any replability, and in accordance cannot compete with Planescape: Torment since PS:T has replability stemming from its "story", it must be said that PS:T not only evidently fails in this regard, but that one game actually presents the option of replaying with a large variety of characters and options, while PS:T simply restricts the player with a completely insufferable calculation of what you must play the game as, you cannot say that PS:T is has more replability than Baldur's Gate 2 since PS:T does not even provide the same level of options, and replability as a criteria assumes that there are several options available that would cause the game to differ from a previous play through.

    If I am to understand you correctly, you're saying that Baldur's Gate 2 is inferior just because "it did some stuff worse than PS:T", I must counter with the statement "Baldur's Gate 2 did everything else better", and with that I leave you to ponder your extremely stringent and naive assumption that a game is held together by surface elements.
  12. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    Talk about a filibuster. Anyway your huge argument has two main assumptions I find completely wrong.

    Assumption 1: No one could ever replay the game.

    I personally have said I have replayed the game start to finish 5 times. Hell you said every time you mention replay value someone jumps down your throat. Do you think they played it once?

    Assumption 2: Dialogue isn't gameplay.

    Fallout has plenty of situations where you can resolve conflicts with dialogue. Are you saying when someone does this they are in fact removing gameplay from the game? Did the people who finished fallout 1 without killing anything actually avoid playing a game?
  13. SimpleMinded

    SimpleMinded Vault Fossil

    Jun 17, 2003
    And Planescape Torment's dialogue was rich in the gameplay. Trying to break Dak'kon's levels of his device and learning more about him shouldn't be iscounted just because it's dialogue. The game featured a number of situations like that.
  14. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    The connection between dialog and gameplay is entirely artificial if the gameplay itself is not decent enough to fully benefit from the dialog; what is the purpose of improving Dak'kon if there is no real reason to enjoy the combat since it's so poorly implemented?

    And I never said no one could replay the game, I stated that no one could replay the game under the pretense that there would be anything new unless they overlooked portions of the storyline or bits of dialog, the game's dialog is entirely emotive and frank, it's not very subtle in how it portrays its characters.

    That's not a bad thing by any means, but it does detract from the experience of replaying the game, especially replaying it in order to flesh out the story further in regards to the player's understanding.
    To substantiate my point, I should mention that there is a difference between replaying something to enjoy it once over, and replaying it under the assumption that you will experience something new. Planescape: Torment does not exactly provide much with the latter, and as I have said previously, the "evil" path is somewhat predictable and doesn't exactly provide anything new beyond offering the same story in a slightly different perspective.

    Fallout's system is far more well implemented in that speech is its own skill, it's not merely a feature of the game or a necessary addition to an RPG, it is in its own realm as something the player can actively improve. PS:T feels finicky, it tries something similar but there isn't much beyond the dialog in all honesty, is the dialog the gameplay then, if its to believed that its story and writing can save it from pure mediocrity, since its combat and balancing is so poor? You need good gameplay in the first place in order for the dialog to positively impact gameplay, otherwise there is no satisfaction in gaining experience or abilities from dialog only to realize that the gameplay you will be utilizing those tools with is entirely underwhelming.

    As I mentioned before, a poorly realized world with good gameplay is viable, whereas the opposite is not. Fallout at least does decently enough in all other aspects, be it combat, exploration, or balancing.
  15. horse

    horse Vault Fossil

    May 31, 2003
    you have your point, tho it takes an awful lot of time to get to it. thx kil0r for bringing up "filibuster"... havent used that in an insult for years, but thanks to you, i will do in the next few days.
  16. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    Intelligence is used for dialouge in PT.
  17. Sorrow

    Sorrow So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Feb 9, 2006
    BG2 didn't do everything better - dialogues made me feel like I'm playing a character with 18/10/18/10/8/8. Also, the combat and character development system were still only just a bit less awful than in PS:T. Not to mention things like common thugs in Athkatla being on the same XP level as an adventurer that saved the Sword Coast and went through Durlag's.
  18. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    I don't think Nixon understands that dialogue is a major part of the gameplay in PS:T.
  19. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    But the most significant factor in this "gameplay" is simply "do I have the INT/WIS/CHA to get the optimal dialogue option?" If you look under the hood of Torment dialogue, there isn't as much going on mechanically as you'd think. Torment is a good game, but for me its nature didn't make for replay value at all, while the BGs did.
  20. quant

    quant First time out of the vault

    Nov 3, 2008


    You sure seem to be disconnected, Disconnected. The answer to 'why' is sure easy. You don't 'get' that games.

    I truly have never heard of a more stupid statement like yours 'mindless hack and slash'. I mean wtf? It 'works for the same reasons Diablo works'?

    And yes, 'PST' 'suffers from a severe case of underdevelopment'.

    STFU, please. You have no idea and put shame on the intelligence of human race with such trash-talk.

    Thank you.