Planescape: Torment

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

  1. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Strike for quant for being an asshole and a moron.

    "ROFL" is not a valid argument, nor is a wad of text amounting to 'you're a moron'.

    Also, the idea that Planescape: Torment had a very good, enjoyable combat system is somewhat ludicrous, as most of it did amount to nothing more than 'click on opponent'. The game itself was also very buggy and yes, it did suffer from underdevelopment as deadlines were tight and the production team was overworked.
  2. janjetina

    janjetina First time out of the vault

    May 31, 2007
    Planescape: Torment is a game that hasn't been surpassed on:

    - story
    - character interaction
    - NPCs - even the unimportant NPCs have a personality and a story to tell, and important NPCs, like those joining your party and those important to the Nameless One have depth amazing for a computer game
    - dialogues and writing
    - setting and the atmosphere (Sigil feels so alive and chaotic, as it should feel) - only Fallout is on the same level, and Baldur's Gate 2 comes close

    It is just as ludicrous as the idea that Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, or both Asswind dales had very good, enjoyable combat system, given that they share the same engine. Personally, I was able to enjoy the Infinity engine combat solely thanks to the auto-pause feature (auto-pause on spell cast and on current target destroyed were absolutely necessary).

    The first part of the sentence applies to every RPG made since 1997, including Fallout. The second part of the sentence applies to every RPG made since Fallout, except Fallout (though I remember reading a recent Vince D. Weller's post on Iron tower studios forum stating that PS:T development team wasn't under such a heavy pressure compared to other RPG development teams).

    Anyway, the bugs have been fixed by the official patches and the sommunity effort (
  3. Dirty Smuggler

    Dirty Smuggler First time out of the vault

    Dec 23, 2008
    Well Planescape: Torment is for me the best RGP I ever played. Fallout 2 was loads and loads of fun, but Planescape was even better. The world, the setting and the characters were even more extrodinary. The story was one in a million. Not about stoping an evil scientist to save the world or anything, but just to figure out your own personal problem. And it felt more polished, more rounded, more whole. Fallout 2 seemed more modular.

    I suppose it has to do with linearity vs openess. The more linear the game the more polished it can appear and the more open the game the more freedom there is for the player. After that it is just a personal preference of an induvidual. Some value the polish more, some value the freedom more.

    BG2? BG2 was an inferior game. I finished that one and was jawning through it. Some evil wizard messing up the place, yeah OK. The crazy guy with the hamster was fun but nowhere near as interesting as Planscape NPCs. Don`t get me wrong, it was probably a good game, but in those days we were spoilt from all the fantastic games and had standards set mighty high. BG2 did not pass.
  4. Dabrinko

    Dabrinko First time out of the vault

    Nov 25, 2008
    Planescape: Torment is and remains one of the best games I have ever played. Ever. The story, the characters (the voice actors!), the setting, the animations, the bestiary, the dialogue.

    Sure, it wasn't perfect, but nothing has surpassed it, storywise.
  5. taag

    taag Still Mildly Glowing

    Aug 30, 2008
    That's not quite true. There's a Torment design document Chris Avellone released and as far as I can see they cutted out some minor insignificant content. The plot was intact.

    I don't remember being spoilt from anything back then nor do I remember anyone setting "mighty high" standards. Claiming that BG2 didn't pass (whatever that means) is crazy. :|
  6. janjetina

    janjetina First time out of the vault

    May 31, 2007
    PS:T is alive and well, with Qwinn's (and Scient's) unofficial Fixpack 3.0, Unfinished Business (restored content) and Tweak Pack (primarily banter accelerator / fixer). With Killap's work on Fallout 2 and Drog's work on Arcanum, it helps me get through the barren gaming 2008.
    The mods can be found at
  7. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Ehm, so? It was still underdeveloped, as it was buggy and poorly QA'd. The fact that the plot is intact isn't exactly relevant.

    BG2 was, as an RPG, not as good as some other games. It was still a good game, though.
  8. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    I personally didn't find it to be that horrible. Not the greatest system in the world, and the autopause is absolutely necessary, but it was pretty fun, and some of the battles pretty challenging. I'll never forget my first battle against a silver dragon in BG2. Although, I do agree that a system like in TOEE works better for a team RPG. I do like the infinity Engine combat system better than the NWN system because you get full control over the companions.
  9. taag

    taag Still Mildly Glowing

    Aug 30, 2008
    If by underdeveloped you refer to that major plot hole involving Fell, the dabus tattoo artist, then yes - it was underdeveloped.
    All BIS games were bug ridden so that wasn't surprising.
  10. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    What? I'm not talking about the bloody plot hole.
    Underdeveloped isn't the same as a poorly completed plot, it just means that it should have been in development for a longer period of time. Whether this is because they cut out parts of the game, or because they completed everything but shoddily is an entirely different matter.
  11. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Hmm, wait, what plot hole with Fell? :? I didn't seem to notice. Anyone care to explain?
  12. janjetina

    janjetina First time out of the vault

    May 31, 2007
    It is quite difficult to find a RPG that wasn't underdeveloped in that sense, especially when Infinity Engine games are considered. Both Baldur's Gate games were ridden with major bugs even after the official patches, in fact PS:T was the only IE game that I managed to complete with only the official patch installed without encountering a game stopping bug. That stand for the RPGS made in other engines as well - even Fallout needed some community patching. Fallout 2 was definitely underdeveloped in that sense.
    However, when things are put into perspective considering game breaking bugs in Arcanum and particularly Bloodlines, or shipping an incomplete game (KOTOR 2), underdevelopment of PS:T and the games mentioned above seems minor.

    Given the fact that good RPGs are replayable and timeless, community effort with the unofficial patches and content restoration have to be taken into account when judging the game. From the modern perspective, Fallout, Fallout 2, PS:T and Arcanum do not seem underdeveloped at all, as the unofficial patches and restoration packs helped make the games the way the developers intended them to be.

    Games should definitely be published in a finished state, with no bugs, however a great game with some (non game-breaking) bugs (that would be fixed in the future) like PS:T is preferable to a bugless, but soulless game (I don't know if Oblivion was bugless, but even if it was, it would be a POS). Like someone said, bugs can be fixed, but shitty design lasts forever.

    Just to clarify, I don't find it horrible as well (I was just stating that it's the same system as in other IE games), I find it better than the NWN system, better than NWN2 system (in NWN 2 you can have full control over your companions, but nonexistence of the auto pause feature and a problematic camera turn combat into a spacebar clickfest), and infinitely better than any real time system (Bloodlines or Ass Effect come to mind), but it can't compare to a tactical turn based combat system of games like Fallout or Jagged Alliance 2.
  13. taag

    taag Still Mildly Glowing

    Aug 30, 2008
    That wasn't possible. In 1998 TSR published Faction War, the closing chapter to Planescape campaing setting as we knew it. I don't see a way to keep a 1999 game in development any longer.

    Fell (two blocks from Mortuary) knows everything about TNO but refuses to tell. TNO then decides to trot along the planes instead of beating the truth out of him :mrgreen:
  14. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    No shit, sherlock? That doesn't change anything about the fact that it was underdeveloped.

    Not exactly a plot hole, as TNO neither knows that Fell knows this, nor does Fell know everything.
  15. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Of course not. I like TB system more as well. More than FO system, I prefer the TOEE system.

    I pretty much stopped playing NWN2 early on because the horrible camera control was too annoying.

    Right now the Seinarukana (Eien no Aselia 2) timing system is on the top of my list of favourite TB systems (read more: You set up the actions for the three characters before the turn begins. You can't change the skills during battle, but can change formation. The catch is that the enemy gets to change formation in the middle of the turn, after your move, so you have to be ready. Makes for some interesting battles.

    Yeah, I know fell, but I never considered that a plot hole either. For one thing, it's pretty hard to get the conversation where he gives you even SOME of the info. Also, I always assumed Fell is just another person whom TNO met in one of the previous incarnations and made the tatoos for hime - nothing more.
  16. Josan12

    Josan12 Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 15, 2007
    As the OP, i thought i'd post my thoughts on PS:T thus far.

    I have only just finished the dead nations and given Pharod his sphere, so i'm guessing i'm only about 1/2 way through. I've been playing the unpatched version, but it hasn't crashed yet so i've presumed i'm not missing too much bugged content (?)

    Overall: great game. Love it.

    + Extraordinary depth (rivalling FO for sure)
    + excellent dialogue. Lacking a little in humour, and over-long some times. But the fact that i've been up late at night, riveted by the shit-ton of dialogue says it all.
    + Gorgeous, hand-crafted (well, mouse-crafted) graphics. Great colours, and design. Pathfinding through the scenery gets difficult sometimes, but i adore the dense, rich environments.
    + Awesome story that has me thoroughly wrapped up. Plenty of meaning, unpredictable and very original. It will provide me with DM ideas for years.
    + stupendous immershun lol. Has me hooked for hours.
    + ear-poppingly good SFX and music.
    + In particular, the myriad of different accents and dialects i feel add alot to the character of the game. Being from the UK, some of the stereotyped 'west-country' and 'cockney' accents grate with me a little, but no doubt the game was aimed at a US audience (and anyway, i much prefer these accents to the generic californian/texas accent you get in most console games these days.

    - combat i've found to be very unexciting. I'm not a huge AD&D fan - i consider it adequate. I much prefer the FO combat system
    - I don't like the way the Main character - the nameless one - is so prescribed. I like to be able to create my own PC, and much prefer the 'faceless hero' archetype.
    - Morte. WTF? He seems very out of place to me, right from the beginning. But i suspect he plays a special role later in the game so i'll say no more.

    Overall, i would give it an 8.6 / 10 for what i've played so far, with a special commendation for originality and raw imagination.
    For comparitive purposes, i would give FO3 a 5.5 / 10.
  17. TheLastOutlaw

    TheLastOutlaw It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 1, 2008
    I won't say anything about Morte beyond this.

    How often in a game have you had the chance to crack necrophilia jokes with a disemodied head? That right there is enough to earn his place in the game.

    And no, I'm not a necrophiliac...
  18. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    What is your definition of depth? A plethora of dialog trees with some excessively existential philosophical writing that at times forced me to meander a break just so I would not groan in anguish for an extended period of time?
    There is not much depth in PS:T, for all its other commendable qualities it's a static storyline with varying alignments slightly affecting the course of the action as far as emotional tinting can be concerned. You kill all you come across, make the lives of others miserable, the story is still the same, the Nameless One still must atone for his unspeakable past crime and that crime, whatever it may be, is still the same, similarly, so are your incarnations still unchanging as well as their past deeds.

    What depth is there in the character, beyond his excessive ethical and philosophical musings? None, you're restricted to a few basic and uninteresting classes, only one of which is interesting or useful to play as at all (the Mage obviously) and character development is restricted to your tedious interactions with the denizens of the Hive or Curst or where else the game eventually leads you.
    There are no options available to you, and the system behind the game is arguably even shallower and more basic than Fallout 3's, the game can hardly be considered a roleplaying game as it never truly concerns itself with the niceties of the genre. A horde of stat checks in dialog is hardly a true display of a roleplaying game's fervor in meeting the qualifications of its genre as a veritable and definable RPG "experience".

    Oh, and you can apply some points to stats, well, there you go.

    There are no alternations respective to character action, or even your dialog choices which seems to be the root of Torment's praise. Rather, your fellow party members experience some worthless "growth" such as Dak'kon's interaction with the Nameless One and the Ring, or Nordom's improvements as you fiddle with his programming. But what does this all mean if the combat is utterly reprehensible?

    Suffer no such illusions that Torment's combat is passable, or in some strange madness of unclarity consider it to be the same as those in other Infinity Engine titles. For one thing, there is almost no ranged combat, a massive part of nearly any AD&D game. Spells are incredibly unbalanced, sludging either in the realm of useless or entirely overpowered, and to force this assertion into extremity, most buffs and status effect spells are completely irrelevant and hardly ever need to be used, something that cannot, with utter certainty, be said of any other Infinity Engine game.
    Weapon choice is limited, as is armor, character development is minimal, the view is zoomed in far too close making combat a chaotic poorly paced affair that fills up the entirety of the screen. Not only that, but spells are supremely annoying, your best options constantly display incredibly bothersome animations that once again, serve to break up the pacing of combat.

    Somehow, and I really don't understand how anyone who isn't a complete and utter moron at game development could manage this, the die rolls are utterly erratic and aimless. Damage amounts are all over the place, to the point that the Nameless One swinging around a toothpick dagger all of a sudden performs a heinous amount of damage without a critical.
    This, I assume, can be blamed on the fact that Black Isle stripped down many of the complexities of the system in order to compensate for the lack of ranged weaponry and focused on the superfluous glossing of atmosphere and dialog.

    I see how it's possible to fantasize about the superb quality of the writing (which is arguable as well, as it sometimes led me into excessive eye-rolling), but I do not understand how anyone could consider Planescape: Torment a good game as far as its mechanics go. Remember that the first thing a good RPG does is make sure that it has a tight and flexible system, the Gold Box games did, and more familiarly, Fallout did with the SPECIAL system.

    Planescape is in its entirety a broken game with some good atmosphere and what many would call great writing. But if it is to be considered an example of a "true" RPG, then I am truly baffled by people's standards, somehow it's entirely okay for the game to be irreparably flawed to the point that everything under the hood twists and twines about itself into a ragged mess, if it provides a vision of "intelligent gaming".
  19. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    well, i finished it. Now here are my OPINIONS.
    I have to say, i enjoyed planescape, and it still holds the trophy of great writing.
    I loved the setting, it was something intresting when compared to many others.It was a world that belief could change.
    I also liked the dialogue, and I DID enjoy to hear about the plains and etc., it was interesting.
    Story was nice, and the way you find out your past was well done, a ancient tomb with writing on the walls ?

    Combat was passable,it wasnt really horrible, but it could have used more work. Spells were cumbersome to use. And unbalanced. No armor for main character was just stupid, i am a fighter, and i have low AC ?

    However, it is somewhat linear game, and you have very few ways to change how the thing plays out, and how you can complete some of the quests. I have 24 charisma (even armies lay lives down for YOU, that is the description you get!) , and i cant talk someone to free a girl without violence ? Nice way to make me sad.

    I also found the way you cant change your sex, or race, to be disapointing. Classes could have been better, more original. The fighter/priest/thief/mage is just so rudimentary and too simple.

    Also, i would have liked there to be more consequences for my actions. Joining factions should have resulted in enemie, other factions and more things to do.

    Quests could have used more work, and they were sometimes RIDICILOUSLY annoying to do, the information you get is in many main quests parts just too small, and requires sometimes to know things you cannot know, unless you stumble upon them with sheer luck.

    No real traveling between planes was bad, and i would have wanted to REALLY have an impact in the game, like join the blood war and fight for glory, and regain memories that way.

    Overall, a game that could have very well been the best RPG in history, but was not finished properly, and does not reach its full potential and is severely limited by its faults. Planescape is too linear,with too limited choices but the writing was great, and setting and sound effects were also nice.
    But again, Linear mainstory isnt really bad thing, but give us some ways to make the replaying feel different.

    8,0/10, scoring near, but still behind Fallout 2. Reminds of it, both feel unfinished, and even lost opportunities to be honest.

    Fallout was a 9+/10. I think it might be the best RPG i have played.
    Some skills being absolutely useless, stupid AI,time limit, and rather bad looking graphics lowered it from perfection.

    And i had 18 int and 24 charisma. COME much do i need ?
  20. TheLastOutlaw

    TheLastOutlaw It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 1, 2008
    I understand your gripe about the high Charisma not giving you the kind of pull you wanted but I think (it's been a long time since I played) that you also need high INT to get the most out of your dialogue choices. IIRC in Planescape, like Fallout, some dialouge choices aren't open at even mediocre INT