Torment and Arcanum

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Karkow, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Caveman

    Caveman First time out of the vault

    May 12, 2006
    Both great games - but i'd have 2 say planescape - it must be the most underated game in history but in my opinion is also one of the best..
  2. Cimmerian Nights

    Cimmerian Nights So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2004
    Plansecape is great the first run through but really doesn't have a lot of replayability - it really makes no difference what class you play. Arcanum on the other hand, has loads of replay-value in it.
  3. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Planescape doesn't have much replay because of classes, no, but character development and especially how you play the character gives it a lot of replayability. There are a lot of things you can do differently.
  4. FeelTheRads

    FeelTheRads Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 15, 2004

    Excuse me? What?

    Not as good in what way? Not as good in a "much better story, quests, characters, dialogs and overall writing" way?

    As for me, HOMM 3 online.

    Tried The Witcher, bored me to tears. Maybe some other time I'll give it another chance.
  5. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    Not as good as in a "less casual fun, linear area progression, badly suited mechanics, mismatched gameplay elements, inconsistent writing, poor replay value" kind of way. :twisted:
  6. HoKa

    HoKa Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 23, 2007
    I've always said Torment makes for good reading but bad playing. It always felt like a point-and-click adventure with stats to me.
  7. cody92

    cody92 Still Mildly Glowing

    Nov 29, 2007
    not as good as in not as fun...
  8. FeelTheRads

    FeelTheRads Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 15, 2004
    A game the size of Baldur's Gate isn't quite a model for casual games, don't you think? Plus, I don't play RPGs for "casual fun".

    Fair enough, and although BG1 doesn't have much of that (if I'm not mistaken), BG2 has it quite a lot.

    It uses the same mechanics of Baldur's Gate, does it not?

    Inconsistent from poor to brilliant, while in Baldur's Gate the writing is in a very consistent mediocrity. Now, which is better?

    Played Torment twice, never wanted to go back to Baldur's Gate.

    Very subjective this one too, isn't it?
    Because I remember I had great fun in Torment, great fun in talking to Morte (or pretty much any of the characters and NPCs), great fun in discovering everything I could discover related to my character, while in BG I had great fun in... umm... slaughtering bears?

    Note: Fun is not always "lulz".
  9. HoKa

    HoKa Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 23, 2007
    (1) 'Casual fun' as in 'fun in games', probably. You don't have to be 'hardcore' to fully appreciate a game's pros.
    (2) Correct.
    (3) Exactly. Those mechanics don't suit an adventure game like Planescape: Torment. The combat is tedious, the textbox minuscule, and the interface clumsy.
    (4) None. Consistent writing at all times should be preferred.
    (5) I only played Torment once. I'll never play it again, for the same reason I never read the same book twice.
    (6) You are having fun outside of gaming. You are having fun reading NPC dialogue and reading about your character. You are not having fun building a character, progressing in levels, engaging in combat (a staple of game entertainment), applying tactics, and making strategies.
  10. FeelTheRads

    FeelTheRads Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 15, 2004
    I don't know what your definition of gaming is, but if it's in the game it's in the game, and it is gaming.
    OK, this sounds like "if it's called Fallout, then it's Fallout", so here's what I mean. In order to get to something to read about your character, the story or anything, you have to do something: quests, puzzles etc. So while reading may not be gaming per se, getting to read something, dialogs with NPCs etc. IS gaming.

    Are you serious? We're comparing BG and Torment here, two games which have the same combat system and the same rule set and you're telling me that in BG they're somehow better?
    Plus, building the character and progression in levels is superior in Torment, if only because it uses many different methods and not only increasing statistics with experience and items.
  11. cody92

    cody92 Still Mildly Glowing

    Nov 29, 2007
  12. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    It can be casual for someone who's into that kind of game. There are people who play Fallout 2, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate 2 literally over and over again. We could drop the "casual" for simplicity's sake, though it makes the statement look more pointed than intended.

    Yes, and they're much more suited to a BG-style game. Quest and combat xp awards are in step. Character development doesn't feel tagged on as an afterthought. Item balance is meaningful. Rules set matches gameplay.

    "Having Chris Avellone on the writing staff" is a merit for any game, but like HoKa said, there's something to be said for consistency as well. Also I wouldn't call the writing in BG mediocre, unless you want to call all or almost all non-Avellone text in PT mediocre.

    Played BG three times and enjoyed it, regretted my second time through PT (limited combat and character handling, mechanical imbalances becoming painfully apparent, there wasn't really anything I didn't find or do the first time around, and the rest being readreadread).

    I enjoyed PT the first time around, but I find that people tend to overlook its shortcomings.
  13. Nimrod

    Nimrod It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 24, 2007
    Planescape had its shortcomings, but every game does. I do consider it one of the single best games ever made. Your character and NPC's were far more than numbers on paper IMHO. Everybody had a very distinct personality, including not getting along with each other. At one point you found a toy/quest item that you could either stick in your inventory or play with it until your party members started vocally wondering about your sanity. A pointless exercise game-wise, but that's some depth of character right there.

    Basically, it's far more an RP game than a combat game - I have rarely felt more like a total creep than when I chose to stick Morte back into the Pillar of Souls. And how many games give you the opportunity to sit down and have a long and in-depth conversation about one of your party member's personal theology?

    Sadly, the story was pretty linear, but the quality of said story made up for it in spades and you could take many different approaches as far as being a nice guy/jerk. It's a game that works best if you play it in your head at the same time you're playing it on your PC if that makes any sense.

    Just one guy's opinion.
  14. Sorrow

    Sorrow So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Feb 9, 2006
    I installed Arcanum again. I started playing and I wonder what the developers thought when they were working on character development.
    In most of games, character is better than ordinary people. Hell, in Fallout most of combat characters were between level 1-3. On the other hand, in Arcanum, starting character is a lot weaker than ordinary villager.
    More, when I create character, I have a distinct impression that it's unfinished in comparison to Fallout starting character.
    That's why every time I play Arcanum, I start with editing my character to level 8-12 (i.e. level of an ordinary villager).
    It makes the game a lot more balanced and enjoyable.

    Next think that I dislike is that weapons are very weak - they appear to be semi-logical for level 1 character hitpoints, but fighting against an ordinary villager becomes weird.
    My level 10 bandit tried to rob the Shrouded Hills bank. He was beaten to death by a guard and a bank accountant after hitting the guard with 6 Fine Revolver shots, including 3 shoots in head.
    It makes me want to make an Arcanum version of Fatal Damage mod, but I guess I would have to learn hex-editing protos or write a proto editor first...
  15. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    lol, if you cant rob the bank, you've got a problem, not the game...
  16. Sorrow

    Sorrow So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Feb 9, 2006
    I'm not talking about difficulty here, but about believability. When an ordinary man can beat someone to death after taking 6 bullets including 3 to the head, one of which was critical, it kinda kills the immersion for me.
  17. MrBumble

    MrBumble Vault Fossil

    Jan 17, 2006
    It is KNOWN that Arcanum is not very well balanced ( rather hard at the beginning but your character soon becomes almost unkillable, especially if you go for a magical one ) but the storyline and settings are incredibly rich and interesting in my opinion. There is so much to do also and it has a great replayability.
  18. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    yeah, because casting spells that totally and utterly disintegrates a victim doesn't pose any reality issues?

    gtfo... this is a steampunk fantasy game for fucks sake.

    PS: does Fallout's immersion fade when you shoot a (barechested) supermutant with a burst of 5mm bullets from a minigun (30 bullets was it?) and he lives? seriously, fuck off Sorrow.
  19. Sorrow

    Sorrow So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Feb 9, 2006
    That's pure bullshit. Fantasy world with powerful magic isn't equal to absurd game mechanics. There are a lot of fantasy novels/movies/comics in which people die when they get impaled on swords despite high level of magic.

    There are tactical/PnP RPG games that don't feature such idiocy.

    Yes, and it was annoying.
  20. MrBumble

    MrBumble Vault Fossil

    Jan 17, 2006
    It works both ways : if these games were realistic you probably wouldn't survive your first combat...