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I don't understand why it needs so much discussion that, to one person, something is a masterpiece, and to another, it isn't.  Just like I don't get why Jackson Pollock is such a great artist, but people think his pieces are masterpieces.

Are you implying that people simply look at things from different angles, harbour deep-seated grudges for no good reason, hype things on ground of weird subjective preferences, and like to randomly bash other people's preferences because they have nothing better to do?

 

Surely not on the internet.

 

>EDIT:  Just for fun, I googled "how to determine if something is a masterpiece" and I found the following discussion (it's about movies, but still pretty interesting):

 

http://mubi.com/topics/how-do-you-know-that-something-is-a-masterpiece

One interesting thing in that thread: "a masterpiece is something endlessly repeatable and endlessly enjoyable."

 

That's hyperbole, but I'd say that what I said about succeeding on different levels, is what makes "masterpieces" potentially more endearing in the long run than others. BG2 has good replay value because it does a lot of things right, and you can find something new to enjoy for a long time. It would be interesting to hear how many times PrimeJunta has played through PS:T (and did you do it with a low WIS, low INT, low CHA fighter?).

 

I don't know, I guess the point is that that is your definition of a masterpiece.  I'm more in agreement with the person who wrote:

 

"I don’t think there is such a thing as a masterpiece. At least not in a universal sense. Everything boils down to personal taste. To some people one film or another may be a masterpiece, but to others it’s an overrated dogpile. Does that mean it’s any more or less a film because of a difference of opinions? I don’t have an answer to that. That way lies madness. I try to avoid using words like masterpiece to describe movies I love. I love them for so many different reasons trying to rationalize that appreciation by seeing if it meets a list of criteria, subjective criteria, doesn’t change the fact that I loved it. I think that’s all that really matters."

 

This quote seems to exactly describe the dissonance between you and Prime.

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This quote seems to exactly describe the dissonance between you and Prime.

Nah. The dissonance between us was

 

"I understand that you didn't like Torment, but it's because you aren't steeped in culture" (PJ)

 

and

 

"I understand that you like Torment, but your very subjective reasons don't make it a good game" (me)

 

 

But, among the other reasons for this disagreement, something else just occurred to me. I've been following Brian Fargo's tweets since backing ToN, and their kickstarter record for 1mil gained in the shortest time has just been broken, by a movie project no less. So I read up on the movie project and its director, and my verdict was that the series that the movie is based on just sounded really bad/ crappy and contrived. However, Wikipedia says this guy's series have received quite some praise from critics.

 

I don't watch TV all the time, and I don't watch any one thing so much that I'd tire of it. I'm also pretty discerning in what I watch, and not many programs qualify there. Maybe the reasons why critics responded well to these series is because they were bringing something new to the table, or sidestepped some issues that plague a lot of TV programs. It's a critic's opinion, not a casual viewer's.

I have played pretty much every PC RPG that came out since the early 90's that wasn't horribad (though some certainly were worse than others), and I haven't played many games from other genres in the last 15 years. I do know people who play an RPG every now and then, maybe once a year or every two years, possibly less. And when they play them they seem to really enjoy, for example, all those fantasy trappings. Things that I have long become bored of, or at least I'm not excited about (like Tolkienish races and monsters). I mostly approach these games with a mindset of

 

1) how well are fundamental aspects (the 'traditional' ones) executed compared to other games and

 

2) how much innovation/ improvement on failures of other games is there

 

so I'm looking at Torment and I'm checking things like

 

- living world (NPC schedules etc.): nop

 

- interactive world: nop

 

- a new take on combat or thieving or diplomacy options: nop

 

- an interesting new take on races: nop

 

- working economy: nop

 

but dialogue and text out the ass. So I'm mostly not thrilled, no matter if the quality of the dialogue is better than 90% of what we've seen in CRPGs in this area.

 

I don't know about PrimeJunta's gaming habits vs. mine, but I think these are the reasons for the angle at which I'm looking at this game. I hear you say, "you must judge the game more on its own merits! Play fewer RPGs/ go out more/ get that broom out of your ass", but these are the reasons for my verdict.

 

Anyway I think PJ has already checked out of this conversation but that just crossed my mind.

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1) how well are fundamental aspects (the 'traditional' ones) executed compared to other games and

 

2) how much innovation/ improvement on failures of other games is there

 

so I'm looking at Torment and I'm checking things like

 

- living world (NPC schedules etc.): nop

 

- interactive world: nop

 

- a new take on combat or thieving or diplomacy options: nop

 

- an interesting new take on races: nop

 

- working economy: nop

 

but dialogue and text out the ass. So I'm mostly not thrilled, no matter if the quality of the dialogue is better than 90% of what we've seen in CRPGs in this area.

I also play almost only RPGs. But

 

- living world (NPC schedules etc.): not importand(my opinion)

 

- interactive world:no thank god for that(if you mean what i think you mean)

 

- a new take on combat or thieving or diplomacy options: nop Again not importand for this game. If you find yourself in combat in a Torment game, you screw up somewhere

 

- an interesting new take on races: nop you don't know that yet

 

- working economy: nop you don't know that yet

 

dialogue and text the most importand part in this type of game (or any game for that matter (personal opinion))

Edited by Malekith

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Uhm.... I was talking about Planescape: Torment, not Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Oh, sorry. But " an interesting take on races: nop"

Are you saying that you fount Planescape:Torment's races generic? :huh:

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@Sacred_Path -- If you look at a game like a kitchen appliance which you can "objectively" assess simply by checking its performance against a list of features, then all that makes sense.

 

On the other hand if you consider a game to be in the same category as, say, a novel, a play, a film, a TV series, or some other product of creativity intended to seize the imagination, that laundry-list approach strikes me as frankly silly.

 

I do not treat games like kitchen appliances, and find the idea of "objective game reviews" utterly wrong-headed to start with. I'll take an informed, well-expressed opinion over it any day of the week.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Here is two glass vases that implement same functionalities, but for some reason only second one is world famous of its design. So one would think that masterpieces aren't usually determined only by its functionality.

 

cylinder-vase__0137339_PE295514_S4.JPG

 

 

 

 

aalto_vase_95mm_1200.jpg

Edited by Elerond

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Oh, sorry. But " an interesting take on races: nop"

Are you saying that you fount Planescape:Torment's races generic? :huh:

While it made use of more interesting AD&D races than other AD&D games (like gith), none of those races' mechanics were different from your average AD&D game. If you have a race with wings which can't or doesn't fly, it might as well be interchangeable with any other wingless race.

On the other hand if you consider a game to be in the same category as, say, a novel, a play, a film, a TV series, or some other product of creativity intended to seize the imagination, that laundry-list approach strikes me as frankly silly.

Welp, all I can say is I don't tick off little boxes when I play. These things just come up naturally when you're playing. Do I have any races to pick from when I start the game, and how are they implemented? Is there some meat to the combat system (you can judge that when you get your first hostile)? Are NPCs moving about or are they just standing in place forever?

I do not treat games like kitchen appliances, and find the idea of "objective game reviews" utterly wrong-headed to start with. I'll take an informed, well-expressed opinion over it any day of the week.

There are fine lines there. What I find silly is if people think they're not subjective in their judgement at all. I also find it silly to judge solely according to "standards". Like saying "game A had a great feature, game B doesn't, so that's a step back". You can genuinely miss a feature, but you can also say "I miss feature X, game A had it, but game B has some other features" or "this game doesn't have feature X but this game also works without it".

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Here is two glass vases that implement same functionalities, but for some reason only second one is world famous of its design. So one would think that masterpieces aren't usually determined only by its functionality.

If elegance of design is able to offset problems with functionality, I don't mind (when it comes to games)

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@Karkarov:

 

I would say that's the pot calling the kettle black, except I'm not the kettle. The imaginary version of me you're replying to is.

 

But keep it up! That version of me sounds like a real jerk! :lol:

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@Sacred_Path -- If you look at a game like a kitchen appliance which you can "objectively" assess simply by checking its performance against a list of features, then all that makes sense.On the other hand if you consider a game to be in the same category as, say, a novel, a play, a film, a TV series, or some other product of creativity intended to seize the imagination, that laundry-list approach strikes me as frankly silly.I do not treat games like kitchen appliances, and find the idea of "objective game reviews" utterly wrong-headed to start with. I'll take an informed, well-expressed opinion over it any day of the week.

Word. Parts and wholes, I'm telling y'all.

 

EDIT: Whoopsie, sorry for the double post.

Edited by Ffordesoon

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But, among the other reasons for this disagreement, something else just occurred to me. I've been following Brian Fargo's tweets since backing ToN, and their kickstarter record for 1mil gained in the shortest time has just been broken, by a movie project no less. So I read up on the movie project and its director, and my verdict was that the series that the movie is based on just sounded really bad/ crappy and contrived. However, Wikipedia says this guy's series have received quite some praise from critics.

Oh, I think I see what the problem is now! You have terrible taste. :p

 

I kid, but Veronica Mars really is something special. It's Nancy Drew as written by Raymond Chandler and/or Ross MacDonald. It's okay if you don't like it, but I'd recommend giving it a look.

 

Sorry for the triple post, but that was bugging me.

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Oh, I think I see what the problem is now! You have terrible taste. :p

I think I can see the problem now, people with fringe tastes tend to like everything no one else likes :p

 

I'd like to make this post more useful but I can't.

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@Sacred_Path:

 

I dunno if I'd call my tastes "fringe," given how many AAA "cinematic experience" games I play and enjoy tremendously (including the hated Call of Duty). And how many blockbuster popcorn films I like. And how many trashy thrillers with no redeeming qualities I've enjoyed. And the fact that I really liked "Die Young" by Ke$ha because it was a completely disposable pop song that knew it was a disposable pop song and reveled in it.

 

I also love Dwarf Fortress, the films of Federico Fellini, Herman Melville's Moby-****, and Georges Bizet's "Carmen" (or, if you'd prefer some esoteric and relatively obscure songs to contrast more directly with the hyper-mainstream, candy-coated Ke$ha track I mentioned, I also like Big Star's "The Ballad Of el Goodo" and Townes Van Zandt's "Tecumseh Valley"). So, you know, I prefer the label "eclectic," thanks. :p

 

Which, in a roundabout way, brings us back to the topic at hand. As I said in another thread, the only measure of quality that matters to me is whether or not a given work succeeds at what it's trying to do. I don't play Call of Duty expecting a an open-world sandbox RPG, I don't play Skyrim expecting a great or even good narrative, and I don't play a game built around dialogue and non-combat interaction expecting to love its combat.*

 

To expect any of those things is, to me, like expecting the new Captain America film to not have any explosions, or being disappointed that Michael Haneke didn't cram a badass fight with CG werewolves into Amour. I like movies without explosions, and I like badass werewolf fights, but I don't go in expecting to see one in the other.

 

That, to me, is where your one-size-fits-all takedown of PST rather falls apart. You're free to dislike it for the silliest reasons in the world, of course, but to complain that it doesn't offer things it was never meant to offer (a "living world?" Really?) strikes me as particularly silly. In light of the fact that some of your reasons are valid ones I can totally understand, to add such (to me) absurd criticisms to the pile only weakens your argument.

 

Is PST a "masterpiece," whatever the hell that actually means? Maybe, maybe not. Is anything an objective "masterpiece," under your definition? I dunno, but I would submit that any measurement of "masterpiece" status that seemingly includes James Cameron's Avatar and any given Justin Bieber album (both had broad appeal, sold well, and did everything right technically) is not a system of measurement I feel comfortable believing in.

 

* - Whether the combat should be in there in the first place is another question entirely. I'd argue it should, because one of the things I like about RPGs is that, unlike adventure games, I have the option to kill a dude if I don't like the way he's looking at me. There should obviously be consequences for that decision, but you should be able to do it.

 

That being said, I don't mind if a game restricts me to a lethal option, and I wouldn't judge a game for not including a nonlethal one unless I felt it cried out for such an option (as in the case of Skyrim's idiotically suicidal bandits, who always refused to let themselves be spared despite some jerk putting in a begging-for-their-lives animation - for God's sake, that's half a nonlethal mechanic). I do have a pretty strong love of certain mechanics, but I'm not going to begrudge a great game the lack of them, is my point.

 

With all of those qualifiers duly noted, however, I will fully admit that while a combat system should've been in PST, the one that shipped with it shouldn't have been, because it was mostly lame. It's a little better if you play a mage, because some of the spell effects were awesome, but it is very underwhelming overall.

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I dunno if I'd call my tastes "fringe," given how many AAA "cinematic experience" games I play and enjoy tremendously (including the hated Call of Duty). And how many blockbuster popcorn films I like. And how many trashy thrillers with no redeeming qualities I've enjoyed. And the fact that I really liked "Die Young" by Ke$ha because it was a completely disposable pop song that knew it was a disposable pop song and reveled in it.

Ke$ha has self awareness? :geek: Ok, the people behind Ke$ha know they're selling crap.

So, you know, I prefer the label "eclectic," thanks. :p

can I call you a hipster instead?

To expect any of those things is, to me, like expecting the new Captain America film to not have any explosions, or being disappointed that Michael Haneke didn't cram a badass fight with CG werewolves into Amour. I like movies without explosions, and I like badass werewolf fights, but I don't go in expecting to see one in the other.

 

That, to me, is where your one-size-fits-all takedown of PST rather falls apart. You're free to dislike it for the silliest reasons in the world, of course, but to complain that it doesn't offer things it was never meant to offer (a "living world?" Really?) strikes me as particularly silly. In light of the fact that some of your reasons are valid ones I can totally understand, to add such (to me) absurd criticisms to the pile only weakens your argument.

Two things:

 

1) I don't necessarily downgrade i.e. an FPS if it has no character development. That's simply not a staple of the genre. However, if it's present, I will rate that game higher than I would have otherwise (if the character development is well done). Also, if it's there but done badly (i.e. badly balanced), then I will give that game a lower score.

PS:T has plenty of combat. It just isn't well done. If your game isn't about combat, ok. Maybe don't put in more than two monster races then. I have an open enough mind to try such a game, even if I might not enjoy it enough to buy it. But saying "ok, we put in some crap combat for all you RPGers who wouldn't otherwise buy the game. But the game isn't actually about the combat so don't be mad k lolz", I can't quite follow there.

 

2) As to my "bullet point" list; as I said, it consists of things that just come up naturally during play. Within the first minutes of any game you'll get a good idea if, for example, there are convincing physics or if the world allows for much interactivity. You simply can't help but notice. Torment didn't have this any more than other IE games. Fine. On to the next point. And so on. After all, a game must have something, no let me rephrase that, several things going for it to make me like it. PS:T is pretty much a one-trick pony. You can of course interject here and scream wildly "but that's not what the game was built for!", that's fine for maybe one point. But if you remark that for every single point I bring up, it doesn't hold up as an excuse anymore.

Is PST a "masterpiece," whatever the hell that actually means? Maybe, maybe not. Is anything an objective "masterpiece," under your definition?

Hmm... I can't actually think of a CRPG that I'd call a masterpiece right now, so... that might be telling.

With all of those qualifiers duly noted, however, I will fully admit that while a combat system should've been in PST, the one that shipped with it shouldn't have been, because it was mostly lame. It's a little better if you play a mage, because some of the spell effects were awesome, but it is very underwhelming overall.

it seems we shouldn't be disagreeing by much then.

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An opinion is only as strong as the opposition with which it is tempered. u_u

 

How do you know a tool is durable enough for the job unless you test it? If it breaks, you gain the knowledge of its weakness, and you mend it stronger still.

 

It is the nature of opinion to evolve. Otherwise, what makes it any better than a random thought?

 

"I wonder if penguins are actually dragons... MY OPINION IS NOW THAT PENGUINS ARE ACTUALLY DRAGONS, AND I DON'T CARE IF ANYONE THINKS IT'S FLAWED, BECAUSE ALL OPINIONS ARE EQUAL!"

 

That would be silly, now wouldn't it? :)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I just read 10 pages of the argument and I had to contribute my perspective.

 

I'm currently playing PS:T and I have to agree that, while the narrative has somewhat picked my interest, the combat gameplay has been completely un-fun, and it has even forced me to fight with no alternatives at points (Not like alternatives would make it better, alternatives are alternatives, the combat should still be good if it's going to be there.) And it's not like the combat is bad because themes (at least so far), it's just bad because it is badly designed and implemented, and that demerits the work as a art too.

 

Picture this, you have a book. It's a good story, maybe not the best you've ever experienced, but it's solid and thought provoking. Now, it's written badly. It uses elements you only see in cheap fanfiction. "Made an *_* face"; "Like *she* said" and just bad orthography in general (And please don't take this literally and bring up PS:T's writing, it's figurative, and not to mention I already have problems with the terrible overuse of asterisk to emphasize, rather than proper narrative).

Are you really gonna say that the use of such elements and poor orthography doesn't demerit the work? I have a hard time believing that. 

 

That said the game is still somewhat enjoyable if you stay far away from combat as much as possible, but it definitely needs polish in other areas. Exploration is a pain in the butt, animations are ugly and dated, to the point games from years prior, and even from the snes and PS1 look better and haven't aged as much simply by design choice and style.

 

The dialogue system seems to be the same as other good text oriented RPGs like BG2/DAO/TW/AP/etc, just has a LOT of it, which is commendable, but I didn't find it  mind blowing, specially when it still forces me to fight awful battles every now and then.

 

Still though, I'm sure there's a good story here, and it's why I'm suffering the bad parts for the good parts. It simply seems irrational to say the experience (and art relies on the experience) wouldn't have been better in another format.

...And by format I don't mean another medium necessarily. Being an adventure game with such a dialog and system would've helped tons without losing much, if any, artistic merit and improved the experience. Up there I read something about PST not restricting itself to it's setting (Which is silly, they should've used an original setting then). Well, it certainly restricted and forced itself to a genre they didn't put effort in for no net gain was ultimately simply not beneficial to it in any facet.

 

But still, I'm gonna finish this damn thing. I finished Alpha Protocol, and damn if I didn't suffer that game's gameplay and minigames and finish it!

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If you are playing PST in modern PCs you have to install mods for a better gaming experience. Interface, spell animations, scaling, resolution... These things became big problems through years.

 

A modded PST is still fun though. Yes, it has a bad design in combat and mostly you have to engage in similar ways, not colorful, not enjoyable. But this is not the point. PST is not an action game. Combat is not a big part of it, focusing on the combat system makes you drop it. So avoid combat, spend you char points in wisdom and you will find yourself in a conversation with Transcendent One:)

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Resurrecting this thread, mostly for Razsius's benefit.

 

I've started another BG playthrough. Did the canonical modern install, i.e., Trilogy with the fixpacks (but no restored content; IMO that's mostly not worth it), widescreen, all that commotion.

 

Started a couple of characters. Squibs. Still hating it.

 

And then... not. I'm in fact sort starting to reluctantly like it. The ambient sounds are really nice. The music still doesn't do much for me, but hey.

 

I did three things.

 

One, finally manage to come up with a character I enjoy playing. She's a kensai, specialized in axe (because there's both a throwing and a hacking version, and I would expect there's a throw-and-return version somewhere in there later too, at least in BG2 there was). I'm planning on dualing her to mage later in the game, probably pretty late though. Also start-scummed the bejeezus out of her to get ridiculous stats. Dump stat is WIS, everything else is... high or very high. And I spent a bit of time adventurin' with only Imoen, basically just harassing the local wildlife to get both of us up to level 2 reasonably safely. At least now the entire party has double-digit HP, which means that one-shot kills are a lot less frequent.

 

Two, I cranked up the frame rate to 45. Yay! I'm no longer crawling excruciatingly slowly across the map, but rather moving at a reasonably quick rate, but not so quick I lose total control of combat.

 

And three, I stopped trying to follow the plot. Switched off my brain and am just exploring and doing random sidequests. Rescued Dynaheir and promptly booted her and Minsc out of the party (because Minsc won't shut up about his damn hamster; getting on my nerves). There is enough stuff in those "empty" wilderness areas after all, to make them worthwhile. Playing with Jaheira + Khalid (thinking of offing Khalid because he's almost as annoying as Minsc), whereas Jaheira kicks arse, that Swedish priestess who was turned to stone, the bard (Garrett, what's his name?), and Imoen. Got my party to level 3 or thereabouts, and haven't even checked out those kobold-ridden mines yet. And it's starting to be fun in a "more innocent time" kind of way. Lots of stuff to do, lots of places to go.

 

I still kinda hate the gameplay though. Low-level D&D is... unpleasant. It's basically save, encounter, flip coin, win/try again. Over and over again. I don't like having to constantly save and reload; it breaks my immershun. And if there is a way to play combat-heavy low-level D&D that doesn't involve constant reloading... well, I haven't discovered it. When your party has low-enough HP to be one-shotted by lots of enemies, that's kinda how it is. Frankly I don't think this sort of thing would pass nowadays. Combat in Age of Decadence is brutal but the whole point is that combat is not the only solution. In BG, it's all combat, all the time. Nor does it have the almost-universal trope of having a safe-ish tutorial from which you emerge at a roughly level-3 competence level.

 

But yeah, I think it's... growing on me. If I'm still liking it by the time I hit level 6 or so, then I'll officially declare my mind changed.


I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Baldur's Gate is the biggest disappointment since The Phantom Menace. There's literally nothing I like about it. The combat is a repetitive, slogging chore, the dialog with its godawful pseudo-medievalese feels like it was written by a somewhat dim 14-year-old, the humor would only be funny if you were that 14-year-old's stoner friend, the characters are irritating and dopey, the voice acting is uninspired, the music irritating and forgettable, the scenery is repetitive, generic, and unimaginative, and the quests are generic. The gameplay overall feels like neverending busywork, do-this, do-that, but mostly just trek around and save and load a lot. Yech. Awful. I hope P:E takes nothing at all from that turd. I mean seriously people, this, a classic FFS?

 

 

This is the feeling I get each time I play BG right after Planescape Torment, dull moments.

 

 

Planescape: Torment on the other hand is even better than I remembered it. Perhaps because this time I remembered enough to be able to roll up a character

set up to make the most of it, and then could just let go and enjoy the ride. It's constantly surprising, delighting, and amazing me. It does the exact opposite of what you'd expect, all the time. Every item, character, and location feels hand-crafted with attention and love. Music that's haunting, atmospheric, And the story! Gods below, the story! Walls of text, yes, and perhaps there are better ways of telling that story in a visual medium than just making you read a lot, but wow. And the combat wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered, either, although definitely not a high point of the game either. (Un)balance issues aside, its greatest failing is the lead-up to the endgame -- Sigil is truly inspired from start to finish, but from Curst onward it starts to fall flat. The final scenes int the game are a wonderful finale, but getting there becomes a slog again.

 

 

And this is the feeling I get each time I play Planescape Torment, amazement.

 

BG2 is an improvement compared to the first game. At least it has got more interesting atmosphere, and Irenicus cinematics are awesome. I love especially the intro scene ("Aaah, the child of Bhaal has awoken") and the scene when you got outside of the dungeon (when that beautiful music come during the dialogs, it gives a combined feeling of both 1- being free, escaped to the surface at last, smelling the air of the city and 2- seeing that you still have much to do and encountering the dangerous side of the city). (spoiler if you didn't play:

)

 

IWD game has very fascinating visuals. Yes, both PT and BG2 had well designed backgrounds, but cold, dark and foggy style of IWD, combined with the songs, gives the player a very different feeling and atmosphere. It has the artworks of Justin Sweet (I love his arts) and music of Jeremy Soule (example:

and
).
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@PrimeJunta:

 

Can we just be adults for a second and admit that the AD&D combat system kind of sucks for video games? I mean, it's not the best tabletop combat system either, but it's flexible and comprehensive enough that it covers most circumstances adequately. But it falls apart when there's not a real human there to adjudicate. Computers are crap DMs.

 

EDIT: And I should note that that goes for 3E, 3.5, and D20-based games as well. 4E is, weirdly, a great video game design document that Wizards accidentally published as a tabletop game, which is why there's a lot of detectable 4E influence within Project Eternity's ruleset. It's certainly not because 4E is the best tabletop D&D system.

Edited by Ffordesoon

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Speaking about internal consistency: if in this world (= Planescape setting) tattoos generally make you stronger, then it's legit. I really can't remember any specifics about PS:T but I think it was only the Nameless One who benefited from tattoos. That's a weakness in the design. Secondly, others like the Harmonium guards are, or look like, wearing armour. Why don't they just get some tats? This is the sort of flaw I'm talking about. If tats are to take the place of armor, they need to be the same, or lead to the same outcome, mechanics wise.

 

 

Then why don't I have the option to choose to put on armor? Why don't Harmonium members have the freedom to get some awsum magic tats? Damn, now I wish it wasn't 14something years ago that I've played PS:T. I wish I could think of more instances to slap you with.

 

Sacred_Path has an interesting obsession in this topic.

He approached this game like a sandbox rpg, directly converted from D&D core rulebooks into computer software. So, in his eyes, everything must be done by the book. If other characters can wear armor, so we should too. If we can wear tattoo, so other people should too.

Think about a standart D&D PnP session. You open the players handbook, and follow the formulas strictly to create your character. You push the system just to make your character as strong as possible. During game session, you questionize DM's choices with the written rules on the corebooks. DM must follow the books without error, because your optimal playtrough is depend on those rules.

You can not expect same thing in Planescape Torment.

The answer is simple, you are The Nameless One. You are out of bounds from rules, you are a fixed point in the universe. This is the main concept of Planescape Torment. As a player, you may think this as unorthodox or a bad design choice. But these tiny things are the reason why we love Planescape Torment that much.

The game is not made to simulate an "ordinary D&D game session", but to narrate an extraordinary story. If you want to play a traditional D&D session, you can always play NWN.

You don't wear armor, because you have your tattoos to replace that. Not everybody can wear tattoos, because they don't have the power you have. Yes, you want to wear both tattoos and armors to maximize your character, but this is not a heavily combat focused game, you have other tools to use in battles.

Game designers wanted to be this way, and because of these design choices, Planescape Torment is less based on hack&slash and more based on storytelling.

 

By the way, PrimeJunta became my one of the most favorite internet users :p Especially when he mentioned Blade Runner (my most favorite movie)

Edited by Bonecrusher
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@Prime

 

Good to hear man, good to hear.  Tonight was the night I was going to start up Planescape:Torment as I had given up finishing one of the 3 games I'm currently playing.  The irony is that after kind of making our "pledge" I felt like I would end up having a LOT more fun then the first time around.  It just felt like it would be a much better play through all in all.  I still feel like that regardless to the point i'm kind of excited.

 

In regards to your character I generally hear that Kensei dueled to Mage is probably the penultimate character in regards to power.  Even if you just go straight Kensei you'll probably be just fine especially if it plays like my Monk did.  At high level you will DESTROY everything.  In regards to combat itself, what difficulty do you play at?  I think I remember you saying something along the lines of Core for difficulty which in that case the damage low level enemies like gibberlings and stuff shouldn't be one shotting anything that isn't a Mage.  Though don't quote me on that prior sentence as i'm not used to anything that isn't Insane anymore where I most definitely can get one shot.  Though I can understand Gnolls being able to do quite a bit of damage with their halberds.  The most simplistic method of making combat easier is quite literally to get more archers.  I've played the BG series enough times to understand what makes things easier or harder and I basically found a direct correlation between how many real archers I had (rangers/fighters specialized in range/thieves with bows/etc.) and how easy the game was.  Kivan is a great ranger to have if you have room for him.

 

You've generally got the idea now though for playing Baldur's Gate.  If you don't like a companion you don't have to use said companion (which you've done... I don't use Minsc myself either).  Though I do realize it can be somewhat annoying with the pairs.  Khalid was always a pretty craptacular fighter so I never used him and thus never used the pair myself.  Never did find a healer I liked in Baldur's Gate.. I forgot who I ended up settling on.  Still, with a pool of what 20+ companions it's pretty easy to find 5 you can live with.

 

Keep right on trucking Prime just continue what you're doing and you should be well on your way to an enjoyable gaming experience.

 

@Ffordesoon

 

Prime's right though. Second edition AD&D is notoriously binary by nature let alone when your hp pool is stupidly low.  A rather large annoyance of mine is how binary the armor system is.  It's either get it or don't.  No mitigation of damage to speak of is more than a little annoying.  Tack on the fact that rounds just had to implemented into a RTwP system and there you have a truly clunky system.  While I might love most of the Infinity Engine games i'm more than a little aware of their failings.  I'm rather glad i'll be seeing some of Josh's new stuff for combat in Project Eternity.

 

Anyways, i've got a morgue to wake up in.  I'll be around later...

 

...maybe.

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Can we just be adults for a second and admit that the AD&D combat system kind of sucks for video games? I mean, it's not the best tabletop combat system either, but it's flexible and comprehensive enough that it covers most circumstances adequately. But it falls apart when there's not a real human there to adjudicate. Computers are crap DMs.

 

EDIT: And I should note that that goes for 3E, 3.5, and D20-based games as well. 4E is, weirdly, a great video game design document that Wizards accidentally published as a tabletop game, which is why there's a lot of detectable 4E influence within Project Eternity's ruleset. It's certainly not because 4E is the best tabletop D&D system.

I agree, except more vehemently. The strength of D&D was always in the settings and supporting materials; as a system it's between borderline unplayable (AD&D) and passable but not brilliant (D&D 1 and 3). But what other system has everything from Dark Sun to Planescape, Al-Qadim to Oriental Adventures, Forgotten Realms to Ravenloft, all fleshed out in loving detail -- and ties it up into one gloriously chaotic multiverse?

 

Haven't played 4E although I have the core books. Read them, decided I don't want to, thought it would work better for a computer game than 3E.

 

@Razsius: I'm playing at Core Rules difficulty. Gibberlings and gnolls and such aren't a problem, but anything with missile weapons is, and there are a quite a lot of missile mobs in there, and the AI seems surprisingly adept about focusing its fire. I am playing missile-weapons heavy; I'm keeping my kensai Athia's throwing axes for special occasions, but other than that my tactic is to kite like a real hero, with Imoen and Khalid on bows, Jaheira and that Swedish lady on slings, and the bard dude singing encouragingly, which makes a visible difference to THAC0. And if the terrain is suitable, I have Athia and Jaheira switch to hack mode to block passage while the rest of the gang keeps shooting.

 

I'll probably switch out the bard later on when combat isn't so whiffy and get a ranger instead.

 

That pretty much devastates anything slower than my party that doesn't have missile weapons.

 

I played BG2 as a kensai/mage once, and while I originally wanted to play some other character concept (which is why I tried out all those others), I ended up falling back on this after my others... failed to catch, as it were. But a mob of skeleton crossbowmen, kobolds with bows, hobgoblin elite with bows, or plain ol' bandit archers... yeah, owie.

 

About character concepts in PS:T, by the way: I find the most enjoyable way to play it is not to have one. Just pile your character points in WIS, bump up your INT up to 18 but not past, and split the rest between CHA and CON (don't push STR past 15, there's no point whatever you're doing), and then switch character classes on the fly, as situationally appropriate. Or if you like, stick to one "primary" class -- fighter or mage -- and switch to the others temporarily when you need to.

 

You'll lose a little powergaming-wise since your XP pool won't all go to one class, but IMO it feels more fun and natural that way, and you get to find out and use all the weird and oddball stuff you find, and have deeper and more interesting conversations with all of your companions. Plus if you're really concerned about the XP, there is a grind-o-mat in there which you can use too (although it won't make a difference once your XP shoots up into the meellions near the endgame). But you really don't lose all that much; the combat near the endgame is a drag anyway and one more weeaboo spell effect that'll cause a CTD as likely or not isn't likely to turn the tide.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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You don't wear armor, because you have your tattoos to replace that. Not everybody can wear tattoos, because they don't have the power you have. Yes, you want to wear both tattoos and armors to maximize your character, but this is not a heavily combat focused game, you have other tools to use in battles.

eh, personally, I'd rather everyone wears armor and no one has magic tats. When there's no consistency in the setting, I just feel like getting stabbed in the brain repeatedly. But yes this might be totally subjective as well.
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