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I played IWD for the first time about 6 months ago and there is a major difference between it and games like BG2 ( I haven't played BG1 yet) and thats the lack of interesting party interaction. Its not just the fact that there was no Romance but rather the fact that your party members are like cardboard caricatures, there was no  depth and very little affinity I felt for my party members

 

I liked IWD but I really feel if a modern day  RPG doesn't allow some kind of party interaction then it will be missing something that will appeal to most gamers around what they expect from an RPG experience

 

There's probably a satisfying middle ground between the two character-building extremes of BG2 and IWD that would satisfy the need for tailoring your party and allow meaningful interactions. For example, allow the player to build a primary PC from the ground up, then provide a pool of side kicks that you can tailor to a more limited degree. The known character types of your possible side kicks allow the game designers to configure interactions, while you still get a lot of customization choices about your party makeup. You wouldn't even need to start the game with the side kicks--they could just be met on the adventure.

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The combat's pretty lame, no question. The BG and IWD games are absolutely better from a pure mechanical perspective. However, I hardly think the "great story, bad game" argument holds water, because it always seems to be predicated on the combat being a bit crap.

 

There is a lot more to the game mechanically than just the combat, though, and it shines in many of those areas as well. The puzzles you solve wholly through dialogue trees, for example, or the death mechanic, or the way the game organically opens and closes options to you based on your ability scores.

 

And it's not as if even the combat is actively terrible. It's just mediocre, which people seem to confuse with terrible a lot of the time (see also: Dragon Age 2, which is a mediocre game that gets called terrible because it's a disappointment). There is fun to be had with the mechanics, especially if you're a mage, and it is functional. It's just super-unpolished and clearly not a focus for the team, and there's way too much of it in most playthroughs.

 

No, Torment's problem is not that it 's a bad game, or even a mediocre one. It's that it's a good game with a great story, but because it's a cult classic, the people who love it oversell its quality as a game. It's not bad, but it is uneven, sometimes wildly so, and if you're coming in expecting THE BEST GAME OF ALL TIME, it's not going to hold up to that level of scrutiny. Nothing does. Call it the Ocarina Of Time problem.

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I played IWD for the first time about 6 months ago and there is a major difference between it and games like BG2 ( I haven't played BG1 yet) and thats the lack of interesting party interaction. Its not just the fact that there was no Romance but rather the fact that your party members are like cardboard caricatures, there was no depth and very little affinity I felt for my party members

 

I liked IWD but I really feel if a modern day RPG doesn't allow some kind of party interaction then it will be missing something that will appeal to most gamers around what they expect from an RPG experience

There's probably a satisfying middle ground between the two character-building extremes of BG2 and IWD that would satisfy the need for tailoring your party and allow meaningful interactions. For example, allow the player to build a primary PC from the ground up, then provide a pool of side kicks that you can tailor to a more limited degree. The known character types of your possible side kicks allow the game designers to configure interactions, while you still get a lot of customization choices about your party makeup. You wouldn't even need to start the game with the side kicks--they could just be met on the adventure.

That game exists. It's called Baldur's Gate 1. :p

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That game exists. It's called Baldur's Gate 1. :p

No. The NPCs in BG1 were cardboard cutouts with whom you could have no meaningful interaction. If you had said Baldur's Gate 2 I'd have let it slip, but saying BG1 has meaningful interaction with NPCs is like saying a soggy piece of cardboard is the best piece of literature since Don Quixote.
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That game exists. It's called Baldur's Gate 1. :p

No. The NPCs in BG1 were cardboard cutouts with whom you could have no meaningful interaction. If you had said Baldur's Gate 2 I'd have let it slip, but saying BG1 has meaningful interaction with NPCs is like saying a soggy piece of cardboard is the best piece of literature since Don Quixote.

You, uh, you know I wasn't responding to you, right? I didn't say it had "meaningful interactions with NPCs," and rjshea didn't describe a game like that. He described BG1, which has interactions with lots of companion NPCs, most of which aren't very deep, but which are deeper than IWD's nonexistent NPC companions.

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The combat's pretty lame, no question. The BG and IWD games are absolutely better from a pure mechanical perspective. However, I hardly think the "great story, bad game" argument holds water, because it always seems to be predicated on the combat being a bit crap.

 

There is a lot more to the game mechanically than just the combat, though, and it shines in many of those areas as well. The puzzles you solve wholly through dialogue trees, for example, or the death mechanic, or the way the game organically opens and closes options to you based on your ability scores.

 

And it's not as if even the combat is actively terrible. It's just mediocre, which people seem to confuse with terrible a lot of the time (see also: Dragon Age 2, which is a mediocre game that gets called terrible because it's a disappointment). There is fun to be had with the mechanics, especially if you're a mage, and it is functional. It's just super-unpolished and clearly not a focus for the team, and there's way too much of it in most playthroughs.

 

No, Torment's problem is not that it 's a bad game, or even a mediocre one. It's that it's a good game with a great story, but because it's a cult classic, the people who love it oversell its quality as a game. It's not bad, but it is uneven, sometimes wildly so, and if you're coming in expecting THE BEST GAME OF ALL TIME, it's not going to hold up to that level of scrutiny. Nothing does. Call it the Ocarina Of Time problem.

 

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That game exists. It's called Baldur's Gate 1. :p

No. The NPCs in BG1 were cardboard cutouts with whom you could have no meaningful interaction. If you had said Baldur's Gate 2 I'd have let it slip, but saying BG1 has meaningful interaction with NPCs is like saying a soggy piece of cardboard is the best piece of literature since Don Quixote.

 

You, uh, you know I wasn't responding to you, right? I didn't say it had "meaningful interactions with NPCs," and rjshea didn't describe a game like that. He described BG1, which has interactions with lots of companion NPCs, most of which aren't very deep, but which are deeper than IWD's nonexistent NPC companions.

 

Yes, I realize.

And I could have sworn he said deep and meaningful. Sorry about that. Carry on.

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This man, you should listen to. The truth, he speaks.

Nah.  The combat is quite literally terrible, not mediocre.  I also liked DA2 just fine other than the weak characters and pretty shaky late game plot, the combat was the best thing about it actually.  Torment has a ton of problems.  Endings and lore being locked behind stats = bad, not good.  The player is told "make the character you want, but if your character is anything other than a high int/wisdom caster prepare for the game to suck!"  The game was obscenely pretentious with things like merchants yelli..... You know what, no.  I could go on about what was bad about Torment for hours but it isn't worth it.  Just trust me when I say it was a lot more than just the combat.  Torment does make a good story, but it was a terrible game.  It's sales figures at release prior to becoming a "cult classic" reflect that quite well.

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It's sales figures at release prior to becoming a "cult classic" reflect that quite well.

It got rave reviews upon release, so that was hardly it. It sold badly (relative to the other IE games) because it was set in the obscure Planescape setting, whereas Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate were set in the Forgotten Reams, which was a big draw back then. The Fallout games, which also took place in a non-traditional setting, apparently sold even less than Torment.

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It's sales figures at release prior to becoming a "cult classic" reflect that quite well.

It got rave reviews upon release, so that was hardly it. It sold badly (relative to the other IE games) because it was set in the obscure Planescape setting, whereas Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate were set in the Forgotten Reams, which was a big draw back then. The Fallout games, which also took place in a non-traditional setting, apparently sold even less than Torment.

I have one issue with that.  I love Planescape.  It was easily my favorite 2nd Ed campaign world.  I actually owned every single book for it at one point.  Yet even I didn't buy Planescape: Torment at release.  Also no offense, but the rave reviewers were idiots who got mystified by the story, cause it sure wasn't the gameplay that got it good scores.  The people who said it would have been a better game as a adventure game were 100% right as far as I am concerned.  The "gameplay" of Torment actually gets in the way.

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It's sales figures at release prior to becoming a "cult classic" reflect that quite well.

It got rave reviews upon release, so that was hardly it. It sold badly (relative to the other IE games) because it was set in the obscure Planescape setting, whereas Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate were set in the Forgotten Reams, which was a big draw back then. The Fallout games, which also took place in a non-traditional setting, apparently sold even less than Torment.

I have one issue with that.  I love Planescape.  It was easily my favorite 2nd Ed campaign world.  I actually owned every single book for it at one point.  Yet even I didn't buy Planescape: Torment at release.

I'm not sure how this contradicts anything I said. The Planescape setting was discontinued, so it most certainly wasn't even remotely as popular as the Forgotten Realms.

 

Also no offense, but the rave reviewers were idiots who got mystified by the story, cause it sure wasn't the gameplay that got it good scores.  The people who said it would have been a better game as a adventure game were 100% right as far as I am concerned.  The "gameplay" of Torment actually gets in the way.

Well, it must have done something right, since this game is going to incorporate a lot of elements from it (role-playing through attribute checks, 'mature and thematical exploration', etc.). It's also the best-selling game on GOG by the way.

Edited by Quetzalcoatl
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Obviously things like combat quality are subjective, but I liked Torment's combat well enough. At least once you really started getting a party together. The beginning could be pretty rough for lack of tactical options. As for the content being locked behind int/wis gates, my first Nameless One was a fighter and had low-to-mediocre values in both those areas. And you know what? I still loved the story, still enjoyed poking around. Even though I was missing things, the stuff I wasn't missing was still pretty amazing.

 

Interestingly, Karkarov, my opinion of DA2 is almost the exact opposite of yours (which may be related to my differing opinion of PS:T also). I think the combat and early-game plot is quite weak, but I think the game makes up for it with the later plot and the characters. It might be blasphemy to say on these boards, but I actually really like DA2, specifically because it's willing to use player agency to tell you, in no uncertain terms, that one person is not enough to save the city. In a gaming climate that almost universally equates agency with some sort of crazy power fantasy, this was a freaking breath of fresh air.

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It's sales figures at release prior to becoming a "cult classic" reflect that quite well.

It got rave reviews upon release, so that was hardly it. It sold badly (relative to the other IE games) because it was set in the obscure Planescape setting, whereas Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate were set in the Forgotten Reams, which was a big draw back then. The Fallout games, which also took place in a non-traditional setting, apparently sold even less than Torment.

 

Yes, that's a point I keep in mind each time a poster complains that game companies don't "do something really different". That difference means the game is only going to sell to niche group within an already small market, unless it is heavily promoted or the new setting has a strong following.

 

Perhaps in the end that will become a primary role of Kickstarters: use the contributor funding to develop a market for a niche setting or genre, then base future AAA titles on those that succeed. Thus far, however, the biggest Kickstarter video game successes have been based on nostalgia.

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*snip* Thus far, however, the biggest Kickstarter video game successes have been based on nostalgia.

 

 

I wonder if it's nostalgia, or just being a fan of genres that have practically disappeared. Of course you could argue that those are both the same thing, but to me it seems like there's a pretty important difference.

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I wonder if it's nostalgia, or just being a fan of genres that have practically disappeared. Of course you could argue that those are both the same thing, but to me it seems like there's a pretty important difference.

 

I don't know how much of a split there really is in the community, but I know I can't be the only young person around.

I'm just about to be 21..meaning most of these great cRPGs are nearly as old as I am.

 

I hate when people just try to pass it off as nostalgia, because for people like myself.. that's obviously not even possible, unless someone wants to insinuate I was playing through BG and IWD at the age of 6. My point in this though I guess is.. people can recognize a good genre without being 40 years old with rose-tinted glasses on.

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Ah, a youngin'!

 

Nah, I'm kidding. I'm only 24 myself. The difference is, of course, that I was playing through BG and IWD at age 9. I mean, I was awful at them, but I enjoyed them immensely. So while I don't think I'm supporting this out of nostalgia, I'll admit that I can't rule it out.

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So while I don't think I'm supporting this out of nostalgia, I'll admit that I can't rule it out.

 

I certainly can rule out nostalgia.  I'd never touched an Infinity Engine game before this Kickstarter, so there's clearly some level of appeal that goes beyond nostalgia.

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I have vivid memories of playing the IE games at a young age with my cousin, who was older and Knew Things. And when I say I "played with him, I mean that what I did most of the time was watch him play. Cut to now, and I'm playing through the IE games by myself for the first time. So I have fond memories of the IE games, especially Torment, but I am acutely conscious of each game's flaws in a way I wasn't and couldn't have been as a wee lad. I think this is probably the best position to be in as a backer, because I can be objective about my experience with the games now without having to square that with my nostalgia.

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*snip* Thus far, however, the biggest Kickstarter video game successes have been based on nostalgia.

 

I wonder if it's nostalgia, or just being a fan of genres that have practically disappeared. Of course you could argue that those are both the same thing, but to me it seems like there's a pretty important difference.

 

I'd argue that it is largely the latter. The IE games are routinely criticized here, so there are some who don't see them with too much rose-tint. If you want a tactical RTwP fix, you're going to find your options limited to older titles.

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I have vivid memories of playing the IE games at a young age with my cousin, who was older and Knew Things. 

Universe mystery types of things or horrible reality of the world and the eldrich horrors that slumber below types of things?

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I have vivid memories of playing the IE games at a young age with my cousin, who was older and Knew Things.

Universe mystery types of things or horrible reality of the world and the eldrich horrors that slumber below types of things?

Grown-up things. So, both.

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I've always thought the people who said "Torment should have been an adventure game" were absolutely dead wrong.

 

You know what you usually can't do in an adventure game? Explore an entire town. Talk to everybody you see, from commoners to important people. Kill anybody you want.

 

In the 90s, adventure games were about puzzles. RPGs, even RPGs with bad combat mechanics, gave you freedom.

 

By daring to be an RPG, and not merely an adventure game or a visual novel, Torment became a much more ambitious and satisfying product than it would have been otherwise.

 

If it wasn't an RPG, it would just have been another Sanitarium or I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream - another weird adventure game from the 90s that barely anybody remembers.

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