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Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition

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  • #16
    I loved PST back in the day and together with Fall-out 2, BG2 and NWN2 belongs in my list of all-time favorites.

    Yes, it's all about the dialogues and the choices you make. They were meaningful and that was for that time and genre quite innovative. Actually it still is. I don't think any other crpg has ever outdone PST in that regard, and Bioware has tried and failed so many times.

    Your party-members were awesome and interesting. They had a story, character and a will of their own. Only rivaled by BG2 I believe, though in this aspect Bioware came closer, though in Mass Effect and Dragon Age it's a bit formulaic. Do their background quests and pick one to romance. Eh.

    But I haven't played it since way back when in the year 2000 and I doubt the gameplay and -engine are palatable nowadays.

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    • #17
      I feel an urge to come to the defense of both Planescape: Torment and Pillars of Eternity.

      Re: Planescape: Torment and combat. I never felt the combat was so bad that I wanted to avoid fights just to avoid using the engine. In fact, I remember going out of my way to pick fights with random demons in the Hive because I wanted the XP. I remember many occasions where I'd "double-dip" answers to quests, maximizing my XP by killing as many creatures as possible and then finishing with some kind of dialogue-based solution. The interface could be clunky, but I didn't feel bored or unchallenged. It wasn't exceptionally good, but then again I can count the number of RPGs where I thought the combat was exceptionally good on its own on the fingers of one hand.*

      Remember, despite the hype, you absolutely can murder your way through the game. "The dialogue box is the solution to everything" is only true if you let it be.

      Re: Pillars of Eternity and writing. I felt the writing was better than average for both characters and for the plot in general. The range of interactions you could have with your companions is already on par or better than what you could have with most RPGs. It's not to the level of the level of later Bioware RPGs, where your companions had some influence over the direction of the plot (Or, more accurately, how you interacted with your companions influenced the direction of the plot), but I want to emphasize that most games don't do that. In most games, all choice is illusory and your choice of company even more so. Just having characters with unique personalities and sidequests that tie into larger themes in the game is unusual and special on its own, and PoE definitely had that.

      Besides which, Pillars of Eternity did something that I see very few games do - there was a certain motif at the core of its setting, and just about everything you did tied to that motif. PoE's motif was "what if reincarnation was proven fact, and souls were real things that you could interact with?" and the game produced an impressive number of answers to that question. The main quest, every companion's sidequest, and many of the regular sidequests all dealt with issues of the soul, personality, and what morality or spirituality mean in a world where manipulable soul energy is at the root of everything. To me, this gave Pillars of Eternity a level of coherence that I almost never see in videogames, especially not free-roaming RPGs. Free-roaming RPGs usually like to scatter a lot of small, unrelated stories over a wide area with little thought to how they fit together, and I think PoE deserves some credit for avoiding that common trap.

      * Divine Divinity: Original Sin, The Banner Saga, The Witcher 3, and Undertale. Everything else got boring through too much repetition, was too easy or too hard, became a mindless clickfest, was too dependent on luck, was really an FPS with numbers, copied a tired old JRPG turn-based model, etc. I consider it a success if a game's combat is kind of fun and occasionally really challenging. I will accept combat that is at least visually interesting enough that I do not feel like dozing off. My threshold for "bad" combat is when I don't really need to pay any attention to what I'm doing in order to win or I keep accidentally committing the wrong action due to bad interface design.
      Last edited by semicasual; 04-25-2017, 08:29 AM.


      On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

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      • #18
        Does anyone know if PS: T was most people's introduction to the Planescape setting? I've been seeing a lot of posting that say things like unique world and such.

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        • #19
          I'd expect so. The setting didn't have much exposure outside of D&D, the video game would be a huge difference, and a lot of non-tabletoppers likely picked up the game without knowing or expecting what Planescape was.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Ghost View Post
            Does anyone know if PS: T was most people's introduction to the Planescape setting? I've been seeing a lot of posting that say things like unique world and such.
            I imagine so. Remember that Planescape, as a D&D first setting came out in late 94, and Torment came out in 99. So only five years after the initial Planescape setting, which isn't really all that long. Plus, Planescape never quite hit the same popularity that some of D&D's other settings (such as Forgotten Realms, Oerth or Ravenloft) ever reached. So even many D&D players at the time weren't overly familiar with Sigil or the rest of Planescaoe.

            And certainly since then, it's safe to say that Torment's release, I imagine it has absolutely served as many people's first experience with the Planescape setting, especially since Planescape never really got re-examined as a setting in post 2nd edition D&D.

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            • #21
              In 5e Planescape and Ravenloft got eaten by the default setting, although the cosmology is really a merging of the Great Wheel and Great Axis Cosmologies, with a couple of new twists like the border elemental regions and the engery planes now beyond the outer planes. I call it Great Wheel +.

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              • #22
                Torment was certainly my first introduction to Planescape. And I believe the canon eventually adopted Torment's version of Githzerai, because everyone liked Dak'Kon so much.

                Anyway, I'm going to say that yes, Torment's combat kind of is that bad. However, I don't think it should have been a visual novel. Combat, and mechanical advancement, could have been major and enriching parts of the experience. But as it is, they're just there because the game uses Planescape, so it has to also use AD&D.

                Pillars of Eternity is actually relevant here, because it's a good example of a game that captures the experience of a particular tabletop game, without actually replicating the rules - since transplanting tabletop rules to a computer game ends poorly. Shadowrun Returns does the same thing with Shadowrun, and Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines to V:tM. I would absolutely love to see Torment get a similar treatment.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Morty View Post
                  ... transplanting tabletop rules to a computer game ends poorly...
                  Out of curiousity, how do you feel about the Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights series?


                  On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                  Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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                  • #24
                    I will love the Baldur's Gate series to my dying breath, but they're good despite the computerized version of AD&D 2e rules, not because of it. NWN1 I have a certain soft spot for, but it's mostly due to nostalgia - the game was a mess. NWN2 is mediocre at best, since it loses NWN1's best feature, which is modularity - and it doesn't give us much if anything in return.

                    It's not that transplanting tabletop rules to computers can't produce a good or decent game. It's just that it'll be an obstacle, because tabletop games and computer/video games have entirely different needs. That's without getting into my personal opinions about AD&D.
                    Last edited by Morty; 04-27-2017, 06:40 PM.

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