A New And Beautiful Torment

Some amazing and great RPG news happened this week. No, it wasn’t the announcement of Neverwinter’s open beta date, which is scheduled to be April 30th. This is also a great thing, but when I think of Neverwinter right now, I don’t really think of an RPG.

Contrast that to the coming Torment: Tides of Numenera RPG, which VG247 reported yesterday hit $4,028,412 in funding on Kickstarter, not including additional funding on Paypal and internal donations. This is supposedly a new Kickstarter record for funding.

This is fantastic, and proves a solid demand for a real RPG. Well. It either proves that, or it proves that discriminating RPG fans are starved for a good game. The only relief coming that is on the kitty radar is Dragon Age 3 in the fall. The jury is out on Elder Scrolls until we learn more about roleplaying elements. What are those? Just go to the Torment: Tides Kickstarter page and look at the laundry list.

Torment: Tides is of course the spiritual successor to the great RPG, Planescape: Torment (the image above). My favorite feature is one of the first in the stretch goals: choose PC gender, with gender having an impact on dialogues. That wasn’t available in the original game. Fantastic!

Look at the “cults”, too. I like the “Order of Flagellants”.

Those look like some strongly written factions, which were also a hallmark of the original Planescape: Torment. It’s amazing to me how professional “RPG” writers manage to fall short, and this is one of those areas.

Rich, well-written factions are an imperative component of world immersion, and every faction should have a nemesis or other political position, just like main characters themselves. You have to exaggerate these things, also. Look at the success of Game of Thrones.

Your decisions will impact the game world in Torment. You have companions, and if they are like the Planescape: Torment companions, they are going to be amazing. One listed is named “The Toy”. Your first companion in the original Planescape: Torment was a talking skull named Morte, and the next was a Tiefling named Anna.

I completed the original PS:T, one of the relatively small number of games (i.e. Max Payne I and II, and Mafia I and II) that I’ve completed as a male character. The stretch towards the ending was memorable.

The only questionable issue is that Torment:Tides Of Numenera will use a unique new fantasy setting and not the Planescape campaign from Dungeons & Dragons. I was skeptical of the Dragon Age setting when it first released, but it has slowly grown on me. Hopefully the Numenera setting will be rich with goodness and weirdness.

So, Neverwinter. Open beta in three weeks, and no character wipe, supposedly. I’m still on the fence about the game for all sorts of reasons. I’ll definitely play it, but I’d prefer to wait for more classes and races. And ideally hairstyles. Also, I chose the dog for a companion in beta, but I need to check out the human companions, who might be more interesting in their audibles.

Also, I wanted to design adventures in Neverwinter, but I don’t think the F2P aspect will work for me. I’ve already been through this as a UI designer for the Tolkein MMO, which went from an MMO I believed in to a F2P train wreck with lockboxes falling out of orc pockets and $5 charges to color your horse. Per color set.

Having to pay real money for the privilege of letting someone else profit off my efforts (in Neverwinter) would be completely unacceptable to me, and I don’t see how that won’t happen.

Also, the whole point of my writing and design efforts would be to compensate for what is missing in the first place. I’m not complaining, or anything. I just suspect that I’d rather be working on my own Flash game, which will be for me and not for Cryptic/Perfect World.

More Reading:

Escapist Magazine on Torment funding record.
Rock Paper Shotgun article.

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About Silverangel

https://kittykittyboomboom.wordpress.com/ View all posts by Silverangel

2 responses to “A New And Beautiful Torment

  • wumpus

    “Also, I wanted to design adventures in Neverwinter, but I don’t think the F2P aspect will work for me. ” and “Having to pay real money for the privilege of letting someone else profit off my efforts (in Neverwinter) would be completely unacceptable to me, and I don’t see how that won’t happen.”

    This makes little sense. You sound perfectly happy paying an ongoing fee to design adventures for cryptic and have them available on a temporary basis (as long as you pay up), but unwilling to do the same with access to them as long as they profit from them?

    I will certainly admit that marketing exes in MMOs seem more willing to abuse a la carte payment systems over traditional payment systems (please ignore blizzard’s cash for mounts/items/pets), but still fail to see how paying a monthly subscription to design for cryptic amounts to less “paying for cryptic’s profits”.

    • Jackie

      Good morning, wumpus. Some thoughts, despite feeling like I slept in a tent in the woods last night. F2P and DLC interests ruin an RPG game world for me. Right now, Cryptic is selling a $200 founders pack with a spider mount, panther companion, Drow companion, etc. so at launch ppl will be running around Neverwinter with spider mounts. Where did these come from? Oh yes, $200.

      And the panther companion, blatantly selling Drizzt: “Like the famous companion of Drizzt, this fierce and loyal creature will fight by your side.” Really? Why would I want to be involved in this? Why is it even considered acceptable?

      It’s the *feeling* of being nickled and dimed and pressured and advertised for real life money while trying to be an elf and just be happy.

      It’s also an ambience of greed, and more than that it’s constant psychological manipulation using known tactics like marking up and marking down, complicated, confusing currency schemes, etc. It’s gross. As far as my willingness to support LotRO for a sub but not F2P, I don’t *believe* in money money in RPGs or any games, which are sacred and relate to our childhood and innocence. I hate it. So then it’s a matter of supporting that with my childlike, star-dreaming creative energies, which is then unacceptable.

      As far as LotRO, there is another factor that I am a long-time lifer in that game, so the real money intrusion before F2P was completely non-existent. LotRO before F2P was also an underdog. I wanted to get the word out about this great MMO RPG that people should be playing instead of WoW. LotRO went F2P. They are not an underdog anymore. I don’t like the way they treat their customers. I actually went back to WoW and paid a sub. I am a bit more of a WoW fan now.

      I think this will answer your question? Thanks for bringing up the lack of logic. You’re right. Logic helps F2P immensely. It doesn’t help me so much.

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