About Torment's Crisis System

Two related questions from the AMA desk today.

Baudolino05 (aka Alessandro, from our wonderful fan-run Italian tumblr) asks:
What can you tell me about the quest design in T:ToN? I mean: only part of the quests will be handle through Crises, right? As for the remaining part, can we expect complex/interrelated quest-lines? Will they feature puzzle-solving/exploration elements like in the original Torment? No combat at all, right?

Along similar lines, Surface Rfl says:
One additional question more about Crises themselves, since you mention their apparent duration as one reason why saving in TB would be possibly, or most likely, allowed.

Im wondering about their general structure.

Does your answer mean that all of a Crises will be done in TB mode and so be all combat related?  I thought there will be other things to do inside Crises. And usually, for things other then combat, we go back to normal real time gameplay in games like these.

Torment's Crisis system (which we introduced in ridiculous detail here) might best be thought of as our "more than combat" system. Or better yet, think of it as a tabletop encounter, where combat is certainly one way to handle things, but where players have many, many more options available to them as well.

Yes, Crises are all turn-based. But no, they are not necessarily all combat. We use the Crisis system whenever there's some kind of time-based pressure the player must deal with. For example, it would be a Crisis to sneak out of a prison or to try and rescue people from a rampaging horror. In the first case, the pressure comes from the guards who are patrolling or responding to alarms. In the second, of course, it's the horror itself that provides the pressure. In both cases, while combat is a possibility, it's not the ideal solution to the problem.

So the "other things" you can do depend on the individual Crises themselves. You might be repairing (or disabling) ancient devices, persuading people that you're on their side, creating distractions to temporarily stop the horror, etc. We wouldn't be able to do this kind of thing well in a massive dungeon crawl game, but since we're focusing on quality over quantity -- on a dozen or so handcrafted scenarios, woven tightly with the narrative and environment -- we can afford to make each one really interesting.

As for quests, certainly there will be some that result in a Crisis, but just like PST there will be many quests (maybe most quests) that you can solve with just conversation and exploration. We're excited about the Crisis system, but this is still a Torment game, after all, and that means that conversation and narrative are king.

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5 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

"[S]ince we're focusing on quality over quantity -- on a dozen or so handcrafted scenarios, woven tightly with the narrative and environment -- we can afford to make each one really interesting."

That's it. I'm sold. Take my money, please.

Oh ... wait.

Surface Rlf said...

Non combat tasks and gameplay in TB?
Good luck with that.

The pacing and flow will be horrendous.


Ive read the introduction to Crises, btw. It wasn't even close to being ridiculously detailed.
I believe at the time even you guys didnt have all the details down, probably still dont.

Stefan Di Iorio said...

Going to have to side with Surface Rlf on this. If you're just moving units along to escape a level (and we don't know if it's a grid yet), it's going to be slow and not exciting.

Adam Heine said...

Gridless.

And do you really believe we'd design a handcrafted encounter where all you do is move your characters' distance each turn? :-)

Surface Rlf said...

I for one believe that if anyone can create noncombat gameplay in TB, that wont have the most immediately obvious problems of pacing and flow... it is the current Torment dev team.

My comment was aimed as a lite warning, a reminder.