Turn-based or real time with pause? This dilemma is what keeps inXile up at night. Actually ‘how are we going to spend all this money?’ is probably what keeps them up at night. But being undecided on what combat system to use for spiritual Planescape sequel Torments: Tides of Banana Split can’t help. Do they use a system similar to the Baldur’s and Planescape games of yore, where fights play out in real time but you can pause at any point to dole out orders? Or is the full tactical might of turn-based, as they’re using in Wasteland 2, the way to go?
They’ve decided to ask their 80,000-ish backers. Which means this is ON YOU. If you backed. Maybe you didn’t. In which case, blame a bunch of other people if you don’t like the outcome.
Currently, the team’s preferred option is turn-based, but mindful that this game is only happening thanks to the cash gifts of Planescape fans, they’re checking to see whether their backers would prefer stick to Torment tradition. After a little to chew it over, the backers who wish to influence things are now voting for their preferred option over in the Tides of Gary Numan forum. You can’t access this link if you didn’t back the game, and if you did back the game you probably already have this link, but here it is anyway.
Both mooted systems are detailed in impressive depth over in the latest update on the game, which even outside of this moral dilemma is rich with info on how Tides of Nürburgring’s roleplaying mechanics will work. Clearly they’re not just slapping new graphics over what they’ve built for Wasteland 2.
Also, they’re employing the concept of Crises to encompass any “meaningful encounter that presents a signficant challenge”; this includes but is not limited to combat, and as such the pause-time or turn-based choice will extend to non-combat stuff too. “If Torment has a primarily pacifist playthrough, then players who choose it will be deprived of an entire facet of gameplay. Furthermore, the thought of the bulk of the combat experience being removed for a pacifist player strikes us as undesirable. Wanting to solve challenges and deal with adversaries using cunning or
persuasion shouldn’t preclude enjoying tactical gameplay and tough strategic decisions.” Smart thinking indeed, and I hope they pull it off without having contrived ‘action’.
Much more is written about that in this here inXile Google Doc.