inXile’s Torment Over Pause-Time or Turn-Based

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.


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    Planescape’s appeal was never really in the combat anyway, so I doubt fans would be put out much by a switch to pure turn-based. Well I hope not – that’s where my vote’s going. :D

    • Cinek says:

      Yes, perhaps it wasn’t game greatest appeal, but it was part of what made this game a Planescape: Torment. Making a spiritual successor to it with turn-based combat is a joke. Even more so as it won’t contain almost anything from the original game (completely different lore, completely different character development, completely different RPG mechanics) – but most of that is understandable considering license issues.

      I backed for Planescape: Torment successor. This means real-time combat with pause. If I would want just a generic turn-based RPG – I would back any of a few dozens RPGs that went through Kickstarter in last 2 years.

      IMHO there’s no excuse for having TB combat in “Torment” – especially when Real Time with Auto-Pause feature can give you all the speed and depth that turn-based gameplay got + an option to quickly resolve boring parts (eg. random creep encounters) – something that TB combat never will offer. RTwP is a best of both worlds if done well.

      • GamesInquirer says:

        Turn based is “generic” huh, news to me. Implementations don’t matter, rulesets don’t matter, the rest of the game design doesn’t matter, all the quality and soul hang on one string, whether it’s real time with pause or turn based. Come on. I want real time with pause but get real arguments people, not crap like that. If real time with pause prevails I hope they won’t develop it in an attempt to be faithful to the original implementation because it’s awful.

        • Cinek says:

          They already said that they won’t be implementing direct copy of P:T real-time combat if it wins. Rather something much improved (including auto-pause feature for people who can’t live without having their battles interrupted every half a second).

      • Emeraude says:

        Reposting this from the Kickstarter thread I guess.

        Some people want trash-mob fights to be dealt with more gracefully. They actually enjoy the effect those have on pacing, and the way RTwP shapes the experience differently. Others want them to be removed and done with.

        With TB each of your actions is a choice – and if the game is well designed a meaningful choice – and has to be weighted, whereas in trwp – again if well designed – there is a flurry of meaningless actions, and you get to pause and chose when and where choices happen to be meaningful.

        Basically, the signal to noise ratio is much higher with RTwP, and with it you get – at least the illusion – to chose and *enforce*, by your course of action, what is meaningful and what isn’t.

        I think generally speaking TB supporters want an experience that is compact and undiluted. RTwP supporters wants an experience that leaves them room to breathe and has varying levels of tension.

        Personally, I don’t think either choice is inherently superior, it’s a matter of being the tool most fit for the task, and so far, from what has been described, I’d favor TB. But I really could go the other way if barely a couple things changed/were added.

        For the sake of discussion (incoming minor spoiler, but if you haven’t played Planescape: Torment, what are you even doing here when you should be playing it, you fool ?!):

        – Would an enemy design like the collective-intelligence rats in P:T work gracefully, if at all in a pure turn-based context ? I tend to think RTwP works better for them, with the way the gradual increment in power feels like the player’s mistake disregarding them and/or moving around too fast in that case.
        – Would a situation with several factions fighting and the player character caught in the middle work well in TB ? It could, but again, not really gracefully in my opinion.

        • Josh W says:

          That’s a really interesting analysis. It reminds me of how I wanted to play baldur’s gate, but never could; have hotkeys for different ai scripts, and use that and formations to control the fighters while I micro’d the casters. What I would be doing there is choosing only higher level decisions in low risk fights, and getting to spectate a bit, whereas whenever I needed to I could get focused again (say if I had to start kiting a giant or something).

          It strikes me as a slightly different model of play to “a game is a series of interesting decisions”, because there is at least the idea that the game will glide past like a sort of simulation or moving painting if you let it.

      • Tacroy says:

        Wow, I had been basically ignoring the e-mails because I thought it was obvious which way they should go, but I guess not.

        Look: the reason why the original Torment was RTP is because it was cheap. They already had the Infinity Engine, they just put some time in to customizing it and then spent the rest of their effort making the story they wanted to make. It wasn’t some grand story point or any junk like that; it was strictly to use resources efficiently. If the Baldur’s Gate games had been turn-based, Torment would have been turn-based.

        Forcing InXile to build an entirely new combat engine out of some misguided sense of nostalgia just doesn’t make sense. But then I guess most people pledged out of nostalgia, so I guess asking for sensible fan reactions is a bit much (see: Shadowrun).

        • Cinek says:

          Wow, I had been basically ignoring the e-mails because I thought it was obvious which way they should go, but I guess not.

          Look: the reason why the Devs want Turn-Based Combat is because it is cheap. They already have the turn-based iteration of unity engine, they just put some time in to customizing it and then spent the rest of their effort making the story they want to make. It isn’t some grand story point or any junk like that; it is strictly to use resources efficiently. If the Wasteland 2 had been real-time-based, Torment would have been real-time-based.

          Forcing people who pledged for spiritual successor of Torment to get in an entirely new combat engine out of some misguided sense of TB-superiority just doesn’t make sense. But then I guess some people pledged out of “oldschool RPG” nostalgia, so I guess asking for sensible fan reactions is a bit much.

          • ODCS says:

            “You see, while we haven’t invested much effort into designing TTON’s combat system yet, we have been mulling it over for many months. Early this year, we had no preference, but as other aspects of the game’s design have solidified, a turn-based combat approach has been gaining momentum within the team.” – Kevin Saunders, Project Lead

            If the team thinks Turn-Based works better for the system they want, I’d say that takes precedence over any lame attempt at evoking nostalgia. Besides, you keep making the conflicting argument where you say you’d like RTwP because this game is supposed to be a P:T successor, but then you acknowledge that Planescape’s system was awful and that they should change it, which would only make the attempt at utilizing the original’s nostalgia feel half-assed and pathetic. If they’re going to change it at all (which we all know they most definitely should) then they should change it to what they think works best.

          • DigitalParadox says:

            If the team thought strongly that it should be one way or the other then they wouldn’t have put up a bloody poll to help decide

          • Josh W says:

            Mirroring the structure of someone’s post like that is a little obnoxious, could you not?

      • animeirl says:

        Calling something “generic” just because you don’t like it is silly. I can only think of one recent mainstream game that uses turn based tactical combat in this way, XCOM. Likewise I can think of one recent mainstream real time pause game, Dragon Age. It’s certainly fine to prefer one style over the other but lets discuss them them based on each system’s merits rather than spouting nonsense about how one option is “generic” or not the way (you think) Torment is “meant to be”.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Having some combat and RPG mechanics was integral to Planescape: Torment, but the game being a “joke” if they don’t do exactly the same combat system, really? Sorry but *you* are being the joke right now with your fanaticism.

      • dethtoll says:

        You sound really fun to be around. Do you even bathe?

    • Awesumo says:

      The problem with turn based is that it can break up the flow of the game. It is a very artificial solution, which can break the immersion.

      • GameCat says:

        Yeah. It must be entirely real time OR turn based. Mixing these two approach in a game that wants to tell serious story would be abysmal move.
        Imagine The Walking Dead switching into turn based game everytime you were fighting with zombies. Ugh.

        • Cinek says:

          “Mixing these two approach in a game that wants to tell serious story would be abysmal move.” – rather a perfect compromise to satisfy the needs of Turn-Based boys. If you want full real-time experience – feel free to forget about pause OPTION. Yes – it’s just an OPTION.

        • GameCat says:

          You don’t have to use that pause.
          Also I was talking only about turns, didn’t say a word about pause.

        • WrenBoy says:

          Turn based cutscenes or turn based QTEs?

          • Josh W says:

            I’ve played those! They put them at the start of a lot of games recently.

      • GamesInquirer says:

        So in a real time with pause system you wouldn’t pause because it would break immersion? Lol? If you don’t have to use pause that only means the combat is tuned to real time and doesn’t require as much unit level tactical thinking and micro management (this isn’t a RTS where you command large armies over vast distances which means a delay between clicks and choices doesn’t affect much), in which case it may as well be fully real time without pause. Sure, let’s make it Diabol (my last comment was moderated for writing this in its correct spelling, gah). Or an FPS with the ORift, because immersion!

        • Lamb Chop says:

          I understand the mechanical differences between real-time with pause and turn based but I don’t understand how the designers view turn-based as necessarily creating more impact on individual choices. If you tune combat correctly, pacing can vary greatly from fight to fight and any meaningfully difficult encounter will become at least as tactically rich as a turn-based game. Look at baldur’s gate for this: any major fight at a reasonable difficulty level was executed to force you to maximize your actions, and even manage choices within a single six-second round, especially wrt fighters with fast attack speeds and making the difference between quick and slow casting spells more meaningful. Turn-based pause only has one speed which actually lowers tension in critical fights, because they feel mechanically identical to less significant fights. Of course, they may not be looking to tune combat to the level of a Baldur’s Gate and instead focus on the Planescape style choices, but IMO, turn-based slowing the pace of combat actually emphasizes its prominence in the game and mechanically separates it from the story (okay, turn-based activated, must be time to fight!), whereas it’s more integrated with the overall mechanics in RTWP. IMO, RTWP is the “best of both worlds” for tuning game combat, and I don’t see how it detracts from the choice making, besides perhaps making their crisis decision trees a little bit fuzzier.

          • GamesInquirer says:

            Which of those mechanics can’t you have in turns? Agility stats can be in, allowing faster characters more turns than others, some spells can take more turns to be casted than others and so on. When people say turn based they don’t only mean chess…

            If you’re so tactical with your real time with pause system you’ll want to enable pause on enemy sight and get the exact same oh, it paused, must be time to fight effect. If you can beat the game without that kind of careful pausing that means pausing is useless and the game is a real time action game.

            Either way you’re looking at little people from above in highly stylized visuals and point and click. You’re not immersed in the “you’re really in that world” sense, you’re immersed in the “I’m reading a good book” sense, hopefully, if at all. I don’t really buy the immersion or flow breaking arguments but maybe somehow I’m personally immune to them and that’s how others really feel. Oh well.

            As for the developers not wanting to put much effort therefor proposing turn based, that makes no sense. A badly tuned system is bad regardless, it’s not easier to develop something turn based than real time.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Having to constantly pause breaks the flow of the game way more. To me it feels like playing turns of uneven length.

        You can have much more refined mechanics if your game is turn-based, because everything is precisely quantifiable and the player has time to strategize around every little detail.

    • GamesInquirer says:

      I want real time with pause not because it was in the original or because it’s better than turn based or more immersing or whatever bullshit but because it’s equally great when done right yet isn’t used as often (in good games, so skipping Bioware’s relatively recent catalog like Dragon Age). Wasteland 2 which I backed is turn based, as are other recent or promising CRPGs like Expeditions Conquistador and Antharion (I backed the latter also). Real time with pause was great in Icewind Dale 1 and can only get better with a ruleset that doesn’t have the flaws of those old DnD based games. Actually, if they used DnD rules I would want it turn based like Temple of Elemental Evil which had better combat compared to the IE games’ attempts to make it real time with pause. For a recent example of good real time with pause check out Aarklash: Legacy. It’s not exactly a modern classic but combat wise it’s pretty damn great. I’m sure Inxile could do better.

      Edit: actually, I just remembered Numenera is based on a pen and paper RPG too. Then it might be better to go turn based to ensure the quality of the rules and systems a la Temple of Elemental Evil rather than try to tweak and adjust and hack their way around turning it into a real time system instead. For real time I’d rather have all new systems tuned to that, much like Aarklash: Legacy. Well, this is sure turning out to be one hell of a dilemma.

    • Lemming says:

      If they go turn-based, they are limiting themselves to 5-6 enemies per battle, max. Otherwise, it’ll get tedious. So that means straight away, in this world, you are limiting yourself regarding what kind enemies you’ll face. No ‘swarm’ types like Gibberlings in BG, or Cranium Rats in PS:T.

      At the very least, RT+pause doesn’t limit your design in that regard.

      Additionally, but cut from the same cloth, easier enemies will become a chore. I think people forget how tiresome it could be going into TB-combat mode to fight rats/mole-rats one after the other in Fallout when they were split up across the map.

      • Solgarmr says:

        They’ve stated before in one of the updates (can’t remember which) that TTON wouldn’t feature endless waves of enemies or pointless rat killing. The stated goal as far as I remember was for every combat encounter to be important to the story progression.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        You wanna have swarms in turn-based combat? Just make several creatures move and attack at the same time as if they were one creature. Done. The important thing is that the player can move his characters one by one.

    • Alecthar says:

      Agreed, I loved Torment, but frankly I don’t really even remember much of the combat. The dialogue, the characters, the setting, the plot? Hell yeah, but particular fights, not so much. Frankly, if you wanted Infinity Engine-based combat, you were vastly better off with Icewind Dale I or II, depending on which D&D ruleset you preferred.

      I’m especially intrigued by the devs discussion of combat being a part of “Crises.” I’m feeling really good about their desire to making any combat you do engage in meaningful in the context of the game, as opposed to just random trash you have to hack through on your way from Point A to Point B. I could care less how they implement things, so long as you’re given tools in combat that allow you to make meaningful and interesting decisions.

  2. skyturnedred says:

    Tides of Numanumayei.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Tides of Manamana… to too be doo doo doo

      • c-Row says:

        It’s the New Men Era! *cues Village People songs*

        • grimdanfango says:

          During the kickstarter, Notch refered to it in some tweet as “Torment: Tides of Something Something”… which has stuck in my head ever since.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Makes me think of Seinfeld, where in the Newman Era, you get to play as a postal worker with delusions of grandeur (control the post, control the info, control the world!). I boringly think of the game as the actual name – Numenera (or Tides of Numenor, Lotr mod please :P), but I guess RPS can’t help joking about Tides of “Weird” Fantasy Name.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Planescape: Tides of Gary Numan.

      • Furius says:

        pretty much definitely sure Alec did that one in the article

        • Eddy9000 says:

          Well that’ll teach me to post without reading. Thank you.

      • Rao Dao Zao says:

        Don’t care if Alec already said it, I’d totally shell out for Tides of Gary Numan expansion. Instead of the Nameless One, you are the last robot left alive at the end of civilisation? Yes please!

    • icarussc says:

      Tides of Numa Numa? Anybody?

      • Josh W says:

        I ended up humming that it the shops, think of the consequences man!

  3. Meat Circus says:

    As much as I adore PS:T, I tend to hold its combat system as a gold-plated example of what not to do.

    If it must be RTwP, make sure it’s nothing like PS:T’s RTwP please.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Bad as it was, it was nothing compared to Arcanum. At least I was able to finish Planescape in spite of its combat.

      • ViktorBerg says:

        Arcanum’s realtime combat was abysmal, but the turn-based system was pretty decent. That’s the combat system the game was supposed to ship with originally, until Sierra stepped in and tried to “appeal to a wider demographic” by forcing Troika to hamfist a realtime option into the game. At least it’s not mandatory…

        And yes, Arcanum is one of my favorite games, and I’ve completed it many times despite the lackluster combat.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        I seem to remember Arcanum’s turn-based option being embarrassingly broken, such that the first difficult fight in the game was so much easier to win in real time.

        “Don’t try to do both” is certainly a good lesson to learn from that.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          Same thing in X-Com Apocalypse. The game was designed for pausable real-time and it’s horribly broken in turn-based. Brainsuckers and Hyperworms got harder but everything else is laughably easy in comparison.

          I prefer real-time with pause over pure turn-based for CRPG’s. It’s so much more convenient for the many lesser fights you will have but it’s still possible to have all the depth from a turn-based system if done right.
          You don’t get the weird abstraction of “everything is really happening at the same time, you just have to imagine it”. Plus it’s seamless between regular gameplay and battles. No “ENTERING TURN-BASED COMBAT” *swoooosh*. (Fallout did an excellent job but still has a descrepancy between the regular game and the combat).

          The “True RPG’s of the past” were forced to be turn-based because of technical limitations rather than as a design choice.
          I love turn-based games though, strategy, puzzle games, tactical RPG’s and games where the combat is designed to be like a board game (Xcom for example). But not in CRPG’s.

    • Cinek says:

      And still it doesn’t even come close to awfulness of turn-based combat like in Shadowrun: Returns.
      That’s a true achievement.

      • Emeraude says:

        I certainly wouldn’t describe SR’s combat as awful.

        There *is* a whole spectrum inhabiting the space between “awesome!” and “awful!”.

        • Lemming says:

          Yeah that puzzled me too. I don’t think Shadowrun Returns’ combat stands out as anything but par-for-the-course TB combat. If anything, the Decking makes it more interesting than it ordinarily would be.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        I guess it means you were awful at it, because it’s a pretty competent combat system. What was lacking is scenarios that used all the special abilities of your runners better.

        • Alecthar says:

          SR is pretty much a textbook example of providing an interesting system but doing too little with it. That said, I’m hopeful we’ll see further content packs, and I’m especially excited to see what people do with the creation tools.

  4. derbefrier says:

    I am not a backer but I hope its turn based. Real time with a pause button was never something I really liked but was forced to endure it to play those games. It also makes coop a pain in the ass.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      And coop in turn-based when the coop partner initiates combat on the other side of the area would also be a pain in the ass on the larger maps. :P
      Imagine playing Baldur’s Gate with 5 other players and everyone had access to pause with space bar.

  5. WrenBoy says:

    In case any non backers are interested about 10k people have voted so far and there are only 4 votes separating the two choices.

  6. Don Reba says:

    It hasn’t gone to voting yet, but that’s planned for once all the backers who wish to have chewed the topic over in the Tides of Gary Numan forum.

    In fact, it went to voting yesterday. You are two weeks late in posting this.

    • Cinek says:

      Yep. And it seems like each time I visit the forum – different side is winning. lol.

      I don’t understand why the heck is it even being voted?

      It was suppose to be a spiritual successor to Torment. That all by itself means perfected Real-Time with Pause (whatever by improved mechanics, queueing, AI, added auto-pausing or other features necessary to get better user experience).

      If they wanted to make Turn-based RPG inspired by some old game – they should have made Fallout: Tides of Numenera.

      • WrenBoy says:

        You keep saying that but the combat was dreadful in Torment and has nothing to do with the reason it is so well liked.

        If it was a spiritual successor to Baldurs Gate I could see where you are coming from but youre overplaying your hand here a bit.

        • Cinek says:

          I never said I want direct copy of Torment combat, just like I never said I want game with graphics on a level of Torment. I want an improved iteration of it – including all of the “comfort zone” features for Turn-Based people.

          • WrenBoy says:

            What you said was that it would be a joke for any Torment successor not to have rtwp combat. The narrative style and the theme are what gave Torment its identity though not the combat.

            Whichever they end up choosing will have no impact on whether the game is a worthy successor or not.

  7. Michael Fogg says:

    I’m not a backer but what I’d like to see most is a stop-and-go (or plan-and-execute) system. I wish more games did that, it really emphasises planning and predicting the enemy’s moves. Otherwise I’d prefer real time with pause over full turn based.

    • Sakkura says:

      Yeah, that’s the main reason I voted for real-time with pause instead of turn-based; the latter can feel very artificial. People take turns in Chess or Worms, but not when they’re shooting arrows at each other or swinging swords etc.

      • Shieldmaiden says:

        It’s an interesting point, but I think it’s rendered moot by the fact that melee combat in games resembles an actual sword fight about as much as Worms resembles the habits of actual worms. As long as it’s about clubbing people with weapons while their hit points go down, it’s going to be artificial.

        • Cinek says:

          That’s a moot point, cause you don’t fight in close-up mode. You play in tactical overview, It doesn’t matter if pixels move few left or right. It matters how the action progresses, and that’s completely fucked up with turn-based gameplay when one character waits for another to move around.

          • Shieldmaiden says:

            The viewpoint is irrelevant. Arguing against turn-based because it’s artificial and unrealistic is moot because the real-time alternative is just as artificial and unrealistic. There are plenty of good points in support of real-time, but “it’s more realistic” simply isn’t one of them.

          • Sakkura says:

            I wasn’t talking about how realistic it is or isn’t. I was talking about how it FEELS. And TB does tend to FEEL more artificial than RTWP, even though both are technically very artificial because they use hitpoints and all that.

            But the point is how it affects immersion.

          • Shieldmaiden says:

            Fair enough. Personally, I don’t find games with point and click interfaces even the slightest bit immersive. It’s a combination of being removed from the action visually and that it always feels like giving orders for someone to follow, rather than being in direct control.

          • Nick says:

            how it FEELS to YOU maybe.

      • Michael Fogg says:

        To clarify, what I mean by a stop-and-go system is the Combat Mission model, which is real time with pause, only the pauses happen every fixed amount of time (say, 10 seconds) and you ordinarily can’t issue any orders during the real time part. It is probably THE most realistic of combat systems, as it thins the micromanagement and takes into account the delay in the processing of orders.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      +1 Just because it’s an original suggestion amongst all the bickering. I really liked Frozen Synapse and I’m curious how it’d work in a fantasy settings with spells and all kinds of cool stuff.

      The downside to such a system (and to an extent to Pausable Real Time) is that nothing happens while you’re planning, which can be a bit tiring and demotivating. With turn-based the action happens in small chunks, each of which is significant.

  8. Shieldmaiden says:

    I’m hoping for turn-based. Backers, vote turn-based, I will give you cookies!

    • Don Reba says:

      I did, but RTwP is still winning by a small margin.

      • Sakkura says:

        Interesting. I voted right when the poll opened (well, within 4 minutes of receiving the email about it), and kept an eye on it for the first 10-15 minutes. Turn-based took the lead early on, despite my vote to the contrary.

      • Szpil says:

        It’s not about ‘winning by a small margin’ though. The team has a pretty clear idea about what they want, they just want reassurence by their backers. I cannot see them change their own preference towards TB if there is just a small margin in favor for RTwP.

        • Don Reba says:

          They said in advance their preference is with TB, though.

          You see, while we haven’t invested much effort into designing TTON’s combat system yet, we have been mulling it over for many months. Early this year, we had no preference, but as other aspects of the game’s design have solidified, a turn-based combat approach has been gaining momentum within the team.

      • luukdeman111 says:

        it’s currently RTwP: 4940
        TB: 4955

        Which is absolutely ridiculously close…

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      pls giv cookie nao

      I generally don’t bother reading Kickstarter update emails unless I’m expecting something, so this was the first I heard of it. Registered and voted for turn-based of course, as I’ve never seen a RTwP game with interesting tactical decisions.

      They do say at the top of the page that the vote isn’t binding, and without a clear winner either way I can only imagine that they’ll simply do whatever they think is best.

      • Cinek says:

        I recommend meeting Knights of the Old Republic series on higher difficulty levels.

        • HadToLogin says:

          KoTOR has (weird-in-name) real-time-Turns based combat. You can move in real time, but outside of moving, actions are played in turns – one time you make your Sniper Shot someone will try to evade, then you’re avoiding his shot.
          Not really turn based, but not real time too (for example, if you moved too long you can’t start shooting right away, you need to wait for next turn for your action).

        • xao says:

          Having played the KotoR games, I will gladly take a turn-based approach over that sort of shallow combat system. I loved both games, but man was that combat terrible. There was little tactical depth and very few reasons to do anything other than buff up, spam attack of choice, and heal when necessary. I don’t want a combat system that I can automate with a few hundred lines of code.

        • Diatribe says:

          Most fondly remembered “real time with pause” games use a stupid bastardized version of turn based anyway. KOTOR (1 & 2) both have hidden rounds. You attack so many times per round (based on feats/abilities), then you stand there and wait until it’s your turn to attack again.

          Neverwinter Nights (1 & 2) does the same thing.

          So do the Infinity Engine games. Those are all based on AD&D 2nd Ed. adapted to a computer. Thus, they all use hidden turn based rules.

          Why not just cut out the middle man and use a turn based system rather than a hidden turn based system when you aren’t sure exactly when to pause so that your characters do something you don’t want and forfeit the rest of their actions for the next 6 seconds or so? Also, the devs don’t have to assume you’ve automatically set your game to pause every 6 seconds (which interferes with whatever “flow” you’d get from RTwP anyway) when tuning challenge level, and don’t have to program an additional AI (that you’ll override every chance you get, because it’s stupid… see, e.g., every RTwP game ever).

          Turn-based seems like a no-brainer. I’m amazed it’s so close.

      • WrenBoy says:

        I voted turn based but the Baldurs Gate games had pretty fun combat surely.

  9. karthink says:

    I think the Torment team’s Crises mechanic is far more interesting to talk about than this debate.

    RPGs always have much more detailed and granular combat than any of the other mechanics. Anything involving dialog is often nothing more than a stat check, and the lack of unified non-combat mechanics means everything else tends towards bespoke and often illogical adventure game puzzles. They’re attempting to do something about it with the Crisis design.

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      It’s definitely an interesting design issue, and one that has been done to death in tabletop RPGs for the last few years. The big stumbling block seems to be introducing mechanics where none are needed. For example, there are RPGs that have mechanics for resolving interpersonal conflict in the same way that combat would be resolved. The idea behind this is that these elements are just as important to a RPG as combat, if not more so, so they should be treated as such. However I’ve found that this can mean adding unnecessary complexity. I don’t need rules for my argument with Lord Beechwood because I can just role-play it. If it comes to a fight, then the rules need to come out because I can’t just fight a duel with the GM (unless it’s LARP, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish.)

  10. internisus says:

    As with Thief’s constant flip-flopping, I find myself disturbed here by the apparent lack of conviction that the developer has for its own design. Fundamental decisions should not be made in this manner. Surely someone who has shepherded the project to this point ought to have a vision of how the game will play, no? Stop asking my opinion and trying to please everyone; simply deliver the game that you want to make.

    Perhaps I am oversimplifying or failing to understand the situation here, but this is how these kinds of stories leave me feeling.

    • karthink says:

      You are indeed failing to understand the situation here. They appear to have a pretty clear vision for the game. If you are interested enough, you can read the last few updates on Kickstarter to see why they are considering both approaches.

    • InternetBatman says:

      They have focused far more on narrative, and the Numenera setting is supposedly pretty weak at telling you how to actually run combat. Realistically, I think they’re looking for backer sanctioning of a shift they want to make that moves them away from PST.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      That’s what makes me feel Kickstarter projects are more a Fan Participation Experience than classic game development.

    • Fox89 says:

      Yeah this is a slightly different situation. Eidos: “Well, our vision was to have X system, but seeing as you all kicked up a fuss about it we’re going to cancel it.”

      InXile: “I think we could make the game work equally well with either system X or system Y, so I can’t quite decide which. What do you think?”

  11. kael13 says:

    Turn-based games aren’t real games.

  12. InternetBatman says:

    I voted for Real Time with Pause. Unless there’s a major shift though, I think InXile just put themselves in the uncomfortable decision of having to decide the answer to a perennial argument. It’s been within 150 votes the entire time and there are good arguments for both.

    • Oozo says:

      From the update:

      “Please remember that this vote is advisory only.”

      The fact that there are arguments both for and against it is, I figure, the reason they asked in the first place. I don’t think they will feel obliged to follow the majority, especially not if it’s such a close call — they can have the confidence that the fans see it the way they see it.

    • Emeraude says:

      Yeah, I find it quite ironic that a game that supposedly focuses on meaningful interactions and decision making will start its creation by offering such a violently polarizing choice, and in all probability suffer from it by dividing the community backing it.

      Personally haven’t voted yet. I see little reason to do so when the vote happens to be purely advisory and we voters are condemned to be lacking enough data to make an informed decision.

      Still, the whole discussion around the vote as been so far relatively interesting, which made the whole thing worthwhile, I guess.

  13. Keyrock says:

    I voted turn-based. The team themselves is leaning toward turn-based so if it winds up 50/50 (which it basically is at the moment) or 51/49, or even 55/45 or 60/40, I think they’ll still make it turn-based. I think it would have to be a 2 to 1 ratio favoring RTwP for the devs to go in that direction. That’s based on the highly scientific method of pure speculation with absolutely no facts whatsoever to back it up.

    My reasons for voting turn-based:

    1) It’s nearly universally accepted that the combat in Planescape: Torment was the weakest aspect of the game. Why mimic that?

    2) The Numenera PnP system, which this game will be adapting for its use, naturally lends itself to turn-based much better than real-time, even more so than most PnP systems. The effort system, which is at the very core of Numenera, would be difficult to translate into real-time and would most likely force the players to constantly pause the game to assign effort to actions, which would effectively make the game turn-based anyway, just a much uglier and less robust turn-based.

    3) inXile already had a turn-based framework set up from making Wasteland 2. It would be much quicker and easier to tweak that system to accommodate TToN than to build a new RTwP system from the ground up and tweak the core Numenera rules to accommodate it. That extra time that would go into making the RTwP system would be better spent elsewhere, like character development, reactivity, world building, quest design, etc.

    • InternetBatman says:

      1. Just because a mechanic is poorly used in one game does not mean it is a poor mechanic. If I thought hexes ruined Civ V, that still wouldn’t be adequate justification to call for an elimination of hexes from all games.

      2. Slider and recharge timer, or different real time modes which drain focus at different rates. Honestly, focus doesn’t seem that much different from a mana-based system. Also, most RTwP games spend a substantial amount of time in the pause phase anyways and it is different, but neither uglier nor less robust than TB.

      3. Torment is using much of the technology from Project Eternity, which is real time too. Similarly, Wasteland 2 is a classless system while TToN has classes. Any combat system they use is going to need a significant revamp anyways.

      • Diatribe says:

        What fondly remembered RPGs used real time with paused without a hidden turn-based system under the hood? I honestly can’t ever remember RTwP being used well.

        • Nick says:

          Yeah, all the infinity engine ones had the round/turn system under the hood.. as did Dragon age. I think Dragon Age 2 didn’t, but thats hardly that fondly remembered by most people.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          Not an RPG but tactics with RPG-ish character mechanics – The UFO Trilogy. The combat system was the only good thing in those games though.
          I would love to see it done by a competent developer in a melee-heavy fantasy RPG with animated actual melee combat, like KOTOR’s lightsaber duels but without *spam flurry*.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      1. Good Argument
      2. Good Argument
      3. Good Argument

      You win!

  14. lanelor says:

    Real RPGs are turn-based.

  15. Szpil says:

    This still has a bit of a funny taste to me. The actual design team clearly said that they favor TB combat for their game. And they listed a lot of good reasons to do so, far more then there are for RTwP. Yet, they put up this vote… I honestly hope they do not let themselves be pushed towards something they do not see fit into the game as good as their initial preference.

    btw: Torment: Tides of Nürburgring is clearly my favorite!

    • Werthead says:

      Not entirely. Early on the default assumption was that this would be RTWP, because PLANESCAPE: TORMENT was. Given that NUMENERA uses a top-down, TORMENT-esque viewpoint, has a similar philosophical/story viewpoint and similar gameplay overall, it was just assumed they’d do the same with combat. PROJECT ETERNITY, which I suspect shares a large number of backers with this game, were adamant that their game would be RTWP because of the ‘BALDUR’S GATE spiritual successor’ approach, which may have led to the feeling that NUMENERA would do the same thing.

      Changing to a turn-based approach is clearly a big deal, so they wanted to throw it out there to the backers (many of whom may have backed solely on the assumption this would be RTWP, after all) to have their say, which seems fair enough. Just saying, “It’s turn-based now,” would have led to an outcry from all those people who pledged thinking it would be RTWP.

  16. fooga44 says:

    Let’s face it infinity engine “RPG’s” never really had a combat system. You equiped, targeted, and watched your guys play out the combat.

    Torment was more a visual novel then an RPG. If anything Infinity Engine RPG games were the stepping stone to movie based RPG’s like dragon age.

    Strict D&D rules never fit videogame combat systems very well and this debate is really about how ancient D&D rules were never meant to be transplanted to a real-time action oriented medium like videogames.

    People loved torment for it’s story, not for it’s gameplay. Basically torment was like a forgotten realms novel for nerds lets face this. If they are going to do realtime combat many of us will just cheat/skip combat to get to the story pieces. But if the story of this new game sucks there’s no good game left without a decent combat system.

    I think that they’re asking the audience is proof that they know that the games they made back then had next to no gameplay and was all D&D nerd story telling. They know it sucks and are unsure of what is fun.

    That’s a sign that the designers of these games ‘are without a clue’.

    • Fumarole says:

      Strict D&D rules never fit videogame combat systems very well […]

      The Temple of Elemental Evil would like to have words with you.

    • Arren says:

      You make Cinek look reasonable by contrast.

  17. Renevent says:

    I really hope they go with turn based.

  18. Cinek says:

    I can’t imagine this game being turn-based.

    They removed most of the stuff from Planescape, and they want to remove combat mechanics too? That’s ridiculous.
    Add to this a fact that all of my favourite RPGs ever got real-time combat – and you got the answer. RTwP all the way.

    • fooga44 says:

      “I can’t imagine this game being turn-based.”

      Then you can’t imagine how most people skipped the auto-combat (where the computer played for you). The “realtime combat” was not really combat, since the computer did all the work.

      • Cinek says:

        And some people are idiots. That’s this kind of argument. RTwP can have as much strategic depth and control as turn-based combat, without all the hassle TB requires (just add auto-pause for those willing, and you have TB combat, without throwing Real Time out of the window)

        • Emeraude says:

          And TB can be far quicker and efficient than RTwP: just allow for animation skipping and keep AI programming for PCs, with the turns only pausing when something that isn’t AI -pre-programmed occurs.

          But then people will blame the game for playing itself, à la FFXII I guess (in many respects a good example of RTwP in my opinion)

        • Nick says:

          no it can’t have just as many options and depth as turn based combat.

      • Deano2099 says:

        Yup, we sure did. And a shift to turn-based where we can’t easily skip the combat to get back to the interesting part of the game is not a step forwards.

      • Volcanu says:

        This rather implies there was no strategy and no skill in combat in the infinity engine games. Something I would disagree with quite strongly. If all you did was “equip, target and watch your guys go” then I guarantee you would end up dead in any of the high level encounters in any of the Baldurs Gate games.

        RTwP was every bit as tactical. Just because you don’t have “action points” to spend and allocate you still had ’rounds’ which had a major impact on the game.

    • Emeraude says:

      They removed most of the stuff from Planescape

      They removed Planescape. Period. Weren’t shy about it too.

      And however much I’m a huge fan of the setting, I still think the choice – forced-hand or not – is for the better.
      The whole grotesque, compellingly weird and alien feel of the original game couldn’t really be replicated if going in knowing all the factions and political intricacies already.

  19. Themadcow says:

    As a backer I’m not really too bothered. RTwP if implemented with decent functionality is pretty much turn based (look away now Codex) if you set it up to auto-pause on certain triggers. On that basis, although my preference is for pure turn based I don’t think it would be a disaster if it wasn’t.

    On the other hand, if you really dislike pure turn-based then a decision in it’s favour could have a serious negative impact on your enjoyment.

    • InternetBatman says:

      This is especially true since even the real time version is based on rounds, and thus not fully real-time anyways. It’s more like simultaneous turn-based vs. one at at a time turn-based.

  20. prian says:

    I don’t quite understand why they are doing this.

    If they made the decision, by themselves, and presented to their backers people would be like: okay, that’s a design decision and I backed that.

    By presenting the question to their backers they will piss off the backers who don’t get their way. The people who do not get their choice will believe, fairly, that they aren’t getting the game that they backed. So.. what then? Since supporting a game via kickstarter isn’t exactly a pre-order they can’t really get their money back for discovering that what they backed isn’t what they thought it was going to be.

    In my view: dumb decision by inXile to do this. This will end badly.

    • Themadcow says:

      If nothing else, it’ll answer (to some extent) the question over whether the RPG playing community prefers TB or RTwP which has been going on for 15 or so years. If the answer is 50/50 then so be it – I applaud the fact that they’re actively engaging their funders in a serious game design issue. In the 6 or 7 projects I’ve backed so far this is the first time I’ve felt like I’m voting on something genuinely important.

      • Cinek says:

        “If nothing else, it’ll answer (to some extent) the question over whether the RPG playing ” – it won’t.
        On one side we have a fact that this game was suppose to be spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, what means RTwP.
        On the other hand you have devs who already made up their mind on turn-based combat because this way they can simply re-skin Wastelands 2 mechanics.

        It’s not really representative to the overall question of what kind of RPGs people prefer.

        • Emeraude says:

          On one side we have a fact that this game was suppose to be spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, what means RTwP.

          What means *for you*.
          I know many a P:T fan who thinks the combat should have simply been excised from the game, or at the very least hated the RTwP in it.
          They – maybe misguidedly – are welcoming a chance to correct what to them was mistake and a plight on the original game.

          • Cinek says:

            And I know many people who enjoyed real-time combat, not only in Torment buy many other games (Baldur’s Gate being one of primary examples).

            I know that *for you* turn based combat is be-all-end-all but here we got a rare chance to improve upon original while still sticking to the overall mechanics possibly making a masterpice of RPG combat. No reason to give it up just because TB mechanics are cheap and easy.

          • Emeraude says:

            Re-read my other posts: I don’t favor TB. I haven’t even voted yet. Probably won’t, and while so far I think TB happens to be the most fitting solution, I would have gone with RTwP with no problem IF the developer had presented different information about their end-aim for the game design.

            And you missed the point: you are presenting as indisputable truth what is merely an opinion.

          • Deano2099 says:

            Actually some of us that thought the combat should be excised from the game entirely are worrying that it’ll be a lot more drawn out and time-consuming to grind through it on easy to get back to the game if it goes turn-based.

          • Emeraude says:


            The point wasn’t that those people necessarily preferred TB but that for them a P:T follow up didn’t necessarily entail the use of RTwP,, as was being argued.
            That being said I do know a few who *do* feel combat would have better been left excised and *do* prefer TB.

        • Asurmen says:

          How is a simple A or B question with this many backers not representative how how people prefer their combat in RPGs?

      • InternetBatman says:

        Project Eternity hasn’t had much voting, but they have consistently changed the UI in response to forum criticism, and I think it’s better for it.

  21. BTAxis says:

    Another vote for turn-based here. I prefer the more formalized rules of engagement turn-based tends to bring over the chaos typically associated with RTwP.

    • Cinek says:

      There’s as much chaos in RTwP as there is in TB. It’s all about how you use the pause and how you control the game.

  22. Hypnotron says:

    something as fundamental as this should not be left to the backers. It should have been decided by the time the kickstarter was pitched. It’s not fair now to have half of the backers disappointed that their system lost in the vote.

  23. Strangerator says:

    This should be contingent upon how the combat system is shaping up.

    For me, RTwP worked for Baldur’s Gate because typically only spellcasters needed much micromanagement, where fighters could be assigned to attack a target and you could just let them keep attacking. RTwP DID NOT work so well in Dragon Age Origins, because every single type of character needed to be using a separate active ability at any given time. If this new Planescape game is going all-out with active abilities, where every character needs attention anyway, then they might as well go with turn-based.

    • Asurmen says:

      How did it not? You’d still be queueing abilities and then unpausing to let those abilities work before possibly pausing to do it all over again. Hell, a lot of the more mundane fights you just told your party to attack and left them to real time everyone to death.

    • onodera says:

      Have you tried to set up the AI on your fighters? It worked quite well for sword-and-board builds and reasonably well for the rest.

      • xao says:

        I submit that if you can script your combat effectively with just a handful of triggers (which you definitely could in Dragon Age), that your combat system is on the shallow end of the spectrum. I don’t want a system that allows me to replace user commands with even a couple hundred lines of script. I want to make meaningful choices in combat as well as in conversation, and turn-based combat can offer superior tactical depth.

        I understand other players prefer a more streamlined combat experience and there’s nothing wrong with that preference.

  24. deadfolk says:

    It sounds to me like they know which way they want to go, but want to make sure that they’re not going to be hit with an outcry from 90% of the fanbase before the final decision is made.

    Imagine if Maxis had held a vote on whether SimCity should go with small cities where you could follow individual sims or large cities with a higher-level simulation…

    By the way – turn-based.

  25. sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

    Obviously the answer is a cover based FPS shooter

  26. DrGonzo says:

    It’s not set in the same universe, won’t share the same characters, and won’t share the same gameplay mechanics as the first? I don’t see how this is a follow up at all and it’s sounding less and less appealing all the time. It just isn’t a follow up to Planescape without Sigil in it.

  27. aliksy says:

    Turn based sounds more appealing. I liked ToEE’s combat. Baldur’s Gate games’ combat was kind of okay, I guess? I really dislike the “there are turns happening in the background, but we’re going to pretend it’s real time” like you got in Neverwinter Nights.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      The proper way to do pausable real-time is to *not* have the kind of behind-the-scene turns like Baldur’s Gate but to base it on actual time flow.
      One of the few things the UFO trilogy did right (not X-Com but Aftermath, Aftershock, Afterlight). Every action take specific time to perform and actions queue up per character. Different weapons take different time to use and depending on aim type – snapshot, aimed shot etc. And actual movement speed instead of just tiles/hexagons per turn. Time flow speed can also be changed on-the-fly between paused, slow motion, normal and fast. Auto-pause can be set to different events, like empty action queue, low HP etc.

      Actual melee duels with parries etc. would also be possible.

  28. kud13 says:

    Chalk me up for real-time.

    yes, combat in P:T was often a chore. But you know what? in a lot of instances, because of RTwP I could just run past all the random encounters. If it was TB, i’d be forced to deal with them, and when you did have to fight, you’d be responding to minute changes–which is far more engrossing than TB, where you can often predict ahead of time what’ll happen.

    Like some of the others here, i’m generally fairly hands-off with KS projects I support–I give my money, because I support the idea of a game, and want to see the vision of the game get made–I tend not to get bogged down in details of how the devs decide to express the vision.

    That being said, I’m glad inExile asked this question. Numenera’s meant to be a story-focused game. I feel that having the game throw me into TB combat mode every time there’s an encounter would break the flow of the game.

    • Machocruz says:

      Perhaps the game won’t have any kind of “flow” to begin with. Do you even have a working definition of the term, in the context of an isometric RPG where you act as the mind of several different characters? Is there a design document at Inxile that describes “flow” and whether putting “flow” in the game is a goal of theirs? Is it measurable? Maybe it doesn’t exist or doesn’t apply to this game or any games. Seems like one of those terms like “immersion” that people like to trot out as an argument, but they provide no support as to how it works or how it is created. Basically, buzzwords in place of an actual argument.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        You don’t have to sound so aggressive. He’s probably talking about the discrepancy of being thrown back and forth between real-time exploration and turn-based combat.

        • Machocruz says:

          What about the discrepancy between standing around talking to NPCs one minute, then walking to a location the next, then maybe a riddle, then walking some more, then maybe a fetch quest, then a puzzle, then talking again, etc -all things the player found themselves doing, in real-time, at any given stretch of time during Planescape:Torment? What kind of “flow” is that, and how does one measure it? And why doesn’t that paint the picture of fluidity? Where is the “flow” in a game where you will be performing any number of different actions without a consistent pattern or pace? Or maybe the notion of “flow” isn’t relevant to CRPGs at all.

  29. cpt_freakout says:

    This is already lots of fun in terms of discussion. I think the two systems are not entirely incompatible, and whichever inXile decide to go with will probably be heavily modified by the points, opinions, and suggestions of backers involved. In other words, thanks to this being subjected to a vote, it is probable that the devs will come out quite the wiser about what they can do about the combat system without resorting to the preconceptions we all have about a RTwP RPG or a TB one. I don’t expect we will see a hybrid, but I do definitely expect that the combat will be a compelling, perhaps innovative take on what we all know and love from both systems, whichever comes out on top.

  30. Dave Tosser says:

    Something as crucial as this shouldn’t go to the backers. Core game design should not decided by screaming masses.

    • InternetBatman says:

      At the same time, the TB crowd shouldn’t sneer that TB is more complex or intelligent than real time games. There have been competent and intelligent games that were turn-based, real time with pause, very slow real time, and fairly quick real time.

    • xao says:

      Which is why inXile clearly stated that this vote is advisory, not determinative. That said, if a dev feels like either system can work, why on earth wouldn’t they find out if their customers had a strong preference?

    • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

      They aren’t screaming masses, they are the guys and gals that actually put their money were their mouth is and are thus financing the whole game. There would be no PST2 without the backers so I say that Inxile is getting it right in giving the backers a say-so in the design of the game. After all, this is basically the same tipe of relationship that CEOs and Investors and the Board have with non indie studios.

  31. Frank says:

    As a nonsupporter who will buy the game sooner or later, I say… go with whatever is easier to implement. RTWP seems like a finicky system with all sorts of edge cases (what happens if you pause in the middle of X? how can we make RT/continuous cooldowns clear on the UI?) and you’ve already got the base on which to build a TB solution it sounds like, so….TB

    My experience with Infinity Engine games, (having played BG 1 & 2) is that they’re perfectly grind-able, so the combat is generally not a serious affair. If that is not the case here, that’s all the more reason to go with TB. On the other hand, if you’re going to be traveling with a party and having 200+ battles, with infinite auxiliary battles that can be used to grind/prepare, then, well, who cares what the combat system is.

  32. Lykurgos says:

    Oh please, let it be turn-based. It is my opinion only of course, but for me real-time with pause games end up going something like:

    1. Ooh a combat, okay then, I’ll tell my mage to fire a magic missile, my thief to hide in shadows and my warrior and cleric to close to melee. Lets try and take down the big-bad first
    2. Huh why is warrior running in opposite direction, oh right, it is because of pathfinding, and the thief is blocking him. I’ll re-order him
    3. oh, what spell did the big-bad just cast? Ah it is some kind of magic protection. My mage seems to be part way through an animation for the magic missile, can I still change it or he committed to it, hmm, no idea. Well I’ll change it anyway to be safe
    4. damn, why did they cleric just give an attack of opportunity to one of the big-bad minions? Oh yeah it is because I gave him an order to attack the bid-bad but the minions have moved forward since then. Right, I’ll re-order him to engage a nearby minion to avoid that again
    5. hell, now that the cleric and minion are blocking this pace the warrior went off course again, well no worries, probably best I eliminate these minions first anyway to stop them getting to my mage
    6. hmm, did my mage cast anything yet? I missed it, I wonder if I can select a new spell or whether that would interrupt what he is already doing . . . . . screw it I’ll line up a fireball . . oh but where are things going to be when the fireball actually lands, hard to tell since I don’t know how long the fireball takes to cast, I’ll try here
    7. dammit, how did my thief get knocked out?? oh, looks like he got through to the big-bad by himself, lost his hidden status and then got beat-on, didn’t notice that. Uh, I’ll send my cleric to revive him
    8. but not until this minion is down, don’t want another attack of opportunity on the cleric, when the hell is my warrior going to use his big-bash attack? Oh . . . did I forget to activate that? Oops, well I’ll do it now then on this minion
    9. dammit to hell, the minion I chose for the big-bash just left melee range to rush my mage and my cleric and warrior ran after him, I need the cleric to get in range of the thief before his KO counts down into a death. Maybe we can finish the minion first, I’ll just let it run on
    10. did my mage cast a spell yet? . . . . .

    • Machocruz says:

      All dat flow and immersion.

    • Asurmen says:

      And all of that can be summed up as inexperience with the combat system, as opposed to turn based where it’s “Oh, my super awesome dude beat the mob to death by himself and they stood around letting him. Hmm, that’s thematically interesting, exciting, and completely intuitive. Not” or vice versa. Which will happen every time a fight occurs, whereas your example you learn the nuances of the combat. There’s nothing you can do to make turn based feel good for someone who doesn’t like it, but you can learn the ins and outs of a real time combat and its rules

      • Machocruz says:

        a.) Mobs don’t stand around letting you do anything to them in a decent TB combat system. It’s your offense against their defense. If you can’t overcome their defense because of stats or whatever conditions apply, then you don’t get to hit them, and they don’t stand around unless the animators just felt lazy and didn’t supply dodge animation. The same applies to real time; go watch an IcewindDale combat encounter. You will see mobs standing around being hit.

        b.) Learning the nuances of combat means nothing when A.) your characters don’t respond as directed,which happens often in RTwP systems for some reason B.) the management system, which all these various combat modes are, is implemented so that you don’t have a fine degree of control. A fine degree of control is necessary for a player charged with making sure multiple characters act as though they are autonomous individuals capable of making specific and intelligent combat maneuvers and acting in sync with their fellows. BG2 offered a finer degree of control in it’s pause system, hence it was a better implementation of said system than Planescape.

        c.) “There’s nothing you can do to make turn based feel good for someone who doesn’t like it, but you can learn the ins and outs of a real time combat and its rules” –and you can’t make real time feel good for someone who doesn’t like it. Funny how that works both ways, innit? But you can learn to appreciate the level of control and ability of one player to simulate autonomous adventurers performing in sync that TB combat provides.

    • Diatribe says:


      If a game is designed to need to pause every couple seconds, just make it turn based. Pausing every couple seconds is turn based anyway, don’t make me destroy my space bar pausing the stupid real time simulation.

  33. drvoke says:

    Unless they’re eliminating all grinding and random low level fights, turn based is a huge mistake. It worked in XCOM because each fight meant something. They were difficult and not too numerous, so the extensive tactical maneuvering, waiting for enemy turn to resolve, etc… was all justified. RTWP means low level mooks can be steamrolled quickly by appropriately leveled parties, while allowing for deep tactical decision making during critical encounters. But whatever, eh? I didn’t back this, so this game isn’t meant for me. But I do believe turn based is a mistake. At the very least, don’t do XCOM style move/action turns, use action points.

    • Sergius64 says:

      I certainly hope they’re eliminating random encounters. Having to fight varying groups of orcs and undead 200 times over before proceeding to next area is lazy design. Having RTwP makes that lazy design a little more bearable, but doesn’t change the fact that the games with such design are boring and it’s the encounter design that’s at fault and not the combat system.

  34. Cronstintein says:

    Wow, a lot of support for turn based in here. For me, I would 100% choose BG2 style real time with pause. That was such a fun way to do tactical combat. Turn based was good in Final Fantasy Tactics but generally I find it plays somewhat dry.

  35. Caiman says:

    This can’t possibly end badly for the game with those who vote for the losing option. No sir.

  36. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    Oh please do it turn-based like Fallout, I love the it’s-like-playing-chess-with-a-gun-and-splattering-the-peons-guts-all-over-the-walls feeling. The combat on PST was so lame I would never have bore through it if the game wasn’t so beautifully written, it makes wonder how people could bear through games like Baldur’s Gate (which was basically shitty combat meets shitty dialogs).

    Damn, that’s the moment when I regret the most not getting an international credit card sooner. Would have backed this game on the spot if I could.