Explore The Ninth World In New Torment: Numenera Vid

Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site], will be bringing more high-stakes decision making and intricate storytelling a la Planescape: Torment, but this time the action is set in the Ninth World from Monte Cook’s tabletop RPG Numenera.

inXile released a new video that gave us a closer look at this Ninth World and its history. Numenera blends sci-fi and fantasy to create a distinct feel. The Ninth World is an imagining of Earth one billion years in the future, proceeding eight other civilizations that have risen and fallen, leaving their weird technology behind.

The video delves into the game’s Tides system a bit, as well. The Tides are five unseen forces represented by different colors, and each signifies a specific set of emotions, values, or actions. Take a look:

  • Silver: Power, fame, admiration
  • Blue: Wisdom, reason, insight
  • Indigo: Compromise, justice, equity
  • Gold: Compassion, empathy, charity
  • Red: Emotion, passion, action
  • Every decision you make in the game is colored by one of these Tides, affecting your affinity for each. This adds a bit of nuance to the decision making, rather than your typical good versus evil dialogue options. The Tides will ultimately play a key role in how you shape your character and the world, all while helping you find the answer to the game’s overarching question: What does one life matter?

    Torment: Tides of Numenera is currently on Steam Early Access and due to properly launch in 2017 before the end of March. If you’re looking for more info on Torment: Tides of Numenera, why not check out Adam’s recent interview with inXile’s CEO, Brian Fargo?

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    47 Comments

    1. syllopsium says:

      It’s looking a lot better than previous previews; sincerely hoping it’s decent! The style is definitely very Planescape.

    2. CurseYouAll says:

      The backgrounds art seems a bit bland at places; it was the same with Wasteland. For comparison, I think Pillars looked much better.

    3. Velko says:

      Is it just me or is “Torment: Tides of Numenera” one of the least informative titles in any game ever?

      So this Numenera has tides. It is an ocean maybe? But why is this tormenting?

      IT MEANS NOTHING.

      • Velko says:

        I mean, christ, even with Kingdoms of Amalur you could figure out that it has something to do with kingdoms, therefore swords and stuff, even though you had no idea what the Amalamadingdong is.

      • Haldurson says:

        If you watched the video, they pretty much explain what the tides are — they are the shifting between the different 5 different aspects (Power, Wisdom, etc.), represented by the 5 colors, and they affect everyone including the player. They explain the word “Tide” both in the video and in the text above. The Tides can shift by themselves, but also your relationship to each Tide can shift based on your actions.

        It’s in the video — watch it again if you still don’t understand it.

        • Kestrel says:

          I’m still trying to figure out what Mass Effect means.

          • Jazzyboy says:

            ‘Mass Effect’ refers to Mass Effect fields, which are one of the most important discoveries in the Mass Effect timeline. It’s explained properly in the in-game codex, but basically, the discovery of mass effect fields revolutionises space travel and military weaponry, so that discovery pushes humanity into the spotlight in the wider galaxy.

          • BobbyDylan says:

            The Mass Effect is the field surrounding Element Zero (a fictional ingame substance which is the handwavium that allows gravity on spaceships, Biotics, and intersteller travel) that is produced when you run a current through it.

      • Jazzyboy says:

        It’s pretty much explained in the first level in-game…

      • Czrly says:

        Here, I’ll spell it out for you and everyone else without a clue…

        “Torment”: Because it’s a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment.

        “Numenara”: Name of the world it is set in, a world from a pen-and-paper role-playing system.

        “Tides”: Because of the tides. Five of them. Part of the Numenara lore. Watch the video.

        “Of”: is a preposition. Learn English to find out more.

        • GeoX says:

          Sure, you can say easily enough “oh, it actually means this, it’s perfectly logical,” but that doesn’t change the fact that it just sounds like opaque gibberish to anyone just glancing at it casually.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        As informative as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (there are scrolls); Deus Ex; No Mans Sky (there’s a sky); System Shock (systems?); Borderlands; Call of Juarez. I could read down the library.
        Not sure about what’s your point here.
        When the game’s out the reasoning will be revealed.

      • Unclepauly says:

        “What’s the deal with Tides?” – Jerry Seinfeld
        “What’s the deal with Nu…?” – Jerry etc.
        etc.
        etc.
        clean jokes yall

      • Wulfram says:

        Videogame names are universally terrible. At least its somewhat distinctive rather than being Battle Heroes: Call of Souls

    4. Cnaiur says:

      I’m worried about this one. It looks very clean, and after InXile’s Wasteland 2 I don’t have much fate in their art direction to be honest.

      But the real problem so far is the writing. Sure, there’s a lot of it in EA – but it’s often brought to you as an infodump instead of being organically woven into the dialog. It also feels very safe so far. I had similar feelings about Pillars of Eternity, but at least that game had interesting combat, Torment only has a limited amount of combat encounters if I’m not mistaken.

      Hopefully I’m completely wrong about this when it releases.

      • exile2k4 says:

        I feel kind of the same way – I backed this on kickstarter, and I’m still looking forward to playing it at some point, but after the release version of Wasteland 2 and playing an early beta of this, I think I might wait a while after release to see what people make of it. Hopefully it’ll be really good, but I can imagine it needing a few patches to work smoothly, and I’d rather not spoil my first playthrough of it.

      • Al Bobo says:

        I played the backer beta a few hours and I’m sold. It really, really feels like Planescape:Torment, which is my number one rpg.
        Combat feels somewhat clunky and it’s not the prettiest game, but those are just minor issues to me. I felt the writing was every bit as interesting as in PS:T and there’s huge amount of it. Playing this felt like playing a good, interactive book so it’s definitely not for those, who don’t like to read walls of text. For me it’s perfect.
        There was a game-breaking bug that stopped me in my tracks (which is supposedly fixed in dev version of the game) so I think it would be wise to wait for a few weeks before buying the game after it’s released.

        • exile2k4 says:

          Yeah – the backer beta has been updated several times since I first played it and I’m sure it’s much improved, I just felt that I’d rather wait until it’s released and in good shape before really getting into it.

          • Longestsprout says:

            Seems like the most sensible approach. As a backer myself I’m currently avoiding it like plague, but I’ve heard good things about it.

      • syllopsium says:

        Planescape:Torment had a reasonable amount of combat, but a lot of it could be skipped.

        They actually wanted to include more combat but ran out of time.

    5. McGuit says:

      Seeing the team behind this and being a huge fan of the original Planescape I ordered this day one. The communications from the team as the product moved forward has been great. As it progressed, I picked up an additional copy for a buddy of mine. Had a chance to meet with some of the development team at Gen Con this year.
      Just looks fantastic.

    6. Michael Fogg says:

      So to eventually wield the +5 Golden Hammer of Compassion I will need to keep picking one option? Got it.

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        Jekadu says:

        Couldn’t say at this point. The game is supposed to take up to two Tides into account when determining the overall ending, I believe. The Gold Tide isn’t just compassion, though. It’s also sacrifice, charity, empathy — the ability to connect with someone and share your resources on a personal level.

        Keep in mond that to the Tides, intent and morality does not matter — only the outcome. Pointlessly giving away wealth, forcing someone to perform an act of compassion or using telepathy to collect information and then manipulate someone with it might also cause the Gold Tide to rise.

        • Unclepauly says:

          Yeah I don’t think he really thought the game was going to be simply choose one color to get one ending? Or did he/her?

          • Longestsprout says:

            Such is the way of the internet. You can’t really tell. All you can do is hope that the other guy is joking, otherwise the world gets a lot more depressive.

    7. Metalfish says:

      “What does one life matter?”

      Rather familar. Sounds like I try to forget everything about Planescape and try and enjoy this on its own terms. But, you know, that was my first wish….

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        As much as I’m looking forwards to this game, I gotta say that I preferred “What can change the nature of a man?” to “What does one life matter?”. The former is more universal in its implications, and is therefore a legitimate philosophical question (although I don’t recall Ravel defining her terms very well – what exactly is a person’s “nature”?). The latter, however, seems pretty subjective, and could in theory be the underlying question for almost any game (because you usually play as someone who risks/gives their life to change something).

        We’ll see how it plays out in-game, of course. It may turn out to be a more legitimate question in the context of the story.

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          That’s RPGs for you; “That guy over there his life didn’t matter at all, that one was worth a new pair of boots, the one in the corner gave me a cut but luckily his friend was worth a healing potion.”

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            …and all together murdering them made me a bit better at lockpicking.

        • Czrly says:

          Also, the question about whether or not a single life matters asks for a boolean answer: either yes or no. The positive answer is predictable and obligatory because there really isn’t a game, otherwise. (Very, very few authors have the skill and the courage to try to answer “no” to this question.)

          “What can change the nature of a man?” Well, many things could. And exploring the possibilities is more interesting than deciding between “yes” or “no” with the prior knowledge that one of those is simply implausible.

          • Longestsprout says:

            I think it’s not going to be just a matter of “yes” and “no”. You are going to be asked to quantify a life. the answer according to our modern values should be both easy and obvious, but the truth is that humanity is a bunch of hypocrites and in reality the answer varies wildly based on circumstance. People, and more often than not governments, profess values they then proceed to ignore when those same values become inconvenient.

      • Czrly says:

        Also, very bad grammar!

        “Does one life matter?” and “What does one life MEAN?” would be fine but “What” and “Matter” don’t work together at all.

        • Nick says:

          Meh, what does it matter?

        • Horg says:

          It sounds like it should be incorrect, but I think it’s fine. ”What” as a pronoun means asking for information on a specific topic, and how much information required is determined by the scope of the question. Reducing the title to ”Does one life matter?” could allow for a one word answer (yes / no / maybe), and doesn’t really imply further questioning. Similarly, ”matter” as a noun could refer to a subject under consideration, which fits the title and the games theme, while the verb ”mean” implies a plan, definition, indication, purpose, etc. Changing ”matter” to ”mean” fundamentally alters the nature of the question. You can explore weather or not something is important without ever knowing exactly what it’s for.

          • Horg says:

            Oops, that should have been ”matter” as a verb (questioning importance in context), not a noun.

    8. Halk says:

      Why are they calling purple indigo?

    9. Czrly says:

      I have only one prevailing hope, after watching that. PLEASE tell me that that narrator and his voice have absolutely nothing to do with the game. I honestly couldn’t play a game with him as a voice actor.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        No it’s just one of the devs explaining the game in an early stage as it sounds like. Even the release trailer will have a serious sounding wizardrous voice by some actor as always I assume.

        • Longestsprout says:

          It was probably someone hired by techland whom I presume is the source of all of this new marketing materiel.

    10. Chaoslord AJ says:

      9th world? Wonder if this ties in with Earthdawn and Shadowrun (6th world) campaigns or merely just same fondness of numbering.
      Not sure about the tide system. It seems a very gamey concept to me compared to Torment’s traditional DnD alignment system which didn’t lock you in as much (in that game). The choices you made were more important than scores.
      They had a similar system in Original Sin and I couldn’t figure out the use either other than I reloaded on results I didn’t like.

      • ElementalAlchemist says:

        It’s Earth 1 billion years from now. The 9th world refers to there being 8 previous civilisations that have existed (including ours, presumably).

        • Unclepauly says:

          Yes ours is the third civilization. The 2nd was the people of Atlantis.

          The 1st were the Trumponeans.