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Torment, the Crisis System, and Where The Game is at Now

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By drcoolio34503-11-2015

Torment: Tides of Numera, the indie sci-fi RPG from Kickstarter and inXile, just released its Alpha to backers a while ago, and the results are in: The Crisis system is really, really cool.

For those of you who don't know, the crisis system is something that Torment is using to change how we play RPGs. Instead of encounters following the "encounter guys, kill guys, move on" strategy, the crisis system lets every NPC have their own plan. Is one a coward? Well then he'll run away when the battle turns south. Is one in love with the leader? Then he might go berserk and murder you when you kill his leader. Stuff like that.

It can get really complex, but here's an example from the alpha: The party encounters a band of four mercenaries. If you kill the leader, then one will switch from support to attack, one will go berserk, and one will run away as fast as he can, but all that changes if you don't kill the leader first. If instead you kill two of the leaders backup, the leader will surrender and you get options on what to do with him after the battle. Pretty cool stuff right? And that's just the alpha!

Nobody but inXile knows how far they can push the crisis system, but according to inXile, people are picking up on how the system works quickly, so chances are good that NPC behaviour will only get more dynamic from here on out.

Torment is still far from being done, but they've written and implemented more than half-million words, drawn the environment art, and their team is fully built up, so there's nothing that they can see standing in their way now.

InXile has a lot of cool ideas in their heads, now it's just a matter of if they can successfully implement them all in time for their release. Their announcement on tumblr, seemed to be nothing but optimistic and grateful for their player base, so for now let's trust them eh? These are the guys who made Wasteland 2 and have more than a few RPGs under their belt by now after all.

"I am confident that you will be very pleased with this remarkable game, one that you made possible through your faith and trust. Thank you so much."


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