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It's decided: Torment Numenera will be turn-based

"Ultimately, there are no losers here."

For Torment: Tides of Numenera the votes are in, and a decision about whether combat will be turn-based or 'real-time with pause' has been made.

Nearly 20 per cent of the 74,405 backers voted and the result, essentially, was a tie. Nevertheless, turn-based was marginally ahead and it's turn-based combat developer inXile has chosen for the game.

"We were leaning toward turn-based combat because we believe it's better suited for the kind of tactical complexity we're looking for through our Crisis system," wrote project lead Kevin Saunders.

"We believe it's a stronger fit for bringing narrative elements, including dialogue with NPCs, into hand-crafted combat situations.

"Ultimately, there are no losers here. This is all part of the process of making an RPG we are all passionate about and we think you'll like Torment's combat even if you voted for RTWP."

Why can't the game have both? "The solution may sound ideal," Saunders explained, "but it wouldn't really give anyone what they really want.

"Designing for both would dilute the quality of the encounters for one or both systems, and most likely require so much time and resources as to impact the rest of the game. In a deep RPG like ours, where combat isn't even the focus, trying to implement two combat systems would lead to an inferior game across the board."

But Planescape: Torment used a 'real-time with pause' system, so why wouldn't its successor? "We don't think PST's combat system was what most players loved about the game," he countered.

"We believe PST is considered one of the greatest RPGs of all-time, not because its combat was 'real-time with pause', but because of its emphasis on the narrative and on role-playing your character.

"Though Planescape: Torment is the starting point for many of our design decisions, Torment: Tides of Numenera was never intended to be a game that, by default, duplicates everything PST did. It is a thematic successor that is inspired by PST, not derivative of it."

Chris Avellone, lead designer of PST and contributor to Torment: Tides of Numenera, lent his public support to the decision.

"The Planescape: Torment experience was never defined by its combat," he wrote. "In Torment: Tides of Numenera, the combat is intended to complement both the narrative systems and the basic gameplay mechanics. It is a challenging decision for the team to make, and I respect and support their decision to choose turn-based."

Saunders spent more time in the update addressing some people's concerns about turn-based combat. If you're one of those people, there's plenty to read.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is in development for PC and Mac, and is expected to arrive next Christmas.

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