Torment: Tides of Numenera Post-funding Update #24: Tides, Combat Discussion, Colin Q&A

The latest post-funding update for inXile Entertainment's Torment: Tides of Numenera deals mainly with the combat system, and specifically aims to kickstart the discussion about its implementation. In short, backers will help the developers decide whether to go for a turn-based or real-time with pause solution. Aside from that, there's also a deeper discussion of the Tides, and a video Q&A with creative director Colin McComb.

Here's a snippet:
Tides in Torment

In the game, the Tides are a background force. Your actions, especially your actions in dialogue, will often increase one or two Tides, moving your character toward dominance in those Tides. Then your dominant Tides determine the Legacy you are building for yourself. The Tides are increased when you have a real choice. For example, although identifying numenera is a Blue thing to do, there's no gameplay reason for players not to do it, so that sort of common action wouldn't increase the Tide. But if identifying a particular device required the PC to complete a quest or spend XP, then that could conceivably increase Blue. (By the same logic, increasing certain skills or abilities might increase certain Tides as well, because it costs you something to do so.)

The Tides don't judge your motivations, but if you voice those motivations, then the Tides can be moved. For example, if you express shock at a murder, your reason for being shocked can change which Tide is affected if you voice it: "How can you do this? He was an innocent victim!" might increase Gold while "What purpose does this death serve?" might increase Indigo. Neither, of course, would increase the Tides as much as equivalent actions (actually attacking or arresting the murderer, for example). Your character is what we call Attuned to the Tides, being both aware of the Tides and affected by them. Most NPCs are unaware of the Tides' existence, though a significant percentage can be affected by them.

Affected NPCs, and the rare Attuned ones like you, will have one or two Dominant Tides as well. If your Dominant Tide(s) match those of an NPC, it can have varying effects. You might be able to understand their motivations and manipulate them better. They may like you more (or less) without knowing why. The difficulty of certain dialogue tasks may decrease (or increase). Most of this is done behind the scenes, but certain skills and abilities can reveal some of this information.

Additionally, special NPCs who are aware of the Tides may recognize your Dominant Tides and try to manipulate you.

And whether they're aware of the Tides or not, your reputation with NPCs can be affected by your Dominant Tides. Assuming you've earned a reputation, Silver would make you like a celebrity, while Blue would make you known for intelligence or wisdom, and so on. This reputation effect might be either cosmetic or logical, opening doors that would be closed for those of other Dominant Tides.

And, as we've often said, the Tides will have an effect on certain items and abilities as well. They may even impact side effects that appear during crafting.

There's more, too, some of which we'll talk about in the future and some you'll have to discover in the game.