NPCs that speak a language the PC can't understand
One of the cool things about PS:T was the various characters that you couldn't understand. You either had to have a translater or had to learn their language. You couldn't be sure of exactly what was lost in translation if you relied on a translator.
One of the less cool things was that it was usually just a matter of having enough INT or WIS and asking someone to learn how to speak it. So have languages the PC can never learn, or learns over time building proficiency (and maybe slowly realizes how the previously trusted translator was skewing his statements).
I just want to state that those chances the NPCs spoke a diferent languague were one, specifically the Dabus. And i want to belive it wasnt just because NO had a high INT and WIS he LEARNED their lenguague. If a Mongolian started to talk with Bill Gates he would be like... windows8?
Some factors were included when the nameless started to understand it,
1-he already knew but had forgotten
2-The dabus comunicate using symbols and body languague, that would make it more easy to understand, as if they spoke that way as a mean to comunicate with all the diferent inteligent beings and their diferent dialects more easily.
Even when NO found the diary of his practical self, which was writen in an old lenguage, he couldnt understand it and needed a translator to teach him.
So yeah, You have a point .. barely.
As many of the other commentors mention, the way this worked in Planescape was awesome. Having an NPC translate for you meant they could hold back information they didn't want shared with you, while understanding the language yourself allowed you to push the dialogue in different directions with more detail, and build a deeper understand of both the person with whom you are conversing and your NPC that could have translated.
I think the idea would be great if balanced properly. For instance: drop the WIS and INT based understanding but rather allow the player to slowly learn it by searching for teachers and frequent contact with the language. Example - you talk to an NPC and he/she says: "Nquen artha heaqz boshro." Basically, you can't understand it. But after asking few other NPCs about this language and speaking with other ones using this language you slowly start to understand. So after few "lessons" and conversations the previous sentence would now look like this: "It is artha heaqz here."
From the little I know about the Numenera settings, seems like a must have.
while the idea of adding "puzzle text" in itself is fun.... i would really prefer to drop it.
FEZ had this thing and i didnt take the time to sit and translate it, simply because i am grown up and dont have the time. BUT, i do like my lore and story and background of the game and i would feel i am missing out simply because i prefered doing something "more productive".
One puzzle such as this i fine or 2 but no more. It becomes really frustrating for me really quickly because i dont understand whats going on....
Actually, how about adding a specific script that the player itself rather than the player character may learn in order to uncover secret or bits of lore?
The Elder Scrolls:Morrowind had something similar, with Daedric Runes written all over the place. It was not a language in itself, as the Daedric script simply replaced the conventional 26-letter alphabet and the encoded texts translated into regular English, but I think adding something similar to this could give the game an additional bit of immersion.
Could be quest / plot device than you have to find a Translation numenera, or teach your codex numenera the language, (assuming the codex is a numenera and not just a book).
Since there are going to be multiple translations already, why not mix in a different real language (get some edutainment going) for some of the NPCs? Would be cheaper and less work intensive than creating a new made up language.
Have some NPCs talk to me in German and Portuguese.
I liked Dabuses and their rebuses in PS:T a lot, especially Fell. There should some creatures like that in new Torment.
Also, I liked Planescape's Cant (heavily used by Annah, for example) and that some characters used words and phrases from their own language, like Dak'kon - it should only be natural that species around the world should not speak the same language the same way.
In Torment when you talk to the Darbus you have to either learn their language (int check) or have companions translate for you, and having Dakkon translate leads to some pretty important story stuff when you realize he is holding back some information..
Definitely cool stuff there!
We could possibly have a companion of that specific race that you can ask to teach you. The more blue tide (intelligence) you have, the more levels you can master.
This could be similar to the unbroken circle of zerthimon, where you had to pass a wisdom check to advance to the next rank.
This sounds great. The possibilty to learn languages brings different advantages for the gameplay and its depth:
1. It makes the world much more believable: Our world already has a lot of language barriers, everyone who has lived abroad and knows the isolation of people without language skills of the country they're living in, knows how important this matter is. And know think about this in a hugely more complex world like Numenera.
2. It improves the playing style diversity. In the typical problem solution triad of almost any game (fight-steal/stealth-talk/think), the talking aspect sometimes is a bit too reduced. I think it should consider a) character attributes like INT, WIS, CHA, b) decisions made in the past, c) dialog options and (as well, here comes the interesting art) d) the language skills.
It's also possible to think about language skills as a general category of skills. It would be great to have the possibilty to train even the mother tongue of the speaker, because as we probably all know it's a huge difference to speak a language or to speak it well. With all the effects on the impression that other people get of you.
3. Replayability: It shouldn't be toooo easy to learn a language, so it would be impossible to learn them all, at least if you also would like to have other strengths (apart from being a language genius). If the game is played a second time, you'll still have loads (of dialog and the quests these offer you) to explore. Imagine the incredible effect of a supposedly veteran player e.g. realizing that there is a secret conspirative group, talking in a very rare language that is extremely hard to learn - the payoff should be as immense as the effort made. For example it could give you another view of a decisive game moment.
If we're gonna have translators, let them be unreliable in some sense, and if not downright lying, then at least unreliable because their own tides or moods or background make them interpret things in specific ways.
Yes yes yes. If the language can be learnt to an extent than this is a very cool idea. I also liked it in other games like Final Fantasy xyz...
It's nice if there is a way to learn the language, I would agree
Cool thing would be create language, which you need to learn during some quest. By learning it, you just unlock incomprehensible sentences and turn it into english, or adding translation in ( ).
Well, it's interesting, and doesn't need too much resources for being made.
I like this idea. I haven't seen it done since Ultima Underworld, but I thought it was fun. It adds atmosphere and realism. I think the original D&D had languages as a skill. One of your skills could be knowing some LIzardman or whatever. I actually don't remember PS:T having this, but I haven't played it in many years.
I would say there has to be a way to fully understand each language, and it shouldn't be based on finding some random numenera.
But yeah, having language and translation issues play a role could be cool if not overdone.
Yes ! The Lady's workers (Dabu ?) or dead nation, it was awesome getting to the point where you could learn such languages