Comments and crticism on the crusader tactical battles

First of all lets me say that Im really enjoying wrath of the rightous you have everything that was good about kingmaker and refined it making it even better . like the new trap system, it gives what was a boring task a puzzle element, the characters have more personality and interact more with one another, kingdom management is far more exciting than before and as far as i can see so far doesnt have the whole wait 2 week for upgrade. I was also very excited for the whole large scale campaign battles layer of the game, Im a big suikoden fan so this type of strategic gameplay combined with strong RPG elements really scratched that itch.

But i do have someissues playing it and has some shortcomings. I hope you don’t scrap this concept and in fact expand and refine it, not necessarily in this one, but hopefully later games.

One disappointment i have its that its too simplistic. the whole strategy revolves around “lets make a beeline for the archers” I wonder why don’t you just add some of the elements of the common battles into it to make it more fun. Mind you i’m just in 3rd chapter and haven’t seen all its elements yet so take my comments with a grain of salt.

but for starters just 3 units for basic army is too few, yes some generals can add more but what is the maximum? 6? 8? I think the basic cap allowed of an army size should start at atleast 6. because right now a normal battle with my characters feels more like an epic battle than the crusader battles. i really hope its increased to the point that the actual maximum is the whole formation screen (something akin to chess, with 16 pieces)

similarly why not add the same elements that normal battles have like flanking (if 2 units are next to enemy they give bonus damage) More importantly, why is there no attack of opportunity? right now units can ignore the unit they’re engaging and just go for my weaker archers or mages, worse still i’ve seen units just simply jump over my units making positioning almost irrelevant (they were even 4 tile sized)

speaking of which archers are just too unbalanced (hence why the whole the strategy is for units going for beeline for archers.) granted if one engages them in close combat they cant fire and they are weak too melee, as it should be, but their range attack is too powerful and worse still it doesn’t make sense for them to have infinite range. because of this reasons formations are irrelevant only optimal one is to put archers in a corner and wrap them with your own units.

on the other side shield bearers are next to useless because there is so much insane mobility in game units can just ignore them and go after the weak ones.

My suggestion is to lessen the range of archers and give us a counter to long range attacks, both magic and archer. for example why not give shield bearers ability to cover adjacent units from arrow fire if they use defense, why not give clerics or other mage classes ability to use barrier to stop spells.

similarly why not give spearmen bonus on large and cavalry units, and if any cavalry unit gets adjacent to them they suffer a critical attack of opportunity.

a few more suggestion that are more a personal preference and more about the campaign strategy layer than the battle tactical one for your consideration.

im just starting campaign but in the beginning is kinda disappointing. demons just remain stationary, i guess as it goes on will get more complicated, with them starting to attack more fiercely. (Already had a small unit atleast start to advance and attack me) but for now the fact that most demon armies don’t move make it seem like you are just playing chess on your own, which is rather boring. why not make less of them but have them move a bit, like retreat or regroup or attack. Im just slowly clearing out passive pockets of demons.

other suggestion that is a preference but when a crusader army reaches demon army on campaign map why not give us and option to not engage instantly and allow us to send another army to engage them aswell? as in using your 2 armies to flank one demon army. guess it would be too complicated.

final suggestion is to give us a chance to have our own hero party participate in those battles. i know this is a longshot but i really enjoyed the battle at the tavern in act 1 and then the batlle for drezen in act 2 there will likely be more like those in the game but i do think would be fun if you could have your party members join in those crusader battles. not necessarily as usual units but for example:

have an ability that only has one charge or (limited charges) that you can use only once in the battle where you decide to take to the field. maybe you have chance to have your party raid their generals HQ and can only activates when demon send all their units to front line. then your hero party jumps into a random encounter map with an over-leveled boss fight with a force of tough guards and if you succeed you kill general or have him lose energy, likewise could at some moment take to the filed in a random encounter with monsters and ally NPC fighting. and if you beat them you eliminate a sizable part of their force.

Anyway this are just some suggestions that i have, i know they would be a pain to change but thought might make the crusade battles more fun.

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You make good points. IMO there is a much bigger, more glaring problem with it that has already been mentioned here and other places many times. A caster general basically renders every other combat-related crusade mechanic totally irrelevant. I just defeated the final demon fortress guarding the final area of chapter 5 with a single casting of a spell at the start of battle. Literally nothing else happened in the battle other than the casting of that spell, which defeated absolutely every enemy on the entire battlefield at once. And that general has an ability that would have allowed me to cast 2 spells on that turn which I didn’t even need to use. And it was a Divine spell which was still powerful enough to do all that despite the fact that I had taken the feats related to upping the power of Arcane spells when given the option at level-up (i.e., not even fully optimized for that spell). Granted that spell does not work against undead. But most of the armies in Ch. 5 are demons, not undead, and in any case there are other spells that are good enough even if it might take an extra round or two since they don’t cover the entire battlefield at once.

It is currently broken at a fundamental level. Magic trivializes the entire combat/army system.

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LOL my first general was a fire mage and seems you are right. in act 3 i got another general because she was already high leveled and wanted to have another capable general. then in a battle just once i sent my mage general to fight cuz i felt it was gonna be a tough battle.o my first move after one fireball later i had won the battle.

Another problem is that there is not enough scaling with troop quality. Mass is always way better than quality and the high end mythic units are next to useless.

That means that everyone just uses the normal, recruitable units and ignores mercenaries (Except maybe Hellknights in act 3 because you already have them and at the beginning getting the mercs you want is easy).
Troops you get through projects, even repeatable ones, and event are useless, even high level ones.

That’s because you can stack as many troops as you want. I think “kings bounty” did a good job with the maximum stack a general can have in comparison to homm.
But alas. I really liked that 50 creature stack of red dragons in homm 3. :wink:

Greets
MC

Maybe for their next game Owlcat do us the favor to cancel all mechanics like crusade or kingdom management. Thank you!

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I would digress, those mechanics are what differs pathfinder to other CRPG of its kind

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No the possibilities / complexity in creating / building your party members is different. These mechanic are just annoying.

Yep, I would get a decree where I could recruit like 3 dragons or something. Wouldn’t even think about wasting time on doing that because I know it will be completely pointless.

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The Kingdom and Crusade are cool. How many RPG’s you know have a large scale (like countrys being led) level to their play? It’s a dip into grand strategy, and fits the whole “larger than life” approach of pathfinder.
Yet it does feel more like chess. So maybe the book episodes with having to choose your strategy, then trying to make it work in character is more like an rpg-element.

MC

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The Crusade is a boring repetitive minigame to make the game longer. Insteead of this minigame lager maps and less bugs would be fine or more endgame weapons, working mythic paths …

Presumably, the crusade management - or at least, the idea of having crusade management - is inspired by the Paizo adventure path?? (Not having the AP, I can’t confirm.) The Pathfinder system incorporated some aspects of this in their Ultimate Campaign rulebook, and the new adventure path promotes the new rulebook (both came out in 2013-ish).

Regarding implementation of the crusade management - meh. I don’t have strong opinions one way or the other (at least, not yet). If Owlcat continues make CRPGs based on Pathfinder adventure paths, the presense of non-standard CRPG material (kingdom management, crusade management) would depend on the specific adventure path. For example, Mummy’s Mask (which is the next AP released by Paizo after WotR) doesn’t really have anything “extra”. It’s more about a meager band of adventurers starting out with a basic dungeon crawl that ends up doing extraordinary things to “save the world”.

Hell’s Rebels, however, certainly offers some non-traditional material (Rebellion Management).

I really like the crusade. It’s hard for me to go into the fane because I think “oh noes then I won’t be able to take this fortress”

And as someone who never had a problem with 2nd edition fireball rules all mages I’m totally fine with the OP mage generals.

But obviously agree at the difference. I was really shocked at the difference when I hired a ranger general which seems to be the weakest of all. Hopefully they can bolster the rangers without nerfing the mages.

It’s also strange that the game has such a high opinion of mounted combat. I’m on the Azata path the song of seasons is a superpower.

I don’t want to get my troops over there where they can’t be killed, I want to fireball their archers and lure their troops into song range. Scouts are a worthless unit but they game thinks they are amazing. When you get that first batch of scouts the red armies become yellow and auto resolve thinks you are going to win against everything but that army of skeletons.

I’m noticing that on my replay, I’m not getting nearly as many military points despite the fact that I’ve taken all the chapter 3 forts with very little troop loss. My guess is that’s because I’m building archery ranges and not stables.

Just wanted to add that overall I really enjoyed the whole game including the crusade mechanic. It is just that it also has a lot of flaws. Hopefully they can polish it and fix it up a bit for the future. It was actually nice at times to be able to switch contexts between the party exploration/combat/quests and the crusade army during Chapter 3. Although I must admit that after chapter 4 I was a bit deflated to have to start up the crusade mgmt again in Ch.5. Not because I didn’t like it but because after having gone without it for so long I had to reconstruct in my mind all the ideas, context, enthusiasm of what was going on and how it worked. Then it was only meaningful for a bit of the chapter until my mage general got too powerful and trivialized everything.