Grievances from Kingmaker aka Hopes for Wrath

Hello fellow backers and Owlcats! :star_struck: :wave: :grinning:

I just wanted to raise the few points I did not enjoy in Kingmaker in hopes that it may dissuade the devs to repeat the same in Wrath!

Just to be clear that all of this is my own subjective opinion on the things I disliked in Kingmaker but overall I greatly enjoyed it which you can tell from my Commander title! Regardless here are the points that I did not enjoy (as I said others may have loved the things I am about to critisise!)

:shushing_face:!WARNING FOR KINGMAKER SPOILERS AHEAD! :shushing_face:

Kingmaker Spoilers

1. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:The requirement to have to romance Nyrissa to get the ‘True’/‘Secret’ ending :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Whilst I fully understand the sense it makes storywise (her only accepting the Briar due to love) I did not like feeling forced into a romance just so I could have what I consider to be one of the best endings! I would have preferred to have had the ability to be her friend and companion without having to sacrifice another romance choice but like many of these points I could well be alone in that opinion.

2. :sob:That Economy ending if you favored the common people too much. :sob:
Again I understand the reasoning behind this as a smart political take on the old saying “if you give them and inch, they will take a mile” but my main problem with this ending slide that shows a whole wealthy region of your Kingdom rebelling is that in the actual game events you get heavily praised for your kindness and even get an extra scene shwoing you have won the support of the local Druids only to have them good feels destroyed in my ending slides which if I wanted to go back and change this decsion would cost me an extra 20-30 hours of gameplay to change ONE slide! The other issue is how on earth would this rebellion even happen considering in my ending I had a perfect outcome in all other sectors meaning my military, spies and political power would make it impossible for one of the regions to revolt without my King getting wind of it in it’s infancy (due to the awesome espionage level my Knigdom had). Anyway as a slight perfectionist with OCD this drove me a bit mad… :crazy_face:

3. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: The house at the end of time & the battles afterwards jumped up about 200% difficulty! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
I won’t say too much on this as I believe this is one thing that many other players agreed with and commented on but the stun-lock Wild Hunt enemies took every bit of enjoyment out of the endgame for me and almsot stopped me doing any further playthroughs. The whole house at the end of time and the kingdom under attack section almost made me quit the game or just straight up start cheating (which I shouldnt feel the need to do!). Perhaps I am just not that good at the game but I honestly hated the battles with those cheesy sods!

4. :heart:Romance and it’s triggers :heart:
Full disclaimer first that I enjoy rpgs with romance in them such as Bioware/CDProjekt/Skyrim(Mods) and even enjoy some visual novels from time to time (though prefer it if they have gameplay). So I enjoyed the romances in game but only after researching how to achieve them as I found the whole thing very confusing and not staright forward (which whilst realistic can be frustrating in a 50+ hour game!). Some of the triggers could be at the beggining, middle or even the endgame (Twins) which made it difficult to know whether you had locked a character or if one wrong sentence hours ago doomed a whole relationship. So please if you can make it a bit clearer in Wrath as without a full guide I was lost (just like in real life except I ain’t got no walkthrough for that :rofl: :joy: :laughing::sob: :sob: :sob:.

Well that’s pretty much my main gripes from Kingmaker and I know that perhaps it is too late to really affect any change but hey worth a try :pleading_face:

As I said I greatly enjoyed Kingmaker which is why I backed Wrath so heavily as I am sure I will also greatly enjoy it too!

P.S Please also have cool base/kingdom/army building in Wrath that actually means something as not many RPG’s put you in such a position of command and power with actual consequences (Dragon Age: Inquisition failed spectacularly in it’s managing of the Inquisition because no matter how strong you made the Inquisition it made not a single lick of difference to the main narrative so a player who did all the extra buidling up of their forces vs someone who did nothing extra and speedruns through had the exact same ending or narrative… :unamused: :cry:)

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Something I would like to see is a larger variety of wondrous items. It bothered me in Kingmaker just how lacking in content some of the slots were (looking at you bracer slot).

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The economy ending is great! Russians know that you must supress the people, western devs would never have the courage to do something like this.

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You see a part of me actually did really respect that but ultimately due to my other Kingdom stats being maxed it did not make sense. I had a cutting edge military, a very capable secret service and finnaly had a very good relationship with the nations on my borders so it is highly unlikely that a whole region could rebel successfully without it being crushed early on. My main alignment was Lawful Good not Neutral Good :innocent:meaning I was good to the people but only if they obeyed the laws of my Kingdom! :smiling_imp:

It looks like three of these four points are all parts of one of my biggest gripes that the relationship between actions and their consequences is pretty opaque. And how for any given outcome you often need to be very exact to get it, and it’s not at all obvious what that path is. And the consequences could be pretty punishing if you diverge from the optimal path, like companions and advisors being killed, or having a successful rebellion regardless of your economy, approval, military etc.

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If I were to create a top 4 “gripes” list, it’s telling that there might be only 1 overlapping item with your list (#3–end game difficulty- My gripes would instead focus upon mechanics and gameplay systems. Specifically, better bug testing, making gold and items and opportunities to refresh per day abilities more scarce (ie, more in line with survival games), and expanding the combat system to include more mechanics (ie verticality, interactable environmental objects, traps, a more useful stealth system, better AI scripting for boss encounters, etc.). This last is less a gripe and more a wish list. This probably says something about our different personality preferences

@Raikan True which is why I placed a disclaimer stating that this list is very much my own opinion and feelings. I knew when I posted that it was likely that point 3 would be the most common and agreed upon gripe :laughing:.

Most of your points I also agree with only exception being the survival aspect mechanics as I do prefer convenience over realism most times!

I would imagine that you quite enjoy Divinity Original Sin 1 & 2 for the varied combat mechanics :smiley:

To be honest I would be interested to see what others heavily liked or disliked in Kingmaker that they are hoping to be different in Wrath :grin:

@Doktor_Weasel I’m glad others had similar thoughts :+1: The problem with the consequences not being that clear is mainly in games like this that have 50+ playtimes since what seems to be a slightly insignificant choice early on can doom you to an unpleasant outcome 30+ hours later! I don’t want the devs to remove negative consequences, I just want there to be some lore friendly hints for those paying attention :wink:. I admit it is a hard balance to achieve overall!

Yeah, the bit about having one false step 30+ hours earlier completely doom you to a bad result that is particularly annoying.

My main complaints:

  • The above mentioned issue with opaque consequences, sometimes hours down the line and the very exacting standards required to avoid bad stuff. In particular deaths of companions and/or advisors. At the very least allow a bit more leeway instead of making something fail because you picked one wrong dialog option 3 chapters back.
  • Arbitrary alignment blocked options. Which can be particularly annoying when combined with the previous one. Why is neutral required to make peace? Why must an advisor die if you aren’t lawful? It’s just unnecessarily restrictive, and really bad when it’s punishing as well. Just toss these entirely. There are many approaches to alignments, restricting things to only certain alignments doesn’t make any sense and just limits freedom.
  • Alignment options being tied to specific alignments (thankfully confirmed to be gone from WotR). Especially since they were not equally distributed. NG was probably the majority of all good choices, which meant paladins can fall by being too good (this actually happened to me).
  • Alignment being badly handled in general, in particular LG. Racist genocide as LG is garbage. Most of the LG options felt like LE, or at the very least the dreaded “Lawful Stupid” that so many paladin players play, and too many GMs even require from paladins. (Paladins make people irrational). The evil options likewise were often just total psycho murdering anyone in sight options with little nuance. Also, if it’s your kingdom, shouldn’t you have a say in just what the laws are?
  • Connected to the above was the terrible treatment of Shelyn’s church, where they’re basically 180 degrees from her actual teachings. And considering Lamashtu is portrayed as not all that bad despite being a human sacrifice demanding demon, it’s particularly obnoxious. Sosiel will give an opportunity to rectify this for Shelyn’s church in particular, but I do worry about how the gods and faiths are handled considering how much it comes into play in WotR.

And for mechanical issues:

  • Weapon drops. Especially since Pathfinder leans very highly on specializing in particular weapons. But you can never be sure to actually get any of the weapons you focus on. I played a character with longsowrd focus, something that you’d think would be pretty common. I had more enchanted kamas than longswords. I have seen that there will possibly be some remedy for this, in that treasure drops will favor things you use. I’m still not sure that goes far enough. I think something like the Rune transfer system from Pathfinder 2nd Edition might be the best solution, so you can move enhancements from weapons you don’t use to the weapons you do, but there’s a cost to make it not as attractive as finding the correct weapon. Having a crafting system would be another way.
  • Related to the above, special materials are very uncommon, and when you actually have weapons with that material, it is likely on a weapon you don’t use, and with terrible enhancements well below what you need at any given level. This will be a very big deal in WotR considering how demons are the most common enemy, and need Cold Iron to get over DR. Also, canonically, pretty much every crusader in the Worldwound is using cold iron.
  • Micromanagement. Some classes are just difficult to play in real time, because of the fiddly nature of the class with swift actions and immediate actions etc. Inquisitor is pretty rough in this regard. Magus can be as well. The introduction of a turn based mode will do a lot to fix this.
  • Tight time limits, and long times to do kingdom management tasks. Especially increasing advisor ranks and other tasks that require your main character to skip forward by two weeks.

Overall, Kingmaker is a really good game, don’t let the length of this list make you think I hate it, but all of these detract from the experience. Improving things could make for an unambiguously great game.

Some things in particular that I think worked well was how faithful an adaptation of the tabletop rules it was. The plot, including the expansions and fixes to things that weren’t as well covered in the original AP (some of which Paizo is apparently adding in the new edition of the AP they’re working on). The depth of options available was also great, and most of the companions have well fleshed out personalities and character arcs. Harrim’s character arc in particular is top notch. I’m really looking forward to seeing how WotR’s plot is expanded upon, and to see how the character interactions go this time around.

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@Doktor_Weasel
I agree with all those points :+1: I think the challenge for the devs is getting the difficulty correct to make you happy when you have bested a difficult boss (Dragon or Tenebrous Boss) with your wits to not making you suddenly die constantly because you haven’t specifically set your party up in the ‘correct’ way to beat this new challenge (Wild Hunt).

The game when it first came out was balanced terribly and caused me more stress than enjoyment. The later patches and the enchanced edition helped this a lot but before they came out I had to turn to mods to change the things I found no enjoyment in.

I just hope that the alpha testers and beta testers can work out most of the kinks this time and that with the lessons the Devs learnt from Kingmaker we will have an enjoyable game at launch. Overall I am optimistic with how things are going! :innocent:

So come one and come all to lay down your grievances here so that the mistakes of the past are not commited again :wink:

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Yep, I do enjoy DOS and think that game is a huge step in the right direction of making the environment manipulable, both in combat and out of it.

I wasn’t criticizing your list. It’s just different from what I’d prioritize. But I tend to focus (arguably overfocus) on gameplay systems and mechanics.

Understood re: mirroring the scarcity in survival games. Not everyone enjoys it. I do think that scroll scarcity needs to be toned back though because because it became a problem just managing inventory in KM. And I’d at least eliminate the “junk” items that dropped, ie gems, rings, etc: items whose only purpose was to sell.

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It’d be nice if most of the companions weren’t built so terribly, and that they weren’t designed so that their development options weren’t so forced and narrow.

I totally agree with others about the weapons. They should devise something that allows players to more readily access weapons that fit into their desired play style and build. Maybe even offer the player some choice of what is found during key treasure/looting moments instead. That could go a long way to solving the issue and is perfectly reasonable in a video game context. There is no DM around to help customize the experience after all, so the player should be given some of that control.

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Careful. I stated a similar comment in a different forum and the anti-min/max crowd pounced. You wouldn’t believe how passionate people can be about how an 18 in the character’s primary attribute will ruin the story or violate the characters backstory, but a 14/16 is perfectly in line with their backstory and is essential to the game.

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What do you mean by narrow options? How many ways to build companions would you not consider narrow?

Do you consider any companions as having narrow build options?