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Default Kingmaker - Review and Interview

October 9th, 2018, 23:49
RockPaperShotgun reviewed Pathfinder: Kingmaker while GamesIndustry interviewed the team.

RockPaperShotgun

In a tabletop campaign, DMs use their storytelling skills as much as their rulebooks. They are able to assess in real time whether throwing another casual encounter, or killing that limping party member, would be a fun challenge or just an act of cruelty. But the spirit that governs Pathfinder: Kingmaker is incapable of showing such mercy.

Unless we count the options menu as part of the DM’s duties, in which case they are a generous being. They let me tweak various rules, such as deciding how strong the enemies will be (anything over “normal” is an exercise in masochism), choosing how often the game will auto-pause, and even allowing me to disable death. Even the more technical parts of the game, like levelling up the characters, can be fully automated.

[…]
GamesIndustry.biz

"Pathfinder, like a number of tabletop role-playing games, is a turn-based system, and there are times where adapting turn-based mechanics to real-time mechanics can be a challenge," said Avellone. "It's something designers have wrestled with all the way back to Baldur's Gate 1, in which BioWare had to do a real-time system that simulated the turn-based rules.

"The other challenge is that Pathfinder is a rule-rich system, and there are a lot of classes, spells, and abilities to choose from. We implemented many of them for the game, but we weren't able to include every race, class, and skill - even though I think we did an impressive number, there's simply too many to do them all for this first Pathfinder game anyway. If we do more, we'd be able to expand on the ones we made for this game. It was one of the reasons we had the scaling Kickstarter goals we did - we wanted to make sure we were budgeting realistically for what we could accomplish, and it made the reasons transparent to the backers as well.

[…]
Thanks Farflame!

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October 9th, 2018, 23:50
RockPaperShotgun seem to be complaining that Kingmaker is not tabletop game. Like no shit it is videogame.
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October 10th, 2018, 00:28
Why make a turn based game into a real time one?
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October 10th, 2018, 01:11
Originally Posted by Gwendo View Post
Why make a turn based game into a real time one?
Probably because of all the stories they wished to tell. A mass battle between goblins as occured in my playthrough would take too long in turn based.
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October 10th, 2018, 01:25
But the spirit that governs Pathfinder: Kingmaker is incapable of showing such mercy.
Yes, my Intel CPU is notably lacking in the quality of mercy. I'm hoping a Ryzen will be better.
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October 10th, 2018, 02:16
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Probably because of all the stories they wished to tell. A mass battle between goblins as occured in my playthrough would take too long in turn based.
I've been playing Kingmaker for over 50 hours and I'm still in chapter 3. Mind you, I haven't had chance to explore all the maps so far either. I actually thinks devs are right and the game is 120 hours on a completionist run. Can you imagine if this is TB? I'd say it will be over 200 hours then with 150 hours of combat.
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October 10th, 2018, 02:29
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I've been playing Kingmaker for over 50 hours and I'm still in chapter 3. Mind you, I haven't had chance to explore all the maps so far either. I actually thinks devs are right and the game is 120 hours on a completionist run. Can you imagine if this is TB? I'd say it will be over 200 hours then with 150 hours of combat.
Agreed. If they were trying to show an invasion in turn based they would show a max 6 units to keep it manageable. Its the advantage of the video game form. Being able to make multiple different decisions in RTWP is unique to computing and allows for many interesting decisions to be made that couldn't in tabletop with its turn based restrictions.

With a quality RTWP implementation and many difficulty options for people to choose its a no brainer.

* I like turn based and RTWP but only when done well obviously.
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October 10th, 2018, 02:43
Personally for me, being turn based would only improve the game. With that said, I'm still having a blast playing it, my preference is turn based but this game is worth playing regardless.
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October 10th, 2018, 04:13
Long live the RPGWatch Turn-Based Guild.

If you're RPG isn't Turn-Based it doesn't deserve to be called one.

This is sarcasm by the way as I enjoy both but prefer RTwP.
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October 10th, 2018, 04:46
Two more average reviews.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review - GameSpot Score: 6/10
All-told, Kingmaker isn't a stellar outing, hampered by a litany of small issues, balancing, and the gargantuan knowledge base you'll need to play most effectively. But, for those with the patience, the rewards are well worth the investment.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review - Twinfinite Score: 3/5
The case in favor of Pathfinder: Kingmaker comes with an overwhelming series of excuses. Epic quest lines exist, but a boring second act hampers them. The kingdom management shows unique advancement, but it houses nasty unresolvable events that result in a game over. Companions develop along fantastic storylines of their own but share mundane paths with mediating low-stakes conflict. With frequent technical issues on top of these, Pathfinder: Kingmaker remains hard to recommend at the moment.
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October 10th, 2018, 04:55
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Two more average reviews.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review - GameSpot Score: 6/10Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review - Twinfinite Score: 3/5
Even though I agree with both of the synopsis listed above, I still enjoy the game quite a bit. It is buggy, the 2nd chapter is amazingly dull. But…this is the first game and I think Owlcat has enough good stuff that I would back a 2nd game. I hated PoEt (as opposed to PoEx), and so wouldn't and didn't back the 2nd game. However, I've heard it was really good and may give it a looksee someday.
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October 10th, 2018, 05:51
Gargantuan knowledge base to play effectively, sounds like a big PLUS to me!

It's interesting that Paradox games don't get reviewed poorly for their gargantuan and esoteric knowledge needed to effectively play those games. I think there's a double standard for RPGs. Reviewers think that they need to be auto-win on the hardest mode. I love what Owlcat has done and it stands head and shoulders above the rest because they took that chance to make their dream game, based on a true pen-and-paper implementation and one that doesn't hold your hand and does rival the other "gargantuan knowledge base" games. Long live Owlcat!

Edit - And long live RTwP, my favorite combat system in RPGs.
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October 10th, 2018, 06:10
Found some more reviews that give it an average score.

RPG Site - Score:6/10
I do want to make one thing clear - I enjoyed what I played of Kingmaker so much that losing a companion to a bugged status effect and many numerous resets of several hours of progress to circumvent poorly balanced kingdom mechanics wasn't enough to get me to shelve the game. Interesting companions, a unique framework, and a strong story were all enough to force me to keep going, to hope that I could somehow navigate the bugs, ignore the failed questlines I wanted to finish, and persevere through wonky balancing in an attempt to reach the game's conclusion, only to be stonewalled on the last lap. In 6 months or so, once the many numerous issues are dealt with both on a performance front as well as balance, this game could be amazing. But right now it's not, and sadly, it's not close.
Trusted Reviews - Score:3/5
By committing to the systems it draws its name from, Kingmaker creates a deeply comprehensive and satisfying CRPG that is also incredibly lonely and masochistic when it wants to be.

If you fancy playing a painstakingly crafted virtual game of Dungeons & Dragons with HAL 9000 as your GM (and don’t get me wrong there are many of you out there), then this game is for you.

If not, you may enjoy the great voice acting and novel Barony system, but you should stick to more palatable CRPG’s that don’t assume so much knowledge and offer more than a modicum of respect for your free time.
DarkStation - Score:3.5/5
Pathfinder: Kingmaker is definitely one of the most faithful recreations of the D&D experience in digital form and those with patience, a love of numbers and a willingness to tolerate a bit of opacity and imbalance have much to look forward to. There’s something a bit overwhelming and unfriendly about the game’s mechanics and while Pathfinder’s faithful translation of D&D and city building elements are unique, a lot of the setting, story and characters are a bit too “standard CRPG.” There is room for improvement and growth through patches and content, and it will be interesting to watch Pathfinder: Kingmaker evolve.
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October 10th, 2018, 06:20
Double standard again. Where are the complaints about Victoria II or Crusader Kings? Expectations taint these scores, taint them I say!
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October 10th, 2018, 06:24
Originally Posted by TheRealFluent View Post
Double standard again. Where are the complaints about Victoria II or Crusader Kings? Expectations taint these scores, taint them I say!
Yep and you all know my opinion on the Paradox DLC Pyramid Scheme.

The one silver lining is most reviews are average, and I barely see worse numbers. Still the publisher and private investors might not like it, but sale's are what matters.
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October 10th, 2018, 06:27
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Yep and you all know my opinion on the Paradox DLC Pyramid Scheme.

The one silver lining is most reviews are average, and I barely see worse numbers. Still the publisher and private investors might not like it, but sale's are what matters.
And it seems to be selling quite well with a good amount of people playing. Paradox's DLC is ridirkulous but I'm excited for Kingmaker's DLC. I hope it's one big expansion that adds mythic levels, or two medium sized ones that also add new companions. I was slightly disappointed at only 12 companions. I want like 20 in these games to choose from.
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October 10th, 2018, 06:37
Originally Posted by TheRealFluent View Post
And it seems to be selling quite well with a good amount of people playing. Paradox's DLC is ridirkulous but I'm excited for Kingmaker's DLC. I hope it's one big expansion that adds mythic levels, or two medium sized ones that also add new companions. I was slightly disappointed at only 12 companions. I want like 20 in these games to choose from.
Hmm are sales that good though as official numbers are hard to get?

Anyway what I would like is more evil companions to help run my Kingdom, and quest with. Maybe some new content in future expansions also, if that's possible of course.

I would like them to optimize the game code in future patches also.
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October 10th, 2018, 06:42
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Hmm are sales that good though as official numbers are hard to get?

Anyway what I would like is more evil companions to help run my Kingdom, and quest with. Maybe some new content in future expansions also, if that's possible of course.

I would like them to optimize the game code in future patches also.
More companions and advisors, evil or otherwise would be cool. With different strengths. I did find an evil priestess who wanted to be councilor to replace Tristian but I didn't recruit her. It does seem lacking on some evil advisors though.
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October 10th, 2018, 08:40
Hotfix Patch 1.07 was also released today.

Spoiler – Patch Notes
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October 10th, 2018, 09:22
I still haven't started yet. Planning to do so next weekend or so. Seems to still have a bunch of major issues, sadly, but I generally have a high tolerance for that sort of thing if the game is captivating.

It does sound like I should read up on the rules before I start though, despite most of it being rather similar to a system I know well (D&D 3.5).
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