So on 12/4/19 Owlcat Games, creators of the CRPG Pathfinder Kingmaker announced their next CRPG project: Wrath of the Righteous. Much like Kingmaker, this will be built using the Adventure Path of the same name by Paizo, and using the Pathfinder ruleset but with some additions.
After reading the release announcement on PC Gamer and a bit on the Adventure Path on a wiki (Demonic War? Going to the Abyss? HELL YES!), I realized I have a few things that I hope they improve from Kingmaker in their new title.
Now, I have been having a blast overall with Kingmaker. I have been writing an in character journal, archiving my playthrough, and all that jazz. I have a party with their own custom history made up of Mercenary characters who all have history and backstories.
However, to get the experience that I enjoy, I had to use several mods to change how the default game works.
So lets talk about what I hope Owlcat Games does for Wrath of the Righteous.
1) More PC Portraits and Options: Its already been confirmed in the PC Gamer article that at least 2 more base classes are being added, plus the Mythic progression system from Pathfinder. The Witch and Oracle were confirmed, which is exciting for me as I love the Oracle (it’s my fav PF class) and the Witch is another fun arcane caster. I am hoping, however, for more baseline options for customizing our characters appearance and portrait. The default options in Kingmaker are very thin, do not feature very many POC options (I think there are 2? Maybe just 1), and really only give you like 2 per race. It’s really limited. Hopefully they can use their existing portraits and spend some time adding at least double if not triple the amount. Sure, we can add our own in Kingmaker, but having them in the base game will help at launch. I would also like the option to ROLL STATS instead of Point Buy during character generation. Give me that tabletop feel!
2) A built in option for Turn Base Combat: I HATE REAL TIME WITH PAUSE for these sort of games. They are built using tabletop rules, and tabletop rules are not designed for real time play but rather turn based. Anyone who has played DND or PF knows this. Now, thankfully, modders created an excellent mod for Turn Based Combat that I use in Kingmaker, and it makes play much more strategic and enjoyable for me. Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire also added in a Turn Based mode in a patch, and that makes me actually want to play that game. I am hoping that instead of having to rely on a mod, that Wrath will feature an option to switch between a Turn Based mode for folx like me, and a Real Time mode for those who want it.
3) Mercenary Parity with the PC / Companions: If you were unaware, you can actually “hire” mercenaries in Kingmaker. However, their cost is astronomical, and they are actually WEAKER than your PC or any Companion. Your PC in Kingmaker starts with 25 points to buy stats, and Mercs start with 20 which is a BIG drop in power. Further, in Kingmaker, Mercs are penalized if you try to use them as advisors for your kingdom! For someone like me, who might want to build specific character or party comps, this becomes an issue. Thankfully, a mod called Bag of Tricks allowed me to modify at least their stats, so I was able to make the party I wanted. I still cannot use them as Advisors though without penalty, nor do they grant me any bonus during camp sequences, which is really annoying. I get that perhaps Owlcat wants people to play with their companions, but after 1 or 2 plays using companions people may want to run custom parties based on their tabletop groups or friends.
4) Mercenary Bios: Look older CRPGs allowed us to customize the history and backstories of our Mercenary / Custom Companions. Kingmaker does not. I would love love love to see this option granted to Wrath of the Righteous. This would allow people like me, who again might prefer Merc parties, to play the way we want.
At the end of the day these are fairly minor issues that I imagine, if nothing else, modders will address. If the game is built on the same base engine as Kingmaker for instance I am sure that Bag of Tricks and the Turn Based Combat mod will be usable with some tweaking, which is good. I am excited to see what Owlcat announces for the game however, and regardless of whether or not these issues get addressed, I will still be aiming to play it (And maybe stream it) as soon as I am able.
Now if you will excuse me, I got a Barony to run!