Pathfinder: Kingmaker

New hotfix just dropped (as of about 3pm EDT), and custom companions are supposed to be fixed.

So, main quest in act 1 has a timer. Does it matter?
And can you still do stuff in act 1 after you finish main quest?
Because time is certainly running out.

For some reason the RTwP games just encourage me to play sloppily. Since a lot of battles can be won by just selecting my party and attacking one target, then moving to the next one I just tend to charge in. I also usually try to get my 2 tankish characters to get some enemies engaged - but a lot of times that is it.

Then there are the battles that this gets me in trouble and I try to salvage them. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. Then I just replay the ones I lose, being more careful. This really isn't the most rewarding way to play, but it's a hard habit to break. I'm less likely to just take this careless approach in a turn based system.

Another thing is I have no many consumables I don't want to bother going through them all to decide when to use them. I tend to stick to basic items - like ones to heal, or bless, etc... Mayhbe I'm just too impatient.

Shadout wrote:

So, main quest in act 1 has a timer. Does it matter?
And can you still do stuff in act 1 after you finish main quest?
Because time is certainly running out.

I'm assuming it matters, but they give you a lot of time. I think I had around half left when I completed that mission.

There was at least 1 quest I couldn't do anymore after I completed the timed quest.v I don't think they all become undoable though.

I got 24 days left, and dont think I am anywhere close to the end - at least not judging by quest descriptions

Spoiler:

(looking for Tartuccio)

The balance in this game is really something unique. A single leopard has destroyed a full group about 20 tries in a row. It doesnt even has as high AC as some enemies - my hit chance is around 20% (at least in theory). But apparently it is immortal and can two-shot a tank, so who cares.

Btw, where can I see which debuffs an enemy got? Managed to get a debuff in on it, but nothing happened.

Edit: Got to an area now, which I had been in multiple times before, and a new event + quest appeared, with tons of easy enemies, giving lots of XP. Makes me wonder if some quest triggers might be bugged and you are supposed to get it much earlier.

Spoiler:

kobolds vs mites

I think if you focus on progressing the main quest you shouldn't run out of time. Try not to rest too frequently as that eat up a lot of time. I was level 4 when i went into the battle for the timed quest. It was difficult and I failed a bunch of times.

You know, I'm not sure about the enemy debuffs. I think I am usually casting buffs on my own people.

Not resting seems impossible. It has gotten better, but I got to rest quite frequently still . My last rest was a 27 hour one :O Really tired people I have with me.
Getting close to lvl 4 now.

One thing I'll give them, the amount of items the hotfixes (supposedly) have already resolved is impressive. The downside is that the amount of apparently broken quests points, etc, that are bugged makes me think the earliest I want to dive back in is the big patch slated for the end of next week.

Recreational Villain wrote:

One thing I'll give them, the amount of items the hotfixes (supposedly) have already resolved is impressive. The downside is that the amount of apparently broken quests points, etc, that are bugged makes me think the earliest I want to dive back in is the big patch slated for the end of next week.

That comment helped me, was just thinking about buying the game, think i'll buy it next wrekend!

I've not seen any egregious bugs. There's still some fit and finish to do (a missing weapon graphic on a character here, some misspellings in dialogues there). I just finished the first chapter(?)

Spoiler:

killed the stag lord

I got that done with 63 days left.

I seldom rest in the wilds, only if severely beat up (such that potions cannot fix it easily) or my characters get exhausted.

I focus on buffing my guys rather than try to debuff the other side. Especially at low levels, debuffing seems to fail an awful lot. But Bless and Shield of Faith (I think that's what it's called?) work very well. Also, having the bard play Inspire Courage helps a lot.

This is far more like Baldur's Gate than anything I can think of that has come out in the last few years in how it plays.

Sorry for those that are seeing bugs, I know that is super aggravating. But my experience has been pretty bug free.

Buffing has seemed mostly pointless so far for me. I keep doing it just for the sake of it (Shield of Fate mostly), but the buffs seem too really small to matter. Against trash enemies you dont need them, against oneshotting enemies, it doesnt stop the oneshots. Whereas, applying a debuff to a oneshotting enemy, certainly might stop them from oneshotting.
Mostly tried to use Blindness and Demoralize so far, also sometimes Hypnotism and sleep, but cant recall the later two ever actually hitting a target. The first two have hit a few times. But the apparent lack of a target interface makes it hard to tell if a debuff is up or not.

Edit: recently got Blur buff, which actually seems useful. Havent had a chance to use it yet though.

Got to say, as disappointing as the game was in the beginning, getting a full group, getting a healer!, and getting to lvl 4 allowing your chars to do more than auto attack, has made it feel substantially better. Balance still seems all over the place, but in a lot more fights now it feels like what you do, actually makes a difference. And not just whether or not you roll 20 ten times in a row.
They probably should have made the first 4 lvls come much faster, and let you find 2 more team members as the first thing you do in act 1.

Blur is pretty good too!

13 days left on the timer. That is less good. Moving toward what I think is the final area in act 1 though, so unless I need to rest between each fight, maybe it will work.

Good luck Shadout!

How did people here handle the quest "An Ancient Curse"?

Spoiler:

My party (level 4) could easily handle the 2 waves of giant spiders, but the Silke and Doomspider kept kicking our asses. I looked at the log and they were almost impossible to hit with their high ACs. The DC for sunder was off the charts. I'd buff my guys as much as I could and still get killed.
.
So I went back to town to see what supplies I could get, and also memorized some remove paralysis spells. I also bought a wand of fireballs. That was a game changer. 3 or 4 hits with that thing and the Doomspider and Silke were dead. They still took out one of my characters but at least not permanently.
.
How did you guys win this battle? Was I too low level? I'm curious to hear your approaches.

Killed act 1 bad guy! With 9 days left, phew. He was quite easy, the groups of enemies guarding him were a lot harder. Got to lvl 5 right after the boss.
Trying to finish a few other areas with the few days I got left. Not sure what might or might not disappear when moving on.

Haven't gotten Ancient Curse quest yet, but I guess it must be close.

Kneel subjects! This is Shadoutopia! You all belong to me know.

Oh, also I got the Ancient Curse quest. Though it sounded like I had to wait a month to do it.

Edit: My wizard felt really weak in act 1. But at lvl 5 so far fights are: Cast fireball. Cast fireball again. Loot. <3
I guess it wont last. Also means I have to rest between each fight of course... but hey, got to rejoice in the lack of a doom timer.

Got to Ancient Curse

Spoiler:

just after hitting lvl 6. Made it quite the walkover. I can see how it could be extremely frustrating at lvl 4 though, Silky kept CCing half my party. But the spider died so fast it never mattered. It was only really the barb character in my group who could hit the spider, but she is also by far my main dmg dealer.

Much more frustrating was the solo quest. I hate when group-based CRPGs have these main character solo quests. It can really screw you over depending on which build you have (especially which skills in this case). Took a ton of reloads to get through.

Seems like I have handled the kingdom management badly. Spend all my BP on buildings, and now events keep popping up with BP costs that I cant pay :/

Out of curiosity, did anyone spring for the versions where you get the Red Panda pet? I was just wondering how awesome it is to have a Red Panda (I really want a Red Panda).

Shadout wrote:

Much more frustrating was the solo quest. I hate when group-based CRPGs have these main character solo quests. It can really screw you over depending on which build you have (especially which skills in this case). Took a ton of reloads to get through.

I've been avoiding that one so far. I've got some Troll Troubles...

Hit my first major bug (unless I count balancing as a bug).
A new companion early in act 2 (an alchemist), can't be leveled up. I have to pick a spell during lvl up, but there are no spells to pick...
Anyone had the same issue?

Edit: Heh, it is a visual bug, the spells can be clicked on, just not shown. Weird.

I restarted on Challenging after they hotfixed things, and it's been much better - there are still some jarring difficulty bumps, but it's been doable with some thought. I've been slowly optimizing my team as I'm able to get custom companions, and quite enjoying the process. I was able to pretty easily defeat the Stag Lord with about 30 days to go in about five tries.

Spoiler:

Angry Owlbear BAD.

I've been paying close attention to the combat logs, and I've gotten a better understanding of why things are the way they are. Essentially they've min/maxed every single mob, particularly humanoids. And they aren't afraid to throw them at you in numbers. Level 2 bandit thug? Barbarian with 18 Strength and 16 Dexterity running Rage with a masterwork greatsword, scale armor, Dodge, and Weapon Focus. I'm routinely seeing attack bonuses of +8 at level 2, +12 at level 3, and 20+ at level 4. The difficulty bump is only +2, and is practically lost in the background.

This makes for a game that is strongly tilted towards all-out offense, because defense is almost impossible. One of my custom companions is a highly optimized tower shield tank, and at level 4 his AC peaks at 34 ... which isn't nearly enough. I'm tempted to try a group that just throws caution to the wind and is based on rushing the enemy with totally offensive rogues and barbarians, wiping out their support classes before they can get their defenses up.

And that's really where I'm feeling the appeal of the game - tinkering with optimizing my group just to keep them alive through the next battle.

I've seen some claims, that the issues might come from the difficulty setting being "bugged", with enemies double dipping on the +2 stats, and so on for higher difficulties. Whether that double dipping is intended or not is hard to say though.
After I got to act 2, Challenge seems quite good though. Despite having zero knowledge about the Pathfinder systems. Can't know if act 1 would have felt fine too, after the nerfs.
My only remaining issue, is how characters can be outright killed randomly (and not just knocked out), which is stupid design. Lots of fights where I am seconds away from winning, turns to reloads because a companion (or my main char) just got deleted.

There is certainly lots of room for optimization, which is part of what I like in this kind of game. Currently I can easily imagine going for a second playthrough one day, on highest difficulty, to see how far I can get with a fully optimized group. Enjoyed that tremendously in Pillars of Eternity.

Sweet jesus, finished an early main quest

Spoiler:

troll quest

in act 2. Other than an epic crazy fight, that was quite the option it gave me.

Spoiler:

Because my character is Chaotic (Good) I could let the trolls pledge fealty to me. EVERYONE on my team got really pissed about it, after the trolls have attempted to kill and eat everybody.

Hope it has some effects later on.

Edit: Ouch, so apparently I am permanently thrown out of the whole dungeon area after that, with plenty of locked doors left. That kinda seems like an oversight. Or just stupid.

Shadout wrote:

My only remaining issue, is how characters can be outright killed randomly (and not just knocked out), which is stupid design. Lots of fights where I am seconds away from winning, turns to reloads because a companion (or my main char) just got deleted.

This happened to me during the Stag Lord fight. Things were going great ... and then he critted my character for 54 damage (54!) and the fight was over.

Well played game, well played

Spoiler:

After doing the troll quest, I run into a random battle with trolls in it. And they run away from me <3

A lot of the didficulties I’m seeing are related to just how accurately they recreated the tabletop game.

Crits suck. Over the course of the game your characters will get hit 10000x more than any one given enemy. So your chance of getting crit are a lot higher than any enemy. And at low levels that’s just game over. Because of random chance. For almost all difficulties I recommend tuning crits down because of this.

Tanking is bad. There are not a lot of ways to reliably pull aggro. Strategic placement is your guys will help, but generally having a guy with a tower sheild fighting defensively is a bad idea. They won’t hit anything. Enemies will eventually ignore you and risk an attack of opportunity (that won’t hit anyway) to walk up to your back line. It’s all about preventing the enemies from attacking you in the first place. Wizards are king. Ton of disables and area effect spells. Sleep and web the two best spells in the early game. Prevent the enemy from attacking in the first place and you will take a lot less damage.

I'm both iimpressed with the game and not at all happy with it in multiple areas. I think my single biggest observation is this:

I do not believe they actually played their game.

What I mean by that is simply... it's got too many rough edges. It feels like a game that's been designed, built to the design, and then released. It feels like it didn't get the interim step of people actually playing through the whole thing, experiencing it as a gestalt, tuning up the bits that didn't work, and then doing it again. There are *a lot* of things that don't work well in Kingmaker, and nearly all of them could absolutely be fixed.

The biggest overall problem is load times. They are freaking interminable. They do this really weird split between main exploration mode (Baldur's Gate mode, in essence), map mode, and then kingdom management mode, which looks almost like map mode, but not quite. Each time you transition from one state to another, you're stuck for about a minute while it loads. And you transition all the goddamn time. It is so easy to misclick and exit out of the mode you want, and be forced into two more minutes of waiting. (one to load the area you exited from, and another minute to get back into the mode you want to be in.) This happens over and over and over and over. It is very frustrating.

Similarly, your characters move incredibly slowly. You can turn off party encumbrance in the menu, which helps, but the game tracks individual encumbrance no matter what. Even base movement speed is poky-slow, and then nearly all your characters will be slower than that from carrying armor and weapons. You spend so. much. time. waiting. for this stupid game.

As another thing, it really really feels like a campaign run by a sadistic DM. The people at Owlcat games aren't interested in showing you a good time, they want to punish your mistakes. If you don't have a highly min-maxed party, and if you don't understand what you're doing with the combat system and with character design, you're going to have a hard time, even on normal mode. It feels like they're annoyed that they have to just barely give you a way to survive each area, and that they may attach prerequisites to survival that you can't possibly meet and that they don't check for. (like the spiders folks are talking about upthread, a 100% lethal encounter if you don't have some kind of AOE fire, and lots of it. Basically: no mage means probable TPK.) This happens constantly, where you run into wandering monsters that are just insanely powerful compared to you, or which require a trick spell loadout to survive. Oddly, the fixed encounters tend to be less crazy mean than the wandering ones, a lot of the time. But that's not always true: the isle of Candlemere is super-deadly unless you've got enough of a specific kind of spell, and trivial if you do.

A lot of this game design is oriented around killing you, repeatedly. This is a central mechanic of the design, where they KNOW you're going to die, and then you're going to reload, prepare spells differently, and try again. And they seem to be very happy about this basic mechanic, because they use it constantly.

Basically, these are just mean DMs. If this were real life, I would not suggest playing with these people. They're no fun.

So true.

The game could really use PoE’s speed toggle when moving.

Anyone still playing?
This thing is getting more bugged than even Divinity Original Sin 2.
So many quests I cant complete due to bugged NPC's. And a companion I cant recruit, because he wont spawn - yet I got his quest :S

Also apparently a widespread, game breaking bug was introduced in the most recent hotfix, that causes your characters to get endless stats (like 100s of skills, attributes etc). Somehow that one has not hit me yet.

I've been experimenting with different builds vs. Hard difficulty while waiting for the bugfixes to arrive. My main group on Challenging is saved just after the Stag Lord fight. It's ... pretty difficult to even make it out of the tutorial on Hard.

Also, I found that

Spoiler:

if you don't level up before the second fight at Oleg's, you can get custom companions for 100 gold after the fight (it says 500, but only charges you 100). The downside is that they are level 1 with no experience, but this does allow you get a real healer and more firepower before hitting the spiders and Tartuccio.

I've put it on the shelf to take part in the current RPG club game. I'll come back once I finish that or (more likely) get bored/frustrated/lost in a miasma of side quests/something comes up IRL and I lose my mental place and stop playing that.