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Pathfinder: Wrath of the righteous


ravnaz
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I picked up the original recently as it was going cheap on Steam and the consensus seemed to be that it had morphed from a very buggy and rough launched game that I never heard anyone talk about into actually a really good (if unforgiving) example of the genre.

 

I've only played a few hours so far but am enjoying it, it's very shlocky, but it's having fun with the material and doing some cool things, and I doubt you're playing a game like this for the story anyway, the appeal of this over say, Pillars of Eternity, is that this has a whole lot of systems and let's you really go wild - like having your caster just make your sword guy bigger every battle so he does more damage, stuff that's kind of ludicrous in isolation but makes sense in terms of crunchy number-go-up optimisation.

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  • 4 months later...

I started this today - fancied something with a meaty story to get stuck into. So far, it's better than the first. The story is ok so far, some dodgy writing here and there, but it's fun enough and keeping me interested. I played Pathfinder the tabletop RPG for a couple of years so I've recreated my character from that, a witch called Wren Duskhallow. I've had to change her build a bit - in my Pathfinder group I made her almost purely support and battlefield control as it's what my party lacked (they'd all picked damage dealers). I'm not sure how many of the cool witch spells are in the game (some I used previously were from expanded rulebooks and stuff), but they get some cool shit so hopefully at least some of it has made it across!

 

 

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Ive been playing for a fair bit. Once I got to the mandatory open world turn based crusade battles and troop management, I got a bit bored. I’ll probably go back but i haven’t enjoyed the entire other game they’ve shoved in for no reason.

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Well I've only played a few hours but:

 

- I think having previous knowledge of the Pathfinder system (not a lot, but some) really helps. The game is dense. The character creation is packed with options - Pathfinder prides itself on being far more flexible than D&D 5e and you can pretty much create whatever you want, as far as characters go, in the TTRPG. The computer game is obviously more limited in that respect, but still incredibly deep. There are hundreds of options to choose from and if you're like me and get analysis paralysis over character creation, it'd be enough to put you off! 

 

- That prior knowledge of Pathfinder also extends to the rules which are faithfully recreated here to an astonishing degree. No dumbing it down for the game! This means I understand why my characters can do things one turn but not the next, can move a certain distance one turn but less/more the next, how stacking spells works and so on. Again, if you've not played Pathfinder I imagine it will be extremely complex and confusing

 

- The in-game tutorial pop ups are actually very handy. For example, my witch was using a crossbow as she didn't have many spells yet and I kept missing - the game threw up a pop up to explain that I was missing because I was firing into melee, and it's hard to hit your target in a scrum. It recommended that if I wanted to continue doing this, I'd best best picking up certain feats and told me what they were.

 

- The in-game Encyclopaedia is great for explaining stuff - if it uses a term highlighted in a colour, mousing over it will explain what it is. Lore, people, spells, conditions etc are all covered and it's very handy if you want some background on wtf everyone is talking about.

 

- I've gone with turn-based combat as it's a bit easier to manage but you can do real time, too

 

- The voice acting is a mixed bag but the music is pretty good, though nothing too standout so far

 

- It looks nice for an isometric RPG - lots of nice effects for spells and things

 

- It's surprisingly gory - people getting beheaded, chopped in half, exploding in a shower of blood etc

 

- The story so far is very tropey (demon invasion, chosen one, last stand of humanity, that kind of thing) but it's compelling enough that I'm enjoying it and it's giving me what I wanted from it

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4 minutes ago, RJames said:

Ive been playing for a fair bit. Once I got to the mandatory open world turn based crusade battles and troop management, I got a bit bored. I’ll probably go back but i haven’t enjoyed the entire other game they’ve shoved in for no reason.

 

Yeah I've heard that complaint a lot tbh and it's not something I'm looking forward to, but we'll see when I get there, I suppose.

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I really liked this game, it was my goty for 2021. Imo it's the best iso crpg since BG2. I think it's two biggest issues is 1) The crusade system which isn't as broken as it was but there's no getting around the fact that's it's just not that fun. It's pretty basic and is nowhere near as enjoyable as HoMM or King's Bounty.

 

2) It takes the Pathfinder system and goes crazy with numbers. By the end of the game you're fighting demons with armour values of 75+ and with saving throws of like 30+. All of which means you can't really faff about with your build. Even on the standard difficulty you need to know what you're doing build wise because you need those bonuses to hit the armour value & resistances of big bosses. 

 

That said I was so impressed with how much the game has to offer. It's massive but the writing is really consistent, the fights (once you've built your party properly) are excellent and I've never seen an RPG go so far in giving you absolutely broken abilities. The game says "hey we're gonna throw ridiculously strong enemies at you but here's a Dragon as a pet" Imo it's a must try for anyone who enjoys the black Isle/bioware games of old. 

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That's why I liked playing a witch in my pathfinder group - their hex spells can reduce AC and saves almost permanently, but in truth I was level 8 and things didn't have AC of 75, that's insane! I feel like all my team are missing constantly in this already and they're only level 3!

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I was going to, but since I’m a witch as well I didn’t necessarily want to double up. She’s built differently - more about damage - whereas I’m about control, so it could work but at the moment I quite like my party (Seeleh, Camellia, Nenio, new boy Wolfjif. I’ve currently got Ember and Daerun in reserve). 
 

Had a hilarious bit earlier: go into a mansion to find some full on hedonistic party going on just as demons break in and start killing everyone. I used my new tiefling rogue pal to cast grease on the ground to trip a big demon…only all the party guests start running round in a panic and they all run past this grease trap. This begins about five minutes of people running, slipping over into a pile of tripped party goers, trying to get up, slipping over again. Then I send the melee in my party over, thinking they’ll be fine and walk around the grease trap. Nope. AI walks then right through it so now three of my party, including the tiefling who cast it, keep falling over onto this pile of prone party people. The only way it would have been funnier would have been with yakkaty sax and comedy slip noises playing. 

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One thing: although I’m playing as chaotic neutral in this play through, there are a lot of cool things that you can pursue if you want to play evil (e.g. becoming a lich), so it’s a shame to see that most (but not all) of the “evil” conversation options are just “attack”. Games like this so rarely get being evil right. If you look at the alignment chart, “evil” is so much more than just being a murdering psycho. In fact, being a murdering psycho is considering chaotic evil, which is like being the Joker - wanting to see the world burn kind of thing. Lawful evil is more like Darth Vader. Maintaining an evil regime but with a code of honour, laws that you follow and uphold, even if they’re bad. Not afraid to kill, but not killing for the sake of it or on a whim. So far, the only evil options seem to be kill everyone you meet! 

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1 minute ago, Doctor Shark said:

My entire party died when my high dex rogue failed a DC 15 athletics check crossing a log over a chasm in the market square and the whole party fell to their very ignoble deaths :lol:

I think this post sold me on this game

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Well thankfully I could just load my last save, but imagine if that had been how a party got wiped in the tabletop game? "Hey, remember that time we were the only ones who could stop a huge demonic invasion from taking over the world, but we slipped off a log and died?" That'd be a story you'd tell for years and years! 

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Just picked this up from GOG.

 

Any recommendations for a starting class for someone with no real experience of Pathfinder?  Played a bit of Kingmaker, but never really understood the complexities.

 

Not played a paper RPG since MERP, so even finding the opening choice of class/race to be overwhelming.  How can their be five sub classes of Druid?

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1 hour ago, Doctor Shark said:

Well thankfully I could just load my last save, but imagine if that had been how a party got wiped in the tabletop game? "Hey, remember that time we were the only ones who could stop a huge demonic invasion from taking over the world, but we slipped off a log and died?" That'd be a story you'd tell for years and years! 

Exactly, the stuff of legend. "And then we just got wasted for the rest of the evening because fuck that"

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55 minutes ago, theredstar said:

Just picked this up from GOG.

 

Any recommendations for a starting class for someone with no real experience of Pathfinder?  Played a bit of Kingmaker, but never really understood the complexities.

 

Not played a paper RPG since MERP, so even finding the opening choice of class/race to be overwhelming.  How can their be five sub classes of Druid?


There are actually far more than five, there’s just five in the game :lol:

 

For a starting class either a fighter, paladin or wizard/sorcerer is probably a safe bet. They’re all fairly simple to play. Keep in mind this is slavishly following the rules of the ttrpg, so most abilities can only be used a couple of times before you have to rest - it’s not a typical game where you can just cast fireballs as much as you want! Plan accordingly. 
 

Every character in your team and every enemy you fight has what’s called an armour class (AC) - this is a number that represents how hard you/they are to hit, basically. When you attack, the game rolls a dice behind the scenes and if your attack number is bigger than their armour number, you hit. If it’s not, you miss. There are of course more complexities to this (abilities they add numbers to your attack, abilities that reduce your attack, abilities that add to or reduce the AC number etc) but that’s the general gist of it. I’d recommend putting turn based on to learn how the combat flows and what your abilities do. 
 

Otherwise, just pick what you like the sound of and give it a go. In game it’s not that difficult and a fairly typical example of the genre, and it’s pretty good at explaining esoteric rules when it has to. If there’s anything you’re particularly stuck with, a quick Google or asking me should help! I haven’t played loads of the ttrpg but I know enough to get by and nothing in this game has caught me out yet. 

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Switch on the turn based mode for hard battles too, makes it way easier to parse what's going on. I prefer real time with pause but even I have to admit it's a mess at times with some of Pathfinder's rules.

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I accidentally left real time on after I loaded my save today and the first room I went into, everything and everyone just exploded in a shower of explosions and blood and gore and I had no idea what was going on or who was doing what, only that all the demons were dead and my team were not and the whole thing lasted about 6 seconds. For tough battles or bosses I use turn base still, but for random scrubs I leave real time on as it’s so much quicker! 

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This game really shows that porting tabletop rules verbatim is very limiting.

I like that they have the class and sub-class flexibility but there's no real point to them having the entire feat system in place because you basically have to choose to-hit and spell penetration feats for all classes or you're never going to be able to do anything to any of the demons (90% of the enemies). You also have to deal with very very high damage reduction (DR) from the outset.


There's limited fun to the levelling up because you can't choose what's cool, you have to google what's the thing that's going to avoid completely hobbling you in the late game. I chose one level above 'Normal' which still bends the rules of Pathfinder significantly to make it easier because RPGs are also boring if the encounters are too easy.

Finding the sweet spot between challenging combat for regular builds and have-to-spec-perfectly-min-maxy to get anywhere is really really small. And if you balance it for regular builds you then make the min-maxy builds too powerful (though I think this is the better option of the two).

By far my most effective character at the moment is Lann because he gets to attack 3 times and has very high 'to hit' and that's mostly what matters.

 

It also has a number of quirks and problems in this area, but overall I think Divinity II has the best balanced combat system (in this way) of the big CRPGs. Some builds are crazy broken in that and some are useless, but the sweet spot is much broader than Pathfinder...

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On 09/01/2022 at 01:14, RJames said:

Ive been playing for a fair bit. Once I got to the mandatory open world turn based crusade battles and troop management, I got a bit bored. I’ll probably go back but i haven’t enjoyed the entire other game they’ve shoved in for no reason.

 

Man, the army bit they suddenly thrust on you with ZERO explanation of how any of it works, what you're meant to do and how you're meant to win is PROPER SHIT. :lol:

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