WotR Not a review

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Morrandir

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So I finished my first actual playthrough a few days ago.
Just some random remarks which contain mild spoilers:

  • If I had to describe the experience in one word it would be epic, which entails the main theme and the perceived awesomeness of the game, and my game time of almost 300 hours. There's no other single-player RPG I have put that much time into for a single playthrough. And I enjoyed most of it.

  • I guess the main reason for the long playtime is the turn-based combat. I started the game with RtwP and only switched to TB in tough battles. But from approximately early mid-game I played TB only. Difficulty was core, and I haven't optimized my party in detail, so some of the encounters where really tough for me (especially in early game and late end-game) and I had to replay them a few times which again increased game time.
    With this game I realized that I want to play every D20 game in turn-based mode. That's what D20 systems were made for. For me it's so much more fun, elevating the game to another level.
    However I can see that for other folks it might become tedious and thus I hope that Owlcat and other devs keep and improve the hybrid approach.

  • My MC was a NG Aasimar Wizard (Elemental Specialist) and I went for Azata without switching later. I guess it's also quite a strong build because by chosing the right feats you can overcome any elemental resistances and immunities with every spell. (You can select a feat to ignore immunities for one element type, e.g. Fire. Then you chose another feat turning all elemental damage to this elemental type. E.g. you chose Fire and all other spells like Chain Lightning, Cone of Cold, Stormbolts will as well cause fire damage.)
    Also spell resistance isn't a concern anymore. My mid-to-late-game opener often was to teleport directly into the enemy crowd with a Quicken rod and then cast Stormbolts with a Maximize rod doing 100-200 (later even more) damage to each creature, sometimes stunning most and thus trivializing the encounter.

    The path was quite fun, however a little too flowerish and childish. I would have liked a more serious non-Angel good option like the Archmage.

  • I liked most of the companions. All in all they're well done, including their personal quests which (I guess) I all completed.
    My core party was Sheelah, Lann, Arueshalae, Woljif, and Daeran (initally I went with Sosiel but he was too boring).

  • A nice little detail was that by encouraging Ember with her preaching she ultimatly managed (or at least helped) to turn a demon lord around and leave the evil ways behind, which I afterwards noticed is even Pathfinder canon.

  • My main complaint about the game still is the setting (adventure path) and the quite monotonous theme that comes with it. During the alpha I complained that you do nothing besides fighting demons in destroyed buildings. Well, I need to partly revoke this because you don't always fight in destroyed buildings. But still it's almost always demons. Only on rare occasions you get some variety and fight humans, golems or dragons. So it really gets boring.
    I think Owlcat could have done more to create variety without having to sacrifice the authenticity of the setting (e.g. the demons could just have used various enslaved creatures).

  • My second biggest complaint is the crusade management. While I think that every diversion and change of pace in an RPG is nice, the actual implementation of the crusade management in WotR is heavily flawed. Usability is horrendous. Also it is simultaneously too complex (I have still no idea which types of troops I can train, via upgrades and how all of it works) and too simple: During the whole game I had only a single actual army. Just in one specific moment in Act 5 I had the need for a second army which I luckily had because I dropped all random unfitting troops in an army and leveled the general a bit (just in case). But if you only need a single army, then you don't have a strategy game.
    Also building stuff in Drezen and the outposts is badly done with having to switch between screens a thousand times without having an actual overview.
    All in all this part of the game didn't pull down the quality of the game too much but it also didn't add anything significantly positive besides giving the feeling that the MC wasn't responsible for a small party only but for an actual crusade. It's a lot wasted potential.

  • In terms of items/loot I missed good robes for my MC wizard and also enough good bows. With Lann and Arue I used the same bows for most of the game. I would have liked to switch more often.
    Also there haven't been enough boots or gauntlets. Imho there should be at least a few good items for each slot for each character type.

  • Can't say anything about romance besides that my "planned" romance with Arueshalae didn't work out. Perhaps it was bugged or I chose the wrong dialogue options.
    It was quite funny with Daeran as he tried to seduce my MC. MC played along as he just wanted to spend some bro-time with him to understand him better, but that didn't work out in the end. :D
    I then finally tried to hook up with the Queen but she refused. Apparently she was afraid of my chaotic Azata nature.
    Oh well, I guess MC will die alone… hm… or he could seek out Nocticula in Elysium. ;)

  • I'm still unsure about the Mythic paths. First thing is that for me they're a little over the top. While I like my MC (and companions) to become stronger with time, I don't want to become on a level with demon-lords during a single game. I like it a bit more down to earth or at least slower. However that's more a problem of the adventure paths itself I think.
    Also mechanically the Mythic levels add another layer of complexity which imho isn't necessary in an already complex rule set. They should have at least simplified it a bit. I still don't understand why we need to make a distinction between Mythic Abilities and Mythic Feats.

  • Also I'm unsure if I like it that they again implemented a secret ending which in a first playthrough imho can only be achieved by pure luck. It more or less forces a replay which I think is the reason why they put it in. I'd like it better if the possible outcome is somehow communicated early so that you can deliberately work towards this goal and have an actual chance to achieve it on first try without meta-gaming.

  • Technically the game was ok. I didn't play a lot in the first weeks after release and I restarted after ~60 hours, so I guess a lot of the bugs had been fixed when I finally played the later acts.
    So I only had some minor problems.

  • The best part of the game for me was Alushinyrra, the city in the Abyss. I just like playing in cities and being in a demon city was a novelty for me. I was very happy being assaulted while spending a night in the tavern. It somehow felt familiar and right. :D

  • All in all I rated it 9.25/10 on my personal fun scale which is the same I gave for Kingmaker. WotR had some clear improvements (e.g. TB combat), but I liked the setting in Kingmaker a lot better.
    Thus I rated it above than all of the party based isometric RPGs in the last years like D:OS2 (9.0) , PoE2 (8.5), PoE (8.0), TToN (7.5), Solasta (7.25), D:OS1 (7.0). So for me Pathfinder is the actual spiritual succesor of the original BG games.
    I also rated it better than CP77 (9.0), KCD (8.5), ME:A (8.5), DA:I (8.5), but still not as good as TW3, BG2, ME2/3 (all 9.5).
 
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Redglyph

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Thanks for the non-review and sharing your thoughts! :)

I'm only in chapter 3 but I'll probably have the same opinion about the crusade management.

Do you think they should reduce the number of encounters, or the number of participants in each encounter, to adapt the gameplay time in TB?
 

Morrandir

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Do you think they should reduce the number of encounters, or the number of participants in each encounter, to adapt the gameplay time in TB?
When you just ask for the numbers, then for me it's a clear No as I enjoy these encounters.
However they should reduce the number of repeating encounters. The fun significantly drops if you just apply the same strategy to each encounter and everything goes just as the 20 previous encounters. They should increase variety.

However I wouldn't be mad if also the total number got decreased.
 

Redglyph

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When you just ask for the numbers, then for me it's a clear No as I enjoy these encounters.
However they should reduce the number of repeating encounters. The fun significantly drops if you just apply the same strategy to each encounter and everything goes just as the 20 previous encounters. They should increase variety.

However I wouldn't be mad if also the total number got decreased.

I agree. And reducing individual groups would be complicated to balance. Perhaps the game just needs a "frequency of encounter" setting, at the risk or more repetition when the frequency is higher. I see there's already an option to get more enemies for people who like longer and more challenging combats.

I'm enjoying it too when I'm using TB, but it took me months to complete Kingmaker. It's just too long and at the end I just wanted it to be finished, sadly.
 

Redglyph

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I still don't understand why we need to make a distinction between Mythic Abilities and Mythic Feats.

Abilities are normally linked to the class or the race, which I think is not the case for feats. That's why feats allow you to customize your character even more, independently of the other choices, within reason of course.

I should check later with mythic abilities & feats, but isn't that the same principle? Aren't mythic feats common to all paths and abilities specific to one (or maybe several)?
 

Morrandir

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I should check later with mythic abilities & feats, but isn't that the same principle? Aren't mythic feats common to all paths and abilities specific to one (or maybe several)?
That may well be, but it still could be simplified by putting all of them in a single category but giving them prerequisites like "Angel". That mechanic wouldn't be new to Pathfinder as there already feats which for example have a certain race as a prerequisite.
 

vanedor

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Epic is certainly the word. And I agree that chapter 4 was probably the most fun chapter... mainly because it was original and... I didn't have to bother with the very slow-paced City/Crusade management. It reminded me of the underdark chapter in BG2.

It's also probably what got me to stop playing the game in chapter 5 and I have not bothered, so far, to complete the game.
 

Redglyph

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That may well be, but it still could be simplified by putting all of them in a single category but giving them prerequisites like "Angel". That mechanic wouldn't be new to Pathfinder as there already feats which for example have a certain race as a prerequisite.

They didn't change it to maintain some coherency I suppose. You could say the same of normal feats and abilities, why not merge them? Well, because it changes the ruleset and its balance, for example by allowing the player to take many abilities sooner instead of alternating feats and abilities.
 

Morrandir

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Epic is certainly the word. And I agree that chapter 4 was probably the most fun chapter… mainly because it was original and… I didn't have to bother with the very slow-paced City/Crusade management. It reminded me of the underdark chapter in BG2.
Yes!

It's also probably what got me to stop playing the game in chapter 5 and I have not bothered, so far, to complete the game.
Well yeah, my enthusiasm also dropped after coming back. They didn't manage to keep up the tension.

They didn't change it to maintain some coherency I suppose. You could say the same of normal feats and abilities, why not merge them? Well, because it changes the ruleset and its balance, for example by allowing the player to take many abilities sooner instead of alternating feats and abilities.
Yes, you're right. But I guess there are ways to counter these problems. After all the Mythic paths in the game are quite different from the original rules so they had to balance it anyway.
 

Qayto

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That was an enjoyable write-up Morrandir.

I found I was jumping to and fro, TB to RTwP, even in the middle of a fight. If I have a criticism it was of positioning the party, they seemed to end up clumped together (RTwP) and although I mostly knew what was going on, I couldn't visualise it. TB, I found I was taking safest options all the time, not risking wasting a turn.

The crusade management I really struggled with but once the penny dropped (and I had been guided to the difficulty setting) I found the combat bit a welcome break, but the rest of it, building , recruiting, I don't think I truly knew what or why I was doing it, other than to get teleporters.

I liked the stories, wanting to know outcomes. Romance, I'm never fond of in games but enjoyed the way these stories were told. (being able to quicksave before making romantic overtures would be a great thing to have in real life).
 

GothicGothicness

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I kind of got stuck from time to time, there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, I know I probably just need to advance time....... but that happened quite a few times for me and it is a bit annoying. Otherwise fantastic game so far!
 

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I kind of got stuck from time to time, there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, I know I probably just need to advance time……. but that happened quite a few times for me and it is a bit annoying. Otherwise fantastic game so far!

I'm going to guess you are in chapter 2 - its optimal to advance your army and adventure party at the same time imo
 

Morrandir

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That was an enjoyable write-up Morrandir.
Thanks, nice you enjoyed it! :)

I found I was jumping to and fro, TB to RTwP, even in the middle of a fight. If I have a criticism it was of positioning the party, they seemed to end up clumped together (RTwP) and although I mostly knew what was going on, I couldn't visualise it. TB, I found I was taking safest options all the time, not risking wasting a turn.
Right, that was quite a hassle. What helped a lot was the ctrl key which prevented the cursor snapping to other creatures.
On a related note, targeting is also difficult if there are huge creatures. It even happened from time to time that I selected the wrong target due to the creature moving a bit in its idle animation…

The crusade management I really struggled with but once the penny dropped (and I had been guided to the difficulty setting) I found the combat bit a welcome break, but the rest of it, building , recruiting, I don't think I truly knew what or why I was doing it, other than to get teleporters.
Yeah, the battles were my favotite part of it. I guess because here at least I knew exatly what I was supposed to do. :D
Concentrating on teleporter seems like a smart idea. I totally ignored it because I had the impression that I coould go anywhere fast enough.
I just concentrated on building a supply center in every outpost to get more ressources and then the building that get more weekly troops… I have no idea if that made sense.

I liked the stories, wanting to know outcomes. Romance, I'm never fond of in games but enjoyed the way these stories were told. (being able to quicksave before making romantic overtures would be a great thing to have in real life).
I generally like well done romances and I'm still a bit grumpy that mine didn't work out due to a bug or wrong dialog choice. And that I wasn't somehow inforrmed that something went wrong.
There should be some kind of indicator for the player to see if he's still "on track" with a romance, so he always can reload when something goes wrong. However that would be difficult to implement well. It could easily become "gamey" decreasing immersion.

I kind of got stuck from time to time, there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, I know I probably just need to advance time……. but that happened quite a few times for me and it is a bit annoying. Otherwise fantastic game so far!
Hm… that didn't happen to me.
Aren't there enough hints in the journal?
 

txa1265

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Thanks for sharing ... I think I feel the same as @GothicGothicness; - I absolutely loved Act 1, then suddenly get a pretty poorly explained and hard to work crusade management system ... that I find dreadfully boring. I think I chose badly for my general, tried to balance ranged and melee combat but am finding it hard to divide things up to have a good sized array of combat stacks. I am thinking that I can't do it with the Mac trackpad and need an external mouse - which is different than the entirety of Act I.

Am I missing something, or does it just never get better and I should just quit the game? I heard there was a way to automate the crusade but it absolutely kills your ability for certain paths and side-quests and cutscenes and lore (which tells me it is broken). Any tips on managing this stuff? I know these HOM&M things are not my forte or favorite, but whereas I didn't have to reload through Act I, I have already reloaded twice in Act II. Ugh.
 

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You should be able to put it on easy.

Regarding army combat, you don't need to go for every fight in act 2. You can just wait for reinforcements too which come every week I believe.
 

txa1265

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You should be able to put it on easy.

Regarding army combat, you don't need to go for every fight in act 2. You can just wait for reinforcements too which come every week I believe.

Thanks- I just caught someone noting you have separate difficulties, so will do that and focus more on the party campaign while my sad little brigade recharges 🤣
 

purpleblob

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Am I missing something, or does it just never get better and I should just quit the game? I heard there was a way to automate the crusade but it absolutely kills your ability for certain paths and side-quests and cutscenes and lore (which tells me it is broken). Any tips on managing this stuff? I know these HOM&M things are not my forte or favorite, but whereas I didn't have to reload through Act I, I have already reloaded twice in Act II. Ugh.

Ok so, some info on crusade combat.

Footmen and archers are the units you can train on regular basis. I found footmen to be hopelessly weak in both defence and offence so I don't rely on them. Archers are good for offence, also has high initiative which let you attack enemies first.

Clerics and rangers are mercenaries - they are much stronger than your footmen and archers but more expensive. You'd better off hiring some clerics tho because they are significantly better than footmen in both defence and offence, even in smaller numbers.

Use clerics to move forward and tank, while archers provide damage from distance. I only use footmen to finish the weakened enemy armies.

Try to get Regill (hellknight companion) ASAP because that adds hellknight army unit as mercenaries. HK are really strong unit in chapter 2 and they are very mobile since its cavalry unit.

Edit: forgot to talk about general. Make sure you use general ability to buff your troop or damage enemies during your unit turn. You can use general's ability once per round, anytime during your unit's turn.

Which type general did you hire? Mage, archer or tank?

Other tips - you can convert your gold into army resource if you need it to hire more units. But remember, you can only train limited number of footmen and archers per week - once you hired maximum number, you have to wait until they are available again (even if you have enough resources).

If the merc unit you want is not available for the week, you can use 'search unit' button to reroll which merc is available - search function is free once a week, after that it costs resources.

Another tip - if you have 7500(?) gold available, talk to Irabeth
- she will get you some footmen and archers straight away. This only happens once tho, can't repeat it.
 
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txa1265

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Another tip - if you have 7500(?) gold available, talk to Irabeth
- she will get you some footmen and archers straight away. This only happens once tho, can't repeat it.

Thanks for all of the tips - @Arhu; also commented in the 'Tips & Tricks' thread (should have looked there earlier!), and I very much appreciate it!

I changed to 'story mode' for crusade management and am hoping that will help ... I am not looking for a challenge with this part of the game, just to get it out of the way.

I noticed that option in the dialogue when returning her family scabbard from the previous battle, so that was cool! I have been more concerned about not getting encumbered than gathering gold, maybe I need to do more loot-grabs :D
 
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