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Pathfinder Why Owlcat's Kingmaker Sucks, in Plain Language

Discussion in 'Owlcat Games' started by Gregz, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Desert Wasteland
    These are a collection of review snippets from real people who have played the game. Every quote is from a different review, i.e. not the same person:

    This is my complete Steam review, and I only stopped at 20 because it's a round number:

    Show Spoiler
    I've been playing computer role playing games for over 30 years. In all that time I have never felt compelled to leave a negative review for a game. Kingmaker is a tremendous lost opportunity.

    The Good:
    1. Character creation and leveling follow the pathfinder ruleset closely.
    2. Combat mechanics are satisfying (despite being real time with pause, instead of turn-based).
    3. Custom party formation is a welcome quality of life feature.
    4. High fidelity graphics and visual effects.

    The Bad:
    1. Encounter design is terrible.
    2. Kingdom management is a tedious and joyless experience. The option to play with it disabled doesn't work. There are many cases where you can lose the game by "misplaying" this mechanic, without explanation.
    3. Maps are reused 4-5 times in places.
    4. Very slow party travel across maps, with no ability to change walk speed.
    5. Choices have consequences, which would be great if you were given a clue what they were.
    6. Alignment based dialogue is poorly thought out and forces the player to 'roleplay' according to Owlcat's definition of alignment, which is often wrong.
    7. Enforced encumberance forces you to leave valuable loot behind.
    8. +5 weapons, worth thousands of GP, can be found in barrels and crates in towns during the end game.
    9. Annoying toy chow dogs barking, and NPCs coughing and grumbling at every other rest location. Are these quaint and relaxing sounds in Russia?
    10. Heavy, expensive, and limited 'camping provisions' are required to rest in dungeons.
    11. No ability to craft + poor itemization and very limited vendor selection.
    12. Random encounters offer almost no XP, and a bunch of loot you can't carry.
    13. Failure to resolve quests before deadlines results in losing the game.
    14. Tedious unsatisfying puzzles.
    15. Custom quests are poorly described, requiring unintuitive actions from the player (like using torches to kill swarms).
    16. If your character isn't charisma (CHA) focused you'll miss out on an entire level of party XP because you can't make the throne room event skill checks.
    17. Unbearable load times. Frequent required trips back to your throne room to solve kingdom management issues makes this especially painful.
    18. XP is doled out at certain times and locations only, like a bad CYOA novel. You cannot farm meaningful amounts of XP to level your party using random encounters.
    19. The game ends abruptly before you can maximize your character's level.
    20. Inumerable bugs, many of which are game breaking.

    I lost two long games to game breaking and quest ending bugs.

    I considered not leaving this review in the hopes that more people would buy this game, complain, and perhaps as a result Owlcat would fix their mess. Instead they ignored the obvious deep flaws with their game and put out a DLC.


    This is my subsequent Codex review:

    Show Spoiler
    A profound wasted opportunity inspired by the Russian philosophy of go fuck yourself. Or as one Steam reviewer so aptly put it, Kingmaker is "Bad GMing, The Video Game." Kingmaker features claustrophobic quest timers with fatal end states, potentially game ending choices and consequences which you have to make blindly, feminist themes, race-mixing cuckold fetishes, and more! While Kingmaker starts strong, your only reward for playing is pain and suffering, which gets increasingly worse with each advancing chapter. This game hates you. It hates your party. It hates fun. It probably hates itself. Try as you may to build your party and enjoy a classical D&D experience, the metagame, whether in the form of fatal quest timers breathing down your neck, terribly implemented kingdom management mechanics, or fatal bugs in required quest chains will make you wish for the painful death of Owlcat's sadistic and incompetent developers. Kingmaker is not difficult in any traditional sense. Either you telepathically glean what the developers were thinking when they cobbled this mess together, or you lose the game.

    Outside of the metagame issues, how is the combat system you ask? More metagame abuse!

    The ambition and scope of Kingmaker is astonishing, the design and execution is a critical [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  2. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Ideas expressed in this post are so retarded it makes me wonder how this person is even able to produce any coherent speech at all since his IQ must be no more than 50.
     
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  3. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    I don't think it sucks, but it's nowhere near as good as people pretend it is. It's a good clone of a good game, it's not a genre (re)defining masterpiece.
     
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  4. Divine Blessing Novice

    Divine Blessing
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    AAA victims pride parade - convenience is a (ludophilosophical) factor, but the quest marker infection escalated into an outbreak of brain-afk demand (difficulty settings?). somehow the overtaxing is comprehensible, but a problem philosophy had to overcome with Foccault. the deconstruction of interactivity via convenience into an auto-chess movie has to result in fatigue, where the demand for games can only stagnate, as there is no innovative potential left - this is the ultimate crisis of gaming itself, when the demand grows weary of gamings surpreme last resort convinience, but can not return to past (and outdated) states. players dont want to "bot" games?

    although some arguments rnt wrong (esp tech is ugly), its a prove of RPGs stagnation - the core concepts were simply re-iterated on factors like accessibity, itemisation, usability etc, how convinient. this (ludo)psychological phenomena of the decline of intrinsic value is not a matter of overconsumption, but continous social change - the markets demand has changed (years ago).

    the problem itself is not convinience, as PFK has difficulty settings and mods to Dad-mode, but how convinience is employed. although PFK is really ugly at usability, the problem is innovation, PFK tries to simulate with complexity and (very minimal) genre mix. ofc PFK fails like any pretender, and simply ignores the last decade of gaming (as inspiration to try someting maybe not revolutionary, but new (remember c64 Kaiser?).
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  5. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Random mishmash of badly spelled jargon to desperately sound like they are intelligent

    Bots like these make me appreciate Infinitron
     
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  6. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
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    Owlcat's writing is pretty bad.
     
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  7. M. AQVILA Arcane

    M. AQVILA
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    Not as bad as Larian Studios though.
     
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  8. Ramnozack Learned Patron

    Ramnozack
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    Messages:
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    While I don't agree with a lot of your points, I will say that I think that the pacing, writing, and the area design needs to be improved upon. Everything just feels a little to small and 'disconnected'. It doesn't flow as well as the BG games do.
     
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  9. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    its not his points, its just retarded steam revios.
     
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  10. lukaszek the determinator

    lukaszek
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    ctrl+f: arcane archer: 0
     
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  11. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I mean this Divine Blessing dude.

    Owlcat writing is pretty forgettable and inoffensive, true to certain strands of P&P heritage.

    I'm not done with the game yet, but as much as I like the game overall & am impressed by the devs, it's also clear that they struggled to piece all the different mechanics together (a challenge for the best of devs) and that the game is a sometimes clunky, sometimes delightful homage rather than the glorious standard for new CRPGs.
     
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  12. Trashos Arcane

    Trashos
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    Kingmaker's writing is very good. It is uneven at times, but still very good.

    The narrative is mind blowingly interesting in how it achieves its goals. I am not saying that it does not have flaws or parts that it falls short (or parts that I still do not understand). However, the way all content in this fucking huge game fits under only a few intertwined themes is a sight to behold. I have never seen anything like this in another game of this length before. It is a quality in story telling and theme exploration that goes beyond gaming.

    Some of you are not worthy. Tigranes gets a free pass, because he has not seen the full picture yet (let alone start identifying the connections between the various stories in the game).
     
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  13. Maxwell's Demon Arcane

    Maxwell's Demon
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    PF:K is pretty good for an NWN 2 clone. Too bad it doesn't look like Owlcat Games has a Mask of the Betrayer in them.
     
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  14. Mark Richard Arcane

    Mark Richard
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    You're overqualified, honoured elder. For a Harry Potter fansite.
     
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  15. user Learned

    user
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    All I can see here is "snif snif, the game let me fail and I hate failing so much, snif snif".
     
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  16. jungl Learned

    jungl
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    Great review. The kingdom management system was the worst thing I could recall in rpg gaming recently. The backtracking between load screens. Also EVERYTHING was rushed with the game. Combat encounter design, areas, quests etc.

    I don't mind time limits in games but due to all the bugs you couldn't even complete the game till waiting a real life year after release LOL.
     
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  17. Viata Arcane

    Viata
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    Right.

    Also, is there a time limit? I have not played the game and to be honest, the time limit puts me off.
     
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  18. Trashos Arcane

    Trashos
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    Yes, there are time limits. They can be frustrating in the first playthrough -they were for me too, but I got used to them eventually.
     
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  19. deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
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    The time limits aren't frustrating if you're halfway competent about time mangement.
     
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  20. Trashos Arcane

    Trashos
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    Maybe. They are not frustrating to me now that I know the whole picture, but I found the *hidden* timers frustrating on the 1st playthrough.

    I do suck at time management in general, that much is true.
     
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  21. Yosharian Cipher

    Yosharian
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    In all fairness some of the criticisms regarding alignment choices in dialogue are legit
     
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  22. Pink Eye Monk

    Pink Eye
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    >They are not frustrating to me now that I know the whole picture, but I found the *hidden* timers frustrating on the 1st playthrough.
    That's the experience for us all. Game beat my ass first time. But after some patience I figured the timers out, and came up with the best strategies to dealing with them.
     
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  23. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    Imagine thinking Poncefinder: Cuckmaker is equal to or greater than the greatest D&D RPG ever made, Baldur's Gate.
     
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