From the creators of Pathfinder: Kingmaker, here you have Wrath of the Righteous, a new immersion in the world of Pathfinder, with an awesome mix of old and new mechanics.
This game is currently being backed through their Kickstarter campaign, and has just reached the Goal for its translation into Spanish.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous‘ Kickstarter campaign has been a real surprise with its explosive growth since Day One. Asking for a initial quantity of $300,000, they surpassed that barrier quite soon in the game and today, publishing day of this article, with 11 more days for the campaign’s development, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous has almost accumulated $1,380,000. As you can see, an amazing growth, with its community spreading the word about this campaign and with a unique dedication from the team to answer every and each question about it.
And from here it comes this interview with Owlcat, creators of this CRPG and its predecesor, Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Pacotes’ community was eager to know more about this game, and, of course, with huge doubts, questions and lots of curiosity to kill. The team from Owlcat has been amazingly generous answering every and each question we have asked (and you will see they are plenty), with lots of details and really substantial responses. So we would like to thank, one more time, Owlcat’s team as a whole for this game, Alexander Mishulin (Creative Director) and Andrey Tsvetkov (Head of Publishing) for answering all of our questions, and Chris Rosario, from HomeRunPR, for being our kind and dedicated intermediary. We also want to thank Fireshot-V and shinenyuri, the members of our community that created this awesome interview.
If you didn’t know, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is just $10,000 away from including the Spanish translation of the game in the final version, so if you were hesitating about backing it because of this (or you know about someone), now it’s the time!
Without any further ado, here you have our interview with Owlcat. Hope you like it!
Esta entrevista es la original enviada por Owlcat, en inglés. Si quieres leer la traducción en español, sigue este enlace 🙂
Even though this is Owlcat’s second game in Pathfinder, many members of the team have previous experience in the videogame industry. What do you think is the main benefit with having veterans on the team?
Alexander Mishulin, Creative Director: We came to the videogames industry back in the days when it was driven entirely by the people eager to make great games, and we shared that passion. We played the games that are considered classics now at the time they were released and were innovative cutting edge projects. And we were eager to make the games such as those. But we did not have an opportunity to do so at that time, so we started developing other games. When the renaissance of the CRPG came, we understood that opportunity finally presented itself, and we can make the games we wanted all the time. And now, we have all the skills and experience we got from the years of game development. Entire team is pushing and motivating each and every person to make the best game possible.
Wrath of the Righteous touchs some sensitive subjects on the original Adventure Path, between racism and the lesser evil theory. Do you plan to tackle some of those issues in the game?
Andrey Tsvetkov, Head of Publishing: In Wrath of the Righteous, you will dive into a world that has been under a demonic assault for almost a hundred years. Horrible events have happened there, and they have left a mark on the people inhabiting those lands. For instance, the descendants of the First Crusade became the mongrel and had to live underground, as they are not welcomed by other folks on the surface anymore. Players will also encounter some characters whose actions could be considered questionable, at least. There is a group of hellknights, who tend to finish off their wounded members to prevent them from being captured by the demons. It is up to the players to choose how to react to such things. In a harsh place like Wordwound, moral dilemmas will pop up from time to time, and sometimes no choice is the right one.
Pathfinder is a system that always runs the risk of letting magic users get stronger and more useful than martial users when the game advances, and classes tend to be magical oriented. How do you expect to address that potential problem to create balance?
Alexander: We think that we approached that issue in the Pathfinder: Kingmaker quite well. You can complete the game by the party of mostly physical characters as well as with the magic-oriented group. And we will be building atop of that in the Wrath of the Righteous by providing more interesting and varied options for magical and physical characters. To give an example, during our Kickstarter campaign, we have reached the goal of mounted combat and Cavalier class, which is an entirely new option for the martial character. Mythic Paths are also very different and provide exciting choices for both physical and magical characters.
In Kingmaker, our alignment restricted some options in the game. Will we find scenarios in Wrath where a specific alignment is required?
Alexander: Alignment system in Pathfinder: Kingmaker works in such a way that your decision influences your alignment, but sometimes your alignment pays off by providing certain unique options for you. In world terms, your reputation precedes your character and allows you to use it to your advantage. That is how some of your decisions require specific alignment. In Wrath of the Righteous Mythic Path, you’ve chosen, affects you even more than alignment in the Pathfinder: Kingmaker. It provides a lot of unique options and allows us to make choices that are not available to other Mythic Paths, or alignments.
The Companions could change alignments in Kingmaker under specific circumstances. Will the player be able to influence their Companion’s fate in that way this time?
Alexander: Companions and their stories were a major focus for the Pathfinder: Kingmaker and will remain to be so in the Wrath of the Righteous. Each of them has their personality, world view, alignment, and a story that could be explored if the player wants to complete their quest. During that quest, companion faces the situation that potentially could lead to the changes to their principles, and that in turn could lead to changes in the alignment as well. Some of the player’s choices (like mythic path and several others) can affect that as well.
In Kingmaker, we had many companions (14 counting DLCs and Secret Companion). Should we expect that amount in Wrath, or more/fewer but with more detail?
Alexander: You can expect around the same amount of companions. Still, as Companions continue to remain one of our main focuses, we are trying to provide even more details and choices throughout their stories.
How many callbacks can players expect to Kingmaker? Will the saves from the game be imported for any kind of cameo (aside from the one of the Social Goals)?
Alexander: We have planned for some appearances of the familiar characters, and now, with the reach of the Cameo Social Goal, we strive to make that far more interesting and impactful. We will share more details later.
The Pathfinder Society got a little role in Kingmaker, do you plan to include them also in Wrath playing a role apart from getting Custom Companions?
Alexander: You can expect the role of the Pathfinder Society to be along the same lines as in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. We cannot say more than that to avoid spoiling some of the game content.
Many RPGs tackle companion quests as something that exists parallel to the story, but in Kingmaker some of them intertwined with the main story. Can we expect direct interaction from our companions into the story?
Alexander: Thank you, that was one of the goals that we wanted to achieve for our companions in the Pathfinder: Kingmaker. To make them different characters, each with its personal story, that is sometimes connected to the central conflict of the game in different ways. And we want to make it even more interesting and complex in the Wrath of the Righteous.
Kingmaker had its fair of mods. Did those mods helped you to take any decision about what players wanted when you were designing Wrath?
Alexander: The most apparent example now will be the Turn-Based mod, which gained enormous popularity among the players and encouraged us to make support for the Turn-Based mode in the Wrath of the Righteous. It was a great work by Hsunyu that have shown us our own game from a different perspective. We are humbled and honored by the level of the support and commitment the modders given to our game. And we are hoping that the modding community will grow even further with the upcoming mod support.
The Social Goals were a very interesting idea to keep the activity on social media up. How are the results faring for now and what do you expect for the end of the Kickstarter campaign?
Andrey: We are excited to see how active our community is. Our backers spread the word incredibly fast, and their social activity provided a decent boost to the Kickstarter campaign. We are extremely thankful for their support. The first half of Social Goals was designed to be reached quickly enough, while the second half requires more effort to unlock. The reason behind that is simple: the moment of launch often defines the overall success of a fundraising campaign, and social buzz during the first days helps a lot. The latter goals allow sustaining the level of social activity down the road. However, our fans have already unlocked almost every one of them, which is totally awesome. I have no doubt that our community will reach the top goal before the campaign ends.
Regarding Social Goals, what process made you decide for those specific Goals as Social Goals instead of Stretch Goals?
Andrey: The purpose of Social Goals is to encourage the community to spread the word about the campaign. To serve that purpose, the goals should be meaningful. They should also appeal to as many fans of the CRPG genre and Pathfinder: Kingmaker in particular as possible. That’s why these specific goals were born. And with romances being among the most desirable pieces of content in RPGs, a romance option with Queen Galfrey made the top of the list. Some of the goals could indeed become Stretch Goal material easily. We decided not to do that. We wanted our supporters to feel that they have achieved something significant by completing the Social Goals. In the end, helping promote the campaign is no less important than backing the game with money.
About the Mod Support in the Social Goals, what do you plan to enable through that tool? What can we, as players, expect to create? Our own campaigns, as NeverWinter, or a deep level of customization for Wrath?
Andrey: We deeply value the mod community and the work they did with Pathfinder: Kingmaker. There are great mods out there, and some of them gave us the inspiration to introduce new features to Wrath of the Righteous (yes, I’m talking about turn-based combat mode right now). With the new game coming, we want to make the life of both players and mod creators easier and remove challenges they have to overcome. That brings us to the tool that allows the players to easily install and manage their modifications, with no need to fix them with each update of the game. As for the mod makers, we will work together with the mod community to shape this feature the way it helps to create and support various modifications during the game lifecycle.
The Legend Path is available aside from the eight Mythic Paths, so, how would you describe the Legend Path for a newcomer? Is it related to difficulty or just the player’s decision on the story?
Alexander: It is a Path of mortal heroes, those who would like to fight the demons and have a chance of winning against them. But they do not want to lose their humanity and become something else, probably even more powerful than humans are. Each mythic path provides a player with unique abilities and offers new options in the battle, and Legend is not an exception to that. It is up to you to decide whether those options are more or less suitable to your tactics and your approach to the fights.
Two Mythic Paths were added as Stretch Goals: What process did you take to select those two as Stretch Goals in particular?
Alexander: Answering that question will be spoiling the story because those two have a special place in the whole system of mythics.
Many players think that the Mythic Paths plus Legend represent the nine alignments. How do you plan to address players whose character’s alignment are opposites to those of the Mythic Path in the story? Like a Chaotic/Evil Golden Dragon, or a Lawful/Good Demon.
Alexander: Mythics paths correlate to the alignment in a way, but they do not precisely represent one particular alignment. For example, to become a Lich player will have to make several evil actions, and that would probably bring their alignment toward the evil side.
Our army besides having customization related to our Mythic Path and choices in the story, will have characters or quests related to the army itself?
Alexander: Yes. There are some characters and events related to the army. Also, your companions will help you with leading the crusade in the same way your companions helped you with building the nation in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. At least this is our current plan for the army, but this part of the game is currently in development, and many decisions could be changed.
Will we be able to play after the main story ends, as a post-game scenario or free roaming?
Alexander: Right now, there are no plans for that. We are telling the story, and stories have the beginning and the end.
From a perspective design, why did you decide for a “Real Time with Pause” system? What are your reasons for prefering it over Turn Combat, the other main tendency on CRPG?
Alexander: This was a long and difficult discussion during the development of the Pathfinder: Kingmaker. There are a lot of pros and cons to both types of combat. In my opinion, Turn-Based combat in the Pathfinder Ruleset puts too much focus on the combat itself. Each particular fight is longer, with more decisions to be made each turn, thus drawing attention from the story. And we wanted to have a more balanced experience, with the same amount of the spotlight given to the story. That was one of the main reasons to go Real-Time With Pause.
Andrey: Our creative vision is to go with RTWP. The game is designed and balanced to be played that way. However, a lot of people asked us about the option to switch to Turn-Based combat, and we decided to provide them with such an opportunity.
Have you considered making a game with your own setting/rules?
Andrey: If we talk about the moment when we released Pathfinder: Kingmaker back in 2018 and started thinking about the next project, there was no doubt that we want to make another RPG in the world of Pathfinder. We love the Pathfinder system for its flexibility. It allows the players to build and pole-play almost any character imaginable. And we have told only one story so far, with a lot more existing in this universe and worthy of being told.
Have you considered adding co-operative online? The older Infinity Engine games had it and it was great fun.
Alexander: Yes, we thought about that. Before Pathfinder: Kingmaker, we’ve made two big MMORPG titles, and we know pretty well how much time and effort should be put into the cooperative experience to make it interesting and worthwhile for the players. It will draw a lot of resources from the main game, taking from the combat, story, and choices available to the players. We could not allow that; we are planning to provide the best single-player RPG experience that we possibly can.
Now that Pathfinder Second Edition has been released, what are your plans for it? A new game? Or will you continue using First Edition in the meantime?
Alexander: After the release of the Pathfinder: Kingmaker, we had time to play our first adventure according to the Pathfinder Second Edition rules. And we are still playing from time to time and having a fun time. But we want to feel the new system better before making any further decisions about the system. One of the social goals of the Kickstarter campaign for the Wrath of the Righteous was Backgrounds from the Pathfinder Second Edition rules. That is a small system that we already loved, that brings a little more depth to the characters and provide more options for the players. It was reached and will be featured in the game.
And finishing with this thorough yet (we hope) interesting interview, and to end on a relaxed, informal note, just as a curiosity, outside of Wrath‘s AP to avoid spoilers, could you tell us a brief story of one of your Pathfinder tabletop campaigns?
Alexander: This happened while we played the Kingmaker campaign. Party met the old witch that lived in the swamp, and after a couple of errands, she became friendly (yet grumpy) with the party. They persuaded her to move to the capital and as their chief alchemist and magister. They even built a laboratory for her. The centerpiece in the laboratory was a distilling device, specially made to create powerful spirits. When the party defeated a powerful monster, they collected parts of the creature and gave them to the witch to make unique spirits based on those parts. When witch finished creating spirits, they sold those as a small series in the nearby towns and cities for quite a profit. Each new type of the alcohol came with their quite exaggerated story about the battle with the said creature. They even thought about opening the boutique of elite alcohol in Restov – one of the largest cities in the Brevoy.
As we said at the beginning of this article, the interview is long, detailed, exhaustive and totally dedicated to a community that lives for awesome games like Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. If you are not backing it yet, we would love for you to check their Kickstarter campaign’s page and support them as much as you can, with special mention of its more-than-possible translation into Spanish.
If you are already backing them, we would love to see your comments on Social Media, encouraging other players to join this madness. We would love to see your @s of our Twitter and our Facebook accounts, as well as Owlcat’s Twitter and Facebook ones.
If you enjoyed the interview, here you have all the interviews we have made and published in the Magazine so far, all of them in Spanish and most of them in English as well.