Oh no! Magic items that do somehting beyond giving you +1 to hit, jesus christ how terrible.
(...) The character customization in 5e is not just lackluster, in early levels it might aswell not exist
Magical gear on 3.5e and pathfinder give more than +1 to hit. In fact, on pathfinder kingmaker, i have a rod which allow me to maximize, other to empower few spells per day, so i can cast maximized cloudkill as a tier 5 spell rather than a 8th. A necromancer staff which gives all created undead a +3 weapon giving +3 to hit and to damage of each one, rings which give me DR and so on.
But the DNA of my char is not on his gear. My char still deadly even naked. On 4e, the itemization remembers me of D3, the worst game exactly because they tried to make everyone equally gear dependent. While on D2 i can beat the game naked
And yes, the character customization on 5e, mainly on low levels is almost non existent. Why? Because 5e tries to be accessible as possible. Depth and accessibility are opposite. Just like balance and variety/immersion.
Originally Posted by Wormerine
Sure, but those weren’t strong points of those games - arcanum, Bloodlines aren’t good because they are unbalanced, they are good in spite of being unbalanced. Arcanum is absolute, unfinished trash in so many many aspects. Just as Alpha Protocol or Bloodline. Kingmaker has the bad without much good unfortunately - not much roleplaying and mostly just trashy combat.
Those games are great for ambition of role-playing they go for. Lack of balance in an unfortunate side effect of devs biting more then they can chew. Should an RPG put balance over roleplaying? No. Should various playstyles be reasonably balanced? ideally yes. That would make for a better experience for both first and consequent playthrough. Somehow, I am not worried that Larian of all people would overbalance their new game.
Wrong. You have a lot of GOOD RP opportunities. Being a evil allow you to solve a lot of quests in completely different ways, like burning a lizardfolk village, recruiting a undead boss as a adivisor and during king management parts, you can take a lot of decisions that affects your kingdom. The combats aren't trash either.
Trash combat is like DA:O where every enemy felt the same. On Kingmaker, fighting undeads cyclops is COMPLETELY different than fighting trolls. Each enemy felt unique. You also discover a lot of powerful "combos" comboing abilities from party members and your MC. For eg, animate dead + cloudkill is a spell cheap way to solve a lot of encounters on a lot of chapters. Late game, a kineticist casting deadly earth with a magician casting sirroco can win a lot of encounters easily.
But look to Fallout New Vegas, there is no way to make the game immersive, varied and a melee play trough equally effective as a firearms run without ruining the firearms aspect. If you are in a open field and have a knife, or a katana and the enemy power armor and a anti materiel rifle with explosive .50 BMG rounds, he can hit you from 200m+ in a open field. Unless you RUIN firearms by putting a artificial low range like HellGate London did, and nerfing the damage output of the firearms so much that they stop feeling like firearms, you can't balance melee and firearms gameplay. Having someone able to blow up a supermutant with one or two shots at ultra long ranges while other guy needs to walk close to deal any small damage is not balanced.
VtMB is a exception, melee is very powerful exactly because there are supernatural disciplines which makes melee powerful BUT end game firearms are more powerful. The 338 LM rifle and the flamethrower are incredible deadly.