exactly, I don't understand how Larian seems to be unable to do that, given their budget. Like how many copies of BG3 has Larian sold in a month now? I remember it was ~1milion not even a week in. Now couple of weeks further, I think they've definitely outsold DOS2, and BG3 is not even out yet.
Also, I've never played Pathfinder Kingmaker, it's been sitting on my wishlist on steam, been planning to get it one day on a sale or something, so far everyone seems to be praising that game and I have to admit, I'm hella curious myself.
I should probably premise that it's not, by any stretch, a flawless game.
For one I always hated its cartoony, "WoW-esque" art style and it got some time to grow used to it.
Also, I admittedly tried to play and then quickly abandoned the game up to three times before finally enjoying it when the "turn-based mod" came out (which on a positive note is not required anymore, since now they integrated the turn-based battles natively as an option).
I absolutely could never enjoy playing it in RTWP, as I can hardly enjoy the current alpha of its sequel for the same reason... But that's probably a matter of personal taste.
Here's what Pathfinder does:
- First, it gives you an overall party penalty to travel speed on the world map according to what you are carrying, and that penalty is MEANINGFUL, making the "leave down trash loot and pick up only valuable things" a perfectly legitimate (and possibly even optimal) strategy.
- Second, it gives the party the option between doing a quick rest/camping of 8 hours using fairly heavy prepacked rations... OR without carrying any of those, but spending more time hunting in the area for food (this can go up to 16 or even 24 hours). When you are in dungeon, only the former is an option since your men can't hunt.
- Third. When the player is camping on the world map, it's just the click of a button and you'll see a simple UI where you decide who goes on guard, who hunts, who cooks, who scouts for enemies, etc. When doing the same in dungeon, the player is required to find a suitable open area and to have cleaned enemies in the surrounding. In both cases the party members start bantering with each other. In both cases you can be eventually ambushed by enemies.
- Fourth, to make all the previous systems "come online" together and have meaning, the game gives you occasional time limits, both with positive reinforcement (an extra reward to stay under a certain deadline) and negative ones (some quests can fail if you take too much time).
It's all brilliant, really. The downside of it is that the game mixes excellent implementations of these ideas with some utter bullshit.
For an example of the former, you have the first major goal in the game (killing/dethroning a robber baron/brigand leader in charge of the region) and you can complete the goal under a month (quite tight and it will need for you to travel light and rest as little as possible, but still manageable exploring and completing 100% of the starting region) to get an exceptional bonus reward (a superlative +2 Dueling Sword that has almost no equals at that point of the game) OR complete the same goal under three months to not face a game over (and this is a walk in the park. There is almost NO way to waste that much time unless you'll go out of your way to rest every two steps).
I loved this shit, and managing the first goal was incredibly satisfying and immersive (it was nice to feel the pressure of the clock ticking, while still having the time to appreciate everything the game offered up to that point).
As a bad example of the latter, on the other hand, later in the game you have HIDDEN doom clocks that can make the entire campaign fail if you took too much time to chase your main goal. To be fair, once you are aware of them and understand the game mechanics they are rarely particularly pressing, but still, it's VERY BAD that in some case you can't even realize they are there because the game is rather obfuscating about how pressing the urgency can actually be.