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Thread: Wartales

  1. #1
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London

    Wartales

    So RPS gave this one away to subscribers last week, although there were limited keys.
    To be honest, I knew nothing about it before they announced the giveaway, so grabbed it on a whim.
    And I haven't been able to put it down

    Disclaimer: it is early access, so if you do decide to pick it up, just be aware that there are some rough edges, although not really graphically or stability-wise. And I've not had any problems with the quest system either, so it's in a pretty robust form right now.

    The easiest way to describe it is that it's turn-based Mount & Blade.
    You start out with three mercenaries and a pony (the pony's for lugging stuff; no mounted combat here at the moment), and have free reign of an overworld map with a very loose story that you can follow if you want, but isn't necessary.
    You gain experience and equipment as you travel the world getting in to turn-based scrapes.
    As per M&B, you can choose various paths and flit between them at a moment's notice; wandering good guys, helping out everyone they come across; A band of traders facilitating trade between major towns; a mercenary band in the employ of landed gentry; a rogue's gallery of opportunistic bandits.

    It's a very low-fantasy world, with no magic available to your troops. Instead, there are a couple of fantastical enemy types I've come across, including the ravenous ghosts of woodland creatures who inflict terror on your troops, which can break their morale and cause them to flee, and mutated plague rats who can, you guessed it, give your goons the plague.

    It can be pretty brutal, as resources are hard to come across, and it's quite punitively balanced at the moment, so it may be best starting out on Easy/Easy. My game is Normal/Normal, and I did end up cheating myself some cash as it felt like I was gradually spiralling the drainpipe, delaying the inevitable end.
    Obviously, it's early access, so some of the brutality might be adjusted. Making repair kits and medicine a tad easier to acquire would do a lot to take the edge off.
    And it does have pretty punitive level-scaling.
    Once you've expanded your troop beyond say 5-6 goons, you start facing increased numbers of enemies. It seems to have been designed with an ideal troop size of around 4-5, but lets you go faaaaar beyond that, potentially digging yourself in to a massive hole.
    It's a little irritating, as there are more non-combat professions than that, so you can't cover all professions if you want to stay hidden from the hammer of level-scaling.

    But at the same time, it's not as bad as it sounds; it only really feels unfair when fighting the aforementioned fantastical enemies. Battles against human opponents or regular woodland animals are still pretty manageable, although can take a while to resolve due to increased numbers.

    Parts that currently feel unfinished:
    Handling of prisoners; you can occasionally subdue an enemy rather than outright kill them. You can then take them to jail where you can hand them over for a reward. But you can't recruit them, even though you can assign them a profession while you have them in your band. I'd like to see options to recruit or ransom them added, sell them as slaves and maybe even have the option of using them as slave labourver improve for your mercenary band.

    The upside is that you can also subdue woodland animals, at which point they become fully combat capable members of your band, although you have no direct control over them in battle.

    Pony levelling; you can bring up the character sheet of your ponies, but because they're non-combat party members, they never earn experience, so unless you buy them at a higher level, they'll never improve.

    Character levelling; at the moment, maximum level is five, yet there's a bunch of hidden abilities at higher levels on the character sheet. This is probably the easiest unfinished feature to understand, and feels more like an in-development feature rather than a half-baked one like the ones above.

    There's also no option for having a permanent home base where you can store troops and stuff at the moment, but the devs say they're looking in to it. So at the it doesn't have the kingdom building features of M&B, and they feels conspicuous by their absence.

    And the economy needs tweaking, as alluded to above, but then I've rarely found an economy in a modern RPG that isn't poorly balanced.

    But otherwise, I can highly recommend this to fans of things like Mount & Blade and XCOM

  2. #2
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Looks interesting. Reminds me a bit of Battle Brothers.

  3. #3
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    There does seem to be some crossover between communities going by the Steam forums, but I can't comment myself, as I've yet to play Battle Brothers.
    But my interest has been re-piqued since enjoying Wartales.
    Oh yeah, and apparently the same devs made Northgard (another game I've yet to play).

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