Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Details and Interview

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, Owlcat Games' next CRPG, was announced two days ago with just a splash screen on the official website and some social media messages. And now, we have a proper announcement press release that goes over some of the specifics of the upcoming game. Check it out:

Moscow, Russia, December 5, 2019 — Developer Owlcat Games is proud to announce Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, a classic isometric CRPG game. Based on the adventure path of the same name, it follows in the footsteps of the previous digital adaptation of Paizo’s legendary tabletop RPG, Pathfinder. The first key art image of the game has been released as a teaser of things to come for the title.

While not a direct sequel to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous will expand and elaborate on the core elements that made Owlcat’s previous installment successful. New features include the mythic progression system, a new corner of the award-winning Age of Lost Omens setting to explore, and more classes and character customizations drawn from Pathfinder's extensive history. Owlcat will be releasing more details as development progresses so that fans can stay caught up on how the process evolves over time.

“We are tremendously excited to announce Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous today. With our new game, we are taking everything that made Kingmaker enjoyable and building on top of it. We laid a solid foundation and are going to push the boundaries of the CRPG genre with our next title,” says Oleg Shpilchevskiy, Head of Owlcat Games studio. “We especially want to thank the Kingmaker community for their support because we would not be making this game if it weren’t for them. When Wrath of the Righteous is ready, we cannot wait to see them answer the call again.”

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is based on the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path from the tabletop game but includes new characters, plots, and elements to entertain even players already familiar with the adventure. It tells the story of a large-scale conflict between mortals and demons where players are invited to immerse themselves in a world under siege from demonic forces. As a vicious invasion threatens the world, the consequences of one’s decisions will forge a unique narrative of their personal battle between good and evil.

Kingmaker’s Creative Director Alexander Mishulin and Lead Writer Alexander Komzolov return to their respective roles, and Owlcat is happy to confirm that Chris Avellone is back on board lending a hand and supporting the narrative team as he did with Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

To stand against the demonic invasion, the player character and their companions will receive additional powers from the player’s chosen mythic path. These paths vary widely in nature and profoundly impact the storyline of the game, permanently changing the characters and the world around them. Players may choose the path of the immortal lich, wielding powerful spells and commanding an army of undead; the path of the trickster, causing mischief and finding fun even in the middle of the demon-filled abyss; the path of the angel, summoning celestial allies into battle and meting bolts of divine judgment upon foes; or something else entirely.

Some Pathfinder RPG character classes that didn’t make it into Kingmaker will make their CRPG debut in Wrath of the Righteous alongside the returning roster, including — but not limited to — the fan-favorite witch and oracle. More classes and character options will be revealed in the near future.

Boasting an improved visual style, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous will offer a look and feel distinct from that of Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Set in locations including a demon-infested wasteland, besieged crusader cities, and the foul, twisted Abyss itself, Wrath of the Righteous’s art will capture the epic fight of the world’s defenders as they struggle to hold the line against the corrupting force of otherworldly entities.

Then, you should direct your attention to this Venture Beat interview with a couple of high-ranking Owlcat Games team members and a Paizo Publishing representative that focuses on the upcoming game's demon-rich setting, its Mythic progression, new features, and more. An excerpt:

At launch, Kingmaker had issues. It had a lot of bugs: long loading screens, long bootup on slower, older hard drives, trouble with spells and cleric domains, and many more. It also had some balance issues and other opaque mechanics, such as needing area-of-effect damage to kill swarms of creatures like spiders (this was an infamous issue with one early quest). This was Owlcat’s first launch, and managing a game of this size and scope is a challenge for many studios, especially smaller, independent houses.

“That was not a pleasant moment,” Shpilchevskiy said about Kingmaker’s launch. “Those days, we experienced a lot of troubles and technical issues, and some of them, we could’ve predicted them. … We realize that actually, we had to invest our events into polishing the game.”

Part of this came from the nature of the Pathfinder system. Shpilchevskiy said that even they didn’t realize some of the interactions with the complex ruleset, and even parts that they had polished several times still had aspects that players were able to exploit … or whose decisions resulted in bugs. “Some interesting, and some not so interesting bugs,” he said. “This time, we’re focused on maintaining the quality at the best level and invest a lot of efforts in what is functional quality assurance, what we’re doing right now, and some technical instruments we’re using now to ensure that quality is the center of our focus.”

The $1 million in funding should help with this, along with the knowledge gleaned from making Kingmaker and learning how to best balance the complicated Pathfinder system. And larger companies like Larian Studios (Divinity: Original Sin) and Obsidian (Pillars of Eternity) have had their share of issues with bugs and balance with big, complicated RPG systems and interactions.