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Wildermyth - party-based procedural storytelling RPG out now to rave reviews!


Doctor Shark
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Though, er, it's not really a roguelike/lite in the sense that it isn't the expectation that you'll fail forward; as in, it isn't designed to make you lose, lose and lose again. The permadeath structure is there to encourage interesting stories, rather than intended to make you replay the same campaign over and over until you win.

 

If you are struggling a bit, I'd suggest lowering the difficulty (though first playthrough is naturally the trickiest, as it takes a while to learn how the strategy layer works/how you might be able to build effective characters in combat).

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This is really good, it's basically fantasy xcom 2 (due to the overworld/ development of areas and customised squad members) but also with a very, very clever bit of evolving storyline that is at the same time different due to a certain amount of procedural generated stuff but also familiar enough that you have a "skip" button to get to the important decision making bits like in VLR and the like. 

 

It really is quite good and waaaaaay more interesting and engaging than so-called story driven AAA titles that are nothing but nice looking cutscenes. I'm much more invested in my characters doing what I happen to choose to do with them on this particular turn than everything be exactly the same every time like I'm watching a film. 

 

It's a proper "video game" in that you can't do this in another medium. 

 

Maybe a "virtual choose your own adventure but with turn based strategy" might be a good way to attempt to explain it. 

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It was fun to come back to this for a few hours this evening having last played it in Early Access some time ago. It's a lot more refined than its Early Access form and still has all the charm. 

 

Things going wrong and the permadeath creates the sense of peril that keeps the stories meaningful, and the game deliberately gives you interesting alternatives rather than a simple character death. Reminds me of Crusader Kings in that respect; you can easily enjoy the stories, not the "winning".

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Incidentally, I only needed to go back and improve a legacy character by the time I got to 'story' 4, all the others are doable on normal difficulty with base characters. 

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This game is lovely, filled with lots of sweet and funny takes. I had one where 

Spoiler

I met a talking pig who told me how to get rid of some parasites. 

 

How do people build teams - I try to get two teams of four so I can clear up the map quickly but I don't know if it's better to have a smaller core who can sweep up the xp and loot?

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I picked this up after the glowing reviews appeared. I'd give it an 8/10. Good fun, decent combat, nice procedural storytelling and characters you can get attached to from their exploits. I have played through 3 of the main campaigns, the first campaign I did a few times due to wiping, and I repeated some chapters in the second campaign where I wiped on the last mission. As an XCOM veteran I went into the first campaign straight on Hard and although the combat was manageable, you get punished for mistakes/learning in the strategic layer. The longer you take in the world map, the harder the game becomes - so being inefficent or making poor choices because you don't know better means getting punished in later battles where enemy strength and numbers start to get way beyond your means.

 

After a few wipes on the first chapter of the first campaign I compromised and dropped the strategic level gameplay down to normal, keeping combat on hard. This seems a good level for experienced tactical gamers like me who are still learning the ropes of the game, and I carried on with those difficulty settings for the next 2 campaigns.

 

Combat is a kind of simpler XCOM with not much map variety and limited moveset to begin with, but as your characters level up you unlock more interesting abilities. The game is forgiving with permadeath where you get one 'free life' per character per chapter, where you can make them flee instead of die (for a penalty such as reduced max HP). If its a character's last chance, in their death throes you can do cool stuff like cause big damage to an enemy or buff the team for the battle which at least makes their death heroic. In the difficulty I'm playing at, losing a member or two isn't a game breaker unless they were veterans and you can't afford to replace them with someone decent. Like XCOM its much better fun once your characters are higher level, and the campaigns have unique story missions to mix things up. Overall combat is quite fun although not mind blowing.

 

On the strategic level - a map where you move your heroes around capturing territory - there isn't a great amount of depth, but the stakes help keep it engaging. Some chapters have time limits and every X days you will face invasions which get worse each time. A neat idea is that between combat and over time enemies also get new abilities and new roster additions, so the longer you fanny about, the harder every fight will be. On normal strategic difficulty you can scrape by doing everything in the overworld if you are smart, but on hard its brutal where you'll have to make hard choices about where to focus your time. I'm trying chapter 4 on hard strategic and we'll see if its too hard or not!

 

The other part of the game and what sets it apart from its peers is the procedural storytelling. The comic art is meh, and I don't like the flowery prose, but I can overlook that because as an idea its unique and works really well. Story events pop up all the time on the overworld, usually before and after each combat but sometimes there are special ones like character quests. There are loads of them and although you'll often see the same ones pop up, many of them have multiple choice decisions. Story choices can have major impacts, from character transformations, injuries, new gear and so on. Some story consequences aren't felt until later on in the character's life. The procedural construction of these comic strips cleverly inserts your unique characters into the art as well as reflecting their relationships through dialogue.

 

With so many of these little events happening over the course of a multi-chapter campaign it ends up changing your characters and your narrative experience quite a lot, making every run feel different. Characters age over the campaign and will even have kids who are brought into later chapters, eventually retiring if they survive that long. After a wipe or a campaign win, you can put any characters into the Legacy system, a cool way to save your characters. Then when you start a new campaign or recruit a character, you can actually pick your Legacy characters and carry on their stories. This is very cool as you can continue their storylines and use their veteran abilities. Rather than feeling like cheating, the game is balanced around this mechanic by either limiting their abilities or increasing their cost to recruit if they are powerful. By this point they will have a unique look and story which gives them an even greater sense of character and attachment than your trusty soldiers in XCOM. You can only 'promote' a few exisiting legacy characters each campaign which stops you from having a Legacy cabinet full of overpowered heroes of legend. 

 

These extra elements layered on top of the tactical and strategic gameplay are what makes the game unique and keeps things fresh. Its a great story generator, in campaign 3 I brought back a few veterans from campaign 2, who then survived to old age, became friends and their kids bolstered my party for the next campaign. A girl in my group was slowly transforming into a fire spirit but the campaign ended, so I just brought her back in the next campaign and her transformation continued.  

 

There are a few downsides. I don't like the music or the flowery prose but that's personal taste, some people will like both. On the strategic layer you gain resources but can only spend them on weapon or gear upgrades, of which there are few choices. Campaigns so far are focused on one enemy faction each, which means you get to know that faction well - but its a no-brainer when picking which faction upgrades to stop. Combat maps feel very samey with a limited cover system and no terrain variance, and some frustrating randomness in some missions with character deployment. The art style is a bit of a miss for me but I can't fault that when the gameplay is good.

 

Definitely worth checking out if you like tactical combat/story games. I would agree with forumites that the games it reminds me of most are Banner Saga and XCOM; if you like those, check this out. For me it doesn't have the same pull or depth of XCOM but its narrative system and legacy mode are really a cool idea which keeps things fresh and makes every campaign feel like your own story. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Delargey said:

This game is lovely, filled with lots of sweet and funny takes. I had one where 

  Reveal hidden contents

I met a talking pig who told me how to get rid of some parasites. 

 

How do people build teams - I try to get two teams of four so I can clear up the map quickly but I don't know if it's better to have a smaller core who can sweep up the xp and loot?

 

I usually have 2 squads as well, and will try to balance fights between them. For hard fights or story missions I use my best guys (or maybe just one newbie in there). The reality is that in the long run because your best fighters age, you need to get xp for the youngbloods - or when its retirement time your squad will be too low level. I do sometimes split one or two people off alone to do tasks like build defences, recruit or build bridges providing theres no ambush risk. 

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I'm gay and bum and bumming is part of my lexicon and isn't a slur.

 

That didn't even cross my mind until you said. 

 

It was the juxtaposition of a legendary band of heroes having a silly name for me - them being "chums" is funnier than the bum. Though two of them are bumming so the title of the band is accurate.

 

 

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Fair enough, it's hard to know where it's coming from without knowing the person using it! When I was at school the term was thrown around in exactly the same way as gaylord, i.e. as a slur against anyess "masculine" boys and against those few brave enough to be out, so I tend to be wary of it.

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1 hour ago, Wiper said:

Fair enough, it's hard to know where it's coming from without knowing the person using it! When I was at school the term was thrown around in exactly the same way as gaylord, i.e. as a slur against anyess "masculine" boys and against those few brave enough to be out, so I tend to be wary of it.

 

Oh yeah, totally right to call it out. 

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5 hours ago, Retroid said:

Can we still say bummed in the gob? Any gender can bum any other gender in the gob as long as they have a bum!


Whoa. Wait a minute now. Being ‘bummed in the gob’ requires either party to engage their bum?

 

I’ve fundamentally misunderstood the terminology all along. I think I’ve just frittered away the last 15 years. This is embarrassing...

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Managed to play an about 30 minutes last night and it seems really promising to me. I like the art style and the storyboards before each part. 
 

if it was a bit simpler I think my daughter would love something like this. 

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image.thumb.png.089222ee31f87c868d92b6fa6b812970.png

 

Lucidia, Shayjo and Rogg were friends who, in a time of need, took up arms and defended their town from a gorgon invasion. They enjoyed the experience so much they decided to form an adventuring party. Lucidia was handy with melee weapons. Rogg was a skilled archer and Shayjo learned the mystic arts and the power of infusion.

 

The group had early success, clearing local infestations of monsters. Rogg showed some dissatisfaction for the adventuring life and said he was going to return home, but not before they completed one last mission: the rid a town of some bandits who were shaking down locals through a protection racket.

 

The fight didn't go as planned: outnumbered and outmatched, the heroes gave it their best. Rogg died fighting bandits, but not before taking one out in a blaze of glory. He was buried near his parents, as were his wishes, his story to be eventually forgotten. Lucidia was maimed in the same fight, losing her left hand. She spent time recovering and replaced her missing hand with a sharp hook. 

 

Some time later, she and Shayjo met a mysterious lady in a barn during a rainstorm. Lucidia mentioned she had been troubled by dreams of late, in which she had wings. She awoke the next morning to find she'd grown a beautiful pair of raven's wings.

 

Shayjo and Lucidia recruited some more friends: a warrior named Vivfure and a hunter named Ruah. Both women were inexperienced, but eager for adventure.

 

The party came across a town where everyone was turned to stone, the curse of a powerful gorgon. The group cleared the town, but Lucidia, already injured, fell to a mutated boar in an attempt to save Ruah.

 

Shayjo, Ruah and Vivfure fought the gorgon and defeated it, but not before it grabbed Ruah and took control of her mind to deliver a terrifying warning. Vivfure stabbed it through the neck, causing it to release Ruah, but she was scarred by the incident, part of her face turning a stoney blue.

 

The group built a shrine in Lucidia's honour, so that her deeds would be remembered for all time. After the fateful battle, the area knew nine years of peace during which time Shayjo and Vivfure fell in love. Ruah became more and more reclusive, not helped by the mark left by the gorgon growing into a large, stone-like growth covering one side of her face.

 

Vivfure found some information pertaining to the McGuffin they'd found, and the group set out to track down a powerful weapon to hopefully end the gorgon threat once and for all...

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, bought this, and played the intro campaign. I hate losing characters, so stuck it on the easiest level. However, I’m shit at TBS and so still managed to lose 2 of 5 characters in the final fight. Blimey, quite the difficulty hike over all the other lead-up missions.

 

Loved it though, very sweet, funny, and looks and sounds ace. Really looking forward to playing the next campaign and seeing any callbacks to my first foray.

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On 25/07/2021 at 21:42, Delargey said:

It's a shame that some of the encounters repeat themselves. It would be nice if it had that continued sense of discovery.

Some of them seem to do it for a reason I've realised. 

 

I got the achievement for 10 different types of transformation about a week ago and have found about another 4 since.

 

Also some of the encounters get an extra option if you have a particular character or certain item or what have you. 

 

I have two characters at mythwalker promotion level and quite a few on 2 or 3 stars and there are still certain encounters and storyline that I've not seen the end of,  or the payoff as it were. 

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Question about transformations: My mystic has a new head and right arm and I stopped their transformation there as a new left arm would mean they couldn’t wield their wand/staff (which seems silly as they still would have had five fingers). I’m not sure if you need a staff to be able to interfuse though, or if the ability is innate for mystics? The only info I could find online was that you need one in order to apply stunt damage to your interfusion attacks.

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It depends on your characters potency but you do get extra 'spell damage' wielding a staff or wand. So you can still interfuse but it will probably do less damage. 

 

However, your transformation power might be better than interfuse damage. I transformed a mystic to be a star man and his rain of stars is way more useful and powerful as a large aoe attack than most interfusion attacks (unless you have really specialised).

 

You also can't do some abilities without a weapon, one of my hunter characters was happily throwing around cones of fire as a counter attack move (riposte) but I couldn't get a mystic to do the same with their lightning transformation....

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