That swarm shit is particularly bizarre because I’m now, what, 30-hours into the game (still on chapter 2 of 5!) and I haven’t seen a single swarm since those. It is total bullshit - though torches do work on them and the game does have a hint which says this (but I didn’t see it until later). Also the swarms do ability-damage ugggggggh.
Very well said. It’s not the anti-Pillars it’s basically just Pathfinder ported to Pillars. Definitely a good thing for everyone.
One bit of PF-based advice - once you get a Cleric, keep leveling them in Cleric, and keep buying the Extra Channel Energy feat when you can (so long as they can channel positive energy), because Channel Positive Energy can be a really nice AOE group heal and pretty much resolves the resting issue by itself. Trying to heal with just single-target cast heals like Cure Light and Cure Moderate is really painful - but it’s how you have to work at the beginning.
Once you’ve been somewhere you can do that, but yeah, they should have made it simpler.
I mostly agree but a lot of people do not, and it’s a difficult balance to find. PF:KS does not, initially, find it. There are entire giant cave systems inhabited pretty much solely by centipedes, for example. And several areas where it’s like “seriously this shit again?!” or “Oh look six of X again…”. However there are other, better-designed areas. None are as well-designed as even the moderately well-designed stuff in Pillars 1 as of Act 2, but that doesn’t stop them being amusing.
I’ve actually found a couple of places in PF:KF where they did this well and believably. A place where you attack one group of wolves then the others come up behind you to eat your casters seemed pretty legit - and you could find all of them with scouting and so on first so I guess they’re not really spawning, but you get what I mean.
That’s an interesting question and I think you can make the automated system into the point. That’s what FFXII did. Gambits weren’t a mere consequence of the design, they were the intended design. I feel like DA2 kind of intended this too. In DA:O it was an attempt to bridge a gap.
There’s a strong element of skill in designing your own program. There are entire games which work this way - “program a battle robot” games particularly. You can write one that makes a character play well, or play badly. You may need to revise or redo it for certain fights (again FFXII made this a thing - pity it’s a 7-12 hour slog in FFXII before you even really get to play and it has some of the worst RNG-bullshit with loot known to humankind).
With casters it’s most important, too. And that’s where PF:KF kinda needs it - you don’t hand-micro the Kineticists, for example, they will run into melee or just shoot a ranged weapon mindlessly, neither of which is sensible (they can shoot energy blasts at will). If you don’t micro a certain Mage/Thief later, she will spam a cantrip. A bad cantrip. And you can’t change this. I don’t want to pause every six seconds, but with a Kineticist, it seems like that’s what you’re doing if you don’t want them to be useless.
I guess part of it is whether you view it as “automating it away”, or just making it so you’re watching the automation and intervening as needed. Which is, in practice, how most of these games play out, with automation or not. You can just make them smarter and less pause-micro-pause-micro with automation. I know felt really good about how I set up my characters and their automation in DA2 (which had limited automation slots, note, so you had to pick and choose what you automated - IIRC FFXII was similar).
To me, as a tabletop RPG DM and player, I like automation because it feels more like playing a TT RPG, where I don’t make every decision for every character, but me and the other players will certainly discuss certain decisions and so on. I like watching and going “OH SHIIIIT” and realizing I need to do this and that and this. This is why RtwP worked so well with BG1/2 I would say, and TB wouldn’t have worked so well.