I loaded ‘From the Ashes’ into an existing game, so I had a giant pile of coin to spend in getting it completed. I have built and improved everything I am allowed to improve at the moment. I think I am done, but if there is more to come, they did a good job of hiding it. There is a lot of in game talk on a second phase to building and I only spent about 100K of the advertised 250K.
So I will give my thoughts on each building I made and town feature and how it could be better. Right now I would only give this DLC 6/10. It is OK, but there is a huge amount of missing potential, most of it easy to implement, so I am really confused as to why they didnt just do it. I think this DLC could easily be a 10/10.
Judgements: Almost every game day a quest marker will appear in the middle of the town allowing Henry to act as Bailiff and pass judgement. I have so far done about 10 of these, there could be more. They are OK, but my issue is that I don’t know or care about any of these people. The people involved seem to be conjured up just for the purpose of the scripted dialogue and you never see them again. There is no opportunity for Henry to set any kind of town policies or have meaningfull interaction with the people who live there. One of them informed me of a bandit attack on a shipment of goods, but I didnt even get a quest to go find the bandits. It was all just dialogue. Suggestion: Make these judgements about people I know, give me quests in the surrounding areas, allow me to set policy for the village that actually matters.
The People: The vast majority of the people you meet, the ones who should be obvious recruits, cant be recruited. Rattay is still full of Skalitz refugees. The unnamed refugees who leave their tent city in Rattay, now just live in another tent city outside of Priv. They never get permanent jobs or homes. There is no option to employ Ftitz and Mathew, my best friends and unemployed carpenters, in the rebuilding of a town?!!! (maybe I missed it because I am too far into the game). Suggestion: Replace all of the random ‘nobodies’ with the named refugees who are living in Rattay, let me pick jobs for them.
The Church: This building needs a few more upgrades. The outer wall is still crumbling, the courtyard is overgrown with waist high weeds, the bell tower is still a temporary shoddy, wooden structure, no exterior whitewashing, no donation box. It just does not look impressive and newly rebuilt at all. Nobody in the town visits it. You cant interact with the ‘nobody’ priest (who gets his own house).
The Rathouse: This also needs a few more upgrades. In its ‘extended’ state, Henry gets to share a room with three other people. The rest of the building is pointless and unused. He has a small bed in the corner. Fully upgraded with should look like a small stone keep. Henry should get his own room on the top floor with a nice bed, armor stands, book shelves, decorations, and a balcony overlooking the town. The building should also include a jail and a scribe (who sells books, possibly even offering unique perks) like every other rathause in the game.
The Trader: I like this building and its cosmetic upgrades when you get the stone, grain, etc. His inventory, however, is very lacking. He should at least sell lockpicks and act as a fence. This building could use several quests involving extending the ‘Miller’ network.
The Tavern: The brewery is awesome. I like the custom brew and its unique perk. I also like the location and layout. The dice games seem to have the same limit. There should be an option to talk to the inkeeper to organize high stakes tournaments with the dice.
Barracks vs Stables: I chose the Barracks. The arena options are good. (You get to select weapon, opponent skill level, and their armor) An option for multiple opponents would be nice. I wish the arena master offered training. You are also fighting in what looks like a pig den. Small and full of mud. The barracks building consists of a mess hall, a storage room, and a personal room for ONE guard. No bunks. Why does ONE guard get a personal room when Henry does not? Why can’t I build Stables? There are pointless filler buildings such as the ones across from the Rathouse, there are also huge open spaces all over the town that are unused!
Armorsmith vs. Weaponsmith: I chose Armor. The smith has a nice selection of armor (including horse head armor, but still no horse body armor) and you get a custom shield with a boar crest. (The same boar as the Ale). Again another pointless ‘choice’. There is a huge empty area along the north side of the creek where several more buildings could be put. Let us build both! Armorsmith has no grindstone and strangely no forge. Henry should have unlimited use of the facility to repair his armor and weapons for free. Henry should be able to commission a custom armor set.
Baker vs. Butcher: I chose Butcher. I took this choice because I wanted a place to sell meat that I hunted. You can smoke meat here. Another pointless ‘choice’. There is a load of room in the town for the Baker too.
Missing buildings: A bathhouse, A miller, A herbalist, A tailor, A cobbler. I dont know that all of these buildings need to be crammed into Priv. , but the services they offer need to be incorporated into the other merchants.
Missing upgrades: The town could use dozens of other cosmetic upgrades. Boar head banners, benches, cobblestone streets, outer walls, shacks houses for the refugees, a levy by the woodcutters cant that turns the lower stream into a fishing pond, flower beds, town events, town quests, boar head waffenrocks for the guards, a small silver mine.
Overall: The DLC seems half done in content. There is huge potential here and it seems like they went 96% of the way there and stopped short. Many of my suggestions would be easy to implement. In its current ‘finished’ state, I really have no reason to even visit Priv. anymore. The inn in Sassau is superior in every way. Private room, better location, better access to things I need.