Let me start by saying I love the game, it is one of the best open world games I’ve played in the last decade or so. But it being one of the best does not make it without it’s fault, faults, that can, and should be criticized. This is just my personal list of annoyances in KC:D \ what I’d like to see changed for KC2. I’m sure plenty of these have come up time and time again, but it never hurts to throw in my 2cents anyway.
- Combat, There’s little to be said here than what’s been said countless times already. It sucks. The idea is great, and it works pretty much perfectly(except the master strikes, the mod “Better Combat and Immersion Compilation”'s take on master strikes is how the game should’ve originally been IMO) in a 1 on 1 setting, but the moment you throw in more than one enemy, it breaks apart. Some will scream “realism”, and yes, sure. Not being able to take on more than 1 enemy ‘is’ realistic, but it’s also not particularly fun(for the vast majority). Mount & Blade also has you unable to (in general) take on a huge mob of enemies at once(even if you’re better equipped and have great armor, a mob of 50 peasants with pitchforks are still going to kill you), but the key difference is; Mount & Blade’s combat system is ‘fun’. You never feel like the combat system is the limiting factor, only your personal skill. KC:D however, the combat system feel to janky and all over the place, making it not fun(half the time I’m trying to do a left undercut, it ends up being an upper left, or under right, that’s not fun, this does not happen in M&B). The old Gothic games, or the spiritual sequel Risen, also punishes you for figthing more than one enemy(you’ll die, especially early on), but again, key difference; The combat system isn’t figthing you as you’re figthing the enemies, it’s actually ‘fun’.
The crowd saying “git gud”, don’t mean; “Get good at the combat”, they mean; “Find the meta of how to cheese the combat correctly, and avoid the actual combat system!”, things like; stealth killing everything but one\two enemies, or riding the enemy down on your horse. That’s not the sign of a good\great combat system, that’s the sign of a poor one(where you want\need to avoid using it). Besides, for the “realism” crowd; Henry’s existance is unrealistic. No one would be wandering alone the country side at a time of war, you’d have a posse. The few group battles that are in the game, it shows why they didn’t go this route(the AI is unable to handle more than one enemy, retargeting and generally doing very poorly compared to 1:1, it’s obvious the AI was developed for 1:1 fights, not #:# fights, just as the entire combat system is).
With that said, I’m not advocating scrapping the current system, but rather de-designing it to be 1: Not as janky, 2: Work better in a 1:# or #:# setting(lost count how many times I accidentaly hit friendlies because I clipped through the enemy I’m locked onto). If they’re unable to do this, then scrapping it and thinking of another system less prone to jankyness is a must.
Energy\Fatigue - I enjoy the survival elements of the game, but this one, this one is just unecessary. Not only do players generally sleep past the day, it doesn’t really work to limit the amount of sleeping you do(for saving) anyway. It just serves no purpose beyond a; “You can only sleep as long as we, the devs, have decided you can sleep”. I’ll grant the devs kudoz by not having a thirst mechanic in the game(by god do I hate that, serves even less of a purpose). The hunger mechanic however is something I hope returns in KC2, but more like how it’s done in Hardcore. In Normal mode it serves no purpose.
Hardcore mode - I like about 75-80% of the features of hardcore mode, I dislike the last 20-25%. Make difficulty configurable. I can’t play normal, because normal is shit(IMO). But I can’t really enjoy hardcore either, because of said 20-25% changes that I don’t like(no autosaves, and no ability to tell where my hands are mid-combat from UI element being the 2 that immediatly pop up in my mind).
Waypoint Quest Design - Just, don’t. I know this has become the standard since pretty much Oblivion, but it was shit then, it’s shit now. I’m not saying get rid of waypoints, I’m saying design quests(dialogue, objectives etc) with the assumptions the player does not have waypoints. It not only creates more immersive and better quests\dialogue, but also opens up for a hardcore mode that doesn’t have any waypoints at all. Add in the ability to ask NPCs in towns\outskirts\farms about directions( “have you seen [quest target]?”, “where can I find [town]?”). Doubly; Allow us to knock on doors and ask for shelter at night, food, and so on. Wast majority would turn you away(as they should), but with a high (good) reputation or certain really kind people, should definitly allow you to sleep in their staples or something, and\or share food(or allow you to buy the food of them). Finding the guy with the limp is a perfect example of how quests should be done. Finding Hans is an example of how ‘not’ to do quests(there is nothing to help you find him, no trail of where he rode, no signs, nothing, just run around within the waypoint area until you stumble on him).
Main Quest Pacing - You need break points in the story. A natural point where the player get some downtime to relax, and progress at their own pace. in KC:D, the first thing henry says when waking up is; “I need to go see sir radzig”, and it make sense, so you go, then you get told to train with benard, so you do, which’ll prompt going to the baylef, which prompt sir-hans fight, then the hunt, which pushes to neuof, and so on and on. There’s never any actual break in the story(there is a ‘slight’ kind of break after the Baptism of Fire quest, but ods are you’re unprepared for this fight if you didn’t force a break to train).
Bath Maidens - Have scenes, the fade to black seems weird, doubly so considering the 3 other scenes in the game. Also generally have more love scenes(Theresa should’ve had 1 or 2 more scenes that triggers throughout courting, perferibly repeatable, hell Theresa should’ve been marriable \ movable to Pribyslavitz!).
Save System - In an ideal world, there are no bugs, no crashes, and no issues. Sadly, this is not an ideal world. I’ve lost countless hours from crashes and\or bugs, this could’ve been prevented with a proper save system(infact losing hours from these things is what made me swallow the pill and get the unlimited save mod, then make saviour schnaps worthless to counter-act their value). Since there is no gurantee that the game won’t glitch out(I’ve fallen through the world twice), or simply crash(Have happened a few times while saving as well! This is on 1.9.6-404-504u), so there’s only two options here; 1: Constant auto-save(with backup to prevent corruption), a.l.a Dark Souls\Mount & Blade, or standard traditional save whenever\wherever you want(without consumables) with optional selection of bronze(what KCD is)\ironman. Similar to Temple of Elemental Evil \ XCOM \ Pillars of Eternity \ Diablo. I’d much prefer the last one.
Actual good mod support, such as creating hooks for scripts and export functions that can be used\called. The lack of these things is why KC:D’s modding basically died so quickly. Witcher 3 gave us access to the game scripts, of which 80-85% of the game is coded in, allowing almost anything to be done. KC:D was obviously made in C++ and using Lua as a very minor support script, where we can only use Lua scripts and interfacing functions towards the C++ functions to do anything(which again; extremely limited). Just to be clear; Not saying to develop the game in Lua, I’m saying develop better hooks and give a better interface towards C++ core functions(preferibly with ways to override them). A few good hooks would be; UI(already have that in KC:D), Consumption(food, potions, repair kits, etc, anytime you ‘use’ something), Combat(enter trigger, exit trigger, damage done\recieved, etc), dialogue(this can be done in KC:D through UI iirc, but still, should be a separate hook), and a generic “update” hook(that triggers each update, i.e; frame).
- And for the love of god, no level scaling… It was shit in Oblivion, it was (arguably) shit in Skyrim, it’s shit in KC:D as well. Design the game world for immersion\consistency, rather than to maintain a “constant” challenge. One way would be to have enemy types\groups introduced depending on side quest \ story progression(say, war progressing forward = more cumans show up, rather than Henry hitting level 15 and suddenly bandits are well equipped out of nowhere), and depending on how the story is\concludes, remove said enemies\units at the end of the main quest\side-quest. It’d feel more immersive and also create a more natural progression. Having progression tied to the player just feels lazy\cheap, like the world revolves around the player(I know it does, but it shouldn’t feel like that is the case).