Six Ages: King of Dragon Pass for the 21st Century

Not that anyone here needed any extra incentive to purchase the game, but the PC reviews are off to a good start with high praise from PC Gamer.

I have no idea what that “update for the modern world” thing is about (as the review notes, it plays almost identically to KoDP), but maybe they are talking about this, which is relevant to some people’s interests:

unlike the 2015 Steam re-release of Dragon Pass, it feels like it has been designed to be used with a mouse instead of a touch screen

or maybe it’s just headline BS as usual.

On my radar, will no doubt buy soon!

From what I read, they added tool tips. Other than that it’s essentially the same game.

So I played KoDP a few years ago and bounced off it a bit, but want to give it another go. Is Six Ages enough of an evolution that I should just play it instead?

It’s tough to recommend from a gameplay perspective. It’s more straightforward, but it still requires you to do your homework. If you’re a Glorantha fan, the setting and ideas of Six Ages are just amazing.

What left me cold in KoDP was having to memorize the legends. Is that still part of the gameplay?

Yes and no. You had to learn what the myths were trying to convey, not what was exactly happening, which I thought was a brilliant representation of oral tradition and varieties in mythologies and a nice way to introduce the world. There is the same mechanic here, although I think it’s not as crucial as it was in KoDP, given that the relations of the people with the gods are different.
But both are games about a people’s lore and their world view, so if that aspect doesn’t hold interest for you, I think it’s perfectly fine to not enjoy them.

Hell yeah there are heroquests. I’ve only done one, about singing cows, and it wasn’t as demanding as some in the first game, memory-wise, but heroquesting is an indescribably huge part of Glorantha, so yeah it’s in the game.

Could you – or someone – clarify a bit further? Am I going to have to answer questions about the myths from memory, such that this elderly brain really will need to take screen shots of the information so as to make headway in the game? Or do I simply need to make clan decisions in line with the lessons of the legends (which makes total sense to me)? Or something in between?

For me, this is the difference between a buy and a pass.

I’m not sure if heroquesting is strictly mandatory, but to draw on the singing cows example, like the cows get scared because the sun doesn’t come back and you have to remember, gee, I’m supposed to sing them a song about courage, and moving to a new place or something similar. I think if your quester is strong (and lucky) enough, there are multiple ways a myth can play out, but there is definitely a bit of “memorization” involved, although for me it feels more like learning a new culture than memorizing, like, multiplication tables.

IIRC, the rituals don’t always correspond completely to the legend, so trying to make decisions in line with the legends is probably the best approach. However, the questers skills are a big factor in rituals and if your hero is skilled enough, you can divert from the legends and still succeed.

Still, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on the legend before attempting a ritual. You can do this in-game (once you have actually learned the legend).

I’d like to emphasize the reverse is also true: you can reenact what seems like a near-perfect Heroquest and fail at it because the link of the quester with the deity was too weak or she was simply inept for the task. It can be frustrating if you aren’t mentally prepared for that to happen ;)

That too. It’s important to know where the beliefs of your clan lie, and which god you should trust or be wary of, amongst other things.

Edit: or order the official guide book.

Ha ha ha. No.

Absolutely yes.

Watching a Let’s Play some of the text looked awfully light against the background. Is that really the case,or is it just me?

Never had any issue on the iPad, and lord knows my eyes are tired.
Can you link the Let’s Play?

Honestly, tool tips are probably worth like $5 all by themselves to me.

So glad the sequel to one of my favorite games of all time has finally landed on PC.

Things I like:

  • Exploring Glorantha again. Setting this story from the “other side” is an inspired choice, and the Riders are at least as much fun as the Orlanthi were.
  • Ventures. I’m going to miss having this when I go back to KODP next time.
  • More lenient heroquests. I think Dunham mentioned this was something they were doing for this game, and it does feel that way (although I’m only about half-way through). You can still fail and suffer badly, but it doesn’t feel quite as random as in the old game. The failures I’ve had at least, can usually be attributed to questers that are of the wrong god or simply not skilled enough - with strong questers connected to the relevant god, my success rate has been excellent. No heroquests as bad as the old “Elmal guards the Stead” one.

Things I’m less pleased about:

  • The Riders feel a bit too much like Orlanthi on horses, at least so far. They have all the trappings of nomads - horse archers, travois, etc - but they also live in permanent buildings, sow and worry about pastures, build stone walls, etc. They talk in awe about how the Orlanthi are so super-mobile. They on foot and we on horses, and they’re the ones who can strike anywhere? Really? One thing I liked about KoDP is that I felt like I needed to think like an iron-age clan when playing it. Six Ages doesn’t really make me feel like a Horseborn nomad.
  • More abstract resource system. I’m OK with the detailed harvest system from the original being gone (as it was in the mobile version), but I really dislike the food stockpile system - do I have food for 2 or 2 1/2 season? How much food are my cattle and goats worth? How many people should I send out foraging? I’m never quite sure what the situation of the clan is, and there is absolutely no reason to make one of the core game-play elements this opaque.
  • UI annoyances. E.g., why can’t I access the diplomacy details when a story requires me to take a diplomatic decision? Why do I have to chose a leader without full info about that leader?
  • The “endgame” is way too finicky in that it’s very easy to “lose” the game by making the wrong choice. This is the one aspect where I think Six Ages is objectively worse than its predecessor - in KODP, you knew when you had entered the endgame, and while you could lose, it was usually by making obviously “wrong” moves, or simply not being strong enough. In Six Ages, you can easily lose even by making moves which seem like they’re the right ones.

I guess this may come of sounding more negative than I mean it too. As mentioned, KODP is one of my all-time favorite games, and this delivers more of the same. If I sound negative, it’s because I’d love even more improvements on an already great concept.