In-Depth Review

Vagrus - The Riven Realm

Developer: Lost Pilgrims

Release Date:6 October, 2021

Platform: Windows, Linux, MacOS

Genre: RPG

By Chris Picone, 17 December 2023


Vagrus is a substantial RPG with tactical and "management" elements.  It's also a particularly challenging game, featuring consequences that often materialise long after decisions you made.   It's also the sort of game that, even though the game itself does most of the map-keeping and information recording for you, you're still going to want to take your own notes.  That means that, while Vagrus probably isn't a great entry-level RPG, it's fantastic for genre veterans.

Before I begin my review, I want to tell you that I have spent 150 hours on this game.  And I'm not finished with it yet.  I've all but finished the main campaign (completing my outpost would end the game so I've held off), including the majority of the core & companion questlines.  I've completed the Vorax DLC, I'm stuck on the final boss of the Seekers of Knowledge DLC, and I'm maybe halfway through the Sunfire & Moonshadow DLC - and there are still two more DLC in the works! To put this into perspective, I spent 130 hours in Kingmaker, 86 hours in WotR, 100 hours into D:OS, 130 hours into D:OS2, 80 hours in Baldur's Gate 3.... Now those are some big hours (for me, at least), but does that mean Vagrus is better than all those games? Not necessarily - Vagrus offers a very different experience to those RPGS - but it's enough to make it clear that Vagrus is a big deal.  

One last quick note:  I also cover all of the DLC in this article but because the DLC's all about adding content rather than changing gameplay, I've attached it all to the bottom of the article (so if you already have the main game and you just want to know whether or not the DLC's worth bothering with, feel free to skip ahead!).  Alternatively, if you are absolutely new to Vagrus, I'd encourage you to at least try the demo, which doubles as the prologue to the game.  It's a very compact experience compared to the main game but will still see you playing for a few hours and does an excellent job of introducing you to the game's core mechanics and is an excellent little story in its own right.  A word of warning:  Expect to die.  You'll get a couple of hours in and realise you made some lethal mistake somewhere and you'll need to restart the game making better choices with your newly gained knowledge.  Embrace this:  This experience will serve you well in the main game.


The backstory's probably one you've heard somewhere before:  The world was once thriving, with gods active in the world's business, and eldritch powers and creatures in abundance.  Then, of course, came The Calamity.  The gods are gone and most of the magic with them and the world's been torn asunder.  But that was a long time ago.  The world's still a mess and people are still struggling but a new empire has formed and new gods are starting to surface.  What sets Vagrus apart from nearly every other post-apocalyptic RPG I've ever played is that this backstory isn't just the excuse for the setting, it really IS the setting.  It's not just something referred back to occasionally, it's deeply embedded in a generational manner into every location you visit, every character you meet, every word spoken and action taken.  The world of Vagrus really lives and breathes its history.

Vagrus' playable story is exactly what it should be in an RPG - it's what you make it.  This only normally applies to pen & paper RPGs because of the limitations of digital games but that's one aspect Vagrus has really nailed.  At the start of the game you must choose an ambition:  wealth, renown, or knowledge.  But these are lofty ambitions and you start at the bottom, so first things first:  Survival.  Once you get that sorted you'll need to start looking for profitable trade routes.  The laws of supply and demand dictate that the further away from a resource a town is, the more they'll pay for that commodity, which means you're probably going to try a few long hauls.  But there's not a lot of food or water in this post-cataclysmic wasteland, which means you'll probably need to stop in every town and village or otherwise trade for supplies along the way.  And in doing so, of course, you'll meet lots of interesting new people from all walks of life.  While the Empire might be a sprawling and dominant force, it's made up of numerous factions like House Venari, House Oquo, and House Darius - all powerful trade houses, all competing for dominance.  At some point or another you'll find yourself embroiled in some local conflict and forced to take sides.  More importantly, it can be profitable to do so.  To the east of the playable map is another huge region called the Dragonlands, home to a reptilian race of Dragonkin.  They're an ancient and powerful people who control the mountains to the east and all the riches to be found there, and like any good empire, they're looking to expand.  War's not on the cards - at least not yet - but they are certainly open to clandestine dealings and building power through trade.  Smaller external elements are also present; the Tarkians can be found here, as can a dark elf prince.  They're a long way from home but not without their own influence and power.  Much of Vagrus is centred on trade, but not all.  It's an RPG with trading elements, not just a trading game, and no RPG worth its salt would be free of moral and ethical decision making.  Vagrus is an imperial world, and with that comes all the other hallmarks of colonialisation.  The Empire is built on tribal land and you will get to meet many of the displaced tribesmen - and even visit some of their sacred sites and receive their blessings if you build enough trust.  Religion is the backbone of the world, and in Vagrus there are again two main factions; the vengeful Church of Sergorod, who double as the Empire's lawkeepers; and the necromancers of the Church of Ahskul who are often found wandering the wastelands with caravans of undead servants in tow.  And then there's the criminal element:  Powerful crime syndicates and slavers.  

Ingratiating yourself into the favour of one of the mighty houses, churches, or crime syndicates, or allying with the Dragonkin can come with all sorts of benefits - and, in game terms, also unlocks new missions and quests.  Some of these are simple trading or mercenary missions but others are matters of clandestine matters of diplomacy, assassination, or even rescue.  But the houses have competing interests, so usually building reputation with one faction will destroy your reputation with another.  


There are three main elements to Vagrus:  The campaign map, the text interface, and combat.  The campaign map is very much like the sort of world map you've probably played with in your tabletop games; major landmarks are hinted at, major cities are marked, but otherwise it gets filled in as you explore.  The map itself is attractive and  immersive  but otherwise the management screens are all spartan and functional.  Movement across the map is achieved by following nodes.  Occasionally you'll pick up a random encounter along the way, which could be a friendly merchant to trade with, another comitatus in trouble and in need of rescuing, another faction (friendly or otherwise), or raiders.  There are two kinds of combat; comitatus, and companion.  Comitatus battles are handled through management screens like most things - place your troops, select your tactics, hit go.  Companion combat, on the other hand, takes place on a tactical grid.  Friendly units on the left, enemy units on the right, and turn-based combat takes place.  Select your attack and a JRPG-style attack animation occurs.  It's not exactly inspiring but it does what it needs to do, adding a visual element to your encounters. This is probably the least visually appealing part of an otherwise very attractive game.  For the most part though, Vagrus is predominantly a text-based RPG.  So all of your other encounters, town visits, basically everything else, is all handled through a text box dolled up as a scroll with an accompanying illustration.  The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, detailed, emotive, and they're usually larger than the box they appear in which allows for some cool panning and zooming effects.  The artwork in this game is some of the most exquisite I've seen and does a great job of sucking you into the grim atmosphere of this dark world.  I feel vaguely guilty sharing the image of the dragon skeleton as it was a truly breath-taking moment when I experienced it for the first time in-game, but Vagrus has many moments such as this, and I think the work you have to put in to experience it will make the sight worthwhile regardless.


A huge part of the game involves managing your comitatus - caravan - so I'll start here, but don't think for a second this is all Vagrus has to offer.  The wasteland is an unforgiving place so you'll need to carefully plan your routes to maximise your profit margins. Developing such a trade route can be harder than it sounds because there are lots of intricate mechanics working behind the scenes.  An obvious place to start is to look for a place where a resource is mined, because it is likely to be available in large quantities for a relatively cheap price in such a place.  The further you can take that resource, the greater the need for it will be (and hence should fetch a higher price) - however, it is possible to flood a market, diminishing your gains.  You may also find that local activities in an area might create an unusual demand for certain resources.  You'll need to pay careful attention to the rumours you gather to maximise these opportunities.  To illustrate some of the potential issues and pitfalls, here's an example trade route between Lumen and Larnak in the Searing Plains area.  Lumen offers the valuable and rare ceruleus crystal, which you can sell anywhere for a profit. Load up as much as you can carry and head to Crystal.  Sell a couple of stacks here; the profit is nowhere near as high here as it will be in Larnak but if you try to sell it all in one place you'll flood the market.  Buy some lesser-quality Flavo crystals to fill the gap, then continue west to Mirage.  You may also want to check the mission board if you have spare cargo space - moving goods for the factions may earn you a little less money in the short term but they help build reputation which leads to more profitable deals in the future.  Sell a few more crystals in Mirage and buy dried fruit, a specialty in this otherwise barren village, then keep going to Larnak. Larnak's in the middle of nowhere at the edge of a barren desert, so everything sells well here.  But before you do, go and visit the Hive - the Yskorri embassy, a race of insectoid creatures to whom dried fruit is a delicacy.  They'll pay a premium but trading with the Yskorri will also help you build reputation with them.  The desert's plagued by sand worms, but they're also a valuable source of chitin, so buy that here cheap while you can. Rather than heading back the same way, you might wish to return via Ash, which is in a part of the wasteland so desolate that they'll pay a premium for basically everything - but have nothing to offer in return.  You'll encounter this from time to time but there are other ways to make money besides trade.  The mission board also offers non-trade missions; usually either requests for mercenaries to attack an opposing faction nearby, or an escort mission where you will be tasked to protect some passengers on a trip from A to B.  And, while you can still stop on the way to trade and resupply, you can't dilly dally too much because your passengers can get upset and refuse to pay if you take too long.  You'll also need to consider your comitatus; people and animals consume food and require wages, so if you don't need them for a trip it makes sense to dismiss them and recruit more at your destination.  That may sound harsh but the wasteland's an unforgiving place and it doesn't pay to be sentimental.  

I want to talk more about your comitatus because both the mechanics and the amount of flexibility here are quite amazing.  You'll need beasts, which come in a few varieties - mounts and beasts of burden, primarily, but you also have the option between mammals and reptiles (and a third type, later - a secret I don't want to spoil).  Generally speaking, the reptiles are better for combat while the mammals are generally a better option economically.  In either case, their primary role is to carry your cargo, and they require workers to look after look after them.  So the more beasts you have, the more workers you will also need.  And your comitatus needs protection; the bigger the comitatus, the more protection it needs.  So, the more workers you have, the more soldiers are required.  But the soldiers are there for fighting, which means someone needs to lug their gear, which means the more soldiers you have, the more workers you need.  You see where I'm going with this.  And this problem compounds when you're escorting passengers, who bring luggage and need protection but don't contribute to the workload.  And of course all of these workers and soldiers need to be paid, so you need to ensure your profit margins will cover their wages.  There is one way to reduce keep your costs down at least a little:  Slaves.  They're a funny bunch. Treat them too poorly or work them too hard and they're liable to desert or steal from you or start a riot.  But treat them too well and they won't respect you, leading to disobedience and affecting the morale of the rest of your comitatus.  Are the systems complex?  Yes.  This sort of micromanagement won't be for everyone but I personally found it very rewarding.  It's extremely important to pay close attention to this stuff because it can be a death sentence if you don't.  For example, let's say you're attacked by raiders on your way from A to B.  You beat them but in the process you lost some soldiers and a few mounts.  Those mounts were carrying cargo which you'll now have to leave behind; and if the cargo belonged to one of the factions you're working for, they'll be upset with you and you'll lose reputation as well as payment.  Or the cargo might have been some of your supplies, meaning you may now be facing a food shortage.  The loss of soldiers also means you may not have enough troops to post adequate guards at night which leads to a poor night of sleep, decreasing vigor, obedience, morale - all bad.  A few days later you might find all your slaves have abandoned you; and your crew, tired of walking all day and all night and slowly being starved to death, will mutiny and it's game over.  Or you might make it to town only to find that after selling your cargo you've only got enough money to pay the crew and not enough to buy food or the next load of cargo and it's game over anyway.  Later in the game a wealthier more established vagrus might be able to ride out such losses (or they've gained enough experience to avoid making such mistakes in the first place).  The only other thing that may save you from this feat is scouts, which serve the dual purpose of gathering food for your comitatus while on the move (at the cost of movement) - if you have enough you can theoretically live off the land entirely - while also serving as scouts for your soldiers (setting up or countering ambushes) or during spy missions.  Vagrus has a steep learning curve and you are guaranteed to die a bunch but thankfully it also comes with some amazing auto-save features that let you go back to the start of the day or the last town you were at, etc.  Stick with it!  

Oh, and I mentioned the flexibility of this system.  One of the cooler possibilities is that you can take no beasts of burden at all, opting for a "fully mounted" comitatus.  You'll still have enough space for all your food supplies and a small amount of cargo, particularly if you have purchased good quality saddlebags.  But the real advantage of this build is that you can move really, really fast.  You also get good combat bonuses, particularly if you're running lizards.  There was a chunk of the game where I stopped trading altogether and instead turned my comitatus into a roving war band, taking on mercenary and escort missions and collecting bounties.  There are plenty of other money-making schemes you can try your hand at too.  Mining, for example.  It takes a bit of preparation to source all the equipment and licenses you need but you can have your comitatus mine for salt and crystals.  It's all good fun - profitable and you'll find it important to add some variety in a game as long as Vagrus.  

Finally - and probably most importantly - I have mentioned several times now that Vagrus isn't just a trade management game.  It is a text-based, party-based, roleplaying game.  And like any roleplaying game worth its salt these days, you'll find all sorts of companion quests, major and minor sub-quests, and a variety of side quests and other distractions along the way.  For example, I already mentioned that you can try your hand at bounty hunting.  In addition, many of the larger towns boast gladiator rings and you can absolutely fight your way to the top and become a champion gladiator, earning coin and fame along the way.  Vagrus boasts huge branching narratives, which means many of these quests can be completed in multiple ways, and it is certainly possible to fail quests (which is sometimes really bad, and other times can lead to new opportunities).  

As you visit each town you aren't just picking up trade goods and leaving again, you also get a chance to stop and explore.  Most towns have some sort of bar you can visit; good for buying drinks to improve the morale of your comitatus but also very useful for collecting rumours.  Some of these are trade rumours - some calamity befalling a town, creating a desperate need for some commodity - but sometimes they will reveal entirely new places for you to visit.  This might be the location of some tribal village in the wilderness, or the location of a hidden cache, an exotic shop that may be difficult to find but worth the visit, some clandestine meeting point hidden behind a shop front, the name of an important contact, or any of a hundred other things.  There's more than just bars, of course; you will also visit libraries, gardens, museums, churches, bath houses, all sorts.  There are also occasionally random encounters that occur while you're in town - like finding yourself in the middle of a protest at the gates on the way into town, getting caught in a sudden sandstorm and having to seek shelter with strangers, going for a stroll along the brightkelp lakes and getting caught in the middle of some shady dealings.  Sometimes these are just one-off random encounters; other times you might meet someone important or be caught up in the middle of some larger plot.  You never know your luck in the big city.  It's worth reminding the reader about the complex mechanics working in the background of Vagrus.  Many of these rumours and encounters will only trigger when you reach particular renown or reputation milestones, so it's worth revisiting places periodically.  Many of the bigger questlines also require sequences of events to fully trigger.  For example, one of the first companions you can recruit in the game is Gor'Goro, an orc gladiator.  First, you need to have heard a rumour about a struggling gladiator school.  Later, while trying your own hand at fighting in the ring, you will meet a man called Drius who seeks your help.  Win the fight and Gor'Goro joins you.  Yay, a new companion!  

Companions play a pivotal role in the game.  Any time you engage in some encounter, you take your companions with you, and like any other party-based RPG, they use their skills to help you.  Let's say you're doing some bounty-hunting and you've tracked your prey - some bandit lord - to a cave in the wilderness on the outskirts of town.  Gor'Goro will be great when it comes time to actually fight the bandit lord and can protect you against any cronies you meet along the way, but that's probably the extent of his usefulness.  If you're lucky enough to have recruited the smuggler, he might be able to help you locate and disarm any traps.  Likewise, the elven huntress might be able to sneak in and do the deed, avoiding a battle altogether, while one of the mages might be able to give you some magical advantage.  There are currently 10 possible companions in Vagrus, although I believe it is impossible to recruit all of them simultaneously as certain questlines to gain one may lock you out of another, and some of them just don't get along. For many encounters though, you can only take one or two with you, dictating how the encounter's going to go down.  Like everything else in Vagrus, the companions are multi-faceted, not only acting as vehicles to give you new questlines and buffing you by giving you access to new abilities, but they also have their own personalities and goals which are managed through a loyalty system.  Unlike most games though, where you can kind of just buy your companions' loyalty or pay them lip service, Vagrus forces you to make hard choices.  For example, Gor'Goro's a freed slave, hates slavery, and can be quite sympathetic.  On the other hand, Harvek sees any mercy as weakness - he's not a bad guy, he's just been in lots of awful situations and learned the hard way that you've got to be tough to survive.  Let's say the "bandit lord" you were chasing turns out to be innocent of the crimes he was accused of, instead being a political opponent.  Allowing him to escape and survive is morally the right thing to do but it will make you look weak in the eyes of the faction who employed you, and of course you won't be paid.  No matter what you decide, one of your companions will be happy with your decision while you will only gain the others' ire.  And make no mistake:  If your companions get upset enough with you, they will leave.  It adds an interesting element to decision making in the game; you have your own goals and your own morals but sometimes you'll find yourself making compromises to keep your companions happy.

And please don't make the mistake of thinking the quests a just a bunch of random fights and encounters; some of the quest sequences are quite extensive and it can be impossible to tell where you're going to end up sometimes.  One quest started as a series of fetch quests for a wizard, which later turned into a mission to help them resurrect an ancient dragon.  Another quest started as a rescue mission which turned into an escort mission.  After fending off assassins one after the other I started asking questions and found this person was in fact an important diplomat, and the assassins sent by the same faction who employed her - a political stunt to start a war.  Long story short, protecting this person led to a meeting with a dark elf prince, who later became a useful ally in a completely different questline when I found myself leading a massive army into a battle against giant sandworms at Tectum Carvos.  I don't want to talk too much about the quests because I really don't want to spoil these stories for you, but some of them really were exceptional and memorable.  Some of the best I've ever experienced in any RPG ever.  Seriously. 

Fun Factor / Replayability

While there's definitely choice & consequence in Vagrus and some of your choices will definitely lock doors, I don't see Vagrus as particularly replayable.  This is because the end-game goals are so ambitious that it is likely that you will have pretty well explored the world, met all the companions, completed most of the major questlines, and had a go at basically everything the game has to offer at least once.  I know I've missed a few things in my playthrough.  For example, as much as I liked Renkailon, I found his life goals were frequently at odds with the rest of my companions, and in the end he left my comitatus and I never got the chance to fully explore his questlines.  Criftaa, another companion, was locked for me because of some other choices that I made.  And I certainly could have played the game through pushing for different factions - the dragon lords, for example, absolutely detest me, completely locking me out of any of their questlines.  So technically I could go back and replay the game, going for more of an "evil" approach, making sure to recruit Criftaa and favouring the dragon lords.  It would change the story for sure, and give me new experiences, but there's no way I'll ever have another hundred hours to play through the game again and as much as I enjoyed the game the first time, some of the mid-sections can get pretty grindy.  In the end, it doesn't matter.  What Vagrue may lack in width, it definitely makes up for in depth.  I'll probably only ever play it once but it's been a bloody amazing experience.


With its complex trading & management mechanics and incredible verbosity (I don't know for sure but I believe the latest DLC will probably bring the word count to somewhere near the ~1 million mark!), Vagrus won't be for everyone.  But that's perfectly fine; Vagrus wasn't built for casual gamers - they have enough games already.  Vagrus was built for people like me; avid roleplayers who love a deep narrative, a unique setting with of the deepest world-building I've ever come across, and a challenging experience.  Vagrus may not be perfect - the combat can get a tad repetitive and there are definitely significant patches of grind throughout the game - but you get that in any substantial RPG and for the most part you can kind of avoid them and come back to them when you're in the mood.  And what Vagrus does well, it does amazingly well, offering something about as close to the pen & paper roleplaying experience that video games are ever likely to offer.  In my eyes, Vagrus is a work of art.

Store Link:

Vorax DLC

Type: Free DLC - Companion

While a very small addition to the game in the scheme of things, this DLC is free so I doubt it'll garner any complaints.  This is a companion DLC, adding Vorax to the short list of recruitable companions in the game.  Vorax is an undead chef; a useful addition to the comitatus but also one of the more interesting and likeable characters in the game.  And of course your companion comes with his own loyalty quest chain that involves both a cooking adventure and exploration of Vorax's dark past.  It's all a little bit silly but I found it welcome as a little bit of comic relief in an otherwise grim setting.

Seekers of Knowledge DLC

Type: Free DLC - Region

Seekers of Knowledge is primarily a Region DLC, adding the Sunken Tower and its corresponding questline (including NPCs, enemies, loot) to the game, although it does also add a new ambition to the game, Knowledge. The Sunken Tower’s an interesting location in that no other in the game is like it.  When you first enter the tower, you’re limited to the first floor, which you’ll obviously set out to explore – this is an ancient building, long lost to the sands of time and only accessible through special escort by native guides, so surely it’s bound to be filled with ancient treasures.  Exploration is challenging, however; although the tower’s inhabitants have long since passed to the spirit world, those spirits are angry and territorial.  Combat’s particularly difficult here.  None of the spirits are very strong but their ethereal nature means only magic and magic weapons can hurt them, meaning many of your companions will spend time skipping turns and soaking damage while you whittle them down.  Finally, the tower itself is alive and its contents ever shifting, so no two forays are ever quite the same. This impermanence means you only have a few turns to explore each time, lest your party become lost, destined to wander the halls forever, or go mad in the experience.  While at first exciting – the writing in the tower is wonderful, and it’s an exciting and strange place full of ancient lore to discover (and loot, of course) - it can get a bit tedious.  As you progress you’ll unlock new floors in the tower where you’ll essentially do it all over again and the lack of control over your exploration means it can be a very time consuming process, which wouldn’t be so bad but the spirit combat is often a long, drawn out experience.  I highly recommend the same approach the developer does to alleviate this:  Don’t try to tackle the tower in one hit.  Add it to one of your trade routes, delving for a few runs each time you cross east or west through the area.  There are plenty of crystal lamps and other loot to make it worth your while.  And when you do eventually make it through the tower, it really is quite a rewarding experience, and eventually leads to a couple of tough decisions and a very difficult boss fight.

Sunfire & Moonshadow

Type: Expansion

Sunfire & Moonshadow is a comparitively large DLC, expanding the game by giving you access to two new regions, which of course comes with a slew of new settlements to explore, new factions, NPCs to meet, enemies to fight, arenas to defeat, a new major questline and a stack of smaller subquests. The developers brag that the new content approaches half the size of the core game; I'm not sure about that, but it is pretty damn hefty.  

At first, Sunfire & Moonshadow gives you access to a portal that takes you to a strange gate world; there are a few locations and a little bit of lore to uncover here but its main function seems to be to provide you with access the Bronze Desert, a region to the north of the previously playable map.  I mentioned earlier there are at least two more DLC to come, so I suspect the gate world will also provide access to those when they’re released.  For now, the Bronze Desert is more than enough.  It’s a large expanse of desert with a stack of new locations – large cities, small towns, garrisons, mines, native villages, a few landmarks.  The only passage between the Bronze Desert and the main game’s playing area is across a bridge, which has been closed and is heavily guarded.  That means a few things:  First, you really are in a totally different area, which has grown in isolation with trade across the regions prohibited and entirely new cultures and factions present.  Most of your previous victories and arrangements mean next to nothing here.  Second, it means that, since you are the only person able to cross the passage between the two realms, you’re suddenly very valuable as a sort of ambassador.  The gate is only small – big enough for around 40 people but too small for beasts – which means that, while you can carry small gifts, you can’t carry cargo between the two realms.  At least initially.  This means you need to set up entirely new trade routes in the region, and adapt to a new economy.  It also prevents you from becoming ludicrously rich by teleporting huge quantities of oil in exchange for riches this new land lacks.  Finally, the isolation means that what you do in one realm does not largely affect the other in any significant way.

Excitingly, the Bronze Desert is filled with all new factions:  The Imperial Legate – the Chimera Legion, specifically; the Handjari, an alliance of Tarkian trading princes; and the Ahari, a resistance movement made up of Bandul (the natives of this region).  It’s another story of imperialism and colonialism.  The Bandul, a sun-worshipping people, have lived in these lands for ages.  The Legate has recently moved in, attracted by rich sources of oil in the area and seeking to expand.  While to the modern ear this may come across as evil, they bring with them superior technology, civilization, law and order, a new religion.  The Tarkian Handjari faction are schemers; on the surface allied with the Legate but they very much have their own interests in the region.  At first it may seem easy for any ethical person to support the Bandul cause, but in truth most Bandul are treated reasonably and are satisfied with their new lives.  Except the Ahari, of course, the “insurrectionists” – or freedom fighters, depending on whose side you’re on.  They’re fighting to remove the invaders from their homeland, which certainly seems noble enough, but they’re violent and ruthless and you may not like their methods.  One way or another, you’ll have to make a decision.  One major area this DLC differs from the main game is that each of these three factions are considered nemeses.  Once you reach a particular level of reputation with any given faction, you are locked out of the other two.  I actually really love this feature as it should encourage replayability –the faction quests and goals differ wildly so it’s very likely worth replaying the game and siding with a different faction to experience their quests and their story – except that because the DLC is interlinked with the main game, you would have to replay the whole thing to do it.  The best thing I can suggest is to keep a save game before you align with one faction or another, so you can replay the DLC without having to replay the whole game.  

Ultimately, Sunfire & Moonshadow is a huge DLC that probably could have been a standalone game, a sequel to the original Vagrus.  While somewhat smaller, it’s still really big, and is just as loaded with interesting people, places, lore, and an intricate, well-written story.  I’ve still got quite a few hours to go with it yet but it’s really a fantastic addition and I’ve found it has reinvigorated my love for the game in a way that replaying the original could never have matched.