And lo, yet again the Sword Coast Legends team graced the ravening hordes with a Twitch stream today, tantalizing us with news and gameplay of the soon to be released Dungeons & Dragons 5E CRPG extravaganza!
Make sure to check out the notes below for lots of cool info and tidbits. Design Council folks will get their chance to play in a head start weekend starting Sep 11th, and all preorders can have fun in a head start weekend starting Sep 18th. The game releases to the public on September 25th.
The Twitch stream was hosted by:
Ash Sevilla: Community Manager
Dan Tudge: SCL Director
LIVE STREAM NOTES
Head Start weekend (for Design Council level this weekend) starts tomorrow (Friday, Sep 11) at some point in the evening EST but exact time not known yet.
Special stream on Saturday chatting about the game and showing n-Space created modules.
Dan doing a Q&A while playing on Hard mode. There may be a party wipe. Q&A interspersed with gameplay.
Chris (art director) shows off Belaphoss statue that is a premium preorder incentive. Looks pretty great.
New setting: DM threat can be turned off. Players and press were both asking about this. If you play with threat completely off, more game balancing needed on front end. Players will know going in whether it is normal threat, threat off, or unlimited threat. Evidently everyone “must agree”.
Pause options: Many more pause options for players and DM in co-op. Game host decides pause options.
Team has implemented AI controlled companions for single player co-op (that sounds weird to describe it that way, my description not theirs). AI companions come in at player level.
Head Start access this weekend for Design Council players.
Ash will be streaming Head Start games, encourages players to stream.
Future road map: closer to launch there will be a roadmap for upcoming months.
Gameplay (by Dan) begins in Evermoors. Party looking for way into the Underdark.
Gameplay is part of story campaign, Ash warns of minor spoilers.
Party talks with female NPC giving quest exposition, good voice acting.
Ash reminds game is on Hard. Hard is hard. Requires tactical things. There will be death.
Items can be sorted by weight in addition to value.
Inventory has a junk tab. It doesn’t trash items, just collects them together for easier management.
On Hard your companions take 100% friendly fire damage. Dan unleashes a spell and hopes his companions don’t die.
No fudging of the rules on Hard. You can get one-shotted and die.
Combat log shown off… you can click on entries and get more info on rolls in a pop up.
Animations and sound during combat are very nice, multi leveled stuff going on.
Companion goes down during first big fight. Dan stabilizes her.
Players cannot currently customize gear color. Dan says it is is in the backlog of features to get to.
DMs can modify gear color for NPCs.
Evermoors tileset ambiance is nice… creepy but alive.
Dan finds a loot from a previous kill. I asked if this was from a previous save (i.e. is loot persistent but didn’t get a reply… not surprising, chat in the Twitch streams is heavy).
You can set camera to lock onto character. Can also use WASD camera controls.
Spiders… plus an elite giant spider.
Ash turns off cam so we can see mini map. Typical mini-map type functionality… small circle in upper right of UI. Also larger full screen map can be accessed.
Companions going down quite often. Fights are tough.
Ash says right now limit for “raised” (summoned) monsters per player character is one. So I guess max of four per party if everyone can summon?
Dan is doing a lot of pausing and tactics. Ash says it looks grim. Dan says he can handle it, uses Revivify ability which takes 2 action points.
Dan says hm, may be a wipe. Spiders run rampant on Dan in massive carnage. Wipe confirmed.
After wipe, it goes back to last save. This resets party to before they talked to old lady NPC. Dan decides to run around the Evermoors and fight stuff rather than kick off quest again. They mention this is the first time what happens on full party wipe has been shown to public.
Player characters can go in and out of single player and DM campaigns. Equipment / weight carries over. Weight and buy / sell prices are based on main character.
Camera can now zoom in more during NPC interactions to show off detail on character models.
If you bring in a friend’s player into co-op, it will remove a companion and drop them in. When they leave, the companion comes back.
Ambush combat (random encounters?) while traveling on world map? Yes, absolutely. Not just combat. Encounters reflect where you are in the story.
Dungeon layouts are still randomized but you can reroll dungeons until you get a layout you like. Item placement and lighting can be customized for big changes in feel / tone. Dan said he saw stuff he thought was a new tileset but wasn’t.
Monsters are scaled to average player level. So for groups with varying levels of characters it tries to compensate. Lower level characters tend to level up to catch up quickly then it evens out.
Characters are stored on server so it is difficult to hack characters however if someone really wants to they will.
You can kick players that are obviously cheating.
DLC schedule: Rage of Demons first and only announced DLC at this point, no date firmed yet. DLC will keep coming if players keep playing.
All preorders regardless of when preordered will get Rage of Demons DLC.
Dan tries big spider fight again. He mentioned earlier he doesn’t like spiders.
There is offline mode. Character is saved and then synched up through Steam when you are online again. No support for “offline” LAN play.
Rogues have arcane trickster abilities. Rogue at PAX had some arcane trickster abilities.
Spiders are trying to kite Dan’s party. Nice AI.
Question about Drizzt being usable as NPC by DMs in Rage of Demons. Ash says they are not really talking specifics about it yet, but they did show a picture of Drizzt at PAX and that should be a hint.
Ash really likes the variety of monster abilities in SCL.
DMs will have access to a demon monster set so they can make demonic campaigns.
No multiclassing right now but players can build their characters very differently.
Vendors sell items based on character level. Different items at different times.
I think I heard Ash say you will not be able to buy amazing magical items from vendors. Follow up note from Twitter user @The_Yelle: “just a clarification: vendors sell not just common items. Some sell unique things you don’t normally find from random drops.”
Dan picks a fight and says he’ll go out in a blaze of glory. Actually, he does pretty well.