The Sword Coast Legends team had another live Twitch stream today that was chunky full of gameplay and game details. Biggest news is that the hotly anticipated “head-start weekend” dates were announced, and the dev team is still pushing for Sep 29th for full game release.
Sep 11-13: Design Council – DM Modes
Sep 18-20: ALL Pre-orders – DM Modes
Sep 24-29: Design Council – Story Campaign
Sep 24-29: ALL Pre-orders – DM Modes
Note that head-start dates are “access weekends”, not just an early start date for pre-orders.
To follow up on an observation from my previous Sword Coast Legends post, it seems the single player campaign can be real time with pause if you choose to play that way, but the multiplayer is very action RPGish.
Note: to participate in Head Start you have to link your Steam and SCL accounts together. Info on the Sword Coast Legends forums.
LIVE STREAM NOTES
Community Manager: Ash Sevilla and Design Director: Tim Schwalk
Character creation stream demo coming next Tuesday.
Art director will be on during character creation stream.
The Big News: Head Start access dates! (see above)
Ash says again Sword Coast Legends playable by public at PAX.
Burning armor set shown but stats not shown.
Running through some of the player campaign but not spoiling main plot.
Main story has voiceover, side quests do not have voice over.
They are in Luskan. Picked a random side quest for today’s stream.
Ash and Tim do the voice narration for the side quests.
Font is small, Ash has to squint.
Multiplayer conversations controlled by host to make sure people get everything needed… in single player conversation thread controlled by player who initiates.
A lot of autopause options. So single player seems to be more of real time with pause, multiplayer more action RPG.
Tim is cutting through enemies. He is higher level than mobs and also has a holy avenger. Evidently playing a paladin.
Chat asks about combat log but answer it is not active in build they are playing on. They were initially going to show it today but turned it off and forgot to turn it back on.
No permadeth in single player campaign (“Be a short game,” Ash says). They are open to considering a roguelike difficulty setting.
Ash says, yep you’re gonna see bugs during these live streams. Not a finished product. Beta weekend [head start weekends I think] coming up to allow people to help find bugs for dev team.
Catacomb dungeon set / tiles being shown off for first time today. DMs will have access to the set. Looks good. Very Moria in my opinion.
Tim tries to turn undead but they all save. I think I heard that right? I thought D&D turning was a certain amount of automatic.
Tim turns around and leaves area, says it’s story critical stuff.
Ash says stealth checks are done just like D&D 5E. Your stealth vs enemy’s perception. All done under the hood.
DMs can modify armor on monsters / NPCs that can have armor, but cannot add armor to monsters that are not set up to have armor.
You can multiplayer the main campaign co-op with friends.
Tim turns off party tactics so he can control every character. Next fight is more traditional pause and play tactics / action.
Ash does not directly answer if you can be evil in main campaign, but says you can be very underhanded and there is stuff you can do the writers included that surprised him.
You cannot hire or make your own companions.
Party size is limited to 4, but some NPCs will join for certain periods (and go over 4?).
Companion NPCs have side quests. They have full voice over.
Cannot split party into different zones.
Ash says again this game is based on D&D 5E rules. Mentions this regarding character level and difficulty (or lack thereof) of enemies.
There are random encounters in player campaign.
Mimics confirmed… on accident. A chest being opened is revealed to be a mimic. Ash is like oops.
The rats the boss uses for the boss fight (vampire) are way overpowered. Ash and Tim both discuss this and say there will be a lot of pause during fight.
Tim and Ash are having a tough time figuring out boss battle. Initial strategy did not go well. “Uh oh.” “This isn’t going to go well.” “That didn’t go as I hoped.” These rats are really OP.
Tim speculates during boss fight that he may not have to worry about party wipe in demo mode. Tim risks an action and takes out two of his own party members.
Tim manages to squeak through the boss fight but Ash points out he used 7 potions.
Q&A SESSION WITH ASH
YES, All preorders get two head-start weekends.
Developers will be playing with players during head-start weekends.
Campaign is 4 players max.
No VR support at launch.
How to handle only 2 players but 4 characters in DM mode “will be talked about soon.”
For head start weekends all classes available. Only thing blocked out will be story campaign.
Future plans for Sword Coast Legends will be discussed after launch (soon after launch?).
In answer to “would you consider custom loot if you character was set to private so they couldn’t jump in public matches, only allowed in your longplay campaign, please it’s really important for roleplaying” … “If there is demand for it, we would certainly discuss it post-launch”.
LLama support confirmed! (not sure if tongue in cheek answer, assuming so)
Most but not all tile sets used in campaign mode available in DM mode.
It’s not an MMO, but there is a party camp that can be used once players have joined up. (Recurring groups?)
DM Mode is possible but difficult without 4 players.
You can DM a game for 2. That is fine.
(Based on above 2 answers, I think what Ash is saying is you could design a game in DM mode for 4 players but play it with less. You could design a dungeon for just 2 players. Etc.)
In the player campaign there are many skill checks like you saw today with [CHA]. In DM mode these currently have to be simulated by the DM.
The team is working hard to get the game ready for Sept 29th (when asked if another delay was coming).
There are random encounters in both story mode and DM mode while you travel.
Yes, there will be a DM rating system – We actually showed it at Gamescom and it will be active at PAX.
A roadmap is something we’ll be happy to make for you all. We are quite busy right now getting the game ready for PAX, but we understand your desire to know more about what is to come.
You can share campaigns / dungeons and run them. This includes your own.
Currently no plans to increase party size. Balance/ UI etc.
Systems will get abused. We just don’t want to make it super-easy to do so. (referring to a comment about abuse of DM rating system)
Stream on Tuesday next week, then the team heads to PAX
It really is fun… I play on my days off… seriously.
Dungeons scale based on character level, not gear they carry.
Branching dialogue in user created campaigns perhaps the #2 biggest request.
NPC companions for user created content also talked about a lot.
Remember, to participate in Head Start you have to link your Steam and SCL accounts together. Info on the forums.