The Watchers minions killed the mage. They killed his horse.
They almost got the whole party when the undead sprung their ambush. It waits. Deep in this, this Lair of the Watcher… it waits.
There are riches and dangers awaiting everyone if they go into the dungeon. There are monsters and traps. There is a Dungeon Master watching over it all. Come on my pretties, we will have such fun together…
Sword Coast Legends will be coming to PC, Mac and Linux this September 29th. Anyone who pre-orders will get their hands on the Rage of Demons DLC module for free. To replicate the experience I had at Gamescom though, you’ll have to invest in the reasonably priced Digital Deluxe Edition. That way you’ll have the Lost Mines tile set and one of the most iconic Dungeons and Dragons bad guys, well apart from Dragons of course, the Beholder.
Yes the Watcher in the dungeon was a nicely vicious Beholder just waiting to get its eyestalks focused on the party. The fun was still ahead of everyone. Before that though it was up to the folks at n-Space to take us through what they’ve put together.
There was an odd moment of banter between the devs and myself. I had the chance at Gamescom 2014 to get my hands on what should be competition for the beautifully done Dungeons and Dragons game, Shadow Realms. Sadly early on this year Shadow Realms was officially cancelled. Around the same time frame, Sword Coast Legends was announced. It seemed that the augury spell they must have enacted worked out well for them.
Dungeons and Dragons Online offers modules to play. Neverwinter has the Foundry for when you want to craft that ideal storyline. Sword Coast Legends is something that stands apart from them both and is something more personal.
The lads at n-Space were kind enough to take myself and the other watchers in their space through the tools on offer to players. Players just looking to enjoy the questing experience can either hop on one of the existing characters made up for people or create their own with a nicely in depth character creator. The character creator, as I recall, is the same used for creating your custom NPCs and monsters. Still if you just want to get into the action and quickly, you can choose from a pre-made Rogue, Wizard, Fighter, Cleric or Ranger.
The single player campaign touts that it was created by members of the team that brought us Dragon Age: Origins. I have no doubt that it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience that will keep people entertained, it won’t be where I’ll spend most of my time however.
The glorious multiplayer option in Sword Coast Legends is what will keep people coming back for a long time. Once again, you have your pick. You can be one of the four strong party of heroes or you can take the hotseat and be the Dungeon Master. Better than that, you can create your own campaigns from start to finish. Everything is on offer. Need blood smears around that dead horse? They have both blood options and a dead horse! Want your party to suffer an ambush when they trigger a quest update? Pick your mobs, pick the place and watch it all play out.
This is Neverwinters Foundry on steroids.
For the preview we were being given, the dev team already had a mine set up with the Beholder lurking at the end. We still got to see all the fun tools. Want to take that generic NPC and maybe make him blind, slightly green and leperous? A few clicks can achieve that. Want to make a rolling pin wielding ogre? Take your pick, is the pin in his left or right hand? Should that chest be trapped, that one locked and the third have the treasure? Set that up any way you want.
It’s not all preparation and planning though. As the party set off into the dungeon with the Rogue looking for traps, I got into the mindset of the Dungeon Master. If I wanted to whip up a spider who breathes lightning and summons wolves, that was entirely an option for me. Sure the heroes were cutting through goblins and getting loot, but I was too. A book to summon Duergars? Don’t mind if I do.
DMs will appear for party players as wisps of light. If you’re not the DM type, keep a close eye on where that ball of light goes. As you slaughter your way through minions and monsters, a threat meter goes up. The more threat you generate, the bigger a punch the DM can throw. Or if he’s a sneaky unscrupulous sort instead of dropping a 50 threat point Ogre behind that door you’re approaching, maybe he will drop a bunch of 5 point zombies and a bunch of 5 point traps around you. Sure the Rogue checked the room a minute ago, but a minute is a long time when there is an honest malevolent force out to get you.
Sadly I got a little too eager when playing. As the party closed in on the Watcher and laid into him, I missed out on an opportunity. Enough threat will let me possess any monster I want. Of course you don’t want to text that on a boring Zombie, but I could have had the Beholder in the palm of my hand and all those lovely eye beams on my hot bar. My loss, in more than one way.
Despite winning our Best PvP title at Gamescom, that isn’t exactly the best fitting place for Sword Coast Legends. Yes it was me against four others but not quite in the same way that it was a year before with Bioware. The n-Space guys stressed a point and I took it to heart. This is about crafting an experience for people to play through. Anyone could make custom maps and monsters and leave it there. Giving the DM the ability to make it rain on command or dim the lights or whip up a sudden monster that popped into his or her head? It’s about that experience. It’s about having a good time together, win, lose or draw. It may have been me against a party, but hopefully they had as much fun fighting to their victory as I did trying to deny them one. Is it any wonder there’s a pre-order option for a 5 pack of the game.
Anyone want to join my party? I promise to be fair…vicious…but fair.Related: Dungeons & Dragons, Gamescom 2015, Preview, Sword Coast Legends