Sword Coast Legends Community Q&A Stream

Update: The stream is now over. An archived version of it can be found at this link. If you don't have time to watch the recording, I have taken the liberty to summarize the questions and answers asked:

Before moving on to the questions and answers, the stream started with a brief retelling of the career of Dan Tudge (N-Space's CEO), from his beginnings as an aspiring artist to his work at BioWare to his current work at N-Space.

When asked whether the game would have you create a single character or the whole party, Tudge replied that a player would build a single character and then recruit companions, much like in titles such as Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age: Origins.

Attributes in character creation will be handled with a point-buy system rather than dice rolls, a system that has been mostly abandoned since the Infinity Engine days. Tudge claims this helps the developers balance the game because with dice rolls players could create potentially "broken" characters with very high stats.

Tudge was asked how the classes and races that the game will feature at release were chosen, given not all of the base tabletop ones will be available. He replied noting that, to provide quality, the team had to nail down the scope of the game, and decided to touch on the "core classes". The team intends to provide more classes and races post-launch. Tieflings were specifically cited.

On the subject of races: sub-races will be in the title.

On the subject of alignments, Tudge mentions that chosing the alignment at the beginning of the game in a videogame can be weird, because a player could potentially choose an alignment and then take choices throughout the rest of the game that won't fit it. He stresses the important of providing choices in the game, but from the answer it wasn't completely clear whether alignments will be in the game in some capacity.

There will be dialogue trees and character interactions. Companions will react to your choices. The team isn't talking about romances at this stage, but, according to Tudge, the aim is to create memorable characters with whom you can have relationships is important.

N-Space wants to make sure that players can fully customize their character. There will be options for gender, race, class and physical appearance, though they give no detail on the latter.

Based on the current gameplay footage, some members of the communities have expressed worries on the current handling of the characters' hitpoints. According to Tudge, òot of iteration will be needed to get to the "perfect balance", and many of the things shown in the video have already changed or will change. Hitpoints "may or may not be one of those things".

The team has discussed how to handle pause in multi-player internally and considered a number of options, but they still haven't reached the point where they can confidently give an answer, even on whether there will be pausing in multiplayer in the first place.

Tudge spent a long time discussing the threat mechanic for the DM mode. According to him, having played a lot of D&D, the developers realized that the collaborative experience between Dungeon Masters and players is at the heart of it. Good DMs provide challenge to the players to create memorable experiences. In videogames, on the other hand, the relationship is often adversarial. The developers wanted to encourage a collaborative experience that is true to the tabletop experience, and built the Threat mechanic with that aim in mind. Threat is a resource that doesn't continuously generate, but rather is earned by providing a challenge for the players and lost by killing off players. There are also threat limits per room and systems to adjust for smaller party compositions, to further balance the experience.

How is dungeon crawl different from campaign creation? According to Tudge, the DM mode dungeon crawls provide the opportunity to quickly set up an experience tailored to the players' expectations. Campaign creation, on the other hand, is more devoted to the needs of players with long-term expectations. You could potentially move over your tabletop campaign to SCL, according to the devs.

Cooldowns have been implemented in place of resting to make sure that the resource management aspect was maintained without the hassle of dealing with rest in a potentially multiplayer environment. The developers also think that resting as a mechanic doesn't really work in single-player games, as it strains credibility.

The developers want the final game to have a range of voices with authentic accents, and stressed yet again that the VO in the current gameplay videos was all placeholder.

The team hasn't implemented WASD movement so far, but depending on the feedback from the community they might look into it.

Similarly, while a combat log is present for debugging purposes, it's not currently part of the plan for the game. However, should the community clamor for one, the developers would look into the possibility of implementing it.

The iconic gelatinous cubes from Dungeons & Dragons are in.

To end the Q&A, Tudge was asked what his favorite features from the game were. After cheekily claiming they were all features he couldn't talk about, he cited campaign creation (something that the entire team is apparently really excited about) and the game's companions. Tudge cited companions like Jaheira and Minsc from Baldur's Gate and Alistair, Morrigan and Zevran from Dragon Age: Origins as models, claiming that, by the time he was done with the games, he looked at them as friends.

Original story: As of the time of this post, a Twitch.tv stream from the developers of Sword Coast Legends is just about to go live. The livestream is intended to serve as a Q&A in which the devs will attempt to answer questions coming from the community. We'll update this newspost with an archived version of the stream and a summary as soon as they're available.