E3 2015: Sword Coast Legends Dungeon Master Preview
Sword Coast Legends, from developers n-Space and Digital Extremes, is a fantasy action RPG set in the Forgotten Realms realm of Dungeons and Dragons. But this ARPG has something a little different from it’s predecessors, DM mode. For those of you who don’t play the pen and paper RPG D&D, DM stands for Dungeon Master. They are the person who crafts the story, as it were, for the party members playing the game; everything from envisioning the story, to determining which monsters or enemies they face. Sword Coast Legends is catering specifically to those RPG fans that like to formulate and plan and create stories for their friends to play through.
The DM mode is a thorough experience that lets some create a completely new campaign. You select a location on the map and can completely re-arrange everything that’s not nailed down. Add a blacksmith next to the entrance. Place three potion merchants next to each other. Throw up some torches next to that horse that needs to feel fancy. The tools are pretty impressive. You can select anything from the toolset and place it in the world where you feel works best. Once you’ve set an item or NPC, you can make them do just about whatever you want. As for quests, they have a surprising amount of customization. You select the type of quest (talking to another NPC, killing a certain monster, finding a certain object, etc…), then you select how to complete it. You can even add flavor text to add more to the quest and the lore that you would like to tell. As much, or as little. Keep your adventurers guessing as they stumble on the riddles your quests are written in. Or just tell them to kill several dozen wolves.
Once that’s setup, you can now start dungeon creation. The tools for dungeon creating are pretty deep. You select the “style” of the dungeon and you can choose what enemies will be found there. You can even change up, slightly, how the characters look. The example given to us was a spider cult. The cult members could have their robes changed to any color. In addition to that, you can select which spells or abilities an enemy has. So to use the cultists as an example again, most of their abilities were related to poison. The dungeon itself can be randomly generated, but you can change things however you’d like. Add a few chests, a few hidden rooms, or even a few boss like characters in a row.
So you make this big expansive campaign and then you just sit there and let your friends play it? Nope. The DM can still make changes to dungeons, adding in more enemies, traps, or other things while the dungeon crawl is taking place. So everyone is still active in the campaign and not just sitting there wondering what is going to happen.
DM mode in Sword Coast Legends is a fantastic addition that could very well be one of it’s most important features. The depth of customization is fantastic. Of course, Digital Extremes and n-Space did a fantastic job giving players a very versatile tool that will enable them to create in-depth campaigns. Or just have a blast in a few dungeons with friends.
Sword Coast Legends will be out on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux later this year.