CO: Can a solo player switch roles, or take control of a companion character?
RT: No. The main quest is tied to the character he’s playing, like the story. But I (as a joining co-op player) can choose whoever I want. I could switch out mid-fight. If you are in an encounter and you think another character might be more helpful, you can definitely switch.
CO: As a second player you manage your entire inventory, skill points, etc…
RT: Yes, leveling up, skill points, all of it. If you come back later and pick it up, it will be where you left off at. Of course, if the character has leveled up since then, whatever (the host) player picked for me, I’ll have, so I have to trust that he picks the right skills."
So after this Q and A demo we were able to draw some conclusions.
Great news, casual co-op gamers! You can jump into Dungeon Siege 3 at any point in time and not have to worry about being under- or overpowered! You will be the same level as the host player. The host player will have maintained the character you have chosen, being that the host has had that character as an AI controlled companion since they have met them in the game. If you pick a character that the host has not unlocked yet, you will instantly be leveled up to the host's character level. You will then distribute skill points accordingly. And don't fall asleep during the conversation portions of the game, you will have a role to play there, as well.
Later on we got some quality alone time with Mr. Taylor, and here's what he had to say:
CO: If I want to join a game online, can you have two players using the same character? Can we have two Lucas characters or two Anjali characters?
RT: Right now there is not an option to respect. It’s something we’re talking about.
CO: A favorite excuse of developers for not doing co-op is to say they are focusing on creating a quality single player experience. Do you think it’s possible to craft a quality story where each player has some input in the story’s direction?
RT: Yeah, I do. I feel that we’ve done that in Dungeon Siege 3, and yet I still feel that there’s actually more we can do in future titles to pursue that. The idea of players playing together and exploring a story and discovering it together. A game that caters to multiplayer, that’s my kind of game, that’s what I want to play, and Dungeon Siege 3 is a great first step in that direction. You know, the players can experience the story together. They’ll see the same conversations together. They’ll never be locked out from playing with each other by mechanics or level discrepancies or anything like that. Literally, nothing stops you from playing with your friend at any time.