A few weeks ago Co-Optimus traveled to Irvine, California to check out Obsidian Entertainment's new studio. We got some hands-on time with the upcoming Dungeon Siege 3 and a great co-op focused interview. In this article you'll find our impressions of the preview build we played. It's Part Two of our preview from last month. You'll also find the main focus of this post is a co-op specific interview with the Obsidian staff. There was a huge amount of information available, but one man in particular had the answers to most, if not all, of our co-op questions. There were three fantastic presentations covering role-playing elements, art styles, and co-op. Our concentration was on the co-operative gameplay, of course!
The co-op demonstration was headed up by Project Director Richard Taylor. It focused on local drop-in/drop-out co-op. We were able to ask some questions as he demoed the game with Obsidian Producer Greg Lutton. Please remember, he was fielding questions while battling a giant spider. Rich had just picked up a controller and jumped into Greg's hosted game...
CO: If you were both playing on Xbox LIVE, would both players have to sign in on a gold account?
RT: You can play either not signed in, or with your profile, so we can both be signed in to our own profiles, or optionally he could be playing on his profile and I could jump in and opt not to sign in to my profile. Obviously, I would only earn achievements if I was signed in to my profile.
CO: Greg's hosting the game, and now you've joined in. Does everything stay in his game, or will anything carry back to your own game?
RT: Everything that happens in this game, in local co-op, is in his game. The quest states, the XP, and the items, all that is staying in his game. The target we’re looking at, we looked at games like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, and other local co-op games like Lego Star Wars, something where players can jump in, play together. This is intended to be played with your friends, someone you're able to play the game with frequently.
CO: So any loot that you find is actually going to go to the host player?
RT: The inventory is actually shared. The (inventory) screen that the host is using is only going to show the inventory that he can equip. Most of the pieces are unique to the characters. The two types that are shared are rings and amulets; those can go on any character. Those are actually rare items that you come across in the game, but you can hash that out with who you are playing with…The gold is also pooled between the characters.
CO: So none of the items, the gold or anything, would go back to the guest"s game?
RT: That’s correct. When I jump in on his game as his companion, I’m playing with him on his game. The quest states, the gold, the items, and experience all stay.
CO: Are there any combination attacks that work together between players?
RT: There’s nothing hard coded, we’re not locking you into “Use this to trigger that,” but there is definitely synergy between the different attacks.