I’m worried about Sword Coast Legends

I wouldn’t say that I’m pinning all of my hopes on Sword Coast Legends — WildStar, SWTOR, and Fallout 4 are there this fall no matter what — but after the premature demise of Shadow Realms, it’s been the co-op DM experience I’ve been anticipating.

Early reports of SCL were good. Lots of strong word-of-mouth, even as recently as PAX. I had no problem with pre-ordering the game based on that, especially since Steam had a discount that made it just a little over $30. But now my faith in this game is a bit shaken based on this past weekend and today’s announcement of a delay.

If you didn’t hear, SCL held a head start weekend that was really just a two-day stress test of an unfinished build of the game. All pre-orders were welcome to attend, so I jumped in on Saturday with the hopes of writing some grand saga on Monday. Obviously, this didn’t happen.

There were things I liked — the character creation looks promising (even if the classes are the blandest of D&D bland), the graphics appealing, and the co-op at least functional. But I felt confused the entire time and frustrated with the controls. I wasn’t sure which menu option to pick to get a live DM campaign (were they running?) and instead ended up in a couple of groups running non-DM dungeons. There was no roleplaying, no big story, just a dungeon crawl with some fights. I felt like I wasn’t getting it, and in a game that you want to understand and like, that’s a big problem.

Also, can someone explain the controls? Sometimes hitting a skill button once and then clicking a target fired it off (healing spells worked okay). Sometimes I had to jam on a skill TWICE after clicking a target. It felt inconsistent and awkward. I ended up auto-attacking with flame cantrips nearly the entire time.

I also really, really disliked how loot — at least in the dungeons I visited — was first-come, first-served. Party members were rushing to grab stuff, leaving the rest of us with nothing. It was like the earlier, uglier days of MMO looting, a time I am not eager to revisit.

My initial goal was to get familiar with the game and then try my hand at making something, but I didn’t even get that far. From hearing what others have reported, many of the tools were either not present or not as in-depth as they would have liked.

So maybe it’s a good thing that Sword Coast Legends is delayed until October 20th. At least it won’t be competing with WildStar’s F2P launch for my attention next week. I just hope that the finished product is a LOT better and easier to grok than what I experienced.

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5 thoughts on “I’m worried about Sword Coast Legends

  1. Scopique September 23, 2015 / 9:04 am

    Amen, brother. I had been looking forward to the DM tools for building (not so much for running games), and found them to be seriously lacking in breadth and depth to the point of frustration. Gameplay itself seemed to be watered down and anemic; a less engaging Diablo-esque.

    I HOPE that the 4+1 experience is better than the sum of its parts, though.

  2. Silverangel September 23, 2015 / 11:13 am

    On his gameplay stream last weekend, Khellendross said the story wasn’t released yet. I now understand the reason why he was running to grab loot in the middle of fights though, which seemed odd.

  3. Dolnor September 24, 2015 / 2:08 am

    I was interested in the game for a while, following it via the media releases and via google news.

    Then I received an email that makes it look like I was invited to help stress-test the game…as if I only had to download the game and test. But what is actually was….a way for me to BUY the game then test. Very misleading. I even inquired to the company about it…asking first if it was a fake email (to send me virus/trojans) or not. Their last email basically said you can trust it…but didn’t address the other questions about the email at all.

    So, I’ll pass. I don’t like adverts disguised as a “please help us test”. It speaks of shady mind-sets.

    See this email image: http://i.imgur.com/GS5v6nf.png

    TQQdles™,

    Dolnor Numbwit
    Eternal Testing Newbie

  4. talismanAU September 24, 2015 / 4:57 am

    I didn’t get to play the stress test but I read there were issues. I am still holding out hope that the finished product will be polished and welcome the delay if this is the case. I am still leveling in SWTOR for the expansion so I have time. But I put down money for the Campaign Pack after I convinced 4 of my friends this would be a good replacement for our old Neverwinter Nights gaming sessions. Hopefully all those issues will be addressed with the final build.

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