Recently, our minds were boggled by the news that Dungeon Siege III wouldn't offer experience points to co-op players, removing a pretty significant incentive one might have for joining another character's game. We recently chatted with Obsidian about it, and found out you do get XP ... for a dedicated co-op character.
"Dungeon Siege III’s cooperative multiplayer mode is designed to be easily accessible and allow for a drop-in, drop-out multiplayer structure," explained associate producer Nathan Davis. "To bring this vision to fruition while maintaining both the deep story-based experience of the game and the balance of characters versus enemies, your single player characters will be distinct from your multiplayer characters -- however both can be persistently grown, equipped and adventured with over multiple game sessions.
"Co-op players can absolutely expect to have the loot and experience they gain in multiplayer games to be saved to their multiplayer characters ... Achievements and Trophies earned in multiplayer are still saved to your profile as normal and there are additional awards that you can only receive from playing in a multiplayer co-operative game."
"There’s no question that the ability to carry entirely persistent character data around can be fun, but it also presents a number of unique challenges including those from a balance and storytelling perspective," he added. "When you join a multiplayer game in Dungeon Siege III, if someone is already playing Lucas or Anjali, you will not be able to play as that same character simply because it does not make any sense from a storytelling perspective. Having 3-4 Anjali’s running around turning monsters into giblets sounds fun, and it’s something you could do in other titles, but it completely breaks the story immersion we’ve worked so hard to create. And, of course, our heroes have numerous combat-related synergies that you would never see with a party of the same characters.
"Overall, for our first foray into the Dungeon Siege universe we really wanted to nail an easy and fun cooperative experience that allows you to jump into games with friends and family, but that still has enough depth for the hardcore, loot-piñata-exploding, item-hoovering gamers among us. And, I think we’ve done just that."
So there you go. If you decide to dabble in Dungeon Siege III's multiplayer, you'll actually be juggling two characters. Reality Pump did something similar with Two Worlds II, although that game had a robust multiplayer element including unique quests, Player vs. Player, and even a town management game. Does Dungeon Siege III offer enough for players to manage two characters? That remains to be seen.
What do you think? Has the co-op honey pot been sweetened by this news, or are you still skeptical?