So, this is it. Despite numerous delays and quite a few missed release dates, development of Episode 3: End of Days is in the home stretch. Beta testing has begun in earnest, and we’re busy adding the final touches to the game’s content and balancing everything to make sure it plays as smoothly as possible.
As such, this isn’t really a devblog that goes into detail about any one thing (since I don’t want to spoil everything this installment has to offer) but is instead a kind of brief round up of some the cool things we haven’t mentioned yet.
While previous episodes weren’t light on puzzles or dungeon obstacles by any means, one thing they all seemed to have in common is that they were very passive. Aside from some of the stuff in the Weave in Episode 1, there hasn’t really been much in the way of active, timing based minigames or challenges in Heroes of Legionwood. Episode 3 contains a brand new stealth challenge (two of them, in fact, but they’re mutually exclusive and you’ll only see one in a given playthrough) where you have to sneak through a dungeon undetected. Stay out of sight and carefully dodge between hiding spots and you may just make it through without any trouble. Bring along a character with the Subterfuge talent and you’ll have a number of extra options at your disposal. If you don’t want to do things the quiet way, don’t fret, as you can just choose to fight your way through if you really want to!
As mentioned in a previous devblog, one of the main design goals of Episode 3 (and one of the ways in which it differs a little from previous installments) is a focus on player choice and non-linearity. Going hand in hand with the revised talents system, every quest in End of Days contains multiple solutions or different variations depending on your talents and previous choices. There are more Speech checks than ever before and almost every major NPC can be persuaded in some way. When entering some areas, you’ll be given multiple different ways to proceed (such as sneaking through or going for a no-holds-barred assault). Lesser used classes such as Gunner and Shaman have special options in certain quests to give them more utility. Even seemingly minor talents like Mercantile and Scouting may be put into use to even the odds in a couple of encounters.
The Great Outdoors!
In an attempt to return to Episode 1’s larger scope after spending most of Episode 2 in the city of Port Alexis, End of Days features an increased emphasis on outdoor areas and overland travel rather than dungeon crawling (though there’s still certainly plenty of indoor dungeons to plunder). You’ll cover quite a lot of distance in Episode 3 as your journey takes you across the vast Sonoran Desert, through winding canyons and even to places beyond Legionwood itself. Make sure you’re stocked up on supplies and bring along a character with the Scouting talent to make your travels a little easier.
Finally, we want to give you a glimpse at the ending. End of Days has 3 main endings, unlocked by conducting research into the Darkness, and each of those has variations depending on your choices throughout all three episodes, how you handled certain quests, your romance (or lack thereof) and your character’s overall morality score. If you’ve played any of the Fallout games or the original Dragon Age, you’ll be familiar with the ending slides describing what happens to each of the locations you’ve visited after the events of the game and what impact your character had on them. End of Days does something pretty similar, and we’re confident that you’ll be happy with the story’s resolution.
That’s all for now, but stay tuned for release date info and a couple of final announcements. We’re nearly there, folks!