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Default Solasta - Early Access Preview @ PC Gamer

October 22nd, 2020, 21:08
PC Gamer checked out Solasta: Crown of the Magister:

If Baldur's Gate 3 isn't D&D enough for you, Solasta may be the dice-obsessed RPG you're looking for

Solasta does a great job adapting tabletop combat, but there's not much else in its Early Access release.

Most videogame RPGs cite Dungeons & Dragons as their primary inspiration, but few directly adapt its rules. In a world of cooldowns and mana bars, D&D's dice rolls, bonus actions, spell slots, and long rests can feel clunky and restrictive when applied to a videogame. Even Baldur's Gate 3 makes many notable changes to make D&D more user-friendly, while indie RPG Solasta wears the 5e ruleset as a badge of honor, warts and all.

This is a game where combat is on a grid, where every d20 rolls on screen, and where jumping away from enemies is a sometimes-treat rather than a regular part of every meal.

While it may forever lurk in the shadow of Baldur's Gate 3, its crunchy, dice-heavy combat is just what I want in a lean adaptation of the tabletop RPG. Solastsa adapts the 5e rules via the Open Gaming License, which doesn't include the D&D worlds or trademark creatures. We won't be adventuring along the Sword Coast and battling beholders, but we will be creating a custom party of four heroes using five familiar races and six classic D&D classes like Fighter, Rogue, and Cleric.

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October 23rd, 2020, 03:10
Just from the description here, seems like it might be good.
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October 23rd, 2020, 05:28
Solasta does a great job adapting tabletop combat, but there's not much else in its Early Access release.
Sounds about correct at this point in development. I might enjoy this when it's finished, but I prefer RPGs like BGIII better. Not sorry to say that either just personal taste.

Or to put it in a simpler way. I need more then just rules and combat. To me cut-scenes, companions, dialogue , story, and even group interaction make a RPG game better.
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October 23rd, 2020, 07:04
I am in the first mission and I love combat so far. The map (old fort) also looks quite nice.

The city you start in is very empty and samey atm, but I expect that to change until release.

Very promising so far and I can't wait for the full game!
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October 23rd, 2020, 07:27
I grabbed the EA tonight myself. Went with a party of 2 premade characters (The Dwarf Paladin and Half-Elven Mage) and two I created (Human male fighter with a Sellsword background and a Half-Elven female rogue with a Spy background.)

I really like the prologue and how they blended the tutorial into the stories of how each party member arrived at the tavern. That's all I've had time to play so far, but I'm impressed. I'm also happy that they added the abilty to zoom in/out which was missing in the demo.

The character creation is one of the best I've ever seen.
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October 23rd, 2020, 11:15
I too received the Steam key instructions as a backer, but I am afraid to use it as I wanted a DRM free version of the final released product.

I did not see anything from the developers' email about a DRM free version - was anything mentioned elsewhere about this?
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October 23rd, 2020, 12:08
@SpoonFULL they answered that question back on the Q&A
Q: On what platform should we buy the game so that devs get the maximum revenue?
A: This is very nice of you, thank you! That being said, we've currently only announced Solasta on Steam. Notably because making deals and signing papers take a lot of time, and we're very busy on the development side of things - we'll likely have more platforms supported after launch (not forgetting about you folks out there who are asking for GoG every so often).

So short answer: For the moment, Steam is fine!
So only on Steam for now. The GOG DRM-Free version will be released after EA.
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October 23rd, 2020, 12:15
I've also enjoyed the EA. The combat system is well done and you have many options for every character. I'm enjoying the story and have been waiting for 5E D&D. I think they are using the height system too much and it doesn't need to be used for every battle and new area. I think 50% of the time would be fine.
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October 23rd, 2020, 12:34
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
I too received the Steam key instructions as a backer, but I am afraid to use it as I wanted a DRM free version of the final released product.

I did not see anything from the developers' email about a DRM free version - was anything mentioned elsewhere about this?
I haven't seen anything related to DRM, only what Couchpotato replied regarding GOG.

The current Steam version doesn't seem to have any DRM, you can even start it outside of Steam. The best is to ask TA - if they already have any plan for that, which is not sure. Even if there was any protection, it won't be something as bad as Denuvo, I don't think it's cause for concern with a 1st product from a small company.
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October 23rd, 2020, 12:52
Thanks Couch and Redglyph for your replies. I will stick with Steam for now and can't complain as I wasn't expecting early access with my backing tier.

All the best..
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October 23rd, 2020, 14:37
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Sounds about correct at this point in development. I might enjoy this when it's finished, but I prefer RPGs like BGIII better. Not sorry to say that either just personal taste.

Or to put it in a simpler way. I need more then just rules and combat. To me cut-scenes, companions, dialogue , story, and even group interaction make a RPG game better.
To be fair, there are cut scenes and dialogs during missions and in-between when the party is "home", mainly to develop the quest story. I don't think it's lagging much vs BG3 in that area (considering the size of each product).

There are group interactions as well. Occasional banter, while moving or during combat, and sometimes remarks during the combat as if they were playing around a table commenting on one another's move, which is a nice hint at this tabletop feeling. Whether people will like it or not depends on personal taste I guess, but I find it funny.

What is missing to those characters is a personal history, they are not developed, they don't open up and give away bits of their own history. And I'm not sure they could, since each character is potentially built by the player. So it's per design, "the party is the hero" and there is no single player's character with semi-permanent companions who could have a pre-defined history. Sometimes there's bit of personal stuff on the accompanying NPCs, but it's quest-oriented and quite limited at the moment.

Is that mandatory to get a good experience? Well, I like it when it's there, it's definitely a plus. It's been a while since I played that game, but if I'm not wrong, that was a difference between the first NWN campaign, which Bioware hadn't had much time to elaborate, and the following DLC campaigns which finally brought those companions and their personal history, more personal banter and so on.

It's still early, hopefully the quest will not remain so linear, deeper story will be added, and there will be a way to add some personal history to the characters, to avoid this anonymous / "it's just business" feeling.
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October 23rd, 2020, 14:45
It's nothing personal I just play RPGs for different reasons we all do.
Q: What drove you to focus on a party of custom characters rather than the more usual "main character + companions" scheme?

A: That's very simple! When you're playing on Tabletop, you never have a main character - every player is equally important, right? It's the same idea here, we did not want to have one hero with his group of followers milling about.
This isn't what I look for in RPGs. I want to play the hero. On the plus side the developer promised mod tools to create custom campaigns in a later update. Like NWN 1&2.
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October 23rd, 2020, 16:45
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
To be fair, there are cut scenes and dialogs during missions and in-between when the party is "home", mainly to develop the quest story. I don't think it's lagging much vs BG3 in that area (considering the size of each product).

There are group interactions as well. Occasional banter, while moving or during combat, and sometimes remarks during the combat as if they were playing around a table commenting on one another's move, which is a nice hint at this tabletop feeling. Whether people will like it or not depends on personal taste I guess, but I find it funny.
If I didn't know better, I'd say that some of the people commenting haven't actually played the game yet.
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October 23rd, 2020, 17:23
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It's nothing personal I just play RPGs for different reasons we all do.
This isn't what I look for in RPGs. I want to play the hero. On the plus side the developer promised mod tools to create custom campaigns in a later update. Like NWN 1&2.
To be honest, I think I'd prefer that too, it's easier to roleplay when, well, there's a role to play. One role. Four at the same time is schizophrenia Not a blocking issue for me though, but yeah, we all have our preferences!
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October 23rd, 2020, 18:29
Q: What drove you to focus on a party of custom characters rather than the more usual "main character + companions" scheme?

A: That's very simple! When you're playing on Tabletop, you never have a main character - every player is equally important, right? It's the same idea here, we did not want to have one hero with his group of followers milling about.
Imho this analogy is flawed. While it's true that in a tabletop game every PC is equally important, a player normally controls only one PC. And this PC is the center of the player's experience and immersion.
So if you want to emulate a tabletop experience you'd either have to go multiplayer or go single player with a main character that doesn't need to be the plot's main protagonist.

Would be quite an innovation if you only play the sidekick of the main hero. Would it sell well? I fear it wouldn't.

But still this game sounds intriguing alone for the D&D ruleset. I can imagine playing a party consisting of my favorite characters from our tabletop groups. Thus I wouldn't miss the shallowness as I already know their backgrounds and how they interact.
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October 23rd, 2020, 18:29
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
To be honest, I think I'd prefer that too, it's easier to roleplay when, well, there's a role to play. One role. Four at the same time is schizophrenia Not a blocking issue for me though, but yeah, we all have our preferences!
I just treat one of my characters as the PC. I named him what I always name my PC in games, and the other 3 are my companions. It doesn't work exactly the same as something like Baldur's Gate for obvious reasons, but I find it more fun if it feels like I'm roleplaying one of the characters or at least imagining that I am.
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October 23rd, 2020, 18:33
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
On the plus side the developer promised mod tools to create custom campaigns in a later update. Like NWN 1&2.
They did? I watched a live stream with the community manager of Solasta on Monday and (if I remember correctly) he said that they won't implement that for now. But my memory could be playing tricks on me because in the main menu of the game there is an option to select other campaigns. If they do that it would be awesome. I can see people recreating all sorts of campaigns in this.
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October 23rd, 2020, 19:07
I don’t get the “its all combat” comments. There’s plenty of story and Cutscenes with party banter. Also you can make your entire party so in essence you are the hero. And since you select personality traits your entire party has different personalities and they do a good job of showing that. All my characters feel like individuals. I was careful though to select different personality traits for each. Right now each of your characters can respond to dialogue but only 1 response for each hopefully this will expand. It’s still a good system even now though.

I 100% agree that they are over using the verticality thing. Some areas don’t even make sense imo. It’ll be just a bunch of rock pillars and crates piled on each other that you’ll have to navigate and figure how to get to the other side and fight enemies in the area too. The camera is still a problem also as it will get stuck on certain level and you’ll have to move it around to get it to go up or down. With the up or down arrows by the map doing nothing.

I initially thought the verticality would be cool but it’s the only thing right now that I’m not enjoying.

Oh, and the face models are hideous. I think NWN was better. I’m able to over look that though as the rest of character creation is awesome.

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October 23rd, 2020, 20:58
Originally Posted by gabrielarantest View Post
They did? I watched a live stream with the community manager of Solasta on Monday and (if I remember correctly) he said that they won't implement that for now. But my memory could be playing tricks on me because in the main menu of the game there is an option to select other campaigns. If they do that it would be awesome. I can see people recreating all sorts of campaigns in this.
Based on the various answers I could find it's not a top priority right now. Sounds like it will be added after the game releases. Probably some type of DLC or large patch?
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October 23rd, 2020, 21:05
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Based on the various answers I could find it's not a top priority right now. Sounds like it will be added after the game releases. Probably some type of DLC or large patch?
In that recent video they seemed pretty clear that they're not making editing tools. They said they would try to do things in such a way that it would be possible for modders to do their own thing, but definitely no kind of campaign editor. I think they're probably intending to add more campaigns themselves, rather than making it a community tool for the time being.
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