CO-OP & MULTIPLAYER - HEXWORKS DEV JOURNALS
David here, Lead Network Multiplayer Programmer on Lords of the Fallen. This week’s HEXWORKS Dev Journal will deep dive into all things co-op and multiplayer. I’ve gathered all your questions and answered as many as possible on the topic, such as PvP, matchmaking, and how online gameplay in Lords of the Fallen differs from offline, so that you have all the information you need to enjoy co-op and multiplayer with your friends when the game launches next month.
In Lords of the Fallen, you have the opportunity to engage in online play with both cooperative and PvP modes. While we do support friend invites, the game also features a matchmaking system that allows players to seek assistance from the broader community. All in-game vestiges, whether ancient or player-created, provide you with the option to either host a game for another player – “Beckon Lampbearer” – or join someone else’s game – “Accompany Lampbearer”. If you’re open to both, you can select either option and enter the queue as a potential host and a potential ally.
When playing online, the host’s game world will reflect their progress in the storyline. As an accompanying player, you won’t advance your own story, but you’ll keep any items, levels, achievements, and currencies you earn during the online session. These will carry over when you return to your own game world.
Invasions while cooping
The final option available within the Vestiges is “Slaughter Lampbearer.” This feature launches a hunt for players who are actively playing within specific zones designated in the game. Once such a player is located, you are tasked with defeating them for glory, achievements, and a special in-game currency that enables you to create a uniquely styled Lampbearer. Teaming up with allies can be an effective strategy against such invasions, as only one invader can enter your world at a time, and your ally can assist in repelling the threat. However, be cautious: while the invader may be alone, the game’s AI-controlled enemies will recognize them as an ally and cooperate with them in their attempts to defeat you.
When playing as an ally, you lose the ability to switch realms at will. If the host enters the Umbral realm, the ally will automatically follow, and the same applies when returning to Axiom. Since the ally can’t realm-shift independently, death becomes a much greater concern. As a joining player, you have only one life. If you lose it, your body will fall to the ground and you’ll switch to spectator mode. The host has two options for resurrecting you: they can either interact with your fallen body on the spot, risking exposure to enemies as it’s not a quick ritual, or they can do so via a nearby Vestige.
Whenever a lampbearer dies in the world at the hands of its inhabitants, we store the coordinates of the incident and the identity of the perpetrator on our servers. Other players can then see the lamps of these fallen players scattered throughout the game world. Players can choose to avenge the fallen by soulflaying these lamps, which will reveal a trail of moths leading to the killer. Defeating that foe rewards you with Plucked Eyeballs, which can later be offered at the umbral shrines for unique rewards. Note that these enemies are much tougher than normal.
Engaging with any of our multiplayer features — be it co-op, PVP, or Revenge — grants players with unique items: Pilfered Coins, Severed Hands, or Plucked Eyeballs, respectively. These items can then be offered at various shrines, each dedicated to a specific faction: Radiant, Rhogar, or Umbral. Such offerings allow players to unlock unique content, like armour sets or tincts. However, there’s a catch: not all content is available from the start. The gods require collective contributions from players worldwide to reach specific thresholds of offerings in order to unlock new content for everyone. So, all players must contribute their offerings to each god to advance through the different tiers and access unique content at these shrines.
How can I play directly with friends?
You can invite your friend in two ways: either by sending a direct invite or by using a password.
Can I play offline?
Yes, you can play offline, but doing so will disable several features: co-op, invasions, the revenge system, and access to faction shrines will all be unavailable.
Is cross-play available?
Yes, cross-play is supported for players on PC who wish to connect with those on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS. Utilising a session password ensures that you can join the same game with each other. Cross-play between the two console platforms is not available.
Does progression carry over from one platform to another?
In order to support cross-progression, we would need to require players to create HEXWORKS accounts and log in with them each time they wish to play. We wanted to avoid this extra step, so we do not support cross-progression at this time.
Will my co-op partner be able to pick up items in my world from chests I open? If I pick up an item on the ground in the world, will it be automatically picked up for them as well or will they have to go and pick it up in the same spot manually as well?
Co-op partners can collect all items dropped by enemies, such as weapons, consumables, armour, and shields, but they cannot access world loot, including objects hidden around the environment and items found inside chests.
When using a password to connect with friends, can I be invaded by others?
After setting a password to allow another player to connect to you, invasions are temporarily blocked for a brief period. Once that time has passed, if you are in an invasion zone, you become susceptible to being invaded again.
Does my story progress if I join another player’s game?
No, joining a host will only advance their story and game progression. Your own story progression is tied to your save and world in order to preserve your individual choices and progress. However, any XP and loot you acquire while playing as a guest will be retained in your own game.
How many players can you co-op with?
You can invite one other player to join your game for co-op play. However, a third person has the ability to invade your co-op session as an enemy.
Will matchmaking balance from both host and joiner?
Matchmaking attempts to connect players by their level in a search that expands its acceptance criteria over time. If the disparity between levels is high, though, we apply damage scaling to compensate for the level difference between both players. This also applies to invasions.
Can you turn off invasions when playing co-op?
When playing in co-op mode, you can’t completely disable invasions. However, you can obtain an item called the “Mirror of Protection” from the Radiant Shrine to temporarily prevent invasions.
Are you able to block certain players from joining your game?
There is an in-game reporting system that allows you to mark players as “persona non grata” and that sends us a message.
Will there be a 1v1 arena to battle other players?
Although the game doesn’t feature a dedicated 1v1 arena, PvP combat is integrated throughout the world. If both players enter the same password and one of them steps into any of the numerous invasion zones scattered across the world, the other player is guaranteed to become the invader. Note friend PVP does not provide the same rewards, though.
Will matchmaking prioritise location when matchmaking / is there a ping feature?
Before connecting players for a match, the matchmaking system evaluates the ping between them. The allowable maximum ping gradually increases over time, up to a predetermined limit.
Will there be emotes?
We offer an array of gestures that can be used in both offline and online modes. Players can unlock these gestures by exploring the game world and engaging with NPCs. Additionally, each Faction shrine provides its own unique gesture for unlocking.
And with that, our co-op HEXWORKS Dev Journal is over. Although we have covered a lot here, if there are any questions left, reach out to us on X (Twitter) and we’ll get back to you there! Make sure to follow us on Steam for future HEXWORKS Dev Journals, with next week’s Journal making its way into a live format…