Solasta: Crown of the Magister has grown a lot since its original release when I first played it, scoring it a 7/10. Since then the team at Tactical Adventures has crafted a whole new campaign for you to take a party of characters through. The Lost Valley DLC is the first big expansion for Solasta that contains entirely new campaign content but how will it stack up against the enjoyable if not formulaic "Crown of the Magister" campaign?
The Lost Valley campaign immediately draws the players into the titular Lost Valley. What began as a trade expedition quickly finds its call to action when hired to track down an NPC who has gotten away with important documents. After exploring a cave and getting cut off from retreat your party is forced to continue further finding themselves in unknown territory where mannerisms reflect those of before the cataclysm.
The story for the Lost Valley began extremely strong with a plausible call to action, a brief hands-off tutorial for those returning to the game and needing to familiarize themselves with the systems, and then before you know it you're locked into the story. Once you reach the ancient city within the valley, Caer Hyfryd, the story loses a bit of this direction though. The players learn of the leader of Caer Hyfryd, Lord Orenetis, and how he doesn't let people leave the Lost Valley so it's up to the party to find a way out with each of the different factions in the city.
As opposed to the clear call to action grand linear story of Crown of the Magister it's in Lost Valley that the approach to adventure is open-ended. You can pick any of the factions to focus on, build up a reputation with, and that will assist in your escape from the Lost Valley. The quests you're asked to complete all spiderwebs out from the city as you travel into the surrounding forests, swamps, caves, and other developed outposts. While each faction has a number of quests allowing the DLC to feel complete whether you want to solely focus on one faction or expand on multiple it's the quality of these quests that suffer.
The majority of quests that you'll find simply require the discovery of a person's whereabouts, or the gathering of material off a deceased monster. For the player who enjoys the journey of the adventure, these smaller faster quests will give you plenty of excuses to explore the new region and get plenty of combat experience. If what you're looking forward to is the grander story then a lot of this DLC will feel like you're just checking boxes to become better friends with a Faction. If you're someone who enjoys that sense of exploration you'll enjoy this more than I did.
Whether you're playing the Lost Valley Campaign, the Crown of the Magister, or a custom campaign this DLC also brings with it a new subclass for each of the nine classes available in Solasta: Crown of the Magister. While a few of these classes allow your characters to simply deal more damage, a lot of the focus is on buffs/debuffs and additional proficiencies. As soon as Level 3 your Commander Fighter will be able to give allies an advantage on their next attack roll, your Hoodlum Rogue will be able to wear medium armor and wield martial weapons, and your Oath of Judgement Paladin can purge negative effects from allies. It allows all classes to maintain their primary roles in a party while giving them more opportunities to branch out or build up group synergy.
Tactical Adventures has also expanded out the features of their custom campaign builder, as well as implemented multiplayer for those who don't like to adventure alone. All of the new content that is available in the Lost Valley DLC can be added to your custom dungeons to share with others online. The Dungeon Maker has also been further fleshed out to include quest, dialogue, and custom loot tables. In the base release of Solasta, the Dungeon Maker was just that, you could build a single dungeon with no story for a group of characters to run through for fun. These additions push it further to the point where it's a Campaign Maker. Whether it be a one-shot that you've previously made, or you're interested in creating a D&D adventure from scratch the robust Solasta tools will allow you to create, and playtest a dungeon for a cast of characters.
Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Lost Valley | Final Thoughts
Hopping into a new Solasta adventure I was looking forward to a similar experience to what I received with Crown of the Magister. While there wasn't anything intrinsically wrong with the Lost Valley Campaign it wasn't the type of story I enjoyed and unfortunately, that made the 'fetch quest' style Faction quests repetitive with little to no reward. Each of the new subclasses however adds a lot more depth to the classes allowing for further planning when putting together your party that a strategic player should definitely enjoy. With the added benefits of the subclasses and fleshed out Dungeon Maker the DLC is definitely worth it if you enjoy crafting your own stories, and while it wasn't for me the Lost Valley Campaign also practically doubles the in-game content so if you were a fan of the base game it's worth checking out.
TechRaptor reviewed Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Lost Valley on PC via Steam with a code provided by the publisher.
- Subclass Options
- Dungeon Maker
- Lackluster Story