This is the first of four Dev Diaries in which we discuss the new additions and improvements in Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, a standalone release of our critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. Stay tuned each Thursday for another Dev Diary, leading up to the game’s release on September 18, 2014.
Hi, I’m Andrew McIntosh, Lead Writer on Shadowrun: Dragonfall and the upcoming Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut. As a long-time Shadowrun fan (I started playing with 2E, way back in 1992), working with Jordan and the team on Dragonfall was an incredible experience. Now, with the Dragonfall Director’s Cut, we’re thrilled to bring you even more of the magic-meets-cyberpunk storytelling that we delivered in Shadowrun: Dragonfall.
Today, I’d like to tell you about some of the brand new content we’ve added to the Director’s Cut. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this post spoiler-free; it’s safe to read on, even if you haven’t played through Shadowrun: Dragonfall yet.
Companion Story Missions - From the very beginning of our work on Dragonfall, we wanted to include missions that would tie directly into the back stories of the game’s major companion NPCs – Glory, Eiger, Dietrich, and Blitz. Unfortunately, during the development of the campaign, it became obvious that we weren’t going to have enough time to really do justice to the concept. Ultimately, we decided that if we couldn’t do these missions right, we shouldn’t do them at all.*
After Dragonfall was released, it became clear to us that our players wanted to experience these missions as much as we wanted to write and design them. This is why, when we decided to move forward with the Director’s Cut, companion story missions were at the top of our to-do list.
In Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, you will find three new full-length missions that tie directly into the personal stories of Glory, Eiger, and Blitz. These stories range from supernatural horror to techno-thriller to dark comedy, and each mission touches on a different aspect of the Shadowrun universe.
Your companion characters can also earn unique rewards for completing their story missions. Blitz, for example, can gain the ability to corrupt hostile IC in the Matrix, forcing it to fight with him rather than against him. There are two different rewards for each story mission, but you’ll only be able to obtain one of them on any given playthrough. These rewards are separate from those gained in the Crew Advancement system (see below).
*The only concession to this idea that made it into Dragonfall was Dietrich’s involvement in an early mission of the game. By the way, don’t worry – we’re adding a unique reward for him, too.
Crew Advancement - You wanted more control over how your companion NPCs progressed in Dragonfall, and in the Director’s Cut, we’re delivering! Because Eiger, Glory, Dietrich, and Blitz are their own people, we aren’t giving you complete control over their character sheets; Eiger will always be a deadly ranged combatant, and Dietrich will never decide to give up magic and embark on an exciting new career as a decker. Instead, we’re implementing a system that will allow you to choose one of two all-new, unique enhancements for each of your companion characters every time they advance in skill.
For example, on a skill-up you might choose to grant Eiger the ability to fire a Dragon’s Breath round from her shotgun, penetrating armor and setting opponents on fire. Or you could give her the ability to fire an Interdiction round from her sniper rifle: a discarding-sabot HTI shot that completely ignores armor. Under this system, you will have the flexibility to choose how you would like to specialize your characters within their existing roles.
We’re also giving you the ability to customize the weapon, spell, and consumable loadouts for your companion characters, but I’ll leave the details on that for a future Dev Diary.
Additional Missions - In addition to the Companion Story Missions detailed above, two other full-length missions have been added to the game.
In “Trial Run,” you will undertake a mission for the mysterious Lodge, one of the side factions in Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Over the course of the run, you’ll learn how the organization conducts its business… but the Lodge will learn even more about you.
In “Lockdown,” you’ll get the opportunity to delve into the checkered past of the Kreuzbasar’s resident cybersurgeon, Dr. Xabier Ezkibel. Successfully completing this mission will unlock a variety of bleeding-edge bioware upgrades in Ezkibel’s clinic. Ever taken serious damage while out of range of a healer? Those shiny new Platelet Factories are just what the Doctor ordered… assuming, of course, that you have a big enough wad of nuyen to afford them.
Additional Endings - Without delving into spoiler territory, I can say that we’ve always wanted to explore some “what if?” scenarios related to Shadowrun: Dragonfall’s ending. There are two additional endings in the Director’s Cut; these new endings have been designed to give players even more agency in deciding how the story should unfold.
More Character Development - Several side characters from Shadowrun: Dragonfall have had their roles significantly enhanced, from the enigmatic Absinthe to the anarchistic Lucky Strike.
More Lore - There’s even more great Shadowrun lore in the Director’s Cut, including more easter eggs for long-time fans of the pen-and-paper game.
And that’s not all! But I’ll save the rest for our upcoming Dev Diaries.
I know that I speak for all of us here at Harebrained Schemes when I say “thank you” to you, the fans; if it weren’t for your enthusiasm and support, we wouldn’t have been able to spend these past few months revisiting the Flux State. We’re all looking forward to bringing you this definitive version of Dragonfall next month, so get ready to revisit the Flux State – or to dive in for the first time!
Tune in this time next week for our second Dev Diary, in which Jon Everist will discuss his experiences writing the music for Shadowrun: Dragonfall and the Director’s Cut!