The whole no multiplayer XP in Dungeon Siege III thing was a bit of a miscommunication, according to associate producer Nathan Davis, and has its roots in the game's emphasis on story.
"Your single player characters will be distinct from your multiplayer characters -- however both can be persistently grown, equipped and adventured with over multiple game sessions," Davis explained to Destructoid.
"Co-op players can absolutely expect to have the loot and experience they gain in multiplayer games to be saved to their multiplayer characters. ... Achievements and Trophies earned in multiplayer are still saved to your profile as normal and there are additional awards that you can only receive from playing in a multiplayer co-operative game."
Davis justified the decision to split play into discrete characters by citing a focus on storytelling.
"When you join a multiplayer game in Dungeon Siege III, if someone is already playing Lucas or Anjali, you will not be able to play as that same character simply because it does not make any sense from a storytelling perspective," he said.
"Having 3-4 Anjali’s running around turning monsters into giblets sounds fun, and it’s something you could do in other titles, but it completely breaks the story immersion we’ve worked so hard to create.
"And, of course, our heroes have numerous combat-related synergies that you would never see with a party of the same characters."
In another chat with D'Toid, Davis explained the Obsidian team put in the hard yards to create a new backstory, in collaboration with original developers Gas Powered Games.
"Our Creative Lead Designer, George Ziets, compiled and consumed all of the existing Dungeon Siege lore and penned an Ehb Sourcebook," he said.
"This thing was massive. It included all kinds of new lore that came about in the 150 years since the first Dungeon Siege.
"We shared with Chris Taylor who loved it."
Thanks, Big Download.