Today I got to take a tour of Runewalker’s new MMO, Dragon’s Prophet, brought to American shores by Sony Online Entertainment, whom you may know of PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest fame. On first impression, those old familiar MMO waves crashed across the shores of my memory; clumps of players idled next to the town’s vital NPCs and exclamation marks hung over quest givers, but as they opened the game, I got to see what makes this game special.
As the tour began, we hunted ball crabs and dragonkin out in the sandy marsh. The game’s combat is something particularly special as it’s fast-paced and combo-based; all you need to do is chain up those mouse clicks. Targeting foes merely requires highlighting them with your cursor and letting the mouse clicks go. Special abilities and moves are still dished out with number keys, one of which is the ability to capture dragons with a mini-game. If you don’t flub up, you can enlist these dragons to be at your side for limited bouts of combat or as a mount to ride or fly around in. It was a little disorienting to not have a visible cursor while playing the game because of the game’s emphasis on faster action.
Yep, you get to fly around on dragons, which are a major component of, uh, Dragon’s Prophet. Far more than mere mounts or pets, you can acquire six of these reptilian beasts from the variety of species that dot the land. While you’re away, you can have your dragons leveling on their own or performing other tasks like gathering resources. You can even swap abilities between your dragons and specialize them as they grow through your town’s dragon lair. It’s through the usage of dragons that you specialize your human avatar as there’s a lack of distinct classes. Instead, you’ll load up healing and damage spells on your dragon rather than your person, leading you to come up with various archetypes for whatever role you need. You could, if motivated, skip out on the entire dragon aspect of the game entirely, but at a pretty severe handicap. Also, your friends will make fun of you.
In our tour, the devs showed off a glimpse of community quests, which are a series of smaller quests that plague a particular area. They wouldn’t pinpoint how big these events would get and they’ll reset when complete. We worked our way through a dank cave until we dispatched a large red boss dragon. Of course, I spent a lot of time skinning these dragons whenever possible. You’re blessed with the ability to craft in six different ways from the very beginning, so the hunt becomes that of materials, rather than specific craft masters. Sadly, we didn’t get to experience a whole lot of the world’s functions, especially in an endgame sense (or, we couldn’t talk about it for that matter).
This free-to-play MMO is currently in beta and will be due out later this year.