Rise of Dragonian Era is a game being brought to western audiences by NetGame. Currently in closed beta testing, RODE devs have been hard at work releasing new information about game systems, races, classes and more.
RODE features two factions, each with three races. Each faction is aligned with a dominant dragon. The Firean "Union of Fire" Western World View faction is home to the Asrai, Shedi and Halfkin. The Azurian "Union of Water" Orient World View faction is filled out by the Orial, Sinkong and Kaebi races. Interestingly, the Firean dragon is very much in the European tradition as the Azrean dragon features a distinctively Asian look.
There are four classes in RODE though there are some limitations based on race. For instance, Asrai can be Warriors, Clerics or Rogues but not Mages. The Kaebi can be Warriors, Rogues or Mages but not Clerics.
There are several features that RODE developers are quite proud of when talking about the game though there was no opportunity to see them during this weekend's PvP event. Among other things, players will be able to ride dragons. But these dragons will be more than simply mounts. RODE will ship with aerial combat with players mounted on dragons. If that doesn't conjur visions of the book Eragon, nothing will. Players will also have the chance to participate in castle sieges in the contested Piral zone as well as have their holdings randomly attacked by monsters utilizing the "Deablo" system. According to what devs have said, this is to "create tension".
Players can also expect to see some traditional MMO features such as mining, extracting, fishing etc. as part of the overal crafting system.
When logging into RODE for the first time, players are treated to a really nice cinematic of a lone warrior sititng by a fire in some ruins. Along with exciting music, we're given the first inklings of dragonian presence as the unseen comes swooping in before the voice over announcing the game comes on. I have to say, however, that the voice over seemed a little WWE to me...a bit over the top melodramatic. Hopefully that will be redone before launch. It's not overly annoying, just kind of grin-producing.
Character creation is pretty great. The models are highly customizable all the way through size of shoulders, chest, length of legs, and more. The facial expressions were somewhat limited and I can only guess that more will be added over time.
As this weekend was mainly a PvP test, on entering the game, characters were automatically leveled to 35. During my time in RODE, there was only one PvP map to play on. It featured a very desert-like environment with players, as expected, running back and forth killing each other. The only clear objective that I could see was to pretty much run across the map killing the other team and then destroy their base. That's pretty much it. I suppose it was a form of territory control. Even though the objectives were a bit murky, it was fun just taking part in a free for all kind of setting.
Each faction had a base of operations for the purposes of the beta test. Inside each team's walls were trainers, fame vendors, item vendors and more. One REALLY nice thing that NetGame devs put in to help players figure out what the game entails is a special NPC with various topics to learn about. Nothing special, right? WRONG. What made this super cool is that the information is presented by way of a video streamed right in the game. So rather than having to read the infamous wall of text, players can watch a video and listen to the narrator explain what's going on. Honestly, that's an awesome touch and quite different from any game I've played. OK. OK. I know. I haven't played them all. That doesn't mean I don't like RODE's any less.
Being that the beta weekend was focused on PvP, a game system that is, shall we say, less than my balliwick *cough cough*, I liked what I saw enough so that I'll want to get back into the game later to try out the PvE content as well. Additionally, it will be nice to see the starter area and to try out my character from level 1 up. I'll be keeping an eye on Rise of Dragonian Era in the coming weeks and months. Given that this is the Year of the Dragon, this might be a great way to 'live the legend'.
Did you try out RODE this weekend? What did you think? Let us know!