Ken Johnston, the CEO of Acclaim's European partner, pens this journal
Editor's Note: This is the second of several developer journals from the folks behind 9 Dragons. The author, Ken Johnston, is the CEO of Persistent Worlds, the European partners of Acclaim.
9Dragons is the first authentic martial arts massively multiplayer online game. Think of the world of Hero, House of the Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or even Jackie Chan’s classic Drunken Master (if you are old enough or into martial arts enough!)
That world is created for you in 9Dragons. You can rise from a poor beggar to being a master of the martial arts through training with some of the greatest masters of ancient China. However, to rise to being a master you must learn to defeat some of the major monsters in the game.
If after reading this article you want more information, take a look at the North American site www.9Dragonsgame.com or for the European site go to www.9Dragonsonline.com. Acclaim and Persistent Worlds are launching the game simultaneously across both America and Europe later this year.
Now on to the subject of monsters. What is exciting about 9Dragons is that the monsters also have their own clans. Oh don’t get me wrong, not all monsters are in clans, only the ones you need to be really frightened of!
There are generally lots of monsters wandering around and these can give adventurers a hard time on their own. But 9Dragons is special because there are also five clans of monsters with special powers of their own. They have their own unique background histories just like the Shao-Lin and the Wu-Tang!
There are five major monster clans in 9Dragons. They are the Clan of Secret Shadows, the Clan of Death Valley, the Clan of the King of Hell, the Clan of Beasts, and the Clan of the Golden War.
There is too much to say about these clans to fit it all in to one article so I have broken this up into two pieces. In the first I shall deal with the Clan of Secret Shadows and the Clan of Death Valley.
Another unique point about the monsters in 9Dragons is that they are mostly based on the history of ancient China. Thus monsters in 9Dragons frequently take animal or human forms.
Right, so before we talk about the monster clans specifically, let’s just look at some of the random monsters that appear in the game.
There are many wild animals such as snakes, wolves, leopards, bears and even tigers. The wild animals were a problem in ancient China and people had to find ways of dealing with them. The good thing about defeating animals is that you can use their skins or furs, or claws for trading. However, not all of the pests were non-human. In the game, as in ancient China, there are many gangs of troublemakers. They harass innocent people and generally cause as much trouble as they can. Overall, they don’t know many fighting skills but do seem to enjoy ganging up on solo players or small groups.
Then there are the thieves, burglars and bandits! Once innocent people, they started to grab weapons instead of farming tools in the age of chaos and now can be very dangerous indeed.
If you survive your encounters with them, you may then stumble on some of the legendary creatures of ancient China. Folklore tells of zombies and evil spirits who have not found rest because of the evil times in China. Some say that the remains of zombies, blood zombies and ironclad zombies still haunt the world.
After all those relatively unskilled fighters, there are of course the expelled disciples from the great clans. These were once members of the clans but were expelled for various reasons. The danger with these people is, of course, that they have had some level of training in the martial arts. Approach with care, only skilled fighters can deal with these!