Project Dragon: Roar from the Dungeon is an upcoming mobile MMO developed by WeMade on the Unreal Engine. From the same company that brought us Legend of Mir, their next MMO is ambitiously, cross-platform. Project Dragon is planned for iOS, Android as well as PC (after the mobile launch), with players able to access their account from any platform.
A fully fledged MMO is planned with player and market economy, but what was available for preview was the combat. Four classes are planned, each with their own skill tree. They are the Assassin, Sword Master, Sage (Healer) and the Magician. Both the Assassin and the Sword Master were available for hands-on play.
As one may surmise for an iPad game all actions are touch-based, but there are options. Instead of a virtual joy-stick, you tap or drag your character to move. Graphically, the game is in full 3-D with lovely sharp HD graphics as might be expected on the New iPads that were available for play.
Tapping on a mob engages auto-attack which is your basic attack. Eight different skills are controlled by gesture or UI icons and that is rather nice. Upward, horizontal, diagonal flicks and even a zigzag deploys different skills for your character. Skills were very responsive and I tried both classes as well as using both gestures and the UI to blast through a dungeon. I quickly familiarized myself with the gestures and skills, and was soon charging up some devastating AoE attacks and interacting with other players also demoing the game.
Dungeons and landscapes are open and fully explorable reminding me of other PC based MMOs rather than the instanced corridor and room type maps that some mobile MMOS feature. Groups are limited to six and the game will also feature guild management tools, consensual PvP and guild based PvP. We don’t know at this time though, if some dungeons are instanced or if they can be locked for a group, although with the conventions common today, instanced dungeons are a high possibility.
The usual MMO conventions can be seen in Project Dragon. Stat bars for HP and Mana, the enrage mechanic (skill bar to be charges) for some skills and cool-downs for the more powerful skills. Mobile MMOs tend to take some short cuts or work-arounds as controls are not as precise as can be managed on PCs for example. In Project Dragon, I was delighted to find my Assassin first stepping around the mob before deploying back-stab instead of my having to first position my character to at least flank the mob before I could use the skill. The same applied for weapon/skill range if the character is perhaps a step or two away from the mob, it steps up to bring it within range of the skill.
Other tidbits revealed by the Devs include a pet system; Pets will collect resources (ostensibly for crafting) and pets can be leveled. A crafting system is planned for upgrading equipment, and a mount system is also on their “things to do” list. The Korean Devs were enthusiastic about the classes for Project Dragon, informing me that each have their own individual and unique skills, effects and animation. There may be some familiarity to Legend of Mir, being that the graphical style is Oriental, but it is a completely different team that is working on Project Dragon.
Project Dragon is expected to launch at the end of 2013. The business model has yet to be decided, but if the rest of the game is as polished as the little bit of hands-on combat game play I was treated to, this will be a mobile MMO on my watch list.