Ken Johnston, the CEO of Acclaim's European partner, pens the first journal
Editor's Note: This is the first 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.
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.
Take a look at the exclusive screenshots that accompany this article.
For more information, take a look at the North American site www.9Dragonsgame.com or for the European site go to www.9Dragonsonline.com. The game is being launched simultaneously across both America and Europe by Acclaim and Persistent Worlds.
This series tells of the details involved in the creation of 9Dragons and starting with the combat system that is the heart of the game.
The combat system in 9Dragons was designed to be pretty different to any other MMO. Usually in an MMO you can just click on the monster opposing you and let the stats package take care of the rest. In fact in the early MMO’s like Everquest, I often went off to make a cup of tea while my character fought the monster. In the later games it has got a little more interactive with skills or buff buttons to press to use special abilities. This adds a little more depth but in no way is it like actually controlling your character as he fights. Of course in an MMO you can’t use console type controls or a game pad because the number of different connections and configurations would mean that those with the fastest ping times would have an unfair advantage over everyone else. So in 9Dragons the combat system has been cleverly designed to be both fair and involving.
Let me explain how it works:
Firstly your character starts with no fighting ability at all. When you attack at the beginning of the game all you can do is flail around with your fists. As in real life, if you don’t know how to fight you don’t really do much damage. So you need to find a master who can teach you some basic moves. Fortunately just outside each of the clans temples are some trainers who know basic moves.
Luckily for you, for just a few coins they will not only teach you, but also let you use their sparring dummies to learn properly. In game this is done by finding the teacher and then asking him to teach you the basic skill. Each basic trainer may know a few easy moves. Two or three for unarmed combat and a couple for a sword or exotic weapon training. This is where it gets interesting! Let’s say that you are learning an unarmed routine of say a punch, kick, kick combination. First you need to complete the in game minigame that allows you to acquire the skill. If you fail the minigame you have to go back to the trainer and pay again to get him to explain it to you. This screen shot below shows you the minigame in progress.