Dragon’s Prophet is an action combat fantasy MMO that is currently in open beta and SOE was a PAX to talk about the official launch upgrades in the pipeline. Planned for September 18th, an expansion taking the level cap from 70 to 80 will be released at the same time. The land mass that will be open to players is known as Inartia and is connected to the level 60-70 zone Wintertide. The content there will be for the high level players and take them up to the new level cap.
At this time, the developers are still working on perfecting the UI, and based on player feedback, changing some stats to “make more sense” like how magic/dragon/elemental resistance works. Charisma will still matter but Draconic Influence, found on jewelry, will be the new stat that impacts the ability of players to capture and tame dragons.
The new expansion will also bring a new Dragon Chamber feature so players can keep far more dragons than the current 12 (6 active in stable and 6 in the lair). How many? Up to 100 and the first “row” of 10 is free. The great big feature that Inartia brings, however is the Frontier system which consists of three sub-systems, Alliances, High Lords and Citadels (the territory war system that takes place over an entire zone).
Alliances are formed from two to five guilds and many players will be needed to take over the citadels on the Frontier Islands and hold them. There are points that players have to capture and hold, siege warfare and guardian dragons that can be grown, nurtured and spawned. Once the alliance has control of the citadel, they control the island where players can then buy lots to build on, or lots can be combined and builds coordinated so player cities and crafter / merchant cooperatives can be built. Players will also still have the option of instanced “apartments” as well as purchasing their own “secret island” an instanced floating island if they prefer not to deal with PvP, as these islands can be raided in the future.
The High Lord is basically the leader of the alliance – the founding guild’s leader. He has political power, being able to set taxes and there will be an entire list of incentives that will be available that he can set. He also will have the ability to call the aforementioned guardian dragons during battle. Alliances will level up and gain XP and the High Lord will be able to spend the XP on defenses, NPCs and crafting, just as examples. How this plays out in the long run is bound to be interesting as guild dynamics and drama are natural occurrences in the MMO space and alliances can splinter with former member guilds forming their own alliances. In a space that is open PvP, will we also see islands change hands often as relics did in Dark Ages of Camelot? Time will tell but taking over is no picnic. Depending on the number of players online, battles around the capture points can be as high as 100 v 100. After players capture the points, then they can assault the citadel itself.
If there are dragons and PvP, there must be mounted combat, and players can look forward to new abilities and aerial combat come the 18th. The dragon’s abilities will be based on the breed. Flying dragons may have flame or acid breath while ground based dragons may have a kick or claw ability. These will be added onto the player character’s regular attacks. Of course mounted combat will be quite different and something players will have to learn when available as turn radii are larger and your character will lose the ability to roll, although I imagine the flying dragons will be able to do a barrel roll (not really). This feature will be introduced after launch, as is a world boss that we are told will be the largest dragon anyone has ever seen.
Other happenings at launch include tool-tips replacing the tutorial, with mouse-over text, and the consolidation of three starter zones into one. Puratia will remain while Bakra and Satuma will be closed. This is a high level expansion, but we were also told that the PvP level differences are not as significant as PvE levels, and players in their 50s will be able to participate and make a difference. Players in the 30s will be able to access the islands and there will be reasons to visit, as in a departure from how Dragons are normally trained, the Frontier Islands will have NPCs that train dragons in a specific skill if you can gain access to the Keep.
Look for the patch to drop on September 18th, when Dragon's Prophet comes out of "open beta" and officially launches.