Not 'Dragon' Its Heels
It's a big day for both Sony Online Entertainment and Runewaker as Dragon's Prophet hits live service today. We recently had the opportunity to meet with Associate Producer Rod Haza and International Operations Project Manager Merv Lee Kwai to talk about Dragon's Prophet, both where it's been, where it is now and maybe even a hint or two at what the future holds for the game that unashamedly admits that "it's all about dragons".
The pair conducted a live stream tour of the release-day client but first started off the discussion with a look at what has been accomplished since Dragon's Prophet entered open beta. The duo are enthusiastic about the product, a fact clearly seen in the way they spoke of the game and the obvious pride they both have in it.
What's Already Been Added
We began our tour with a short introduction on the basics of the game for those who were in attendance who were less-than-familiar with Dragon's Prophet. Rod reminded everyone that DP is definitely in the action-MMO category with high combat excitement and the inclusion of all DPS classes, each with healing abilities of their own and the ability to tame dragons (after all, that IS what the game is about!) to heal as well.
Truthfully, Merv added, the game is about dragons, collecting them, storing them, fighting alongside them and more. To that end, the team heard the beta community when it said that the storage space for collecting dragons was woefully inadequate. To give players a chance to "collect 'em all", the team expanded the Dragon Chamber to allow for storing up to ninety-six dragons in addition to the twelve active ones that can be summoned by a player at any given time.
Taming dragons has changed as well. Where previously players used the single Charisma attribute to influence the taming process, they will now have to utilize a pair of attributes: Draconic Influence which directly influences capturing dragons; and Charisma which will allow dragons to stay in combat for a longer time.
In addition to the general dragon-oriented changes, we were told that open world housing prices are coming down to make the purchase of game real estate more affordable. Players will also have an instanced "apartment" that will allow for building and shaping to their heart's content.
Guilds will also see improvements in the Dragon Sanctuaries, similar to guild housing in any MMO. What sets the Dragon's Prophet sanctuaries apart is the inclusion of altars, a place where guild members can make an offering of a specific sort and summon a boss right there. Attendees at the Sanctuary will have twenty minutes to take down the boss and receive a nice loot package if so. Interestingly, if a boss is summoned that has recently been seen, leaders will be able to cycle through the bosses and choose a different one, ergo yielding different loot.
Inartia has also made an appearance in the game, a new zone that features three adventure dungeons and one legendary dungeon. The Dragon's Prophet team paid close attention during beta to see how players interacted with dungeons and found that many blew through trash mobs on the way to the bosses along the way. The team has, as a result, implemented a series of objectives that must be completed before the next series of events unlocks. This slows the party down and allows players to get a good look at the content in the dungeon.
Lastly, and of great importance to many, the level cap has increased.
So this brings us to...
What's Coming on Launch Day and Beyond?
Rod and Merv are obviously proud of the overall game itself but what shone through even more clearly as the tour wound down was the team's response to player requests and concerns.
A partial list of things that will arrive on launch day or shortly thereafter and is based solely on player feedback looks something like this:
- DP will launch on Steam on September 18th
- DP will feature Twitch integration
- Level 1-60 dungeons have been revamped and retuned with issues fixed to provide more challenge.
- Social systems have been improved. Where there were three starter areas before, there will be a single zone for new players in order to encourage social interaction. The two old zones will be 'repurposed' at a later time.
- Players will tame their first dragons much earlier in the game to give them an idea and an interest in continuing to do so throughout the game.
- Players will have more backpack space.
- Companions will become useful by having their own backpack for storage purposes.
- The Frontier System, a huge PvP zone for large-guild alliances to vie for territory, revenue and resource collection islands.
- A bone dragon World Boss will make an appearance in lower level areas to bring high-level characters back to those zones. Players of all levels who participate will receive "very cool rewards".
- New dance emotes
It is obvious that the Dragon's Prophet team is listening to and responding to its community and that they want this game to succeed, to fill a niche that simply doesn't exist in any other MMO on the market today. From what we saw, they are well on their way to success.
What about you? Do you have plans to play Dragon's Prophet? What do you think of the changes and enhancements? Let us know in the comments!
Suzie Ford is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom.