Dragon’s Prophet is a free-to-play, massively multiplayer, online role-playing game by Runewaker Entertainment, the developer of Runes of Magic (another F2P MMORPG that was released in 2009).
Dragon’s Prophet is currently in open beta with an announced launch date of September 18th in Europe and North America. In this game you play a hero that has the ability to tame, ride, and fight alongside dragons. In this first review I’ll be specifically focusing on character creation, starting levels, and the mechanics introduced therein.
There are four different classes to pick from: Ranger, Oracle, Guardian, and Sorcerer. The Ranger is the ranged single-target class that can use either a Bow or Gunblade & Shield as their weapon. The Oracle is the close-in multiple-target class and can use either Scythe or Amulet & Talisman as their weapon. The Guardian is the close-in single-target class and can use a two handed Ax, Hammer, or Sword or a one handed Ax, Mace, or Sword with a Shield as their weapon. The Sorcerer is the ranged multiple-target class that can use a two-handed Staff or a one-handed Staff & Shield.
The face and body adjusting in Dragon’s Prophet is fairly detailed, using the multiple slider system a la Sims 3 or EVE Online. The only issue I had in the character creator was trying to pick custom colors for my male ranger’s armor. The masking didn’t seem right, so patches of the armor weren’t colored properly. I didn’t have that issue with my female oracle.
Character Select Screen
Not much to be said here yet, but after you have finished creating your character, you are given the option of going through the tutorial. Not going through the tutorial has the unlabeled drawback of skipping part of the story including introduction to some characters that I imagine will come up again later in the plot.
The controls will feel very familiar if you’ve played any other MMO ever. WASD to move, number keys and mouse buttons to fire off powers, B for inventory, M for map, et cetera. Dragon’s Prophet uses a much more active combat system than WoW, more similar to Guild Wars 2. There are visual cues when an enemy is going to do a powerful attack, and it’s up to you to roll out of the way to dodge it. The powers you have all combo with at least one other power available to you. It’s a fun and dynamic, but suffers from a bit of lagginess that can make it difficult to pull off some of the more complex chains.
Thankfully you don’t have to wait too long to get a dragon. The first tamable dragon is level 9, and I was able to tame it at level 7, and I imagine could be done even sooner than that. The mini-game to tame the dragons is well designed. It doesn’t interrupt the flow of gameplay. After getting close to a dragon you activate your Capture Dragon ability, and your character jumps onto the back of the dragon which begins to buck wildly. Much like Pokemon, weakening the dragon you wish to capture is always helpful, and can make the difference between a successful capture and an unsuccessful one. You have 2000 Dragon Soul points, which start depleting as soon as the mini-game starts. The goal is to fill up the taming meter before you run out of Dragon Soul points by keeping the rein icon in the middle of the circular interface by mashing the W, A, S, and D keys. The closer the icon is to the middle, the more points you get towards taming the dragon. Occasionally the icon will jump out of the circle entirely and you have to mash F, G, H, J, K, or L as indicated in the middle of the interface. Once successfully tamed you are automatically using it as your mount and can inspect it’s stats and abilities.
The dragons themselves have 3 different types of abilities: Soul, Combat, and Elite. The dragon soul skills are abilities that you can use. These abilities do not require that your dragon be summoned, rather they are more like powers they grant you. The Combat skills are skills that the dragon will use when summoned into combat. The Elite skills are usually efficiency related. Similarly to companions in Star Wars: The Old Republic, your dragons can also leave your side to complete gathering quests. These Elite skills affect how many and how rare the items will be upon returning. There are also blank spots. You are able to send two dragons on a Field Mission, and there is a chance that they will learn Elite and Combat skills from one another providing they have blank slots available.
Dragon abilities and attributes
If you are a fan of both Pokemon and World of Warcraft, this game scratches both of those itches. According to their FAQ there are hundreds of unique dragons. Be warned that there is a frustratingly small amount of dragons you can keep at one time considering all of this variety. You can only have 2 dragons with you and 2 in the stable to start with, and this amount doesn’t increase with level like inventory space does. You can spend Station Cash (the Sony currency) to buy 4 more slots for each location for a total of 1970 SC which is the equivalent of $19.70 USD. The slots are purchasable individually, and there is no price break for buying them all at the same time.
The prices increase from 45 to 155 SC for the Dragon Stable slots (the dragons you have access to while questing) and 125 to 810 SC for the Dragon Lair slots. I don’t feel that this gives those with money to throw around an unfair advantage. It does allow them to keep a wider variety of dragons and will allow them to have more Dragon Soul abilities than those that don’t spend the money. However, the amount of time a player would have to spend trying to find 8 dragons with different Dragon Soul powers make this more or less a non-issue.
So far Dragon’s Prophet is shaping up to be an interesting game, and I look forward to experiencing more of the content.