The Free Agent: Episode 13 - Dragon's Prophet

Free dragons for everyone!

So what else is new?

In diverging from the older, more traditional, MMO model Dragon's Prophet has gone the same route as many newer MMO titles, and fully embraced action combat. After so many years spent on TAB-targeting combat (seen in games like World of Warcraft  and RIFT) I rather enjoy action combat, though, like anything, it can grow repetitive.

Dragon's Prophet attempts to add its own flavor to the now popular MMO action combat system by using combos. While these are not as complex as some of the combos you might see in an arcade-style fighting game such as the Soul Caliber series, it does add an extra layer of enjoyment and utility to combat. Add to that some interesting spell effects and smooth animation, and you have an overall pleasant combat experience.

However, once again it's not entirely clear when new combos unlock and you need to go digging for them. As with so many systems in Dragon's Prophet, it's very easy to miss out on the complete experience. In fact on several occasions I discovered only by random chance and button mashing that I had unlocked a new combo several levels earlier.

Of course the available combos vary according to class, and Dragon's Prophet provides all the standard options with its four class system; the archetypical Warrior, Mage, Cleric and Ranger, though the first three are given different names to make them sound unique (Guardian, Sorcerer and Oracle respectively). However, between combos, dragons as combat pets and Dragon Soul skills Runewaker has managed to achieve a reasonably in-depth combat system despite a fairly bland class system.

In another attempted to push commonly implemented MMO systems to the next level and come up with something fresh and new, Dragon's Prophet pulls out all the stops on its crafting system.

In fact it's almost as if they just brain stormed all of the ways they could make crafting more in depth and then dumped them into a pot, swirled it around with a few drops of fancy interfaces and inserted it into their game. Sadly that about describes how well implemented the crafting system is.

Even something as simple as searching for a recipe seemed overly complicated and it was infuriating to have to go digging for information just to make some mundane items that were of lower quality than the random drops I was getting at the same level.

While I'm all for a very detailed, multi-tiered, crafting system they really needed to do a better job of explaining how to do everything. Beyond some paltry "here's some materials make me this item" type quests, there was basically no tutorial and your simply left to your own devices to figure out intuitive interfaces (insert sarcasm here) like the one below.

Out with the new in with the old

Moving past areas where Dragon's Prophet attempted to innovate, you have a host of standard MMO systems that were implemented in a range from poorly to quite brilliantly.

In the poor to mediocre category you have a storyline that fails to grab your attention, a conventional quest system with text that is bland and sometimes downright awkward, stereotypical gravity defying warrior women strutting about in armor that looks to be held on solely by double sided tape and a fairly linear approach to map and zone design which includes an invisible glass ceiling that your dragon can't fly above because then you could fly beyond the mountains that magically seem to border every single zone. Though to their credit on that last one, it's not easy designing a world where you can access flying mounts at level 5.

In the good to brilliant category you have public events, which add some interesting flare to some of the quests you pick up along the way. These reminded me a little of rift events from Trion's MMO by the same name, but with a less repetitive nature and more tie in with the actual storyline. Also the standard approach to dungeons is spiced up a little with variable difficulties depending on solo or group play. And then, like a shining beacon on the horizon, are some of the endgame activities offered up by Dragon's Prophet.

To be quite honest I've sat through two demos of the Frontier System and I believe it to be one of the biggest selling features of this game. In a very over generalized sense, it combines player housing with open world PvP elements, and is a dream come true for every power hungry gamer with delusions of grandeur (which describes most of us I think).

Intrigued about the Frontier System or looking for the dirt on the in-game marketplace?

Well then just click your way on to page 3.


Post Comment
# Oct 21 2013 at 11:50 AM Rating: Decent
Been playing this game almost since it was released and every point you made is spot on. Especially about the grind and microtransactions. It is a great game but can get very tedious when almost everything you need/want to do requires sc to do it well.
# Oct 21 2013 at 7:10 PM Rating: Decent
28 posts
Thanks for the feedback. Its good to know I'm not the only one who came to those conclusions. Thanks for reading.
Dragon's Prophet Dungeon Noobs
# Oct 19 2013 at 10:19 AM Rating: Decent
28 posts
If you're looking for more Dragon's Prophet content you can check out:
Watch as the Free Agent and several of his noob friends utterly fail at clearing a level 20 dungeon.
Decide for yourself, what sucks more, the quality of the video or just the players themselves.
Originally I was going to publish this in parts along with the column, but it was not to be.

Edited, Oct 19th 2013 12:19pm by Caergan
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