Shortly after I wrote about an ideal MMO sandbox which takes elements from very specific games, I discovered details about a SOE game in the works called Dragon’s Prophet. Dragon’s Prophet seems to come close to what I want, but illustrates how easy it is to miss the mark with a few awful decision.
Features in Dragon’s Prophet
Dragon’s Prophet will feature an odd skill system that I am still trying to wrap my head around. Someone correct me if I’m totally wrong, but what I gather about the system is that you find a dragon and gain a random set of abilities. There’s an element of fighting, taming, and training going on here. I’m sure another class system will also be in place.
Non-instanced housing will let players claim plots and plop down a house out in the world for all to see. I want to know if it’s like SWG and houses can be placed freely anywhere, or if there are designated plots of land. I’m leaning toward the latter because what I’ve read seems to indicate that certain plots cost more. Sounds better than most systems, as I am a huge fan of open-world community-centric features.
What sounds really neat about Dragon Prophet is the idea that players can claim areas of land almost like the kingdom idea from my previous entry. Out in the frontiers, areas of PvP land that can be colonized (again like my ideal MMO), players can become subject to taxation from other players.
Combat will use what the official site calls “auto-targeting”. It has been likened to DCUO’s combat, which isn’t bad, or like TERA but faster (or something like that).
Overall, a nice set of features. Implementation could be all wrong, but at least the ideas on paper are good ones. That said…
Why I won’t play Dragon’s Prophet
Forgive me if I offend you by being blunt. I can already predict the failure because the writing is on the wall. John Smedley himself alluded to one of the key issues in a quote I read on Massively:
“This isn’t generic Asian MMO number 425.” – John Smedley, via Massively.com
Note: If this is not a legitimate quote, please let me know.
Just saying that is a loud and clear warning signal. He’s already anticipating that people will take one look at the game and think “generic Asian MMO.” If that statement were true, he would have let the game speak for itself. You’re a fool if you ignore this warning sign.
Next is the Free to Play component. Right on the site it says “There are hundreds of items available to purchase to customize your characters and weapons as well as enhance your gameplay experience.” That sounds invasive and perverse. Again, you’d be a fool to ignore the quote above.
Last, it’s made by the developers of Runes of Magic. I see no reason to elaborate. I find the partnership between Runewaker Entertainment and Sony Online Entertainment to be a complete mismatch. All of the great ideas (on paper) above are nullified by awful decisions.
If Station Cash or any of these other awful ideas find their way into EQ3, so help me…