Dragona Interview - The Age of Dragons descends
Questions by Robert Chen (Cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answers by Dale Aguirre, Assistant Project Manager, Gameclub.com, Inc.
Dragona is an upcoming MMORPG based on the mythical dragons. Developed in Korea, Gameclub Philippines will be hosting the Global server for the English market. In an age where dragons occupy the lands, massive wars breaking loose and sinister conspiracies involving the Gods, what game features are there which will accompany the epic storyline? Let's find out.
Cinderboy: Hello, this is Robert (Cinderboy) from OnRPG. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Dale: Hi Robert, it's my first time to be interviewed and it's always a pleasure to meet the community. Hi my name is Dale Aguirre. I am the Assistant Project Manager for the Global Service & Operations Division of Gameclub.com, Inc.
Cinderboy: Gameclub is still a pretty new name in the overseas English market. Can you tell us some details about the company?
Dale: Gameclub.com, Inc. is a subsidiary of LivePlex Corp. Korea. Dragona: Expedition of Bartan is our first game. We are currently based in Silicon Valley, California. Our current president is Sang Hyuk Hong.
Cinderboy: Is this the first time Gameclub Philippines will be running a global server? If so, why the decision to progress from being just a domestic publisher?
Dale: We are independent from Gameclub Philippines. Our company, Gameclub.com, Inc., will be handling games for the global market.
Cinderboy: Before going into the game, would you mind clarifying if the Philippines and Global servers will be the same, or will there be 2 separate servers with different launch schedules?
Dale: They are two different servers. Pre-open beta for the Philippine server will launch this May. As for us, we will be launching the global version of the game 3rd quarter of this year.
Cinderboy: What makes Dragona different from other games currently in the market?
Dale: Dragona veers away from the typical MMORPGs currently in the market. The game offers a lot of new system features like the Dragon Transformation system, Auto notification system. We also have a variety of PVP options like the Battle Arena. The world of Dragona presents an eye-catching fantasy environment with high quality graphics and details.
Also, people who are fond of tales involving dragons will find the game story very interesting and appealing since it contains a lot of elements involving them.
Cinderboy: Can you briefly tell us what roles do the gamers play in the fantasy world of Dragona?
Dale: Dragona are the heroes in the story that was sent to the Continent of Bartan to stop the resurrection of the Evil Dragon Jurtan. These characters possessed the power of the dragon bestowed upon by the dragon spirits of the stars.
If the players will read the introduction story down to the chronology of events it revolves around the Goddess of Light Huanis, the 5 Great Dragon Lords (Juda Ysis, Yslan Amarantis, Xerion Notos, Titan Bracus and Seto Batroa) the Evil Dragon Jurtan and the ever intriguing historical record regarding the Book of Genesis and the Legendary Dragon Wars.
Players will slowly unveil the real truth behind Bartan and the legendary story between Huanis and Jurtan as they progress in the game.
Cinderboy: Will all races and classes be available during Closed Beta and Open Beta?
Dale: The four races (Human, Kali, Eldin and Catcha) will be available in the Closed Beta phase. As for the classes the players will only be playing Sniper for the Human race, Guardian for the Kali Race, Magician and Ranger for the Eldin Race, and Shaman for the Catcha Race. The other classes will be revealed later.
Cinderboy: Going through the classes, there seems to be lacking the traditional tank class, one with a sword and holding a shield. Am I missing something here?
Dale: What I just said earlier Dragona is veering away from the traditional MMORPG wherein the Tank characters are the ones with the sword and shield. We wanted the players to experience a more different type of character classes and style of playing. For now we are introducing the Guardian as the main tanker and the Shaman as a secondary tank. Each has its own uniqueness from the style of battle down to strategy depending on the character usage.
Cinderboy: In Dragona, there are both open world fields and instance dungeons for players to slay mobs. How do the experience points and drops differ between these 2 places?
Dale: The experience points and drop rate in these two areas are different. In the open world field players will gain high experience points and most of the quests are done here. Items that players will be retrieving from this area are normal and will just get magical items. But for the instance dungeon experience will be a little bit lower but players can obtain rare and unique items from their runs.
Cinderboy: I read about the forced PK system for characters of a certain level and above. Will the victim lose anything? Will there be a PvE channel where forced killing is not available?
Dale: PK system will be made available to a player upon reaching level 23. The PK system can be triggered by clicking on the PK button. The character will be able to do PK until the player disables the PK system. Victims of PK will lose a certain amount of experience and will have a very slim chance of dropping an item. The assaulter, on the other hand, will lose honor points. Roaming Guard NPCs will immediately attack players with low honor points. They also can't use teleport stones and can't buy anything from merchant NPCs unless they bring their honor points up. We will not be providing any PvE channel for this game.
Cinderboy: Let's talk about the Dragon Transformation system, perhaps the main feature of the game. There is both the partial and full transformation, can you tell us what are the differences between these 2 modes?
Dale: For me, this is the coolest feature in the game and I think players will be interested on the concept. There are 2 types of Dragon Transformations: the partial transformation and the full transformation.
Full transformation is when the player transforms his character into something much stronger... a dragon mode that is different per class. In this state, you cannot use the weapons or skills that you normally have. You will be given a new set of passive and active skills which you can only use during this state.
Partial transformation only transforms a certain part of the body. Once an item is worn on the head, upper body, lower body, or the arm its appearance change along with an additional stats are given when this are activated (added movement speed or HP regeneration). Unlike for the full transformation, players can still use weapons and skills.
Cinderboy: At what level can players access this feature and how long will these modes last?
Dale: A player will be given an option to choose the initial partial transformation upon character creation. Other parts of the partial transformation will be given to the player through quests as the character progress through the game. Mobs also drop partial transformation parts. Players will have the taste of the cool full transformation when they reach level 20 which is given upon completion of a quest.
Transformations whether full or partial consumes core energy. As long as a player can maintain their core energy they can stay at their desired state of transformation. Core energy can be acquired through killing mobs or by core potions.
Cinderboy: Will players in either of the 2 modes be able to use their normal character skills? If not, will the new skills exclusive to the Dragon mode affect how a player normally plays his or her characters?
Dale: As what I explained before when using partial transformations the player can use the normal character skills where in as for the full transformation a separate set of passive and active skills will be given.
Players should learn to strategize on when to activate their transformations since there would be different playing styles due to the difference in skills per mode.
Q: Can you briefly describe to us how the Battle Arena system works? How will you persuade players who stay away from PvP to enter the arena?
The Dragona Battle Arena is held at a designated time every day and it is an instant siege battle where in anyone can participate wherever they are. The Battle Arena is solely divided into two parts: the Battle of Celebration and the Battle of Might, both usually held every 2 hours. The Battle of Celebration is held for 30 minutes in 100 on 100 matches, and the Battle of Might is carried out for 10 minutes in 3 on 3, 6 on 6, and 36 on 36 matches. Each match is held in 30 minute intervals. Once the player clicks on the Battle Arena Icons the character will be transported immediately to the arena. After the arena ends the player will be transported back.
Players can test their character build and skill against other players. We deliver a fast paced action type PvP experience. Also, the winning team will gain experience, special item and battle points that can be exchange for unique weapons and armors.
Players can test their character build, skill against other players. We deliver a fast paced action type PvP experience which for the arena participants. Also, the winning team will gain experience, special item and battle points that can be exchange for unique weapons and armors.
Cinderboy: Any final words to the readers before the interview ends?
Dale: To all players we are looking forward to see you all in the game. We are hoping that our game Dragona will CHANGE the player's view of MMORPG, EVOLVE their gaming preferences and TRANSORM their online gaming experience.
Cinderboy: Thank you for your time!
Dale: Thank you also for giving us the opportunity to answer your questions. Looking forward to meet the OnRPG community in Dragona.