Questions by Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Answers by Todd Carson, DP SOE Senior Producer
ApocaRUFF: Hello and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers and letting us know what your part in the production of Dragon's Prophet NA is?
Todd: My name is Todd Carson and I am the Senior Producer for SOE on Dragon’s Prophet. I act as the primary point of contact with the developer, Runewaker Entertainment, working with them to plan new content, schedule updates and provide feedback from our player base.
ApocaRUFF: We know a few of the things that will be included in the coming update, but could you give us a quick overview of what exactly we can expect? What can we expect from the Dragon Arenas?
Todd: This week we will be introducing a new zone called Olandra, which will introduce players to some very cool features. For starters, players will now be able to advance their characters from level 90 to level 94. There is also a Legendary Dungeon that takes place completely underwater. Additionally, players will have access to new dragons, gear, quests and we’ll be introducing a new Treasure hunt feature with weekly events for players of all levels. Mounted combat will also be available in all dungeons.
Coming later this year will be Dragon Arenas, Dragon Compendium, additional changes to the class system, and the Dragon Evolution system.
Dragon Arenas are going to be a blast! With the first arenas, two players will be able to face off with three dragons each. The arenas also allow for other players to watch these awesome battles.
ApocaRUFF: Do you guys plan to begin holding tournaments and leagues with this new Battle Arena system?
Todd: We expect players/guilds to be running tournaments on a regular basis. While there are no tools for us to run official tournaments yet, we certainly like the idea and will look at what we can do to host some events with prizes.
ApocaRUFF: The Dragon Compendium is something that has me a bit excited, but also a bit worried. I'm excited with what it will bring to the game, but I'm a bit afraid that it won’t be everything I hope it will be. I was looking forward to it being a sort of Pokedex, but for Dragons that would give you general lore and info on dragons you run into or tame. However I've heard it likened to a sticker book instead. Can you go a bit into detail about what exactly it will bring to the game?
Todd: This is a feature I have been looking forward to for quite some time also. Let me start by saying that the feature is still a work in progress. However, from what we have so far, the Compendium is a bit of a combination of what you have described above. Players can view all of the different dragons they have captured and see the level of where each dragon is currently. There will be additional information on lore and skills about captured dragons. Also, the Dragon Compendium will track battle activities in the Dragon Arenas.
ApocaRUFF: What kind of changes can we do with our dragon using the new Dragon Evolution system? Will we be able to change the looks of the dragon, or just stats, abilities and traits?
Todd: I'm personally looking forward to these added customization of dragons as developing my dragons is one of my favorite things in the game. The plan is for players to be able to enhance their relationship with their dragon through advanced training. We’re still finalizing details, but I can tell you that this is going to be a really neat feature for players.
ApocaRUFF: What can you tell us of Olandra, the new zone that will be added to the game? What kind of lore does it have behind it?
Todd: Northeast of Alentia lays Olandra, the northernmost explored region in Auratia. Olandra is a mostly calm region with blue skies and clear weather on most days, making it a welcome environment for adventurers who have recently braved the harsh environments of Wintertide and Alentia. But looks aren't everything, as Olandra is hiding a dark secret. Eons ago, a powerful dragon known as Handras the Indigo Fog left behind crystals imbued with its power. Now, these crystals have fallen into the wrong hands. Not all inhabitants of Auratia wish to make peace and live in harmony with dragons like the Skyhammer Clan. Some of Olandra’s most corrupted follow a twisted prophecy that aims to eradicate all dragons from Auratia!
ApocaRUFF: What can we expect from this new Legendary Dungeon, Shrine of Handras? What will set it apart from the rest of the dungeons in the game?
Todd: The Shrine of Handras is a completely underwater environment. There are five new bosses in this unique dungeon and each display brand new behaviors and fighting styles that players will have to overcome to defeat them.
The Shrine of Handras also sets itself apart from most of the other underwater zones seen over the years in MMOs because movement and combat is not slowed down -- there is no sluggish feeling. While characters will now swim instead of run – and certainly the creatures look and behave differently in many aspects – overall, combat is just as fun and fast paced underwater as on land.
ApocaRUFF: Will there be any new dragons to be found in Olandra? Personally, I'm hopping for some new non-ancient dragons that can be found out in the wild.
Todd: You bet there will be new dragons in Olandra! I don’t want to spoil the fun for everyone, but definitely look for new ancient and non-ancient dragons. These dragons can be found in the main adventure area as well as in the dungeons.
ApocaRUFF: Something I've personally dealt with in the past while playing Dragon's Prophet is that zones seem to struggle to have enough content to get you through the leveling process in a smooth manner. After level 30, it seems like you have to resort to relying on daily Public Events to continue leveling and gain access to new quests. Will this still be a problem in Olandra?
Todd: We recently made a change to the experience gained during levels 1-30 that helps prevent players from out leveling the content. Players now level up faster and reach level 30 quicker, before they have played through all of the quests and storylines. Though, some players have seen that they can gain experience faster by participating in Public Events rather than following the storyline only. Overall, the game has been adjusted to allow leveling from 1-94 without running out of traditional gameplay content.
ApocaRUFF: Is there anything you can tell us about what to expect next from Dragon's Prophet? Or any words about the game that you would like to share with our readers?
Todd: We plan to continue to refine Dragon’s Prophet as well as add new content, dragons and fun features throughout 2014. We want players to have the best experience possible and I think the game has really come a long way since we entered Open Beta in May of 2013. Since then, we have made many changes to improve existing systems, and regularly added new content and dragons. Now is a great time to jump in!