PAX Day 3: Dungeon Overlord
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-In-Chief
It's certainly been a busy week in coverage at OnRPG. Thinks are finally winding down though and I can begin writing about the more niche games I came across at the show during my free time on Day 3.
Certainly the biggest surprise of PAX came from my visit to a small booth stationed just outside the Press Room beyond the reaches of the show room floor. Here stood a 2 man booth called Night Owl gaming, featuring a board game and related MMO called Dungeon Overlord.
Dungeon Overlord is actually a hardcore empire building MMO built within the Facebook world! I had no idea until told this because the game looks far more advanced than any Facebook game I had come across in my short time dealing with this casual sphere of gaming. Forget the days of raising fish and farming stagnant corn, Dungeon Overlord has a full blown dungeon builder that allows you to customize everything from the minions on patrol to the marvelous contraptions powering your mystics’ research endeavors.
The concept of the game is nothing particularly new, at least on the surface. Players start up a small dungeon and begin hiring minions to work mines to collect raw materials. From there they can sell the materials on the black market or try their hand at crafting to make new useful tools and other wonderful goodies. Still pretty standard fair. But now you need more mines to collect materials faster. And Sorcerers to research the latest and greatest in overlording technology to expand your Realm.
Then rival overlords begin to raid your dungeon and loot you, forcing you to invest in defenses and guards to protect your secrets. As your wealth expands, you gain a surplus of minions and begin raiding local villages and sending off particularly heroic minions on quests to acquire more wealth. Eventually you may find yourself in a powerful enough position that you can challenge the maniacal traps and ogres lurking in rival overlord’s lairs. Well developed strategy, not cash shopping and mass Facebook friends is what leads to victory in Dungeon Overlord. A quick look at their PAX Trailer should sum all of this up quite nicely.
Let me elaborate on that since it’s a unique idea in this realm of gaming. Friends (and foes) you make inside Dungeon Overlord are independent from your real world Facebook friends. You can deal with, trade with, and party with people in this game without ever having to reveal your identity to them. No longer will the man with 10,000 friends have an unbeatable advantage over players that are willing to play the game hardcore and put in the effort to be stronger.
Of course if you do want to play with your friends, Dungeon Overlord has fully developed alliance systems in which you can team up and build the most powerful guild of overlords the world has ever known. I think I might have to dust off my outdated Facebook page and give this game a try. And unlike the majority of the games we have covered at PAX, Dungeon Overlord is in open beta right now.