Dragon Saga Developer Interview Reveals Huge Update Plans For The Free To Play MMO
We recently had the chance to sit down with developers of the highly popular free to play MMORPG, Dragon Saga (AKA Dragonica), in a press-exclusive roundtable conference to announce some of the plans and upcoming features in the highly anticipated Legendary update.
During the call several of the Gravity Interactive staff sat down with a number of gaming press members to discuss upcoming changes to their free online game, Dragon Saga. Mario Fernandez, Community Manager, Vince Kim, Producer and Penny Park, Associate Marketing Manager, were involved in the meeting, bringing the combined knowledge and expertise of some of the most influential people involved in Dragon Saga.
Although Legendary is bringing a plethora of new features to Dragon Saga, the two most exciting aspects of the update are the introduction of the new Combo system and various adjustments to the graphics within the game. The current combat system has been compared to other beat ‘em up titles such as Elsword Online, players spend the majority of the time button-mashing to defeat enemies and other players. The introduction of the Combo system will change that by rewarding players with higher skill levels, over that of the current gear vs. gear setup. Gamers familiar with the likes of Tekken and Street Fighter will be able to adapt to the new Combo system with ease, combining both directional and attack keys to perform devastating combination attacks that can be linked, providing endless onslaughts of skills and abilities. The combos a player will be able to perform are not restricted by class, instead they’re linked with weapon types, so players can expect to see vastly different combo possibilities on a 2H weapon to that of a dagger.
Supporting the new combat system is an overhaul of various graphical aspects of the game. Various aspects of the environment have been vastly improved such as background images and objects, but more noticeably, a number of player character changes will also be introduced. Players can expect new graphics for damage and critical hits, improved auras from weapons and armor and entirely new animations and contact graphics for the Combo system. Dragon Saga already boasted a highly approachable graphical engine but many players complained that the color palette was too intense, retracting from the quality, the new graphical changes keeps the vibrant and colorful feel of Dragon Saga but gives the game a feeling of higher quality.
A slightly less exciting, but just as important, aspect of Legendary are the various balance changes related to PvP and dungeons. Many players have felt certain classes are useless in a number of PvP modes, you don’t really want a squishy Priest running away with your opponents flag in Capture the Flag, but the developers felt it was unfair to ask a player to change class just based on certain PvP modes. As a result, they’ve added minor buffs to certain PvP modes to allow the weaker classes in those modes to be more useful to their team. These buffs and changes will only apply in certain PvP modes and will not change the PvE aspects of Dragon Saga. Those more interested in the PvE aspect of the game will be happy to hear that there will also be a number of PvE changes to help new players get better equipped. Certain dungeons will be receiving new loot tables with a higher chance of players obtaining rarer items, reducing the amount of time needed to get that specific weapon or chest piece, and offering new players faster ways to progress through the game. .
The Japanese and Korean versions of Dragon Saga already have access to the Legendary update, and although this may appear as unfair to certain players, it actually means that the developers of the US/Canada version can get a glimpse of any issues or concerns that may arise before they release their version of the update. As an example, many Korean players have expressed concerns over canceling combo attacks and how this should be dealt with. Similar to console style beat ‘em up titles, characters in Dragon Saga flinch momentarily after being hit, although this won’t cancel a combo directly, it would give a skilled player enough time to counter-attack if their opponent was too slow in executing the second stage of the combo attack. Combine this with the various dodge and roll mechanics within the game and you have plenty of chances of disturbing your opponents killer combo.
Another small aspect of the update involves a few tweaks to the UI and minimap. The minimap will now display icons for the various NPC characters, allowing players to find vendors and other useful characters. The transition between town and field maps has also been improved, allowing players to get out of town and back into combat much faster than was previously possible.
For those of you not familiar with Dragon Saga, it boasts a large variety of interesting and innovative features. Lord of the Rings players will be familiar with the highly appealing costume system, a system that allows players to wear different cosmetic items but still have the effects and buffs of their armor and weapons, and Tamer Saga fans will love to see a familiar Achievement system that rewards players with stat-changing medals depending on their actions within the game. Other defining features of Dragon Saga include 6 distinct PvP modes, intense PvE battles and an explosive PvP competition. Arguably one of the most appealing features for hardcore fans, Emporia, is a PvP guild-based tournament where up to 8 guilds fight in a knock-out style match-up with the victors gaining access to a unique map filled with special buffs and consumable items. Emporia victors will hold the map for a week, and if they wish to retain control, they’ll have to defeat the winners from the following week. This innovative competition creates intense rivalries between guilds, and offers long-term, reward-driven PvP over that of the typical gear based approach seen in other popular free online RPG games.
The Legendary update for Dragon Saga will be released on Friday June 29th at 4am, with the servers being offline for maintenance from Thursday, June 28th. Players can expect more information in the coming days and we’re hopeful screenshots and videos will be included to display the new graphical changes. Another announcement worth getting excited about is the upcoming cash prize, PvP tournament scheduled for early July. Featuring teams of 2v2 or 4v4, it’s a great way to showoff the new changes in combat and graphics and it’s sure to generate more interest in the game.
So what are your thoughts? Are you excited about the upcoming changes? Leave a comment below and let us know!