50 MMOs in 50 Days #12: Dragon’s Prophet

Last played: 2013
Experience: Very Minimal

Dragon’s Prophet makes my “played on two different days” criteria only because it crashed on me when I tried it out in beta, so I set it aside for a day and looked back into it the next.

Then I ran away, as fast as I could.

I suppose I can’t blame SOE for taking a shot on something that, I assume cost them very little to distribute and maintain. Sometimes you play big money for a blockbuster and expect the same returns, sometimes you pay a little bit for something you figure won’t provide much, and if it doesn’t, no big loss. They probably had the same kind of deals to distribute Bullet Run and the original Payday.

I was probably even harsher on Dragon’s Prophet than I was on Aion, another “Here’s the one thing we do different” MMO that didn’t give you that different thing to do quickly enough to hold your attention. I didn’t care to journey past level eight to see how long it would be before I’d get a chance to raise and fly my own dragon. Even just getting an egg or a hatchling at an early level that I’d have some assurance of raising later into my own personal death mount would have been nice.

screen_37What Dragon’s Prophet did do was start you out with an opening scenario where you are riding a dragon and doing all sorts of cool stuff… only to take it away and start you at level one and give you no indication of when you’d ever do anything that cool again. It’s a ploy that I’ve seen in Black Gold Online, TERA, and to a lesser extent, Aion, which gives you a taste of flying PvP I think right around when you get your wings. Then it’s “Back to the grind, scum, you haven’t played long enough to do the cool stuff yet!”

Maybe that “give them a preview of what’s to come” tactic works for some people. It sure as hell doesn’t for me. Frankly, it seems insulting and just serves to further emphasize that it’ll be a long time before you get to do anything fun in the game. Not to mention, in today’s MMO world, you’ve got trailers and interviews and all sorts of ways to learn about the cool stuff in a game. Giving me a five-minute “in-game” preview isn’t going to do much more to help. “I wasn’t going to stay with Dragon’s Prophet, but then I found out you get to fly a dragon! I had no idea!”

One good thing about Dragon’s Prophet? I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had some rudimentary form of dynamic events, which helped break up the questing monotony the tiniest bit. And when I got a developer-led preview of new content a year ago, it actually looked pretty fun. Good luck getting that far, though.

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6 Responses to 50 MMOs in 50 Days #12: Dragon’s Prophet

  1. zax19taken says:

    It fell off my radar pretty quickly, although I’m still really interested in the dragon taming. It reminds me of my first MMO, Lineage 2 🙂

  2. Dragon’s Prophet makes me sad. There’s a lot about it that’s just awesome — riding a dragon, the combat, the graphics — but it is just so obviously low budget and unfinished. It’s horribly unstable and riddled with bugs, the story is never explained in any coherent manner, it’s severely lacking in tutorials, and the damn quest text hasn’t even been proofread.

    Playing Dragon’s Prophet felt like playing a very early beta for a great game, but that was months after its release. If they haven’t gotten their crap together by then, they’re not going to. Such a shame, because this is a game with a lot of potential.

    I’m wondering if something changed about the starting experience between when you played and when I did, because I don’t recall any “preview” scenario. I got my dragon at level three (and tamed another minutes later), and that was that. I played for several days and got up to near level 20, and nothing was taken away from me. In fact, I had the impression that it was a game that got to the good stuff (such as it is) right out of the gate.

    • jasonwinter says:

      It’s possible that I got the “preview” confused with some other game (like the ones I listed). Still, when your game is DRAGONS DRAGONS DRAGONS, I want to spend exactly zero time not playing with dragons. It would be like getting the newest Pokemon game and not getting a Pokemon until 2 hours in.

  3. Pingback: 50 MMOs in 50 Days #45: Swordsman | Wintry Mix

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