Weve spent a lot of quality time with our friends over at SOE so far at E3 2013. In fact, we made sure to give them our undivided attention for a sizable chunk of our first day at the event, and for good reason. We cant say exactly why just yet, but for now Ill just say that youll definitely want to be on the lookout for our Best of E3 Awards following the event.
Taming dragons naked is generally a bad idea and can lead to possible...dismemberment
Once our glimpse into the future for DCUO wrapped up, we made haste to the other side of the SOE tower to take a look at the latest content hitting Dragons Prophet. Ive been participating in the Dragons Prophet beta for quite some time now, and have to admit that theres something infinitely enjoyable about the dragon taming mini-game. In a roundabout way, it reminds me of the awesome naked car surfing mini-game in the Saints Row titles to a certain degree, and that gives it an automatic thumbs up in my book.
As a side note, I wouldnt suggest trying to tame a dragon while naked. Something tells me it might be a very painful experience. Unless youre into that kind of thing.
The Call of the Frontier
The biggest takeaway from our updated look at Dragons Prophet from the show floor this year is our first glimpse at the player housing system. What I found particularly interesting is that it was initially noted that players will be able to own up to one full house.
Naturally I had to inquire if that meant you could own half a house, or a third of a house. In a way, that actually does end up being the case. While a single character will own the property, you can effectively have roommates that can be responsible for paying a portion of the upkeep fees. So you could theoretically share your house with a dedicated group that youd normally hang out with in-game, and it will reduce the cost of housing for all of you.
The housing plots will be found in special frontier zones, and occupy physical space in the world. This is similar to housing in games like Vanguard where youll be able to purchase a specific plot, and then have options for what you want to build there. As more players purchase plots in the same area, neighborhoods begin to form, so youll also want to be conscious of who your perspective neighbors might be. Its entirely possible that you and your in-game friends will pool resources together to build a killer house only to discover that your new neighbor is rocking some lawn chairs and little else on their housing plot.
Frontier zones can provide some interesting options for neighborhoods.
King of the Hill
Each of these frontier zones will have one massive castle area that can also be owned by players. Whoever owns this massive plot will have a certain amount of control over different aspects of the map, so it introduces some new gameplay opportunities as a result. These plots can come under attack, for example, so happy residents might rally to your aide. Become an evil tyrant, however, and you shouldnt be terribly surprised if other players stand by and watch your empire burn down around your feet.
We didnt get to see this portion of the system in action, but can certainly see a lot of potential. I personally feel that player housing systems at least when implemented well are a great thing for MMOs, and wish they were a more common occurrence. Thankfully were hitting one of those transition points in the industry where the needle is beginning to swing back in the pro-housing direction, and Dragons Prophet is one of those titles helping paving the way for the triumphant return.
Speaking of needles