If you haven’t heard, Chinese MMO developer NetDragon has acquired the rights from Electronic Arts (EA) to develop a MMORPG based on the Dungeon Keeper franchise. Initially developed by Bullfrog Productions (defunct since 2004), NetDragon aims to bring the world of Dungeon Keeper to the online world while adding elements of online gaming to it. The Chinese server had been holding a few private beta tests over the past weeks and I thought I would share some information which was revealed so far.
1. Mentioned in my previous posts, Dungeon Keeper Online will feature both classic Dungeon Mode (RTS mode) and also the traditional 3D RPG mode. Here is more information. Players will enter the game in the role of a lowly dungeon keeper, who is on land to hunt for resources to build up his underground dungeon. Players will be able to switch between these 2 modes in the game. In the 3D RPG mode, there will still be features like instances and even PvP. I forgot to mention, players will be able to choose between 2 faction when creating characters, one being the Demons with the other being the Humans. Are those elves and dwarves I see in the Human camp?! Before I forget, there will be be character classes for players to choose as well for their journey on the surface, each with different skill sets. For equipments, the upgrading system (+1, +2, +6 etc) will also be there
2. The monster possession features remains intact. Players may possess a monster and look through the target’s eyes. For example, if players possess an armored soldier mob, the view seen might be just a slit due to the metal helmet worn. The same goes for species like insects and all other animals, where real-life anatomy of each creatures’ eyes is used. Players may also fight while in this possession mode, with each monsters having its own skills and spells. Possessed monsters are significantly stronger than normal due to increased attributes.
3. The underground dungeon building system remains much as the same found in the single-player predecessors. Players will have to strategically choose where to build different rooms, design the passageways, lay the passageways with traps, spells and devise various defensive measures to prevent an invasion from other players. For the building of rooms, there will be rooms to train your soldiers, rooms to research new abilities (like expanding land space) and more. A page of the famous tower defense mods from Warcraft 3 can also be seen, with various defensive towers available to be built and upgraded. If attacked, the defending player may use to possession system and scout what is really happening at the front-line.
4. As said in the first point, the RPG mode plays pretty much as most 3D online games. The AI system of monsters found is also focused on giving players… I would say a hard time. Most monsters, when attacked, will call for help from its kind who are loitering nearby. Some violent ones will chase players till they are being hunted down.
5. Here is another classic feature. When players defeat monsters, there will be a chance of the Torture system being activated. There will be a prompt for players to either slam, kick or step the target. If successful, much more experience points will be given, including better equipments and higher gold drop rate. EVIL IS GOOD! Both Humans and Demons will start off from different areas on the surface world, with some maps being exclusive to each faction while others are where PvP might take place. Each map will have its own world boss as well and below are some examples.
6. There will be a mount system in the game as well, with mounts exclusive to each faction, shared by them and the in-game NPC transportation system. Players may capture certain monsters they found on the land and bring them back to their dungeons to… “train” them into submission. Once successful, they can be used as mounts on the surface world.
7. Dungeon Keeper Online is developed using the S3 game engine, which I couldn’t find out more information about. As usual, the quality of the game’s graphics are touted as one of the best. Whenever players change their armor pieces, the outlook change will be reflected as well.
That is all for this brief introduction. For the Dungeon Keeper fans, treat it as an upgrade for now (please do not rage) and wait for the game to launch. If you missed it, the game is apparently scheduled for release in the English market in the future. You can read more about it here.