Back in May 2010 (link), I first posted about one of the biggest online game developer and publisher in China, NetDragon, working on Dungeon Keeper Online. The game is a joint production between NetDragon and Electronic Arts (EA), and there was quite a skeptical bunch of gamers since the developer is from China. Most didn’t know that the producer is actually a Westerner from EA! Having the chance to play the latest Elite Closed Beta phase, let us take a brief look at how true the game stayed to its predecessor!
For the races (below), there are currently 2 available: Humans and Demons. These 2 are further divided into male and female. The races missing from the roster includes the Loli (yes, that is the name of the race, not Dwarf , female only) and Demi-Demon (male only).
Next, there are the character classes. All races so far share the same 6 classes (all classes end with a “Lord” at the end): Dual Blade, Restoration, Giant Shield, Destruction, Giant Sword and Element. I am sure you guys can figure out what each class does. Character creation is quite limited in terms of editing features, but the choosing of horns and tails for the male Demon is certainly interesting. Cash shop horns and tails is a good idea!
As there is no full screen option to accommodate my monitor, I had to go for a windowed game mode. And surprisingly, the chat box is not within the game itself, but rather an additional panel to the left side of the game. Is this really such a good idea? Hmn… Anyway, I am playing as a Demon Destruction Lord in this first try of the game. Read the text before watching the videos!
Ok, the starting part of the game is actually the tutorial prologue, which is not really told to players adequately in advance. Here, the basic controls are being taught. I know, this looks like World of Warcraft, but as I mentioned in my previous posts about the game, there is both an open world element and dungeon keeping one in the game.
Back to standard combat, you will notice that some mobs can be “tortured” and beaten the crap out of even if their health reaches zero, causing more loots and experience points to gain. Pretty neat eh? An example of a fun quest in the tutorial is when I was asked to find 3 female NPCs and forcefully kiss them. I love being bad!
So, characters learn skills as normal when the appropriate level is reached although there are no stats to be added (Str, Con, Dex etc). Skills can also be upgraded to higher levels when the level requirement is met. For recovery, there are instant pots which takes 1min to cooldown and also food as well, where players have to be uninterrupted while being healed. Pretty a pain in the arse when meeting with aggro mobs.
Before going on to the part about dungeon, one more thing about combat. So, there are a total of 17 world bosses ranging from level 12 to 84 (you can see the level 12 one in the videos) and also instanced dungeons as well, which I never did enter during this brief game test. However, there are random times a portal will just appear and hint players to enter with a party. Well, I entered one alone and died tragically, which can be seen in one of the game videos. Sigh…
Ok, about dungeon now. See the big button at the lower part of the screen, right in the middle? That is where players can click to enter their dungeon. Materials needed to expand your dungeon are gathered from the open world map, where material drops can be clicked and prompting your minions to load them up and send to your dungeon inventory. Players must then deposit them from the inventory to the total material count. Talking about minions, you can attract more minions by building more living quarters. Players may also right click on any minions to “whack” those who have the “zzzz” sign and not making themselves useful
To build and upgrade structures, gold is needed too. Players can deposit gold gained from the open world into the dungeon. It is like a totally different game! Do note that both the open world and dungeon are developed using different game engines, a rarity in the industry now perhaps? Just when you thought the dungeon is just like a demonized The Sims, think again. Other players may attack your dungeon and loot everything away!
Other features not yet experienced or added into the game includes the PvP Arena, Player Vs Player (from the 2 different factions), Guild PvP battles, Castle Siege (with NPCs aiding),3 classes within one character and more! Gosh, are they going to add every element into this game?!
So, here is my verdict through this small preview. The game is an absolute hit for me! I am seen as a strict gamer who trashes almost every online titles nowadays, but Dungeon Keeper Online is just awesome! Note how much content there has been already right off the game’s start. I am in love with it, and seeing that Dungeon Keeper Online is listed on NetDragon’s English portal as an upcoming title (link), I can’t wait!