World of Dragon Nest – Interview with Nexon Thailand on new open-world mobile MMORPG

Announced in 2016, it has been a long time coming for Eyedentity’s mobile MMORPG, World of Dragon Nest. Built upon the foundations of the popular PC version, Dragon Nest, this is not just a mobile port! The team is introducing many new features to the first open-world game of the IP. As mentioned in a previous article, the game will be serviced in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore at launch. MMO Culture talks to publisher Nexon Thailand and find out more about World of Dragon Nest. Read on below!

Q: Hello, can you please introduce yourselves to our readers?

Hello Dragon Slayers! I am Beak, Project Manager for World of Dragon Nest from Nexon Thailand. I am an avid fan of Dragon Nest since the PC version and very excited that we will launch this game in the region! I am excited to e-meet you all and thanks to MMO Culture for having us!

Q: Why was the decision made to launch World of Dragon Nest first in Southeast Asia instead of South Korea?

The Dragon Nest IP is one of the most well known in the region and many of previous Dragon Nest titles had achieved the best performance here in Southeast Asia, so it is a natural decision for both Eyedentity and Nexon Thailand to launch this exciting new title based on Dragon Nest IP in the region as the first in the world, even before Korea or China.

Eyedentity as the original creator and IP holder really appreciates royalty of all the fans here and wants to thank them by letting them be the first group of Dragon Slayers to try out the title!

Q: How many languages will World of Dragon Nest support?

Initially we plan to start with 3 languages including English, Thai and Bahasa Indonesia. Later on we will add other languages.

Q: We presume it is the first time that Nexon Thailand is operating a game for several SEA countries. How is the team preparing for this first major milestone?

For the past few years, Nexon Thailand has been handling Nexon’s key global titles in Thailand including Overhit, Durango, MapleStory M, Darkness Rises, and more. We have been accumulating experiences and trying to push the envelope to scale to other countries. The key reason is that we know that each region has specific taste and requirements in games. Sometimes our global titles may not be best fitted for Southeast Asia.

That’s why we try hard to find titles that are suitable and can be really localized for the region – whether in terms of pricing or in-game content. We think World of Dragon Nest is “that” product and it is a good first step for us. And of course, we are not alone! As part of Nexon group of companies, we have full back up from our parent company and other affiliates – live ops and various best practices in operations.

Q: Let us dive into the game content. Could you tell us how does the open world work in World of Dragon Nest?

As you know this will be the first Dragon Nest title in an open-world setting so we are very excited about this feature. We looked at other open-world MMORPG titles out there and found that most of them concentrated on solo playing to build his or her characters to be among the top players in the server.

With World of Dragon Nest, we want to add more co-operation and social elements with more party play to build and grow groups of players together instead of encouraging individual competition. Players will find this party play element in both the field (open world maps) and dungeon settings.

Q: We presume that despite being an open world game, there will be many instanced dungeons for parties as well?

Yes, instanced dungeon is one of the signatures of the original Dragon Nest. You will find many types of instanced dungeon in World of Dragon Nest as well.

Q: About the weapon swap system. Does it mean that players can just unleash a full set of skills using weapon 1, and immediately switch to weapon 2 to continue casting a new set of skills for infinite combo juggling?

This is one of the cool features of the game. Players can swap their weapons freely and each weapon will have a different set of skills including an ultimate skill that they can execute to “overkill” monsters or bosses. To avoid infinite combo juggling as you mentioned, there will be a cool-down period after each swap, so players must plan their tactics wisely on how to best use the weapon skills plus normal attack to continue combos.

Q: With 2 different weapons, does it mean that each class will have 2 different roles in the DPS holy trinity (Damage, Tank, Support) format?

The 2 different weapons may not reflect the roles, but in World of Dragon Nest there is a “Role” system for each class. We will provide more details in the near future. If we tell you too much right now, it won’t be fun, right?! 🙂

Q: According to a Korean interview back in 2017, there will be no job advancement system in World of Dragon Nest. Is this still true?

Yes, at the moment there is no plan for a job advancement system. While Eyedentity believes the key element of DNO (Dragon Nest Online) is the “skills” that players can acquire through job advancement, however they feel this feature also causes player to feel stressed out. Furthermore, there are very few skills that can be applied to the mobile version of the game (World of Dragon Nest).

The development team thought long and hard about this and came up with the weapon swap (or basically skill swap) system which allows players to advance their characters easier and get to use more a wider variety of exciting skills.

Q: According to many developers we have talked to before, they tend to avoid having different genders to reduce the game’s client size. How has World of Dragon Nest managed to accomplish this on mobile?

Yes, the different gender features increases the client size, but this is the content that a lot of users have requested since Dragon Nest Online started. And we believe players now can accept a bigger client size to get a better quality game. Therefore, Eyedentity considered this feature from the beginning of World of Dragon Nest’s development.

The team thought that it was very important to consider users’ opinions for developing Dragon Nest with an open world setting. There are also plans for other content that are based on different genders, including couple/lover and marriage system.

Q: Will there be any unique content or difference between genders of the same class?

As explained a bit before, there will be some features specific to gender. Storyline should be rather similar for both genders of the same class. But isn’t it cool that you can finally customize your favorite class and gender with costumes?

Q: Does this mean that any future new class will have both genders as well, such as a male Kali?

Yes, the new class in World of Dragon Nest will have both genders. But for Kali… umm… let us think about it. Haha.

Editor’s note: I think Mr Beak misunderstood the start of the question. So is he hinting at a new and unique class exclusive to World of Dragon Nest? Hmn…

Q: Time-travel was touted as one of the key features where players can go back to the past and unravel some of the story’s mysteries. How long after the original Dragon Nest is World of Dragon Nest set?

World of Dragon Nest takes place many years after the original Dragon Nest’s story. The story started from the collapse of the future world. One of the last survivors, Velskud, returned to the past with the help from the goddess “Lunaria” to save the world.

This time Velskud did not keep the Black Dragon Jade to himself but he gave it to Geraint, the Gold Dragon and leader of the Six Heroes. Velskud thought that the world will not be destroyed if Geraint and Argenta are kept alive. But Velskud did not expect that the old world would be twisted and turned by new enemies that did not exist before.

Q: Is the story campaign something which will be regularly updated through content patches?

We have planned to update World of Dragon Nest with special episodes sequentially every two months.

Q: Since the story is linked with the original Dragon Nest, and it takes place in the future, can we say that World of Dragon Nest is a sequel?

The story of World of Dragon Nest is based on the vast worldview of the original, and it is a parallel structure, so I think it’s more natural to have another story unfold than a sequel.

The original was that Velskud stole the Black Dragon Jade and escaped, but in World of Dragon Nest, unlike the original, Velskud doesn’t take Black Dragon Jade but gives it to Geraint, hence creating another world and giving us another solid story to explore.

Q: 50 vs 50 vs 50 vs 50 sounds awesome for a massive PVP war. Is this PVP mode guild-based?

Yes, it is a Guild vs Guild content with some special conditions for this PVP mode. More details will be disclosed in the near future.

Q: We assume there will be other PVP modes as well?

Players can expect to have many PVP options such as challenging other players on the field maps, arena mode that is the same as the original version, and also group PVP as well.

Q: Trading and auction house is perhaps one of the core functions of a MMORPG title. How will World of Dragon Nest present this?

We will definitely have the auction house feature in the game. Players can see it during the first Closed Beta!

Q: Aesthetics features such as costumes, pets, and mounts were not mentioned so far. What can the team tell us about them?

As World of Dragon Nest is an open-world MMORPG, the mount system is a key feature for players to travel around the fields. For costumes and pets we are working on it, especially pets. We don’t want to just have pets to follow players and we want to add some unique features to create a new experience for players. There are also other special content just for Southeast Asia as well so please wait and see!

Q: When World of Dragon Nest was first announced, PC and mobile cross-platform was touted as a main feature. How has this changed?

On the development side, Eyedentity is capable to do the cross-platform feature. But at this point in time, our teams think that it would be more important to “choose and focus” on the mobile version first. Most of the games that have cross-platform were trying to eat the same “cake.” However, it resulted in both versions not doing well.

As the developer has a strong desire to deliver high quality gaming content, the focus has now been shifted to the mobile platform first. In the future, we might discuss the overall aspects of the PC service and cross-platform again.

Q: We have yet to see any new game trailers or screenshots since 2017. Can the excited community expect to see some of these soon?

Of course! We have a super special trailer and much more contents to unveil. Please wait for it!

Q: Based on 100% ready for launch, what percentage is World of Dragon Nest currently at? Will there be Closed Beta tests before launch?

Personally, I think the game is pretty ready. However, the development team is working hard to create more content for after Open Beta and beyond as they know gamers in Southeast Asia consume content really fast. However since World of Dragon Nest hasn’t been tested by a wider audience with different networks and mobile phone specifications, it is difficult to foresee what problems we will run into. We are definitely planning for Closed Beta test phases pretty soon.

Please bare with us if you find bugs or other unpolished features. Both Eyedentity and Nexon Thailand will work hard to make World of Dragon Nest be in the best shape possible for Open Beta!

Q: Thank you for your time in answering these questions! Before ending the interview, can you please give some final words to our readers.

We want to deliver the best quality and best version of the game for Dragon Nest fans and also non-fans to enjoy. We are planning to release good news soon, so please keep in touch. By the way, you can follow our World of Dragon Nest official Facebook page to get fresh news weekly! www.fb.com/wodseapage