By Interman

Dragon Empires is a new MMORPG that is being developed / published by Codemasters. The setting is in a world of dragons, mages and warriors. Even though MMORPGs are a dime a dozen these days (and MANY more are being developed) I connected to a IRC server with anticipation. A meeting between the developers and potential players was set up.

Thanks to Exca_ (whoever you are) for compiling the list.

How are the closed beta testers selected?
- We are going to circulate a questionnaire.

Who are in the beta test?
- All who receive emails will be a beta tester.

Will there be trade skills?
- Trade Skills is a bit different from normal. You effectively set up shop in a city. People visit the city and if you can offer the best price for something they buy it from you. If you're price isn't the best, you don't sell items until the cheaper seller runs out of items. You have to level to be able to make high level items, but you don't get EXP for creating and selling, only money. Our trade skills amounts to the ability to own an automatic factory and own automatic shops each player decides what to make and what price to buy and sell items everything in the world is manufactured by players from base resources which are free.

Where does exp come then?
- You can get EXP for trading, PvP and hunting, so you get your EXP from those things, learn how to make items and then set up a shop to create and sell them.

Is the game level based?
- The game is not level based. You improve proficiency in skills by spending EXP, but the skills you choose to improve are up to you.

Will the game use 'cool' special effects available with new-gen cards?
- The game will not depend on having the latest/greatest hardware, although as it is DirectX based, if DirectX takes advantage of the hardware, then so will the game. Some gfx cards may struggle to show off all the features but that’s to be expected.

How to get the beta?
- Initial beta will be by download only.

Can screenshots be taken freely?
- No.

How are the textures done?
- The textures are multilayered. We use lightmaps, darkmaps multitexturing for shaddows detailmaps.

Will there be special events?
- It depends what you mean by special events every week or so there will be formal battles for city takeover.

Can you make your own clan?
- A lot of the higher game mechanics are based around the idea of player run clans, so yes clans are well supported.

Is it possible to counter spells?
- Yes.

Is it possible to control all 5 worlds?
- Potentially yes, but you will need to be a powerful, highly skilled diplomat, I would be surprised to see it happen.

Where are the servers going to be?
- At present the distribution of server's has not been decided, we are looking at options, such that the geographical location will make little difference to the performance of the game.

Roughly how many classes and races will there be?
- Because of the balancing issues with PvP we are doing 2 classes with many sub classes.

Can people use bugs in game to cheat?
- No, the aim of the design of the server systems has been to reduce the chance of people using exploits or bugs to cheat to zero.

How many races are there?
- There is just one player race.

Will you be able to change character features after initial creation? Hairstyle, height, etc?
- You can die clothes and hair but body type and hair is fixed
Clothes and appearance will be fully customisable; there will be the option of dyeing clothes, etc.

How the game works on slow connections?
- The servers are designed to cope with up to 1 second latency and still provide a good play experience, based on this 56k should play comfortably, may be play will work with lower connections, but it will depend on the system latency.

What items can be taken (upon a death)?
- All items can be taken but you can protect items with 'insurance',
so that you lose the cash instead of the item. This makes hi-way robbery more realistic.

Can players make their characters to do different emotions?
- You can do emotes.

What about marriage?
- We are not supporting marriage on day 1 but.....

Will there be permanent death?
- No permanent death.

Will the game end sometimes?
- No, we are spending a lot of sweat on the end game i.e. when there are a lot of high-level characters. The rise and fall of cities will dramatically affect the trade landscape of the game and this should keep the world interesting also clans who rule cities will have powers to affect trade routes etc. The game is planned to have a long lifetime, with updates and expansions throughout, the world itself will evolve as players perform different actions, and clans rise and fall from power.

Can you create your own city?
- Cities are at fixed locations.

How is the city economy controlled?
- Its inhabitants control city industry. The ruling clan sets taxes.

Who is the "well know author" writing the story?
- Deal is not signed yet so can't say.

When is the questionnaire sent?
- Not sure when the questionnaire is going out. Soon. When we get our permanent community liaison it will be part of his job to sort this out.

When do you get the community liaison and who he/she is?
- The community liaison is called Hugh Gower he is coming on the 18th February.

What happens when you kill someone and someone else is there?
- When killed by two players if objects are dropped (prevented sometimes by wheel of death, or insurance) then they go to the ground, where it is first come first served on the pickup.

Is advancement going to be a major part of the game?
- Players progress through a skill system. They select which skills they are going to improve rather than which attributes to improve

Will there be manual?
- Yes there will be a manual in some form other.

What will the end game be like?
- End game is everything. We'll see how it goes. Everybody says they don't want a levelling treadmill.

Will the end game be mainly in PvP?
- Not just PvP. PvP allows us to have many roles in the game. Trader - fighting on outlaws.

Will clan wars be a major focus, with a lot of features, terrain holding etc?
- Yes.

Will there be a clan ladder?
- There will be a Clan "scoring" system and tables will be updated and produced.

Is there way to get out of PvP?
- No, there is no way to opt out of PvP, but there are mechanisms by which combat will be able to be avoided

How to gain natural resources?
- The players just have to pick it up and carry it to a city, which has at least one citizen buying the stuff.

Will the players have their own houses?
- Each player will have a house, and will be able to "manufacture" items from it, this will be player determined and will open the way for various customisations.

Can you set up a shop?
- Yes, effectively you will be able to set up "shop".

Can you modify your house?
- There will be options for customisation, i.e. skins, sounds, exactly the precise nature of these is yet to be defined.

Will there be skill caps?
- Skill caps are not decided for definite yet, we are playing with the idea of diminishing returns, thus no actual cap, but it gets harder and harder to really improve.

What are the dragons going to look like?
- The dragons will look like real dragons. No pictures have been released yet. You may have seen an imp or demon.

How to get a city?
- If a clan wants a city they have to take it off another clan

How is the chatting done?
- DE will have a mega chat system a lot like IRC and ICQ rolled up.

Is the chat compulsory or an option?
- Well the interface is completely flexible. The main system window has only local chat going on around you, but you can add windows accessing rooms like IRC under windows. You don't have to bring them up if you don't want to.

What is the purpose of dragons?
- Dragons enforce the laws of the land, they protect the general citizenry and enforce the rules of combat. Dragons will enforce the rules of combat by hunting outlaws, when they attempt to infiltrate city and city-controlled areas

How long is the travelling between cities going to take?
- You need travel time to be significant or it’s a village not a world. On the other hand plodding along a road is no fun. Our world right now is huge. 24 miles square.

Can a dragon be killed?
- Potentially a dragon could be destroyed, but I wouldn't recommend taking the job on.

How are the prices of items going to be between different towns?
- Prices are set by players 100%. We expect that the price for a resource will be higher the further away it is from the source,
but its up to the players to set the prices

How many cities there will be?
- There are 5 empires, each with 10 cities.

When will the beta start?
- Beta will start roughly at the end of June, not Feb, Sorry!

Will there be filters for bad language?
- Yes, there are swear filters and you can ignore. They are all configurable.

How does the spell casting work?
- Spells are abilities and are based on the objects you are wielding, not just single objects but combinations of objects. Holding a golden staff and a book of light will give you one set of spells. Holding the same staff and a loaf of bread will give you another.

What will a rubber duck and a lump of coal do?
- Wait and see.

Will there be penalty in killing other players?
- There will be a penalty for attacking or killing another player, in game you will become an outlaw, the more of an outlaw, the better a prize for the bounty hunters.

What OS are the servers running?
- The servers will be running on a UNIX flavour, which one is still being finalized.

Can you enchant objects?
- Yes objects can be enchanted.

Do you fatigue in game?
- You fatigue. You have an energy bar.

What happens when cities fall?
- When a city falls all its manufacturing is destroyed and it has to start building again, so the world will not fill up with über weapons.

How can one capture a city?
- To take a city, you will need to do the following, one prove your worthy to the Dragons, this is done by competing in a qualification contest with other clans. Two, the city you wish to take must have proved itself unworthy, not be supported by enough clans and people, and other cities. Three you can then combat the clan for the city, this is done around a series of simultaneous battles over monuments, some around the countryside some in the city. The dragons will enforce the rules of combat and will declare outlaws of any non-clan aligned combatants. The winner of that competition will take the city

How to make items?
- You just buy the factory set your prices and go out hunting. If you made a good chose of goods and prices then when you come back you would be rich, if you made a poor choice you will be broke, just kidding. You can limit the downside.

Can items be repaired?
- Yes items are repairable and you will have to repair them a lot.

How to make a clan?
- You will need to have leadership skills, and then you can form a clan, any character can do it, the difficulty is recruiting to the clan and holding it together.

Will there be monuments?
- The monuments will be spread throughout the landscape of Dragon Empires, some will be grouped others will be spread far and wide, part of being a clan leader, is determining how to tackle this problem.

Will there be PvP free area?
- There is no safe area from PvP, only some safer areas.

How will the PvP work between different levelled people?
- The gains from PvP will depend on relative "level" of combatants, a experienced character will gain little from attacking and beating up a newbie.

Will there be epic spells that would take very long time to cast and would be very powerful?
- We are planning spells, which it takes a number of mages to cast.
But there is no point in devastating spells against other players; it just unbalances the game.

Will gm do something if one clan becomes too powerful?
- We'll have to wait and see. It depends if that power upsets other players though I suppose, but it’s a wait and see.

How many members can one clan have?
- Max number of players per clan will depend on your leadership skills.

What type of limitations will players have?
- Their class will limit them. I guess that's to broad to answer sensibly right now.

What platforms can be used?
- All major pc platforms will work from 98 up.

Do you need to log in as admin in w2k?
- Shouldn’t be a problem, we are aware of the issues. EXP has the same problems.

How do classes affect the combat?
- Yes they effect you but the core combat is not affected directly by class all defence types are available to all classes! All damage types are available to all classes!

How many skills are there?
- Less than 30 but thousands of abilities and I mean thousands.

Does the game work on raid drives?
- Raid will be fine; it will boost game performance by quite a bit too.

How long it takes before you "log-out" after connection problems?
- If the client/server connections dies then the server will preserve character info and position, and you can rejoin the game as soon as physically possible.

What are the minimum requirements?
- Minimum hardware at the moment will be Pentium 450 with gfx card of some sort. 32mb.

Can beta characters be used in the final game?
- No afraid not.

Is the inventory limited?
- Well inventory is limited by size and weight but we may have to fudge it a bit for trade.

Is the client customisable?
- Yes it will be. We don’t plan to shield any of the user interface construction, so skinning is very possible.

How many players there will be on one server?
- The number of characters per server has yet to be decided, sorry. There will aiming for 800-1500 per world concurrently, no real limit on number of characters in a world overall.

Can you play the game in window?
- You can play the game in window or full screen

Any connection issues?
- Shouldn’t be, it will work fine from behind any NAT type firewall. It’s a straight TCP connect.

In some recent MMORPGs, some commands aren't implemented graphically in the clients. Will the ones of DE be?
- We have a full plan for all effects to be implemented, of course time is always a problem but there will always be some visual feedback no matter what you do even if its a placeholder.

Will Realm subscribers have any privileges on the beta?
- Realm subscribers will get first dibs, although perhaps not exclusively. Realm subscribers will be invited to beta.

Will the combat be turn based?
- Combat will not be turn based.

How is the combat going to work?
- Combat is button press, but you can automate it.

Can mages use swords?
- Yes mages will be able to use swords. Not sure why they would want to, but they can.

Will there be macros for item selection and stuff like that?
- Yes there are things like that.

Is the hunting going to be mainly underground like the Realm or mixed?
- Mixed. We will have good hunting areas throughout the world. We will of course have dungeons.

Will there be auto-follow option?
- Yes the game will auto follow.

Can you stop someone from following you?
- No, you cannot stop some one following you - this is a PvP world.

Will there be friends list?
- Yes there will be a friends list.

Have the early beta testers been selected?
- Early beta testers have not been selected yet.

How will grouping be done?
- Players can be a member of a clan, or they can group more casually with others or both. A clan is a fairly formal grouping with special rights and privileges.

How will clan members identify other members?
- Clans are going to have something equivalent to a coat of arms. Clan affiliation will also be viewable in the main game screen

Will there be ranged and melee attacks?
- We will have melee and distance attacks.

What classes you can play?
- In general, players will be mages or warrior but lots of subclasses.

How long will the beta test last?
- A month.

How does the experience system work?
- There are several different types of exp; instead of climbing levels, players build their character along the skill tree.

Will there be story?
- Yes, there will be a story.

How long will the skill developing take?
- Skills will not take forever we are focussing on the end game.

What is the goal of the game?
- If there is a goal it is to lead a clan to rule the world.

How can you get of the stamp of outlaw?
- Outlaws can redeem themselves, they just need to behave for a reasonable amount of time.

How is the exp split in group-battles?
- Exp will be split amongst groups

Can one be in one clan and still rule another?
- No.

Are the updates free?
- All updates are free. The game will sell at retail the patches will come for free.

Will there be restrictions in grouping?
- There are no restrictions on who can group up.

Can I hold parties in my house?
- Yes you can hold parties in your house.

Can you furniture your house?
- Not furniture for house but you can decorate it with objects. Maybe we will do furniture come to think of it.

Can names be reserved?
- We do not plan to reserve any names.

How much free playtime you get when you buy the game?
- The current plan is that you get a free month with the box when you buy it.

Is the house affected in town takeover?
- House is not affected by enemy take over.

Dragon Empires is an upcoming MMORPG due to be released in the 3rd quarter of this year.

Beta Sign Up.

Dragon Empires Home .


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