Up until Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, the main numbered titles of the series have always been primarily single-player games with rich storylines. The idea that Dragon Quest games should be played solo seems to be a current problem in the latest MMO title, Dragon Quest X. In a 4Gamer interview, producer Yosuke Saito and director Jin Fujisawa talk about how they aim to get players together with the game’s 1.4 version update.
The Version 1.4 update adds various contents such as Team Levels and more to give emphasis to Dragon Quest X’s cooperative gameplay, in addition to Team Uniforms. However, focusing too much on the multiplayer parts may take a toll on the solo players out there.
“Having teams is one of Dragon Quest X’s most important themes. With that being said, adding more content geared towards multiplayer might leave the impression that we’re neglecting those who wish to play alone,” explained Fujisawa. “According to our data, 85% of the players have experienced participating in a team. However, these numbers aren’t absolute, as there are likely those who just wanted a Team Emblem and played in a party of one.”
Japanese online gamers tend to be more shy when it comes to playing with strangers, so Square Enix have previously introduced many features to try getting them to open up a little and enjoy the company of other players. For this reason, they’ve added the Team Quest feature.
Asked about the reactions by players regarding the cooperative quests, Fujisawa responds, “I’ve been hearing extremes from both sides such as ‘When I login, I see that all the Team Quests are done, so I’m bored’ and ‘It’s tough because there are too many Team Quests to do everyday.’”
Saito adds, “That may be so, but there are those who think ‘I must complete all the Team Quests everyday’, which was never our intention.”
Fujisawa reiterates, “There aren’t any noticeable results yet, but it’s a useful feature that I believe will be more popular over time. Especially with the implementation of the Party Alliance feature, I think it’ll be a huge hit.”
A new transportation method that was recently added is the Dolboard machine (pictured above). As of May 24th, 70% of players have already acquired the device that allows you to move x1.4 the normal speed. This can be seen as a good thing, as it is quite difficult to acquire on your own.
Clearing the quest takes 24 hours alone, so those who can only play the game once a week might have trouble finishing it without the help of others. As the game’s first personal transportation method that can be acquired at Lv. 30, it is currently a highly sought after device.
The Dolboard machine might be quite difficult to get, but another thing some players struggle with, is finding an effective way to acquire Gold. The latest update adds more incentive rewards to players who complete quests with a party.
“I believe that it varies according to how long you play. Those who play fewer hours are probably better with Craftsmen Request quests or subjugation quests,” says Fujisawa. “We’ve implemented a Request Book Quest which gives out orb-like material that goes for a lot. This one depends more on luck, but for example if you’re in a party of four and each of you have your own Request Books, you can all do the quests for each one, so you may have a good chance of making great income this way”
Dragon Quest X is currently available on Wii U and Wii in Japan.