Last night’s Dragon Quest press conference was packed with information on Dragon Quest X: Waking of the Five Tribes Online. Yes, online. Dragon Quest X is an online role playing game, but it will have a strong story. Details about the scenario were not announced.
While other Dragon Quest games were outsourced to Chunsoft, Heartbeat, and most recently Level-5, Dragon Quest X is being developed internally at Square Enix.
General Director: Yuji Horii
Character Designer: Akira Toriyama
Composer: Koichi Sugiyama
Director: Jin Fujisawa
Producer: Yosuke Saito
Astordia is the world of Dragon Quest X and it is split into five continents: the mesa-like Ogrelead, Eldona, a mountainous region called Dwachakka, Pukuland, and an island area Wena. The game’s five races are:
Ogres are known for their strength and courage.
Wedi (the blue water-like creatures) express themselves with songs of love.
Elves honor nature.
Dwarves value craftsmanship and wealth.
Pukuripos live to dream and laugh.
While Dragon Quest X is an online game, players can go through 100% of it solo. Instead of partnering with player characters you can add NPCs to a party. You can meet other players at a tavern, just like Dragon Quest IX. The maximum number of characters you can travel with is three. Dragon Quest X uses a traditional combat system with command menus. After a set amount of time passes, your character can act again. Combat takes place directly on the field without a transition to a battle screen. Other player characters appear translucent and they can aid your party. A monster’s name changes color as its takes damage, so players have an idea how weak it is.
The quest system will also be identical to Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies where new quests will be distributed to players. The game will also have seasonal events where users can get special items.
Characters can be customized with a character creator and further altered by equipping items using a system similar to Dragon Quest IX. Each character has a job, which can be changed. More jobs open up as the game progresses. When you level up you receive skill points that can be used to acquire new abilities.
Players can talk to other characters by selecting canned phrases. These appear above a character’s head like a cartoon bubble. Dragon Quest X also has emotes and you can celebrate a victory, like defeating a Golem, with fellow players. When you logout at a bar, you can leave your character there. S/he can go on adventures with other players and continue to level up.
Two types of crafting systems were announced. Alchemy allows players to enhance weapons and armor with special effects. Sewing lets players create a template for equipment. User created items can be sold to other players.
Dragon Quest X will be released for Wii and Wii U. Both players will be in the same game world and it is possible to transfer data from the Wii version to the Wii U release. The difference is Dragon Quest X for Wii U version will have enhanced graphics. A 3DS feature is being developed where you can transfer character data from the Wii game to your 3DS specifically for tag mode. Characters you meet by passing other players in real life will appear in your game.
A beta test for Dragon Quest X is in the works and will require USB memory. The game supports the following devices: Wii remote/nunchuck, USB keyboards, Classic Controller, and Classic Controller Pro. Dragon Quest X is slated for release in 2012 for Wii and is TBD for Wii U. A price and possible usage fee are TBD.