Dragon's Prophet preview: how to catch your dragon

By Ozzie Mejia, Jun 18, 2013 5:00pm PDT

Sony Online Entertainment may be known for their internally-developed MMOs: Planetside 2 and DC Universe Online. However, there they're also publishing a new MMO--one that sticks close to classic fantasy tropes. Dragon's Prophet, a free-to-play fantasy title from Runewaker Entertainment, delivers what it promises--dragons and lots of them.

Playing like most fantasy MMOs, Dragon's Prophet takes place in the land of Auratia, a land filled with the majestic beasts. Great danger has befallen the land and to ward it off, you must fight with a bevy of weaponry and magic spells. There are four classes to choose from--Guardian, Ranger, Oracle, and Sorcerer. In addition to using the strengths of your selected class, you can also fight with dragons by catching them and adding them to your collection.

Yes, much of the appeal of Dragon's Prophet comes in finding different types of dragons (over 400 of them, to be exact) and capturing them. I witnessed several different varieties of dragons in my short time with the game, including some classic designs and some more unconventionally-designed creatures. One of the more unusual dragons I encountered was a bulky beast that bore a closer resemblance to a rhinoceros.

Catching a dragon in the wild is not unlike trying catching a jungle animal. My first target was a blue winged dragon that was gently grazing along a field. I had to sneak up on it from behind, in order to avoid alerting it. When I got close enough, I jumped on its back and attempted to rein it in. This triggered a mini-game, in which I had to use the WASD keys to keep a marker centered on a circular target. The game would occasionally try to throw me off by tossing in quick-time commands, like having to mash different keys. Successfully completing the mini-game would reward me with my very own pet dragon. The dragon can not only be used for combat, but can also be used to fly around and explore the lush green world of Auratia, flying by mountainous fields and flowing waterfalls. When finished playing around with my new pet, I could send it back to my inventory, where I could call upon it later, at any time.

But like any succulent treat, I demanded more. So I tried to catch the aforementioned rhino-like dragon that I had encountered earlier. Unfortunately, as I tried sneaking up on it, some random jerk tossed a fireball at it, angering it and making it uncatchable. This sent me into a combat phase, which played out like most action MMO's currently on the market. Since I was playing as a Sorceror class, I struck the dragon repeatedly with a fire spell binded to a hotkey, trading blows with it until it fell dead to the ground. Unfortunately, dead dragons obviously can't be caught, so I could only mutter to myself and end the demo there.

Like most free-to-play games, Dragon's Prophet will contain microtransactions, but they are limited to cosmetic items. Dragon's Prophet launched its open beta two weeks ago and is still accepting signups. Any characters and progress made during the open beta period will remain in place, as Runewaker doesn't plan to do any character wipes when the game releases its final version. The final version of Dragon Prophet's is set to release before the end of summer.

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