Draconia Dev Blog #4

Hello and welcome to our fourth blog post!
We have less visuals to show to you this time, but that doesn’t mean we have made less progress!

Quests & Story 
Right now, one of our main topics is the lore of Draconia and we have started to create characters and simple items, we worked on their background stories and their purpose in the game, this includes the quests they will start. So we have been writing the first quest descriptions, worked on rewards, which the player will receive for completing them and where these quests should lead to if they are part of a longer quest line.
However not every quest will focus on the main story. We want the world to feel alive and give the player more information about its fauna and flora even if it is just about the purpose of a seemingly unremarkable mushroom.
The inhabitants have been living there for a very long time and all of them left footprints, which have a story to tell.

Leveling & Map Setup
Another interesting and important topic is the aspect of developing your character and keeping players challenged and engaged even after they have reached the max level.
Draconia is an open-world game, but players will still have to level their dragon through fights, side quests and other tasks to be able to unravel Draconia’s story and accept main quest lines and participate in certain events.
The map is separated into different sections, each with its own level range. That doesn’t mean we visually split the map, but players will run into stronger enemies the closer they get to the end of the main story line.

These sections have been changed a couple of times to avoid players of a certain dragon class having access to specific game content earlier than others.
Main character story lines and locations like the nesting grounds and re-spawn points have also played a huge role in the separation of the map and we think we found the setup that keeps every player happy no matter which species they choose to play as.
Despite the separation into different level sections, players will still be able to pick where they want to level, to some degree. This basically means, if you are tired of leveling in a forest, you can instead go to the plains and level your character there and maybe even find a new friend of a different dragon species (and maybe even a hatchling, which got abandoned).

A huge question from the community has been: “What challenges are there after I reached the max level and finished the story?”
Of course we don’t want players to finish the game and then just have them sit around all day, not knowing what to do.
There will be larger goals and rewards the player can work towards, without spoiling anything. These goals will be optional. So if you would rather just hang out with your friends and RP or do other things instead, you can just do that.
But even if you reached the max level, you won’t be able to one-hit creatures in low level areas. Instead your characters level gets scaled down to a degree that still makes you feel stronger, but not too powerful. This, together with a couple of other features, which are still being fleshed out at the moment, will add a constant challenge to the game even after completion.

Nesting Ground Rework & Raising Hatchlings
A rather problematic topic has been the events involving the nesting grounds.
Originally we planned to have players fight over 2 nesting locations (3 species per location), but a large portion of community members didn’t like the idea of forced PvP, so we changed the concept and turned it into a pure PvE experience.
The new concept adds one nesting location per species. However players will have to clear these locations of AI to be able to claim them, which can only be done during events. To avoid performance issues, only one event will take place at a time and the game will rotate through these nesting locations one after another.

Just like IRL, raising children is a challenge, so players won’t just be able to claim that nesting spot and hatch a dragon.
The “parents” will actually have to gather materials for the nest, have to incubate the egg, defend it from attacking enemies, feed their hatchling, keep it entertained and healthy and make sure it doesn’t run away. In other words: The players have to be good parents! In return they will receive a new follower, which will support them in fights and maybe even find something for them every now and then.
A lot of these ideas came from the community in a very spontaneous meeting this morning and we think they add a lot of depth to the whole “raising-a-dragon” process.
At this point, we want to thank you for all the input we have been getting, not just about the nesting process.

One of our wild life creatures is the Golem, which got a complete overhaul, since the original design wasn’t very popular and also led to some issues on the development side of things.

We re-designed it to look more intimidating and agile than it used to be and also added different variations, which you will run into. It also received its animations and is already fully playable, but still needs quite a bit of work in terms of animation overhauls, sounds and other little details as well as the integration into the character system, which we will use in the future. However it won’t be available as playable character until this process is complete.

UI Work
Some more work has been done on the UI side of things and we are close to finishing the basic work on the most important interface elements, such as the crafting menu, clan menu and other, smaller elements.
These menus will undergo some changes with the addition of new content and mechanics in the future or if players find them too confusing.
Below is a preview of the clan interface, which we kept very simple and in a more commonly used style.

Some of you might already have seen it on Twitter or Reddit, but we started working on the Lindworm model to have one flightless dragon to work with. This guy is going to be a large challenge for our animator, since there are barely any existing animals, we can use as references. We already have a couple of concepts for how the Lindworm could move, but the final decisions will be made once the animations are being worked on and we can actually see results.

Next Steps
Over the coming weeks we will continue focusing on writing quests, stories and item descriptions and everything related to these things, but we also want to hold at least one more meeting with the community to discuss the PvP aspect of the game, since PvP is barely existing in the current multi player concept.
Another plan is to have a larger meeting with the team in November to go over all the mechanics and features on our dev board and to work on the crowdfunding goals, the stretch goals and the minimum goal we have to reach to make the game a reality.

If you want to participate in the community meeting(s), please join our Discord server: https://discord.gg/Bhx4F8M
We have a text channel specifically for those people, who don’t want to talk or can’t, but still want to participate and ask questions.

We hope this dev blog was informative and answered a couple of your questions. If you are still not sure about something feel free to ask about details on our social media pages, in the #questions channel on Discord or in one of the upcoming meetings, which will be announced in the #announcements channel.

P.S. Once we hit 1000 Discord members, we will announce a new creature for the game.