Have A Half Hour Of Dragon Commander

By Craig Pearson on June 27th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

What's Dragon for 'Left a bit'?
Hooray for the person who decided that dragons can have jetpacks. I get the impression that the from that moment on, Divinity: Dragon Commander was set on a path to Sillyville. Any further questions about lore were probably answered by the lead developer pointing to artwork of a dragon blasting jets out from his backpack and then a shrug. It’s a decision that ends at the inevitable cul-de-sac of an overly verbose and racist lizard man trying to get out of having a party with an imp, as is shown in this video. I’d imagined this offshoot of the Divinity series to be a lot less personable, but there’s plenty of of political maneuvering in 30 minute play through, as well as a pile of characters to talk to and make plans with before the Dragons are released.

Most of this video is about dialogue trees, menus and cards, and all the bits of dragon commanding that people always forget. It’s about 18 minutes in before the player utters the magic words “I’m going to turn into a dragon and assist my units”, at which point the fighting starts. There’s not a lot of tactical use of the dragon on the battlefield (to my eyes): he just seems to press a button to dragon, then spam flames onto the enemy troops. It does have a resource cost, and I’d imagine it suits people who play those games but who also want the opportunity to have an immediate impact, and there’s nothing quite as immediate as a fireball to the face. I do worry that those skilled with the dragon might have an overwhelming advantage.

The release date is TBA August 6.

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31 Comments »

  1. Pich says:

    The Dragon Button is the Awesome Button that is actually Awesome.

  2. pakoito says:

    >There’s not a lot of tactical use of the dragon on the battlefield: he just seems to press a button to dragon, then spam flames onto the enemy troops.
    Wrong.

    >It does have a cooldown, which is not immediately apparent from the video,
    Wrong.

    > but I do worry that those skilled with the dragon might have an overwhelming advantage.
    Wrong.

    The dragon has skills, you can only carry 10 to battle, he can be built up as support, passive auralike or nuker. He’s suited for surgical strikes, because you cannot create more units or give orders to remote units on the battlefield while flying. The more time you spend in dragon form the worse your macro is going to go, a perfect strike last only several seconds and is just healing up and buffing specific units or using your big nuke and leave. The dragon can be easily killed by other dragons or antiair units, it’s not uncommon to be struck down within 3-4 seconds when focused. By himself he’s worthless, he needs to be hiding behind other units to be effective. And there’s no cooldown to dragon, just resource cost.

    • Stiletto says:

      So, who rustled your jimmies today? D:

      • pupsikaso says:

        Pakoito always has his jimmies rustled every day. He does that as part of his troll morning routine.

        • pakoito says:

          To be completely honest I’m having a really bad week.

          • rokahef says:

            For what it’s worth, coming from a total stranger:
            I sincerely hope it gets better, gets worked out, or goes back to normal. And if it’s something that can’t go back to normal or get fixed, then you have my sympathy and / or condolences. I hope next week will be better for you!

          • tyen says:

            @rokahef
            I understand this is recursive, but I want to say it anyway.
            Coming from someone who is also having a really bad week/month/year I appreciate that you took the time to respond in such a way to a stranger on the internet. It’s one of the nicest things you can do on the internet.

            RPS really has the best commentators.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Well, this was just a video that I misconstrued bits of. I can deal with making an error, but don’t talk to me like that.

      • pakoito says:

        Sorry Craig.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        He corrected you on the parts where you were wrong (see where that word comes into play?), and you bite his head off. Get over yourself, Mr. Journalist.

        If you can’t be bothered to do your own research, maybe you should be thankful one of your readers is doing it for you.

      • Jack--Dandy says:

        If you don’t want people speaking to you “like that”, maybe you should do some better research.

  3. StranaMente says:

    For those interested, the release date is 6th of August.

  4. dE says:

    I’m having a déjà vu moment. I got all hyped at the prospect of shifting into a dragon in Dragon Knight – only to find out it was a very small part of gameplay, you couldn’t torch ground units at all and it played rather dull. And again, I got all hyped at the prospect of morphing into a dragon in Dragon Commander and by all looks I gave it, the Dragon always ends up second row.

    It’s all my fault really looking for things in games that aren’t intended ot be there, I guess deep within I just want another Drakan.

  5. Lemming says:

    Huh, I feel like a bit of a fool. Months of looking at screenshots/video of this but not reading the articles themselves had me thinking this was a Starwing-type with a jetpack-wearing dragon a la Panzer Dragoon, and I was pretty tempted. Now I realise it’s mainly a tactical game. Oh well, maybe next time!

  6. Dariune says:

    I hate to be the pessimistic one but underneath all the glam this looks like a repetative RTS from 2001 with an uninspired FPS(With flying) thrown on top and a simplified Tactical map.

    A lot of components with very little to retain the players attention.

    I hope I’m wrong …. but as of yet, Ive not seen anything to make me think that I am.

    I miss the slightly more serious and focused Larian studios.

    P.s. Just to go further against the grain … why do Dragons need Jetpacks? They have turned something cool into something daft.

    *Goes off to moan about kids these days, the good ol’ days, and those whizz bang computer arcades*

    • dE says:

      Well, how DO dragons fly? Given the distribution of massive mass with a rather small pair of wings and an odd center of mass for an airborne creature. Maybe they use magic to fly? Filling their bellies with magic fairies to float on rainbows. Or maybe they can’t fly and instead just down from mountains. All the gold they need is for healing potions and lotions (a bellybomb in water might be funny, one on a whole set of farms is a different thing entirely). And those humans that live to tell the tale, talk of grace and beauty in the skies – because let’s be honest, they sure as hell weren’t looking when they ran like hell.

      All things considered, Jetpacks do seem like a decent idea to keep these things afloat. Fuel in a fantasy setting is perhaps easier to come by than healing potions.

      • Simes says:

        They’re full of hydrogen, they burn it off in order to lose altitude. All those flaming villages are just an unfortunate side effect.

        • aepervius says:

          That m ight be explaining the burning, but not the floating, unless you ar telling us their skin is paper thin, and they have no bones.

    • KDR_11k says:

      why do Dragons need Jetpacks?

      Because sticking rockets on things makes them go faster.

  7. TechnicalBen says:

    Does that dragon have…………. mammaries?

    My, brain hurts…

  8. Hypocee says:

    I’d worry if those skilled with the dragon didn’t have an overwhelming advantage. A marquee feature shouldn’t be fluffy.

  9. Megakoresh says:

    I have been waiting for this game for ages. They are taking their sweet time for sure, I was getting worried they might run out of budget. It’s been ages since we had an actually innovative strategy. And Planetary Annihilation is still a ways off.

    I think I will enjoy this one, it seems hilarious and very unique at the same time, as well as making players use their brains a lot which is not something that games do these days. I mean we do have to solve puzzles and think about decisions, however it is mostly an iterative one-sided process. This game looks like it engages the brain in many different logical processes, which is something that I definitely like.

    There are very few games which can combine the tactical skills of turn-based card games, hex-based strategy, consequence system and twitch tactics in one experience. I just hope it does things right. Judging from the video it might just be.

  10. trjp says:

    Whilst I never play RTS games – that is awesome in every possible way – I mean it has so much awesome

    and healthcare FFS – mother of god…

  11. CobraLad says:

    Yeah, but its not dragon button.

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