Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Pawns Are Getting Better – IGN First
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Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Pawns Are Getting Better – IGN First



Dragon’s Dogma was always envisioned as a single player game that gave off the impression of a multiplayer one, or a “Single-Player Online Party Action Game” in Director Hideaki Itsuno’s own words. And one of the key elements of driving that feeling home are the AI-controlled Pawns that make up 3/4s of your party. Pawns were a fascinating inclusion in the original game – at times endearing with their amusing (and frequent) comments on whatever was happening, other times bewildering with some of their behaviors in battle, and very often a great source of humor and levity.

That system is largely the same in Dragon’s Dogma 2 – you still create your own Pawn with their own Vocation that you can gear up however you like, and that Pawn will get shared online with the rest of the world so that another player can hire your Pawn that’s equipped with both the gear and knowledge that you provide to it. You’ll then fill out the remaining two slots of your party with two other Pawns that you can hire from The Rift – essentially a Pawn Network – who will provide you with quest knowledge and information that they themselves gained from their own creator’s adventure.

One of the key things that I noticed in my own playthrough, and something that Itsuno also highlighted when speaking with IGN, is that both Pawns and NPCs in general are much better this time around at guiding the player to a quest, or pointing out areas of interest, basically themselves acting as replacements for UI elements like markers or arrows.

We wanted it to feel like a friend who’s played the game before is sitting there next to you and giving you advice.

“We wanted it to feel like a friend who’s played the game before is sitting there next to you and giving you advice. Like, ‘Hey, go this way,’ or ‘In this case, you should go with this here,’ or ‘This is what you do.’ In other words, having a friend there with you who provides guidance in an enjoyable way,” said Itsuno. “We wanted to avoid putting too many markers and such on the screen, if possible. We didn’t want too much that kills a player’s mood, so we put a lot of effort into having Pawns and NPCs be your only guides in the world.”

Like the first game, Pawns will also have Inclinations as well, with you being able to outright select whether you want your Pawn to be kindhearted, calm, simple, or straightforward, without having to go through a questionnaire first. Your Pawn’s Inclination has a substantial role in dictating how that Pawn will behave in battle, with kindhearted Pawns favoring a balanced approach with an emphasis on support; calm Pawns being more proficient with defense and evasion; simple Pawns being extra diligent about looting items; and straightforward Pawns being more daring when it comes to attacking foes head-on. Each Inclination also has its own set of voice actors, with different options for pitch modulations, and their own unique actions that they can take as well.

We’ve very consciously tried to expand the number of ways in which Pawns are individuals.

According to Kento Kinoshita, lead game designer for Dragon’s Dogma 2, “If you want to think of it in terms of individuality, I think we’ve very consciously tried to expand the number of ways in which Pawns are individuals. There’s personality, as we just mentioned; while in terms of knowledge, they might have knowledge of certain enemies. This game also isn’t really about a specific main quest that they freely play through, but instead contains lots of different quests. It isn’t very forceful. The game is made in such a way where only the Pawns on a quest with a player learn from that quest, so I think there will be clearly individual experiences based on how different people play the game, what quests they go on, and what kind of knowledge they have. Part of the fun in finding Pawns will be the reaction of ‘Oh, this Pawn knows about this particular subject, awesome.’ where all the different parts of the game work together.”

Finally, one new aspect of Pawns are Specializations, which are special abilities given to Pawns, similar to what we would call licenses or qualifications. The idea is basically that Pawns can learn the ropes from their master – they can develop the Woodland Wordsmith specialization, which allows you to understand Elvish, by getting close with an NPC that speaks Elvish. Another example is the Chirurgeon Specialization, which allows Pawns to use healing items on others, as opposed to only being able to use them on themselves, allowing you to basically make a Pawn a healer, even if they aren’t a Mage.

“In this game, we have also made it possible for players to leave some things to their Pawns that they might find tedious or uninteresting, including not only combat, but also some other elements. We believe that by combining Inclinations and Specializations, players can create a Pawn that best suits their preferences,” said Itsuno.

Mitchell Saltzman is an editorial producer at IGN. You can find him on twitter @JurassicRabbit





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