Dragon Empires E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Codemasters' fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game should be showcased for the last time this year at E3.

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Despite the fact that Dragon Empires was announced back in September 2001, and that beta-test applications were being accepted just a couple of months later, the game isn't currently scheduled for release until the end of this year. Dragon Empires is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in an ever-changing fantasy world shaped by clan wars and solo players alike.

You'll be able to choose one of three playable races when creating your character the first time, with the requisite human option being joined by the magical dragonblood and the roguish shadow. Each race offers five distinct character classes with their own skill sets. If you choose to play as a human, your options will include scholar, healer, enchanter, night mage, and skirmisher. If you opt for dragonblood, you'll be assuming the role of a disciple, raider, duelist, hunter, or gladiator. The shadow race comprises conjurors, shadow warriors, shadow mages, scouts, and miscreants. The Dragon Empires gameworld will comprise five mystical empires: Yellowback, Redwing, Greenwater, Blackfly, and Empire of the Lady. Each of the empires is overseen by a different patron dragon whose appearance and attitude determine the tone and appearance of the environment. You will, of course, have the option to explore the world on your own, but Codemasters' plans for the game include large wars between player-controlled clans vying for control of cities. As the leader of a clan that successfully captures a city you'll be able to influence the local economy, expand the city with additional buildings, and even adorn the buildings with your own clan banners and flags. Combat is obviously going to play a large part in Dragon Empires, and even if you choose to play the game as a resource trader, there's a good chance that you'll fall victim to an outlaw player at some point in your travels--unless you hire a bounty hunter player to protect you, of course.

Dragon Empires is currently in its preliminary live test and is expected to enter full beta testing in the near future. Applications for the open beta test are currently being accepted at the official Dragon Empires Web site.

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