RPGFan had a chance to talk with Codemasters about their slated MMORPG Dragon Empires. Peter Tyson of Codemasters demoed a pre-alpha build of Dragon Empires for us and, for a pre-alpha game, it seems to be shaping up quite well.
Codemasters has put a lot of effort into the environments of Dragon Empires. Even the sky has been taken into consideration by the Dragon Empires team; there are five different layers of clouds in the sky. Grass moves with spells and when players step on them. The water effects are stellar as well. The player also has a choice of several views, as is standard in most games.
The empires themselves are led by, surprise, Dragons. There are five empires in the game and they each have their own type of architecture. Players have their choice of 3 races, each with five classes. Humans, the magical ones, tend to be the magi. Dragonbloods, with dragons' blood in their veins, are the warrior race. Shadows are the rogues and thieves, sticking to where there is no light. There is also a sixteenth unlockable class, the Unbound, who can learn all abilities.
The back-story was created by Piers Anthony and is somewhat different from the standard D&D faire. The developers have put a lot of undead in the game, as they seem to love zombies and skeletons. All monsters have been given differing levels of senses, so an owl may see you when a skeleton cannot. Codemasters has also included moving spawn zones, so the monsters can migrate with the seasons.
Codemasters is planning Dragon Empires for a late 2004 release and will be entering beta stages soon. Be sure to check out the latest available screenshots linked below.