An MMO for the Wii and Wii U? Raids 40 friend codes strong! Out in 2012

Series creator Yuji Horii has revealed the next numbered title in the much acclaimed Dragon Quest series, which has helped define the JRPG genre over the last two decades. The game is titled “Dragon Quest X Mezameshi Itsutsu no Shuzoku” (Rise of the Five Tribes) and will be an online focused RPG, for both the Wii and Wii U. While the Wii U version will have nicer graphics, the two versions will play together. Satoru Iwata even came on stage to say that Wii players could bring their progress with them onto the Wii U after they buy one, which seems to suggest the game will be released before the Wii U arrives in the middle of next year.

Although details are scarce, it does seem that the art will be done by long time running art director Akira Toriyama and the game itself will be the first Dragon Quest developed internally at Square Enix, rather than by Level 5 like previous titles. While Square has considerable experience developing MMO versions of Final Fantasy for consoles, neither XI nor XIV have been met with widespread acclaim.

The game features turn based combat, unusual among online games aside from the free to play Atlantica Online. Horii describes the story as “huge” to allay fears that an online game would sacrifice the series’s traditional narrative focus. He also spoke about the advantages of an online game, such as “the joy of being able to play forever,” which seems to translate into major post release content patches adding quests, jobs (which you can switch between) as well as seasonal events for Halloween and Christmas.

Importantly, Horii emphasised that there was no need to fear this new online focus, as the game can be 100% completed without ever interacting with another human being, utilising a party of NPCs. Additionally, you’ll be able to easily log out anytime while playing.

In a demo of the game, Director Jin Fujisawa first recruited a party of NPCs from a pub in traditional Dragon Quest style and showed some combat, which appeared relatively simplistic. As he fought, he ran by other players fighting and explained that you can help revive others players who have fallen. In an unusual move, you can let other players actually borrow your character while you’re offline, although its not clear whether this will benefit you in any way. Additionally Horii said 3DS support is being looked into, particularly the possibility of transferring your character to your 3DS then sharing him or her around via Streetpass.

The game won’t be entirely focused on combat, as your character can also take “weapon and accessory maker” jobs. Supposedly if your weapons are used by lots of players, you’ll grow in status within the world. Another social feature of the game is owning your own house, to which you’ll be able to invite your friends.

Horii announced that the game would come sometime next year, after surprisingly assuring the event that the team was, in fact, hard at work on the title.

Trailer Source: Nintendo Everything