Square Enix has released some new information on how combat works in Dragon Quest X: Rise of the Five Tribes Online, the first MMO in the venerable Dragon Quest series. The game will retain the the classic menu-based command system that has been seen in every entry in the series so far, but with a few new elements designed to make that system work better in an MMO environment and to add some new strategies.
One of the biggest departures from previous Dragon Quest games is that players will have full control over their character's movement and positioning during battle, and that this positioning will be an important consideration in combat. Weapons and attacks work at various ranges, so characters equipped with a melee weapon will have to close in to attack while others may be able to remain more distant. Naturally, attacks that hit an area are also strongly affected by positioning. Unlike many MMOs, however, battles between a party of characters and a group of monsters take place within a battlefield of fixed size, so movement and positioning will still be somewhat limited.
Dragon Quest X will not be turn-based. Instead, each character has a speed stat which determines how much time passes between each turn. This may sound similar to the ATB system from the Final Fantasy series, but unlike in that system each character's turn timer in Dragon Quest X will begin counting down to the next turn even before the player has finished picking a command from the menu. This lets players do things like wait until the next turn is nearly ready before attacking and thus attack twice in a row.
The last new element that Dragon Quest fans will need to get used to is the weight system. Each character has a weight stat, and this is very important for battle and positioning. Characters or monsters with a high weight can stun lighter creatures, which will stop them from moving and attacking. If an enemy is taking advantage of its higher weight, players can counteract this by casting spells to increase an ally's weight.
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