Early Look: Dragon Age Legends

EA2D officially launched Dragon Age Legends in early March to coincide with the release of BioWare and Electronic Arts’ Dragon Age 2 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC/Mac. Like most Facebook RPGs, the game walks players through a series of encounters on a map as part of a quest-driven storyline, with each encounter costing certain amounts of energy. At the end of each successful combat encounter, players earn experience points, gold and items like potions, equipment and/or armor. Though Dragon Age Legends allows players to unlock content in Dragon Age 2, the game is intended to stand alone as a separate entity from the console game.

What makes this game different and fun are two-fold: the character development and party system combat and the integration of castle building into the economy. To the first point, each of three character types (Mage, Warrior or Rogue) has four skill trees that they can invest a point in each time they level up. Players recruit their friends into their party for each combat encounter, making use of their characters as their friends have developed them. This is also the social aspect of the game; the more friends that players have playing the game, the more options they have for party members. The game also provides AI party members, but they level a step slower than the player. After each encounter, a cool-down timer is applied on any party members used so players have to use different characters for the next encounter.

With castle-building, players develop their castles by buying rooms for the structure. Each new room allows players to create consumable potions such as health, mana, stat boosts and bombs to assist them in combat. Room upgrades allow players to complete these tasks more quickly. What makes it unique is that the castle-building system effectively closes the economy loop. Any gold earned in combat is funneled back into the castle via upgrades and consumables creation and players use the consumables in combat where they earn more gold to go back and spend on more consumables or room upgrades. Other RPGs have a similar loop that uses a static developer-controlled store, but it tends to leave players with excess gold that is never spent once they’ve bought everything in the store. Dragon Age Legends doesn’t appear to have a cap to how much money you can sink into castle-building.

Aside from gold, Dragon Age Legends uses a premium currency known as Crowns. Players begin the game with a gift of 60 Crowns, an equivalent of about $1.50. Some items available for purchase with Crowns include potions, armor, castle upgrades, energy as well as the shortening of friend timers. Many items are far more attractive than found items in game as they are more powerful, ranging from a kit that removes a crippling effect and increases health, to a powerful weapon that has several different power boosts, a unique graphic and animated effects. Prices range from 25 cents for a standard potion to $15.00 for a powerful level 10 item.

In the short time since it launched in open beta form, EA2D has implemented several updates in response to player requests including the ability to reset character skill-sets and non-combat encounters that earn Crowns in random locations across the map. Dragon Age Legends has already made our top weekly gainers list twice in March.

Readers can follow this game’s trends on AppData, our data service tracking application traffic and growth on social platforms.