As you may or may not know, Dragon Quest X: Waking of the Five Tribes represents this long-lived RPG series’ first voyage into the realm of massively multiplayer online gaming. However, they designed this game with the RPG traditionalist in mind. That is, you don’t have to play with other people to beat this game – you just have to borrow their characters.
With the inclusion of a wholly unique system, players can recruit AI-controlled characters at “the pub” for use in accomplishing group quests. These characters actually belong to other players who leave them at the pub to be borrowed by different players. The advantage to the lenders? Their characters retain any experience gained while under AI control.
By offering the option to have created parties comprised of players and AI-controlled characters, this system seemingly provides a workable solution to the often frustrating situation where a well rounded party cannot be formed. In this game, if you have two DPS, a healer and no tank – no problem, just go borrow one.
While some potential flaws glaringly stand out, like the possibility that someone could attain max level without having played their character, this system does actually suggest a intriguing approach to character downtime in MMOs. After this game releases sometime in 2012, it will be interesting to see how well it works.