Heard of Pokemon GO? If you were alive and not living under a rock in July 2016, you probably have. For a while, it was (and in some places is) the mobile game to play. But have you heard of Draconius GO? Confused? Don’t worry, that’s normal.
Draconius GO was released to the public way after Pokemon GO, on the 8th of October 2017, and remained decidedly quiet, until the Pokemon GO developers, Niantic themselves, decided to call them out on “supposedly” being a ripoff. This led to the Ukrainian developer, Elyland, defending themselves on social media.
So is it true?
Well, it seems Elyland, very smartly, was very careful to slip through the loops. Draconius GO creatures and avatars are original (to the point where you’d wonder why you own a cactus with a pirate leg) and Elyland has also built everything by themselves, meaning their code is 100% original, and nothing was taken from Niantic. They have even utilized their own map system for the game’s traveling component. Elyland’s statement was as follows;
“When we developed this game, we consulted leading world-class lawyers, and we are 100% certain that Niantic’s claim is unjustified. Niantic’s reaction shows that they consider us as a serious rival. By doing so, they actually prove that our product is better.”
That being said, yes, it looks exactly like Pokémon GO. It functions exactly like Pokemon GO too, except with a lot of additional features that Pokemon GO players have long been clamoring for. The primary difference being, Draconius GO does not rely on real-world locations for in-game items, which removes the bias Pokemon GO has towards rural players.
What else is new in Draconius GO?
In addition, a few more features implemented by Draconius GO are;
- PvP (yes, it beat Pokemon GO to it!)
- Daily Quests
- Treasure hunts
- Portals to access another dimension
- Spells and enchantments
- Wild creature random attacks
- More variety of in-game structures
- Chests that give out random rewards and artifacts
It starts off pretty basic, with the game encouraging you to catch your own creatures and level up. Once you reach level 5, you join either the Red faction or Blue faction. To keep the teams balanced in an area, you will usually find yourself being offered gold to join a particular faction which is under-represented in that area.
Once you join a team, you are considered a bronze league player. The player leagues being bronze (level 5-15) silver (15-27) and gold (27+). PvP and in-game structure battles (holding libraries and arenas) are conducted within leagues, so as to give new players a sporting chance.
So far, what do you think? Sounds goods right?
Wrong. At least partly. Like with every game, Draconius has run into a fair share of issues. The most prominent being that the random distribution of in-game structures resulting in a few unexpected complications. For example, I discovered that an arena very close to my friends’ place was in the middle of a paddy field. Added to that, you cannot simply call another player and say “I’m at the arena of Hellish Kittens looking for a creature” as opposed to “I’m at the Methodist church catching a Pokemon”
Elyland’s open communication with the players
However, developer Elyland maintains an open line of communication with the players, responding to requests to remove, add and move pillars and arenas. Player NickKlause, one of the only two gold league players in Sri Lanka, states he has had great success with relocating pillars around his region.
Performance wise, Draconius GO is clearly ahead of any other mobile AR game released so far. According to my friend XSenpai, the gameplay is smooth, does not lag, and the battery drain is significantly slower than Pokemon GO. He considers it a major plus point that less data is used as well.
What’s the endgame?
So, what does this mean? Simply put, we now have a new mobile-based AR game to test out instead of Pokemon GO. It has a variety of features we already know of, we needed, and exciting new ones. It’s less resource intensive and has a developer that is in touch with players to solve problems.
So if you’re a rural player bored of Pokemon GO, give this a try. If you’re simply piqued by the chance to catch a dragon, you can also give this a try. The Sri Lankan fanbase may be small, but it’s led by some really strong players and is ever expanding. The global fanbase seems to have grown amazingly in a span of few months, so check it out as well. It’s easy to find support groups on all popular social media platforms online. Good luck, travelers! Go catch a dragon!