- Blockchain Game Counterparts Guide: Make Your Crypto Journey Easier - November 23, 2022
- Knightlands Game Overview: A Dark Fantasy MMORPG With a Cute and Cuddly Web Browser Side - November 23, 2022
- Guild of Guardians Game Overview: The Mobile Web3 RPG Sparking Interest in Big eSports Names - November 21, 2022
The developers call The Six Dragons a rich fantasy open-world RPG where the player shapes the world by farming resources to create items. A unique fantasy RPG where players can mint their items on the Ethereum blockchain using the Enjin network. I’m a veteran RPG gamer and crypto gaming aficionado. And I’m here to tell you why you should hold onto your hard-earned cash and coins and approach The Six Dragons with a wide berth.
The Six Dragons: An Early Attempt at the Fantasy RPG Genre
The worlds and universes that RPGs take you are magical. I’m a nerd and gamer that loves nothing more than getting lost in a fantasy epic. Did you know that Geralt of Rivia isn’t even from Rivia? He only took the name to sound more impressive. Or that Falmers, the subterranean goblin-like creatures from Skyrim, are actually the remnants of Snow Elves after being subject to slavery by the Dwarves. As you can see, I love RPGs, so when I heard there was a blockchain RPG game, I had to check it out!
However, when I sorted out my Enjin wallet and account and booted up the game, I was disappointed by Nemberus, the world of The Six Dragons. The Six Dragons is indeed in pre-alpha and an early trial of the game. However, from what I experienced, I struggle to see how BlockPegnio can deliver The Six Dragons as a high-quality product with such a weak foundation.
Dated Graphics and Visuals
If you’re a lover of all things fantasy, then you’ve probably heard of Dragon Age. Despite Dragon Age: Inquisition’s contrasting reviews, you cannot deny that it looks stunning for a game developed in 2014. The environments are as alive as they are vibrant. Now in 2022, I expect a lot more visuals out of games. Now I know The Six Dragons is in pre-alpha; however, when comparing it to footage of Inquisition in pre-alpha, thats when I start to worry.
I understand BlockPegnio doesn’t have the luxury of the Frostbite engine (even if it was designed for FPS games). However, I believe that The Six Dragons lacks identity even in pre-alpha, as although there are many different monster types in the game, they feel generic.
Size Over Substance
I’ve always advocated for player freedom in gaming, especially in open-world RPGs. However, sometimes big isn’t always better. It sounds like an RPG fan’s dream with over two hundred square kilometers to explore and a billion dungeons to conquer. However, once you’ve spent a couple of hours roaming the world and dungeon delving, you’ll want the next plane ride out of Nemberus.
I don’t want to be harsh since the game is in pre-alpha. However, realistically, dungeons are nothing more than mazes with a few mineable resources and enemies to kill. They lack any identity; this is because aesthetically, there is no distinguished architecture, no letters or documents to uncover, and no story to quest within the dungeons.
When I walk into a building in Dragon Age. I can immediately tell whether I’m in Orlais from the golden and renaissance style or Fereldan from its medieval practical, sturdy castles. In The Six Dragons, there is no sense of any identity within these arenas and dungeons.
This sentiment is true to The Six Dragons’ Environments. Yes, there are diverse biomes and weather effects to match. You’ll spawn in a lush rolling hills biome when you start the game. However, as you move north, it will get colder, and snowfall and white landscapes of ice and snow will take over. However, biomes offer little than a change of scenery, now would you want to explore kilometers upon kilometers of a world that looked like this:
Or even this?
I’d take the smaller-scale map of Skyrim and even the map from The Witcher 2008. On the other hand, I will admit I think it’s great that you can travel anywhere your eyes land. You can even swim a mechanic that I was surprised to be included in the pre-alpha. Although implemented in a barebones manner, I could swim forever and breathe underwater. This meant I could swim all the way to the higher-level areas. Although there wasn’t much point, the Six Dragons will quickly humble you if you’re out-leveled.
In the Witcher, I’m constantly wonderstruck by the environment; every island on the coast of Skellige shows promise of adventure and loot. Every question mark on the map is an invitation to a story that builds the world around you. I think this is paramount for any fantasy RPG to be successful. The Six Dragons fail to hit every mark in the graphics and visuals department.
Low Quality Item Models
Dated and poor item quality is my biggest problems with the visuals in The Six Dragons. This is because the game NFTs such as weapons, equipment, and even dragons, look incredibly dated. Crafting and collecting NFTs is the player’s main goal in the game.
NFTs resemble items from a game in the mid-2,000s. Moreover, there is little information regarding the in-game attributes of NFTs. In addition, there is little information regarding dragon mounts; for such a high price, I would expect more information on these tokens.
- Size over substance – Huge world that lacks quality and identity.
- Poor NFT aesthetics and quality.
Weak Gameplay with Hints of Promise
The Six Dragons is also weak in this regard. The main gameplay loop of dungeon delving, completing “quests” and arenas, grows tedious after a couple of hours. The Six Dragons lack any real narrative or goal; you are thrown into the world of Nemberus with nothing but some low-tier equipment and your wits. You’re tasked with traveling to the nearby village of Aligren.
So after equipping my gear and skills, I headed off into the barren landscape void of music and character. Countless enemies spawned around me as I made ground to the village. Dark Spiders and Skeleton Knights would set the tone for the next two hours of grinding and exploring.
Upon reaching the village of Aligren, I picked up some generic quests:
- “Kill 100 Skeleton Knights”
- “Kill 100 Dark Spiders”
- “Kill Root King”
For clarification, the Root King is the boss enemy found within the starting area. However, these quests would set the tone for the rest of the game! Yes, thats right, despite hundreds of kilometers of land, killing a hundred spiders and later a hundred of a stronger enemy type would be all that I got.
Don’t worry, though. There is plenty more generic killing to come. When you kill enemies in The Six Dragons, there is a slight chance that an arena or portal crystal will spawn. These keys give access to arenas where you’ll be pit in a 1v1 battle with a boss and dungeons, a more substantial experience. You must fight through a dungeon to reach a boss, collecting resources along the way.
I’ve just laid out The Six Dragons’ main gameplay loop:
- Kill enemies > Acquire Keys > defeat Dungeons and Arenas > Craft Items.
This was my experience with The Six Dragons for the twelve hours I played it. While I leveled up and unlocked new skills to build my character, the core gameplay loop stayed the same. Damn, it got tedious; in the end, I resorted to playing podcasts to alleviate my boredom.
The world of The Six Dragons is huge and, as a result, is filled with many different kinds of enemies, from generic wolves and spiders to fire-breathing flying skulls, goblin, and ogre-like creatures.
I may sound harsh, whining at a pre-alpha game. However, a ton of money is being circulated around The Six Dragons through NFTs, microtransactions in the form of subscriptions, loot boxes, and starter packs. I recommend staying away from these endeavors as I don’t believe the game is in a fit state to warrant these features.
I’m a gamer first and have played countless blockchain games. I think developers should prioritize the game first, blockchain features, and NFTs secondary. Because if the game isn’t fun, nobody will want to play it. Ultimately resulting in a fragile ecosystem.
Combat: Skills and Classes
The combat is the only saving grace for The Six Dragons, while the world and monsters lack identity and belonging. However, as you explore the world, monsters will spawn around you. And let me tell you, there is no resting as each step could spawn a new critter.
While I think this is a little odd and more reminiscent of an MMO than an RPG, coupled with being able to reset skills at any time, I quickly became acquainted with the class system in The Six Dragons. Honestly, I had a lot of fun building my character! While not all abilities had a fleshed-out animation. There is a substantial amount of skills and builds that you can create in the game.
There are three main classes in the game and a separate skill system for blacksmithing:
As a warrior, there were a bunch of different paths to take. My first build featured lunge attacks that allowed me to quickly bounce from enemy to enemy, which was really fun and allowed me to explore the map quicker. However, I soon swapped this out for a build that focused on AOE skills and lightning attacks that stunned and weakened my targets.
Moreover, I had a lot of fun implementing skills from other classes into my character’s build, such as the Rage and healing skill from the Cleric tree, as this gave me more damage and sustainability in combat.
That said, while the abilities reminded me of skills from an MMO or Dragon Age, the combat was anything but strategic. You can’t dodge attacks in the game’s current build, and there is no block feature. As a result, combat is limited to a back-and-forth of attacks and abilities. However, defensive abilities can grant you extra defense and evasiveness.
When I booted up The Six Dragons, I was greeted by an epic fantasy soundtrack that got me pumped to start exploring Nemberus and crafting NFTs. However, when I got into the game, I was greeted with silence and the occasional howling of wind and birds chirping.
Picture running through miles of empty land to occasional wind and birds chirping. I was miserable, to say the least. I understand that the game is in pre-alpha. It’s not needed to discover bugs; however, even Runescape has a soundtrack!
As a guitarist of ten years and lover of all kinds of music. From curling up in a corner reading Lord of the Rings with Howard Shore’s original soundtrack in the background to listening to soundtracks of my favorite RPGs while I write this very review. I and gamers can tell when care and heart have gone into a game from just listening to its music.
Narrative: Hunting For a Purpose
Now at first glance, there isn’t a narrative to The Six Dragons. The game throws you into Nemberus without so much of a reason for your character’s quest. Moreover, you wouldn’t even know that the world was called Nemberus if you didn’t check out The Six Dragons’ blog.
Digging through blogs, I found a post named “The Lore of The Six Dragons.” However, it didn’t contain much information regarding Nemberus. Ultimately, dragons invaded Nemberus, and while humans tried to fight back, they were outmatched by the beasts. The apocalyptic event left the world hollow and a shell of its former self.
Thats about it for the story, while the post explains that there is more to come. There hasn’t been any update regarding the lore in two years.
It’s a shame as lore drives the very narrative and characters, and often, the past impacts future events. I’d love to see more of the story developed as who doesn’t love magic and dragons. The lack of lore and story in The Six Dragons has me spooked for the future of the game. You see there are many games and blockchain games in development and no matter the stage of their development the lore and world are always fleshed out. My examples are:
- Phantom Galaxies
- Star Atlas
- Infinite Fleet
- Gods Unchained
Dated UI and Ease of Access
The UI is mostly easy to use, apart from a couple of hick-ups. The present build doesn’t allow you to change audio settings or controls. However, you can access all features, excluding blacksmithing, on the menu. In fact, there are too many buttons in The Six Dragons as windows can be accessed in multiple ways. For example, pressing Alt will allow you to click on the shopping trolley icon in the bottom left of the screen, otherwise known as the Fiat Shop, where you can purchase a myriad of overpriced subscriptions and starter packs.
However, you can get to the Fiat Shop via the menu and click on the Celestial shop, so its a bit excessive, in my opinion. My favorite feature on the menu is the “Unstuck” button which will teleport you back to a village. This is useful if you get stuck in the map like this:
As a result, I can’t really praise a button that acts as a bandage for buggy environments. It’s a welcome one, nonetheless. Remember, The Six Dragons is in pre-alpha, an extremely early build, so if you’re looking for a full experience, you’re in the wrong place.
There is controller support, although I don’t recommend it. There were no prompts or guides for a controller. I used an Xbox Series X controller and struggled to operate my character. However, the game is intended for a mouse and keyboard rather than a controller due to the large number of abilities that can be used in combat.
The in-game UI is reminiscent, if not the same as the UI in Diablo. It works well, and it makes it easy to track your character’s health, magic points, and the status of your abilities. In addition, you can adjust the map to your liking by zooming in and out to huge proportions. I like the map a lot as it shows item drops and enemy spawn-ins.
The game also features a level toggling system accessed via the in-game UI allowing you to stay at a certain level to grind items. This is useful when you’re about to level an area without wanting to proceed to more challenging areas.
The quest and character screen could use a bit of a tune-up. As the character image is pointless, a live view of your character would be a much better alternative.
Rewarding Progression For Tedious Grinding
Now the gameplay of The Six Dragons is very tedious. Endlessly killing enemies and grinding for a chance of getting a Portal or Arena Crystal drop and repeat. You’re probably going to be surprised by my answer here. Progression is rewarding. By leveling my character, I get access to new interesting abilities. There is a myriad of combinations for you to try out at any time. I love that skills can be reset on the fly.
However, thats as far as I’d go with rewarding progression. Yes, as you level up, you’ll be able to explore more of Nemberus; however, do you really want to see more of it? The dated and low-quality environments don’t excite me and instead make the game feel as though a chore.
Yes, it’s true that you can earn key items and materials for crafting items. However, you’ll be grinding dungeons and arenas for hours before you get enough materials to craft an item. In addition, you’ll have to pay a fee of The Six Dragons Tokens or TSDT for short to players that own a recipe in order to craft an item. Unless you own the recipe yourself, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
Although this is to be expected from a blockchain game. Completing quests and collecting resources to create items should be fun. However, everything just feels like a chore.
This is an odd one; normally, I can’t wait to replay an RPG to make different choices and play as a different class. However, in The Six Dragons, you can change your class at any time. There’s no replayability in the game, as starting a new save has no benefits. Instead, you’ll have to begin again, sinking countless hours into grinding your level up.
That said, BC items, items that you minted on the Ethereum blockchain, are tied to your account, meaning that you’ll get access to them whenever you want. However, all OC items (off-chain items) will be removed.
In The Six Dragons’ current build, you cannot transfer save files from computers. Meaning that your account and character are local to one device. BlockPegnio has stated that save files may be deleted when future builds of the game are released, meaning it’s highly likely that other players of the pre-alpha and I will lose their characters.
- As a result, the only real reason to play the game in its current build is to build items and mint them on the blockchain.
The Six Dragons is currently one of few blockchain fantasy open-world games in the blockchain space. However, there are some alternatives, such as Ember Sword, an isometric fantasy MMORPG, which is sure to get Runescape fans excited for the blockchain. Like The Six Dragons, Ember Sword is in pre-alpha with access only given to a select few who own land or a badge NFT.
Just like in The Six Dragons, you can harvest resources to craft items, delve into dungeons, battle monsters, and acquire quests from NPCs. Ember Sword is a stark contrast to The Six Dragons, although, in pre-alpha, there are already a ton of features that The Six Dragons does not possess, such as land plots, cross-platform multiplayer, PVP, and PVE.
Despite needing land to play, the pre-alpha Ember Sword will be free to play on release. Coupled with low system requirements, Ember Sword will be highly accessible to the masses.
- If you don’t mind the isometric view and cartoonish art style, then Ember Sword will easily be a better alternative to The Six Dragons.
The Verdict: 2/10
I have taken into account that The Six Dragons is in pre-alpha. However, the game pales in contrast to other pre-alpha blockchain games. Where games such as Ember Sword and Phantom Galaxies, developed by indie studios, are making great progress. The Six Dragons concept of Skyrim on the blockchain is neat but clings onto this as its only saving grace. The game declares that there are hundreds of kilometers to explore and a billion dungeons to delve into. However, while this is true, the poor implementation and design of said world and dungeons are poor, to say the least.
I cannot see how players will be hooked into exploring Nemberus, the lack of narrative, interactivity, and lore leaves The Six Dragons feeling shallow and a glorified crafting simulator.
The term Skyrim on the blockchain is thrown around a lot by the developers in blogs and externally by reviewers. However, this is merely a ploy to excite fans of the RPG genre. In fact, the game fails to deliver in every aspect that Skyrim achieved, excluding its skill tree and character-building system.
Yes, in the future, there will be NPCs to hand out quests, more locations to explore, and deeper interactivity in the world of Nemberus. However, with such a poor foundation, I struggle to see how BlockPegnio can deliver a high-quality product.
The blacksmith system allows users to create items off-chain and on the blockchain. Enabling players to potentially earn money from their items. While there are low fees for trading and crafting items, I don’t think this saves The Six Dragon from its poor gameplay and lack of content. Moreover, the addition of microtransactions at this early stage of development, coupled with low-quality footage posted on The Six Dragons socials, has me spooked.
There are just way too many red flags for me to be able to invest more time and money into this project.
- You can mint items on the Ethereum blockchain to trade and sell.
- Enough skills to create interesting and somewhat diverse character builds.
- A diverse set of enemy types.
- Monotonous gameplay.
- Poor sound effects and lack of music.
- A low-quality world with little thought to its design.
- Tedious quests.
- No Multiplayer.
- Lack of narrative and lore.
- Long load times.
- Restricted audio settings.
I played The Six Dragons on PC with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, Radeon Graphics 3.30 and 8GB of Ram.
I played 15 hours of The Six Dragons reaching level 8, and completed over twenty dungeons.
Question: Is The Six Dragons Free-to-Play?
Answer: The Six Dragons is free-to-play and only requires you to create a game account and link to your Enjin wallet. The game play-to-earn features will require you to spend The Six Dragons Tokens (TSDT) as a fee for crafting items. Or ownership of item recipes is required.
Question: How Can I Make Money on The Six Dragons?
Answer: Currently, players can earn revenue by owning and holding governance tokens. As well as earning profits by enabling players to use their item recipes to craft items via the blacksmith in-game.
Question: What’s Next For The Six Dragons?
Answer: BlockPegnio is currently reworking all villages in the game from the ground up. As well as plan to implement NPCs and more diverse quests. The developers state in a blog post from May 24th, 2022, that they will add new quests which will task players to travel to an area to retrieve items. Along with fetch quests, the developers will add much-needed story-driven quests.
A Disappointing Conclusion
In conclusion, I won’t be slaying dragons or minting items on the blockchain in the games’ current state. However, I will keep an eye on The Six Dragons to see how BlockPegnio implements new updates and features. The concept has a lot of potential; the scale is massive, however, with such ambitious goals and a lack of lore and information on the world of Nemberus. Coupled with the poor gameplay experience and tedious gameplay loop, I won’t be sinking hundreds of hours exploring each corner of Nemberus as it is mind-numbingly boring.
Sometimes you try out a game and feel sick, whether it’s a combination of poorly implemented features, low-quality graphics, and content. Or the void of identity and personality that chills you to the bone, and unfortunately, this is how The Six Dragons made me feel.
Looking for more interesting readings? Check out: