Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Dragon’s Dogma 2’s wild Dragonsplague mechanic has players feeling conflicted, but at least the memes are top-shelf

What you need to know

  • Dragon’s Dogma 2, Capcom’s new, long-awaited ARPG sequel, has a terrifying mechanic called Dragonsplague that infects the player’s Pawn companions with a disease that eventually causes them to wipe out an entire town or city.
  • There are ways to spot Dragonsplague infections and deal with them, but the signs are vague and can be easy to miss. As a result, the mechanic has proven to be fairly controversial, and some players were simply afraid to play the game before the way the sickness works was understood clearly.
  • Some players feel Dragonsplague symptoms need to be clearer and that the ultimate consequence of missing or ignoring it is too harsh, while others appreciate how the mechanic forces you to pay attention to your Pawns and like that Dragon’s Dogma 2 isn’t afraid to be punishing.
  • No matter how you feel about Dragonsplague, one thing is for sure — the memes about it have been hilarious. I’ve embedded several of the best ones I’ve seen on social media below.

In case you haven’t heard (and for your sake, I really hope you have), Capcom’s new ARPG Dragon’s Dogma 2 has a very subtle and very dangerous mechanic called Dragonsplague. This unique debilitation originates from battles with drakes or dragons, and is unique in that it only affects Pawns. And while cases of the disease don’t lead to serious consequences at first, they can bring about disastrous tragedy if   they’re ignored or go unnoticed for too long.

I wrote up a complete in-depth explainer on Dragonsplague recently, but here’s the TL;DR: Pawns that either fought a dragon with you or were hired from the Rift while they were afflicted with Dragonsplague in their player’s world can contract/have the illness, and it doesn’t appear in the Status page like other debilitations do. The only way to tell if a Pawn has it or not is to watch and listen for pulsing red eyes, headache animations while they’re idle, and occasional instances of disobedience — and if you don’t either dismiss or kill the Pawn before resting at an inn after around 4-5 in-game days, they’ll transform into a draconic shadow monster that “nukes” the town or city you’re at, killing every NPC there.

Though vendors and characters with ties to the main story seem to respawn after about a week, the vast majority of affected NPCs — including givers of side quests — reportedly remain dead unless you use Wakestones on them. And as players began to realize just how catastrophic Dragonsplague calamity is over Dragon’s Dogma 2’s launch weekend, panic and paranoia started to spread like the affliction itself through the game’s community. Before people understood what its signs were or how to deal with it, many were afraid to even play the game.

The red eyes of a Dragonsplague-afflicted Pawn in Dragon’s Dogma 2, just before they unleash a devastating calamity. (Image credit: Capcom)

“I’ve seen dozens of people claim their playthrough is ruined through this mechanic,” wrote u/Weary-Presentation-2 in a concerned post. “Entire towns gone overnight. I’m now no longer looking forward to the game and simply anxious that this could happen to me in my playthrough.” Though they later said they don’t “have any quarrels” with Dragonsplague now that they understand it, the fact this player and others like them were scared to continue their playthrough speaks to how wild the mechanic is.


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