One of the producers for Vanillaware's upcoming action RPG Dragon's Crown recently provided some more information about the game in an interview for Dengeki PlayStation. To start, the multiplayer system in Dragon's Crown is designed to let people build teams freely, rather than restrict who can play together or force them to play particular characters.
Rather than using a conventional experience level system, character progression is based on using items to upgrade character abilities. Because of this, beginners will be able to play alongside advanced characters and still be able to hold their own. What is more, multiple players can use the same class, and the developers are trying to make it so even a team of nothing but Wizards can complete the game. That said, different strategies work better for some situations than others, and the developers want players to plan ahead when working together.
Despite Dragon's Crown's strong resemblance to older arcade-style RPGs, it won't be using the linear progression of stages often seen in those. Instead, players choose from a variety of available quests, and these quests will carry players on particular paths through the game's different areas. A player may need to undertake several quests to see an area in its entirety. These quests will also feature several choices that affect how they play out. The variety of quests will mean that Dragon's Crown is estimated by the developers to be about 40 to 50 hours long.
The interview also touched on the game's NPCs and an interesting gameplay mechanic. Two of the character types in the game, the fairy and thief, are NPC support characters. They follow players into dungeons and help out in various ways, though the nature and extent of that help was not described. In addition, players can find bones in dungeons. These bones are left behind when characters are defeated and contain information on how the character died. Players can bring these bones to a shrine in their base town where they can be revived as NPCs, though it was not revealed what these NPCs do.