Dragon’s Dogma 2, One Month Later

Dragon’s Dogma 2, One Month Later

Fans of the original Dragon’s Dogma never dreamed the wonky fantasy RPG might get a sequel. Over a decade later, Capcom delivered a successor that improved on the flaws of the first without shaving off the sharp edges that earned it a cult following to begin with.

Weeks after it launched, Dragon’s Dogma 2 hasn’t just sold well, it’s been the perfect breeding ground for fun discoveries and strange player tales. It’s also been a lightning rod for debate, despite being one of the highest rated games of 2024. Here are the ups, downs, and everything in-between since Dragon’s Dogma 2’s launched on March 22.

Fans freak out over Dragon’s Dogma 2’s microtransactions

Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku

The game’s Steam page displays all the things you can buy with real money, many of which are included in the Deluxe Edition. They include camping kits, Wakestones, Portcrystals, and other in-game items that save time and impact gameplay. Reviewers of the game point out that most of the resources are earned easily enough just by playing, but for some players the mere existence of the option to buy them feels like a corrupting influence. The paid item for changing characters’ appearances gets modded into the game on day one.

Steam reviews are a mess

While early reviews were glowing, the game gets slammed on Steam. With a less than 40 per cent positive rating on its first day, PC players complain about poor optimization. Performance issues range from glacial framerates in some areas to occasional freezes and crashes. A Capcom rep tells IGN ahead of release that it’s aware of CPU issues and is looking into them.

Players discover the horrors of Dragonsplague

Gif: Capcom / RageGamingVideos / Kotaku

Dragon’s Dogma 2’s NPC companions, called Pawns, are vulnerable to a mysterious illness called Dragonsplague. If left untreated long enough, it triggers a deadly transformation that can wipe out cities. “One of the pawns nukes the entire village because of Dragonsplague and I had no inkling at all that they had caught it,” one player reports. “No voice lines, no comments of staying away from them, no glowing red eyes. My save is now just fucked because of this mechanic.”

One of the surest ways to spot the illness is if Pawns start acting rudely. Players listen carefully for any signs of bad manners, while some kill their companions before ever sleeping over at an Inn. The easiest way to do that is throwing Pawns into the bodies of water inhabited by Brine, misty creatures that kill everything they touch. As a result, players start hurling NPCs off cliffs en masse.

A Pawn pyramid scheme creates free money

Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku

Dragon’s Dogma 2’s economy is all over the place, with things like Ox cart rides between cities being relatively cheap, while haircuts cost hundreds, and rooms at Inns can cost thousands. Fortunately, players figure out an exploit for quick cash involving sending Pawns out on quests online for things like killing monsters.

By setting the quest rewards for 10,000, other players can hire the Pawn and collect the bounty. While the first player has to pay it out to send the Pawn on the quest in the first place, an endless number of other players can rent the Pawn to snag the reward. The result is that Dragon’s Dogma 2’s Rift dimension becomes flooded with free Pawn money.

Dragon’s Dogma 2’s first patch adds do-overs

One of the weirdest things about Capcom’s RPG ends up being the fact that there’s only one save file that constantly gets updated. Players can’t even start their game over from the beginning until Dragon’s Dogma 2’s first patch on March 29. The update also adds more graphics options for console, makes it easier to get a house earlier in the game, and changes the number of Art of Metamorphosises that can be purchased from 2 to 99.

Capcom takes pity on unwanted Pawns

A player by the name of MrFoxer on the Dragon’s Dogma subreddit notes that Capcom appears to be manufacturing artificial players to rent out Pawns if nobody real is doing it. “You can tell whether an actual player rented your pawn by attempting to view their profile while looking at your pawn’s report,” they write. “If the option is greyed out, it’s a ‘fake player.’” Some fans are crestfallen. “Well thats nice but also kinda sad since no one wants to actually use our Pawn,” one writes. “Oof, 99% of my rents are greyed out,” writes another. “Feels bad, but never mind.”

The server-hopping companions continue to be one of Dragon’s Dogma 2’s most fascinating playgrounds. Pawns who are rented out for real start returning to their players with rotten food as fans try to devise ways to warn one another about possible Dragonsplauge afflictions. Other players prank one another by sending Pawns back with forged Ferristones as gifts.

The worst NPC in the land

Image: Capcom / FX / Kotaku

Meet Martin, the human magistrate from Vernworth that everyone hates. He’s hard to find, breaks quests, and is just an all-around sack of griffon turds. Players can kill him after finding him in Melve yelling at Ulrika for treason and they do.

A one-hit kill “Unmaking Arrow” is a godsend


Survival can be tough in Dragon’s Dogma 2. Massive mythical creatures stalk you at every turn. But none of them can stand up to the Unmaking Arrow, an item so powerful Capcom autosaves the game after you use it. At least one player managed to circumvent this save-scumming safeguard using cheat engine tools and proceeded to kill everything they came across. Regular fans debate the best vocations in the game. Many believe it’s obviously Mystic Spearhand or Magick Archer while others claim the base Thief and Sorcerer roles remain superior.

Players debate the game’s friction

Dragon’s Dogma 2 limits fast travel, doesn’t let you fully restore health unless you’re in town or have camping equipment, and severely limits the amount of junk you can carry in your inventory. The consensus is that the fantasy RPG is friction-heavy compared to other open world games like modern Assassin’s Creed titles, but less unanimous is whether that’s always a good thing or occasionally masks genuine shortcomings. The resulting conversation is inconclusive but enlightening.

A second major patch nerfs Dragonsplague

After untold death and destruction, the development team decides to dial back Dragon’s Dogma 2’s Pawn disease. In addition to being more noticeable, the sickness is also less frequent. The April 25 update also reduces how much NPCs banter during quests and removes old treasure chests from players’ maps, in addition to other fixes. What it doesn’t do is markedly improve performance on PC.

Capcom shareholders get an unexpected payout

Dragon’s Dogma 2 sells 2.5 million copies in its first 10 days where the first game took a whole month just to sell less than half that amount. That brings the franchise’s lifetime total sales up to 10 million, pushing it well past the cult status it had previously enjoyed for years. “Dragons Dogma 2 was released in the fourth quarter and has performed favorably,” Capcom announced in a revision to its earnings forecast. It increased its projected dividend per company share by $.03. Not enough to afford a night in Bakbattahl but enough that the company also increases salaries for new graduate hires.

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