A dragon and Arisen art from Dragon's Dogma 2

Dragon’s Dogma 2’s Dragonsplague might not be permanent, players report

Life... uh, finds a way?

Abject weirdness is one of the key aspects of Dragon’s Dogma 2. It isn’t happy was simply a garden-variety ARPG, and while this works in its favour most times, sometimes it does not. Take the Dragonsplague, for example, which may or may not brick your playthrough.

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The Dragonsplague is an all-new mechanic not present in the original. It’s a disease of sorts that pops up after fighting dragons and drakes, which turns the afflicted Pawn into a veritable nuke. Notably, if you don’t notice that your Pawn has red pulsating eyes, refuses your commands, and generally behaves strangely, and then go to a city inn to rest up, the Pawn in question will turn into a shadowy dragon-creature and kill every NPC in the city. No, this is not a joke, and the community’s been up in arms about Dragonsplague since it was first discovered.

With just over a day having gone by since the Dragonsplague was discovered out in the wild, however, players have made some interesting discoveries that suggest it is less of a total progression-stopper than initially believed.

Dragonsplague might not be a permanent problem in Dragon’s Dogma 2

As is usually the case with obscure and unexpected features in games, the player base has taken it upon themselves to test the limits of Dragon’s Dogma 2 and the Dragonsplague proper. According to Redditors Lightningbutt and Shadeberry, it would seem that the game eventually ends up repopulating the cities following a Dragonsplague nuke going off. Shadeberry’s experience, specifically, suggests the game won’t bring everyone back for whatever reason, which may well include some key quest givers and vendors, but most NPCs should return.

The existence of a mechanic as strange and obscure as the Dragonsplague wasn’t one of the reasons for the apparent review-bombing of Dragon’s Dogma 2, but it’s not hard to see why people might be a bit sour about the in-universe plague.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 does not allow players to save-scum, start a new game, or alter the course of a given encounter if push comes to shove, as there’s a fairly reliable auto-save system in place. This approach to permanence in an ARPG, combined with the presence of a semi-randomized disease that may permanently take an entire town’s worth of NPCs off the map if you’re careless, leads to a situation where some players may feel hard-pressed to simply not engage with a core feature.

Even if the latest news about the Dragonsplague is correct — that NPCs come back — players weren’t worried for no reason at all. Pre-release information about Dragon’s Dogma 2 from Capcom itself straight-up said that the NPCs that die would not respawn at all, so the Dragonsplague is either an exception to the rule, or the information in question was incorrect.

One thing’s for sure: if the game’s abysmal performance in cities is a point of contention, you now no longer need to be that villainous in fixing it. Just set up a Dragonsplague nuke and let it go off, instead.


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Filip Galekovic
A lifetime gamer and writer, Filip has successfully made a career out of combining the two just in time for the bot-driven AI revolution to come into its own.