official website for Dragon's Dogma Quest is live, broadly confirming yesterday's report from Game Jouhou. Quest is a 2D online-only, free-to-play RPG for Vita, coming to Japan via PSN this fall. Regards whether or not it's winging its way west, a Capcom spokesperson told Joystiq "At present Dragon's Dogma Quest is only confirmed for release in Japan and we are currently evaluating if the title will be released in pan-western markets."
As before, Quest begins with the hero character's heart being stolen by a dragon – biology be damned. The hero finds another heartless victim in a wizardly-looking woman called Lota, and together the pair trek towards home as they begin their quest to retrieve their tickers.
While it's unclear if Quest's story follows on from the original Dragon's Dogma, the Vita RPG features returning non-player characters like the knight Julien, Captain Mercedes of the Enlistment Corps, and Black Cat storekeeper Mountebank. One screen shows Mercedes in dialogue, with what looks like a hand-drawn background of a country village behind her.
As previously reported, the hero employs a party of pawns that go into battle - it's unclear if the hero's involved in combat or is more like a commander. The party size is increased to eight, with a maximum of four player pawns and four pawns from friends. The website reveals several of the 150-plus pawn vocations in Quest, including the poison archer, arc guardian, gatherer, and rogue.
It remains unclear how exactly combat adapts from 3D to 2D in Quest. The pawns-orientated combat of Dragon's Dogma, particularly in terms of formulating strategies for the larger beasts, was a key component of that game. We're curious to see how it works in Quest, particularly given there are so many vocations to choose from.