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Dragonica: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

KurushKurush Member Posts: 1,303

Where to begin? Ah, yes. The formalities.

Before you utter that nasty three-letter acronym that begins with a N and ends with an A, I will say this. I am playing the _open beta_ of Dragonica. That's right. The game is currently in open beta in English under the kind auspices of IAHGames, without any kind of NDA applying. If you wish to play, jump right in. Now to the meat of this post.

What's the good, bad, and ugly of this game?

The good: How to put it? The game itself. First of all, Dragonica is a 2D scrolling platformer MMORPG with superficial similarities to that most dreaded of grinders: Maplestory. I really must emphasize the superficial bit, though. In the most important ways, this game is far superior. I'll cover that later.

The bad: The bad part is, again, the game. While it's very different, and in many ways far superior, this game still has some key elements in common with Maplestory, including some things which you may hate. Once again, it's F2P with cash shop support. However, its cash shop more or less follows the same vein as that of similar games, meaning it's almost exclusively cosmetic items.

The ugly: The last F2P game I really got excited about was Granado Espada. I still think GE is an incredibly fun, unique title, if you play it only a few hours here and there. It really doesn't have the content or variety to support dedicated play for most Western players, but it's awesome for occasional hack-and-slash action. Unfortunately, this title shares one problem that really hampered GE. The NA publisher are, once again, probably going to end up being assholes, this time THQ*ICE. I don't really know anything about THQ*ICE. However, I'm betting they will be complete bullshit, if Codemasters, Akklaim, and all the other Western localization publishing fucks are any indication. Stick with IAHGames. You may end up with very few other Americans, but the experience will probably be far superior than the other English versions if you only play it casually.

Edit:  Also , I'm hearing this game does get a bit grindy as it goes on. It's not nearly as bad as Maplestory, but to be honest, it may be too much for any Western player nonetheless.  The annoying part is that this grind takes the form of spamming mission instances over and over.  To anybody who has nightmares of early DDO or PSU, stay the Hell away.  In fact, I'm going to have to sadly say the same for most Western players.

Now, the key question:

"Is this another bullshit Maplestory clone? Because I hate Maplestory."

If you hate Maplestory, grats. So do I. The short answer is no. Let me talk about some of the differences and similarities.

Graphics (art style): To start with, Dragonica is 3D, and the art direction is fairly solid. To be frank, though, its art style is a cutesy anime deal. On a scale of 1-100 on the cutesy anime scale, 100 being the penultimate, most eye-bleeding attempt at overcuteness, this game probably sits at around 60. So if you hate that kind of style, you probably won't like the look of this game, but if you're merely ambivalent, it doesn't completely overdo it. However, ain't no reason in this day and age to take my word for it. Find a high-quality youtube video and take a gander.

Graphics (technical): Lets start with the camera. Like I said, the game is 3D. How can you have a 3D side scroller? Well, it's not purely 3D, in that you can actually move in three dimensions in all environments. I'm going to define the Y axis here as moving away from or toward the camera. In towns, you have full Y axis movement, though the camera is fixed. So rather than the town being one line with various platforms, it actually is a full map. In combat maps, things are generally more restricted. The camera is still fixed, and they want to keep the overall 2D feel, so you only have limited Y axis movement, a span of about a half-dozen yards to move away/toward the camera. This does make positioning in combat much more active, though. How about the speed of the game engine? In my experience, it runs very smoothly. Even computers that are several years old should have no problem running Dragonica on higher settings. It looks nice, despite this, if you like the art style.

Platforming: There actual platforming elements in this game. Such elements aren't too common, but this game's platforming is not purely the bullshit you saw in Maplestory, where platforming meant "climb a rope to a new platform to kill more monsters".

Combat: From videos I've seen, this game actually has boss fights, as in actual boss fighty boss fights. Check it out on youtube. Again, it's probably not too common, but it's there. The real question, though, is the basic combat. At its core, it's somewhat similar to Maplestory. If you completely detest the idea of 2D combat, this game isn't for you. However, if you hated Maplestory more for the retarded grind and lack of variety than the combat, this game's combat can be a lot of fun. It definitely is more interesting. You'll be using more skills, and the 2.5D element means you'll be having to think a lot more about where you are. Again, don't take my word for it. Check it out on youtube.

Edit: Now that I've played this game a bit more, I'm going to say this is one of the game's strong suites.  It's way, way more involved than crap like Maplestory ever was.  You have a pretty robust combo system in place including air combos (timing a combination of knock-up and air only attacks) and positioning, timing, and maneuvering are super important.

Class/Skill system: Dragonica removes a lot of the more tedious things, but the overall system is the same. You no longer start as a useless newbie class. You jump right into your starting profession. From there, you get a choice to choose between two paths at a certain level. For skills, you get skill points each level which you can spread around as you wish. Like Maplestory and many other games, skills are unlocked as you move down a skill tree and buy the required prereqs. There's a good amount of skills, perhaps a few dozen for any particular job path, but some are passive, others won't be taken by your build, and some will be taken purely for prereq purposes. So while some of the tedium is removed, and you have the appearance of greater customization, you won't be using the same variety of abilities that you'd see in many Western MMORPG's. Don't expect that level of depth because you won't get it. These kinds of games are closer to hack-and-slash titles than traditional RPG's.

Questing and Grind: From what I've seen, the grind is much, much less than that of Maplestory. However, I haven't seen a whole lot at all, so I may be completely wrong on this one. I will say, though, that there's a lot more variety in this game. You definitely have more quests and more of a story-driven feel, though it's again not nearly as much as you'd find in a Western MMORPG.

Edit:  Now that I've seen and heard a bit more, I think Dragonica may hold a bit of false promise in this regard.  There is definitely a very strong quest element to this game, including story versions of mission maps.  That said, at later levels, there is also a significant raw grind element.  The worst part is the form of this grind, running essentially linear mission maps ad nauseum.

So who will like this game and who will hate it?

It's a hard question to answer, but I'll give a few examples.

You may like this game if:

You were at one time or are presently a devoted Maplestory fan but are eager for the next big thing in your niche

You liked the basic concept of Maplestory's combat but hated everything else

The idea of a 2D platformer MMORPG seems interesting to you, but you don't think it was ever done right

You want a title which can give you a quick bit of hack-and-slash here and there on the side (as in a few hours here or there every week)

You may outright hate this game if:

You hate everything with a cutesy anime art style

You abhor any game with a cash shop

You require strong PvP or crafting elements in a title, or both

You demand that a MMORPG "take itself seriously"

You think the idea of a 2D MMORPG is inherently stupid and unenjoyable

You don't like hack-and-slash monster mash, but you're looking for a title to invest significant time into

Ok. Seriously. Will you be playing it?

Honestly? I will probably play it every now and then. A few hours per week, tops. I can't say at all that I'd ever play this as my primary game, and I definitely wouldn't spend a dime on the cash shop, but I think it has the potential to be very popular for a certain set.

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Comments

  • Redline65Redline65 Member Posts: 486

    I'm on my way to bed so I don't have time to read this (will read it later), but let me ask this - is this another bullshit Maplestory clone?

  • KurushKurush Member Posts: 1,303
    Originally posted by Redline65


    I'm on my way to bed so I don't have time to read this (will read it later), but let me ask this - is this another bullshit Maplestory clone?

     

    I hope that's a joke, considering I ask that exact question (of myself) in my post. :P

    Short answer: yes and no.

    There is enough different that _many_ people who hated MS will like this game.  There is enough the same that many people will hate this too.

     

  • EricDanieEricDanie Member Posts: 2,238

    This game is new, so expect a "good" cash shop... for now.

    After all, it wouldn't be rewarding for devs to go all-out with ways to persuade their players to spend cash when they aren't addicted yet.

    Anyway, I gave it a try on the GPotato Europe version, although it's fun I had geographical delay issues (lag is fatal in this kind of gameplay) and its graphics aren't very appealing to me.

    Doesn't mean I won't be trying the NA version of it when it goes open beta though, I find it fun enough when you want to play for 30 mins - 1 hour a day, so it doesn't get you addicted.

  • KurushKurush Member Posts: 1,303
    Originally posted by EricDanie


    This game is new, so expect a "good" cash shop... for now.
    After all, it wouldn't be rewarding for devs to go all-out with ways to persuade their players to spend cash when they aren't addicted yet.
    Anyway, I gave it a try on the GPotato Europe version, although it's fun I had geographical delay issues (lag is fatal in this kind of gameplay) and its graphics aren't very appealing to me.
    Doesn't mean I won't be trying the NA version of it when it goes open beta though, I find it fun enough when you want to play for 30 mins - 1 hour a day, so it doesn't get you addicted.

     

    Yeah, I think that is key for these kinds of games.  You have to play very little.  That way, the game still stays fresh and enjoyable, and you don't really feel the grind.

    For somebody who really wants a new MMORPG to "call home", these kinds of games usually are a bad idea.  You will never catch up to the guys who got in on the ground floor, and actually being one of them is an equally stressful race to not get left behind.

    However, if you simply look at these games as a free way to pass the time, then some of them can be really fun, especially the ones with unique combat, like this game or GE.  You don't find anything like them in the Western space, atm.

  • IixiaIixia Member Posts: 34

    I have to agree. I find playing this game for a good few hours leaves you saying its time for a break. The game seems less rpg and more super arcadie but in a good way. I find myself wanting to play this every once and awhile and probably could never truly stick to it for a prolong time. It's super fun and addicting. But personally I can only handle so much of it.

  • KurushKurush Member Posts: 1,303

    That's arguably the future of the genre, whitney.

    Currently, the population of "gamers" is growing, but it's growing horizontally, not vertically.  Said more directly, we're seeing inclusion of new demographics, not the expansion of established demographics like the so-called core gamer.  The average gamer is getting older, and they're now far more likely to be female.

    Early online games probably had female populations in the range of ~10%.  Nowadays many of the best-selling single player game franchises have equal representation or even predominantly female users, and online gaming is anywhere between 20-50%, depending on the genre.  The 20% is games previously considered to essentially be all male.  30-40% is probably where many modern MMORPG's lie.

    Not only that, but many of the people who were core gamers yesterday are now parents or career-minded individuals today.

    The bottom line of all this?  People have less time to play games and far less inclination to simply "grind" to "get to the good parts".

  • TykeroTykero Member Posts: 349

    There is not enough content in this game currently to support the absurd experience curve.

     

     

    At ~level 40, you'll be getting 0.5% of a level from a run through a mission map. This is the same mission map you've been doing for ten levels or so. You'll be doing it for ten more levels after that. It takes ~5 to 10 minutes to run the mission.

     

     

    In short, grind grind grind grind grind grind.

     

    Great potential completely wasted by asinine design.

    -
    image

  • KurushKurush Member Posts: 1,303
    Originally posted by Tykero


    There is not enough content in this game currently to support the absurd experience curve.
     
     
    At ~level 40, you'll be getting 0.5% of a level from a run through a mission map. This is the same mission map you've been doing for ten levels or so. You'll be doing it for ten more levels after that. It takes ~5 to 10 minutes to run the mission.
     
     
    In short, grind grind grind grind grind grind.
     
    Great potential completely wasted by asinine design.

     Yeah. I'm simultaneously impressed and disappointed as I play further.

    Combat is really nice. There's a definite timing and positioning element to it later that's really important. For instance, speaking only of the most basic mage air combo, you not only have to jump to the right position to hit them with the knock up, you have to wait until you're at precisely the right height to then catch them with your air attack afterwards.

    The inclusion of boss fights at the end of each mission map is also nice.

    But you're forced to grind mission maps, and mission maps are so fucking boring. It really pisses me off. They would be really nice _IF_ they were there as a second potential advancement track to mix in with other forms of play, not as the best one far and away requiring you to grind on them endlessly. I really think you may be right. This one choice will probably end up ruining the experience eventually.

    I guess this is still an awesome upgrade to somebody insane enough to be a "Mapler", but for guys like me. Eh.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Member RarePosts: 3,186
    Originally posted by whitney


    I have to agree. I find playing this game for a good few hours leaves you saying its time for a break. The game seems less rpg and more super arcadie but in a good way. I find myself wanting to play this every once and awhile and probably could never truly stick to it for a prolong time. It's super fun and addicting. But personally I can only handle so much of it.

     

    Sam here. I find it refreshingly different and very enjoyable. I play it for an hour or so a week at most. Anything more than that and I would lose interest in it very quickly.

  • saturn1234saturn1234 Member Posts: 111

    the gameplay is a cool idea but it is done in such low quality it completely kills the game.

     

    Lag, and hit just not connecting fluidly really ruined the game for me.  Also the bosses had attacks that were impossible to avoid, so it was just a matter of potion spamming.  Also the classes are not balanced at all.  The graphics did seem nice at first, but after a short while they do feel kind of ugly and strange looking, at least in my opinion.

     

    If this was reworked into a P2P game, and the quality was VASTLY improved it might be fun.

  • spades07spades07 Member UncommonPosts: 851

    Is this still in closed Beta?

  • J_HurryJ_Hurry Member UncommonPosts: 230
    Originally posted by Kurush


    You think the idea of a 2D MMORPG is inherently stupid and unenjoyable


     

    Played 20 mins, uninstalled.

    LGM Alchemist (Legendary Grandmaster)
  • maxnrosymaxnrosy Member Posts: 608
    Originally posted by Kurush

    I wrote a review.

     

    I happened to try both. An due to such in not going to talk about the game.

    I have to counter your recommendation of one company over the other.

    Thq is here in the states, the ping is better than iah and games like this it does make a maaaaajor difference. You do lag more using the overseas servers which makes you miss attacks, get hit when your far away ect. this can be frustrating.

     

    You do however seem to have more experience with games that have been taken by producers and shafted to hell. Now all we can say is time will tell. Once the closed beta is doing ill have my share on it by the exp i have been having thru both games.

    Watching Fanbois drop their soap in a prison full of desperate men.

  • KurushKurush Member Posts: 1,303
    Originally posted by maxnrosy

    Originally posted by Kurush

    I wrote a review.

     

    I happened to try both. An due to such in not going to talk about the game.

    I have to counter your recommendation of one company over the other.

    Thq is here in the states, the ping is better than iah and games like this it does make a maaaaajor difference. You do lag more using the overseas servers which makes you miss attacks, get hit when your far away ect. this can be frustrating.

     

    You do however seem to have more experience with games that have been taken by producers and shafted to hell. Now all we can say is time will tell. Once the closed beta is doing ill have my share on it by the exp i have been having thru both games.

     

    Seriously, I am the first person to say go with THQ*ICE instead, if they launch their version and both of the following are true:

    1.  There is a reasonable amount of lag (the same amount you get from decent US MMORPG servers).

    2.  They don't introduce their own separate rules which completely screw up the game.

    I'm not hard to please, but yes, I've seen both of the above happen.  I may sound overly cynical believing one of these will happen in this case, but I believe the worst regarding any new player until they have proven themselves.  Here are some things which are not obvious.

    THQ*ICE is a new company, a "joint-venture" between THQ and Shanghai-based MMO publisher ICE.  The THQ*ICE brand is misleading, in my opinion.  Yes, THQ has their fingers in the venture, and the THQ brand goes first to encourage American consumers to accept it.  However, I believe this firm is more or less directed by ICE's people operationally.

    THQ*ICE has decided to go with Hypernia for its hosting.  You may be thinking, "Hey.  Where have I heard that name?"  Well, you've probably seen it in a server list if you play any number of popular shooters.  They do hosting services for many games.  Well, what about MMORPG's, you ask?  As far as I can tell, Hypernia supplies the NA hosting for Cabal Online, and that's about it.

    I imagine the hosting quality for the closed beta is very nice.  I hope so, anyway.  However, while I have my reservations about Dragonica, I believe its population will explode rather rapidly post-launch.  I expect it to outpace any operation Hypernia has pulled off before.  I think THQ*ICE went with Hypernia for reasons of cost because they don't believe it's much of a winner.  So far, none of the decisions I'm seeing suggest that the players involved really have faith in the title.  NCSoft handed it off, and THQ*ICE is taking very few risks.

    I personally get no lag on IAH's Singapore servers.  I have no idea why it's so good for me.  Maybe it's just because I'm in California.  If you're on the east coast, your experience may be horrible with IAH's servers, in which your only option is to wait for THQ*ICE.

    I seriously want to be wrong, though.  I hear XP will be better on THQ*ICE in a roundabout way, and if there's no lag, I will jump ship without thinking.

  • RaesearRaesear Member Posts: 2

    Hmm...I was about to try this, but I despise grind. Thanks for the review.

     

    Also: "Penultimate" doesn't mean "ultimate." It means "next to last" or "next to ultimate." Don't worry, it's one of the most misused words.

  • maxnrosymaxnrosy Member Posts: 608
    Originally posted by Kurush

    Originally posted by maxnrosy

    Originally posted by Kurush

    I wrote a review.

     

    I happened to try both. An due to such in not going to talk about the game.

    I have to counter your recommendation of one company over the other.

    Thq is here in the states, the ping is better than iah and games like this it does make a maaaaajor difference. You do lag more using the overseas servers which makes you miss attacks, get hit when your far away ect. this can be frustrating.

     

    You do however seem to have more experience with games that have been taken by producers and shafted to hell. Now all we can say is time will tell. Once the closed beta is doing ill have my share on it by the exp i have been having thru both games.

     

    Seriously, I am the first person to say go with THQ*ICE instead, if they launch their version and both of the following are true:

    1.  There is a reasonable amount of lag (the same amount you get from decent US MMORPG servers).

    2.  They don't introduce their own separate rules which completely screw up the game.

    I'm not hard to please, but yes, I've seen both of the above happen.  I may sound overly cynical believing one of these will happen in this case, but I believe the worst regarding any new player until they have proven themselves.  Here are some things which are not obvious.

    THQ*ICE is a new company, a "joint-venture" between THQ and Shanghai-based MMO publisher ICE.  The THQ*ICE brand is misleading, in my opinion.  Yes, THQ has their fingers in the venture, and the THQ brand goes first to encourage American consumers to accept it.  However, I believe this firm is more or less directed by ICE's people operationally.

    THQ*ICE has decided to go with Hypernia for its hosting.  You may be thinking, "Hey.  Where have I heard that name?"  Well, you've probably seen it in a server list if you play any number of popular shooters.  They do hosting services for many games.  Well, what about MMORPG's, you ask?  As far as I can tell, Hypernia supplies the NA hosting for Cabal Online, and that's about it.

    I imagine the hosting quality for the closed beta is very nice.  I hope so, anyway.  However, while I have my reservations about Dragonica, I believe its population will explode rather rapidly post-launch.  I expect it to outpace any operation Hypernia has pulled off before.  I think THQ*ICE went with Hypernia for reasons of cost because they don't believe it's much of a winner.  So far, none of the decisions I'm seeing suggest that the players involved really have faith in the title.  NCSoft handed it off, and THQ*ICE is taking very few risks.

    I personally get no lag on IAH's Singapore servers.  I have no idea why it's so good for me.  Maybe it's just because I'm in California.  If you're on the east coast, your experience may be horrible with IAH's servers, in which your only option is to wait for THQ*ICE.

    I seriously want to be wrong, though.  I hear XP will be better on THQ*ICE in a roundabout way, and if there's no lag, I will jump ship without thinking.

    It does happen to be i am on the east coast. Now i have been playing the Iah version more since the thq*ice version is going to close and we dont know when their open beta will start.

    What i have noticed is i cannot combo at all with the thief. On the thq servers i can use my attack to send the mobs up in the air followed by the spin attack, then  slam into the ground sending other enemies up in the air followed by another spin attack.

    On th iah servers i send enemies up in the air but they appear half way falling down by the time i can use my spin attack causing me to miss it all the time. Once again this can be due to my location in the states vs where the singapore servers are located.

    Now playing the warrior does not give me any touble on the iah servers since i can catch them with my wirlwind when mobs are falling, just not all the time but its bearable.

    im guessing the gpotato servers will prob be worse to play at in my location.

    Now  i wont lie to you, i would like to keep playing on the iah servers because as it seems they have the bulk of the people. Dispite that thq servers where in closed beta, it took almost 5 days to give out the mmorpg.com keys which where only 1000 so thq has done little to promote their game.

    Now i would like to add somthing to your review as well i do agree with it. This game is family friendly big time.  there is no need to spend hours to acomplish things and  well to what i played on the closed beta i did hit lvl 24 , wasnt that hard and to do the missions are not time consuming, my wife (for the 1st time) is actually playing an mmorpg with me and well we have fun with our kids playing also . It is an easy to get into game. My only worry is what i have been reading about the grind after lvl 40 on the iah forums. however there was a mention of an exp patch , they may raise the exp of higher lvl mobs or lower the  drastic exp curve.

    Now i have played few ftp games  and never played maple story. This game does remind me of the 4 player bash em up arcade games. I does have that arcade feel to it on the mission maps.  That doesnt get old for me.

     

     

    Watching Fanbois drop their soap in a prison full of desperate men.

  • EuphorykEuphoryk Member Posts: 450
    Originally posted by maxnrosy



     I does have that arcade feel to it on the mission maps.  That doesnt get old for me.

     

    I couldn't agree more, despite the repetitive gameplay elements, the overall feel of the game is exceptionally entertaining and I have a feeling I will be wasting time on it for a very long time.

    That old school arcade feel isn't something you see reproduced very well these days, but Dragonica has got it down to a science (in my opinion).

  • cgneko39cgneko39 Member Posts: 4

    I just started playing this game a couple of days ago and have to agree with some of the other posts that say it has an arcade feel. This is the first RPG that I've played that's a 2D scrolling platformer, but I kind of liked it. With the scrolling and the coin collecting it actually felt like I was playing something closer to Super Mario rather than an online RPG. The arcade feel also helped make some of the grindy feel of the game seem less grindy. I don't think I'll make this a regular game that I play, but I think it could be a fun game to play casually.

  • JiuJitsuJiuJitsu Member Posts: 93

    I think the game's target audience is really young males - preferably in their childhood - like 7 to 13 years old - the game is a little childish with its anime characters haha but can work to its advantage.  Had a difficult time in the beginning where there are 8 or so areas that rely on grinding and like 2 or so areas that are quest based - maybe i'm missing out but i really want to know how to level quickly as that is my primary objective of any mmo game

  • LiddokunLiddokun Member UncommonPosts: 1,665

    The OP pretty much nail most of the major points of the game. But I would like to add some more.

     

    1. The crafting system is pretty simplified you find recipe which drops randomly from mobs + ingredients (also drop from mobs) hit combine and you get the item which is a consumable (food). You make 1 item from each components. Don't worry all the stuff are pretty much common drop. Food can be very useful as they heal you + give stat.

    2. There are several types of missions: Hero quest, Normal Tasks and Daily quests. Hero quest are the main story of the game and you need to complete them to further the storyline. They also give very nice unique rewards and tons of XP/Gold. Tasks are your normal grind quest which involves the usual fedex and kill quest. They give OK money and XP you don't really have to do them if you don't want to but if you want achievement titles then do them. Daily quests are quests that changes daily and gives good money/XP/item.  Last are repeatable quest (they have a blue !) quest marker and they usually award some potions and little XP/Gold. 

    3. There's a unique feature in the game called Soulcrafting (or spiritcrafting). You can harvest things called souls or spirits from unwanted equipment by using that little hammer on the lower left side of the inventory screen. You can go to the soulcrafting npc which offers her services to convert souls to "unsealing scrolls" and to soulcraft. Soulcraft uses souls to add stats to a piece of equipment by infusing souls into it, if you are successful you can add up to 4 different additional stat to your equipment.

    4. Enchanting increases the base stats of the equipment they use enchanting dust and I believe +3 is the safe point, going higher risk failure which can destroy the equipment (and consume the dust used). You can buy protection scrolls from the cash shop to protect your item from being destroyed.

    5. Sometimes you may acquire an item that has the word "SEALED" on it. You need to use a unsealing scroll to break the seal (unsealing scrolls cost 3 souls). Once the item is unsealed you will see the item's real stat. Mission maps tends to drop more sealed equipment. You can also encounter items with the word "CURSED" on it, you will need to uncurse the equipment before using. It cost quite a bit of soul to UNCURSE an item so make sure it is something that you want. Uncursing services is also offered by the NPC.

    6. I believe there are 4 tiers of item rarity. There are set items that gives a big bonus to stat when wearing all the pieces. It is a challenge to collect the whole set. Very rare items tends to be bind on use.

    7. To get a good rank in your mission is to learn how to combo with your team mates. When I first started playing I would just randomly go beat up enemies, fight wildly and always get a bad score. When you learn how to combine combos with your party members you can get a consistent A or S rank score. The key is based on the build of your character, some builds are designed to make it easy to pull out combos easily. Attaining consisten S rank means you get more XP at the end of missions and also more loot. S rank = 4 random loot, A rank = 3 loot, B = 2 loot, C and below = 1 loot.

    8. The forumla for mission map score is as follows:  combo score + time left - getting hit -deaths. So the higher combo you pull off, the faster your team kills and not getting hit (or getting hit less) or not dying will give you a great score!  Getting hit too many times or dying will really drag down your score. Each player is rated individually.

    9. There's pvp in the game altho I personally haven't tried it yet. Apparently you can gain special coins in PvP matches which allows you to buy special armor sets and potions using the coin.

  • TyrrhonTyrrhon Member Posts: 412

    Good:

    The game as a whole is really good all around. It has entertaining arcade combat that feels like your skill and actions matter, with moves flowing naturally into comboes (without artificial combo measures like in EQ2). It is jam packed with lot of short CC skills. It is quite different from your average MMO combat on surface and in depth, but very easy to get into.

    For other good stuff, well, look at pictures and vides and imagine it just works well, because it does. This paragraph may be short but that does not mean there is little good in game, it would be just listing features and nodding "yes, thats well done too".

     

    Bad:

    The game does not lag much, but when it does,  it really shows, due to the arcade nature. It is not failure as such just a bit optimistic expectation from devs. They rather risked it then water down the great combat they had.

    Cash shop sells gear. It may not be obvious at first glance (to hide it from casuals as well as professional writers who cannot spend days reviweving one game, when they write for living). It sells gems to purchase set parts from in-game NPC. The costumes it sells are worn in addition to normal gear as usual - but they can be crafted to have stats. The crafting mats to improve said costumes as well as your standard gear are as well sold in cash shop (some drops in game in abundance too, some rarely, some crucial never). Plus it sells gamebreaking "convenice" items like pots healing you to full with short CD. Also, I was told, by very endgame, you need cash shopped gear to even be able to hit a boss.

    It gets grindy relatively soon. I do not mind F2P games to take forever to get to level cap, it is valid school of MMO design. But Dragonica starts to get grindy shortly after you decide on your class (4 archetypes with 2 classes each, chosen at level 20) and gets only worse and worse. First the contents thins and you find yourself re-running the same place over and over and then levelling gets unbelivably slow, holding you back way before such slow down would be reasonable.

     

    Edit: The correction to the above poster for mission map score: You score increses slowly if you keep hitting mobs, increses more rapidly if you interrupt mob casting or hit them from back (this is big as you can ramp up score back on boss; you need party though) and decreases a lot if you get damaged (this is my pet peeve as a healer as I would not mind taking controlled damage othervise and have less CC moves); combo counter does not matter at all. Seriously, why have tank and healer class in game when your party gets severely punished if your tank takes hit and when healer is obsoleted by consumables. In the end, tank is PvP class and healer is boss DPS.

  • Holst86Holst86 Member UncommonPosts: 40

    Just another chinese free2play crap game not even worth watching at. Besides it co-operate with a goldersller/powerlvling site out there. But i guess all those dumbasses falling for the free2play lie dont care. Free2play have only one purpose and that is to milk out as much cash from this industry as possible. And actually it isnt free2pay, to get somewhere in the game you need xp and weapons = micropayments.

    Don play it and dont waste any money on it, you'll be feeding goldsellers and powerlvlers that will ruin serious games.

     

  • TyrrhonTyrrhon Member Posts: 412

    Ah why so much hate? Cannot take MMO that requires even bare minimum of RL skill?

    Sure, cash shop is evil. Not because it robs you of money, that is your personal problem. But because it does bad things to good games, like making grind tedious and cheapening your achievements. I am not sure is Dragonica is the same everywhere but gPotato seems to have bad press they seem to deserve.

    Still, this game is much improved Maple Story in 3D. It did what Age of Conan promised but was scared to do - action packed combat without targetting. It does what so many MMOs lack - you see and hear what is happening without reading combat log, you learn not to stand in fire in your first day instead of in some raid and won't even notice. There is just enough skill required to make you feel like it actually matters yet not rule the less gifted out. The crating (cooking and gear improvements) is light and easy to understand. The grouping is ecouraged and happens spontaneously.

    Sure, it is sidescrolling combat game and it is F2P so nothing worth playing hardcore. What is really persistent today? EvE?

     

  • scuubeedooscuubeedoo Member Posts: 458

    This game is very prone to leechers. Another irritating thing about it is that only certain classes are good - most aren't. And many players will actually go that far into excluding you from groups if you don't play that 2-3 good classes.

    "Traditionally, massively multiplier online games have been about three basic gameplay pillars – combat, exploration and character progression. In Alganon, in addition to these we've added the fourth pillar to the equation: Copy & Paste."

  • firemnfiremn Member CommonPosts: 1

    I've played this game in a serious sense and managed to 54.

    At this point in level, it becomes just like every other cash shop game, where only the ones who spend the money to super power their equips are any good.

     

    Even worse is when I made a 3xish archer. I inadvertently grouped together with a person that literally bought their level. At best a normal person can upgrade their equipment to get one stat boost. This person wasted their money getting their low 3x equipment to godly upgrade levels. All of their items had at least 2 stat boosts, with 4 of them having 3 stat boosts.

    This might sound confusing, but then when we started using our attacks it became embarrassing/ They had essentially tripled my attack. Normally I would be ecstatic for something like this, and even moreso when a second had come to "help". The biggest problem was that with these two cutting corners and buying their way into godly equipment, I could not keep up or even attempt to compete with them. They had the ignorant and bratty idea to berate me for "not helping", and held a piece of equipment that they neither needed or could use over my head, saying that I didn't deserve it.

     

    long story short is that this game has a cash shop that ruins this game if you're not careful with who you play with. I have not and now will never spend money in this game. It just ruins the worth of it in my eyes.

     

    experienced rating:

    The Good

    • Simple control scheme
      • Uses ↑/↓/←/→, X for attack, C for jump, and 16 buttons you can use however you choose be it skills or healing items
    • To some the cutesy anime style is a plus
    • Finding people to play and grind with you has never been a problem
    • The player community is usually good, but there are dramatic exceptions, guilds are plenty and filled with them

    The Bad

    • This is a grinding game. Sure there's quests, but they offer no worthwhile reward besides exp that is outdone by grinding
    • Game breaking/easily abused  cash shop
      • all clothing can be upgraded to offer more defense and give stats, and same with the weapon option for offense.
      • After a certain level, you will be strongly urged to get one of the two ultimate weapons and upgrade it. Making these weapons require a cash shop item, and a hefty investment to safely upgrade your weapon (people tend to stop at +12, as going further is even more expensive)
    • Unstable economy (prices skyrocket and plummet every other week)
    • Bad programming (the game has constant crashes and memory leaks, making this game use way more RAM than it needs to)
    • End game almost requires you spend money, as it's the only way to keep any sort of pace (this is expected, it's a cash shop F2P after all)
    • They (Barunson/THQ*ICE) get their money by disabling the ability to trade bought items in game, and the only way to get them is a risky maneuver
      • it takes two separate transactions, the cash (known to the game as ice) buyer usually sends his in game money to the ice seller first. Then the seller is obligated to "gift" (cash items are not tradeable in game, you can however buy something directly to someone else's account) the item to them. Any scamming gets both players banned as it is against the rules to transact real money for in game money, which means if the seller scams, the buyer usually will not report, as his account is more important than the in game money lost.

    The Ugly

    • Not rare to find immature brats that have their parents drop money on this game for them.
    • Barunson (the developer) and THQ*ICE do not communicate well, if at all.
    • The last few patches have nerfed a few classes
    • Recently they have also nerfed experience, making the grind even more steep. They refuse to admit this by saying they have "found it to be normal"
    • There is NO communication between the user base (forums) and the moderating team. The forums are spammed with complaints over the recent changes and there hasn't been ONE response.
      • Example 1 An item was removed that furthers the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Older players had the chance to max out their skill tree with inexpensive and obtainable "Skill Forges", which gave you 1 skill point

      • Example 2 Scapes, who is the only person for the user base to talk to, is just one person. The biggest problem is he does not even respond to the threads with the big questions, but instead focuses on advertising the new cash shop clothes for sale. It's not his fault though, it's his job to inform us of the new things to buy.

     

    I hope this helps people with their decision on whether or not they want to play this. It's a fun game with nice players when you're at the right place at the right time, but with so many problems there's a lot of sacrifices to the player's standards being made.

     

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