Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dragona: First impressions

Dragona Online Philippines finally launches its open beta service. While it was a rocky start, taking minutes before being able to sign in and create a character, it finally stabilizes after midnight and I was finally able to create a character.

There are eight classes to choose from, each gender and race locked. Also, each of them has a unique transformation to a dragon, apparently, although they look nowhere like a dragon. Since I primarily choose a ranged DPS character, I went with the Sniper. Finally, I was able to enter the world. How was it?

Well, it's your typical Korean MMO, fighting monsters and doing quests to grind for experience. At first, I thought the graphics was lousy. But after turning the video settings up, it became decent enough. While the setting was pretty cool, I cannot really say the same for the character models.

Do note that the quests are given to you remotely, so you don't have to go to NPC A to receive a quest. It now just pops up on the top right. Similarly, once you complete the quest, you don't have to go to NPC B (most of the time, at least). It remotely pops up and rewards you right where you are. You can also automatically travel to where the mobs or quest areas/NPCs are located with a click of the mouse. This makes questing pretty easy, and the first few levels pass with a breeze.

There are no stats in this game, only skills and items alter the overall strength of your character. But there's a lot of skills. I'm not sure how many skill points you get per level or quest, but apparently, that's how you get them. Apparently, my class specializes on single-target enemies. A single critical from one of my skills downs any of the non-boss mob I've encountered.

Once I finished a particular quest, I was rewarded with the basic mount of the game, which looks like a futuristic motorcycle of some sort, somewhat fitting the setting. Do note that I didn't bother reading through the quest storylines, so I have no idea why dragons would exist in a somewhat futuristic setting.

I haven't yet tried the PvP aspect of the game, which is supposedly the selling point. This is supposed to be triggered remotely, similar to a quest. But everytime I get the trigger, I'm either alt-tabbed or nothing happens, which I assume would be full.

I did, however, get a chance to try the dungeon instances. Drops from bosses are given via a greed system using a random number generator. The drops are mostly enchants, though. I have no idea how to trigger the instances themselves.

Finally, there's the transformations. As I've mentioned, players are able to transform into dragons, giving greater stats, for mine at least. I haven't yet gotten a full dragon transformation, but I have received a couple of partial transformations giving me better attack damage and movement speed. While it was relatively easy to grind via quests to the level where I'm able to do the said full transformation, it started to feel repetitive to me once I hit 17, especially given the vastness of the world where one quest are to another takes minutes to travel to.

It's not all bad. The graphics are nice. The gameplay is just... typical. Nothing new here, only different terms and whatnot. What's good, though, is since this is in a local server, there's practically no lag. However, I'm not yet sold. If the PvP turns out to be any good, I might give it another chance. I'm stopping for now, though, as I wait for my Dragon Nest SEA client to finish downloading.

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