Dragon Nest Bridging the Gap
I also really enjoyed our time with Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO), the 2.5D combo-based brawler. Then there's Dragon Nest, Nexon's game due out later this year which seems to bridge the gap.
I've seen Dragon Nest before, but its cute, colorful art and simplistic art style initially paled in comparison with the more realistic Vindictus. Playing also seemed very confusing at first, with half a dozen attacks on offer from the get-go and seemingly no sense of order or purpose. It wasn't until my most recent play session that I began to understand what Dragon Nest is all about. Dragon Nest isn't competing with the relatively mature Vindictus or Dungeon Fighter Online's complex, occasionally button-mashy combat. It's happy to find its own audience.
DFO's complex combo system was the game's primary draw, with moves designed to launch and juggle enemies. It created a parallel with games like Marvel vs Capcom and tied your rewards to how well you performed those combos and how quickly you completed dungeons. Dragon Nest transplants this idea into a fully 3D environment. Every combo you perform is tracked, and as soon as I realize this, everything seems to fall into place. Playing as a sorcerer, I had a move that sprayed a cloud of poison in a cone in front of me, with every puff that hit a foe counting towards a combo. Keeping my enemies grouped naturally became a primary objective, so circle-strafing and attacking enemies with my allies from opposing sides to keep the targets centered proved effective.
Although many of the enemies we encountered were small and went down pretty easily, we eventually encountered larger ones capable of dealing substantial damage. This is where the Vindictus-side of things came in. Vindictus players will recognize the importance of avoiding and blocking attacks, and in Dragon Nest it is no different. Like Vindictus, there is a dedicated dodge button that will move your character out of harm's way should the need arise.
At least on the two missions I played, the game seemed rather easy. Granted, there are multiple levels of difficulty for each map in the game and whether the character I was playing was at an appropriate level for the dungeons I simply don't know. It's also possible that, like Vindictus and DFO, the difficulty sharply rises as players level up and I was simply playing low-level stages. What I do know is that I really liked the formula, and am honestly excited to see how this game progresses once it hits closed beta in North America this Summer.
Nexon had a great booth at PAX East, two of them as a matter of fact. The company that is known for Maple Story really has been stepping up in terms of games lately. Dragon Nest may look a bit anime for some people, but the game play is fast paced and well organized. The company also showed off the new content for Vindictus with a new city and new zones for players to explore. Nexon remains a pioneer in the FTP space and continues to bring much stronger games to the market.
With an anime feel to the game I got to the computer to play Dragon Nest with some hesitations. Will this be another Anime Pop style game with little depth and a lot of grinding? Well I was very wrong. My impressions quickly changed as our group began the instance run and started fighting a number of foes while running through the dungeon.
I was playing the archer class and had a blast targeting the enemies and dropping them like flies before the got to me. If I did get into melee it was nothing that a round house kick could not solve. The target was centered in the middle of the screen with my character just off to the left. It worked very well in terms of selecting targets and using my abilities without having to click all over the screen.
Running through the instance I was suprosed at well the game moved forward and allowed the group to work together. The dynamics of the combat allowed for team work among players and gave us some great battles along the way.
We ended the demo with a boss fight against a big Orclike looking monster. In terms of game play Dragon Nest was great fun and moved very well in terms of pacing. The game surprised me with its pace and play style which was much better than I expected. As a FTP game dragon nest gold is a great game to join if you do not want or need a long term commitment. Getting in and running adventures are great and you do not need six hours of time to play. If this demo is any indicator, Nexon has a great game on their hands with action style combat and enough depth and character development to keep players coming back. Vindictus is a game that impressed us greatly over the last year. With an open community area and instanced dungeons for players to run it is a great game when you do not have a lot of time. Vindictus really is the first game that Nexon has shown which captures the more adult MMO players.