Dragon Nest Overview
Dragon Nest is a fantasy MMORPG with an emphasis on skill-based fighting and combos. Originally released in 2010 to the Korean market, Nexon brings Dragon Nest to the North American market just a year later with a fresh set of voice actors and a whole lot of hype. Dragon Nest lets you play one of four classes, each with their set of two sub-classes, as you quest your way through colorful anime-inspired environments. It will undoubtedly appeal to those who tire of the World of Warcraft UI model, along with those who enjoy a more fast paced, less repetitive fighting system. Players will enjoy how differently each class plays from one another, along with the crazy powerful effects as enemies get lit on fire, fried by electricity or just blown away by the characters’ many abilities. You may play as:
The Warrior: Classic close-combat tank & spank class, the warrior starts out as an even balance of offensive and defensive skills.
The Swordsman: Swordsmen are warriors whom, once specialized, embrace the damage-dealing aspect of their class, which can be again specialized to one, or many opponents through their choice of skills.
The Mercenary: Mercenaries are nothing short than traditional, full-blown tanks. Though they lose out on Swordsman damage, they can take a beating and easily ask for second servings.
The Archer: Straightforward long-ranged damage dealer, the archer is fast, hard-hitting, and fragile. Archers will need to use their mobility to ensure they can live to keep dishing out the pain.
The Sharpshooter: Specialized in long-ranged combat, the Sharpshooter is the archer with a full focus on long-range damage, but with even more vulnerability. This class hits like a truck.
The Acrobat: Losing a lot of the long range damage dealing, the Acrobat is an agility and mobility powerhouse that trades in the bow for close combat damage dealing.
The Cleric: Tank, healer and buffer, the cleric boasts a range of survival and crowd control abilities that makes him a welcome addition to any group. They are however, quite weak on the damage aspect.
The Paladin: Though low in damage, the Paladin is a spell casting tank with a knack for survival with a good measure of the group supporting and enemy disrupting abilities of the cleric.
The Priest: Acting as the traditional healer and support caster role, the priest is Dragon Nest’s main support powerhouse, with some secondary damage dealing spells.
The Sorceress: Short to medium range spell caster, the Sorceress’ focus is a mix of damage-dealing attacks, status and crowd control abilities.
The Elementalist: Focusing on elemental magic, this sub-class boasts a range of high damage and crowd control magic, with the tradeoff being lower toughness.
The Mystic: A more balanced alternative to the elementalist, the Mystic’s main focus is crowd control rather than damage, using gravity to throw enemies around the area.
The Tinkerer:The Tinkerer uses a variety of attacks that hit a wide area from mid- to long-ranges to deal damage, heal, and defend their allies, and their low Strength and Vitality are offset by strong Agility and Intellect.
The Engineer: Engineers command a vast arsenal of rockets, turrets, and robots to deal damage and control the battlefield. In addition to direct-damage skills, the Engineer can also bolster Alfredo, transforming the robo-butler into the ultimate bodyguard.
The Alchemist: Masters of all things chemical, Alchemists use various tinctures and tonics to heal allies, poison enemies, and dish out elemental damage. With the power to tip the scales of battle in their party’s favor, Alchemists make excellent all-around supporters.
The Kali: The Kali combines fast and fluid melee combat with dark magic that cripples her enemies and bolsters her allies. Her relentless strikes and debilitating de-buffs weaken foes and leave them open to attack.
The Screamer: Screamers embrace the power of fallen spirits to protect allies and weaken enemies with status effects and continuous damage. Screamers can even become invincible for a short time.
The Dancer: Dancers unleash a flurry of chakram attacks and magical abilities in a deadly dance that overwhelms enemies. Dancers are lithe and agile, and they dart from enemy to enemy in the blink of an eye.
Dragon Nest Screenshots
Dragon Nest Featured Video
Dragon Nest Review 2014
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)
With action MORPGs becoming even more mainstream in the F2P market, it’s now time to take a look back at one particular action MORPG that appeared on western shores several years ago, arguably starting the craze. Dragon Nest is developed by Eyedentity games and published by Nexon America. It now features six different class types, multiple sub-classes and a level 60 cap that will give players weeks of monsters to beat up along the way.
Initial character creation comes with few options. Players will have the choice between a handful of face types, clothing and hair colors. Besides the six classes you can choose from, which are all gender locked, there are no other options available to make your player stand out from the get-go. The only way to make your character look unique is by obtaining avatar items from completing special quests and events, or by purchasing them from the Dragon Vault. The only issue with both these methods is that avatar items earned by events and quests are only temporary, and the ones from the Dragon Vault can only be obtained using real money or with “Dragon Scales”, another form of currency that can be earned from events, but have a set expiration date.
What may also raise concerns is that avatar items generally have extra stats tied to them. This could be seen as a form of buying power, but combat in Dragon Nest puts a fair emphasis on skill over stats and in some cases, players with those extra stats can be subjected to equalized PvP which will render those extra stats as meaningless.
Of course, if a player still needs those extra stats in order to feel adequate, but doesn’t have the time, money or scales to obtain them, they could always “beg” another player in order to get them.
No seriously.. The Dragon Vault comes equipped with the option to beg other players for items from the shop.
Other forms of customization include enchantments and lustres that can be used to enhance and unlock extra stats or passive abilities for equipment. These items can be found just about everywhere, and players will always end up with at least one of these in their inventory by the end of a single dungeon run.
The combat system uses a familiar TPS style control scheme, which means WASD is for movement, spacebar for jumping and mouse for aiming primary and secondary attacks. Getting a hang of the default control scheme will be easy enough if the player has ever tried an FPS or TPS game before, but later on, it may become a challenge in of its own. Around LV15 when sub-classes become available, players will gain access to several different skills that can be activated using the 1 through 0 keys. These skills can have multiple uses and can be activated several times before initiating cooldowns. Due to the game’s fast-paced nature, it can be fairly difficult to execute the right move at the right time, because when every enemy on screen is gunning for the player’s head, there may be times when the player will end up pressing the wrong skill at the right time, and getting used to a default control scheme like this almost feels like learning how to touch type for the first time in grade school. In short, the default control scheme for Dragon Nest is simply not up to the task, so players should re-configure their controls to better suit the gameplay.
Gameplay and Features
Compared to many other action MORPGs, Dragon Nest has one of the fastest combat systems out there. Players can run, jump, batter, bruise and destroy everything at a breakneck pace. The game even rewards players with points for destroying as much as they can, as fast as they can, right before defeating the final boss of each instance. Another element that makes Dragon Nest’s combat so enjoyable is that almost every attack can be cancelled on hit or after, allowing players to extend combos and juggles near endlessly.
Since combat uses a TPS style control scheme, attacks (for the most part) will need to be on-point in order for them to connect. Even melee classes will have to aim and watch their distance between themselves and their enemies in order to play effectively. One downside with Dragon Nest’s combat, however, is that skills have cooldown timers attached to them. While the intentions for these cooldowns are obviously to prevent exploits such as infinite combos (since nobody wants to watch helplessly as their character gets destroyed in a huge 100% to 0% HP juggle), this also prevents the gameplay from reaching heights of crazy combat that were made possible in games such as Devil May Cry 3 and 4, which would have really made Dragon Nest stand out even more, PvE wise.
PvP modes are available as early as LV10, and it’s a whole different ball game compared to PvE. Along with the insanely long juggle combos, PvP combat is just as hectic and fast-paced, but one major difference is that players now have to deal with a damage threshold meter during combat. This meter determines how long a player can combo an enemy before they become temporarily immune to damage, so players must figure out how to maximize damage and which moves work best to create the perfect combo sandwich.
There are a handful of different game modes and options to choose from in PvP, such as objective based game modes similar to Capture the Flag, or classic modes like Free-For-Alls and Team Deathmatch. One feature that will help ease new players into PvP, as well as (attempt to) create a fair playing field is the equalized stat option. Players that are just starting out can have the same stats as a player who is already at max level. Of course, higher level players will still have a considerable advantage over low levels simply due to the fact that they’ll have a much wider array of skills and abilities at their disposal.
Interestingly enough, it seems that each class type in PvP could be considered a particular archetype in a fighting game. Since the warrior is the only class that can perform a running sprint on the ground, they could be considered a “rush down”-type character, the archer mainly uses ranged attacks which could count as a zoning-type, the mage who uses teleports could be seen as a dynamic “keep away”-type character, and so on.
Killing wave after wave of enemies in Dragon Nest has a satisfying feel as every hit gives a real sense of impact. Despite this, repetition does set in early, as the game will send players off to revisit dungeons that they’ve already completed multiple times. Even as early as LV5, I was sent off to battle in a low-tier dungeon about four times in order to complete all main and sub-quests I had for it. As per usual, the best way to combat the repetition is by playing the game with some good friends, or just random folks in general since players will be able to breeze through at a much faster rate, but it only helps by a small amount as quests will continue to be piled on and on as players progress. The amount of quests that players will have access to are so plentiful that most players will be overleveled by the time the quest is completed.
Now with these types of action MORPGs, I would usually say that skill can only get a player so far when stats are involved, but honestly, the challenges in Dragon Nest did not feel artificially overwhelming like in recent action MORPGs that I’ve played, in that a single player could handle almost any dungeon on any difficulty rating as long as they were skilled enough to go through. (Or at least that’s how I felt before reaching Saint’s Haven at LV24.)
Visuals and Presentation
The visuals for Dragon Nest have this nostalgic look and feel to it, almost seemingly like an early Dreamcast game. It’s certainly nice to have another F2P online game that’s brimming with life and color, but the low quality of the textures and the low polygon count could have been bumped up a tad bit to make the game feel a little bit more presentable. Still, the benefit for having these kinds of visuals will mean that Dragon Nest should hold up well on many older PC builds.
The sound design is also fairly decent, with voice acting that comes off as cheesy, but it also helps to give Dragon Nest a bit of personality. Music that plays during battles is engaging enough, but comes off as generic and ultimately forgettable.
Dragon Nest’s community features come complete with friend lists, player guilds, custom chat channels and even a farming area for players to hang out and socialize in. Anyone that has a competitive side will also enjoy various guild vs. guild competitions, along with weekly/monthly ladder rankings. There’s even a mentor system for players to learn and grow from others as they level up and earn extra goodies on the side.
As for the actual community: There’s a fair amount of friendly players that are willing to help newbies out. Occasionally, you may run into a few salty individuals, especially during PvP sessions, but these kinds of players are few and far between.
Besides from a few quirks, Dragon Nest provides an enjoyable experience with fast-paced gameplay that many other action MORPGs barely come close to reaching. Whether you’re a casual or competitive gamer that wants a good action fix, Dragon Nest in the year of 2014 will do nicely to fit the bill.
Dragon Nest Review
At this point, it’s fairly safe to assume that most games published by Nexon will get a fair amount of hype, and it’s definitely the case with Dragon Nest, with attentions such as its own theme song written by Gackt for its Japanese version. J-pop aside, this is actually Eyedentity Games’ very first title ever even though it bears a striking resemblance to other free MMOs out there such as Vindictus. That said, does Eyedentity Games make good on its first shot, or does Dragon Nest fall to the dust amidst an increasingly high quality free to play MMO market? Read on!
Those Monsters Deserve A Poke With A Sharp Stick!
One of the first impressions one is most likely to get is how smooth the graphics look. It’s worth sayjng right now, it’s a fairly polished title, and it has definitely profited from the time it has been out in Asia. A few things have been redone, such as the voices, and you’ll be pleased to know that your days of trying to understand sentences with total disregard for syntax are over, for the moment at the very least. Unfortunately, even though the game installs almost 2 gigs of data on your computer, you need to access it by using the web site, quite like a flash MMO. Even when you click the game icon, it leads you to the web site rather than the actual game. Why not just link it straight to the patcher? Moving on; the character creation is as simplistic as most free to play games, with the most unfortunate feature being that classes are gender locked, and the most you can get out of it is to make a manly sorceress, or a very girly cleric(Go ahead, try it). There’s a decent selection of haircuts, attires and starting weapons, which does allow for a bit of customization, but nothing to write home about. Type in a name, confirm, and you’re sent straight into the game.
Go Forth And…. Spank Those Monsters!
Or almost. You’ll first be treated to a cinematic, which is quite a surprising feature for a free to play dungeon crawler, leading to one of two starting areas (Clerics & Sorceresses, Warriors & Archers), each with their own story and environment. First you’ll go through a sort of tutorial mission introducing you to the basics, learn of X girl in distress (I didn’t say it was original), and proceed to do your heroic business before being sent to town. For the most part, non player characters have voices and various lines of their own (bad accents are avoided this time around), a lot of them quite light hearted, a few of which were chosen for the headers of this review. This encourages the player to read the quest stuff, most of which is interesting. Eyedentity Games takes advantage of the linear nature of the game by giving it a firm storyline, punctuated by interesting boss fights and occasional cinematics. The whole process has a very vague feeling of console single player gaming. It’s a simple system that most definitely will feel familiar to experienced MMO gamers; get quests, go out into an instance alone or with a group, whack your way to success and then come back for rewards.
Did I Say Spank?
The combat is satisfying and much less repetitive than for most F2P MMO games. A good touch is that you get to choose your difficulty level if you feel like higher risk/higher reward. For the most part, it’s not actually very hard until you get to the top two difficulties on solo, and some quests can only be done on certain difficulties. The spells and effects are nifty, things get blown back, paralyzed, poisoned, and smashed to smithereens. Classes each specialize in a type of combat; warriors get down and dirty, clerics will fight close but mostly play a support role, the sorceress will try to stick at mid-range while the archer wants to be as far as possible. There is no targeting, so you’ll be actively whacking away while alternating abilities assigned to numbered hotkeys. There’s also no mechanic in Dragon’s Nest to limit play, like fatigue, which is a very good thing. There’s even the opposite, called Empowerment, which gives you more experience the more you play, up to a certain limit. The progression consists of a skill tree whose abilities you buy with skill points gained when leveling, with the capability of gaining one of two advanced classes being unlocked at level 15. Instances are straightforward, even if randomized. You beat stuff up, encounter a boss, pick one of three chests for a randomized reward, and head to town.
I Can Teach You Many Techniques For Dealing… Discomfort!
In town, you repair, get more quests, sell your unused items and look for groups to adventure with. The grouping system is one of the game’s least entertaining aspects, lacking an automatch feature, and leaving you to browse through a list of groups looking for the right one. While the steady population of this game means you’ll never really be lacking players to play with, the time it takes to find a group, clear away the AFKs, get to the instance entrance and finally play, makes it easier to sometimes just solo your way through. The items are separated between normal and costume items; normal ones give you most of your stats while the costume items give you your appearance, and have a duration limit. The money store, as of the writing of this review, contains very few items, most of which are consumables used to speed up the progression. There are however a few aesthetic items can be found such as different skin and eye colors, and it’s very likely that they’ll eventually be joined by costume items in the future. Titles in Dragon Nest also award certain stats, and so do a special type of items called Crests, for which you unlock more slots as you play. Finally, you’ll also encounter the friendship mechanic which consists of doing certain quests to get in good standing with certain NPCs, which in turn give you discounts at the local stores; an interesting feature, but nothing game changing. Dragon’s Nest many small features, while not game changing on their own, contribute to lessen the repetition normally found in such free to play MMOs.
Final Verdict: Good
Dragon Nest is a very good game with super production value; it has cinematics, voice acting, great storylines and entertaining skill-based fighting. In a way, it aspires to bring a quality and polish normally only found in traditional MMOs to the F2P market. Though some people will be turned off by the cartoony graphics and the game’s light hearted tone, it has all the right ingredients for addictive, long-term gameplay, even with its minor flaws. Moreso, there is content down the pipe for post-release patches, such as brand new advanced classes. Keep an eye on this one!
Dragon Nest Online Links
Dragon Nest System Requirements
OS: Windows XP +
CPU: Pentium 4, Dual Core
RAM: 1 GB
HDD: 4 GB Free
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 7600 or better
OS: Windows XP +
CPU: Pentium 4, Dual Core 1 GhZ
HDD: 4 GB+ Free
Graphics Card: Nvidia 8000 Series (or better)
Dragon Nest Articles
- Dragon Nest Europe: The Wrath of the Desert Dragon - Posted on May 7, 2014
Shanda Games releases a new update for Dragon Nest Europe that revisits an old dungeon, introduces a new one, and more.
- Nexon’s Dragon Nest Adds Level 70 Cap Update, New Dungeons and More - Posted on March 20, 2014
Nexon announces the release of a new update for Dragon Nest that raises the level cap, introduces advanced skills, and adds new content.
- Dragon Nest (EU) Hosts Anniversary Event - Posted on March 12, 2014
The acclaimed fantasy action MMORPG Dragon Nest Europe is celebrating its first birthday this March. From 12th March until 9th April, publisher Shanda Games International Europe will accordingly host special birthday events.
- Dragon Nest – “Memoirs of a Beggar” update now available - Posted on February 14, 2014
On February 14th, 2013, Nexon America released a new update for Dragon Nest called “Memoirs of a Beggar”.
- Dragon Nest EU Introduces Kali in February Patch - Posted on February 13, 2014
Kali herself offers a devastating and diverse range of melee and ranged attacks, with specialty depending on which class path you follow. Utilizing chakrams, fans, and soul magic, she stands as a threat at all times and can be quite tricky to catch long enough to combo her.
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- Vindictus - Vindictus is a fast paced 3D fantasy MMORPG brawler. Based on Celtic mythology, Vindictus allows players to fight through instanced stages hack-and-slash style.
- TERA Rising - TERA is a unique action MMORPG that lets you become a legendary hero. Instead of the traditional target and auto-attack featured in most MMOs, TERA requires your own skill in positioning, aiming, and timing your attacks to take down your foes. With seven races and eight classes to choose from, and a variety of skills, you can customize to suit your style, there will always be a variety of ways to conquer your foes!