Dragon Oath is a 3D isometric martial arts themed MMORPG set in the Song dynasty of ancient China. It features nine classes inspired by the various ancient disciplines of kung-fu, daily events, and an extensive pet training and breeding system. Released in mainland China in 2007, it enjoys over 800,000 active players and nearly 30 million subscribers. Much of Dragon Oath’s story revolves around the mythology of the eight races of non-human deities mentioned in Buddhist cosmology, but like most MMORPGs story plays a small role in the actual gameplay.
Graphics: Medium Quality
EXP Rate: Medium
PvP: PvP Arena / Duels / Guild Fights
Pros: +Classic isometric view. +Multiple gameplay avenues. +Nine unique classes. +Over 200 unique pets. +Many trade skills. +Good path finding feature. +Daily events.
Cons: – Extremely slow to start. – Poor camera control. – Poor user-interface. -Mediocre translation.
Dragon Oath Overview
Dragon Oath is an immensely popular 3D Fantasy MMORPG in Asia that recently made it’s way to North America and is ChangYou’s first game to be released in this corner of the world. With numerous playable classes, trade skills and in game events Dragon Oath offers quite a bit of variety and interesting gameplay. Those looking for a more unique MMORPG though, should look elsewhere, as Dragon Oath is a generic run of the mill 3D Fantasy MMORPG. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as the game does offer quite a bit of content. In Dragon Oath, every player starts out as the “recruit” class until they earn their way to level 10, at which point they choose a class of their own. The nine playable classes are as follows:
Pyromancer - Standard glass cannon class, focused on dealing heavy damage (the hardest-hitting class in the game). Can sacrifice defense for offense.
Lotus Order – A healer class with a high capability of defending themselves and mitigating damage; paladin-esque.
Royalty - Damage-dealing class focused on debuffing targets and especially oriented towards the destruction of mage-type enemies and classes.
Minstrel – Damage-dealing class heavily reliant on traps. Primarily ranged damage, uses devices that inflict magic and fire damage.
Taoist - Jack-of-all-trades class. Capable of doing a little bit of everything, focuses on balance between various aspects of play.
Voodoo - Damage-dealing class that focuses on apllying damge-over-time debuffs and poisons. Has a high defense against magic.
Assassin – The stealth class. Deals quick, heavy damage based around physical attacks and ice.
Beggars Alliance – A class based around escalating damage and combos. Makes good use of poison attacks.
Shaolin – Class defined by the use of the “iron body” skill, which dramatically increases offense and defense. The “tank” class of Dragon Oath.
Dragon Oath Screenshots
Dragon Oath Featured Video
Dragon Oath Review
by B. Olivia
I wanted to like Dragon Oath a lot, honestly. There are plenty of things to appreciate about the game. The translation isn’t great, but it isn’t unreadable either – it’s kind of that cute middle point with English translations where instead of being annoying it’s just adorable. The graphics are actually pleasant to look at, despite being technically dated. The architecture is neat, the colors are vivid, and there is a lot of character to the cities. My favorite example being the loving couple sitting on the back of an elephant ambling around the main city. D’ awww, this game is so girly.
Unfortunately, the first thing I notice after logging in is that the camera control is painfully limited. There is no WASD movement, and there is no “driver” view, even though the game is 3D. Why? This is extremely annoying – I can’t even zoom out far enough to get a good idea of my surroundings. The entire gameplay experience in this game is limited to a 40 foot square, which is a shame because the game is actually colorful and decent to look at.
I want to punch something!
It describes my general sentiments when playing this game, yes, not only because Dragon Oath is kind of grindy, but also because for the first half an hour or so of gameplay, you are loaded down with FedEx quests. FedEx quests that demand you click on the ground and navigate through this crowded, myopic isometric world from one NPC to another – or so I thought! In the quest tracker, I can apparently click on hyperlinked coordinates, and my character will path to my destination on her own. Convenient. It reduces the game to something akin to an early 90′s point and click adventure title, although it unfortunately doesn’t offer the same service for the return trip of a quest. It’s kind of easy to get lost in this game, unless you keep your map open constantly, which kind of undermines the point of having pretty graphics.
For five of the 70 levels this game has to offer, I am flexing my fingers and twitching in my chair, wondering when I get to use that spear I just got handed by some woman for bringing her some… thing. I wasn’t paying attention. Finally, some old man on a giant bird (there are birds EVERYWHERE in this game, apparently instead of pigeons in urban centers, this world has a very bad giant eagle infestation) told me to take my spear, go west, and commit monkey genocide.
Am I having fun yet?
Not really, I’m afraid. But I wanted to keep an open mind at this point – after all, I hadn’t even fought anything yet. I see my first enemy, a white monkey. I click on it. It dies in one shot. Great! I do this about thirty more times, until it ceases being amusing. The game does not start you with any combat abilities, all you get to do is smack things. Left-click. I couldn’t help but notice that (if I ever did get abilities) they would be defaulted to the F1-F8 keys. This is just… what? Why? I suppose it doesn’t matter, because the clunky design of the game doesn’t require use of WASD controls, but it just adds to my opinion of the game’s interface being laid out badly.
Really, the biggest gripe I have with this game is how it plays, not necessarily the content. It has a deep crafting and guild system, the classes are interesting, and everyone gets access to pets, which is fun. It’s not that I have anything against isometric games either – nothing could be farther from the truth. I grew up with Diablo, Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, and nothing BUT isometric RPGs. Dragon Oath just does it poorly, the controls being unresponsive and unintuitive, and the camera being permanently zoomed in too close. The combat is also a little dull. However, in the context of the F2P market Dragon Oath isn’t bad. If you can slog through the first part of the game, get involved with the (very weird) community, and get attached to your character, it’s a charming title. The outfits are also really great, so if you’re an MMO fashionista (like I can be), then Dragon Oath has no shortage of unique clothes to hoard.
The game has guild cities and inter-guild PVP, which is actually rather fun and Age of Conan-esque (without the depressing graphics and violent community.) It also has daily events, in which players can participate to earn extra rewards. This is a nice gesture on the part of the devs to add a little bit of variety and dynamism to their game, so it’s definitely worth praising. There are developers of high-value, pay-to-play MMOs that don’t give their community that level of attention.
Final Word - Good
Don’t expect Dragon Oath to change your life or rock your world. It is not terribly innovative or interesting from a technical standpoint. If you can get past the slow start and the clunky controls, then you’ll find a title that is surprisingly full of variety, pretty to look at, and bursting at the seams with an enormous community of players to interact with. You might not be knocked out of your chair with thrills and excitement, but you won’t be lonely, and you can at least be appreciative that the game isn’t actively trying to punish you for playing it. For being flawed, Dragon Oath is an earnest game that tries very hard to please. Give it a chance!
Dragon Oath Links
Dragon Oath System Requirements
OS: Windows 98 / XP / Vista
CPU: 800 MhZ Pentium 3 or better.
RAM: 256 MB
HDD: 2 GB Free
Graphics Card: Any 32 MB Graphics Card
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 2000
CPU: 1.5 GHz Pentium 4
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 2 GB Free
Graphics Card: Any 64 MB Graphics Card