Dynasty Warriors Online
Dynasty Warriors Online Overview
Dynasty Warriors Online is the MMORPG version of the famous hack-and-slash console series. Like many Asian MMORPGs, DWO is set in the Three Kingdoms period, but this time players can jump straight into the action. Dynasty Warriors Online has fast-paced combat where players will be striking down hordes of enemies with every swing. Each weapon type has different stats, such as reach, power, and speed. Players must decide which weapons to use and upgrade. There is a ton of PvE and PvP content in the game, but like the console versions, battles themselves are instanced. Up to twenty-four users can take part in a battle, and each team must work together to capture bases and kill as many enemies as possible.
Factions - Wei, Shu, Wu
Melee – 4v4 brawls that effect the ‘Melee’ score of each participant based on results. Melee matches earn Conflict points towards the winning team’s faction.
Showdown – The largest scale PvP battles. Two teams of up to 12 players fight it out to earn Conflict Points for their faction. Individual melee scores are not effected.
Campaign - Only open to players of rank Lt. Major or higher. One team must defend their faction’s control over a city while the opposing force must conquer it.
Mock Battle - A quick warm-up match. Fight with players from your own faction in battles of up to 4v4. Spectators are also allowed, but Mock Battle results don’t effect individual rankings.
Arena – Fight against players or rival factions without worrying about individual rankings. Conflict Points are still at stake.
Dynasty Warriors Online Screenshots
Dynasty Warriors Online Featured Video
Dynasty Warriors Online Review
By Erhan Altay
Dynasty Warriors is a long running series of hack n’ slash titles that started on the Playstation console. Developed by the Japanese studio Koei, Dynasty Warriors has found its way onto both handheld and next-gen consoles. There are a variety of spin-off series, but the prevailing and most popular setting for the games remains the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history. An online version of the series called Dynasty Warriors Online was released in Japan way back in 2006, and thanks to Aeria Games, Western audiences can now get in on the action.
This Feels Different
Dynasty Warriors Online went into beta in October 2010, and is only available for the PC platform. The client size clocks in at around 1800 MB, and players must use a downloader provided by Aeria to install the game. Back in Japan, the DWO also runs on the PlayStation 3 console. Cross-platform MMORPGs are more common in Japan with games like Final Fantasy 11, 14, and Voyage Century all running on consoles as well as computers. While the console functionality hasn’t crossed the Pacific (at least not yet), Dynasty Warriors Online still carries with it an interface designed to accommodate a gamepad. DWO supports gamepads and traditional mouse/keyboard controls, but the interface in the game feels as though it were designed specifically for a controller. Navigation with the mouse is possible, but just feels awkward. Luckily, players can move and navigate with the keyboard alone.
Creating a Hero
In previous Dynasty Warriors games, gamers had to select from a list of important characters from the Three Kingdoms era, but in DWO players create their own soldier. The character creation process has multiple steps, but isn’t all that involved. There’s no class selection – instead players start by choosing the origin of their character. A gridded map of medieval China displays dozens of regions, but the selection doesn’t seem to affect gameplay. Appearance customization comes next and gives players the option of four body sizes, eight face types, nine face styles, and ten hair styles. Hair, skin, and eye colors can be selected using a large palette. There are also five personality types to choose from including Fighter, Intellectual, Passionate, Skilled, and Individual. These may sound like classes, but they are not. Each personality has seven additional options including things like Cunning, Wild, Selfish, and so on. The final step is to select which of the factions to align yourself with. The three Kingdoms of Wei, Wu, and Shu should be familiar to most veteran video gamers by now.
Just Keep Training…
The graphic options in Dynasty Warriors Online are rather limited – especially the resolution options. The highest supported resolution is 1280×1024, and there’s no support for windowed mode. The quality of the visuals is pretty decent considering the game is already several years old, but on a large screen the image does look stretched. New players start in their own instanced home and are greeted by an instructor NPC. The controls in DWO are heavily keyboard-based. W,A,S,D are used to move while J, K, and L serve as the primary attack keys. Other keys like U (guard), and N (jump) also play a role. The first tutorial quest explains all this, but does so at a very slow pace. Unfortunately, there is a long string of tutorial and single-player missions to complete before players can experience the competitive aspects of Dynasty Warriors Online. It should also be mentioned that the gameplay portions of DWO take place in instanced stages rather than in the persistent world courtyard, which serves as a central hub and meeting place.
Cutting Down Chinamen
The Three Kingdoms era was a particularly brutal period of Chinese history, and the Dynasty Warriors series has never skimped on the body count. Besides facing off against other heroes (either AI or player controlled), gamers will have to hack and slash their way through hordes of low-tier troops. Anyone familiar with the series will know that these AI troops are nearly useless and rarely even bother swinging their weapons. They’re content to stand around and get plowed, which is fine, as it makes the players feel that much more powerful. Of course, the goal of any match in DWO is not to simply to mow down troops. Players must work alone or with their team mates to capture and hold various bases scattered across the field. Killing the NPC hordes does serve a purpose, however. These troops frequently drop flasks which are used to temporarily upgrade various abilities. These upgrades range from increased defense, attack power, to increasing the number of swings a player can make in an attack string. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and the lengthy (and mandatory) line of tutorial/training missions at least ensure that players have the basics down before they have to face off against each other.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us
There are five competitive game modes in Dynasty Warriors Online. Some support up to eight players (4v4) while others go up to 24 (12v12.) All game modes involve two teams facing off against each other, usually in a bid to control as many bases as possible. Bases are defended by NPCs and are captured in a number of ways. The most common types of bases are either defended by four captains or just a horde of regular troops. Others are defended by siege machines called juggernauts that can breath fire and launch fireballs. If a base is not protected by a hero, it is a trivial task to capture, but capturing a base that is being defended is much harder. Allies forces have the benefit of having their health constantly replenished while inside a friendly base, and even receive attribute bonuses depending on the elemental property of the base. Besides their team mates, players are accompanied by an NPC lieutenant which serves as a personal bodyguard. This feature should be familiar with fans of the Dynasty Warriors series, and just like in previous DW games, the lieutenant can be equipped and upgraded. The tactical aspects of Dynasty Warriors Online come in to play when team members must decide which bases to go after, which to defend, and how much time to spend grinding the trash NPCs for upgrade flasks. The results of each match also effect the ranking of participating player, but it also affects the overall effort of the faction those players are aligned with. Each server has a meta-game where the three factions vie for control of China. Players don’t directly fight over these regions, but instead their individual victories and defeats affect the overall outcome.
Players don’t level up in DWO; instead they gain military ranks after qualifying for and passing promotion quests. There are other methods of character progression – weapons gain stats as they are used, and new equipment can be found of defeated NPCs. But even so, Dynasty Warriors Online is an action game first and an RPG second. There are no ‘skills’, but the combo system does allow for about a dozen different attacks with different combinations of the normal attack (J) and combo attack (K.) The most powerful attack in the game is performed by hitting ‘L’ after filling the musou bar located below the player’s health bar. This bar is filled by defeating enemies, and is another feature that should be familiar to Dynasty Warriors veterans. DWO may be the latest Three Kingdoms themed MMORPG, but it is very different than other recent titles like Heroes of Three Kingdoms, or Kingdom Heroes. It takes the Dynasty Warriors franchise online, but the action-oriented combat, heavy use of instancing, and limited character development mean its still more of an action game than a traditional MMORPG. Overall, that’s a good thing. Dynasty Warriors Online is distinct, but if you never liked the console versions, there’s little chance the MMORPG version will win you over.
Final Verdict: Good
Dynasty Warriors Online is an action-packed game that, despite its flaws, manages to stand out in the crowded MMORPG space. It’s short on persistent world features, and character customization is limited, but the mix of multiplayer components and large scale-battles makes it a unique experience.
Dynasty Warriors Online Videos
Dynasty Warriors Online Infantry Base Tutorial
Dynasty Warriors Online Official Trailer
Dynasty Warriors Online Gameplay Trailer
Dynasty Warriors Online Gameplay – First Look
Dynasty Warriors Online Links
Dynasty Warriors Online Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.8 Ghz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 1.8 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce 5200 / Radeon 9550
OS: Windows Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz or better
RAM: 1 GB or more
HDD: 2 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce 7300 / Radeon X1300 or better