The “Dragon Nest” series of games is a strange beast. On the surface, it is a Korean MMORPG just like so many others, but there seems to be something more to it. Released in Korea in March 2010, in North America in November next year and in Europe in 2013, this game has been through three major revamps as a standalone title, while managing to spawn a series of spinoffs – nine of them this far, not counting the mobile version that is the main focus of this article – and even a manga series that had three volumes. So, what is the appeal?
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Posted by Dragon Nest M on Saturday, March 3, 2018
It’s all about the story, or rather its execution. The initial premise is not super original: in a world called Alteria, a goddess with the same name was poisoned by her evil sister, Vestinel. The antidote can only be made using the same ingredients from the same source, Vestinel’s magic grail, which is lost somewhere within the realms of Alteria. The players have to make their way across the lands, gather the magic diamonds, wake the goddess up and bring her to life. And this is where the things get interesting.
All of the players (i.e. their classes) come from four different worlds united in their mission to save the goddess. However, they all have different ambitions and dreams not related to the main storyline, and that is the source of conflicts (and PvP battles). The combat in Dragon Nest games is completely skill based, meaning that lower level players have good chances of defeating higher level opponents, provided that their skills are finely tuned.
When the game starts, the players are given the first opportunity to finely tune their skills, with yet another chance to specialize their skills once they hit level fifteen. There are seven starting classes (Warrior, Archer, Cleric, Sorceress, Kali, Academic and Assassin).
For instance, an Academic is a female character coming from the future, with great skills in chemistry (Alchemist sub-class) or the ability to summon machines to help her in battle (Engineer sub-class). At level 15, you can opt to turn your Engineer character into a Gear Master, giving her improved machinery and mecha skills, or you can become a Shooting Star, improving her magic skills, while the Alchemist can become Adept, improving Fire and Ice skills, or become a Physician, getting a boost in healing and poison making, and so on.
Another unique feature of these games is that the storyline changes according to the character you choose so that it’s always told from your character’s point of view.
All of these features have been brought over to the mobile version of Dragon Nest, along with a combat system that is not locked to a certain target, making these titles much more dynamic than most of its competition. Speaking of combat, during it you can choose between 2.5 D view and 3D view, where the first option is much better for large-scale battles, while 3D and dynamic 3D works best for PvP battles.
The graphics aren’t the best ever, but they are good enough, though ultimately that doesn’t matter too much, thanks to an interesting class system and a compelling story.