Second Look at Dragon Nest

So, it has been quite some time since I picked up an MMO, with the last one being Allods. I guess here's some basic info first: I am currently at the level cap (24) during the open beta. I am attempting to make another character to try out a mage, since my sharpshooter will get demolished in PVP. There will also be no wipe from open beta to the actual release.

1/2 real screenshots of mine. D:

I think I have a pretty good grasp of everything the game has to offer so far, except anything "social". I have not joined any guild nor have I teamed up once, since I can solo everything at a respectable speed. Why would I want to split loot and exp? XD For a small summary about the game: it is much like Vindictus, but with a more anime-ish/chibi feel to it, which I love. So, this is my second look at the game, as my first look was on the CN version for a very short time (that you can find here).

Non Target MMO
I feel that this is the direction that most MMOs should start moving in, which is a good thing. It is about blending in a bit more "skill" rather than mashing buttons in hopes your better gear/levels is higher than the other player. Making everything more like a shooter does add a bit more skill to the MMO genre.

Descriptive Skills
Now, I know what I titled it, but it isn't quite accurate. What they included was a short video showing the skill in action for every skill you have within the game. This is one nifty feature that I think all games should have, so that you know what you are getting and don't need to "try it out".

Instanced Dungeons
As of right now, there are two starter towns and one main town that everyone is in. You can buy/repair/marketplace and all those other things. The places outside of these towns are all instanced, with small maps with portals leading into dungeons. This gives an open area for you to lounge around with your party without getting spammed while you decide which dungeon you want to run.

I actually skipped through almost all of the chat bubbles, and yet I still have a vague clue of what is happening. As you progress through the story, they have short cutscenes to make you learn a bit more. The story seems pretty interesting, but spamming levelling and getting further takes precedence over reading, so I skipped through. XD It looks very good, though; I would definitely read a bit more of the text for a second time around.

Side Activities
They decided to included many side activities for you to do when you don't want to grind. You can raise relationships with the NPCs, which supposedly gives you some benefits. You can fish and farm, which hasn't been implemented in the OB. PVP should be included in the official launch in a week. There's also title collection for the die-hard people that need to complete everything. There's a lot of small stuff to enhance game-play when grinding gets too boring.

Now, this is very subjective, but I love the style. I just love chibi-style characters. It wasn't as awesome as Soul Masters, but it's still a very fun style that I love.

This was kind of tied into the non-target system they have. I am tired of "new" MMOs using these archaic engines for their games to save money. I mean Flyff is a 5- or 6-year-old game (more?), yet still had a jumping system and flying where the walls were "real". Nowadays, we have new MMOs still popping out with a jump that is nothing but aesthetics and can't go on top of things. There are games filled with horrid pathing and terrain. I seriously don't understand how people think games using these old engines would sell.

Server Stability
This is always a huge issue with online gaming, to have that amazing ping. So far, the game was unstable for one day where everyone would DC every couple of minutes, but they fixed it. Other than that, the server seemed to be pretty good and with no notable lag.

Smaller Party Size
This is another very personal thing that I like. They have a 4-person team, and raids are 8-man. I like having smaller teams instead of putting 20+ people together for a raid. Coordinating timezones and such is just a pain in the ass that I hate dealing with, so I welcome these smaller teams with open arms.

2/2. Couldn't really screenshot as I'm dying... D:

Now, I am a bit wary of putting it here, because of the large number of things to touch upon with this subject. You get pretty simple skill tree, but the huge limitation on skill points only allows you to really max half (maybe less) of all your skills. The thing is that everyone will quickly lean towards one type and this wouldn't be a huge issue, but it is customization nonetheless. On top of this, you get a crest system. They insert somewhere inside you and you get bonuses based on the stats on the crest. You aren't allowed duplicates of one type of crest (same stats), so you wouldn't be able to pool everything into one thing leading to most people picking up the same kind of stuff with very little variation. There are a lot of different systems in play that give you the illusion of customization, but what is actually chosen is always the same. It creates characters that are pretty similar in the end.

This is a toss-up as always, depending on how you want to look at it. In terms of the main storyline, you will always fall a bit short of exp. I was level 17 or 18 when I completed the story, which was meant for a level 23. It isn't a very long grind; it was roughly an hour or two per level just off the fatigue system. Just depends on your take of what is a "heavy grind". I mean, people had no trouble hitting the level 24 cap on the first day, so obviously some people found it easy.

Yet to be Determined:
Item Mall
From the looks of the pricing of items in the item mall right now, they don't seem outrageous but many crucial things haven't appeared yet, like cash shop armours to increase your stats slightly and spros (from Flyff XD). I mean, the enhancement protection system is horrible. Your jellies are consumed regardless and your item can downgrade when failing even when using these jellies. It means that if you are unlucky, you can have effectively gotten a weaker item after failing and downgrading often. It all comes down to how much it costs for jellies, but these are just huge money sinks....

This was a major thing for me before even picking up the game. Watching the videos of PVPing in Dragon Nest is what drew me in. The fights seemed fun and challenging. Until it is implemented, I can't say for certain, but this drew me in pretty badly. It's too bad I picked a sharpshooter, which is probably the worst class to PVP with, so I assume I'll get stomped hard and I'll reroll. XD

I'll be playing during the official release too and maybe start up our guild, Rain. We will be located on the Argenta Server (US East) if anyone wants to join us. Look for Pearz or Thaze (my mage alt).