Dragonica/Dragon Saga : My journey MMORPG continues
(PC / Steam)
Dragonica is my latest entry in my adventures through the fantastic and exciting worlds of MMORPG’s. And what an entry it is. It is quite easily the best free MMORPG I’ve played so far. The game, rather confusingly, is known as both Dragonica and Dragon Saga due to a merger between the companies of both games. If you are looking for it on Steam it is under Dragon Saga. I played through the Dragonica browser version.
Dragonica is a 3D action RPG where you unleash a vicious combination attacks against swarms of enemies to earn experience and drops. The game is available through browser or Steam. And it is played through your internet browse. It is an extremely polished MMORPG that is in a different league to any of the previous entries in this series. I was throughly impressed by this game.
- Great 3D graphics, that are extremely colorful. Great animation too. The best graphics so far.
- Amazing maps to explore with great little embellish to create replay-ability.
- A great story to play through – clear plot on both the small scale and big.
- A vast array of powers for character customization.
- Fast-paced button mashing action.
- Customization powers, short-range long range attacks chain together to make combos.
- A step by step guide through combat and non-combat abilities.
- Great infrastructure for party play.
- The only thing that let it down was the lack of players, my server was very quiet.
Character creation has two races – humans, and dragon-kin. Until you reach level twenty with a human character, the dragon-kin choice will be locked. In the human option, you have a choice of four sets of heroes – the warrior, the magician, the cleric and the thief. Each class has two path upgrades that are unlocked certain levels through a quest. The warrior is able to upgrade through two paths: – Knight, Paladin and Dragoon or Gladiator, Myrmidon and Overlord. The magician can be upgraded to: Monk, Priest and Invoker or Wizard, Warlock, and Sorcery. The Archer can become a: Hunter, Pathfinder and Sentinel or a Marksmen, Specialist, and Destroyer. The thief class path options are: – Bandit, Rogue and Savage or Infiltrator, Assassin, or Ninja.
The dragon-kin has two options shaman or twin-fighter. Both of which can be upgraded, and the class upgrades for these are still being extended through future development and upgrades. This means the game is still getting regular updated content to keep high end players interested.
Here’s a video detailing the human creation options: –
The game has a great premise and story that is made clear from the start. The story is not only driven through dialogue but on screen action – early on in the game you are stampeded by a group of fleeing villagers. The dialogue comes with avatars or comic pop-out screens that animate the speaker’s emotion through changing their avatars which is a fantastic embellishment.
There are a few minor translation issues like this :-
Although, I found the idea that I caused the end of the world by being born in a small village really funny. If only my mum moved to the city…
Very early on you are given an overall purpose, a clear villain and a concrete goal giving the game a good overall plot.
The game also has fantastic storytelling on the small scale. Every quest giving character I’ve met so far has their own back story like the retired adventurer who lost his leg and hankers after pie. This great characterization offers an immersive experience that even AAA developers could learn from. Every character seems to have a unique back-ground and story to tell.
Game-play is driven through quests. Quests are given to you by a variety of people both in town and adventure maps.
On field maps, you battle your way through hordes of enemies using standard and expanding power abilities to unleash combos. There is greater strategy to the combo attacks than entries like Maple. You have abilities to launch you enemies into the air and then unleash combos on them. The greater tactical approach even extends to potion usage which heals over time and comes with cool downs to prevent you spamming them. Here’s a short video of game-play: –
The field maps offer great little extras that maximize replay value as well. Field maps count the number of enemies you’ve killed and give you treasure chests in your inventory at set intervals as a reward. So far all maps I have encountered have a boss level creature hidden on it somewhere like this one: –
They also contain scenario dungeons that help you find parties. These dungeons offer a range of different options in difficulty, unlock additional bosses after a few clears and even have hidden bonus levels within. Here is a screen shot of some of the options: –
Through these dungeons, you also get special items that unlock harder varieties of the basic fields for a set amount of time that give you increased rewards. So, there are plenty of reasons for you to replay an area. The quests in these dungeons also provide you with varying quests from the typical destroy the enemy and collect what it drops. On one you have to free dogs from cages before the time runs out.
So there is a lot of variety to game-play and lots of rewards from replaying an area.
Great interaction in the environment with spring boards that send you hurtling to new areas: –
Your also guided through the non-combat elements of game-play such as crafting weapons and cooking early on as part of the quest system.
The graphics are very high-level for a free MMORPG with 3D models and environments. The characters and visuals are very bright and engaging. The backgrounds to the field maps and towns have a lot of movement and details that add to the exploration element of the game-play.
When you defeat enemies they have unique and comical deaths. Sheep are burnt black by your wizards power, where as other enemies are turned into ham.
And the level of detail given to comic dialogue elements add a lot of emotion and additional information to the story.
This game is geared towards the formation of parties and focused on the communal aspect. All dungeons have a party system that helps you find other players that want to proceed through them. However, my server was utterly dead and I could literally find no one online (in the games defense I was playing very late at night and was on a quieter server). My whole time playing I saw one other person.
For signing up to the game I also received free gifts such as a pet, and experience potions. These potions didn’t just boost my experience gained but that of everyone on the map. This just goes to show how much Dragon Saga cares for its player and help promote the forming of parties. By giving you these items you could create a lot of good will and create friends.
It is a fantastic game, and I certainly don’t have a lot to criticize about it. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of it. It is definitely a game I will re-visit once my quest is over. It is highly recommended to paid alternatives top class alternatives like World of Warcraft or my personal favorite Final Fantasy XIV.
Story: – Great overall story. Fantastic Micro-characterization interactions. Some funny translation slips. 8/10
Freedom: – lots of optional upgrades to characters. Lots of variety in dungeons and fields. 8/10
Gameplay: – Easy controls. Great action and combination attacks. Lots of interesting embellishments that make it a joy to play. 8/10
Addictive: – Good action, and driving story. 7/10
Graphics: – Very advanced – 3D. Engaging and imaginative. Colorful. 8/10.
Overall: – 8/10.