The long wait is finally over.

After almost a year of tests and updates from eGames Philippines, the game that swept Korea, Europe, Japan, North America, and South East Asia by storm is finally here in the Philippines. Dragonica Online is a casual, sidescrolling, MMO that was developed by Barunson Interactive, and was first released  last year.

It gained popularity among Filipino players when it was released in South East Asia in June 2009. Since then, Filipino gamers have hoped that one day, the Philippines will have its own Dragonica Online server where they can play with and against other Pinoy players.

First Impression

Though I have only played it last July during its Closed Beta Test, I’ve already found it very exciting and entertaining. I was not a fan of side-scrolling MMOs in the past because of their 2D avatars. But when I played Dragonica, I was amazed. Even if it’s a side-scrolling game, its characters are in 3D, and there are large areas where players can hunt, party with other gamers, or do quests.

One thing that captured my attention is the gaming interface. From inventories and quests to maps and skills, everything is almost perfectly prepared for gamers to enjoy. I can also say that the developers have made an exceptional job providing detail to the game’s graphics. You can just stare at your character slashing its way through hordes of orcs, or literally pounding your enemies to dust. more

Since the beginning of the MMORPG revolution, most games have employed the point-and-click system where players effortlessly click areas, monsters, items, etc. in order for them to move, fight, enchant, or feed their pets. However, this system has become dull and repetitive through the years. Fortunately, Dragonica controls mainly use the keyboard or a gamepad controller for a more arcade feel. What I do not like in this system though is when I occasionally need to switch between my keyboard and the mouse. It just gets a little inconvenient as you progress through the game.

Revolutionized Classes

Character classes may be considered one of the most important features in any MMO. Different types of gamers pick certain classes that fit their way of gaming. Dragonica has four main classes, which is not bad. These four classes, warrior, thief, archer, and magician (yey), branch out into eight sub-classes when the character reaches level 20. Then, characters will have a job advancement at level 40. Later in the game, they will have two more job advancements at levels 60 and 80.

What I find interesting here is the great aim for balance among the classes. Barunson clearly wants to avoid having overpowered classes and skills (though I think there are a few), which could spoil the game for some players.

One thing that disappointed me is that players cannot allocate character stats. Instead, stats are automatically updated every time the character levels up. This means characters with the same class and level have exactly the same stat builds, which makes my unique character like everyone else.

A Unique Feature - Mission Maps

Unlike many MMOs out there, leveling up in Dragonica does not concentrate on pure grinding. The game has “missions” in most of its maps, which help players level up easier. For a certain map, there are six missions: four regular missions in increasing difficulty, one hero mission, and one defense mode mission.

Players who complete each of the four regular missions will be rewarded bonus experience, equips, and items which can be useful in their adventure. The hero mission comprises the game’s storyline and should be completed in order for the character to proceed to the next missions on the following maps. Finally, defense mode missions are completed if a group of players become successful in trying to defend a stone from 10 waves of enemies. Mission maps comprise the bulk of gaming and leveling in Dragonica.

Player vs. Lag

After spending time grinding and finishing mission maps, I also tried to enter the PVP arena. The PVP arena in Dragonica has different modes where gamers can fight 1v1, 2v2 or 4v4. It is incredibly fun to blast avatars (I am a magician) the way I blast monsters. The best way to beat your opponent is by making the first move. Once you’ve hit him, you can use several other skills to gain the advantage.

In Dragonica’s PVP arena, every second counts. That is why lag or any form of delay is fatal. Many Filipino gamers are complaining about lag because it messes up the PVP (which is arguably the most exciting feature of the game, at the moment). Overall, the PVP system in Dragonica can be considered one of the best in recent years.

Enchant and Soul Craft - Failed

Similar to other games, enchanting is a way to reinforce your equipment’s physical and magic attack, or physical and magic defense. On the other hand, soul crafting is a process by which an equipment’s soul force can be increased. Equipment with increased soul force can also gain new attributes and options. I don’t know if it is just me, but enchanting and soul crafting in Dragonica is extremely difficult. I spent over 100 gold and about 80 weapon enchant dusts just to upgrade my Advanced Nyx Spear to +5.

Pets and Monster Cards

At the moment, my Phelix, a cat-like dog (what?) is useless. My friends say that pets will become useful in the next update where they will be able to attack monsters. But no one knows when is that (I wish I did not open the pet egg when I received it. Sigh)

Monster cards are unique in Dragonica because, if combined, they may be able to increase a certain skill’s level. There are different monster cards, and each of them is applicable to just one skill and class. These cards are obtained by finishing the daily quests posted on the “Wanted” sign.

Dragonica - Casual Fun for All Ages

In my three months of playing Dragonica, I’ve come to understand why Filipino gamers were waiting for this since last year. Its graphics is top-notch and is very appealing, especially to children. It has a familiar storyline, but it keeps players into the story through mission maps. The controls are unique and the interface is state-of-the-art. Anyone who loves MMOs should definitely try Dragonica Online.

1 Response so far.

  1. Since naka stat locked ang mga characters, magkakatalo-talo na lang ang mga players sa build-up ng skills at equipments. Magkaganun man, enjoy pa rin laruin ang Dragonica Online.

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