World of Dragon Nest: First Impression

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Jul 7, 2019
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Fantasy MMORPGs never fail to lose its charms to players despite the numerous archetypes, tropes and cliches that have been running around it repetitively. It seems the satisfaction of players immersing in a world rich in lore while customizing their own avatar in nearly limitless possibilities still works like magic in all of us. The added bonus is of course the excitement of bringing down boss monsters with perfectly aimed spells all done in glorious animation of your avatar in full combat regalia. Truly, nothing can beat that feeling after all.




As you can see, some of the greatest formulas when it comes to games has something to do with its story, graphic and combat system. That is what Nexon Thailand wanted to capitalized in their brand new game World of Dragon Nest. Based from one of the most popular MMORPG that span tons of sequels, remakes and even a movie to boot, World of Dragon Nest (WOD) graced the mobile platform last January 2020; pitting itself early against other competitive mobile RPGs on Android and iOS. But the question now is does WOD manage to pull off flawlessly the formula to give itself the chance to climb the ladder of mobile game supremacy?


BACKGROUND

WOD is not a sequel to the original Dragon Nest game but banks on the ‘what if’ scenario involving Velkskud, one of the original Six Heroes in the game lore who stray from the evil path due to corruption of the Black Dragon Jade. In WOD, Velkskud was given the chance to redeem himself by time traveling to the past using the help of the goddess of Lunaria. As he returned, he decided to give the Black Dragon Jade to his friend Geraint the Gold Dragon instead of keeping it thus altering the course of history and creating a new world. However, even changing the past would not mean the future will become brighter as new enemies start to arise and even those who are on the side of good are also capable of becoming twisted all in the name of power.



According to Eyedentity which is the original developer of WOD, the key factor in this game lies in ‘Action’ and ‘Story’ to make the players stick to it. So let’s check them out and see if these factors work wonders for this ambitious MMORPG.


GRAPHICS

Though it doesn't boast an insanely detailed graphics done in Unreal Engine 4, WOD’s 3D graphics still fits the bill for a fantasy RPG game wherein characters and NPC are all inspired by anime-like aesthetic with a touch of subtle cuteness. The environment and even the overall appearance of monsters and characters will remind you of early 2000s MMORPG such as Rose and Flyff online which provide plus points for nostalgia. If you try zooming in and go for a 360 degree vision in the middle of the game, you might even notice that the towns and other locations in WOD looks like they are cut from a Fairy Tale books which may or may not appeal to the taste of more mature gamers.

However, the animations look really good and smooth especially when you watch your character run across its open world environment. Even in combat, you can enjoy the beauty of every movement of your avatar as it casts its magic spell or pull-off that surreal move for a skill combo. The good news is that you can even further enhance this by adjusting the graphic setting of the game. In general, WOD’s graphics are on the above average scale but it suits the overall feel of the game.


GAMEPLAY

WOD deviates some of the elements from the original Dragon Nest game when it comes to gameplay. Players who are accustomed to the dungeon based scheme of Dragon Nest might find interesting the new open world scheme of WOD that allows them to roam all around each area on their feet or on their mount. Besides the main quest that pushes through the storyline, players can also do Area Quest and mini-quest along the way. Auto Questing and Auto Battle are also included as one of the features of WOD which many mobile MMORPG are also doing nowadays though this is a sort of a double edge one; it is convenient for some but it robbed off the intense gameplay action that players can experience in a game such as WOD.



When it comes to combat, WOD provides a different take as compare with other RPG staple because players will not just grind to unlock skills but also they can switch their weapon on the fly to acquire new set of skills; giving more variety to their game style which looks interesting not just in PVE but also in PVP. Another addition to this is the Chain Skill feature that allows players to cast powerful versions of their equipped skills by filling up a gauge by chaining their basic attacks. Both the active and chain skills can be upgraded as well as the Ultimate skills that will be unlocked once you hit Level 26.

Speaking of combat, WOD continues to borrow the non-target system of other Dragon Nest games which means you need to keep on moving to strategic areas during combat to make your attacks land accurately especially when monsters start to swarm you. Although some might feel disappointed especially those who are used to the auto-lock system, the non-target system will give you however the exact feeling of an action RPG that will keep yourself busy all throughout that hack and slash or nuking festival that you will encounter in the game.

To make your character stronger, one must put an effort not just in adjusting the stats but also in increasing their overall Combat Points (CP) by upgrading the skills, Smelting items to increase the potency of weapons and armors and lastly equipping and growing Dragon Jade Stone on them. It is a unique system in this RPG which also takes not just your ability to level up faster but also your skill in managing your resources since upgrades can really eat up all your gold coins, jade stone and crystal of power. Luckily, these resources can be acquired via dungeon raiding that is also available once you acquire Entry Ticket from monsters and quest.

When you get tired of doing quests, you can go head to head with other players in the Colosseum which offers not only the classic PVP duel but also puts you in Free For All match and tests your combat prowess within 5 minutes. There is also a Life System feature that will just let you relax from the gruelling storyline and do some fishing, farming and even enjoy in a nice warm spa that can give you cool buffs the longer you stay there.


Overall WOD still possesses the level grinding scheme of old and new MMORPG titles but with the addition of the Weapon Switch and Chain Skill system plus the Life System feature, WOD still manages to spice up the usual cliche found in other RPG games.


MUSIC

Keeping up with the anime aesthetic, voice over of characters and NPCs in WOD are all done by Japanese voice actors which is worth enjoying especially when your character starts shouting the name of its skill in Japanese accent. On the other hand, the music you will hear in WOD are all instrumental epic music which is average for any RPG with a fantasy storyline about saving the world from imminent danger. In other areas like the Crazy Duck Nests, the BGM will even sound like you are in a children circus show if you listen carefully. You won’t expect anything here like a special theme song but the BGMs can be put into a good compilation album or playlist for your usual Fantasy RPG OST.



FINAL THOUGHTS

WOD is not a typical mindless RPG that will not just put you into a lot of questing and monster killing without a good reason that you will keep you unfolding as you go along the next chapter of its lore. The story of WOD itself holds a promise to keep the players engaged in the game while also giving them satisfaction during combat with the exciting features of Weapon Switch and Chain Skill. Though music and graphic wise there are lots of games that have a better stand against it, WOD as promised by Nexon strongly applied the formula of action and story on its overall charm which we are hoping they can keep up until the end. There are still some issues to be solved for WOD like the usual bugs and glitches but we will keep our eyes open and see where this promising MMORPG will be heading.
 

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