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Dragon's Prophet - Early CBT/OBT Review

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Hello everyone!

Dragon's Prophet has been one of those games I've looked forward to for awhile now. Action combat, taming dragons, flying mounts, it all just sounds so enticing. So now that I've done a fair amount of playing around with the characters, the different starting zones and taming some sweet dragons - here is my review / thoughts on the game. Now please remember, this only applies to what I've experienced, and others may have different thoughts / opinions of the game - this is MY opinion.

Up to this point, I've played endless MMOs. Beginning with Lineage, Lineage2, Aion, WoW, Tera, Neverwinter, Dragon's Nest, Vindictus and Archeage. Anyhow, without getting into what I think of those other titles, Dragon's Nest is a game that is full of potential.

Graphics:

I'll keep this part short, as the rest will be long ^_^. The graphics are decent. The loading screens remind me of Guild Wars 2 art, and the in game graphics are pretty legit. The environments look rich enough, with a few tweaks you can really make the world look good. The character faces however aren't the greatest. The lighting messes with their face, and girls often look scary / dolly (not in the good way). But if you plan on playing a dude, you're good to go.

Character Creation:

Character creation is like what you'd expect from most MMOs nowadays, I'm sure a quick youtube search will get you a good glimpse of this, without me going on and on about it. Character creation is actually quite good. You can customize eyebrows, eyes, face, nose, hair and even the overall body features of the character. However, some of the options (perhaps because it's beta) do the same things as others. For example, there are two sliders for Eyebrow Height - they do the same thing at this point. There are also sliders that say they do one thing, for example let's say Eyebrow length, that end up adjusting height instead. This confused me, perhaps it's just a beta thing. All in all, character creation is good, you can choose from quite a few faces, a good amount of hairstyles and colors.

There are 4 classes in Dragon's Prophet: Guardian, Ranger, Oracle, Sorcerer. Guardians use one handers and shields, along with 2 handers. Rangers use a bow, or gunblades (like a FF7 kinda thing) and can dual wield gunblades (this I have yet to see.) Oracles have a giant scythe and cleave everything, and can also use amulets and some sort of one hander (I've only used a scythe just because they're badass.) Sorcerers have some flashy spells, they do the usual, freeze stuff, aoe stuff, kill stuff. The classes are not gender locked so you can play whatever you want. There are no healers, or tanks, or dps. Essentially everyone is anything they want. Healing skills come from your dragons, however.. I would not recommend a clothy sorcerer tank. There's nothing too special about the classes that sets Dragon's Prophet apart from other MMOs, it's really the combat that does it.

Introduction to game / Questing:

The introduction is..well decent. You can choose to start by playing a tutorial that gives you a glimpse of your Character Class's higher level abilities, it also teaches you the basics of combat. After creating your character you can enter the game and choose to play the tutorial before starting to level up, I recommend this if you are in anyway interested in the story. Without playing the tutorial, you'll have no idea why the beginning character is talking to you the way he does. After the tutorial, you choose a starter town - this is where the game does well. The 3 towns (2 in CBT) have a very different atmosphere to them and you'll be fighting different mobs for the most part and encountering different tamable dragons (I recommend starting on the right side of the map, upper right corner, as this town allows you to tame flying dragons the quickest.) Questing is what you would expect from any MMO at this point. Talk to NPC, go there, kill that, collect, return, get reward.

Now I want to get to the issues, well, more like things that threw me off and made this game feel "cheap". Now I say cheap with quotations because after all the game is free, but for the sake of those who are still reading this, I'll say it anyway. The game does an awful job with subtitles, it does not match what the NPCs are saying. With that said, this is an easy fix, just remove the subtitles, or fix the text! Asides from the subtitles, the sound in this game needs some work. Monsters will roar in their animation, yet no sounds play. NPCs will perform animations, such as being attacked, and the "arggh" will play late. Your character swings a giant scythe, sword or blasts fire out of their staff, but the sound just does not make you feel powerful. It sounds light, empty, and sometimes just awkward. There's no thump to your attacks, and your characters remain silent while swinging. None of these issues are game breaking, and they have not in anyway destroyed my enjoyment of playing the game, but in terms of immersion it really can throw you off and make you feel like the quality of the MMO just isn't up to par, even with other F2P MMOs today.

Combat / Skills:

Combat is really what captures me in this game. I know I complained about the sounds, but the way combat works in this game makes up for it, I promise. The targetting style is similar to Guild Wars 2. You look at a target and the game will automatically highlight that target, and all attacks afterwards will be directed at it. Every class can dodge by double tapping a direction, and some classes will have another damage avoidance skill (roll back, block, phase forward). Some classes will cleave everything they swing at (oracle, guardian), while others (such as the ranger) will be single target. Combat consists of clicking your mouse clicks, and pressing your standard keys, 1, 2, 3, e , r and so on. Every class uses some sort of a mana bar. When you use your keyboard skills, you spend mana. The best way to get mana back, is to use your mouse button combos(I'll go further into this later). What Dragon's Prophet does well is it incorporates both mouse clicks and keyboard keys into the combo system. For example, left click x 3, then a right click will end your combo with a different attack than left click x 2, then a right click. Skills, such as , 1, can be further chained into combos by pressing a mouse click afterwards. For example, my 2 attack is some sort of slamming my scythe into the ground, causing the enemy to fly up into the air while taking damage. If I press 2, then hit the left mouse click, then hit 2 again, the enemy will be thrown into the air, sliced by my scythe, then stabbed down back into the ground.

Now I have only 2 issues with combat. The first revolves the idea of charge up skills. By holding the right click, you charge up your given skill and holding it for 2 seconds, instead of 1, will give you a harder hit. Now on the guardian this skill seems to function okay, but for the ranger this skill just seems clunky. I spent sometime trying to figure out why at times the skill will just not work properly, it'll be extremely delayed, or I'll hold the click down and nothing happens, and when I release the mouse, the game thinks I've just clicked the button instead of holding it. Anyhow, avoid the charge up skills if your a ranger, it just gives you headaches. Now onto the 2nd issue - it seems that higher combo skills do more damage, which makes absolute sense. However, this makes the lower combo skills pointless. For example, Mouse click left x 3, then right click x1 will return me 120 mana. Where as left click x2, right click x1, returns me 70 mana. The attacks are so quick, that there really isn't a point of only returning yourself 70 mana, unless you screwed up the combo somehow. The problem here is that the lower click combos become useless. Perhaps this could be fixed, lower combo skills could add some CC component, such as a slow, or a stun? But as of right now, it seems that the more clicks your doing, the more damage your doing, making the low clicks pointless.

Progression of Character:

The progression of your character is different from most MMOs. As you level, you get attribute points, which you can spend in stats such as Str, Focus, Ferocity, Int, so on. These points give you more dmg, more defense, more magic dmg, more crit. However, as a new player, it might be pretty confusing when you try and decide what stats you want to spend your hard earned points on. For example, Charisma increases the amount of time you have to tame a dragon. Dumping points into Charisma also increases how long your dragon can stay by your side and fight with you for. But, there's really no indication of how much bang your getting for your buck. I dumped all my points into charisma at one level, but didn't notice how much longer I had when I tried to tame a dragon. This does not apply for all stats, for example, adding points into Constitution directly impacts how much HP you have, and the amount of HP added is clearly indicated. But, the game needs to clarify more specifically on how much an attribute point will add to a stat - for all stats. At level 15(or a little higher) you begin having access to your talent points, these points give you access to new skills or passives that can really change the way you play. I really liked this, because as a Guardian, I had my eye on a defensive talent that allowed you to move and parry at the same time. I won't go into detail about these talent points, but they generally consist of boosting certain aspects of skills you already have, or giving you new skills - nothing bad about this part! The only downside to the progression of characters is how attribute points are not explained with enough detail. Usually, this wouldn't be a problem. I love to experiment with my character's skills, and in many MMOs I like to respec and try out different builds. But in Dragon's Prophet, respeccing your attribute points requires SC - station cash, which costs real money. When you have no idea how much a stat may change your character, it's never a good feeling pouring points in it knowing that it'll cost you later on to respec.

Dragons / Taming Dragons / All Things Dragons!

Dragon's Prophet is all about dragons, and I promise you, there will be a ton. They are littered all over the place. Right from the start, and I mean right after the tutorial, you can immediately hop on a dragon you want and tame it. The taming system is simple, you jump onto a dragon and mash your arrow keys to stay on it. Once you are on the dragon's back, you'll see a new interface pop up on the right side of the screen. It consists of a circle, which you need to keep your "dragon taming icon thing" inside, and 2 bars. The yellow bar on the side, tells you how much time you have left to tame it, the red bar on the right, tells you how much of the dragon you've tamed. Once the yellow bar runs out, you fall off the dragon and you'll have to try again. Some dragons are much harder to tame than others, some will force your taming icon out of the circle, at which time you have to mash a keyboard button to get back into the taming circle. This sounds confusing, but it's a simple system, and it'll all make sense if you just fire up youtube. Taming is decently easy, finding new dragons is always exciting, but not all dragons are tamable. There are a few cases where you cannot tame dragons, the first is if the dragon is deemed untamable by the game. Certain dragons will simply be untamable, it sucks, because they look really cool, and I want to sit on their backs, but the game tells you no. The second case is if your charisma or level is not high enough. In the beginning zones, there will be more rare dragon's found in sneaky locations. These dragons are tamable, but if you don't have enough charisma, or aren't high enough level, you will get your butt kicked - over and over. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means you'll have to come back later when your level is high enough, or when you've added enough charisma to your stats. I don't want to spoil the different types of dragons you can tame, because a large part of the fun in this game is finding and taming those dragons, but let me just say there are some amazing dragons out there for you to find.

Dragons can also be called out to fight for you once you have tamed them. How long they will stay by your side is dependent on your charisma stat, the more you have, the longer you can have them out. They have some cool skills, your dragon will mostly attack whatever you attack, and some dragons will even give you a skill that you can use without having the dragon by your side. For example, one of the starting dragon's that you tame has a heal skill, which you can use to heal yourself and your dragon.

Now let me point out some of the downers of the dragon system. The biggest downer for me is the max flying height. This came as a shock to me, since DP seems to be all about dragons and flying and being awesome, why is there such a limit? In some areas, the max flight height is a lot higher than others, but generally, once you get a little too high, you hit an invisible wall that forces you back down. It's just a little disappointing, as when I fly I'm constantly thinking oh man I don't wanna hit that invisible ceiling and get wing clipped and forced to drift back down. I also wish there was some way to control your dragon better in combat. A lot of the times my dragon will use a knock down skill when I don't need it, and when I do need it, he's just clawing at the mob. Now I'm not sure about the last part, as maybe at level 60 we can control our dragon's skills fully - if so, rejoice.

Station Cash:

Oh man, station cash, the bain of my existence ever since Planetside 2. Now, this game does not seem like a Pay 2 Win game. I haven't looked super indepth into the cash store, but I will mention some of the things you miss out on for not having SC. The most annoying part of not having any SC, or a paid version of the game, is BAG SPACE. There are a lot of items in this game, you pick up armor, mats, quest items, grey items, dragon items and the list goes on. However, your bag slots are very limited, you gain a row every time you hit 10 levels(?). I don't remember so well. But at the early levels you'll be loaded with stuff and you'll have no idea what to do with them. There's not a vendor in every small camp, only in the larger cities, so prepared to start hoarding. If you buy some SC, you can pay for extra bag slots! Hurray! But it costs real money, so not hurray. With that said, buying the most basic version of the game ($19.99) will give you access to enough cash for bag space and some other goodies. The cost of the cash shop has been going up since the first CBT that I played, and hopefully.. it does not keep rising. Vanity armor can be bought piece by piece, and are generally 250-300 SC per piece. The entire set costed around 1375 if I recall correctly. I haven't gotten into any end game content, so I can't really say if the SC items will greatly benefit someone who buys it over someone who doesn't, but so far it seems okay (unlike Neverwinter / PS2).

Conclusion:

Well, this took me an hour to type out, so I hope at least someone will read it. I've been searching for a worthwhile MMO for so long now, I wanted to write this so someone out there like me can get an idea of this game before getting too too excited. I know I've mentioned quite a few issues, but honestly, none of them are game breaking, they're simply.. excitement breaking. The game is fun, and that's all that really matters. For a F2P MMO, you get what you paid for. Dragon's Prophet is a game that lacks finesse in many areas, but given that it's still early beta, things can change. It does combat well, and it certainly does dragon's well smile.gif. If you have 8+ gbs of bandwidth left, give it a shot, make a character on Kronos, and add me as a friend to play with me!.. or flame me if you must!
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post #2 of 2
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Bump for more reads if you're interested in the game!
Money Blackhole
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3750k Asrock Z77 Extreme4 MSI GTX 680 Lightning G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
2 x Western Digital 500GB Caviar Black  Noctua NH-D15 Windows 7 64bit ASUS 24" VG248QE 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Steelseries 6Gv2 Corsair HX 850 HAF X  Razer Deathadder / Naga 
Mouse Pad
Razer Goliahtus 
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Reply
Money Blackhole
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3750k Asrock Z77 Extreme4 MSI GTX 680 Lightning G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
2 x Western Digital 500GB Caviar Black  Noctua NH-D15 Windows 7 64bit ASUS 24" VG248QE 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Steelseries 6Gv2 Corsair HX 850 HAF X  Razer Deathadder / Naga 
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Razer Goliahtus 
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