WHATS GOOD ABOUT DRAGON NEST
The overall visual look is cartoonish (anime style) with a touch of SD which is one of three appeals. Much of the landscape is static but well rendered. Some aspects like grass and flowers interact with your character like swaying and rustling if you run thru it. Even if my computer can handle way better graphics, there’s only 3 settings and the highest setting looks more like low. The in-game music is good but their theme songs are epic. For example:
The second appeal is the combat system. No tab targeting here. You aim and destroy enemies with your explosive, arcade style abilities. It’s a button masher’s dream. Don’t take it to mean there’s zero strategy involved, though most of the young demographic that play the game tend to hack ‘n slash their way thru content with sheer brute force.
The third appeal is the storyline. Every class you play has it’s own story which runs parallel to the main plot. The dialogues are quick and witty especially once you meet the villain Kalahan. The exchange between Kalahan and Academic class is the best. The Cleric has the most emo but memorable storyline.
The game has an interesting tiered class tree. You advance to a 2nd and 3rd class by doing a special quest when you reach the level requirement. You can specialize your class to be melee, ranged, healing, or tank depending on which tree path you take. By picking the right tree path, an archer can become a devastating meleeing hurricane and a warrior can be a ranged, slashing tsunami. This game doesn’t force you into a specific role (tank-healer-dps trinity) but PUGs tend to select classes that make dungeon runs faster and easier. So depending on the dungeon and patch, certain classes are rejected. Join a guild so your not at the mercy of PUG runs.
What makes this game fun is how quickly you can jump into a dungeon and start leveling as soon as you create your character.
WHAT I HATE ABOUT DRAGON NEST
The lack of expandable action bar. What you get is one static action bar and you switch between row 1 and row 2 skill sets. Not a fan of action bars that limit what I can press (-stare wildstar-) and require me to have the finger dexterity of a pianist for nothing more than switching between skill sets. Really despise action bars in general. Just let me assign keys in the skills menu already or give me that option. Not all gamers have the memory skills of a toaster.
The horrible inventory space. 30 inv and 10 bank slots seem like plenty but it’s not, because nothing stacks in this game. Actually they do but not in a meaningful amount. There’s just TOO many material variations you’ll pick up. Sadly, it’s actually an improvement over when nothing used to stack in this game. And I mean nothing. The way it’s set up is to get you to buy more bag/bank space. You don’t have to buy cash shop bags but you’ll have to be very selective about what you pick up, sell everything in your inv between dungeon runs, and have patient friends if your in a party.
Unexplorable, pre-defined, small world which consists of only towns, roads and the dungeons they link. The paths are set and you can’t leave it. The only thing to explore are the interior of towns which leaves many bored people climbing buildings to reach the highest rooftop possible.
Repetitive dungeon grind which is the only way to level. The grind used to be fine when the level cap was originally 32, 40, then 50. Lv.60 grind was pushing it but still doable (as in leveling all of your characters to 60). Then 70 followed by 80 came around which sucked the life out of you, if your brain didn’t atrophy first. Quests are all dungeon oriented which is fine except they aren’t streamlined. So you’ll run the same dungeon repeatedly with a lot of back and forth from town. It wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t so many loading screens. Kudos to the diehard, experienced players who can stand to powerlevel by grinding the same dungeons repeatedly to max level.
100% luck or rng based enchanting system with high probability of gear being destroyed (literally explodes) and enchant regression. Protection jelly is available from cash shop to prevent gear destruction but it doesn’t prevent enchant fails which may leave you with worse enchantment than what you started with.
Luck based item purchase i.e. Dragon Eggs. It’s straight up gambling. I’m not sure why people spend real money on the HOPE or chance of getting desired items.
Personally, what made me quit the game was the bag space issue. Dungeon runs and micromanage bag space was a pain. Forget trying to send items to alts because each char is limited to 5 mails/day with 1 item attachment unless you buy Express Mail Stamps from cash shop to bypass the daily limit and ups item attachment to 5. I tried returning once but they had implemented a new security system which required players create a secondary password for EVERY class they owned and to input said secondary password EVERY time they wanted to switch characters to play. They pared it down to 1 secondary password for all classes but you still have to input it for each char you want to play. I just drop by to check out changes now days.
My opinion is, for a non-WoW mmo to survive, it has to have an effortless feel to it. So when players feel harassed by the game itself and something feels too constricted and limited to the point where your forced to use your credit card for relief, then people leave. The reason Dragon Nest is still around is because of the story. The fans are positively in love with characters in the main storyline like Gerrant, Velskud, and Kalahan. Play this mmo when your main mmo is down for maintenance.