Still here? Well… you’ve been warned.
I had heard of Dragonica Online before. I’d even written about it when it was still in its closed beta stage. But I’m not sure what I expected going into a guided tour of the game in honor of Dekard, the new server opening on January 26. I had been provided with an account name, which I found had two level 28 characters, a priest and a warrior. I chose the warrior (mostly because he had butterfly wings and a really cool looking sword) and logged on to play around a little. I was soon joined by Abby Olivia (Communications), Chris Lena (Producer), and Evan Lobenstein (Community Manager) - both in game and over the phone.
And thus began the misadventures and failings of WarMike, my temporary character.
See, Dragonica is not just an MMORPG. It’s a 3D side scrolling dungeon crawling platformer. Sure you accept quests and have big weapons and armor, and can go around hitting monsters. But the main attraction of this game is that it is so different from any other MMO I’ve ever played. Before entering a dungeon, you can choose a difficulty level. You can go through a dungeon alone, or in a party. When (and if) you beat it you get a random reward and a score that tells you how well you did. And the dungeons themselves don’t just consist of running around and killing things - there are puzzles to solve, obstacles to avoid, and tricky jumps to maneuver.
These last two are where I was failing. Poor, poor WarMike. I made him fall off moving platforms, run right into spiked logs that dropped from the ceiling, and get zapped by the giant lazers… all while fighting monsters. This got to the point that when I finally did make it over to the end of a series of moving platforms, my tour guides actually cheered for me. It was so frustrating but so fun. When WarMike and my tour guides came to a boss in the dungeon, there was actually a cut scene. It showed a man in a lab coat turning into a horrible-looking, huge creature. The mad scientist! We fought it and a few other monsters as lazers traveled all around the room. MMOs tend to follow the same formula, so seeing all these new challenges in Dragonica was refreshing.
The art style of the game might look cute, but some of the skills look EPIC! One of WarMike’s skills darkened the entire screen except where he stood, and unleashed a powerful attack on any enemies that dared step in front of him. The monsters range from cute, to cool, to downright bizarre. My guides told me that the developers’ goal had been to create a fantasy world with fantastical monsters, and if that meant sticking a plunger on a monster’s head, then so be it!
At first glance, the art style makes Dragonica look like it’s for kids, but the audience range is actually pretty wide. The game is actually rated 10+ for fantasy violence (naturally), alcohol references, suggestive themes, and crude humor. Anyone can get through the game, but it’s also possible to get more into it and use strategy to beat your best score in a dungeon, customize your character, and lots more.
And what better time to start a new character than with the introduction of a new server? Dekard server will bring with it a brand new dungeon - the Van Cliff Mansion. Come prepared with some garlic, this mansion is is crawling with vampires! If you can make it past the obstacles, you will be rewarded richly. Dare you try? I definitely will. The tour I took only lasted about half an hour, but that taste was enough to leave me wanting more. Sadly (but probably luckily for him) the adventures of WarMike have come to and end on my part. But soon a new hero will rise… named Aeval (probably)!
If you need another reason to check out Dragonica Online, here’s a good one: players who register during the launch of the new server (Jan 26!) will be entered into the Dragonica Online Water Series Game Card
Sweepstakes and get a chance to win a $2,500 Best Buy gift card and limited edition Dragonica Online Water Series Game Cards loaded with ICE Cash.
Gamers, to arms! The land of Dragonica Online needs new heroes. Who will join me?