Dragon Nest: Resting at 24

Going berzerk on minos

I haven’t played Dragon Nest since I hit level 24, the current maximum, a few weeks back. I understood something about myself and my relation to MMOs at that moment; I like the leveling. I really do. Once I’ve leveled, I’ve seen the game, time to move on. The “end game” used to be incredibly important to me, but now there are so many games to play, that I just treat the end of leveling as the “end” of the game. I don’t know if I could deal with EverQuest’s year to level any more. Not that it takes that long to level in EverQuest these days. But if another game were to offer it, I doubt I’d go for it.

Like Maple Story, with its thousand levels or whatever. Just not feeling the need to even start with it.

There could be games where leveling wasn’t the primary goal (which arguably was true of the original pre-expansion EverQuest), but then I would question their need for levels at all, rather than some other way to mark progression. But, be that as it may.

Dragon Nest. I logged on to see if I could do the current Western end game dungeon, the Minotaur Nest, solo. It’s an “Abyss” mode dungeon, the hardest, group-required difficulty, so I had no illusions that I’d be able to solo it. I did want to see it, though. I’d even watched someone clear it on Youtube, in the Korean client, where levels go to at least 45, and the character — a priest, I think — was just destroying the place.

I sneak in; two minotaur guards are asleep. They wake as I try to tiptoe past, though, and it takes me a good fifteen minutes to kill them both. I enter the next room, and TEN minotaurs come after me. Half an hour later, they’re all dead, and I’ve used all five of my self-rezzes.

Then ten more spawn. And that was pretty much that. Dragon Nest will be letting people go to Saint’s Haven, the next city after Charderok Pass, and level to 32 sometime soon. I was hoping it would be today… not yet. Soon. Looks like the end of beta and the new city will be available September 28.

Someone was complaining the other day that combat in Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic was glacially slow and very much unlike the fast-paced combat seen in the movies, and that in fact the entire MMO genre was mired in slow, entirely unheroic combat.

I objected. Key to my argument was Dragon Nest, and the rest of the action MMO genre.

If fast paced combat and the ability to feel totally badass, killing dozens of things at a time with crazy animations and trying to keep half a dozen abilities working at their best efficiency while simultaneously staying alive is your thing… PLAY A MMO THAT LETS YOU DO THAT!

I’m really tired of articles that take WoW or its descendants (Rift, SWTOR, etc), despair at the gameplay, then go on to pronounce the death of the entire genre.

Not so. MMOs are changing; they have NEVER been as similar as people claim. In Dream of Mirror Online, you can mix any two classes and fly around on SWORDS, which is just as cool as you think it’d be. Wizard101 fights with card battles. EverQuest has (well, had) very few usable abilities, but was tactically extremely deep.

The only way you can call the genre dead of ideas is if you skip over the games that show true innovation — like the much-missed Chronicles of Spellborn. Almost nobody “got” that game.

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5 thoughts on “Dragon Nest: Resting at 24”

  1. Dragon Nest is definitely on my radar from your posts about it. However, with Isenguard launching next week, SW:TOR some time after that, and a DDO guild I don’t want to utterly abandon (I’m about to hit level 12 for my first time in DDO, and our guild is about to get it’s second airship) my spare times seems to be spoken for, for the time being.

  2. I’m not normally a fan of Action-RPGs but I really like Dragon Nest. It looks gorgeous, has lots of humor and works very well in little bite-sized chunks. Like Yeebo, I’m struggling to find time in my schedule to progress very far. I think I’m about level 8 or 9 now.

    On the general point of there being far more variety in MMOs than the blogosphere would have us believe, I am in complete agreement. More choice than any of us are ever going to need or be able to use, in fact. If you can’t find what you want out of an MMO somewhere in the hundreds, even thousands now available then you probably need to look for another hobby entirely.

  3. As far as leveling is concerned, I definitely had more patience when I was younger. I can’t see myself grinding away for hours just to get that next level at this point in my life. Like you said, there’s other things to see, other things to do.

    The funny thing is, there’s some kind of appeal to leveling that I’ve never been able to suppress. I remember playing a handful of free-to-play MMOs, just so I could rapidly level new characters. Interesting, though, games like Guild Wars or EVE that did away with traditional leveling held my interest more than other MMOs.

  4. I was having a discussion about this on a podcast I was on recently — how SWTOR may really be the vanguard of this new wave of AAA quick play MMOs.

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