Dragonica Online: Closed Beta closes, Open Beta opens soon

Bringing the smackdown to mangy wolves everywhere.

When you kill a wolf in, say, Lord of the Rings Online, it just kind of fades away. When you kill a wolf in Dragonica Online, THAT happens. That wolf isn’t going to be just fading away. They’ll be picking bits of wolf out of the trees for the next year.

Dragonica Online is an arcade-y, 2D MMO along the same lines as Maple Story and Pi Story (no relation). You travel along from screen to screen and encounter merchants, monsters, other players, special glowing portals to missions, and you do your best to help those NPCs you come across with the problems that threaten to bring light to their dark, meaningless lives.

Because, that’s what adventurers DO.

Character creation in Dragonica Online is similar to that in Dream of Mirror Online and other highly children’s manga-influenced MMOs — very few customization options, and a list of classes (warrior, mage, thief) common to casual RPGs.

Combat is of the rock-paper-scissors variety; you trade spells or blows until the monster starts a special attack animation, then you choose the appropriate ability to either evade or counter that attack — or take severe damage. In the aforementioned wolf fight, you could evade the monster’s charge attack by standing in front of a hen house, dashing beneath it while it was gathering strength for the charge, and then attack it from behind while it tried to get its head out of the coop.

Boss encounters start from special portals from which you can choose your difficulty — solo, duo, full group — and your reward depends in some part on how fast you complete the instance. This turns every boss encounter into a solo or a collaborative mini-game of its own, and it wasn’t rare to see players gathered outside boss portals, forming groups and trying for better scores.

This is the Dragonica experience: An arcade-style MMO with quests, levels, gear upgrades and so on, that is quick to bring you to the fun and you get to choose the difficulty. Not a bad combination — if you can get over the cutesy, kid-friendly art style. Or maybe you ARE a kid, in which case, carry on :)