ffxivtips : Dragomon Hunter Online Closed Beta First Impressions

ffxivtips : Dragomon Hunter Online Closed Beta First Impressions

In a large colorful (anime-style) world, Dragomon Hunter puts the player in the shoes of a more or less imposing monster hunter. They will be tasked with defeating and taming rare dragomon, collecting resources, all while exploring the various regions of the game and unlocking their secrets.

It must be said, Free-to-play MMORPGs are nowadays mostly based on the same mechanisms. Accept quests, slay monsters, forage items, explore dungeons, craft objects. Yet, now and then, developers introduce features to distinguish their titles from others. And Dragomon Hunter is one of those, allowing players to access experience a feature that has been often compared to the gameplay elements of Monster Hunter, or Pokemon.

An Endearing World
Another characteristic of free-to-play MMORPGs is that they generally invest little effort in the scenario, and most players would admit to skimming through dialogue after dialogue, without reading a line of it. The problem is that while these scenarios are not necessarily bad, its nearly always the same plot elements that players read through with such MMORPGs. With Dragomon Hunter, however, that is not the case. You are not a hero that has been granted unique powers for some unfathomable reasons. You are not destined to save the world from vile creatures that popped out of nowhere. You are simply a human, albeit more skilled than the average Joe, learning the ropes of Dragomon hunting. This gives birth to a scenario that players can actually immerse themselves into, and dialogues that are undeniably interesting, despite their normalcy. 

As normal as the plot seems, however, the art of Dragomon hunting can not be learned overnight, and your beginnings will be modest. In fact, the first few quests will be limited to some innocuous mobs hunting and round trips around Elysium that serves the purpose of a capital city. Gradually assimilating the principles of the game, most will soon find themselves admiring the beauty of the world, and getting attached to their favorite NPC's (Who more often than not possess anime related names, I could swear Lelouch has been following me around). By following the main quests, one will discover new maps and dungeons that are just as colorful and alive as the first town. If it is possible rush through these quests to explore areas up quickly and reach the max level in a few days, most of us didn't pick Dragomon Hunter to run errands.

By the time I had invested nearly 40 hours in my character, I had only gotten as far as level 25. Not because the leveling is slow, far from it. I simply often found myself trying to catch all the Dragomon available on each map. Which brings me to my one and only complaint about the game, Dragomon are only obtained as loot drops, which leaves players at the mercy of the RNG. In all honesty, I half-expected the game to be closer to Monster Hunter, or even Ark: Survival Evolved, in terms of Dragomon taming, and the reality was not really close to it. That aside, however, finding rare Dragomon remains a fun and rewarding experience. Once obtained, these Dragomon can be used as mounts, and shown to other characters back in town or on the different maps. The most devoted hunters will even be able to send their Dragomon to a ranch where they can take part in various activities, including breeding and ranch defense. Other activities, including fishing and gear crafting, will be just as distracting, and I even found myself sitting around with my fishing rod for nearly an hour, trying to hook a Legendary Aqualord.

A Dynamic Gameplay
Moving on to the actual gameplay. When creating a character, Dragomon Hunter offers four basic classes, namely the Mercenary, Mage, Cleric and Scout. Self explanatory classes, with the Mercenary being the melee DPS, the Mage being the ranged DPS, the Cleric being the default healing/support class that is also able to pull out a decent DPS, and finally the Scout being the assasin type class, using its speed and agility to pull off high bursts and evade enemy attacks. One interesting feature included in Dragomon Hunter is the fact that each classes has access to two weapons, and two skill sets. Indeed, upon reaching level 20, players have the option of equipping a different weapon, allowing the to change their playstyle completely with a new set of abilities. The Mage goes from a full DPS build to a DPS/Healing hybrid, while the Scout goes from a melee (Dual Blades) to a ranged (Rifle) class. Further specialization options are unlocked upon reaching level 30, allowing players some freedom with the customization of their class.

Dragomon Hunter boss battle video

This turns out rather well in combat, which when paired with the "Roll" feature allowing players to dodge has players be constantly on the move to a position that not only allows them to avoid damage, but also defeat the most Dragomon possible. In terms of PvP, while the different classes are rather balanced, which Dragocites you and your opponent have equipped can quickly changed the odds.

As for the social aspect, on which rests much of the success of any free-to-play MMORPG, Dragomon Hunter is again doing very honorably. In addition to regular chat features (area shout, party chat, world chat), every guild can accessed its own "Lodge" in an instanced area accessible simply from the guild menu. From the Guild Lodge, players can access various useful NPC, including a Master Craftsman and different vendors.

Taking up various ideas that have already proven themselves in the MMORPG genre, and adding a few of their own, X-Legend developers managed to have Dragomon Hunter impose its own identity and captivate us with its charm and depth, standing out easily from the mass of mediocre free-to-play games invading the West in recent years. So long as you know what you're getting into, Dragomon Hunter should prove to be a pleasant experience.

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