Dragonica

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Dragonica
Dragonica Logo.png
Logo
Developer(s) Gravity Games[1]
Publisher(s) gPotato Europe
GSquare
Nexon
Engine Gamebryo[2]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) Microsoft Windows
  • JP January 20, 2010[3]
  • NA October 28, 2010[4]
  • EU October 15, 2009[5]
  • KOR September 8, 2010
Full list, see below
Genre(s) Fantasy, MMORPG
Mode(s) Online multiplayer
Distribution Download

Dragonica (Korean: 드래고니카) known in North America as Dragon Saga, is a free-to-play 3D side-scrolling massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Barunson Interactive. Development has been ongoing since March 2006.[2] Operation of Dragonica is relegated to different publishers for their respective regions. Whilst being free-to-play, the game also includes a cash shop that allows for unique customization of player's characters.[6] The game's commercial launch was on June 2009 in China and October 2009 in Europe and October 2010 in North America.[7] Characters created during the Open Beta testing were carried over to the commercial release.[8]

Four optional expansions for the game have been released, all of which are free: Tales of the Damned which was released on 16 October 2009[9] and Awakening of the Ice Dragon which was released on 15 February 2011[10] have both been released in North America.

Plot[edit]

Dragonica takes place on the continents of El Grego and Angrakka (Elyades and Melanthos in Europe), which had experienced a golden age where humans and dragons were able to live together in peace. These times were not destined to last, and the dragons and humans eventually went to war in what was known as the Dragon Age. Eventually, the dragons were banished to the ancient realm of Aether.

The leader of the dragons, the Dark Dragon Elga would continue to mount attacks on the land, but was pushed by when five heroes of legend were able to defeat Elga and trap him in a dark prison known as the Shadow Cabinet, effectively putting the lands of El Grego forever.

Not even the Shadow Cabinet could hold Elga forever — a thousand years after being trapped, Elga has found a way to release his darkness into the world, sending minions to attack the lands in preparation for his arrival. It is up the players to take up arms and push back these dark forces.[11][12]

Gameplay[edit]

Players control a character in a three-dimensional plane but the scope of movement is mainly focused on the horizontal axis with limited vertical movement, much like the arcade style side-scrolling classics. In its current state, players can progress through 75 levels in the North American release with the level cap reaching as high as 80 on servers in Asia.

Combat is action-based with moves performed in real-time. All combat is centered around the use of special skill sets on cooldowns. Players can also perform ground and aerial combos by utilizing certain skills in order to render enemies unable to retaliate but can also play the role of a healer or supporter when necessary.

There is also a large number of missions and scenarios for a player to complete co-operatively with others. Each individual dungeon has one to four separate modes for advancement, each increasing in difficulty and not being accessible until the previous instance has been cleared. At the end of every mission sequence is a scenario that advances your character to the next stage of the game.

Classes[edit]

At the beginning of the game, players are allowed to choose from one of six basic classes and accumulate levels in order to advance into deeper specialties with more abilities and skills. The six starting classes warrior, thief, archer and magician. With the expansion New Origin, two new classes were introduced: the summoner and the twin fighter . Each class has a diverse skill tree in which players may place points into to acquire new skills or enhance ones that have already been obtained.

As of 15 February 2011, there are currently a total of four class advancements in the game bringing the total number of playable classes to 28.

Warrior - This is a melee-oriented class which focuses mainly on performing various air combos and ground techniques to keep enemies immobilized and weakened. In groups the warrior assumes the role of a "tank" though not in the conventional sense; the warrior is in charge of keeping enemies from reaching the mid-lines where the healers and ranged classes are ideally situated. Against bosses the warrior will often bear the brunt of the attacks due to the lack of ranged attacks. The warrior class can advance to become either a gladiator or knight.

Thief - This class employs swift attacks and combos to annihilate waves of enemies. Focused around the use of claws, the thief is often seen on the frontlines alongside the warriors dealing damage and debuffing enemies at will. In group situations, the thief makes use of attacking from behind the enemy in order to increase the ranking score on mission maps. They specialize in and speed to tear down lines of enemies as quickly as possible. Oftentimes they are utilized as "cleaners" or "sweepers" in missions to pick up any enemies the frontline may have missed. The thief class can advance to become either a jester or assassin.

Archer - This class wields bows, crossbows, and even gattling guns to lay waste to any enemies from afar. They are seen mainly in the mid-line in-between the healers and the melee classes. They capitalize on wreaking havoc on enemies by repeatedly attacking to keep the enemy in midair to obtain as high of a ranking as possible in groups. Although their attack power is weaker than that of a warrior's, their attack speed and movement speed is among the fastest in the game. Archers can advance to become either a ranger or a hunter.

Magician - This is the game's token caster class. Seen very often in the frontlines, the magician is occupied with either healing and buffing the group or dealing massive amounts of area of effect damage to enemies. In groups the magician becomes one of the most valuable assets as they are able to heal the wounds of damaged allies and offer support from a distance, without ever getting caught up in the action itself. Magicians can advance to become either an acolyte or a battlemage.

Shaman - This class is about summoning monsters, and elementals to fight by your side.

Twin Fighter - This class is a fighter, who uses a twin to fight with him.

Missions[edit]

Dragonica features instances that allow players to gain access to items, experience, and currency as well as serve to advance the overall storyline in the game. These instances are known as "missions" and must be completed sequentially in order to unlock the final scenario that advances the plot. Each step in the mission becomes significantly more difficult than the previous and oftentimes requires a group to complete.

Missions are often composed of four main mission modes (increasing in difficulty) and a fifth scenario (unlocked when the previous modes have been completed). Each step in the mission also features a grading system that attempts to rank players based on how a player has performed during that step. The grading system allows the player to obtain higher quality and quantity loot based on that individual's performance and group contribution.

Players will often be sent into these missions to complete important quests, such as those needed to change class. Although many of these missions can be done by oneself, the benefits of tackling these missions with others far outweigh that of taking them on alone. Players in groups gain bonus experience and, with the right group composition, will find it much easier to progress through the game.

Expansions[edit]

Tales of the Damned[edit]

Tales of the Damned was published on 16 October 2009 in Europe and November 2010 in North America. Tales of the Damned added a variety of new content and features to the game. This included the addition of a new storyline, controller support and the introduction of pets. The expansion elaborated into the story of the first chapter and as a result two new areas in Dragotaka were also introduced accessible to those who are level 60 or above only; the Van Cliff Dungeon and Drakos' Tower, which served as a fortified tower used to imprison the evil Dragon Lord Elga, until the witch Paris broke in and freed him to cause mayhem across the land. In addition to these new maps, Tales of the Damned also raised the level cap from 60 to 65.[13]

Paris Strikes Back[edit]

Paris Strikes Back was the second expansion to Dragonica and was released only in Europe on 23 June 2010.[14] This expansion included the next chapter of the storyline, increased the level cap from 60 to 70 and has other general enhancements such as new weapon and armour sets. Some maps were also given a nice tune-up including the Van Cliff Dungeon and Drakos' Tower, both of which were given the choice of three levels of difficulty. Also, eight new classes were added to the game: Dragoon, Berserker, Sentinel, Bombardier, Joker, Shadow Walker, Cleric and Chaosmage. All the new classes were named by the Dragonica forum community but are only accessible after the player hits level 60 and a chain quest is completed.[15]

Awakening of the Ice Dragon (Kryos Unleashed)[edit]

DragonSaga Kryos.png

Awakening of the Ice Dragon (known as Kryos Unleashed in North America)[16] was the third expansion to Dragonica. It was released on 15 February 2011 in Europe and North America. The expansion includes the brand new ice continent of Pagosia in which the third chapter of the story is set. As the name suggests, large portions of Pagosia are entombed in ice, with its frosty appearance enhanced by the spooky spectral creatures that live in its fresh landscape. Seasoned heroes, from level 62 upwards, will find a large quantity of new maps in Pagosia, filled with new sets of both hero and daily quests, providing more than enough challenges for players. The expansion also increased the level cap again, this time to level 75. All the classes introduced in Paris Strikes Back were also made available in the North American version of this expansion.[17]

New Origin (Elga Unleashed)[edit]

New Origin is the fourth expansion for Dragonica.[18] It was released on 8 June 2011 in the Japanese server, the 10 August 2011 on the SEA server and the 12th September 2011 on the European Servers. The expansion includes a new playable race that has 2 new classes. These 2 classes are the summoner and the fighter. The fourth chapter to the story is added and as a result the world map has had a complete overhaul due to the influence of chaos in the world of Dragotaka. The level cap has been raised to 80. The second phase of the New Origin expansion known as Elemental Guardians introduces new content including two new Dungeons Red Fox Delta and the Guardian's Dungeon.

Development[edit]

ICE Entertainment released Version 6 of the Chinese Dragonica in Open Beta on April 24, 2009.[19] IAH's and 8interactive's Dragonica for the SEA-ANZ region have been live since 2009.[20] gPotato Europe's EU English, French and German services began on June 10, 2009 after a Closed Beta period in the previous month.[21] It has been in full release since the October 2009 release of Tales of the Damned.[21]

THQ*ICE, the former publisher of the North American version, started official service on October 15, 2009. They shut down their service on August 31, 2010, and Gravity Interactive re-launched the North American service[22] in mid-October of that year under the new name Dragon Saga, after purchasing Barunson Interactive, the game's developer.[21]

Nexon, the Korean publishers of the game announced that their service would shut down in July 2011.[21][dated info]

30 April 2014 at 17:00 - Official end date for Dragonica Europe. The only official server left is Dragon Saga.


Region Languages Publishers Alpha Closed Beta Open Beta Full Release Server Status
China Simplified Chinese ICE Entertainment[23] #1March 19–27, 2008[24]
#2July 15–18, 2008
November 6, 2008[25] February 26, 2009[26] June 1, 2009[27] Offline
Europe English, French, German gPotato[28] May 13–22, 2009[29] June 10, 2009[30] October 15, 2009[5] Offline
Japan Japanese Nexon[31] December 23–28, 2009[32] January 6, 2010[33] January 20, 2010[3] Offline
Korea Korean NCsoft[34] April 17–23, 2008[35] September 1, 2010 September 8, 2010 Offline
Korea Korean Gravity Corporation[36] - - - May 24, 2012 Offline
North America[a] English THQ Ice[37] / Gravity Interactive[b] #2March 30–April 1, 2009 May 29, 2009[38] June 30, 2009[39] August 5, 2009
October 28, 2010[40][b]
Online
Philippines English IP E-Games[41] #1December 21–23, 2009
#2April 1–May 3, 2010
July 19, 2010[42] August 24, 2010 September 11, 2010 Offline
Russia Russian Nival[43] December 11–21, 2009[44][45] December 24, 2009[46] May 20, 2010 Offline
Southeast Asia, Oceania[a] English, Simplified Chinese IAHgames[47] / 8interactive[48] / GSquare [49][c] #1June 14–15, 2008[50]
#2July 24–28, 2008[6]
May 7–18, 2009[20]
December 26–January 2, 2013[51][c]
June 4, 2009[52]
January 11, 2013[53][c]
June 27, 2009 Offline
Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau Traditional Chinese Gameflier[54] May 25, 2009[55] May 25, 2009[56] Offline
Thailand Thai Onenet[57] December 1–8, 2009[58] December 23, 2009[59] December 23, 2009[60] Offline
Vietnam Vietnamese IAHgames[61] May 12, 2011 May 19, 2011 Unreleased Offline
Brazil Portuguese Gamemaxx[62] September 3, 2012 October 11, 2012 Unreleased Offline

^ a In North America and Southeast Asia/Oceania, Dragonica is known as Dragon Saga.
^ b In North America, the game was shut down by THQ*ICE before being picked up again and re-released by Gravity Interactive in 2010.
^ c In Southeast Asia/Oceania, the game was shut down by IAHGames before being picked up again and re-released by GSquare in December 2012 under the name Dragon Saga.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dragonica Developer now Gravity Games". 
  2. ^ a b "Dragonica Introduction Document". Barunson Interactive. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  3. ^ a b "- Japanese Official launch". 
  4. ^ "Dragon Saga Goes Live!: October 28th". Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  5. ^ a b "- Commercial Release - October 15th -". gPotato Europe. 
  6. ^ a b "Dragonica Interview with IAHGames". MMOsite.com. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Dragonica enters open beta in Europe - Massively". Massively. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  8. ^ "Information on Dragonica Online's Beta Test Phases". THQ*ICE. Retrieved 2009-08-13. [dead link]
  9. ^ "gPotato Europe announces the first expansion for Dragonica: Tales of the Damned". IGN. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  10. ^ "gPotato Europe announces the second expansion for Dragonica: Awakening of the Ice Dragon". PC Gamers World. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  11. ^ "Dragonica - Story Overview / Game Overview & Beta Tests". 
  12. ^ "Dragonica - Game Story". 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Dragonica – Paris Strikes Back Expansion Goes Live Today". MMOFront. 
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ "Dragon Saga launches Kyros Unleashed update". MMOhut. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ [4], Retrieved 2011-06-08.
  19. ^ "(Dream Dragon) Fire Shadow Version Open Beta today!". ICE Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  20. ^ a b "IMPORTANT: CBT Shift and Extension!". IAHGames. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Dragonica goes on public release as Open Beta launches". gPotato Europe. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  22. ^ "Phase 1 Beta Testing in NA". Gravity Interactive. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  23. ^ http://ml.playcool.com/
  24. ^ "Interview: ICEE Dragonica Marketing Manager on China CBT 1". CM Kaye. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  25. ^ "(China) Dragonica CBT launches on November 6". MMOsite.com. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  26. ^ "Dragonica enters Open Beta in China!". MMOsite.com. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  27. ^ "Chinese Version No.". 8interactive / ICE Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  28. ^ http://dragonica.gpotato.eu/
  29. ^ "- Dragonica Closed Beta Test 13th – 22nd of May -". gPotato Europe. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  30. ^ "- Closed Beta ends but Open Beta announced - June 10th -". gPotato Europe. 
  31. ^ "- Dragonica Japan". 
  32. ^ "- Japanese Closed Beta". 
  33. ^ "- Japanese Open Beta". 
  34. ^ http://dragon.plaync.co.kr/
  35. ^ "Dragonica proceeds Closed Beta Test on April 17". Barunson Interactive. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  36. ^ http://ds.gnjoy.com/
  37. ^ http://www.warpportal.com/
  38. ^ http://dragonica-online.blogspot.com/2009/05/dragonica-online-preview-beta-test.html
  39. ^ http://dragonica.thqice.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=1230&page=1
  40. ^ http://forums.warpportal.com/index.php?/topic/2664-official-announcement-from-barunson-interactive/
  41. ^ "- Dragonica Ph". 
  42. ^ "- Ph Close Beta". 
  43. ^ "- Nival Group signs liecense for Russian dragonica". 
  44. ^ "- Russian Closed Beta Start". 
  45. ^ "- Russian Closed Beta end". 
  46. ^ "- Russian Open Beta Start". 
  47. ^ http://dragonica.iahgames.com
  48. ^ http://dragonica.8i.net.my/
  49. ^ http://dragonsaga.gsquare.com/
  50. ^ "LATEST UPDATE!!! Focus-Group Revival". CM Kaye. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  51. ^ "CBT Events!". 
  52. ^ "8i Open Beta". 第八互动 梦龙传团队. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  53. ^ "OBT Begins on January 11th! Click for download links!". 
  54. ^ http://ml.gameflier.com/
  55. ^ "Closed Beta ends but Open Beta announced - May 25th -". gameflier. 
  56. ^ [5]
  57. ^ "- Dragonica Thailand". 
  58. ^ "- Thai Closed Beta". 
  59. ^ "- Thai Open Beta". 
  60. ^ "- Thai Official launch". 
  61. ^ "Vietnamese version". Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  62. ^ "- Dragonica Brasil". 

External links[edit]