Dungeon Fighter Online
|This article may contain material discouraged by the guidelines for video game subjects. (June 2010)|
|Dungeon Fighter Online|
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
Dungeon Fighter Online is a multiplayer PC beat 'em up video game developed by Neople, originally published by Hangame and currently published by Nexon. The game was originally released in Korea as Dungeon & Fighter (던전앤파이터) and in Japan s Arad Senki (アラド戦記 Arado Senki , lit. War Records of Arad). Closed Beta for an English version of the game ran from July 28, 2009 to August 3, 2009. Early access has begun on September 15, 2009. Open beta started September 22, 2009. It was featured in WCG 2009, and is still a popular televised program in South Korea, where a league is active. Dungeon Fighter had a 300 million registered users celebration on May 25, 2011. It was announced on April 2, 2013, that Dungeon Fighter Online - North America was shutting down, servers closing as per June 13, 2013.
Dungeon Fighter Online is similar to classic 2D side-scrolling arcade hack and slash games, such as Golden Axe or Double Dragon. Players will traverse 2D screens while fighting hordes of monsters. Characters have two meters, the HP meter and the MP meter; the HP meter decreases when the player gets struck by enemies and the MP meter decreases upon using a skill, while items can restore either or both at once. The player can move in eight possible directions, with joypad or arrow keys, and attacks/jumps/uses skills by pressing the assigned key/button. Skills can be designated upon an upper row of hotkeys, that can be further expanded by the decision of the player. However, a player can choose to manually input the command to perform a certain skill; for example, a Blade Master can choose to press the assigned hotkey for the skill Draw Sword, but can also choose to perform its direct input. Directly inputting the skill (done by pressing the arrow keys in a certain sequence and then pressing the basic skill key) makes the skill cost less MP and lowers the cooldown of the skill (the time needed to wait to use the skill again) by a small amount. Skills are usually performed separately from normal combos; however, by buying "cancel" skills for certain skills, those skills can be used in the middle of a normal attack.
Like Nexon's other flagship title, Maplestory, Dungeon Fighter Online uses a skill point system. As a character gains experience, he or she gains skill points; the amount a character currently has is indicated by a counter at the bottom-righthand corner of the screen. Skills cost skill points to both learn and upgrade; this restricts the skills that can be learned by a character, and restricts the number of times a skill can be upgraded.
There are 6 base character classes in Dungeon Fighter Online'. The selectable classes are: Mage*, Fighter*, Thief, Gunner*, Slayer, and Priest. The classes marked with a * have separate Male and Female versions. Each class can specialize in one of several subclasses upon reaching level 20. Each subclass can further advance at level 40 by accomplishing an Awakening quest, gaining a new title and two new powerful skills. Awakened subclasses are an upgraded form of the original subclass. Each class has a specific class mentor who teaches players class-specific skills, assigns class-specific quests (quests that focus on a particular class's strengths), and assigns Advancement and Awakening quests.
Style and Technique Points
Style and Technique points are gained for performing attacks on enemies in special circumstances.
To earn style points, one must perform combos (chaining hits together on enemies), aerials (striking an enemy while an enemy is in midair), and striking enemies at the same times with party members.
To gain technique points, a player can perform back attacks (striking an enemy when their back is turned to the player), perform counterattacks (hit an opponent while they are performing an attack), and perform overkill blows, in which the damage of the final hit exceeds 30% or more of the victim's total health.
It should be noted that these statistics are no longer applied in the current version of DFO, but they do reappear when performing certain advancement quests.
A player starts out in a town every time they log onto a server. NPCs sell items, buy things from the player, give quests, fix equipment, etc.
In every town there is a "Seria's". It is marked with a two white stone statues on both sides of the doorway. In here, a girl named Seria gives some quests and sells items and avatar accessories that require money counted in Seras. Seras are converted from real money or obtained free of charge from some special events. They are not in the American Release yet. There is also a safe (stores up to eight different items, as long as their total weight is below 8 kg, however the safe can be upgraded holding more items, and also unlimited weight) and a Mailbox (used to send messages and items to other characters/players.)
In every town there is at least one area where when a character walks off the screen, the player will enter a dungeon selection mode. Once the dungeon is selected, the character is transported into the dungeon.
A town may have one or more dungeon areas. When the player's character walks off the screen, the player will be presented with a map select screen with dungeons available to the player. Hidden dungeons may be unlocked after completing certain "epic" quests.
Battles take place in a player selected "dungeon" where the player starts off in a starting room, destroying monsters and collecting dropped items spoils. Upon destroying all enemies in a room, all doorways leading out of the conquered room light up and become accessible. Through these the player enter new rooms where more enemies are. The player may revisit any room previously cleared. Cleared rooms remain enemy-less and any spoils dropped on the ground stay. Finally, the player may enter a specially lit doorway that flashes in a different color than normal doors. This is the gate to the dungeon boss, where normal monsters and the dungeon bosses lurk. The dungeon is cleared as soon as the boss dies. Any monsters left alive when the boss dies die along with it. If a player leaves the dungeon before killing the boss or dies in battle without using a continue coin, a countdown will start and the player will be returned to town.
Upon the Death of the Boss
When the Boss dies, the screen reverts to a blue "stage final scores" screen where the player is shown the Combo Ranking achieved in the course of the dungeon. The ranking is classified much like a school assignment would be, ranging from (lowest to highest) F, E, D, C, B, A, S, SS, and SSS. Every ranking from B upward gives an experience bonus; many other factors give out bonuses, like wearing an avatar item, having a pet out, special events, etc.
Then the player gets to choose a reward card from the spoils pile. There will always be eight cards, four on top and four on the bottom. The ones on the bottom cost gold to purchase. Each person may only choose one card from each side. Other players may see what other people receive. Rewards consist of which card a player will automatically receive- the top pile- while the bottom pile is optional to select.
When the score and reward screen is gone a campfire is automatically generated in the boss room. From the NPC next to the campfire players may sell items and fix broken equipment. The boss room gates remain closed, but players are free to pick up items and whatever they want to do before either leaving the dungeon safely to town, choosing a different dungeon from the same area, or redoing the same dungeon (items and experience are not reset).
A minimap to the top right corner of the screen shows the room layout of the dungeon. Unvisited rooms are not marked, and accessible but not yet visited places are marked with a flashing question mark once a room is cleared. In the minimap, the boss room is marked with a red head, the special "Hell Mode" boss room is marked with a purple head, and normal rooms display directions of open gates.
Old System - no longer used.
The player starts with 156 fatigue points, and upon entering a room in a dungeon, will lose one of them. If the player goes back to a previous room they have been in, the player will not lose any fatigue points. After all 156 fatigue points are used, players can't enter any dungeons until 6:00 AM PST the next day (server time), they cannot be healed like frustration points. However, if the player runs out of fatigue points while in a dungeon, the they will still be able to complete the dungeon. This, however, was removed and was replaced by blitz points.
Starting with the "Rebirth" update, the "Fatigue Points" was replaced by "Blitz Points". "Blitz Points" initially allowed players to play for an unlimited period of time and experience at the price of increased weapon/armor damage. There were stages. The first stage with 200 "Blitz Points" was normal experience and weapon/armor damage. Second to fifth each had 50 "Blitz Points" for every new stage reached, the more experience the player earns, and the faster their weapon/armor would be damaged.
In April 2012 the fatigue system was changed again. Characters would begin with 200 Blitz points which would function as the first stage listed above. Upon exhaustion of those 200 points, a character would be flagged as "Blitz Stage OFF", would receive bonus experience, but the penalty was changed from increased weapon/armor damage to a 0% drop rate on money and any non-quest specific items. This penalty also applied a drop rate reduction to the entire party in a group situation(though not a full removal of drops) if any member was in "Blitz Stage OFF" status.
As of the Season II(Revolution) update, June 2012, the initial Blitz point allotment was increased to 400 points.
Champions are monsters that are marked with a special aura emanating around them and a specially colored name above them and their special status or special abilities. (example: Frozen Tau Guard, Attack and Bleed) Champions are not that much harder to take on than normal monsters, but they do have extra hp and their levels may be higher than normal ones. Upon death, a picture of a good luck sack/charm appears next to the minimap in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and a number next to it showing how many mutated monsters killed. More champion monsters killed will result in better rewards (in general) when the dungeon is cleared.
When a player clears a dungeon and scores the appropriate rank, they gain access to the next difficulty level for that dungeon. Dungeons of higher difficulty can be selected by clicking on the arrows underneath a dungeon icon. The second level of difficulty is labeled as "Expert's Road" (pass Normal), the 3rd level "Master's Road" (receive a B on Expert), and the 4th level "King's Road" (receive an S on Master). Higher difficulty results in monsters with more hp, higher attack, higher aggression, and more chances for a player to miss their attacks. Higher difficulty results in more experience and better quality of items. "Hero's Road" (only in dungeons higher than 60, received by epic quests) was once implemented in North America, but was removed in June 2012 with the Revolution update.
There are a number of social aspects to Dungeon Fighter Online, including Guilds, PvP Arenas, Party Play, and Mentorship.
Dungeon Fighter Online utilizes a guild system. Any player not already part of a guild can create a guild and invite other players who are not associated with a guild to join their guild. The benefits of guilds are two-fold. First, when multiple members of the same guild are logged in to the same channel, all members gain additional experience in dungeons. Secondly, when guild members gain experience, the guild itself gains experience, and can level up as well. When a guild levels up, additional abilities are made available, such as increased stats for the whole guild or additional experience gains. Eventually, the guild can obtain a "Guild Hideout".
Dungeon Fighter Online has a special PvP Arena area. In the PvP Arena area, there are two types of Arenas, the standard Arena, which has been active since the game's launch, and a new "Fair Arena", which takes steps to balance the PvP experience among players of different classes. The "Fair Arena" was created due to severe balancing issues between classes.
Any group of players can form a party by requesting a party with other players. However, Dungeon Fighter Online does have a system in place to prevent low-level characters from "piggy-backing" off of higher-level characters, by means of temporarily stunted experience gains.
A player of Level 18 or higher can begin taking Apprentices. When a player who is an apprentice clears dungeons, the Mentoring player gains gold. Also, a Mentor and Apprentice can play together in Party Play without experience penalty, thus aiding the Apprentice with quest completion and faster experience gains.
Dungeon Fighter Online was developed by a South Korean company called Neople who previously only published a number of casual online games through their own game portal site. It was originally planned as a small game as the entire game was developed in five months based on the forecasted life expectancy. However, the response was better than they expected so the budget was increased and the game was expanded.
Extensive testing took place before the premiere launch in Korea. Three closed beta periods were held between December 17–31, 2004, February 1–13, 2005, and June 28-July 11, 2005. Neople accepted only 999 players per test and allowed only one hundred minutes of gameplay per day. Content was fine-tuned and updated daily throughout the test period based on testers feedback. After a short hiatus, open beta commenced on August 10, 2005 at 3 pm. By 11 pm, there were over 15 thousand concurrent users
Even though many games being released at the time were 3D, Neople decided to create Dungeon Fighter Online in 2D because they didn't believe it affected gameplay, they didn't feel a 3D game could capture the look and feel of the original illustrations of the characters, the ease of casual players getting into the game, and they had more experience with 2D games. Hi-res is not a likely path the game will take because director Yun Jong Kim's main focus is "efficiency".
North American release
Five years after the original release in Korea, Nexon America revealed plans for an English version of Dungeon Fighter Online at the 2009 Game Developers Conference in late March. The title was renamed from Dungeon & Fighter to Dungeon Fighter Online because of the awkwardness to say "Dungeon and Fighter".
Thousands of applicants were accepted into closed beta, which held for seven days between July 28-August 3, 2009. Open beta plans were announced at Penny Arcade Expo 2009. Early access to open beta, available for players who received a beta key, proceeded on September 15, 2009. Open beta began a week later on September 22, 2009. Dungeon Fighter Online officially launched on June 9, 2010.
The Game server in North America will shut down permanently as of June 13, 2013.
Announced on April 2, 2013. Dungeon Fighter Online - North America is no longer planning to support the game, and will be shutting down its servers as of June 2013; no updates have been available as to user data or revival.
An anime adaption of the game was announced by Gonzo at the Hangame 2008 Summer Festival event on August 24, 2008. Titled as Slap-up Party: Arad Senki (スラップアップパーティ −アラド戦記− Surappuappu Pāti -Arado Senki- , lit and titled in original Korean as Dungeon and Fighter: Slap-up Party (던전 앤 파이터 슬랩업 파티). Slap-up Party: Record of the Arad War), it is produced by Gonzo and GK Entertainment and directed by Takahiro Ikezoe. The anime premiered on TV Tokyo on April 3, 2009 and ran for twenty-six episodes. It is loosely based on material from the official webcomic, The Vagrants in Arad (Korean: 아라드의 방랑파티, Japanese: アラドの放浪パーティー, lit. The Wandering Party of Arad), and features several of the same characters.
A manga based on the game titled Arad Senki: Slap-up Party (アラド戦記 −スラップアップパーティ−), written and illustrated by Kiku Ueda was announced on April 30, 2009. It premiered on May 30, 2009 in the June issue of Gentosha's Monthly Comic Birz magazine.
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