|Release||31 November 2005 (Beta)|
9 June 2006 (Live)
DragonFable is a free-to-play, online, browser-based, single-player, fantasy, role-playing game developed by Artix Entertainment and updated on a weekly basis. Players may access locked game content by upgrading to a premium account for a one-time fee.
As is typical with online, fantasy games, play is initiated by creating a basic character profile, which includes choosing a name, gender and base class (mage, rogue or warrior). The game is then played exclusively through point and click commands to navigate the player character across the play area, to interact with non-player characters (NPCs), to engage in combat, to progress the storyline, etc.
While in a battle sequence, the character may be assisted by NPCs that have joined his/her party or by pets that have been activated. The player may also switch among a collection of weapons and equipable items, which are generally chosen based upon the items' respective core element (e.g., water, wind, fire, stone, etc.). The battles are turn-based, giving the player an indefinite amount of time to chose from an assortment of actions, either offensive, defensive, healing or a combination thereof. The character's available actions are determined by the character's class and "armor" (e.g., ninja, pirate, ranger, etc.), with new armors being introduced on a regular basis. In general, battles occur within "Quests" that contribute to the overarching storyline and typically features a "boss" character, which will be a particularly powerful NPC or monster, often having a small dialogue with the player pre-fight (and sometimes post-fight). Defeating enemies throughout a quest earns the character gold and experience points, the latter contributing to the character moving up in skill level when enough experience has been earned. Weapons and other items are "dropped" when the quest's boss has been defeated.
While new quests and story elements are added on a near-weekly basis, the previously-developed story elements remain playable both to new and to seasoned players, with most enemies' skill levels increasing (i.e. scaling) along with the character's level.
In "Book 1" the character is introduced into the story as a hero from an unknown location arriving to Lore (the world of DragonFable), destined to become a Dragon Lord who will own one of the two great dragons, unhatched in separate boxes (black and white) at the start of the game. Obtaining the dragon egg (ironically) from the Black Dragon Box is one of the two major story lines in Book 1 and of the rest of the game. The storyline throughout Book 1 revolves around a primary antagonist named "Sepulcher," who is a "Doom Knight" possessing the White Dragon Box on a mission to capture all the "Elemental Orbs" as a means to achieve ultimate power and world domination. In addition to the series of Elemental Orb story arcs, there are many intertwining subplots in Book 1, creating a rich world full of creative and often comical discoveries. Temporary seasonal quest chains also appear during real-world holiday seasons (see more details below), which occasionally tie into the main plot line, sometimes in major ways.
In "Book 2" the character assists a group of aliens that has escaped to Lore from an inter-dimensional creature called "Wargoth." The character also joins in a search, throughout the ever-expanding world of Lore, for the NPC "Warlic" after his disappearance at the end of Book 1.
In "Book 3" the character awakens to a vastly-expanded Lore, after being encased in ice for five years, to engage, sometimes collaboratively but usually combatively, with the anti-magic movement called "The Rose," which has become a major power.
On 19 February 2010, the ArchKnight game and quest chain was continued and completed within DragonFable, with "Ash" (normally an NPC) as the player character. This quest chain is only accessible to those with premium accounts either in AdventureQuest or in DragonFable. In 2012, the Alexander quest chain, which follows the young mage "Alexander" during his training, was released; it explains the origins of the characters "Warlic," "Xan," and "Jaania," all of whom are integral to the main storyline.
DragonFable has several recurring holiday events. These include Valentine's Day (named "Hero's Heart Day" in game), April Fools' Day (a random in-game prank, such as switching DragonFable's NPCs with NPCs from MechQuest), Halloween (named "Mogloween" in game), Christmas (named "Frostval" in game), Friday the 13th, Talk Like a Pirate Day and Thanksgiving (named "Thankstaking" in game). They also have occasional hunts, like gourd, egg and chest hunting.
A few months after its live release in 2006, Chris Barylick, from The Mac Observer, while acknowledging an instant obsession with this "cool Flash-based role playing game," reported that DragonFable was "not perfect, nor does it offer the same options as the marquee titles [e.g., World of Warcraft, Neverwinter Nights, etc.], but it's definitely worth a gander." Andre Haas, from About.com, said that the game was "highly recommended to fans of Adventure Quest...Dragon Fable is pretty much just an improved version of Adventure Quest." Also within a few months of its live release, Andrew Wooldridge, from Jay Is Games (JiG) concluded, "If you are looking for a hard core RPG you might look elsewhere. But that's not what DragonFable is all about...DragonFable is a perfect game for a quick 30-minute RPG fix...So, if you are looking for a great lunchtime game that brings fun back to the leveling up grind then DragonFable is for you." As of September 2018, DragonFable's rating at JiG was "4.8/5 (380 votes)."
One year after its live release, reviewer "MyDogRox" from GameFAQs rated DragonFable with "4.0 - Great" (out of 5.0 - Flawless), giving "Graphics 8/10...Gameplay 6/10...Plot 10/10" and saying, "Overall it is a pretty fun game for a while, but you will probably get bored after a while...You should definitely try this game out sometime." As of September 2018, users on GameFAQs have rated DragonFable at "3.81/5 [with] 118 total votes," making it their "#5 highest rated WEB role-playing game," beating-out games like RuneScape and MonsterMMORPG.
Though three years after its live release, in 2009 MMOHuts.com gave DragonFable a "Final Verdict: Good (3/5)," saying "Players starting DragonFable will step into a world which is already packed with content and with new quests, items, and features being added weekly...Graphically, DragonFable may not look like much but the bright graphics, large game world, varied monsters, and quests make it far more impressive than most browser games," concluding, "DragonFable is an enjoyable single player RPG experience with an entertaining story and plenty of quests to perform. The turn based combat is well suited for a browser game where gamers can play at their leisure."
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- Brian Perry Jr. "Artix Interview". Onrpg. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "Artix's RPG ArchKnight Epic Finale on Friday; Game Finishes Inside Another Game". IGN. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Suzie Ford (6 April 2009). "Artix April Fools Fun". WarCry Network. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Suzie Ford (30 October 2009). "Artix Entertainment: Happy Mogloween!". WarCry Network. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
- "Artix Presents TV Talent Reality Show Parody "FalconReach Idle" in Browser-Based DragonFable". IGN. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Chris Barylick (29 November 2006). "Your Daily Dose of RPG: DragonFable". The Mac Observer. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Andre Haas. "Linux Game: Dragon Fable". About.com. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- Andrew Wooldridge (10 September 2006). "Dragon Fable". Jay Is Games. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- MyDogRox (25 May 2007). "DragonFable – Review". GameFAQs. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- MMOHuts.com (10 July 2009). "DragonFable Full Review". MMOHuts.com. Retrieved 25 September 2018.