Dragonica

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Dragonica
Dragonica Logo.png
Logo
Developer(s) Gravity[1]
Publisher(s) gPotato Europe
GSquare
Nexon
Engine Gamebryo[2]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • EU June 10, 2009
  • NA October 15, 2009
Full list, see below
Genre(s) Fantasy, MMORPG
Mode(s) Online multiplayer

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.[3] The game's commercial launch was on June 2009 in China and October 2009 in Europe and October 2010 in North America.[4] Characters created during the Open Beta testing were carried over to the commercial release.[5]

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[6] and Awakening of the Ice Dragon which was released on 15 February 2011[7] 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.[8][9]

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.

Tasks[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.[10]

Paris Strikes Back[edit]

Paris Strikes Back was the second expansion to Dragonica and was released only in Europe on 23 June 2010.[11] 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.[12]

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

DragonSaga Kryos.png

Awakening of the Ice Dragon (known as Kryos Unleashed in North America)[13] 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.[14]

New Origin (Elga Unleashed)[edit]

New Origin is the fourth expansion for Dragonica.[15] 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.

Development[edit]

ICE Entertainment released Version 6 of the Chinese Dragonica in Open Beta on April 24, 2009.[16] IAH's and 8interactive's Dragonica for the SEA-ANZ region have been live since 2009.[17] gPotato Europe's EU English, French and German services began on June 10, 2009 after a Closed Beta period in the previous month.[18] It has been in full release since the October 2009 release of Tales of the Damned.[18]

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[19] in mid-October of that year under the new name Dragon Saga, after purchasing Barunson Interactive, the game's developer.[18]

Nexon, the Korean publishers of the game announced that their service would shut down in July 2011.[18][needs update]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dragonica Developer now Gravity Games". 
  2. ^ a b "Dragonica Introduction Document". Barunson Interactive. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Dragonica Interview with IAHGames". MMOsite.com. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Dragonica enters open beta in Europe - Massively". Massively. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  5. ^ "Information on Dragonica Online's Beta Test Phases". THQ*ICE. Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  6. ^ "gPotato Europe announces the first expansion for Dragonica: Tales of the Damned". IGN. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  7. ^ "gPotato Europe announces the second expansion for Dragonica: Awakening of the Ice Dragon". PC Gamers World. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  8. ^ "Dragonica - Story Overview / Game Overview & Beta Tests". 
  9. ^ "Dragonica - Game Story". 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Dragonica – Paris Strikes Back Expansion Goes Live Today". MMOFront. 
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ "Dragon Saga launches Kyros Unleashed update". MMOhut. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ [4], Retrieved 2011-06-08.
  16. ^ "(Dream Dragon) Fire Shadow Version Open Beta today!". ICE Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  17. ^ "IMPORTANT: CBT Shift and Extension!". IAHGames. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Dragonica goes on public release as Open Beta launches". gPotato Europe. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gpcbt" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gpcbt" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gpcbt" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  19. ^ "Phase 1 Beta Testing in NA". Gravity Interactive. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 

External links[edit]