We here at Co-Optimus are always on the lookout for great co-op opportunities and, as we've covered previously, there are plenty of opportunities for some quality cooperative gaming in the MMO space, many of which fall into the "free-to-play" model. One of these games is Dungeon Fighter Online, a 2D beat 'em up that plays a lot like Streets of Rage 2 and Golden Axe with action RPG elements tossed into the mix. We recently spoke with the game's associate producer, Luis Reyes, about what inspired them to release a rather retro MMO in a market space filled with World of Warcraft and Everquest clones, what classic 2D beat 'em ups inspired them, and get some exclusive details about an upcoming Guild system that will further the co-op experience.
Co-Optimus: Tell us a little bit about the game and about how the co-op/group mechanics work in Dungeon Fighter Online.
Luis Reyes: Dungeon Fighter Online is a Beat ‘Em Up Action RPG with all the elements that make arcade fighting games fun, plus all the things that make an epic RPG fantasy world fun. DFO takes both of these online so players can enjoy all that fun with their friends. The game takes place in the mystical land of Arad where an evil scourge known as The Devolution terrorizes its citizens. Dungeon Fighters must enter the various dungeons throughout the land—each overrun with all manner of villains and vile beasts—and drive evil from the land.
Dungeon Fighters can do this alone, taking on these dangerous dungeons solo, or they can team up in parties of up to four people and take on these monsters co-op style. And coming up at the end of April, we will be introducing Guilds to Arad, which means that teaming up in parties yields not only extra buffs but also boosts EXP.
Now, to hone those skills for the great eradication of evil, Dungeon Fighters can also jump into the Player-versus-Player Arena to fight each other, either one on one, in teams of up to four, in elimination style, or in an all out brawl where it is every man for himself. So between the party and PvP systems, there is a wide array of co-op gaming options.
Co-Optimus: A new feature you're currently testing out in beta are Guilds. How do you expect Guilds to benefit co-op play in Dungeon Fighter Online?
Luis: There are a ton of benefits to Guild play. As we mentioned above, when you play in a party of your Guild members, you experience several stat boosts (related to the level of your Guild). Then, when you clear a dungeon, you get an EXP bonus (again, related to the level of your Guild). Another secret benefit to playing as part of a Guild is that the Noob-o-meter (our system for keeping lower level players from exploiting the ownage of higher level players to clear dungeons and gain experience) will be inactive! Then there are all the added benefits of just being in a Guild, which include always having friends out there to play with, a solid group helping the other members grow, etc. And the fact that your Guild has a level as well means that members will all work together in raising that level, because not only do you get the prestige of having a high level Guild, but as your Guild level rises, you personally get higher boosts.
Co-Optimus: What inspired the creation of a 2D beat 'em up title in an MMO space when so many other developers seem to be leaning towards the World of Warcraft/Everquest model?
Luis: There is a definite appeal out there for the 2D style, and it really makes Dungeon Fighter Online stand out with a great artistic direction and vision. The real meat, though, of any game is the mechanics beneath the graphics, and that is the true fun of DFO. There are all sorts of weapons, items, armor, accessories, hundreds of skills, 5 different character classes, each of which can further customize into 4 different subclasses, and thousands of avatar items, each with different stat and skill boosts. The game is all about working through an incredibly elaborate fighting system that hinges on how you tailor your character. And the 2D style is a fantastic way to really appreciate all of the technical intricacies the game offers. The style is also an homage to all the fighting action games that have come before it, adding to the exciting games of the past the vastness of experience that only an intense online game offers.