The summer has been relatively slow for big game releases, but has been pretty busy in the MMO sector. The past month a bunch of Free to Play MMOs have gone into open beta, opening the doors for perspective players to try out. The MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) trend is also going strong this summer. Though MOBAs aren’t strictly MMOs, the community is massive and online and many of them offer comp-stomp options with a pre-formed or match-made group, so they certainly have their similarities.
What I’m Playing:
Dragon Nest is a 3D anime-style MMO that just entered open beta last week. They had a pretty enormous booth at PAX East, but I never got around to stopping by and checking it out. The game is uniquely (for an MMO) action-based: the camera is attached to your mouse and you aim with a targeting reticle in the middle of your screen to hit enemies.
Dragon Nest offers four gender-locked classes: Cleric, Warrior, Archer, and Sorceress. It features an outpost/dungeon style where the towns are open to the public, but the adventuring zones are private instances, either just for you if you’re running solo or your party if you’re grouped. Entering an adventuring zone is like entering a dungeon: you can choose your difficulty (more difficulty levels will be unlocked as you complete easier ones) which corresponds to the type of loot you can get. After making this choice, you’re zoned into the first of a few or several small zones where you much vanquish all the enemies to proceed to the next zone in the string. The last zone is a boss stage. After clearing all stages, you’ll be asked to blindly pick a reward. There are quests available in town that will straight-forwardly lead you to appropriate level zones. From the short amount I’ve played, I’ve found it a fun game to play casually. The action system is a nice change of pace from other MMOs, and it’s really nice that you can go and do instances with any number of people you may be playing with at the time (so long as it doesn’t exceed the party limit, of course) - just bump up or down the difficulty!