I’ve been playing Dragon Nest SEA Open Beta for the past few days since it’s my school break and waiting for the next announcement of Guild Wars 2 last profession, so currently i have not much online games to play. I have recently played MapleSEA, Guild Wars, Dragonica & Granado Espada. I wasn’t really expecting Dragon Nest to be able to hold my attention since most of the online games that i had played previously were quite different from each other in terms of gameplay but it did.

MapleSEA is a side-scroller game that i had been playing on & off for the past few years. Guild Wars is my all time favorite for it’s non-conventional MMORPG style of gameplay and content. Dragonica and Granado Espada is quite new to me. In Dragonica, i was able to follow instructions given by the NPCs and they were quite simple to execute. Granado Espada is relatively simple to play and i was able to put my team on auto-attack mode but it has the grinding element which i don’t find appealing since it gets tiresome after a while.

I discovered Dragon Nest after some of my Facebook friends mentioning the game and i went to search for it. It was in Open Beta so i registered and tested it out.

In the Dragon Nest character creation mode, there are 4 basic classes to choose from; Cleric, Warrior, Sorceress and Archer (from left to right.) They are of fixed gender; Clerics and Warriors are male while Sorceresses and Archers are female. From the 4 basic classes, upon level 15, the player would be able to select a further sub-class during the advancement.

From the 4 basic classes, i had chosen to play the Sorceress since mage / magic is one of my favorite class/profession of choice. I’m currently level 15 and have chosen the Elementalist sub-class for my first job advancement.

After some basic tutorial given by the game which is actually quite straight forward in telling how the controls of the game works, the player should follow all arrows indicated. Dragon Nest is made rather simple from the clear and distinctive arrows that indicates where the player should go to follow in any quest or action. At any time during the lower levels, the player has to follow the main storyline/quest while there are various side quests that the player can complete as well. If the player decides to quest mark the quests, the directional arrow and distance points out the location of the next target to the player as well as the objective.

The world of Dragon Nest works in the following way: A player can go to town where players can interact with each other and players are able to get out of town to maps where it is customized to the current status of the player’s quests. Monster maps exists as mini dungeons where they are connected to out of town maps. Players will be able to complete the mini dungeons themselves or with a party, however it is best to pick up some side quests from NPCs or from the Guild Board to maximize the profit from a single trip.

Upon entering the warp portal, the player is able to see and select the mini dungeons for their challenge. There are 5 levels (Easy, Normal, Hard, Master & Abyss) which the previous has to be completed to unlock the next. The expected rewards, related quests and challenge achievements are in view while it also states level recommendations and party size in which to challenge the mini dungeons with. Mini dungeon comes with about 3 stages of monster elimination and simple tasks completion before meeting the boss in the last stage.

The gameplay for Dragon Nest is relatively simple the mouse controls the camera view. There is a cross-hair which governs the game and a orange cross-hair indicates that the monster is within attack range. The left click of the mouse is for the normal attack while the right is for the secondary attack. Skills are utilized through the 1-9 keys of the keyboard.

After the monsters have been defeated, items such as food, money or misc items drop. Foods dropped by the monsters are able to gives temporary status to player, either to their advantage or disadvantage. The player would have to take note of the name of the food and the status boost indication before picking them up as they will be consumed immediately and won’t be stored in inventory.

Among the many objectives of quests, in mini dungeons, in order to proceed to the next stage, the player would have to eliminate all the monsters in the map. It isn’t a very difficult task if the skills are added appropriately.

When the monsters in the map are all dealt with, the portal will be unlocked. However sometimes the player would have to unlock portal mechanisms which would take a slightly longer time due to ambushing monsters that attack.

An unlocked portal is red while a locked portal remains black.

The last stage of any mini dungeon is the stage with the boss. The boss’s name is indicated in red and their HP and damage is stronger naturally. When all monsters are eliminated, the challenge ends. The player may pick up any dropped items or gold from the fight during the results procession.

The stats from the mini dungeon is shown and points are awarded. Any achievements achieved during the challenge are also indicated to the player during the results tabulation or during normal gameplay.

A grade is given to the players, up to the grade of SSS.

From the grade, the player will be able to select from the number of blind chests which is relative to the grade given. From Gold, Silver, Bronze and Normal. Different rewards are awarded from the choice.

When the mini dungeon is completed, head to town to collect the reward from the respective NPC which issued the quest. Any quest gotten from the Guild Board can be completed and rewarded by the commission board in town.