Dragon Nest, First Look

By Jim Rossignol on July 1st, 2008 at 8:24 am.


Dragon Nest, the new MMO from NCSoft splinter company Eyedentity, is actually looking fairly healthy. Its cartoonish Zelda-like world suggests that it’s going to be low spec (ideal since it’s being touted heavily as the next big thing on the Chinese market) and it could be fairly accessible. The trailer (after the click) is full of zest and the game looks like a lot of fun. If it can manage to avoid being as tedious as the big Korean MMO staples (I’m looking at you, Lineage II) then it could well be a success.


Our chums over at Gamershell have a small gallery of screens.

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26 Comments »

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  1. Ian says:

    The player characters look sorta generic but aside from that it looks like it might have a lot to offer in terms of pick-up-and-playability.

  2. Lemming says:

    Looks very bitching indeed, any relaton to Dragon Quest?
    Although it looks a bit fast paced for an mmo, if it works (network wise) then WooHoo!

  3. Chaos Theory says:

    Personally, I’ve been looking for a fast paced, combat focused MMO, so if this actually has a combat system that’s beyond click to target/click again to auto-attack/hit a few hotbar keys/repeat, I might check this one out.

    But speaking of generic character design, the character on the far left looks a whole lot like the main character from Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced.

  4. kenoxite says:

    Great… Just one more generic asian grind machine. And this one looks like WoW meets Glam dressed big heads… OMG, they’re targetting us!

  5. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The combat system looks somewhat arcadey though. I’d like that for a change.

  6. roskelld says:

    Nice looking trailer. Could have done with removing the aiming cursor from the HUD before recording the video though.

    Characters and environment are all nice and stylised, following the more Blizzard approach of design (Fantastic scale).

    The combat looks interesting too, the combos looked great. Interested to see how this one turns out.

  7. Okami says:

    World of Strafecraft

  8. Whiskey Jak says:

    Yeah, the fact that it has a name that is meant to sound like Dragon Quest, that some characters have more than a passing resemblance to FF characters and that we see a beholder, (correct me if I’m wrong but I think that beholders aren’t generic monsters, but are specifically D&D monsters) has that “in China we can rip anything and everyone off” flavor. Something that I don’t particularly like. Which is a shame since the game do indeed look good.

  9. Testicular Torsion says:

    Correct; beholders are “product identity” as far as WOTC is concerned, and they’ve been pretty assiduous about not letting other people use them in the past.

  10. Al3xand3r says:

    It looks quite fun and like it delivers an action based combat system as promised by the Age of Conan developers, perhaps close to a modernised Phantasy Star Online. However…

    “f it can manage to avoid being as tedious as the big Korean MMO staples (I’m looking at you, Lineage II) then it could well be a success.”

    I think they will make it that tedious on purpose and it will be a huge success in that market, sadly. If not, I’ll lap it up.

  11. Stromko says:

    Also that pale ogre thing has a head that looks very much like Warcraft Online’s squigs. The giant bare-tooth mouth leading up to a big nose horn with the eyes on the side thing. The snake monsters have masks like the hollows from the ‘Bleach’ anime series. The earth elemental thing looks very similar to how it’s been rendered in a lot of different games.

    I really don’t care about all that though, the main turnoff is that it’s going to be grindy. Oh yes, grindy as hell. Why not? Very few games have gameplay that lasts over the long haul, so they’ll use a carrot on a very long stick to keep customers. It’s a lot easier than just making a really tasty carrot you’ll want to have every day. Action grind is even worse than click-and-wait grind, as it demands more active participation doing the same exact thing day after day after day in order to achieve miniscule character advancement.

  12. Skalpadda says:

    @Whiskey Jak:
    “correct me if I’m wrong but I think that beholders aren’t generic monsters, but are specifically D&D monsters”

    Like Orcs are specifically LotR monsters? Just saying, fantasy is built on theft (not saying it’s a definite bad thing).

  13. mpk says:

    Dragons! I love dragons, especially drawn in that Eastern style. Western artists just don’t seem to quite catch the baddassery inherent in being a forty-foot long winged magical lizard with flamebreath and an attitude – all we get from them is the forty-foot lizard.

  14. andy says:

    consoleish feel, can’t tell if that’s good or bad though.

  15. Irish Al says:

    That cacodemon has put on weight.

  16. Pod says:

    Gazoontite, Mr Beholder.

  17. mandrill says:

    *YAWN* yet another WoW-alike. Come on guys this isn’t news there are 50 of these released every week (I exaggerate of course, but that’s what it seems like).

  18. Noc says:

    Well, I’m seeing creature juggling, which I approve of. And I’m seeing a crowd of enemies swarming about in one half-second shot, which I especially approve of: Eye-emm-aich-oh, proper crowd dynamics is something that MMOs haven’t seen a lot, and could benefit from. The fact that it’s for an Asian market is a huge red flag flapping merrily in the breeze . . . but the fact that it doesn’t look like it’s full of elves in skirts bodes well for it being an attempt to buck the curve.

    Also, it doesn’t look like a WoW clone. Other than involving you fighting monsters that occasionally stand about in villages and caves. It actually looks, both in art and action, a lot like FF Crystal Chronicles. Which I kind of enjoyed a little bit, and would have enjoyed more if I could actually play it with people. And I assume there’ll be other people in an MMO. And that not everyone playing will need a Game Boy Advance.

  19. Erlam says:

    “has that “in China we can rip anything and everyone off” flavor. Something that I don’t particularly like. Which is a shame since the game do indeed look good.”

    You mean like.. any Blizzard game? They rip stuff off wholesale, where’s the outrage there?

  20. Whiskey Jack says:

    @Erlam:
    Yeah, I see what you mean, what’s with Warcraft and Starcraft being more than loosely based on Warhammer and WH40K and all that. Although Diablo has pretty much it’s own lore and feel as far as I’m concerned. And I don’t know, it may be just me, but I feel like the Space Marines from Starcraft and WH40K have their own identity, and I could always differentiate them. Not forgetting that both universe have proven their worth in the gaming and sci-fi department (or fantasy for WC and WH). But again, I can certainly see what you mean when you say that what Blizzard is doing is akin to what those guys are doing.

    As for Dragon Nest, it is not an “outrage” by the way, just a little feeling that something isn’t right. It is probably the fact that the whole country and every single industry and manufacturer in it are shamelessly copying foreign products, let it be cars with the of the BMW X5, the Vii in answer to the Wii in the gaming platform and the fact that you can buy pirated copies of almost every single movies on the streets. It is definitely a culture with which I can’t associate in the least, and playing a game like Dragon Nest would be something like encouraging it for me. Dragon Nest has more a “Limbo of the Lost” vibe to it than Warcraft or Starcraft ever had as far as I’m concerned. Again, that is just my opinion and everyone is welcome to disagree or agree with it.

    And to add to my previous comment, haven’t I seen a Warcraft Murlock or whatever these frog-like creature are named in this video too?

    @Skalpadda: Yeah… I guess. It is probably that orcs have been used in hundreds of different universes, while I don’t recall having seen a Beholder in anything else than D&D. Of course, I’m far from having seen “everything” so they may well have been used somewhere else a couple of times without me knowing.

  21. Al3xand3r says:

    Except Blizzard got those designs after hiring an original Games Workshop creator so it’s not like they stole, he just found a new outlet to pour his work into through Blizzard. He didn’t steal designs from anyone but himself. I forget his name so bare with me.

  22. EyeMessiah says:

    Whiskey Jack says: “…the whole country and every single industry and manufacturer in it are shamelessly copying foreign products…”

    Perhaps because at the end of the day there is really no shame in doing so?

    If we start disregarding every game with a more-or-less generic copypaste setting or rehashed play mechanics then we are going to have to start disregarding a whole lot of games.

    Shameless copying isn’t something that China’s game industry does in isolation. 5 minutes looking over the shelves in the games section of your local HMV should be enough to convince you of that.

    This game might end up being a sucky grindfest, but I doubt that it will be due to it being a run-of-the-mill MMO set in a generic fantasy world.

    WOW (particularly at release) didn’t substantially differentiate itself by radically breaking the MMO mold or rewriting fantasy genre conventions.

  23. Nox says:

    Re: Beholder

    I don’t know what kind of jurisdiction WOTC has worldwide, but when a title that was near-and-dear to this gamer’s heart, FATE, was forced to remove approximately five creatures included in its original release and replace them with renamed and re-textured (read as: godawful) ones, I realized how just how litigious we (Americans) have become as a people.

    While I will concede that one of the creatures bore a passing resemblance to a Beholder–the FATE version was called a Watcher–it saddens me that something immediately familiar but ultimately different can be labeled as copyright infringement just because someone else says, “I thought of it first.”

    If the Watcher had a half-dozen or more eyestalks and had a critical attack that turned the player into stone then I might give WOTC a little more credit. But it was more an instance of ‘inspired by’ and not ‘based upon.’ Certainly not ‘ripped from.’

    Which really sucks, because the act of feeding my pet the fish that would transform him into a Watcher for the remainder of the game has definitely lost its lustre. The ‘replacement’ creature just looks, well…sad, really.

  24. Redford says:

    I’m getting a distinct PSO type combat feel from this game.

    Knowing the Korean game market, however, there is going to be something really dumb about this game.

    1. It’s going to have a restrictive skill system. You will either have to jump through hoops to get skills, or you will have limited skill points with little or no way to respec them. Respecing you skills is very much an American invention – most Korean MMOs only allow it as a premium service through cash shops.

    2. It’s going to have an exp wall. Many Korean MMOs do not believe about endgame content, and instead make it stupidly hard (if not almost impossible) to reach max level. Many games nowadays try to hide this fact by making the first number of levels (10-50 is a typical number) what an American player would consider easy or average. Then, suddenly, at a certain point in the curve it becomes way harder to level. The goal here is to get American players addicted, then convince them to buy items to make levels easier.

    If this game can avoid all the pitfalls of most Korean MMOs, we’ll SEE. Remember, these games are designed for a completely different mindset.

  25. Xyzzy says:

    Would be worth a look. That’s not something I say every day, I tend to, as a critic and gamer, to hate with a burning passion any and all MMORPGs from overseas. Now, while this one falls squarely into that dreaded category, it looks like its could break out of the mold with the controls. Looks fast-paced, no tedious killing.

  26. Namagem says:

    I’m liking this game, stylistically and thematically; it looks like a cross between Legend Of Zelda (Cel Variant), Final Fantasy (world style and common monster design), and possibly God Of War (Basically pioneered the Fifty-Foot-Tall Behemoth(c)).

    I will likely check it out, if it goes the free route.