Tagged: dofus

DOFUS Review: Quirky and Charmingly Fun to Play

It will probably surprise no one who’s been following my love affair with Ankama Games that I like their flagship title,Dofus, quite a bit. Set in the same world as Wakfu, Dofus offers a more direct and traditional MMORPG experience than its more recent cousin, while presenting the same charming anime-inspired graphics and addictive turn-based gameplay. Featuring 15 classes, 22 crafting professions, pets, mounts, dungeons, PvP, and a quirky, humorous presentation throughout, Dofus is one of the most popular MMOs in France and endeared to thousands of players around the world. I recently got sucked back into Ankama Games’ world to check out the new Foggernauts’ Steam class, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to see how the game has been doing since we previously checked in.

Aesthetics: 9/10

I can’t say enough about how impressive and charming are Dofus’ visuals. The game sports cute, colorful character models and environments that manage to be reminiscent of fantasy anime archetypes while still presenting a unique and distinct style. I tend to be pretty glowy over Ankama Games’ art styles across their various media, and while I know that the anime-inspired graphics aren’t quite everyone’s cup of tea, there can be no doubt that the attention to detail and lovingly crafted environments in Dofus are delightful. The game’s sounds and music are likewise nice, although there isn’t any voice acting or range of crazy sound effects outside of the clamor of battle. Dofus’ music is just as charming as its visuals, and can be sometimes wistful, other times rousing, although the game could use a bit more variety here.

The user interface is more than functional, and is mostly intelligently laid out and easy on the eyes. First-time players will likely be a bit lost with all of the different stats and effects to keep track of, as the game has several very deep systems that can be overwhelming, with only a short tutorial area available at the beginning of the game. Also, unlike Wakfu, which can be played fullscreen, the aspect ratio of Dofus won’t fit in most monitors’ native display, meaning that even when maximized, the game client will run pillarboxed. It’s not a big deal, particularly if you’re used to playing older games on a big screen, but it’s noticeable.

Gameplay 7/10

There are a LOT of systems at work in Dofus. You’ll find quests, combat, dungeons, crafting, PvP, an in-game economy, player housing, and a bunch more to do. It’s a much more conventional MMO approach than is offered through the more social, sandbox-oriented Wakfu, and I must say that I prefer the adventuring and action in Dofus much more. Dofus encourages player participation and grouping, without the vast open-ended social, environmental, and political systems of Wakfu, and I find that I like the more direct quests and streamlined content in the older game, although that may be personal preference.

Combat plays out like a turn-based strategy game with time limits for actions that help keep battles moving quickly. A more in-depth look at the technical aspects of combat in Dofus can be found in my Foggernauts’ Steam preview, but suffice it to say that each class has a unique approach to battles, with a host of different abilities and spells to unlock and unleash. The game allows for character progression and customization by giving you characteristic points to spend as you level, and rewards utilizing different tactics on the battlefield. For better or for worse, however, unless you’re a serious power gamer or theory crafter, you might find yourself discovering certain skills and rotations that work for your character and sticking to them, rather than trying to switch up your tactics based on the opponents you’re fighting.

Outside of combat, there’s certainly a lot of stuff to do, and I’m pleasantly surprised to say that crafting is one of the more fun activities in Dofus. I’m not usually big on crafting in MMOs, simply because of the rote involved, but there’s something about gathering resources in Dofus that is so meditative and peaceful that it’s actually pleasing and relaxing. The crafting professions are also suitably deep and are accessed through a very well-designed and easy-to-use crafting panel that makes the process of item creation simple even as the crafting system is itself complex.

Like Wakfu, Dofus doesn’t offer direct control of characters, which means that you’ll be pointing and clicking to do most of your adventuring. This type of control works fine for most of what Dofus does, but combined with the invisible grid that underlies all of the environments in the game, can sometimes make you feel removed from the action by a couple of degrees.

Innovation: 7/10

Dofus’ innovation is through its presentation and world, which are remarkably unique and atmospheric. Ankama Games has done fabulously in creating a distinct style and universe that spans their video games, manga, comics, TV series, and trading card game. Dofus’ presentation sets the game apart from the crowd, and puts its stamp on the developers’ creativity and attention to detail in building lovingly crafted worlds.

The gameplay features in Dofus, on the other hand, are mostly designed in a conventional MMO fashion, about which many veterans of MMORPGs may already be feeling lukewarm. Dofus offers traditional “collect/kill X” tasks among more interesting, story-driven quests that are couched in funny text and kooky situations, and there’s enough variety to make adventuring fun. The main issue is that things like low quest item drops and scarcity of quest-related mobs feel more and more like artifacts from MMOs of yesteryear, and can be frustrating after experiencing better options in more recent titles. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but given that the point-and-click control scheme can make you feel disconnected from the action in the first place, having to run around looking for more monsters to complete a quest can detract from the generally engaging gameplay.

Polish 9/10

Dofus is a Flash-based game and runs excellently. I’ve encountered very few bugs or hiccups, outside of being locked out of my account for some weird reason. All of Dofus’ systems are well-integrated into the game and easy to use after spending some time learning them, and Ankama Games has clearly been active in keeping the game polished since its launch.

Longevity 8/10

As mentioned, there is a LOT of stuff to do in Dofus. If you’re somehow temporarily bored with questing you can be sure to spend tons of hours gathering and crafting, heading into dungeons with friends, participating in the PvP Kolossium, or gloating over your newly obtained player house. The world itself is huge, and if exploration is your thing, it’ll take a good long while to discover everything Dofus has to offer. Plus, the 15 different character classes play very differently, making the game pretty alt-friendly.

Social 9/10

Dofus has a vibrant social community, which is enhanced by the in-game social features. You’ve got your basic friends (and enemies) list and guild panel, but the game also has a well-designed team search for dungeons, as well as a player shop feature for those interested in hawking their wares. Dofus also has an alignment panel to track your PvP Honour and Disgrace points and other character-specific information, and a spouse system for lovebirds.

Value 8/10­

Free players only have access to the starter areas of Incarnam and Astrub Village, and have limited access to most of the game’s features, including classes, professions, guilds, and pretty much everything else. Subscriptions to the game run $6.90 per month, and will unlock all of the game’s content, with some perks based on the length of game time you pre-purchase. You can also purchase Ogrines with real money to unlock in-game items and utilize premium services, or exchange them for Kamas, the game’s currency, with other players.

The subscription is certainly a good deal, and there’s a lot of content to explore for such a low monthly price, but I can’t help but think that the game would work a lot better with an à la carte free-to-play model. I’d much rather purchase different areas of the game or new classes rather than having to pay a monthly fee, and perhaps that’s because of the direction the F2P vs. P2P market is shifting. Still, $6.90/month is not all that much, and you’ll get an even better deal if you purchase several months at a time.

Conclusion

I must admit that I was a bit full of trepidation when trying out Dofus for the first time, having liked Wakfu so much and being worried that its predecessor would turn out to be more basic or unpolished. I’m surprised and happy to report the exact opposite, and that I like Dofus’ fun approach to traditional MMORPG gameplay even more than Wakfu’s open-ended sandbox and social features, which is saying a lot.

It also helps that Ankama Games is very active in updating the game and encouraging player interaction and events. Dofus’ player community is likewise active and friendly, willing to help out new players and team up for group content. Plus, the game’s starter areas are free to roam as you please, so there’s no reason not to try it out if you think it might be your thing. Dofus is certainly worth more than a try, and might charm you into loving its carefully crafted world and characters, and then convince you to grab your wallet and purchase all of the manga, trading cards, and other content as well.

What do you think of Dofus? Let us know in the comments below!

Dofus: Beginner’s Guide to Guilds

A guild you say? What the heck is a guild and what can it do for me, why would I want to join and how do I select the right one?

Let’s see if I can assist you in your choice.

In Dofus, and many other MMORPGs, players can join permanent teams, Guilds. These tend to be groups of people who play together regularly. However, as a guild grows and develops new members will be recruited from outside the social circle. This process can produce some bumps in the road since just like in the real world groups follow a process of development… Forming, storming, norming and performing.

  1. Forming: developing friendships and getting to know each
  2. Storming: this is the deciding of alpha, now in a guild there is a set leader however people have a tendency to be competitive and established guild members may feel threatened by a new player (especially if the new player is a higher level)
  3. Norming: everyone begins to feel comfortable in their roles
  4. Performing: everyone is working together and guild becomes a power house

Some of the stages will be apparent while others will pass by un-noticed. However, each time a new member is added the process begins again, sometimes crazier than others. This is important to remember when you join a guild. You will need to give the group a chance to accept you before deciding to jump out and find another one.

What is a guild?

A guild is like a big family. People you enjoy spending time with and meet with regularly. Okay you might be thinking, family; I don’t enjoy spending time with my family! So, if that is the case think of a guild as a sports team, sorority, fraternity or just a group of awesome people. There is a guild out there for everyone you just need to find the right group of people.

What can a guild do for me?

As part of a guild, you will have a consistent group of players to associate with. You can set up group hunts for drops or experience points (XP) as well as place a perceptor to help collect drops. Guilds tend to share resources, sets, weapons and strategies which can only enhance your gaming experience.

When it comes to hunting in Dofus, a reliable team is important. The items a monster can drop have prospecting locks (PP). The big drops, the ones that pay out nice in a sale or are needed to make your set will have a high PP meaning your group PP has to meet the minimum required to drop an item. For example, to drop a Turquoise Dofus (who doesn’t want to drop one of these) your group will need a minimum of 800PP that isn’t something you can do on your own unless of course your computer can run 8 accounts at once.

So, a guild can help you drop items safely, meaning your guildees will assist your hunting and share the drops you need, at least an honourable guildee would. Guilds also tend to share and trade services. Sharing will help both ways, such as I need a hat made and you’re a tailor… I get a hat and you get crafting XP.

Joining a guild can be a win-win situation, but remember your manners, you can be kicked from a guild just as fast as you joined it. So be sure to understand your guilds etiquette and rules. Here are a few standards to be aware of:

Guild Etiquette:

  1. Treat others with respect
  2. Keep the drama down
  3. Are you begging for items but not contributing items
  4. Share and share alike

Why would I want to join one?

Well not only will you have the above stated benefits, but you will also have group of mentors. You will find your play time more fun. Your experience in the World of Twelve will seem fuller and you will experience things you just can’t do on your own with people you enjoy.

Here are a few pros and cons to help you decide whether to join a guild or stay solo:

Guild Pros Guild Cons
• Make new friends • Team politics
• Team support • Some guilds are alignment based
• Group hunts • Larger guilds may have set groups internally
• Sharing resources • Might not feel like you belong
• Sense of belonging • Sharing a paddock
• Guild events • Contributing XP
• Share sets and equipment • Drama from other players
• Place perceptors • Working your way up the ranking system
• Own houses and paddocks • Sharing perceptors
• Earned ranks • Time spent helping other members

Okay, so maybe you have joined a few guilds but haven’t yet found the right one for you. Selecting a guild can be challenging, so have some ideas of what you want from a guild and what you are willing to contribute. If you still haven’t found the ideal group, well have no fear, there are options: keep looking for the best guild for you, buy an established guild and become the leader or start a guild from scratch.

To begin you will need to either drop or purchase a guildalogem. These stones have a drop rate of 0.08% for 100 PP, meaning you can drop one on your own from any monster in Dofus, but this might take some time! You can purchase the stone from the miner seller room faster but they are not cheap. Once you have your stone head over to the Guild temple (1,-9) you must be pay to play (P2P) to use the stone and create a guild. Howeve,r your character can remain the leader if P2P expires.

Now for a few tough choices: what will your colours, shield and logo be, and even harder yet, what is a great guild name that isn’t already being used? These are choices I won’t try to influence for you, but remember that you want to attract people to your guild and not repel them with a bad logo/colour selection or name. The name is the most important marketing tool for your new guild.

Now, you have a great name, shield and logo but your guild will not become active until it has 10 players. So, get recruiting! Okay easier said than done. Most established players will only join high level guilds meaning you will need to either have high level friends willing to join you or start recruiting lower levels. Incarnam or hanging out at character statues as well as the recruiting channel are all good places to start.

I will suggest finding active players to recruit since your guild level is established by the XP contributions of members. So the more your members play and the more they gain XP, the more your guild will level.

Guild level is important since there are some restrictions set on guilds. There are restrictions to the number of members, houses, paddocks and perceptors you can have. Prior to level 10 your guild will not be allowed to hold a house or a paddock and will only have one perceptor at its disposal.

As your guild levels your perceptor will receive five spell points per level, you will have more tough decisions to make here. Save the points to add another perceptor or level one of the perceptors spells. You can add a perceptor every two levels but to do so requires the use of 10 spell points.

Hmmm… being the leading isn’t sounding all that much fun, there seems to be a lot of work and lots of decisions to be made. You will need to give it some thought and weigh the pros and cons of being a leader. The role will become more complex as your guild levels and grows. Are you ready for the commitment or are you just looking for a fun group to work with?|

As a final note, each guild will have different requirements for membership. Ask around, what have you hearing about specific guilds, good or bad, by asking a few questions of players you will have a quick understanding of the guild culture and there are some very creative cultures out there to explore!

The suggestion to try a game called “Dofus” arrived in my inbox after exclaiming how bored I was.

Dofus?

What the heck is Dofus?

A quick click on the link took me to a page where quite honestly, my first reaction was a snarky smirk and a little scoff. Needless to say I have not held a fascination with online games, nor have I had the attention span to successfully delve into this popular pastime.

I was intrigued by the seemingly odd pairing of a game and a cartoon. With a half piqued interest, I signed up. The painless process directed me to pick a character class, those which have such varied specificities that it took a bit of additional research to understand exactly what I was choosing. However being a girl, I was tempted to pick something cute, damn that gender influence. After much deliberation and reading, I selected the Eniripsa class. Humor struck me when I realized that these guys are the “healers” within the game, and as I have noticed within Dofus, there was a sense of humor behind their name. Eniripsa, is aspirine backwards, the French spelling for aspirin, the pain reliever. The humor was not lost on me, and as I go through the worlds of Dofus, so many glaringly amusing jokes come to light. This is just one of the many reasons Dofus has endeared itself so strongly to me.

Once I customized my character, I started out into a world of strange creatures, quests, and a lot of very confusing idiosyncrasies. Not being a gamer, and not having ever played an MMORPG, I was afraid I was in a little over my head. I checked the Dofus website, and kept referring to it frequently, so I could try to figure out what I was doing, and why the heck I was doing it.

It didn’t take long. . . I knew it with a few minutes, I was hooked. The graphics and snarky sense of humor by the creators completely won me over. I was actually enjoying this game. What? Me? Enjoying a game… on-line? Had Hell frozen over? As impossible as it seemed, I was having a lot of fun playing Dofus.

As a newbie, the learning curve was far easier than I had imagined. Within a short period of time I was killing little wooly creatures, called Gobballs and Gobbies. I was learning how to control my character, and how to use her powers effectively. By continuing to learn in these easy fights, I started to understand the value in strategizing for maximum effect. Before I knew it I was increasing in levels, and had to start customizing the characteristics of my little fairy, so I could maximize her talents.

Advancing quickly, I was thrust into a fantastic world of amazing new creatures and challenges. While exploring, there are so many details to this game, which at first blush, go unnoticed. The creators are constantly integrating humor and sarcasm throughout the world of Dofus, sometimes in the most innocuous of places. The more I play the more entertaining the game becomes as I discover more hidden commentaries. Within Dofus there are many playful details hidden within the graphics. If you really look, you can find the sick and twisted minds that created this fantastic world. I find have an endless fascination of seeing how many little details I can find in any given area of exploration. This has become a game within the game for me.

I have discovered that the community of Dofus is an amazingly eclectic group of people. I have been endlessly impressed with the strength of the community, and the social outlet it allows. Dofus strongly promotes the interaction among its members, and I have found that very endearing. I have really begun to appreciate the open sharing and knowledge of others both on the site, as well as on the companion websites devoted to the game and the sharing of information on strategizing within Dofus. There is a strong feeling of comradery, and cooperation among Dofus players. This was counterintuitive for me, as I was under the assumption that there would be a lot of fierce rivalry, and a bitter disinterest to assist a newbie. This was definitely not the case. Don’t get me wrong, there is a battle and competition component to Dofus, but it is far over shadowed by the friendliness and companionship experienced among players from around the globe.

The challenges and quests keep the game moving forward. There are so many things to do, you do not feel stuck in a routine, or feel you are on an endless quest. The game gives you so many ways to accomplish challenges, and rewards you well for your work. I have found the quests to keep the game very fresh, constantly keeping me exploring new areas of the game of which I was unaware. Every quest unlocks a new level of learning and imagination within the world of Dofus.

As I progress and learn within the world of Dofus, I am finding that the new monsters with which I battle cause me to recalculate my strategies and techniques. I appreciate this new adaptation as it keeps me from sticking to one specific attack or defense method. As I battle new creatures, and hopefully win, I create more reference, and as for those battles I loose and am reincarnated, I find a valuable lesson in the failure of that battle. Constantly learning seems to be a key to the enjoyment of Dofus.

As a free player, I have not felt that I am at a disadvantage or loss of any by having chosen not to subscribe at this point. However I do admit that I am enjoying this game so intensely that I defiantly do plan to subscribe so I can unlock even more adventures within Dofus. Dofus is a very intelligent, fun, and strongly well designed game. It has changed my view of on-line games, and those who play these games. Dofus has opened my eyes to a magnificent new world full of fun and amusing quests. And just think, if I had never sent that e-mail about how bored I was, I never would have been introduced to this brilliant game.