I’m not sure what to expect when reviewing a game from R2 anymore. I guess there’s some part of me deep down that hopes they’re going to do something original, but as it turns out, it’s usually not the case. Just for the heck of it, when I started Dragonbone Dynasty I decided to step away from the computer for a few minutes to see if my character would progress as seems to be standard fare in so many other R2 games, and guess what? It did. I literally stood in the doorway of my office for about fifteen minutes watching my character run between quest givers, complete quests, run off, do battle, then return to rinse and repeat the entire thing.
But I’m probably getting ahead of myself here. Let’s talk about the features of Dragonbone Dynasty!
The Dragonbone Dynasty Classes
The game has exactly three classes, none of which are gender locked but that is only a small comfort in the grand scheme of things. When you start you have your choice of:
True, it can’t get much more generic than that. I picked Sorcerer and while I didn’t play with the other two classes I can almost guarantee that they work nearly the same and will achieve the exact same results in combat. This is especially true when you consider that the game will practically play for you every time you need to go afk, say to pop into the bathroom or go to make a sandwich.
You might have guessed already, I’m a little salty over the auto-pathing and scripting… but can you blame me? When I play an MMO I want to have an adventure, I don’t want the adventure to play out for me!
An Adventure to Forget
I’m going to make one thing very clear: there’s an actually pretty decent story being told in Dragonbone Dynasty. But to be honest, at least in my opinion, the story only exists to hide the fact that there is very little world to explore or interact with. If I were to be any more honest I would go on to say that it’s a very, very pretty pre-rendered hallway, but let’s not go there.
My point, however, is reinforced by the fact that the game does everything within its power to force you to stay on the path, and if you alt-tab for a second you’ll be right back on the story. There are some reasons to avoid the story, for example it features PVP, GvG, and GvE combat. So there is definitely a social aspect to the game if you have the time to sink into exploring the system, but if you’re reading this there’s a chance you’re going to say no way.
I can’t really blame you, this game uses the same engine as every other R2 title, and with that in mind there are several elements that are inherent to this game and every other title that R2 has put out:
- Combat Rating – This is displayed in the upper left hand corner and shows you how effective you will be in battle. This number is mostly useful if you are entering the PVP arena or fighting a boss. In other words, it’s your chance of actually coming out of the combat in one piece, though I found out that in the PVP arena a slight advantage doesn’t always mean victory.
- Enhancement – You can enhance your equipment rather than picking up new stuff, and in the end it’s just another way for them to draw cash store purchases out of you.
- Mount System – Why you would need a mount in this game, I don’t know. I mean you can walk away and it’ll do everything for you anyway. Besides, the mount doesn’t increase your speed that much, but just like in the other games I’ve played, you do have the opportunity to enhance your mounts and make them work a little better.
- Allies – This takes on many different forms across the different games, but in this one it allows you to collect allies that you can enhance and train for more effectiveness in combat.
Using all of these elements and a few more, you can set about the story, which, by the way, has plenty of filler (you literally get sent to rough up a gang at some point) and eventually you’re told that you’re ‘The One’ after your childhood village is completely decimated by bad people who are up to no good.
An Emoticon World
One thing that Dragonbone Dynasty does different from the other R2 titles is overuse emoticons. They couldn’t be bothered to make meaningful character animations for emotions, so when a character is happy, sad, or somewhere in between, an emoticon appears over their head.
I understand that parts of the story are meant to be pretty emotional, especially when your village is destroyed, but it’s hard to feel sorry for anyone when it looks like they’re emoting the entire thing on Yahoo Messenger. Maybe I’m being a little bit insensitive here, but the thing is, they’re not little text emoticons, I mean full blown ones like what you’d see on Facebook. Sure, you’re laughing now, but wait until you see someone throw a big yellow smiley face into casual conversation in what should be an epic MMO.
A Sense of Belonging
For all the things that Dragonbone Dynasty does wrong, there are a few things that it does manage to do that are at least…interesting. For example they have the pet system in which you can collect and train different pets to aid you in battle. You can unlock special abilities or aesthetics for them, giving you more of a reason to log in every day.
If you want to take it a step further you can look at your in-game farm which gives you a plot of land to grow crops as well as potion ingredients. If you want to take a break and make your character a little more powerful, this is probably the way to do it. It’s true that the game definitely has a lot for you to do, but I personally don’t get a kick out of the theme of instant gratification that it seems to offer.
Turn Based Combat
One thing I will say about this one is that they managed to make the combat a little different which is kind of a plus. Rather than the typical grindy fare that R2 games are known for, you have a sort of grid, each square being filled by either you or your allies.
You choose your attacks before each turn, and that does mean you need to anticipate what your enemy is going to do next whether you are in PVP or PVE.
As an amusing note, when you are in combat you can speed up the action and Dragonbone Dynasty actually states that in doing so you will override your suspension of disbelief. I just want to point out that if you had suspension of disbelief while you were playing this game in the first place, then something is terribly wrong.
To take it a step further, one of the VIP features is auto battle, or in other words the ability to automatically resolve the battle based on the algorithm that includes your combat rating.
The game plays pretty well, and it’s free of bugs, but as I mentioned earlier, you have to contend with the fact that it wants to keep you 100% on track at all times. That can definitely get annoying.
This is literally the same game that R2 puts out every few months. It’s the same engine, same concept, and the same play style. I’m seriously reminded of RF Online and Archlord. Yeah they had different skins but they were still the same game and you know it.
I don’t know where R2 keeps getting all of their players, but they do seem to be pretty cooperative and helpful in chat, so that’s always a plus.
For being as rushed as it was, Dragonbone Dynasty has pretty good music and sound. The game boasts decent music and voice acting, all of which was paid for by your micro transactions in their host of other games, so you definitely don’t have to worry about it being lacking in this area.
Value for Money 3/10
Full disclosure: If you have a computer that can run other MMORPG’s, you probably don’t want to play Dragonbone Dynasty. Rift, Everquest, Perfect World International, all of them are more interesting and more engaging than this game. Dragonbone Dynasty wants you to throw all of your hard earned income into it and you really aren’t going to get that much of a reward. All in all, I’d say there are better things for you to spend your money on.
-Pay to Win
Related: Browser Game, Dragonbone Dynasty, MMO, MMORPG, R2, Review