Game Review - Dofus

27221
Genre: MMORPG
Format: Download
Developer: Ankama Studios
Publisher: Ankama Studios
Minimum System Requirements: Latest versions of a modern browser (Safari and Firefox work best) and Flash player, internet access
Review Computer: 1GHz PowerPC G4, 1.25GB RAM, 128MB ATI Radeon 9000
Network Feature: Internet connection required
Price: Varies depending upon subscription: from $6.90 a month to $5.42 a month if paid annually in advance
ESRB Rating: N/A
Availability: Now
Version Reviewed: 1.12
Official Website: www.dofus.com

I've played a bunch of online multiplayer role-playing games over the years, and none of them are as unique and fun as Dofus is. Oh sure, there's the typical fighting monsters to level up and random drops which can be irritating, but no other MMORPG I've seen has turn-based battles, character classes which are unique and flexible, and a crafting system which doesn't become obsolete as you gain levels. Best of all, you play Dofus in any browser with Flash installed, which means nearly any computer can run Dofus with ease.

The first step is to make your character, and Dofus has eleven classes to choose from, with another in public testing. What I like best about the classes is that they are unique and varied enough to accommodate different game styles, and even the same class can play differently based on which skills are leveled up. You can pick among Sadida's Boots (slows down and blocks enemies, summons dolls to protect and attack), Osamodas' Whip (summons beasts to attack or defend as well as make them stronger), Enutrof's Fingers (a bit of everything, and they have a better chance of getting items), Sram's Shadow (master of traps, becoming invisible and using daggers), Xelor's Sandglass (manipulates the battlefield, but prevents the enemy from acting and enabling allies to act more often), Ecaflip's Coin (can hurt or heal both the enemies and allies, based on chance), Enripsa's Hands (heals allies and prevents them from getting hurt), Iop's Heart (does a lot of melee damage and buffs allies to do more damage as well), Cra's Range (uses bows to attack from afar and is able to keep you there so you can't fight back), Feca's Shield (doesn't take damage and can even reflect it back to the caster), and Sacrier's Blood (gets stronger when hurt and enables the protection allies on the battlefield). As you can see, each class has its particular strengths and weaknesses, and you'll be glad you get to make five characters.

Dofus

As an example, I'm playing the Feca class, which is based around shields that reduce damage from the four elements (earth/neutral, air, fire, and water), a long-range fire attack, a glyph which does fire damage to anyone who gets near, and other damage-reducing abilities. Each level, I get a point to increase my skills as well as five characteristic points that make skills stronger if they're of the same element. In my case, putting characteristic points into intelligence makes all of my shields absorb more damage and my fire attacks stronger, but other classes have different paths depending on which of their skills they are going to focus on. However, you can't get all of the skills, so it's best to decide your character's build before you start spending points unwisely. I think it's partially for this reason that Ankama Studios calls Dofus a tactical MMORPG.

Deciding which skills to get can be pretty taunting, so Dofus has an excellent overview of all of the classes, there's a handy class observation post on the official forums, and there are many useful guides found at Amakna Square.

Dofus

Now, you have your first character, and I suggest going through the tutorial that'll introduce you to the basics, and the starting quest (that's different for each character) which will point you in the right direction. The city you start in, Astrub, is not only very friendly to new characters (offering lots of quests), it's also a major hub with all of the professions able to be learned, items to sell and buy, materials to gather, a bank to store money and items, and a zaap that will teleport you to other zaaps for a modest cost (once you find them). At this point, you are free to do whatever you want, although I suggest doing at least some of the quests since they are an easy source of money at the early levels; quests that will inevitably force you into battle, and where you will meet Dofus' unique battle system.

Dofus uses a turn-based battle system which has action points to determine how many skills can be used in a round, movement points to determine how far you can move on the battle grid, and health points which determine how much damage you can take before you die. The participants in the battle go in order based on their initiative, and their round ends when their time runs out or when they end it early because they've done all they can do. Each skill takes a different amount of action points and has varying ranges, and some skills need to have line-of-sight or have the player be on the same line as the enemy. The combinations of how the skills work together to change the battlefield, knowing the weaknesses of the enemies and the element types of the attacks they use, and the randomness of the damage done mean each battle is exciting and different. Winning a battle requires thought and planning, not just the ability to move the mouse and press the keys the fastest. The only aspects of the battles I dislike are the lack of a taunt ability to encourage an enemy attack you and the lack of a resurrection ability (which means if you die in battle, there's no way to rejoin it).

Dofus

Items play an important part in Dofus, and you can get them from monsters as well as from crafting professions (make the items) and collecting professions (gather the items needed for crafting). There are a number of sets which are more useful for certain classes and with bonuses as you wear more of the pieces. To keep it interesting, most of the items have a range for the attributes. For instance, a pair of shoes could have between six and ten strength and intelligence. What I like most about the crafting and collecting professions is how they work with each other and with items you get from drops. Unlike other games, crafting and collecting don't become obsolete as characters get higher in level because the crafted items are as valuable, so you can work on getting the ingredients for crafted items or you can kill monsters for items, and both are equally valid paths you can take.

Dofus offers all of this, yet I have barely touched on everything. You can join guilds, have an alignment and participate in the PvP system, have a pet (which increases your characteristics), buy a house, use the interactive map to place a flag to find your way to the spot, turn your character into a store to sell items while you're away from the game, go out and find criminals to bring to justice, find cute new animations for your characters, travel to other lands for more challenges, explore dungeons and labyrinths, get married, and much, much more. Dofus is an amazing game, and I can't praise it enough. With the very generous free area that lets people explore all around the starting city of Astrub, I encourage everyone to download Dofus and give it a try.

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I’ve been playing Dofus for 3 years or more but honestly I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Ankama is not serious, once you pay support doesn’t exist. They often have problems with items disappearing and the game is full of bugs. Just check the forums and you will understand. Play something else, they are not worth your money. smile

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