I’m Desmodeus, the lead producer for Dragon Nest. Initially I was just going to let Lucius and Princess K unleash their crazies here and only interject on this blog occasionally. However, I’m absolutely in love with this game and I love sharing what gets me so pumped about it. So this week I wanted to talk with you about the latest addition to the game (and my favorite feature) – PvP!
Shooting at Smart Stuff
I’ve played, worked on, and enjoyed many MMOs over the years and in all that time I haven’t discovered many things that I can describe as “universal truths” when it comes to the genre. In fact, every time I think I’ve found one, another game comes out and smashes it. There is however, one fact that seems to have withstood the test of time and it’s one the Dragon Nest team takes very seriously:
PvE and PvP gameplay are fundamentally different experiences and must be treated as such by any game development team.
That’s the philosophy by which we approached PvP in Dragon Nest and based on our internal testing of the PvP features in the game, it seems to have served us well. I think we’ve done pretty well in setting up fun and challenging NPC scenarios, but the experience of taking on an opponent that can actually think and learn and is as smart as you is like no other experience in gaming. Even after all my experience in the genre, it still takes me some time to readjust my thinking when I switch from one type of gameplay to another. That can get you rolled pretty hard in PvP.
With the PvP features going live today, I thought I might pass on some of my hard-earned experience and help you get the most out of Dragon Nest faster.
School of Hard Knocks
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I really enjoy playing as a Sorceress. I have a set pattern when I approach a large group of monsters. I start with a Void Blast, then go to a Fire Burst and then rush into the middle of the largest group I can find and hit them with a Shockwave. This usually takes out a bunch of the smallest monsters and if I’ve hit the Shock wave in just the right place, I can follow up with a Toxic Wave/Fire Burst combo that cleans out a big chunk of the opposition. However, the first time I tried that in a PvP match, I got slammed back so hard I wasn’t sure what state I was in.
As I continued to play, I realized that I couldn’t rely on human opponents to react the same way as NPCs. If I got close enough to use a Shockwave on a human opponent, especially a Warrior or a Cleric, they would just slice me into tiny little Sorceress chunks. I learned to save my Shockwave as a last ditch maneuver. The strength of the Sorceress lies in ranged combat and staying away from opponents long enough to launch some nasty AOEs.
That’s my big tip:
Don’t let your PvE habits lead you into stupid mistakes. Your skills must be used in different ways against human opponents.
Finally I queried the rest of the Dragon Nest team and the testers who have been playing PvP for some of the lessons they learned from all the battering and bruising we’ve taken over the last few weeks. Here’s what they had to say:
• When playing a Rounds game, you must work together and take out one target at a time. Hit the Clerics first.
• When playing a Respawn game, note the first person who dies. They’re the noob. Concentrate on killing them every time they respawn and you can rack up some fast points.
• Use the tilde key(~) to switch between the PvP and PvE versions of your skills.
• Warriors should avoid fighting other Warriors unless there’s no choice. Your skills are better used hitting Sorceresses or Archers.
• Sorceresses: Freezing your opponents and then poisoning them is a devastating combination.
• Archers: You have more range than Sorceresses. Use it!
• Use your Empowerment points in the Arena. You’ll rack up great rewards from Arena NPC Michael much faster than you will doing PvE quests. This will slow down your leveling, but it’s worth it because you’ll have amazing gear when you hit the level cap.
• Always wish your opponents a “GG” when you’re done. You’d be amazed at how far a little courtesy can go.
Finally, have fun! We’ve been waiting to share this experience with you for a while and now that it’s here, we can’t wait to see you in the Arena!