Late last year, RaneofSOTN on the SDA forums brought to SDA’s attention a game called Dungeon Fighter Online, one of the Nexon Network of games (Probably best known for Maple Story at this point). What differentiates this game from a lot of other MMOs out there is that it’s not an RPG, so much as a beat-em-up with RPG Elements–if Final Fight had you gaining levels and equipment with each cleared stage, you’d have a good idea of what Dungeon Fighter Online–henceforth DFO–is like. Of course, I didn’t play it until this weekend…with timeliness like that, it’s a wonder I ever actually complete a speedrun.
In short, in DFO, you can select from one of six classes (Male and Female Gunners are separate classes; each other character is one gender only), and each of those classes can, beginning at level 18, then split off into one of four (Three, in the case of the Priest) subclasses. You talk to people to take on quests, although you can wander into dungeons without quests as well. Dungeons are instanced, meaning no waiting around for 12 hours for that one boss to pop up–you (Or your party if you’re in one) walk into the dungeon, and it’s yours to do as you please in.
I’ll grant that I haven’t had much time to really get into a lot of what the game has to offer–although I’ve enjoyed the little I have played, there’s a reason this post is titled “First Impressions”–like crafting items, the aforementioned subclasses, etc (My current character, Emptyeye the Fighter, is at level 7)..not the least of which is that actual “playing with other people” thing that is supposedly a draw of these games (“Offline”, as Silver will tell you, I tend to prefer my own company to that of friends and family. I have no reason why this should be any different online, various streams I’m constantly watching notwithstanding). That said, it strikes me that this is very much meant to be a “casual” MMO. For one, the dungeons themselves are fairly small, although this may be a symptom of early-game content; the dungeons may well expand later on. What’s not just a symptom of early-game content is the Fatique System, which is DFO’s way of making sure that its name doesn’t become associated with the next “Hardcore Gamer Gaming Marathons Self to Death” tragedy. In short, each day, you get roughly 150 Fatigue Points, and each dungeon room you visit consumes one fatigue point. The limit is actually rather generous–I’ve never come close to running out of fatigue, and according to RaneofSOTN, those fatigue points will generally last you about 3 hours a day if you actually run them dry each day. While 3 hours a day is, admittedly, a lot of gaming, this as an upper limit pales in comparison to a lot of World of Warcraft content (Particularly early on in that game’s history).
Oh, and did I mention that it’s free? Yes, there are things you can buy with real-life money, but you don’t need to. This is quite nice for people on a budget.
In all, if you like beat-em-ups a la Final Fight, but don’t want to have to spend hours a day (Or a monthly fee) on the same game to even have the potential to get anywhere, give DFO a try. And try to find my character if you can; I’m generally on the Eastern channels.