DOFUS is a free to play MMORPG title from Ankama Games that originally launched a French exclusive version in 2004. Since that time the game has been responsible for a number of related products such as books, comics and there's even rumors of a movie releasing in 2013. Although the game is massively popular in France it has attracted over 40 million players since the games original launch, making it one of the most successful MMO games on the market today. Was DOFUS just in the right place at the right time? Or does it still have the substance to appeal to MMO fans in today's market?
One of the most exciting aspects of DOFUS is introduced as soon as you start up the client, the character creation. DOFUS offers an unprecedented 15 character classes to choose from, each available in both male and female form, with every class offering the player an exciting array of skills and abilities. The character creation process is a little different compared to the majority of MMO games as the character class is directly tied to the characters appearance. Although there's an impressive selection of classes you're are unable to customize facial features or hair but you are able to color the different parts of each character. Once you've created your character you're ready to enter the world of DOFUS.
This is where the game introduces one of its biggest downsides, full-screen mode. Although client-based, DOFUS is primarily a Flash game, making it full screen leaves 2 rather ugly and bland borders on either side. Despite playing for several hours, this was about the only real negative aspect I could find. It doesn't ruin the game experience and many players probably learn to ignore it, but I would have enjoyed a more traditional full screen mode. After picking flaws in a rather simple game feature, I dove into the tutorial.
The tutorial itself is highly educational for new players. It introduces the core features of the game, lets you meet some colorful characters, and of course get involved in some combat. The combat system within DOFUS is easily my favorite aspect of the game, returning to traditional RPG roots with turn-based combat. When I began my journey I only had access to a minimal number of abilities but that didn't stop the endless flow of nostalgia as I used a mix of tactics and abilities to dispatch of my enemies. I honestly thought turn-based combat had gone the way of he Dodo but DOFUS proves that an old approach can still work in today's MMO market.
I chose a stealth/assassin type character so I had a few interesting abilities at the start. I was able to use one skill to lay a few traps before I turned invisible and forced the enemies to walk around trying to locate me. After I worked down their HP with a few traps I'd launch a long-range skill before following up with my sword attack. I was level 2 and already felt I had access to a wide arsenal of abilities, which combined with some tactical thinking gave me a multitude of options when it came to taking out my enemies.
As well as the robust character creation and combat features DOFUS is also home to a profession feature that fills the slot of in-game crafting. The crafting system supports a number of specializations, each of which spread across to both harvesting and crafting activities. It's not overly bountiful at the lower levels as you quite often find the items you desire are just out of your reach, making it feel a bit too grindy in places. However, it does manage to capture the charm featured throughout DOFUS.
To compliment my positive in-game experience I was lucky enough to stumble into some very friendly members of the community. I've had the pleasure of speaking with a number of DOFUS players due to our very popular DOFUS giveaways, but I wasn't expecting it to be so prevalent in the game. The players offered me some advice on how to level at a decent pace, as well as offering to walk me through some of the more difficult areas. I've played my fair share of MMO games but it's very rare to have such a positive community early in the game.
I can't comment on the end-game aspects of DOFUS but as a new player, I would highly recommend it to anyone that's a fan of quirky graphics and detailed turn-based combat.
- Huge amount of classes
- Cute, anime inspired graphics
- Highly engaging and friendly community
- Value for money subscription service
- Limited features for free players
- Lack of fully supported full-screen mode
Dive into a colorfully animated game world with one of the greatest communities I've had the pleasure of meeting.