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First impressions: Dofus

Eloise Pasteur
Dofus is a flash-based, browser fantasy game. It says it works on all platforms, and will even play over a dial-up modem, and there's no reason it shouldn't as long as you've got flash installed. It worked without a hitch (once I'd set Flash permissions to run the download) on my Mac. It offers an extensive free-to-play area, although some skills are limited unless you pay - the UK servers charge £6.70/month, (about €10 or US$14), and there are a couple of pay-to-play character classes too.

Creating characters is fairly easy, but the support from the main site is poor, although the Dofus wiki can help if you choose a popular class. There is a "total beginner" area where you get shown the basics of combat, then a newbie's area you can explore - although there are some really tough fights there if you're not careful. I expected to have a quick look, and move on. I'm not sure I'm hooked, but I stayed long enough to handle the final dungeon and get my stylish hat (it makes you do +1 damage, sounds good to me!).

The odd things? Well, it's originally French and the translation is idiosyncratic, as are character class names. Feca, for example is a character class. It's an anagram of café (the French for coffee) wether because shield buff characters made the designers reach for their caffeine to test or because they get such a buzz from the character class isn't clear!

There are clearly people who play this game seriously and to very high levels (there is a fair amount of discussion of post-101st level characters and what they can do) but, to be honest that won't be me. On the other hand, when I have free time and the urge to sit at a computer other than being plugged in to SL, I might well give it a go.

Like many such games there are minimaxed character class routes available - all the way to 101 - although for many of them there are quite a range of options with various stronger and weaker points as they level.