Does that mean the game is no longer a pay-to-win, very casual (or hardcore if you want it to be) race-to-the-top? It's still all of those. If you have moral objections to those game styles, then skip Dawn of the Dragons. But if you're like me and don't take games so personally, then you, like reader grutzmek, might find that is is "surprisingly addictive." He told me, "I don't normally enjoy these games, but something is very different about DotD."
I have to agree with him.
I'll break a mission down so that it is even more clear.
First, go to the quest menu and pick a quest chain to complete. Notice the large red "attack" button. Touch that and you will start combat and lose a few energy points. You'll also gain some rewards. This represents one round of adventuring, a walk through a room in a dungeon, or whatever you want it to represent. Use your imagination.
Next, attack the creature again, losing more energy and gaining more loot. Occasionally a smaller boss monster will appear. Attack it in the same way as before. Keep attacking.
Oops, you're out of energy! What now? Well, you can either stand by while it recharges or pay a small fee and refill it. If you decide to wait, you can shop, craft, join a guild, or go on raids with your guild. Raids act pretty much the same way as solo content, but you are fighting powerful monsters that take many, many more hits before being defeated. Powerful and weak players alike can take a swing -- or several swings -- and when the raid monster is defeated, everyone shares the loot and experience.
Crafting is about as simple as combat. You'll find or purchase goods along the way and can use them to craft all sorts of objects. You can even make your own mounts that can help during a fight. A clockwork mount, for example, might take 500 cogs. Those cogs can be found while you're grinding mobs or completing raids and missions. Some of the crafted items take a lot of basic goods, so be aware that it might be easier to buy a less powerful item from the shop.
You can also spend time collecting and adding legions, which are essentially buffs that help you perform better during raids. If you do more damage in a raid, you can also potentially draw more experience and loot. As you can see, the gameplay is generally centered around growing a character that does a lot of damage as often as possible. Admittedly, this type of design easily leads people to grind until their eyeballs bleed or until their bank accounts run dry (if they choose to spend money), but for me it means that I get to check into the game once in a while and still have a good time. Why not enjoy this game while also playing hardcore shooter MMOs or roleplaying in an MMORPG?
Dawn of the Dragons is not for everyone. It's a great supplemental game that is fun for the gamer who, well, likes to game. Imagine it to be a small tool in your nerdy MMO player toolbelt. I like to check in on games like Dawn of the Dragons while at lunch or while following my wife around while she shops for Monster High dolls. I can be in and out of the game within minutes.
Dawn of the Dragons is old-school in that it plays like those older social games like Mafia Wars and others. It also features old-school lovely artwork and music. It's meant to be a game for your phone or tablet or -- as I've shown before -- your browser. The only thing missing from the mobile version is the world chat, the one thing that really keeps you in tune with the community outside of your guild. I'm not sure whether the feature is coming to the mobile version or not, but it needs to be there. Otherwise, the clicking starts to feel rather empty.
Each week in MMObility, Beau Hindman dives into the murky waters of the most accessible and travel-friendly games around, including browser-based and smartphone MMOs. Join him as he investigates the best, worst, and most daring games to hit the smallest devices! Email him suggestions, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.