Dragomon Hunter (Episode 81)
THE GRINDSTONE TRIBUNAL:
Burnout hit hard this round, with only 4 of us ever bothering to give this game an extended amount of care. Two of whom aren’t being paid to do so! Dreskar and I are joined by Karochi, an XLegend fan, and Dobar, someone who’s all too familiar with the grindwall.
Well I want to say upfront Dragomon is one of those games that just isn’t made for me, it has too much focus on grind to get to the interesting bits, convoluted and poorly explained mechanics like the ranch system and breeding in particular, and just plays like an inferior version to Aura Kingdom. Yet I say all this because at the end of the day I would still recommend giving Dragomon a shot, though I would offer caution with that as you may very well find the same frustrations I did. This though doesn’t mean the game is bad just flawed and I hope that it will get the polish it deserves from the developers.
For myself I can’t say I will be chomping at the bit to play more of it, and my experience in even getting the game to download and install was an ordeal. Essentially I wish all developers and publishers would stop using Akamai, it causes nothing but pain and frustration, and I will straight up say that Aeria’s customer support in this matter was ludicrously awful. While this game was still under PAID access via founder’s pack, I was told my problem with getting the game to even download wasn’t their problem. If I had been a paying customer and not received press access I would have been absolutely furious. Yet there is a silver lining to this story as our contact at Aeria not only profusely apologized for the admittedly shoddy service but found a way to get me the download, compensated my woes with an additional founder’s pack and in general was incredibly helpful in getting the game to run.
So I will say this to sum it all up, player beware and take it with a grain of salt, you may well enjoy Monster Rancher the MMO… I mean Dragomon.
Recommended?: NO, though you may enjoy it.
I know I will be repeating what others are says, but this is an inferior Aura Kingdom. They use so much from Aura Kingdom, but the gameplay is not as fun, the story is not as good, the combat is not as interesting. Combat just felt like pressing all the keys when the cooldowns were done and did not feel interesting or engaging, even compared to Aura Kingdom.
The worst part is the grind once you hit certain levels. The leveling starts out really fast, you might make it to level 16 within 20 minutes and it is not bad even in the 20s. But then you hit the wall if you do your story mission, where you have to be at a certain level to continue, either level 30, 40, or 50. Your first wall might hit around 28 or 29 and it is not too bad, but you have to either spam the instanced missions or grind mobs to get to 30. It gets worse once you hit the second grind wall, where you might need 3 or 4 levels to continue the story, and it gets worse trying to get to 50.
The instanced missions, hunts, and daily missions felt more repetitive than some of the previous games we have done recently. Right now, there is little that interests me in this game now, whether it is the ranch, getting mounts or fighting any new monsters. Maybe after some time and more content is added, I may change my mind, but at the moment, I cannot recommend this game. Honestly, play Aura Kingdom if you want a game in this style, Dragomon Hunter is just an inferior Aura Kingdom 2 right now.
Dragomon Hunter is one of those MMOs that fail on an existential level. There’s a lot to do, but everything you do feels entirely pointless. Everything is tedious, broken and not in the least bit fun.
Mainly, of course, there’s the level grinding. After unlocking all your skills for your class you pretty much stop developing your character and now you just have to worry about gear. You can only upgrade gear every ten levels though, so that’s not even an active concern. There is only the grind. Until the game stops you from grinding with the pointless caps on everything.
Other than the grind though; Fishing is basic and boring. Crafting is atrocious because of the randomized boss loot + daily caps on dungeons mean no gear when you need it.
Oh, and the ranch.
To do anything at the ranch you should first spend 5 days to go through your animal’s papers so they can properly get through ranch customs and then you’ll have stuff to do at the farm. So then you put ’em out to pasture, you start feeding them various foods they hate until you find one they don’t, you make 80 of that thing, you keep feeding ’em. While they eat they’ll sometimes be too full and have to breed to keep eating. Once you’ve finished this up, you’ll have a couple of things maxed out in ranch-level so now you can protect your farm from invaders.
Haaah nope, your pets are shit and invaders are immortal. All you can actually do is feed&breed, everything else on the ranch has yet to be implemented. So for now it’s a massively elaborate system for a +10% move speed increase.
This isn’t something I thought I would come across saying…. I really didn’t like this.
I say this because… when I was playing it. I felt like I enjoyed it. I was all the more willing to try and convince people in Grindstone that the game had some worth in it. I had a general sense of fun playing in parties, and taking down monsters to build better gear. I got excited when it was time to upgrade to a whole new set and feel that jolt in power when I put on a new upgraded set of gear…
But like many of XLegend’s titles, the grindwall hit near the max level, and I just didn’t feel like I was making progress. I don’t know what it is about XLegend, or at the least, Aeria’s publications of their titles. They always seem to release when not even close to finished. What the hell kind of quest goal is “Reach Level 40” anyway?
The sad part is I should have seen it coming.
I got to a similar point in Eden Eternal, but remembered how fun and interesting it was to have classes available to choose from and unlock on the fly.
I remember hitting that same point in Aura Kingdom, and thought back on just how much I loved the look and story of that game.
When I hit that point in Dragomon Hunter, all I could think was…
…”Wow. I didn’t really enjoy that at all, did I?”