Dungeon Fighter Online: 2D Returns in Amazing Form
After the success of the other titles in Nexon America’s library, the idea of developing and publishing a 2D side scrolling brawler seems a little strange. But when it still contained the same qualities that made Nexon America’s other titles addicting, Dungeon Fighter Online is another great addition to the library and another step in the evolution for the company.
Luis Reyes, Associate Producer, answered my questions on Dungeon Fighter Online.
GotGame: How did the idea of a 2D side-scrolling title come about? Even though MapleStory features a similar gameplay design, Dungeon Fighter Online is like looking at a Sega Genesis title.
Reyes: The game was developed by a team of avid 2D action scroller fans. And so when they decided to create a gripping, instantly appealing game, they went with one of the most gripping, instantly appealing game-styles they knew.
But since they are also big RPG fans—the thrill of leveling up, shaping your character over time, finishing quests, etc.—a bit of that was thrown in. And of course since we have the advantage of living in the age of the internet, there is an entire MMO aspect so players can play with—or against—each other. This game is an homage to the last thirty years of video game history, and once you play it, you’ll see how much fun it is.
GotGame: The title features six classes, but each one has a considerable amount of depth. How difficult was balancing the gameplay for each?
Reyes: It’s always difficult creating the balance for a game this vast, with so many variables, but the time it takes to balance every new element is totally worth it. Each class does have its own unique fighting style that is then focused by each player creating his/her unique skill build. Then there’s the weapons you choose, the armor you wear, the boosts you get from items and avatar garments, and how your strategy changes depending on your foe.
As for how difficult it is to balance each character’s strengths, we considered everything from range specialties, to natural strength, to agility. Pretty much the characters are all balanced, so the advantages come with how you build that character, especially when it comes to our PvP arena, which is where the masters stand out from the rest.
GotGame: Did players from previous titles move into Dungeon Fighter Online?
Reyes: Absolutely, we have other Nexon gamers playing and enjoying Dungeon Fighter Online. It is so different from the other games we have that we find players are able to move back and forth between DFO and say Combat Arms or MapleStory or Mabinogi. But the game’s accessibility—it’s playability, it’s 2D scroller feel, it’s anime style look—has drawn a lot of other fans who had never, to this point, played free-to-play games. I think what DFO has demonstrated to gamers is that free-to-play games are varied in style and really fun to play.
GotGame: What is the success of Dungeon Fighter Online attributed to? The art style is different and at a glance that is the first thing that would draw players into it.
Reyes: That’s just it. If players have never heard of Dungeon Fighter Online, they are usually drawn into because of the art style. But it’s the arcade-action game play that makes the game so much fun. Because it is just so much fun to play, the success of Dungeon Fighter Online comes from incredible word of mouth.
People talk about this game all the time. Also, for gamers who are new to massively multiplayer games, DFO is a fantastic way to get into the genre. It’s got everything a more traditional-looking RPG offers but in an action-packed 2D scroller skin. Ultimately, I think players stick with it because they love the feel of smashing monsters, collecting new skills and fashioning their characters into true fighting machines.
GotGame: Where did the idea for Dungeon Fighter Online rise from? Even though it is an RPG title, it doesn’t have the same thematic MMO feel, but rather more of a hack and slash.
Reyes: Neople attempted to make a great fighting game with all the bells and whistles found in an MMO as well as the character development and growth potential offered in role playing games. Players team up in groups of four to fight through dungeons, and it doesn’t scale back in any bit on RPG elements.
There’s a phrase used in food, Umami, which is used to explain when different flavors come together to create a truly delicious taste. DFO offers that same sense of “Umami” by mixing these gaming styles coming together into one delicious game.
GotGame: Dungeon Fighter Online recently released officially, how many changes did the title go through during its open beta?
Reyes: A lot of the changes made to DFO focused primarily on back end optimization. We have been adding content throughout the open beta, and will continue to add content now that the game is officially launched.
All the feedback we got from open beta players have really helped in making this game work well in North America. We just introduced an Auction Hall that allows players to trade more freely, and in August we are going to have a huge content update, so look out for it.
GotGame: How does Dungeon Fighter Online fit into Nexon America’s line of titles? Is it another successful experiment in the open possibilities for free-to-play titles?
Reyes: Well – it’s still early to say but it’s already showing signs of a successful service. More players are trying the game and many are saying great things about Dungeon Fighter Online. It’s one of the most popular games in the world with more than 200 million registered players. There’s no reason its popularity won’t continue to expand in North America too.
GotGame: What is the best class for novice players?
Reyes: It really depends on what kind of player you are. If you are the kind of person who needs to get their hands dirty and lay down some intense hand to hand combat, choose the Fighter. If you like to hang back and blow enemies away with range attacks, check out the Male or Female Gunner.
Some of the more challenging classes for novice players are the Mage–who is great with area attacks–the Priest—who is all about brute strength on one side and healing on the other–and if you like a little hand to hand, a little range, a little area and a little magic, the Slayer, when you get the hang of him, will often have a skill for every situation.
GotGame: Have players surprised the development team in how well they play?
Reyes: Totally. We are quite impressed with how well our North American players are mastering this game. It makes us excited about releasing some of the highly challenging new content we have planned in the coming months.
We are surprised by the way players have been able to play the stats game with their characters, finding the best ways to give themselves incrementally better stats, studying videos of game play to get better, researching the optimal skill builds for maximum carnage.
Nexon America continues to evolve the genre and Dungeon Fighter Online is a great example of that. Thanks to Luis Reyes for answering my questions. More about Dungeon Fighter Online can be found here.