After playing through the two hour offline story mode that acts like a tutorial for Dragon Quest X, I was dropped into its world with a lot to do but having no idea where to start. I put in over 60 hours of playtime into Dragon Quest X, which left me with a unique experience that I couldn’t wait to log into everyday. With that much time spent in game I barely scratched the surface of what DQX has to offer.
There is no quest hub structure like the MMOs of today. The player get to choose whatever you want to do and how to do it. Do you grind for experience points leveling up a certain class, or do you hit the casino and try to win big? I for one found myself battling in the coliseum for glory.
Most of my time with DQX was spent leveling. This is where the game stands out most. Starting out as the Warrior class wielding sword and shield I set off to kill some slimes. Later on I decided to go as Battle Master and I became a duel wielding glass cannon that decimated enemies. Leveling up and switching classes has its benefits. The skill system in DQX is similar to that of Dragon Quest 9.
Many of the classes in DQX share a variety of skills trees as well as having their own unique ones. For example, since I had my sword tree maxed on my Warrior I started with all of the those skills on my level one Battle Master which made grinding at the early levels a breeze. It is about growing your characters horizontally not vertically. This may leave you wondering how the combat works.
DQX’s combat doesn’t follow your typical keyboard rotation of skills. Combat is turn based with real-time movement. What this means is you have to wait so many seconds before you input your next command. This makes combat a thinking man’s game allowing the player to think about positioning and make tactical decisions. During combat monsters are intractable; you can’t pass through them. When you start moving into a monster your character will start pushing them away.
This is extremely important since it will take multiple players to move bigger enemies. You’re going to want to deflect them from the squishier party members, because in the late game some monsters will hit like a truck. After a battle you just don’t regenerate HP and MP like most MMOs. In order to regain those attributes you have to use healing items. If you run out of these items, then like old Dragon Quest games, you’re going to need to stay at an inn to recover.
In my party of four, the typical amount of players for experience grinding, we lead an assault on a bunch of octopi. My party was a sight to behold in combat. They ranged of Mages to other types of melee classes. A Warrior with a two-handed axe charged into battle delivering massive AOE damage slicing through foes. The Martial Artist gave a brutal barrage of attacks with claws melting single targets. The Mage stayed in the rear and casted spells that light up the ground and the enemies around it. DQX provides the players with choice. Gone are the same old MMO triangle of DPS, Healer, Tank. Want an all melee party that can cast healing? So be it, feel free to experiment with the different class combinations to find out what you like best.
So what if no one is around for you to level up or do story content with? No problem. DQX has a very robust NPC system in place. After completing the required quest you will be able to hire NPCs from the Tavern. Here’s the genius part though. The NPCs you are hiring are players that have logged out of the game. After using someone’s character they will gain experience and money when the player logs back into the game. One evening when I logged in I found I had gained a level and a few thousand gold in my pocket.
DQX’s server structure connects every player in the game. You are connected to one server that is split into different channels. Find camp that has too many players? Simply talk to the NPC at the inn and change channels. Do you want to play by yourself? Go to one of the many channels that prefer solo play. After achieving level 20 the Magical Labyrinth opens up. This acts like a dungeon finder found in most MMOs but it gives you five randomly generated rooms to battle through with a boss at the end. These play sessions last around 20 minutes and are great if you don’t have a lot of time to play. There is no race to get to endgame here. Play at your own pace and you’ll see that DQX offers many ways to play.
One last thing I need to mention. All of this couldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the help of the Dragon’s Den Dragon Quest X community. If you wish to play Dragon Quest X head over to their forums and give them a read. It will give you all of the information you need to play. The community is very helpful and the guild chat is very active.
That was my experience with Dragon Quest X. I am hopeful we will see something at E3 about this game since they did hint at bringing it over to the west. For further Dragon Quest X coverage keep checking Wii U Daily.
Feel free to ask questions about the game in the comments below. I will try to answer as many as I can.