Pros:

  • In-depth tactical fights
  • Unique classes
  • Expansive crafting
  • Beautiful 2D graphics
  • Required group play and crafting bonuses make for a strong community

Cons:

  • Heavy grinding
  • Feels like more of an extended trial than truly free to play
  • Tedious map movements
tl;dr – A tactical MMORPG in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics, with a focus on multiplayer over soloing.

Dofus is a flash based tactical mmorpg developed by Ankama Games. It was first released on September 2004.

Gameplay

Dofus is heavily based on tactical rpgs such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre. There are 16 classes in the game, with names such as the Cra, Ecaflip, Eliotrope, Eniripsa, Enutrof, Feca, Foggernaut, Iop, Masqueraider, Osamodas, Pandawa, Rogue, Sacrier, Sadida, Sram and Xelor. Pretty unique right? Pretty much the only familiar name is the Rogue, but make no mistake, that’s not the thief class. That class focuses on creating and placing bombs. The thief class in this game is Enutrof. Not only are the names unique, their abilities and spellsets are all unique too. Each class has their own unique spells and stat growth, and no two classes play the same.

Beside the main classes each player has multiple subclasses/professions centered on a trade. These are divided into two groups. The first group is the Gathering group composed of Alchemist, Farmer, Fisherman, Hunter, Lumberjack and Miner. This group focuses on harvesting and processing materials from the field. The second is the crafting group composed of the Artificer, Carver, Handyman, Jeweller, Shoemaker, Smith, and the Tailor. The second group uses the mats gathered by the first group to create new items based on a recipe.

There’s also a third group, Specialization, which allows you to modify a weapon’s attributes. All characters start with all the professions at level 1. And once you have at least level 100 in a profession you can sign your crafted items. The maximum profession level is 200 but free to play players are limited to level 60. But one thing I like about Dofus is that it has something called a “cooperation crafting”, which allows two players to craft one item. This prevents players from being scammed. There’s also a public mode, which allows you publish your name on the job board for anyone to see so you don’t need to use the global chat to advertise in this game.

The game is generally in real-time, with an isometric top down third person view. But when you attack a monster, it switches into turn based combat. First, a temporary copy of the map is instanced, and the players and the monster they attacked are transported to this new map. No other players can join once the battle has started. During the turn-based battle, both players and monsters have an AP (Action Points) which they can use to do actions such as casting spells and an MP (Movement Points) which they can use to move the character around. This system is pretty familiar to anyone that played FFT or Tactics Ogre.

The Good

There’s a lot of depth during the fights. In Dofus, all 16 classes are unique with their own spells and equipment requirements. As such, finding out which spells/equipment synergizes the best is extremely fun and engrossing. Players will also be tasked with building a balanced party to fulfill proper roles. Crafting is also expansive, and allows you to craft a lot of ingame equipment. In fact, you’ll rely more on crafted equipments and less on dropped items. The graphics are also beautiful and remind you of those old PS/PS2/GBA/NDS 2d JRPGs.

The Bad

There is a massive heavy grind involved. Pretty much everything requires heavy grinding, especially when trying to level up your professions. The game also isn’t really F2P, as a F2P player you only have access to like 3% of the total game world. Now, you can go to those other maps, but you can’t interact with the NPCs and monsters there. As a result, calling it F2P is a bit misleading, it feels more like playing a glorified trial version of the game. At least it’s not a pay to win fest.

The turn based battle can also turn tedious if you’re bogged down in it (for example, if you accidentally aggroed an enemy on the map). As a result, when you’re moving in the field you have to be careful and choose your steps carefully lest you trigger an unwanted turn-based battle.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re looking for a multiplayer tactical RPG in the vein of FFT or Tactics Ogre, this game is for you. This game is an excellent tactical strategy MMORPG with an astounding number of customization options. Unfortunately, it’s also grind-heavy. Also, if you’re mostly a solo player, I don’t recommend this game, the classes all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and at higher levels, cooperation with other players is a must.

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