There seems to be some generally negative vibe about Dofus on this forum; I don't know if it's because it used to lag or lack features or whatnot, but it's currently got a fairly massive player-base of over 3 million, over 400,000 of whom are subscribers. They also have 2 US servers now so there are no latency issues (if that was the problem?). So I figured I'd provide a thorough post on the game to entice some.
Dofus (not an acronym) was released in 2005 by Ankama Studio. It's very pretty in a simplistic elegant way, made in flash and played in 2D, so it's not hard on the hardware. It's got all the usuals: large world, tons of players, crafting, guilds, quests, dungeons, pvp, housing, mounts, etc. It has a Free to Play option, and despite all it's numerous limitations it's still got the essence of Dofus so playing free until you hit the level cap (40 or so?) is a great way to figure out if it's your kind of game. Furthermore, subscription is only ~$6 a month, so it's considerably cheaper than the others.
The combat system is very much like Final Fantasy Tactics I'm told (never played) and has a large pvp following because of it. Lastly, it oozes cuteness and good humor. I'm playing with my room-mate and being able to fight alongside someone raises the complexity and fun-factor exponentially. Leveling isn't difficult, monsters provide a ton of exp and there are quests everywhere. The game is genuinely fun. You play it, and you enjoy it, and that's something not to be taken lightly.
(copying largely from http://dofus.wikia.com/wiki/Class
You pick from 12 classes (10 if you're free to play) and this decides your race as well:Cra
: Archer class, uses long-range bow and arrow attacks.Ecaflip
: Gambler class, with attacks that can be either beneficial or harmful.Eniripsa
: Cleric class, casts healing spells and ally buffs.Enutrof
: Treasure-hunter class, specializes in increased drop rates.Feca
: Defensive magic-user, casts shields which reduce damage. Has very few offensive spells as a result.Iop
: Paladin class, close range melee class. High damage. Ally buffer.Osamodas
: Summoner class, summons various monsters to fight along side them.Pandawa
: Boozer class, a race of panda people. Only available for the P2P members.Sacrier
: Brawler class, melee attacker, relies on taking damage to increase stats.Sadida
: Invoker class, plant people that conjure plants and totem "dolls" to attack.Sram
: Assassin class, combination of traps and invisiblity. High damage melee attacks in higher levels.Xelor
: Denial attacker, most of their attacks counter, reduce or steal the opponents AP (ability points).
The names may look somewhat weird. As I said before, the game prides itself on not taking itself too seriously, so a bunch of the class names are meant to be read backwards, or are inside jokes. A couple examples:
Cra -> Arc: French word for Bow
Ecaflip: Pilface: French for 'Heads or Tails'
Sram (Mars), Feca (Cafe) and Iop (Yop) are named after the developer's favorite snacks while making the game.
Once you pick your class you get to customize it to some degree:
You enter the world in some sort of green grassy locale climate.
You move around in top-down view like you would in Diablo for example, and can interact with all the other players via trade, dueling, chat, etc.
Every level you get 5 attribute points, and 1 spell point. The 5 attribute points go into the usual Strength, Agility, Intelligence, etc. However, if you're a mage you don't just automatically dump all your points into intelligence. Strength will increase the damage of Earth spells for example, whereas Intelligence increases Fire spells.
As to the spell point: As you level up you acquire new spells automatically (no class trainers). All of these are level 1 when you get them. You use spell points to increase the level, and thereby effectiveness, of your spells. To go from level 1 to level 2 takes 1 spell point, then 2 more spell points to reach level 3, 3 more spell points to reach level 4, etc. Until the max, which is usually 6. The effectiveness isn't just an increase in damage, it can also lead to a reduction in Ability Point cost.
Here's a picture of a spell window, unfortunately in French because I'm too lazy to take screenshots myself and upload them, so this is the best I could find on GIS:
Once you find a monster or, more likely, a group of monsters, you click the monster and you're teleported to an instance. You're in the exact same zone as you were prior, with all the same obstructions and such, but without any players in it. You can fight by yourself, or with people you've invited into your group, or if you allow it, you can just allow strangers to join your fight while you're still setting up. You have the option of starting in any of the Red Spaces, and the monsters are confined to the blue spaces they randomly got:
Here it turns into a turn-based strategy match. You have a certain number of movement points (MP) and ability points (AP), reset every turn. The spells and abilities are pretty interesting and can lead to fun strategies. For example, one of my spells allows me to heal someone, but it roots the person in place for the next 4 turns. Sometimes I use this to heal to my room-mate to prevent him from dying next turn, but often I'll use the heal on a monster I know only has melee abilities, thereby allowing the two of us to nuke him to death easily.
I can't say too much about this because I'm not yet a subscriber, but from what I understand guild PVP is a huge aspect of this game, largely because there is so much skill involved in the intricate combat system I'm guessing. I have dueled a few times, and it gets really fun trying to predict your opponent's moves while still pulling off your own.
What's nice about this game is that they don't try to force anything onto you. You don't have
to group, you don't have
to run dungeons, you don't have to grind. My room-mate and I find the combat to be really fun so often we just wander around looking for fights, but periodically we do quests because they're pretty fun, funny, and cute.
For example, we came across a little girl in a city named Kry-Babby who said one-armed bandits stole her dolly, and requested we return it. Upon reaching the bandit camp, you find that the bandits are, in fact, one-handed, and have to fight five of them at once to retrieve the doll.
The dungeon system is also fairly interesting. It's a series of rooms you go through, each of which has 1 set of monsters you have to beat to move onto the next room. What's great is that the dungeon isn't instanced, which is really helpful because the rooms get progressively more difficult. Although my room-mate and I beat the first 3 rooms, the next one looked far too challenging. So we just waited for like 30 seconds, another group of 2 players entered the room, we all grouped up and took on the monsters.
I don't know if I managed to portray it well enough, but the point I'm trying to make is that this is a MMORPG that's actually... fun. I actually enjoy taking parts in the fight, they actually take skill, have unexpected turns, etc. I enjoy the quests, because the text is genuinely cute and funny. I enjoy the world, it's simple but very, very, pretty. The music is cute and relaxing. I leave the game with a good feeling. Try it, it's free for the first several weeks you'd be playing after all.
By the way, my character's name is TreeTux and I'm on the Rosal server.
The Dofus main website has a bunch of neat screenshots you can look at so as to be assured that the graphics are very pretty in all sorts of scenarios:http://www.dofus.com/en/mmorpg/online/images.html?cat=4
Also, here's the Wiki page for more info on classes, abilities, etc.:http://dofus.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page