John McCarroll
E3: RPGFan Heads To The Nexon Offices
Checking out the new MMO, Dungeon Fighter Online.
06.05.09 - 5:56 PM

We had a chance to visit Nexon America's office in downtown Los Angeles to check out their newest MMORPG, Dungeon Fighter Online. Located in the heart of Koreatown, Nexon America is a division of the Korean company Nexon, created in 1994 to produce MMORPGs. All of Nexon's titles are free-to-play MMORPGs, and they were some of the pioneers of microtransaction-based online titles in North America. Dungeon Fighter Online plays fairly similarly to Action-RPG hybrids like Castle Crashers, but with a much deeper statistic and skill system and a persistent online world.

Players take control of one of five classes: Fighter, Mage, Gunner, Priest, and Slayer, all of whom have come from different lands to Arad in an effort to save it. All of the classes but priest has four subclasses, all available at level 18, which will later transform into an advanced form at level 48. At launch, Priest will have only three subclasses with no awakening, but this will likely change after the North American launch. While we didn't have a chance to see any of the individual subclasses, we did get the chance to sit down with a beta version of the game and take a Slayer out into the field.

The game plays fairly similarly to many of the side-scrolling MMORPGs on the market, with the arrow buttons controlling character movement, and the cluster of buttons between A and V on the keyboard taking care of special abilities, attacking, and jumping. Players will be able to customize these controls to their liking, but the standard control scheme works very well, based on our time with the game. There are a grip of special abilities for each character, and these can either be hotkeyed or pulled off like you're playing Street Fighter with arrow key combinations. It's an interesting change of pace for the combat to control like old-school fighters and brings a bit of challenge and fun to a beat-'em-up.

Characters will collect weapons and armor throughout the game, buy their skills with skill points, complete quests, and the game will have most of the standard MMORPG facets. Dungeon Fighter Online supports up to four players in a party, and dungeons are instanced for a specific party. Dungeons have four difficulties when played as a non-story mission and can be completed once at a set difficulty as part of the game's story. The dungeons are randomized every time players go into them, so when running through with a different set of friends, it's not ever the same dungeon. Players looking for PvP combat will be happy to know that it's not just parties taking down dungeons, there is also up to 3 on 3 arena play.

While the dungeons are instanced, all towns are open-world and players will be able to trade items and work out economics in the towns. There's also an extensive clan system in the game, along with all the standard chat options. Unlike many FTP MMOs, which see quite a bit of Engrish, Nexon has full faith in their localization of the title, which they say will read as if it were created initially in English. As a free-to-play MMO, there is a real money transaction system in the game, but for Dungeon Fighter it is mostly aesthetic. Nexon America hasn't fully decided how the game's transaction system will work in the North American release, but more details should be forthcoming as the game nears its release date.

Fans can expect to see Dungeon Fighter Online in North America later this year.