In my previous entry, I wrote about my initial impressions of Dragon Nest, the latest free-to-play fantasy themed MMORPG by Cherry Credits and Shanda.
Since them, Crimson the Cleric has traversed the snowy foothills and forests of Mana Ridge, braved the perils of Parelina’s Rest, raided the Silent Monastery, conquered Marian’s Shrine, and followed the mysterious Black Knight’s trail to Calderock Village.
After poking around in the surrounding areas a little bit and taking a gander at the lore of the game, I managed to make Level 15, which meant Specialization time. In Dragon Nest, when you hit 15, you are eligible for your first specialization (there’s presumably a second specialization later on). In the case of the cleric, you can either specialize as a stalwart tanking paladin, or the lightning bolt tossing, relic summoning priest.
Since I’ve always been a fan of casters, I decided to go the priest route.
The Path to Priesthood
1. Master Cleric Jermain, the class trainer in Calderock Village, wonders if Crimson the Cleric is experiencing a crisis of faith after the debacle at Mana Ridge, and suggests that he go soul searching.
2. In a series of flashbacks, our intrepid hero gets transported into his past, and he has a chat with his best friend Jake about happier times and the role a Templar plays in the grand scheme of things.
3. After this short scene, Crimson is transported back to Jermain, who invites him to enter the Chamber of Trials.
4. In the Chamber of Trials, he defends his faith – it’s a cute hound (the game’s mascot) – from other nasty hounds. Bash them hounds, and breaks down the walls inhibiting him from progress!
5. In a final confrontation, he challenges Jake, and upon his defeat, is transported back to Jermain with greater clarity of purpose.
6. Next, Crimson advances to the Raider’s Ambush Point where he has to vanquish evil and once again meet with Jake. Making peace with Jake, our hero returns to town, where, with conviction, he tells Jermain that he intends to become a priest.
7. Class advancement get! There’s also a shiny new wand in it for you.
Playtesting the Priest
The Priest class is pretty interesting, in the sense that it’s nothing like what you’d expect out of a traditional caster. You’ll still retain the bulk of your short ranged lightning attacks and kick attacks (the kick attacks are essential to keeping mobs off you), but you do get a big boost to your spell powers.
The first tier spells include Lightning Bolt, which hits multiple targets in a straight line, and the Lightning Relic, which summons a stationary totem that spews electricity.
Long cooldowns, however, meant that chaining spell attacks together was considerably tougher, and that I had to include routine wand strikes and kicks into my combos, as well as fall back on Charged Bolt and Lightning Strike. Luckily, I had those jacked up pretty high, because they’re the prerequisites for the majority of Priest skills.
As a test of Crimson the Cleric’s newfound powers, I decided to try soloing Abyss Mode, the hardest dungeon mode in the game. It’s scaled for 4 players, features twice the usual amount of monsters and bosses, and monsters tend to have a plethora of ridiculous powers such as regeneration and enhanced damage.
Thanks to the awesomeness of Lightning Relic, and lots of kiting and hiding from mobs, I just barely made it. XD
Priest rocks. I guess when the game goes live, I’ll definitely be playing one.
Skill Points – Careful does it
While you do gain a fair amount of skill points (10) at each level up, I’ve yet to discover any in-game mechanic that allows you to re-spec or reset your skill points. Maybe there will be an in-game item available via the cash shop at a later time, but until then, it’s probably a good idea to hoard some of your skill points.
I made the mistake of putting points in attacks I hardly use, such as Divine Combo, Counter Blow and Sliding Knee Kick, and these meant I gained access to my Priest powers significantly later since I didn’t have enough skill points to activate them right off the bat.
Also, from the looks of it, there’s a limit to how many skill points you can allocate to a single tier, and if you go over the cap, you’ll not be able to put points in later skills.
A handy reference I’ve discovered is the Skill Simulator, available here. Check it out, and it might help you plan ahead.
Something special just for CBT Testers?
If you’ve been keeping tabs on the Dragon Nest SEA forums, CBT Testers are in for a special treat. If you manage to make Level 24 by the end of CBT, you’re eligible for a special title which grants you and your future characters (it’s one per account) a +2 bonus to all stats in OBT and beyond.
It’s like a badge of honor, and the stat buff isn’t shabby either, so if you’re a CBT tester, time’s ticking! I’m currently only Level 16, so hey, that’s 8 more levels for me. Guess I know where my weekend’s going.