Dofus is a fantasy MMO that infuses a turn-based tactical system with common elements found in MMORPGs. Explore an isometric world where you can fight monsters, join guilds, craft, and socialize.
|Publisher: Ankama Games
Release Date: September 01, 2004
Pros: +Many classes. +Isometric art style. +Low system requirements.
Cons: -Limited content without subscription.
Dofus is an isometric fantasy MMORPG developed and published by Ankama Games. Choose from one of thirty-two character avatars and sixteen classes with unique combat systems. Engage in turn-based combat on hexagonal grids where tactical preparation is as important as your spells and gear. Each character earns twenty spells as they level from 1-100 and can grind up to level 200. An in-depth crafting system includes over twenty professions to choose from and a wide range of recipes. Free-to-play players are given access to limited content, including two starter zones and must pay a subscription fee to unlock the larger world.
Dofus Key Features:
- Various Classes – sixteen classes with unique playstyles to choose from.
- Tactical Combat – turn-based combat with hex-movement infused with RPG elements.
- Extensive Crafting System – includes over 20 professions to choose from.
- Allows for Unique Playstyles – twenty spells per character class to use in combat corresponding with unique playstyles.
- Limited Free-To-Play – can access some content for free but must be a monthly subscriber for all content.
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Dofus Featured Video
By Sean Sullivan
When I first looked at screenshots of Dofus my initial reaction was, "A reimagined Final Fantasy Tactics! Well, by-golly, I'm already hooked!" Combine turn-based tactical gameplay with an isometric art style and I’ll play that game. Dofus’ charming graphics and simple mechanics belie a complex universe with depth that rivals any contemporary RPG. It's a simple but engaging game that has its own merits and repackages familiar experiences. Perhaps Dofus is not the successor to Final Fantasy and its pay-to-play model means the free version functions more like a demo but Dofus still delivers a worthwhile experience.
A Whole New World
I set about creating my character. The model choices all exhibit a blend of western and eastern cartoons, converging to make zany character avatars. Between the two genders there are thirty-two models to choose from and a variety of predesignated faces. Each of the sixteen choices—between genders—represents a playable class. I landed on an old man known as an Enutrof—a treasure hunter specializing in crowd control and chipping his teeth on gold. Narrowing down my facial selection, I found an intimidating face that resembled my conception of a Philosopher King, but the name “Socrates” is surprisingly banned from the game. So I settled for Spinoza, ready to impart pantheist philosophy on the world of Dofus.
It wasn’t far fetched. Upon entering the game you’re greeted by an anthropomorphic eagle who has clearly been hitting the gym (and maybe some ‘roids too). Master Apro Simate teaches you how to soar through the game until you gain your freedom. He's your sensei and you'll be spending the first part of the game running back and forth to tell the eagle what new task you've completed, becoming somewhat arduous due to the games isolated environments.
Charming Saturday Morning Cartoons
Charming. Dofus is undoubtedly charming in its family-friendly presentation. It looks like it would be comfortable added to the Saturday morning block of kids cartoons (Dofus: The Treasures of Kerubim does air on the France 3 network). The game runs on Flash so the visual style is perfect for creating a non-demanding environment, playable on nearly any computer. It’s pleasing on the eyes with enough variability to keep it engaging with simple, soft-shaded trees and glowing worlds. Dofus is able to create a ubiquitous atmosphere for the game's world.
Despite its bright colors, at times the environments can feel disconcertingly dead. Floating blocks exhibit more life than the three naked girls lounging in the fountain of healing. The water flowing from it into infinity is static. It’s a minor complaint that has no true bearing on the game but it’s an odd choice to animate one segment and not the other. Why not make the trees sway—if the rocks are going to—and nod their heads like it's an indie concert?
Press That Button
The user interface is fairly intuitive with keybinds that can be found in nearly every other major MMO-stylized game. It’s certainly more appealing than Age of Conan: Unchained’s bland interface. Cutesy icons easily signal their purpose. DNA brings up your stats while a wand adorned with a golden star found on 100/100 grammar school tests calls upon spells. It’s clearly designed to appeal to the widest possible audience. Although Dofus can be played full-screen, its aspect ratio refuses to accommodate. So when maximized on widescreen monitors the game is displayed with pillars. Unless you’re on a CRV monitor or prefer running in a window, it’s noticeable but not gamebreaking.
"What Did You Say To Me?"
Early on in my tutorial adventure I was insulted by an aggressive Incarnam Scarecrow. He insinuated unfortunate circumstances regarding my mother so I proceeded to beat him mercilessly. The entire world of Dofus is made up of hexagonal tiles, popular in many tactical RPG’s. You move across the tiles and are allotted a number of movement spaces dependent on your class. Your character and the enemy take turns in a movement sequence and combat sequence, emphasizing the importance of tactics. At the end of movement, you’re prompted to cast a spell or attack. I wanted to introduce the disparaging scarecrow to my first two knuckles so I elected to cast “Punch.” The sound of a swift rocket echoing through the air signaled my fist ripping out hay from the scarecrow's body.
Turns are timed. So if you don’t complete your turn in a designated amount of time you sacrifice any additional actions you could have made. It ensures that you’re never going to wander far from your keyboard while in the middle of combat—particularly PvP, a problem that has plagued some Hearthstone players.
Look Ma, New Stats!
As you level, you’re allocated stat points that can be distributed from the Character Screen. Seeing as how I’m Spinoza, I didn’t need any more points in Wisdom. I put them all in Strength because there is no such thing as a jacked Philosopher—until Dofus. Allocating stat points can be daunting at first, particularly if you've never played Dungeons and Dragons or a game with a similar progression system before. You shouldn't worry too much. Experiment. Below level 30, you can reset your stat points as many times as you need to for free, simply by talking to a Fairy Sette in Incarnam.
An in-depth crafting system provides a meditative quality not often found in MMOs, apart from a personal preference for Final Fantasy XIV’s crafting. Divided between Crafting and Gathering professions, there is a surprising amount of depth infused in Dufus’s system belied by its charming gameplay. You are allotted three profession slots so you must choose wisely. It’s typically preferred to choose gathering and crafting skills that complement one another, such as Farmer and Baker.
The game is not without bugs. One time when leaving combat, my character disappeared into the void. Luckily, clicking a tile resurrected him from the nothingness and I was able to continue playing. It seems that the game re-renders your character model after a fight. It's not game-breaking by any means. It's an accepted bug.
Got To Pay The Toll To Pass
Free players in Dufus have access to a lot of content, but not everything. You can explore the starter area of Astrub Village and Incarnam, and access most features including classes, guilds, and spells. To unlock all of the games content requires a monthly subscription. Depending on which purchase plan you choose allots certain perks. In that sense, Dofus joins the ranks of Wizard101 and Runescape where slices of content are stowed away for dedicated members. It’s not a terrible model but I would have liked to see some portions of the game offered permanently. So you buy a new zone with a set price and have it unlocked forever, rather than subbing to access it.
And then there’s the Cash Shop. Most things in the cash shop are not viable for gameplay and items you pick up while playing will fair far better than purchased gear. The function of the cash shop is largely cosmetic. It’s a good system that avoids the pay-to-win model and one Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has taken to the penultimate degree.
Final Verdict- Great
Dofus is a charming and simple game that blends turn-based gameplay and elements common to the MMORPG genre. A self-aware atmosphere persists through kooky dialogue and, at-times, silly monsters—making it enjoyable to explore and play regardless of age. Limiting access to content for free players makes the game function more like a demo than a full-fledged game. But give it a try and perhaps you’ll find yourself subscribing.
Operating System: Windows Vista/7
CPU: Celeron D 352 or Sempron 64 LE-1100
RAM: 1 GB GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce 7050 or Radeon HD 2350 Pro
Hard Disk Space: 4 GB Free Space
Operating System: Windows Vista/7
CPU: Celeron 450 2.2GHz or Athlon 64 3500+
RAM: 2 GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce 6600 GT or Radeon 9600 Series
Hard Disk Space: 4 GB Free Space
Dofus is compatible with Mac OS X and Linux
Dofus Additional Information
Developer: Ankama Games
Publisher: Ankama Games
Game Engine: Flash
Other Platforms: Linux, Mac OS X
Release Date: September 01, 2004
Release Date (English): September 01, 2005
Dofus was developed and published by French video game company Ankama Games and released on September 01, 2004. Two titles continuing the world of Dofus have also been released. Dofus Arena was released in the beginning of 2006 and functions as a PvP game based on the story of Dofus. Wakfu is a direct continuation of Dofus, taking place 1,000 years after the events of Dofus. A spin-off game titled Islands of Wakfu was released on Xbox Live Arcade on March 30, 2011. Dofus has won numerous awards, including the 2007 Bytten Ernie Award for Best Graphics and Concept Art in 2007 and the Audience Award at the Independent Game Festival in 2006. An animated series titled Dofus aux trésors de Kérubim (Dofus: The Treasures of Kerubim) began airing on France 3 in 2013 and is set 200 years before the beginning of the MMORPG. A movie adaptation of the television series is slated for release sometime in 2016.