Dragomon Hunter, called Dragon Slayer Online in Asia, is an anime inspired fantasy monster collecting MMORPG with hundreds of unique Dragomons to collect. The game features action oriented combat where individual attacks must be aimed manually.
|Publisher: Aeria Games
Release Date: Oct 28, 2015
Shut Down Date: June 29, 2017
Pros: +Good graphics style. +Fast-paced combat. +Large variety of Dragomon to capture. +Able to breed and raise Dragomon.
Cons: -”Action” combat is a weird mix of action and tab-targeting. -Entire game is built around grind. -Familiar classes with flat character progression. -Breeding and raising Dragomon can be tedious.
Dragomon Hunter Overview
Dragomon Hunter combines traditional MMORPG gameplay with an in-depth pet collecting system. Nearly every monster in the game, called Dragomons, have a low chance of dropping an egg upon death. Players can collect these eggs and make them their very own pets. The gameplay is action oriented and requires individual basic attacks to be aimed, much like Dragon Nest and Tera. Players can also avoid incoming enemy attacks with proper positioning and dodging. Dragomon Hunter plays a lot like a chibi version of Aura Kingdom with an in-depth pet system thrown into the mix. Aeria Games shut down Dragomon Hunter on June 29, 2017
Dragomon Hunter Key Features
- Gotta Collect' em All - Collect over 200 unique Dragomons by defeating them in battle. Almost every Dragomon can be used as a mount too!
- Crafting - Craft gear from materials obtained from defeated Dragomons. Resource gathering and crafting plays a key role in Dragomon Hunter.
- Action Combat - Individual attacks must be aimed and enemy attacks can be dodged. Dragomon Hunter also features gamepad support.
- Gorgeous Graphics - Dragomon Hunter features sleek anime inspired graphics that looks like a Chibi version of Aura Kingdom.
Dragomon Hunter Screenshots
Dragomon Hunter Featured Video
Dragomon Hunter Classes
Scout - Scouts start off with dual swords and are capable of dealing burst damage in melee range. They unlock the use of a cannon at level 20, and become a more traditional ranged DPS class.
Mage - Mages control the elements of Fire, Ice, and Lightning. They use 2 handed staves and are capable of dealing tremendous damage to their enemies with both AOE and single target spells. They unlock the magic flute at level 20, which gives them access to some healing magic.
Mercenary - The typical warrior class. Mercenaries have the highest defensive scores in the game (HP and Armor) and wield axe weapons. At level 20 they unlock the use of the Greatsword.
Cleric - Traditional supportive class. Clerics utilize their holy powers to heal and buff their teammates in battle. They use mace weapons and can stun their targets. They unlock fist weapons at level 20.
Dragomon Hunter Review
By, Matt Chelen
Dragomon Hunter is the latest in X-Legend’s growing catalogue to reach a Western audience. The Aeria-published MMORPG features a nice, cel-shaded style with a bright, vibrant look to it and chibi characters. It has seen a number of comparisons to Monster Hunter and Pokemon since it was first announced. But does it live up to the comparisons?
The Same Old Character
Upon first beginning the game, you will get your choice of familiar class archetypes—Warrior, Mage, Rogue, and Healer—with their game-specific names: Mercenary, Mage, Scout, and Cleric. You will choose face and hair style, with relatively few options available; a nice touch included is physics-enabled hair for certain hair styles. You will then customize your Hoppalong with the few options that are made available for them and set off on your adventure to hunt Dragomon.
Each character has five stats: DMG, HP, DEF, PEN, and CRIT. All of these should be familiar acronyms except for PEN, which stands for Penetration—the stat that counters Defense. All classes can put points into all of these stats freely. You get one stat point per a certain milestone, with multiple stat points per level.
Each class has four basic skills and six advanced skills. “Masteries,” or Talents, allow for further customization with three options per skill after level 30, but ultimately you have 10 skills. There is no skill tree. Each advanced skill is unlocked at a specific leveling milestone. This leaves character progression feeling fairly flat.
The Problem With Instances
Dragomon Hunter is very heavily instanced. Players use the city of Elysium as a base of operations and will handle the grand majority of their non-combat tasks there. There are several portals in Elysium that will take you out into different zones, depending on the quest. Each quest is isolated from the others and upon completing your objective you will be prompted to instantly warp back to Elysium.
As you might imagine this comes with all of the issues that normally occur for heavily instanced games. You will be taking on multiple quests in the same zones with only slightly different objectives repeatedly. First, there’s the main mission. Then there are the hunts, the Hunters Guild quests, and the oddly-implemented “side missions.” And all take place in the same zone, mostly with the exact same layout. Sometimes two types of the same mission will even have the exact same objective.
What’s truly bizarre about it, though, is the fact that they are all spread out across multiple portals. You have one portal for your main quests, one public versions of the zones where side-quests take place, and one for each and every level bracket of Guild quests and hunts. Rather than condense all Guild quests and hunts into one, you will be moving to a different portal for each level milestone you reach.
But there’s really no need for it. Ultimately the quest list is just that, a list. You will repeatedly be visiting the same zones, with the same layouts—right down to the enemy. So the separation is odd and often confusing, and would be completely if not for the quest tracker allowing you to click on objectives to pull up a nice sparkly line leading to that objective.
The system is even more odd because of the non-instanced zones. They are the same as the zones you will visit in other missions, only larger and with multiple quests. It’s almost like the developers were trying to counter common issues such as not having enough monsters or timing respawns perfectly, but then nullified all of their efforts by including these normal open world zones.
Within the non-instanced zones, your main quests are called “side quests.” The only difference is in where they are completed. I found this to be a confusing distinction and spent some time looking for my next main quest the first time I encountered one.
Because of the way the game is built—with both instanced and non-instanced zones—encounters end up fraught with stereotypical MMO AI behaviors. While zones are small and instanced your opponents remain tethered to a specific area. If they leave that area they will reset back to their initial spawn point and gain all of their health back.
Not An Action Game
Despite claims made by the developer and publisher Dragomon Hunter is not an action game. It occupies that awkward space between tab-targeting and action combat that has been seen in games like Cabal 2. You target a specific enemy and press a skill hotkey for every time you want to attack. If you are in range your skills will automatically hit your target, as they do in every single tab-targeting game. It will not, however, pull you up to an enemy in order to use a melee attack if you are primarily a ranged class. Some skills will combo when used repeatedly or if the skill hotkey is held at the correct time, but it ultimately doesn’t add much of an action feel to the game.
Monsters will attack in less direct manners, albeit not in manners that are foreign to tab-targeting MMOs. Occasionally, rather than mindlessly chase you, they will stop and use a skill. That skill will show an area of attack on the ground. For example, Wingrus use a wing attack with a semi-circle area of attack. The Abyssal Crab will occasionally use a five-projectile attack that shows where the projectiles will travel on the ground. Every one of these skills—that I encountered—had a slow charge time and a small enough area of attack that it was painfully easy to dodge out of the way.
This makes a lot of fights really easy. If nothing else, you can run away until they go to use a skill, hit them hard while they are charging it up, and step back. This works exceedingly well for ranged classes, who can continue to hit their opponent even while they are using the skill without sustaining damage. That isn’t to say that you can take party quests on solo at the minimum required level—believe me, I tried—but it does mean that most quests are exceedingly easy.
Gotta Kill ‘Em All
One of Dragomon Hunter’s biggest draws is the ability to catch the more than 100 Dragomon and keep them as mounts. Unfortunately, the process of actually catching them is uninteresting. To capture a Dragomon, you must kill that species repeatedly until one of them drops an egg. You then collect the egg and hope that it is a mount and not a Dragocite. Catching them ends up boiling down to grinding the same monsters ad nauseum.
At level 15 you will unlock the Ranch and it will add to the experience of collecting and raising monsters. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really alleviate the grinding issue. In order to obtain the Dragomon to breed or raise at the ranch, you still have to either grind for them or pay an NPC ludicrous fees to buy eggs that hatch random Dragomon from a specific region.
Raising and breeding are also tedious processes. You have to get two Dragomon of the same species to 100% experience in order to breed them. You also can’t retrieve the Dragomon that you have put on your Ranch to raise or breed, meaning they will be left there permanently and you essentially lose two of the same species in order to attempt breeding. Nevertheless, it does give them more purpose even if only a distraction.
Crafting is introduced as a big part of Dragomon Hunter, but largely contributes to the grind. You will slowly unlock new crafting recipes as you play the game. Most of these crafting recipes require at least one item that is obtainable only by defeating a specific boss Dragomon. Every piece of gear in that set will likely require the same item and you will be required to defeat that boss once for every piece of gear you want to craft, meaning content repetition will increase. On top of this, crafting costs a significant amount of money per piece of gear.
Crafting’s current implementation has also led to a set of items that have a set of permissions that is fairly annoying. Certain drops that are obtained from Dragomon cannot be traded, stored in a bank, sold, or even discarded. The only way to get rid of them is to craft something using them. If you don’t, these items will occupy your backpack space until you grind for the money and the rest of the items needed to craft something that uses them in the recipe.
Furthermore, the difference between the first set of gear you are able to craft and drops is staggering. I had a total boost of over 100 Defense by the end of my first crafting session. This felt a bit excessive and left a lasting impression.
For all of its flaws, Dragomon Hunter presents itself well. It is well-stylized, featuring a bright, vibrant style with sharply detailed models. Interfaces are easy to navigate, even if there are occasionally too many of them. The HUD is laid out very well.
But I find the interface’s theme to be bland. For a game with so much color and vibrance it seems odd to me that someone would make a conscious decision to have a transparent, pitch-black interface with a solid gray outline, rather than something more extravagant and vibrant. Perhaps it was an attempt to be minimalistic and modern, but I find it unexciting and in stark contrast with the rest of the game.
The voice acting is hit and miss. The grand majority of it is presented in single-phrase soundbites and largely passable. However, some of the voice acting is less passable. For example, the voice that says “Reward time, hunter!” if you happen to hit confirm on a quest reward menu without selecting a reward is quite grating.
I cannot say I was happy about the introductory videos either. Twice, I was forced to watch what were essentially commercials for Dragomon Hunter—without means to skip them—after I had already started the game. Once after I had created my character and again after I had completed a specific quest. After this, tutorials continue on until close to level 20. I can understand giving the player information in small doses, but the rate at which they introduce you to new concepts is far too slow.
One fortunate design decision is the way in which banks are laid out. The default backpack only has 30 slots and between gear, items, materials, and an ever-growing list of captured Dragomon, you will run out of space quickly. The default bank only has 20 slots. However, there is a “Materials” tab in your bank—with a staggering 50 spaces—that will hold all of your materials. You can place all of your materials in there without fear of them overrunning your backpack or primary bank space. You can then access any materials in this bank space when crafting.
It is a bit too early to tell what the future holds for Dragomon Hunter’s cash shop. Currently, it is sitting in that nice little phase that all Aeria offerings sit in around the time of release where there is nary a pay-to-win item to be seen. Founder’s Packs can be purchased in-game currently but that is about it other than a few loyalty rewards. At the official release Aeria will likely make several cosmetic items and experience boosters available. I anticipate a cash shop progression similar to Echo of Soul in that only cosmetics and convenience items were available at launch, whereas several months later pay-to-win items began to creep in.
Final Verdict - Good
Dragomon Hunter is a solid title. The game works well and can be quite a bit of fun. It’s certainly not something that I anticipate many will play as a primary MMO. It is a game that is best in small doses. Play a few quests, feel like you’ve accomplished something, check on your Dragomon at your Ranch, and head off for the day. If you're looking for an heir apparent to Monster Hunter or Pokemon you won't find it here. A few questionable design choices and a heavy focus on grinding in order to make the most of the unique systems leave much to be desired, but fun can be found in Dragomon Hunter.
Dragomon Hunter Videos
Dragomon Hunter System Requirements
Operating System: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
CPU: Pentium 4 2.8 GHz / AMD 2600+
RAM: 3 GB RAM
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce8400 / Radeon X1600+
Hard Disk Space: 6 GB available space
Operating System: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
RAM: 6 GB RAM
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 / Radeon HD 4570+
Hard Disk Space: 6 GB available space
Dragomon Hunter Music & Soundtrack
Dragomon Hunter Additional Information
Publisher: Aeria Games
Game Engine: Gamebryo
Closed Beta (TW): July 17, 2014
Closed Beta (NA): TBD
Open Beta Date (TW): August 27, 2014
Shut Down Date: June 29, 2017
Development History / Background:
Dragomon Hunter is developed by the Taiwanese game studio X-Legend. It originally launched in Asia as "Dragon Slayer Online" but was licensed to Aeria Games for a Western release as "Dragomon Hunter". Despite the different names, the two games are identical. The Taiwanese Dragon Slayer Online version launched into open beta on August 27, 2014. Aeria Games announced Dragomon Hunter to Western audiences on July 15, 2015. X-Legend is responsible for developing numerous anime inspired titles including Eden Eternal, Aura Kingdom, Grand Fantasia, Astral Realm, and more. The game shut down in North America on June 29th, 2017.