Drakensang Online was released in 2011 as a browser MMORPG. You now need your own client, which you can also download from Steam from September 2022. The gameplay is reminiscent of Lost Ark. MeinMMO editor Alexander Leitsch looked at the MMORPG again.
What kind of game is this? Drakensang Online is an iso perspective MMORPG in which you can complete quests and slay hordes of monsters. To do this, you create a character from the four classes:
In the endgame there are group dungeons, PvP and the grind for the best equipment, which mainly relates to upgrading gems and runes.
Although the name suggests it, the game is not based on the world of The Dark Eye, but has a specially created world and lore. The German developer Bigpoint only has the rights to the name, but not to the world.
What’s new? Drakensang Online has always been a niche MMORPG. However, the game has changed a lot over the last few years. September 2022 it will also be playable via Steam. That’s why we took a look and will tell you whether it’s worth getting started now.
Entry and endgame have been completely revised
How is the start? Drakensang Online used to be an MMORPG with a bit of a difficult start. However, since a major overhaul, it’s easy to get started – maybe even too easy. The basics are explained in a tutorial and the first monsters all die with one attack. This goes on until about level 16, from there it gets a little more difficult.
By this point – after around 60 to 90 minutes of play – you have already unlocked the first skills and gotten used to the gameplay. What’s cool is that with every level-up there is a point that we can allocate in the skill tree. That feels immediately rewarding.
As soon as the fights get a bit more demanding, the combat system is really fun. The movements and animations are fluid and especially melee fighters can be kited well.
The game world is divided into different instances that you can enter through gates. However, you can also encounter other players in these instances. Again and again there are also cities in which traders, quest givers and also some players are located at any time of the day.
Since the MMORPG can be played entirely in German, getting started shouldn’t be a big problem. I myself played Drakensang again after years and you can watch the first 30 minutes of it here:
What does the MMORPG offer in the further course? You can enter the areas in Drakensang Online alone or in a group. It’s cool that they often offer different levels of difficulty. Right from the start there are several zones that allow you to revisit them later with a higher level. In the meantime, there is also an exact indication of which level the higher levels of difficulty are aimed at.
In general, you follow a story that is told about quests. This story is divided into several chapters.
With the content expansion Dark Legacy, the MMORPG got the biggest update since release in December 2020. However, this has adapted and changed all sorts of systems:
How does the endgame look like? The actual experience of Drakensang Online starts around when you reach level 100. Then it’s time to farm the first real gear. This is still fun because you explore different areas and face some challenges.
However, if you really want to upgrade your equipment, you sometimes have to play the same content hundreds of times. The focus is initially on runes, later on gems for the accessories and gems. You have to upgrade the latter to unlock higher levels of difficulty. There you have to farm again to get further upgrades.
In addition, the MMORPG offers an achievement system and PvP to deal with it in the long term. In many current Steam reviews, however, it is criticized that PvP is not particularly fun at the moment due to balance problems. Even with weak equipment you should have to fight against experienced and well-equipped opponents.
Criticism of the payment system and the big update
What about the payment system? Drakensang Online is Free2Play. But even during my first few minutes, I notice the Andermant currency. I can buy these for real money and then use them in an in-game shop. There are some items waving, including:
That sounds ugly, but to be fair it has to be said that you can also earn Andermant by playing and in good amounts. So you don’t have to rely on spending real money, but it can speed up a lot of things.
There is also a premium buff that includes more fame, more XP, more inventory slots, free travel, cheaper crafting, access to premium traders and auto-loot for important items. It costs 9.99 euros per month.
There is also a deluxe buff that increases the values of these bonuses again – for 21.99 euros.
What else is there criticism? Many veterans in particular have plenty of criticism of the Dark Legacy content expansion. This changed the equipment system in such a way that armor sets no longer played such a big role. Due to the adjusted item levels and the new max level, they also felt devalued in their progress. This in turn led to a lot of frustration and criticism.
On top of that, there are complaints that the new endgame content looked more like copies of old content and didn’t bring a completely fresh wind to the MMORPG.
There is also criticism that the game is visually developing more and more in the direction of Asia and crazy mount skins. For example, there are steam bikes or flying carpets. In addition, the devs would no longer communicate as openly as they used to.
What about regular updates? Drakensang Online regularly receives minor updates and brings events to loosen up the existing content. However, players have been waiting in vain for major updates since the content expansion. However, there have always been longer content droughts before.
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A solid MMORPG in iso perspective, but clearly inferior to Lost Ark