Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO) is a multiplayer PC beat ‘em up game developed and publish by Neople, a South Korean subsidiary of Nexon. Gameplay consists of players traversing through dungeons, which are made of rooms containing monsters, clearing rooms of monster before finally defeating the boss of said dungeon.
- Players are able to move their characters in similar fashion to classic 2D side-scrolling arcade beat ‘em up games. They can move left, right, up, down as well as jump.
- Players have a health and mana bar to the left and right respectively. Health is lost when the player is hit by enemy attacks and will not be able to control their character when it hits 0 (dead). Mana is consumed by the player to use skills; the player will not be able to use a skill if they do not have enough mana.
- Skills are special attacks which the players can use to help them defeat enemies. They can be used either by assigning them to a hotkey bar, which allows players to use that skill by pressing the assigned button, or by entering the skill’s command manually.
- Players can choose to play as any of the 12-base characters, each with its own classes and set of skills to help clear dungeons.
- Players can also equip their characters with equipment such as weapons and armour to strengthen their characters and allow them to progress through dungeons.
- Each of the characters have their own origin story of their past and motivations.
- The story is told through text and cutscenes, with the player progressing through a set of ‘scenario dungeons’ to progress through the story. The story is linear, although there are a few choices to be made by the player in the story, they do not cause any major branching or changes in the story.
- Being like classic beat em’ up games, DFO uses 2D sprites for the characters giving a similar feel to older games in this genre.
- Faster paced music is used for the game as players are mainly fighting enemies in dungeons, giving players adrenaline.
- Fast and stable networking which allows players to play with others through the internet.
Lens 2/5 – Surprise & Endogenous Value
- The highest grade of equipment is obtained through specific dungeons or ‘hell mode’ dungeons. However, the player will not obtain an equipment every time, instead there is a chance for the equipment to appear. The equipment that appears is also random and may also not be usable for the character being played. Overall, this gives an element of surprise for the play. *Although the surprise does provide some enjoyment for players in character progression, the rate of equipment appearing is very low and the randomness of obtaining them can sometimes leave players feeling frustrated as they are unable to progress because of luck which is not in their control.
- The equipment that appears in these dungeons offer the most benefit for the player, providing the best bonuses for their character. This give the equipment endogenous value for the player being the best equipment that they can obtain to strengthen their characters with.
Lens 32 – Meaningful choices
- Classes in the game are mainly classified under 3 types: Damage dealer, Support and Synergy. Damage dealer classes focus on dealing damage to the enemy but do not have any supporting skills such as providing bonuses to the party of players. Support classes provide various benefits to the party such as healing, bonuses to the party’s attack or demerits for the enemy. However, they do not deal much damage. Synergy classes provide bonuses for the party but not as much as the support class and can deal damage but not as much as the Damage dealer class.
- The choice of class given to the player is meaningful as they can choose how they want to play, and it affects their gameplay experience. If a player prefers to be the one to damage the enemies, they can choose a damage dealer class. If they prefer to keep the party alive through healing, they can choose a support class.
Lens 37 – Cooperation
- Being an online multiplayer game, players can communicate with each other, group up and go through dungeons together. With the different classes available, players can have class combinations or skills that may synergize with each other, making the group of players stronger than if they were on their own.
- The game has sets of dungeons which together form a ‘raid’ that requires players to work together in order to clear. This encourages cooperation between players as they work together towards a common goal.
Sample game play: