DragonFable (often abbreviated to "DF") is a free, online, browser-based, single-player RPG developed by Artix Entertainment. Created in July 2005, the game went into beta testing on November 21, and on June 10, 2006, the game was officially released. It is implemented in Adobe Flash and uses vector graphics, some of which are animated. The storyline to the game sets DragonFable as a prequel to the storyline of AdventureQuest (DragonFable is set 5 years before the start of AdventureQuest) and a sequel to that of MechQuest (DragonFable is set 4995 years after the end of MechQuest), each of which are also games from Artix Entertainment. DragonFable receives weekly updates with the introduction of new quests, monsters and weapons.
Each player may create an account, which can have up to three playable characters for non-paying players or up to six characters for Dragon Amulet holders (paying players). Each character is associated with a base class and has an upgradeable combat level and six trainable stats. The game allows players to engage in turn-based combat against monsters and villains to accumulate experience points, gold, and equipment. Players may use a character's gold to purchase additional equipment and pets in the game to aid in combat. Along with an ever-expanding world featuring regular quests, DragonFable also features temporary special events, such as holidays and wars.
In DragonFable players are able to walk their character around and explore a 2D world. The game is updated weekly with new quests, items, and areas. Players may also interact and team-up with NPCs in different towns and have them help in battle with special abilities.
Also, players may engage in PvP ("Player Versus Player") battles at an in-game arena called Aeris Battlespire. In these battles, contrary to its name, players do not actually compete against other real-world players who may also be online at that moment. Instead, the player's character battles against an AI-controlled opponent, whose configuration (name, appearance, and statistics) is based upon the saved profile of another player's character.
DragonFable has many unique monsters that may be encountered, as well as several recurring antagonists (enemies), such as Drakath, Sepulchure and Xan. Each enemy has his or her own goals and ambitions that intertwine with and form the game's storyline. There are many side quests that players can take to assist NPCs, gain experience points, or find rare items.
Combat in DragonFable
uses a simple turn-based battle system with option commands like "attack" which lets warriors do a simple slash, rogues do two quick cuts with their daggers, and mages cast a spell using the element of the weapon they are currently wielding. There currently is no "flee" option, except in the special class ChickenCow Lord, and enemies currently cannot run away which renders the abilities "trip", "tangle", and "root" (all of which prevent enemies from escaping) currently useless.
Players try to get their opponent's health points (HP) down to zero before their opponents does the same to them. Some monsters have regenerative abilities making them more challenging to kill. Players can also use potions to restore Health Points (HP) or Mana Points (MP), or use an unlockable defensive ability which gives an 80% chance to block, dodge or parry their opponents' attacks. Another unlockable option gives the players a chance to immobilize the opponent. Some opponents, however, have a chance of resisting the attack.
In DF, every weapon, pet, and monster has an element, which defines the type of damage they do. There are many elements, of which major ones are fire, ice, water, wind, stone, and energy (electricity), darkness, and light. Some enemies also have elemental modifiers, meaning that they receive either more or less damage from attacks of certain elements. For example, if a player attacks a Werewolf that has -200 defense towards silver attacks with a silver weapon, the damage done to the Werewolf is greatly increased. However, if the player attacks a Basilisk that has 200 defense toward stone attacks with a stone weapon, the player will do negative damage to the Basilisk, or in other words, the Basilisk will heal the amount of damage that would have been done to it were it not resistant to the stone element. Note that in DragonFable
elements are not opposites of each other; for instance, attacking an enemy that has high defense toward fire with an ice weapon will not cause greater than normal damage unless the enemy also has a modifier for ice. These things are also true for pets and magic attacks.
Every weapon and pet has an element and an attack damage value. The damage value is the base damage that the weapon or pet can do. A player's stats will modify this, though the modified value will not be shown. The weapon's element can also affect its damage to different enemies as explained above. Weapons can be purchased at weapon shops, or can be occasionally found after completing a quest.
, Doom weapons are deadly weapons whose power stems from spirits of elemental darkness bound within them. Unlike most weapons, they can be upgraded to even more powerful weapons. They have special powers, including a "Doooom" power that poisons the enemy with darkness. There are currently five weapons; however, only four have been revealed in the game thus far. The first Doom weapon was, according to the game, accidentally created when Artix
trapped an evil spirit in his axe to defeat it. At the end of the Necropolis Saga, Artix gained the ability to purify the doom weapons for the players, turning them into powerful weapons of light. These purified versions of the Doom Weapons are named the Destiny Weapons and can also be upgraded.
Pets are used for additional damage in battle. They can be bought in pet stores, or can sometimes be obtained as a reward after certain events. Many pets require a Dragon Amulet to use, however there is also a variety of pets that free players can use. All pets' damage revolves around different elements, much like the character's weapons. The pets will do more damage if the character's Charisma stat is raised (see Stats
below). Pets' levels can vary, and are similar to friends with the exception that will automatically attack the last enemy the player attacked. The baby dragon (obtainable through the dragon egg saga) can be trained and equipped as a pet.
After defeating a monster, players gain experience points. If a player accumulates enough, they will gain a level. As characters gain levels, they unlock abilities which can be used in battle. With an increase in level, the amount of experience needed to reach the next level is also increased. The amount of experience points needed to get to the next level is the square of the current level times 100 (ex. to get to level 19, a level 18 player will need 182
× 100 = 32,400 EXP to reach level 19). Fortunately, most monsters are scaled to level with the player. Weapons also have levels and cannot be used until a player has attained at least the same level as the weapon; the same goes for pets and equippable items. Players who have reached the level cap can continue to gain experience points, but will not raise levels until the level cap is raised again. The level cap is currently at 50.
With each increase in level a character gains three stat points, which can be used to raise the character's stats. Players choose which stats to raise in order to increase the strength of certain abilities. The cost of raising any one stat one point is based on the characters current level, and no stat can be raised higher than the character's current level. The cost of training any stat increases by 5 gold per level (ex. the cost to train a stat at level 5 is 25 gold and the cost at level 6 is 30 gold.)
To raise stats players must talk to Sir Render in Falconreach, or speak to Captain Rolith in Oaklore Keep. Players can also choose to remove all the character's stats for a price of 1000 gold coins in Falconreach; however, after doing so the players will have to repay for retraining their stats. The stats are as following:
- Strength (STR) - STR affects the amount of minimum and maximum melee damage by 0.5 per point
- Endurance (END) - END affects how much life the character has by increasing their HP by 5 points per one Endurance point increased.
- Dexterity (DEX) - DEX currently only affects how much damage is done by ranged weapons
- Intelligence (INT) - INT affects how much damage is done by magic attacks and increases the character's total mana points by 10 per one point increased.
- Charisma (CHA) - CHA affects the pet training (raises pet damage), and some NPC interaction roles (any possible roles are currently unknown).
- Luck (LUK) - LUK affects all rolls in a small way.
Houses are a new addition to DragonFable
. Upgraded players can buy houses in several different designs, then purchase items for the houses, as well as new settings (such as Amityvale or the Sandsea). They can also visit the houses of other players. Some items have special properties, and can launch quests, heal players, and more.
When a player starts DragonFable
for the first time, they must create a character before they can begin playing. A player can also create a character for each available slot at any time. The player is given a choice of which gender and class they want their character to be, as well as the character's appearance and name. All classes have 14 unlockable abilities and each class has a different set. The base classes' abilities are unlocked when a player reaches certain levels. The following are the starting classes that are currently available:
- Warrior - a strong base class, and the original one. Warriors wear plate armor and generally wield swords, maces, or axes. They can also wield staffs and daggers with no skill penalty, but can not use them as effectively. For instance, a warrior wielding a dagger will do 20% less damage than a Rogue equipped with the same daggers. Many of their abilities focus on one powerful strike or multiple attacks on a single foe.
- Mage - a fast-learning base class that bases their fighting style around the elements. Their fighting style is more defensive than the Warrior's, as they possess a blind ability (increases the enemy's likelihood to miss) in addition to the immobilization ability common to all three base classes. They wear robes and typically equip staffs and wands. When equipped with other kinds of weapons, they use them to strike the enemy instead of cast spells with it. Mages have four elemental attack abilities which can be unlocked at level 6: Fire, Wind, Energy, and Ice. Also mages do not have to wait a certain number of turns before they can use their ability to attack all enemies at once again.
- Rogue - a cunning and swift base class that wear lightweight armor. They use two identical daggers to attack their opponents and, unlike the other two classes, strike twice for their normal attack - once with each dagger; however, each attack only does 60% of the weapon's normal damage. When wielding any other weapon they can only strike once. Rogues have an ability that allows them to strike four times when they are equipped with daggers.
Included in the purchase of the new Shadowscythe T-shirts is a special code that players can use to unlock "shadow" versions of the base armors. They do not have any new powers, but have an entirely new look.
Players can upgrade to a new class by wearing armor belonging to that class. These armors can be found at set locations throughout the game. A player may switch from one non-base class to another, or back to their original base class, at no cost. These classes' abilities are unlocked by leveling up the class' armor instead of raising a character's level. Three classes have been released for paying players and three for nonpaying players. However, nonpaying players can only use the first seven abilities of the free classes. The following is a list of additional classes:
- Guardian - a class only available to players who have paid for a Guardianship for AdventureQuest. Some of the Guardians' abilities had to be used with the Guardian Blade until the 6th of June. The 14th skill was unlocked on the 6th June and is the ability to summon the Guardian Dragon to aid you in battle. The armor resides in the Falconreach Guardian Tower if the player wishes to equip it or remove it.
- DragonLord - a powerful class that can control dragons. It is only available to players who have purchased a Dragon Amulet. Lady Celestia trains and gives you the armor at her grove. In celebration of Dragonfable's second birthday, the Dragonlord armor has been given two upgrades, a color customizable armor and a more powerful evolved armor. Both are unlockable.
- Dread Pirate - a new version of the pirate class armor released in celebration of the ninja victory in the Pirates vs. Ninja war. Players wearing the normal Pirate armor can obtain the armor from Thyton in Falconreach. Any abilities a player has unlocked for the normal Pirate armor will also be unlocked for the Dread Pirate armor. This armor is identical to the pirate armor except that it is black and has slightly higher defense. This class is also only available to players with Dragon Amulets. This armor strongly resembles the Dread Pirate Roberts from the The Princess Bride.
- DragonRider - not a character class; instead, it allows upgraded players fight with their Titan Dragon. The character looks like it is wearing the DragonLord armor while riding a full-sized dragon with unique abilities. This class is only available to players with Dragon Amulets. There are some exceptions to this rule; for example the quest to get the final Guardian skill. Free classes:
- Pirate - wearing the Pirate armor allows a player to play as a pirate. Players can obtain the armor at Osprey Cove. Rhubarb is the Pirate armor trainer. There are no huge drawbacks for any starting class using the Pirate Armor, so the armor works well with each starting class.
- Ninja - wearing the Ninja armor allows a player to play as a ninja. Players can obtain the armor at Shadow of the Wind Village. Thyton is the Ninja armor trainer. Leader of the Ninjas and Ninja class trainer is Thyton.
- Ranger - wearing the Ranger armor allows a player to play as a ranger. Players can obtain the armor in Sandsea. Zhoom is the Ranger armor trainer. This class differs from the other classes in that players can wield their normal weapon and a bow, though they cannot use both in the same round. Also, the bow uses characters' stats the same way their equipped weapon does. According to Zhoom, you need three "Ancient Treasures" (as a drop in his quests) so he can give you the Ranger armor.
- Death Knight - Death knights, in DragonFable, are essentially paladins that have turned to the dark side. Players must have fully trained the Paladin and Necromancer classes to unlock this class. The class' helmet, cape, and sword, as well as a necklace and ring, can all be currently obtained by completing Artix's special quest "Death Knight". Death Knight armor was released in December 2007 for testing. It is now out of testing and has been released in the game. To unlock the Deathknight Armor, players will need both fully trained Paladin and Necromancer armor.
- Paladin - this class uses a mixture of powerful light attacks and attacks using the element of the player's weapon. It also has special healing abilities that can restore both mana and health. The armor is out of test stage and Artix in the Necropolis trains it. To train it, players need to collect Undead Slayer Badges obtained by doing some of Artix's quests. All of the skills of both this and the Necromancer classes will need to be trained to unlock the Deathknight armor.
- Necromancer - DragonFable's newest class, which has recently been released in the game. It has many darkness-based attacks and the ability to control minions or even the enemy. As Zorbak is the only necromancer left after the Necropolis war, he will train this armor. All of the skills of both this and the paladin armor will need to be trained before players can access the Deathknight armor.
Professions are a recently released update to the game allowing players to craft and build certain objects. So far only the Blacksmith and Alchemy professions have been released, but more professions will be available in the future.
- Blacksmithing - allows players to craft strong weapons for relatively little gold. Raising the blacksmithing skill of a character allows the player to build new, more powerful weapons with materials purchased or found in quests. The level 10 and higher forged weapons can only be used by Dragon Amulet holders. The blacksmith trainer is Yulgar.
- Alchemy - allows players to upgrade their character's heal potion flask. Raising the alchemy skill of a character causes that character's heal potion flask to restore a higher number of HP per use. Each raise in level increases that amount by 15 HP. A character's alchemy skill level has an upper bound equal to the character's current level. Alchemy does not affect the character's mana potion flask.
Dragons in DragonFable
come in three different stages: egg, baby, and Titan. While any player can get a Dragon egg and hatch it into a baby Dragon, only Dragon Amulet holders can mature their baby Dragon into its Titan form. The chain of quests required to obtain a Dragon egg can be started by a player talking to the NPC
Rolith. All baby dragons look the same and have the same element upon hatching. All players can choose their dragon's element but only Dragon Amulet holders can customize its adult appearance. In the game Baby dragons are "stabled" at her home of Lady Celestia in Sunbreeze Grove. Players can equip their baby dragons as pets
. Players can also feed their baby Dragon once per day, which will increase its skill points. Players who feed their dragons require 500 days to get all skill points for Adventurers with no Dragon Coins, at least 250 days for players with Dragon Coins (Dragon Amulet owners and Adventurers alike), and at least 100 days for Dragon Amulet owners (you'll need rare items from quests to do this).These skill points can be allocated to one of five different skill pools. When a skill pool has a high enough number of skill points in it, a new battle skill is unlocked for the Dragon. Like any pet, the player cannot control the baby Dragon's actions in battle directly, but a higher Charisma stat
will encourage it to use its skills more often. The available pools are:
- Protection - the Dragon heals or defends the character.
- Magic - the Dragon casts magic based on its element.
- Fighting - the Dragon makes physical attacks such as biting the opponent.
- Assistance - the Dragon boosts the character's stats and abilities, such as raising the chance of making a critical hit.
- Mischief - the Dragon weakens enemy.
According to the game's creators, it normally takes a dragon over 100 years to become full sized without the use of a Dragon Amulet. Players who have Dragon Amulets can instantly use their Dragon in its Titan (adult) form. Titan Dragons can be customized, trained, and used to fight with in the Dragon Arena, as well as used on certain quests. These quests are usually those at the end of quest chains. Titan Dragons are also used in training the DragonRider class
The annual events of DragonFable mostly coincide with the major American holidays. The following is a list of all annual events:
Wars are also a common event in DragonFable. In each, there is a set number of waves of monsters that players must defeat to win the war. When all waves are defeated, a boss fight will be unlocked. Most wars are won by the players, but in a few the players have lost, usually to move along the storyline. There are two annual or semi-annual wars- every Frostval, an army of ice-based monsters attack, and every Friday the 13th, an undead war begins.
The game takes place in a medieval land called "Lore", set roughly 5 years before the beginning of AdventureQuest. The central town is known as Falconreach, which is where most of the current events happen, but characters start west of Falconreach at Oaklore Keep, a stronghold of the Knights of the Pactagonal Table. Transportation to other towns is possible through riding gryphons, teleporting through portals, and walking. Aside from its main fantasy setting, DragonFable also has a pirate town, a ninja village, a mining town, and a desert. While dragons play a crucial part in the storyline, they are not common creatures in the world of Lore.
Towns are places in DragonFable
where the player can access stores (to buy weapons, armor, etc.) and take certain quests, as well as talk to NPCs. During Wars, different towns are attacked. Currently, twelve towns have been released:
- Amityvale - A town always under nightfall, where the moon is always full. It is sometimes attacked by undead armies. It has a Guardian Tower nearby, in which a vampire lives.
- Doomwood - The forest surrounding Moonridge and the Necropolis. Currently, the only accessible location in Doomwood is the Necropolis, an underground city of necromancers. It was also the location of Artix and Vayle's village, before it was destroyed by zombies controlled by Noxus.
- Dragesvard - The last remaining city in the north which has been built into a glacier. There has yet to be Dragonslayer quests, as the new Dragonslayer armor will be trained here. Galanoth resides there and there are ice dragon caves to explore, along with the first housing shop outside of Falconreach.
- Falconreach - The main city in Dragonfable. It was once destroyed by Xan, but has since been rebuilt. It has a Guardian Tower, several shops, and several NPCs who give quests.
- Frostvale - Always available around Christmas, or "Frostval" as the holiday is called ingame. It is populated by frost moglins.
- Lymcrest - A mining town. The Lymcrest Labyrinth, a rapidly expanding maze of monster-filled passages, is accessible here. Currently, Douglass Digg is the only person in Lymcrest players can talk to.
- Moonridge - A town near Doomwood that has been attacked by the undead multiple times. Although the town itself is not accessible, several quests and cutscenes take place here.
- Necropolis A small place with Artix set near the city of Necropolis surrounded by forest and gravestones. Artix is the only person here you can talk to. Here you can do Artix's quests to stop the undead army.
- Oaklore - The first city a player can access in Dragonfable. It is west of Falconreach. The keep is the home of the Knights of the Pactagonal Table.
- Osprey Cove - A pirate town on Sho Nuff Island. There a few shops available. Players can talk to First Mate Rhubarb to become a pirate and defeat the pirates' sole enemy, the ninjas.
- Sandsea - A desert area south of Falconreach. There are two NPCs available there, Zhoom, a Ranger; and Sek-Duat XV, the emperor of the Sandsea. Dragon Amulet owners may buy DA-only weapons from Zhoom.
- Shadow of the Wind Village - A ninja village on Sho Nuff Island. There are three shops there. Players can talk Thyton to become a powerful ninja and defeat their enemy, the devil fox Okuchi No Okami.
- Willowshire - Currently destroyed. It has a Guardian Tower and was once the home of the Nature Orb. DA-holders can battle Gorgok, the dragon who destroyed Willowshire.
The Design Notes, on the DragonFable
website, offer an in-depth look at all the coming updates, quests, features, recent contests, and updates to the game. The Design Notes have run from July 26
to the present date, and there is usually an entry every day or two. The staff, who are currently posting in the design notes include Artix, Cysero, Geopetal, Zhoom, and occasionally Reens and Rolith.
Though DragonFable may be played without any form of payment, players may purchase a "Dragon Amulet" with real-world money. A Dragon Amulet allows users to access special areas, quests, skills, weapons, and other items which are not available to non-paying players. Players who have purchased a Dragon Amulet are referred to as "DA-holders". Unlike non-paying players, DA-holders may create up to six characters, instead of three, and also have access to the DragonLord class, which allows full control of the character's dragon and its customization, as well as five free inventory spots in an "item bank". A comprehensive list of in-game features offered solely to DA-holders is maintained within the DragonFable forums. The Dragon Amulet upgrade is similar to Artix Entertainment's Guardian upgrade in AdventureQuest and Star Captain upgrade in MechQuest.
Dragon Amulets may be purchased from the DragonFable website. Upgrade cards (similar to gift cards) are also available at participating Target stores within the US.
Dragon Coins are special coins that are claimed in the game to be the ancient currency used by dragons. All players (even free ones) can use them to buy extra storage space for their items or to purchase powerful weapons and items. Dragon Coins can not currently be found after a victorious battle. This has led to criticism by players due to the unavailability of them in game, though in a recent Design Notes article, the AE staff has stated they are working on a new system for players to obtain Dragon Coins, though no more info has currently been released on the subject. They can only be obtained if the player either wins one of Artix Entertainment's contests or if the player purchases them with real money. An item bought with Dragon Coins can be sold back, but like items purchased with gold, the player only receives a portion of what he originally paid.
While the majority of DragonFable is available to free players, some quests and other game content are only accessible to paying players. This content includes titan fights, where the player's dragon becomes a full-sized dragon for battles against other large monsters, the ability to save starting items, and the special DragonLord armor. Some fights important to the storyline are also only available to Dragon Amulet holders with their titan dragons. However, free players can usually still watch the cutscenes leading up to them.
Another complaint about the games is the lack of inventory space. Currently, a player's inventory is limited to only twenty spaces, to save on server space, although players can purchase up to ten more slots with Dragon Coins. Now, the bank system is released in which you can store even more items starting at five slots for Dragon Amulet holders. You can buy more slots with Dragon Coins.
Some players also criticized the amount of grinding that must be done in order to get gold or experience. Although farming is common in other RPGs or online games, such as RuneScape, many people believe that an excessive amount of farming is required even at low levels in DragonFable.
Artix vs. The Undead
Artix Entertainment has also created an animated short called "Artix vs. The Undead" based on Dragonfable
which shows about three and a half minutes of Artix
slaying numerous undead controlled by the Necromantress. The short is continued in the game as part of the Necropolis Saga, where the cliffhanger at the end of the video is resolved and other secrets are revealed.