DOFUS is a long running MMO series that has recently seen a reboot of sorts with the release of DOFUS 2.0. For those unaware DOFUS is a tactical, anime styled MMO that people can play for free up to a certain point of the game. Recently I was lucky enough to ask the developers of the game a couple of questions about the new game.
What do you feel are the major influences to the creation and continued development of Dofus?
The art direction was strongly influenced by Japanese anime style and also includes elements of classical French comic book. Classic RPGS and Tactics RPG’s such as Final Fantasy Tactics were also a big inspiration. In the beginning, DOFUS was actually not meant to be an MMO, it was a small late night project which evolved into an MMO thanks to the support of the community of players that has now grown to over 30 million registered players and 3.5 million subscribers.
What is the reasoning behind making a sequel to Dofus instead of just releasing an update to the existing game?
DOFUS 2.0 is an update of the graphic engine and code of the game, not a sequel. Most of the gameplay elements remain the same, players will be able to transfer their characters and equipment from DOFUS 1 to DOFUS 2.0. The real sequel to DOFUS is Wakfu which is set a thousand years after the events of DOFUS.
What was the motivation for allowing players to play for free, forever, up to a certain point in the game?
We’ve always wanted to offer players a free version of the game, so that they could try it for an unlimited amount of time before deciding if they want to spend a bit of money on it or not. In that way they can still integrate the community and be part of the game rather than thinking it is just a trial and in 2 weeks time move to another game without really enjoying DOFUS.
It seems like Dofus in one of the few MMO’s out there that cannot be set up to simply continually charge a player a recurring fee for subscription, and instead makes them manually buy more time, why is that?
It was a deliberate choice not to charge people for time they do not really want to spend in the game. It does bring less revenue in and may seem less convenient for a player, but we thought it was the right thing to do in order to help them control their spendings. Things may change in the future however if players request it.
The bonus challenges that appear during the start of the battle are unique in the MMO space, what was the motivation for creating those?
We are always looking to improve the game and the fighting system in order to bring players a renewed experience. The challenges system allow players to ‘test their might’ by preventing them to use spells or close combat, or move during a fight. There are tons of challenges and they affect the amount experience that a player will get a the end of the fight. It does indeed make a simple fight more challenging and makes them less repetitive.
Dofus itself is rather popular in Europe, mainly France in particular, are there any unique challenges when localizing the game for other countries?
DOFUS is a French game and was created with a lot of references to French culture. Of course it is a challenge to localize such a game and to retain the fun aspects by creating new jokes which are essential in the game. All the credit has to go to our internal localization team which is doing a fantastic job.
What do you feel the major competitors are for Dofus?
DOFUS is a very unique family game with tactics based fighting, cute graphics, and a distinctive humor. It really has a place of its own in the MMO space. We have a lot of respect for the other MMO companies who managed to create a real universe of their own and strong and sophisticated communities.
Most of the goods in Dofus are player produced and sold; has this caused the game to change in unexpected ways from the original design, such as some items being more common or rare than expected?
No it has not really been a surprise for us, DOFUS features a market economy so we expected it to be self regulated by supply and demand, we did not want to intervene in the system and it has proven quite satisfying for the players.
Dofus is not a stranger to people farming in game currency to sell for real world money, do you feel that the free accounts affect this at all?
We have been the target of farmers in the past which is inevitable when a community grows bigger. But we have put a lot of measures in place to make sure they do not go unpunished. Free accounts can indeed generate basic resources, but it does not really affect the balance of the in-game economy.
Finally, what games are you currently playing in your free time?
Sometimes the question should be ‘HOW do you play them?’, you know there’s a developer here who finished the shoot’em up ‘Ikaruga’ using a plastic guitar.
We do play as much as we can in our free time and we do play a lot of pen and paper rpg’s and trading card games.
MyGamer would like to thank the developers of this game in providing this interview.
For more information, visit the official Dofus website: http://www.dofus.com/en