Daybreak – First impression of the new action MMORPG

So, after China developer announced Daybreak as an action MMORPG, playable on both browser and client, and signed contracts to publish the game worldwide, I couldn’t wait to give the game a try in the Chinese server.

Yes, it is a competitor of Dragon Nest, where player numbers and revenue has dropped drastically in the world’s biggest MMORPG market. But is Daybreak any good? Let’s find out.


The good

1. Tons of features in Daybreak from the first public client, from upgradeable mounts, player titles, several PvP modes, daily sign-in rewards, guild upgrading, horoscope matchmaking and more.

2. Tons of quests, guild quests, daily quests, bounty quests, horoscope quests, dungeon quests, normal running NPC-to-NPC quests and more.

3. Limited, but open world monsters and world bosses.

4. Familiar dungeon settings, higher difficulty of the same dungeon has new areas.

5. All dungeon bosses have a chance to drop as pets, which will provide passive skills for players. They can be upgraded, fed etc as well, similar to most MMORPGs from China.

6. Tons of monsters in a small area for players to unleash their fancy skills and watch the damage numbers appear, superb feeling of satisfaction.

As you can imagine, Daybreak is like Dragon Nest with tons more content right from the start. Imagine Dragon Nest + Forsaken World/ Perfect World, and viola, you get the first level of Daybreak as a game, which is not a bad thing.

Although I have only been through 1 open world map with monsters, I did see a system announcement claiming someone killed a world boss. And now, for the neutral…


The neutral

1. Auto-pathing, since the main town is still quite sizable and comes in handy when traveling to different maps. Some players may hate it has it has the “lazy” vibe, but I liked it :)

2. No class advancements, at level 20 players get to choose from 1 of 2 special trait trees to “advance” and learn new skills. Players may eventually open up both (limited skill points though).

3. Colorful world… You will either hate it or love it, but I am neutral on this.

4. Using experience points and gold to upgrade skills. If enough experience is gathered, players may max out all their skills at the end.

5. Gender-locked classes.

The neutral points are really just some issues which I feel should be of no big problem for most players. Features like auto-pathing and gender-locked classes have been discussed over the years, and they are really nothing that special, good or bad.


The bad

1. Almost no impact on character model when equipping new weapon, armor pieces, will need to get costume from cash shop or via NPC using special points from some chain quests.

2. Combat is still stiff compared to Dragon Nest. Attacking is not allowed while jumping, and characters can’t run and swing their weapons at the same time.

3. Fatigue system, where stamina points are used to enter dungeons.

4. The China server is too heavily monetized, and players can even buy stamina straight from the shop.

5. Bounty Hunter (Archer) class has a weird aiming mechanic, where the cross-hair has got to be level with the character’s line of sight. If not, you will be hitting the ground most of the time.

6. Pets do not auto-attack, they can only attack when players press the “X” key to activate their 1 skill. Talk about inconvenience…

7. Frustrating to keep changing from combat mode to mouse mode. I wished they would have implemented a simple interact short-key (like the letter “E”).

The above points are just a few of my thoughts playing the game for a couple of days, where I spent some dollars as well to get my VIP level 1 title. The more you spend, the higher will be the number and more freebies (max is VIP level 6).

I am 100% sure this system will be canned by the players if Daybreak ever gets to the West, and it is up to the publisher’s plans.


Overall comment

I am not sure why, despite the flaws, Daybreak is still a pretty enjoyable game for me at the start. My only major concern is still the monetizing part, and to some point, the lack of aesthetic changes when I wear my shiny new… umbrella.

Given that I did spend 20 bucks to buy some convenience stuff, that says how largely positive my first impression has been.

Daybreak screenshot