Divina Online Review: The Story of Yggdrasil Unfolds
By Jerrico Tan (JetSet), OnRPG Journalist
Taiwanese publisher Beanfun! is prepping up for the official launch of Gamania’s Divina Online. This highly stylish MMORPG boasts tons of customization options and an interesting storyline based on Nordic Mythology.
The game is already in open beta and a handful of events have already been held. And as if its hype in the gaming world isn’t bold enough, OnRPG.com got an exclusive invite for a press tour (see Mikedot’s article). In Mike’s very own tour, Gamania mentioned that Divina Online has been one of their most successful titles in Asian regions courtesy of their two very strong selling points: the game’s Nordic mythology inspired storyline and the voice acting done by Japanese celebrities for most of the NPCs and characters.
Divina’s storyline follows the introductory story of Yggrasil, where all the characters awaken from their slumber and into a world that is in the brink of destruction. Together with the main NPC named Clarisse, players must prevent the days of Ragnarok from happening.
Game Mechanics and Customization
Divina’s gameplay mechanics make use of a simple and straightforward stat and skill system. Players gain stat points that they can distribute as they level up and combining Gem Pieces in the Divine Wheel maximizes these stats. Placing a uniform set of gems ultimately gives significant offensive and defensive bonuses to your character.
Another thing that got my interest is Divina’s high regard for customization. The equipments that you can acquire have absolutely no bonuses but are instead treated as costumes for styling purposes. Thus, two players with the same class might have the same stats and skills while looking totally different from each other. Additionally, you can also change the color of your equipment by using dyes sold in shops.
Character Classes and Class Shifting
There are currently five character classes to choose from: The Knight, The Sorcerer, The Cleric, The Assassin and The Machinist. Like the usual MMORPGs, the Knight is the designated tanker, Assassins have low HP yet they deliver massive blows, Clerics are supporting magic casters, Sorcerers get to inflict heavy magic damage and Machinists are mine laying long range tacticians. These classes could seem like yet another MMORPG cliché but fret not because Divina lets you choose a subclass that you can switch to at any time.
Further into the game, players get a chance to choose another class aside from their main one. With sufficient Exchange Points (the three hearts on the character’s HP/MP), players can switch to their other hero at anytime. Switching characters are most effective during PvP where you can be an annoying mine laying machinist at the beginning of combat then switch to an impregnable knight when a melee attacker gets near you or be a knight upfront then suddenly switch to a sorcerer to quickly finish off your foe. Depending on your combat play style, the choices for switching classes are endless.
Combat and Controls
The game’s combat effects are dazzling. Damage dealt and hits and misses are shown in a comical anime-ish fashion. Likewise, all of the skill effects look awesome (the Cel-shaded skills might look cuddly cute but they’ll still surely make you feel that you’ve dealt quite a blow!) and combat is as smooth as silk, thanks to the fast, fluid and easy controls. Both WASD keys and mouse can be used for movement and items/skills can be set through the three hotkey bars (0-9, alt 0-9, Shift 0-9). However, in a fast paced combat system, the hotkeys still sometimes undergo episodic delays and bashing the hotkeys unwittingly won’t do any good. But with a bit of practice, pressing the right timing for skills would improve your combat effectiveness.
Creature Tomes and Sidekicks
Another interesting feature of Divina Online is its Creature Tome. This tome is similar to a Pokedex of monsters that you have successfully hunted in the fields of Divina and killing the eligible monsters in a certain quantity gives you information and concept arts. A transformation feature lets you morph into the creature that you’ve collected and during PvP, you can blast off your enemy with that monster’s unique skills. Additionally, grinding has a greater purpose in Divina as players are granted important crafting rewards upon the completion of the three reward rows in a tome page.
Aside from transforming into different forms, you can also summon a cutesy sidekick to assist you at any time. You can use them to harvest crafting materials and have them assist you in battle (they even throw offensive and supportive spells in your favor). Likewise, to match your playing style, your sidekick’s stat progression is highly customizable. And like any normal pet, they have feelings too so you must talk to them, specifically about their interests, in order to gain favor points from them. Racking up your favor points would increase their responsiveness in the field and efficiency when harvesting.
Questing and Guild Systems
Divina focuses on its story more than most MMORPGs of late. Leveling up is faster when you complete quests, which are inclined to hunting and NPC talk in nature. Completing quests also progresses you through the game’s storyline and thankfully, by adding tons of instance quests and exclusive co-op guild quests, Gamania didn’t turn grinding into an end-game task.
The guild system is an essential community feature and all members gain benefits once part of a well-managed guild. Aside from having reliable comrades during combat, you can also have passive stat bonuses in a certain field by using the Guild system’s Hinterlands, which is the most essential reason to sign up for a guild as it unlocks several “guild-only quests” where you can hone your combat skills.
Divina’s graphics engine may look quite a few years old but it surely doesn’t hinder its cute and mellow thematic presentation. The game’s anime-themed graphics also greatly contributes to that certain eye-catching first impression that’ll make gamers want to play and stay logged-in for hours. Gamania already did a good job with all the equipment, monsters and world-layouts but adding a dash of charming and bedazzling designs just made the entirety of Divina nip out into cuddly perfection.
Although the game might not have an edge against MMORPGs with advanced graphics of today, Divina could still stand on its own feet thanks to its beautiful, fun and appealing presentation. And speaking of appeal, I believe Divina has already charmed a lot of gamers as its community is growing really fast, thus making the game a perfect place to be staying-in for hours (especially when you want to show off your unique gear set). My thumbs are way up for this game, since I had nothing but pure fun. Seriously everyone reading this, download Divina now!
-Awesome Anime Themed Presentation (plus the softness effect made it look even more awesome).
-Vast Customization Options
-Dynamic Class Switching and mimicry
-Lots of beneficial features
-Butt sores can develop from not standing up, due to excessive fun and enjoyment.