Dragon Ball Online (ドラゴンボールオンライン, Doragon Bōru Onrain; Korean: 드래곤볼 온라인; officially abbreviated as DBO) is an MMORPG developed simultaneously in Japan and South Korea by NTL, and set in the Dragon Ball universe. The story takes place on Earth, 216 years after the conclusion of the Dragon Ball manga. It was first released in Korea on February 5, 2010, in Taiwan on June 15, 2011, and in Hong Kong on September 8, 2011. Dragon Ball Online shut down its Korean server on September 26, 2013, and its Taiwanese and Hong Kong servers on October 31, 2013.
Many elements from this game are used in the 2015 game Dragon Ball: Xenoverse and its sequel.
The Dragon Ball series creator Akira Toriyama had a great deal of creative control over the project, both contributing to and having complete supervision of the story and art design, including character and location arrangements; every single thing in the game from the usable in-game techniques to story elements had to be checked by Akira Toriyama, and if consent was given from him were then allowed to be placed in the game. Toriyama was also working on character designs for Dragon Ball Online for the last five years prior to 2008.
Beta testing of Dragon Ball Online was initially announced to begin in South Korea, during the summer of 2007, though development was delayed by a year and it was then scheduled to go live in Korea by the end of 2008, and in Japan in 2009. Further delays set in until April, 2009 when closed beta testing began in South Korea.
It was announced in early January 2011 that the next place of release would be Taiwan. On May 12, the closed beta for the new Taiwanese server opened up and later ended on May 16. In a press conference held in South Korea on February 14, 2008, NTL expressed interest in releasing the game to a worldwide audience. It was possible to play the game's current development phase (Patch 1.0.25) in other countries through acquiring a Korean Netmarble account. It is reported that the Korean version of the game was to be free to play with a cash shop.
Dragon Ball Online is set in Age 1000, exactly 216 years after Goku left the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament to train Uub in Age 784 at the end of Dragon Ball Z. During this period of time, a number of notable events have occurred; Majin Buu created a wife called Miss Buu, and they soon have a son, thus the start of the Majin race on Earth; Namekians have fled to Earth after Mira attacked and destroyed New Namek. Meanwhile, on Earth, many Humans have taken up advanced martial arts; some have trained under Krillin's revived New Turtle School, Tien Shinhan's re-established New Crane School, and Goten and Trunks' new Kikoukenjutsu Sword School; schools made popular due to Gohan's book, which explained ki control and martial arts to the public. King Kai also taught the populace of Earth (Humans and Namekians) the Kaio-ken technique, and Majins have managed to mimic it. Also, what appear to be Yardrat have appeared in the Southern Galaxy, and most recently, a gulf formed in time.
The conflict in the story behind Dragon Ball Online is fueled by a villain named Mira, who has also enlisted remnants of Frieza's Galactic Frieza Army and a human faction known as the Red Pants Army. The motives of Mira involve obtaining the DNA of Goku, and achieves his greatest goals through time travel and mind control. Mind controlled victims of Mira are characterized by a green gem placed on their forehead, and his minions range anywhere from cyborgs to mind-controlled Great Apes. After using the Time Machine to defeat the Androids and Cell, Trunks was warned by the Lord of Time for his actions in breaking the law of the universe by time traveling and creating alternative histories which could lead up to the destruction of universe. He also informed Trunks of Mira's threat, creating destruction through universe by illegally time traveling. After learning this, Trunks takes up the job as time a patrolman to correct his wrongdoing, and stop Mira. He set off to the past and warned Dende and Piccolo of Mira's threat.
Dragon Ball Online continues onwards from the manga series, it ignores all the aspects of the Dragon Ball Z anime that were not in the manga and the events of Dragon Ball GT. One example being the Yardrats race, who due to not appearing in the manga, their designs are completely different in Dragon Ball Online than they did in their brief anime-only appearance. The game depicts characters as they originally were presented in the manga instead of how they were portrayed in the anime adaptation, for example Trunks' purple hair, Korin's blue fur, and Namekians having four fingers instead of five.
As with other MMORPGs, players control a character avatar within a persistent game world where they are able to explore the landscape, search for the Dragon Balls, train to compete in the World Martial Arts Tournament, aspire to become like the warriors of legend, as well as interacting with NPCs and other players. As in most MMORPGs, players are able to obtain money and experience which allow them to level up and obtain new abilities. Players are also be able to participate in "Time Machine Quests", in which they receive guidance from Time Patrol Trunks, in order to travel back in time and take part in notable aspects of the Dragon Ball history.
The Player's character starts as a child, and becomes an adult after completing a mission on Korin Tower. Three playable races are featured in the game: Humans, Namekians, and the new Majin race. There are currently two core classes, one pertaining to physical damage while the other either to spiritual damage or a supportive caste, for each race. And for each core class, there are two optional master classes that give players access to stronger skills and weapons; making a total of 6 core classes and 12 master classes. Like in the manga, these races are capable of obtaining and undergoing transformations (Super Saiyan, Great Namek and Pure Majin) that grant them drastic increases in power. These transformations are obtainable only through reaching the required level of skill and wishing for them after acquiring the Dragon Balls.
Players are able to revisit detailed models of locations from the original Dragon Ball manga, including Mount Paozu, Kame House, Fire Mountain, Korin Tower, and West City. As in other MMORPGs, players are able to interact with other NPCs; some characters being new and exclusive to the game, and others from the manga itself.
Players have also access to a range of weapons and items, some of which are exclusive to Dragon Ball Online. Scouters are a very common combat-related tool which, like in the Dragon Ball franchise, allows the user to read the power level of enemies. Furthermore, players can examine the power levels of other players and non-combatant NPCs.
All Classes skills
Although most skills in Dragon Ball Online are exclusive to class, among the skills that players can learn, there are few that can be acquired by all races and classes: Dash: A short-ranged, but fast "boost" that can project players into any accessible direction. This skill allows players to explore and travel the landscape faster, and in combat, can be used to gain ground or avoid close-ranged enemies. Dash costs 50 EP and has the short cool-down period of four seconds, but this period can be shortened with class-exclusive buffs that lessen cool-down periods. This skill cannot have skill points added to it.
Flight: Learned gradually throughout the game. The player can freely fly through the air consuming AP (Air Points) until his or her AP runs out and the player falls down to the ground. AP is gradually recovered when the player is not flying. By using special flight scrolls, the player can perform a flying "boost" allowing for much faster movement in mid-air, and the player will constantly emit his or her aura.
Guard: This skill puts the player in a guarding position, allowing it to block incoming attacks. The guard can only be broken with a powerful enough attack or if the skill duration ends, which varies depending on the number of skill points added to Guard. This skill can have up to three skill-points added to it, which lessens the cool-down period and makes its duration last longer.
Counter Attack: Once guarding an attack, a player can choose to counter and deflect the attack. This skill cannot have skill points added to it.
Power Up: This allows players to accumulate RP while casting their skills, thus allowing them to use HTB skills more often. This skill cannot have skill points added to it.
Dragon King's skills: Once a player acquires the Dragon Balls and summons Shenron (note: Dragon King), it can wish for one of six self buffs that will give a 25% increase to any of the following: Constitution, Dexterity, Soul, Energy, Strength, or Focus. These self buffs last for a total of 30 minutes and have a drastic cool-down period of two hours. These skills cannot have skill points added to them.
Kaio-ken: A power up originally created by King Kai, though used solely by Goku throughout the original series. In Dragon Ball Online, Kaio-ken is similar to how it was portrayed during Goku's use; a distinctive red, flaring aura surrounds the player; decrease in both health and energy; and be multiplied (ex: Kaioken x2, x5, x10) as high as the players choose, so long as they have the LP and EP to do so. However, there are noticeable differences in the skill than how it was depicted in the series: the increase after its first multiplication is only given to player's chance of landing critical strikes, and heightens with each time the Kaio-ken technique is multiplied; no other stats after the first multiplication are heightened. Also, Kaio-ken can only be deactivated once LP is low (although it drains both LP and EP), and has a six-minute cooldown period. Three skill points can be added to this skill.
Playable races and classes
In Dragon Ball Online, there are various races existing in Dragon World, throughout the galaxy, and time and space. However, currently there are only three playable races: Humans, Namekians, and Majin. The class system gives two central, starting classes for each of the three races (although Humans are scheduled to receive a third class: Engineer); one that pertains to physical damage, and the other to spiritual damage or a supportive caste. Additionally, per each class, there are two optional sub-careers (or "master classes"), which grant players a weapon, greater self buffs and skills.
The original inhabitants of Earth. Prior to Dragon Ball Z's end, few humans had control over ki and were utterly defenseless against the many threats their planet had faced in the past. This changed after Groundbreaking Science was published, which introduced the world to the study of ki manipulation and fighting. Also, with the publishing of Groundbreaking Science came not only the revival of Master Roshi's Turtle School and Master Shen's Crane School, but the new Kikoukenjutsu Sword School as well. Earthlings are currently divided among three mainstream careers: martial artists, spiritualists, and engineers; and live in areas that pertain to their jobs. All playable humans have Saiyan genes via Goku and Vegeta's descendants. When reaching the required level of skill, Humans may undergo the Super Saiyan transformation if they wish for it. Unlike the other race-only transformations, Super Saiyans do not obtain Transformation-only techniques, however the skills that they have learned in base form are still accessible.
- Martial Artist – Warriors that specialize primarily in martial arts rather than utilizing their ki. Being a primarily melee class, Martial Artists generally focus on delivering damage within short range of their opponents. Wolf Fang Fist, Rock, Scissors 'N' Paper, Concentrated Kamehameha, Energy Barrage are in the Martial Artist skill tree. Once reaching the required level, a Martial Artist may choose to take on one the succeeding master classes: Fighter or Sword Master.
- Spiritualist – Mystics that specialize in spiritual, ki-based techniques and bleed damage. Krillin's Destructo Disc, the Kamehameha, and Yamcha's Spirit Ball in the Spiritualist skill tree. Once reaching the required level, a Spiritualist may choose one of two master classes: Turtle Hermit or Crane Hermit; Turtle Hermits are equipped with rods, while Crane Hermits fight with fans.
- Engineer (unreleased class) – Mechanics and inventors who build weapons and utilize technology. Although there has been word of the Engineer class prior to even the game's beta phase, it was yet to be released as a playable career. The Engineer class would have been the third starting class available to Humans; making Humans the first of the three races to have more than two core classes. Once reaching the required level of skill, Engineers would have been able to take on one of two secondary careers: Gun Maniac or Mech Maniac.
After their second home planet (New Namek) was destroyed by Mira sometime after the end of Dragon Ball Z, Namekians migrated to Earth. In Dragon Ball Online, Namekians are reported to live in deserted areas where they still live by their Namekian heritage; raising powerful warriors (Warrior, Dark Warrior, Shadow Knight), summoners (Poko Priest), and healers (Dende Priest). Once reaching the required level, Namekians may obtain and undergo a transformation similar to the Giant Form; known as Great Namek in the game. During the Great Namek transformation, a Namekian will grow in size; this causes their speed to decrease drastically, but are reported to have high defense during this transformation. A majority of the skill tree becomes unusable during the duration of the transformation, however transformation-exclusive skills can be learned that deliver high "area-of-effect" damage. In Dragon Ball Online, the Namekian class is very defensive; Dragon Clan and its succeeding classes having a series of healing buffs and Warrior and its master class skill trees having defensive buffs.
- Dragon Clan – Members of the Namekian support caste which have abilities that pertain to magic, such as Kami. Dragon Clan is noted to be the only core class that requires the player to have a weapon (Staff) equipped. Antenna Beam, Energy Cannon, Energy Bullets, Super Energy Bullets, among various healing buffs are part of the Dragon Clan skill tree. Once reaching the required level of skill, a Dragon Clan can choose one of two secondary careers: Dende Priest, a master class with more powerful healing abilities, or Poko Priest, a master class that grants them summoning abilities to bring forth monsters that do their bidding, similar to King Piccolo.
- Warrior-type Namekian – Members of the Namekian warrior caste, such as Piccolo. Warriors balance weak, long-raged spiritual attacks and average physical attacks, but in later levels (through acquiring a master class), they may learn more powerful skills. The Warrior class and its master classes excel in high defense. Piccolo's Masenko, Charged Masenko, Special Beam Cannon, Mystic Attack, Mouth Energy Wave are a part of the Warrior skill tree. Warriors are balanced with decent strength, stuns and long-range energy attacks. Once reaching the required level of skill, a Warrior may choose to become axe-wielding Shadow Knight or a Dark Warrior which fights equipped with claw weapons.
A race created by Majin Buu and Miss Buu. Majin Buu reproduced by splitting off pieces of himself and his wife, and breathing life into him along with bits of his ki. They were vastly weaker than any of the versions of Boo that came before, but transforming into their The Pure Majin state allows them to reclaim the full power of the original. They have access to the Planet Burst and Genocide Blast, two energy attacks with long range and short cool-down periods and the appearance of a Pure Majin is similar to those of Kid Buu. Contrary to early belief, the body type of a Majin is not determined by class, but rather by gender, with males having a large, fat body like Majin Buu and with females having a thin and more slender body like Kid Buu.
- Wonder Majin – These warriors are the core of Majin caste's spiritual class. Techniques used by Wonder Majins that have appeared previously in official media are Kid Buu's "Imitation" Kamehameha and Vanishing Ball, along with the Super Vanishing Ball variation; Super Buu's Galactic Donut and Human Extinction Attack. Their master classes are the masked Karma Majins and the orbitar using Plasma Majins.
- Mighty Majin – Mighty Majins buffs pertain solely to defensive and have a balanced number of spiritual and physical attack, some with long range. These Majins have healing abilities that restore life-points and cure player effects like poison. When they reach the required level, they may obtain the Ultimate Majin or Grand Chef Majin master class; Ultimate Majins use musical instruments, while Grand Chef Majins use clubs and food.
Dragon Ball Online does not have "main characters", as the story of the game more-or-less revolves around the players themselves. Many characters, however, debut in Dragon Ball Online as active allies or villains.
- Mira – A male member of the Time Breakers. He is one of the two main villains of Dragon Ball Online, who employs time travel and mind control to reach his ultimate goal: obtaining Goku's DNA. He is an enemy to the Time Patrol and a major threat to the universe in all timelines.
- Towa – A female member of the Time Breakers. She is one of the two main villains of Dragon Ball Online. She was originally a brilliant scientist from the Demon World, but she betrayed the Demon World and she and Mira created the Time Breakers.
- Fu – The son of Mira and Towa who will have a big influence on the world when he grows up.
- Churai – A female Demon and member of Time Breaker.
- Lord of Time – The deity who watches over the flow of time from the cosmos.
- Hope! – The robot who accompanies Time Patrol Trunks and the players on their mission to stop Mira and the Time Breakers.
- Paella – The leader of the Paella, a gang similar to the Pilaf Gang. He and the Paella Gang took control of the Kinoko Rocks area in Age 988.
- Chow – A former member of Capsule Corporation who betrayed them and joined the Paella Gang in Age 995. She looks very similar to Emperor Pilaf's minion Mai.
- Long – A former member of Capsule Corporation who joined the Paella Gang. He looks very similar to Emperor Pilaf's minion Shu.
- Captain Bacterian – A pirate captain who looks like Bacterian. He has a dungeon on Papaya Island, which he used to hide Cell-X at Towa's request.
- General Bon – An animal-type Earthling who formed the Red Pants Army, intending on restoring the animal-human nation.
- Android 9 – After being shot in the head by Staff Officer Black, Commander Red was rebuilt as Android 9. He is thought to be the leader of the Red Pants Army or at least a high-ranking member, as Android 9 is the last enemy to be faced in the Red Pants Army dungeon. It is shown that the top right side of his face was rebuilt over from where he was shot. Android 9 is also very large, which was Commander Red's original wish: being tall.
- Android 19000 – An android model found in Dr. Gero's dungeons. There exists multiple, and is not a single character. These Androids are heavily based on Android 19 from the Dragon Ball manga. Android 19000 also have energy absorbing mechanisms in their hands, like Android 19. Their creator is unknown.
- Android 8000 – An android model that serves the Time Breakers. Android 8000 is heavily based on Android 8 from the Dragon Ball manga. There also exists an Android 8000 Mk. II.
- Iko – The Karinga clan's ancestor. Long ago, before the Karinga tribe settled down in Karin Forest, he defeated the mammoth Animal-type Earthling Mothman who lived there. All that was left as proof of Mothman's defeat is the giant axe in the Axe Rock.
- Mothman – A mammoth Animal-type Earthling who lived in the Karin Forest long before the Karinga tribe settled down there. He was defeated by the Karinga clan's ancestor Iko.
- Naraka – The leader of the Evil Namekians on Earth.
- Miss Buu – Majin Buu's wife, whom he himself created. Together they have a child and start the Majin race, which is one of three playable races in Dragon Ball Online.
- Baby Buu – The child of Majin Buu and Miss Buu created via their Love-Love Beam.
- General White (2nd Generation) – A human who somewhat resembles Mercenary Tao. He bears the same name as General White.
- Haru Haru and Shun Shun – A pair of female Time Breaker Majins.
- Psidevilman – A character who was meant to be implemented into the game at a later date along with other devils, but never was due to the game's cancellation. He later debuted in Dragon Ball Heroes.
Returning characters and factions
Many characters from the original series return throughout Dragon Ball Online, as listed below:
- Future Trunks – Future Trunks appears with a new design. The leading force behind the Time Patrol mission: stopping Towa and Mira from their goals. Future Trunks mediates "Time Machine Quests", sequences where players travel to past or future events from Age 1000.
- Bardock as "Time Breaker Bardock" (saved and controlled by Mira)
- Cell-X – Cell who was revived by the Time Breakers. He was hidden in Captain Bacterian's dungeon, but he became impatient and left the dungeon for an abandoned cave behind a waterfall.
- Grandpa Gohan (pre-Dragon Ball)
- Goku (pre-Dragon Ball)
- Goku (Emperor Pilaf Saga)
- Bulma (Emperor Pilaf Saga)
- Master Roshi (Emperor Pilaf Saga)
- Chi-Chi (Emperor Pilaf Saga)
- Ox-King (Emperor Pilaf Saga)
- Fortuneteller Baba
- Ghost Usher
- Goku (Piccolo Jr. Saga)
- Tien Shinhan (Piccolo Jr. Saga)
- Krillin (Piccolo Jr. Saga)
- Yamcha (Piccolo Jr. Saga)
- Chiaotzu (Piccolo Jr. Saga)
- Chi-Chi (Piccolo Jr. Saga)
- Piccolo (Saiyan Saga)
- Gohan (Saiyan Saga)
- Yajirobe (Saiyan Saga)
- Farmer (Saiyan Saga)
- Raditz, Vegeta, and Nappa (Saiyan Saga)
- Frieza's Galactic Frieza Army
- Frieza and his Elite (Cui, Dodoria and Zarbon)
- The Ginyu Force (w/ Recoome and Frog-Captain Ginyu)
- Commander Red (as "Android 9")
- Cyborg Tao (as "Tao Pai Pai X")
- Dr. Gero
- Android 16
- Mr. Satan
- Monster Carrot
- King Chappa
- King Piccolo
- The mysterious Lord of Time mentioned in Dragon Ball Online is revealed to be a female Kaioshin named Chronoa, the Supreme Kai of Time in Dragon Ball Xenoverse.
- ↑ Bandai Namco Games, Dragon Ball Online Officially Announced, Akira Toriyama to Supervise All Aspects, Service to Start in South Korea in Summer of 2007, Japan in 2008 (バンダイナムコゲームス、「ドラゴンボールオンライン」を正式発表鳥山明氏全面監修、韓国で2007年夏、日本で2008年サービス開始予定)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Dragon Ball Online report, ntl-kk.com
- ↑ Game Watch (Japanese)
- ↑ dbocom.com
- ↑ Dragon Ball Online Promotional Video
- ↑ Press Conference 2008 gameplay demonstration
- Dragon Ball Online official website (Japanese)
- Dragon Ball Online data base at dbocom.com
- 4games translated