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|Designer(s)||Mathieu Bourgain |
|Designer(s)||Mathieu Bourgain |
Dofus is a Flash based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Ankama Games, a French computer game manufacturer. Originally released solely in French, it has since been translated into many other languages. It is primarily a Pay to Play game, though it still offers a limited amount of free content. Its success has led to the marketing of spin-off products, such as books, art, comics and a movie which is planned for release in 2013. It has also led to the development of two continuations: Dofus Arena, released at the beginning of 2006, which is an alternative "tournament" version of Dofus; and Wakfu, a continuation of Dofus. The game has attracted over 41 million players worldwide  and is especially well known in France.
As with most other massively multiplayer online role-playing games, players gain levels by obtaining experience. Experience can be gained by defeating monsters and completing quests. With each level, players gain 5 characteristic points, 1 spell point and 5 life points: which can be used to improve the characteristics of a player and upgrade their spells. As a character's level advances, new spells and equipment becomes available. Players receive a special 'aura' when they reach level 100, and gain a different aura at 200. The maximum level a player can achieve is 200. Players may also decide to take up professions and frequently band together to undertake dungeons. Many also become part of guilds, letting them interact with others more easily.
There are fifteen current character classes in Dofus. Each class has a unique set of spells that other classes can not obtain (although some spells are shared with creatures living in Dofus).
While the game takes place in real-time, combat in Dofus is conducted more like a turn based strategy game – where each player takes it in turns to make a series of moves and attacks within a time limit. As such, when a player attacks monsters – they are transported to a 'copy map' where the fighting takes place. Once a fight begins, no other players may join that fight.
Players use a series of spells (which are unique to that character class) to, amongst other effects, attack, heal, buff or drain one's Action Points (AP) or Movement Points (MP). All actions done in combat (by both players and monsters) consumes an amount of AP and all movement consumes MP. In combat if a character loses all of their health points (HP) they're rendered dead.
Each character receives 20 class spells as it progresses from level 1 to 100. A special, 21st spell can be obtained in the relevant class temple. A 22nd can be acquired at level 200 which allows the caster to invoke a dopple of their class.
A number of spells are not restricted to a specific class: weapons' masteries, some elementary spells (Cawwot, Striking, Leek Pie, Moon Hammer, Perfidious Boomerang, Release), Soul Capture, summoning of arachnee and the mount taming spell. These can either be bought in the document sellrooms of Bonta or Brakmar, be exchanged against some resources with specific NPCs, or sometimes looted from certain monsters.
Characters in Dofus can learn up to three professions. There is a special type of profession called a specialization that can be obtained after a player gains enough experience in certain professions; specialisations (up to 3) do not count toward the normal 3-profession limit.
Collecting professions involve players going out into the wilderness and collecting natural resources, such as certain wood and flowers. These can be later made into breads and such that restore health. They may also be sold as many of them are needed as quests items.
Crafting professions involve the player piecing collected resources together to make a vast array of different items.
Specialisations (or Magus) Crafting of equipment can be "specialised". Once a player reaches level 65 in one of these (jeweller, shoemaker, tailor, weapon smith, or carver), he can visit Hel Munster in the Treechnid Forest to start the quest to become a magus in that profession (for instance a shoemaker can only become a shoemagus). A magus adds runes to an object of the corresponding profession (a shoemagus can only add runes to a shoe or belt), so as to modify the characteristics of the object.
Each profession range from level 1 to 100 (but F2P players are restricted to a max level of 30). All profession requires a special tool to be performed. Experience is gained in each profession by gathering the resources of that profession and/or by crafting items, depending on the type. As a player's collecting profession gains levels, they can collect new types of resources and obtain resources quickly. When a crafting profession levels, the player can create more powerful items and create them with a higher success rate, meaning that crafting will fail less often.
There are also pseudo-professions, who are not listed in the profession slot: pet trainer and mount trainer.
Dofus offers quests, which can help players gain experience and kamas amongst other rewards. However, the quests system is limited, with the amount of quests getting lower as a player levels up, though there are a handful of quests which, when completed, offer great rewards.
The alignment system makes it possible to participate in the eternal war between the cities of Bonta (City of Angels) and Brakmar (City of Demons). It makes it possible for characters to benefit from the advantage of being able to wear a shield. The alignment system is as explained by Ankama "under development".
On a limited number of servers, a third alignment is present. The Mercenary alignment, which is an exclusively roleplaying alignment and has the ability to carry out contracts assigned by other players. This last alignment is governed by players and not by NPC characters.
Players have the opportunity to form guilds. This makes it possible for the members to speak with each other, coordinate events, place Perceptors and mark houses and Dragoturkey Paddocks with their guild insignia. A perceptor is a special NPC that is created by a member of a guild, to have an opportunity to obtain the spoils of a fight every time a fight is completed on its map.
Each guild can place a limited number of perceptors. The perceptor acts as a tax collector and has the ability to collect items from fights that occur on the same map - therefore effectively claiming ownership for the guild. Another player may attack this perceptor - to either remove it so their guild can claim ownership or to steal the items collected by the perceptor.
Upon joining a guild the character receives a "banner" emote, showing the guilds' emblem
Each guild can form or join an alliance consisting of other guilds. There is no limit to how many guilds can join an alliance, but it must consist of at least one.
An emote to display the alliances' emblem is given to the player if they're a part of an alliance.
Each area in Dofus has a prism; a prism is the "heart" of a territory placed by an alliance. Alliances can control areas through prisms, giving them experience and loot bonuses in the area. The alliance which placed the prism must defend it against attacks from other alliances. A prism is "weakened" after it has been defeated/destroyed in a battle consisting of 1-6 players from the defending alliance and attacking alliance. Once a prism has been weakened, a time is set when a "king of the hill" battle will take place. If there are more players from the defending alliance in the area after that the timer runs out for the battle, the prism is returned to normal. If there are more from the attacking alliance at the end of the battle, then the area is turned "neutral". It can then be captured by a new alliance.
As with many other MMORPGs, Dofus has a range of dungeons, special areas where players progress in a linear fashion by defeating the mob of monsters found in each room. They usually finish with a unique boss monster at the end, and sometimes a special reward for defeating it.
Dofus has many challenges that can enhance gameplay. A challenge is a special task assigned to players at the start of a fight against a group of monsters. They encourage players to fight in a special way, such as only moving one square a turn, or only being allowed to use certain attacks throughout the fight. If a team completes a challenge, their experience and drops at the end of a fight are amplified.
The currency used in Dofus is called "Kamas" (k).
There are three cities that contain a marketplace (Bonta, Brakmar, and Astrub), where people can buy and sell goods and equipment (for a fee - paid when the item is displayed for sale). The kamas from these sales deposit directly into the player's bank account.
Alternatively, Pay-to-play (p2p) characters can enter 'merchant' mode when they wish to disconnect and sell items directly from their inventory. These kamas are deposited directly into the character's wallet.
Players can also sell items to NPCs, but the prices are very cheap and are usually able to sell for more in the markets (depending on the item).
Whilst in real life "1K" means 1000, in Dofus it means 1 Kama. To sell something for "1KK" is equal to 1000 Kamas short for "1K Kamas", note this can be a common error for beginners. 1000000 Kamas, or a million Kamas, is shortened as "1MK".
Players can outside of combat search for, acquire and utilize emotes. Emotes are short temporary sequences of actions; for example waving, breaking wind, kiss, etc. Emotes are almost purely cosmetic and have no effect on the environment or other players.
Since its release, Dofus has seen more than 25 million accounts created, including 90% of the subscribers from its release and distributed at least 41 servers. Dofus has roughly 500,000 active subscribers.
Dofus caters for a range of languages, each language group is called a community. There are servers designed to cater to the French-speaking community, the International community, the United Kingdom and Irish communities, the Spanish-speaking community, the German community, the Italian community, the Dutch community, and the Portuguese-speaking community.
Accounts are separated into two categories, Free-to-Play and Pay-to-Play. The game includes a zone accessible to Free-to-Play accounts. Free accounts have access to the new player zone of Incarnam and access to the city of Astrub and most of its outlying areas. This makes it possible for a new player to enjoy seemingly full game play, unbounded by time restrictions. Access to the entire world of Dofus—including access to other cities, participating in factional Player vs. Player battles and being able to raise profession levels above 30—requires a monthly fee, with discounts given for longer term subscriptions.
Methods to pay for an account include: PayPal, a credit card, Pay by Cash, Audiotel phone codes and gift codes. Subscriptions to Dofus cannot be set up for recurring billing, so players must go through the payment process each time they wish to extend a Pay-to-Play account.
In October 2008, Dofus moderators warned of several scams targeting Dofus players. These include scams conducted within the game, scams conducted through outside websites, and scams exploiting vulnerabilities particular to Dofus, such as the inability to change the amount of in-game currency in a trade window from a nonzero number back to zero. 
In 2013 an animated series entitled Dofus aux trésors de Kérubim (English: Dofus: The Treasures of Kerubim) based upon the game began airing on France 3. The series is set 200 years before the beginning of the MMORPG and follows the character of Kerubim throughout various points in his life. The premise has Kerubim narrating several of his adventures to his adopted son Joris and their housekeeper Simone. Dofus consists of 52 episodes, each running 13 minutes apiece. A movie adaptation of the TV series is slated to release in late 2015.