More than a year ago, I started playing Flight Rising, a pet raising game site focused mainly on dragons and from friends that I made there, I discovered a Kickstarter for a game called Dappervolk. It has the exact kind of storybook-like art-style that I’m instantly attracted to. In fact, it actually reminds me a bit of Legend of Mana.
So when the Closed Beta Testing started a while ago, I had to give it a try, even though everything except account ID and name will be wiped.
Here is a
quick introduction to the game. My first impressions will be in another post on its own since this one has grown a little long.
※ Disclaimer: All information in this post is based on my experience in the Close Beta Testing phase and may not be accurate after CBT.
What is it?
Its Kickstarter campaign describes it as “a virtual pet and avatar site with cute painterly art, RPG elements, and an ever-expanding world of quests” and that the questing system is a “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story” kind that is advanced by interaction with NPCs.
You play as somebody who came from outside of the world and has no memories of who or what you are or why you are in this world, and no knowledge of the powers you own to animate non-living objects such as Turnips and other items.
For your avatar, you can choose from 4 classes to represent yourself: Human, Animal, Elven, or Galactic. For this beta, I picked Elven class.
Each have their own distinct look and leanings towards certain stats (of which there are also 4, Tenacity, Honor, Charm and Comprehension).
There are some starting hairstyles, facial features, clothing and accessories to pick from, but those can be changed out in the Wardrobe when you get more Clothing items.
Other than the starting Clothing items, you can obtain pieces of clothing that resembles the available NPCs’ appearance, and that gives us quite a lot of option for a game just in Beta.
The order of the clothing items can be sorted freely too, it’s amazing how something so small gives you a lot more customizing power.
What’s more, if you use Wardrobe Expansion Item to expand a wardrobe category’s available slots (capped at 7), you can layer items of the same category to create interesting outfit combinations.
The background and foreground (currently unavailable) of your avatar space can also be customized if you have the items in those categories, as well as the border of your forum post. You’re also free to edit your profile page and your pets’ profile pages and not just in plain text, but also some kind of custom code similar to BBCode to make them even more personalized.
Oh boy, isn’t that quite a bit of customization available?
Remember those powers I mentioned about bring inanimate objects to life? That is the story explanation of how we hatch our pets. To get a pet, an item needs to be placed in Hatchery then we wait for certain amount of time, depending on the tier of the pet you’re trying to hatch. Currently there are 3 tiers: Quaint, Fantastical and Legendary.
These are two below, Stoic Deericorn and Runty Turnipling, are of the Quaint tier and can be obtained relatively easily. More will be available as new areas and NPC shops are unlocked. The Kickstarter campaign (which has ended) and Beta Support bundles have some extremely lovely pets (and Clothing items).
Pets (or rather, the active pet) can aid with player’s stats. Their stats can be increased by feeding them with food items when they are hungry and equipping them with Totem items. They also have an Affection bar that can be slowly filled by interacting with them (Quest, Pet, Chat and Gift), and when their affection max out, they evolve into a different colored version themselves and gain sparkles. Watch out for their moods though, as they give more affection if they are happy.
Players can own multiple pets where they are placed in Pens in the Menagerie. Each Pen holds 20 pets, and shows a different background based on the Habitat they are in. Pen Expansion items, as their name says, add Pens so we can have more fluffy cuties at one time.
Pets can also be combined using Pet Alchemy to make new pets, some of higher tier. There are recipe combinations which must be followed strictly such as having certain pets in certain habitats to get a certain pet, or you can try out random combinations and see what pet comes out.
While pets don’t have their own clothing, custom pet accessories can be created by players using a Pet Accessory Maker item. In future, it may be possible for players to create custom pets using the Custom Pet Creator item, but it’s not available in Beta now.
Like any game with RPG elements, the main way to advance the story and unlock new stuff is by doing quests, more specifically, the Main Quests. So far there’s two town’s worth of content, with six NPCs in each town, so there isn’t a whole lot of story but due to requirements, it may take a while to reach the last available main quest. There are two more towns that may be released during Closed Beta Test.
There are Side Quests too, that could give useful rewards. Among which are the repeating Daily Quests that each NPC gives out for up to 7 per day, some asking you to help other NPCs, interact with pets or give the NPC certain items, etc.
In Dappervolk’s quests, choices are very important. Certain parts of the main quest require you to choose between certain NPCs in order to progress, such as best friends Lilia and Fantasia in Louise Hill, Irin and Magdalene in 3’s Forest, as well as the three witches Barclay, Glume and Mycel. As of now in Beta, picking one will lock you out of unlocking the shops for the others (there’s a bit of exception for Irin and Magdalene where if the correct choices are picked, it is possible to unlock both).
In addition, each NPC have their own affection level towards you, the player, and your choices made during quests can increase and decrease their affection, or even other NPCs’ affection.
It was not officially stated but there are rumors that maxing out the affection of NPCs may unlock shops that were previously locked out by choices during quest. At current date, I was unable to find out if any players have managed to max the affection of any NPC with locked shop and thus no way to confirm this yet.
Currency & Items
The main currency in Dappervolk is ‘Potato’, and premium currency is ‘Turnip’ (not to be confused with the turnip items). Potatoes are used to obtain items from Chance Machine shops and in the Trades Market, which is the player-to-player trading system. The primary ways to earn potatoes is via completing daily bonus objectives, successfully clearing daily quests from each NPC, doing mini-games and posting in the forums.
Each NPC runs their own Chance Machine Shops and currently, all the available NPCs’ shops can be unlocked through quests. However, as mentioned above, not all of them will be available due to quest/NPC choices.
In the Chance Machine shops, you pay a set amount of potatoes to spin the machine and the item you get each spin is random from a set list of items. Different shops have different costs for one spin/purchase, and so far, all shops feature four tiers of items: Common, Uncommon, Rare and Legendary.
Currently in beta, the shop inventories contain Clothing items resembling the appearance of the shop NPC, Hatching items related to the shop NPC, Food items, Pen Expansion, Totems, and various other items for unlocking or expanding features.
The Trades Market hosts three types of transactions: Sale Lots for flat sales, Trade Lots for those looking to trade items for certain items or potatoes, and Auction Lots.
It’s pretty easy to use and explore, regardless of whether you’re a seller or buyer. I was surprised to find that it lets you sell or offer multiple items in one transaction, which is something that I found missing in many games’ market systems.
It could still be improved with some advanced search functions (search by category just got added so it’s better now).
To my knowledge, practically any item and pet can be traded via on Trades Market, as long as the item has not been used or consumed.
There are two types of Alchemy: Pet Alchemy and Item Alchemy. They are not too different in how they work, as both asks that you place five items or pets in the cauldron to combine and get one item or pet.
For Item Alchemy, you can get Clothing items not found in Chance Machine and Food items. For pets though, it depends on the tier of the pets and whether you’re following a recipe combination.
Both types of Alchemy can be done with or without recipe combinations, and doing them without known recipe combinations can result in random items or pets.
Item recipes are learned if you hit upon the specific combinations with guaranteed result item. For example, if you alchemize five pieces of the exact same clothing item, you can get a recolored version and this particular combination will be saved as a learned recipe for your account.
Pet recipes can be learned using pet recipe items and will be recorded in the Pet Recipes Book. Interestingly, possessing pet recipe item or learning the recipe is not required for creating the recipe’s specific pet, just the correct recipe combination will do.
One of our main sources of potatoes are the two cute mini-games located in the Playground: Turnip Thief! and 3’s Forest Clean Up!
Potatoes, and sometimes food items, are awarded at the end of both games depending on how well you did. Take note though that there is a cap of 5000 potatoes and 10 items per day for both games.
Turnip Thief! is a game where you jump around 3 platforms to gather turnips (not the premium currency, sadly) within a time limit while being chased by the Bearnard the farmer and his ever-increasing clones. Being touched or caught by Bearnard ends the game instantly.
3’s Forest Clean Up!
3’s Forest Clean Up! is a basically a Zuma’s Revenge! clone. It’s a game where you shoot orbs from the center towards the multicolored line to match 3 orbs of the same color together so that they vanish. All the while, the line is snaking on its predetermined path towards a goal and if it reaches, it’s game over. There are 3 stages and completing it, successfully or not, will give a high score.
The games’ graphics are as simple and lovely as the site and the music is surprisingly calming. My own mastery of the games though, is less than desirable but my own fingers and brain dexterity is to be blamed for that.
There’s also Adventuring, which isn’t technically one of the mini-games in the Playground, but it’s also a good source of items and potatoes. You are represented as a pixel avatar taking a stroll and NPCs will pop out once in a while to give you riddles or some goodies.
The riddles can be answered by choosing one of the four symbols which corresponds to the avatar stats but also holds a few different meanings here, and picking the correct one increases the energy gauges at the side. When the gauges are maxed out, you are awarded with potatoes and possibly a random item such as recipes or totems. If you take too long to answer, they will just pass you by.
Sometimes, instead of riddles, the NPC gives you potatoes and an item that you just have to click to accept. Similar as the riddles, if you take too long, they will leave without giving them to you.
To sum it up, adventuring is basically an idle game that you can open in its own window off to one side, and if there is activity, just check back and interact with the NPCs. It does not require as much attention as the other mini-games and the random little gifts are quite nice if you don’t have much time and attention for the mini-games or daily quests.
The community on pet-sites tend to make up a good part of the experience and while Dappervolk’s community has only just started growing, the players have proven to be helpful, friendly and creative. There’s already many experimental projects, NPC fanclubs, art shops, etc.
It’s safe to gather that interacting with existing friends or meeting like-minded individuals is no difficult task here.
You can add friends by clicking on the ‘heart’ icon in the user profiles, or use their usernames or unique User ID.
If you decide to shower them with gifts, sending items as gifts to friends can be done quickly and easily from the Inventory and multiple items can be sent in one go. Because names can be changed easily using the Name Changing Scroll, the system asks for User ID instead.
Sending of pets which have hatched, though, will have to be done through the Trades Market.
The design of the forums is consistent to the site, clean and well padded with space so it doesn’t feel cramped.
Navigation is straight forward, there’s enough forums to participate in, and basic functions such as subscribe to thread, ping another person, quote post and even report post functions are all up and working. I was very impressed.
What I really like is how your full avatar is shown for each of your post, including the background (and possibly foreground too when they are implemented), along with your active pet in the little corner. This is in addition to the forum post border.
It really adds your personal touch to your own forum posts, and that’s even before adding a forum signature, which you can totally do (but I haven’t, unfortunately). It makes surfing the forums fun as you can see how others have dressed up and what interestingly named pets there are.
A nice bonus is how commenting on the forums can earn you potatoes as well! The daily cap is 3000 potatoes, and you can get up to 100 potatoes per post depending on the length of the post.
All in All
I think I have covered most of the features of the site and some things to be expected in this introduction. There are a lot of details that I left out, but I have included way more than I initially had planned.
Since this is an introduction post, I’ll leave what I REALLY feel about my site experience for the ‘Dappervolk: First Impression and Opinions’ post that I’ll work on after this. (I left the draft alone too long and couldn’t continue with it, so my impression will have to stay in my memories).
Again, let me emphasize that all the information is from the Close Beta Testing phase and likely not accurate after it has ended.
I hope this post has been an enjoyable and helpful read~
All images taken from Dappervolk website and credit rightfully goes to their wonderful artists.