Dragalia is finally (over) a year old! Here's our recap of some of the things we've experienced over the past year; how many do you remember?
[dl adv="ieyasu"] We got our first Zodiac and 5★ Shadow blade.
In the first limited banner of the new year, we finally got new Shadow units along with the introduction of the bleed mechanic, which we quickly found out was pretty broken. We also got a use out of what was at the time the strongest 5t3 weapon in the game, Blackwing [dl w="blackwing"], which was previously only usable by Taro [dl adv="taro"]. The Zodiac unit Ieyasu [dl adv="ieyasu"] would go on to carry many a scuffed team, especially as a budget option in Mercurial Gauntlet.
Back then, Shadow was our worst element by far and Light held all the attention, which is a bit weird to think about given the current meta [dl adv="g_cleo"]; up until that point, Nefaria [dl adv="nefaria"] from release was our only Shadow 5★. We've come a long way from having to run Zace [dl adv="zace"] and Althemia [dl adv="althemia"] for our Shadow teams.
Notte gave us Touhou lite for April Fools.
On April 1st, we got a very cool bullet hell minigame with a nice remix on the usual boss theme, replete with its own Sweet, Sassy, and Molassy difficulties. If you're reading this on the New Year, it's actually live once more, so give it a go!
We lost some stickers.
Though we will miss the Nope spam of old pub lobbies (or maybe not?), they still live over here, a sticker soundboard that hosts the three removed stickers, along with all the other ones that existed around the same time.
Cygames decided to significantly buff 3★ and 4★ units.
Along with general stat adjustments, on April 24th we actually got a change to co-abilities; this was huge for bringing units like Melody [dl adv="melody"] and Addis [dl adv="addis"] up to par, especially for the High Mercury Trial that was released around the same timeframe. It's a little strange to think that at one time, 3★ units were about half as effective as they are now...
Wyrmprints were removed from the summoning pool and summoning costs were reduced.
Newer players (especially those joining us after Fire Emblem) may not know this, but Wyrmprints were originally part of the gacha and rolls used to be 150 Wyrmite apiece. After April 25th, the team decided to adjust Eldwater compensation and Wyrmprint dupes, leading to what was probably one of the largest player-friendly adjustments in a gacha game. Finally, no more pranks [dl wp="lucas_prank"]!
The summoning cost reduction was also an incredible boon for both whales and freebie players alike. The overall community praised the changes unanimously, and we generally had some very good vibes coming from the subreddit and Discord servers.
Our first collab event was a banger.
Fire Emblem Heroes was our first collaboration event, and it was a blast to play on release. We got a reskinned UI, some very interesting units, and a completely new mode that we have yet to see again—all of which hit pretty high notes with the community. While I'm sad about the lack of Sharena, hopefully we'll see the Askran allies return in a future event.
[dl adv="g_mym"] Adventurer Mym actually happened.
We're up to two Myms now, but originally many people weren't even sure if we would ever get Mym as an adventurer until Gala Mym [dl adv="g_mym"] was announced at the end of May. Her kit, though interesting, was not a particularly huge power creep, which may or may not have disappointed some fans. Strangely enough, Lathna [dl adv="lathna"] also features the same locked dragon mechanic, though she was first introduced in March and otherwise has no relation to Mym.
Mercurial Gauntlet challenged our team building.
Mercurial Gauntlet was first released on June 18th, initially with only 20 levels for each element. We're currently up to 55, and likely soon to see more, though even the first 20 levels used to be tough for some of the less enterprising players. As a pure dps check, this was our first taste of real team building, and we came up with all sorts of strategies ranging from crit bleed abuse [dl adv="ieyasu"] to burn punisher [dl wp="elegant_escort"] and bog [dl d="leviathan"] compositions.
[dl adv="g_cleo"] Gleo broke the game.
At the end of July, the one true Cleo was finally released, and has been steamrolling content ever since. Besides being the premier dps unit for all Light content, including all difficulties of High Jupiter, Gala Cleo was also a key component in the budget teams for Mercurial Gauntlet 50. She also has ears!
Cygames passed the torch from Matsuura to Okada.
Matsuura, our director for the majority of the game's lifespan, was asked to step down for Yuji Okada of BlazeGames. We're still not entirely sure how much of the content since has come from Matsuura's direction and how much is thanks to Okada, but we're guessing his roadmap extends well past 2019.
[dl d="siren"] We got a pop idol for our first summer event.
Dragalia's much-awaited first summer event included two (surprisingly not limited) swimsuit banners and a very cool series of promotionals featuring Chinese cosplayer and singer Liyuu (黎狱). We got music composed by Taku Inoue, a neat promotional website, and even a v-concert.
Our first anniversary was a pretty celebratory affair, with tons of freebies and our own Gala Euden [dl adv="g_prince"], a handsome addition to the cast with a relatively well-written adventurer story. Besides the art, music, and cake-filled halidom, we also got what is easily the best dragon of all time, Mini Mids [dl d="mini_mids"]:
Chronos Nyx walked straight into our hearts.
Probably the most memorable raid event we've ever had, the Fractured Futures event featured
Aurelius Audric and a particularly fabulous Nightmare boss who controlled time, space, and our hearts. Nyx Omega's entrance was straight out of JoJo, and we loved him for it.
Time Trials happened.
While not a particularly avid participant myself, we did get the closest thing to eSports as people scrambled to participate in the time attack game mode for High Dragon Trials. Our own Alliance, NotteLikeThis, hit the record for number of title spots and our resident DotA enthusiast Lethe actually managed to get top 25 in all five fights, which is incredibly impressive.
With Time Trials came the arrival of Expert and Master difficulties of High Dragon Trials and the absurdly powercreeped HDT weapons. While I'm not sure about the overall decision to make them as strong as they are, it was definitely a big step in the right direction for those of us who didn't really have any reason to grind the trials otherwise.
We got some fairly major UI changes.
Starting with the ability to one-tap craft tier 3 weapons, we progressively got some much-needed UI changes over the months, including the very recent changes to the Shop and Quest menus. The newer players really don't realize how awful the process to craft tier 3 weapons used to be—just so many buttons going back and forth to craft a single 5t3 weapon. Granted, if you really felt like it, you could still do it the old way, but hopefully no one needs to do that anymore.
The Mana Spiral completely revitalized our old units.
With the very recent addition of the 60-70 mana
circle spiral, some units got seriously revamped. 天才 [dl adv="ezelith"] was probably one of the biggest upgrades, as a unit who originally had a dps loss on her S1 and suddenly became one of the premier dps units for Expert Volk. We also can't forget our own prince [dl adv="euden"], who is now extremely strong with the addition of burn, Dragon Claws IV, and additional dragon gauge on connecting with his S1. We're still awaiting some old adventurers in dire need of buffs, though... [dl adv="hawk"]
Looking ahead in 2020
We had some rough patches over the past year, with some pretty clear budget cuts resulting in reruns and the loss of fully voiced 5★ adventurer stories, but it wasn't a bad year by any means: we got a lot more variety in endgame content, quite a lot of interesting new adventurers, dragons, and wyrmprints to play with, and significant quality of life changes. While I'm still not convinced that we've yet to see what Okada can do, I'm hopeful for the future and definitely glad the year is closing on a high note.
Personally, I'm looking forward to the upcoming Mana Spiral upgrades, the next Agito fights, and especially the Monster Hunter content we're soon to get. This upcoming year is actually my Zodiac year and I was able to land Mitsuhide [dl adv="mitsuhide"] in my free 10-shot, so I'm feeling perhaps a bit luckier than I normally do. Thanks for reading, and see you in the new year!