One area where Dofus really stands apart from other games is the combat. First thing that comes to mind when I think of how to describe it best would be a game of chess, where each participant plays a single role and executes special functions as part of the larger group plan on the board. This is not to say that soloing is not an integral part of the overall combat experience, but things get progressively more interesting and more possibilities open up as the size of the group grows. Up to eight players can participate in a single battle, whether it is a hunting group or a PvP battle. In case of the latter a total of 16 players can battle it out on a single map (up to eight for each team).
The entire world is made up of maps and each and every map can be utilized for both PvP and PvM combat. Upon entering combat mode each player is presented with a grid-like layout, which allows strategic moves and actions to take place. Because each player has a certain number of Action Points and Movement Points (think traditional console RPGs like Paper Mario), moves and spells selected each turn must be well thought through and planned in order to win the battle. As the character levels and progresses through the game, they get to unlock and upgrade newly acquired class specific spells as well as distribute points into characteristic statistics. These decisions greatly affect what kind of a build your particular class will branch off into. For example, a healer class could choose to place all characteristic points into intelligence and healing spells, or can invest half points acquired from leveling into some battle characteristic like agility and s few offensive skills, thus becoming a hybrid healer brawler class.
As I have mentioned before, things get more interesting when group combat is involved. Once various classes and builds begin moving around the map and cooperating with each other toward a common goal, all sorts of strategies arise. To give a brief idea, without going into too much detail: Each class has a number of abilities that others do not. Gambling, teleportation, mummification, healing, pushing, swapping places, bribing (stealing turns), reducing range, action or movement points, are just a few of many of these possibilities. There are twelve classes and each has access to roughly 20 spells that can be used in combat. Indeed, there is a lot to try and experiment with and even to this moment players are inventing new ways to build and improve their characters.
The Classes & Leveling
Character classes in Dofus are unique and each one provides a function of its own. In addition to expected tanks, summoners and healers, there also are treasure hunters, gamblers, rogues, and even drunks. I have found it very interesting that for most part every class is very well balanced against the others. In PvP, winning tends to be based on skill and strategy more than solely on equipment and luck. Naturally PvE AI is not as advanced as playing against another human being, but surprisingly I have still discovered that even here planning and strategy are integral to success. No matter what class you may choose you will probably find it very satisfying and rewarding in Dofus.
Leveling is done by attaining experience, as in most MMO worlds, with the exception that Dofus allows you to gain experience from both PvP and PvE. As players progress from level one to a current possible maximum of 200, more challenging foes must be faced in order to attain larger chunks of experience necessary to progress forward. Fortunately, the grind is mostly non-existent. This is mostly the result of a variety of monsters to tackle, strategic battle challenges to complete (these give extra loot and experience), as well as social element of combat grouping.
Words cannot describe how much loot and equipment exist in Dofus. Slaying anything provides resources specific to that creature. There are thousands of resources that I have encountered in the game. All of these are useful and go into either crafted gear or player produced consumables.
Equipment is also very plentiful and a player has a lot of choices to customize both the look and the build of their character class. Different gear affects various characteristics and character stats, so depending on what kind of direction you are wanting to take in your character development, you will be aiming to acquire certain equipment appropriate for you. As you level, you will be able to equip better gear by meeting the level requirement and this offers a way to evolve and strengthen your character.
It is important to mention that Dofus motivates players to collect equipment sets and rewards such accomplishments with set bonuses. Also, since all good equipment is player crafted from droppable resources, this works very well to stimulate the game economy.