Black Desert's upcoming Mountain of Eternal Winter expansion will be here soon, and with it will come a new class in the long-running MMORPG. The Drakania, a greatsword-wielding class, leans into its Dragonborn roots in the flashiest way possible: with fire and style.
Set as the "antithesis" of the Guardian, who was born from the Dragon Labreska, the developers at Pearl Abyss wanted to create a contrasting Dragon-infused warrior. Enter the Drakania, a greatsword-wielding class born from the dragon Markthanan the Exile. The two classes are opposites: where the Barbarian is bulky and muscular, the Drakania is lithe, with "delicate lines," according to the dev team.
The struggle of the Drakania's origin is born from the conflict between the Labreska and the other dragons. As such, the moveset of the new class reflects the rage of those standing up to Labreska.
At first, I was afraid that the Drakania would be slow - and to some degree, it can be, depending on your combos. From charge attacks that strike the enemy with a combination of lightning and fire, the heft of the Greatsword Slayer at first felt sluggish. I was afraid it would remind me of the Warrior, which I wouldn't say I liked when I started playing Black Desert years ago.
However, the more you use the weapon, the more attacks you string together, and the more you use the Drakania's secondary weapon, the Shard dagger, the faster and more deadly the class becomes.
Black Desert's combat has always been flashy. I've loved the effects work by the team at Pearl Abyss since the first time I took my Sorceress out to take out Steel Imps. However, I adore the work done on the Drakania's attacks.
Charging up the standard Brimbolt Strike and watching the lighting and force of the move shatter the ground around the Drakania makes the attack feel more powerful. Stringing together attacks causes the once seemingly hefty Slayer to dance around the Drakania with ease, incinerating all in her sword's path.
Some skills evoke the dragon that the Drakania is descended from, sprouting wings from her back or even, in one case casting the shadow of the mighty Markthanan himself. These touches sell the origins and lore of the Drakania and look great while doing so.
Also, calling down a lightning dragon to smite foes in the distance? Yes, please.
The secondary weapon used by the Drakania is a dagger embedded in the Slayer greatsword called the Shard. Using the Shard dagger is also as simple as piecing together combos, and it serves a purpose. Some of the Drakania's skills have a windup to make them powerful. By charging up the Shard, you can bypass these windups, making the attacks come even faster and deadlier.
Running around learning the ropes as a Drakania is made better thanks to the new area, the Mountain of Eternal Winter. I've roamed the early zones of Black Desert for years, and I'm pretty sure I've killed Red Nose more times than I can count. So having a new playground to test the new class has been fun.
The new zone is blanketed by eternal snowfall, which gets stronger, the higher you climb its peak. I love the rugged landscape, complete with the new, nomadic-inspired settlements and camps. This is backed up by some superb music, featuring throat singing and traditional drums and stringed instruments that set the mood.
I've had the chance to level a Drakania from scratch and roam around the Mountain of Eternal Winter on a max-level character for just under a week now, and I still feel like I'm scratching the surface of both. The new class is flashy, which is one of my favorite things about Black Desert's combat, and it's flashy in a way that feels unique to the class itself. Evoking the dragon, striking foes with a mixture of charged lightning and flame, and calling forth skills that make me think the Dragon Markthanan is fighting himself make the Drakania stand out among the rest of Black Desert's other classes.
And to me, that is important. Twenty-four classes is a lot, and while some feel like they are gender swaps of previous classes (such as the Ranger and the Archer, for example), the Drakania feels wholly unique. It'll be interesting to see how the new class shakes up the current PvP meta when it hits the live game on April 6th.