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This game is totally in Japanese, so if you don't enjoy the idea of not being able to immediately read what's on screen, turn back now!
I'll be offering as much help as I can in this thread and providing the best menu/skill guides possible, but I understand that this sort of endeavor isn't something most people want to put the effort in, so my only request is that if you do try the game out and end up getting involved in a referral chain, that you play long enough to reach Rank 20 so that whoever signed up under you doesn't lose out on potential rewards.
Android .APK Download Link
How to create a japanese itunes account and the game download
IRC: #dorapo @ synirc.net (Please use the IRC whenever possible, it's so much easier to address questions in a live chat)
Dragon Poker is a multiplayer mobile game that has been around for a little over a year, and is absolutely the hypest and most non-bullshit F2P game when it comes to this genre. We've affectionately begun to refer to this group of games as "Dragonesques" (which includes titles such as Puzzle&Dragons, Brave Frontier, Quiz RPG, etc), but unlike every other game in the genre, this game is fully cooperative. You play with up to 4 other people on the internet from anywhere in the world (but mostly japan) over your wireless connection. The presentation of this game is absolutely above everything else (that video is just the title screen theme, this game has a ton of sweet jazz tunes), and while it may seem overwhelming at first, it's really not that hard to grasp most of the mechanics.
This is a gameplay video taken of the PVP from the latest Colosseum event week that we had. It's a fairly... accurate? representation of what playing the game is like, though on the far extreme end of progression. No guarantees about being able to understand any of what is happening on the screen before you play the game yourself though
Most games of this genre follow the formula of dropping you into a tutorial and giving you a free roll of the "rare machine", but Dragon Poker thinks that's stupid and gives you one of 6 units to pick from the start. All of these units are things that you can roll out of the rare gachapon normally, so you shouldn't feel bad about any of the choices. Regardless, I'm going to sum up their strengths anyway to make choosing easier for you!
Water element prioritizes HP and Support Skills (Healing, Defense Boost)
Merou: The girl with the umbrella. Doesn't do much on her own, but fuses with copies of herself and some other cards to execute Healing Rain, which heals everybody in the party for a large amount of HP.
Often a safe pick as she is common among many low-level player teams.
Octopus: Bulky attacker with high HP, his skill gives him an attack boost.
Grass element prioritizes Defense and Defensive Skills (Shields, Status Immunity)
Piyon: Ribbon girl. Not very notable, but fuses with a large number of other cards for a variety of effects.
Giant Sheep: Sturdy attacker with high DEF. All "Sheep" monsters fuse together to execute Counting Sheep, which disables enemies by putting them to sleep.
Fire element prioritizes Attack and Offensive Skills (Big Hit, AOE Burst)
Flamme: The witch. Fuses with a few other cards to execute some kind of big fire AOE thing.
Flame Lizard: Has the highest ATK of the starters, fuses with certain lizards and dragons to execute AOE attacks.
Translations and Play Guide (sorry about the quality on .jpgs that imgur has automatically encoded)
The battle screen is relatively simple
Your objective is to cooperate with the other 4 Players/Bots to create a successful hand, where the monsters that are included in the winning hand then proceed to attack. Each person (the order is randomized every turn) takes turns and is given a few seconds to add a card to try and form an attacking hand.
There is an elemental trio, so keep it in mind while attacking.
Fire > Grass > Water [repeat]
If you attack with an element against the element it is weak to (EG grass into fire), it will deal half damage.
After you have your starter and have been hustled through the tutorial, you'll get dumped into the main menu.
(Feel free to go to push notifications and turn everything off, there's also a stamina timer alarm in there if you can figure out how to use it)
First you'll need to do some levels, so click on that big fat "Dungeon" button and proceed to these screens.
If you do not have enough stamina to enter a dungeon, the game will prompt you about using up your one free stamina refill for the day (it looks like this) (this is available every day after 5AM Japanese Time). After that, you'll have to start using stones to recharge your stamina.
Your deck is comprised of Thirteen Monsters; four of each Suit, plus your Ace. The four monsters out of any suit will be randomly pulled and will be generated as any card between 2 and King. No card except your specifically designated Ace will be drawn as an Ace, however. Due to this, it means that your Deck is technically 145 cards large. This and the fact that there are only three suits means that the value of hands is different from traditional poker. Higher value hands result in stronger attacks, and win attacking priority in PVP:
(Get incredibly familiar with this list, it is the most important thing in the game)
If you're unfamiliar with Poker hands, take a minute to brush up, but keep in mind that the way hands are constructed in this game with the card pool means that the values are balanced differently than in traditional poker.
After doing some levels, make sure to keep up on your objectives list.
Early objectives are usually piles of stones and Skill Cards. Save your stones for the gachapon!
You unlock the difficulty tiers by just completing every non-weekday dungeon in a difficulty tier, but often you will do a first clear and not receive the treasure for it. Every time you complete a difficulty tier, your Maximum Deck Cost will increase by 10, so feel free to skip treasures if you need to slot a beefier monster into your deck. Objectives and Cost Increases will be rewarded to you in the form of Presents that need to be redeemed from the home menu.
At this point, you've likely got the basics down, so let's mess around with some fringe stuff.
Card Management Menus, for Deck Management, Monster Boosting, Card Selling, and Skill Card Management respectively.
When it comes to leveling and boosting your monsters, there are some things to remember:
Most importantly, you can evolve boosting/evolution materials. When it comes to Slimes, don't evolve S ranks into SS ranks, as you lose EXP in the conversion.
Gachapon! Whales need not apply.
and then scroll down to find
During Gachapon Events, the button will be yellow and SS rates are usually increased. You will also get a Princess Skill-Up Fairy for every roll made, but that's not really much of an incentive. During most weeks, cards will come out of the gachapon already max-level, which is a great boon for new players.
Friend Menu there's a bunch of buttons here but most aren't relevant to us as forum-users
The main thing to remember is if you want to send a friend request, just click on the big red button near their name. This applies to all menus in the interface. The red button is always "accept" when it comes to incoming friend requests (red is positive, blue is negative). You are able to send individual chats w/ people in your friends list as well as invite people to group chats. Again, none of that really matters since we use forums and have an available IRC channel.
This is a picture of what shows up when you click on the "Referral" button from the Menu option. It presents you with your referral ID, a list of incentives, and at the bottom you will either see an entry field for inputting somebody's code and/or the list of people who have used your own code.
(The listed ID is mine, however I urge you to organize it so that you and another new person refer each other so that you both get the level-up benefits)
The rewards are 5 stones to both players for the referral signup right away, and when the person who was referred reaches level 20, both players receive 10 stones. This means that if two new people refer one another, they both receive the 5 stones for having a referee (10 stones) and then both receive the 10 stones from the other ranking up to 20 (another 20 stones for both of you, for a total of 30 stones for each person. This is a mere 10 stones away from getting an 11 monster roll out of the gachapon and this is possible on the first day of play). This means that you use referral codes in pairs, not chains!
The developers of this game understand their demographic perfectly, so weeaboos and people familiar with japanese webspace should have an appreciation for these. It's still good manners to know how to use the first and second pages, but everything else is fluff. Link to some translations since the image takes up way too much pagespace for something nobody cares about
I really want to share this game with people because I feel like it's a decidedly rare example of a Free-To-Play phone game that isn't shit or particularly manipulative. If you want anything added to the OP/reference, speak up, I'd be more than happy to help make this experience smoother for somebody who isn't especially comfortable playing a japanese game. Feel free to use this thread to pass around referrals and talk about how stupid games from japan are.