Dragalia Lost: Trick or Treasure

Hot on the heels of Loyalty’s Requiem, Nintendo and Cygames’ newest mobile title finds itself in the midst of another special event — this time in celebration of Halloween.

So far this is very much in keeping with Cygames’ previous way of doing things in titles like Granblue Fantasy, and indeed a common approach with free-to-play mobile games in general. It certainly keeps things interesting and lively!

Let’s take a closer look at the event, what it involves and why you might want to engage with it.

Before we start, it’s worth contemplating why limited-time events like this exist in these free-to-play mobile games, rather than the game simply adding new permanent content on a regular basis.

Quite simply, it’s in order to keep people interested in and engaged with the game. While I wasn’t one of them, there were doubtless people who marathoned Dragalia Lost’s main story within the first day or two of its release, whaled their way to some high-level units and found themselves wondering what to do next.

Special events provide interesting things for these people to do. They form part of the game’s “endgame”, in other words, yet as we discussed back when we looked at Granblue Fantasy in detail, engaging with this special limited-time content is by no means limited to endgame players — because everyone can engage with the “endgame” at any time.

The other thing these special events do is provide more casual players with ways to beef themselves up more quickly than they would be able to do with just the default content in the game. Loyalty’s Requiem provided a good means of getting a water-element team up to snuff, for example, since all the enemies involved were fire-element and the guest character you could recruit through participating was water-element. Meanwhile, Trick or Treasure, the Halloween event, is a fantastic way to assemble a powerful Light-element team — which is one of the most useful teams in the game to have levelled and well-equipped, since outside of events they’ll be your go-to party to clear the “Avenue to Power” daily quest for level-up crystals.

So we’ve established why these events are a thing — and why they occur so often. What, exactly, does this specific one involve?

While Loyalty’s Requiem dealt with a fairly serious, world-threatening story about an ancient horror bursting through into our dimension and  threatening to destroy everything, Trick or Treasure is a rather more light-hearted affair that sees protagonist Euden and the gang preparing to host some Halloween celebrations in and around the Halidom.

During those preparations, they discover that fiends seem to have a bit of a taste for sweet treats, and  thus take it upon themselves to clear out the area in order to make the revels safe. As part of this cunning plan, Althemia and Edward, two relatively common three-star characters many players will have probably drawn for their own armies by this point, decide that a suitable means of safely drawing out their foes would be to dress in fiend hides. And thus Althemia puts together some adorable vampire costumes using said materials for herself, Edward  and a very embarrassed Elisanne.

The costumed forms of these characters participate in the story of the event regardless of if you have them in your party, but you can also draw them in the limited-time gacha that runs alongside the event. Elisanne is a five-star support unit and thus you have a relatively limited chance to draw her — she’s excellent if you do, however. Althemia, meanwhile, is a four-star healer while Edward is a three-star attacker, so it’s fairly likely you’ll acquire both of them with a draw or two. All of them are Light-element, so between them you already have three quarters of a solid Light team — you just need to add a defender to the mix to have a completely balanced team.

Each of the characters have their own unique series of Adventurer Stories to enjoy completely separate from their normal forms — they’re effectively completely new characters — along with their own progression through levels, weapons and mana circles. Both Elisanne and Althemia are able to use special light-element weapons that can be acquired relatively easily through the event, too, and it’s worth getting hold of these as soon as you can — if not for Elisanne and Althemia themselves, then definitely for any other Light heroes that can wield the same weapons.

Trick or Treasure is described as a “facility event”, which in Dragalia Lost terms means that a central focus is the building and upgrading of a Halidom structure that will confer you some sort of ongoing benefit, along with an additional effect for the duration of the event. In this case, it’s a candy house called the “Sweet Retreat”; its permanent effect is a boost to Light-element characters’ stats much like a Light shrine, and during the event each level of upgrades you apply to the structure increases the damage you inflict during event quests by a further 5%. Very nice.

Those event quests begin with a linear sequence of relatively straightforward story missions that tell the story of the party preparations and the plans to use the fiend costumes to lure out the group’s foes. Once those have been completed, the main “grind” quests are a repeatable boss battle against the “Pumpking” — who has a moveset quite similar to King Archeole from Loyalty’s Requiem — along with a relatively long regular quest that can be completed once daily for some seriously substantial rewards. Beat the “Expert” Pumpking battle (which requires a team of Might 7000, but which otherwise isn’t difficult) and you gain access to a couple more quests, both of which are quite challenging, but very rewarding.

Unlike Loyalty’s Requiem, this isn’t a raid event, so you can challenge the Pumpking with just your standard single-player party. You can also play co-op — and indeed get rewarded for doing so at least once daily — but like in the main game, you’ll only bring your “Leader” character rather than your whole party, so choose wisely.

There are a number of different tokens to collect in the event, each of which are used for different things. The most plentiful are Tricker Treats, which are rewarded after the successful completion of a quest or boss battle and add to a meter, with a new reward being provided every time the meter fills. Then there are Snack o’ Lanterns, which are used as materials to upgrade the Sweet Retreat, and Jack Chocolates and Candy Baskets, which can be traded in for various rewards including the aforementioned weapons.

Tricker Treats provide a base reward calculated from the difficulty of the quest, which is then multiplied by various percentage modifiers according to whether or not you met certain conditions during the quest. These range from making use of the Shapeshift ability before you complete the mission to simply not taking any damage, and can make a significant impact on how quickly you obtain rewards, particularly once you start getting into the higher tiers. There are also several event-exclusive Wyrmprints that increase the number of Tricker Treats you get by a percentage margin, with that percentage doubling if you fully unbind the Wyrmprint.

Snack o’ Lanterns, meanwhile, are acquired as drops, and again, certain Wyrmprints provide you with a percentage bonus to how many you get at a time. Since you only use these to upgrade the Sweet Retreat, there’s a finite “cap” to how many of these you’ll need in total, but you can still use the bonus to reach that cap as quickly as possible. Jack Chocolates and Candy Baskets, meanwhile, are rare drops, with the latter only appearing in the most difficult quests of the event — which is fine, since most of the rewards they unlock will only be of interest to high-level players looking to get the best out of their top units.

As with most events in games of this type, Trick or Treasure is inherently repetitive, so be prepared for some grinding if you want some rewards. It’s worth taking your time to at least do the daily Endeavours, however, since they can provide some helpful rewards — and as previously noted, the event in general is a great way to build up a Light team, which you can then continue to use in Avenue to Power after the event is concluded.

The story that introduces the event is fun, the exclusive characters are great — Elisanne is particularly powerful if you can get your hands on her; if not, be sure to take full advantage of any friends who have her set as a Helper! — and their Adventurer Stories are a lot of fun. Althemia’s lessons in vampiric seduction are quite something.

Plus, of course, there’s some excellent new Daoko music to cap it all off — which, as anyone who has spent any time with Dragalia Lost will happily tell you, is always a highlight of the game experience as a whole.

Trick or Treasure will run until October 26, and rewards will be redeemable until November 2. There’s still time to fill your pockets with some delicious sweet treats… and dream of having a super-cute Vampaladyn of your very own. Don’t whale too much now!

More about Dragalia Lost

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