Dragalia Lost: Kindness and Captivity

It’s event time again in Cygames and Nintendo’s Dragalia Lost! If you’ve not played a game like this before… get used to this endless and occasionally exhausting cycle!

The Kindness and Captivity event, which will be running until November 12, concerns a young Sylvan girl who seeks the aid of Euden and the gang in driving the Imperial forces out of her village.

Naturally, things aren’t quite as simple as they first appear, and, as these things tend to go, things culminate in a battle against a rather large and ferocious beastie.

Kindness and Captivity is another raid event, similar to the Loyalty’s Requiem event that ran shortly after the game’s launch. This time around, rather than favouring water characters by challenging you to face off against fire-based enemies, the event favours fire-based characters with primarily wind-type opponents.

As in Loyalty’s Requiem, there is a series of six story chapters to read, punctuated by five single-player quests, a repeatable single-player boss battle with several difficulty levels, and the main event: the four-player, sixteen-character raid battle against the mighty Hypnos. The latter, again, has multiple difficulties, and clearing the Expert rank has a chance of unlocking the “EX” incarnation of the battle for even more significant rewards.

Another thing Kindness and Captivity has in common with Loyalty’s Requiem is the presence of a recruitable character. Melsa, the Sylvan girl who is the central figure in the event’s story, is a four star dagger-wielding, fire element Support unit. Her innate abilities include additional damage to Physian units (which include raptors, shrooms, basilisks and Hypnos itself), natural resistance to Sleep, an ongoing passive boost to the whole party’s critical rate and a couple of fire-based skills. Also she a cute.

Melsa can be immediately added to your party once you start the event and, like Celliera in Loyalty’s Requiem, can be permanently recruited by building her “friendship” points up to maximum simply by bringing her along on quests. The more difficult the quest is (in other words, the higher the recommended Might level) the more points she will gain from a single expedition.

The structure for rewards is also the same as Loyalty’s Requiem, even going so far as to use the exact same tokens. Blazons are earned from participating in boss and raid battles, and can be used two at a time for a special event-exclusive summon. This carries the chance of providing you with a five-star wind dragon and a four-star Wyrmprint that is particularly useful for the event as it causes you to deal additional damage to Hypnos. It’s also separate from the main summon and has a finite number of each “prize” in the box; once you obtain the dragon and the Wyrmprint, you can “reset” the pool of prizes in an attempt to draw them again — it’ll be necessary to do this if you want to completely unbind the dragon’s maximum level in particular, though the Wyrmprint has several alternative means of acquisition besides the summon.

You also earn Emblems for participating in boss or raid battles, with silver and gold Emblems being awarded for the harder difficulties. These work with a fixed loot table, with various rewards on offer at various milestones in your cumulative collection of each. Gold Emblems, as you might expect, provide some of the best rewards, but don’t skimp on the silver and bronze; they each carry some useful bonuses such as mana, whetstones and crystals that will all help with building up your various teams and weapons.

The narrative side of the event is quite entertaining. Melsa is an endearing character and there are some interesting plot twists along the way. Rather than being a completely separate story, the event brings back Harle from the main narrative, who is clearly set to be a recurring villain in the game for quite some time yet. We don’t fight Harle directly; we simply see the consequences of his actions… and get an idea of his frightening level of power, with his ability to command dangerous technology and, apparently, turn a benign dragon into a devastating force of destruction.

The battles are fun and interesting. The single-player boss battle against the Storm Sentinel is a movement-heavy fight that challenges the player to keep an eye on their opponent’s movements, dodge out of the way when necessary and make good use of area-effect attacks to deal with smaller “attached” components that provide the boss with various benefits. The harder difficulties place a stronger emphasis on performing mechanics; it’s a lot harder to deal direct damage to the boss until you successfully Break it, meaning you’ll have to deal with its attacks appropriately rather than simply wailing on it.

The raid battle, meanwhile, has some similar ideas to the Phraeganoth fight from Loyalty’s Requiem in that it’s in the raid’s interests to break Hypnos’ body parts as soon as possible, but the boss’ ultimate attack is implemented a little differently. While Phraeganoth’s ultimate allowed you to create safe spaces in the arena by destroying targets, Hypnos takes time to charge before unleashing a raid-wide attack, with the damage being considerably lessened if the orbs it summons are destroyed first. Hypnos becomes untargetable during the orbs phase, and taking some damage is unavoidable when the attack finally unleashes, so it’s important for healers to be on their game. And for you to remember to bring some healers with you. You know who you are.

The event has been fun so far. It’s a little disappointing that there isn’t some new music for the raid battle — it’s the same “oni-san, kochira” track as last heard in Loyalty’s Requiem — but the spectacular battle makes up for this to a certain degree, with the wind-based effects bringing Final Fantasy XIV’s Garuda battle to mind. Plus, for those of us who have been playing since launch, it’s nice to be at a power level where you’re able to plough through the easier difficulties quite quickly and get straight into the highly rewarding Expert level fights — though as I say above, don’t neglect the lower difficulties, as the bronze and silver Emblem loot tables still have some decent rewards in them. Plus if you jump in on Standard or Beginner you’ll be doing the community a solid by helping lower-level or less skilled players clear the content more quickly! Everyone wins.

I’m still really impressed with Dragalia Lost so far. The game seems to be really finding its groove now, and there seems to be a decently dedicated player base — I’ve certainly never had any difficulty finding co-op buddies for either standard quests or the event raid. Now I’ve reached the game’s current “endgame” — i.e. I’ve finished the main story — there’s still plenty to do, and the events provide a convenient means of accomplishing many of the goals I’ve been setting for myself.

And then at some point we have the continuation of the main narrative to look forward to! Until then, however, I’ve got a few more Hypnos battles to do before I earn that new epithet for my profile…

More about Dragalia Lost

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