The vote is on: Which is the better MMO? Dragon Nest vs. Rusty Hearts!

Right now, we’re looking down the barrel of a multitude of new games coming into the marketplace. Amid them: Rusty Hearts—developed by and published by Perfect World Entertainment—and Dragon Nest—developed by Eyedentity Games and published by Nexon. Each game has come from an excellent vendor and publisher and has a powerful marketing arm behind it attempting to gather hype and attention from the public who play free-to-play MMOs.

Now that Dragon Nest’s open beta is coming to a close and Rusty Hearts is already upon us, people may be wondering what separates these two titles and which would you play?

Forge ahead to find out.

In the graphics department, Rusty Hearts and Dragon Nest take totally divergent paths. RH approaches a comicbook-like cell shaded universe that presents itself with a fixed camera angle to generate a 3D-rendered side-scroller action game; whereas Dragon Nest has fully open environments more common to fantasy MMORPG games. A great deal of time in RH is spent moving through instances where the side-scrolling controls how the camera affects the action, allowing players to spend time on developing their attack combos. In DN, the much more classical world-building 3D environments mean the player uses the mouse to both direct their gaze and the movement of their character.

When it comes down to graphical choices, this means that the two will also diverge somewhat. Rusty Hearts graphics maintain their dour Castlevenia English-Gothic atmosphere and can separate the backgrounds from the characters, meaning the animated characters have the cell-shaded affect atop detailed backgrounds designed to be seen from only one angle. Dragon Nest must spend time making their environments fit into a fully 3D enabled world and thus has a little bit more of cartoon effects to produce trees, ground, and the like. As well, the characters use an animé affect for their outfits and clothing and less the comicbook affectation of RH—as a result the middle-quality rendering style of DN will still stand up against future games.

When it comes to gameplay Rusty Hearts and Dragon Nest definitely diverge. However, they are similar in some respects: both RH and DN use non-targeting combat systems. In both games this is for different reasons: in RH non-targeted attacks are needed in order to recreate the Castlevenia and Gauntlet feel in the side-scroller; and in the case of DN the non-targeting speeds up the action of the game and means that players need to spend time thinking about their positioning when they trigger attacks. In both cases, it enhances the active-combat quality of the game by putting players directly into their characters boots by forcing them to think on their feet.

Character classes represent a very interesting contrast between the two games. Where Rusty Hearts users the character classes as characters themselves in a narrative that the players play through; Dragon Nest once-again falls back on the classical paradigm of modern fantasy MMORPGs.

In RH the classes are in fact individual characters in the story—Frantz, Angela, Tude, and Natasha—each of them has their own particular abilities, sensibilities, and look; but they’re locked into the storyline and narrative and the player plays them as if they’re in an unfolding novel. This is central to the primary storytelling mechanism that RH employs and while it limits the number of branches that a player can customize their character, RH also provides an extensive equipment and skill customization system along with crafting.

As for DN, there are four basic classes—Warrior, Archer, Cleric, Sorceress—and each of those have two specialization roles that they grow into after a particular level. They are more or less the standard fare for fantasy MMORPGs, with the exception of the soon-specialization that happens at about level 15 allowing payers to choose how they want to approach the role their class gives them. Like RH the classes are gender-locked—but not because they’re named characters in an interactive storyline. Unlike RH, hair color, skin color, and other customization of attributes are available from the get-go.

Rusty Hearts approaches MMOs with an innovative combat system that feels like a tight combination between Castlevenia and Devil May Cry with the waves of enemies and combo system; but Dragon Nest will garner players because it follows a modern approach to fantasy MMORPG gameplay and provides a much more classic system of play. Both games are extremely good looking and have a lot of depth to their stories; but they sit on different ends of the gameplay spectrum—that alone will potentially split the types of players who flock to either.

You only have one vote–use it wisely to choose the winner of this game battle–and if you have an opinion, you can leave it here or in the forum.


  1. Rusty Heart got boring real fast. Dragon Nest on the other hand has been pretty exciting. Good storyline and much better action game play. Rusty Heart is just…rusty.

    Dragon Nest is more fun.

    Ugh did not rate this post.
  2. I will try it in 3 days when DN SEA in launched into open beta, until then i can only praise RH 🙂

    Supernatural did not rate this post.
  3. Dragon Nest SEA starts in 2 days, that version people from Europe will be able to play 🙂

    Supernatural did not rate this post.
  4. I prefer Rusty Hearts. cuz its really epic,fun,great storyline and anime graphics while DN is also fun and epic but the graphics disappoints me and other things that i dont like. so,, RH for me 🙂

    IbrahSters did not rate this post.
  5. I played both of them from the getgo (closed beta). They both play very well on my computer. Dragon nest is your average mmorpg except without locking on to targets, you aim. Rusty Hearts is the same way except you aim and walk using your directional buttons. In DN, you aim using your mouse and walk with your directional keys. I found Rusty Hearts sidescrolling did not appeal to me. It was just too….simple and not complicated at all. My 8 year old sister could run most of the dungeons there if I told her the controls. Dragon Nest on the other hand requires more concentration. I’ll start with an example, If you chose warrior, they naturally have a 2-handed sword (or axe if plan to go into mercenary class) and you left click to swing your sword. Click again right after your first click and you will swing your sword again starting a combo. You can continue clicking till you finish your combo(of 5 hits I believe) and just simple click to start over again. You have your skills (1-0) that you can use when you level up and learn it from your trainer. I won’t go any farther to explain the game, but Dragon nest is fast paced. Pvp is amazing. I think they won something at E3 for having the best PvP around. You can look it up. For now, the level cap is 32 in america, 50 in Korea. I found that once i got the hang of Dragon Nest, I quited Rusty Hearts due to it’s slower paced gameplay. (example, I can play rusty hearts fine while laying down, but dragon nest requires you to sit up if you want to put in better gameplay)(especially during pvp) I feel what I just typed was one sided, but I just find Dragon nest to be more entertaining and challenging. The story line is great and they have great voice actors. <3 Argenta~ To find out more about this game, just simple download it and you will find it to be more then what you might have thought. :] Put in a week or so and you'll be proficient that you can run Abyss Dungeons by yourself. xD

    Hirozilion did not rate this post.
  6. any of DN player ican say that u are new playe cause i have played DN until lvl 39,merc,and then after the open patch version 46 i quited because of the seems Cherry credit didnt take notice of my sure that to you new players of DN Sea will be bored of the game too..And i will start play Rusty heart.. just testing,if Rh is a lag like just like DN sea,a dungeon adventure just like DN sea then maybe i quit them both and start playing RPG rather than playing mmorpg then wait for update… i have a brand new cpu i bought and Unifi the fastest fourth grade internet speed in the whole the problem maybe in DN itself…so i quit DN,playing RH.Just giving a Decision and not a vote.

    RH for me did not rate this post.
  7. Dragon Nest seems interesting, but I’ve played a Nexon game and they’re really terrible (Nexon, not the actual games). I played Mabinogi and for one month it was just roll backs and economic break-downs. I even just read that Nexon had to keep pushing back Dragon Nest’s release date probably due to them failing hard-core. Although Rusty Hearts has its fair share of problems too like roll-backs, bad voice syncing for cut-scenes, and the dungeons sometimes glitch out.

    Freyer did not rate this post.
    • I enjoyed my time in Dragon Nest — but I haven’t continued to play it because I have to move on (reviewer that I am) — however, I don’t believe that I’ve heard of that many flaws with the game involving economic crashes or resets. Perhaps it’s going to work out better than their earlier titles now that Nexon is maturing a bit. Rusty Hearts is hilarious at times, but it’s certainly got this unfinished feel to it – and it’s still in open beta, I believe — so hopefully that’s going where they expect. The brawler aspect really makes it more simplistic and possibly easier to enter and keep running.

      Kyt Dotson did not rate this post.
  8. I vote for RH because it has cheaper cash items than DN SEA. Cherry Credits are overpricing some items especially on costumes which costs more than US$20.00 and it has only one style. Unlike in RH, for just US$10, you can choose any combination for costumes with random buffs. Plus, their cash items are cheaper with additional Bonus Cash for extra items. I believe if ever PWE will have SEA region for RH, DN will be beaten.

    shoichikarasuma did not rate this post.
  9. for me Dragon Nest is much better for me,I enjoyed playing it much more then RH

    TheRedLight3 did not rate this post.