Opinions Column: Dueling Network

Dueling Network, together with Devpro, are two of the largest, non-official Yu-Gi-Oh online card games in the community. Unlike any official online Yu-Gi-Oh game usually released by Konami, DN (abbreviation for Dueling Network) and Devpro allow you to create any deck you with and duel with other people online. That’s right, the card database is entirely free and playing is also no-charge at all. It is no wonder that as compared to the official games, ironically DN and Devpro enjoy a much larger fanbase with a higher popularity among the community.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on the pros and cons of the DN game, and how does it compare to Devpro.

Personally, I have been using DN because my Apple system is a bit old, which makes me unable to install the Devpro software. And that’s one of the merits of DN – being browser-based, you do not have to go through the entire process of downloading the necessary files, install them, and install even more patches on a regular basis. Even if you happen to format your computer system resulting in data loss, as you did not install a software in the very first place, all you need to do to enjoy DN once more is simply to go to your browser and enter the game.

The other pro of DN is that it is a non-automatic system. Which means, all the necessary things to do during a Yu-Gi-Oh card game – Life Points calculation, sending a card to the graveyard, searching the deck etc – are all done by you. The only thing that the system would do is to help you draw a card at the start of every turn. This is a plus point for many competitive players in my opinion – since the system is closer to a real-life Yu-Gi-Oh card game (as compared to the automatic system in Devpro), players can test out their decks on DN and see how well they fare in reality.

However, the fact that it is a non-automatic system also makes it difficult to play to a number of new players and that is definitely a con of the game. New players might have not yet understand fully the rules and rulings of cards in the game and therefore misplay frequently during a DN duel. For instance, I once encountered a player who activated a Continuous Spell Card during his opponent’s turn. Another case involves the infamous Mystical Space Typhoon card, which my opponent chains to the activation of my Normal Trap Card claiming that it “negates the effect”. Such misplays do not usually occur in Devpro since it is an automated system, and the program works such that you could only activate cards at the correct timings.

Speaking of misplays, both DN and Devpro have the administrator system. An admin is someone who you could call for help during a duel if you have questions about rulings, or you believe your opponent is cheating etc. A downside of DN is that there’s too few admins overlooking the system at the same time. There could be, for example, 2 admins overlooking 200 online players. Therefore, if you decide to call an admin during a duel, he/she could take a very long time before he/she reaches to your duel.

It might be also worth mentioning that DN sometimes does have a number of rude players who quits halfway through a duel, or argues with you when clearly he/she is the one not following the rules. Although these people are the minority in the DN community, sometimes facing these players, especially in a rated match, could ruin the day for you.

Summarizing all the main points above,

Pros of DN:

1. Browser-based game, no need for installation.

2. Manual system, closer to real-life game.

Cons of DN:

1. Manual system, newbies might misplay frequently.

2. Too few admins.

3. Number of rude players in the game.

All in all, I personally would recommend DN to competitive players wishing to try out their decks or players who at least have basic knowledge of the rules and rulings of cards. While a great game with no installation required, I opine that DN is perhaps not the most suitable if you misplay frequently or new to the game, with Devpro being probably a better choice.

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