Aura Kingdoms is a 3D Anime MMORPG published by Aeria Games. The game is currently in open beta as of January 2014. It features a fantasy role playing game environment where the player assumes the role of a Tank/Melee DPS/Range DPS/Healer and travels the world with your NPC spirit companion or 'Eidolon'. There are ten character classes available, however only eight are playable in the international version.
The NPC pet essentially acts as supplementary damage/tanking depending on the class you're playing. For pure PVE grind, it's best to take a DPS pet as most monsters will go down rather quickly. Tanking pets are useful for mini bosses. Fortunately you're given three random NPC pets to control fairly early in to the game. They're also quite good at their jobs as there is very little you need to do to manage your pets.
I'm taking a wizard as my main character and currently levelling my tanking pet Sigrun. A full list of companion pets can be found on this website.
Sigrun tanking pet
The Wizard/Sorceror hybrid
The wizard is your standard ranged DPS glass cannon. I am taking the 'Critical DPS build' by stacking all my attribute points into critical chance. At level 48 I'm currently hovering around 49% critical chance. This means 1 in 2 hits is a critical hit. Theoretically a Crit DPS build can reach 75% chance and you'll need it for end game content.
With a passive 163% critical damage bonus with levelling gear right now, I'm kicking ass against monsters of the same level and can deal with normal monsters 2-3 levels higher without breaking a sweat. As for purely theorycrafting, in a damage role there is nothing better than critical builds in my opinion, because you're essentially doing massive damage with a crit build. Theoretically we can reach 300% (with Best-In-Slot gear). This makes it the best DPS build for Ranged DPS classes.
The wizard is an easy class to level because most normal monsters and mini bosses will drop quickly in battle. This game lends a lot of help to damage classes but it also supports tanks and healers at level 40 with a secondary weapon/hybrid role being made available.
Combat is fluid and dynamic. It doesn't disappoint for a free-to-play game in 2014. There is no mana to worry about so essentially you can fire off as many spells as you can. The only thing you need to worry about is spell or skill cooldown timers. You will need to kite some monsters as they'll drop down 'red circles'. Standing in red circles mean you'll cop some heavy damage to the face. Just run out of the red circles.
The story or lore does exist but I'm inclined to just ignore the writing/dialogue. However dont skip quests as they offer some nice loot and experience. The experience grind is quite long so doing daily quests or finishing off side quests is highly recommended.
0.008% per kill means you have to grind 125 monsters for a full level. You can make an estimate at how long that'll by factoring in time to kill and seconds to respawn. Fortunately respawn is nearly instant in the open beta.
Some side quests are derived from real world fantasy or fiction like Marvel's Iron Man or Disney's Princess and the seven dwarves. It's kind of funny.
This game is a nice little distraction and an enjoyable MMOG for those that do not mind a levelling grind. I have not been able to do any group content so cannot really comment about that aspect of the game. The game has good set of features and doesn't demand much computing power to play it.
Given the trend in recent MMOG development I think these games have a place in your games catalogue. Especially if you're travelling or looking for that MMOG fix as you wait for the next AAA title.