Thursday, July 27, 2023

Dragons, Ponies, Bunnies And Sheep

Immediately after I posted about Dragon Nest 2: Evolution yesterday, I logged in and played for a couple of hours. When I logged out I was level 10 and I had a pony. 

I'd love to show you how cool I looked riding it but although I took some great snapshots I still can't find them. After spending the best part of an hour looking, including a full search of my hard drive by date and file extension, I have to conclude that's because they don't exist.

Luckily, I have a workaround. Two, in fact. I can take screenshots using the excellent Windows 10 Screenshot function, something I do more and more these days, since I finally discovered it existed a few weeks ago. Or I can use Bluestacks own screen saving service.

Why don't I do that now and then we can have a nice picture of a horsie!

Isn't he adorable? He's even better when you can see him stamping and shaking his head. He's called Macha. Or maybe she is? Probably a girl-horse.

Doesn't really matter because I won't be riding him/her any more. Now I'm riding a sheep. Want to see her? Of course you do.

The more observant reader might also notice my character's dressed differently in that last shot. Oh, a lot happened while I was logged in taking those screenshots, let me tell you! For one thing, I got some...

Bunny Ears!

Bunny ears that turn you blonde, no less. It's only fitting.

The bunny ears came from a chest I got that I think was either from the current holiday event - because of course there's already a holiday going on even though the game only started a week ago - or it was a reward for the game going Live. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a Log-In reward because those were mostly coin and gems to spend in some shop I haven't even looked at yet.


The sheep, which is actually called Angelic Sheep - it has a halo! - also came out of some chest or other. Judging by the congratulatory message, maybe it was a lucky win. I only saw one other person riding one but then again I am a week late getting started so probably everyone else is on griffins or pegasi by now. 

My sheep is quite charming, don't you think? Yes, well, you should because she is charming and I can prove it.

See? She has a Charm modifier. My pony doesn't.

She's also faster than the pony so you know who's going to win and I don't just mean in a race. I have no idea what riding a charming mount does for you in this game but I'm betting it's better than not riding one. I mean than riding one that's not. Oh, you know what I mean.

As for the new outfit, I bet you can't guess how I got that. Go on. Try. You won't guess.

I fought a dragon for it! Yes, that dragon. A big, red one breathing fire and everything!

I want to say I killed a dragon but I'm not actually sure what happened. It was a quest that popped up at level 10 to "Change" my class. I wasn't sure I wanted to change my class but I was curious so I clicked on it and it took me into an instance where I had to fight that thing.

It was one of those fights where the boss has umpteen defensive layers you have to peel off so it felt like I'd already killed him three or four times when he finally flew off. I was so low on health by then I thought he'd killed me and I'd lost but when I exited the instance it turned out I'd done whatever it was I was supposed to do. 

Probably just prove I was dumb enough to try and solo a red dragon, I guess.

I found out what "Change Class" meant when I did the hand-in. It means pick your sub-class. Or advanced class. Or whatever. 

My inclination was to take the ranged option, Bowmaster, but then I looked at those helpful diagrams at the bottom and decided that given the way I'm approaching combat, Ranger would be the better option for me. 

When I started, I tried to play my Archer the way I imagined a ranged DPS ought to be played solo. I stood back, picked targets, kited and tried to stay out of melee range as much as possible. That worked fine in a couple of instances but then at around level 5 I hit a quest instance I couldn't finish. 

I kept dying almost as soon as I engaged the final boss. At first I figured he was too strong and/or he had some kind of one-shot ability I was failing to avoid but after a few runs, while I was going very carefully and slowly, trying to figure things out, I got "one-shotted" before I even got to the boss - after I'd killed all the mobs.

It was then that I figured out what I was doing wrong. The instance had a timer I hadn't even noticed. You had to complete the whole thing in under three and a half minutes or the instance closed and kicked you out. That's what had been happening to me every time.

Clearly I needed to go faster. Careful pulling was too slow. So I changed tactics one-eighty. Instead of backpedalling and plinking away with my bow as the mobs chased me, I ran straight at them and stopped in melee range. Then, instead of carefully selecting each of my attacks, I just rippled my fingers as fast as possible across keys 1-4 like I was playing a keyboard trill.

And guess what? It worked. I finished the whole instance, boss included, with a minute to spare. I didn't even take all that much damage. Since then, that's been my go-to combat style. Absolutely no skill or thought required. I can't imagine it's going to work for long but it's gotten me to Level 10 and it beat that dragon so I'm sticking with it until it stops working.

It also got me a parade through the city of Saint Haven complete with cheering crowds and a fanfare from iconic NPC Irine. I've had similar experiences in a few MMORPGs over the years but this was one of the better ones. It gave me feels, I'm not gonna lie.

It's nice to get this kind of thing at the start of the game, too, rather than having to wait until your all cynical and jaded after weeks of grinding. Not that I'm going to be doing any of that. Much though I love Dragon Nest in all its myriad forms, I don't think of it as any kind of "forever game". A Forever Franchise, maybe.

Even if I was minded to settle down in Altea (That's the name of the world where Dragon Nest is set.) it wouldn't be a good idea to become too fond of any one iteration. They open and close like California poppies (If that's botanically inaccurate you can blame Bard. I didn't cross-reference it.) A previous attempt at a mobile MMORPG version of the game, World of Dragon Nest, barely lasted a year and the way the ratings for this one are going (Down to 1.9 today.) I wouldn't bet on it lasting even that long.

Which would be a shame because it's a lot of fun, at least at the beginning. How long it'll stay fun I wouldn't care to say, although comments I've read about the necessity to find groups or even raids to complete basic main quest instances don't bode well.

For now, though, I'm happy to keep mashing buttons and picking up prizes. We'll see how long that lasts, I guess. If nothing else, it makes a change from doing the same thing in Noah's Heart.


  1. I wonder if the "blonde with bunny ears" is a sly reference to Hugh Hefner and Playboy magazine. Hef was well known as a lover of blondes, and the women who hung around the Playboy Mansion were colloquially known as Playboy Bunnies.

    1. I sometimes wonder if the whole "bunny" thing in imported games has any connection at all to the Western "Bunny Girl" trope, which itself is incredibly dated now. The same games almost always also have cat ears, which I don't believe ever had anything like the same connotations in the West so maybe it's part of a separate tradition. I'd try googling it but I'm not sure I want to risk opening that particular Pandora's Box...


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