Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One Careless Owner : Dragon Nest Oracle

Meet Doradella. She shouldn't exist.

The European version of Dragon Nest: Oracle published by Shanda Games fell over last week and very nearly couldn't get up. I've been neglecting DN:O for too long and this near death experience prompted me to fire it up and log back in - not least to get my hands on the hefty compensation package on offer.

Only the launcher no longer works. It throws an error every time that apparently suggests the server is offline. I futzed around with that for a while and then had a brainwave. Why not re-download it via Steam?

Oh, I am becoming assimilated, and so fast. Here I am turning to Steam to solve all my MMO problems. It's so slick. I fear it.

So Steam did its astonishingly efficient thing and set me up to play Dragon Nest again. I tapped in my old username and password and that seemed to work. Only things didn't look quite the same.

The log in screen was completely different. There was only one server in the list (busy, too) and I didn't recognize the name. When I logged in there was no sign of good old Squished Dora, just a row of empty character slots.

After a few ins and outs to see if anything changed and a visit to the website to log into my account I was none the wiser. I couldn't tell whether I was really looking at my old account or whether Steam had set me up with a new one using the same details.

There are other possibilities of course. Maybe the recent meltdown vaporized my account. Maybe my account has been deleted through lack of use. Maybe, and at the moment this is the explanation I favor, I wasn't actually playing on DN:O EU at all.

I can still get the old installation to bring up the log in screen there. It looks completely different, it says clearly that there is no server available, and the game title is in Chinese (or maybe Korean). Who knows where I was playing last time?

I know it wasn't the Nexon version that's running in North America and Oceania. That's the version I used to play several years ago. It's region locked now. It's also a somewhat different game. I remember being an Engineer there with a robot butler and that class is now the Academic with no hired help. Same little girl though, same giant gun.

So, I've started Dragon Nest (Oracle) twice already. Maybe third time's the charm. Rather than faff about opening a Ticket asking for the restoration of an account that may never have existed I thought I might as well just re-roll.

Hence, Doradella. Dora was taken. Possibly by me. She's now in some kind of Guild by default. NPC guild I assume. That never happened before. The quest text is the same but the UI for it is completely different. Not better. Not worse. Just different.I'm really confused...

When in doubt, kill stuff. It took me about two hours to get to Level 9. It's always faster when you don't have to read the quest text. I like DN:O's crazy plot and crazier translation a lot but I've read it before. As my Bubble Gun chewed through goblins and bats by the dozen I thought I spotted differences from the game I remember but really, who knows?

I'm determined to get back to at least where I was. I hope Shanda have their back-up plan sorted out after nearly going out of business for lack of one. I really don't want to have to do this over for a fourth time.

I also really hope I can get my Squished title back. That was just about my favorite title in any MMO ever. I can't actually remember how I got it. Maybe I blogged about it...

One last thing. Steam isn't perfect after all. Or, rather, it doesn't integrate seamlessly with every game. I wondered why I'd taken a bunch of screenshots and every one of them came out with a whopping great "Select Retreat Location" window slapped across the middle. That window only appears in game at the very end of a dungeon.Then it occurred to me - you press F12 to bring that window up. F12 is also the default Steam screenshot key.

Lucky I had FRAPS running too. Good old FRAPS never lets me down.

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