Adventures in Customer

If F2P games have a major failing in my experience, it's usually in the
area of customer service (CS). How can you expect a company providing
you with entertainment free of charge to pour a lot of resources into
CS? Apparently, IGG sees that as a flawed business model. I connected
to the live chat option and was in a chat room with a CS
representative in about 10 seconds. I was able to state my problem (I
can't connect to Aries server even though I have activated my Closed
Beta key) and get a solution all in under 30 seconds. It was from the
CS person that I learned that alpha testing had just ended and that
Closed Beta was a few days away from starting. This was possibly the
best CS experience I have had with any MMOG--ever.

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Rock is a good
example of the many quirky characters  in style="font-style: italic;">Wonderland Online.

Return of the Download

When April 9 finally did come, I discovered a new problem with WL. I
could connect to the server, but I could not log in to play. I kept
getting this error message that said something along the lines of
"17:The member is." Yeah, that was all of the message I could see. The
dialog box also had two options: Update and AFK. Clicking update
launched a new box with Chinese characters. I figured out that I must
need an update but that they had forgotten to translate the page for
when you connect to the server and try to launch the game with an
outdated client.

A quick visit to the WL website revealed that the actual Closed Beta
client had been released the night before (we carried the news here at
Ten Ton Hammer but I had not yet had a chance to read it). The
auto-updater, it seemed, would not install the missing files, so I
needed to either download the new client (another file of roughly
550MB) or the small little 2.1 to 2.2 patch (4MB). I patched up and was
ready to go at 6:32pm Pacific time.

Check Your Watch

Now with the correct version of the client, I was ready to play, right?
Right? No. Though the press release and WL website told me the Closed
Beta would begin at 9pm GMT-5 time (that would be the Eastern time
zone), it was not accurate. Though it was 9:32pm Eastern time, somebody
at IGG just made a mistake. The beta started at 10pm Eastern time
(GMT-5). I took this as a bad sign because I feel like a company should
know what time it is.

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The art in style="font-style: italic;">Wonderland Online
uses vibrant colors.

Finally Shipwrecked

Discrepancies in our watches aside, WL and I finally got together. The
new patch allowed me to run in full screen, though I would later learn
that my native resolution or 1280 X 1024 would be a problem. And
everything finally connected and let me log in to play!

The character creation process was simple enough but came with
disappointments for me. I was able to scroll through the character
portraits and read the text descriptions, but all of the statistical
data from the website was not visible. So, I picked a male character
who didn't look like a 5th grader (a sandy-haired guy in a duster) and
hoped that my choice to focus on an agility-based build and my pick of
element would be okay.

My customization options covered a bevy of hairstyles, and I could use
RGB color sliders to achieve a very large array of hair, eye, and
clothing colors. The whole time, I could rotate my character to see
what he'd look like from various angles in-game. Done making my
character, I entered the game world and experienced the shipwreck to
get the whole game started.

My style="font-style: italic;">First, First

Movement in WL
uses mouse clicks. I was experiencing some lag with my character, which
I attributed to it being the open of Closed Beta. I knew it wasn't my
machine as my specs are well above the minimum required for WL:

Wonderland style="font-weight: bold;"> System Requirements

CPU: Pentium?400

Operating System: Window 98/ME/2000/XP/vista

HD Space: 1.8G


Graphics Card: support more than DirectX 7.0

Sound Card: support DirectX sound card

I moved about the ship, trying to learn the user interface (UI) a
little bit. I was disappointed to see that some of my UI tool bars were
stretched off the screen.  Some I could move over, but others
were fixed in place. WL did not like being in full screen at 1280 X
1024 resolution. As I moved toward the captain, I saw the announcement
that the ship was sinking and that we should abandon ship. A sudden
lurch in the ship sent me tumbling down some stairs. The captain and
his crew proceeded to trample past me in their haste to get off the
ship. I washed up on the shore of an island.

On the island, I quickly met another castaway, one from an accident
over 25 years ago. He'd decided not to try to get off the island
because he enjoyed his escape from the hustle and noise of the city.
The elder castaway outfitted me with a short distance raft so that I
could move from island to island. The most disappointing thing about
the dialog on the ship and with this castaway was the poor translation.
I saw all the errors typical of what most people jokingly call
"Engrish": missing articles, misspelled words, and confusing word
choice. I have to say that it looked a little bit like a translation
job involving one guy and a dictionary. Scary stuff.

Parting Thoughts

After I got the raft, I explored the first island a little bit and then
stopped for the night. I had not yet encountered any battles, so I left
knowing I would return. I will certainly give WL a chance to impress me
its battle system and hope that the translation gets better as I go.
Look for my second Closed Beta Preview later this week.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016