Goodbye everyone, but first let me introduce myself:
A few years ago, while my wife was expecting my daughter, I was in a car accident. After calling for help I sat next to the side of the motorway looking at the wreckage and it was so bad I still don't understand how I came out unhurt. Soon afterward my daughter was born, very prematurely. It isn't really like RNG, but her "odds" of surviving and not being seriously disabled would have been better on the front line of the Battle of the Somme. But she survived thank God and is doing fine.
I had some problems at work and for a little while I had difficulty connecting with my daughter. Children who were premature can be - not detached, but very self-sufficient- and at work and at home I started to feel useless. But it did change for the better. In particular there was a day when she really enjoyed seeing "How to Train Your Dragon". And I looked on Steam for a game that would let her ride around on one. We've played Dragon's Prophet ever since, with her often looking at the new dragons, or steering them for a bit with the mouse.
When she first saw Whirlmoon, her eyes lit up and she said "Is that the Queen Dragon?"
Then my son came along, and he wasn't premature but he needed major surgery. So we had a hat-trick of miracles, but also a repeat of the whole experience of living out of suitcases in a hospital while wondering all the time if the baby would make it. One of the many problems with Dragon's Prophet has always been the way it expects you to come online at certain times. And that Christmas right at the time when my son was born, the GM had decided we all had to go online every day to get a Whirlmoon. I know I didn't *have* to, all I *had* to do in my life right then was to kill time in chairs in waiting rooms for a few months while the medical staff saved my little boy from death and/or severe disability - but I needed to do something to make us smile. It was just the need to feel like I was doing something. MMOs really prey on that.
Whirlmoon hadn't been available since long before I started playing, and it wasn't at all clear the game would keep going long enough for there to be another chance. (I know she is in the Midas Moonlight shop now, but that's a recent thing). That year there was a Christmas calendar event where if you logged in for 23 days out of 25 you could get a Whirlmoon egg. So on the evening of day 23, my wife was in another ward recovering from her Caesarean, and I was in the NICU. It was quiet apart from the bleeping, they had turned the lights down. I'm sitting next to an incubator with our new baby who won't wake up again for several weeks. They come over to check on him regularly but in between it's like spending a solid 3 months in a waiting room. On my smartphone I had a remote connection to Dragon's Prophet, which I've left running on the PC at home 100 miles away. My character can't really move around like this. I check the screen every couple of minutes, and if it has refreshed I click on a scourger mob, and I keep doing this until it drops some item needed for the event (it was called something like "Bowl of Worms").
He made it thank God and is doing fine now. The connection held up, the calendar was completed, we got the egg. My daughter loved riding round on the Queen Dragon and we got the lootpet from the Marketplace to be her baby.
Of course, whenever children get a new sibling, the wheels in their minds start to go round, and so it was soon "Daddy, is there a King Dragon?". Shouldn't have bought that lootpet!
It was Gamigo by this point, and it's not their fault, but another big problem with Dragon's Prophet is that it's very narrowly focused on a slightly different demographic than the one which actually plays it. If I could have bought a Fleeting Snow for $200, put a $100 cosmetic crown on her, and then done it again with a Fleeting Darkness, I would have been happy with that. But there isn't any mate for Whirlmoon in the game. The game doesn't even have the concept that anybody would want to do that sort of thing. There are 600+ dragons in the game, but the only one that seemed to work for this was Grim Reaper.
I think the one change that would have saved Dragon's Prophet isn't a new zone, or fixing the bugs, or reducing the prices - it's really simple:
A dragon stable where you can pet your dragon, brush its scales, feed it, give it medicine, and throw it a stick to fetch.
Put it this way: I bet that other free game where you do those things with ponies isn't closing down. In fact I bet it's making more than DP ever would have done.
Thanks to an extremely kind player - the hero - who made it possible to finish my Laedis 102 set yesterday, when everyone else had left, here's the Queen Dragon, the King Dragon, and their baby - all finally together. Watching the end of the world.