Jump to content
Dragon's Den Community
Sign in to follow this  
millu27

Help: Is DQVC store down? 06-22-2013

Recommended Posts

Yep, got the same.  It's a completely BS response though.  I responded directly to this email, as it says we can in the fine print, with the following:

 

 


Dear Square-Enix Support,
 
This is unfortunate that you have bad information about your own company and servers.  One year ago, and you should have data on this, the exact same problem occurred with the DQVC server.  Many members of Gamefaqs and various other gaming sites, who play Dragon Quest IX called into your offices to complain.  We were told Nintendo ran the servers, just like in the above response.
 
In calling Nintendo to complain, we were instead told not only that Nintendo does not run the servers, but you, Square-Enix, in fact do.  This was both for Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of America.  In both cases Nintendo stated they would forward this information to you, Square-Enix, in the hopes that this misconception and incorrect data would be corrected, and that the DQVC servers would be fixed by you, Square-Enix.
 
We, the Dragon Quest community, then sent in mass numbers of tickets to you, Square-Enix, through the online support system, as we have done this year (this last being my third, and several others have stated they too have sent in a third ticket).  In response, not only did the technical staff of Square-Enix respond that the servers are run by Square-Enix, but stated they would be fixed.  The problem was then resolved, by Square-Enix in several days, approximately 3-4 if memory serves.
 
I am not sure why I, and the other members of the Dragon Quest community, should have to call into Nintendo to fix a server problem on a server run by Square-Enix.  Here is the current thread running on Gamefaqs covering the current crisis:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/937281-dragon-quest-ix-sentinels-of-the-starry-skies/66528465

 
Here is the thread from almost exactly one year prior, and within it are responses clearly indicating that your company, Square-Enix, has always run the DQVC servers, and therefor is the only company that can fix the issue:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/937281-dragon-quest-ix-sentinels-of-the-starry-skies/63046321

 

Please fix this, this is your responsibility, it runs off your servers, and therefor you must fix this. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll repost what I wrote on Gamefaqs, and hope it doesn't necessarily come to this, but perhaps it is what is needed:

 

 

 

I've decided, if their response to my email is to restate they do not run the server, I'm going to quite sending in tickets, and write an article, all about Square-Enix's treatment of US and EU gamers, denial of services that are anywhere from kb to kB in size (talking about both DQVC AND DQMJ), and discuss the business end of it, how it literally costs them NOTHING, especially going into the future where bandwidth and transfer rates are only going up.

See whoever might take it, and see if it can't be put on the front page as a general article. This should be an embarrassment to S-E, and they SHOULD learn to pay attention to customers. Doubt it will have much of an effect, but even a small impact can ripple.

I'll post it here in case anyone has anything to add. We'll keep it civil, businesslike, and I'll make it a letter from the fans. I'll post a version of it in Dragon's Den as well to get personal notes from other fans.

What do you guys think about this idea?

 

So as I asked on Gamefaqs, what do you guys think of this idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a great idea.  I would anticipate having a hard time getting places to post the article, but that shouldn't stop you from trying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the support buddy! :)

 

I figured too, that it will be difficult finding a way to get any of the major game info sites to post it.  Perhaps making the point that going into the future it seems as though SE is becoming more and more enamoured with online-based content for single-player games.  The treatment of DQVC in international releases bodes poorly for any game not a mainline-FF with such content.  Especially given single player games will likely run along similar lines of small one-time downloads per day, meaning cheap, exceedingly limited bandwidth, and even at 100,000 or more connections per day, this would amount to less than 1/4th a % (assuming around 5kb) of total server bandwidth for one server, and less than 1/10th of total bandwidth allocated to the entire server group from the ISP (depending on how many servers, what types, but I'd have to use generic and basic server builds likely less powerful than what SE uses to make my case).  So why not nip them in the butt now, especially when I'm asking for the article to be posted for free.  See if some of their own writers might not want to chime in (perhaps in this light it's better if I make it sound like it should be their own personal crusade to at least get some ground support amongst the ranks of writers, perhaps an editor if they can be made to feel personally attached).

 

This goes a step further when one considers DQ7's remake has online content, does it not?  Another point to certainly add some fuel to the fire.  What about possible future sales, and building a fanbase off people reluctant to buy at first, but who will want to buy the game later, only to find portions cut off due to unreasonable decisions to cancel services, despite the obvious lack of business sense it makes given they cannot make any reasonable argument on cost cutting measures.

 

Does anyone know where SE's servers are, and what the file size is per DQVC transfer?  If they use a separate company to run their servers (makes it even easier to write out and then plead the case to post the article).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PAR DS, a microSD card, and the save editor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very disappointed. I live in Brazil. I bought DQIX one year ago. Why? Because I played Dragon Quest for the first time one year ago. It's was like an impossible mission to find this game here! Also, it was very expensive... and now the server is offline? That is unfair :( I will support any attempt to bring back the server.

Edited by Rangel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woodus, if you're still paying attention to this thread, one suggestion by Liamland on Gamefaqs was over asking SE and Nintendo (at least Nintendo to push SE) to release the server code so we could form our own server.

 

1) Would this be feasible if this were to actually occur.

 

2) What is the maximum bandwidth and average monthly bandwidth usage, so we can get an idea of calculating if this would require somehow expanding, thus maybe a kickstarter campaign (Branfowl on Gamefaqs suggested this as a possible way to keep it going here should the cost prove too high).  Or if you'd rather not publish that data, what about running an equation on whether this would be possible, by considering 100,000 people possible daily visits at only 2KB per connection, at, assuming equal distance of time with a few overlaps, is roughly 1.335GB per week and a rough average of 5.802GB per month.  This is assuming even 100,000 people would connect (a fairly high number now considering) each and every day. 

 

Also bear in mind the likely file type is basic text, and if any formatting, basic XML, so packets could be MUCH smaller than 2KB, and therefor use far less bandwidth per month per 100,000 connections a day, as I'd estimate they're anywhere between 2kb and 5KB in size, depending on how much formatting data is present.  So assuming just around 256bytes or 2kb, we're looking at, with a consistent daily stream of 100,000 people, roughly 170.898MB weekly and 742.603MB monthly.

 

Now, another way to look at it would be, if they could and would release the code, what about creating a player side LAN based server, where the exe to setup and run it is stored here.

 

Tell me what you think Woodus.

 

 

Oh, I'll post this in the DQ7 3DS board as well, in light of the article, for those there that haven't paid any attention to this thread here, on whether I should, and I want to get the opinion of anyone on this site, in bringing up SE's treatment of DQ fans in general, and how they sabotage game sales by depressing fans and never release info until just before actual release.  Though perhaps this is better used in a follow up, assuming this article IS accepted.

 

 

I have to take care of some stuff, so I'll post that on the DQ7 board later.

 

Cheers all.

Edited by ignasia7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For number 2 are you asking how much traffic the Den generates over that much time?

 

I think I server would be a good idea, not sure how the game knows where to look for it and how you would redirect that traffic to a new server or a local lan server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CHances are, and I could attempt to confirm later, but it's a) being hosted by Square Enix, and b) it's using a secure channel for communications.  Joker used it, Joker 2 used it, Terry3DS uses it, DQX beta even uses it.  You would need the private key off the server before you could even begin working on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, the game is out of print, and they've kept the server up that hosted DQVC for a long, long time.

 

 

I don't see it coming back up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, the game is out of print, and they've kept the server up that hosted DQVC for a long, long time.

 

 

I don't see it coming back up.

True, but it is fun for the DQ community to harp on them. They so richly deserve it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woodus and Dragoon, right right, it all depends on what is contained in the cart about connection data, and what is in the server, and whether, yeah, if they use a special key (hopefully not one universal to that particular server, but just to access the game...or would it not work that way?).

 

Ryu...dude, ya, that's somewhat true.  "long, long" is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?  Especially when they pulled the plug after 23 months in the US, 22 months in the EU and 21 months in the AU regions back in 2012, until we complained.  Considering Japan has had the game since 2009, their server is still up, there is at least one quest that requires a DQVC ONLY item to complete, and several other quests are difficult to complete without the DQVC (well, ok, we can use yab's chest system, but it won't work on every map, and very few people will have the ability to access those uber maps that make chest farming grottoes such a breeze).

 

This also bodes poorly on whether roughly 20% of the actual game will remain in place, and by that I'm talking about the Guests and Quests.  Recall that several quests require certain items only available through Guests during birthdays and holidays, and DQVC.

 

The fact that SE won't even tell us that they have shut down DQVC, and that they've lied this time multiple times in their claim they do not run it, not only bodes poorly on the future of Quest and Guest downloads, but on future releases with online content.  Given the penchant is now to release single player games with online-only content, this behaviour should not be tolerated and needs to be nipped in the behind now.  Not saying the endeavour will amount to any fruit, but it sure beats doing nothing, and if I can actually get some online staffers to see the point in this, there is always a chance of a ripple effect.  SE cares more about it's bottom line, and as redneck points out...they oh so deserve it.

 

 

 

Ok, so the current status of my article.  I wrote the following so far, and this is my third draft.  I'm only posting this thus far, as I've since come up with a better outline model I posted on GFAQs, but I'll repost here as well, because it's comical and I can't believe I actually wrote it how I did:

 

 

 


THE SQUARE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
The Implications of the Loss of DQVC in the Dragon Quest Community

Like the Empire in Star Wars, Square Enix has decided once again, that non-Japanese fans of its' second flagship series, Dragon Quest, have no relevance or importance. Their method of attack, to turn off an integral service to the newest core game to hit Western shores, Dragon Quest 9, without a single word. Then, like a military police state, shut down all fan voices demanding to know what the real status is and attempted placation by falsely claiming to not run the server, a claim that one year ago was made and proven untrue when the same server was taken down in June of 2012.

 

 

Now that I have your attention, let us fall back to reality and I will discuss the real situation of how Square-Enix is currently treating the Dragon Quest fan community outside of Japan, the implications of this, and possible solutions.

 

The server, and service, that has been turned off is called DQVC (an amalgamation of DQ, Dragon Quest, and QVC, the infamous shopping network). This service is available once per day, starting at


 

Instead my current model I'm going to use, and I will keep just the subtitle of the above, will be the following:

 

 

 

Maybe "Square Enix Removes Key Game Feature Without Warning" as a more appropriate title.

Then I should, as a basic outline, open up with the assumption that we know what Dragon Quest is, we know Dragon Quest is produced by Square Enix, and for anyone who wants to do a touch of researching, I'll assume people already know or would find out that Nintendo having produced DQ9 outside of Japan, has no bearing or relevance in this fight until it will be mentioned.

So introduction paragraph will simply announce that SE pulled the rug out from the service DQVC in June of this year. DQ fans complained, SE gave us a runaround, then claim they do not run the server.

Paragraph 2 will discuss the basics of what DQVC is, and that the game cannot even be completed without the service, and several pieces of equipment made unavailable permanently with the cancellation of the service. This will cover the current state and the lack of benefits going forward to current and future DQ9 players, as there are still new players and likely will be going into the future.

Paragraph 3 will discuss that one year ago, in June, the same thing happened, SE gave us a runaround, we called Nintendo, then SE relented and admitted they run the server then summarily fixed it, giving no indication it would be turned off to anyone from the US or AU. Only one message from the EU offices to a single poster indicated the EU branch of SE will consider turning off the service permanently in 1 year. However no confirmation was given after that point that this was so.

Paragraph 4 will discuss the implications of DQVC going down, and whether even the Quest and Guest system, because of DQVC's being pulled, will also be taken down without notice, and the implications of losing roughly 20% of the entire game.

Paragraph 5 will discuss the business end, the cost and a simple comparison of 100,000 users versus a realistic 100-10,000, and compare these to Lineage 2 bandwidth and a basic cost comparison to show this cannot be attributed to a business decision because it costs virtually nothing to keep it going indefinitely.

Finally, Paragraph 6 will be possible solutions. I changed my mind and instead I'll open up by pointing out that given the game came with the service, it is necessary to complete the game, it offers tremendous benefits and play value for new games and existing games, and the cost analysis indicates that given future expansions of bandwidth and so few simultaneous players, they should reinstate it permanently. The second solution being to make a deal for another company to permanently run the server given...costs say it should be. The third being to release the code to fans and allow us to continue to enjoy DQ9 to its fullest, and bring up PSO.

Finally closing, that whatever SE's decision over the above, should they decide to read this article and act upon it in some fashion, they should do the following: communicate with fans, be open and honest, if you are going to permanently shut down the servers, and do not want to ever start them up again, let us know, we deserve it, we have spent good money now, and would LIKE to on future Dragon Quest releases.

 

I'm a bit tired of starring at my computer screen, so I'll come back later.  Tell me what you guys think of the format and general direction.

Edited by ignasia7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They should update the official DQ9 page with the info, "As of such and such date, the DQVC service for DQIX has been taken down. To enable post-game content, please do X".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They should update the official DQ9 page with the info, "As of such and such date, the DQVC service for DQIX has been taken down. To enable post-game content, please do X".

 

Yes they should, at the very least. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earlier games like Sega's Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast had to deal with the fact that network communications were not very fast at the time.  Many people still had dial-up networking, and Sonic Team needed to ensure that dial-up users had at least some decent experience playing with others.  Encrypting the traffic would've also been too costly of an exercise for the Dreamcast to perform.  A lazy way would be to encrypt using very simple methods, but a motivated person could break it easily.  However they did it, either easy encryption, or none at all, it was possible to create private servers for the game, though it required much trial and error to interpret what was being sent to the servers, and in turn what the servers were sending back to the player.  Not to mention the versions of the games did different stuff along the way.  Having that traffic encrypted poses a problem where, unless you have the ability to decrypt it, you basically are banging your head against an inpenetrable wall.

Edited by Sir Dragoon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit:  Not really sure what I was thinking beginning this endeavour.

 

Not quite right to use "we" when it's really my own message.  The game is pretty much dead anyway, even if new copies can still be purchased at the original price from major retailers.  Even if it did amount to anything, SE is not likely to budge on anything and about all I should expect to see is admittance that DQVC is gone for good.

 

 

Edit2: F*** it, I'll just write it anyway, see where this goes.

Edited by ignasia7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Ok, so in response to my email I sent around a week ago, I received the following reply from Square-Enix:

 

 

 

Thank you for contacting SQUARE ENIX support,
We apologize for the problem you are having. While we appreciate the effort you are putting in to correct the issue, being that this is on a network maintained by Nintendo, we would be unable to suggest much more than to contact Nintendo regarding this. This issue has been reported to development currently. As for what you can do on your own, we suggest checking periodically to see if the issue is resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Thank you for contacting the SQUARE ENIX Support Center.

 

 

 

So, it's time to start a Nintendo campaign.  I'm rather shocked how quickly this lost momentum.  I know this game is old, but consider that new copies are still in retail stores.  There are still new players to DQ9 both here and on Gamefaqs, and likely other sites who will not be able to fully appreciate the complete DQ9 experience.

 

So here are two Nintendo numbers:

 

1-800-255-3700 for basic support
1-800-895-1672 for online support

Probably better to call the Online Support hotline.  Thankfully it's 800 either way.  I'm going to call up both.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I left the following message in the Nintendo tech forums:

 

 


I am not sure if this is the right place to write this.  I will also be calling tomorrow, and hopefully a lot of other gamers will too.

 

To start, DQVC is an online download service for Dragon Quest IX, that went down on Jun 21st of this year.  Since that time, and organized effort on gamefaqs (http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/937281-dragon-quest-ix-sentinels-of-the-starry-skies/66528465), and a smaller one on Dragon's Den, a Dragon Quest only fansite (http://www.woodus.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=27016) was begun to send in tickets to Square-Enix to fix this problem.  Yet with each ticket the same response was granted, that Nintendo runs the servers.  One year ago, we ran into the exact same problem and a huge group of fans from various sites started campaigns to have DQVC fixed.  Starting with contacting Square-Enix, then Nintendo, then Square-Enix, and after nearly two weeks, both Nintendo and Square-Enix had agreed Square-Enix ran the servers back around June 18th-21st of 2012.

 

So perhaps something changed, or Nintendo always ran the servers, or SE still does but they're located at Nintendo, only SE technicians are allowed to touch it, but only with Nintendo's permission?  I don't know.  I don't care.  Everyone is tired, we've missed Orb Week, the most important DQVC week.  This service provides almost 7% (maybe 5%) of all equipment as exclusives, about 1% of all items exclusively (and amongst these one is required to complete a quest), and between those, every single known item and equipment in the game, including easier access to equipment that can take weeks to find, making the play experience for every single DQ9 player substantially more enjoyable.  Less time spent means more life, and more time for other games, like newer games on the 3DS, Wii U, what have you.

 

Now, I know what some might ask:  Can we connect to DQVC at all?  Yes, we can, every single time.

 

Next you might ask: Do you get any error codes?  No, we don't, the connection is perfect, but no DQVC item list is downloaded.

 

Next you might ask: Can you download Quests and Guests?  Yes, this has been tested and verified twice, but given the first download unlocks all post-game quests and all guests, this can be time consuming to verify again (takes between 3 and 18 hours, depending on skill and game knowledge to unlock from a new game).

 

Now, I reiterrate, and I am not trying to show a lack of respect, but frankly we're all tired, upset, worried, some frantic and with a sense that literally a massive portion of what makes the game enjoyable is just gone.  So what can you do for us?

 

I've attempted to consider the possibility, as have many of us, that an official decision was made to close, but NO warning was given to players, especially given how much effort it takes to fix, and with events of one year ago, the confusion on who actually runs the servers.

 

So please, let us know what you know, what the status is, if it can be fixed, WHO REALLY runs the servers, and why there is so much confusion?

 

Again, I, and I will try to drum up the downtrodden to continue on, will call the online support on top of this.

 

Thank you for your time, and whatever future efforts are made to resolve this.

 

 

 I'm going to call tomorrow.  Please guys, for those still wanting to see DQVC back up, and for those who gave up, let's see this through, at least till an official response.  It's possible that Nintendo does actually run the servers now.  For those who never thought anything would come of this, consider that it's bugging and a form of rudimentary browbeating and foot biting of two...well right now focus on one, corporate power.  Granted Nintendo is more fan friendly by a long shot, but the fact this has gone on this long is beyond ridiculous, especially when new copies are still at the same prices they've been the last two years, and there are still copies out there, meaning either still prints, or just a lot of excess but unsold prints.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the Nintendo board member, the Tech Forums aren't capable of helping me, but stated I should use the other number instead.

So I'm going to call the 1-800-255-3700 general support number instead.

Also pointed out that in the manual it states they (Nintendo, SE, or both) reserve the right to take down any service without warning:

"We reserve the right, at our soul discretion, to change, modify, add, or delete portions of this Agreement and to discontinue or modify the Service at any time without further notice."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so the basic ghist:

Nintendo reconfirms that they have no data on DQVC, no help sections, no information on troubleshooting except basic wi-fi connection errors to the router or between systems.  No history of it either.  No history of ever running the servers.  No clue as to why SE would continue to insist Nintendo runs servers they do not and have never run.

The article campaign must go on...even if I have to continue this crusade alone.

Also sending me an email to their support to further this by me sending my response to S-E (email).  So this should build a larger case.

 

Edited by ignasia7
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added my support ticket. I remember last time this happened, they eventually put it back up after a bunch of support tickets.  Took awhile though.

 

Auto-generated response that time too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't really delved into this topic much (I sent a ticket in), but after reading it more, I'm pissed. Instead of another ticket, I used the email form at Operation Edenverse to email Reilly Brennan. I didn't save a copy of the email, but I threw in a few jabs about how the director of PR should know that his company is not relating to its public.

 

 

Folks, feel free to make some stink for their suits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the last ticket I wrote, number 4 mind:

 

 

 

This is my fourth ticket now. Each time I am told to call Nintendo, but little information is granted.

Each time I call Nintendo, twice now, I am told after a very thorough search, that not only has Nintendo never had anything to do with DQVC, there is no information regarding the service in their records regarding even minor troubleshooting. Yet the first responses by you, SE, were to not only call Nintendo, but you also added troubleshooting tips specific to DQVC, indicating you actually have such data in your system.

Not only is this evidence clearly indicating that you, unlike Nintendo, have data on it, but it flows along with the events following June 8th 2012, where we went through the same pattern, and only after Nintendo's involvement, did you, SE admit to having both run the server, but that you will turn it back on.

Stop BSing. The last message I sent had forum links to the events of last year as proof we, the DQ fanbase of Gamefaqs, know full well that you, SE run the DQVC server.

How do you think this looks to your customer base? How do you think it looks to me, when I have been a loyal fan, and a fan who enjoys spending money on virtually all DQ releases (as well as almost every SE release, and Square and Enix before that, going back to the NES era). How do you think this makes me feel.

Perhaps something changed from a year ago, and Nintendo does indeed run it, however this bodes poorly, as Nintendo has a good track record of honesty with it's customer base, something SE does not, and has never had, ever, since the merger. So, why should I, and why should the DQ fanbase believe your story, an I emphasize story, that you do not run the DQVC server when:

1) You admitted it before fixing it around June 20th and 21st of 2012.
2) Nintendo, as in 2012, makes the same claim that they have never run the servers.
3) We were told initially in 2012 by SE, that you did not run the servers, proven a lie almost two weeks later, by your own self admittance.

Either provide proof you don't run it, or fix it. We are growing weary and quite angered by this, not just in relation to DQ9, but in relation to our trust of your company on future releases. Consider that for every poster that posts, at least 100 read it, and upwards of 10,000 read it, feeling similarly.

We want DQ to do well here, we want new releases, but we don't understand why SE continues to deflect and outright lie about their involvement with their own game. Why they feel this is the way to handle customer service when it can be clearly proven otherwise?

I don't get this. We don't get this. I am a loyal customer, please show me why I should continue to be.

DQVC was literally 1/2 the reason I still played the game. It is also the only reason I cared to restart my 600+ hour game, because it makes a new game FUN. You've killed that. This game is STILL being sold brand new in stores. What does that mean for those players? How do you address them?

I will state this again, and don't think this is the end, this is far from it, I will continue this campaign in any way I deem fit until I can get an honest answer:

Please fix DQVC.

-Alexander ********, DQ fan and owner of all but 2 DQ releases in the US since 1989.

 

 

 

When I'm done with the editing work on the article, and thanks redneckpride, that's pretty awesome, I'll post a copy here and on GFAQs.  Then shop around.  I have a follow up concept in mind if this gets posted and if there's no official answer of (yes it will go back up, or yes, here's the code so you guys can continue it ad-infinitum).

 

I should have been more politic, but this is getting ridiculous, and frankly, this is a rewrite after reconsidering my exceedingly angry rant laced with insults.  I'm hardly done though, this will continue.  As I wrote up above, the only other reason I ever had for wanting to continue playing is DQVC.  Granted I could use an AR, but I would prefer the real thing in this case.  It's just so bloody cool! =D..I mean :ws-slimemad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so my article, as completed, edited, and with credits at the end:

 

 

 

Square Enix Removes Key Game Feature Without Warning

The Implications of the Loss of DQVC for the Dragon Quest Community

Alexander Langella, July 12, 2013

 

On June 21st, 2013, Square Enix decided to cancel an important part of the Dragon Quest 9 (DQ9) experience. Without any official notice they pulled the plug on the DQVC, an online service that enriched playing DQ9 by providing unique and rare, equipment and items. Many of us in the Dragon Quest fan community questioned why, but we were told that Square Enix does not run the DQVC server and so they cannot help us - a statement we know to be false.

 

So what is the DQVC? First, it is a portmanteau of DQ and QVC. The service makes a connection between the game and a remote server to provide a shopping list from a select group of weapons, armour, and items that changes weekly. These lists comprise nearly every single piece of equipment and item available in game, some of which are unique items only found through DQVC.

 

How Do We Know Square Enix Runs The Server?

 

The lingering question is, with Square Enix's claim that they do not run the server, why is it that I, and many other fans, claim otherwise? Where is our proof? The simple answer is that this happened before: one year prior, on June 8, 2012. The following is a link to the GameFAQs topic covering the episode (one of several on multiple forums):

 

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/937281-dragon-quest-ix-sentinels-of-the-starry-skies/63046321

 

Here, over the course of nearly 20 days, with fans sending multiple support tickets, we, the fanbase of DQ9 were told the same thing from Square Enix - that they did not run the servers, that they were run by Nintendo. After several calls to Nintendo, we were finally told that they do not run them, but that Square Enix does. Nintendo claimed that they would inquire with Square Enix to fix the problem. After sending in a few more tickets and a few more support calls were made to Square Enix, confirmation was finally given that Square Enix does indeed run the servers and that they would be fixed. Within days it was resolved, on June 26, 2012. Only one person was told, by a representative of Nintendo Germany (not from Square Enix) that within a year the plug would be pulled on the DQVC. This was never confirmed by any Square Enix representative, nor by any other Nintendo representative in any country.

 

Is DQVC Really Important? What Else Could Go Wrong?

 

With the DQVC down, there is no way to experience the full extent of what DQ9 has to offer. This service is important because it provides both new and old, casual and completionist players with often rare equipment and items, often rare that can take a significant amount of time to find otherwise. This adds a window of fun with some of the nifty equipment options, and for those difficult bosses, some enhanced equipment for greater success in battle. With the removal of this service it not only takes away options that make the game more fun, and rewarding, it brings to mind the question of what other downloadable content might be removed in the future, such as Inn Guests and downloadable Quests. Legacy guests, who provide funny commentary, who function as a form of Easter Egg, and some nifty presents (of which the Equipment are found only through Guests and the DQVC). Post-game Quests, which close some of the game's plot holes, also add rare equipment and rare dungeon maps, some of which is only found through the Quest system. If Square Enix is ready to shut the DQVC down, won't this impact their other games and future releases with online content?

 

Was This Due To Cutting Costs?

 

Many questions have come up in the gaming forums about this topic. Could this change have been a business decision? With our collective thoughts, the more tech-savvy fans find this very unlikely. The actual cost to run the DQVC is almost nonexistent in today's internet. For one, the game's allowed user connection is only once per day. For two, there is likely one single packet from the server, and this packet could be in range of 256 bytes to 2,048 bytes (2KB) depending on the format, from Unicode to XML, including an IPv4 header. Odds are only 100 – 10,000 people per day would connect to the server in the US and EU, but to make my point I'll use an absurd average of 100,000 per day over 8 days. For the lower estimate of 256 bytes per packet, this would amount to approximately 192MB of data transferred (approximately 24MB a day). For the higher estimate of 2KB per packet, about 1.5GB of data transfered at 195MB daily. Given the ease of finding a low cost server with practically unlimited bandwidth, the number of recurring players today and into the future, and given the small size of just 2KB per transaction, the cost to run is negligible.

 

Solutions, Solutions

 

The game came with the service, it is necessary to fully enjoy it, and thus this debacle requires a resolution. Here are several options:

 

  1. Square Enix, given the low costs to run the server, the bandwidth handling going up with new tech and improved connection speed and ping times, could and should run the DQVC so long as the company exists.

     

  2. Square Enix could release the DQVC server code as open source, similar to how Sega released the Phantasy Star Online server code, to allow gamers who wish to continue playing and fully enjoy their masterpiece. The idea is that if the servers do go down again, and Square Enix no longer wants to support their game content, we can fix it ourselves.

 

To further emphasize this last point, which we, the fanbase, believe to be the best option, I submit writing from a fellow Dragon Quest fan who best sums up the idea that we, the DQ fan community, greatly respect Square Enix's desire to keep their code proprietary in light of this potentially generous outcome. Should they decide to release said server code, future generations will continue to enjoy this fantastic game:

 

"We recognize that there is a question about control of proprietary code, but if this is a game that SquareEnix is no longer supporting, then we are looking for an open source solution with which to resolve these problems for future gamers, coming to play Dragon Quest IX for the first time. We are looking for SquareEnix to be open-minded, and see this as an opportunity to reach out to the fans and show that they care. Many of these same fans have been playing Dragon Quest since the '80s, and are now influential in passing the franchise on to their children, the "Questers" of the future.

The fanbase can honestly say we are not blaming SquareEnix, but let's all be honest and admit that this was a design flaw with the game, and for the fans and the future of Dragon Quest in North America, we are just asking them to correct it."
(user Liamland, of the GameFAQs Dragon Quest IX Forum, 7/12/2013)

 

Whatever the outcome, we respect Square Enix's wishes, however in closing, we do request that we are respected and at the very least given proper notice of whatever Square Enix actually decides on the present and future of the DQVC for fans outside of Japan. We further request proper communication for any similar decision going forward on any future game with online content. We, the fans, love Dragon Quest. We would love to see both the series and Square Enix flourish around the world, but this relationship means that we deserve, for our hard-earned money, an official notice and options, should the company wish to discontinue downloadable content.

 

 

Credits: Original concept, writing, and some editing work by Alexander Langella, formerly ignasia7 of GameFAQs. Brainstorming and concept direction work by shadowreaper7 of GameFAQs. Brainstorming, concept direction, partial writing, and most editing work by Liamland of GameFAQs. Editing work by robg37 of GameFAQs.

 

 

All that is left is to shop around to see who will take it.  Going to see if IGN, 1Up, or Gamespot will, maybe Kotaku and Siliconera.  Any other sites, maybe some more popular in Europe?  I'll try to also convince at least one or another writer to help take up the case in their own words. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×