Due to scheduling conflicts, sickness, and travel, I have not been playing much. And none of those reasons were my reasons. I don’t have a reason to not play.
In the stead of weekly RPG sessions, be they Fallout or D&D4e, I have been playing DDO. And I can say that the game is quite fun. I’ll put it this way: If you enjoy shadow puppetry, you don’t care what makes the shadows. You also don’t care if a different set of puppets tells a different shadow story. DDO is just another type of shadow puppetry with different props and stories. You get to dodge traps, level up, and (most importantly) kill things and take their stuff. D&D is simple enough of a setting for this to “just work”.
If only there was a turn based 4e version of it.
Since the day I first logged into a MUD, I will always want to play multi-player online games. It’s just a genre that I enjoy playing at many levels, and I enjoy the evolution of the genre. The basic concepts of virtual worlds are fascinating, and always will be.
One of the ideas I dwelled on and mulled over in my head was the idea of using a time-tested RPG system for a computer game. I was generally very upset with the Dark Age of Camelot system and felt it was impossible to ever find balance and fairness with that system. I know lots of MMO’s have licensed settings, but why not license an existing RPG’s mechanics? If you wait long enough, your crazy ideas will come true.
Dungeons & Dragons Online has recently decided to change their pricing scheme from a monthly subscription to a hybrid free-to-play structure. The game has been around for three years, but I had never given it much attention. The reviews seemed bad and, at the time, I was not willing to shell out fifteen dollars per month to find out for myself. But with the advent of the free-to-play changes, suddenly the price seemed right. I signed up for their closed beta and I was allowed in a few weeks ago.
And I find myself conflicted.
On one hand, I think DDO is a perfect case of an existing mechanic making the game more enjoyable. On the other hand, I don’t really like the D&D 3e rules. I do think DDO stands as a testament on how well you can translate a tabletop or pencil and paper RPG into an online game. The concepts of how the game feels and plays are a good translation of the D&D tabletop experience. I would love to see a turn-based D&D 4e multi-player online game. Maybe if I wait long enough.