Cataclysm

Blizzard announced their new WoW expansion.

Too little, too late.

The End of Keep on the Shadowfell

Last Saturday I finished running Keep on the Shadowfell. I think that most of the reviews and feedback I have heard about the module branded it as too difficult or bland. I don’t think it’s a bad adventure. It’s a very classic dungeon crawl with lots of variation. I can clearly see that this was written to introduce new players to all the different kinds of challenges that D&D 4e has to offer. In that respect, it does a good job.

The players in our game were very shrewd most of the time in focusing fire and clearing the entire dungeon. This meant that they leveled up faster than the adventure was designed for and I had to make many of the fights harder. There were only a few bad times when the enemies got the upper hand. Surprise rounds can be harsh on the party. 🙂

So now I turn to the future and I’m not sure what I will run next. We all decided that D&D 4e is the right game for the group, but I’m not sure whether I will home-brew an adventure or just pick up the next pre-made adventure from Wizards of the Coast.

Conflicted

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.

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