Sunday, February 06, 2011

High Concept vs. Longevity

(An interruption to your regular DCUO exploration, as my PC seems incapable of running the bloody thing!)

I have been considering a number of roleplaying related issues of late. I have my eye on the future gaming slots and also a deep seated itch that I have been wanting to scratch of late. I have been considering how to combine a few things that are incident at the same time.

- I want something that I can run consistently
- I want something that is not 'big concept'
- I want something with little or no prep
- I want something that speaks to the type of game we play.

The first one is a departure for me, but it is also something that I have become painfully aware of over the years. I am a method GM. When I am preparing and running a game I will submerge myself in the media associated with the game. Movies, comics, books, music - everything. It becomes the soundtrack to my life while I am running the game. With our schedule being quite sparse when it comes to gaming, this means that I have found myself weakening in concentration as a game progresses. I run out of steam, almost. I want something that I can run without the need for this intervention to my life. That would seem to suggest D&H (as I am pretty much in perma-research mode) but I am leaning towards fantasy or even superheroes.

The second one actually plays off the first. I'd like to run something a little more sandbox than normal. My games tend to be quite grandiose affairs. I'm coming to think that there is some charm in something akin to the older style of games. I'm not saying a straight-up dungeon bash, but something with a little less Hollywood Blockbuster and a little more TV serial.

The third regards the type of game I need to run. If I am going to do something, it has to be something I can do off the cuff or with minimal prep. That means I might quite like something that comes as a pre-prepped module (shock!) or some game that has an accessible monster manual style affair. I don't have the time to generate stat blocks or any such nonsense.

And, of course, I need some of that story-based gaming action, but we know that, right? Of course, we also know that I am a firm believer that nowadays with my group there are gaming ideas that we transpose across systems regardless.

Now all I need to do is find a solution to this ....hmmmmm. Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

More DCUO Styles

Three more styles have been unlocked by your intrepid blogger! The left-hand style is the full 'Jah Kir' set. I'll be honest - I have no idea where the inspiration for this set comes from. It could be something to do with 'Joh Ker' or it could be something Kryptonian.

The middle style is the Retro-Tech set and it is awesome! What you cannot see is the rocket-pack on my back. Its a full-on Rocketeer set. Very cool.

The right hand set is the aforementioned Greco-Roman set which happily fulfils all of your 'I need to look like a Roman centurion' needs quite nicely.

I'll post more as I get them!

Expansion Fever

It would appear that SOE are holding to their promise of new content for DCUO. A Catwoman expansion/Valentine's Day patch has been announced for mid-February, critical feature fixes are beginning to appear (such as easing the stranglehold the profanity filter has on normal English) and future content is beginning to emerge (such as the Green Lantern Patch...swoon!)

Catwoman patch includes a five boss level 30 episode, a new legends PvP character, more races, new armour sets, Valentine's Day stuff (fun, but not needed - however, it adds another 4-man Alert), a Bane Duo, a Gotham PvP zone, a new high end raid and ... the Brokerage (aka the Auction House).

I have to say, I am quietly impressed. The real story here for me is that there is content at just about every level of the game and stuff that is going to add content to everyone's gameplay in some way. I've learned over the years - especially the last one - that you can extend your love of a game by embracing both PvE and PvP and accepting that PvP is a whole new skillset that needs to be developed and trained. Thus the inclusion of PvP stuff makes me very happy.

So the question comes, is it worth 10 quid?

Well, there are two ways to look at this. The first is, could I get more utility from a new game for 10 quid (sorry about the colloquialism, but I simply cannot find the pound sign on this bloody keyboard) and the answer is probably yes, but there would be no perpetual character and no perpetual community built up. The second is whether I would get the same level of new content from WoW, which is my other subscription option? No.

Another thing I have considered is what I would buy into if it was done as micro-transactions? Probably not everything but I think thats because doubt allows you to back down on those transactions. By having it all in one lump I'm probably more likely to have a try.

Of course, even in this post of good news, the community can deliver the sour grapes. I have particularly liked the debate over the release date and the precise semantic definition of what 'roughly monthly' and 'mid-February' actually mean. And yes, there have been people who have said that four days past one calendar month is a broken promise by SOE. Hilarious.

I'm please. I sub for another month. But of course, you all know they had me at Green Lantern!