April 02, 2006

Back on Track

Ok so I didn't to make another post later on "in the week" as I expected to. This was mainly because I have been spending all my time playing Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO for short).

It's a very interesting game and very unlike World of Warcraft.

Firstly, you don't get experience points for repeatedly killing monsters in the game. You only get experience points for finishing the quests. Which sounds counter-intuitive, because let's face it, killing things is fun. But the point of the game is to get your party members through the quest safe and sound, and if you can do that without fighting so much the better.

Next, no more ninja looting. Ninja Looting is where a group of party members get to some treasure and then a player, who is very quick, opens all the treasure chests and takes everything before anyone else has a chance. In DDO, treasure is reserved for party members by default. Which I have to admit is a very nice touch.

I could go on but probably the biggest point of DDO is the visceral thrill of entering a dungeon for the first time and hearing the narrator describe the crypt as being "dark and dank, and in the distance you can hear the dull scraping of bone on stone".

This, for me, is a massive selling point reminding me of the first years of my roleplaying experience as a dungeoneer in the Dungeons & Dragons Pen and Paper (PnP) game.

For those of you who have tried roleplaying, there is that instant rememberance of sitting around a table for the first time, wondering just what the heck is going on, and descending into a dungeon for the first time whilst your more experienced friends start to discuss party formation. That instant terror as a skeleton emerges from a room of cobwebs and attacks you whilst your DM (Dungeon Master, and no, not the red robed midget in the cartoons) requests you roll attack and damage dice to see if you hit and whether or not you have scored any damage.

And of course, that final warmth of triumph in your chest as you are told you were the one who smashed the skeletons ribcage to shards, stopping it in its tracks. Not to mention the coldness as you find out that a fellow party member has been killed.

Dungeons & Dragons Online is, perhaps, the closest game I have played on a computer to that ideal.


Other news...

I didn't get a chance to see V for Vendetta. I suppose I won't get a chance now until it comes out on DVD, which sadly for me, has become the norm.

ElshaUK bought me The Matrix Trilogy for a tenner the other day after I had spent ages whinging on about getting it. I sat down on saturday and watched Reloaded and Revolutions. Points out of ten? Hmm... around an 8, I'd say.

Ok so it wasn't as good as the first one but the Warchowski brothers did try and keep the theme of "control" going. I do remember reading an article about how the mass public had argued that those who had criticised the original Matrix film had "not understood the point the film was making". As a counterpoint, those who had criticised the second and third film came under equal fire for "not understanding the point those films was making".

Of course, mass opinion was on the side of the original matrix film as opposed to the second and third films, and the mass public do not take well to being told they're idiots.

Ian, the mate of mine who went to Japan for four years, has finally returned - with a wife! Now, I met Ian through Jamie (an Old Ealonian) as they were at university together. Ian is the consumate roleplayer, who has played Warhammer, D&D, Cyberpunk, and a myraid of lesser well known games.

Anyway, Ian introduced me to the board game Settlers of Catan, which comes across a bit like civilisation or any strategy games.

He's found a website where you can try the game out for yourself. It's very intuitive and fun, I might add. Give it a go!

Finally, I came across this piece of trivia - for those of you who like Transformers, check it out.