An E3 Debriefing
get your minds out of the gutters...I didn't debrief anyone at E3. I'm
a happily married woman with a couple of cute kids and an annoying cat.
No, I'm just using the military term, probably a remnant of having
spent 7 days with Phil Comeau
, Ten Ton
Hammer's communities manager, bossing us around with military
precision. (His other
time job is with the Canadian army. And yes, they really do have one!
Surprised me, too.) If you'd like to read more about my experiences at
E3, you can check out my blog
And by the way, Phil, if you're reading this--I hate military time. I
hate having to figure out that 1530 hours really means 3:30 p.m. I had
to go through my entire Phil-produced E3 schedule and change the
military time to civilian time just to make sure I didn't screw
anything up and arrive an hour late or early for one of my interviews.
(I can hear Phil saying it now: "Wah wah wah!")
Speaking of interviews, the one interview glaringly absent from my
schedule at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was Turbine and
Dungeons & Dragons Online. While I did see Turbine regarding The
Lord of the Rings Online
, I only managed to get a quick glance at
what they were showing for DDO. Launched games aren't a huge priority
at E3--the honors tend to go to the up-and-coming.
Had I managed to talk to anyone about DDO, I would have liked to have
asked them what possessed them to make drow the new playable race for
the Twilight Forge module, due in July. I can make a character that
looks like a drow right now if I want to, given the variety of skin
tone variations for elves. In fact, I already do
have a character that looks
drow. I can roleplay her as a drow, too. This new playable race seems
like a very easy way for Turbine to add a new race with minimal effort.
Sadly, I'm not impressed. The limited fan feedback I've seen so far
reflects the same sentiments--try harder next time, Turbine.
While I'm happy to see some solo content coming to the game (it never
should have been absent in the first place, in my humble opinion), I'm
not thrilled about PvP. The addition of PvP feels like nothing more
than a bit of player ass kissing to make the game more commercially
viable. The problem with trying to cater to the masses is that by
trying to be all things to all players, Turbine risks losing the focus
of DDO, which has always been its engaging quests. Why not work on
making what's already in the game better (and more plentiful), rather
than adding completely new and unnecessary elements?
It's getting late, and I'm very tired from a long week of trudging the
halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center. I'll certainly be more
coherent after a solid 8 hours of sleep and a good hot shower. But
despite the sleep deprivation and the general travel weariness, the
concerns I have over the direction of DDO come to me with complete
clarity. I want to see this game do well. I want to see it reach its
considerable potential. I just don't think the Twilight Forge module is
the thing to take the game where it needs to go. As major E3
announcements go, this one was a let-down.