This week's installment of our four-part LEGO Universe MMO Log begins with the death of RumbleWarpWhistle and the birth of Fahey, Agent of Paradox.
Kotaku's MMO reviews are a multi-part process. Rather than deliver day one reviews based on beta gameplay, we play the game for four weeks before issuing our final verdict. Once a week we deliver a log detailing when and how we played the game. We believe this gives readers a frame of reference for the final review. Since MMO titles support many different types of play, readers can compare our experiences to theirs to determine what the review means to them.
Last week, after exhausting a large portion of the game's quest content, I tried my hand at building in LEGO Universe, with varying degrees of non-success. Perhaps this week I should try out some of the game's other factions?
When you chose your faction and professional kit in LEGO Universe, you're locked into it for life. Luckily the game comes with four character slots, giving players the option of trying out each of the four faction choices at their leisure. My leisure is now.
Rather than design another random character like my first one, RumbleWarpWhistle, I decide to see how long it takes a custom name to be approved.
Once my character is complete I log into the tutorial and BAM, my name is approved. Welcome to the LEGO world, Fahey!
Now begins the long, drawn-out process of getting to the point where I can actually pick a faction. Last time it took me nearly three hours to get to that point. Let's see if I can make it there before bedtime.
Nope, not happening.
An earlier start today affords me the chance to finally pick my new faction. Having previously chosen the creative Assembly (see what I did there?), I decided to go a darker route by picking Paradox, the faction dedicated to using the dark powers of the imagination-killing Maelstrom against itself.
I complete the four quests required to choose factions in record time (for me at least) and soon I am faced with a choice.
Hmm. Do I want to be a bad-ass dark space knight armed to the teeth with lasers, or an evil wizard?
Oh you know how I roll. Dark space knight it is!
Armed with my new armor and shiny space blaster, I wander over to the Gnarled Forest to take out my aggression on some corrupted pirates. These guys completely kicked my first character's ass, but now I've got the power of area-damage!
They go down in droves, and I am very pleased. I spend the evening killing them in droves, collecting faction points to later spend on more powerful guns.
I log in this evening to a pleasant surprise. Starbase 3001 is now open, and new player-made content is now available. Giddy with excitement over the prospect of new places to explore, I waste no time getting there.
Starbase 3001 serves as a hub for content created by the World Builder League. They are LEGO fans turned LEGO developers, crafting new worlds so NetDevil can go about implementing bigger and better things.
Three new worlds are available today, each one with its own special rewards. First I head over to the MoonBase.
The gravity is tweaked, and alien crabs wander the surface of the satellite. The tiny area features three small quests that reward me with parts for a custom space rocket, used to travel from world to world. I've already collected five, but the more the merrier.
Next comes DeepFreeze.
This snowy world yields the player a Christmas Tree-shaped rocket upon completion of its quests, but it seems broken when I get there. I receive a quest to kill snow beavers, but there are none to be found.
My time tonight is short, so I'll save the mushroom fantasy land of Portabello for another time. It's enough for me to see that new content is available. If these additions are a regular occurrence, perhaps the lack of quest content won't sting quite so bad.
Following my building difficulty last week, several helpful readers emailed me with useful information and tools to help me in my quest to build something memorable in LEGO Universe.
One such bit of information is a sorting tool for the in-game LEGO bricks, which I somehow missed while fiddling with it. Suddenly finding specific bricks is no longer a huge chore.
Then there's the LEGO designer, a free program from LEGO that allows players to build models, keeping track of which bricks they need to complete them, going as far as letting them put in a custom brick order to build their creations in real life.
I started building this tiny chess board today, just to be able to say I completed something, but ran out of 2X2 plate bricks before I was done. Hopefully I'll run into a vendor selling them before my time with LEGO Universe is through.
After trying out the Paradox faction, I'm eager to give the remaining two factions, The Venture League and the Sentinels a try. I hear The Venture League gets dual pistols, which sounds absolutely lovely. I'm just not looking forward to going through the same starting quests two more times to experience them.
The release of new content so soon after launch gives me hope that the lack of content is being addressed, but I still feel as if this could have been a single-player game and no one would have complained.
One more week to go!