Another Month, another Beta

Lego Universe has begun it’s Closed Beta testing and someone has been invited to play.

While I did get 30 minutes to play about with it I’m not at liberty to say anything about what I found – Not that I found much as I’m still pottering about in the tutorial – however I can encourage people to go over to the Lego Universe site and sign up.

As you can probably tell from the trailer they’re going for a base game that is instantly familiar to any veteran MMO player, create an avatar and go whack on hordes of baddies. The difference being that you’re a brightly coloured Lego man fighting against evil lego men.

Being Lego the focus will likely be on play-value and that other MMO staple – Crafting. This is LEGO, it was the crafting tool of my generation. Imagine BUILDING your own mount, or designing your own weaponry. Not even Cryptic and their character design focused games let you do stuff like that. The potential is there for this to completely wipe the floor with other MMO’s in terms of making Crafting fun.

If anything, a successfully envisioned Lego MMO will bring the brightly coloured blocks to a new generation of kids and the tie-ins to the physical bricks is inevitable, moreso than WoW’s trading card game. In a similar way that Nintendo Points work (or used to work, I havn’t bought a Nintendo game since the Game Boy Advance so I don’t know if they still use them) in that buying a lego set would award points in some micro-transaction store (Like in CO or STO), or actually getting the item you bought as a pattern to build in-game.

We’ve still yet to see anything with regards to pricing, microtransactions or any other kind of monetary tie-ins but this is Lego. It’s designed to appeal to both kids and adults on different levels, so the nag-factor will be huge, not taking advantage of this would be a remarkably foolish thing to do from an income point of view, and in the opening weeks longevity will be decided by how many people are willing to pay for their microtransactions.

My duty as a blogger and my duty as a beta tester conflict quite a bit. So I will be saving up Lego Universe stories for when the NDA is lifted, which may be some time away, so watch this space.

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