Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
 
Dungeons & Dragons Tiny Adventures

I haven't exactly given up on My Tribe yet, but after finally sailing to a new island and finding that playing there is exactly like on the first one, I am quickly growing bored with that game. So, following a recommendation from Spinks along the lines of "only Facebook game I don't totally hate" :), I started playing Dungeons & Dragons Tiny Adventures (D&D:TA).

First big plus: D&D:TA is really, really free to play, as in even if you wanted there is no way whatsoever to give them any money or get anything in the game except by playing. There is also no need to spam your friends with invites and "here is a gift, send me one back" messages. All your friends that also play D&D:TA are automatically visible in your friends list. And you can buff them while they are adventuring, or heal them while they are resting, but that is only shown in game, with no extra messages being sent around. The game is "financed" by banner ads for Dungeons & Dragons products. So, by Facebook standards, D&D:TA is extremely unobstrusive.

The second big plus is that the game is relatively close to Dungeons & Dragons in gameplay. You create a character, go adventuring, beat encounters with various ability checks, find loot, gear up, gain xp, level up, and all that in a standard fantasy world with some rather good writing and a bit of humor.

The one thing that will keep most people away from Dungeons & Dragons Tiny Adventures is the time-scale it plays on. Something happens only about every 10 minutes, so a typical adventure with 12 encounters takes 2 hours. That is perfect for logging on here and there, drinking a potion to help inside the adventure, buffing some friends, or going for the next adventure if the previous one is finished. But it isn't exactly action packed. During adventures there is next to nothing to do, except possibly drink a potion, and you can automate that. Between adventures you can buy and sell gear, equip it, and choose the potions to bring for the next adventure. Note that selecting potions isn't just random, there are hints in the FAQ which environment more often does which ability check, and the type of enviroment can always be guessed from the adventure description. And you can also swap around gear to meet the challenges of specific environments. But all in all that still doesn't leave a whole lot of things to do.

Nevertheless Dungeons & Dragons Tiny Adventures is fun. I'm at level 10 with my first character, and once I hit level 11 I'll have to start over with a "generation 2" character, who can inherit one of my items. Further generations open up more character classes and give gameplay bonuses, so there is better long-term motivation than My Tribe has. D&D:TA is certainly not a game you can spend long hours on, but for a quick gaming fix here and there it is very nice. Recommended.
Comments:
Here's two more FB games you may want to check out:

NanoStars Siege: http://apps.facebook.com/nanostarsiege/

and NanoStars Castles:
http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2010/03/26/nanostar-castles-combines-golf-and-magic-in-medieval-facebook-card-game/
 
>The one thing that will keep most people away from Dungeons & Dragons Tiny Adventures is...

You might as well have finished this sentence, "...that it's a facebook game."
 
I want developers to make Facebook games that don't depend on the player checking back constantly. Why not use Facebook to launch a game that we can play when we want to but don't have to worry about when we don't feel like playing?

I am really interested to see what they do with the Civilization game that is headed to facebook. It may be more waiting around between turns, but I hope that isn't the case.
 
I don't worry about the current Facebook games when I'm not playing. Yes, characters can die in My Tribe, but that causes the game to pause, so you can't get wiped out by a famine while offline or something. And in D&D:TA you just rest up and heal when you aren't playing.

The only penalty for not playing is not advancing while not playing, and that is something I don't worry about, it's the same for MMORPGs.
 
I'm giving up on My Tribe as well, mainly because I wanted to unlock all of the mysteries on my island before leaving, but my third mystery is going to take ridiculously long.

I apparently unlock a piece of it every time I drop a baby onto it, and the flowers & empty spots remaining on the graphic seem to imply that I'm going to need another 5 babies to finish it. I already need 20 feathers for my next one, this is ridiculous.

I can craft my Ark, I'm just trying to figure out why I would want to. What's so great about unlocking all of the mysteries that I'd want to go to this much trouble to do it?
 
Looks like fun, I'll try it out.

I feel that it might benefit from some more interactivity. E.g. allow me to set when to use a healing potion with a slider. Now it's stuck at 15, why not allow us to change it from 1-max hp?
 
Augh! Curse you! Now I am sneaking peeks at Facebook every ten minutes during work hours. If I get fired, don't be shocked if I turn up on your doorstep looking for handouts. :D
 
I tried D&D:TA a while ago. There wasn't much happening, and I ended up giving up.

Plus having to log in, or check back every 10 minutes to make progress is too much time waste. At least in My Tribe it's about every minute and a half.

I started feeling bored with My Tribe before even being able to make the ark. I realized I was done with the game, when all my people were too old to make new babies.
 
u nub Tobold, i'm already Gen 2 :)

Excellent game while working tbh, the sporadic gameplay is an advantage there :)

While i (and my childrens) really liked my tribe, it lacks content and gets repetitive. Awesome for a few days.

I like D&D TA business model (no direct RMT) and faithfulness to D&D paper spirit.
 
I have a 3rd generation character in D&D:TA and their seems to be some misconception here - you don't have to check back in every ten minutes or whatever.

In fact, if you start a long adventure that would take 2 hours to complete, rather than having to click every step of the way to progress you could just check back later that day and see weather or not you've completed the adventure; look back over every roll and check to see if you succeeded or failed, and what loot you acquired.

You then go sell items, buy new gear, set off on an adventure, and check back in 10 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days, whatever suits you.

It's quite casual and rewarding without making many demands of the player.

Those who really get into it can, can find more depth to it and try to raise their % completion ratio among other things.
 
well, you CAN play more actively by switching gear before changing areas (putting +STR gear for example), but it's true you can also just "adventure and forget" :)

Check the FAQ for what attributes are needed will raise your success rate.
 
I started My Tribe yesterday at my Grand daughters insistence but I am having fun there at the moment.
I am also going to try the D&D but it sounds slow. May run it in another tab. =)
 
I don't get Tiny Adventures. It's barely a "game," and instead just a link that refreshes every few minutes to click on. There's no "roleplaying," or any other real interaction, either.
 
Yeah, I'm finding it rather disappointing. I'm trying out a cleric, and it seems like the "game" would have been no different if I'd picked a different race or class. I'd just have a slightly higher or lower chance to randomly succeed at the skill checks that are automatically performed.

I don't have any spells or anything. What would be the point of choosing a spellcaster? A higher chance to succeed at intellect-based challenges? I would love to throw some fireballs on my next character, but I know any combat challenges that come my way are going to be passed by stabbing it with my dagger.
 
I am currently trying this out as a game to play in the background while I am doing other things. While it does seem to bear true to Dungeons and Dragons it hasn't really grabbed me yet. I wish you had more of an input into your characters actions. The only choices I have seen so far relate to which gear to equip (which is a no-brainer because gear is either an upgrade or not) and which mission to take (which is entirely random).

Are there any play in the background games where you get to make real strategic choices which influence the outcome of the game?
 
starting from gen 4, you get the option to use class skill(s) during the adventure, which is a bit more interactive. A great idea and a nice "in the background" game... lots of evolutions possible, shame they freezed it :)
 
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