I’m not a big gamer. I’ve never played WoW or any other massively multi-player games. The last console game I played was Lego Star Wars on the original Xbox. The game I’ve played most on my iPhone is Sudoku. So it was decided that I would be the perfect one to play Lego Universe and blog about the experience on BrickPop. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. Let’s just skip to the punch line, I spent most of the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend playing Lego Universe. I’m totally hooked.
But first I had to start at the beginning. I picked up a copy at the Lego store in Bellevue a couple weeks ago. I used the points on my Lego VIP card so that I wouldn’t have to spend any cash. I didn’t account for the remarkable selling skills of Mary. She pointed out if I spent more money I would get a box to fill with Pick-A-Brick after Christmas. Curse you Mary! OK, I’ll get Hagrid’s Hut also. And it’s fabulous so I’m glad I did. Also I got the last bonus rocket. Yay! These sell for $17-$25 on Bricklink. As if I would ever sell it, but I justify that I’m getting that additional value for free. Thanks Mary. PS, why did you leave the Lego Store? I’m sad without you there.
OK, I’ve got my copy, I’ve got my rocket, it’s time to install. It has a rather large hard drive requirement so I clear off some movies and TV shows I’ve already watched and get it going. It takes forever. If I had known how long it was going to take I would have (a) timed the process and/or (b) run some errands while it was happening instead of sitting there watching the files load.
Much later when it was finished installing it was time to set up my account. Well I’m LegoHamlet on everything else (Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, YouTube, etc…) so I’ll be LegoHamlet on here. “The username is not available. Try this instead: LegoHamlet7277″.
Wait, what? Someone else already picked LegoHamlet? How could that happen? OK, maybe I’ve already signed up for a Lego ID. Let’s try that with my usual passwords. “This username does not exist”.
Wait, what? OK, it’s not available AND it doesn’t exist? What the eff? That’s messed up. So far I’m not very happy. I settle for LegoHamlet0 and move on. But I’m not happy. As the installation progresses I discover it really doesn’t matter much, as I have to create an in-game name from a list of pre-approved words. I guess this is fine. After all this is supposed to be a safe game for kids. I try to pick the most suggestive collection of words I can find. After a while a settle on YummyShockingBiscuit. Yes my biscuit is both shocking and yummy. Or maybe it’s shockingly yummy? Either way, just keep thinking about my biscuit. So I’m still upset that I can’t be just regular LegoHamlet. It says of a username, “Use 2 to 30 characters with no spaces. You may use letters (a-z,A-Z), “_”, “-” and maximum of 4 numbers (0-9).” What I think this means now is you MUST use characters AND you MUST use number(s). I don’t know why there is a requirement for a number, but they need to either eliminate that or make it clearer that a number is required.
After another interminably long process I finally start the game on board a space ship. I saw a little bit of the demo at BrickCon this year so the environment looks familiar. I run around and smash things. I guess I’m supposed to leave the ship with a rocket. I somehow get parts for three rockets. Thinking back to playing this a couple weeks back, I was such a newb (but not a n00b according to the Urban Dictionary) that I have no idea how I made it through. As I played through the Thanksgiving weekend I found out I didn’t look through one of the binoculars and I didn’t read one of the story plaques. This really bugs me that I can’t go back and finished these off. I’m really the kind of gamer that who needs to play the game into the ground and complete or collect everything.
But wait, I find out today that I can go back to the Venture Explorer again. Here’s the news story. Also if your click on the news story in the start-up window of Lego Universe, the link is broken. So yay! At some point I will get to go clear off the binocular and story plaque achievements.
So to sum up, the installation was quite simple but very long. And as I used to be a software test engineer at Microsoft, I’ll be listed my bug reports at the bottom of each blog post.
Lego Universe Bug #1 – I could not choose an available username for undetermined reasons. If I must use a number in my ID, that should be stated on the Sign In page.
Lego Universe Bug #2 – When you click on the “Return to Venture Explorer” link in the start up window, it takes you to this broken link:
Instead of this correct link: