Google Wave First Impressions
We’ve been running a small pilot in Google Wave for the past three or four weeks now, initially with two of the players and now eventually expanded to four out of the final five as people have been coming back off holiday.
So far using Google Wave appears to have been a success for us. We’ve managed some good roleplaying and a few combat encounters without any major glitches, and all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Planning has appeared to be very important – setting up certain ground rules on how/when to post and then making sure that appropriate waves are set up that are obvious to use.
After a number of discussions in a couple of waves we first set up a Fighty+ map test, adding a couple of random markers and asking the players to play around with the map to make sure they were comfortable with how it worked. This led into our first combat encounter – with a 1st level human rogue and 1st level human fighter up against a couple of goblin skirmishers and a guard drake.
This was the first exposure for the players to the 4th edition rules, and we spent a fair amount of time looking things up and sorting out how to use the rules. I think we were all pleasantly surprised that the rules were straightforward, easy to understand, and actually fun. The rules actively encourage tactical combat within the party, rather than just hacking away individually, and this lends itself very well to Google Wave where you have more time to ponder your next move.
We extended the encounter a little to get a few skill checks in there, make sure the two players had ample opportunity to get to use and understand the powers, and even had the fighter bleeding on the ground everywhere at one point (natural 20s on death saves saved the day!).
All in all the experience has been very good so far and we’re starting to coalesce our ways of working within Google Wave into some good practices, which I’ll start to share on this blog.