Sunday, December 5, 2010

Untold Elite Access: Shop and Compare!

Not too long ago The Wandering Men wanted to offer something more to the dedicated fans of Untold…. For a modest fee. What they came up with was Elite Access!

Elite Access offers fans of Untold a look behind the curtain and a chance to directly participate and guide the course of the game. The team has taken their queue from many other games and websites for their elite offering.

For a monthly fee of $6 or $54 a year (A savings of $12 against the monthly fee.) gamers get access to some perks and more are coming!

Currently subscribers get a look at the complete release schedule from Wandering Men Studios, seeing what the company is going to release and when. This also comes with opportunities to purchase cards and other releases before their official release. Something the studio is working on is a subscription option where players can receive new releases automatically. When this goes live Untold will be offering the same service as the larger companies

Other access perks include a library on line where cards can be viewed as a slide show in a large, high resolution format. This is a front and back view, allowing the subscriber to see the power, but not the UP (untold points) they cost. This allows the gamer to see what they can purchase and if that power is one they want on their side! There is an exclusive forum with development discussion. This allows players to suggest powers and card builds, actually participating in the development of Untold. Currently some of the discussions have revolved around the “crunch” of power and use of new developing cards.

Custom deck builds are being beta tested now in Elite. Players can submit a deck to be built exclusively for them. Talk about buying EXACTLY what you want! No other card based game comes close to offering this. Untold already offers mini-flats for sale. In the future they will be offering custom flats for sale. Again: getting exactly what the player or GM needs for the game.

Here are a couple examples of exclusive member access offered by two similar sites. First you have the big boy on the block, Dungeon and Dragons; they too offer subscription services. For a base fee of $9.95, (71.40 for a year which breaks down to $5.94 a month) one has access to all the D and D manuals on line, character builder software and subscriptions to Dungeon and Dragon magazines on line. Dollar for dollar Hasbro does offer more, but Untold already offers much of this particular content for free, their rules, including step by step video primers are available at no cost to the gamer. The monthly newsletter and Ben’s Untold Blog offer many of the gaming tips and tricks that might be found in such publications as Dragon, and Hebdomadal Persona, faction, and the adventure seeds found on the Untold website offer similar content as a Dungeon publications. Hasbro is also a huge corporation and Wandering Men Studios a small, four man, fan driven operation.

The second comparison is ErfWorld, a webcomic, and one man operation, that offers subscription benefits as well. For $33 dollars a year reader’s gain store credit that could conceivably give them a free print runs of the comic. Also podcasts, scripts, and wall papers are available; similar behind the curtain kind of peeks that Untold offers.
Overall is the purchase of Elite Access worth it? Weigh expense against gain. Do the extras make it worth it? Does tinkering with a system and rule set on the ground floor interest the gamer engineer in you? Being the guy on the edge of every release excite you? That look behind the curtain satisfy your curiosity? Then does the cost of two comic books seem too much? Give it a look and judge for yourself.