I have been lucky enough to get on the Virtual Table Beta a couple of weeks ago and I have had the opportunity to play in a few games both as a player and a DM. I do like it overall since it gives a chance for players/dm’s to get together to play who cannot due to distance, schedules, or one of my issues other players into playing 4th edition. I do hope when the final product is released there is some kind of tutorial on how to run games on the Virtual Table. Another common problem I found is other people trying to figure out what you can do on the Virtual Table.
As a player it is enjoyable as long as everyone shows up and stays especially the dm. The first two games I played in either didn’t even get off the ground or we were in the middle of it when the dm left for an unknown reason. It is understandable when things get out of your own control. However, it still leaves the other players in the breeze. I also learned that it can be cumbersome for higher level pc’s with powers and magic items. There is only a scroll down box to display everything you have. I have had other players create quick powers in the others tab where they type the power and the attack bonus along with another line for the damage. I have also learned that everyone having microphones does a much better job of keeping everyone focused. I played in a game where the dm only typed and I found myself distracted more often than normal.
I found it a little more enjoyable as a DM because of some of the little things you can do. I was able to make parts of the map invisible as well as npc’s. I liked being able to create the different maps and switch between them with a click of a button. I am hoping for a more variety of dungeon tiles in the near future. I was running an urban campaign so city tiles would have been more appropriate. I liked the character tokens in the virtual table and I hope more will come out in the future. I have had very little problems getting players. I also find it easier to check out character sheets in case there are overpowered players.
I am glad to see the Virtual Table and am happy to be part of the beta. I like the opportunity it gives people normally unavailable, able to play.