Lexulous.com – they got smacked by the owners of the Scrabble brand (who continue to refuse to put up their own online version, assholes) so they’ve changed the game just enough to avoid legal problems … a few changes in point values (Q and Z are both 12 points; a T, interestingly enough, is 2) and a slight tweak of the board layout (in the placement of DWS and the DLS and TLS – the TWS are in the traditional places, though), but basically the same game. You adapt quickly to the differences.
I tried isc briefly in the period when Lexulous was in the process of making the changes that got Scrabble off their back, but found the interface clunky and unintuitive.
I’m not sure how isc does ratings – 500 sounds really low, but not if they start you at 0. At lexulous, they start you at 1800 when you first sign up, and you tumble dramatically from there with your first loss (I played a newbie the other night who went 1800 --> 1534 when I won). I dropped down to about 1000 while I figured out the whole ratings thing but have built back up since. My rating fluctuates between 1700 and 1800 – I’m at the low end of that range right now after a really hellish losing streak.
I’m delighted to play any Doper who wants to – ask Carnivorous Plant – just throw in a “Hi Opal” or suchlike at the start of the game so I know who you are. I generally play a pretty brisk game (each person getting 7 minutes on the clock to start, with 10 seconds added when you take a turn; there’s usually a few minutes on the clock at the end of the game) but not speed-scrabble. For a social game with a fellow Doper, though, I’d be happy to play a more leisurely game.
Actually, Asimovian and I played a couple of email games there, and he beat me in one of them. I’d be happy to play via email with anyone interested.