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Author Topic: Play DDO with me! It's fun. (10 day free trial)  (Read 11431 times)
BigBlack
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on: December 19, 2007, 12:02:10 AM

Cross out the "with me" part if that's a sticking point.

Here's a synopsis of the game as it currently stands (a good deal has changed since beta), since some people asked for a status update:

DDO mixes elements of Zelda, Tomb Raider, and traditional MMOs (As well as D&D, I'm told -- PnP roleplaying scares the fuck out of me so I have no basis for comparison).

The game centers around encapsulated adventures (though there are also free-roaming, traditional 'exploration' areas), which you enjoy solo or with a small group (6 max, generally speaking).  Within these adventures, the gameplay is far improved over traditional Diku -- there's smooth, twitch-oriented combat, puzzles to solve, traps to navigate, side quests and objectives to explore.  When I say 'twitch-oriented', I mean that you can run around and freely swing your sword as you move with right-click, and if you roll (zelda-style) out of an enemy's sword slice, it simply doesn't hit you.  If someone's shooting a fireball at you and you duck behind a wall, the fireball isn't just going to curve around you.  Your warriors can form a shield wall -- there's collision detection.  Did I mention you can roll around in combat, Zelda-style?  Good stuff like that.

In some ways, it's comparable to Deus Ex -- depending on you and your group's abilities, there are different paths and means of completing a given objective.

Environments are highly interactive.  Water flows push you along.  Traps and secret paths emerge logically from their environment.  Scythes swing from the ceiling, Indiana-jones style.  Tons of destructible features.  A bunch of goblins are sitting around some powderkeg explosives -- my rogue can stealth within line-of-sight of them, and use my Cloak of Magic Missile to fire a blast at the barrels, setting them off and killing the goblins.  Extensive movement in three dimensions, with ladders, three-dimensional swimming, jumping and platforming areas (you can even ledgehang, a-la Zelda or Tomb Raider), etc.  Stealth actually works according to a thief-style system where light sources and things like that can affect how well you're hidden (this is cool).

Adventures are instanced -- You get rewarded based on completing a given adventure, not based on killing monsters.  If you can manage to sneak and out-think your way past all the baddies, you won't miss out on XP for doing so.  Killing most monsters gives 0 XP.  You get bonuses for everything from attempting challenges above your level to disarming all the traps or finding all the secret doors.

Just as there aren't respawning monsters for you to kill over and over, you also don't regen hit-points and mana by sitting around.  Your HP and Mana are finite resources that you're having to think strategically about how to conserve over the course of the adventure.  There are rest and ressurection points every so often within the adventure, helping you to keep on going.

Min-maxing is a thing of the past.  Sure, you *could* min-max in DDO if you wanted to, but there's just no reason to.  Every adventure can be played on four difficulties:  Solo, Normal, Hard, and Elite.  The higher difficulties add new complexities and give better loot and XP, but there's no reason you have to play them; life goes just fine if you stick to the easier difficulties.  You can play how you want to play, pursue gear upgrades and new abilities as you wish, without worrying if some other guy has a 10% better template than you.  The great part about DDO is that the ride itself is intended to be fun, you're not slogging through anything to 'get to the fun' later on.  Getting to the max level (Level 14 -- each level is divided up into 5 'ranks' that give you new abilities and boosts, so you still get a nice pace of character advancement) just means that you've been through all the game's experiences, not that you're super-duper uber.

Example:  The standard 'min-max' idea for a rogue would be to maximize his skills to make him a secret/trap-finding bitch -- essentially, leave the combat to everyone else, forget stealth because an 'ideal' group doesn't have much use for it, and forget combat because warrior/paladin/barbarian will always be best in head-to-head combat.  This is bullshit.  I've had tons of fun with my rogue that's oriented around stealth, backstabbing, and dual-wielding damage, and I still find my fair share of traps, secrets, lockpicking, etc.  I collect interesting gear that helps me solo in odd situations, like magical scrolls and wands.  And if the day comes where I can't cut it?  I'll just kick the difficulty down a notch, from Elite to Hard or from Hard to Normal, and I'll keep on playing how I want to play.  Life is good.

Playing with your friends isn't hard to do, and it doesn't really matter if you out-level each other.  If you pick an adventure that having your higher-level friend along will make really easy, there's just a 10-20% XP penalty -- not too shabby, and the experience is still just as fun.  And having higher level friends along usually means you can kick up the difficulty level (as discussed above) in order to compensate.

Pick-up groups are easy to find (including at lower-levels), the LFG tool is robust and works well, and most importantly, the groups I've been in have been overwhelmingly asshat-free and fun.  If your group isn't super-strategically-coordinated, again, no worries -- just move the difficulty level down a notch.  There's no XP penalty for adding more people to your group, so a group of five has absolutely no incentive not to add a sixth even if that person is lower-level or a 'less essential' class.

The world feels compelling, interesting, and colorful.  I knew jack shit about D&D in general when going in, much less Eberron, and I've found myself really enjoying the flavor text and story elements.  The game makes maximum use of instances to give you an oddly strong sense of 'worldiness'.

There's a 10-day free trial at DDO.com.  No credit card needed.  The game tosses you into interesting and fun stuff from the beginning - I'm maybe 10 hours in and having a wonderful time, at level 3.  You won't have any reason to sweat over not being level X or not having gear Y.

Since release, they've added a ton of content, of increasing complexity (someone else who's played more of the higher level stuff can go into more detail on it if you're interested).  They've also added a number of sprawling free-adventure areas, more along the lines of the traditional MMO model, that reward you in a variety of ways (fighting large numbers of monsters, exploration, rare encounters) when you want a change of pace.  They've also added arena dueling, for some limited PvP experience.  There's a holiday festival going on right now, where you can find all sorts of special goodies - I just pulled a Ginger-Bread Beholder that casts Obliterate on whoever eats it.

I freely admit, I haven't played the majority of the game's content yet.  I'm not high level.  But then again, I'm having a bunch of fun without feeling like I should be rushing to 'get to the good stuff' later on.  This game passes the 'it should be fun from the start' test with flying colors.  Even if somewhere in the uber-reaches of the game something sucks (class X is more powerful than class Y or whatever), hypothetically, who cares?  There's more than enough fun stuff to do to last you the free 10-day trial.

Perhaps most interesting, to me -- this is the only MMO I've ever played where the pre-rendered opening cinematic actually conveyed a decent sense of what the game plays like.


Am I fanboi-ing?  Perhaps.  But who gives a shit if it's not as perfect as I think it is?  DDO is still great fun, it doesn't make me feel like I'm doing work instead of playing a game, and there's a free 10-day trial without even needing a credit card.

Catch me ingame on the Thelanis server as "TwoGirls OneCup".
Nija
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Reply #1 on: December 19, 2007, 12:16:11 AM


Catch me ingame on the Thelanis server as "TwoGirls OneCup".


haha
Nerf
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Reply #2 on: December 19, 2007, 12:18:44 AM

Whats the level cap now? I've got like 3 level 10s and have been kicking around resubbing, I had a lot of fun but there was no endgame.

Also, if I do resub, I'll let ya know what server I'm on and I can hook ya up with some phat gear, I'm a total catass lootwhore and should still have a bunch of awesome stuff lying around.
BigBlack
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Reply #3 on: December 19, 2007, 01:44:40 AM

Whats the level cap now? I've got like 3 level 10s and have been kicking around resubbing, I had a lot of fun but there was no endgame.

Also, if I do resub, I'll let ya know what server I'm on and I can hook ya up with some phat gear, I'm a total catass lootwhore and should still have a bunch of awesome stuff lying around.

Cap is 14 now.  TYVM for the gear offer - assuming it wouldn't make quests my level too piece-of-cake, I'd gladly take you up on that.

Endgame, as I understand it, is raids (12 person max) and arena PvP... as well as making a Drow character, which you can unlock at high levels. 
Nerf
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Reply #4 on: December 19, 2007, 01:52:37 AM

Oh, one of my 10's is actually a drow already.. awesome, for real
Soukyan
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Reply #5 on: December 19, 2007, 08:16:22 AM

You know, I'm going to recommend this to my friend. The sole thing keeping him away from MMOGs was lack of "twitch" combat, or really just the whole paradigm of press an autoattack button and mingle various other buttons in until said mob is dead. I had fun in DDO, but did not play for long. Perhaps I'll give it another go.

I find it funny that more people don't play it. I have seen a lot of people say that they want a game with more interactive combat, and when one comes along, nobody plays it. I'm sure DDO has its own issues, but when combat is at the core of these games, you'd think the one with the desired combat style would do better. Perhaps it's the D&D aspect that keeps people away.

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AcidCat
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Reply #6 on: December 19, 2007, 08:24:07 AM

Since I'm no longer playing WoW, I think I'll check out the trial - this game kind of flew under my radar and you don't hear much about it these days, but it can't hurt to try it.
Morfiend
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Reply #7 on: December 19, 2007, 11:48:24 AM

The game is decently fun for while, until the grind kicks in. I really really really didnt like having to run the same quests in the same dungeons over and over and over again to level, also, once you pass around level 4 or 5, grouping is almost a requirement, also the game becomes much more diku. You need some sort of tank class, Warrior or Paladin Maybe a Barbarian if its not set to elite. Also, the big clincher is that you need a priest, as they are pretty much the only healing class in the game, but due to the way spell points work, your priest will be out of spells very quickly, so he has to rely on using healing wands, which are fucking expensive.

I started up with my friend a few months ago, and was doing a dual wielding dps warrior type, which was fun until I got to level 4+ and then it was just a chore sitting in town looking for group. About 75% of the groups where "Need one priest then we can go". I mean, hell I could have seen this coming. There are like 12 classes, and only one healer class. Also, its not that fun to play healbot, which you have to spec for if you want to be a decent healer higher levels. So not only do you need a priest, you need a heal spec priest, which is about half of them. So, considering an even class spread, you have about 1 in 24 people that can heal well.

When I started, as I said I was a warrior, and my friend rolled a priest. He had just slightly more play time than me, but he was around level 9 by the time I was level 5, cause the second he started LFG he got picked up, and when I did, it was some times hours with no group.
Nebu
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Reply #8 on: December 19, 2007, 11:51:37 AM

I think DDO fell into the GW category for me.  It was like "this is FUN" for about a month until the "what's the point?" epiphany hit like a ton of bricks.  I love the puzzles and traps, but their static nature really ruined several of the encounters that had to be repeated. 

Summary: Well worth giving a shot for the 10 day and possibly for longer with a balanced group.  Don't expect to stay hooked long.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Nerf
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Reply #9 on: December 19, 2007, 12:33:54 PM

Morf - You also didn't get picked up because a dualsword DPS warrior is kind of gimp, or at least it was when I played in 06.  Also, sorcs can heal warforged better than clerics can heal fleshies, so that mixes it up a bit as well.

I'm deciding right now if I want to install it on this comp, and then again on my new one xmas day, or just wait til then to hop in with the spiffy new fast comp, but I'm definately in.
Morfiend
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Reply #10 on: December 19, 2007, 12:58:23 PM

DW Warrior is pretty good now. Not as amazing as DW Barb, but still pretty awesome. At least according to their forums. when I was playing (6 months ago) the highest DPS class was DW Barb with Rapiers.
Nerf
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Reply #11 on: December 19, 2007, 01:04:59 PM

The problem wasn't really not doing enough damage, it was being too fucking squishy without a shield to be of any real use.

I want to address the grindy doing the same shit over and over again issue too - to me, it didn't feel like a grind, not like daoc or vanguard or lineage 2, mainly because you're never sitting there beating off waiting for a spawn.

While it may be faster xp to run through the same map a few times (and doing it more than 12 times gives you 0 xp anyways, so that's the most you're doing any one thing), aside from a few little super-fast xp glitches (part 3 of the quest line on the island, where the entire quest is to go steal a book, can get an easy level or more inside of an hour) it never drags too much.

Running through a map 10 times with different groups of people != wanking while waiting for the same bear to spawn for the 10,000th time
Morfiend
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Reply #12 on: December 19, 2007, 01:22:00 PM

To me grind = doing the same thing over and over again. Weather it be killing the same boar, or clearing the same quest. If they had made solo viable all the way to near the top, or hell, not even solo, but less optimal groups viable, then I would probably still be playing it. Sitting LFG is not fun.
Evildrider
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Reply #13 on: December 19, 2007, 01:23:00 PM

As someone who has been playing since launch, I really like DDO.  Ever since I left SWG I've played almost every MMO out there and DDO is the only one that has given me a good time.  It's not as grindy as most other MMO's imo.  

Endgame is raids and pvp... but pvp is like the red-headed stepchild of DDO.  The game really isn't balanced for pvp type play, but there is a small minority that have fun doing it.

The raids are pretty fun... They aren't like WoW raids in the fact that they take a huge amount of time.

The combat is really what keeps me loving this game, more mmo's need to go this route, although it is probably the biggest reason that people leave the game as they are used to the "WoW" type style of play.

THe biggest pain for new players is probably character creation.  The best thing you can do for that is to really look through the class forums and look at people's builds.

As for twf, it's kind of behind the curve a little bit, but it's not always all about damage in DDO.  Alot of twf's will use a debuff weapon or a weapon that improves their trip abilities in their off hand.  Although with the next update there is some definite twf love.
Evildrider
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Reply #14 on: December 19, 2007, 01:27:20 PM

To me grind = doing the same thing over and over again. Weather it be killing the same boar, or clearing the same quest. If they had made solo viable all the way to near the top, or hell, not even solo, but less optimal groups viable, then I would probably still be playing it. Sitting LFG is not fun.

Yeah, DDO is really a group centric game, although there are some people out there that solo a very fair bit.  Personally when I make a new character I can solo pretty much all the way to at least level 6... depending on class that is.  Wizards and Sorcs are pretty gimp at lower levels.  Although at higher levels, sorcs and wizzies can solo stuff that a melee class usually can't.

The thing I like about the DDO grind over like the WoW system.. is I'm not standing in the same spot killing creatures over and over.  Even though there is dungeon repetition at least it's more then the simple kill x mobs, kill mob and collect x number of it's testicles, run for 20 minutes to deliver pies...
Morfiend
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Reply #15 on: December 19, 2007, 05:19:47 PM

I completely agree with you. The dungeons in DDO are fantastic. They are downright amazing the first time you do each one, and still fun the second time, but when everyone in your group know every inch of the dungeon off the top of their head, they lose some thing and become a grind.

Maybe part of it is that I am a Min/Maxer by nature, but its annoying to me that the best rogues are trapbitches. The best Clerics are healbots and so on. It sucks that as a rogue, you have to really min/max your character design for disarm traps if you want to be able to open traps in the end game. But then, half the traps can be bypassed by clever movement anyway.

I liked the idea and the theory, but after a month it just felt stale.
BigBlack
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Reply #16 on: December 19, 2007, 05:45:07 PM

Morph, I somewhat see your criticisms. But even then, at 1-2 months of solid fun, it beats out pretty much every other MMO out there. I wish DDO were DDO +1, but compared to KillTenRatsCraft it's not even a contest. DDO removed my tolerance for bland.
Samwise
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Reply #17 on: December 19, 2007, 05:53:15 PM

Maybe part of it is that I am a Min/Maxer by nature, but its annoying to me that the best rogues are trapbitches. The best Clerics are healbots and so on. It sucks that as a rogue, you have to really min/max your character design for disarm traps if you want to be able to open traps in the end game. But then, half the traps can be bypassed by clever movement anyway.

There was one quest I played in Beta (Redfang's Something?) with a trap room where you needed a combination of clever movement and trap skills to disarm the thing.  Each trap "box" was guarded by another trap in a chain that went all around the room, with a bunch of other traps mixed in, so you had to find your way around each trap, disarm the first box, make your way around some more traps, disarm the next box, et cetera, until you'd cleared a straightforward path for the rest of the party.  I LOVED that quest, solely for that room, because it was my moment to really shine as a rogue.  I'd hum the Indiana Jones theme the whole time.  It was awesome.

If DDO had had, oh, twenty more quests that were as good as that one, it'd be a pretty cool game.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Nerf
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Reply #18 on: December 19, 2007, 10:56:57 PM

OK! I resubbed, It moved me from riedra to Khyber, so thats where I live now.

Msg me on Eek, Jihad, or Pwnee.  Chances are i'll be on Eek
geldonyetich2
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Reply #19 on: December 20, 2007, 03:07:32 PM

Thanks for the thread.  I've played DDO before but (like some others here) hit a brick wall of grind.  Also, finding a group somehow got difficult despite their nifty Looking For More interface.   I was mostly wondering what had changed since release.

Quote from: BigBlack
Since release, they've added a ton of content, of increasing complexity (someone else who's played more of the higher level stuff can go into more detail on it if you're interested).  They've also added a number of sprawling free-adventure areas, more along the lines of the traditional MMO model, that reward you in a variety of ways (fighting large numbers of monsters, exploration, rare encounters) when you want a change of pace.  They've also added arena dueling, for some limited PvP experience.  There's a holiday festival going on right now, where you can find all sorts of special goodies - I just pulled a Ginger-Bread Beholder that casts Obliterate on whoever eats it.
This stuff sounds kinda cool, perhaps worthy of giving the 10-day free trial a spin.

Another thing I was wondering is if they randomized the traps a bit more.  When I was last playing, you'd be able to find most traps just by remembering where they were the last dozen times you did the scenario.  (Which was another problem, of course: regrinding the same scenarios over and over again.  Hopefully those "free-adventure areas" cleared that up a bit.)
KallDrexx
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Reply #20 on: December 31, 2007, 03:45:49 PM

Back when I played the 10 day trial, I played it for a few days days.  Most of them were with real night friends (spent 3 days doing nothing but playing it while on TS) and had a lot of fun.  The game was made for this scenario (or at least back then). 

Then my vacation ended, I went home, it was harder to corridinate with my friends and we disbanded due to time differences.  I tried to play with pugs and they were idiots who knew every inch of every dungeon and it completely destroyed the game.  Back then you couldn't solo so I pretty much quit.

The idea and a lot of the execution for the game was great, but without being able to solo when my real life friends weren't on I wasn't going to play.  I've read a small blurbs about soloing though.  Can you actually solo now (and by solo I don't mean where you have to play one build if you don't want to stab your eyes out)?
Evildrider
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Reply #21 on: December 31, 2007, 11:41:21 PM

You can't really solo without building your character to do just that.  The reason there is no solo'ing in DDO is because of the grouping aspect, but also because there is no class balance.  For instance, say we have a level 2 dungeon, there would be no way to make it so that a fighter class would have the same challenge as say a wizard.  Wizards/sorcs completely suck at lower levels when it comes to doing most of the dungeons.  Now at higher levels that just turns completely around, the wizard/sorc can do so much more then the fighter can achieve. 

There is no class balance that there is amongst the classes of other mmo's.  In DDO melee classes rule the low, then slip off as the casters get higher and higher.  Most of the people that like to solo dungeons, and even some raids, are spell casters.  It is very very hard for melee classes to compete, but they can by building themselves in certain ways.. but they are never as competent as a caster can be.
Nerf
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Reply #22 on: January 01, 2008, 01:49:48 PM

Yes and no to that evil, while sorcs are FAR more powerful than others at 14, we burn out alot quicker too.  A fighter with proper gear (vorpal, greater bane weapons, banishing, etc, etc,) will be able to solo a dungeon better for the simple fact that they don't have to worry about mana.

I can absolutely destroy the first 3 or 4 rooms, but then I'm out of mana and have 80% to go.
Evildrider
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Reply #23 on: January 01, 2008, 04:24:31 PM

Yes and no to that evil, while sorcs are FAR more powerful than others at 14, we burn out alot quicker too.  A fighter with proper gear (vorpal, greater bane weapons, banishing, etc, etc,) will be able to solo a dungeon better for the simple fact that they don't have to worry about mana.

I can absolutely destroy the first 3 or 4 rooms, but then I'm out of mana and have 80% to go.

Ya but when you are capped and xp don't mean anything.. it's no biggie to get out of mish, grab some mana and go back in.. or buy craploads of mana pots. lol.

I carry about 50 on each of my casters.
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