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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  Dungeons & Dragon Online  |  Topic: DDO: I tried. I really tried. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: DDO: I tried. I really tried.  (Read 65562 times)
pxib
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on: April 28, 2006, 02:24:42 PM

I appreciate what they attempted to do. I'd like a skilled, capable company to produce a polished version of the idea behind DDO. Small, tightly plotted, compartmentalized missions are a solid framework with a strong history in the single-player marketplace. Effortlessly, creatively multiplayer versions thereof would be a delight to explore and conquer.

This particular game, however, turned me off from the beginning. Character construction was complex, obtuse, insufficiently explained and hobbled by a lousy user-interface. Too much customization before I understand the consequences of my choices makes those choices feel arbitrary. I understood intuitively that I would find myself restarting after ten or twelve hours of play (if I was lucky) because I hadn't grasped what was genuinely important when I began. Advancement was simply further awkward opportunities to gimp myself. Nothing became clear.

The user-interface was no better at allowing  me to operate an adventurer than it had been at helping me create one. I say "operate an adventurer" because a poor control-scheme and oddly jerky movement quickly excised any sense of immersion. I was not a cleric, wizard, thief, or fighter... I was some poor fool trying to manipulate one by remote control. That I could cause my puppet to sneak, block, or tumble was little consolation when those same actions had such limited or counter-productive effect on the puppet's performance. The inclusion of switches, levers, and sliding block puzzles(!) only made it all the more mysterious that my puppet operated them all by precisely the same stooping gesture. I spent quite a bit of time swinging my weapon at these same features in the assumption that right-clicking might do something worthwhile.

Enough has already been said about joining groups. Also, the sound and visuals were suitably pleasant. I especially grew to love the narrator. He brought back fond memories of long-winded word fetishist dungeonmasters from my own pen-and-paper days. He was the only part of DDO that inspired any such reminiscence. It was, in fact, the only thing that made me smile.

The game is uninstalled. I will not be using the rest of my free week. I think it took as longer to download than it took for me to give up hope that I might enjoy it. I wish I'd stopped playing then.
Mesozoic
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Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 03:16:01 AM

Well written.

...any religion that rejects coffee worships a false god.
-Numtini
Margalis
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Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 01:17:46 PM

Good point about character creation and levelling being obtuse. The game is really hard to grasp in general if you don't know a lot about D&D, I found myself having very little idea which skills were worthwhile, what items did, etc etc.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
fatboy
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Reply #3 on: May 01, 2006, 06:37:57 AM

The game is uninstalled. I will not be using the rest of my free week. I think it took as longer to download than it took for me to give up hope that I might enjoy it. I wish I'd stopped playing then.

You have stated my sentiments exactly.  Unfortunately (for me), I actually purchased the game.  I was very disappointed overall with the game.

If you don't want to hear the answer -- don't ask the question.
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #4 on: May 01, 2006, 08:46:14 AM

Even if you know what you are supposed to do with some of the stats and skills, it's still hard to properly manipulate your guy because the UI is just so clunky and unresponsive.

Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #5 on: May 02, 2006, 06:08:38 AM

Even if you know what you are supposed to do with some of the stats and skills, it's still hard to properly manipulate your guy because the UI is just so clunky and unresponsive.

That was the first really jarring thing for me -- the UI looks completely out of place with the higher quality art design.  It's clumsy, ugly, and I include the horrible decision to not allow you to toggle your right mouse button to turn.  Instead, you saw everyone running around randomly swinging in the air with their weapons, but all they wanted to do was change direction.  Was very frustrating.  It's a beautiful looking game, but it seems like they outsourced their UI.  I'd subscribe if that human factors experience was a little better, but of course the showstopper is not being able to solo, ever.  Too bad otherwise.
Samprimary
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Posts: 3306


Reply #6 on: May 03, 2006, 02:52:20 AM

One of my friends, a long time ago, remarked that it was near impossible to control Brad Wong. You could only give him suggestions, and he would run off of them. Brad Wong was the chain of command down to the punches, kicks, and hip-thrusts needed to secure victory. In that game, it worked and was fun. Elsewhere, it does not work.

In an MMORPG, I like to feel like I am controlling my character, rather than feebly positioning him and giving him suggestions. You want to be in the game, and you don't want to be a poltergeist who is valiantly attempting to get things to happen the way they should.

Combat is clunky, slippery, and slimey. You slorp around and make terribly repetitive swinging motions in a greasy combat mechanic which is unpleasant to hold and leaves stains.

If you want to make an MOG, your interface has to be crisp and clean and responsive and immediate and prompt and it has to be chiseled out of motherfucking stone. And not just any stone, no, no bulk-rate gravel or granite. You need shiny clean stone with sheer surfaces, like high-grade countertop marble.

DDO's interface is crudely hewn out of soap. You drag stubborn, uncooperative buttons and press soporific-drugged, spongy tabs. You stab pointedly at teammate life bars and punch at buttons, hoping for a response which even remotely resembles 'semi-prompt.' You huck and futz while trying to hack and slash.

The most tragic crime imposed so cruelly upon people playing the game by the interface? It immediately disconnects you from a bonding with the game, by rendering the character creation process into an unappealing, fumbling sort of process.

This game was my first attempt at a return to game normalcy as I re-emerge into Affairs Computed. If DDO were a foodstuff, it would have been one that I sadly pitch into the trash after it immediately tastes off and leaves an oily film on my tongue.

Such a shame, I say, the packaging looked so interesting.

/

Of note: an MOG loses points instantaneously with people, usually, when they first start the game congealed inside other people.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2006, 02:57:25 AM by Samprimary »
Trippy
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Reply #7 on: May 03, 2006, 02:59:22 AM

Comic?
Samprimary
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Reply #8 on: May 03, 2006, 03:02:16 AM

schild
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Reply #9 on: May 03, 2006, 03:04:10 AM

Lol.
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #10 on: May 03, 2006, 09:17:13 AM

stuff
I am not sure what you are saying, could you draw a comic about it?

"Me am play gods"
schild
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Reply #11 on: May 03, 2006, 10:38:03 AM

I think he got it the first time.
Toast
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Reply #12 on: May 03, 2006, 11:57:29 AM

That was a funny turn to this thread. DANCE COMIC BOY DANCE!

I do want to compliment Samprimary on the awesomely vivid metaphors and imagery in his review. I kept picturing a keyboard made out of moldy Wafflehouse pancakes completely saturated in syrup and butter.

A good idea is a good idea forever.
Samprimary
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Reply #13 on: May 06, 2006, 02:16:37 PM

stuff
I am not sure what you are saying, could you draw a comic about it?

okok







Broughden
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I put the 'shill' in 'cockmonkey'.


Reply #14 on: May 06, 2006, 02:31:27 PM

Samprimary...you rule.  :-D

The wave of the Reagan coalition has shattered on the rocky shore of Bush's incompetence. - Abagadro
Arthur_Parker
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Internet Detective


Reply #15 on: May 06, 2006, 02:54:35 PM

Awaiting Dragon expansion issue.
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #16 on: May 06, 2006, 10:24:03 PM

Oh, that's what you were saying. I understand now.

"Me am play gods"
Margalis
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Reply #17 on: May 07, 2006, 02:49:20 PM

That's a pretty fucking accurate summary there!

When I first made a character I decided to alter some stats/feats. Then I realized I had no idea what any of them did, and furthermore there was no "reset to default" so I had to just start all over.

IMO the player should never be able to make binding decisions before the game starts, other than cosmetic ones. And maybe class and race, but even then I would prefer not. (At least class, changing race mid-game is a bit too odd)

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
pxib
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Reply #18 on: May 08, 2006, 01:14:29 PM

Actually, this is similar to problems I had with UO, DAoC, Shadowbane and (to a lesser extent, and almost specifically in the talent trees) WoW.

Starting character customization should to be almost entirely cosmetic. What do you want your character to look like? Beyond that, customization should center around decisions that are both clear and meaningful. By 'clear' I mean I ought to know why I'd make such a choice. By 'meaningful' I mean I ought to be able to see the change my choice engenders. Most games, instead, give me numbers.  3% more movement speed. 2% chance of an added 15% damage resistance for 12 seconds. 20% of your spells can cast cost 8% less mana but have 17% shorter duration for 15 seconds once every two minutes.

Yes, very impressive, but so what?

Abilities that are effective (obviously or surprisingly) tend to become "must have" choices. Lesser options tend to gather dust... so WHY DO THEY EXIST? I would always rather be in a situation where every choice mandates that I give up something I want than a situation where every choice mandates I slog through pre-requisites nobody loves. At the very least, pre-requisites nobody wants ought to state what delightful treasures they are pre-requisites for so I can grumble, sigh, and pick them up anyway.

DDO didn't even give numbers much of the time, and when it did it was coy about what those numbers truly represented.

Yugh.
Morfiend
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Reply #19 on: May 17, 2006, 12:52:19 PM

(to a lesser extent, and almost specifically in the talent trees) WoW.

Yes, it is possible to make crappy talent choices, but you can unlearn your talents. Yeah it costs gold, but there is nothing you can do during character creation (or even in the first 10 levels) that would make you need to reroll. Hell, even if you totally fuck yourself with talents, you can pay to unlearn them. You never have to reroll a character due to bad choices.
Mesozoic
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Reply #20 on: May 17, 2006, 01:07:59 PM

Is DDO the game that has some kind of "luck" attribute, where delving the info just says "increases your luck"?  Maybe that was AC2, the other Turbine gem.

...any religion that rejects coffee worships a false god.
-Numtini
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Reply #21 on: May 18, 2006, 07:20:03 AM

Is DDO the game that has some kind of "luck" attribute, where delving the info just says "increases your luck"?  Maybe that was AC2, the other Turbine gem.

No luck in DDO.  Damn, that didn't sound good did it. :)

On the plus side, in between little league games I managed to get my cleric to level 2 and did some new low level quests that weren't in beta and the revised quests like the missing ward and millers debt.  They even added on where you must lead doggies out of a lair without killing any of them.  Anything new is nice.

I did notice that leveling from 1 to 2 gave me a backswing capability I didn't have a level one, which basically doubles my attack cycle yet no mention of it in the level up info.  I can't remember if that was the same before or not.

Xilren

"..but I'm by no means normal." - Schild
Samwise
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Reply #22 on: May 18, 2006, 08:49:12 AM

I did notice that leveling from 1 to 2 gave me a backswing capability I didn't have a level one, which basically doubles my attack cycle yet no mention of it in the level up info.  I can't remember if that was the same before or not.

That was there before - it goes along with your BAB, IIRC.  +1 = 2 attacks, +5 = 3 attacks, and presumably +10 = 4 attacks, although I never got that far.

"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
Llava
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Reply #23 on: June 04, 2006, 10:19:13 PM

(At least class, changing race mid-game is a bit too odd)

It worked for Psylocke.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Mesozoic
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Reply #24 on: June 09, 2006, 07:58:17 AM

(At least class, changing race mid-game is a bit too odd)

It worked for Psylocke.

Can't UO characters morph into elves now?

...any religion that rejects coffee worships a false god.
-Numtini
Driakos
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Reply #25 on: June 11, 2006, 03:00:20 PM

(At least class, changing race mid-game is a bit too odd)

It worked for Psylocke.

Can't UO characters morph into elves now?

No no no!  You discover your Elven heritage!

So yeah, morph.

You can also later discover your human heritage again, but then rediscover your elvish side; Only to decide once more that you really agree with your human ancestors on all of the important issues.

Just takes a quest or two.  Even though it's sorta anti-lorish, I'm glad it is there, rather than having to reroll.

oh god how did this get here I am not good with computer
geldonyetich
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Reply #26 on: August 05, 2006, 12:26:55 PM

Kinda anti-lorish? There haven't been elves in Ultma since Ultima 3. If they wanted to be lorish about that, they'd have allowed people to unlock their Dwarven, Bobit, and Fuzzy heritage as well.

Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #27 on: August 08, 2006, 06:14:23 AM

Anyword on the July expansion?  State of game?  any change?  was thinking of resubbing to try but awaiting on informed flameback
CmdrSlack
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Reply #28 on: August 08, 2006, 11:00:24 AM

I'm resubbing this week, I think, largely to check out the new stuff that's been added.  So, yeah.  No useful info yet, but some should be forthcoming sooner or later.

I traded in my fun blog for several legal blogs. Or, "blawgs," as the cutesy attorney blawgosphere likes to call 'em.
edlavallee
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Reply #29 on: August 08, 2006, 01:48:55 PM

Yay for Show unread posts since last visit because I learned cool words such as "slorp" and "huck and futz" and got to witness genius in action with that comic. There are days I am happy to be alive.

Contrary to my usual sarcasm, I really mean that. Now I need to use Show the last posts of this person to see if I can uncover more gems.

I will conquer this intarnet thing for sure.

Zipper Zee - space noob
Xilren's Twin
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Reply #30 on: August 08, 2006, 01:53:20 PM

I'm resubbing this week, I think, largely to check out the new stuff that's been added.  So, yeah.  No useful info yet, but some should be forthcoming sooner or later.

I should have some info in ~2 weeks.  Hadn't been playing due to TQ, plus Summer being a really bad season for free gaming time.

I'll make a drow ranger named Ditto.

Xilren

"..but I'm by no means normal." - Schild
Aranel
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Reply #31 on: December 30, 2006, 04:37:19 PM

Let's hope turbine doesn't screw up their new game, LoTR online....
bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #32 on: December 30, 2006, 04:55:37 PM

Who are you, and why do you keep necroposting all these random threads? This is the gaming graveyard for a reason; let these old bones lie.
Aranel
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Reply #33 on: December 30, 2006, 05:18:45 PM

Oh geez, didn't see the date.  August... yikes.  Sorry about that.
Cheddar
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Reply #34 on: December 30, 2006, 08:03:11 PM

Who are you, and why do you keep necroposting all these random threads? This is the gaming graveyard for a reason; let these old bones lie.

A Lurker who has decided to post.  I think its grand!  Keep going, little man, keep going!

No Nerf, but I put a link to this very thread and I said that you all can guarantee for my purity. I even mentioned your case, and see if they can take a look at your lawn from a Michigan perspective.
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