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D&D Online


Erion
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I played some of the beta Game with my brother last night and was very impressed. NO level grinding. The only times I wasn't actively involved in a quest was when we were resting or selling items. In the two hours we played I completed at least six different quests. You do get XP and treasure drops from creatures, but that isn't where the bulk of it is gotten. Completing your quest objectives is far more important and profitable. The stuff you needed to complete your quests (at least in the ones we did) was part of the dungeon, not found by killing fifteen hojillion skeletons and waiting for a specific item to drop.

 

All the quests were instanced, and the items needed to complete the quest are reserved for the player in the party who received the quest. No one else can even take them from the chests.

 

As far as gameplay is concerned, it's fairly intuitive, but different from other MMO's. You don't just stand and autoattack. You can actually dodge around during combat to avoid getting hit, and duck back in for your next attack. They've mimicked D&D paper games pretty well. There's a DM voicover that describes rooms and provides background info on quests and characters (they even got Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson to 'guest-DM' some of the later quests, from what I heard). Spells work from a spell-point system as described in Unearthed Arcana, but those who memorize spells are still limited to a number of spells they have access to during any given quest based on their level.

 

The Good:

I loved that I wasn't told, as a noob, to go to a killing field and slay rabbits until I collected 20 pelts. The first quest was designed to introduce the game interface to you, but after that I was performing tasks for Barkeeps and Holy Men and Tax Collectors and defeating classic D&D creatures and villains within a few minutes.

 

Stuff looks the way you'd expect it to. The Kobolds I fought looked like D&D kobolds. The Trainer Golems I fought were straight out of the monster manual.

 

Character Creation was very fast and intuitive. You could take the starter package for your Race/Class combo, or you could customize to try to re-create a PNP favorite. This being the Beta with a character that will be deleted I went for the Former, but I get a Feeling that my old-school characters will be making a Comeback when I actually start paying to play.

 

It's Eberron. There were steel guardians in one of the dungeons and Warforged walking around as both PC's and NPC's.

 

Most of all, It feels like D&D. There's even a little d20 icon down on one side that tells you how you rolled for each action you take, You almost always have a mission to complete instead of just wandering about looking for more XP to make your next level. There is a limit of six members to your party, so you won't be seeing huge raids. The initial game is limited to 10 "levels", but each level has a number of sublevels that give you minor enhancements before you get all of your familiar class benefits. I've already gotten two of those, and I will be surprised If I make "level" 3 before my 10-day beta pass runs out, but I expect to make it through quite of few of the sub-level advancements.

 

The Bad

Only Five races to choose from in the initial game. I was hoping to build a Shifter Paladin I've had in idea about for a long time, but you get Humans, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves and Warforged. I'm very hopeful that we'll get more races in expansions. That's really my only complaint. I suppose they can add those anytime they want through downloadable upgrades, but I would expect to see them in purchased expansions.

 

I saw ONE hiccup in the actual game, and that was when my brother and I were swapping some found items with each other. For a minute or two the trade window wouldn't let him place items into it, but once we both canceled it and re-opened the window it was working fine. A minor inconvenience at worst.

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Funny, because COH (not COV) is the only MMO i've played for more than a month or two before tiring of it. Except for the period between the release of COV when my Graphics card was overwhelmed by the changes they made and the purchase of my new PC this week, I played COH at least a few hours a week since the release...

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Was a longtime EQ player, about 3 years before I just got tired of the neverending exp grind and camping for items sorta thing. Picked up eq2 finally and have been playing that for a few days now, lots of quests but still some exp grinding...although it's much easier to solo and the quests build up so that you are continually getting exp in order to complete the quest...well, some are like that. I played horizons, which was unfortunately much better in concept than in delivery, and shadowbane as well, but much shorter timeframes...maybe 3 months tops each. Hadn't seen much about DDO so I'll have to check it out and see what it looks like. Anyone have a link for us lazy types? ::):

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D&D Online Page

 

I think D&D Online may have actually solved a lot of the problems with level grinding and spawn camping. It was MMO in that there were a lot of people in Stormreach running around in groups, but so far I have not seen any quest areas where more than one party was in play. This may change when you start venturing into the wilderness areas, but I have no idea how far I am from that.

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No Artificers. Also no Druids. Like I said with characters, I was hoping for more (like psionics implemented in the first D&D PC Game since The days of Dark Sun...), but I will be willing to accept that the stuff may be added in future expansions.

 

Artificier will likely be the closest thing the game gets to a crafting system, should they make an appearance. I wouldn't be surprised to see you're not able to sell to items to shops, only to trade with other PC's. There is currently no crafting in the game. (Yay!)

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I hadn't really been paying much attention to DDO until this post. It looks like it'll play more like Guild Wars than EQ or WoW. All dungeons are instanced and only your party is there, plus the monsters. No PvP which will probably drive some people away, but really, in playing D&D how often did you beat the crap out the rest of your party....well except that one time your character got really pissed off at that other character. Might have to buy this and some more memory for my computer.

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I went out and bought a new PC this week, mostly in preparation for D&D online. My Graphics Card was nearly five years old. and for about twice as much as the new card i was looking at I could get a whole new computer. No complaints from my wife got it done very quickly.

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I'm weary of it too. I've tried these before, and never could keep interest past the first 15 levels or so. If I knew more people to game with then I'd probably be more excited.

 

For the time being, though, I'd have to upgrade to XP then pay out the nose for the game then pay for monthly access and spend time away from painting or songwriting or just writing. All of this time and effort going into Eberron is even less appealling.

 

I can see why people enjoy it. It's probably not going to be for me, though.

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As much as people may be loathe to hear it, Eberron is currently the Favored Son of WotC's official campaigns. It's the first one to be developed by them in-house, and the only one receiving anything akin to new material. Forgotten Realms is getting re-hashed and brought into the next age by updating old characters, but Eberron is where the action is at.

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I've been toying with picking it up when it comes out. The fact that they still don't have the monthly price point listed on the website is kind of a turn off for me, as it smells of bait and switch tactics.

As for it being set in Eberron, I'm kind of okay with that. I played in an Eberron campaign ReaperBryan ran, and was interested in the city of Sharn (spelling?) region of the setting.

Are there Dragonmarks in DDO?

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