Posted by: innerfire | July 19, 2006

Final Overview: DDO.

Hahah, so for now, I’m still doing a whole “overview of DDO” segment. This is from a conversation I was having with a friend.

We’ll go over what I’ve discussed so far:

Pros

  • Good graphics engine
  • Great customer support (via DMs; can’t say for forums, billing, etc)
  • Quests that get you involved
  • Well written plots that make it easy to RP
  • Support for Roleplay community
  • DM voicing (a great touch, honestly… sort of the polish that makes it -great- instead of just good)

Flaws:

  • Annoying party system (it’s tough in any game, but in DDO, it’s rather hellish sometimes)
  • It’s tough coming in as a new player at this point, because everyone has done the instances a billion times. You end up rushing through things with a lot of groups, instead of getting a feel for the story.
  • Hard to find groups (part of the party system)
  • Difficult to keep up with folks; rather under-par Friends system

The party system is, unfortunately, worth at least three of the Positive points, just because of the annoyance that it causes. Being able to go Anonymous is great for clerics to avoid constant “hey heal such and such place?” but it makes it difficult to find groups sometimes, and there really needs to be a great expansion of solo quests for the 3-6 bracket. Early on, you can do the Normal quests alone, if you aren’t a particularly crappy spellcaster (Summon I is your friend, dummies), but afterwards, Risi going all out on potions, gear, etc (I’m well geared for my level, thanks to guildmates who take pity on my noobish arse) with her 35 AC at level 4 can’t take on a level 3 instance.


I’d like to see a few more chain quests, because some of those are just absolutely amazing. I haven’t finished Delera’s Tomb with Risi officially (first time I did it, I came in halfway through, so I never got to finish the quest) but I really love the storyline… it’s very involving, if you manage to find a group that doesn’t just power through it.

But the very best part? You don’t feel that empty need to level to the “end” just to really enjoy yourself.

In D&D, the majority of normal people are 0-level. No real training. So, as you get higher up in the levels, there are fewer people. Because the dangers are greater as you go, and some people just aren’t strong enough to take on those dangers. When you hit 20th level, you’re epic. Literally… most gods, back in the day, were between 20 and 24th level. DDO is great… because instead of “okay I have to get to the “end” to have fun” you’re always accomplishing things. They took the quest system and actually freaking did it right. Every quest you finish -feels- like you’ve really accomplished something besides “go kill 20 kobolds” or “go escort some guy for some reason”.

And there’s action points, every 1/4 of a level, so you’re always working on something, always getting better. Now, admittedly, I don’t always use the action points, but the point is that you feel like you’re accomplishing something, instead of this long, epic grind to 10th level (the current “end” point), because it’s broken down into more manageable parts.

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