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Dungeons and Dragons Online (Episode 36)

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Posted on January 23, 2013, in Episodes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.

  1. I tried DDO, but it seemed like what I was doing was dungeon crawls. I’m more of an open world type MMO gamer in that I love exploration. I was also involved with several other MMO’s and didn’t really have the energy to research DDO properly. Pretty much just jumped into it one night with a few friends. I did find some of it fun, but not enough to keep my attention.

  2. I only tried DaD once, never got into it because the game master said the dragon had the strength of 120 -.-. Anyways review roblox :D

  3. Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance I+II is based on D&D 3rd edition? That is so wrong that it’s almost insulting.

    • While what you speak of is a line Skitch added, as I said, I don’t know D&D, I would have to say that you at least have some wikipedia articles to edit if you don’t want to keep feeling “insulted”

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldur's_Gate:_Dark_Alliance

      • And there we have a prime exampel of trusting Wikipedia blindly.
        The Gameplay of Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance is more like a simplefied console-version of Diablo than a complex RPG based on D&D rules like TOEE. So yeah i might get on with the editing :)

        • Don;t remember BG:DA being brought up. Speaking of that game, I’m not touching it until they do away with the mandatory server logon. Mojang hosts SP Minecraft on local servers & went about it in a better way that didn’t leave players high & dry.

        • I never made any statement about how deeply any of the games mentioned represented 3.5 rules. I was merely making a statement about multiple games that were based on 3/3.5

          Daggerdale is the only 4e based Video game aside from the Facebook game based on it, and while it may not be a good representation of the system, it’s still the only real official game based on the system we have.

          I just don’t think any correction/editing is needed for such a small point, anyways.

        • I know this comment is ancient but I wanted to say that I LOVED the BG:DA and similar (ie. Champions of Norrath) games even the much hated Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel was awesome.

          Mind you I grew up with a brother who loved video games almost as much as me, I have a feeling they would be very boring if you played them alone.

    • Hey now they may not be as bad-ass as the PC Baldurs gates or NWN but me and my Brother loved those games growing up and they still get some decent play time when my buddies are over don’t knock em.

  4. Temple of Elemental Evil among other titles I live & own! Why did I never buy it? WHY?! Oh yeah…Because I relied on PC gaming magazines back then & none of them mentioned it.

    Hmm, haven;t read about Dragon Shard either. I’m guessing both games fell into the “meh” category? Neither too good to recommend nor too bad to warn about?

    The graphics still look damn good to me. Newer games have a distasteful uncanny valley look to them. Plus the point of fantasy is to escape reality, not emerse yourself in it. Lastly, overdone landscapes tell me that little budget went into story & gameplay. The only thing I disliked visually was that you spend FOREVER in the stony city & very little in lush woodlands. I grew up in the desert & I want my greenscapes!

    I agree on the music. It’s not bad, just forgettable

    I logged onto LotRO this month & found a 3ed character slot. It’s possible I bought one with Turbine points 2 years ago, but the slot was empty, so I’m going to assume it’s a new thing for free accounts.

    I really liked the dungeons, especially because they were instanced; no other players running around going after the same crates & monsters.

    I soloed almost up to level 20. I find the only way the game punishes your for soloing is the same way it punishes you for grinding for Turbine Points instead of purchasing them; by making you go though the same dungeons over & over again.

    I like that you can earn Turbine Points, but I hate the amount of time & grinding it takes, & how much of the game is TP-exclusive.

    Jon, sometime this year can you review a few MMOs great for soloing, please? I’m not much of a team platyer, but when I try, I always get stuck with a bunch of other people who also aren’t team players. ALWAYS! >.<

    • Actually, that’s a stupid request now that I think of it. Like you’d know ahead of time that an MMO was supposed to be good for soloing….

  5. Gee, the hint smells of Path of Exile, since it just hit open beta and is LOADS better than Diablo 3 ended up being.

  6. If you think DDO’s graphics are dated, just take a look at anything from FlyFF. DDO will come out on top, I guarantee you

    • When I looked at the default character models, the first thing on my mind was “Ew.” It was a weird polygonal mess covered in muddy facial textures and armor textures. I understand that doesn’t make the game bad, at least as I’m concerned, but at lot of people migt be put off by it. The game does better when maxed, and settings like “ultra high” make me feel these were tacked on later. DDO goes for a realistic style, but can’t back it up well. With a game like Fiesta or FlyFF, they are trying for a style, and one can expect a more polygonal Style. You ca argue the same about WoW. DDO’s mass amount of polygons make it look really off with the realiztic textures. That dragon in one of the images I used just looks really off. At least the got the style down when they did LOTRO.

      • DDO is definitely lacking polish in both its looks and some Quality of Life type things and it’s something I consistently try to make suggestions and comments about since vidauls is well..visual its the first thing a prospective player sees and when they hit that difficulty wall i had so many friends say…this game is ugly and annoying to learn why am I playing this…so yeah for some people it can be a huge turn-off….if the only downside was the versatile/complex nature (which is ALSO a strength of course) than it would be much easier to introduce new people

      • When I look at the girls in DDO, the first thing I think is “Alice: Madness Returns.”

  7. I love how some of these people are mentioning and praising how diverse the class building in and I bet you some of them well also openly mock you for rolling a Half-Orc Wizard instead of a Warforge. This game will seemly open to costumization will scorn you if you, don’t pick the right class, race and feats for that class. When I was playing it felt like Min/Max or go home noob.

    • I play a Dwarven Wizard Tank…3 things that should never go together…but I love playing him I have to explain how it works constantly but in a good way (not in a hey explain or ill kick you way) there are some people who are very set in how things should be but in general people are helpful regardless of what crazy thing you want to do (not suggesting that maybe your 10sorc/10wizard is a bad idea is common and entirely called for :P)

      In short like anywhere on the net theres is some jerks but the DDO community tends to run those kinds of people out pretty quickly and the devs are quick to crack the whip…even I’ve got a few infractions and I’d like to think I’m pretty helpful :P

  8. I played this game for a short time a few years ago, though it was only for a month at the most. This was partly cause of lack of time to do any major leveling, and partly cause, while the game was very well executed, and did it’s best to be faithful to the tabletop version, I couldn’t get into the repetitive nature of the dungeons, and don’t know if this was only me, but the combat felt a bit clunky at times. Good game, but just didn’t hold my attention.
    Still, all and all, a great review, and props for brining in Skitch to explain the more complex systems, and history of the game. Big kudos go out to him, and same to you man for tackling this one, even though you were nervous as hell about it. Keep up the excellent work, and can’t wait for the next video.

  9. The only thing that breaks this game for me is that I HAVE to pay for my favorite class: Favored Soul.
    The idea of having to pay for it: well okay they need the money to keep the servers running that is fine with me but give people from Europe a payment option that is good would’ve been nice. Noone here owns a credit card(we usually pay in cash) and getting one of those nifty cards is another thing…especially if they don’t sell them here.

  10. The learning curve always “scared me off” from even trying DDO honestly.

    I remember reading guides, going through wiki’s, thinking I had a basic grasp on the game, then finding out something else and realizing that I didn’t know jack, and had zero idea how classes/levels even worked.

    I suppose you would pick it up eventually, but I guess it just kept me away from even installing it. Still, it’s not like I would knock it or anything, just isn’t my thing I guess.

  11. Failedlegend, what server do you usually play on? I’m mostly on Khyber myself.

    • Thelanis used to be my primary server but I’m mostly playing on Orien now since my friends play on that server.

      My Main character on Orien is Wakut Mindfilleter Leader of Sibling Rivalry…my forum name is also Failedlegend :D

      • Oh I also occasionally play on Argo as Skezid Mudbuffer leader of ADHD Warriors…if we don’t have time to get together for PnP and its been a while we use DDO to scratch our itch

  12. Thank you for taking the time to look at Dungeons & Dragons Online! Just to let you know, while the original game was focused entirely on Eberron, we now also feature a bunch of content set in the Forgotten Realms (starting with the release of Menace of the Underdark in June of last year!) We hope you enjoyed playing DDO, and would love to see you play more!

    Cordovan – Community Specialist, Turbine, Inc.

    • That’s very much true, and I forgot to bring it up in my explanation of 3.5 and its relation to DDO, but I felt that the fact that it’s still one of only two games that even takes place IN Eberron to be a fascinating point in and of itself.

      Hopefully some of the points I made regarding nuances of the system were good ones to bring up. :)

      • I love that DDO is in Ebberon..it’s an unpopular opinion but I’ve never really be a fan of Forgotten Realms (Ebberon and Dragonlance are my fav setings) but the work they put into the expasion is just breathtaking visually.

        • Correction: I meant Ebberon and Krynn…Dragonlance is the book series set in Krynn…also note the Krynn I like is before the god left…for godless (aka no divine classes) games I prefer Darksun

  13. It sounds to me like the community of DDO is pretty much like the community of D&D, at least in my experience?

    Coincidence? Hell no. :D

    • Indeed the complex nature of the system and the lack of PvP minimizes the jerks and in general raises the average age of the players.

      The 3 best things (this ^^^ is one) about DDO IMO:

      – The active combat system…sure I have a reflex save but as simple as it may sound being able to sidestep a fireball is amazing

      – The customization of your character (mechanically not visually although that’s apparently being worked on

      • No PVP? I should get back onto it…

        Though me being a more solo-oriented player has me a bit skittish now.

        • And that’s even with accounting for the community being top-notch and the lack of PVP.

          (To be honest, the one time I was a part of a party, my fellow party members were idiots, and as I’d died and we were far from a res-shrine, I couldn’t help them much.)

          • ChaosD1 was actually somewhat incorrect soloing can be done it just takes a little knowledge and skill…ask around the forums they’ll hook you up with something

            • As for the party you were with is was likely as bunch of newbies who didn’t know what they were doing…for people who have played for a while its not so bad because we can helpp the newer players along but a bunch of new players is just a time bomb…you know huge learning curve and all

            • Sure, soloing can be done – but even as someone who isn’t as deep in the game as I’d like, I think the game shines a lot more if it’s done with a group.

            • Oh most definitely I prefer it that way as well but I also know theres a large amount of peole who love soloing…or both.

              If your really crazy you can join the perma-death players

          • So what I meant by partially incorrect is this

            Correct – Partying is better

            Incorrect – Cannot Solo

            • Didn’t say you can’t solo, I said it was difficult and impractical.

            • But oodles of fun to some :) but yes you really should bring some friends

            • Maybe we were all newbies, but (and here’s a but Sir Mix-A-Lot would adore) so was I. And yet, they were having a horrible time figuring out the puzzle, even with my spectral coaching. I eventually just left the party and re-did the quest solo, and without dying no less.

              Now, that could be explained by them just not being very good at puzzle-solving, but let’s face it, I’m not really that great, either.

              (By the way, if you ever see a ranger named Dayanaira (I can’t remember the last name; it’s either Entropa or Tenebris), that’s me. Though I haven’t gotten to play in a while; I should amend that.

            • @Jeremy: Oh man the stupid stuff I did when I first started playing…IIRC my first character was a Wizard1/Cleric1/Fighter1 with plans to go 7/7/6 I though I was the best player ever :P

        • “No PvP” is something I like too. “Open PvP” has always been a deal breaker.

  14. Overall a decent review

    ~3:00 – as noted in posts above, the movement penalty is not crippling, and in fact provides an opportunity to customize a character as a skrimisher or tank, or a character that does some meleeing, but are not good enough to simply ignore the movement penalty. This is one of the aspects of the game that allows experienced players to optimize custom builds for these situations and play styles. Also in 3.5. you certainly can move and fight, as attacking is a partial action and movement is a standard action, which together comprise a full round action. Some attacks however are a full round action (more complicated attacks) and therefore don’t allow you to move and fight, but you always have the option to move and fight or fight and move.

    15:30 – The gold cap is annoying for the free players, but not crippling, and most players won’t accumulate real wealth until much later levels, and there is no shortage of neat things to spend your ingame plat on.

    16:00 – Solo’ing throughout the entire game is certainly viable, but not necessarily for the intro player. The best experiences I have playing the game are with my guild and real life friends in the game.

    18:00 – no MMO is immune to jerks, but I have come across very few, and generally find people quite helpful. The PvE centralized them goes a long way to enforce this, and the PvP areas are often used for testing concepts and fun, rather than anything too demoralizing or covetous.

    21:00 – The beauty of this game (as already mentioned) is the flexibility in builds, to the point where alt-aholics (people with many many characters) are quite common. The content is static, regardless of the character you play, but the approach, what you can do and the strategy you take to each quest is different depending on your build, sometimes it makes it harder, sometimes it makes it easier, but regardless it’s fun.

    Playing since 2009, VIP, Alt-altaholic with many True Reincarnated characters.
    Omnihilist, Blackmoor Defenders [Ghallanda]
    takzu.com (visit our forums and post a question if you like)

  15. Great review! Can’t wait for the next eppy!

  16. A clone game that is shaping to be better than the original?
    Smells of PoE.

  17. The one thing that I think you seriously were misled by in your initial play is that you DO NOT stand and take it, you want to be moving around and it is most definately an active combat system. You can even duck ray spells by moving. The -4 to attack is trivial and won’t impact you most of the time. Sure, stand your ground when it makes sense, but if you are getting your ass kicked, MOVE and fight. It’s the active combat that is one of the things I like best about the game :)

  18. oh, also, I’m going to guess your upcoming review is Pirate101

  19. Long time MMOgrinder fan and on and off DDO player, as well as pretty much all of the other F2P conversion games you’ve mentioned.

    I think you hit the nail on the head here pretty well, though I’d argue that DDO’s a bit more restrictive in the long view than SW:TOR. SW:TOR at least lets you get the full story, class and planet up to cap. DDO locks like 50-75% of the adventures, at least by my own perception, behind ‘pay to unlock”, and, also by my own limited perception, those adventures that aren’t paid adventures tended to have a comparatively worse loot table, or were otherwise less interesting/less ‘fun.

    And on the customization note, I’d agree. Even as a numbers freak and a D&D junkie, the amount of customization, especially now with the new classes and races and “epic destinies’ and more, are simply too much. Yeah, for a minmaxing munchkin like myself, they’re great, but to someone looking for a casual game? not so much.

    Oh, and if the pre-set archetype characters, from what little I’ve seen, are, to the twinker like myself, -horribly- non-optimized

    Granted I was the freak who played a Rogue/Paladin/Fighter ‘Batman” build that tanked, self healed, and did all the stealthy lockpicky trap-removy goodness

    • Yeah the the Paths are Terribad you best bet is to use Ron’s character planner (just search ddo character planner RJCyberware) and post that on the forums…or hell just say ask a question again the forums are quite welcome if a bit stuck in their ways :P

      Oh and don’t come to DDO expecting a Holy Trinity game…I play a wizard who is a self-healing tank with both spell and melee dps…alot of the time a characters class icon means nothing. Poor guy can’t find a Epic destiny to fit him though :P Note: A build like this take skill and knowledge of the games quirks and is not recommneded for new players

  20. Hey long time player here I think you did a great job reviewing the game a few things to clarify though

    – The penalty you take for flying around like a maniac is practically irrelevant
    – Personally I would have mentioned that DDO for all its greatness lacks the polish of higher budget MMOs like WoW or GW2…like I said I love the game but it’s good to give a warning ahead of time.
    – Multi-classing is a huge part of the game and yeah the complexity..if you love it you’ll love this game…if you don’t you may still like it the forums are very helpful if a bit biased.
    – Soloing is more about skill and system mastery so once you know what your doing you can do it quite well…that said your correct in saying the game is better in most cases with friends

    Anyways cool review keep it up Chaos. I’m off to post this link in the forums

  21. Daniel Haughton

    As a longtime player, I think you gave a pretty fair assessment of the game. I’m a decent solo player, but you’re very correct that the game does NOT lend itself well to solo play. Some class/race combos are better at solo play than others, too. A Warforged Sorcerer can potentially solo raids with the right gear and strategy. Of course, you need to pay to unlock the Warforged race, so there is that…

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