Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons Online

This is nothing like a review. Only a list of impressions from a few hours in game.

1. A surprising and stylish fantasy setting. A mixture of the fantasy races you'd expect and oddballs you never would have guessed. A standout is their take on halflings, more like short "punk" (go Sid!) elves than anything you are likely familiar with. Golems as a player race is also quite odd.

2. Runs really well even on my stone age backup PC. I get better frame rates than many free to play MMOs, despite graphics that are tons more detailed. Whatever engine Turbine is using is a winner.

3. Combat is twitchy. On a melee focused toon, you may as well be playing Diablo. It really is that fast paced. Reminds me quite a bit of Champions Online.

4. There is no reason to have more than one quest at a time. Each quest sends you to an instance that you have to clear. There are no quest objectives inside the instance. The objective is to finish your mission any way you can.

5. The game is a bit too easy on someone that is very good at melee combat, such as a Ranger or Fighter. Conversely, it's very challenging on a pure caster. For example, as a Wizard the instances you clear for missions start to feel like puzzles. You can only cast X spells, and those spells have to get you through the entire instance. It can certainly be done, but you may not get it right your first try.

6. The character creation system is crazy deep. Even as someone familiar with the PnP rules the game is based on and an experienced MMO player, I've been using their character templates so far (these make a ton of decisions for you). As a new player to the game, it's hard to guess where to place 20 skill points or what feat out of the twenty that are available I'll want on the character creation screen.


  1. I was in the open beta for DDO when it was first being released and I just hated it, I did not understand it.

    But I'm glad I gave it another shot in the DDO Unlimited beta because it is alot of fun.

    Two things really helped, knowing what I was getting into and playing countless hours of NWN2. One thing I can say is that there is finally a f2p mmo that I will actually like.

  2. I've been pleasantly surprised by DDO as well. I got to play in the open beta and worked my way up to level 4 which is a lot farther than I thought I would go. I doubt I'll spend a lot of time in Stormreach, but I will head back for a quick fix every now and then.

  3. What if you tried to live your life with Dungeons and Dragons dice determining all your decisions? The Dungeons and Dragons Dice Experiment

  4. Thanks for the link Colon, that was a damn entertaining read :-)