Monday, June 7, 2010

Played Lately: DDO (with visual tour)

Spent most of the weekend in Dungeons and Dragons online. Still having fun there, though I'm finding the higher I get the harder it is to figure out what quests I should be working on and where to pick them up. Where I used to be able to wander aimlessly and find quests, I'm relying very much on the in game compendium these days. It lists every quest near your level range in the game, as well as the name of the quest givers and the zones you can find them in. I'm a bit surprised that more MMOs don't have something similar.

One thing I find striking about DDO is how good it looks for an old game with such low system requirements. I can run DDO quite well on my back-up PC (it only has a gig of ram and a 256 MB video card). Apart from WoW there aren't many modernish MMOs I can say that about.

DDO has pretty good lighting effects, particularly shadows:

Another that makes good use of shadows:

DDO also has pretty good art direction imo. DDO is definitely a "high magic" setting with a lot of interesting sights, such as this random dungeon screen shot:

And this airship in the marketplace:

Finally, the atmospheric effects are generally quite good. A rainbow on an overcast day in three barrel cove:

Same area at night:

For a game that's a year older than LoTRO and runs well on toasters/ pocket calculators, DDO looks pretty good. You'd have to go to something that really requires modern hardware like Age of Conan to find a game that looks a ton better in my experience. The landscapes also aren't as well done as in LoTRO, but I think the character models and animations are actually a shade better.


  1. I love that first one, what a dramatic effect it has! And I also like the second one, those are some interesting looking structures...

  2. I have started playing DDO and have found the graphics to be very enjoyable. It wasn't until I switched back to LotRO for a night that I realized that the level of detail in LotRO.

    I guess, because of the artistic aspect of DDO, I never even noticed until I went back. As nice as LotRO is in places like Rivendell, I find myself gawking at the scenery more in DDO than I ever did in LotRO.

  3. @MMogamerchick: Each of the five houses has their own enclave in the city, with very distinct architectural styles. I guess I should have taken more pictures of buildings ;-P

    @Jomar: I like different aspects of both styles. LoTRO feels more like a real place to me than anything else I've played. The seamless zone transitions are especially impressive imo. On the other hand, DDO definitely has the higher density of "gee whiz" sights.

  4. Those are some sweet screenshots. Nice job.

    I found the in game companion frustrating in how plain it was. I think some sorting and search tools would make it more helpful. (I hope we're talking about the same thing. I haven't played DDO in a while.)

  5. Those are some great screenshots!

  6. Thanks guys :-)

    @Anjin: I think we are talking about the same thing. And yeah, I agree it's not organized very well.