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News & Features Discussion  » Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited: 2011 Re-Review

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  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 14196

 
OP  6/05/11 8:19:47 PM#1

It is our habit to periodically revisit and re-review games that are showing continued improvement and a solid pattern of updates. One of the MMOs that clearly fits this description is Dungeons & Dragons Online. MMORPG.com writer Lori May takes a fresh look at DDO in today's re-review. Check it out and then leave us your thoughts.

Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) is a popular MMORPG which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Based on the popular table top role-playing game of the same name, DDO combines free-to-play (F2P) and pay-to-play (P2P) content to deliver a rich world full of lore, vast dungeons and frequent new content updates. As someone who has revisited this MMO frequently since its Beta launch back in 2006, I wanted to take a closer look at how DDO really stacks up against the current competition—as both a F2P, and P2P, option.

Read Lori May's full Dungeons & Dragons Online Re-Review.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  thark

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/01/03
Posts: 1110

6/06/11 9:47:07 AM#2

D&D Online is a truly great game, but it's only great if you play it with dedicated friends..Friends that may join the game for a coop adventure and If they do it with some house rules..

1 Never look for spoilers on the internet, Most of the dungeons are unique, complete with traps and bonus treasures, secret bosses and often great storyline and even some rather complicated puzzles in some cases..Needles to say if you read a spoiler you will spoil the game..

2. Run the game on hard, Normal is really to easy and takes away stategy..You get tons of spells as a wizard, on hard you may have to use most of them, while on easy a fireball and a web may be enough to solve your problems..

3. NEVER listen to any tips inside the game, they will try to help you but only in the wrong way,- look up maps here and use that weapon or spell, because everything else is useless yada yada etc..This is also beiing said in the re-rewiew of the game..

 

/junker

  David_Lopan

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/10
Posts: 815

"There is no progress. Everything is the same as it was. Form changes. The essence does not." RLS

6/06/11 9:52:18 AM#3
Originally posted by thark

D&D Online is a truly great game, but it's only great if you play it with dedicated friends..Friends that may join the game for a coop adventure and If they do it with some house rules..

1 Never look for spoilers on the internet, Most of the dungeons are unique, complete with traps and bonus treasures, secret bosses and often great storyline and even some rather complicated puzzles in some cases..Needles to say if you read a spoiler you will spoil the game..

2. Run the game on hard, Normal is really to easy and takes away stategy..You get tons of spells as a wizard, on hard you may have to use most of them, while on easy a fireball and a web may be enough to solve your problems..

3. NEVER listen to any tips inside the game, they will try to help you but only in the wrong way,- look up maps here and use that weapon or spell, because everything else is useless yada yada etc..This is also beiing said in the re-rewiew of the game..

 

/junker

I agree, very interesting and fun social game.  I would love to see an enhanced version (gfx, content, etc.) down the road.  DDO is my is tied with LOTRO as my second favorite MMO (Vanguard is still first).

  Robsolf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 4047

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

6/06/11 10:17:08 AM#4

I definitely noticed that about the community.  Though I'll say the l33tists have been in the game since beta.


It's definitely a fun game for a night here and there, particularly if you can meet up with some other good players.


  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6696

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

6/06/11 12:10:11 PM#5

Tried the game but it felt more like a single player game so didnt see much point in it. Ofcourse that could change at higher levels...

  gundamwing

Novice Member

Joined: 12/20/07
Posts: 50

6/06/11 12:24:25 PM#6

I have been getting back to DDO and I am having a blast. DDO and Lotro are my most favorite MMOs along with Guild Wars. The combat system is different and I really like the character customization you can do. I am actually glad that DDO does not have PvP since Dungeons and Dragons has always been about you teaming up with your friends/allies to complete a dungeon/quest.

Games playing: Lotro,Fallen Earth,Star Trek Online.
Games playing casually: CoX,Guild Wars,FFXIV,Champions Online,DDO.
Games Played: WoW,DR,L2,RoM,FFXI,Earthrise,EQ2,DAoC,WAR,Rift,Alganon,EVE,G&H Rome Rising.
Waiting for: Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
PC Specs: Intel i7 990x 3.5ghz, 6gb ddr3 Ram,EVGA GTX 570 SC FTW,EVGA x58 Classified 4-way SLI MB, 2TB HDD 7200rpm, 60GB Intel SSD: OS Drive, Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Westinghouse 21 in. 1680x1050.

  Dragonalf

Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/04
Posts: 25

6/06/11 1:14:32 PM#7
Been playing MMOs since 2001 (DAoC). Along with starting with DAoC, I’ve played WoW, City of Heroes, Horizons, Lotro, Anarchy Online and a few others with and without my friends. Still, when it comes to the best small group MMO (up to 6 players) out there, DDO is second to none. Though PUGs are iffy just like in any other MMO, DDO is ideal for a group of friends.
 
Though it is definitely playable solo now (as Lori stated), it is best played in a group. The nice thing is that most of the dungeons scale for the number of players as well as allowing you to pick one of four difficulty levels. Add in the option to use hirelings to fill out a group or fill in a missing role (rogue, healer, etc.) and the customization of the current content is almost limitless. In my opinion, it’s second to none in the MMO world in this area.
 
Most of my friends and I prefer to play through content as a group. The problem with most of today's MMOs is that group-required content makes up a small percentage of content. The rest of the content can be soloed and when you do it as a group it trivializes the content and isn’t much fun from a challenge standpoint.
 
A friend of mine and I finally convinced our group of MMO gaming friends to try DDO as our group night game of choice at the beginning of the year. The complexity and depth of the game can overwhelm a lot of new players, but if you can get them over the hump they’ll become DDO acolytes in no time. DDO is also great at getting you into the content almost instantly. No wasting 15-30 minutes traveling to a dungeon entrance and gathering the group together. Everything in DDO can be started within 5 minutes of your group logging in and getting to a dungeon.

 

Admittedly, DDO is probably for the more patient and cerebral-minded gamer as it takes some time to get into before you understand all the nuances. But, if you’re willing to take the time to peel back its layers, there is no more flexible, fun, and rewarding MMO on the market.

  Methos12

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/05/08
Posts: 1218

Its better to be quiet and perceived as stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

6/06/11 2:12:18 PM#8

Total Biscuit's recent videos on DDO almost made me come back to it. Lack of free time prevented me.


Nature without Technology is little more than animals running about.
Nature without Magic is without wonder or miracle.
.........
Magic without Technology is fantasy.
Magic without Nature is formless and useless.
.........
Technology without Nature is application without understanding.
Technology without Magic is repetitious and uninventive.

  vazzaroth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/05/07
Posts: 113

"WAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAGH!"
"My thoughts exactly"

6/06/11 4:28:26 PM#9

Pretty fair review. One of the better games to play, not the best. (Although that's a very personal title for different people).

I quite like DDO. I'm playing Turbines other game, LOTRO, but DDO is sitll installed. I know the urge to play it's straight up FUN combat will come back sooner or later. I am surprised more MMOs haven't picked up on what makes D&D/DDO great: The multiclassing. It was always my favorite part of tabletop and the same applies for DDO.

I think there's something very alluring knowing that when you fill up that XP bar, MAYBE you'll get another level of fighter... but MAYBE you'll pick up a quick one of cleric. Maybe some Barbarian. The choices you make at character creation, while important, do not define you for the rest of your adventuring career. I think that's the very best part of the game.

Anyway, I love DDO, I dig how easy it (usually) is to get into a PUG and just run around doing stuff. In my experiences, most players were relatively easygoing, I think the lack of real PvP drives off most of those jerks before long. You do indeed see the occasional munchkin, but the contingent of tabletop RPGers is way higher than average in DDO (Or at least they are less afraid to admit it ;D)and I've witnessed them usually shooting down players lambasting others for a build.


I think everyone should try it. The combat won't appeal to everybody, but I think it's a great break from the drudgery of combat rotation (ugh) you find in most MMOs. A nice middleground between MMOs, Hack and slash games, all powered by solid Tabletop rules.

--------------------------------
-Been there, done that: Xsyon, WoW, EVE, Maplestory, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Warhammer Online, FF11, Rift
-Currently playing: Not MMOs
-Wants to check out: SWTOR, Dark Millennium

  Hrotha

Novice Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 840

6/06/11 4:59:28 PM#10

Too bad that like 40% of the Gamers who actually tried to get into this game, never made it because of the nasty Vista/Win7 Blackscreen-Bug of Doom.


 


ME INCLUDED. /frustated


  Xero_Chance

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/11/08
Posts: 528

6/06/11 5:05:21 PM#11

As I have stated previously, due to lack of F2P content, do not expect to play this game for long without paying a dime. Getting to level cap without getting several adventure packs is completely out of the question unless you like running the same 3 quests constantly.


That being said, DDO is a good game and definitely worth a little investment. Just be smart about it, the item shop has the tendency to eat money. Stay away from the hairstyles, they look good in the front (exactly how the picture looks) but always look horrible in the back.


  Aconsar

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/10
Posts: 268

6/06/11 5:12:33 PM#12

I have to question why "No real PvP" is considered a con, especially considering everyone knows it's a PvE game.  Seems kinda arbitrary to include that con.


  Xero_Chance

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/11/08
Posts: 528

6/06/11 5:16:55 PM#13


Originally posted by Aconsar
I have to question why "No real PvP" is considered a con, especially considering everyone knows it's a PvE game.  Seems kinda arbitrary to include that con.

Regardless, some people like PvP so much that they won't touch a game that doesn't have any. Just because everybody knows something sucks, doesn't mean we have to accept it and not acknowledge that it sucks. Personally, I don't care about PvP, I could take it or leave it.

  Golelorn

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/23/03
Posts: 1104

6/06/11 5:24:47 PM#14

I liked DDO, and have fond memories. However, they concentrate too much on Epic content. With all the epics, and the gear that brings, they've pretty much guaranteed that level 20 will be the max forever.


The gameplay from 1-19 is very unique, and fun. However, past that, sans Reincarnating, the content is exactly like all the other raiding games.


Fun for a few months, but just wears thin, imo.


  Rokurgepta

Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/08
Posts: 2208

6/06/11 6:09:06 PM#15

For the reviewer i must say please do not encourage people to build wizard/paladins. While you might feel that it is your time and money, which is fine if you solo, do not start whining when high level groups do not take you because your level split makes you a bad caster, bad fighter and bad character. Even a great player can build a character that is not much use.


 


You do not have to follow the "munchkin" group, oddly 5+ years of DDo and I never heard them refered that way let alone to the amount you claim they are. Might be a server specific term. But you should never tell people to build horrible characters that do waste that persons time and money.


  GreenWidow

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/09
Posts: 160

6/06/11 6:24:07 PM#16
Originally posted by crunk001

Too bad that like 40% of the Gamers who actually tried to get into this game, never made it because of the nasty Vista/Win7 Blackscreen-Bug of Doom.


 


ME INCLUDED. /frustated

 I'm running Vista 64, I've got the latest drivers for my rig and DDO runs like a charm.  One of my favorite games.

You should check your stats, get the latest drivers for your vid card at least and give it another shot.

I think your missing out on a really GREAT game.

“Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil. Never back away from an enemy. Either fight or surrender. It is not enough to say I will not be evil. Evil must be fought wherever it is found.”The Iron Code"

  GreenWidow

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/09
Posts: 160

6/06/11 6:27:25 PM#17
Originally posted by Rokurgepta

For the reviewer i must say please do not encourage people to build wizard/paladins. While you might feel that it is your time and money, which is fine if you solo, do not start whining when high level groups do not take you because your level split makes you a bad caster, bad fighter and bad character. Even a great player can build a character that is not much use.


 


You do not have to follow the "munchkin" group, oddly 5+ years of DDo and I never heard them refered that way let alone to the amount you claim they are. Might be a server specific term. But you should never tell people to build horrible characters that do waste that persons time and money.

 Have to agree with everything said here.  The best character builds are on the forums.  People have listed exactly what they took and more importantly, if you do a little reading, they explain WHY they made the choices they did.

With a small time investment of reading and educating yourself on the game you can make a character not only accepted by  groups but also be much happier with the character you play.

DDO is set using the 3.0 ruleset...partially.  But it is VASTLY different from pen and paper play.  There are reasons for this which only reading and learning the game will help you better understand. 

Barring that, come to the Orien server and ask for Heliotrope and if I'm online I'll be happy to hop in a dungeon with you and explain as much as you'd like.

“Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil. Never back away from an enemy. Either fight or surrender. It is not enough to say I will not be evil. Evil must be fought wherever it is found.”The Iron Code"

  User Deleted
6/06/11 6:59:26 PM#18

Interesting re-review.

Gotta say, I've tried DDO several times now; the first few times when it was still P2P only. Every other time since it went hybrid. There's so much about the game I really do like. However, there's so much else about it that just kills any chance at long-term enjoyment for me. This game is why I can understand when people say how they really "want to like" other MMOs. 'cause that's the case with DDO for me.

For one, the combat always just feels chaotic, clunky and rather sloppy to me. I have no trouble with real-time combat and enjoy it well enough in other games with similar system.. Something about DDO's system just always feels very unnatural and awkward to me.

I'm not a fan of the heavy use of instancing, though I realize that's the core of the game's design. As much as I've learned that they're a pretty much "here to stay" reality in MMOs, I just can't bring myself to like them. They fragment up the game world and turn it from a coherent and persistent shared world, to a series of private "universes" for individuals and/or their parties to exist in all by themselves. FWIW, I could never get into GW for very long for that same reason; too much instancing.

In all... I love the dungeon design. The environment design is good (not as good as LoTRO's which is masterful IMO, but still quite nice).

I wish I could enjoy the game more and, in fact, when I watch videos of others playing it, it looks like a lot of fun. It just doesn't translate for me for some reason. :-/

  deadmanbell

Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/08
Posts: 51

6/06/11 7:04:52 PM#19

Just loaded this up a few weeks ago after growing tired of RIFT, and have been having a blast. It so reminds me of the old pen and paper. I am an alt-aholic so I love this game. The Character creation is deep, deep, deep. Graphics on highest setting I think look good. The game play is fun(I have not grouped that much yet, but you can hire npcs to roll with you).
 
How did I miss this game?

I agree you need to play this on Hard setting. If you have a free account you will only have easy and normal. Depending on what class you pick this can kind of feel to easy.

I am starting to believe that MMORPG games need a few years to get good. They just need time to mature, work out the kinks etc. I wish that wasn't the case but seems to be in my experience.
I think going back to Rift in a year it might get some more play time. However, now its time to get my Cleric on and roll through some Dungeons and smash some crates.
 
P.S. I love to smash barrels. I can do it for hours and I don't get tired of it. I am like Homer Simpson with donuts.. Yum, Yum, Yum... Gold pieces Yum, Yum.
 
My next step is to hook up with some good players and get more of the top tier stuff,. I know there is a lot more to this game I haven't tapped into but I am having fun just taking my time.
 
Check out Khyber seems to be a good server with good pop.

http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view6/2207524/saving-private-ryan-helmet-o.gif

  DeathTripp

Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/06
Posts: 272

6/06/11 7:35:12 PM#20

Originally posted by Rokurgepta



For the reviewer i must say please do not encourage people to build wizard/paladins. While you might feel that it is your time and money, which is fine if you solo, do not start whining when high level groups do not take you because your level split makes you a bad caster, bad fighter and bad character. Even a great player can build a character that is not much use.




 




You do not have to follow the "munchkin" group, oddly 5+ years of DDo and I never heard them refered that way let alone to the amount you claim they are. Might be a server specific term. But you should never tell people to build horrible characters that do waste that persons time and money.



 


 In my view, he wasn't encouraging people to make a wizard/paldin, but rather, he was encouraging people to play what is fun for them, instead of playing what other people tell them is "good". Personally, I don't make my character to be useful to other players or their party; I make it for me to have fun (which can indeed include being useful). Of course, if you are constantly dying, being slain by monsters, and/or being refused from a group because you don't have the class and skills a party wants then you may not have much fun. You claim one does not have to follow the "munchkin" group (I've never heard that word either, but I'm also no DDO vet) , but then you essentially state that unless they do, they will not be joining your group with their "bad character". It seems the reviewers point holds true. I think the review was solid, as I think DDO is solid.


Green-Widow said "the best character builds are on the forum" , and that's great, but I like to play the game for myself, deciding on what is the most fun for me, which may not exactly be "the best" build. However, I do agree that one should probably do a little bit of reading about how to build a solid character; I just don't think they should be given an entire build and told what to do. Overall, a good, seemingly accurate review.


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