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Hudson's Hideout

Ramblings of a MMO player and Miniature wargamer

Author: pvthudson01

The lore of my campaign Tomb Kings army for Warhammer Fantasy

Posted by pvthudson01 Friday March 30 2012 at 10:15AM
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The campaign for our gaming club is about to kick off on April 1st. We have chosen our territories and decide on names for our capital cities.

Part of the rules for the campaign is to name 3 Lords/Heroes/Casters that will be leaders of army lists. With that we also attach a Regiment of Renown that they lead into battle. Descriptions, history and lore are required to flesh out our campaign because we are after all nerds.

Below is what I typed up for my Tomb Kings army.

You can find our club's message boards at

The campaign info is hidden to guests however.


King Ammon, Tomb King

Once a powerful ruler of one of the greatest cities in Nehekhara, King Ammon let wealth and riches slowly erode his penchant for good and honor. By the time of the fall of Nehekhara his lands were barren, his people had deserted him, and his loyal henchman had revolted against him twice. Dying alone and destitute his corpse did not receive the typical burial deserved of a Nehekharian King and as such the vengeful spirit inhabiting his mummified body is one of the most ruthless in the Tomb King empire.

Clad in armor of gold he carries a mighty two handed weapon that was passed down to him from his forefathers and buried with him in his elegant tomb. Known to be an expert horse rider his armies tend to be swift and calculating. His archers that guarded his palace in times of old are known to be expert shots.

Gathering forces beneath his iron will he has once again raised a mighty army under no guise of being lenient or just. His rule is with an iron hand now and his vengeance is swift and merciless. As the desert storm rises in power he gains more and more power uniting long dead factions. He sallies forth and looks to conquer the Warpstone.

Tomb Guard of King Ammon

Only the most loyal subjects that stuck my King Ammon until his death have been resurrected and given the great gift of life eternal by the returned King. These souls, entombed in elegant mummified casings with the best armor and fighting zeal, are the best trained forces of King Ammon's newly structured army. Stronger and more resilient than common citizenry of Ammon's lands the Tomb Guard are strong fighters that wield their long halberds with precision.


Lich High Priest Ini-Herit

When Ammon needed to call upon the dark forces of the Lore of Nehekhara he trusted none other than the callous and cold High Priest Ini-herit. Known for his torturings and sacrifices in the attempt to grant King Ammon favor many believe that it was the dark practices of Ini-herit that eventually brought about Ammon's end.

Nonetheless when Ammon was resurrected and began plotting his return he wanted his best and most loyal dark magic practitioner by his side. Now decrepit and horribly misfigured from improper mummification Ini-Herit has returned but twice as powerful as he once was. Calling forth the dark Lore as well as learning many other Lores of Magic Ini-Herit boosts Ammon's army with the soulless bodies of the dead.

Chief among these are his animated constructs the Ushabti. Giant monstrous infantry that used to be statues that stood at the tomb of King Ammon the Ushabti, now animated, stride into battle and carve out death and destruction with their massive giant bows.

The Ushabti of the Tomb of King Ammon

6 in number and wielding giant bows that have the power to tear asunder even the stoutest ranks of men, the Ushabti statues that used to guard the Tomb of King Ammon now stride forth to do his biddings thanks to the magics of Ini-Herit.


Tomb Prince Khaldun

The only son of Ammon, Tomb Prince Khaldun was slain in the first revolt that King Ammon suffered on his own lands. Leading his massive unit of Charioteers into battle Khaldun was slain when his chariot flipped over and was set upon by a horde of rebels. His head was later mounted on a pike and carried into battle by the rebels which were later defeated with the magic of High Lich Priest Ini-Herit.

Khaldun was a master horse handler, archer and leader of fast mobile forces. He has been given command of the Charioteers of Ode in the newly risen army.

Charioteers of Ode

King Ammon was famous for swift attacking forces and at the height of his power was the principle defender of Southern Nehekhara. Although he rarely participated in major battles the King would occasionally ride forth with his well trained Charioteers into battle. Basing his army around flanking attacks and quick moving, lightly built chariots many opponents found themselves quickly on the defensive. The Charioteers of Ode were the best equipped and best trained Charioteers in Ammon's arsenal. Trained at a nearby secret village from youth these young men were master horse handlers and archers. This unit was one of the first that Ammon's vengeful spirit sought to return to the land of the living. This unit was under the command of his son in later years.

Now I get it: It's the DUMB players that ruin it for all

Posted by pvthudson01 Friday March 30 2012 at 10:12AM
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In a PUG yesterday. Typical Ret Pally on the last boss in Vortex Pinnacle just stands there wacking on the main guy and doesnt even bother to move when Asaad makes the grounding field.

He dies during the fight. He calls out for a rez in group chat. An instant rez. Any player worth his salt would realize that there were no classes there can even remotely instant rez.


XP? Really? Thats what you are worried about?

Supremacy of the Storm goes off again. Retarded Ret Pally stands there wacking on the boss.

I guess all new players to this game expect every boss fight to be a giant pinata of loot. All you have to do is stand in one spot and auto attack the boss and mash your retarded ret pally buttons every now and then right? WRONG.

If you press "M" a map comes up. Each boss is on the map you idiot. Click the little HEAD PICTURE and it tells you everything a boss does. Right down to his abilities. You see even when Blizzard makes the game as EASY AS POSSIBLE people are still so fucking lazy they cant even be bothered to read something over.

Guy dies again. "REZ PLEASE FAST"

When I am healing I dont bother even trying to keep idiots like this alive. You know the types: stand in poison, stand in storms, stand in big dark cloud things etc etc. Let em die.

Finally I tell him off. I tell him he cannot keep standing there and to follow us into the grounding field. Its simple really. Guy actually tells me to "fuck off". Really? You are the one so stupid that you die twice to the SAME thing and then cannot understand that not every class in this game can instant rez.

A short time before he casts it, he will put a grounding field somewhere. You will be able to clearly see him draw the field's triangular shape with lightning. Get in there and wait for him - he will teleport inside the field as soon as it's complete and then channel the Supremacy of the Storm, which will kill anyone not inside the grounding field.


It is people like this, the idiots of the MMO population, that deserve a game like Star Wars the Old Republic. And the more the companies cater to these idiots the more dumbed down and stupid our games will get. Do you actually enjoy playing games like this or is it just me being pissy?

LEGO Universe Closed Beta Key giveaway

Posted by pvthudson01 Tuesday April 20 2010 at 3:52PM
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That is right folks!The War Realm Warhammer 40k Podcast is giving away a beta key to the upcoming LEGO universe MMO.

I figured all the 24/7 MMO players would eat this up. I don’t really want it since I don’t sit in front of my computer all night anymore so my lack of giving a crud is your gain and key to pursuing those little digital carrots!

So here are the rules:

Post a comment here (ONCE) here:

and after this weekend (Monday night) I will randomly generate a number and match that with a posted commenter. I will then simply forward you all the activation info. If you spam this thread I will delete your first comment and ban you.

Have fun, keep an eye on this post! I will be shutting off the ability to comment on this post Monday night at 6pm CST

Information about the game:

Banstick Podcast Episode 8 is LIVE: Fallen Earth, STO, EQ2 and news

Posted by pvthudson01 Thursday February 18 2010 at 8:25PM
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This week the show clocks in at one hour but we have two weeks to make up for. As usual you can get it on our podcasting host site or see our main blog.

Check the Banstick Blog for more information!


* BIG News weeks (Topics covered are Civ 5, SC 2 beta NDA down, Battlenet, mmo patches, Interstate 76, Korea says GOLD NAO OK!, Age of Conan patch 1.6)
* We talk MORE Fallen Earth since Jaybe is now playing it. FE the game that we can’t quit…
* Jaybe addresses Star Trek Online or Fallen Earth: which one to play, then asks Hudson the same question
* Dawn of Discovery the strategy game gets glossed over
* Why we cannot finish games: what stops us from closing some games out

Random Question of the Week: What MMO MECHANIC do you not like ?

Show notes:

Our Dawn of Discovery tutorial vids:

Where to get Interstate 76:

The stigma of World of Warcraft: Just because it is popular does not mean it sucks

Posted by pvthudson01 Tuesday December 1 2009 at 11:59AM
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Saw this comment on a blog today:

Are there MMOs out there for people who still enjoy exploration, finding things out on their own and gearing up as it happens, not as other people think is right? I’d jump right into that.

My response?

What rock have you been hiding under?

I love people that refuse to play WoW because it is popular and popular is “NOT COOL” right now.

Your loss. You can keep flailing around in FAIL MMO’s or give in and try it out. At any rate, you won’t find a more complete and well structured game for the money on the market right now. I am not a Blizzard fanboy but lets face facts. Champions Online and LOTRO and other MMO’s don’t keep having free weekends because they are doing well.

Progression in WoW for the casual player:

Get level 1-78 (solo if you want its easy)

Run the new dungeon put in specifically to get people caught up in gear.

For now in the LFG channel type: Looking to farm Reg ToC PST thanks!

When patch 3.3 launches, use the new innovative LFG system which no other MMO has.

Group until your eyes bleed since 11 million people play its easy to find groups

Gear up

Done? Do dailies at a casual pace and get purple gear after about 2 weeks of logging in one hour a night and making a ton of gold in the process.

Find casual guild in the Gazillions of Casual guilds out there and raid 10 man dungeons at your own pace

Finished. You won’t see that in Aion. Trust me.

Banstick Podcast Episode 2 and I teach a new MMO player

Posted by pvthudson01 Wednesday September 9 2009 at 10:57AM
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Before I go on I would like to give a big thank you to the folks here at MMO Voices for putting my podcast on the list. Thanks a ton Leala and Beau!

Here is the thing that is good about World of Warcraft: it is immensely popular. Here is the thing that is bad about it: it is immensely popular.

Since I have decided to take part in a separate blog about reviewing games and starting from level 1 my MMO time has been ramping up again lately. Like I stated, I had to teach a newcomer to MMO’s how to play World of Warcraft and there is one thing I have learned. World of Warcraft ceases to be fun once you level cap if you are not surrounded by fun people. By this I mean people so focused on being "UBER" and not having a good time that they bring your mood down in the process. Being level capped can be a boring frustrating mess. The adventure of course is in getting there, and that is what I have always loved.

When Cataclysm is released, I think it may be fun again. Leveling old content can be hideous. Unless that is you take it in chunks, then stop. In my case I am teaching someone to play, as I noted in my last post on my blog. This is perfect for me since I can get in, run to a spot, jump up and down to show them where something is, and then immediately log out. However I feel like a sucker for having paid for 6 months and only played about 1 month of it. I guess Blizzard got me good on that one.

I have no one to blame but myself, much as I am sure that the opinions of other gamers and guild drama drove friends to quit. Lately when I am in there, even for a short time, I tend to have more fun if I shut off the world part of World of Warcraft. I leave all channels but general in a city (especially trade which for the past 2 years has been worthless and is the new general, LFG and guild recruitment channel), I instantly ignore anyone that is an idiot, I turn off player names and I go about my business like the game is a single player experience. What I have found is that, unless I know the person, OTHER PEOPLE ruin WoW and many MMO’s for me.

This leads me to believe that I may just be over that entire “social gaming” craze that seems to have others enthralled. Or does it? I see a lot of bloggers rushing out to buy these MMO’s only to play them…solo. This is an odd little aspect of gaming and a sure sign that we as gamers are diverse and have different play styles. That is why gaming with Titans in WoW could be so important! So step 2 came around in my MMO teaching and I am still having an issue with getting the player to find quests and not skip entire hubs. I have come to the point where I may actually print a map (who says printed material is dead!) and circle the areas they need to visit. I know that most quests gently PUSH you toward a new hub in the 2006 version of World of Warcraft (old world not so good at it) but when a person doesn’t know a Blood Elf from a Troll you get issues.

A reader responded to my other post that perhaps an MMO, complicated by nature, was too much to start them with. I agree to an extent but after watching them pick up and conquer Sims 3 in one day I think that it would not be an issue. The things that are delaying me the most, as another commenter also pointed out, are:

* Camera controls. The player still has issues mastering the angle of the camera

* Controls. I still cannot ween the person off of turning with arrows keys (well, the A and D keys) or get them to hold and use right mouse button to steer.

* Understanding WoW’s map. A trail or road drawn on the map is LITERALLY right there on your screen when you approach it. Follow the roads, stay safe. Even if Quest Helper shows you a direct route, skirt danger then re approach the target.

* Teaching and getting them to understand the other aspects is difficult right now. Tradeskills, the bank, the auction house. I am not even going to try approaching that. With the pimp bags I gave this player space is not an issue right off the bat.

* Talent Points: ummm…no way…not yet, not at all if I can help it. I think I may secretly log in the character and set those for them So that is where we stand now.

The player is level 18, has a pet, knows the pet commands now and can even feed the cat. I didn't think that my test subject would stick to it but sure enough each day I see the player tacking another level on, and at the same time this is drawing me BACK into the game, which is something I wanted to avoid.

Is WoW my new EQ1? That meaning is WoW that stodgy old MMO that somehow I have come to learn to hate but love at the same time and just never actually quit? I take breaks, but man I just cannot get over that year long break hump. I say I am not playing yet I find myself in there now at least 3 nights a week doing things. What the flowers is going on here? I do find that in general I am not drawn to MMO's anymore. I can take WoW in small chunks but I still find myself getting distracted and only playing about 3-4 hours a WEEK as opposed to how I used to play that much each night. I even took the time to teach my girlfriend to fish, a skill which I have never had the ability to sit and cap out.

The next layer I want to add on is teaching them to use hunter’s mark and what benefits it gives. That will open the door for explanations about buffs and debuffs.

So in the past couple of weeks my girlfriend has gotten to level 18 with her blood elf hunter. She is efficient at taking care of her pet, doing the quests now and all that, but still has trouble understanding the entire "gear" metagame and what is worth keeping or selling. She also is not as interested in AH and the auction side of things so I typically log her character in and fix up her inventory and such. Also I have not taught her about talents and I am filling those in when she is offline.

I have to relax on my faction change stance. I always wanted to go horde, but the majority of my friends from 2005 and on were alliance. As such I have my accounts built around alliance toons. They are all self sufficient as well as far as tradeskills. This faction change option gives me a chance to break free of the alliance and finally have some level 80 horde characters. I will probably put that into motion soon, but I have watch how much money I give Blizzard and really pick my best ones. Since my level 80 paladin is totally prot geared and spec'd he has the least amount of opportunity to play a different way so he will stay in mothballs for a long long time. My 77 alliance warrior is decked out with blues from Northrend and has a set of DPS gear, so he is good for a move. My level 80 alliance rogue is prime also since he does one thing and that is DPS.

On the noobie level, I am raising up a warlock to level along side the gf's hunter.

Between the podcast, watching TV shows as they wind down for the summer and catching up on movies I do not find myself playing WoW like I used to. While it is a little fresh again I think that for the most part my MMO love has dwindled so low that I am just numb to them. Borderlands hits the shelves in October and we also have Dragon Age coming up and all these will easily take time away from any MMO I may play.

Episode 3 of the Banstick Podcast records tonight and we are going to go into the fine points of what we have seen so far from Star Trek Online and interview a Titans gaming community member.

In the meantime, the Hudson School of MMO Knowledge is taking applications for the 2010 spring semester. Thank you.

Banstick Podcast Episode 1 live!

Posted by pvthudson01 Monday August 31 2009 at 1:55PM
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Welp it aint perfect but it is up.

Did I like it? Well so so. What Styed and I learned is that we do not like to follow a format, so expect us to be more loose next cast and a little less rigid. Also it was my first go around at editing and doing all this so next cast I will have it down and be more polished. What matters the most to us is the discussion anyway.

I won't be talking too much about it here on this blog as it is. I will notify about new episodes so listen if you want and if not then that is ok. I have embedded a player on the right from our host at G-Cast. You can also download it by subscribing via XML in I-Tunes although we are not officially up on I-Tunes yet.

I have always wanted to podcast more than blog and with a dedicated co-host and a slew of guests we can pull from I can finally take my thoughts off the written website and just talk about games.

Anyway our new website is here: That site is also linked on the right under my new spiffy blogroll.

Snarky comments on this blog about it will be deleted, since we want to keep the podcat stuff there and the MMO whiners here.

The first episode covers the following:

* Japanese gaming culture
* Styed gets picked on by a shuriken master and his mother in law
* Stranded island MMO of choice
* Why EQ1 gave us fond memories
* What is up for next episode

Our next episode is going to cover all the weird stuff Styed and I have seen in our 7+ years of leading and being part of guilds, so stay tuned for that. We have a great thread at our Titans Community site about some really odd guild drama we want to bring up.

I-Tunes: itpc://

You can follow us on Twitter at

You can email the podcast crew at: banstickpodcast @ gmail [dot] com

Second Skin is a mockumentary

Posted by pvthudson01 Tuesday August 11 2009 at 3:02PM
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I recently watched Second Skin, a documentary about people that play MMORPG’s. This film had been in production quite a while and was flip flopping around as to when it would be released. The primary amount of footage is from 2006 when Burning Crusade was released. You can watch the whole thing on Hulu, but I am not so sure you want to.

Directed by Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza the film immediately takes a turn for the worse when it decides to focus on how these games pretty much destroy or ruin a person’s life rather than focus on the games and the gamers themselves. What we have here is a film that takes the very stereotypes that we as MMO gamers battle to shrug off and pushes them out to the audience and makes many of us almost ashamed to be playing MMO’s.

The film doesn’t cover the industry, it doesn’t cover what the games involve, the way people interact in them or how much fun they can be. Instead the film plucks every stereotype of gamer there is (only the worst ones mind you) and then paints all of us gamers in a terribly bad light.

Lets take a look at the type of gamers featured in Second Skin and rattle off a who is who list of what other people believe MMO players to be like:

* *Lets see… take introverted lady that only finds love on internet in a game and probably owns 8 cats : check
* *Fat dudes that do nothing but guzzle energy drinks and power level: check
* *Dude that loses job cause of gaming: check. As a bonus lets have him in a run down house with no carpet and a friend that looks like a meth addict: BONUS CHECK
* *Creepy guy that preys on women through MMO’s and nerd flirts with them over voice chat: check
* *Interview mother who parented so poorly kid shot himself. Then show her trying to help other evil gamers and failing OH NOES!: check
* *Take couple with soon to be dad that doesn’t want to relinquish gaming time to parent: check
* *Coverage of gamers that live together and forget to buy basic household items, but lets cover them at a grocery store stocking up to power level in WoW the night before expansion comes out: check

What other gamer stereotype did they miss? I am pretty sure they covered them all. Yup, that’s all of us alright! Although I am sure every MMO player has run into those types and that most games do have a ton of those types of people playing, the film does nothing to go out of its way to show them in a good light. The only truly feel good story in the mix is the handicapped gentleman that is just happy to be able to play and gets a sense of freedom when he does so. Thank you for at least shedding light on one positive thing gaming can do to people.

Then when they DO COVER something that is controversial such as gold farming it is glossed over. Wait though, they do interview a gold farming company head. Guess what! This is a kinder, gentler gold farming company and he wants to treat his slave labor employees with respect and take them on field trips and have love ins! Wow, maybe gold farming isn’t that bad after all. Hell, I’ll go work for him according to what I saw in that film. Doesn’t look so bad to me!

Second Skin is pretty biased toward portraying MMO players as the utmost losers they could possibly find. All that time for this? Are you kidding me? Of all the 50 million gamers out there these people are the best you could find? One guy wouldn’t even keep toilet paper stocked in the house or go get any when his lady friend was calling him FROM the bathroom. Nope, gotta raid! Trust me, even though 90% of my WoW guilds and EQ1 guilds have at least one of those people, we usually find them few and far between. To quote another friend of mine that watched the “film”:

Looking at the stereotypes they portrayed reminds me of the Dark Ages… err… the 70’s and 80’s… when AD&D got such a bad rap for being evil. I used to save the news clippings to share with my groups. The typical story was of a dude that killed someone (or multiples) and/or committed suicide, and how police found “Dungeons and Dragons material in his house.

Although there are a lot of gamers that fit some of the stereotypes in the film, there’s also a lot of us who don’t. We have jobs, families, stocked shelves, toilet paper, RL friends, other hobbies, etc… and also play MMORPGs. I’d like to see a follow-up story about some of us.

After watching Second Skin I felt dirty and ashamed. I did not feel the film did anything but set all of us gamers back 10 years in how we are portrayed. South park was bad enough, but we all took that one on the chin. This movie is an hour long exploration into a bunch of idiots that are not able to function in real life.

Now, if you all want something better head on over and check out the Discovery Channel HD’s fine mini series about gamers, games and how the effect lives and the economy. This show is called Gamer Generation and you can catch some episodes on You Tube.

A break from MMO's with Fallout 3

Posted by pvthudson01 Wednesday July 15 2009 at 11:19AM
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Originally posted on my actual blog at


Last night I came home and decided to avoid all MMO's and immediately fired up Empire Total War. Before I get on to the rest of the post today I just want to say that even though that game is pretty slow to develop, I fought an epic battle against George Washington at the battle of Brandywine Creek. I didn't want the British but somehow I got forced to play them. I could have won this battle. I was just too slow and did not use my units in a coordinated fashion. I had feints, flanks, and a few moments where I thought I would pull it out but in the end I just wasted too many men.

You can read what actually happened at Brandywine here, but for now that ends today's history lesson. Empire Total War is an interesting beast because the campaign is basically a built in turn based strategy game and I really have to take the time to learn it.

Ok Fallout 3. I hear many of you groan but deal with it because I have not played this game through yet. I started over, finished the early part, escaped the Vault and headed out into the post apocalyptic nightmare. Usually as far as I had gotten was Megaton. Now though I really wanted to explore the whole game so I went right into that cesspit that I always try to clear out: the Springvale Elementary school.

I always end up in here but never really gave it too much thought. Last night I wanted to clear the whole thing out and I started off by heading around the back and taking out the bandits that live up in the ruined rafters there. The fascinating thing about Fallout 3 is that you can almost do whatever you want. Case in point last night when I spent my entire gaming session in a 3 story instanced building clearing out riff raff and getting involved in their back history. That is what I love about Fallout 3 and at the same time hate about it. There is almost TOO much to do, and unless you go in set to invest time you will not like the game.

So back to the school. I had done this many times and I knew the exact spot of the bandits so I used crouch and picked them off, still getting used to the combat system I saved my action points better and suffered minor injuries. My problem in the this game is always ammo. I tried to lure many of the bandits around the corners and put them down with a baseball bat to the head.

Inside the school, and I never knew this, there is an entire upper floor, middle floor, a lower floor and tunnels. Yep there are tunnels under there and they are there for a reason. This is why I start over because each time I learn something new about the game. Turns out you will need a key to open a door, and another key to clear past the rubble to get the to tunnels. I don't want to give out too many spoilers so if you have not played the game (YEAH RIGHT) then stop here. The rest of this post is about what I found. To those of you taking off and surfing on, see ya later!

Ok so once I had figured out that keys drop in this game and there are actually mini quests inside buildings and things to do, I really started to perk up. I grabbed the key off a bandit I killed (and this whole school has been taken over by them) and then unlocked what I needed to get to around on the 3rd floor where I found the leader of the bandits and she was armed with a machine gun. After a nice little gun fight in which I managed to cap her knees, I found a desk with a working computer terminal and a key. Turns out this group of bandits had been tunneling underground to try and break into the vault from underneath. I found this out by reading entries on the computer terminal. However, they dug too deep and awakened a hive of giant mutated ants. Not being one to shirk adventure, off I went to unlock the door that led to the mining tunnels.

Once I got into the tunnels I shot up a few ants and worked my way back into the very dark areas of the mining operation and found clutches of eggs which I could loot for Ant Meat. Not the tastiest of options but if your health is low and you are out of stim paks you take what you can take. If Mel Gibson can eat a can of dog food in the Road Warrior then this is just a slight step down.

I worked my way in among the eggs and started looting them all when this horrible skittering noise started echoing all over the chamber, and I knew I had triggered a huge spawn of ants. Sure enough about 5-7 came streaming at me and I had to use all my ammo just to fend them off and take them down.

While I got XP for this, I ran out of ammo and really got nothing in return other than stacks of ant meat. I wish there had been SOMETHING down there to discover but all tunnels led to a dead end.

With all the bandits dead and nothing to search through, I decided I had had enough of the school and left the place, feeling good that for once I had explored it and finished it to my hearts content. I did come out of there with a lot of gear to sell, but unfortunately I need ammo now so it will be off to Megaton. I will let you all know how that goes later on. I may hit up Empire Total War once more tonight and dive into that grand campaign as the Russians.

Dungeons and Dragons Online questions a noob would ask

Posted by pvthudson01 Wednesday July 8 2009 at 4:53PM
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Ok, so after playing the game for about one week solid and not really advancing too fast, I had to hit up the newbie forums and ask a plethora of really dumb questions for things I just did not understand.

When I start a game I tend to look at the features and figure out if they actually work or if they are gimmicks. The more I learn about this game the more in depth I realize it is, and when I start a game I like to dig under the hood and see what makes it tick (just ask Hicks who I spam all day long in email).

This bag is not loaded with tricks

First issue I ran into was this “Bounty Bag” quest thing you can do. Basically, this is DDO’s answer to the daily quests that are popping up in MMO’s all over the web now. What this is is a quest that will ask you to go talk to a particular NPC and then he will ask you to enter a dungeon that he is normally associated with. Very clever tactic actually by Turbine here. They added new content without actually having to make new dungeons. You run the same dungeon but have a chance to get a named NPC spawn and when you kill it or perform the daily task you return the bag for XP. Catch is: the named NPC does not always spawn. With no XP per kill in the game this makes it a hard sell, because some of these dungeons can be long and to not have the item drop means more grinding in a place you may hate. I tried one and my NPC did not drop, but at least I got good XP because you can repeat quests again in DDO. So while grindy, I do not mind this it beats grinding faction or some crap like that. Just be warned it is not bugged if you do not get your item.

What is the deal with Tumbling?

Ever watch the neat trailers for DDO where all the people playing are somersaulting and rolling all over like a bad Power Rangers episode? I have and I wondered to myself: WHY? Does the game REALLY take that into account? Well yes and no. There is a difference between TUMBLING and moving out of the way it turns out and to test this I watched my nifty NERD O MATIC die roller that I have displayed on my screen when I play.

Sure enough, when I moved and attacked 3rd person shooter style I lost my +4 to hit and missed a lot more. When I sidestepped, or as I have it mapped, held SHIFT and moved side to side, I kept a +3 or sometimes +4 to hit on my die rolls. So yes the game DOES account for movement. Pretty slick engine. now as for tumbling and putting points into it, the most definitive answers I got were these (I am no expert so I will leave it for them to decide if this is right or not):

I have seen people TUMBLE over water, you do go faster. You only need TUMBLE for doing the Reaver Raid. My advice, make sure your tumble skill is anything BUT not NA. That way, if people cast tumble on you or you buy the tumble buff for 100 GP, you will minimize your damage in the Reaver Raid. If you truly want to role play a rogue then put points into tumble.


Tumble doesn’t slow down in water. If you have to fight or move through shallow water it’s good to have a total score of 1 tumble after all penalties etc, so that you are able to roll through it at normal speed, instead of doing the ‘wading’ animation at about 1/3rd speed it feels like.

Tumbling doesn’t always stop combat. If you swing once and ‘run’ forward you transition to the running attack animation. If you swing once, tumble, when you come out of the tumble you should do the second swing in your animation.

and one last mention

Tumble is one of those skills that didn’t really make a good translation to ddo. If you have the Feat: Moblity or a Mobility item on, tumbling is a more defensive way to get out of combat (While tumbling you have +4 AC)

So in short, do not worry too much about it but use tumbling to move fast and take a swing without a penalty. As far as I can tell it is not required to roll all around but it sure does look cool. The key thing about DDO in dungeons is not to get left behind or split up. Bad things can happen much like in pen and paper D&D. As a GM, I used to love picking off characters that split up from the main party. That was a sadistic pleasure of mine. Especially when you can make it creepy and tell the other players they can hear their buddy screaming in pain. Oh, umm, where was I? Ah yes.

What if I make bad design choices while leveling up

The next question I brought up was how do I know if I am not making a totally worthless character when I choose my stats and where to use my ability points. This is usually a worry for many online games that feature achievements, talent points, trees, traits and all that gimmicky stuff. In DDO, you need to watch where you put your stat points and how you spend things because it does follow D&D quite a bit in terms of what you can do at higher levels. Syp over at Bio Break covered the great 28 point or 32 point build in a blog post already, so I won’t go over that here. Instead I asked about this from a straight new player perspective and got some answers that made me feel ok about my barbarian thus far. Now if you are a cleric or a rogue, have fun. Your choices seem diverse and confusing at the same time.

Some responses I got to this were the following:

The only thing you can’t respec are your levels chosen and skill points. And the 1 ability point (str, dex etc) you get to add to your stats every 4 levels. You can reset your enhancements every 3 days at the class trainer…and you can switch feats at fred the mind flayer.

You can respec feats and enhancements, just not stat scores and class choices..You can gimp yourself by multi-classing poorly… One should understand the game fairly well before attempting a multi-class character…

I’ve made several 28-point builds that I am not going to delete. I have fun playing and that is the most important part. The more you dwell in the details of squeaking out every point of AC or damage, the more it becomes a “job” rather than a game.

My original 28pt char, made with no DDO experience, and faced with three years of nerfs, does just fine. Might not be up to some people’s standards, but I wouldn’t worry to much if I were you.

The responses were generally that if you pick a basic build template or at least read over your class forum, you should be ok.

What does a guild do?

Well, fairly obvious but I noticed in DDO there is really nothing to making a guild. Then I noticed there was NOTHING TO A GUILD. Ugh. The only downfall about the community I have found so far is that guild’s are more or less not supported. The final analysis? Summed up well by a PM I got on the boards:

There are no guild vaults or really anything else that tends to tie anyone to a particular guild except the relationship with members. In fact, guilds in DDO are basically just a way to find groups more easily. Also guild chat can be entertaining… And for new players, they are usually a source of lots of free stuff. (As I’m sure you’re familiar with from other games, stuff that is awesome to a new player is completely useless junk to a veteran, so these gifts are win-win.)

I can do that again? OOPS!

I knew you could run quests over and over again, but I did not look into the deeper picture. This is a very instanced game, as it should be since it has DUNGEONS in the title, but I really didn’t understand why you would run the same thing over and over until I got my cleric to level 2 in about one hour. My barbarian took me two days. Why is this? Simple, I did not try the same quests over again on higher difficulty. So with my cleric (yes she is a female sue me) I decided to try this and good golly it worked. I got massive amounts of fast XP by doing each mission on solo, regular and then hard. I did try elite once. Once. I got the end and the boss mob was 3 levels above me (I was level one) and I just got destroyed.

Not only is this a good way to get XP you also can choose the rewards again. In many cases I didn’t not realize that there were say two different rings offered and especially for casters these work out well. So I would take one ring, then go back and take the second ring. I also had some mastercrafted plate mail drop for her which she put on to look pretty bad ass. So really, I actually skipped a lot of experience the first time through Korthos with my barbarian. The neat thing is I can go back if I want to but I think that perk ends at level 3.

Turn on the class loot option

Amazingly, I did not even know about this. In the options, under gameplay, you can toggle off or on the games smart loot system. Turn it on, and quest rewards are tailored to your character. Turn it off and you can get other items for other classes. What a great idea! I think it is on by default so I didn’t have to worry about it too much, but keep in mind this does not effect chest loot.

Well, those are some of the things I learned in just ONE day of research. If anything new comes up I will post it here next week. For now, I have some Dawn of War 2 to play.