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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:44 am 
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I got to watch a little of this at GenCon and it was certainly interesting. I'm not sure where I stand on the player models but the environment is gorgeous. And it had a neat feel to it, sorta like a single player game.

http://www.ddo.com/index.php?page_id=66&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=49

Basically they've taken an online world and made it all instances ( I suppose a little like GuildWars ), so you get your quest and are ported to it's location. Kind of an interesting twist, you don't really get xp for killing creatures, only xp and rewards for completeing quests, so there's no grinding anyway. If you can sneak past creatures then go for it.

It also sounds like there will be alot of character creation choices, sorta like D&D with the points for skills. So you could be a wizard but outside of the basic spells your skill set could be unique. Individuality? Neat.

They don't have PvP or crafting for now, but I'm not sure that's a terrible thing (you're here to adventure damnit!). And combat is suppose to be more involved than press buttons 1,2, and 3 and repeat.
Although it sounds like it's geared toward party's beyond the first couple of levels (just like you'd get your friends together to play a game), it doesn't sound like you NEED to have this + this class to go on the adventures. Because it's not balanced for PvP they can balance the encounters easier.

I think it interests me basically because it will be alot different than Warcraft and we all know that the D&D universe has gajillions of different creatures (I do get a little tired of seeing the same creatures throughout the warcraft lands).

So sign up, hopefully we can get into the alpha or beta and get to play for free.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:26 pm 
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If you've been sitting at your desk cursing the NDA, here's your chance to hear one person's personal account of Alpha: the first in a series of Alpha Journals written by people who are currently playing in DDO's Alpha!

This is your chance to find out what's really going on in Alpha: Is it fun? Is it real? Is it D&D?

In this case we have annotated the journal: the italicized text indicates comments that we have added to help explain something about the game. The rest of the text is one player's account of what he felt when he first arrived in Stormreach.

**********************

The rain did little to mask the stench of the port as the ship bumped reassuringly into the dock. Greyven stumbled down the gangplank, his legs unsteady from the long voyage.

He had decided to begin his adventuring career in Stormreach. What better place than this city, so filled with intrigue and opportunity? Rumor had it that the Coin Lords were exerting a stranglehold on trade within Stormreach. Perhaps an alliance with them would prove profitable, or perhaps he'd relieve them of some of that excess gold the sailors whispered about when they'd had too much rum.

Greyven has just entered the city of Stormreach, arriving at the harbor as all new adventurers do. The weather has turned to rain, although a number of conditions are possible.

Nearby was the gate to Stormreach proper. Greyven willed his legs to pump in a normal fashion towards it. A Halfling stopped him short. "By order of the Harbormaster, the gates are closed to strangers until further notice." he droned. Greyven quickly decided on a simple bluff, "I'm a Coin Lords agent, stand aside before I report your interference!" To his credit Greyven never blinked, but apparently the guard had heard better in his day. "Almost had me!" he wheezed between spasms of laughter. "Still, ya' don't seem dangerous. Get one of the locals to vouch for ya', and I'll let ya' pass". Greyven resignedly plodded back towards the harbor.

Arriving in Stormreach, one learns that security is taken seriously and a new adventurer must earn the trust of the local guard to pass. This is done through a set of quests, which will help players become comfortable with the game's mechanics and interface.

A man dressed in finery caught his attention. Closer scrutiny revealed patches at the elbows and stitching that had come loose around the neckline. The man bent low at the waist. "Lord Gerald Goodblade, Master Trader and Advisor to the Coin Lords," he offered, not waiting to see if the Elf meant to speak with him or not. When asked about the gates, his voice lowered to a whisper. "I have connections inside, but you'll need to prove yourself first. Go to the Wavecrest tavern. Sigmund may have work for you." The rain fell harder, obscuring the crates stacked near the water in an aura of mist. Greyven sprinted for the tavern, pulling his cloak tight against the chill.

Gerald Goodblade, friend, mentor, trickster, is one of your first contacts in Stormreach. He will guide you through the quests that will eventually give you access to the greater city. In exchange for performing tasks for him and his friends, he will use his connections to help you get equipped.

The Wavecrest proved dry, and the burly tavernkeep was a trusting sort. Greyven soon had him talking openly. The hungry Elf quickly agreed when Sigmund offered a hot meal in exchange for some simple chores. "Before you go take inventory, see if you can't help out Aida." He pointed to a maid serving drinks, then turned back to his duties, leaving Greyven to speak with the girl. He moved to intercept her, avoiding the sailors from the ship who were already drinking heavily.

Sigmund has a task for Greyven - a deceptively simple task. Speaking with Aida is not required, but it is a side quest worth additional experience. Many quests in the game have these optional objectives, granting added rewards and expanding the stories.

Greyven agreed to look for Aida's lost necklace, but the girl's nervousness had put him on edge. He swung the shortbow from his shoulder and strung it, reassured by the familiar "twang" noise it made. "Quit playing with them toys! Barrels don't count themselves and your supper's growing cold," barked Sigmund. Greyven cast him a sly smile as he headed for the cellar. "One never knows when you'll meet new playmates, Sigmund; and if they forget their toys, I'm more than willing to share mine...one at a time, right through the eye-socket."

Greyven assumes that he is descending into the cellar to count some casks, root around under furniture for a lost necklace and perhaps exterminate some vermin. Perhaps it is best that his self-confidence is not yet undermined by the threat of ancient evil that awaits him beneath the inn.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:38 pm 
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This week we have two journal entries focusing on combat. One features the continued adventures of Greyven, and the other introduces us to a new character, Neah. These journals were written by two separate people. Following the pattern of last week, the italicized text indicates comments that we have added to help explain something about the game.

Greyven’s Journal

"Movement along the western tree-line," warned Greyven. "How many?" Mithras asked, seeing nothing but trusting the elf's keen senses. "Let's find out," Greyven's arrow flew, striking something with a wet thud, followed by a crashing in the bushes. The rogue began counting, "One...".

As an elf Greyven gets a +2 racial bonus on his Listen, Search, and Spot skills. It is also possible to shoot an arrow in a general direction, rather than at a fixed target.

*********************

The lids of the sarcophagi lining the tomb exploded in a burst of stone and decay. Some of the remains that pitched forth rose up in the form of skeletal guardians. Greyven took aim and fired at one, but the arrow glanced harmlessly off a rib-bone. With a speed that belied its undead form, a skeleton pitched forward towards the rogue, clawing wildly. But Greyven was already gone, tumbling sideways outside the monster's reach. Mithras stepped between them, willing his faith into a blinding light that leapt out from him like a living thing. The skeleton was caught in the cascade of divine power; instantly crumbling into dust. The cleric spun in time to block the remaining skeleton's lunge with his shield. He readied his warhammer, not surprised to see that across the room Greyven had produced a scroll of some sort that he was studying intensely. He knew the elf was no Wizard, but he had enough arcane tricks to sometimes be able to use wizardly things like magic scrolls.

Monsters have the resistances and damage reduction described in the Monster Manual. Arrows and slashing weapons are not as effective against skeletons as a blunt weapon would be. Likewise, using a sword against an ooze is counterproductive. You might soon find yourself surrounded by twice the number of oozes that you started off with. Greyven and his party also demonstrate use of the Tumble skill, blocking, and the cleric’s turn undead ability – all essential parts of combat in DDO.

*********************

"Drop them quickly!" Greyven shouted. The last wave of hobgoblins and bugbears had sorely pressed the outpost's defenders and now another mass of the fetid creatures charged at them. Kolvaeth's mind turned inward, empowering his spell to do more damage than normal, but taxing his magical reserves in return. Gouts of flame spewed from his fingertips, limning the closest hobgoblins in a wreath of fire. Belmont roared and met the advance. He spun his greataxe in a wide arc, the powerful attack cleaving through one kobold and striking a bugbear square on the leg. Greyven caught a blur of motion to his right, then the air was suddenly forced from his lungs by a shattering impact that drove him to the ground. The worg atop him continued the assault, slavering jaws finding soft flesh, until pain gave way to darkness.

Kolvaeth is using the Empower Spell feat to make his Burning Hands spell more powerful while Belmont is using his Power Attack feat to add extra damage to the already powerful Cleave feat. Meanwhile, poor Greyven has had a worg use its knockdown ability against him.


************************************************** **********************************************


Neah’s Journal

Neah stopped her slide down the rope then dropped the last two feet to the moss and filth covered stone floor below. She landed in a crouch, drew her long sword and scanned the fetid tunnel for any immediate threats.

The precious little light filtering down from the hatch above and from various grills and gutters revealed a dead-end alcove to the south and a short corridor to the north that turned to the left about twenty feet into the gloom ahead.

The click of claws against wet stone interrupted her survey.

A small, hunched figure dressed in ragged bits of leather 'armor', bearing a dented helmet that looked like it could trace its ancestry to a cast-off cooking pot and clutching a gnarled but definitely serviceable staff in its paws rounded the corner then stood for a heartbeat gaping at her.

A kobold sentry.

Monsters patrol their territory. They can also hide and spot hiding characters, the same way that players can, if their skills are high enough.

By reflex, Neah straightened into an 'on-guard' with her long sword swinging up to the ready. The kobold immediately turned on its heels and fled back the way it had come uttering shrill yelps of, "Yark, yark!" There followed the unmistakable sound of someone beating a hammer against a large sheet of metal.

Neah hissed her annoyance. "Alarm! Oh, fine! Now the whole warren knows I'm here." She slid the shield she'd cinched against her upper arm down to her forearm and grasped the leather thongs tight. Nothing for it now but to enter the fray as fast as possible before resistance could organize.

Carrying a shield will increase your blocking ability for an amount dependent on your base attack bonus, your feats, and the properties of your shield.

She charged off into the darkness after the fleeing sentry, rounded the corner ... and almost collided with the same little creature as it came charging back in her direction, apparently with the same thought as she: attack before any more invaders could arrive as reinforcements.

Monsters can request help from nearby allies. They are also attracted by noise.

The kobold's wild swing missed Neah by a good foot to her right while her counterthrust missed the kobold's belly by an equal amount to the left. The kobold sprang back with surprising agility then began to sidle to one side, apparently trying to flank Neah and her formidable shield/sword combination. For her part, Neah crouched behind her shield, turning along with the kobold so as to always present her defense toward him, forcing him to make the first move.

Avoid being flanked. A monster attacking you from behind will get a bonus to its attack.

Suddenly the kobold again swung its staff, which connected, harmlessly, with a dull 'thud' against Neah's shield. But even as the momentum of the little rat-lizard's blow twisted his body down and to his right, Neah lashed out with her sword.

The razor sharp edge of her blade bit deep into the kobold's exposed neck. It managed one strangled little grunt before collapsing in an untidy heap at her feet. One down ... how many to go?

The answer came in the form of a crude pottery jar that whizzed out of the darkness to shatter against one of the stone arches above her head, showering her with burning oil. Now it was she who grunted in pain.

Again she turned to face the threat and again hunkered down behind the protection of her shield. In the gloom of the tunnel ahead, she could just make out another of the little creatures, peering at her out of a small side alcove as it readied another of the makeshift firebombs.

"Too far. I'll never close the distance before I'm roasted to a turn." Neah quickly ducked back around the corner, out of the kobold line of sight and then just as quickly swapped out her sword and shield for her trusty longbow. "All right. If it's a duel of marksmanship you want, it's a duel you'll have."

Line of sight is a fundamental aspect of battle. If you can’t see the monster, you won’t be able to hit the monster. They same holds true for a monster attacking you.

Neah readied an arrow then hugged the bow against her chest. She took a deep breath then crouched/rolled back into the main passageway. She fetched up hard against the filth-encrusted stones of the far wall and in one continuous motion she knocked and loosed, trusting to instinct to guide her shot.

Her instinct was good, but not good enough. The steel head of her arrow struck sparks off the stones of the alcove not six inches from the startled-wide eyes of the kobold bomber.

Neah had more than enough combat experience to know there was no time to nock and loose a second round. Instead, she repeated her tumble/roll, this time back to her starting spot out of the kobold's line of fire. As a result, its counter shot burst harmlessly in the spot she'd just left.

Here is another example of the usefulness of the Tumble skill in action. If you raise your skill high enough you will be able to avoid many attacks.

Crouching again in safety, Neah drew another arrow. "Thirty-two arrows left. Gods curse my foolishness for not buying more before I entered this pit!"

It was going to be a long fight.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:29 am 
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http://www.ddo.com/

They currently have a 7 day free trial going on if you would like to check it out. I will be giving it another go for the fun of it. I haven't bought it for 3 reasons:

1) I learned that sometimes it's better to wait a month after release before making a choice on an MMO. It gives them a chance to patch things up and lets the servers settle down. It's good to read the forums and see what people are complaining about and how the makers handle things. I 've been doing this with DDO and they seem to be doing a good job of addressing players concern.

2) People that power-level this game (play constantly) seem to be able to get to level 10 (max level) in about 2 weeks. That is fast! But to do it they seem to need to repeat quests quite a few times, which leads me to think that there is a lack of content. (For those of us that will only play the 7 free days (or don't play 24/7) I'm sure we'll never have to repeat a quest unless we want to, so this really won't be a problem.)
I think that if you had a group of friends that only got together once or twice a week and ran through a few dungeons you'd probably only be level 5 by now have lots of stuff to explore yet (but you need a group because there's very little solo play). But then again Never Winter Nights 2 will be out in September.

3) I'm already in WoW and I don't see DDO as being sooo good that I would change. Though it does have some good game play (and I'll see more during the free trial), I think I'm looking for something a little more unique - The Chronicles of SpellBorn hasn't done anything to turn me off yet.

Anyway, check out the free trial and post your reviews here!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:43 am 
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http://archive.gamespy.com/comics/nodwick/ffn/ffn.htm

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:42 pm 
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OK! The game has been out for a long time now and is now FREE! Free to download and free to play. There are restrictions on the free to play but hell...it seems worth it. I have been playing for a week or so now and for those of you that are as cheap as I am and still want a decent game to play....this may qualify :) I am on the argonnesson (sp?) server with the name of Mermidian (rogue) and Shuluri (ranger) for those that might drop in.

http://www.ddo.com/playnow/


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:37 am 
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Hey Sandtigger,

I actually did look into this one before we started playing Cabal Online. The thing I didn't like about it is that it is free at first, but to unlock certain races and classes to play you have to pay money. On top of that, once you get into the game a lot of the content is locked until you shell out more $ to unlock what you want to do.

It seems like a great game to start playing, but my biggest fear was the lack of playability once you are farther in the game. As you are playing it, please let us know if their restrictions are really bad or maybe just a small loss. ;)

Have fun!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:59 am 
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Elric wrote:
I actually did look into this one before we started playing Cabal Online. The thing I didn't like about it is that it is free at first, but to unlock certain races and classes to play you have to pay money. On top of that, once you get into the game a lot of the content is locked until you shell out more $ to unlock what you want to do.


Isn't this the same (philosophically) for Cabal Online? I was just on their website and there is a ton of stuff that you can pay for to unlock or to rent. How is Cabal different?

I played combat arms for a while and it was the same thing. Everything is free unless you want a very specific uniform or weapon or what not.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:40 pm 
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In short, Cabal Online gives you an option for conveniency/cosmetics, and D&D Online requires you to pay to unlock the gameplay itself.

D&D Online has a ton of content that is locked, as part of the game itself. For example, it has like 6 playable races, but you have to pay money to unlock 2 of them before you can play them. They are of course two of the coolest ones. I read a lot of reviews about supposedly F2P ("Free-to-Play") MMO's out there, and every one I saw for D&D Online said that once you get about half-way into the game it really starts to suck because you have to shell out more money for every dungeon you want to open. If you don't, then apparently the game is extremely difficult because you run out of fun and new options, and your only choice is to slowly grind out levels. I saw a few reviews that said the people who play the locked races/classes tend to have quite an advantage over the more common races/classes. Based on the understanding I got from the reviews, everything points to the mentality that you MUST pay money in order to play the game at higher levels (or to even be competitive in PvP).

Now, Cabal online does have a cash shop like any other Free-download F2P MMO out there. However, the things they have in there are just items to make your weapons look cooler (no effect on DPS/stats), or to have pets that follow your character around. There is a "Premium Service" that helps your character level faster, but it's not a huge difference considering how fast your character levels anyways. From talking to higher level players (120+), many of them have told me they never paid a single cent to the gaming company, and they are just as powerful as the people who did. Basically, the only thing you can buy in Cabal Online are things that are convenient (make things easier).

That is the big difference, Cabal Online cash shop offers conveniency (wants), but D&D Online offers the rest of the game that is locked to everyone else (needs). It's like buying the original Star Wars Trilogy but only being allowed to watch the first movie. Then once you are interested they make you pay for the 2nd and the 3rd! ;)

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"If you don't like something, hit it.
:boxing:
If it hits back, shoot it.
:leftfighter4: :halfrobot:
If it's still moving - RUN."

:eeeeek: => :transformer:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Gotcha.

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Simon: Hello
Robert: Hello
Simon: What's your name?
Robert: Um, Robert Unwin
Simon: And what do you do?
Robert: I work at a chicken factory.
<Silence>
Simon: .....Good....


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Any confirmation from players here on the D&D cash squeeze? That sucks if it is the case.

Actually it is probably good thing, now I won't do yet one more thing to splice what small remaining time I have each day to sleep.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:41 pm 
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I have only managed to get to level 6 so far and have not noticed any particular problem with the free account. I got my level token that i needed before I actually needed it. You need to get one at levels 4,8,12,16 before you can progress but you can also use the free points you accumulate to get those. You are limited to 2 toons per server instead of 10. Also, the favored soul, drow and warforged classes are not available to you. These you can unlock with favor you build by building factions within the game with the ruling parties. Warforged you only get by purchasing an account or purchasing the race though. Auction houses only allow 1 item at a time for the free accounts as well which might impede cash flow. So far that is all I have noticed as restrictions but time will tell. In any case....what do you want for free?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:03 pm 
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I was an avid player of this a few months back and got my ninja(Monk) up to level 13. It is a fun game with much to do at least until level 12. At this point you need groups to complete most of the quests. While it is a free game to advance faster you need to drop some money. Not a lot. Most of the locked characters and races are available through play. You gain points for completing quests based on the difficulty. As you gain point things like the drow and ninja are made available.

I wasn't willing to wait for the drow race so I dropped a little cash to try it out. My drow monk does pretty good. Like any game things can get a tad boring. Complete the quest on normal, now complete the same quest on hard, now complete the quest on elite.

My biggest reason for no longer playing is the amount of time needed to advance. This brings me greatest complaint. You only gain exp for advancement if you complete the quests. You can spend hours and fail at the end. You just wasted those hours. Unlike World of Warcraft where you gain exp from killing the monsters, you gian nothing for an individual monsters death. The only except to that is wilderness areas where you have a kill count. This the exception though not the rule.

Is it worth playing? Yes. It is free and fun. You can spend money if you want or you can play free never dropping a dime. I am sure that I will play again after my break. Unless something else comes up that is better. One can never tell.

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