Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DDO Day 1: Re-entering the World

Last night I did as promised and re-entered a MMO.  Dungeons and Dragons Online was my game of choice and I ended up making this badass.

He's a Monk so watch your face... it might get punched.

As you can see, he's a Monk and I managed to get him to level 2 last night.  Level 2 is actually an accomplishment since DDO only has a total of 20 levels.  Last time I tried DDO I would only play with my brother, I didn't do a single quest or dungeon by myself.  This time is no different and you can check out his impressions over at Lost In Neurons.  Last time we played until about level 6, so a lot of this content is familiar since we ran it once already.

This time I rolled a Monk instead of a Ranger (which is what I played before).  The best part about being a Monk is that I get to punch things - lots of things - right in the face.  POW!  It just makes me feel like a badass.  My brother, on the other hand, rolled a Rogue because sensing, detecting, stealth, disarming traps, and picking locks actually matters in DDO.  We get the full content experience because of his Rogue abilities.

With our characters created off we went.  The first thing that came back to me is how visceral DDO is.  Clicking to attack makes a world of difference.  There is no auto-attack in this game and I think it's a great design decision.  Right after my first battle I remembered to switch my camera controls (press t) so that I didn't have to hold down right click to look around.  I think the camera switch helps me become more immersed in the game too.

The thing I liked most last night was playing in the hand-crafted dungeons.  They have traps, hidden chambers, locked doors, optional objectives, treasure chests, monsters, and puzzles.  I had forgotten about the puzzles, but they really help break up all the fighting and make for a nice change of pace occasionally.  Exploring a dungeon is actually about exploring the dungeon, unlike WoW where people "run" a dungeon.  Even the terminology of "running" a dungeon shows how much players rush through them in WoW.  The DDO dungeons are perfect for me because I like to take my time to explore and finish all the optional and hidden objectives.  Needless to say, I am completely blown away by the experience the dungeons provide.

With the positives must come some negatives.  My main complaint isn't even that justified.  It's that I've run these dungeons before so some of the exploration element is taken out of the game for me.  I don't remember everything perfectly but I was able to recall a lot about the dungeons we were in.  Although, it's not really fair to count that one against the game developers.

The second thing I disliked was smashing boxes.  In DDO every dungeon has tons of boxes, containers, barrels, and vases to smash.  At the start of a gaming session I always get a thrill from smashing things but by the end of the night I don't want to smash 50+ containers in every single dungeon.  It's not really an optional thing either because players get rewarded bonus xp for smashing stuff and who doesn't want bonus xp?

We're almost done with newbie island after a long gaming session last night.  Hopefully tonight we'll progress into the main game.  Yesterday I wasn't so sure about getting back into MMOs, but now I can't wait to get back online with my Monk and punch some faces off!

3 comments:

  1. "My main complaint isn't even that justified. It's that I've run these dungeons before so some of the exploration element is taken out of the game for me...Although, it's not really fair to count that one against the game developers."

    That's completely justified. It's the developers job to create replayability and they fail (at least at low levels).

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  2. From what I've seen it looks like options open up at higher levels, especially if you're willing to pay for adventure packs.

    You are right though, they could do more to diversify dungeons in the early game.

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  3. I feel the same way about boxes and the ransack bonus. I like monsters and storylines...not breakable environments. Sure, there's some good stuff in boxes sometimes, but I don't like being told I have to go searching through a dungeon to find 5 more boxes when I really want to go do something else.

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