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Role Playing (Games)

Dungeons and Dragons Online Beta Impressions 148

Posted by Zonk
from the rogues-with-meaning-ye-gods dept.
The NDA for the Dungeons and Dragons Online Beta is now a thing of the past. F13's piece prior to the lifting of the NDA is a good place to get started. They also have a lively discussion going, discussing all aspects of the upcoming game, which launches February 28th. From the f13 piece: "The most important thing to understand about DDO is Turbine is trying a different take on the genre. People looking strictly for a WoW clone in a D&D flavored wrapper won't find it. For some that may be a good thing, for others not so much. Oh to be sure, it has a lot of the same trappings as your previous favorite graphical-Diku-mud; after all, most fantasy computer role playing games owe a little or very large portion of their structure to the granddaddy of all pen and paper rpgs, Dungeon & Dragons. So it comes as no surprise to find this game with familiar fantasy races, defined character classes, and easily recognizable fantasy monsters, magic items and spells. But, as I have grown fond of saying these last several years, the devil's in the implementation. To that end, DDO is almost as easily defined by what it is NOT as by what it IS."
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Dungeons and Dragons Online Beta Impressions

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  • and the basic game itself is pretty impressive in implementation.

    Unfortunately, making any real progress while soloing is completely impossible. This has gone back and forth throughout beta. At the present time, due to "diminishing returns" when you re-enter a dungeon, you can forget "leveling through perseverence".

    I don't group with strangers, and my friends are only available occasionally (and the chat system is abysmal, which makes identifying competent players with which to group extremely difficult), s
    • by sheared (21404)
      The game seems to me to be Guild Wars with DnD rules. The meat of the game play is in an instanced dungeon with you and your party members. They should have taken the Guild Wars approach to henchmen and given you the option of several styles of NPC party members. I might consider doing it that way. I'm in the same boat as the original author: I don't group with strangers and my friends are on rarely (if at all).

      Plus, I'm not paying monthly to play a game 2-4 hours per week (if that much). Either use Gu
      • I have to agree. If I could hire NPCs, the game might be salvageable. As it sits, I won't be subscribing. I (as you) will not pay the server fee for the players that can actually spare the time to group up all the time.
        • by MBraynard (653724) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @04:07AM (#14433974) Journal
          You, your parent, and grandparent should note.

          The problem is not with the game, it is with how you want to play a game.

          Your criticism is Useless and meaningless. You cannot criticize an SUV for not going really really fast, and you should not critizice an MMO for not playing like a single-player RPG.

          It almost seems incomplete without a similar line about "whaaaa - I paid for the game at the store why do I have to keep paying each month - whaaaaa" (though there are doubtlessly a few dozen of those posted below, no doubt)

          Unfortunately, this moronic ejaculation by all three of you completely qualifies you to write game reviews for a living. Congratulations.

          • I'd kill for a mod point right now. I'm so glad that SOMEONE finally pointed out the obvious.

            This is a source of some frustration to me. People buy an MMORPG, then complain that it's not soloable. If I wanted a soloable game, I wouldn't be buying an MMORPG! I guess these folks' reason for wanting an MMORPG is just so that they can see other avatars running around, not actually interact with them.

            Jeez, as a computer geek, I'm about as antisocial as the rest of you, but at least I have the gumption to

            • Thanks for your OPINION, but a significant number of players disagree with you.

              I never said that I wanted to solo ALL the time, but I do want options when my friends are not available. I do not choose to include grouping with J Random Stranger as one of those options. I've played these games for YEARS and life (and my available gaming time) is too short to waste my time on what is 99% of the time a frustrating and fruitless effort. The chat system in DDO is absolutely horrible, and it's actually a vast impr
            • by sdhankin (213671) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @09:48AM (#14435125)
              I've heard this comment (or others like them) many times, and I've never understood them. As much as it is a genre of games, a MMORPG is a game implementation. Why would anyone want to play it alone?

              Let's see:

              1) The world is vast and fun to explore
              2) It's fun to play the character classes in that world
              3) The battle system is varied and interesting
              4) The story line is compelling

              Get the picture? Notice how often I mentioned other on-line players?

              A game is either fun or it's not; whether it happens to be implemented on-line is irrelevant. I've played Guild Wars since it came out, and I've had a blast. I haven't grouped at all. Horrors! I've been playing an on-line game like I'd have played it if it were off-line. My god - where are the police when you need them?
              • 1) The world is vast and fun to explore
                2) It's fun to play the character classes in that world
                3) The battle system is varied and interesting
                4) The story line is compelling

                I wish I had a mod point. You've hit the nail right on the head!

                Spending 45 minutes to put together a group, followed by a half hour to get the group to the hunting location, only to have a wipeout because one player doesn't have a clue, followed by another half hour of recovery... then log off as my two hours of game time runs out...

                • Spending 45 minutes to put together a group, followed by a half hour to get the group to the hunting location, only to have a wipeout because one player doesn't have a clue, followed by another half hour of recovery... then log off as my two hours of game time runs out... Definately fun, fun, fun.

                  Yes, this isn't fun, but fortunately there's great and friendly gaming communities out there, that's even nice enough to *want* you to have fun. I'm a member of one myself. There's people from all over the world in
              • 4) The story line is compelling

                Most of those things are done better by offline games. Although some games fall short, those aspects could be improved much quicker and easier in an offline game, if there was much demand for it.

                Horrors! I've been playing an on-line game like I'd have played it if it were off-line. My god - where are the police when you need them?

                It's not the police we should be looking for, but the Invisible Hand of economic efficiency.

                By playing an online game as if it were offline, you are
            • Some people prefer the social interaction to occur outside of combat and combat to be solo. At the very least they want to be able to play for a bit when there is nobody they can group with. let's also not forget taht in every mmorpg there are classes that can get groups anytime and classes that are only picked if there is nobody else on. In this game there appears to be no social interaction outside of combat so that does knock out one of these reasons for soloing.
              • Other people get me killed. In WoW, my rogue solos in places where a group would get wiped out. Particularly when all the group members don't know each others combat styles and adjust accordingly. I spend more time chatting with friends than questing with them.
            • You have an opinion. No need to be rude about it.
              I agree that you should be grouping most of the time in an MMO. I don't agree that you should not have anything else to do in the game. Any components that can't be soloable.
              I live outside the continental United States and as a result I'm not online during prime hours. While I can frequently get a group, there are nights when I have game time and there is no one to game with. And yes I'm including pickup groups, not just guild mates or real life friends. Duri
          • While I agree that a MMORPG is mainly for playing together, you may not always find a good group. In that case, it is quite OK if you can do some easier stuff on your own.

            And the real reason for this reply:
            Unfortunately, this moronic ejaculation by all three of you completely qualifies you to write game reviews for a living. Congratulations.
            If I had mod points at the moment, this would bring you a -1, Flamebait. Insulting people because you disagree with them is really low and one of the reasons Slashdot su
          • Sounds like you spend a bit too much time on the WoW forums. Bitterness abounds, no?

            Anyway, the biggest reason why the ancestor posters have reason to complain is that Turbine didn't just make another MMOG. They made a Dungeons and Dragons MMOG, probably the only one that will get made, at least within the next five years. This means that, for example, people who suck at twitch games are denied their chance to play in a MMOG environment using the D&D mechanics they love. Had Turbine developed their
      • I'm in the same boat as the original author: I don't group with strangers and my friends are on rarely (if at all).

        Perhaps you're better off with a single RPG rather than a MORPG.

        Considering how successful the subscription model is, why would they change it just to suit a few people who don't like it?

        Anyway if it were free you'd just get all the kids who can't afford to play WoW.
    • "and the chat system is abysmal, which makes identifying competent players with which to group extremely difficult"

      IMO, the entire UI is abysmal dark grey and tan with random amounts of transparency, too much chrome, and everything can be accidentally dragged about... I'm passing too.

      I was a AD&D geek growing up and had high hopes for this game, but like AC2 this is another Turbine flop IMO. Of course you're welcome to your own, but I'm suggesting against this one for anybody who like the speed of Co

  • ...seems to require registration on F13.net.
  • Nerfing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xptical.gmail@com> on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:53PM (#14433123) Homepage
    Here's what I see happening:

    When the game is released, the classes and creatures will feel a lot like they are described in the rulebooks. After a while, they'll nerf this and boost that until we are left with a game that is D&D in name only.

    You'd think that after what, 25 years, the rules would be fairly well tweaked out. But once you move from 5 friends on a table to 5,000,000 on a server, some things will have to change.
    • Not much difference (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nasarius (593729)
      But once you move from 5 friends on a table to 5,000,000 on a server, some things will have to change.

      Not so much, really. From the article: all quests take place in private instances.

      • As do WoWs. That still does not prevent instances where 50 or more people take part in a raid. How will D&D adapt in a landscape where 50+ people expect a 5+ hour raid culminating with a single bad guy?
        • Not so much, really. From the article: all quests take place in private instances.

          As do WoWs.

          All of WoWs quests take place in instances? You must be playing a different WoW than I am. Mine is World of Warcraft [worldofwarcraft.com], and it has many more quests that take place outside of instances than inside of instances.

        • I'd say that well over 90 percent of World of Warcraft's quests take place outside of Instances.
        • by aztektum (170569) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @12:35AM (#14433317)
          I'm in the beta for DnD. This isn't anything like WoW. It's more like Guild Wars. You create a party and get an instanced dungeon for your party. It has a lot of the DnD "atmosphere" with text descriptions of the scene quickly popping up when you move through areas to replicate the DM feel. All in all the feeling of the game is actually cool. Pubs and inns have wonderful atmosphere, the music is catchy, and you feel like you're really almost there. I haven't progressed too far into higher levels though, so I can't say much about that. I will need to find more free time to play before it launches though, so I can see if it will be worth it to buy. (and help report bugs too of couse)
        • Umm, raids are capped at 40. Still a lot of people, but there's no reason to exaggerate.
    • Re:Nerfing (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But once you move from 5 friends on a table to 5,000,000 on a server, some things will have to change.

      Not only that, but when you move from a flexible system limited only by the imaginations of the people playing it to a rigid system limited to what's been written in code, some things will definitely have to change.

      Also, there is no DM in D&D Online. With the pencil and paper version of the game, players who exploit loopholes in the rules can be dealt with very quickly, because the DM is there to
      • Yes, because game rules in MMORPGs are implemented client side.
        • Re:Nerfing (Score:3, Insightful)

          by thesandtiger (819476)
          The person you're responding to didn't say that the rules were kept client side. He mentioned that players might exploit loopholes in the rules, not edit them to their whim.

          The person's point seemed to be "If someone abuses a flaw in the rules in a Pen and Paper game, the DM can shut them down right away. If someone abuses a flaw in the rules of an on-line game, since there is no DM or omnipresent authority, they'll be able to get away with it."

          Which I agree with. PnP is different from MMO, and ultimately t
          • He also said that the developers need to release a patch to fix problems in the rules. You don't release patches for server updates.
            • Actually, there have frequently been patches to the client that have fixed possibilities of exploiting in many MMOs. I don't know if Diablo II counts as an "mmo" but they did change the client in order to diminish the amount of "hidden" information that could be obtained.

              Further, he didn't say "patch the client" - he just said "patch" and left it to be ambiguous - servers get patches, too.

              Anyway, was the initial poster's point actually unclear? There was sufficient context to reduce the ambiguity.
      • because lord knows that no DM can every be exploited either....

    • I dunno. The perfect ruleset always seem to be a combination of 1st and 2nd Edition rules, most things went downhill in 2nd Ed. and continued to go downhill from there.
  • it's really fun and addictive for about 2-3 months. Then the glory really just dies. The main problem with how the game is setup that as stated above you can only get xp by finishing a quest completely. and all of the early quests are geared for either full grps or lone fighters. try soloing a dungeon as a mage and you'll pretty much end up dead. This then leads to masses of people only playing the dungeons that grant the most XP. but ofcourse playing a dungeon to many time will lead to no xp. overall
  • I enjoyed DDO! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kafka47 (801886) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @01:11AM (#14433451) Homepage
    To say it sweetly : the best aspect of DDO is the gameplay. It seems as though all of Turbine's efforts have been focussed on that. And you know what? GOOD ON THEM. Its not perfect, but once you get past the two biggest problems - a somewhat sputtery UI and the generally muddy character of the graphics, you'll have fun.

    Combat : Here is where DDO shines. As a MMORPG, it blends click with dodge very nicely. I can backstab, jump, tumble, climb, and never feel like I'm doing "the WoW thing" (aggro-heal-tank repeat) by just standing there and pressing my combos. Firing my bow yields a satisfying woosh-thunk. Wielding my dagger from the shadows is a treat when I do it right. Its somewhat disappointing to hear there's no PvP in the game, but they promise it will come. In the end, the RPGs that are about fighting stuff should make sure that the task is fun. WoW is not. DDO most definitely is!

    Gameplay : Aside from combat, the instances are very interesting. Even though the adventures I experienced were basically linear channels through a dungeon, I still felt like I was exploring and discovering. There are environment puzzles to solve and secret doors to find. Very different from every MMORPG that I've ever played, and I have to admit quite satisfying.

    The World : The hub style of MMO really bums me out, for many reasons. Every aspect of the gameplay exists within private instances. Groups are found in the town areas, ala Guild Wars. Due to this, all open-ended gameplay disappears and is replaced by simple, directed instancing. Your mileage may vary, but I prefer plundering vast open plains and mountains. Worlds are fun. Boxes less so.

    Story : Hrm. I saw very little "story" in the game. None of the NPCs even speak, so this generally bleeds away any characterization or drama from the experience. Perhaps there will be larger "world arcs" to follow in the actual game.. I'm hoping so.

    And thats about all I have time to say. Will I get the game? Well, seeing as how I'm a fan of Dungeons and Dragons and RPGs I will definitely be there on opening night. Whether I see enough to justify the monthly fee remains to be seen. I have high hopes, and my experience thus far has been quite positive. Will it unseat WoW? Doubtful. But rest assured, its the best WoW alternative out there.

    Just my humble opinion.

    ./kafka

    • You mean this thing plays like Guild Wars and they want a monthly fee for it?!? Are you kidding me? What exactly am I paying THEM for anyway? All they're doing is running a glorified 3-D chat room.

      -Eric

    • Just curious about how the click-timing works if you are on a less than desirable connection (ping) to the server. Say, if you were playing from overseas.

      First in PvE, and later in PvP.

      Just from experience in WoW, ping-delays really affect many things - timing that stun, counterspell, shock, etc. On a really lagged day you might even have trouble hitting someone as he sprint around the map like someone from the matrix.
      • You can play with the 'click and dodge' approach, or resort to the less time-sensitive static attacks. You're certainly not locked into either, but just make sure you have lots of healing potions. :-) If you're far from the server this method might work better for you. I hear there are lag issues, but hopefully those will be resolved when the game goes live. /Kafka
  • My thoughts... (Score:5, Informative)

    by garylian (870843) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @02:25AM (#14433704)
    I got into the closed beta a day after the FilePlanet Stress Test was over.

    Don't get this game expecting to solo. A lot of folks have pissed and moaned about that, but they are trying to be pretty true to the Pen and Paper (PnP) rules and designs. You almost never see a DM spend all this time to create a world, dungeons, and the like, and then have them sit down at a table with a lone player with a lone character. Get over your wish to solo. It's a MMO. You are supposed to be grouping!

    With the launch set for the 28th, there are a ton of bugs still in the game. They finally got the party and voicechat server fixed after a week of downtime. They have a good half dozen important quests that are broken. They have had to close one dungeon due to an exploit that was being done ad naseum by players abusing invisibility. Characters are still in their skivvies on the Character Select screen. Some characters die and can't rez when they release from their corpse. Some folks have gotten stuck in the Marketplace for more than a week. And the bank has been known to randomly lose items.

    They are taking their time in between beta patches. I'd like to see some of these things tested in house and then pushed into the beta quicker, but they are making progress. The fix some things, and have proven to be cautious in how they work. Circle-strafing was a huge problem, so they did a tweak to make the mobs work better against it. Now it is a little less effective, but still works darn well. I expect another fix to that tactic.

    There is a significant lack of content. While Turbine expects characters to repeat dungeons to gain XP and gear, it almost borders on the ridiculous. It is so bad that same folks deliberately don't level up, so they can gain XP at their last trained level, instead of the level they could be. Instead of losing out on groups due to their level, they just make sure they form their own groups. This lack of content means that they will have to have some expansions ready to go within 3 months, to keep customers happy. Not a healthy sign.

    The system of collectables to gain minor magic items gets really old after a while. They fill up your inventory, and many of them aren't worth the time, especially as you gain levels. By lvl 5, over half of them aren't worth the effort, but unless I keep a list out, I end up collecting the stupid things.

    Inventory space can be crowded, depending on your class and other things. But, there is a reason. Fighter types tend to carry one of every type of Bane weapon they can find, so they can whip out whatever works best for every mob. It borders on the absurd, really. Realistically, a character carrying a half dozen 2-handed weapons would trip over them constantly.

    Mob AI is pretty darn good. The mobs tend to choose spells to much better effectiveness than most MMOs, where they just cast 1-2 spells. Having an Arcane Skeleton cast CloudKill on your group, then switch to Fireball or Lightning Bolt is pretty effective. Ray of Enfeeblement, Curses, and the like are also thrown about liberally.

    There are more traps than you can shake a stick out. Rogues become a necessity for once in MMOs. However, trap placements are static in a dungeon. Do that dungeon a few times, and you start to remember where they all are. Really hurts, since the previously mentioned lack of content means you learn those dungeons by heart. I think I can find my way through some easier than I can get to the grocery store, now.

    The social part of the game leaves a lot to be desired right now. I hope it improves. Pickup groups, like in most MMOs, sucks. And at release, new players are going to get stuck playing with beta testers that know all the lvl 1-5 dungeons by memory, and are going to push through at breakneck speed in the grand effort to be highest level of that class, first. (The MMO version of the e-penis award, I guess.)

    I really want to track down my old PnP group, which has scattered around the country after coll
    • by Morgaine (4316) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @05:58AM (#14434339)
      >> Pickup groups, like in most MMOs, sucks.

      Sadly, that's a universal truth. :-)

      After suffering the trials and tribulations of pickup groups in various MMOGs for some years now, I've finally found a solution that avoids the problems of pickup groups entirely: henchmen in Guild Wars:

      • Henchies don't leave in the middle of battle because Mum's called them for supper.

      • Henchies don't rush ahead and agro half the zone when the rest of the team isn't ready.

      • Henchies use strategy and tactics, and of course it's 100% compatible with your own strategy and tactics.

      • Henchies obey your unquestioned authority, and conversely, if anyone dies then you carry the full responsibility. It's refreshing that you can only blame yourself if things go wrong, and it makes success very rewarding.

      • Henchies do not give you the verbal crap that spews out of the mouths of 11 year olds and makes online multiplayer gaming so tedious.

      • Henchies of the various classes are always available, and will happily fill in for missing professions within player teams.

      • Henchies provide terrific support for "soloing" in the sense that no other players need be involved. Casual MMO-type gaming is at last possible.

      Henchmen are a wonderful answer to the many problems of building and playing with teams in MMOGs. It's sad to see that DDO doesn't provide their own version of GW's henchies, and therefore suffers all the old problems that player teams bring with them.
    • Re:My thoughts... (Score:2, Informative)

      by nanowired (881497)
      "There is a significant lack of content. While Turbine expects characters to repeat dungeons to gain XP and gear, it almost borders on the ridiculous. It is so bad that same folks deliberately don't level up, so they can gain XP at their last trained level, instead of the level they could be. Instead of losing out on groups due to their level, they just make sure they form their own groups. This lack of content means that they will have to have some expansions ready to go within 3 months, to keep customers
      • Re:My thoughts... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by adam.skinner (721432)
        Right. So once it goes live, they're going to introduce a bunch of untested stuff? I find that hard to believe.
        • Right. So once it goes live, they're going to introduce a bunch of untested stuff? I find that hard to believe.

          Unfortunately MMOG makers often release untested stuff. WoW had major class overhauls a few weeks before release, EQ had shipped unfinished zones (far worse than untested) for ages with their expansions. It's nothing new.
    • One thing that is significant is that Turbine recently closed Asheron's Call 2 for good. After seeing where they took AC1 and where AC2 went, I have a strange feeling that most of the people responsible for AC1 don't exist at Turbine anymore.
    • "Don't get this game expecting to solo. A lot of folks have pissed and moaned about that, but they are trying to be pretty true to the Pen and Paper (PnP) rules and designs. You almost never see a DM spend all this time to create a world, dungeons, and the like, and then have them sit down at a table with a lone player with a lone character. Get over your wish to solo. It's a MMO. You are supposed to be grouping!"

      You must have played 2nd edition or higher. Somewhere they got obsessed with charts, rolls, and
  • What a letdown! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr. Spork (142693) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @02:26AM (#14433705)
    The non dungeon areas are basically public spaces for meeting up with other people and getting quests. There is no player economy to speak of (and no easy mechanism for one), no housing, no exploration beyond exploring the quest instances themselves, no pvp, no crafting, no elder game, and no wookie table dancing. In short, it's a D&D quest and combat game. Some people have said it's not even a "real" mmorpg at all, just a public hub and instance system like Guild Wars...

    So basically, it can't do anything new, anything Neverwinter Nights hasn't done for years. Plus, the review says combat rules are nothing like D&D and more like Diablo?!? Oh my, what a letdown. Wake me up when there is a persistent world that obeys D&D (or better: Hackmaster) rules.

    • The bizzare fondness some people retain for D&D's core mechanics is a continual source of bafflement in my life. 3.0 and 3.5 represented a massive improvement over the honestly hallucinatory AD&D, but, really, you can't think of better systems?

      I'm interested in some of what I've heard about D&DO, but for me, the less slavishly adherant to a ruleset designed to make table-top play easier and more fun the game is, the more I'm inclined to give it a chance.
      • Re:What a letdown! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nanowired (881497)
        Trust me, if it followed 3.5 rules to a letter, the world would be made up of squares, And even though tehre would be open space to the side of a mob, you wouldnt be able to pass because his square of space is too big.
    • That makes it sound a lot like they're just trying milk people on money by making it a MMORPG, when heavily instanced games like GW and Diablo has clearly proven that even with regular updates [guildwars.com], you can make them free to play and find alternative business models with e.g. expansions.

      One of the reasons I always hesitate before purchasing a MMORPG is because I feel the developers may intentionally have slowed down the game and gone overboard in making repetitive actions so players will play the game for a long
  • by Hitto (913085) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @03:22AM (#14433861)
    DO NOT PLAY MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAMES!

    Please understand that this is not a troll, but there's nothing more infuriating than trying to talk to some running-around asshat who won't even acknowledge you. Totally ruins the atmosphere, dontcha think?
    I mean, why log on to a server with well over thousands of players if it's only to do quests alone, play alone, and not even interact with other people? It's the basic premise of an MMORPG, roleplaying! Talking, drinking an ale at the inn while sharing stories, discussing current events, exchanging gossip, political information, creating ties between guilds/factions/whatnot, haggling for prices with a player craftsman, going in to feel how it would really be if you lived there! Not a chatroom with a fantasy backdrop! Not an FPS for people who can't aim, either.

    Soapbox session over.
    • You need to try Eve Online from your complaints.
    • I've played a LOT of MMOs, and I have to say that the only reason one is ever going to be able to RP properly is to find an RP guild to play with. At least those specific interactions can be reasonably guaranteed to be RP. Otherwise you're at the mercy of playing with everyone else out there, the vast majority of which do not want to RP.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @04:15AM (#14433996) Journal

    Designing an MMORPG must be a bitch. It doesn't matter wich choice you make it will always upset someone who will bitterly complain that your game wich they have no intention of really paying for anyway is not exactly like the game they are paying for.

    Look at the reactions so far to DDO. It ain't WoW. Well no fucking shit sherlock. It never tried to be. In fact if you looked at the design docs it is very clear that they pretty much designed the game to be not WoW.

    The world doesn't need another WoW or EQ or Guild Wars or Age of Camelot or Lineage because all these games already exist.

    We get countless articles bemoaning that games are just endless sequels with no originilaty but beware the company that actually tries to do something different.

    So DDO does not have PvP. Must every MMORPG game have PvP? It reminds me of a few years ago when every game had to have a multiplayer mode no matter how silly. Or the days of the bubble when even the local bakery had to have a website.

    DDO also seems to want to get rid of the level grind. Levels are the bane of MMORPG games. Why? How much trouble do you have in forming a team for Capture the Flag in quake? Oh none? Just join and your in a group? Might this because there is no level in quake and anyone can group with anyone else?

    Now imagine quake where the longer you have had the game the more damage you do with your weapons. How attractive would it be to buy the game 3 months after launch? Yet this is exactly what happens in games like EQ1/2 and SWG NGE has added it as well. If your a real newbie then good luck. You will maybe wonder where the hell everyone is. Well they are in the high level areas wondering why there are no new players. Grouping up with a high level was added to EQ2 with the high level then lowering his level to yours but it is a pain. You got to find a really nice person who is willing to help you level up and that is exactly what they will be doing, trying to get you to level up as fast as possible. You even get more XP when being mentored to make the grind faster. The notion that its is the journey that matters not arriving seems not to exist in MMORPG land. Perhaps I am just a weirdo who likes to quest and doesn't care if it is at level 1 or level 1000th.

    Levels create yet more problems. If you have crafting then high levels usually have no need for low level crafters items. Low level crafters can only gain XP by grinding low level items. CUE SWG and its "bought" crafter levels where a player would get money being a combat class to then pay for grinding to master crafter. No new player wanted to be a pure crafter could make it work. You would simply go bankrupt.

    DDO seems to have dropped crafting altogether. Bad news for those who like a player run economy but at least it saves them a lot of problems. Since no game has ever gotten it right before.

    PvP is yet another Level nightmare. Obviously a level 10 is goint to beat a level 1. Great fun for the level 10 especially if the level 1 was AFK because noobs just deserve it you know (there may be nice PvP fans but I never seen one). PvP fans want to race to the highest level and then wack their e-penis at lower level players. Nothing a PvPer enjoys more then challenging players in the starter area to duels.

    DDO so far has 10 levels. Or does it? With 4 mini levels it could be said to have 40 levels. What of course really matters is how much difference there is between levels. Lets just say that a level 1 ddo player will get his ass handed back to him by a level 10 in the same way as a level 1 EQ player will get his ass handed to him by a level 60 EQ player. Oh and the ruleset for DDO allows for far higher classes. If they come you will have peasant players and virtual gods trying to exist in the same world.

    Will it avoid the level grinding trap of other MMORPG games or will it to have endless walktrhoughs for levelling up the fastest and then complaining there is not enough high level content and there just don't seem to be new players

    • DDO seems to have dropped crafting altogether. Bad news for those who like a player run economy but at least it saves them a lot of problems. Since no game has ever gotten it right before.

      Despite having a _steep_ learning curve, Eve does seem to have gotten the player run economy right.

      • There are some serious issues with the economy in Eve, but most of those are player-created and not game flaws. The only 'flaw' with the game is that it allows so much freedom, that the players can really bork things up.

        Great game though...
    • Grouping up with a high level was added to EQ2 with the high level then lowering his level to yours but it is a pain. You got to find a really nice person who is willing to help you level up and that is exactly what they will be doing, trying to get you to level up as fast as possible.

      Actually City of Heroes was the first to have this feature. If I'm remembering right, originally it allowed lower level toons to be a higher level toon's sidekick, artifically inflating the lower level's fighting abilities wh
      • Actually City of Heroes was the first to have this feature. If I'm remembering right, originally it allowed lower level toons to be a higher level toon's sidekick, artifically inflating the lower level's fighting abilities while near-by the high level character. Later they added the "reverse" sidekick/mentor option, allowing a high level character to be a low level character's sidekick and thus reducing the higher level's fighting abilities & available skills.

        I think you missed the point. He's sayin
    • Designing an MMORPG must be a bitch. It doesn't matter wich choice you make it will always upset someone who will bitterly complain that your game wich they have no intention of really paying for anyway is not exactly like the game they are paying for.

      You mean the way you're bitching about every single MMORPG? You don't like fighting mobs (levelling), you don't like fighting other players, you don't like crafting, maybe that genre of game just isn't your thing.
    • Levels create yet more problems. If you have crafting then high levels usually have no need for low level crafters items. Low level crafters can only gain XP by grinding low level items. CUE SWG and its "bought" crafter levels where a player would get money being a combat class to then pay for grinding to master crafter. No new player wanted to be a pure crafter could make it work. You would simply go bankrupt.

      DDO seems to have dropped crafting altogether. Bad news for those who like a player run economy bu
  • themselves! One of the major things that killed their last game, AC2, is that they made the game they wanted to play, not what the players were asking for.

    ---
    Ken Troop's comment (he is one of the mains behind this game)

    A large part of the lack of randomness in DDO is deliberate. Our philosophy has typically been very "anti-random". Personally, I have a very hard time caring or enjoying content that is either completely random, or scaled in difficulty based on, say, the size of my party. Where is the challe
    • Death to creative vision! Design by polling the userbase! What do these so-called 'designers' know? Power to the playerbase! Content design by committee! Make sure that Gokuu, Drizzizzttzz, Lagoles, and Pokeumaam have the same vote that you and I do!
    • Hang on, on one hand you're criticising the developers for making a game that they'd enjoy playing. Then you're criticising them for making games based on marketing. Those two criticisms don't go together, you can have one or the other.

      What would you describe as a 'dreamer'? I'd guess someone who aimed for something they wanted, but according to you that's a negative so I really don't know what the fuck your opinion is, unless you've just got an agenda against Turbine that you can't really verbalise.
  • by Arivia (783328) <arivia@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @07:16AM (#14434565) Journal
    The core idea of D&D has always been the adventuring group venturing into the dungeon to face the dangers, alone. There's possibly only ever been 1 dungeon in D&D that receives enough traffic to make a non-instanced dungeon feel right, and that's not in Eberron(Undermountain). As Turbine seems to be going to great lengths to make it feel authentic, the instanced quests make perfect sense.
  • So heres the final word as to why I dont like this game:

    The art style.

    Its not about weither or not its gritty. Its about the artist copying the bad dnd 3rd ed art. I can quote atleast one friend saying that the Elves look like they all have downs Syndrome. I know, probably spelt that wrong, but you get the picture. The art is just plain Ugly overall, and stickfigury.

    The only plus I've seen to it, is that it avoids the "Busty Female with no pants" syndrome. If the character = female, than they're armored to
  • by antdude (79039) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @09:50AM (#14435145) Homepage Journal
    I played and posted my two cents on Blue's News [bluesnews.com] on 12/14/2005:

    "I played it last night for an hour. It looks pretty especially the indoor places, but for some reason the engine wasn't smooth like WoW. I thought it was lags, but it was still not smooth even at 6 AM PST. Taverns (those are cool -- better than WoW's inns) are so laggy for me. Solo instances(?) are smoother, but not that smooth. Outdoor areas lag too for me. The game was choppy for me with everything ON and without antialias on my XFX NVIDIA GeForce 6800 (128 MB), Athlon 64 3200+, and 1.5 GB of RAM. I had turn things down like use billinear, distance view lowered, etc.

    I did not like its GUI. I think it was just too big especially when my maximum screen resolution is 1152x864. I prefer WoW's.

    I loved the character setup. I made a hot chick with red long hair [grin]. Its setup reminds me of City of Heroes and City of Villain's. I also like the video clips (I wonder how much disk space these took up) showing each player class. I played as a barbarian since I like meelee fightings. I only got off the second boat after training. I will play more later hopefully. A lot of commands are similiar if you know WoW like: /laugh, /dance, /p for party talk, etc.

    To compare, I still like WoW more so far."

    I wonder how much has changed since then.
  • Ok, I've got some questions about the game in general. I didn't participate in beta, but I'm always looking for some MMORPG to satisfy my "jones." I've looked at some of the comments, so I'm not going to ask if it's solo-friendly...

    Is there a level grind? It looks like there is, but you have to complete the dungeons to earn the xp to progress toward a level.

    Does the game lend itself to the holy trinity-style of group that EQ led to, or is it pretty forgiving of class makeup? I don't want to select a c
  • No PVP (Score:2, Troll)

    by doomicon (5310)
    I was totally turned off by the no PvP announcement. The same company is also developing the LOTR MMO, which by the way has no PvP either. PvP for me is a requirement, teaming with buddies to fight NPCs just seems... pointless. I can do that with NWN. I'm not one to go on a gankfest, but PvP just provides more "realism" and opportunities in between mission/quest grinds.

    I was even more disappointed with the No PvP annoucement with the LOTR MMO. When LOTR was first announced, I imagined the possibilities
    • Some people like PvP, some don't.

      You're welcome to play any of the games out there that have PvP.

      One of the problems with having DDO be PvP is class-balancing for PvP. Quite simply, they'd have to break the game mechanics to do it.

      I'd rather have a more traditional D&D experience than have thieves be buffed for combat just so some kid doesn't bitch about the lack of balance. When I want PvP, I'll play a different game.
    • LOTR without pvp? The most memorable parts of the books/films were the big battles, and the game's not going to have them. I suppose you'll just go round killing boring mobs like in every other game.

      It's just an attempt by the company to make money off the name with an off-the-shelf MMORPG.

      Zzzzzzzzzzz
  • It sounded very interesting from the promo text, but I dug a little further, and found some other comments from various Beta testers as well as above:
    The World : The hub style of MMO really bums me out, for many reasons. Every aspect of the gameplay exists within private instances. Groups are found in the town areas, ala Guild Wars. Due to this, all open-ended gameplay disappears and is replaced by simple, directed instancing. Your mileage may vary, but I prefer plundering vast open plains and mountains. Wo
    • I'm NOT a gigantic fan of grouping. I play MMOs for the unpredictability, the variety of content, NOT to make new friends and gain social interaction.

      Then you'd be better off with a large-scale offline RPG. Seriously, if a player doesn't want to interact with a bunch of strangers / distant friends, why is the $15/month justified? $30 for NWN-Gold will open you up to a LOT of downloadable modules... on top of the included gameworld which is bigger than the existing WOW and DDO realms.

      - Woohoo - I'm a wizar
  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @01:36PM (#14437403)
    While I didn't much like DDO, a friend of mine, who is an avid pen and paper D&D gamer, did like the game. It provided the kind of D&D experience he's been looking for. For comparison, we both tried the World of Warcraft free trial, and while I very much liked that game he didn't care for it in the least. His main concern with DDO was the feeling that there was a lack of content especially given the low level cap.

    I'm convinced DDO is going to cater to a very specific group of gamers. I don't expect many are going to be lured from WoW, perhaps more will come from EQ/EQ2. One big problem is that the game made me feel very isolated from the larger world. First of all the game is very linear, at least initially. I'm stuck in one small section of the city until I complete a number of quests. Then I can only move on by completing another set of quests or by levelling up, which takes an excruciatingly huge amount of time. The second problem is that the player teleports to every instance. There's some dungeon hundreds of miles away and the hero materializes there suddenly. It hurts immersion.

    Of course, there's a more significant problem here with all the instancing. Guild Wars instances all quests just like DDO, but that game is free to play. Furthermore, there's more of a sense of location in that game because you actually travel through the lands outside towns and forts. That game also progresses a lot more quickly than DDO does, but it does provide a very different experience from DDO.

    I think Neverwinter Nights provided a very similar, but more fast-paced and entertaining experience than Dungeons & Dragons Online. That's not to say DDO is necessarily a bad game, but I don't think it's going to appeal to most people and given that it's a subscription-based game it's going to be even more difficult to attract gamers, especially given the competition. I guess this game will show whether or not there's a market for a reasonably faithful D&D experience in PC gaming.
  • Setting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by etherlad (410990) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nostawnai)> on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @02:45PM (#14438043) Homepage
    Now maybe it's just me, but when I think of "Dungeons & Dragons," I primarily think of settings such as Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms. When I think of an MMORPG which uses the D&D brand, I'd expect it to use one of these iconic D&D settings (probably Forgotten Realms due to the higher magical content) rather than a newish pseudo-pulp fantasy setting.

    Unfortunately, they've decided the latter, and are using Eberron. Not that there's anything wrong with Eberron: If they marketed it as "Eberron Online," I'd be all over it. But D&D Online? Gimme something classic. Something with staying power. Something that D&D fans from five, ten, fifteen years ago will still be familiar with.

    Of course, I'd kill for a Planescape MMORPG, but that's neither here nor there.
    • When I think of an MMORPG which uses the D&D brand, I'd expect it to use one of these iconic D&D settings

      They are trying to force Eberron into becoming an iconic setting, by fiat. Eberron is now the "default world" for all the core D&D books.

      So, D&D Online isn't making the mistake here... they are just following the misbegoten changes of the root franchise. (For those who haven't seen it, the main feature making Eberron inappropriate for the default D&D gameworld is that robots are ava
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @07:27PM (#14441396) Journal
    Combat is fun, but there is very little content. You'll pay your 50$ then your 15$ for subscribing, and you'll 'beat the game' in under 4 weeks. What I mean to say is you'll have a near max level character with awesome equipment... When you have +5 weapons and max level, what else is there to do? Its not like you can marry the princess and raise children. Your goal in the game was lewt and power. When you got all the power and played all the missions, there is no motivation to play on. I think the game will be a success, but there will be few long time subscribers.

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