Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Played Lately: Dungeons & Dragons Online

  • Welcome to the post I wasn't going to write.

  • I actually started a post about Dungeons & Dragons Online back in June when I got my Eberron Unlimited beta invitation. I was excited for a few reasons. First, I don't get into many betas. This is the only one I can think of at the moment. Hmm. Second, I tried the DDO trial a couple years ago, but my computer at the time couldn't keep up. Now that I've upgraded, I was hoping everything would run better. Third, I was interested, from a MMO pundit/blogging perspective, to see how well Turbine implemented their microtransaction model.

  • But the game started crashing. A lot. So much, in fact, that I stopped playing entirely for over a month. I tried lowering the graphic options. I tried running in windowed mode. I also tried not playing at all, but I could not give up on the game. If anyone else is having similar problems, I've tracked it down to other programs, like Twhirl or Thunderbird, trying to overlay a popup window on the game. After shutting them down, there were no more crashes. And I'm a happy DDO player again.

  • My appraisal so far is that Dungeons & Dragons Online is a lot of fun. I rolled a paladin for my first character. I knew that I would be soloing as much as possible and there is really no downside to the paladin: Lay on Hands, plate armor, big attack bonus. So far, I've been able to solo 95% of everything I've attempted.

  • The highlight of the game, the dungeon adventures, are entertaining. There is just enough variety at these lower levels to keep everything from feeling the same. Even the long miles of sewers avoid getting overly repetitive by mixing up the opponents and including many special rooms. I may be happiest with the wilderness areas, though. It's nice to head out into the world with a little less structure to the adventure.

  • I'm a fan of the action-style combat. Yes, it comes to little more than holding down the mouse buttons and wildly flailing with my sword. But it is different enough from the auto-attack and cool-down based combat that I'm enjoying the change.

  • I especially loved discovering that I could swim underwater longer when I took off my plate armor. That makes no sense in an MMO. Thinking the problem through as a D&D player led me to experiment, though, and it worked. Nice touch, Turbine.

  • I stopped playing for the time being since I don't want to get too attached to my paladin before the wipe. I will be playing again when it launches in September, though, and I'm looking forward to really digging into the game.

© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Bullet Points, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I'll be there too. Really looking forward to trying it.

  2. Randolph Carter8/18/2009 2:35 PM

    I told myself a while back that I wouldn’t be getting into any more MMOs. I simply don’t have the time to play them like I want to. Please quit posting enticing stuff like this. It’s not helping me any.

    And by the way, about what you asked before, I think you’re crazy.


  3. @ Yeebo - Uh oh. We'd better coordinated servers!

    @ RC - Sorry about that. I doubt DDO will be a full time game for me, but I know I will be one I just back to from time to time. It was too much fun.

    And of course I'm crazy.