You know I had hit a wall lately on what to play. I had tried nearly every MMO I have subscribed to in the last 5 years and none of them seemed to interest me. Rather than spend money on another MMO that I may potentially not like I decided to focus on some free trials. The two finalists were EVE and Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO). DDO won.
When I got home from work I immediately began down loading and installing DDO. It took roughly 1 ½ hours from start to finish before I was able to login, which was perfect because my gaming time doesn’t start until after my children go to bed. Dungeons and Dragons has always been about player’s freedoms. I wanted to create a character I really wanted to play with and not just a min/maxed class that would get groups easy and fit some predefined holy trinity group make up. Thus I created Epiny Burvelle the Female Human Bard who focused on controlling enemies and buffing allies.
The character creation was par for the course. You had 4 races that were free to pick from and 2 that you could pay to play as. I choose a free one. You could pick from numerous hairstyles, noses, mouths, eyes, etc. There weren’t sliders but enough options to make a distinct and personal character. The graphics weren’t amazing considering the game runs on DirectX 10 but they were decent, probably average for the current MMO out.
Once the game starts you are given your first quest which in turn acts as a tutorial for the game. I actually think the entire first city is just one big tutorial but seeing as I’m not out of it yet I can’t say for sure. After picking my weapon, I choose a Rapier, and learning how to use it I set off to my first dungeon. This is after all Dungeons and Dragons, I would expect there to be a lot of Dungeons.
The Dungeon starts out with a voice over, and after doing 3 now I think it’s standard that they have one. The voice over is sort of cool because it gives you the feeling that there is a Dungeon Master telling the story and interacting with you like when you played the Pen and Paper version. It made me smile just to know that Turbine had tried to stay true to the D&D roots.
The combat is very fun. It is much faster paced already then WoW or WAR is at maxed level, though I think it is probably just me swinging frantically. The left mouse key acts as your attack button, so like a FPS style game you wade in and attack things with 1 button. You do have abilities though; I started out with 3 abilities, 2 songs and a spell. The songs shared the same resource or cool down, I’m not entirely sure how they work yet and the spell used a mana bar. I had a buff song, a mesmerize song, and a heal spell. The combat reminded me a lot of Never Winter Nights but then again it has been ages since I’ve played that game. The combat is straight forward and fun, I think that is going to be a major draw to me. In all honestly it felt like a single player game the way the User Interface worked. It wasn’t bad it was just different. I’m so use to all my multiplayer games acting one way I never considered playing a MMO using single player FPS-hybrid controls. They worked and they worked well.
It isn’t all cotton candy and gumballs though. The game is overwhelming. Like anything related to Dungeons and Dragons there is a lot of depth to it and it is overwhelming when you first start to play. I could definitely see a new MMO player being turned off from this game in the first 30 minutes. I’m willing to learn about this game though because it is the first time I have been genuinely looking forward to playing a MMO since WAR first launched.
I also realized something while playing. I was trying to be a blogger who played video games. That isn’t who I am. I’m a gamer who happens to blog. Writing is an outlet for my gaming, not the reason for it. I think I lost sight there recently. Thanks to the few of you who hung with me.