After our second Dungeons & Dragons Online session, I decided I should post a few of my screenshots of the more interesting places and sights we’ve seen. Our characters are level 8.4 (two ranks or ‘pips’ out of 5 towards 9), almost as high as the highest character I ever had back when I first played the game. My original Paladin made 9 just, but did so with my then guild on the EU server Keeper. That guild usually wanted to spend an entire evening running a single series of quests that were close together within the virtual world of Stormreach, and that had a thematic theme. There was an efficiency in running all of the Delera’s Tomb series, or the Splinterskull series – your choice of weapons would be effective against all the opponents for instance.
For this free to play run of what is new content to us all, we’re picking up any old quests we can find in our level range in any zone. That means a whole heap of variety in terms of setting and opponents. In DDO that also means our characters need to be adaptable and we need to keep our minds alert as well. One dungeon could be elementals, so we need resistance buffs and weapons of a different elemental damage type; the next could be undead requiring radiant (a k a holy) damage and lots of curse and disease removal.
It wouldn’t be Dungeons & Dragons Online without the added spice of traps and puzzles, of course. I’ve always loved how the game translates such core D&D elements into a virtual setting.
My current character, an Artificer, has a good measure of skill at disabling traps and opening locks. He is also rather handy at mowing down monsters with his repeating crossbow and lightning spells.
Progress is slow and steady. We’re not super-buffed like many of the veteran characters we see running around the city. We’ve no guild buffs or expensive bought equipment to ‘twink’ our characters. Just the buff spells my artificer and our cleric bring to the dungeon. There’s only three of us, so it’s even more extreme under-manning than when we trio-run dungeons in World of Warcraft (like Everquest 2, DDO has a max party size of 6).
That said, there’s a certain pure enjoyment to discovering new dungeons together. The wiki is there if we get stuck but we prefer to blunder into the traps and dead-ends the first time without spoilers. It’s how we’ve always preferred to experience WoW dungeons when reaching them for the first time in a given expansion. In DDO there is still so much content ahead of us that we’ve not seen, that’s rather exciting actually…