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spadanera
02-25-2007, 08:20 AM
A Pseudo-Noobie Editorial for Dungeons & Dragons Online
by Spadanera/Mark

First, an overview of my gaming history. I am 40 years old. I began playing D&D back when there were just two light brown sketchy rulesets titled Blackmoor and some other title I can no longer recall. I began using the internet since before the world wide web was even imagined. Today we are looking at transfer rates of (very roughly) 5,000,000 bits per second. When I started connecting to the internet, the speed in use was 300 bits per second. ..and we were glad to have it! HA!

I have been playing MMORPG's since the first beta test of UO; and I have played MOST of the ones that have come along at one time or another. It seems almost like I was waiting for a D&D mmo all along, because every fantasy mmo that came along, I was subconsciously comparing to D&D material. When DDO came along, I was unfortunately not in a poisition to immediately begin playing it beyond a short stress test trial. Now I have been playing DDO for pretty much a month. I am enjoying the game.

Now, I have had a chance to be in the game, and I am seeing some of the same-old same-old things as with most other MMO's, but also some big differences as well. So, I wanted to share my thoughts on the game so far, because being a life long D&D fan, and age old MMO fan I really want to see this game succeed in a big way for a very long time. So I want the players to have the absolute best experience possible. This is what has brought me to want to share my thoughts on the game with the community forums. Take it or leave. I don't profess to know everything about the game, and I am not an expert game designer or anything like that. I am just an old man with a lot of gaming experience. These are just random thoughts, observations and harmless suggestions.

GUILDS

I like that anyone can create a guild at any time without restriction. Being in the game for a month, I have been unable to get into a guild. I play exclusively on the Xoriat server so far. What I am discovering is a lot of guilds saying that they will not accept you as a member until they have adventured with you for a while to see if you are a good player. This sounds logical and all. Except, I never see the same people more than once. I play at odd times, and have yet to party up with the same people more than once. Which leads me to this first concept. What if guilds just accept everyone into their guild that asks to be a member. Obviously if your guild is something like a Drow only guild or that sort of thing, then you would have restrictions. BUT.. Wouldn't it make your guild grow faster and get more people involved with guilds if you allow anyone to join your guild, and then keep them in a sort of probationary period. If other guild members complain about this new player then you simply remove them from the guild. That way you get guild members faster, players get to be involved with a steady supply of party'ing opportunities and everyone is happy. I would think that it would be a lot easier to judge someone as a guild member if they are IN the guild and seen more frequently.

PARTY PROBLEMS

Because the game is instance based, partying is pretty much a requirement at some point. Now, there are a lot of really good and cool players in DDO on the Xoriat server, but I would be lying if I did not say that most of my party experiences were good. Here is what bothers me. Now bear in mind, some of this is personal opinion and personal like/dislike on my part. Some of it though, I think would apply to everyone's (or nearly everyone's) idea of what a good adventuring party is all about.

1. Not Staying Together: Yes, you all know what I am talking about. This is the single most aggravating and annoying thing about DDO to me. Because you are all but forced to join parties at some point, you WILL run into this unless you are lucky enough to be in a guild with all great players. (see GUILD notes above <grin>). WHY oh WHY do people want to split up from everyone else. Half the time the players are running ahead and not waiting for everyone else, or they are waiting behind without telling anyone. Hey, I know there is a map and people can catch up later, but when the party splits up, you are weakening everyone. The strength of the party is in staying together to bolster each others skills and power. Clerics can not heal everyone if everyone is spread out across the dungeon. I see this SOOOOO much that it actually makes me not want to join party's except that I know I have to if I want to get anywhere in the game eventually. I have been starting new characters more because I can solo to 3rd more than because I want to try other character types. I would be perfectly content only playing my 4th level Cleric, if not for FEAR OF FLAKEY PARTIES!

2. Hyper-Dungeoneering: Please, someone, tell me what the HECK is the point of plowing your way through a dungeon as fast as you possibly can doing nothing except the bare minimum to finish the quest!?!? It gets downright INSANE with some of these people. It also tends to lead to "Not Staying Together" as well. What really bothers me about this, however, is that I can not figure out the point of BURNING through the quest. This, I know, is a personal like/dislike and that there are a lot of people who would argue this point. They will tell you that, after you have been through a quest several times, you just want to get through it because you have seen it and done it, etc. You just want the XP and the level up. Myself, I just don't think that way. This game is really sweet. I am in no rush to max out my levels, because what do I do after that? Just start a new character and do it all over again, right? Well, I enjoy the journey more than the goal. I am not interested in bragging rights or anything like that. I enjoy being in the dungeon, taking my time and exploring everything. I leave no stone unturned when I am solo. I leave no options undone. Even when I have done the quest eight times that day with different characters, I still want to take time and go through it properly. It seems like GOALS for a lot of people are the long term HIGH LEVEL achievement. I live in the now. My goals are all short term (in addition to enjoying leveling up of course). I like to see if I can get through a quest with say, the least amount of damage taken, without using up all my potions or say without using any shrines. I truly enjoy the adventure itself, and not just the xp and rewards items you get at the end.

3. Class Understanding: A number of times I have run into players who don't seem to understand how to adventure alongside other classes. Of course I am referring to common sense piddly stuff; like the cleric running ahead of the rogue and setting off all the traps instead of letting the scout BE THE SCOUT. The wizard trying to be the tank and lead the party into melee's instead of staying back and doing the range damage they are meant to do. The barbarian smashing crates and opening chests before the battle is over while the poor rogue and sorceror are trying to take down the earth elemental <grin>. Know what I mean. I believe that understanding everyone's role in an organized proper adventuring party is paramount to enjoying the quest.

You know.. I guess, I am trying to reawaken my old D&D days. Back in the pen and paper dungeons. When we planned things out. We went and got our supplies before we entered the dungeon. We discussed the marching order. We listened to the party leader. We stayed together. We did it properly and with careful consideration. Mostly because we did not want to get killed. LOL.

Hey, maybe that is what is wrong. Maybe screwing up in the MMO doesn't have as dire consequences as it did in the pen and paper days. Wow, I am sure a lot of people would hit the ceiling with this thought, but maybe the game needs to be deadlier. ROFL! Maybe if traps could actually kill you more easily, the rogue would be the scout. That sort of thing. I guess, because you can't always find a rogue to come along, this isn't completely feasible for an online version of D&D...but as much as I really do LOVE the MMO version of D&D, I do wish it was played more like the old pen and paper style.

So, sorry this was a lot longer of a post than I anticipated. If anyone actually read through this whole thing. HA! Those are my noobie thoughts on the game. I am sure I will get flamed by a lot of people for my ideas. Heck, I've been on the internet forever, it would NOT be the first time. :)

Well, if there are any guilds out there looking for a good, calm, old, careful, methodical, friendly member. LOOK ME UP on Xoriat.

Jerrie Usalum, my cleric
Sacret Eo, my cleric/rogue
Darckblade Draefriend, my wizard
Arck of Storming Blades, my barbarian

See you in the dungeons!

God I hate Slimes...

Shadow_Flayer
02-26-2007, 08:00 AM
Have you checked out the Xoriat forums? There are a number of guilds there that take applications, or are actively recruiting. Mine, for one, does pretty much what you ask -- you come in under a trial period. But, we try to weed out people we know won't make it under the trial. For example, we are an 18 or over guild, so we try and make sure you are 18, or at least mature enough.

As for the grouping problems, that is often a communications issue. Since there isn't a lot of new content for people that have been playing for a year, many are rushing through to replace a level twelve character. As you say, they have seen it a million times are just there for quick XP or favor. But if you ask people up front to take it slow, or tell them you've never done it and would like to see everything, you'll be surprised how often they will slow down and do it. You need to be specific though.

Scouting is something you will see again when new content comes out. Rogue are the last man sought for most parties, until new quests arrive and no one knows where the traps are. With the introduction of random trap locations and more deadly traps, this will probably change, but for the old stuff, it's not going to.

DDO is a great game ... for me, better than the rest that I have tried (even the latest releases). And Xoriat is a good server, with a lot of great and friendly players. I hope you find a few groups that help get your confidence up, and lead you to a good guild.

ZAKNAFIEN
02-26-2007, 09:01 AM
If you want to join a guild with players in your age range check us out.

We are on the Khyber server

here is a link

http://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63242

BGP
02-26-2007, 09:07 AM
Good ideas all..... I think it comes with who you run with. I grew up playing D& D then ADD then stopped playing in the mid 90's. I know there are times that I zerg thru quests. Other times, it is slow and methodical.

Who you group with is much more important than what quest you do. Most of us who grew up playing PnP had a dedicated day and time that we played. We did this at a certain time because we typically enjoyed the people we played with. I would encourage any one who wants to re-live that feeling to get a dedicated group at a designated time. (or join or create a guild who does enjoy exactly that type of play style)

Good luck


BGP

Nymie_the_Pooh
02-26-2007, 05:39 PM
So, what do you think of the game?

spadanera
02-26-2007, 06:57 PM
Let it be known throughout the lands (or at least the harbor and the dhingy lol) that I am going to create a guild of my very own.

So anyone who wants to join the guild is welcome as long as you meet the following criteria.

Mature, Cooperative, Friendly, Enjoy some light-to-mild RP'ing, Enjoy thorough dungeon crawls, believe that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" and play on the Xoriat server.

You get the idea.. I even got a really cool name for it too!

Descendants Of Greyhawk - The DOG's
Old School Adventuring in a New School Game, eh?

Guildmaster will be Jerrie Usalum. I will have one officer for each character class type. If you join because you read about the guild in this thread then you will be first in line for officer promotion.

I will put up a website very shortly about the guild to go along with my DDOBlog.tripod.com site that is under construction. I can be contacted RL at Mark01970@Comcast.net :) (//mark01970@comcast.net)

Shadow_Flayer
02-27-2007, 11:31 AM
Cool.

You might want to post and announcement of this on the 'Xoriat' forums under 'Servers'. A number of players on Xoriat monitor that forum.