This is a revision of an older thread - with reviews of each adventure pack.
If you agree/disagree/have a different perspective/whatever, feel free to post your review below. The ratings out of ten are my opinion only - I know that, for instance, I think Demon Sands is better than Threnal, but not everyone will agree.
I've also posted for each pack what player types it is best suited to. Some players want to amass the best loot, some want engaging storylines, some want extreme challenges, others want to get to level 20 as soon as possible. (Personally, I fit groups 3 and 4 mostly, with a bit of 1). For this reason, each pack has a rating out of 10 for loot, XP, challenge, replayability at high level, and immersion (covers both storyline and other similar things such as sound). They'll also get comments (not a rating) for a general 'fun factor', which is quite subjective. Also note that a higher rating for challenge may not necessarily be a good thing - 10/10 for challenge means 'this pack is hard to beat, at least on the higher difficulties', not 'this pack is a perfect difficulty for you'.
List of Adventure Packs (thanks to RoBi3.0 for compiling this, and more useful F2P info here: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=2397294). If this info is no longer accurate, please let me know. In particular, prices may be wrong.
Name-Cost in TP
Three Barrel Cove-650
The Necropolis part 1-250
The Devils of Shavarath-650
The Demon Sands-850
The Red Fens-450
The Necropolis part 2-350
The Ruins of Gainthold-995
The Ruins of Thernal-550
The Necropolis part 3-350
The Vale of Twilight-850
The Necropolis part 4-850
The Restless Isles-550
The Vault of Night-750
The Path of Inspiration-495
The Dreaming Dark-495
Low-level Packs: (level 1 to 7)
The Catacombs - 250 points
This pack unlocks a small chain of quests set in three or four dungeons. The quests are filled with undead and vermin. Most of the foes aren't dangerous at all, except for their numbers.
Fun factor: Mediocre - too many similar foes. One invincible wraith changes things up a bit.
Challenge: 5/10 (main difficulty is mana conservation, particularly solo)
Loot: 2/10 (the few mediocre items are outlevelled fast)
Immersion: 9/10. One of the best story arcs in DDO
High level replayability: 0/10, like most of the lowbie packs.
Best feature: Cool storyline.
Worst features: Uninteresting mobs, and it can be hard to form a group to finish the chain if your group disbands part way through.
Ease of getting a group: Not too bad.
Overall: Not recommended, but not a terrible buy unless you are a roleplayer.
Recommended level range: 2-4 (normal); 4-6 (hard); 5-8 (elite)
Tangleroot Gorge - 550 points
This pack unlocks a chain of ten quests set in one enormous, two-part dungeon. You'll launch a series of attacks on the hobgoblins of Splinterskull Fortress. The quests are varied - you'll have to deal with melee brutes such as ogres, hobgoblins that are potent casters, and even a (practically) invincible giant spider that you have to escape from after killing her eggs.
Each time, you will progress a little further into the complex.
Fun factor: Quite high. Although the path to completion can get repetitive, there are lots of cool things to discover, such as a flesh render (a reasonably high level foe) that you can set free to wreak havoc amongst the Splinterskull defenders while you watch it from a safe location, and a battle with elementals in a secret underwater cave (this battle is an optional that most players do not attempt as it has poor rewards; it's well worth doing once, however).
XP: 8/10. Some parts of this chain offer the zerger over 1200 XP/minute. However, don't expect great XP if you aren't both ultra-familiar with the chain and in a group that is purely after XP - this chain has pretty poor XP if run slowly.
Challenge: 5.5/10. A few fights in the chain can be tough on elite, particularly if you do not know what to expect.
Loot: 6/10. This pack offers three min level 5 +3 stat items (all bound to account, so you can keep passing them to your new alts if you have the shared bank - even min level 7 unbound ones are quite expensive on the auction house) and Visors of the Flesh Render Guards, a clicky you will use until very high level. Edited downwards - while these items remain as good as they always have been, they are now just outclassed by the Abashai set from Chronoscope (Devil Assault pack), which anyone with a shared bank can pass around from character to character.
Immersion: 6/10. The hobgoblins can be pretty stupid at times. 'Ooh look, attackers keep coming through this gate, let's leave it open for them next time'.
High level replayability: 0/10
Best feature: Speeds up levelling through having both good XP and loot.
Worst feature: As you need to complete the entire chain to get end rewards, it's frustrating if you get halfway there and the group disbands - you will probably need to start over with a new group.
Ease of getting a group: Very easy, every VIP tends to run this chain 3+ times on every new character rolled.
Overall: Recommended for all players except those on a tight budget, but in no way an essential purchase.
Recommended level range: 4-6 (normal); 4-7 (hard); 6-8 (elite)
The Seal of Shan-to-Kor - 250 points
Description: A chain of three quests (plus an optional quest) which see you storm an ancient, well defended hobgoblin city in pursuit of an ancient relic.
Fun factor: High. This chain is utterly amazing the first time you run it - the caverns en route to the giant city are truly amazing. Other than the mindnumbing Misery's Peak, this is the first of many quests in the game that are truly three-dimensional - not just several flat levels on top of each other (like the Waterworks) but areas where you have to climb from the bottom to the top of an enormous city.
XP: 6/10. Experienced zergers can milk about 750xp/minute out of this chain.
Challenge: 6.5/10. Except for one room, this chain is quite forgiving on hard or normal, but running elite at low level requires quite solid play.
Loot: 4/10. Nothing special here except the Ring of Feathers, which has an ultra-low drop rate and whilst it is nice (and valuable) because it is min level 1, it mimics readily available min level 5 items, so it is easy to live without.
Immersion: 8/10. The hobgoblin city and mushroom tunnels are astounding.
High level replayability: 0/10
Best feature: The scope of the hobgoblin city.
Worst feature: The last quest is near to impossible at-level on elite without trapsmithing, but you won't realize this until you are right at the end.
Ease of getting a group: Easy, as most VIPs will run this 2 or 3 times on each new character.
Overall: Not essential, but not a bad purchase.
Recommended level range: 2-4 (normal); 4-6 (hard); 5-8 (elite)
Three Barrel Cove - 650 points
Description: A pirate island with several non-chain quests loosely themed around pirates, with a cool wilderness area (second best one in the game IMO).
Fun factor: The explorer area is fun to play around in, but some of the quests are pretty frustrating.
XP: 3/10. The quests offer medium to poor XP and take a long time to run to.
Challenge: 7/10. Some of these can be tough - but possibly in a frustrating way ("this is the seventeenth time I've missed that jump") rather than a fun way ("gah, that boss, we got so close but he just held on and wiped us at 3%")
Loot: 0/10. It's all random loot generator stuff, and less chests than several F2P quests in the level range have.
Immersion: 5/10. There's something about pirates that just doesn't fit some of the quests out there.
High level replayability: 0/10
Best feature: The variety. The quests here have more variety than any other adventure packs save some of the best endgame ones. There's a puzzle-based quest, quests with undead, and a quest fighting pirates.
Worst feature: Two of the quests are extremely frustrating. The ladder jumping is horrible, and hard even for high level characters with permanent featherfall and a capped Jump skill. The XP is terrible.
Ease of getting a group: Pretty hard to get a group as VIPs that focus on powerlevelling don't go out to Three-Barrel at all, and the pack isn't cheap, so won't be as popular amongst F2Pers.
Overall: Not recommended. This pack really needs a major overhaul - I'd recommend adding two unbound named items (one generally useful, one more niche item) to each quest, roughly doubling the XP, and adding Epic mode, or something else that makes it worthwhile to higher levels. Do all that, and the pack will be worth 650 points.
Recommended level range: 3-6 (normal); 4-8 (hard); 6-10 (elite)
Necropolis Part 1 - 250 points
Description: Five undead-themed quests, chock full of skeletons, wights, zombies and others. Each time you want to run the final quest (The Bloody Crypt), you need to run the four 'flagging' quests again. Can someone please check if that is still the case post Update 8.
Fun factor: Not particularly high, save for The Bloody Crypt which has a cool final room (cool the first time you see it), with a boss fight unlike anything else in the game.
XP: 7/10. The Bloody Crypt is worth around 1000 XP/minute to the seasoned zerger, although they will need a party of 4 or more that splits up to achieve that.
Challenge: 5/10. Only difficulty really is making it to the next shrine without running out of SP, and surviving elite traps.
Loot: 4/10. Everything is quite quickly outlevelled.
Immersion: 8/10. Some of these crypts feel creepy, and there's few things more D&D than a crypt full of undead and traps.
High level replayability: 0/10.
Best feature: The fight with Brother Salazzo at the end of the chain
Worst feature: Reflagging every time you want to run The Bloody Crypt, also the fact that one of the quests requires 4 switches pressed simultaneously, making it impossible to solo at all and impossible to duo or trio without Hirelings.
Ease of getting a group: Moderately tough. This quest chain has a bad reputation, due to being in the same area and being released at about the same time as the Necro 2 pack.
Overall: Not recommended. Should you buy it, do so at level 4-5.
Recommended level range: 4-7 (normal); 5-8 (hard); 7-10 (elite)
Sorrowdusk Island - 400 points
Description: Two chain quests and an explorer area. The chain quests first set you against ogres and trolls, then in the second chain sets you against their evil masterminds. This chain oozes the feel of pen and paper D&D more than any other chain in the game, IMO. The first chain is short, easy and has four quests with little variance - the second chain is longer, harder, more varied and is fantastic the first time you run it.
Fun factor: Grey Moon Waning (the first chain) isn't great, but the Cult of the Six (Co6) chain is great.
XP: 9/10 for the seasoned zerger, but don't expect overly good XP if you aren't one.
Challenge: 6.5/10. Some of the quests are downright mean on Elite, although all of them are zergable if you know exactly what you are doing.
Loot: 4/10. Would be lower, except that the only non-epic featherfall trinket in the game drops here with a good drop rate (it feels like a 50% chance to get it).
Immersion: 9/10. The storyline here is fantastic, especially the way that the true villains are slowly revealed. The 'it doesn't take a kalashtar...' line in the DM voiceover is good for a laugh too.
High level replayability: 0/10
Best feature: The variety of the Co6 chain, and the near perfect difficulty (assuming you don't have foreknowledge of the chain).
Worst feature: The loot is disappointing by modern standards. Perhaps the end reward list could be a good place for some useful weapons to be added, something like account-bound min level 8 +5 flaming weapons.
Ease of getting a group: This chain is pretty popular amongst VIPs, most play it 1-3 times on each character.
Overall: Recommended but not a high priority if you are on a tight budget.
Recommended level range: 5-6 (normal); 7-8 (hard); 8-10 (elite) for the first chain (Grey Moon) and 8-10 (normal); 9-11 (hard); 9-13 (elite) for Co6.
Devil Assault - 350 points
Description: One quest and one raid. The raid takes place in and around the Marketplace during the Stormreach Devil Invasion that was a live event years ago but has now been retconned to occur before we land on Korthos. It can be played on Epic difficulty by somewhat geared level 20s. The quest has a unique difficulty mechanic - it is level 6 on Normal, 12 on Hard, 18 on Elite (and of course, 25 on Epic).
Fun factor: The raid is a blast on Epic (I've never run it at low level, but have heard good things about it there too). If you are sufficiently geared to complete it, Devil Assault is great on Epic as well, but for 80% of players, it will just be a frustrating failure.
XP: 6/10. Pretty mediocre for the Devil Assault quest, and due to its difficulty (for the level), most groups attempting the raid below Epic accept severe XP penalties to bring in more powerful higher level characters.
Challenge: 10/10. Devil Assault is playable and challenging at almost all levels (4-7 normal, 9-12 hard and 15-19 elite, then 20 on Epic), and on Epic is considered by most the second-toughest epic dungeon in the game (behind Chains of Flame) by most players. The raid will put you to the test too, if you don't run it with severely overlevel characters.
Loot: 9/10. The raid has extremely good weapons and equipment sets you will use from levels 4-5 through to around 10 or 12. On Epic, the best Augment Crystals (for epic items) in the game drop here, as do crafting ingredients for the Shroud (used to craft many of the top items in the game), and several epic items from here are really good. Even on Devil Assault Hard, excellent handwraps drop, albeit with a ridiculously low drop rate.
Immersion: 6/10. Lower for Devil Assault (why are the devils not just teleporting out of the room?), and higher for Chronoscope, which has some great plot scenes.
High level replayability: 9/10 - this pack is really designed more for high level play than for low.
Best feature: Loot.
Worst feature: Devil Assault can be quite dull, with long pauses in the action followed by deadly fights followed by another long pause. Also, acquiring the scrolls required for making the Epic item upgrades is frustrating - runs of the raid on Epic will frequently see 12 seals, 4-6 shards, and 0-1 scrolls (you need one of each to epic-ify an item).
Ease of getting a group: It can be hard to get a group below Epic that will still get XP (i.e. no drastically overlevel characters). On Epic, it can be tough to get a group that is good enough to win. Both of these issues can be ameliorated by joining a guild of somewhat competent players.
Overall: Recommended highly to people with somewhat geared level 20 characters. An OK optional purchase for others.
Recommended level range: Hard to say for this pack.
Rating: 9/10 for powergamers; 7.5/10 for others.
Delera’s Tomb - 750 points
Description: A series of four undead-themed quests where you investigate mysterious disappearances from a graveyard, then take the fight to the necromancer responsible. Lots of traps, lots of skeletons to kill, plus a tense atmosphere.
Fun factor: Fun for the first ten or so times. There is a LOT to explore in one of these quests if you want to do so. Note that I'm personally burned out on this chain as I've run it so often, so I don't enjoy it much, but most people do.
XP: 11/10. The quest XP on its own would warrant a 9.5, but the true gem here is an end reward - the Voice of the Master - that adds a 5% bonus to all XP earned while it is equipped. It's a tribute to D&D creater Gary Gygax, who narrated quests here and passed away recently.
Challenge: 5.5/10. These quests are middle-of-the-range as far as difficulty goes.
Immersion: 8/10. Great storyline, interesting dialogue, and the characters of Hargo Grimmare and Delara Omaren are well done.
Loot: 9/10. The Voice of the Master will be used until you hit level 20 on every character, and is always available as an end reward. Carnifex (which has a low drop rate, 10-20%) is the best two-handed weapon in the game until level 10. The Golden Cartouche (~50% drop rate) is an amulet that most characters with the Use Magic Device skill will use until they replace it with raid gear.
High level replayability: 0/10 (you might come back and run this again for a particular end reward, but you won't have fun doing so).
Best feature: The XP and loot.
Worst feature: Some of the foes are dull to fight - Skeleton Archers in particular. These archers aren't dangerous, but just take ages to kill. In addition, it is easy to stuff up the quest progression and miss out on an end reward.
Ease of getting a group: Very easy. Every VIP runs this a LOT unless, like me, they've run it 100+ times and are getting a tad burned out on it.
Overall: Recommended unless you are on a tight budget. Highly recommended if you prefer high-level play to low-level - this chain will get you there faster. Buy this immediately upon hitting level 5.
Recommended level range: 5-8 (normal); 5-8 (hard); 8-10 (elite)
Sharn Syndicate - 350 points
Description: Several short quests in the Marketplace with goals that aren't just the standard 'storm XXX dungeon and slay XXX'. All of these involve combating the Sharn Syndicate criminal gang.
Fun factor: Reasonably high. The quests are all highly unique; who hasn't wanted to rob a bank in DDO? In addition, the quests look to reward smart play and teamwork on Elite.
XP: 6/10. Quests offer acceptable XP, but nothing special.
Challenge: 6/10. These quests are very easy on normal, and somewhat mean at-level on elite.
Immersion: 7/10. The environments are interesting, but the bank robbery is quite implausible.
Loot: 6/10. The weapons are great at level, but are very quickly outlevelled. The non-weapon item drops are frustrating - minimum level 1 +2 stat items are great, except you outlevel them too fast to even bother keeping them, and they are account-bound.
High level replayability: 0/10. This could *really* do with Epic mode, or something along those lines like a Paragon mode that jumped the quest up to be like a level 16 elite.
Best feature: Eight trapped art objects, that you can perform a series of tasks to 'study' the traps. It's only an optional, but it's cool.
Worst feature: Competes with a lot of other quests at its level.
Ease of getting a group: Not so easy, especially for the quest that pretty much requires trapsmithing skills on elite.
Overall: Interesting quests, but may be too short to be worth your money. If you are playing on a tight budget pass this one up; otherwise consider it.
Recommended level range: 3-5 (normal); 4-6 (hard); 5-8 (elite)
Sentinels of Stormreach - 450 points
Description: Several medium-length quests in House Deneith or the Searing Heights, that revolve around trying to stop a necromancer from establishing a pirate army. Also available on Epic difficulty.
Fun factor: Pretty good, although one of the quests is very much like The Pit, requiring precision jumping, trap dodging and little fighting. I like that in moderation; some people hate it like the plague. That quest is completely optional, however - if you don't like it, you can get every item from the pack without touching that quest.
XP: 5/10. Just not enough XP for the time these quests take.
Challenge: 7.5/10. These quests are *tough* for their levels, especially above Normal. On Epic, however, they are easier than most.
Immersion: 6/10. The zombie pirate meme would fit in well in a game like World of Warcraft, where the world has less of a serious feel than Eberron has.
Loot: 7/10. Would be lower, except for the monk bracers that are useful at all levels.
High level replayability: 6/10.
Best feature: Choosing where to begin the 'assault a pirate fort' quest.
Worst feature: Competes with a lot of other quests at its level. Downright poor loot on Epic.
Ease of getting a group: Can be a tad hard - few lowbies own the pack, noone runs it on Epic more than once now.
Overall: Cool quests, but just not enough in-game rewards to expect that you'll be running them much.
Recommended level range: 7-9 (normal); 9-12 (hard); 10-13(elite); 20 and partially Shroud-geared (epic)
Phiarlain Carnival - 350 points
Description: Several short to medium quests in House P that surround a troupe of tiefling circus actor wannabes.
Fun factor: Meh. I'm not a fan.
XP: 4/10. The first quest has low XP and can be easily failed. Later quests don't make up for this.
Challenge: 6/10. These quests are among the easier epics.
Immersion: 4/10. A cabal of fiends seeking to infiltrate Stormreach makes sense - but why would they disguise themselves as a travelling carnival to do so?
Loot: 6/10. The Epic items are mostly mediocre and outclassed by Shroud items, and the pre-epic versions aren't anything special. The Epic Antique Greataxe is the only real exception, and it's a smidgen ahead of similar Shroud weapons that you can equip at level 12.
Best feature: Hellhounds performing tricks on flaming spheres.
Worst feature: Pre-epic, competes with a lot of other quests at its level. Epic, some of the fights are just tedious, particularly Crateos and Malicia, both of whom take forever to kill but don't really ever seriously threaten the party.
Ease of getting a group: Below average.
Overall: Nothing special.
Recommended level range: 3-6 (normal); 4-8 (hard); 6-10 (elite); 20 (epic)
Next post: The level 8+ packs.