I recently tried that other D&D MMO, you know the one in open beta right now by Cryptic Studios. And well....
Don't get me wrong, I really wanted to like it - I have tons of fun in their Star Trek Online and Champions Online games, but boy did they ever miss the mark on this one.
They should have just called it X-Box D&D - or better yet just left D&D out of the title altogether. It doesn't feel like D&D in the least. It's a console game wrapped in an MMO shell that only in passing honors the fun that is D&D by using names of places and montsters from the books.
After playing DDO since launch, I have gotten a little burned out on it, but after seeing how badly that other game plays, I have a whole new appreciation for just how well our talented team at Turbine has been able to capture the flavor of the PnP classic.
Just for one examp[e, lets take a look at a Rogue character. In DDO, you are able to play one pretty much like set out in 3rd edition D&D. You have lock picking skills, you can sneak around, you may be good at fighting, but certainly not a well as a dedicated fighter, and so forth. In DDO you have a myriad of options to chose from and many skills at you beck and call to best whatever challenges you face. In 'X-Box D&D' you have a limited number of actions you may place on your 6-8 spaces action bar (which coincide with X-Box controller buttons) and though these may change as you advance through levels (which have absolutely no correlation to PnP levels) you are always stuck with only being able to use the 6-8 that you have on the bar. The rogue doesn't even have stealth capability until level 10, but you are give a 'sneak attack' skill at level 1 that can only be used while in stealth.... I mean seriously, who thought this out? Additionally, said 'sneak attack' is no attack whatsoever - in mearly gives you a +10% movement bonus while steathed...and the stealth itself is timed, giving only 5 seconds at level 10 after activation before the rogue unstealths automatically.
The combat system, while flashy, is sadly built for children with ADHD. Everything happens at lightspeed and apparently a rouge is as good at hacking monters down as a fighter - he just has less armor. But that can be overcome by using the 'super combo' attack which make you dart around hitting every opponent in a room in a flurry of flasky, color filled, super speed attacks that would put most kung fu masters to shame.
The only thing X-Box D&D has going for it is the Foundry. This is the ability for players to create their own dungeons or outdoor adventures for others to enjoy. Players have made some absolutely stunning stories in Star Trek Online using this feature, even with it's limited toolset currently; stories that even the Dev team have said are better that what they have made. If DDO had this feature, oh man, could Turbine rake in the money (see 'player created content' link in sig below).
That said, again, I can't say how much more I appreciate all the hard work that has gone into DDO to keep it (mostly) true to it's roots after seeing the terribad X-Box 'D&D'. And I certainly wouldn't still be playing (and paying) seven years later for this fun past time if it was anything like that other game. Thanks Turbine folks for making a truely great D&D MMO!