Hey guys. I've been searching for an adequate MMORPG to play during summer, and I've finally ended up (after a lot of failed attempts at searching for one) at DDO. I've played LOTRO for quite some time now, so I'm not a complete stranger to Turbine, but I've never played D&D or DDO before (unless reading Order of the Stick is considered knowing about Dragons and Dungeons :P). Well, before I install the game, I have a few questions. All help would be appreciated :)
1. How "Free" is this game? This is one of my main concerns. Is it more like "free until a certain level where it becomes P2W" or "Free if you grind a bit" or "Free if you grind a LOT", or perhaps "Free except for certain convenience items which seem awesome to have but cost real money"? Or is it something else entirely? And if it's about grinding, is it actually possible to gain enough Turbine points to get the raw expansions (or whatever is necessary to advance) without being "that" legendary grinder?
2. Is there any 'Spellsword' build in this game? I've been searching a bit around, and it seems that this is a popular idea and build, but hasn't seen any real use because it's not very good. Is there any possibility of introducing a spellsword-like class later on?
3. I like Paladins, and find that a lot of Paladins kinda play like a Spellsword - so, are Paladins in this game like "Warriors that attack with swords and can use light spells and healing" or "Super-tanks that can heal themselves"? How about Bards? I've heard that they match a Spellsword style, but they kind of sound lame (sorry if that's rude Bardfans :P) so I just want some opinions on what classes play like a Spellsword
4. I'm pretty sure my System Requirements can match the game, but seeing as how my laptop is sometimes prone to overheating (HP laptops >_>) is this game particularly CPU intensive? I mean, are there any parts where a good gaming laptop starts to feel overheated (e.g. a boss fight with a lot of action going on, ect.) and are they pretty common?
5. If I'm in the middle of a dungeon or whatever, and I have to go for a few minutes (I know, bad manners) to do something, with like a party, is that OK? I've seen some games where players would kick you out if you're inactive for more than a couple of minutes. How long are most dungeons anyways? I know some are longer than others, but is the normal time for each closer to 20 minutes or 2 hours?
6. If I download the game now, is there still a lot of people in the starting areas to easily find an adequate group with with to raid? What I mean, is the DDO population rising, staying the same, or even slowly declining?
7. Are all the starting areas (Elf/Dwarf/Humans/etc.) the same or are they different like LOTRO's system? If they are, which is the most common race to take?
8. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being "drabber and greyer than LOTRO equipment" and 10 being "so flashy and colorful it burns your eyes equipment" how good/bad do most of the equipment look like?
9. In your opinion, is this game truly fun? I know there's a lot of ups and downs to any game, but is it a good enough game that you keep on coming back and believe you will play in a year or two?
Sorry if there's a lot of questions. They just keep on pouring out :P . Well, thanks a lot if you can help me with any of these :)
EDIT: It seems I've accidentally posted two duplicate threads. I'm not sure how to delete either, so if another dev or mod could do so it would be nice. Sorry!