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  1. #1

    Default Adventure Pack Reviews and Buyer's Guide

    Two things worth highlighting:

    1) For a printable version of the information in this thread, download this pdf from google docs. It's not small so it may take a bit to load. It'll print in higher quality if you download it to your hard drive and print it locally. The full document is 51 pages long. (If that opens to a blank window, choose File => Download from the page's File menu.)

    2) For a list of all pack sales and double bonus point sales since this thread was created see this post. Knowing when the previous sales happened will help with predicting when the next one will be.

  2. #2

    Default Introduction

    The first thing I would tell a brand new player is don't spend any TP (Turbine Points) on anything in the DDO Store when you start playing. All of the level 1 and 2 content is completely free to play, so after downloading the game and rolling up your first character, just hop in and play the free stuff to get a feel for the game.

    The game mechanics encourage running quests 1 or 2 levels below your character level. The lowest level paid content is level 3, meaning until you hit level 4 or 5 don't even worry about what content you get for free and what you should buy.

    Once you get to level 4 or 5, you'll start to have a feel for the game. More importantly, you'll have an idea if this is the kind of game you'd like to pay money for. At that point you'll have several options on how much money you'd like to spend, but you can easily wait until as late as level 13 or 14 to buy anything if you like. The two basic choices are:

    DDO offers a recurring payment option called VIP. More information can be found here. Going VIP is certainly less hassle, comes with some nice perks, and doesn't even require a recurring charge but instead can be bought for prolonged periods via single lump payments. If you decide to go VIP, you don't need to worry about buying adventure packs but you will still need to buy expansion packs separately.

    The premium option is for buying individual adventure packs a la carte. There are no recurring charges. When you buy a pack you own it for the life of the game, and until you buy a pack you cannot enter any of its quests. Being premium is all about waiting for sales and delayed gratification. The best way to do this will have you buying points during points sales then waiting weeks or months to buy packs during pack sales, repeating the cycle until you own all content. Figure 12-18 months before you own everything, but with proper planning you will be able to level all the way to cap right out of the gate.

    Adventure Pack Level Epic Cost Favor Patron Grade
    Catacombs 3-4 No 250 TP 66 Silver Flame D+
    Seal of Shan-To-Kor 3-5 No 250 TP 48 Coin Lords B
    Tangleroot Gorge 3-7 No 550 TP 99 House Phiarlan B-
    Sharn Syndicate 4 No 350 TP 36 Coin Lords C-
    Phiarlan Carnival 5 Yes 450 TP 48 House Phiarlan A-
    Necropolis Part 1 5-6 No 350 TP 66 Silver Flame D-
    Three-Barrel Cove 5-7 Yes 695 TP 99 Free Agents A-
    Delera's Tomb 5-11 No 850 TP 129 House Jorasco A
    Sorrowdusk Isle 6-10 No 450 TP 117 House Deneith D+
    Temple of Elemental Evil 7 Yes 650 TP 30 Gatekeepers C
    Sentinels of Stormreach 7-8 Yes 450 TP 66 House Deneith B-
    Necropolis Part 2 8-9 No 350 TP 81 Silver Flame C
    Ruins of Threnal 8-10 No 450 TP 108 House Phiarlan F
    Vault of Night 8-10 Yes 750 TP 126 House Kundarak A
    Red Fens 9 Yes 450 TP 54 House Kundarak A-
    Demon Sands 10-12 Yes 950 TP 210 Free Agents B+
    Restless Isles 10-12 No 350 TP 84 Free Agents F
    Necropolis Part 3 11-12 No 350 TP 93 Silver Flame D
    Attack on Stormreach 13 No 450 TP 63 Coin Lords A-
    Trials of the Archons 13 Yes 495 TP 81 Gatekeepers ?
    Ruins of Gianthold 13-14 Yes 950 TP 240 Argonnessen A+
    Necropolis Part 4 14-17 No 850 TP 117 Silver Flame B+
    Harbinger of Madness 15 No 450 TP 63 Free Agents B+
    Vale of Twilight 16-17 No 850 TP 207 The Twelve A+
    Reaver's Reach 17 No 250 TP 96 Argonnessen C+
    Reign of Madness 17 No 450 TP 78 The Twelve B
    Druid's Deep 17 Yes 550 TP 75 The Harpers C-
    Devil Assault 18* Yes 350 TP 30 Coin Lords B-
    High Road of Shadows 18 Yes 750 TP 111 The Harpers ?
    Heart of Madness 18 Yes 450 TP 63 The Twelve ?
    Path of Inspiration 18 No 350 TP 90 Coin Lords ?
    Dreaming Dark 19-20 No 350 TP 75 Coin Lords B
    Devils of Shavarath 19-20 No 550 TP 153 Yugoloth C
    Secrets of the Artificers 19-20 Yes 650 TP 99 House Cannith B-
    Cannith Challenges 4-25 Yes 1295 TP 126 House Cannith B
    Eveningstar Challenges 15-30 Yes 695 TP 36 Purple Dragon Knight F
    Menace of the Underdark 21-24 Yes $35 369 Purple Dragon Knight A
    Shadowfell Conspiracy 16-19 Yes $30 213 PDK / Harpers ?

  3. #3

    Default Buyer's Guide

    I recommend you buy into DDO by starting with a single $50 purchase (both expansions), then spend an additional $35 every few months on points (during double bonus point sales) until you own all content. This would get you enough content to level from 1 to 28 immediately, plus all the best content very early on.

    The cheaper alternative, which is still a good value, is to start with a $35 purchase (MotU standard edition) followed by periodic $20 point buys. You'll still be able to level from 1 to 28 immediately and will just be slightly delayed getting the main packs of value.

    The best first purchase a premium player can make will include the Menace of the Underdark standard edition in the DDO Market, which has a list price of $35. The reason this is such a good first purchase is that it includes a bonus of four quality adventure packs as well as 1000 TP to get you started, plus some other goodies. To get to the DDO Market, select the Store dropdown at the very top of this (or any) forum page.

    The best way to get the Menace of the Underdark standard edition is to get any version of the Shadowfell expansion, which when added to your cart in the DDO Market allows you to add the MotU standard edition for half price. Shadowfell itself would be a low priority purchase, but since it gives half off of MotU, this moves Shadowfell up to a top priority. Like MotU, Shadowfell also comes with 1000 TP.

    What this means is that for a premium player, the best deal for getting started is to buy the Shadowfell standard edition ($30) with MotU standard edition for half price ($17.50) in the DDO Market for $50 total after tax. The lowest level content you get with this purchase is Phiarlan Carnival, which is level 5, so you don't need to buy anything until you're level 6 or 7. That $50 purchase gets you:

    Epic Destinies
    Menace of the Underdark
    Shadowfell Conspiracy
    Phiarlan Carnival
    Attack on Stormreach
    Path of Inspiration
    Dreaming Dark
    Eveningstar Challenges
    Purple Dragon Knight iconic
    Extra character slot
    Greater Tome of Learning
    Lesser Tome of Epic Learning
    2000 TP

    The 2000 TP and four "free" adventure packs is really what puts this deal over the top. The four adventure packs total 1280 TP if bought during a 20% sale, and all are worth buying. Combined with the 2000 TP that's 3280 TP in value which costs $35 during a double bonus point sale. The net result is that the "extra" $15 you're spending in the $50 expansion pack purchase is buying everything yellow in the above list. That's a tremendous value for $15.

    If you aren't sold enough on DDO to spend $50 when you reach level 6 or 7, you can hold off and keep playing for free until you reach level 13, which is the level of the next "free" pack (Attack on Stormreach) that comes with MotU. By level 13 you'll definitely have enough experience to know if this game is worth your money.

    If you cannot afford a single $50 purchase, but instead are limited to smaller amounts, $35 is the next recommendation. This is a simple purchase: MotU standard edition in the DDO Market. You get MotU, epic destinies, the extra four adventure packs, and 1000 TP. This is a great value, which should highlight just how good the $50 Shadowfell+MotU deal is.

    Finally, if $35 is too expensive for any one purchase, you're looking at $20 purchases. The $20 version of MotU doesn't come with any low level packs, so don't bother with it until you hit level 20. This is perfectly workable, and is how I bought into the game myself.

  4. #4

    Default Sales

    Here are the relevant sales since creating this thread to help gauge when the next one might be:

    Point Sales
    Sep 13th-23rd, 2013 - Double Bonus Points
    Nov 27th-Dec 2nd, 2013 - Double Bonus Points (Black Friday)
    Dec 20th-Jan 2, 2014 - Double Bonus Points (Holiday Specials)
    Apr 4th-10th, 2014 - Double Bonus Points
    July 4th-13th, 2014 - Double Bonus Points
    Aug 29th-Sep 7th, 2014 - Double Bonus Points
    Nov 27th-Dec 1st, 2014 - Double Bonus Points (Black Friday)
    Dec 19th-Jan 4th, 2015 - Double Bonus Points (Holiday Specials)
    Feb 13th-19th, 2015 - Double Bonus Points
    May 22nd-June 1st, 2015 - Double Bonus Points
    Sep 4th-13th, 2015 - Double Bonus Points
    Nov 26th-30th, 2015 - Double Bonus Points (Black Friday)
    Dec 24th-Jan 3rd, 2016 - Triple Bonus Points

    Pack Sales
    Sep 20th-26th, 2013 - 20% off adventure packs
    Nov 8th-14th, 2013 - 20% off adventure packs
    Dec 20th-Jan 2nd, 2014 - 25% off adventure packs (Holiday Specials)
    Feb 21st-27th, 2014 - 20% off adventure packs
    July 18th-24th, 2014 - 20% off adventure packs
    Sep 5th-11th, 2014 - 20% off adventure packs
    Sep 19th-21st, 2014 - 25% off Landlubber Bundle (Talk Like a Pirate Day)
    Nov 27th-Dec 4th, 2014 - 20% off adventure packs (Black Friday)
    Feb 13th-19th, 2015 - 20% off adventure packs
    Jun 19th-25th, 2015 - 20% off adventure packs
    Sep 4th-10th, 2015 - 30% off adventure packs (except Trials of the Archons)
    Sep 28th-Oct 4th, 2015 - 25% off bundles (necropolis and landlubber) in anticipation of store overhaul
    Nov 6th-12th, 2015 - 25% off select epic packs (not including newest pack, or low level eberron epics)
    Dec 4th-10th, 2015 - 50% off Temple of Elemental Evil (December Deals)
    Dec 24th-Jan 7th, 2016 - 25% off adventure packs (not including Vale of Twilight)

    Choose Your Own Discount
    May 8th-10th, 2015
    Oct 9th-11th, 2015

    Market Sales
    Nov 27th-Dec 2nd, 2013 - 50% off Shadowfell (Black Friday)
    Dec 2nd, 2013 - 75% off Menace of the Underdark (Cyber Monday)
    Nov 27th-Dec 1st, 2014 - 75% off expansions (Black Friday)
    Nov 26th-30th, 2015 - 85% off expansions (Black Friday)
    Dec 24th-Jan 4th, 2016 - 85% off expansions

    Challenge Sales
    Sep 13th-19th, 2013 - 20% off challenge packs
    Dec 6th-12th, 2013 - 30% off challenge packs (Winter Deals)
    Mar 28th-Apr 4th, 2014 - 20% off challenge packs
    July 11th-17th, 2014 - 75% off Vaults of the Artificers (Summer "Sails" Event)

    DDO has sales every week, from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, so they overlap for around 12 hours each week. The content sales are mixed in with a bunch of other sales so check each Thursday night to see what the new sale is. See the current sale here.

    The watchword for premium players is patience, because going premium (as opposed to VIP) means waiting for sales. You wait to buy turbine points when they're on sale, and then wait again to spend those points when the packs are on sale. It's very rare that both points and packs are on sale at the same time; often you'll end up buying points a month or two before you actually spend them. The idea is to always have a couple thousand TP on hand to be ready for a "choose your own discount" sale.

    The standard way to buy points is from the in-game store. You can see the store prices here. Note that each version includes "bonus points." Points don't technically go on sale in that you can never pay less than the listed prices. Instead, point sales mean that the bonus points get doubled. For example, spending $35 on points normally gets you 3150 points, but if you buy it during a double bonus point sale you'll get 4100 points. There was once a triple bonus point sale, but that was only once and unlikely to return. Double bonus point sales happen every few months, so while you're still buying content just grab points during each sale.

    When buying content there are a few types of sales to watch for:
    - 20% off all adventure packs
    - Choose Your Own Discount
    - 20% off challenge packs
    - 50% off expansion packs in the DDO Market

    Choose Your Own Discount sales give a progressive discount the more you spend, and this discount applies to anything you put in your cart. You get 5% off for spending 500 TP, 15% off for spending 1500 TP, and 25% off for spending 2500 or more TP. These totals are based on list price, not the discounted price, so if you add exactly 2500 TP to your cart it will get marked down to 1875.

    Because you never know what the next content sale will be or when it will go into effect, ideally prepare yourself to always be ready for a Choose Your Own Discount sale. This means keeping at least 2000 TP in your account so you can get the full 25% off of a 2500 point purchase. Simply buying points during each double bonus point sale is all you really need to do, and then just wait for content sales.

    Market sales (as opposed to in-game) are pretty rare but they do happen. Even still, the initial buy-in of Shadowfell + MotU for $50 is plenty good enough not to wait for sale first. If you're not getting Shadowfelll but instead just MotU, you could wait for a little while for a market sale but even just MotU is a good purchase at full price.

  5. #5

    Default Other Purchases

    Try not to spend your TP on anything until you own all the content you want, which may very well be ALL content. There a a few exceptions to this:

    Unless you're VIP, if you want to roll up a character for a premium race you don't own you have to buy it from the store. There's no way around this. Judge for yourself when to buy which races. For me, I've never bought any premium races. The one race you should never buy is drow, though, because drow are easily unlocked the first time you reach 400 favor.

    Much like races, non-VIPs need to buy premium classes to play them. Favored Soul can be unlocked (similar to drow) but it requires a hefty 2500 favor on any one character. If you really want to play a FVS and don't have enough content to unlock them, or the patience to grind that much favor, go for it. Artificers can also technically be unlocked via favor but it's extremely difficult to do so. Don't expect to unlock Artificer for at least a year after you start playing, so if you want to play one go ahead and buy it.

    Shared Bank
    The first tier of shared bank (which comes with VIP) is a high priority purchase. Try to grab it early, maybe as part of your first or second purchase after the initial buy-in of the expansions.

    Craftable Trinket
    Even non-crafters can benefit from crafting by paying other players to craft stuff for you. Craftable trinkets are a special case, though, and are virtually impossible to get for new characters you roll up because all in-game ones are BTC. The in-game store sells BTA craftable trinkets, which means you can pass them to brand new characters you roll up using the shared bank. You only need one on your entire account to support all new characters you roll up, so I recommend buying a single craftable trinket from the store.

  6. #6

    Default Bundling Packs

    Here's a list of "bundles" to consider. These aren't actually bundles in the game but instead content of similar priority. Each bundle is targeted to cost 2500 TP list price to take advantage of Choose Your Own Discount sales, and are aimed at costing ~2000 TP after a 20% sale on all packs. The idea for this amount is to fit the budget of someone buying $20 point bundles (1950 points during double bonus point sales) with a minimum amount of favor grinding. If you're buying $35 point purchases (4100 TP) you'll be able to get two bundles at a time instead of one.

    These bundles assume you buy the MotU standard edition, meaning you'll already own Phiarlan Carnival, Attack on Stormreach, Path of Inspiration, Dreaming Dark and Eveningstar challenges. This leaves a total of 12,272 TP worth of content to buy if you buy them all at least 20% off.

    Except for "First Packs", these aren't listed in any particular order. Get them in whichever order suits your playstyle best. You'll also probably want to squeeze in a non-pack bundle pretty early, which would include the shared bank and races / classes you're interested in playing.

    First Packs
    750 Vault of Night (8-10, epic)
    950 Gianthold (13-14, epic)
    850 Vale of Twilight (16-18)
    2550 (2040 @ 20% off)

    This is the premier set of packs to buy, the first packs you want to get (after buying the expansions) pretty much no matter what. They fill in the holes in the F2P content, provide lots of epic content, tons of xp, and some of the best gear in the game. Plus they're all really fun. Best of all is you can pay for this bundle with the 2000 TP you get from buying both expansions if you can find a sale. The two expansions (with the four packs that come with MotU) plus these three packs is more than enough content to comfortable level all the way from 1 to 28.

    Epic Quests
    450 Sentinels of Stormreach (7-8, epic)
    450 Red Fens (9, epic)
    350 Reaver's Reach (17)
    550 Druid's Deep (17, epic)
    750 High Road of Shadows (18, epic)
    2550 (2040 @ 20% off)

    This is a group of epic quest packs, plus Reaver's Reach to get it over 2500 TP. All these packs help with leveling to 20, and then (except RR) help quite a bit from getting to 20 to 28. This is a worthy bundle to pick up if you've made it to 20 and are looking to keep questing, or even if you just want to farm up 20 tokens of the twelve so you can TR.

    Epic Raids
    950 Demon Sands (10-12, epic)
    350 Devil Assault (18, epic)
    550 Devils of Shavarath (19-20)
    650 Secrets of the Artificers (19-20, epic)
    2500 (2000 @ 20% off)

    These packs are technically epic, but they don't offer much for epic questing outside of raids. So while they won't help you much when trying to level from 20-28, they give you something fun to do with guildies once you hit level 20. Shavarath is included even though it isn't epic because it's another high level raid that some guilds like to run. This bundle isn't particularly helpful for leveling from 1-20 apart from Demon Sands, but it's a solid bundle if you like to raid or want to start raiding.

    Heroic Leveling
    250 Seal of Shan-To-Kor (3-5)
    550 Tangleroot Gorge (3-7)
    850 Delera's Tomb (5-11)
    450 Harbinger of Madness (15)
    450 Reign of Madness (17)
    2550 (2040 @ 20% off)

    This group offers more content and xp to help with leveling from 1 to 20, particularly Delera's Tomb with its nice Voice of the Master. These are all good packs, fun to run, pretty easy to group for, and offer good to great xp. Harbinger is the only pack with poor xp but it boasts nice items and good quest design. Tangleroot is the only one with subpar design (too repetitive) but it makes up for that with a vital piece of unique loot as well as solid xp.

    Silver Flame
    250 Catacombs (3-4)
    350 Sharn Syndicate (4)
    450 Sorrowdusk Isle (6-10)
    1495 Necropolis Bundle (5-17)
    2545 (2036 @ 20% off)

    If you want silver flame potions you'll need all four necropolis packs plus the catacombs. The best way (by far) to buy all four necro packs is with the bundle, which you'll find in the "Bundled Offers" section of the in-game store. Sharn and Sorrowdusk aren't related to this but are okay packs, nothing great, but they aren't actually bad packs. Which is more than can be said of much of necropolis.

    550 Three-Barrel Cove (5-7)
    450 Ruins of Threnal (8-10)
    350 Restless Isles (10-12)
    1295 Cannith Challenges (4-25)
    2645 (1984 @ 25% off)

    These are the dregs, the last packs to buy if you are a completionist in the sense of wanting to own all content. (Not to be confused with completionist in the past-life sense.) I can't really recommend buying any of these, but I bought them all and rather enjoy them. Because they're so poor, and because it's rare to find packs and challenges on sale at the same time, once you own all other content wait however long it takes to grab these during a Choose Your Own Discount sale.

    Of course these are all just suggestions; buy whichever packs look interesting in whatever order you please. As long as you're having fun you're doing it right. Happy hunting!

  7. #7
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    The best way to get the Menace of the Underdark standard edition is to get any version of the Shadowfell expansion, which when added to your cart in the DDO Market allows you to add the MotU standard edition for half price. Shadowfell itself would be a low priority purchase, but since it gives half off of MotU, this moves Shadowfell up to a top priority. Like MotU, Shadowfell also comes with 1000 TP.

    What this means is that for a premium player, the best deal for getting started is to buy the Shadowfell standard edition ($30) with MotU standard edition for half price ($17.50) in the DDO Market for $50 total after tax. The lowest level content you get with this purchase is Phiarlan Carnival, which is level 5, so you don't need to buy anything until you're level 6 or 7. That $50 purchase gets you:
    How do you get MotU for half price again? It doesnt seem to work for me.

    Or do I have to be a Permium player first?


  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Generic_Player666 View Post
    How do you get MotU for half price again? It doesnt seem to work for me.

    Or do I have to be a Permium player first?
    In the DDO Market. Add either version of the Shadowfell expansion to your cart: $30 standard or $50 collector's.

    Once either version of Shadowfell is in your cart, go to your cart / checkout and look at the green options at the bottom of the Shadowfell information. The third option is for Menace of the Underdark at half price.

    If those Market links don't work, you can get to the DDO Market from the Store menu at the top of any forum page.

    You don't have to be premium first. This purchase, when applied to your account, will upgrade you from free player to premium player.

  9. #9
    Community Member Postumus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    SW Wheloon


    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post

    Adventure Pack Level Cost Favor Patron Grade
    The Catacombs 3-4 250 TP 66 Silver Flame B+
    The Seal of Shan-To-Kor 3-5 250 TP 48 Coin Lords B
    Tangleroot Gorge 3-7 550 TP 99 House Phiarlan C
    The Sharn Syndicate 4 350 TP 36 Coin Lords B
    Phiarlan Carnival 5 450 TP 48 House Phiarlan C
    Necropolis Part 1 5-6 250 TP 66 Silver Flame A
    Three-Barrel Cove 5-7 650 TP 99 Free Agents B
    Delera's Tomb 5-11 850 TP 129 House Jorasco A+
    Sorrowdusk Isle 6-10 450 TP 117 House Deneith D+
    Nice work with the tables and putting this together. I changed the grades in the table above to how I rate them and my additional comments below:

    Catacombs is a fun, good low level pack for people new to the game. Replayability factor is decent. End rewards are good for new players. Good story. Very DnD type of quest.

    Tangleroot I find more on par with Sorrowdusk as it gets monotonous and the replayability factor is low, nor is it particularly challenging. Weak story.

    Carnival lots of groups I've been in hate the first quest and don't particularly like the last one. Replayability factor is so-so but has epic versions which is a plus. End rewards decent. Story OK.

    Three Barrel Cove has a fun atmosphere. Fun explorer area. Nice, low level end rewards. Very replayable if you like pirates. Not so much if you hate pirates. Quests are about average, and Ghost of a Chance has one of the best (or most annoying depending on your POV) puzzles in the game.

    Necropolis 1 our greatest difference of opinion here. I love the Necro chains. If players like undead, Necro 1 is a great series. Good xps. Decent end reward (silver flame amulet). Decent challenge. Good story (you get to fight a vampire!). Replayability is above average.

    Delera's have to give it an A+ for replayability, story, xp, and end rewards (Carnifex and Voice of the master).
    Last edited by Postumus; 09-05-2013 at 03:21 PM.

  10. #10


    This gives me an idea:

    "Rebuttal" grades are an excellent resource. I would encourage you to post more as I write more reviews, but if at all possible when all is said and done gather them into a single post. Whether that means adding your grades with short explanations piecemeal and then when all the reviews are in copy & pasting them into one post or just editing this first post to add more. Either way, noting all the disagreements and collecting them in a single post would be ideal.

    Then I can link to everybody's "rebuttal grades" directly from the OP.

    Tangleroot would get a C- in my grades at best except for the visor. That alone makes the pack.

    I rather like both Necropolis 1 and 3BC but couldn't in good conscience grade them highly for new players. I'm particularly fond of necropolis 3, but you can bet that will suffer a similar fate. heh.

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