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  1. #1
    The Top Side GoldyGopher's Avatar
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    Default Working on a New Guide for F2P

    In 2009 I wrote up a guide for for F2P and Premium players for DDO. The web-pages were still out in the wild until a few days ago when I took them down; as they were out of date, as the last update was with Update 14, Menace of the Underdark.

    I have been asked on a regular basis to update the guide, but a lack of time has hamstrung the project. I started a few times, but never really got very far.
    For the next two weeks I will be vacationing and have some time to actually work on it. The guide will focus on new players and primarily F2P, it will touch on Premium and other aspects.

    What information do you think is important for newer players to have?

    What things do you recommend that may be a little off the wall?

    Good Builds, Bad Builds for new players.

    The Twilight Avengers are always recruiting - http://twilightavengersofeberron.yuku.com/topic/655

  2. #2
    Cosmetic Guru Aelonwy's Avatar
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    Whenever I meet a new player I always make sure to mention where to get their first quiver and bags in the harbor as well as the bags in Phiarlan/Jorasco and the importance of Deneith favor for better quivers. Really just explaining favor and what it can do to make playing more fun and convenient.

    I guess now its also very important to explain to new players that if they should want to get into crafting they will need to use collectible nodes as they quest and for those uninterested in crafting the collectibles are valuable to other players.

    One other thing, I keep reminding returning friends is that many of the Collectible NPCs will also sale desirable augments for minimal Astral Shards. Often much cheaper than the prices on the Shard exchange. Augments such as Feather Falling & Underwater Action for 8 AS, Light 4, Moderate 8, & Heavy Fortification @ 12 AS. I realize that information isn't probably necessary for newer players but you never know... should they get involved in the ASAH it might save them some money.
    Blood Scented Axe Body Spray (Thelanis)
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  3. #3
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    Neat! Good luck on the project. Putting into the dev tracker for a bit more replies.
    Have fun, and don't forget to gather for buffs!
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  4. #4
    Community Member SpartanKiller13's Avatar
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    I always recommend 2HF Paladin for melee and blasting Sorc for casters. I'll also recommend against Wizard for your first few lives. Paladin is very survivable which helps a lot both for soloing and for grouping as a new player (rather low DPS than backpack status); back when I did pure builds I'd also grab Magical Training just for infinite healing. Sorc is very easy blasting, pretty obvious, and a ton more effective than Wizard for everything until you have gearsets etc. I also tend to recommend against Cleric because it takes until 5+ to get off the ground, which is a little daunting for a new player.

    Hirelings are pretty big, but past Byron Scoutsword (who will solo Korthos Elite) I always mention them like a multiple-use potion. Don't expect them to be smart, deal DPS, or avoid lava; just park them and summon for heals before parking again. Clerics with Divine Vitality are always best if you're a caster, otherwise grab Clerics at odd levels and Favored Souls at even levels. Look for ones with a restoration effect and/or useful buffs (like Deathward). If you just need a little topping off you can even look for ones like Bard hirelings, and get more utility also worth mentioning that in epics you can buy Rogue hirelings for plat (which nobody seems to know lol).

    I recommend farming 2-3 pair of Anger's Steps from Korthos's Sacrifices, as an easy movespeed bonus and as an intro to clickies. Airship buffs help a ton as well, so I recommend finding a guild.

    Please put that items with the same bonus type don't stack on like the first line. In most other games if you grab 5x +3 Con items you'll have tons of HP, but in DDO you'll just be sad. However, +3 Enhancement, +2 Insight, and +1 Quality Con all stack (and they all stack with enhancements).

    As far as weapons go, Vorpal > else. Unless there's specific named weapons, it's basically always the best option; and even with named weapons, randomgen Vorpal is better than many. It's a super common question with a super simple answer. If you're a caster, Spellpower, Insightful Spellpower, and Spell Lore.

    Try things out! A lot of people get really attached to an idea and that's great, but if you're still level 2 and realized that Cha-max Str-dump Barbarian was a bad idea just reroll!
    -Khysiria of Cannith
    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    Warlock is basically a ghetto Shiradi Sorc. You gives up some of the damage and self sustain for the ability to just hold down left click and yolo blast your way to victory.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    It's DDO. There are probably 6 different types of Evil damage.

  5. #5
    Community Member TitusOvid's Avatar
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    - How do difficulties work (pros/cons/advantages)
    - How does favor work (pros/cons/advantages)
    - How does grouping work (pros/cons/advantages)
    - How do guilds work (pros/cons/advantages)
    - List the informations sources like wiki, compendium, discord, forum (Help! Am I Raid ready? for example)
    - a big "Beware" sign of the build pathes
    - How to chose a fitting server
    - Where can I get good starter gear (after Korthos). Potions in the marketplace, low lvl scrolls, Hirelings
    - How to work with the social panel, charater sheet, adventure compedium etc
    ...
    This off the top of my head. I think you have to focus on a specific theme like "character builds" or "simple game mechanics" or "get to know the community".
    Beste, Titus. | playing since 2009 | Don't do the fun wrong | New to Orien? Join the ingame Titan Channel | Soko Irrlicht freut sich immer über neue Mitglieder | Deutscher Discord | Orien Raiding Discord Toons: Titusovid , Bruder, Upload, Zzed, (Rubbel)

  6. #6
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    I'd call out that every so often, the starter pack goes on sale for like $2.50 or so. In addition, some people have been known to grab a few extra codes of it for trading. It is probably the cheapest way to get premium status and its contents are pretty good too.

    I'd also call out that at this stage of the game's maturity, cannith crafting collectables may be your quickest way as a new player to get on your feet economically.

  7. #7
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    Default A General Advice Section inclusion: Character Creation: Don't Think Pen & Paper D&D

    Create a General Advice from the Veterans Section.

    My input:

    When creating your character, don't think like Pen and Paper D&D.
    My first ever build in DDO was a cleric who was built thinking P&P, and it didn't survive very long at all.
    CON is not a dump stat in DDO.
    Take a few minutes and read some forum posts on character building, or even better, look at some examples here in the guide.

  8. #8
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    A guide telling them where to go and who to talk to when they are dropped off in the Harbor. This was a nightmare for me, I almost quit because I simply didn't know what to do. The fact that you can talk to NPCs and accept quests that you don't own and cannot enter is extremely confusing. Explain how to open the map (pressing M) and what the icons mean, especially in finding quest givers. Explain how you can get a list of quests in the Compendium (pressing P). A starter guide that sent me from F2P quest giver to quest giver would have been wonderful for me.

    Explain the Bank, the AH, vendors, the brokers, where they are and how they work. How their stock is flushed once a week; why the brokers in House C are empty (which is a really crappy new player experience).
    Zanthiss - Level 30 Rogue Mechanic - Cannith

    I've got a Dungeon Master's Guide... I've got 12 sided die...

  9. #9
    Community Member Matsu_Ieyasu's Avatar
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    It cannot be based on theorycrafting or hypothetical play. You need to walk the walk, in their shoes, not yours.
    The importance of favor
    Pros and cons to the spending your DDO points on different adventure packs and other items.
    The first 100 favor on all servers.
    Learn to play your characters, piking is not in their best interest.
    Don’t be afraid to ask for help and let people know your status.

  10. #10
    Community Member LTForge's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    How to get the most out of your free points. Absolute priority for F2P players.
    If you can get one, a list of guilds that help newbies learn the ropes at their own pace, divided by server would also be a fantastic addition, though that would be exceptionally hard to find I think since everyone has a different idea of "pace" as well.
    A recommendation list of builds that are easy to set up, good and fun to play for various playstyles would be a nice addition. (Bonus points if there's also advice on how to create a fun and useful build)

    That's about it for my wishlist really. All just based on the complaints I've gotten from newbies over the years.

  11. #11
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    If the player's quite new to this type of game, listing/explaining some of the basic interface functions is helpful.

    For example, press 0 on the number pad to reset camera view.
    Press t to toggle on/off the mouse look targeting (especially useful if they accidentally turn it on).
    Press r to toggle on/off auto run (again..need to know how to turn off if turned on by accident).
    And a quick convenient list of the most used shortcuts: i for inventory, c for character sheet, o for social, l for quest journal ESC for main menu (including to quit).
    I also tell people about q and e which is handy to pick up or activate things if they have trouble clicking on them.

    A quick and simple explanation on how to use hotbars is important.

    An explanation of how to prepare spells and drag them to a hotbar is good too (the way spells are set up in the character sheet tabs can be rather confusing at first).

    Some basic instruction on how inventory works couldn't hurt too.

  12. #12
    Community Member janave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldyGopher View Post
    Good Builds, Bad Builds for new players.
    Seems like this is really 2 questions,


    I How to manage as a new player?
    II How to manage as a F2P?


    I would start with a quick comparison between DnD and DDO, DDO is a real time fast paced action game, DnD is a turn based game, DnD is multi player, while DDO can be soloed with hirelings, altho best played with people with the same skill and progress.

    DDO does not offer group filtering, so a quick guide how to best use the LFM to find like minded players, eg: teaching the zerg, flowersniffer, 1st time exploring, loot run etc lfms...would be great service.

    Avoiding LFMs with keywords "chain 3/4", and "In Progress", "IP", "BYOH" can save a lot of frustrations early on. This would be a good time to hook in "how to quickly get to quests", using maps, portals, shortcuts, haste pots, teleport scrolls, etc..



    Priorizing quests that open up storage space is an excellent suggestion.

    For premium players, I would also recommend selling their first rare collectables, to make plat for potions and scrolls, which can make a lot of difference.


    Instead of builds, I would point out key abilities to start off a class. Letting know for example Barbs about the early temp hps they can get, Sorcs about the free meta magic feats on SLAs.. etc. Key abilities that completely turn the play experience a 180°.

    Around this would be a good time to hint that not everything is equal in DDO, some classes are strong early on, some get into shape mid levels, some arent very useful until about epic levels with filled up epic destinies. Considering a F2P will be running out of content in higher levels, this is a good hint what builds to focus on, I would recommend for them to stick with the consistently strong builds from 1-16, the least gear dependent ones.

  13. #13
    Community Member AbyssalMage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldyGopher View Post
    In 2009 I wrote up a guide for for F2P and Premium players for DDO. The web-pages were still out in the wild until a few days ago when I took them down; as they were out of date, as the last update was with Update 14, Menace of the Underdark.

    I have been asked on a regular basis to update the guide, but a lack of time has hamstrung the project. I started a few times, but never really got very far.
    For the next two weeks I will be vacationing and have some time to actually work on it. The guide will focus on new players and primarily F2P, it will touch on Premium and other aspects.

    What information do you think is important for newer players to have?

    What things do you recommend that may be a little off the wall?

    Good Builds, Bad Builds for new players.
    Honestly, I don't know what your guide was back in 2009. I know I used a guide when I started back then and it was super helpful.

    Now, that being said.

    Depending on how well your guide was done back during U14, the 1 through 20 part should only need minor updating. The things off the top of my head would be some of the updated class tree's and Clerics. You honestly don't need to talk about both P2P Tree's as those would be beyond the scope of a F2P/Premium player. At the most you would acknowledge them and place them in a later/more advanced guide.

    Suggested "primary" packs to buy IMO has remained consistent even after all this time. The only pack I would add to the list would be RL. Sharn is just too new to recommend IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by hp1055cm View Post
    They have been tweaking the game since I started and often I disagree with them. They focus on wrong stuff, over or under compensate and abandon too much stuff. Every once in awhile they get something right, if only temporarily.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldyGopher View Post
    In 2009 I wrote up a guide for for F2P and Premium players for DDO. The web-pages were still out in the wild until a few days ago when I took them down; as they were out of date, as the last update was with Update 14, Menace of the Underdark.

    I have been asked on a regular basis to update the guide, but a lack of time has hamstrung the project. I started a few times, but never really got very far.
    For the next two weeks I will be vacationing and have some time to actually work on it. The guide will focus on new players and primarily F2P, it will touch on Premium and other aspects.

    What information do you think is important for newer players to have?

    What things do you recommend that may be a little off the wall?

    Good Builds, Bad Builds for new players.
    Fantastic!

    1. Recommend they join an active guild that caters to their playstyle and goals. There is no better way to ensure a long happy DDO life for years to come. Game gets boring ALWAYS playing solo. Camaraderie is a very hidden gift but DDO still has it in spades, on every server.

    2. MAPS.

    3. How PROGRESSION works in DDO.

    4. The game where really getting to KNOW your character is not a waste of time. They are so unique and personalized. Ensure they know where to look for build advice!

    5. Lastly, What is there to do once you play through all the free quests. Joining a guild and perhaps someone will buy them a free pass to experience some paid content to see if they would like to make the transition to VIP or pay as you go...
    Last edited by LeslieWest_GuitarGod; 06-12-2019 at 05:58 AM.


    TYRS PALADIUM - A Premier Dungeons & Dragons Online Guild
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  15. #15
    Community Member Loromir's Avatar
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    Recommend to stock up on potions for everyday ailments like:

    Remove Disease
    Remove Curse
    Remove Blindness
    Restoration
    Haste (which removes the "slow" effect from spells)
    Remove Poison
    Curse Serious Wounds Pots (if you don't have better sources of healing)

    ....as an aside, explain how to use curse pots and disease pots to remove mummy rot.

    These are inexpensive and easy to obtain from various potion vendors.

    Also...get the deathward clicky from the Tangleroot chain.
    Quote Originally Posted by banjo174 View Post
    Opening up the casual difficulty for raids would have been a much better solution. Since all the whiners are just complaining about not being able to play through the content they paid for. Just give them their casual difficulty. Since they are just a bunch of casuals.


    Proud Member of the Bunch of Casuals Club!!!!!

  16. #16
    Community Member Yokido's Avatar
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    My little tid-bit.. I think it's important for new players to understand what bonuses from gear are appropriate for their level. For example, a +6 stat bonus is actually quite good at level 12, but isn't good at 25+. Some kind of mock-up expressing what skill/stat bonuses are 'good' at each level would be helpful. I've seen newer players running around with +2 stat items at level 14, and then wondering why they die all of the time.

    Another thing for new players to know about is the cost/reward for buying content using their free points. First pack to get imo is Vale of twilight since it has such a huge level range (more importantly, it covers the level ranges that struggle the most as F2P), and a good deal of viable end-game content as-well.

    NOTE: I think a fully fleshed out guide is going to be more helpful to teachers rather than students. What I mean is, a newer player is unlikely to page through someone's tutorial... But a tutorial -is- valuable to people who want to help new players, so they can regain lost perspective and remember what things are important for a noob to know.
    Last edited by Yokido; 06-12-2019 at 07:32 AM.

  17. #17
    Community Member lordnelson1001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldyGopher View Post
    What information do you think is important for newer players to have?
    OP, thanks for your original guide, and for working on updated help for new players!!

    Here is my two cents, as someone who was new within the last two years, and now is happily ensconced in a guild with a couple of multi-lived toons.

    Enjoying Yourself in DDO as a Late Arriving Noob

    New players can learn a lot from the official game forums and resources elsewhere like reddit and Discord. In fact, for many of us such discussions play a major part in our enjoyment of the game. We learn about builds, get answers to complex questions about stats, find out if others have experienced similar problems and much more.

    But there is a major caveat: forums can turn into a pitfall for new players. You will encounter a lot of folks with strong opinions who write in terms of absolutes. Often negative ones.

    You are going to find voices (sometimes very loud and repetitive voices) telling readers that NO ONE PLAYS ANYTHING BUT REAPER DIFFICULTY. Or that, variously rangers, fighters, rogues, bards, all melees, all two handed fighters, all bow users, all stealthy rogues etc ARE IN A TERRIBLE PLACE AND HATED BY THE DEVS AND NO ONE PLAYS (whatever class you're asking about) EVER BECAUSE ENDGAME REAPER REEEEE.

    With that in mind, take what you read with a big grain of salt, sit in a lotus position (mentally, anyway) and consider the following:

    You do not need to run everything on the highest difficulty your first life. Assuming you begin (or stay) free to play, you'll play a lot of quests on normal and hard. when you start a new character. If you're grouping with folks who can open on highter difficulties, awesome! But not, many a FTP has levelled their first toon just doing N/H. Second life, it all gets easier! Yeah the XP and loot are better on higher difficulties, but you'll get there.

    Yes, you can still find people to group with even if you're playing on less than the hardest difficulty. Just use patience, check the O/social panel a lot, put up a few LFMs of your own, experiment with guild chat and Discord to connect with folks. If you're enjoying yourself, keep looking, buddies are found.

    Any class you choose can be played to that important first milestone, the heroic cap of 20. Then you head on to 30/epic or start over. Your first life is all about learning and finding out what you like. There is literally no need to agonize about it --- someone out there is playing a half-orc acrobat with a quarterstaff or a gnome barbarian, and still enjoying themselves. Play what interests you, learn from it, reincarnate, enjoy!

    Many of us gradually transition from pure Free to Play to what I call Cheap to Play. We buy content over time, and some quality of life enhancers like more bank space and so on, but without ever becoming subscribers. With the points you earn playing plus the frequent sales, you end up getting months of play for the price of a few pizzas. If you're having fun, spend what you're comfortable with with, at your own pace, and don't let anyone make you anxious about it.

    Cheers!
    - Lordnelson1001
    Orien - Saarri / Ninxu

  18. #18
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    How to use the adventure compendium.

    Unless you are foaming for the rep or farming an item, running everything at normal is "normal" and expected . . . especially solo your first time through.

    Rep that they should be on the lookout for. I personally do all House K and Coinlords quests N -> H -> Elite at low levels for the rep.

    Where to get bags! Honestly, giving them away on KI wouldn't be a bad idea.

    A selection of builds that work well for a first life FtP player. Suggested enhancement choices at each level are a must, not just a big list of everything you will want to have by level 20. If a player can't figure out what to do to get to level 5, what they should be doing at level 20 hardly matters. You probably want those linked on a side page so that the main page doesn't get filled up with them.

    Also, none of the reaper focused "use your casting stat as a dump stat and scour every quest for a wisdom item so you won't be gimped when you get access to spells...because 20 extra HP at level 20 is totally worth it" builds. Those are not fun for a really new player. For example, for a new player focused paladin I would recomend 12 wisdom (or at least 10 so that ship buffs will do). Again, if a player isn't having fun all the way up to ten, what they should have done to be really strong at 20 doesn't matter.

    Builds I have used on first life 28 point builds:
    2HF Paladin
    Dwarven axe fighter
    Int based mechanic rogue
    That ranger build that focuses on AA and acid damage (high dex, DWS for dex to bow damage, then mainly AA)
    Melee cleric (str based)
    I honestly don't recommend arcane casters for a truly new player, but if you must I agree that blast sorcerer is the way to go. But yes, stay the hell away from wizards for sure. As fun as they can be, they make questing 5x as difficult solo if you don't know what you are doing.

  19. #19
    Community Member Jerevth's Avatar
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    Your guide was a huge help years ago when I started playing.
    -I didn't understand the importance of favor and farming. (Purchasing packs when on sale with those ddo points).
    -I'd also include mention for new players to see what they can customize in the Gui and Adv Gui (Hints and tips turned off, hiding the guild buff bar, and /ui layout save & /ui layout load.
    -The biggest lifesaver was learning (And remembering...) Alt+Enter to reduce the window for background access (Wiki, character builder, etc).

    Thank you for reprising what is an incredibly helpful link.
    Sometimes I'm too clever for my own good. Bear in mind I'm probably trying to be humorous. Like dodge, it's hit or miss.// Looking for a guild on Orien? Send a tell to Magnifique to join the "Fidelic Brotherhood".

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldyGopher View Post
    In 2009 I wrote up a guide for for F2P and Premium players for DDO. The web-pages were still out in the wild until a few days ago when I took them down; as they were out of date, as the last update was with Update 14, Menace of the Underdark.

    I have been asked on a regular basis to update the guide, but a lack of time has hamstrung the project. I started a few times, but never really got very far.
    For the next two weeks I will be vacationing and have some time to actually work on it. The guide will focus on new players and primarily F2P, it will touch on Premium and other aspects.

    What information do you think is important for newer players to have?

    What things do you recommend that may be a little off the wall?

    Good Builds, Bad Builds for new players.
    One thing few guides seem to address, and hopefully you can work it in, is play style! I see these "top 10 must own packs" lists, or "Ranking of packs", but they are of inherently limited usefulness because they assume everyone has the same priorities. It's a one size fits none approach. If you can focus on what audience(s) a pack (or class) best serves you would be making a huge contribution to the game. I mentioned packs, but it applies to classes, races, trees, etc. too.

    For example, both Red Fens and Vault of Night are great favor but overlap in level, which is "better"? The answer is, it depends on your play style. Do you like PUGs and raids? VoN is your pack. Do you mostly solo or duo? Well, Fens is the clear winner, it's easier to survive, cheaper, and has a decent explorer area to putter around in, plus provides great entry level epics.

    Another example is Sorrowdusk. It's a terrible choice for somebody who plays a caster or melee and likes to PUG (when was the last time you saw a LFM of Sorrowdusk? I haven't seen one in a year) but somebody who likes to play ranged characters can use it to unlock Denieth ammo and quivers quite early, and it's cheap for the total favor it grants. Plus if you play a small static group, you can overcome the level sprawl easily and return as you level.

    Some useful dimensions of play style might include:
    1. "Solo" vs "Small static" vs "PUGer" - an active PUGer should avoid packs that rarely have LFMs, and some packs are distinctly solo-unfriendly (Necro).
    2. "Raider" vs "Quests" - so many of the "must have" packs assume you'll want to join the currently popular raids, but few actually do. A raider definitely wants Vale, but a Quester might be better served making their heroic greensteel from Devil Assault ingredients on a ship alter.
    3. "Like grinding for gear" vs "Prefer variety" - Some packs seem designed for farming until your eyes bleed. If you're not into that, there are better alternatives available.
    4. "Max XP/Min" vs "Flower sniffer"
    5. "Like extreme challenge" vs "Prefer relaxed play" - maybe this blends with the above, or maybe should be more like "Power Gamer" vs "Casual".
    6. "TR train" vs "End Game"
    7. "Focused on one character" vs "Like to play Alts"
    8. "Prefer Spellcaster", "Prefer Ranged", "Prefer Melee", etc - hard to quantify and not as applicable to packs as to classes, races, etc, but some people have a strong preference here.
    9. "Like crafting systems" vs "Gear should come pre-assembled"


    I'm sure there are more, and I'm not suggesting you should have a ranking for each, but encouraging a new player to think about why they play the game and what they like and then honestly describing the strengths and weaknesses of the packs/classes/etc so they can find the ones right for *them* can help keep players, especially new players, happy with the game and playing for years to come.

    Thanks for considering this undertaking, it's a lot of work but has the potential to help many.
    I am profoundly disappointed with the current state and direction of DDO, and my purchasing habits reflect this. A drastic improvement in quality of life, transparency, and honest communication would improve my spending. Promises and "more squeeze" will not.

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