What’s a Hobbesian cleric? One who is nasty, brutish and SHORT.
That’s Derra. Seriously, she looked better in the character creator. But when she got washed up on that shore just to be taunted by some halfling rogue (and not even a cute one), well, I guess that’s when she lost it. When she met up minutes later with a cleric, an ELF, I think, who was so stuck up and SUPERIOR that she had a buff that could stop you from dying. I mean, where’s the skill in that? “Oh, hi, here’s a buff where you can’t die. I’m the best cleric in the world! Lalalala! You go do whatever it is you DO do, dear!”
Yeah. That’s when Derra lost it. That was a hatred she carried until she met that damn cleric again, at the dragon.
I’m in this wonderful static group. We were sailing our way through Neverwinter Nights 2 until the server decided to lose one of our characters, which kinda put a crimp on things. NWN2 wasn’t the greatest game in the world. It took forever to load (at least for me), the controls were awful and the camera was impossible. While the game was mostly okay if played solo, it was just a nightmare in a group. The whole action would stop whenever anyone accidentally clicked on an NPC, I had no idea if my songs (I was a bard) were doing anything at all, and, similar to most fantasy games, by the time I got in melee range of a mob, a mage had usually killed it and the one standing next to it.
The missing character combined with the loss of a high speed internet connection for one of the crew killed NWN2 for us, and we’ve been gameless since.
When DDO went F2P, we kinda thought that would be our next game. We downloaded it, played it a little on our own… it was okay. It was very similar to… to every other fantasy MMO out there. It was like Guild Wars without the skill cards in that only the quest hubs were MMO areas. Everything else — the wilderness, the dungeons — is for you and your party only.
We decided to get going on DDO this week. To prepare, we’d need to make a character and get it to the newbie island, where you are after the hoighty-toighty cleric and her pals finish with you.
I decided to do a couple of instances to ensure I knew how to play the game by the time group meets this weekend. I volunteered to be the healer, so I figured I should know how to play. I eventually did ALL the instances, but leveling in DDO is sedate enough that I’m only level 2.
Abilities in Dungeons & Dragons Online are split between spells, skills and “feats”. You can cast as many spells as you have spell points for. Buffs, however, last only seconds and heals don’t really heal that much, so they must be used strategically, especially since spell points don’t regenerate in an instance — you have to rest at a shrine. Skills can be used as often as you like with no penalty. Feats have a certain number of uses after which you need to rest at a shrine to use them again. Such game-breaking abilities as Turn Undead fall under feats.
The dungeons are not bad. Most modern MMOs have done away with puzzles, as all puzzle solutions are instantly posted to spoiler sites, making them almost entirely pointless. I’ve not looked at any DDO spoiler sites for exactly this reason; I know almost nothing about the game. So it’s really nice to come across a puzzle and figure it out on my own.
I’ve only been in one group — a pickup group — and it was horrible. People wandering off and soloing or dying, most people with only a vague idea of what to do. Lots of monks. LOTS of monks.
DDO might be a great game. I sure hope it’s a FUN game, but that’s a sure bet, because the other people in the group are fun people. What I desperately hope is that it’s a game that doesn’t let us down, like NWN2 did. We’ll probably buy the adventure packs if strategy and puzzle solving form more of the excursions than random continual killing. From the looks of the instances I did on the newbie island, it has a shot at it. I’ve read about the higher level instances on Massively, and I think I would like to see those places, some day.
We’ll see how it goes.