DDO is having a birthday, and you’re invited… to spend money!

In Smuggler's Rest

It’s Dungeons & Dragons Online’s fifth birthday, and Turbine just wants to give back by re-opening Smuggler’s Rest for a few short days. Before DDO acquired the Korthos Island adventure zone, new players would be sent to Smuggler’s Rest to learn the basics of the game before finding themselves in the mean streets of Stormreach.

The newly renovated Smuggler’s Rest is a progression zone of sorts. Players run around the island attacking small groups of pirates, who drop treasure map pieces, rarer special treasure maps to hidden treasure caches, doubloons in three varieties, and very rarely, a Treasure Compass.

Treasure Compasses are very fine little devices — you can use one to get into the extra puzzle zone, Crystal Cove, where you can earn very nice items. But without a compass, you’re shut out entirely.

Of course, you can just buy a compass from a vendor on the ship — for a substantial amount of all three varieties of doubloons. Or you can charge it to your credit card.

It’s possible to farm one from the pirates. Our static Sunday group was one short, with Ulan off vacationing in the Caribbean this week. We decided to take a break from dungeon delving and play in the birthday zone while it was still open. We all got our hats, which are more fine depending upon your playtime. Spode and I got feathered “captain’s chapeaus”, while Gleek sported a soup tureen gravy boat tricorn hat.

With smiles on our faces and stars in our eyes, we set out to explore Smuggler’s Rest.

We died and died and died and died (x100). We’d see soloers in magnificent armor just swoop in and snickety-snack clear a camp and then we’d die in the next one. Though we died a lot, Spode eventually got a couple of compasses. Gleek had been playing in the zone for a few days, and had six. After a couple hours farming and dying, though, I hadn’t found one and had only a fraction of the doubloons necessary to buy one. I was unwilling to spend real money on DDO’s birthday present.

Eventually Gleek and Spode decided to try the zone, so I logged out.

Happy Birthday, DDO!

Don’t invite me to your next one.

Okay, I’m going to rant a little here. I play several MMOs, and I love them all.

Rift is just a solid, fun MMO with a lot of dynamic content, very cool dungeons, awesome rewards, and plenty to do.

Star Trek Online is an MMO that has taken the challenge of continuing the Star Trek TV shows and movies in an MMO form. It’s a story based MMO, and whatever Bioware tells you about SWTOR, STO did a story-based MMO before they did. It doesn’t quite have Rift’s polish, but the stories, oh man… just get better all the time.

Wizard101 is an MMO that took all the usual conventions and tossed them out the window. KingsIsle came out with a game that is actually significantly different from anything that came before, as far as I know.

Then there’s DDO, the Kingdom of the Paywall. Adventure by the buck. It’s a F2P game, of course, and there’s no reason why the good folks at Turbine shouldn’t be paid for their work. I don’t mind that — I am happy to pay for their modules. I think it’s great!

But when they offer a special player event and then decide for no real reason to hide part of it behind a paywall, well… that’s just being mean.

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10 thoughts on “DDO is having a birthday, and you’re invited… to spend money!”

  1. DDO was stupid in that they didn’t explain the scenario very well. The only real gate is getting your first compass. Once you get one and get into Crystal Cove, you’re pretty much set. In Crystal Cove, the monsters you kill drop gems. You can use the gems to buy the equipment outside, but you can also turn them in for a large number of doubloons. Easily enough to get another compass with some profit. So, after you get your first compass, you just trade in any gems you’re not using to buy gear, get more doubloons, buy another compass, and you’re set.

    I thought the thing was going to be super-grindy. Once I learned about the gem thing, it was actually rather fun. The Crystal Cove quest is a lot of fun, too. I’ve gotten pretty good at running the torches for the quest on two different characters. A few glitches caused some headaches, but overall it’s quite fun.

  2. But it was that gate that prevented me from seeing the zone with my group. My point is that there was no reason for the roadblock.

  3. PerhapsTurbine are trying re-establish the time honoured convention of it being the guests at a birthday party who bring gifts for the host!

  4. You might be on to something. Certainly it’s very common for stores and car dealerships to hold anniversary celebrations where people are commanded to buy things.

  5. Yeah, you had some bad luck last night with those compass drops, and without our healer in tow, it got to be pretty painful. For me personally the repair bills didn’t even come close to the loot I was getting from the chests and throwing myself against the wall of pirates until I died seemed like a viable option.

    I was listening to DDOcast the other day and they had similiar complaints in that it seemed like the outside event was tuned in favor of casters and straightforward DPS. If only you could have used your sneak attack . . .

    Psychochild is right in that once you get into that instance, things go much much more smoothly. I was able to upgrade my hat to Charisma +5 last night with all the doubloons I got. :)

  6. I think at stores all you ever do is buy things, so when a store has a birthday, apart from giving out some free helium baloons, all you get are discounts.

    But it also sounds like the compass thing was important, and that wasn’t talked about. Knowledge is power, after all, and without that knowledge…

  7. Yeah, it probably would have been better if you could have done a quest to get the compass instead of just relying on random drops. I guess you could have farmed enough doubloons eventually. But, yeah, it does kind of suck that the easy answer is “spend some money” rather than balancing things out properly. But, once past that hurdle it was a pretty neat scenario.

  8. It’s 20/20 obvious hindsight. But it also seems as if you just had “bad luck”. Your groupmates got compassi aplenty. I got a compass on my 3rd pirate kill (thereabouts), before I even knew about crystal cove! I had thought I was supposed to just farm doubloons in a tiny zone ;) so I went back to House quests out of boredom.

    So my bad luck was realizing my ignorance, then looking for a group for CC and not finding one.

  9. To OP. I died about 5 times when i first entered there and i quickly learned to attack things in my lvl range, which never were in short supply. If you died 100X it isnt say anything about the developers, just that it took me 5 deaths to figure it out (i personally felt quite stupid it took me that long)… and you well..never got the lesson.

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