Dungeons & Dragons Online Awarded, Updated

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Dungeons & Dragons Online Awarded, Updated

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The "Best Free-to-Play MMO of 2009" based on the popular roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons Online, gets new free dungeons, a new "casual" difficulty level and two live events.

Dungeons & Dragons Online has been around for a while now. Launched in 2006 as a subscription service by Turbine, the MMOG was set in the newest fantasy setting from D&D-makers Wizards of the Coast, the swashbuckling somewhat steampunky world of Eberron. As of September of '09, DDO is free to download and play, with adventure packs and other goodies available for purchase in the DDO Store. So far, the microtransaction model appears to be working as DDO was recently named the Best Free-to-Play MMO of 2009, by multiple websites like MMORPG.com, Massively.com, ZAM and TenTonHammer.

The update released today looks like it packs some decent features. There are more free high-level adventures which pit you and your party against some classic D&D monsters like a marilith sorceress, a pack of beholders and even an eponymous black dragon. The update also introduces a "Casual Mode" which relaxes the difficulty of dungeons for any party so they can enjoy the content at their own pace, a feature which was restricted to only solo play before. There are also two winter-themed events, "The Traveler's Scavenger Hunt" and "The Risia Ice Games," the latter of which allows you to compete in minigames like ski jumping and halfpipe skating. Both of these events are timed to let players celebrate DDO's 4th anniversary on Feb. 28th.

"2009 was a phenomenal year for DDO. We launched successfully to critical acclaim and have received several awards that have firmly established DDO Unlimited as the best free-to-play MMO in the world," said Executive Producer Fernando Paiz in a statement. "The best free-to-play game just got better as our first update of 2010 is all about rewarding our players for their support by delivering more free content while also removing the leveling sigils that were required to advance through the game to make it even easier and more fun than ever to play DDO Unlimited!"

As I'm a fan of both D&D and MMOG, it's a wonder that I haven't even tried DDO. Maybe it's time to rectify that.

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Haven't tried it either. Does it have Solars? Cause if it does I am sold.

Wow, guess I'll have to check this out. Didn't know it was that good

I played this and I loathed it. Even being a diehard RPGer and D&Der. I guess as a party it would be cool, but for soloing it's just 3D Diablo, with more restrictive rules.

I played, it wasn't that great since it seems to me that the learning curve is too steep and parties don't mean anything.

Gave this a try when it first went F2P, but the whole micropayments model they used bugged me so I stopped playing. Sure you could grind your way to most of the buyable content without spending a dime, but to do so required such an investment that it wasn't worth it to me. I'd be playing the game just for the sake of unlocking more of the game to play with rather than because I enjoyed it, and that's just wrong.

Been playing this since October. It's an awesome game.

I'm on the Sarlona server. Drakelius Des Morte and Ganondorff Dragmire.

Personally, I love this game as a casual, relaxing yet challenging when you need to kind of MMO. Especially cool since it follows 3.5 rules for the most part, which is easily the best edition, closely followed by 4th (jesus, i will be crucified...). I would say it is absolute bliss for D&D players who enjoy a good game and campaign, but not someone who's diehard fanatic about it, I suppose. No surprise to me that it wins Best MMO, in other words, because it is far more relaxed and friendly than WoW.

Didnt even know this was out o.o

Might be worth a look but, have hands full with FFXI that I dont wanna play 2 MMOs at the same time

The_root_of_all_evil:
I played this and I loathed it. Even being a diehard RPGer and D&Der. I guess as a party it would be cool, but for soloing it's just 3D Diablo, with more restrictive rules.

Don't forget the fact that it was SOOOOOOOOOO BORING! Unless you picked a Mage to start with, you were pretty much forced to just keep on swinging that weapon.

I might try it sometime soon. I've always liked D&D, but I never had anyone to play it with. I know much of the general rules due to Order of the Stick, and I find it awesome, but like I said I never played it (except in the original Neverwinter Nights). Seems like this is a perfect opportunity.

The Forgotten Realms is just awesome... i've only read 150 pages from the 1st tome of The Elminster Series and it's really Good in a way that i've never read something that after a few pages i read, i get hooked!

I played this in beta then stopped at release since I had just quit WoW, and was tired of paying a monthly fee. I picked it up again when it went F2P and enjoy it immensely! I have paid some micropayments to Turbine, but they are well worth it and much better than a monthly fee.

As a big fan of pen and paper D&D, I find this game to be a wonderful adaption of the 3.5 ruleset (if it were 4.0, I would probably rather cut myself, but I digress...) It is quite a bit different from most other MMOs, especially with its heavy party focus. Personally, I find this refreshing; you form more of a sense of community than you would in games where you mostly just group for raids.

In conclusion: Excellent game IMO, and you should give it a try!

Tzekelkan:
I might try it sometime soon. I've always liked D&D, but I never had anyone to play it with. I know much of the general rules due to Order of the Stick, and I find it awesome, but like I said I never played it (except in the original Neverwinter Nights). Seems like this is a perfect opportunity.

this except i don't have the time to start up an mmo, so i probably won't give it a go

hURR dURR dERP:
Gave this a try when it first went F2P, but the whole micropayments model they used bugged me so I stopped playing. Sure you could grind your way to most of the buyable content without spending a dime, but to do so required such an investment that it wasn't worth it to me. I'd be playing the game just for the sake of unlocking more of the game to play with rather than because I enjoyed it, and that's just wrong.

I just buy turbine points to unlock content. I'll enventually get everything a VIP player would have. Then again, I do have a slight case of disposable income...

Mr.Squishy:
in other words, because it is far more relaxed and friendly than WoW.

Hahahaha, that's a joke. WoW is one of the most easy and casual MMOs out there. If you thought WoW was hard, I feel sorry for you.

Macgyvercas:

hURR dURR dERP:
Gave this a try when it first went F2P, but the whole micropayments model they used bugged me so I stopped playing. Sure you could grind your way to most of the buyable content without spending a dime, but to do so required such an investment that it wasn't worth it to me. I'd be playing the game just for the sake of unlocking more of the game to play with rather than because I enjoyed it, and that's just wrong.

I just buy turbine points to unlock content. I'll enventually get everything a VIP player would have. Then again, I do have a slight case of disposable income...

It's not really a matter of being able to afford it or not, it's just that I don't like having to pay for all those little bits of the game, either in cash or in time spent grinding points. An F2P game is perfect for killing some idle time, and it makes perfect sense that an F2P game would make money through micropayments, but stuff like getting less character creation points unless you first unlock something, or that you simply run out of things to do at a certain point without paying for it just rub me the wrong way. I have no issue with giving people ingame money, items, experience, or whatever for their money, but locking away essential parts of a 'free' game until you pay for them is just not something I can appreciate.

If paying for an MMO is what it takes to get the full game, then I'd rather shell out a few bucks more for a proper P2P one than deal with the death of a thousand micropayments to enjoy a 'free' MMO.

Jiraiya72:

Mr.Squishy:
in other words, because it is far more relaxed and friendly than WoW.

Hahahaha, that's a joke. WoW is one of the most easy and casual MMOs out there. If you thought WoW was hard, I feel sorry for you.

There is the possibility that he played back before BC when it actually was fun and challenging.

I payed for it when it first came out, then dropped it. and was super excited when I heard it was going f2p. I love D&D but don;t get to play as often as i like. and while this isn't the table top that i know and love. its a great substitute. I love messing around with different characters and builds just making crazy players. like a halfling monk with an 18 dex and wis and 8s in everything else. so much fun to play.

hURR dURR dERP:

Macgyvercas:

hURR dURR dERP:
Gave this a try when it first went F2P, but the whole micropayments model they used bugged me so I stopped playing. Sure you could grind your way to most of the buyable content without spending a dime, but to do so required such an investment that it wasn't worth it to me. I'd be playing the game just for the sake of unlocking more of the game to play with rather than because I enjoyed it, and that's just wrong.

I just buy turbine points to unlock content. I'll enventually get everything a VIP player would have. Then again, I do have a slight case of disposable income...

It's not really a matter of being able to afford it or not, it's just that I don't like having to pay for all those little bits of the game, either in cash or in time spent grinding points. An F2P game is perfect for killing some idle time, and it makes perfect sense that an F2P game would make money through micropayments, but stuff like getting less character creation points unless you first unlock something, or that you simply run out of things to do at a certain point without paying for it just rub me the wrong way. I have no issue with giving people ingame money, items, experience, or whatever for their money, but locking away essential parts of a 'free' game until you pay for them is just not something I can appreciate.

If paying for an MMO is what it takes to get the full game, then I'd rather shell out a few bucks more for a proper P2P one than deal with the death of a thousand micropayments to enjoy a 'free' MMO.

I guess that makes sense. Never really thought about it that way. Oh, well. I still find it a blast.

So the award doesn't matter since mmo sites are largely useless, got it.

I think it is a great game.
I tried a lot of MMO's including WOW, eve online, city of heroes and a lot of the free mmo's.
They al end up to be a grind fest. I do not wan't to kill the same creature a hundred times a wan't to do quests.

That is exactly what you do in this game. you geet expreince by doing quests not by grinding.
I am not a relly hardcore player i think i log on once or twice a week but i really enjoy it those times and maybe that is because i do not feel pressured to log in more.

Jiraiya72:

Mr.Squishy:
in other words, because it is far more relaxed and friendly than WoW.

Hahahaha, that's a joke. WoW is one of the most easy and casual MMOs out there. If you thought WoW was hard, I feel sorry for you.

I should have clarified, methinks - the community was a bunch of....yeah...the game in itself was piss-easy, but also incredibly boring.

Hmmm. I'd heard rumours about this game, but they slipped through as school started. Perhaps it's time to check this out. Haha. Would be a fun addition to my D&D weekends... Log in and we all go questing virtually as well. And they actually are updating for free? Cause of noticed many games are like Runescape, in that they update the members areas...

I minghgt have to try that soon.. looks quite decent

Orcus_35:
The Forgotten Realms is just awesome... i've only read 150 pages from the 1st tome of The Elminster Series and it's really Good in a way that i've never read something that after a few pages i read, i get hooked!

DDO is Eberron, not Forgotten Realms.

Playing this game solo misses the point even more than on the other MMOs I've tried. I'd even compare playing this solo to playing pen-and-paper D&D with only a single player and the DM. The meat and potatoes of this game are the instanced dungeons, and while there are a few solo ones, most of them require a relatively balanced party to enjoy.

I've tried going at it solo, and it just doesn't work beyond a certain point. Even when you find a way to make it work, it's generally just not fun. But when you have a team of people actually working together to solve the dungeon? Then it's GREAT.

hURR dURR dERP:
like getting less character creation points unless you first unlock something,

You get the same creation points as anyone who has not done most of the quests on the highest difficulty.
[To get 32pt builds you need 1,750 favor or you can buy from the store. A mid lvl quest would give 3-18 pts favor, depending on difficulty. Choice is good.]

hURR dURR dERP:
that you simply run out of things to do at a certain point without paying for it

About half way through the game (lvl 12) you need to either grind for points (or buy some) to get more content.
By that time you should know if the game is worth spending a few dollars to support.

If you have VIP friends they can buy you 'guest passes' so you can access all the content (as VIPs get 500 pts / month and 180 min guest passes cost 30-120 pts).

This is similar to buying a PnP D&D module.

hURR dURR dERP:
locking away essential parts of a 'free' game until you pay for them is just not something I can appreciate.

Nothing 'essential' is locked away. (Name one thing.)

Do you think you should be able to play the whole game for ever and for free?

Name another game (MMO or not) you can play over half way through for no purchase price and no monthly fee (and is not advertising/spyware driven like Farmville etc).

hURR dURR dERP:
If paying for an MMO is what it takes to get the full game, then I'd rather shell out a few bucks more for a proper P2P one than deal with the death of a thousand micropayments to enjoy a 'free' MMO.

You mean like CO or STO which both have subs + RMTs?
CO wants you to pay a sub AND buy new content....

All I want to know is, can I make my horribly OP barbarian, Azog the Blade Dancer (a title earned after cleaving through 30 enemies in one turn)? Is ridiculous bullshit twinkery still a game mechanic online? What rules does it follow (I only have played 3.5)

TechNoFear:

hURR dURR dERP:
like getting less character creation points unless you first unlock something,

You get the same creation points as anyone who has not done most of the quests on the highest difficulty.
[To get 32pt builds you need 1,750 favor or you can buy from the store. A mid lvl quest would give 3-18 pts favor, depending on difficulty. Choice is good.]

hURR dURR dERP:
that you simply run out of things to do at a certain point without paying for it

About half way through the game (lvl 12) you need to either grind for points (or buy some) to get more content.
By that time you should know if the game is worth spending a few dollars to support.

If you have VIP friends they can buy you 'guest passes' so you can access all the content (as VIPs get 500 pts / month and 180 min guest passes cost 30-120 pts).

This is similar to buying a PnP D&D module.

In both cases it boils down to pay or grind, as I mentioned.

TechNoFear:

hURR dURR dERP:
locking away essential parts of a 'free' game until you pay for them is just not something I can appreciate.

Nothing 'essential' is locked away. (Name one thing.)

Do you think you should be able to play the whole game for ever and for free?

Name another game (MMO or not) you can play over half way through for no purchase price and no monthly fee (and is not advertising/spyware driven like Farmville etc).

See below. I realise that an MMO needs to get its money from somewhere, but if I have the choice between paying a subscription or paying for every little bit of content after a certain level, I'll choose the subscription.

TechNoFear:

hURR dURR dERP:
If paying for an MMO is what it takes to get the full game, then I'd rather shell out a few bucks more for a proper P2P one than deal with the death of a thousand micropayments to enjoy a 'free' MMO.

You mean like CO or STO which both have subs + RMTs?
CO wants you to pay a sub AND buy new content....

Way to pick two horrible examples.

hURR dURR dERP:
I realise that an MMO needs to get its money from somewhere, but if I have the choice between paying a subscription or paying for every little bit of content after a certain level, I'll choose the subscription.

You complain that DDO is 'pay or grind' and then say you don't mind paying a sub. DDO gives more choices on how much you have to pay than any other MMO offers.

Then pay a sub and not have to grind,

or don't pay and grind,

or do a combo of the two,

or don't play at all.

Or you can pay a few months sub while you level to the cap (gaining lots of points from favor and your stipend) and then buy only the end game content you like (allowing you to play for free, for ever). No other MMO offers that for a total of less than $50.

No need to come here and bag the game because it did not give you everything for free and with no grind.

8-Bit_Jack:
All I want to know is, can I make my horribly OP barbarian, Azog the Blade Dancer (a title earned after cleaving through 30 enemies in one turn)? Is ridiculous bullshit twinkery still a game mechanic online? What rules does it follow (I only have played 3.5)

It is close to 3.5 with some changes for real-time gaming (plays like a FPS).

You can mix up to 3 classes and choose skills, feats and spells as per PnP 3.5 rules.

I have a dwarf barabrian (lvl 20, the cap) using 2 Dwaven axes with over 750 HP and 60 Str when raged (but the content is still a challenge due to his very low armor class).

I suggest you try it out for free and see if it is to your liking. I promise a full refund of the purchase price....

TechNoFear:

hURR dURR dERP:
I realise that an MMO needs to get its money from somewhere, but if I have the choice between paying a subscription or paying for every little bit of content after a certain level, I'll choose the subscription.

You complain that DDO is 'pay or grind' and then say you don't mind paying a sub. DDO gives more choices on how much you have to pay than any other MMO offers.

Then pay a sub and not have to grind,

or don't pay and grind,

or do a combo of the two,

or don't play at all.

Or you can pay a few months sub while you level to the cap (gaining lots of points from favor and your stipend) and then buy only the end game content you like (allowing you to play for free, for ever). No other MMO offers that for a total of less than $50.

No need to come here and bag the game because it did not give you everything for free and with no grind.

Oh boo-hoo, someone didn't like your game, get over it.

All I'm saying is, I played it, and didn't like the 'free' game or its payment model.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I played this and I loathed it. Even being a diehard RPGer and D&Der. I guess as a party it would be cool, but for soloing it's just 3D Diablo, with more restrictive rules.

I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but the other people part of the game is why you play it online... just thought i'd give you the heads up. LOL

-M

matthew_lane:

The_root_of_all_evil:
I played this and I loathed it. Even being a diehard RPGer and D&Der. I guess as a party it would be cool, but for soloing it's just 3D Diablo, with more restrictive rules.

I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but the other people part of the game is why you play it online... just thought i'd give you the heads up. LOL

-M

LOL I NO DAT LOL

However, most casual MMOs provide an avenue for entertainment that can be played solo. The problem with the D&D rules is that, as most RPers know, reducing the game down to an MMO level removes the ability of the rules to cope...which is why they have to put things over the top of the rules to make solo-play work and that collapses the fun part of it. The D&D rules were never that stable to begin with and were crafted mostly for team games.
LotRo (same designers) actually make solo or team play enjoyable, and as I'm sure you've found out if you've played an online team game, having a public team often consist of griefers, ragequitters and mini-Hitlers.

So yes, I am aware of teamplay, given the two decades of experience.

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