Ok, I didn’t really “ragequit” DDO. I was pleasantly surprised by my re-visit to Eberron. It’s been a while, maybe since Saint’s Row 2, since a game so charmed me right out of the box (aka cable modem) with no expectations.
I wanted to comment with some feedback for Turbine, but I figured the forums were pointless, and I was told furthermore that any bold comparisons of DDO to WoW in the forums would be met with merciless derision.
I originally played DDO at launch, but there were bugs, texture problems with my hair (bad hair is bad!), and stuttering, and I quit very quickly. I was inspired to look at DDO again because of the Underdark and Forgotten Realms expansion announcement. I really want to go there.
DDO has fun dungeon gameplay and decent voiceovers. It played fairly smoothly except for some minor server issues on Thelanis, and looked great for its age. The quests were totally unlike Wow, which was refreshing. The deep and respectable D&D character system was a daunting plus.
I also liked the cool things like climbing ladders and swimming that didn’t make it into LotRO. Why not? I’d love for LotRO dungeons to be more like DDO. Trap skills for my Burglar? Yes, please.
The interface isn’t terribly attractive, but it’s surprisingly functional once you get used to it, and the store buttons seemed less conspicuous than in LotRO. I appreciated this.
I wanted to play this game and get into it, and probably convert to a subscriber down the line. Yolari was playing with me, and she was more psyched about DDO than I’ve seen her recently.
There was only one problem–they gave us a default 28 points to distribute to our stats to start the game, unless we paid $20 for the 1500 TP needed to unlock the superior 32 point builds.
After I learned this, I simply couldn’t bring myself to start a default character missing 4 points. I also couldn’t make myself, on principle, pay $20 cash to Turbine just to make my first L1 character not a failure right out of the gate. I didn’t want to oblige Yolari to pay either, if I did.
I doubt if I’m coining a new MMO term here–I’m not that brilliant, but pay not to fail is the best description for how I felt in this specific case. It got me thinking in a different way about F2P in LotRO and other games.
I mean, are we really paying to win sometimes, or are we really, deep down, paying not to be a failure? It’s something to maybe evaluate and ponder when you’re considering plunking down money for something. Of course, this concept doesn’t apply to vanity items.
I honestly can’t think offhand of how Turbine could have done this thing differently. I don’t blame their design. They had to do their thing. I had to do my thing. It’s just too bad our things couldn’t mesh.
I also felt like things were maybe too expensive for F2P. I figured $60 just to unlock all of the classes and races in the character selection and $10 for an extra character slot based on the current prices in the store for TP. This didn’t make F2P seem like a viable way to play given the apparent difficulty of earning TP in this game.
Between the store issues and no dual-boxing in DDO (no follow command), this game is scratched off of my list of candidates for what to play. I’ll be paying the $20 to buy Dragon Age 2 next, which promises passion and romance in addition to the graphic bloodbath.
I also have an interested eye on the new LotRO expansion zone on the Anduin, which may offer a fresh and different way to reach the Isengard level cap. I really enjoyed Lothlorien, which is situated in a similar position to Moria as the Great River might be to Dunland, in terms of leveling.
Some good news stories turned up today, including:
A clear description of how good and creative the Kingdoms of Amalur character advancement system is with destinies.
A reassurance from CCP that World of Darkness is well on track, and that we might actually hear a release date this year (that’s how I interpreted it.) I assume they don’t mean the MMO could release this year.