Tag Archives: DDO

DDO Guild Creation FTW! Almost…

One of the game annoyances I could do without is guild creation.

When we rolled up on Lightninghoof in WoW, we had to go through the same old routine, getting 9 people to sign the charter when we only had 5 available.  We managed to get some friends to create characters to help us out, but in the end I still had to stand there for a while in Orgrimmar and grub for signatures.

It didn’t go too bad.  I didn’t face some of the usual problems, like people out-bidding my charter signing bounty, people signing, taking my bounty, then signing another guild charter before I have turned in my own (so their signature goes away!), or the usual “bigger must be better” guild spam inviting every unguilded newbie they see.  It did take a while all the same.

Eventually our guild was formed.  In the time it took me to finish that, Potshot had already earned enough money at the auction house to buy a guild bank tab.

While I was rolling up new set of characters again this week in Dungeons & Dragons Online (thanks to a tip from Vett on how to get a free key to add DDO to your current Turbine account) I was poking around at the various functions in game and came across the ubiquitous “Social” window.  As in WoW or LOTRO, this is where things like your friends list resides.  It also has a tab for your guild.

So I decided to see what it was going to take to form yet another guild in yet another game.  But I was in for a surprise.

Buy a guild now!

Buy a guild now!

Want a guild?  Go to the item shop and buy a Guild Charter!

Now that is a cash shop item I can get behind.

Given the choice between spending time begging for signatures from strangers and spending a couple of bucks, I will take the money option.  The tool tip for the store is right!

Of course, I’m sure not everybody will be as enthusiastic about this as I am.  There is no “go beg for signatures” option on a free account.  Somebody will no doubt wonder aloud if this is not unfair to the unemployed or some such I am sure.  But I know enough people who pay for character transfers on a whim to think that this has the potential to be pure win for a lot of people.

But how much does this cost?

I clicked on the Buy Now button and was greeted with this.

No Guild For You!

No Guild For You!

The social tab appears to be a bit ahead of the DDO Store.  The DDO store does not have such an option available at this time.

So no guild for us… yet.

Still, I like the idea that we could just create the guild on demand via the DDO store.  Some day.

How about you?  Would you rather grub for signatures?

Scouting DDO

Dungeons and Dragons Online has been hovering around the vicinity of our list of potential replacements activities for the instance group, though we were waiting for the “Eberron Unlimited” free to play version to show up and settle down before we took a look.

Potshot had looked at the game about two and a half years ago and had found it a bit wanting.  Brent at VirginWorlds also devoted a show to exploring DDO from the view of the dungeon crawl experience, but wasn’t totally convinced it was the best thing ever.

Time, however, has passed.  And, as those who have played Lord of the Rings Online know, Turbine does not let things stand as they are.  They keep improving things over time, and DDO has had a lot of time since any of us last looked at it.

So we thought it would be worthwhile for a couple of us to scout out the potential of the game for the group.  Potshot, Gaff, and I all downloaded the client last week and created characters on the Khyber server. (No doubt I was feeling some nostalgia for tales of the Northwest Frontier.)

The download itself was relatively painless.  I hope we are finally past the days of, say, the Vanguard beta, where multi-gigabyte downloads fail or get corrupted and have to be restarted over and over. Turbine has a download manager that keeps the data flowing.  I let the download for the premium graphic client run over night, though that was probably unnecessary.  It looked like it was going to take well under two hours to transfer.

The only thing that did not go smooth was account creation.  I already have a Turbine account for LOTRO, and from the account management page, it seems that I should be able to have multiple games on the same account.  However I could not figure out how to add DDO to my current account, so I ended up just making a new account.  Yay, another account name and password to remember.

Once downloaded and installed, the game looks a lot like LOTRO.  Or, rather, given the relative ages of the product, LOTRO looks a lot like DDO.  Once in the game the interfaces diverge to meet the requirements of either game, but they are quite clearly the spawn of the same team.  And some activities, like logging in, patching, character creation, and character management, are as alike as makes no difference.

I created my first character on Khyber.  When playing for free, you are allowed to create two characters per server.  I chose a human paladin, not being sure what Potshot might pick (Gaff will be a fighter of some sort) thinking that a hybrid would give me some flexibility.

As I said, character creation is very much the same as LOTRO.  There are a couple of differences.

The first is that the area your character occupies while you change the settings is very dark.  In LOTRO you are outside in the sunlight, in DDO you are in a dungeon.  But it is so dark that it makes seeing the various customization options rather difficult.  And if you are in a bright room, forget about it.

The second is that, in LOTRO, your character is wearing what you’ll see them in when you first enter the world.  In DDO you have a very nice set of armor on, but when you actually create the character and get to the management screen, your character is wearing what appears to be a cocktail dress hastily crafted from a soiled tablecloth.

Really, this worked for Paris Hilton

Really, this worked for Paris Hilton

Fortunately, this look is a temporary situation.  After running through the tutorial dungeon my guy ended up looking more like an adventurer and less like a victim of some fraternity initiate rite.

Dressed to kill

Dressed to kill

Not shown is the nice looking sword he got as part of the tutorial.

And once in the game I had to relearn some things.

First, the camera appears to be stuck forever looking over your should, so I gather that I am never going to be able to take an in-game picture of my character’s face.  I will forever be looking at his backside.  Not the tragedy of the ages, but you may have noticed that I am fond of those touristy “being there” photos; us at King Ymiron’s throne, us standing over the corpse of Prince Keleseth, us before the corpse of Onyxia.  Any shots like that in DDO will have to exclude me it seems.

And then there is combat.  You click to attack.  You can auto attack, but it seems to be less effective, so I stuck to clicking.  However, if you are used to holding down the mouse button to adjust your camera, things may seem awkward.  You can spot me in town, I am the one who keeps swinging his weapon for no apparent reason as I yet again futilely try to adjust the camera angle.

Movement, however, is not click based, thank the devs.  You can run around via the traditional WASD control keys, though for some reason E and Q were not mapped to strafe right and left.  The keys were not mapped to anything by default and the option to map strafing was in the list of movement keys, so I had to wonder why somebody chose not to just connect those two.  It didn’t take me long to figure it out, but still.

And while I was there I had to remap the key to take screen shots.  Control-P?  No, the Print Screen key on my keyboard lives only to take screenshots.  My fingers hit can find and hit that key with amazing accuracy, considering its location, so that must be mapped.

This week we are warming up a bit, learning the basics of the game, with an eye to actually running something as a group this coming weekend.

Of course, there are concerns in my mind.  There are only three of us and, like LOTRO, the default party size appears to be six.  Back in LOTRO this was a big issue because we only regularly had four people, which meant that we could not run any of the instanced content at the appropriate level without it becoming a wipe-fest.

I understand that you can hire NPCs in DDO to fill out your party, though I have not looked into it yet.  That could cover us depending on the cost and their effectiveness.  We shall see this weekend.