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Turbine Gives DDO Players a
Every MMOG has a learning curve. Some aspects of a new game will be the
same as any other: hit points, obtaining quests, and navigating an
avatar through a fantastic world fraught with dangers. A few game play
aspects of a new game ware always slightly different: health and magic
recovery, combat mechanics, and modes of travel. The key to keeping the
uninitiated games motivated to play your MMOG is to provide a newbie
experience that shortens the learning curve as much as possible.
Through trial and error, Turbine has succeeded in making Dungeons &
Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) a newbie-friendly game.
New DDO players pop into the world on the docks of Smuggler’s Rest.
Tool tips immediate pop up to explain navigation and game play basics.
Turbine knew gamers had a lot to learn in DDO, so they gave us a great
Euphonia’s quest exposes players to many of the fundamental elements of
DDO. Players learn that levers open doors, chests and crates hold loot,
and that they would do well to pick any sparkling mushrooms they
encounter. "Euphonias’s Challenge" also introduces the active combat of
DDO and the importance of rest shrines. By the end of the quest,
players receive their first Enhancement, another integral facet of DDO.
Before players depart from Smuggler’s Rest for Stormreach, they have
the opportunity to visit one or more of four archetypal training rooms.
One room provides practice with the DDO melee combat engine and
emphasizes the importance of blocking. Another room contains three
mephits that can only be damaged by arcane spells. This room also
contains an overview of spell preparation at rest shrines. A third room
teaches about the art of divine healing. The last room requires the
player to employ the unique talents of a rogue—finding hidden doors and
It is impossible for a player to complete all of these rooms with one
character. All classes can melee, but no character will be able to pick
locks, cast divine spells, and use arcane magic. This setup actually
works perfectly. The player behind Clubthor the barbarian just wants to
smash things; he doesn’t care how to prepare arcane spells, but the
arcane training room will be there in Smuggler’s Keep for him when he
rolls Boomguy the sorcerer later. Turbine did a terrific job with this
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Ten Ton Hammer has all of the information you need to get started:
- Check out our
section to see our introductions to the races and classes of DDO.
Builds can help you figure out how to make a character to fit your
to Stormreach Port will help you find your way into Stromreach
The Wavecrest’s barkeep gives the player the first two quests in
Stormreach. The first quest, “Taking Stock,” reinforces that players
will find hidden doors and it’s always a good idea to search dungeons
for secrets. The second Wavecrest quest, “Thwarting the Threat,”
features DDO’s first kill count objective and serves as a solid
introduction to the kobold invasion of Stormreach’s underground. When
DDO first went live, the quest could be really easy for STR-based melee
builds. Rogues and bards could find this quest very difficult. I know I
needed 6 or 7 tries with my bard.
Turbine did a fantastic job listening to player feedback about the
difficulties of “Thwarting the Threat” for casters and skill-based
melee builds. It didn’t take Turbine long to issue an update to the
quest to make it a little easier. Now any class can succeed in this
quest through judicious use of spell points and the rest shrine.
Lord Goodblade Quests
Before players can gain entry to Stormreach proper, they must complete
Lord Goodblade’s quests. These quests finalize the orientation to DDO’s
game play elements. Players will encounter traps, oozes that corrode
weapons, puzzles, and hidden items. Goodblades’s quests were pretty
hard to solo when DDO launched, but Turbine has since made them easier
to complete alone. In fact, Turbine has made a conscious decision to
make many of the Stormreach Harbor quests available for solo gamers.
Turbine knows that it must ease gamers into the complexities of DDO
gradually. Frustrated gamers will give up quickly and move on to
seemingly greener pastures. Without a doubt, Turbine has made the
necessary decisions to ensure that players find the beginning of DDO to
be a smooth experience. Great job, Turbine!
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